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Archive for the ‘ Destinations ’ Category

Discover the luxury of Charleston at Wentworth Mansion

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Luxury and opulence pulse through every beat of Charleston, South Carolina’s heart. Set between two rivers in the southeast region of the United States, downtown Charleston is enveloped in magic. Its history-filled streets unfold with blooming flowers, stately homes, spectacular waterfront vistas and intricate architecture.

The city of Charleston ranks high on many distinctive travelers’ destination lists. We invite you to experience the very best of downtown Charleston with a world-class getaway at the Wentworth Mansion. Charleston’s most unique inn was recently recognized by Travel + Leisure Magazine: named America’s Top Small Hotel and the 12th Best Hotel in the World.

Nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood, the Wentworth Mansion was built in 1886 as a private residence for the family of a wealthy cotton merchant. Meticulously restored as a luxury inn in 1997 and welcomed into the Small Luxury Hotels of the World portfolio in 2001, the Mansion retains much of its original centuries-old beauty.

Each of the inn’s 21 guest rooms has a distinct flair and character. Our rooms and suites are dazzling with inlaid floors, hand-carved marble fireplaces and 12-foot ceilings – some with Italian crystal chandeliers suspended. Magnificent bathrooms offer oversized whirlpool tubs and walk-in showers. Some rooms are appointed with lush daybeds or sun porches, beckoning you to lounge with a book and a glass of wine.

With a glass of complimentary sherry in hand, explore our library, sun room or 360-degree view of Charleston’s skyline from our cupola. Greet fellow guests at morning breakfast and coffee service or wine and hors d’oeuvres hour. Retreat to our luxury spa for even more pampering.

The Wentworth Mansion indulges all senses, even offering some of Charleston’s finest cuisine at our very own Circa 1886 Restaurant. Tucked away in our beautiful gardens, the restaurant calls the Mansion’s original carriage house home. Circa 1886 Restaurant’s cozy, intimate dining room sets the stage for a truly amazing fine dining experience.

In its every detail, the Wentworth Mansion is built for enjoyment, luxury and romantic getaways. Though you may be tempted to spend every second of your Charleston trip at the Wentworth Mansion, the city’s many breathtaking sights lie just outside our door. Why wait one more second to plan your trip? Call 888-466-1886 to book your stay.

Written by Ellen Schmedinghoff from Charming Inns.

Holiday Spotlight – The Lake District

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

England has many hidden treasures, and none are more beautiful than the stunning peaks and troughs of the Lake District. The beautiful region in the North of England is host to some of the most breathtaking scenery in Europe.

Vacations in the Lake District can be as active or as restful as you wish. Keen walkers are in their element with acres of countryside and a variety of popular walks including the walk up Helvellyn peak, a favourite with walking enthusiasts.

The local countryside around Kendal is a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty so visitors can be assured that scenery will not disappoint. And due to the high calibre of the surroundings, most of the accommodation in the Lake District is of a very high standard, with the majority of the hotels 4 or 5 stars.

For visitors who are looking for a more active vacation there is plenty to keep them occupied.

Kendal has the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry while Penrith town has Penrith Castle, dating back to the 14th century and built as a defence against raids from the Scottish.

Lake Windermere is arguably the most popular natural attraction in the Lake District and is the largest of the lakes in the area. Water sports and boat trips are available including ferry crossings to Hill Top where holiday makers can visit the home of famous children’s author Beatrix Potter and the location for the recent Hollywood film about Potter’s life.

Culture lovers can visit La Galerie d’Art in Bowness. This stunning art gallery has regular exhibitions of original paintings by both local and international artists.

For an idyllic vacation that combines luxury, character and scenery the Lake District is sure to deliver. For a list of our favourite luxury hotels, check out our recent article ‘Top 5 Best Luxury Hotels in the Lake District

* Picture of the Lakeside Hotel on Lake Windermere

Botswana: Safari in style

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Once upon a time a safari holiday was more about adventure than comfort. Holiday makers could expect to see some of nature’s most amazing sights, watch some of the world’s most beautiful animals in their own habitat and return enlightened but if they expected luxury they would be sorely disappointed. But those days are long gone. Now safari holidays offer both adventure and opulence and vacationers can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Botswana has one of the most breathtaking landscapes in Africa, from the barren desert of the Kalahari to the wonder of the Okavango Delta.

An organised nine day vacation through this stunning region with an African safari tour operator would include accommodation in luxury safari lodges in Botswana and the beautiful Victoria Falls Hotel. In the Okavango Delta, enjoy mokoro rides, and Delta nature walks, and the chance to see the vast elephant herds characteristic of the area.

To begin the trip you will depart Maun for the Okavango Delta Nxabega Safari Camp, exploring the waterways by canoe.

The vacation includes trips to the Moremi Wildlife Reserve Khwai River Lodge, a night-drive on private concession and visits to Central Chobe National Park which is well known for predatory species. There is also the opportunity to take a Sundowner river-cruise sipping cocktails as the sun sets.

The luxury lodges are located in stunning settings and all offer five star luxury. (below: Sanctuary Baines’ Camp)

Five reasons to visit Barbados

Thursday, January 26th, 2012


I know what you’re thinking – how many reasons could you possibly need to visit the stunning Caribbean island of Barbados? But just in case you do need a little persuading here are five of the best reasons to go.

Barbados is the place to be if you’re looking for fantastic nightlife. The South Coast offers a variety of clubs and bars where you can party into the early hours. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more subdued night, head to the West Coast where you’ll find a fabulous choice of gourmet restaurants.

On the subject of restaurants, Barbados has some of the finest in the West Indies. Highlights include Cobblers Cove Restaurant, which is situated at the edge of the beach overlooking the Caribbean Sea, and The Sunbury Plantation House, which serves traditional Barbadian lunches.

Barbados is well known for its beautiful beaches and it will not disappoint. With its white sandy beaches and clear turquoise Caribbean waters, Barbados’ beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world.

Water Sports
The beaches may be beautiful but if you’re the more active type, sunbathing all day may seem a little dull. But worry not, Barbados provides a fantastic array of water sports and activities. Try a snorkelling tour of the coral reefs, take a submarine ride or try your hand at surfing.

Of course, the best thing about Barbados is the weather. Leave the wind and rain behind and enjoy sunny days with an average temperature of 30C. With hot days and warm evenings, you can enjoy the perfect holiday without the threat of grey skies!

For a complete list of the various luxury hotels we feature, please check out this link:

* Image supplied by ‘The House‘ hotel in Barbados

what is 1,000 yards long, covers 20 acres and is 115-foot deep…?

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

… The largest pool in the world.

If you like doing laps in the swimming pool, you might want to get in some training before taking on the pool at the San Alfonso del Mar resort at Algarrobo, on Chile’s southern coast.

The Guinness Book of Records has named the vast pool beside the sea in Chile as the biggest in the world. It is more than 1,000 yards long, covers 20 acres, has a 115-foot deep end, and holds 66 million gallons of water. Its staggering dimentions are only matched by the staggering costs that go with it… cost to build: nearly 1 billion; annual maintenance: 2 million

The sun warms the water to 26c, nine degrees warmer than the adjoining sea and its turquoise waters are so crystal clear that you can see the bottom even in the deep end.

Orthlieb (nicknamed the Big Splash) in Morocco which was the biggest pool in the world is dwarfed by the San Alfonso del Mar’s pool which which is a mere 150 yards long and 100 yards wide. An Olympic size pool measures some 50 yards by 25 yards.

Chile ‘s monster pool uses a computer-controlled suction and filtration system to keep fresh seawater in permanent circulation, drawing it in from the ocean at one end and pumping it out at the other.

Fernando Fischmann the Chilean biochemist whose Crystal Lagoons Corporation designed the pool, said advanced engineering meant his company could build “an impressive artificial paradise” even in inhospitable areas. “As long as we have access to unlimited seawater, we can make it work, and it causes no damage to the ocean.”

Take a tour of Chernobyl in 2011

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
Bored of skiing? Had enough of winter sun? How about a trip to the nucear power plant at Chernobyl?!
Next year the Ukraine will offer tours around the sealed zone that surrounds the reactor which exploded in 1986, blasting radiation across a chunk of Europe and causing thousands of people to be rehoused.
The tour departs from Kiev and will educate tourists on the disaster that occurred and explain why it happened and the consequences of the accident. It will also show them the 30-mile radius exclusion zone created after the explosion.
Some tours already exist of the site but they are unauthorised by the government and do not guarantee safety.
Now the government’s Emergency Situation’s minstry have revealed that a team of experts on site are creating a route that will allow tourists to view the area without being subjected to any health issues.
Spokeswoman Yulia Yershova told reporters this week: “There are things to see there if one follows the official route and doesn’t stray away from the group. Though it is a very sad story.”
The tour has been given the seal of approval by the United Nations.
For more information, contact Tour Kiev

September is a great month for viewing the Nortern Lights

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Once more, it is the time of year for optimal viewing of the natural phenomenon known as the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, is a natural phenomenon that creates swirling streams of brilliant greens, blues, purples, reds and oranges in the night sky that can be seen from varying points throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In particular, areas in Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Scandinavia can offer clear views of the natural phenomenon on a fairly regular basis throughout the last quarter of the year.

And from September 15 through the end of the year, curious travelers will be able to book Reykjavik’s Northern Lights Experience vacation package for a first-hand experience of the Northern Lights from Reykjavik, Iceland. Reykjavik’s Northern Lights Experience features three nights’ lodging and the guided Northern Lights Mystery tour. Along the tour, you will take from the cityscape of Reykjavik into the surrounding wilderness as your knowledgeable guide helps you to track and experience the Northern Lights for a time that not only offers unprecedented views of our world, but also provides the thrill of the chase. Whether hoping to unlock the scientific reasoning behind the Northern Lights or simply wanting an awe-inspiring experience, this is truly an unforgettable vacation experience.

Vacations Made Easy is a primarily online based travel company that has been in operation since 2001. They offer activities, lodging and complete packages to hundreds of destinations on every continent, including Antarctica, as well as general information to help in planning itineraries and times for traveling.

For additional information, contact Vacations Made Easy by phone at 1-800-987-9852 or by e-mail at

Orient-Express Hotels add the luxury hotel Rio Sagrado Hotel, Villas & Spa to their portfolio

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010


Orient-Express Hotels to have announced the acquisition of a fifth property in Peru. The Rio Sagrado Hotel, Villas & Spa is a 21 suite luxury hotel, which opened in April 2009.

Hotel Rio Sagrado, a rustic two storey property set in beautiful gardens overlooking the Urubamba river with an imposing mountain backdrop, is three kilometres from the town of Urubamba and fifteen minutes from Ollantaytambo, home to an important Inca village and fortress as well as the main PeruRail station stop en route to Machu Picchu. The hotel has eleven deluxe and ten junior suites plus two 250 sq m villas, constructed from natural stone and woods such as eucalyptus and cedar, with marble and onyx bathrooms and flagstone terraces. Its 230 sq m spa has a large treatment room with views of the mighty Urubamba, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis and a sauna.

The Sacred Valley, located between Cuzco and Machu Picchu, is a popular part of holiday itineraries in Peru. Green and fertile, the valley is an important agricultural area, seen from its high towns as a patchwork of fields and Inca terraces. Attractions include the famous Sunday Pisac craft and produce market, Chinchero, according to legend the birthplace of the rainbow, as well as important Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo. PeruRail, the rail operator run by Orient-Express, stops regularly at Ollantaytambo station, as well as Cuzco and Aguas Calientes (the station for Machu Picchu), allowing guests to travel between the Company’s hotels in style, while offering fantastic views of the valley and the Andes.

Paul White, President and Chief Executive of Orient-Express Hotels said, “Expanding the Orient-Express Peruvian experience to the Sacred Valley is a natural as well as a strategic move and enables the company to provide its guests with a luxury itinerary from arrival through to departure. The key sights in this part of Peru are the city of Cuzco, the Inca sanctuary at Machu Picchu and towns, antiquities and markets of the Sacred Valley – arguably one of the most beautiful and scenic places in this wonderful country.”

Destination Spotlight: Chicago, the windy city…

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Eh Chicago! The windy city has it all. Amazing architecture, pretty parks and fantastic nightlife, what more could you want? More details? I’m too good to you, here you go.

Nightlife doesn’t come much better than Chicago’s. Whether it’s an evening at the theatre you’re after or to kick back at a blues club Chicago has it all. The Magnificent Mile is home to a host of theatres where you can catch cream of the crop of shows and plays. And for a more raucous night out why not try one of Chicago’s many clubs. From blues, jazz, rock and hip hop there are clubs to suit every taste.

But before you hit the clubs why not treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants Chicago has to offer. Michigan Avenue is the place to be for an eclectic selection of eateries. But if you know exactly what you want then it couldn’t be easier. From China Town to Little Italy, Chicago has a restaurant for everyone,

And ladies, worry not, there is plenty of shopping to be had in Chicago. Michigan Avenue is home to some of the most up market and fabulous shops in the world from Bloomingdales to Tiffany’s and, of course, Saks Fifth Avenue so get your credit card at the ready.

Culture vulture are not left out. Visit The Art Institute of Chicago for an fascinating selection if impressionist art. The architecture in Chicago is second to none. Make sure you check out the Sears Tower where you can get a birds eye view the city.

Check out all the Drake & Cavendish luxury hotels in Chicago from our luxury hotels Chicago page

5 really good reasons to visit Bermuda

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

If you’re anything like me Bermuda is one of those places you know if probably gorgeous, you take that as a given, but you’ve never actually got round to visiting. Why, is anybody’s guess.  The island is as colourful and interesting as you’d imagine. Here are the top five reasons to visit.



Probably the most obvious reason to visit Bermuda is the weather. It’s humid climate means you can guarantee hot weather on your holidays giving you the perfect excuse to buy more bikinis than you know what to do with.



There is plenty of wildlife in Bermuda, including wild cats meaning your trip will be interesting to say the least. But be warned there are also plenty of insects and bugs. Now I know what you’re thinking, I’m not a huge fan of creepy crawlies either but, hey, I think a couple of beetles in a stunning country like Bermuda is much more agreeable than a spider back home in Swindon. As they say, everything looks so much better in the sun.



As you might expect Bermuda is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With deep blue waters and white sand Bermuda beaches are a little taste of paradise. And there are so many of them you may even find one you can have all to yourself. Then again, you could want to find a slightly busy one to show off your bikini!



St Georges in one of the oldest towns in the Southern Hemisphere and is extremely popular with tourists. It has been named a World Heritage Site.



While you’re in Bermuda be sure to catch a performance from the Gombey Dancers. The group’s performances are influenced by imported Native American and African slaves and the shows should not be missed.