Category Archives: Beach

The World’s Must See, most Breathtaking Sunsets

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A sunset is magical almost anywhere you view one, but there are a few worthy of a trek to see in person, that the camera lens will never, ever be able to justify.

Fun Fact: The incredible thing about sunsets is that no sunset is ever the same twice. Even the same sunset on the same day at the same time can bring a completely different experience depending on where you’re at. Sunsets are one of life’s consistencies; they happen every day. Yet they’re always a surprise. Perhaps that’s why they’re so magical. So magical that they can inspire travelers to see them in various locations around the world. Some are even worthy of trekking for days to find the perfect viewing spot!

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Travelers know that Hawaii is blessed with the most magnificent sunsets in the world! Naturally, the beach is a classic place to see good sunsets. But you can also have sunsets delivered right to your room if you stay in the right resort.

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO

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Puerto Vallarta is notorious for their beautiful, vibrant sunsets. Almost all of the resorts there have ocean-facing rooms, perfect for enjoying the sunset from your room’s balcony.

MASAI MARA, KENYA

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Masai Mara National Reserve is an area of preserved savannah wilderness in southwestern Kenya. The landscape has grassy plains and rolling hills, and is crossed by the Mara and Talek rivers, great for safaris! Masai Mara is well-known for having the best photographic light in the world, not stopping the incredible colours which vary greatly from hot pink to vivid yellow to a dark burnt orange.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA

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Perth enjoys some of the world’s most spectacular sunsets! The novelty of watching the sun sink into the Indian Ocean is not to be underestimated! Park yourself down at one of the city’s beaches (Cottesloe is a great choice!) and prepare yourself for the show.

ISLE OF SKYE, UK

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Perhaps the most dramatic place to watch the sun set in the UK, the Isle of Skye combines perfectly a sense of mystery with the beauty that is synonymous with sunsets all around the world.

WADI RUM, JORDAN

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Jordan is the land of wonders and unforgettable adventures – a glorious country with a timeless book that unfolds magical stories of history, people and nature. One of the most breathtaking occurances in Jordan is the sunset.

SEMINYAK, BALI

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Bali is not only known for its culture, stunning landscape and temples but also snorkelling, beaches and of course sunsets. It’s a little piece of heaven in an already heavenly space! La Plancha beach shack is a fun, colorful spot where many enjoy watching the colours splash around the sky!

TAJ MAHAL, INDIA

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The beauty of one of India’s most iconic landmarks is even more heighten with the soft glow of the sunset. A magical sight to behold surrounding the magic of the Taj Mahal.

SANTORINI, GREECE

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This volcanic island is known to us for its stunning sunsets, dramatic views and white villages. It feels like you are in heaven and naturally would like to stay here forever.

CLIFFS OF MOHER, IRELAND

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Cliffs Of Moher are probably one of the most visited spots in Ireland. This unique natural beauty is a must to see any time of the day but is worth to hang there and wait for the sunset – Weather permitting of course. 🙂

BORACAY, PHILIPPINES

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Borocay is one of the most popular islands on the Philippines. It’s a given that as beautiful as the beaches are here in the day, the evening sky is nothing but insane! The sky literally looks like it’s fire! So many colors span across the sky.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

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Cape Town sunset is on the top of MANY lists simply because it is claimed many have not witnessed anything so beautiful. Every summer evening the sky puts a show that needs no filter or edits! It is hard to believe how colourful the sky can become in this part of the world.

 

Every sunrise and every sunset is so spectacular and incredible you will never forget any of them. There is something magical about sunsets, and we can’t get tired of seeing them. Every sunset is different and the moment of the evening sun turning the sky to a colourful painting is definitely worth looking forward to!

~Karen Bahri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Boulder Beach

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Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town, which is right outside Cape Town, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Ancient granite boulders protect from the wind (it gets a tad blowy in the middle of the day!) large waves, and soft sand make for the ideal swimming spot for adults and children alike.

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Because it falls under the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area, the beach is always clean and safe. It’s rarely crowded, which comes at the cost of a small conservation fee. This small fee is definitely worth it for the luxury of a clean, stunning beach! You don’t want to be disappointed on a beach day in this South African paradise!

Looks alone will definitely draw crowds to this beach, and yes, Cape Town definitely has no shortage of stunning beaches, but Boulders Beach in False Bay has an extra special treat for beach bums – PENGUINS!

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Yes! There is a colony of African Penguins in all their smartly dressed tuxedos, waddling gloriously on the white sand. In fact, they are the only penguins found on the ENTIRE continent and currently, there are only 26,000 breeding pairs left in the whole world!

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Unfortunately the African Penguin has been classified as an endangered species – due to over-fishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and irresponsible tourism activities. The Boulders Beach colony has also felt the effect, as numbers have been dwindling over the last couple of years.

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Unfortunately as well, they are also widely known as the “jackass” penguin for its donkey-like bray. I don’t know how you could have the nerve to call these cute little tuxedoed out creatures such a name! They only grow up to 4.9-7.7 lbs!!

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Another fun feature is they have pink (!) glands above their eyes, which are used for thermoregulation. The hotter the penguin gets, the more blood is sent to these glands so it may be cooled by the surrounding air, thus making the glands more pink!

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Something to keep in mind if you decide to go for a visit – do not try to feed or get too close to the penguins. Boulders Beach is one of the few sites where this vulnerable bird can be observed at close range, but they are wandering freely in a protected natural environment.

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While they may look cute, they’re still wild animals with razor sharp beaks. If you decide to approach them , they will think you are trying to harm them, so they will attack! Don’t risk it!

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Personally, I am not a huge animal fan at all lol (you are probably like “I do not understand why this girl is writing about animals, she hates them!” – haha) that being said, yes, to your surprise, I do think some animals are cute – FROM AFAR, but please don’t touch or come anywhere close to me!!! So these rules I appreciate 🙂 HA!

-Karen Bahri

 

And the winner of the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2017 goes to….

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…drumroll…

JUMERIRAH VITTAVELI, MALDIVES!!!

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The 11th edition of the awards took place at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Jumeirah Vittaveli was named the 2017 Global Hotel of the Year. Winners are based on the votes of 300,000 travellers who were invited to vote for their favorite luxury hotel over a four-week period.

 

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Located a speedy 20-minute speedboat ride from Malé, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers supreme diversity and subtle luxury. The resort comprises 89 villas and suites each with their own swimming pool and direct access to the beach or lagoon.

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The resort provides extensive leisure and wellness facilities. One of the highlights is an award-winning Talise Spa, offering Asian inspired treatments in a lush, garden setting.

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The most amazing accent about the spa is that the team produces their own island-made 100% pure Coconut Oil! This luxurious oil is utilized in select signature treatments and available for purchase at the spa boutique. They also offer Coconut Oil making demos!

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The resort also offers complimentary bicycles, fitness center, kids club, yoga areas and four exquisite restaurants, a pool bar as well as a beachside cocktail lounge.

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All these amenities are great additions to the already naturally gorgeous atmosphere surrounding you on this beautiful island!

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-Karen Bahri

 

Alacati, Izmir, Turkey – add this to your bucket list!

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Alacati, Izmir, Turkey – add this to your bucket list!

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Alaçatı is a unique Mediterranean town on Turkey’s Çeşme Peninsula, on the Aegean Sea. It’s known for its beaches, old stone houses, narrow cobblestone streets, vineyards and windmills.

 

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Alacati made its name in the world of windsurfing and kitesurfing, with its crystal clear water and consistently steady wind for over 150 years now. The Professional Windsurfing Association (PWA) Windsurfing World Cup is held here every year in August.

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What stands out the most about Alacati is that it is largely undiscovered outside Turkey, yet, many Turks, including several national celebrities, spend their holidays to escape the more touristy scene in Bodrum.

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Quiet and sleep a beach town it lays by day, but Alacati buzzes at night!

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The pictures do all the talking. Definitely something to consider adding to your 2018 travel itinerary!

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The best time to plan a trip is from the end of April through May or from September through October, when temperatures are still high (reaching over 20C), and prices are at their best value.

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-Karen Bahri

 

 

Pamper yourself this New Years at Katikies Hotel – Santorini!

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It’s the beginning of December and I should totally be blogging about all the holiday markets from NYC to Germany – and I will! It’s actually in the works ha. Since the month has started my mind has been focused on my goals for 2018 – from chapters I am closing to opportunities I am opening – 2018 KB gets her groove back! Also, a possible separate end-of-year evaluation post I may end up doing…or I may not. I don’t know yet! Regardless – I’m working on a lot of projects that I am excited about and I need to get my passport stamped at least 3 times next year!!! I say three, but what am I kidding, my list of destinations is already at 8 and growing……:O

Actually, I need to make a public service announcement – I am looking for bloggers for my magazine. Here is my ad on craigslist (yeah, I know, CL, ew. It’s posted on other “more legit” sites as well, calm down.) If you or someone you know are interested….please contact me asap: https://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/wrg/d/super-star-intern-bloggers/6415645215.html

(Now back to my program…)

ANYWAYS…one of the many destinations I’ve got my eye on, is, umm… Greece! I know, I know, everyone goes to Greece! KB you are fabulous because you do things differently and not the same old boring and your destination list has always been unique, just like you! I know, I know — but there is a reason Greece was rated the top destination to travel to in 2017! So why the heck not! The Greek Islands are always a good idea for a variety of reasons.

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Santorini not only won Travel & Leisure Magazines “the Best Island in Europe” award for 2017, but its resorts also snagged four of the top five slots in this competitive category. Resort competition on Santorini is fierce, as scores of hotels (even budget options) are built into the island’s volcanic cliffs, affording them panoramic Aegean Sea and island views.

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So which resort came out on top in 2017, you ask? Katikies Hotel, located in Oia, on Santorini’s northern coast. OHHH EMM GEEE!!! IT IS BREATHHHHTAKINGGGGG!!!!!!!!!

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Built into cliffs, all rooms have verandahs with sea and sunset views. Aside from the exquisite views and the atmosphere, what really distinguishes this resort from its neighbors is the top-notch service. The English translation of Katikies is ‘home,’ and, true to its name, the staff makes you feel like family.

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Overlooking the Aegean Sea, this luxury hotel featuring caldera-view balconies and bright white minimalistic rooms have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, along with minibars and Nespresso machines. Suites come with separate living areas; some bi-level. Upgraded suites offer whirlpool tubs; some provide balcony hot tubs and private pools. Butler and 24-hour room service is also available.

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There are 3 restaurants including upscale dining and a champagne bar. Amenities include 3 infinity pools, a gym and a chic spa offering beauty and massage treatments. Can I be real with you right now – the pools are my selling point. I mean look at them!! Add that plus that amazing Greek sunset!! That’s enough to recharge me to throw myself back into the rat race of the concrete jungle for a few months until I plan a new vacation all over again!

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Okay so I lied in the title when I told you to go for New Years. I checked availability from February, March, April…booked, booked, booked. No availability until May! So just FYI – this hotel is high in demand! So plan ahead! You won’t be disappointed!

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~Karen Bahri

 

Maarkah New York Fashion Week Show

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New York Fashion week was last week and I had the pleasure of attending a few shows. One of my favorites – if not my favorite – was the Maarkah New York Fashion Week Show, by Runway Prestige. Maarkah is an Arabic word for Brand – which makes it the perfect name for this show as it is aimed to show off amazingly talented designers from the Middle East and Africa!

Runway Prestige is ran by Rabab Abdalla – who is an extraordinarily talented, sweet, amazing woman!

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I came to the show to see Houda El Fechka Eddiouane – who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Couture shows last year. I also wrote an article about her work from last years show: http://www.hautedvie.com/houda-el-fechka-eddiouanes-debut-couture-fashion-week-new-yorks-25th-season/

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She showcased two of her collections at the show. I would describe her 1st collection as modern and elegant.

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I would describe the 2nd collection as traditional and dazzling!

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She is an amazing Moroccan designer from the Netherlands. She is definitely one to follow on social media. Her Instagram is houdaee and her facebook is https://www.facebook.com/houda.elfechka

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The show lasted about 2.5 hours and there were designers from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America! The entire show was amazingly captivating! I could keep talking but the pics speak for themselves! Also, if I were to post all the pics from all the designers – we would be here forever! Also, I ran out of storage space!! (LOL) So here are juust a few of my favorites (before I ran out of space on my phone!!)

It would be tough for me to decide because ALL the outfits and models were stunning, but the first 3 are my top 3 favorites! For more (photos and videos) – go to my Instagram: karenskaleidoscope and lastly please follow Maarkah & Runway Prestige on Instagram, FB and Twitter (Runway Prestige only on twitter)! This was the first of MANY shows, so stay tuned for lots more from Runway Prestige!!

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The Queen of the Night!! #arabiannights ❤

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~Hi My name is Ms. Fabulous but you may call me “Ms. Fierce”~

 

-Karen Bahri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BANANA ISLAND RESORT DOHA BY ANANTARA

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BANANA ISLAND RESORT DOHA BY ANANTARA

An island paradise of natural exclusivity

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Welcome to Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara – an paradise sanctuary which respects local culture by offering an alcohol-free environment with world class facilities and limitless activities providing relaxation and adventure, wellness and pure indulgence.

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Twenty minutes from the heart of Qatar’s vibrant capital, a luxury catamaran ferry crosses crystal clear water to reach a breathtaking island that feels a world away, while a private helicopter pad offers an exclusive arrival with a bird’s eye coastal view. Now, you are in paradise!

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The elegant 5-star accommodation is decorated with Arabic design and features a view of the Arabian Sea.  There are 141 rooms, suites, pool villas and over water villas setting the mood for romance and unforgettable holidays. One can take a dip into the private 800 meter beach or the 100 meter long lagoon pool. There’s even a surf pool! There are actually quite a wide range of water sports to enjoy. Leisure and entertainment also spoil you for choice, from bowling, golf and beach games by day, to VIP cinema at night.

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A golf course and a tennis court are available near the property. To keep the younger guests entertained, Cool Mint Children’s Club and Peppermint Teens’ Club have a wide range of toys and interactive games. The resort also boasts 9 dining options including a contemporary Italian restaurant that serves delectable fresh seafood and meat dishes in a trattoria setting. Al Nahham serves aromatic Arabic-Mediterranean cuisine with panoramic view over Doha skyline! Exotic mocktails and shisha are served by the pool bar.

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Each day at Anantara comes with an invitation to do it all or absolutely nothing at all. If you opt for the latter, experience how health and beauty go hand in hand with expert care, from delightful journeys in over water spa suites to holistic lifestyle programs at the dedicated wellness centre.

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This property is one of the top-rated locations in Doha! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area. With world class facilities and limitless activities providing relaxation and adventure, wellness and pure indulgence, at the Banana Island resort one can escape into true Arabian luxury!

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~Karen Bahri 

 

 

 

Three undiscovered Caribbean islands to discover now!

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Three undiscovered Caribbean islands to discover now!

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Aruba, Jamaica and The Dominican Republic are a few amazing islands commonly thought about as one tries to figure out which island to explore when planning an escape to the Caribbean. The choice is limitless and you may become confused trying to figure out where to go. I have provided for you three islands under the radar that are less touristy and offer experiences that will appeal to those looking for seclusion, adventure or both; which means you will get the ultimate Caribbean vibe!

The old Caribbean; safe, friendly and charming with exquisite natural beauty both above and below her waterline.

Montserrat

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Montserrat is one of a handful of Caribbean islands still relatively untouched by mass tourism. Known as the “Emerald Isle,” Montserrat has a rich Irish heritage and is the only country outside Ireland that recognizes St. Patrick’s Day as an official holiday. Visitors even get a shamrock stamp in their passports.

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Volcano tourism is the island’s most unique draw. Lookout spots including Jack Point Hill and Montserrat Volcano Observatory offer views of the eruption’s brute impact. The Exclusion Zone, which is the southern part of the island where eerie remains of the former capital city of Plymouth lie buried under a lunarscape of volcanic ash, looks like a modern-day Pompeii. One may become drawn by the slow rhythm, the friendly locals, the fabulous hiking and birdwatching, and the blessedly tranquil ambience.

Saba

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The mountainous island of Saba delivers a remote escape known for ecotourism, including hikes, climbs and spectacular dives.

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The smallest island (five square miles) in the Netherlands Antilles, Saba is primarily a dormant volcano covered in rain forest. A single road (aptly named “The Road”) takes visitors to quaint cottage filled villages, where you can purchase the traditional Saba lace. Saba is ringed by coral reef, it rises sharply from the sea, with the aptly named Mount Scenery — the highest point in the Netherlands — as its misty peak.

Statia/St. Eustatius

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The quietest corner of the Dutch Caribbean, St. Eustatius, or “Statia”, is known as the Caribbean’s hidden treasure. Today, Statia’s few visitors are intrepid scuba divers, and hikers exploring its rugged, volcanic terrain.

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Divers may discover dazzling reefs, gorgeous marine life, rusting wrecks, anchors and cannons are a few examples of what mysteries one may uncover under the sea!

Hiking is also popular on the island. Visitors can take a half-day hike to the 2,000 foot Quill National Park, a classically shaped volcano with a forest-filled crater. Orchids, fruit trees and ferns thrive in this unique environment.

A serene, old-Caribbean pace is highly felt as the sleepy island has a population of around 4,000 inhabitants!

 

-Karen Bahri

 

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Italy’s most Underrated destinations

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Italy’s most Underrated destinations

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Ahhh Italy!!! Italy is such an amazing and beautiful country where there are sooo many famous cities/towns you have to check out. It’s like you have to take a couple months off so you can see everything! All the major cities – Venice, Milan, Tuscany, Florence, the Amalfi Coast, oh my god!! Italy just doesn’t stop!!

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I’m about to make your Italian itinerary a bit more complicated (insert evil smile emoji) Forget the major cities…okay maybe not, but try for a moment. Wouldn’t it be nice to explore REAL Italy?! Outside the major tourist destinations? Wouldn’t it be cool to get lost and see what Italy is REALLY like? Of course it would!! Just brush up on some Italiano and follow my list of destinations in Italy that are a little less “well known” but you get away from the crowds and actually see Italy for what it REALLY is!

MODENA

The ancient town of Modena boasts to have the best restaurant in ALL OF EUROPE (Osteria Francescana) as well as it is the hub of Italian auto making.

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RAVELLO

Amalfi Coast – be damned! The cliffside town of Ravello also offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea!

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SIRACUSA

Settlements in this Sicilian archeological wonderland date back as far as 734 BC! Siracusa was once the largest city in the ancient world! It is best known for its Ancient Greek ruins as well as amazing food.

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PARMA

Home of …you guessed it! Parmesan Cheese! Parma is a foodie’s paradise as it is the first Italian city to win the UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy award! It is also home of one of the oldest universities in the world – Parma University.

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MATERA

This ancient city is carved into a canyon believe it or not! It is one of the oldest still-inhabited places on earth and extremely exotic to visit!

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TRIESTE

Visiting Trieste is like pretending like you are actually in Slovenia, but actually you are not! This place is filled with Viennese coffee houses and Slavic restaurants. Uncommon for Italy, Trieste is kind of a melting pot of Italian, Latin, German, Jewish and Slavic people.

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So now which one or ones of these places do you think you want to include on your bucket list next time you are in Italy?? Let me know! 🙂

 

-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