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Calendar: Art Basel Miami On Now

Art Basel Miami starts now.

It’s a great reason to find a list minute flight and hop on a plane down south for a mini Florida vacation with fun, fantastic parties and art.

Florida beach vacation
Delano Hotel Pool, South Beach, Miami, Florida, USA
Robin Hill

Intrigued? Read the full scoop here:

For other ideas on what to do when there, check our Florida Section of ~ Have fun on your spontaneous Florida beach vacation!

Sedona’s Top Resorts

Whether you’re in Arizona for a vacation or for a wedding, you will be pleasantly surprised to discover Sedona.

Sedona is a spiritual and sought-after desert resort destination which features top class accommodations, spas, resorts and lodgings. In fact, Sedona has several highest end AAA Four Diamond resorts that are well-known around the world.

Take for example,

1. L’Auberge de Sedona is a heaven of casual elegance. This grande resort is on Conde Nast’s Gold List as one of the top places to stay in the world. The spa at the L’Auberge de Sedona is world famous. Visitors can experience a relaxing treatment in one of four spa rooms, in the luxurious comfort of their own guest room, or, as the resort lies alongside Oak Creek, guests may enjoy their treatment in a secluded, open, creek-side canaba. Imported treats can be included to enhance the spa experience. The resort L’Auberge de Sedona also boasts an exclusive wine cellar, and offers spectacular & luxurious weddings.

Adobe Grand Villas is a second luxurious AAA Four Diamond resort. The Adobe Grand Villas are well-known for its grand scale accommodation of large open villas, each uniquely decorated with its own desert theme.
The villas feature a living room, one or two bedrooms and a bathroom. The villa accommodations have private balconies. There is a pool, a spa, and of course fantastic views all around. Luxury amenities include fireplace, waterfall showers, large whirlpool tubs, and electric bread makers plus supplies of complimentary breakfast, appetizers, and pastry. This Sedona resort is known for supplying grande weddings. This 4 diamond resort is located at walking distance from downtown Sedona for shopping and dining. However, personal chefs are on site for hire.

Last, but not least, is the prestigious Amara Resort and Spa. Its spa facilities are extensive and laid out on 4000 sq foot of loveliness. Its spa services of massage, facial, hair, nails, wraps are classic, while they come with Indonesian infusion. The resort features 100 luxurious guest rooms. Its well-known restaurant ‘The Gallery on Oak Creek’ offers a Sedona Haute Cuisine experience to its guests.

It’s hard to say which is my favorite. I guess, you’ll have to try them all.

A Relaxing And Rejuvenating Spa Holiday

Going to a spa is the perfect way to unwind and revive yourself while you are on your relax vacation. There are different kinds of spas and you can be assured of finding one that seems to be tailor made for your particular needs.

The Aveda Spa at Alexis Hotel – You can choose from a total body massage, which starts from $ 45, to the special Himalayan Rijuvenation Body Treatment at approximately $125. This treatment is a holistic rejuvenation treatment using both herbs and aromatherapy. There is also the Total Body Elixir Treatment, which costs about $75. Should you want to continue your treatments after going home, then you can buy the skin care products that are sold at the Spa.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa – This spa gives you a choice of fitness and health services. Private treatment rooms are available where hydrotherapy, mineral soaks as well as Swedish and Sports massages are offered. In addition to healing rubs, total body composition analysis and fitness evaluation can be had here.

Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa on Maui – This famous spa offers a variety of treatments in its facility which spans 50,000 square feet. With a choice of five aromatic baths, all the benefits of aromatherapy, which is a multifaceted art, are available to you. The Spa however is famous for the Termé Wailea Hydrotherapy. For about $500, you can indulge yourself and your partner in a Sandalwood Serenity wrap, which is a Speciality Bath for two, and then have a side-by-side massage for the two of you. This treatment at the Spa Grande is sure to completely revive you and relax you.

Marriott’s Wentworth by the Sea at New Castle – The complimentary beverages which are served in the relaxation room set the right note to the kind of pampering that you can expect at this wonderful spa. Facial treatments, which include the French Ogenage Facial and the Royal Gentleman’s Facial, are offered, as also are Paraffin hand treatments. Warm stones, aromatic essential oils along with Reiki are all used in combination to give massages that are truly relaxing. There are special maternity massages that are totally safe for mothers to be.

Sandy Lane Resort of Barbados- With a price tag of just $220, the Dr.Hauschka Classic Treatment is a perfect way to rejuvenate your skin in two hours. There is also the complete spa treatment over six hours which starts with a water massage, and then a hydrotherapy bath which precedes a body massage, aromatherapy facial, exercises for complete relaxation followed by manicures and pedicures.

About the Author

Vince Paxton’s informative papers can be encountered on several web sites linked to Spain. You can come across his contributions on Golf in Spain at and different sources for Golf in Spain knowledge.

Lake Tahoe: Awesome Ski Resorts

By Michael Russell

It is incredible that within a one to two hour drive of a full-feature city like Reno, Nevada, there are more than a dozen world-class ski resorts. Add the attraction of gambling casinos, fabulous restaurants and showrooms and you have a winter vacation destination at Lake Tahoe that is second-to-none.

If you are in Reno for a visit to a casino or on a business trip, it is a very simple to just rent a car or hop on a shuttle bus down to Lake Tahoe and enjoy a day of awesome skiing with absolutely breathtaking views of the lake from the snow covered slopes.

In the South Lake Tahoe area you will find a little piece of skiing heaven called, appropriately, Heavenly. This beautiful and massive ski resorts’ lower slopes can be seen from the Stateline/South Lake Tahoe highways and from most of the lake itself. Many people consider Heavenly to be one of the most spectacular ski areas on the planet.

Heavenly opened in 1955 with only one chair lift and a small hut on U.S. Forest Service land. Today it covers over 4,800 acres and is literally a massive operation. The resort was purchased in the spring of 2002 by Vail Resorts Inc. who has pumped over $36 million in on-mountain capital to improve and upgrade the site. Enhanced snowmaking on 70% of all mountain trails, expanded grooming, outstanding terrain parks, new signage and access to tree skiing are just a few of the improvements that have been made.

The ski season at Heavenly runs roughly from mid-November to late April. The vertical drop is 3,500 feet and the top elevation is 10,067 feet. The mountain spans California where the base elevation is at 6,540 feet and Nevada where the base elevation is at 7,200 feet. Annual snowfall is 360 inches on average but they had 480 inches during the 2004-2005 season.

The resort has 30 lifts, 15 in California and 15 in Nevada, highlighted by an eight-person gondola and an aerial tram. As far as skiing goes, the mountain offers something for everyone. 35% of trails are rated expert/advanced; 45%are intermediate; and 20% are beginner.

Heavenly has a veritable cornucopia of additional amenities and close access to all the lodging, shopping, dining, recreational, entertainment and fitness facilities that you could possibly imagine. It is truly a fantastic resort.

At the north end of the lake we find Squaw Valley USA, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. It was founded in 1949 amidst 8,000 acres of wilderness preserve in the California High Sierra. Today it boasts over 4,000 acres over six Sierra peaks.

Squaw Valley offers skiers a unique experience since there are literally thousands of acres of open bowl skiing as opposed to the trails that most people (especially Easterners) are accustomed to. Skiing in wide-open bowls in consistently deep snow allows skiers of all levels to kick their skill sets up a notch. There are 16 open bowls to choose from and over 100 runs that are serviced by 33 lifts. The terrain is rated at 25% beginner, 45% intermediate and 30% expert.

The area receives over 450 inches of snowfall annually and boasts one of the most advanced and sophisticated grooming operations around. Three terrain parks and two half pipes round out the operation to include something for everyone. The summit is 9,050 feet with a base of 6,200 feet, making the vertical an impressive 2,850 feet.

Squaw Valley, like Heavenly, offers close proximity to the Lake Tahoe area with all the added attractions and amenities. An absolutely world-class resort, you also have the additional perk of skiing down slopes once graced by Olympic athletes.

These are only two of the many world-class ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe region but they clearly give an indication of the fine facilities that are available. For winter sports enthusiasts who enjoy a nice meal, a relaxing spa and terrific shopping after a day spent on some of the most awesome runs anywhere in the world, Lake Tahoe is a must visit.

About the Author

Michael Russell is your Independent guide to Lake Tahoe

Travel Trip Vacation Tip

Golden Getaways: California Hotels from $95

De-Stressing in Santa Barbara – Spas

Richard Rspad

Santa Barbara is undoubtedly one of the top communities in California. Santa Barbara spas are just as highly rated in the world of spas.

Flower in Chinese Garden - Photo by Pukey Cow

Santa Barbara features many renowned luxury spas. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara offers a unique atmosphere of sophistication mixed in with more than a bit of beach lifestyle. Santa Barbara spas are much the same and here are a few highlights.

Four Seasons Resort hosts one of the more popular Santa Barbara spas. When you talk about the Four Season, you are discussing luxury, pampering and quality. Four Seasons in Santa Barbara offers focused spa packages such as vineyard harvest package, Sunset sanctuary, mother and daughter of beauty, duet package, and the royal treatment. Other popular treatments include Four Seasons in One treatment, Grape de Vine treatment, Aromapothecary customized infused bath, Vine country “cuvee” soak, Aromapothecary sugar scrub, Aromatherapy salt glow, Avocado-citrus body wrap, Chardonnay clay body wrap, Grapeseed geranium rose body wrap, replenishing facial, beauty flash facial, facial enhancements, depilatory services, teenage facial, junior VIP relaxing massage, the executive de-stress treatment, Back and shoulder deep cleansing, and Salon services. The Four Seasons Resort Spa is located at 1260 Channel Drive, Santa Barbara, California, and the telephone number is 805-969-2261.

Avia Spa is located in 350 Chapala Street, Suite 101 in Santa Barbara. The quality of the spa facilities and products used for the treatments makes it adorn a unique position among the Santa Barbara spas. Avia offers both Western and Eastern spa treatments depending upon your personal preference. The available spa treatments include SensAvia facial, Avia lifestyle facial, anti-aging glycolic facial, crystal-free microdermabrasion, Gotu Kola firming facial, restorative peace of mind body wrap, ionithermie cellulite reduction, aromatic salt stone glow, relaxing muscle mud wrap, seaweed secrets, renewing body exfoliation, reflexology, deep tissue massage, hot stone therapy, acupressure Shirodhara massage, aromatherapy, Lomi Lomi, hot stone Chakra balancing, and rose hydrating manicure. Call 805-730-7303 for appointments.

Bacara Spa is rated among the popular Santa Barbara spas as it provides a signature style of spa treatments. The clients of Bacara Spa are impressed by the level of service, quality of the treatment and efficacy of the spa therapies. Some of the treatments of Bacara Spa include destination facial, exfoliation massage, regenerating mask and hydrotherapy. Bacara Resort and Spa is located in 8301 Hollister Avenue and telephone number is 805-968-0100.

At the end of the day, your choice of the Santa Barbara spas is really just limited by your wallet. The Four Seasons gets my vote as the best, but it is definitely not the cheapest option.

Richard Rspad is with – reviews and articles on day spas in California.

The Chamonix Valley, France

By Karen Richardson

To describe the Chamonix Valley as beautiful would be a lot more then an understatement. It is, without doubt, one of the most picturesque areas in the world.

ChamonixValleeBlanchePhoto_by_Lars Sundström

One hour from Geneva by road, this skiing and mountaineering haven has become popular the world over with skiers, mountaineers, climbers and mountain lovers alike.

The valley itself is dominated by Mt Blanc, as well as other ranges meeting in this most dramatic mountain area. Towering pillars of granite dominate the area often bewhildering you with the very scale that they represent. It is difficult not to be impressed once the clouds lift, the peaks towering above you like sentinels.

Chamonix has become very popular with the British, who have now gathered there in significant numbers, though many leave and go somwhere else once the ski season is over.

Scandanavian peoples also appear to favour the area, and, of course, there are the French.

Chamonix has become so multicultural in some areas that it would be easy to say that it is not typically French. Though French is widely spoken, you will never be far from a British accent. Most Brits have picked up the baton, so to speak, and learnt French, but a minority remain who expect to use English wherever they go. This has lead to small amounts of friction between the two communities, but nothing too serious.

If you are going to go to Chamonix, you should expect to speak some French.

As a ski area goes, Chamonix has some of the most extreme skiing available to man. There are many resorts, all reachable via a small bus or cable car ride from Chamonix or the surrounding area. For the more extreme routes like the Vallee Blanche you should look to find yourself a guide, or ski the route with people that know the way, or you may find yourself in a crevasse.

Some skiers complain of the layout that Chamonix offers – of course you can’t please all the people all of the time – if you want extreme skiing, come to Chamonix, and expect to take a few short journeys to the venue of your days skiing, that’s all.

As well as being a mecca for skiers and snowboarders, Chamonix offers excellent climbing and mountaineering options, with climbs up fantastic granite cliffs suitable for all comers, stretching to huge extreme alpine rock routes like the Walker Spur. Pleasant woodland walks can also be easily found!

Not far from Chamonix are the mountain villages of Argentiere and Les Houches. Les Houches is only a 20 minute bus journey from Chamonix and is actually a ski resort in its own right, so you don’t need to be in Chamonix itself to enjoy some of the best skiing the Alps has to offer.

About the Author

The Chamonix Valley, Online Guide