Archive for April, 2010

Jazz in a Barcelona Landmark Hotel: Cafe Vienes


Jazz in a Barcelona Landmark Hotel: Cafe Vienes












Casa Fuster and Cafe Vienes for Jazz in BCN

Casa Fuster Hotel was built in 1908, and may be Barcelona’s most elegant hotel. With five shining stars, Casa Fuster deserves every last one of them. If you are not splurging for a room at Fuster (although the hotel has some pretty excellent offers on currently), then at least treat yourself to a night of jazz and luxury at the Hotel’s Cafe Vienes.

Set in an enormous room, Cafe Vienes serves as both bar and cafe. The space, decorated in golds, royal purples and magenta is both spacious and intimate at the same time. It is vibrant, stylish and sophisticated and the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion, or to take someone you really want to impress.

You can pop in on a Thursday and see a show at Cafe Vienes (there is a cover), or have dinner while enjoying the show (the dinner jazz special is called the Duke Ellington), or go for the extra special deal for 426 Euros, which includes a night in one of the hotel’s rooms for two people, plus the Duke Ellington dinner, and the jazz concert. If you opt for this last deal then you won’t have to find your way home after a couple glasses of cava, and considering The Duke Ellington dinner is 120 euros each person, this dinner + room offer is a good one.

This spring and summer some shows to look for at Cafe Vienes are the Jazz Calssic Quintet on the 27th of May, the Ignasi Terraza Trio on the 10th of June and  the BCN Gypsy Reunion on the 17th of June.

Even if you don’t end up seeing jazz at Cafe Vienes, it is still a wonderful place to have a cocktail, any day of the week, any time of the day.

More on Cafe Vienes

Photo Credit: The Spain Scoop

By UpTake

Fitness Spa Vacations!!

Le Couvent des Minimes Hotel Mane (

We all have different ideas on how to define an amazing adventurous vacation. Some of us define an adventurous trip by conquering a mountain on a hiking getaway, setting off the highway on a road trip or sleeping in the wild on a camping trip. The widespread factor for these kinds of holidays is to go outdoors. With the goal to experience the outdoors in mind, make the most of the remaining days of the summer by having a unique adventurous vacation – a fitness spa vacation.

Le Couvent des Minimes Hotel (

To go on a fitness spa resort getaway is one of the most amazing things in the world that you can treat yourself with. Picture being able to bring home memories of an incredible blend of experiences with Mother Nature and the soothing confines of a fitness spa resort. Top that off with the most delightful, salivating and, most importantly, healthy cuisines that the world has to offer.

The words “fitness” and “spa” are definitely correlated. While they do differ in actual definition and a lot of other ways, the end-result they offer to us is basically the same. Whether you work yourself out for hours in a fitness activity or lay down on your chest for a soothing Shiatsu or Swedish massage, you are sure to leave the gym or the spa feeling refreshed reinvigorated and rejuvenated.

Brenner's park hotel and spa baden-baden (

The growing recognition of fitness spa resort vacations can be attributed to their programs that prove keeping yourself healthy and your body in ideal shape is not just all work and no play. The programs prepared by a team|group of health coaches are varied and have different levels of difficulty. Hiking trips, for example, are offered with easy, reasonable and difficult treks. These trips, however, whatever the difficulty level, are supervised and facilitated by a professional hiking guide. Also, before setting off for any of the activities offered, a pre-assessment is administered to check on the type of activity your body can physically endure. They should be not too easy and not too hard. The main goal, after all, is that you benefit from your trip the way you would enjoy your standard vacation.

These marvelous vacations are experienced in fitness spa resorts. These resorts are usually located far from the sights and sounds of the busy and fast-paced urban surrounding that you deal with everyday. They are located in remote and exotic areas that are close to nature – an ancient city, a relaxing body of water or a rainforest. You might also find one or two in a major city, but they are limited in a quiet and tranquil environment. They aspire for you to have a good physical shape and also a healthy mind.

Rosewood Mayakoba Hotel Playa del Carmen(

One of the things people look forward to when visiting a new place is to have a taste of the local cuisine. One might even say that it is through the food that you actually experience a certain place’s culture. Although the purpose of fitness spa vacations is to have you leaving in good shape, fitness spa resorts have dieticians and nutritionists that develop nutritious, well-balanced and superb menus made up of the local favorites and must -try’s in proper servings that will help you achieve your recommended daily intake of nutritional levels.

Fitness spa resort vacations combine rugged adventure and pampered style. After an all-out vigorous workout, you have the wide range of options for relaxation. There are muscle-soothing massages and various facial treatments offered, including anti-aging facials! You even have the choice of attending yoga and meditation classes as well as other relaxation techniques. Fitness spa resorts send out an feeling of sophistication.

Rosewood Mayakoba Hotel Playa del Carmen(

Some might think of them as deluxe and extravagant while some, due to the highly stressful environment that we live in, think of them as a necessity. It all boils down to your ability to deal with the worries that your day-to-day activities bring. Treating yourself to this kind of pampering is not being egoistic and impractical. It is merely taking care of yourself, beefing yourself up with a healthier mind and body in order to cope with our eternally busy lives. After all, a fitness spa vacation is bound to yield nothing but great positive results.

Millbrook Resort Arrowtown (

Sonoma County: Drink in the fun at Alexander Valley wine festival

Sonoma County: Drink in the fun at Alexander Valley wine festival

The only thing better than a day of wine tasting is a weekend wine festival.  And in Alexander Valley, a spirited corner of Sonoma County, that’s just what will happen June 4 to 6. Thirty-five wineries will host their own parties during the Taste Alexander Valley event, offering wine and food pairings, live entertainment and special wine discounts.

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Oregon aquarium will delve into dark waters with ‘Swampland

Oregon aquarium will delve into dark waters with ‘Swampland

How do you feed a 16-foot anaconda snake? “Very carefully” could be one answer. But another is that it takes two people: one to provide live food and the other to watch his or her back. Anacondas aren’t man-eaters, but their size and strength combine to make them potentially deadly squeezers.

Starting Memorial Day weekend, visitors to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Ore., will be able to see the anaconda (during feeding time too) and other reptiles and amphibians as part of “Swampland,” a two-year exhibit original to the aquarium that will highlight all that slithers and flourishes in dark, murky habitats.

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How to Choose the Best Hotel for Business Travelers

Business traveling is not always the glamorous routine it appears to be. Lost luggage, missed connections, noisy terminals, spilled coffee on the laptop, these are the realms of the business traveler. Working on the road can sometimes feel like doing two things at once. That’s why it’s so important that when your head hits the pillow at night for some much deserved rest, you can count on getting a restful night’s sleep.

If you are a business traveler, finding the best hotel for your needs is not always the easiest thing to do. In some cases, you may find that your company or organization doesn’t give you much choice where you can stay. But if you do have some leeway about it, take initiative to make sure you find the best place to lay your head at night.



As a business traveler, you are entitled to some basic amenities that can help you function and get the job done. Here is a short list of what you should look for in a hotel accommodation. In other words, if you aren’t getting these things from your hotel, it’s time to look elsewhere.

1. A clean, comfortable, and quiet room. This isn’t too much to ask for, is it? All travelers deserve this, but business travelers must demand it. Your room should be clean, immaculate even. Your bed should be firm, yet cozy. Your room should be a sanctuary from the chaos of travel and work. Don’t settle for anything less.

Crown Plaza Hotel Fudan Shanghai (

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Wine Styles Las Vegas

How often do you get to walk into a store, sample the food and beverages and leave without feeling obliged to buy anything? Hmmm, well there’s Costco on any given Saturday. And, I suppose you can get a decent meal canvassing the aisles of your local Whole Foods or farmer’s market.

Well, let me try to put it this way: How often can you hang out in a store for an hour or two and possibly need a taxi to get home? Ah, there’s the ticket. And it’s for the weekly tastings at your local Wine Styles shop (the one in Vegas is a distance from The Strip off Flamingo and the Beltway)Wine Styles Las Vegas.

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Nagashima Spa Land – Another Name for Amusement


Are you the one who dances on his heel when you saw or hear about roller coaster? Or maybe you are the one who loves the adventure in roller coaster? Or it can be that you are the one who dream about riding a fabulous roller coaster than Nagashami Spa land is the dream come true for you? This article will give you some details on what attractions this Spa Land has for you and great discount hotel and hotel deals that you can have there. Travel blogs on internet will also provide you with more information on how to plan your trip to the best amusement park.


Nagashami Spa Land is one of the biggest amusements in Mie prefecture, Japan. The thing which attracts the tourist at most is their roller coasters which are approximately 11 in number. The roller coaster collections include the world’s longest and 5th tallest roller coaster known as Steel Dragon 2000. Others include White Cyclone which is the largest spiraling wooden coaster in Asia. A zig zaging ride known as Wild Mouse is also well known for its two mirror image tracks. Not only the roller coasters but also a water park adds cherries to the cake. The water park has the record of many space crammed slides. Nagashima Spa Land has a total of 40 rides. It also has huge swimming pools and 18 different kinds of water slides. Going to Nagashami in summer will prove to be a real treat for you as the water pools and slides will not only cool you down but also will make your summer a total thrilling adventure.


 The most popular hotel offering the best hotel deals to tourist and adventurers nearby Nagashami Spa Land includes Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyo, Hotel Monterey Sanno, and Hilton Tokyo.

Shibuya Excel Hotel ( provides you with the best hotel deals you can get for your trip to Nagashami and also a wide range of discount hotels from expensive and luxurious one to the comfortable and affordable one. You can also get different cheap hotels discount for advance booking.

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Train travel



Train travel is an ideal means of transport in the UK and the rest of Europe. Rail travel is fast, practical and convenient in both urban and more rural areas. Railway stations often allow for car hire services if you need access to a car or perhaps need to venture to an area not accessible by train.

Rail travel is often convenient even if you have flown partway to your destination. Train travel works well for personal or corporate travel, and can be an economical way to transport staff to a conference, event venue, or meetings. It can also be a luxurious and comfortable way to transport clients quickly and efficiently. Train travel is a viable option for conferences, annual meetings and other events throughout Europe. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can easily opt for rail travel to or from the UK and mainland Europe.

Booking rail travel is easy thanks to online interfaces that offer planning, scheduling and trip organisation services. Both personal and corporate travel arrangements can be made easily and practically online. Whether you need to simply book a rail ticket or opt for a full package, both can be done with little effort. Corporate travel to events including annual meetings, conferences, and other events can be planned quickly and easily. Many online trip organisers even allow you to book airline tickets, car hires, rail travel and accommodations in one step. A well planned trip can be especially important for group travel, or for corporate travel arrangements. Discount on rail fares are even available for groups of more than ten.

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San Franciscos historic Huntington Hotel is up for sale

San Franciscos historic Huntington Hotel is up for sale

The historic, 12-story Huntington Hotel & Nob Hill Spa, which shares San Franciscos Nob Hill with the Fairmont, the Mark Hopkins and the Ritz-Carlton, is up for sale for the first time in its history, according to a May 6 release issued by the commercial real estate firm handling the sale. The sale also includes the hotel’s sister property, La Playa Hotel and Cottages-by-the-Sea in Carmel. The hotels are up for sale as assets of Nob Hill Properties Inc., which owns them and is being offered for sale.

The Huntington, at 1075 California Ave., bears the name of one of the early Big Four railroad barons of California. It was built in 1924 on the same promontory where C.P. Huntington and his cohorts built their mansions in the late 1800s.

The Huntington was operated as a luxury apartment building, according to the hotel’s website, until developer Eugene Fritz turned it into an elegant hotel in the mid 1940s, retaining the spacious size of the apartments for guest rooms. Its his grandchildren, owners of the Huntington and the Carmel site under the name Nob Hill Properties Inc., who are selling.


“These are generational hotels that have not been available to investors for more than 50 years,” Michael Leggett of the real estate firm Holiday Fenoglio Fowler said in the news release. “… The Huntington Hotel, constructed in 1924, has been significantly renovated throughout the years and has never been offered for sale.”

The Huntington has 136 guest rooms and suites, plus the Nob Hill Spa and Big 4 Restaurant. La Playa Hotel and Cottages-by-the-Sea is a historic resort just two blocks from the sea in Carmel.

-Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

Photo; The lobby of the historic Huntington Hotel & Nob Hill Spa in San Francisco. Credit: Huntington Hotel & Nob Hill Spa

By LA Times

Zumanity at New York New York in Las Vegas

If you’re looking for a risque night out in Vegas, get a sexy dress and a pair of tickets for Cirque du Soleil’s production of Zumanity at the New York New York.

Zumanity at New York New York in Las VegasAs with any Cirque show, you are greeted by a host of costumed quirkiness who keep you amused while you await the start of the official show. These greeters are of a far racier variety, so don’t be surprised if you our your amour are flirted with, sat upon, fondled, or groped.

Once the show officially starts, sit back and take it in. It’s quite the visual buffet for every sexual appetite under the sun. Now, don’t get me wrong, the show is not pornographic. All of the performances are tasteful and artistic by most tastes. On the other hand, if you are uncomfortable by these racy themes, you’ll want to pick a more family friendly show like Ka or Love.

Compared to its sister shows, Zumanity has much more dance and drama and less aerials and acrobatics. The themes oscillate quickly from the bawdy to the steamy and back again. I loved how the producers celebrated all kinds of love and affection and chose to illustrate it with a spectrum of body types and sexual orientations. Love and passion are global themes and should be celebrated with such fervor far more often.

[Image courtesy of Cirque du Soleil]

By UpTake

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