St. Ives Pop Up Shop!

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St. Ives Pop Up Shop!

As I was walking down the shops in SoHo this weekend, this caught my eye:

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St. Ives opened it’s first ever pop up shop in SoHo! Unfortunately it’s only temporary around; but I would assume depending on the way things go hopefully they will launch an actual store.

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I’m sure just about everyone has an empty tube of St. Ives Apricot Scrub in the back of their shower they have forgotten about. What’s not to love about this product line?! I grew up using it. It’s cheap, it’s all natural; making it a great scrub which has always made my skin look and feel better than many of the more pricy scrubs and lotions I have tried.

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The concept behind this shop is that you can customize your very own face scrub or body lotion, starting with their 100% natural exfoliants, extracts, or moisturizers.

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Their exclusive Mixing Bar contains over 50 ingredient combinations. The combinations are endless! But in the end, you will have created your very own unique mix!!

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Umm, they also have a really cool photo booth!! With a hashtag so you can jump on insta and hash the crap out of your pics. YASSS!!!!! 😁🙋‍♀️

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The staff is really friendly. The decor is fresh and fun. They also sell candles. You could wind up spending a whole afternoon there – but you have to hurry! The pop up shop is only around until the 30th of June! So get going before it’s gone!

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-Karen Bahri

 

Escape the Summer Heat for an Arctic Paradise!

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Escape the Summer Heat for an Arctic Paradise!

Is the heat of the summer starting to get to you? Are you ALREADY tired of walking outside and feeling like you are walking into a sauna?! I meannn — not meee — but everyone around me seems to already be complaining. Double Womp! Anyways, here’s a cool story to take your mind off the heat —

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Northern Sweden’s ICEHOTEL was the world’s first hotel made of snow and ice when it opened back in 1989. Now, after yearssss of being built and rebuilt each winter, northern Sweden’s ICEHOTEL 365 will be the first frozen accommodation to stay open year-round!

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The tiny Swedish locality of Jukkasjärvi, which happens to be 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, was decided to be the perfect location for the 20-suite hotel, art gallery, and bar, constructed completely of  ice, which opened December 1st, 2016.

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The hotel’s interiors, conceptualized by a handpicked collection of international designers, include ice-sculpted suites ranging from 323–430 square feet built on reinforced pillars. Using a solar-powered cooling technology is what helps make all the magic happen!

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While nine suites are deluxe and eleven art-driven, each room is carved as bespoke artwork with wacky names like Hydro Smack and Oh Deer! As if this wasn’t tempting enough, the midnight sun shines for 100 consecutive days, making it possible to catch a glimpse of the mystical Northern Lights from September until late March!

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ICEHOTEL has been built to a fresh blueprint each year, using 5,000 tons of ice taken from the nearby River Torne in the spring and cold-stored over the summer.

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Sections of the hotel will continue to melt and be rebuilt as usual — meaning there will still be fresh new icy artworks for guests to enjoy each year! You will def have the coolest Instagram pics! So if you dare take up the challenge, this is definitely worth the chilly adventure!

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-Karen Bahri

The Absolute BEST New Resort in the Maldives!!!

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The Absolute BEST New Resort in the Maldives!!!

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If you know ANYTHING about me, you know the Maldives is on my top 3 (I say 3 but really 2 hah!) destinations on my list in the world!!! There are a few places I will always jump back to in conversation as my dream destination..and well, now we have another reason to go….

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A new 5-star, exclusive luxury resort has opened up this past November by the Soneva team called Soneva Jani.

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This is the third property by them that has pioneered around-the-clock butler service, a strong environmental code and a determination to disconnect from the noisy outside world (guests are asked to remove their shoes on arrival, which are then slipped into a linen bag until their departure; how relaxingly fancy!).

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The island lagoon of Soneva Jani will comprise of 57 villas – 24 water villas and 23 beach villas. All the villas will enjoy all the amenities of the resort, and each would get their own personal butler, as the same in all Soneva Properties, called Mr./Mrs. Friday.

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Each Water Villa will feature an amazing water slide and private pool, large lounge areas with open views on the blue, ample wooden decks, kids’ sleeping area, a living area with sunken seats, top floor with seating and a dining area as well as several other amazing living spaces.

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Among these, what you are not going to get enough of is the waterslide!!!!! YES, you can SLIDE your way to the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean!!!!! As if a private pool isn’t enough!

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The amenities for the beach villas are more or less the same, and all guests can enjoy the resort’s exclusive amenities.

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Soneva Jani Resort has a cinema, Cinema Paradiso, which is the first overwater silent cinema in the Maldives!

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Guests are provided with Bluetooth headphones, leaving the surrounding nesting wildlife at peace. The resort also includes the first ever over-water observatory, a beach restaurant, a spa, and a water and sports center.

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Inspired by a word that means ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani encompasses a collection of Water Villas and Island Sanctuaries set within a lagoon of crystal clear waters, fringed by pristine beaches and blanketed in lush tropical greenery. The highlight of the islands that the resort is surrounded by 5.6 kilometers of private lagoon! An awe-inspiring azure spectacle that inspires a sense of calm.

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The resort can be reached by a scenic 40 minute seaplane flight direct from Male International Airport.

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Already making headlines in the hospitality industry, it’s not surprising if Soneva Jani will make it as one of the must-visit luxury resorts in the world!

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-Karen Bahri

 

Mumbai’s First ever Floating restaurant!

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Mumbai’s First ever Floating restaurant!

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If you think you don’t have enough reasons to go to Mumbai, I’ll give a very good one! The first ever FLOATING restaurant recently launched in the city! You heard me – F-L-O-A-T-I-N-G!

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AB Celestial is the first ever Floating restaurant in Mumbai. Designed and imported from the US, it entails a three-tier luxury dining floatel with a sky deck, two galleys and a capacity to accommodate a minimum of 660 guests across four tiers!

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Incase it wasn’t obvious, you get a 360 degree view of Mumbai and the Arabian Sea. The ground floor will include a 24 hour coffee shop where as the first floor will be banqueting. The second floor will be a high end lounge bar and the open terrace will be the sky lounge.

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Although it was launched back in 2014, it had not been open to public due to issues of permission. The flotal is docked at the Maharashtra Maritime Board’s jetty at Bandra under the Bandra-Worli Sea link.

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I know what you are thinking. What’s up with the name?? The “AB” stands for Aishwarya Bhende, the 21-year-old owner of the three-floor luxury dining yacht. She has designed the entire interiors for the yacht, and been involved with it since its inception!

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Imagine how incredibly serene watching sunset over the sea would be from the upper deck! From the wooden floors sparkling to perfection to the ambience and lighting, AB Celestial, especially after sunset, becomes Celestial!

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-Karen Bahri

Time to add this Rainbow colored Indonesian village to your Bucket List!

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Time to add this Rainbow colored Indonesian village to your Bucket List!

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Just when you thought the world was becoming dull and lifeless, you discover a rainbow colored village in Indonesia!

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There has been a colourful makeover in the town of Kampung Pelangi, which literally translates to “Rainbow Village”, in Randusari, Indonesia. It’s bringing in tourists in flocks – and it’s all for a great cause!

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The town, originally called Kampung Wonosari, is home to 223 houses which have all recently been painted a minimum of three bright colors and decked out with fun, artistic murals which are so much fun to pose against and post up all over your instagram page! It’s an artists paradise!

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All this color has been provided thanks to funding from the government, who were hoping to banish it’s slum status as well as boost the tourism to the area. It’s certainly working, Instagram is filled with pictures of travellers in front of the colourful buildings and giant murals with their fun and creative poses!

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This project has greatly increased the economy in the village and has turned it from a slum to a thriving tourist destination you should definately add to your bucket list!

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-Karen Bahri

The Land of Legends

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The Land of Legends

Imagine staying at a beautiful hotel that had the works – spa, shopping, fitness center, pool, restaurants, wifi, ect. Imagine all that with a theme park included!!!

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The Land of the Legends Theme Park is a unique concept that effortlessly blends all the aspects of a vacation into one!

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The hotel itself is custom designed with whimsical touches of fantasy to reflect the tales that have inspired the experience at the parks. Featuring a 5D Cinema throughout, which offers guests a really unique, multi-sensory experience!

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The park includes thrilling as well as more relaxed rides as well. From waterslides to rollercoasters. There’s even a dolphin show! They even have a mini Ocean called the “Wave Shock”. Prepare to get your splash on! There’s definately something for everyone!

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Semi-Olympic indoor pool and Kids Pool are also available. Custom-designed guest rooms and suites offer dual-screen LED TVs and Play Stations as well!

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The hotel’s spa provides holistic therapies and massages, Turkish Bath and fitness facilities. Aqua park offers a complimentary access to adrenaline-pumping rides and relaxed explorations including 55 water slides. There are also concerts held here, as well as premium shopping and spectacular views atop the Legends Tower! You can also swim with the dolphins or go snorkling.

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There is also a 24-hour front desk, valet parking service and gift shop as well at the property.

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Land of the Legend will cater to every traveler, presenting a spectacularly curated serious of luxury, lifestyle and entertainment! Child friendly, so bring your kids or bring out your inner child! Definitely worth looking into if traveling to Antalya and you’re looking for something out of the box, exciting and full of adventure!!

-Karen Bahri

Travel back to 1910 England at the Black Country Living Museum!

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Travel back to 1910 England at the Black Country Living Museum!

I just returned from the UK and all I have to say about that was it was cold! Didn’t get to really do much unfortunately but I did get a chance to go to the Black Country Living Museum! It was actually a surprise and I didn’t know where I was being taken, and once we got there, I was explained in full detail of what exactly it was, because for an American, the name doesn’t really sound like what it actually is about! Haha!

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The Black Country Living Museum is an open-air museum of rebuilt historic buildings in Dudley in the West Midlands of England. It is located in the center of the Black Country conurbation, 10 miles west of Birmingham  (England’s 2nd largest city). The museum occupies 105,000 square meters (26 acres) of former industrial land partly reclaimed from a former railway goods yard, disused lime kilns and former coal pits.

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The Museum opened to the public in 1978, and has since added over 50 shops, houses and other industrial buildings from around the Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall and the City of Wolverhampton (collectively known as the Black Country); mainly in a specially built village. Most buildings were relocated from their original sites to form a base from where demonstrators portray life spanning 300 years of history, with a focus on 1850-1950.

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The museum is close to the site where Thomas Dudley first mastered the technique of smelting iron with coal instead of wood charcoal and making iron enough for industrial use. Claimed to be “the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution”, the Black Country is famous for its wide range of midsteel-based products from nails to the anchor and anchor chain for the Titanic. I actually saw them make a nail!

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The site’s coal mining heritage is shown by an underground drift and colliery surface buildings. I was asked several times if I wanted to go inside the tunnel as you can but you have to wear the hardhat and it’s dark and creepy. I’m not so fussed about the dark and creepy part but more so about wearing the hat and getting hat hair! Lol! INSTEADDD..I really enjoyed peaking inside all of the home and seeing whst typical homes looked like back in the day!

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Another cool section of the museum was the theme park, or “fun fair” as they say in the UK! With old school rides, slides, swings and candy. Btw they call Cotton Candy “Candy Floss” lol.

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Oh yes, there was a tiny corner barn too, filled with pigs and chicken. 🐖🦃20170412_141145 20170412_141156

In addition to the barnyard crew, there were a couple garages filled with antique cars! What a treat!

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One thing I forgot to mention is the accent in this area is very different and distinct! Definately hard to understand for us “yanks” lol but fun to hear and it took me back to watching those disney christmas films from old school England (you know, Scrooge McDuck!!! Duhhhh!!) Here are a few more pics for you to enjoy! This museum is definitely worth the visit if you enjoy history and traditional village settings! I definately say check it out if you are ever up around the west midlands!

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-Karen Bahri

Thailand’s Pattaya Floating Market!

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Thailand’s Pattaya Floating Market!

Thailand is a place high on my list of destinations I want to travel to! From the beaches to the bustling city life, the rich culture and tasty food all appeal greatly to me. Can’t forget the hot weather either!!!

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I recently discovered some information on the Pattaya Floating Market – yes, that’s correct! A bazaar over water! If Pattaya wasn’t beautiful enough, and if you wanted a little break from lounging on the beach this is definitely worth the experience!

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Pattaya Floating Market the biggest floating market in the world covering an area of 100,000sqm. The Floating Market is separated into four sections – each representing and selling items from the four major parts of Thailand (north, northeast, central and south). Expect to find many eateries, fruit stalls, souvenir shops and some art galleries.

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There is also a cultural show every afternoon, with such performances such as a classical dance, martial art demonstrations, as well as water boxing, where the fighters perform on a horizontal pole above the canal. Painters do show their artificial work, like umbrella and portrait painting. For those needing a little pampering, you can even get a traditional Thai massages, head or foot massage, facial, etc.

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The 350 million baht market has over 114 shops and water vendors selling authentic Thai food, desserts and specialties from all over the kingdom. Truly eye-catching are the small floating kitchens. With a lot of skill these vendors navigate, cook, serve drinks, offer snacks and make small meals all at once!

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For the ultimate floating market experience, hire a man-powered boat to get around and discover the richness of the surrounding Thai architecture and riverside life. Typically, the boat is big enough for four people and can be hired for a small fee for around 30 minutes. This definitely sounds like a fun once in a lifetime experience while traveling in Thailand! Everywhere you visit has it’s markets and bazaars filled with souvenirs, arts & crafts, shows and food, but a floating market you don’t run across very often!

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Entry fee is Baht 200 and the market is open 08:00 to 20:00 daily, with shops open 09:00 to 19:00. The market is not to far out of town and visitors can reach the market by buss, taxi or baht bus (song thaew).

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-Karen Bahri

Cabs around the World!

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Cabs around the World!

We all know how world famous the yellow cabs of NYC are! I don’t think people outside of New York know now about the lime green cabs that have popped up the past couple years – they are green to indicate they travel to the boroughs.

I discovered the reggaeton song “El Taxi” once when I went to Meheeko and it easily became my favorite reggaeton song. That’s justva random comment cuz it goes with the theme haha! And I’m not posting the video here because yeah and also, my Latina friend told me the lyrics have a double meaning so yeah yeah lol.

Anyways! I thought it would be fun to check out what the el taxi’s around other parts of the world look like! So here you go:

VIENNESE FIAKER

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Vienna is famous for its horse-drawn taxicabs, called Fiakers. Dating back to 1693, they are usually operated by family run companies and are part of the city’s rich heritage! Although today these traditional horse-drawn carriages are mainly used for weddings and ceremonies, a fiaker ride makes for a memorable, authentic experience for the visitor to the elegant Austrian capital!

INDIAN AUTO RICKSHAW

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India’s auto rickshaw provides visitors with the cheapest and most authentic traveling experience throughout the chaotic streets. It’s definately worth the experience to travel in one, as you will never experience anything else like it!

UK’S ICONIC BLACK CAB

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London’s black cabs are reputed as one of the world’s best taxis! It could be due to the fact that the origin of taxi can be traced back to 1605, which was when the first ever public hackney coach service for hire began operating in London.

THAILAND’S THREE WHEEL TUK TUK

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Taxis in Thailand come in various shapes and colors, but you can’t leave the country without experiencing the thrill of a tuk-tuk ride! Extremely popular in Bangkok and other Thai cities where traffic congestion is a serious problem, these exciting, three-wheeled vehicles, also called auto rickshaws, are a quick, fun way of getting around!

VICTORIA, CANADA’S H2O TAXI

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Victoria’s water taxis are so cute you’ll want to circle the harbor continuously! Launched by Victoria Harbour Ferry, the H2O Taxi service runs daily from March to October.

PHILLIPINES TRICYCLES

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Locally known as tricycles (traysikel in Filipino), auto rickshaws in the Philippines come in various shapes and styles. The most common design is a motorbike with a right sidecar. Nevertheless, you can always find a well-equipped Toyota taxicab in all major cities throughout the country!

CHINA’S SANLUNCHE

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Various types of taxis and auto rickshaws are used to transport passengers around China. A distinctive vehicle, however, is the sanlunche, a three-wheeled pedicab or cycle rickshaw introduced in 1950s to replace the pulled rickshaw.

MEXICO CITY’S BIKITAXI

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The bicitaxi (electric bike taxi) is a wonderful, eco-friendly alternative for transportation throughout Mexico City’s bustling downtown.

PARIS BIKE TAXI

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There are currently 4 companies offering bicycle taxi service in and around Paris. Although slow (about 13 km/hour), these chauffeur-driven electric bike taxis are an efficient and sustainable mean of transport. The French capital is also home to a couple of companies offering upscale motorcycle taxi services.

HONG KONG’S RED TAXI

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There are 3 types of taxis in Hong Kong, each painted a diverse color and serving different parts of the territory. The most common, however, is the red taxi, which can be found all over Hong Kong Island.

SPETSES ISLAND’S HORSE-DRAWN BUGGY

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On an island where cars are officially banned, horse-drawn buggies are the most pleasant and romantic way to travel around. Unfortunately, these beautiful one-horse carriages are only available in high season.

CAMBODIAN REMORQUE

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Consisting of a two-wheeled trailer pulled by a motorcycle, the Cambodian tuk-tuk, also known as a remorque, is still the most common form of urban transport. Tourists here can hire them together with the drivers, who also qualify as tourist guides.

DUBAI’S TRADITIONAL ABRA BOATS

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From the traditional to the modern, Dubai’s water taxis come in a variety of forms. One of the most charming, however, remains the old-fashioned wooden boat called abra. These traditional vessels have been used to transport people across the Dubai Creek ever since the 1700s.

LISBON’S TUK TUK

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In the last few years Lisbon has been invaded by Asian-inspired tuk tuk taxis. Nevertheless, these motorized, three-wheel vehicles painted in vibrant colors are a great alternative for tourist looking to explore the narrow, hilly streets of the city’s old neighborhoods.

SRI LANKA’S THREE-WHEELER

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Auto rickshaws, or three-wheelers, are a convenient way to move around a city in Sri Lanka. While some of them come with distance meters, the fare is usually negotiated with the driver. Either way, they’re fairly cheaper than typical taxis.

ISCHIA CLASSIC PIGGY

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The Italian island of Ischia is famous for its fun, traditional micro-taxis, derived from the legendary Piaggio Ape. Designed by the same engineer who created the Vespa, these quirky vehicles have provided a convenient means of transportation in post-World War II Italy and are still in use nowadays.

CUBA’S COCOTAXI

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Cuba’s traditional Cocotaxi is an auto rickshaw type of vehicle with three wheels and seats for two passengers. Popular in Havana, these cool cabs stand out for their peculiar coconut shape and bright yellow hue.

VENICE’S GONDOLAS

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With waterways instead of streets, it’s no surprise that people in Venice use gondolas and water taxis to get around the city. Locally known as taxiacquei or motoscafi, these speed boats are the fastest but also the priciest way to move around! If you’re on budget, you can always opt for a Traghetto (gondola ferry) to cruise down the canals.

 

THE MALTESE DGHAJSA

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Dghajsa, the traditional Maltese water taxi, was used to transport passengers within the Grand Harbour during the 19th century. Although they no longer serve the same purpose, it is still possible to enjoy a ride these days.

 

 

-Karen Bahri

Armani Hotel Dubai – Currently the Most luxurious hotel in the World!

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Armani Hotel Dubai – Currently the Most luxurious hotel in the World!

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True luxury can mean different things to different people. Luxury in terms of hospitality can be defined by a team of highly dedicated staff willing to go the extra mile and stop at nothing to ensure that no request goes unanswered.

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Armani Hotel Dubai, opened in 2010, is a ten-story hotel with 160 rooms and suites. It is the first hotel by fashion designer Giorgio Armani. Bearing all the Armani signature details in the carefully curated space with Eramose stone floors, zebrawood panels, and custom-made furnishings, it’s no surprise that everything here is tastefully designed! The hotel style is chic and minimalist – so much so, that it’s easy to get lost!

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One of only two hotels (the other one is in Milan) launched by the legendary designer, much of Armani Hotel Dubai’s appeal is also defined by its location. Situated at Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai, the world’s most luxurious hotel occupies the first eight floors and levels 38 and 39 of the record-breaking tower, and boasts absolutely stunning views of the city! The hotel overlooks the Dubai Fountain, Souk Al Bahar dining district, and the new Dubai Opera house. It also, not surprisingly, has direct access to the sprawling Dubai Mall. There is convenient access to the city’s best shops, restaurants and cultural attractions, plus a dedicated entrance to the tower. It’s also moments from Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, which boasts restaurants, cafés and a steady stream of supercars.

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With all the amenities one would normally expect (such as award-winning restaurants, a lounge, a deluxe spa and various Armani goods) what really sets this hotel apart is the “warm, Italian-style service”; for instance, each guest is assigned a personal Lifestyle Manager who handles everything from arranging childcare to landing difficult bookings of the hottest restaurants and events out there. The idea of it is to provide guests with a “‘home-away-from-home” experience. Service is especially slick in the signature Armani/Ristorante, where staff are knowledgeable and charming.

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Facilities include an arrow-shaped pool with a suntrap terrace and background music that helps mask Dubai’s ever-present soundtrack of construction! The spa features a thermal area with a sauna, dry-heat laconium and steam room and treatment rooms with adjustable massage tables that are so plush you’ll struggle not to nod off!

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Hotel Amenities include:

• Bar

• Fitness centre

• Laundry

• Parking

• Pool

• Restaurant

• Room service

• Sauna

• Spa

• Steam room/hammam

• Wi-Fi

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Armani Hotels & Resorts bring together the impeccable taste of Giorgio Armani and the developmental expertise of Emaar Hotels & Resorts. The partnership is truly global in nature and together create a brand that is unsurpassed in innovative design, style, form & function!

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-Karen Bahri