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LA TRAVEL

Inspiring Angelenos to Travel Near and Far

The Best of London Destination South Africa:

FROM SEA TO SAFARI

She's Back! California Native

AUDRINA PATRIDGE

Returns to the Hills

This Season's Hottest Getaways: Berlin, Cape Town, Grenada, Istanbul, Memphis & Walker Canyon


Because your pup deserves a vacation too. Modern 5 Star Luxury Dog Boarding | Doggie Daycare | Grooming | D-Boutique

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AMERICA’S ORIGINAL CRAFT VODKA

2014


2019 TASTE OF

THE WORLD PRESENTED BY

at Rolling Hills Country Club May 19th 2pm-5pm


Food & Wine Connoisseurs unite as the top chefs from Southern California come together in Los Angeles for a worldly experience that will excite both your senses and taste buds. Only a few lucky guests will be able to partake in this very private and exclusive event so get your tickets early! Join us for an afternoon of Internationally inspired food and beverage from some of Southern California’s most prominent chefs and mixologists. Sample all of their creative dishes and then vote for your favorite at the end of the event. Enjoy live International performances and music, Wine Tasting and Specialty Cocktails. FOR TICKETS VISIT

latravelmagazine.com/TOW


CIRCO ETEREO CIRCO ETEREO stems from four decades of performing arts experience, with specialties in CIRCUS, AERIALS AND DANCE ARTS. Focusing on providing international standards in the field of entertainment and striving to deliver cutting edge and trendy theatrical, commercial and industrial concepts for all types of clientele.

THERE IS NEVER AN EVENT TOO BIG OR SMALL, AS CIRCO ETEREO HAS THE RESOURCES TO BRING YOUR VISION TO LIFE. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL OR WRITE: CIRCOETEREO.USA@GMAIL.COM ::: (714) 330-7484 ::: WWW.CIRCOETEREO.COM


HARD ROCK HOTEL LOS CABOS Welcome to the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos – the epic new addition to Mexico’s hottest vacation destination, complete with 5 pools, 8 restaurants, a bowling alley and more. From tours and dining to the spa and salon, everything is included with our Limitless All-Inclusive program.

#madeformusic OPENING 2019

HR HLO SCA BO S . C O M


HOST-SINGER-MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER-AUTHOR-PRODUCER HARMONY, ENERGY AND THE DIVINE BEAUTY OF THE WORLD ARE ALL CHANNELED THROUGH THE ARTISTRY OF SOULFUL LOS ANGELES-BASED SINGER/SONGWRITER, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, AUTHOR AND PRODUCER OYA THOMAS, M.A. IN HER RECORDINGS, ENGAGING PERFORMANCES AND INTERACTIVE KEYNOTES SHE USES HER VOICE AS AN INSTRUMENT TO WEAVE TEXTURED STORIES AND MELODIES THAT VIBRATE WITH THE TRANSFORMATIVE HEALING POWER OF MUSIC AND SPOKEN WORD.

For more information visit www.spiritofoya.com or on instagram @spiritofoya.


A Night in

luxe

PRESENTED BY

JUNE 29TH 5PM-8PM 445 E. COAST HWY, NEWPORT BEACH FOR MORE INFORMATION & TICKETS VISIT LATRAVELMAGAZINE.COM/LUXE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT, PREMIUM SPIRITS, DECADENT BITES, SILENT AUCTIONS & MORE


SPRING/SUMMER 2019

CONTENTS

FEATURES 100 COVER FEATURE Audrina Patridge

Cover Photo Credit: Huey Bui

28 the editors' pick: south africa 40 the editors' guide to london 54 everything you will ever need in the maldives 84 this season's hottest getaways from catalina to copenhagen & stay 96 swing The Top 10 Best Golf Resorts in the World

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Don't miss the latest travel news and discoveries from our experts based on travel, dining and fashion throughout Los Angeles and destinations LA residents love to visit.


Letter from the Editors'

SPRING/SUMMER 2019

pring has sprung in California, the grass is green, the poppies are on another level this year, the sky is blue and people are on the move! Spring break attracts travelers from all over the globe, just ask anyone trying to get in or out of LAX right now. Whether you are coming or going, we hope that your travel is both adventurous and as rewarding as ever because as human beings we were born to spread our wings and fly. If you have found yourself unable to book a flight to a new vacation destination you are not alone. There are millions of people just like you that simply cannot find the time or the savings to be able to leave the country. You do however have the ability to take staycations all throughout our beautiful state as we do live in arguably one of the best places in the world with a neverending list of adventure, luxury, and blissful day trips. From San Diego to San Francisco, from the beach to the desert to the mountains, California offers travelers all they could ever ask for within any price range. Sometimes you just have to splurge. If you find pleasure in the finer things in life this issue is packed with exotic vacation ideas around the globe. From the most exclusive resort in the Maldives to a South African safari this season we really hit the runway. Whatever plans you have for the spring season make sure you dedicate some “me� time in there as it is vitally important to feed your soul and disconnect. Grab your golf clubs, book a spa day or hit the trails the options are endless. With so many exciting places to experience near and far, it is the most wonderful time of the year to travel.

Jennifer & Michael 15


Discover the Old World on the Best New Ship.

Sailing the Mediterranean May 2019. Book today. celebrity.com | 1-888-283-6879 | Contact your travel advisor

©2019 Celebrity Cruises Inc. Ships’ registry: Malta and Ecuador.

Experience the history, culture, and romance of the Mediterranean on our revolutionary Celebrity Edge®—voted Best New Ship by the editors of Cruise Critic. Featuring The Retreat, with a private sundeck, restaurant, and lounge reserved exclusively for suite guests, and stunningly designed suites that take unwinding at sea to new heights, Celebrity Edge offers you a luxurious new perspective of Europe’s most breathtaking destinations.


MEET THE TEAM

Carolyn Ramos

Paula Ramos Designer

Director of Photography

Huey Bui

Ken Alcazar

Robyn Rutherford

Kelly Magyarics

Katie McElveen

Susan Watkins

Rachel Stein

Kelvin Bellamy

Richard Carroll

William Rouse

Dave Wrobel

Horacio Aguilar

Taylor Kelly

Peggy Tanous

Design Director

Photographer

Travel Writer

Resident DJ

Travel Writer

Culinary Travel

Lead Stylist

Travel Writer

Travel Writer

Travel Writer

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Dezirae Elkins Halina Kubalski Chantele Petrocelli Oli Anderson Brianna Lopez Remo Fioroni

Chris Dunn Gail Moore Vic O'Sullivan Francesca Murray Alex Temblador Urban Nilmander

Katie McCabe Greg Foster Ian Cameron Evangeline Chen Ann Wilson Ben Esque

Associate Photography Director

Travel Writer

Videographer

Travel Writer

Melissa Curtin Vinnie Stevens Yvonne Lao Brittany Julifs John Piekarski 17


On the Cover P. 100 Audrina Patridge Photographed by Huey Bui

Styled by: Horacio Aguilar @styledbyhoracio MUA: Julie Patel @thelookbyjulie Hair Stylist: Tiffany Loe @christianmsalon Suit: Z Crave @zcrave Shoes: Charles David @charlesdavidshoes Necklace: Mahrukh Akuly @mahrukh.akuly.jewelry Shot on location at 58 N La Senda, Laguna Beach Listed by Andrew McDonald of The Agency 949.290.8393

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ON THE SCENE

The Readers' Choice Awards Party SkyBar, West Hollywood On February 22nd we hosted our annual Readers' Choice Awards Party at SkyBar in West Hollywood, a signature event created to celebrate SoCal's best hospitality businesses. Guests were greeted by Runway Waiters with bubbly courtesy of Wilson Creek Winery as they entered the iconic venue. Once inside the crowd enjoyed delicious desserts from Yardbird Southern Table & Bar while specialty cocktails were available thanks to Tito's Handmade Vodka. A special performance took place where guests witnessed The Honey Taps, a local song and dance act paying homage to the effervescent chorus girls of a bygone era. With a nostalgic wink to flappers of the 1920's and bubbly chorus girls of the swinging 30's and 40's they captivated the audience with their intoxicating energy. After the performance guests danced the night away with beats by our resident DJ D-dub. Event Photos By: Ken Alcazark/Alcazark Photography Red Carpet Photos By: Remo Fioroni/Fioroni Photography


ON THE SCENE

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ON THE SCENE

2019 READERS' CHOICE AWARDS GALA Casita Hollywood On February 19th we hosted our first annual Readers' Choice Awards Gala at Casita Hollywood, a signature event created to celebrate SoCal's best of the best as voted by the readers. Guests were greeted with bubbly courtesy of Wilson Creek Winery and strolling entertainment from the Bling Divas. Upon arrival each guest walked the carpet and then entered a cocktail reception where they enjoyed passed hors d'oeuvres by Fork in the Road Catering and cocktails from EN Events. During cocktail hour guests listened to singer Serena Laurel perform right before their very eyes. Once inside the crowd found their tables while Master of Ceremonies Oya Thomas kicked off the evening. A special performance took place where guests witnessed the Bling Divas impress the room midway through the awards presentation. During the evening extravaganza guests had the opportunity to try specialty cocktails which showcased Tito's Handmade Vodka, Dulce Vida Tequila and American Born Bourbon Whiskey while Essentia Water kept guests hydrated. BeDazzle My Events decorated the space with their beautiful event furnishings ensuring guests an intimate feel of comfort and style while FlowerDuet, Wildflower Linen and Happily Ever Etched provided just the right touches to make the room come to life. Sponsors included: All My Catering Staff, Next & Neat Event Planning, Pasea Hotel, The Mayfair Hotel, Pala Casino, Lindsey Print, Sweet Lady Jane Bakery & SOS Entertainment. Event Photos By: Ken Alcazark/Alcazark Photography Red Carpet Photos By: Remo Fioroni/Remo Fioroni Photography

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ON THE SCENE

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ON THE SCENE

BEYOND WONDERLAND SoCal 2019 As the dust settled on another mesmerizing edition of Beyond Wonderland at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino more than 110,000 dance music fans from near and far traveled to be transported back to a psychedelic world filled with secret stages, Looking Glass lounges, fire-breathing flowers and so much more. This two-day electronic dance music event, Beyond Wonderland’s 9th edition, is an immersive experience of sight and sound as you take a trip down the rabbit hole. Insomniac did it again! From a Caterpillar’s Garden to the main stage named the Queen’s Domain and all the stages in between a stark raving mad experience was had by all. An eclectic lineup of dance music including trance, house and dubstep, headlined by top DJ’s like Deadmau5, Deorro, Feed Me, Armin Van Buuren alongside up and coming artists ensured something for every music connoisseur. Insomniac offered a VIP experience which is highly recommended when attending any of their events. Each stage included a designated VIP area for those looking to get up close. The VIP lounge off of the Main stage showcased a Hookah lounge by Heavenly Cloud Catering, a beauty bar, Kandi station, lockers, private executive bathrooms, charging stations and an assortment of food trucks. For the ultimate experience, Insomniac offered SkyDeck tables where guests have elevated prime stage views and private table service with full bottle service and servers as well as a dedicated table service check-in for express entry into the show. The elaborate costumes of the performers, as well as the headliners, were more than just entertaining while the music, like the venue, was transcending. Best of all, festival-goers joined in to make the event an epic one to remember. This festival is a celebration of color and imagination. A journey into the unknown. To join Insomniac on their next festival experience EDC Las Vegas from May 17-19th visit www.insomniac.com. Written By: Olga Piskunova & Glenn Ong-Veloso Photography: Ken Alcazar

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ON THE SCENE

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THE EDITOR'S PICK:

SOUTH AFRICA

FROM SEA TO SAFARI


Ask any world traveler for their top ten bucket list trips and it is highly likely that Africa is in the top three if not number one. For most people living in North America, the trip to Africa can seem like a world away but it truly is a once in a lifetime adventure that is worth every minute in the air. After a cross country flight to New York from LAX and then another 15 hour flight via South African Airways to Johannesburg which hopefully includes a full nights sleep and movie marathon, you have arrived. A quick jaunt through customs and its on to another flight, this time only two hours to the heart of South Africa, the "Mother City" know to us as Capetown. As you drive in to the east coast portion of the city from the airport you pay notice to the raw natural beauty all around you. White sandy beaches that seem to go on forever await, while dramatic rocky mountains that hug the coastline create an incredible picturesque journey to witness during your first encounter with the "Mother City" of South Africa.

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For the ultimate stay in Capetown look no further than the luxurious Ellerman House. Perched up high above the ocean you will literally melt away in this oasis situated overlooking Bantry Bay between the mountains and the sea. This private boutique hotel is South African refined luxury at its best and which is evident from the moment you pull into the gate.

With only 13 individually styled rooms in the entire house, you will feel that you have the property all to yourself with the staff outnumbering its guests majority of the time. As you drop your bags with the bellman you are escorted to your home away from home for the next few days and it doesn't take long before you feel every bit of stress melt away from the long day of traveling. A gravitational pull draws you to your balcony and as you enjoy a glass of Chenin Blanc you are caught in a long interrupted gaze at the opulent Atlantic coastline below. Life is easy at the Ellerman House, no schedule, no rush, whatever you want whenever you want it. A stay at Ellerman provides numerous complimentary amenities

from arrival and departure car service to daily gourmet breakfast, top shelf spirits, wine tasting and art tours, to name a few. Stroll down to the pantry for a light snack to take to the pool, pull up a sunbed and become entranced by your surroundings. There is zero reason to leave the property as a natural relaxing itinerary is set before you every day. Lunch at the pool followed by wine tasting in the gorgeous wine cellar makes for the perfect afternoon. The sommelier on staff will gladly take you into an intriguing wine cellar housed on property, displaying an array of worldly wines and an over the top champagne collection. After an educational wine tasting experience head down to the lower garden and explore the property's art gallery. The Ellerman House's in-house art guide will gladly take guests on an educational journey through their incredible collection of local pieces showcasing the trials and tribulations of the countries past over the last century to present day. As the sun goes down make your way to the middle terrace as cocktails and canapĂŠs are served daily with a gin trolley to add that extra flare of opulence. Dining at Ellerman is quite the experience each and every time you pull up a chair. Gracious staff are on hand to take care of your every need, from blending up a refreshing glass of green juice at breakfast to offering advice on an off-property excursion. Chef Grant Daniels brings the best of South African flavors to each and every dish he presents, from his ever famous Eggs Benedict in the morning to a savory seafood dish at sundown. Apex Shark Expeditions If you love sharks like we do then an excursion with Apex Shark Expeditions is an absolute must when visiting Cape Town! Producers of Discovery Channel's "Air Jaws" Apex Shark Expeditions are the worldwide leaders in shark cage diving with the infamous Great White Shark. If you are a die-hard fan of "Shark Week" then you most likely have seen owner and shark enthusiast Chris Fallows doing what he does best, pushing the limits with the ultimate Apex Predator. For years we have watched Chris conduct extensive research on the Great White and other shark species in South Africa and a day out on the water with him

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EDITORS' PICK

and his staff will take your trip to the next level. This excursion leaves from the Simon's Town Wharf daily and takes roughly twenty minutes to arrive at the infamous Seal Island where the death-defying activity begins. Pulling right up next to the island one can't help but be enamored when witnessing the 65,000 resident seals that call this place home, all which are comprised of females with their pups. The males are only on the island for three months out of the year to mate and then they return back to the sea. As the boat circles the island the captain looks for the perfect place to drop anchor and in the water, the cage goes. Four people enter the cage at a time and depending on the time of year this will decide what species of sharks will arrive at the dive site. During our trip, we were a few months short of Great White season and instead, we were paid a visit by the "dinosaur of the sea" the Seven Gill Shark. This amazing shark species is said to have been in existence for up to 200 million years and as the name suggests it is the only shark to have seven gills where others species of sharks have only five. After the first group enters the cage the staff use a ring of salmon heads to entice the sharks to approach the cage and everyone is instructed to go "down' underwater for the best viewing. There truly isn't a better adrenaline rush than the ultimate predator literally inches away from your face opening its mouth to nibble on the cage right in front of you. Taking turns the two groups are given multiple opportunities to get back into the cage before returning back to Simon's Town. Although seeing the seven-gill shark was a once in a lifetime experience, we have vowed to return in their winter period (June/July) for the ultimate encounter with the Great White Shark. Not only will you be able to look this magnificent beast directly in the eyes but this time of year is also breaching season where you can witness one of the most phenomenal things you will ever see. Do yourself a favor and google "Air Jaws" if you haven't already seen it and you will know why so many people worldwide seek out Apex Shark Expeditions when visiting South Africa.

patrons are escorted to their table where they begin diving into a tasting menu comprised of local dishes popular throughout the entire continent of Africa. Fourteen dishes later and an evening of rhythmic dancing and singing leaves guests grinning from ear to ear. Mali puppetry, marimba percussion and djembe drums play throughout the restaurant while plates of signature items from an edible map of Africa include Tunisian Harissa Spiced Chicken Wings, Algerian Prawn Briouats and more. Every dish is delicious and the diversity in the menu makes this a dinner you won't soon forget. Rooftop Dining on the Waterfront We couldn't think of a better introduction to the beautiful city of Capetown then sunset dining and drinks at the magical Silo Rooftop Bar. Perched high above the V&A waterfront the Silo Hotel has changed the standard for luxury accommodations in the city. Built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex the Silo Hotel celebrates a melding of old meets new with its stylish contemporary design. The Silo rooftop bar has quickly become the hottest place in town and tourists and locals alike flock to take in the panoramic beauty of the shoreline paired with the adjacent mountain range that includes Tabletop Mountain. Awe-inspiring sunsets, light bites and an award-winning cocktail list make this rooftop the place to see and be seen! After a few refreshing cocktails head down to the Granary Cafe for a unique dining experience featuring fine wines and regional cuisine that highlights the talents of Executive Chef Veronica Canha-Hibbert. A small but diverse menu celebrates locally sourced ingredients with menu items including the Cape Seafood Curry, Springbok Loin and a Root Vegetable Terrine. The staff at Granary Cafe is highly trained on pairing your dish of choice with a glass of South Africa's best wines, opt for a glass of Pinotage or Chenin Blanc and your taste-buds will thank you.

DINING IN CAPETOWN GOLD It is rare to find a dining experience that celebrates its local culture, food and entertainment. Authentic cuisine coupled with vibrant singing and dancing provide a recipe for an amazing evening at GOLD Restaurant. A great way to dive right in to everything Africa, GOLD provides a high energy ambiance with passionate entertainment and a feast fit for a king, The evening begins with an all-encompassing drumming session where the guests are invited to partake. After a solid workout banging on the djembe drums 31


EDITOR'S PICK

ESCAPE TO WINE COUNTRY A short drive from the city of Capetown and you are transported to the beauty of South Africa's wine region. You will immediately feel as if you are in a different country upon arrival with the lush, vibrant foliage everywhere you look. Driving through the town of Stellenbosch there is a feeling of overall happiness that comes over you, life seems easy here. People pass by on bikes, walking their dogs smiling from ear to ear and it's easy to imagine the secret ingredient here, ah, yes it's the wine! Continue your drive just past the downtown area to the charming property that is the Lanzerac Wine Estate. Positioned in the idyllic Jonkershoek Valley on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, Lanzerac is surrounded by sheer-faced dramatic mountains, endless rows of bountiful vineyards and beautiful flowers as far as the eye can see. On a bright sunny day, the color contrasts are undeniably remarkable to the eye with radiant blue skies, pink bougainvillea and lavender fields set against the bright green grass. With a steep history dating back to 1692, Lanzerac Wine Estate has been producing the area's best wines for ages and to this day continues

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to be a Stellenbosch iconic landmark. It truly is amazing that Lanzerac was established only thirteen years after the town of Stellenbosch itself and has been producing the regions finest grapes ever since. Fast forward well over 300 years later and Lanzerac is still a major wine producer and boasts an elegant five star country-style boutique hotel which is made up of luxury accommodations, casual and fine dining, an ever-popular tasting room, acclaimed bars, and full facility day spa. As you enter the Lanzerac entryway you will be enamored by the majestic oak trees that perfectly line the drive leading you to your escape from the stress of everyday life. Highly trained staff around every corner guarantee your stay to be first class from the moment you enter the front door. Modern, yet sophisticated rooms offer the best of both worlds, all the comforts of home accompanied by the latest technology blended with the rich historical feel of the property make for the perfect escape. Step outside your back door and you are a stone's throw away from rows of vines as far as the eye can see. A dip in your private pool and a glass of Pinotage with the dramatic mountain range in the distance; it simply doesn't get better than this. The dining program at Lanzerac is nothing short of spectacular with its gourmet pub style menu at Taphuis, award-winning fine dining menu at the Manor Kitchen and let's not forget about the cheese &


EDITORS' PICK

charcuterie boards in the Tasting Room. Grab a seat outdoors on a beautiful sunny day while the staff at the Tasting Room takes you through a flight of their best wines. Visitors can choose from a range of experiences including a premium tasting, wine & chocolate tasting or the ever popular heritage tasting. Whether you are staying at the estate or just dropping by for a day of relaxation the options are endless at the Lanzerac Spa. After a mouthwatering tasting experience head over to the spa for a day of rejuvenation that will leave you in utter bliss. Providing a selection of wine-themed treatments there is no such thing as a bad choice. Arrive 30-60 minutes before to enjoy the onsite facilities which include a jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna. For those seeking serenity, lounge in comfort as you await the attentive and knowledgeable staff. From hydrating facials to ultra therapeutic massages and calming eye mask treatments, there truly is something for every taste. Opt for the resort's signature AromaVine Pinotage Massage which is sure to relax the senses and leave you in a harmonious state of mind for the remainder of your stay.

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THE GRAND FINALE Sundowners & Sunsets on Safari The reason most people visit Africa is likely for a chance to see the most magnificent animals in the world. A three-hour drive from Capetown along a winding stretch through wine country drops you at the gate to one of South Africa's best kept secrets, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. Situated at the foot of the Warmwaterberg Mountains in the heart of the Little Karoo and roughly 54,000 hectares (making it the size of Singapore) Sanbona is made up of desert plains that are now home to a long list of Africa's majestic beasts that roam the land freely. Sanbona offers a welcoming lounge roughly nine miles from the main gate. A complimentary transfer from the welcoming lounge to the different lodges is available on request and must be booked at least 72 hours in advance. This is highly recommended as the roads can be a bit rough during the transfer. There is secure parking available for vehicles and guests can enjoy a refreshment while they wait for a shuttle to take them to their respective lodges. A 45-minute drive from the welcome lounge on a winding dirt road and you arrive at Gondwana Family Lodge, the go-to spot on the reserve for groups and those traveling with children. This spacious thatched Lodge offers guests a sense of modern comfort with a touch of bush authenticity like a watering hole just off your balcony which ensures an up and close view of the animals passing by on a daily basis. The grounds offer indoor and outdoor play areas, a child-friendly pool for guests of all ages and an on-site Kids on Safari educational program. There are several options of rooms available at Gondwana Family Lodge and each option features air conditioning, a private mini bar, tea and coffee making facilities, an electronic safe, an en-suite bathroom, under floor heating and a private deck or balcony. Upon arrival you are welcomed by Sanbona staff and after a quick tour of the property, feel free to jump in the pool and cool off before lunch. As you lay on your daybed poolside you may be lucky enough to witness a herd of baboons scampering by the lodge with their babies in tow, a jackal stopping by for a sip in the watering hole or a pair of zebras on their afternoon stroll. Make sure to keep your camera handy as there will be numerous photo opportunities throughout the day. The culinary team at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is as top notch as they come, all classically trained chefs that put together a daily menu comprised of authentic African and internationally inspired plates to keep guests more than satisfied. Post lunch most guests use this time to relax, take a nap, read a book or just be one with nature. Sanbona is an ongoing conservation project that aims to restore the ecological balance in a landscape formed during cataclysmic times 350 million years ago. During daily game drives travel through three different biomes and numerous habitats, including the quartz fields of the succulent Karoo, a habitat characterized by beds of angular quartz debris and home to a flora of stunning minute succulent shrubs. Game drives take place daily during sunrise and sunset. On the afternoon game drive which takes place daily at 4:00 p.m. prepare for the excitement to build throughout the lodge as everyone gets ready for their chance to see the elusive white lions and cheetahs. As the jeeps leave the lodge they head to different locations but keep close communication in order to track the

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EDITORS' PICK

best sightings of the day. On the way throughout the desert plains, you will quickly run into families of zebras, kudus and oryxs that pay absolutely no mind to you at all. Your guide will stop for plenty of photos and educate you on the species and offers a plethora of knowledge and fun facts along the way. Seek out the tallest animal in the world, one that couldn't hide if they wanted to, the incredibly beautiful giraffe. One could sit and watch these gorgeous creatures all day and if you are lucky you might just witness a ritual the males do called "necking". This uncanny graceful "play fight" involves swinging their heads around and as teens, they do it almost for fun but as adults, they can actually kill each other in this manner if a fight does occur. As the tour continues you may spot a herd of elephants, witness hippos taking a mud bath, spy on the African buffalo and more. During your afternoon tour guests stop for a much needed refreshing cocktail of their choice and slowly watch the sunset. Sundowner evening drives offer spectacular displays of light as the sun sets over the Little Karoo and your heart can't help but fill with gratitude. Once the sun has faded and the darkness sets in it is time to head back to the lodge to get ready for the evenings gourmet meal. Depending on the day, the team of chefs will either barbecue an assortment of meats on the grill along with a variety of South African side dishes or plan an internationally inspired theme night for the guests. Enjoy each bite under the stars which set the backdrop for a peaceful evening.

Free from light and city pollution, the Klein Karoo offers some of the finest stargazing in Southern Africa. The next morning after a quick cup of coffee it is time for a morning game drive. Your guide will be ready and waiting at 6:30 a.m. to give you another shot at seeing the gorgeous white lions as they trod along looking for a place to rest for the day. Lions are typically nocturnal so it is important to catch them before they find their preferred daily shaded bush. The guides talk over radio to each other and your odds of seeing them in the morning is quite good. If you are lucky enough to spend more than a few days you may actually get the chance to encounter the lions up close as they come right up to your Land Cruiser and you sit quietly snapping photos that will be the talk of the town when you return home. After a successful trip, guests tend to leave Sanbona completely satisfied but yearning to stay a few more days. This truly is a magnificent land, a place that is so unique it doesn't seem real. Wave goodbye to the animals as you drive away and feel incredibly blessed to have had this opportunity. It is now very easy to understand why Africa is so high on every traveler's bucket list, a land that offers more diversity than anywhere else on the planet. From the eclectic vibe of Capetown, cage diving with sharks, to the beauty of Stellenbosch's wine country to the ultimate safari at Sanbona, South Africa has something for everyone. Getting There: To book your next adventure to South Africa visit www.flysaa.com. South African Airways offers direct flights from JFK Airport to Johannesburg and travel time is roughly 14-15 hours. Cabin experiences include South African inspired dishes, served with excellent South African wines and complimentary drinks, spacious economy and business class cabins and on-demand in-flight entertainment.

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Treat Yourself to a Chocolate Festival on the Island of

GRENADA By Francesca Murray/onegirl-oneworld.com I step off the plane in Grenada and take a deep breath. The air has a particular scent, and I let out a sneeze that soon turns into a giggle as I realize what is happening. That's right, I really have descended upon the Spice Island. Also dubbed the Chocolate Capital of the Caribbean, Grenada is a tri-island destination comprised of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique. Located just south of Barbados, Grenada is best known as the "Spice Island of the Caribbean" for its cinnamon and nutmeg production. With five farms producing high-quality cocoa products and gourmet chocolate bars, it's no wonder that it's also home to an annual chocolate festival. Cocoa is an integral part of Grenadian culture and each year the Grenada Chocolate Festival draws chocoholics from around the world looking to indulge in a range of chocolate-themed experiences. The activities at 36

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the festival are ticketed, which gives festival-goers the flexibility to choose which aspects of chocolate production interest them most. Those who want to go all out can purchase a Cocoa Pass which grants access and transportation to every event. My experience starts with an afternoon tasting at the House of Chocolate, a unique mini-museum which allows visitors to get a glimpse into the history of chocolate. The colorful museum also features a small cafĂŠ with delicious desserts made onsite and a small boutique carrying a selection of products made with pure Grenadian cocoa.


"...Grenada is best known as the "Spice Island of the Caribbean" for its cinnamon and nutmeg production." Each year the Chocolate Festival hosts a kick-off party, and it's a foodie's dream! Chefs really let loose crafting chocolate themed items, and nothing is off limits. Servers walk by offering platters stacked with delectable surprises from cocoa-dusted tuna tartare to flavor-filled breadfruit balls accompanied by a chocolate dipping sauce. Chocolate themed dinner options are also plentiful. I decided to opt for a stack of ribs covered in chocolate sauce as my inaugural Chocolate Festival meal. They were fantastic! It was like eating honey BBQ ribs, with cocoa rather than honey giving off the slightly sweet flavor. I paired the ribs with a chocolate margarita, and it was a meal for the books. With the wellness market leading more and more travelers to the Caribbean each year, the Chocolate Festival committee took heed by recently adding a wellness element. The chocolate-themed day of self-care includes a Chocolate Tasting Meditation and yoga

practice followed by an indulgent chocolate infused breakfast featuring everything from cocoa drizzled pancakes, to scrambled eggs topped with cocoa nibs. Workshops are also available which teach participants how to create their own cocoa body scrubs and teas. Those who want to take their chocolate wellness a step further can check out the Chocolate Body Wrap at the True Blue Hotel. Each wrap contains locally grown tree to bar organic cocoa, cinnamon, ginger and coconut oil. The spa also supports local small businesses by selling their clean skin care products made with all natural ingredients. You may wonder how a Caribbean island ended up with a chocolate festival in the first place. Spending a week indulging in organic chocolate in paradise may sound too good to be true, but it isn't. Grenada's lush terrain, tropical climate and fertile environment make for ideal sustainable cocoa harvesting conditions. There is a movement on the island to keep production local, and the industry has seen exponential growth since the start of the Chocolate Festival just six years ago. It's not just about eating the chocolate - it's also a learning experience and even those who are not chocoholics will find an activity they can enjoy. Participants have the opportunity to explore the island's cocoa farms, learn the traditional cocoa dance and experience the way of life of a cocoa farmer. Visitors can also participate in cooking classes, tour factories, enjoy art exhibitions, and learn about the organic "bean-to-bar" process. The Grenada Chocolate Festival will take place this year from May 31st to June 7th. Even if you can't make it to this year's Chocolate Festival, Grenada is still worth a visit all in its own.

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This Caribbean gem is relatively under-the-radar, meaning visitors can come and truly relax without the massive crowds of tourists. With its year-round ideal weather, abundant hotel offerings, and ample land and water activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy when visiting.

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The Editors' Guide TO LONDON F

or many savvy world travelers, London has been the quintessential stopover en route to hundreds of destinations throughout Europe. Some leave it as just a layover for a few hours to grab a quick pint and then return to the friendly skies wherever their travels may be taking them. Others however simply can't get enough of everything this marvelous city has to offer and opt to spend a few days catching up on the latest and greatest that her majesty has in her kingdom. Arguably Europe's most active city there is always something going on no matter what time of year you stop by. It has been said the city of London has an ever-evolving reputation, two things that used to keep people away were the gloomy weather and not so favorable cuisine; these both have changed drastically over the years, call it global warming and a global culinary takeover but London is now one of the hottest cities in the world to visit.

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Possibly the most convenient location in all of the city the London Marriott Hotel County Hall is the perfect place to lay your head during your stay in England's capital. Literally minutes away from a plethora of London's most iconic landmarks from the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament it is hard to beat this piece of real estate's iconic location. Once the former London County Hall which opened in 1922 the property holds an extensive amount of history inside her walls. Converted into a hotel in 1998 the London Marriott County Hall has been one of the most visited in the city since its opening. A stone's throw from the Westminster Bridge on London's South Bank one can literally walk out the Thames river facing back doors and be at the queue for the London Eye in just a few steps. A recent multi-million-pound renovation to all of the rooms and many of the public areas in this historic building has given the perfect melding of old meets new for the ideal luxurious hotel stay. If you are lucky to get a river facing room the view


on a daily basis. If you are a whiskey fan you will definitely want to try the 5 Senses experience. Inspired by the five regions of Scotland the 5 Senses is an immersive whiskey based tasting experience that is said to awaken and engage all of the senses. Starting from the Highlands and making your way to the Lowlands you will get a great sampling of Scotland, an area that Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine loved so dearly. For those who have a little more daring personality opt for giving "The Compass" a shot. The Churchill Bar team will bring you the bespoke compass and you can try your luck by giving it a spin to see where it lands, nothing like a little surprise cocktail! All the English classic cocktails are offered with a special Churchill twist and don't forget to order some of their delectable small plates to share with friends or loved ones. Choose from a wide variety of British classic dishes including some of Winston Churchill's favorite ingredients such as beef tartare or the scotch quail's eggs.

is absolutely riveting with the London Eye being only a few feet away from your window.

along with busts of literary and historical figures to complement the overall style and feel of the room.

The hotel's main dining establishment Gillray's Steakhouse and Bar is fully stocked with the best gins in town (over 100 types) as well as known for plating a mean cut of beef with locally sourced steaks from O' Shea's Butchers. Gillray's also showcases excellent views across the Thames river and day or night the riverfront comes alive attracting tourists from all over the world.

After a restful nights sleep make sure to get an early morning workout in at the state of the art fitness center located on the 6th floor. Fully equipped with a large 25m length pool, multiple classes to join and a weight room that is hard to beat you will be more than ready for the hotel's signature breakfast buffet.

Across from the hotel's main entrance is Noes Lobby Champagne Bar which got its name because it was once the location where local politicians went to vote "No". Enjoy a glass of bubbly or a spot of tea depending on your mood for the day. Stop by the Library and be transported back to the roaring 1920's! The dĂŠcor features bookcases fully stocked with English classics

Classic Cocktails at The Churchill Before a night on the town or maybe your final destination for the evening there is no better place to wind up (or wind down) than The Churchill Bar & Terrace. Located in the heart of Marylebone The Churchill is the perfect place to just sit back and relax after a long day in the fast-paced city of London. Handcrafted cocktails are the huge draw here with seasonally-themed cocktail menus bringing in tourists and locals alike

Feel like a little romance? After dinner sit back and read the original love letters between Sir Winston Churchill and his beloved wife Clementine that adorn the walls, Next time you visit London put this on your must-do list, a little piece of history coupled with a top-notch cocktail menu, delicious food and a little romance make this establishment hard to beat! Experience the Coca- Cola London Eye in Style Perhaps the most photographed landmark in London, the London Eye has been a mainstay on the River Thames since the year 2000 when it opened as the world's tallest Ferris wheel. This cantilevered observation wheel is the most popular paid attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.75 million visitors annually. The ideal way to take in London's stunning skyline, make sure you bring your camera for some jaw-dropping views of the city below. 360° views from your glass pod on a clear day will give you a birds-eye view of the historic cityscape that literally seems to go on forever. Although a great encounter in itself to be sharing incredible London skyline views with friends don't you think it could be just a tad better with maybe a glass of champagne or two? How about a chocolate tasting? These two experiences are both offered for the ultimate London Eye rendezvous.

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Champagne Experience We have to agree everything is better with bubbles! Share a toast with loved ones as you raise a glass of chilled Pommery Brut Royal Champagne and gaze out over London's breathtaking skyline. The perfect way to start or end an evening, make it a special occasion or just call it a Tuesday, the choice is yours! Ticket includes priority Fast Track boarding as well to make the experience that much better. Hotel Chocolat Tasting Who doesn't love a chocolate tasting? Start your experience by meeting your very own personal London Eye host and prepare to indulge in a chocolate and truffle tasting with a Hotel Chocolat Ambassador. Two 30 minute rotations and two glasses of Prosecco sounds like a great idea to us! After your ride is over you will leave with a take-home Hotel Chocolat goodie bag and free entry to a 4D cinema experience. Madame Tussauds If you have had the chance of visiting any of the Madame Tussauds locations around the world you have probably had a good look at some incredibly lifelike wax figures of world-renowned celebrities that can sometimes even seem a little eerie. Unbeknownst to many, there are actually 21 locations worldwide and it all started in the city of London over 200 years ago. A visit to the mothership on the famous Baker street will be an eye-opening experience, where you will be exposed to a mixture of incredible history and a bird's eye view of over 250 lifelike wax figures. If you have the chance to learn the story of Madame Tussauds do yourself a favor and read up on what has been called Europe's first true entrepreneur. Born 42

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in 1761 Marie Grosholtz grew up with an obsession for creating wax figures of whoever was popular in those times. Her journey through the French Revolution, spending time in prison and taking her exhibition on tour to the British Isles has brought us to where we are today with a magnificent display of human passion that has caught on across the globe. London's majestic location survived a devastating fire in 1925 and was even struck by a German World War II bomb destroying 352 head molds as well as the cinema. Today the original location still stands strong with immersive experiences from Alien, Star Wars, The Voice UK and the newest interactive exhibit with Dua Lipa! Don't just take our word for it, a visit to Madame Tussauds London is one you will never forget!


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48 HOURS IN BERLIN Arguably one of the most electric cities in the world Berlin has long had a reputation for being host to some of the most turbulent of times in human history. Although this stigma is deeply rooted in Berlin's overall existence there is a magnetic force that attracts travelers worldwide year after year to see what the talk is all about. Like most European capital cities a quick 48-hour trip can be a whirlwind but take it from us two days in Berlin will be quite the eye-opening experience, to say the least. Germany's capital city has everything you could ever want for an action-packed weekend; incredibly riveting history, arguably the top night club scene in the world, a booming culinary scene and of course luxury accommodations to provide the ultimate home base. STAY For a classic luxurious stay in Berlin look no further than Hotel Adlon Kempinski. Central Berlin offers a wide array of five-star acommodations but when the smoke clears there can only be one left standing and trust us when we tell you there is a clear winner. First to note is the property's incredible location, only 100 meters away from the most iconic structure in all of Germany, the Brandenburg Gate. If you are familiar with WWII history this monument holds a major piece of Berlin's historic past. There are numerous landmarks within a 15-minute walk of the hotel from Potsdamer Platz to the Reichstag ensuring a stay at Hotel Adlon is the correct decision. The hotel's famed history is a fascinating story in itself, one that draws tourists from all over the globe to catch a glimpse at what one time was known as the top hotel in the world. After opening its doors in 1907 the Hotel Adlon was known as Berlin's gathering place for the upper class even after surviving WWI the hotel retained its stature as the place to see and be seen. The structure also made it through the bombings of WWII with little damage but the hotel was eventually destroyed by a fire which was said to have been started by drunk Red Army soldiers while partying in the wine cellar.


For many years what was left of the building stood still until a short while after the Berlin Wall came down which changed the entire history of Germany and much of the world forever. The site of the original Adlon now had become the Hotel Adlon Kempinski which opened its doors in 1997 and today still readily competes as one of the best in the world.

craft cocktails. It all starts with the adventure of trying to find this secret hideaway in a dark misleading neighborhood. Most patrons will end up walking past the establishment multiple times before realizing they need to look a little closer to actually find the entryway. Once inside diners are greeted by the owners who are ready to take them on a sweet journey of decadence.

Hotel Adlon Kempinski is still to this day a place to see and be seen. Do not be surprised if you catch a glimpse at one of the A-list celebrities walking through the lobby or perhaps enjoying their famed breakfast buffet that brings in locals by the droves on a daily basis. The upper class can still be found hob knobbing daily at the ritual of afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge and Bar or dining at the hotel's 2 Michelin starred restaurant Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer.

Head chef and co-owner Rene Frank who is a literal culinary madscientist starts the evening with a light amuse bouche and explains what CODA is all about. A concept he came up with from his past

Take a walk through the bottom floor of the hotel and you will be enamored by the meticulous design that so many come to take photos of on a daily basis. Solid marble staircases, a dazzling Murano chandelier, and a glass cupola ceiling give the hotel its rich character that is has had for well over a century. Top floor luxury suites come with jaw-dropping views of the Brandenburg Gate which are hands down the best views of this iconic landmark in all of Berlin. If you recall a famous news piece involving Michael Jackson hanging his baby out off his balcony well yes, you guessed it, it happened here. Whether you are a hotel guest or just stopping by to enjoy the hotel's many amenities a visit to this luxurious landmark is one that is hard to beat. From a day of pampering at the world-class Adlon Spa by Resense to enjoying evening cocktails at Sra Bua Bar your experience will be one for the ages. A TASTE OF BERLIN One of the best ways to see a new city is on a food walking tour. With Berlin being the epitome of a cultural melting pot you can imagine all of the tastes, smells, and sounds of the neighborhoods that make up this vibrant city. Fork and Walk Tours Berlin has been leading the way for years by showcasing the areas mouth-watering cuisines that can be found in multicultural neighborhoods all throughout the city. The first thought that you can erase from your mind is that you will be sampling all the stereotypical foods such as sausages, schnitzel and sauerkraut. Instead, your taste buds will be brought to life as you uncover Berlin's food scene one secret stopover at a time with savory and sweet bites along the way. Fork and Walk's staff of foodie experts will take you to all their favorite neighborhood spots to taste a mixture of Berlin classic dishes, street food, local cultural cuisine, regional beers and more. You will be pleasantly surprised to be educated on the incredibly large Vegan culture within Berlin, trying eco- friendly sustainability inspired dishes that you are guaranteed to love! Fork and Walk offers a plethora of food walking tours highlighting staples from coffee, cocktails, Vegan dishes, street food markets and the classics like the infamous Currywurst. Follow their Instagram @ forkandwalktoursberlin DINNER = DESSERT Dessert and cocktails? Yes, please! The first of its kind CODA Restaurant is bringing light to a new concept of fine dining by providing a dessert only dining experience. Your inner child will thank you as all seven courses from sweet to savory are paired perfectly with

years working as a pastry chef around the globe. Rene has mastered his craft working in some of the most prestigious restaurants in cities including Paris, Tokyo, Kyoto, New York and even Napa Valley. CODA has two choices for dining, a seven-course dinner which is a tasting menu paired with drinks and light snacks or a late night menu consisting of three to four courses paired with specialty cocktails. Each dessert-themed course is created by reducing natural sugar content with inventive techniques, no refined sugar, no chocolate and no butter. Watching the chefs prepare each dish reminds one of a chemistry lab and with precision and perfect timing, each plate arrives plated to perfection and ready to be sampled provoking many thoughts with each bite. The cocktail pairings are meant to act as a "sauce" to go along with each dish to combine the tastes simultaneously for an explosion of flavors in every bite. It is no


wonder CODA recently received its first Michelin-star after being in business for only three years. This new concept of dessert and cocktails for dinner is no easy feat, not only is it being attempted for the first time, it is being mastered with perfection. TAKE A WALK WITH THE BERLIN STORYTELLER Berlin is well known for its riveting WWI & WWII historic past and what better way to learn all about the tumultuous happenings that have taken place than to seek out the ultimate Berlin tour guide! Dennis Behnke (The Berlin Storyteller) is just that, a storyteller. From his many years of tour guide experience, Dennis learned that most people have a very short attention span when it comes to learning about history, that is of course until you engage them into an animated, passionate story. Dennis's fascination for Berlin's past along with his degree in history and German literature have given him the talent to tell a story like no other. Whether it be on foot or public transportation, on bike or by van, Dennis will construct the best way possible to create a long lasting memorable experience telling stories along the way. Berlin offers an incredible amount of history dating back hundreds of years leaving an endless amount of tours to choose from. Listen to stories highlighting the major WWI and WWII

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landmarks from the Brandenburg Gate, the Murdered Jews of Europe Memorial, Reichstag and more or opt for more of a focused tour of Jewish Berlin or even an afternoon checking out the mindblowing street art in this electric city. Whatever tour you choose, prepare yourself for a day of fun while learning from a witty passionate historian in one of the most dramatic cities in the world! This fast-paced city can be tackled on foot, by subway or bike and so much can be seen and done in a short time. Countless cultures come together to make Berlin come alive each and every day. With a history that runs as deep as it does and a generation of people filled with passion, Berlin is filled with entrepreneurs, activists, inventors and just locals living life to the fullest. Even though so much was seen in a short time, there is endless more to see at a later date. Until then Berlin, Auf Wiedersehen.


Italy's Charming

Cinque Terre By: Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair

Italy is home to so many great attractions: the magnificent Colosseum, the gorgeous Venice canals, the rolling hills of Tuscany, and the five picturesque villages known as Cinque Terre. Located along the Italian Riviera; Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Venazza, and Monterosso are known for their colorful buildings, stunning coastline, and authentic Italian charm. The best way to see each village is by hiking the 5T National Park Trail. Starting in Riomaggiore and ending in Monterosso, or visa versa, the hike takes around five hours and offers some of the best views in all of Italy.

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HOW TO GET THERE The surrounding towns of Pisa, Genoa, Tuscany, and Rome all have easy train routes to Cinque Terre. Most connect in La Spezia, and from there, the first town of Riomaggiore is only an eight minute train ride away. You can also drive to the villages, however, the roads are narrow, can be dangerous, and parking is very limited. If you are arriving by car, I highly recommend parking in La Spezia and taking the train in to Cinque Terre.

RIOMAGGIORE Sitting low in a valley is the southernmost village of Riomaggiore. named as Cinque Terre's unofficial capital, Riomaggiore is best appreciated from sea where you can get a fantastic view of the entire town. Boat tours are easily booked at the harbor and even offer trips to the other villages. Before you jet off to a neighboring village, be sure to take a stroll along the Via dell'Amore, also known as Lover's Lane. Back in the day, the Via dell'Amore provided a connection for young lovers who lived apart in the two small villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola. Today, visitors walk the breathtaking path for the sweeping ocean views and abundance of love that is in the air.

MANAROLA Manarola is seemingly a postcard come to life. A tumble of colorful houses gently roll down the delicate hillside while geranium-filled balconies adorn the homes and fishing boats crowd a picture-perfect harbor. It's easy to see why Manarola is the most photographed village in Cinque Terre. Its beauty is undeniable.

CORNIGLIA Corniglia is the smallest and the highest of the five villages. It also is the only village that does not have direct sea access. It does, however, have winding streets, a beautiful main square, and magnificent vineyards. In order to get to this lovely village, you will have to climb the Lardarina. The Lardarina is a switchback-like stairway that takes about 377 steps to climb. Once you reach the top, you'll officially be in Corniglia. As a reward for the steep climb, be sure to sample the town's famous white wine. After all, this is the birth place of Cinque Terre's vineyards and wine production.

VERNAZZA

Sticking out into the ocean, like it's own private

peninsula, Vernazza has the most charm out of all five villages. Pastel-colored homes and quaint cafes fill the cobbled streets and lead visitors straight down to the town's pebbled harbor. Locals gather around this harbor nightly to dine on fresh seafood, sip their local wine, and socialize with tourists. For the most authentic Cinque Terre experience, I highly recommend staying in Vernazza.

MONTEROSSO

The northernmost town, Monterosso al Mare, is known for being the closest thing to a beach resort. This beautiful stretch of sand lines the shores as sweet-smelling lemon trees, olive groves, and vineyards dot the land. For those planning on hiking the 5T trail, Monterosso is the finish line. There's no better way to end your day in Cinque Terre than indulging in some homemade gelato and soaking up the sunshine on one of Italy's prettiest beaches.

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istanbul

Revisited By: Richard Carroll Photography: Halina Kubalski

Spiraling temples magically disappear and reappear as if playing a fickle game of hide and seek in the swirling rain clouds that brush low across Istanbul. Even the mighty Fatih Bridge, connecting Europe to Asia in an elegant sweep of engineering prowess, seems ready to take flight into the clouds and vanish in a whiff of magic.

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Ageless Istanbul, built on numerous hills, and long-noted for the most glorious skyline on earth, is like an upsidedown puzzle laced together with bridges and tiles, mosques and minarets, suspended over a mystifying cityscape. The clashing sounds and rhythms of the streets mingle with the exotic cadence of the complex Turkic language to create a surprisingly musical soundtrack, while nearly every vista includes glimpses of the rippled, ever-changing, 20-mile long Bosporus Sea. The city rises on both sides of the Golden Horn, an inlet of the ever-moving Bosporus, which winds through the city like a huge blue snake and joins the Sea of Marmara to the fabled Black Sea in a mighty embrace of currents and swirls. The sea is dotted with rusty, black-hulled Russian freighters manned by vodka-tinged seamen with faded tattoos, and oversized cruise ships looking as out of place as miniskirts in a mosque. Windswept fishing boats chug along the watery highway riding low in the water near slick yachts, tiny boats resembling bathtubs are flying the Turkish flag, while the incessant ferryboats moving to and fro like crazed ants, carry camera-laden tourists and Istanbullites to the unspoiled Prince Islands, and small towns along both the Anatolian and European coastlines, each with a distinct character. A culturally complex city of neighborhoods linked by cobbled passageways, Istanbul is united by its marvelous restaurants and cafes, where people play backgammon, sip steaming tea from tulip-shaped glasses, and enjoy live music, but the unending heartbeat of the city pulses along pedestriandesigned Istiklal Caddesi, from bustling Taksim Square and the towering landmark Marmara Hotel, stretching a few blocks to the southwestern end of the street and Tunel Square, and the petite two-station underground train. Here, masses of humanity flow elbow-to-elbow along the walkway, lovers locked together, fashionable women wearing the latest designs, some with headscarves but most

without, groups of giggling girls headed to the cinema sporting jeans ripped in just the right places, all moving past shops and restaurants, dodging the charismatic Taksim red tram which is always jammed with commuters, not unlike the trolleys in San Francisco. A gaggle of street performers line either side of Istiklal Caddesi. A bejeweled gypsy is selling dried spices. Further along, in front of a trendy clothing boutique, a 10-year old girl with the face of an angel plays the accordion, her little sister holding out a cup hoping for the best. A smiling hooded lady from the Black Sea region plays a 150-year-old handmade stringed instrument, while a man with three white rabbits offers to tell your fortune for a lira or two. “You will ride on a train and sit by the window.” A firstrate Istanbul thought. The overwhelming history and daunting architecture also weave their mystical enchantment, ranging from the eager carpet salesmen capable of selling ice cubes to Eskimos, to the famed public bathhouses that take on a soothing life of their own, and the yellow taxis with attitude that rule the roadways (pedestrians beware). The fascinating city of culture and museums, in contrast, also shares its space and love with the legendary Istanbul street cats, including the distinguished Van, who is too elegant for the street, but who sometimes like to cool off in a bathtub on a blistering day. Not far from Istiklal Caddesi, but still often overlooked, is the hidden oasis of Cukurcuma, an old and exotic quarter where a great mass of antique dealers have gathered. Along the narrow, stone-paved streets a tangle of buildings house a jumble of shops piled high with an assortment of second-hand furniture, and museum quality antique boutiques, interspersed with art galleries, small markets and cafes. Perfect for lunch, and a short walk from Cukurcuma, discover Kiki’s Restaurant and Cafe on Siraselviler Caddesi, 42. Kiki offers 45 teas, continental cuisine and nightly music, shared with a lazy house cat that controls the place. Back on the traveler’s trail visitors can stroll into a glorious collection of world treasures. Constantinople founded in A.D. 51


330 and renamed Istanbul over a thousand years later, pulls visitors into a bracing 1,500 years of history when the city was the capital of both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The spacious Topkapi Palace (1478) residence of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years is a captivating complex of buildings, gardens, museums, courtyards, rare artifacts, and the elaborate Harem that for years has enticed the imaginations of Hollywood filmmakers, as has the elaborate Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel, the only Ottoman Imperial Palace Hotel on the Bosphorous with stunning architecture, private helicopter access, fine dining and views of Asia. Another beauty is the nearly 1,500-year-old Hagia Sophia, a venerated world treasure, listed among the most striking buildings in the world with its stunning Byzantine mosaics, priceless stained-glass windows, and massive 9th-century bronze covered doors, is a vital monument in the history of architecture. Upon entering the massive cathedral it takes just a touch of imagination to picture the ancient artists creating the matchless 13-Century Madonna mosaic, the echoing footsteps of countless thousands of visitors who have come and gone, and the fervent sense that you are not alone, emphasized by the dappled light playing on the great columns, arches, mosaics, and galleries.

Bond splashed through the eerie setting while chasing bad guys in the film From Russia With Love, cleverly avoiding the two intricately carved Medusa heads in the far left corner, one upside-down, the other sideways, that are said to ward off evil spirits. More Istanbul memories can be created during a stroll through two of Europe’s preeminent markets. Behind the massive green doors of the Egyptian Spice Market (1597) in Eminonu near the Galata Bridge are a myriad of small shops crammed wall-to-wall with figs, dried fruit, and pungent cheese stacked helter-skelter alongside mounds of caviar, nose-tingling peppers, huge sacks of tea, and fragrances custom-mixed for the discriminating Istanbulians. A vendor yells, “A mix of this--” pointing to a pile of brown herbs, “--and you sing like opera lady with tonsils and three lungs!” Another shouts, “Have a glass of tea with me and we’ll be best friends for today!” Outside on the square life unfolds more slowly as the pigeon man scatters seeds each day for the birds then shuffles sadly away into the crowd.

Nearby is the illustrious Blue Mosque, built in the 17th century, its cavernous walls covered with blue Iznik tiles that give it its name. Within walking distance stands the infamous century old Sultanahmet Prison; once filled with anti-government intellectuals, and now converted to an elegant Four Seasons Hotel.

The Grand Bazaar or Covered Market (1464), a tangle of 4,000-shops intertwined with 90 narrow passageways and clever shopkeepers, the world’s first and largest mall, is a magical place where visitors can become hopelessly lost, miss their tour bus, ditch a boring mate, and end up sipping tea with a Turk and a cat. The market is a crazy and fanatical beehive of entrepreneurial activity squeezed into a tightly laced zigzag of alleyways, narrow streets, and vaulted passageways. Enough jewelry is displayed here to accessorize a small army, but the serious negotiating can be a provoking lifestyle to the unaccustomed.

Also overlooked by harried visitors on a time schedule is the spine chilling, perfectly intact, 6th century Byzantine Cistern built over a primeval bubbling spring. Three hundred thirty-six Corinthian columns rise from the watery depths to support a brick vaulted ceiling from which large drops of cold water have been perfectly timed by an ingenious ancient to drip on a neck and trickle down a spine. James

High in the nine-story medieval stone Galata Tower in the Galata district, an employee working in their popular restaurant and night club said, “We border Bulgaria to the northwest, Greece to the West, Georgia to the northeast, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran to the west, and Iraq and Syria to the southeast, so we truly believe Istanbul is the center of Europe and Asia Minor, too.” After a visit you might agree.

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Everything You Will Ever Need in the Maldives It all starts on the plane trip in, a 40-minute seaplane ride from Male airport (the capital city of the Maldives) is a scenic, color-filled journey that will be ingrained in your memory forever. The pilot flies low enough to provide a bird's eye view of the hundreds of sunken islands, sandbars and lagoons that showcase a plethora of jewel-like colors that make the ride so peaceful you may find yourself not wanting to land. When it is finally time to softly descend onto the azure waters of the Dhaalu Atoll you arrive at one of the largest resorts in all of the Maldives.

The tropical Niyama Resort is actually two islands that are brought together in the middle by a bridge that gives guests everything they could ever need in one stopover. The two islands "Play" and "Chill" are just as they sound, one for families with tons of activities and one for adults looking for more of a secluded luxurious escape. Unlike a lot of the resorts in the Maldives Niyama is well known for its lush tropical vegetation perfectly spread between both islands with a whopping 4,200 54

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coconut palms. With golf carts and bicycles being the only method of transportation guests can cruise around from island to island to experience the unending list of amenities, dining and water-based activities that are offered on property. The accommodations at Niyama are nothing short of spectacular and with the combination of both islands there truly is something for everyone and every need. Whether you

decide to spend your time in a beachside villa or an over-water bungalow the standard of hospitality and lodging is world class. Every room at Niyama screams luxury from the standard beach villa all the way to The Crescent which houses 14 adults and 8 children in an over-water secluded compound. Each style of room whether on land or over water comes with an upgraded option to add a private pool and as always we say go for it! If possible a stay at both types of rooms is highly recommended,


a few nights in a beach villa and a few nights over-water truly makes for the ultimate Maldivian vacation. Each type of room has its own highlights and must be experienced to be fully understood. The privacy of an over-water bungalow is always a plus but there is also something very special about having the beach at your front and jungle to your back. All the rooms come with a plethora of amenities including smart TVs, full-size fridges, popcorn makers and even your own personalized bicycle to cruise the island! Tropical outdoor bathrooms with rain showers make for the perfect way to start and end a day in pure relaxation. Each room has an appointed butler that will take care of every need you could ever have during your stay at Niyama. Whether it is a reservation at one of the restaurants throughout the islands or one the many activities offered land or sea your requests will be made to your complete satisfaction. Depending on the length of your stay at Niyama the only possible stress you will ever endure is how to fit in everything that is offered between both islands. It is recommended no less than a week to truly take in all the resort has to showcase and you just might need a little help from the staff to create the perfect itinerary. The water sports alone could take a guest no less than a week to experience everything from snorkeling with turtles and swimming with hammerhead sharks to boating with spinner dolphins, the options are plentiful. Gaze below at the mind-blowing corals and marine life in a glass kayak, race underwater in a 20km/hour rocket, jet ski through the clear blue waters or if fishing is your thing try to reel in the infamous sailfish that calls the Maldives home. For those wishing to surf you have definitely come to the right spot. Surfers come from all over the world to catch the perfect break and Niyama is the only place in all of the Maldives where the waves break directly onto the island. For those who prefer to stay dry jump on your bicycle and cruise the island for a day filled with land-based activities. From a session of morning yoga to a game of beach volleyball to perfecting your golf swing on the resort's simulator, you will never find yourself bored. Fitness enthusiasts can get their morning workout in at Pump the resort's 24-hour gym where a plethora of classes are offered from Tai Chi to Pilates and Zumba. Challenge the game room attendant to a game of ping pong, billiards or darts but be aware, these guys are good!

For those looking to fully relax and immerse themselves in pure Maldivian bliss look no further than Drift Spa. Overlooking a calming lagoon, Drift has six spacious water treatment rooms and a sauna/steam room in a relaxing garden for guests to whisk the day away without a worry in the world. Drift into a state of tranquility in one of the two treatment sanctuaries with a private garden, outdoor bath, rain-shower and day bed. All signature treatments use local ingredients such as Maldivian coral sand and the house-made coconut oil to bring that glow back into the skin. Book a signature Niyama scrub and have your skin buffed to a whole new level of softness and finish up with a Thai/ Balinese soothing massage to make for a tranquil experience. What makes Drift so incredibly special is the warm, caring staff that will tend to your every need, from an ice-cold drink and refreshing towel upon arrival to the smile filled loving goodbye, your time spent at Drift Spa will be one to remember! From the moment your plane touches down on the powder blue waters of Niyama until the final goodbye you will find yourself as happy as you have ever been. A goodbye here is never an easy thing, with the combination of a warm, caring staff to the long list of fun-filled activities and a world-class dining program this is a place that you will yearn to visit time and time again.

It truly is hard to choose one main standout at Niyama but if we had to pick one it would have to be their dining program. Home to nine unique culinary experiences Niyama is well known throughout the Maldives for offering their guests a completely different type of restaurant each day they spend on property. From Mediterranean family-style dining at Blu to all day dining at Epicure to fine dining overwater at Edge guests can opt for literally any type of food as well as a vast array of settings to enjoy their meals. Although every dining experience is first class at Niyama there are a few standouts that absolutely have to be experienced during your stay. From the African themed Tribal to Asian treetop dining at Nest to the famous underwater restaurant Sub Six guests are in for a rare treat at each. 55


A Blissful Retreat at Naladhu Private Island Close your eyes for a moment, take a deep breath and picture the ultimate vacation destination. Total seclusion, powdery white sand, the clearest blue water you have ever seen and the only noise you hear is the slow breaking of waves crashing against the shore. Open your eyes, this isn't a dream, you have made your way to Naladhu Private Island in the Maldives. As you slowly rock side to side in the resorts' over water hammock it starts to set in, you have found quintessential bliss.

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Naladhu- Maldivian for "beautiful island" is the ideal getaway for those looking to spend their vacation time in their own space at their own time enjoying every single aspect of one of the most breathtaking resorts in the world. A short 30-minute jaunt in a 53-foot luxury Sunseeker yacht from the Male airport and you have arrived. There truly is not a lot to this Maldivian paradise and that is what makes it so perfect. Twenty private villas make up the accommodations allowing guests to bask in luxury without any worry of seeing another person if they choose to keep private. What makes a stay at Naladhu so special is guests have the option to stay in the peace of their own island or have full access to the other two

adjoining resorts Anantara Dhigu and Veli via a wooden walkway or short boat ride. When staying at Naladhu guests have the option to use the other two resort's amenities and dine at their multiple establishments but the guests of Dhigu and Veli do not have access to Naladhu. Wake up in Paradise Imagine waking up to no cares in the world yet with the desire to fully immerse yourself in the first class amenities that are presented before you. Each luxury villa at Naladhu is designed for ultimate relaxation and seclusion, fully equipped with spacious outdoor bathrooms and showers, private plunge pools, jacuzzis and large hardwood decks to soak in the morning sun or watch the evening stars. The ideal romantic


escape, couples find themselves spending the entire day enjoying the finer things in life relaxing the day away all the while fully taking advantage of the 24-hour butler service offered. Whether it be ordering a chilled bottle of champagne, an in-room couples massage or a picnic for two on the beach the staff at Naladhu will be at your beck and call. Resort Dining For those looking to fully immerse themselves in everything that Naladhu has to offer it all starts with breakfast at the Living Room. The resort's only dining establishment the Living Room is an open-air table concept where you can dip your toes in the sand. The breakfast menu is definitely one to remember. Although many classic breakfast items are available to order the team of chefs are more than willing to create any dish you choose from many of the surrounding countries including India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and more. A typical breakfast at the Living Room starts off with a platter of exotic fruits and freshly baked pastries. Whichever entree route you choose after that is up to you, from Eggs Benedict to a Sri Lankan Curried Lobster, there is plenty to choose from. Dinner at the Living Room is an international dining experience at the highest level of culinary perfection. Choose to dine indoors or bayside at your own private candlelit table on the beach, whatever the occasion may be you are in for a night to remember. The team of chefs only incorporate the freshest local and internationally sourced ingredients. Modern cuisine with a mild Indo/Asian flare showcases a wide array of worldly dishes to choose from including fine cuts of meat, seafood, curries, vegetarian dishes and more. Visit Neighboring Anantara Dhigu and Veli With the most dining experiences in all of the Maldives, the two Anantara resorts offer guests a plethora of culinary options ranging from poolside drinks and light meals at Dhoni Bar to modern Japanese at Origami and intimate Italian fare at Terrazzo. One of the most amazing dining experiences that cannot be missed while staying on property is the overwater Thai restaurant Baan Huraa. Offering true authentic Thai cuisine the restaurant is set over water in a traditional teak house on stilts. Guests may get a chance to see black tip sharks, rays and more as they enjoy delicious Thai dishes from the north to the south. Leisure & Activities What makes the island of Naladhu so special for the ultimate escape is that even though there is not a lot of square footage to this serene paradise, the resort has endless activities for those looking to do more than just relax the day away. Wake up and sweat it out during your morning workout, get in a game of tennis, clear your mind with a session on yoga on the beach or cook your favorite Maldivian/Thai dish at the step by step cooking class.

Jetpacking, kite-surfing, jet skiing, wakeboarding and water skiing which are all offered for those looking to get their blood pumping for the day. For those who enjoy the slower pace opt for a day of sailing, kayaking or paddleboarding which all make for the perfect way to spend a sun-kissed afternoon. Don't feel like getting wet but still want to experience the gorgeous blue waters of this Maldivian paradise? Many over-water excursions are offered from fishing to dolphin watching, island hopping, sunset cruises and more. After taking in all that the private island of Naladhu has to offer there is no better way than to pamper yourself with one of the many exhilarating spa treatments offered in the privacy of your own villa. The ideal soothing combination of Ayurvedic, Thai, Balinese and Western traditions guests will be taken on a rejuvenating journey to reach the ideal balance of homeostasis and well being, Maldivian style. It is quite easy to see why so many dedicated world travelers love to call the private island of Naladhu their home away from home. There truly are not many places on this earth that can compare to this unrivaled beauty; from postcard-like settings to unparalleled service to world-class dining and a multitude of ways to enjoy the most incredible water in the world, Naladhu is a place to add to your bucket list stat!

Since Naladhu is home to some of the clearest blue water found anywhere in the world there are endless options of ways to spend your days in pure serenity. From snorkeling to diving to surfing, people come from all over the world to experience the Maldives for its warm blue waters teeming with corals and marine life. Seek a little adrenaline rush while in the Maldives? Try 57


a hidden gem in the heart of South African wine country 58

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HONEYMOON DESTINATIONS trip to South African wine country would be impossible without discussing the Delaire Graff Estate, a leading winery not only in its own country but also in the entire Southern Hemisphere. Owned by world-famous diamond producer Laurence Graff you know you are in the best of company as soon as you arrive at the front gate.

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every night. Opt to dine in the privacy of your own suite or choose one of the two dining establishments on property. Delight in contemporary menus in the Delaire Graff restaurant coupled with an exceptional wine list or if you are in the mood for Asian-inspired dishes an evening at Indochine is truly hard to beat. The culinary program at Delaire is as exceptional as you can imagine combining fresh, local ingredients with South Africa's best wines making for a winning combination whichever route you choose.

Stunning landscapes as far as the eye can see is the first impression as you slowly drive through the winding drive which showcases rolling vineyards, contrasted with nature at its finest. Delaire Graff Estate is situated high above the striking Helshoogte Pass (which links Stellenbosch to Franschhoek) and with its ideal conditions hosts some of the best wines in all of South Africa.

Delaire Graff Estate delivers the true sophisticated Wineland experience to its guests day in and day out with its world-class hospitality at the highest of standards. From the moment you enter the property to the glimpse in your rear view mirror as you pull away, you will be enamored by the beauty and glamour this estate holds within its walls.

The property offers panoramic views that showcase the distant outline of Table Mountain to the west and the historic town of Franschhoek to the east. This incredibly sought out property which was established in 1695 and then fully restored in 1970 has become a leader in the winemaking process with its viticultural practices and conservation programs. Thanks to the cool Atlantic breeze and the mountainous terrain the estate is known for producing some of the best awardwinning wines, particularly their reds which are bold in structure and taste. As you can expect the estate itself is nothing short of spectacular with billionaire Laurence Graff behind the reigns. Known as one of the top art collectors in the world Graff's acquired pieces are perfectly placed throughout the property featuring magnificent bronze cat sculptures from famous artist Dylan Lewis as well as many others from Deborah Bell and Anton Smit. One of the most talked about pieces in the entire estate is Tretchikoff's "Chinese Girl" which in the 1950s and '60s was easily in the top three of the world's most popular paintings. Perhaps the most reproduced piece of art in the 20th century, the original "Chinese Girl" now is showcased permanently in the lobby of the estate. The gardens throughout the property were planted by landscape artist Keith Kirsten and feature more than 350 different species of flowers that add the finishing touch to an already manicured set of grounds that are kept immaculate all year round. The highest level of luxury and world-class service are 100% guaranteed during your stay at Delaire Graff Estate. Each lodge on property provides spacious interiors, a private sun deck, a heated plunge pool and all the amenities you would expect from a fivestar resort. It is the extra little touches that set Delaire apart from its competitors especially the evening canapes and cocktails that are delivered to your room 59


Napa Valley TRAIN BLISS By: Richard Carroll Photography: Halina Kubalski

The Napa Valley Wine Train, an esteemed California treasure, travels gracefully through one of the world’s most prestigious wine regions. Backed by the deeply involved folks at Noble House Resorts and Hotels who share an overwhelming love of Napa Valley, it has resurrected a classic piece of California history by returning regular travel to the 1864 train tracks and restoring original Pullman coaches, and even a rare Dome Car, one of very few remaining in the country, the sight of which might send a classic hobo of old running for cover. Well-dressed guests in the Dome Car sit, high and mighty, enjoying full-circle views of Napa’s vineyards and mountains and sipping sparkling wines, or lean against one another in response to the gentle swaying of the train, entirely wrapped up in the romance of the moment. Meanwhile, bustling servers

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with steaming plates of freshly prepared Basil-Ricotta Ravioli or Pan Seared Diver Sea Scallops deliver revered Napa goodness to gleaming tables with sparkling wineglasses. The memorable 36-mile round-trip offers the experience of historic train travel to both avid wine aficionados and those newly intrigued by the art and science of wine. Here is the opportunity for exceptional dining, behind-the-scenes visits to renowned wineries, and meetings with extraordinary winemakers who forever will have one eye on the weather. The variety of booking selections bump dining and wine tasting a huge notch upward with both lunch and dinner excursions, ranging from three to six hours, and winery tours to Grgich Hills Estate, Raymond Vineyards, and Charles Krug Winery,


among a host of others. On the Legacy Tour, a first of its kind, guests meet the Mondavi, Krug, and Sattuis families, whose collective history covers 300 years of Italian winemaking. German settler Charles Krug opened Napa County’s first commercial winery in St. Helena in 1861, and in 1966 Robert Mondavi, an icon within the world of California Wine, opened his winery encouraging the resurgence of marketable winemaking in Napa and Sonoma counties. Rolling at 15-20 miles per hour from Napa to St. Helena, the train passes the Rail Arts District, two miles of 100-150 wall art creations that enliven the portion of the route that passes through the industrial neighborhood of Napa. Forming the first recognized art district in Napa Valley, the murals, painted on the backs of older brick and newer corrugated steel buildings that line the tracks, were created by artists from around the world, including Poland’s Bezt and Natalia Rak, Argentinian-Spanish artist Filipe Pantone, and noted muralists from Mexico. Further north, 33 wineries located on either side of the train are neatly planted with vines radiant in the sun. Guests can proudly write in their travel journals that they were a passenger on North America’s only wine-themed restaurant on rails. Executive Chef Donald Young, honored with a satchel full of awards, who has shared his expertise in some of the country’s top hotels, works feverishly with his staff of 25 kitchen workers, and while taking a quick break said, “Everything is prepared and cooked fresh on board, all from scratch using local cheeses, honey and beef from local ranches, and a changing menu depending on the season, and for wine we have 550 different labels. I love the old school of cooking and watching closely to what’s going on in the valley.” Chef Young is in good company with seven Michelinstarred restaurants in the valley, along with Thomas Keller’s three-starred French Laundry in Yountville. Home to more than 500 wineries, the gently rolling hills, the prolific earth that quietly hosts hundreds of acres of planted vines, and inspiring mountain ranges often draped with fickle clouds that play hide and seek with the vineyards, define the 30-mile- long, five-mile-wide valley. A wonderland of Victorian architecture accents the stunning landscape, as Napa Valley showcases historical stone buildings, many grand old landmarks, French style chateaus, and estates which appear as if they were plucked right out of Europe. Napa, lacking a clear town center, is an eclectic mix of early 20th century architectural styles punctuated by standouts like the restored 1879 Napa Valley Opera House now home to the Blue Note Jazz and Supper Club.

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Kortney Cole, born and raised in Napa, and now a server at the River Terrace Inn a short walk from the Napa Valley Wine Train Station said, “We’re just a farm town where wine and dining are a refined art to enjoy. It seems as if everyone knows everything about everyone. The sense of community is overwhelming and without a touch of pretension. We laugh; everyone who lives here is right up the road. We’re a small town with a big heart. We have the amenities of a large city without the annoying temperament.” The three-story River Terrace Inn, owned by Noble House Resorts and Hotels, and a first cousin to the train, is designed and operated as a classic boutique inn. Opened in 2003 with 114 rooms, arriving guests are greeted by a glass of wine at the small check-in desk, (a second pour? Okay!), and a distinctive Lobby Tree Chandelier, designed like an upside-down vine. The Alba dining and bar space is decorated with a huge Circle Chandelier reflecting in a wall of mirrors, while artfully designed chairs are scattered throughout. A rear patio with small fire pits is adjacent to the capricious tree-lined Napa River, home to snobbish striped bass, and a nature area ideal for bird watching. The hard-working staff pulls in repeat business with their welcoming attitude. In the time-honored European inn tradition, breakfast

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is included. There are artistic touches throughout in the choice of lighting, wall art, and interior design. The swimming pool disappeared along with lunch service when the staff noticed that both were neglected by guests who would rather enjoy the train, a winetasting crawl, or a long ramble on one of the Inn’s bikes exploring the Napa Vine Trail that extends to Yountville. Lunch is available at the nearby Oxbow Public Market, which is a smaller version of San Francisco’s Ferry Building with a mind-boggling selection of dining choices, and, of course, wine tasting. The Inn presents Small Bites at dinner, 4-10 p.m., shaped by Jr. Sous Chef Jordan Espena, with continental and French infused dishes. Local live entertainment is booked on weekends and, during summer months, wineries drop by with a taste or two of their most recent vintages. Parking is free, the drive from Oakland 1/12 hours depending on traffic and your nerves. Life is grand in Napa Valley with the wistful whistle of the train beckoning, urging a coyote to dart across a vineyard draped with succulent grapes, where, once upon a time, the hobos would sneak a handful or two, a nice dessert after a pot of Hobo Stew.


REMO FIORONI

Photography & Video WEDDINGS, events, & portraits | FioroniPhotography.com | 510-332-7579

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Taking a Bite Out of the

BIG APPLE

New York, New York, the city that never sleeps, well maybe just a few hours. The ultimate quick-trip stopover there truly isn't a city in the world that can compare to the ongoing energy this one puts out. The electricity in the air walking around Times Square is one that can only be felt in person, and the melting pot of cultures, smells and sounds are what puts New York high on our all-time list of favorite cities to visit. First off let's discuss the food, there just happens to be an unending list of incredible restaurants, from the mafia-style Italian hangouts to the hole in the wall ethnic enclaves that serve up the cities finest eats day in and day out. A trip to the Big Apple wouldn't be

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the same without a brisk 45-minute walk starting in Times Square and ending up at the world-famous Little Italy where you'll find iconic pizzerias like Lombardi's Coal Oven Pizza. After finishing off a pie of New York's finest its time for dessert. The hardest decision to be made is whether to enjoy cupcakes from Carlo's Bakery or world-famous cheesecake at Jr's Restaurant & Bakery and when the decision is too hard to make, opt for both! If you haven't been to New York City in a few years then a trip over to the newly built Hudson Yards is an absolute must. The current talk of the town, Hudson Yards is the city's newest neighborhood gem


BEST OF USA as it is home to more than 100 shops, restaurants, art installations, modern residences, 14 acres of public plazas and the world's first Equinox Hotel. One of the most photographed pieces of art in the entire city "The Vessel" is one that needs to be climbed to be appreciated. As the centerpiece of Hudson Yards, this soaring new landmark (which resembles a giant honeycomb) takes you high above the city to enjoy new perspectives of New York from various angles. 154 intricately interconnecting flights of stairs with 80 landings make for endless photo ops of the famous New York skyline and a great workout if you make it to the top! Moxy Hotels NYC Moxy Hotels worldwide are setting a new standard of modern hospitality. Their boutique style hotels are designed for fun, outgoing types that have an appetite for adventure. High-speed Wifi, cushy beds, swanky bars and an electric atmosphere that needs to be experienced to be understood is what you can expect when you enter a Moxy lobby. From Europe to Asia to right here in the USA, Moxy Hotels are quickly taking over the hotel industry with their minimalistic attitude and light-hearted spirit. Moxy Times Square While visiting the city that never sleeps there is no better place to catch some zzz's than the ever trending Moxy Times Square, although you probably won't be getting much sleep here. Designed for the savvy, trend following traveler there couldn't be a more prime location to call home base while staying in the Big Apple. Posh design, immersive social spaces and most important multiple dining and nightlife destinations from the world-famous TAO Group make this the place to see and be seen. In the mood for a night on the town? Before heading out make sure to take in the sights and sounds of NYC at Magic Hour, the largest all season indoor-outdoor hotel rooftop lounge. Work up an appetite walking the city streets? Dining options are plenty at Moxy where you can indulge in the city's best seafood at Legasea, grab something healthy to go from The Pickup or for the ultimate NYC breakfast stop by Egghead for one of their signature items.

When its finally time to call it a day head up to your home away from home in your Moxy suite. Each of the stylish design driven guestrooms showcase an uber- comfortable bed, a Smart TV for those craving a Netflix fix and a massive walk-in rain shower you might not want to get out of. Moxy Chelsea Another classic on the hotel scene, Moxy Chelsea brings a refined yet playful overnight stay for the young at heart. Age has no number here with guests ranging from 18 to 80, bottom line style is style and there is no discrimination here. The perfect blending of old meets new, modern meets classic Moxy Chelsea is in a world of its own. Blending botanically-inspired design with bold Italian flavors this uniquely designed hotel is definitely here to stay. Standing 35 stories tall Moxy Chelsea offers panoramic New York City skyline views from not only its many guest-rooms but also its spectacular glass-enclosed rooftop lounge that is definitely the hot spot in the neighborhood. Walk through an overgrown flower shop and you will instantly feel the infectious energy that is flowing through not only the worldly guests but also the highly trained staff members. Music filled lobbies and elevators, and service with a smile is guaranteed each and every time you come in from the bustling streets of the city. Moxy Chelsea with its certain sense of luxury and comfort make you feel right at home so take it from us a night in wouldn't be a sin. here.

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Feel like staying in and enjoying all this modern classic has to offer? Try out one of the four new dining and drinking concepts created by TAO Group and Francesco Panella. From authentic Italian cappuccinos, gelato and more at Feroce Caffe to classic Italian dishes at Feroce Ristorante to oven-fired pizzas and handcrafted cocktails at Bar Feroce, you will find your tastebuds thanking you. Finish off the evening enjoying cocktails with friends at Fleur Room, the hotel's rooftop bar and lounge where New York's skyline comes alive at night. The typical Moxy standards are what every guest should expect during their stay, all the comforts of home paired with flair and style are what makes Moxy Chelsea stand apart from the competition. Dine NYC It wouldn't be a true foodie mission to the Big Apple without enjoying one of the finest steaks in the city. Tuscany Steakhouse is Midtown's newest addition to the ever-bustling food scene. This classic American steakhouse features dry-aged steaks marinated to perfection from the Porterhouse to the Filet to the ever flavor busting Rib-eye. The Tuscany menu is filled with fresh, local seafood that pairs delightfully with the USDA prime cuts of meat. Mouthwatering seafood towers, fresh oysters on the half shell, lobster tails, crab legs, you name it Tuscany Steakhouse brings the best of the east coast right to your table! No steak dinner is complete without a bold glass of wine that pairs perfectly with your meal. Let the highly trained staff of sommeliers choose an award-winning glass of wine to put the finishing touches on an already incredible dining experience. Playboy Club NYC Visit the iconic Playboy mansion NYC style! The Playboy Club NYC features four distinct environments each serving in its own theme. Start off at the central Playboy Bar where your mixologist gets the night kicked off right with handcrafted signature cocktails while a local DJ plays trending tracks throughout the evening. The ever famous Playboy bunnies make their way around the club making sure each and every customer is well taken care of which always makes for great conversation. If dining is on the horizon let your host guide you to your table in the lounge which is inspired by the world renowned Playboy Mansion. 66

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Enjoy world-class culinary creations from light bites to full course meals prepared by Playboy Club's Executive Chef Tabitha Yeh. A diverse menu bursting with flavor features shareable plates, a sushi menu as well as hearty mains. Whether you decide on the Playboy Club sushi roll, Lobster Mac N Cheese, Hudson Valley Duck or the14 oz Wagyu NY Strip you will hit a home run whichever route you choose. From creative culinary bites to a night of mixology inspired cocktails to world-class service from the ever famous bunnies, an evening at the Playboy Club NYC will definitely be a night to remember. Take in a Show Millions of visitors travel to the city each and every year and although there are a plethora of things to do, no trip would be complete without attending a Broadway musical. The Broadway Collection is a group of the top shows on Broadway and around the city that are selected based on their popularity from fans worldwide. The team at Broadway Collection goes beyond the normal scope of just selling tickets to the most popular shows, they are your ultimate guide to what's happening throughout New York City. It has been said that you need to get out of Times Square to find the unique spots that make NYC so fascinating. Broadway Collection has now paired some of these unusual new musicals with famous New York City attractions that you can not find in any guidebook. Go to broadwaycollection.com to get the latest and greatest of what's happening in New York City which just happens to be as they say "The World's Greatest Entertainment"!


Offering premium entertainment for all your event & production needs. Many themes offered. Please contact us for the full scope.

818-292-5117 bookings@blingdivas.com

www.BlingDivasEntertainment.com www.instagram.com/blingdivas


ALL ABOARD TO THE

Grand Canyon By Melissa Curtin

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Give the Grand Canyon the Time it Deserves This past February the Grand Canyon celebrated 100 years since its designation as a national park, thanks to President Theodore Roosevelt. There's no better time to connect with the outdoors than by exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site. In 1903, President Roosevelt stood over the gorge and declared, "Let this great wonder of nature remain as it is now. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity, and loveliness. You cannot improve on it."


BEST OF USA The Grand Canyon is one of the seven wonders off the natural world and is visible from space. The 2,000 square mile park contains five different major ecosystems, more than any other American national park. Some 18 miles wide, the Grand Canyon is 277 miles long with striated walls that change color by the hour, shifting from crimson to orange to purple and it is still growing! In my 20's, I visited on an adventure trip, but the tour consisted of jumping out of a van to marvel at the landscape from one rim. This time, almost twenty years later, I was hoping to really

experience the land as more than a pitstop. I wanted to give the canyon the time it deserved, not just capture an Instagram-worthy photo. To devote enough time and explore nature's masterpiece, dedicate a night or two at the rim, where you will find the main visitor's center and several lodges anchored by the historic man-made wonder, the El Tovar Lodge. Built in 1905 by Hopi craftsmen and designed by architect Charles Whittlesey at a cost of $250,000, this rustic restaurant/hotel is the ideal place to dine with a canyon view, over a Navajo taco lunch. Inside, the dark stained timbers and walls are adorned with magnificent Grand Canyon paintings. The property is modeled after styles from Swiss chalets and Norwegian villas, this was done in an effort to appeal to the tastes of the elite in that era, who at the time considered European culture the epitome of refinement. Numerous celebrities from Oprah to Bill Clinton have stayed in the old school presidential suites at this National Historic Landmark with the waving American flag and jawdropping vista views off their room decks. Even Paul McCartney showed up once to jam on the piano. Rooms ranging around $100 a night are also available nearby, while our comfy modern room at the Thunderbird Lodge near El Tovar – with Grand Canyon views from our bed – go for around $250. Kachina Lodge, El Tovar Hotel and Bright Angel Lodge are options to consider with similar price points. Bright Angel Lodge, now with a family style

restaurant, gift shop, and old-style bar, serves as a remembrance to its colorful past, once designed by Southwest architect Mary Colter in 1935 under the direction of the Santa Fe Railroad in an effort to provide more moderately priced lodging. Mary Colter, a former teacher, became a female pioneer at the time, as an architect, designer, and decorator for the Fred Harvey company, going on to design many of the buildings at Grand Canyon. Her designs were unique for the time because she used the cultural heritage of the region rather than intimate European styles. Spend time at the Hopi House and the Bright Angel History Room to learn more about Fred Harvey, Mary Colter, and The Harvey Girls. To make your trip even grander, travel back in time aboard a vintage train, along with a century-old rail line that departs outside the Grand Canyon Hotel in Williams, Arizona near the best-preserved stretch of Route 66. Three hours north of Phoenix and nestled within the Ponderosa pine forest, begin your 130mile roundtrip journey to the Grand Canyon from the Grand Canyon Hotel, recently refurbished with 298 guestrooms and suites, an indoor pool and hot tub, and dining at Spenser's Pub and the Grand Depot CafĂŠ. If time permits, don't miss exploring the small town of Williams in the middle of the wilderness, flanked with neon lights, quirky watering holes like the worldfamous Sultana Bar, and shops selling petrified wood and geode balls filled with quartz. Nearby, make time for driving through Bearizona Wildlife Park. 69


Hop on the train right outside the hotel at the Williams Depot, but not before a comical gun wielding Wild West show. Get transported back to 1901 where the railway was the exclusive mode of transportation and only a few reminders of human existence occur along the steel tracks. Choose from six distinct classes of restored passenger service and enjoy a 2.5-hour ride one way with snacks and drinks while observing the changing terrain from high desert to prairie, prairie to pine. On this leisurely trip with panoramic views, expect to be periodically entertained by cowboy balladeers singing songs, playing the banjo, or cajoling passengers. As you stare out the window, visualize what hardships Coronado, Beale, and those before us had to endure some 100 to 350 years ago, to carve out trails and travel through such a harsh, unforgiving landscape. Feel the gentle sway of the Harriman cars built in 1923 and look for mule deer, elk, and soaring birds. You might just spot a gun-slinging cowboy on your route or be shaken up with a train robbery heist to make you really feel like you have traveled back to the turn of the century wild west. Upgrade to the plushly adorned Luxury Dome train compartment and cheers with some sparkling wine outside on the rear Observation Platform of the train. The rail lifeline to the Grand Canyon almost faded into history when passenger service stopped in 1968, as cars took over, but in 1989 entrepreneurs brought it back to life 70

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carrying about 200,000 people to Grand Canyon National Park each year. Owned and operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, we can now say, All Aboard to the Grand Canyon! On select days in 2019, one of the historic steam locomotives will be scheduled to pull the train to the Grand Canyon from Williams, Arizona and back again. Upon arrival, stroll the South Rim around 7,000 feet above sea level where the views are considered the most dramatic. Gaze at the canyon colors amid forests of juniper, pinon, and ponderosa pine trees or hike a corridor trail on the South Rim, such as a few miles down and back on the Bright Angel Trail. However, for those with stamina, this 9-mile trail runs to Phantom Ranch, the only lodging below the rim. Reservations should be made in advance. Snow, ice, and mud dotted the trail when I was there in March, so be careful on the narrow path to keep a strong footing or bring along a walking stick. About 11 people fall to their death each year, often from careless errors. Guided canyon vista rides on a sure-footed mule are possible on the rim as well as overnight rides down into the Grand Canyon. Mules, a hybrid of a female horse and male donkey, have been carrying visitors since the late 1800s. The Canyon Vistas Mule Ride is a 2-hour trek that travels along the East Rim of the canyon where you will learn from the Mule Wranglers about the geological formations, cultural history, the area's native people, the surrounding forest, and more.

A Sunrise or Sunset motor coach tour is a peaceful and exhilarating way to witness the color palette glow over this natural wonder. Departing from the lobby of Bright Angel, the environmentally friendly coaches stop at various vantage points with time for enjoyment at numerous vistas. Led by an entertaining guide, full of facts about the topography and captivating history, you may just learn something new. No matter what time of day, you are in for a treat, although one morning up early for sunrise, the canyon swiftly became obliterated by rolling clouds as it began to rain like someone smudged out a painting. For the more adventurous, a 21-mile hike from the South Rim to the North Rim would need to be carefully mapped out, while the area's newest attraction is a 70-foot-long glassbottomed Grand Canyon Skywalk that juts out 4,000 feet above the canyon floor, located in Grand Canyon West on the Hualapai Indian Reservation. Adventures on the inside include rafting the Colorado River and camping near sandy river beaches under the stars. These types of excursions should be booked way in advance. We learned the best time to visit is November and January, when there are fewer crowds. Go to see the grandeur and beauty of the everchanging landscape. Feel how small we really are and how lucky we are to witness this miledeep chasm carved by the Colorado River, the result of 1.8 billion years of geological craft.


Wilderness Wanderlust: Escape to

LAKE TAHOE

By: Taylor Kelly

Built on the dream of creating a world-class secluded hideaway in the heart of South Lake Tahoe, the stylish boutique that is Basecamp Hotel is an avid adventurer's top-tier luxury stay nestled in stunning NorCal. Immediately upon arrival from the South Tahoe Airport, the crisp fresh air fills your lungs. From the swing of the lobby door friendly faces and cozy-woodburning fireplaces introduce guests to the first glimpse of a personalized forest fairytale. This destination is a 5-star experience that combines glamour with an authentic, rugged touch. Situated along the snowcapped Sierra Nevada Mountains travelers arrive just after a quick-90-minute plane ride from LAX, where upon landing your only requirement is to get in touch with the great outdoors! Not Your Average Camping Trip Located in the heart of enchanting Heavenly Village, Basecamp Hotel showcases the perfect blend of sophistication, comfort, and excitement. Designed to be the epitome of a nature enthusiasts dream, this charming resort provides a rooftop hot tub, an onsite brewery, a spacious courtyard beer garden and plenty of fire pits to relax at and roast a couple of s'mores after an eventful day of exploring. Created with a vision of combining luxury with convenience each of the 73 guest rooms is uniquely decorated with modern furnishings and authentic touches that pay homage to your outdoor surroundings. From detailed maps of Lake Tahoe to wooden equipment gear racks, no room at this boutique hotel is entirely the same, but it's perhaps a reservation in "The Great Indoors" suite that takes imagination to an entirely new level. From your first steps inside you notice evident attention to detail that is unlike any other wilderness retreat. After an hour shuttle ride from Reno-Tahoe International Airport, you'll settle in with a refreshment paired with

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the crackling sounds of the faux log fire that rests in the corner of your very own forest wall. For an ideal night's rest after a day on the trails sink into opulence in your triple sheeting bed under a personal canvas tent that will satisfy all of your glamping needs. If a romantic night is what you had in mind indulge in a lantern-lit picnic followed by an evening of stargazing provided by glow-in-the-dark stickers that hang above you that are sure to create an overnight fantasy of everlasting memories. Wake up and rejuvenate to a steamy shower the next morning then head over to the beer garden for a satisfying continental breakfast that will kick start your fun itinerary that lies ahead. There is nothing quite like indulging on a refreshing craft beer while on vacation and no better place to do so than at the hotel's onsite brewery, Outpost Brewing Co. Guests can anticipate new beer releases weekly

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while dancing to musical tunes provided by talented local bands every night. The hospitable staff will gladly toast you with a drink for your adventures ahead, as your most exciting experiences are about to begin. Hitting a High Note at Heavenly Ski Resort In just a 4-minute walk from Basecamp Hotel, adventure seekers are in for an adrenaline-pumping day once aboard the gondola that can be found in the center of town. Whether you are hitting the slopes thanks to the extended ski season this year, or just wanting to enjoy a warm cup of hot cocoa at Tamarack Lodge, the 2.4-mile ride up the mountain offers some of the most scenic views in all of Heavenly. Featuring 97 trails ranging from beginner level to plunging 1,600-foot chutes, the 4,800 skiable acres that make up this sport destination attract discerning travelers all around the globe for its breathtaking grounds and unique winter/summer attractions that keep tourists entertained all year long. Boasted as "Tahoe's mountain playground" whether you are visiting with a single-day lift ticket or lucky enough to enjoy a multi-day pass, Heavenly encourages visitors to take to the mountain at their own pace. With four base lodges, guests can customize an ideal ski path matching each traveler's level with an array of delectable mountain dining establishments that serve as a well-deserved pit-stop to enjoy a savory bowl of chili as you gaze at the beauty of the rural terrain ahead.

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Relaxation is as much of a necessity at the resort as are its renowned thrills which is why Heavenly recommends three high-end full-service spas just a stroll away that will revitalize your body, soul, and mind just in time for a night out in the village. Between inter-tubing on the main hill on Adventure Peak, cruising through the treetops on a gravity-powered alpine coaster and gliding through a ski trail that crosses the California/Nevada state line, Heavenly Ski Resort is an absolute must-go when visiting South Lake Tahoe. The ski patrol's knowledgeable team will gladly show you the ropes of the mountain despite if it's your first adventure out, and offers child, adult, and private skiing and snowboarding lessons that will have you feeling like a pro in no time. Dine, Socialize, Celebrate While Tahoe provides an outdoor paradise that succeeds in keeping visitors busy all hours of the day, there is no better time than after the sun goes down to witness the village really come to life. After an active day on the mountain head on down to Heavenly Village, it's overflowing with eclectic shops, one-of-a-kind nightlife, and thriving foodie establishments that will keep you entertained all night long. From Latin American fare to savory gourmet pizza, the village's 16 different restaurants and cafes offer a variety of mouth-watering dishes and sweet treats that will satisfy your every craving. Take a lunch break at Basecamp Pizza where you will find signature cocktails, Italian plates, and arguably the most mouth-watering pies in all of Tahoe. If Mexican dining is what you desire, a meal at Azul's Latin Kitchen is a notable standout. Known for its expansive selection of healthy Cal-Mex dishes every plate prepared at this family-friendly restaurant is made with only the freshest of ingredients. Start your dining experience with an order of their Guacamole, and for the main dish, the Fajita Burrito is highly recommended served at a big enough portion that is easily sharable for two. The outdoor patio provides an idyllic setting to unwind after a long day of skiing with local bands that play regularly in the village center. For an eventful evening, make sure to spend some time at The Social House Tahoe for tasty craft sandwiches and the best of flavorful local brews. Don't forget to knock on the freezer door to discover the location's speakeasy gathering spot. This hip prohibition-style bar welcomes visitors to a night of music while sipping on one of their signature libations. The intimate space is a local favorite in Heavenly and the perfect place to enjoy a nightcap to conclude your weekend escape in beautiful South Lake Tahoe!

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BEST OF USA Memphis, Tennessee is keeping the past alive by re-imagining and renewing old buildings, landmarks and icons. Instead of knocking down existing historic facades, restaurants, community centers and mixed-use spaces are emerging in the 21st century as impressively rejuvenated revival structures, creating vibrant new communities. This year, the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll celebrates the past through a bicentennial anniversary bash with concerts and historical exhibits all year long that showcase the cities founding contributions to rock, soul and blues. The annual “Memphis in May” that arrives in spring will honor itself in 2019 with live music, food, art, and film. Explore this city on the Mississippi River and #BringYourSoul.

GETTING TO KNOW Memphis

By: Melissa Curtin

Here are some of the best ways to get to know Memphis: EXPLORE National Civil Rights Museum Founded in 1991, the museum at the Lorraine Motel preserves the place where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his final hours in 1968 but is much more than a memorial today. Learn about the history of the African American fight for equal rights as the immersive exhibit traces the US Civil Rights Movement from its very beginnings to the present day. Films, oral histories,

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interactive exhibits, and even the hotel room and balcony where Dr. King was staying when he was assassinated offer a sobering account of our American history. Even across from the motel, visitors can gain a look at the shooter’s perspective from a bathroom window, along with various murder theories. Plan to spend at least two hours at this insightful look into the past. Clayborn Temple – “I AM A MAN” Memorial Once a staging ground and gathering place for the civil rights movement, Clayborn Temple’s restorations are currently underway with the goal of making black arts thrive

again. Once dedicated to the worship of God in 1893, the church was sold to the AME Church in 1949 and then renamed Clayborn Temple. Today the mission is to transform the historic space into a community center for the neighborhood. Former UVA research professor Greg Thompson is at the helm of the transformation. His soul rap-based musical, called Union, began here inside Clayborn Temple before touring nationwide. Outside the temple lies the I AM A MAN monument commemorating the lives lost and dignity of the sanitation workers for equal and fair treatment. This spot was a key rallying point for the historic 1968


Memphis sanitation strike - the reason Martin Luther King Jr. was in Memphis when he was assassinated. There's also a wall containing the names of 1,300 mostly-black Memphis sanitation workers. Today shattered and boarded up stained glass windows remind us of a painful past – when the sanitation workers retreated from beatings and tear gas in Clayborn Temple to only be attacked inside and break free through the church’s windows. Crosstown Concourse Originally the Sears distribution center and retail store building from 1927, this 1.2 million square foot building (1/2 the size of the Empire State Building lying down) has been revitalized after sitting vacant for over two decades. The centrally located space is an architectural feat as the impressive building now flourishes with restaurants, bars, a boutique grocery store, shared art-making space, green room, theater, teacher residency, artist residency, concert venue, art galleries, healthcare, loft-style apartments, an outdoor brewery and more. The façade is 60% glass, allowing natural light to shine in, while the building is the largest LEED Platinum certified historic adaptive reuse in the world! The goal of this functioning “vertical urban village” is to cultivate the creative community. The building’s revival includes many hip spaces for socializing as well as a bright red dramatic staircase to resemble the original chutes from the Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalog shopping days. Today, eat, shop, and make your own connection inside this thriving re-imagined mecca. Sun Studio Don’t have time for Elvis’s Graceland? Head

to Sun Studio where Elvis walked in as a high schooler and recorded his first song called My Happiness. Although this small wedge-shaped building on Union Avenue doesn’t look like much from the outside, this is where American rock n’ roll sound was born. Founded by legendary producer Sam Phillips, the world-famous recording studio is where Bob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash recorded music and currently don the walls. Now a National Historic Landmark, take the 45-minute guided tour filled with exciting musical stories for $14 to learn how the teens took rock and roll to number 1 from 1950 to 1960. Marvel at the first record playing machine maker, the original standing microphone, and original Memphis Blues tunes. At night, Sun Studio still functions as a recording studio. A café and bar are at the front of the façade for those who wish to linger longer.

all day at this simple and elegant Palm Springsesque bar and diner serving up powdery perfect beignets, fluffy pancakes, biscuits and eggs, pop tarts, sweet potato mash, Cuban sandwiches and crafty cocktails.

EAT

Catherine and Mary’s Located in the first floor of the former historic Hotel Chisca and across from the Orpheum Theater, find Italian dishes inspired by the chef ’s grandmother’s cooking in Tuscany and Sicily mixed with the bounty of the Memphis area. Indulge in meatballs, a rich gnudi, or a short rib tagliatelle plus an exquisite cocktail selection. The lengthy bar is a perfect spot to eat solo as the grand industrial reclaimed restaurant space quickly fills up. It is hard not to admire the kitchen in action as the space is open to showcase the magic.

Itta Bena on Beale St Blues was born on Beale Street. Legends like B.B. King, Furry Lewis, Alberta Hunter, Rufus Thomas and Isaac Hayes used to showcase their talents at venues on this street. Located up the fire escape above B.B. King’s Blues Club, Itta Bena is the name of the Mississippi town where B.B. King was born. This dimly lit restaurant at the end of Beale Street serves up southern cuisine like crab soup, shrimp and grits, duck and waffles, and jambalaya. A piano player serenades while dining at the bar and a floor below features more live jazz. The Liquor Store Not a corner liquor mart – breakfast is served

Gus’s World-Famous Fried Chicken Spicy, crunchy fried chicken is a must in the south. For less than $10, dine on your choice of meat paired with baked beans, fried okra, fried pickles, or fried green tomatoes. You’ll never feel so satisfied after leaving this low-key checkered tablecloth establishment. Central BBQ Just across from the National Civil Rights Museum, devour some saucy ribs that fall off the bone, a pulled pork sandwich, pulled pork nachos, brisket, or some spicy hot wings. Purchase one of their amazing spice rubs or sauces to take home for your next cookout.

SLEEP Hu. Hotel In the former Tennessee Trust Building, expect to check-in with a barista. The 110-room hotel in a former Beaux-Arts building from 1905 is close to all your Memphis exploration. It’s hard to leave the luxurious room – newly redesigned in 1950’s décor with custom mix-media headboards and warm touches of texture, stained oak, brass, copper, and white Carrara marble. A minibar with local snacks is a nice touch. A snazzy rooftop lounge offers happy hour, sunset views of the Mississippi (sometimes with live music) and now the Hu. Diner is open for lunch and dinner. The Hu. is the new standard for Memphis hospitality. Get to know Memphis in a weekend – or extend your stay to enjoy more of what this southern city has to offer.

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THE REBIRTH OF

tulsa

Oklahoma was never a place I thought I would want to spend time, but lately, America’s lesser-visited cities have intrigued me – often these experiences have altered my views and changed my mindset. Tulsa, Oklahoma was a new place on my radar. This city in middle America piqued my curiosity after spending almost my whole life on the east and west coasts. In one weekend, I discovered why Tulsa is both rich in history and the city of the future, a city that seems to be on the cusp of an expansive creative explosion! Tulsa, located in the northeast coast of Oklahoma (and the second largest city after Oklahoma City) feels like a place where you could thrive and easily test out your creative entrepreneurial ideas. You could move to this city in your 20’s or 30’s with a dream and make it happen, especially with the low cost of living. You certainly wouldn’t be a small fish in a big sea like LA or NYC. Tulsa felt diverse and progressive. One night we met a knowledgeable beer sommelier at Heirloom Rustic Ales who not only plays in a metal band but mentioned how he writes

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By Melissa Curtin Photography by Josh New Photos

for their Alternative Weekly newspaper. Another night we met a single dad who works for the Chamber of Commerce and bought a nice 4-bedroom house for $125k. Another Tulsan returned to his childhood home after big city living and raved about his brand new 2-bedroom apartment in downtown Tulsa for around $1000 a month. These prices are unheard of in Los Angeles. At the First Friday Art Crawl in Tulsa Art District, wet met Black Moon Tulsa, an artist that’s breaking standards, pushing innovation and cultivating creativity among the local community. First Fridays exist not only in Venice, California but here in Tulsa too. While snacking on free hot cider and churros with the locals, we admired art, mingled, and watched in amazement as Living Arts showed scantily clad transgender performers bringing art to life while erotic videos paired with artwork of a naked statuesque man caught our attention. This was not what I expected to find in middle America. Tulsa was once thriving as the “oil capital of the world” for most of the early 20th century and the city’s success in the


BEST OF USA energy industry prompted construction booms in the popular Art Deco style. This can be heavily felt Downtown where today there are 61 registered historic buildings. An art deco tour by the Tulsa Foundation of Architecture starting at Topeca Coffee in the historic Philcade Building will point out the subtleties and history you may miss around the neighborhood – the Art Deco zig-zag style, gold leaf, plaster ceilings patinaed with cigarette smoke from Prohibitionera, Italian travertine ceilings, stained glass windows, androgynous images painted on the ceilings of the Bank of

Oklahoma, and basement tunnels once used to get out of the heat or to hide during Prohibition times. Imagine Pretty Boy Floyd or Machine Gun Willy hiding in the darkened tunnel as with riches came threats on your life and kidnapping. As we exited a building to admire the European-like gargoyle sculptures, a smaller version of the World Trade Center built in the 1970s by the same architect loomed over us. The oil industry’s “funny money” was beyond good to this city, and now instead of tearing down its past, Tulsa is reinventing the future with adaptive reuse. Tulsa has a heart. Like every city, Tulsa has a twisted past. One of the first prosperous black communities in the 1920s thrived here in an area now known as “Black Wall Street”

which was obliterated in 1921 due to violence towards blacks. Not often told in history books, this bustling neighborhood was burned down, displacing 10,000 people overnight. Later, the government targeted this area with air raids killing presumably more than 300 people. The hurt and disbelief of not being acknowledged with any sort of retribution over 90 years later seem to still run deep today when talking to the minister in the basement of the A.M.E. church where people hid during this domestic terrorist massacre. The vivacious minister Pastor Robert Turner in the only building spared in the Greenwood District shared that he will keep preaching because “all survivors died with no justice.” In the last three months, Tulsa has received a major boost with the new Gathering Place in the center of the city. This 465-million-

dollar riverfront park – free for everyone – is where mid-century meets a nature park. The 100 acres were designed with the common goal to unite people from all areas of Tulsa. Sixty-six of the 100 acres are now open. A giant living room called The Lodge is outfitted in Scandinavian style wood design with a fireplace and ample cozy spots to sit, read, eat, relax, or socialize. In addition, the Gathering Place includes a children’s museum, $2 ice cream, sky gardens, a lake with paddleboards, a cafe with deck jutting out on the water, a room called the Cabinet of Wonders filled with exotic and intriguing curiosities, and soon a skate and bike park. Sustainability and inclusion are thought of everywhere - as part of the design and play structures - from wheelchair accessibility to sensory-sensitive play areas for those with

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autism. Want to make art in a boathouse? Want to take your baby to play in the baby adventure playground? The space is literally for everyone. Kids can enjoy the sensory garden or play-style learning opportunities based on STEM. The children’s playground is loaded with bodily-kinesthetic options to make music, play with water, or just swing or slide, but so beautifully designed, adults will want to get in on the action. Since the Gathering Place is already so popular, shuttles are being considered to ease transportation stress. Everyone can find their place here, feel special, and find programs that interest them. The thriving restaurant and bar scene offers many choices you would expect to only find in a big city. Staying in the historic Arts District at the Fairfield Downtown Arts District Hotel allowed for easy exploration in this unique, walkable neighborhood with a vibrant sense of work and play. Nearby the hotel, shows are still regularly performed at historic Cain’s Ballroom and just a short walk away you can learn about American history through music at the Woody Guthrie Museum. In a quick rectangular city area, I snacked on pork fried rice at packed Lone Wolf, sipped on coffee at artsy Parisian-style Gypsy Coffee House, and picked up some specialty dark chocolate from Glacier Confection which was started by a Vietnam vet. At Shuffles Board Game Café in the historic Archer Building, I marveled at rows and rows of board games, like a library filled with actual tangible games where you can sit and socialize over a coffee or a cocktail and play loads of new games with humans. Today this concept feels like it is needed more than ever with our digital overload Soon the city will attract more visitors with plans to open the OKPOP museum, an Oklahoma pop culture-centric building highlighting the creative spirits that sprang up in Oklahoma and spread to the rest of the 80

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world via Route 66. The former home from the classic film The Outsiders will be turned into a museum and the Bob Dylan Center (with his archives) will be unveiled in Tulsa around 2021. Besides stellar BBQ at places like Burn Co BBQ, the craft beer scene is exploding with boutique beers in retro buildings. Quaint and cozy Heirloom Rustic Ales and American Solera tap room are not to be missed. Try 6 oz beer pours with options like Pineapple Whip, GOODberry, or Maple Dilemma. Both places serve intricately crafted beer while the vintage décor reminded me of something you might expect to find in Palm Springs, LA, or Joshua Tree. A new food hall called Mother Road Market is exploding with over 20 restaurant and retail concepts, which makes choosing one dish impossible. Opt for fried coconut shrimp and fried avocado slices with Jamaican festival bread from Nice Guys Shrimp Shack or fries topped with bulgogi beef from Umami Fries. The Nashville hot chicken from Chicken and the Wolf looked popular from the long lines. Find tacos, lobster rolls, BBQ, and even the Falefelopolis which features healthy bowls packed with falafel and veggies. End your food tour with an ice cream sandwich from OK Cookie Monster. In one night, we dined at the female-chefdriven Duet Jazz with the dimly lit ambiance feeling more like New York City before scooting below for a live jazz show in a packed house. If that wasn’t enough, we ended up down the road at The Max Retropub, where we sipped on affordable themed cocktails named “Breakfast Club” and “Hasselhoff” while playing retro arcade games from my 80’s past. Old school movies projected on the walls while happy revelers played pinball and I crushed Ms. PacMan.

Next up on our Friday evening was a hiphop show in Fassler’s Beer Hall where all intermingled cheerfully over good beer and tunes. On Saturday night we started at the artdeco style romantic Vintage Wine Bar where we sampled small-production wines with a wine flight and watched a gaggle of girls down chambongs, horn-like glassware filled with bubbly. Afterward, the Uber let us out in front of a London red phone booth where we found local favorite Hodges Bend across the street. Feeling more like a New York City bar with its brick-walled space than what I imagined in Tulsa, the jam-packed dark spot donned in colorful lights and multicolor tinsel is where you should come for adventurous cocktails and to meet new friends. Later that night some of our friends ended up country line dancing at the popular disco Whiskey 918. Before leaving the “third coast” we brunched at contemporary all-white fruit and vegetabledriven Oren in Brookside which felt like we might be in a new quieter version of Melrose in West Hollywood. Our group’s discussions quickly turned to, could we leave behind the fast lane of NYC, LA, and San Fran to move here and why wouldn’t someone move here? Already a Brooklyn writer was figuring out how he could move to Tulsa and apply to TulsaRemote.com which offers applicants $10,000 to live in Tulsa for their first year, along with a $300 monthly housing stipend, and a free coworking space called 36 Degrees North (similar to WeWork). Although neighborhoods are revitalizing, they are not trying to price people out. No traffic jams. Easy flight connects. A city that is birthing ideas and culture everywhere you turn. Tulsa is experiencing a Renaissance and returning to a world-class city.


#adopt

DON'T SHOP

Meet Champ! Champ is a young bi-pawd looking for his FURever home! Don’t feel bad for this little guy though, he gets along great and would love an active home where he can get plenty of exercise and attention!

Barks of Love is an all-volunteer and all-breed dog rescue in Orange County, CA. We specialize in matchmaking dogs with their perfect family!

www.barksoflove.org Rescue@barksoflove.org


THE BEST OF IRELAND Join the Editors of Los Angeles Travel Magazine for a once in a lifetime trip to the Emerald Isle.

AUGUST 19-26, 2019 A Luxurious and Boutique Group Tour Experience. 7 days from $3,995 per person* • Visit the top attractions in Ireland from The Cliffs of Moher to the Guinness Storehouse. • Stay in 5 Star Accommodations including a Castle and a Manor that's been voted the #1 Hotel in Ireland. • Arrive in style via first class transportation fully chauffeured. • Customized Concierge Service. • All Hotel Taxes & Fees Included. Dublin-Kilkenny-Adare/Limerick-Cork-Aran Islands/Cliffs of Moher

BOOK EARLY SAVE $100

USE PROMO CODE LATM19 BEFORE MAY 1ST. * USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change. * Airfare Additional *Space is Limited and Availability is First Come First Serve.

LATM Travel T: (949) 705-4398 W: LATRAVELMAGAZINE.COM/IRELAND


The Super Bloom in Walker Canyon

By Evangeline Chen / @evangelinetravels

H

eavy rainfall this year has given way to wild poppies surpassing typical blooms just east of Los Angeles County. With warmer weathers, and the sunlight peeking into early March, bright orange California poppies have sprung up in wildflower fields, even covering the side of freeways. This phenomenon is the second super bloom of the decade and is considered a rare occurrence in the sunny, dry landscape of Southern California. These wildflowers have since drawn in thousands of tourists from afar, causing slight chaos in surrounding cities. Upon hearing the news of the super bloom, I made no delay to pay a visit to Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore. To avoid miles of traffic and crowds, I went on a Monday morning, early enough to capture ideal photographs without having to worry about other visitors. I was greeted with soft overcast weather in the midst of exquisite purple, orange, and yellow wildflowers. A short hike over a small hill took me to a sea of poppies, where the flowers are most concentrated. With the lack of crowds and agreeable weather, I was able to take my time, gather in the beauty from every direction, and feel at one with nature as I walked along the trail. There was a sense of serenity when looking beyond the hills, being away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, and feeling at ease in the presence of so much beauty. These poppies do not carry a scent, but the sight of so many at once was so pleasing to the senses. Families are seen having picnics, and just enjoying their time among million of poppies. This small escape is just a short hour from Los Angeles, and have marked trails made for visitors to enjoy these colorful blooms without destroying them. Even though basic tendencies might be to pick or lay on top of these wild beauties, proper etiquette is to leave them alone for other visitors to enjoy. 83


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THIS SEASON'S HOTTEST GETAWAYS Winter is for working hard while the hot weather brings the perfect time to escape it all and get out and play. From Catalina to Copenhagen, here are the 10 most appealing getaways for 2019!

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CATALINA ISLAND

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MAUI, HAWAII

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OLD ORCHARD BEACH, MAINE

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CHICHEN ITZA MEXICO

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BARCELONA SPAIN

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THE AMALFI COAST OF ITALY


MOROCCO


CURAÇAO

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AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND

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COPENHAGEN DENMARK

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Swing & STAY An uber challenging golf course designed by a legendary pro? Check. Luxurious accommodations to lay one's head after a round of 18? Check. Decadent dining from world-renowned chefs? Check. A relaxing spa sanctuary to get you ready for the next days round? Check, check! When you need to get away and the greens are calling your name, find yourself at one of these 10 golf resorts that made it on our list for the best of the best in 2019:

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ADARE MANOR GOLF MONARCH BEACH CLUB GOLF LINKS County Limerick, Ireland

Dana Point, CA

SANTA BARBARA BEACH & GOLF RESORT

EVIAN RESORT GOLF CLUB

Curaรงao

TERRE BLANCHE HOTEL SPA GOLF RESORT Tourrettes, France

SANDY LANE Barbados

FAIRWAY ONE AT THE LODGE

Evian, France

FOUR SEASONS Punta Mita, Mexico

TIMBERS OCEAN CLUB & RESIDENCES Kauai, Hawaii

QUERENCIA GOLF CLUB Los Cabos, Mexico

Pebble Beach, CA

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Travel Trend Alert: The World’s Largest Women-Only Travel Company Sets Sights on Transformative Trips in 30 Countries to Honor its 30th Anniversary

W

ild Women Expeditions, the visionary leader of women-only adventure travel, just announced that it will host trips in 30 separate countries over its 30th anniversary year in 2020.

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Wild Women Expeditions, the visionary leader of women-only adventure travel, just announced that it will host trips in 30 separate countries over its 30th anniversary year in 2020. This geographic expansion also means that Wild Women Expeditions can spread its mission of empowering women worldwide. The company employs only women to assist its programs, in the office and in the field. It is Haddow’s hope and the company’s mission to empower not only women guests but also local female guides and leaders. “We want women guides in 30 diverse countries to reap the rewards of being part of the adventure travel industry, as all our Wild Women tour leaders are local women. We are raising the bar for women to be employed as guides in areas that have long excluded them, such as in Morocco, Bhutan and Indonesia. Our hope is that these guides will go on to become leaders in the adventure travel arenas of their countries,” said Haddow. SOME OF THE MANY WAYS WILD WOMEN EXPEDITIONS IMPACTS WOMEN IN OTHER COUNTRIES INCLUDE - Opening more employment opportunities for women - Promoting and training for female leadership positions - Providing insights and methods for personal empowerment - Using veteran female guides who are opening the doors for other fierce females in the tourism sector. “We align ourselves with partners and female guides wherever possible in order to help create employment opportunities and to empower women by creating an independent working environment,” Haddow explains. This outreach and impact can be especially meaningful in remote mountain cultures where communities are often locked into traditional mores. For example, one of the leaders of Wild Women tours in Morocco is the first woman in the country to be certified as a mountain guide. Two new trips for 2020 will help Wild Women Expeditions empower and promote women’s leadership in the mountains of Nepal and Peru. In Nepal, the 18-day Annapurna Himalayan Haven Trek blazes new routes (away from the busy teahouse trails) that offer some of the best hiking in the Annapurna massif. This cluster of 30 mountains (most over 7000 meters) is flanked by a gorge, a river and the Pokhara Valley. In the gateway city of Kathmandu, guests are introduced to Buddhist stupas and sacred temples of the Hindu faith that will mark their forward journey into the Pokhara Valley. In this valley come the first views of Machapuchare (Fish Tail) with an elevation of nearly 23,000 feet. These views are a magnet that compels visitors to want to get ever closer to the spirit of these mountains. The destination of the slow trek up to the Machapuchare is Annapurna Base Camp where 360-degree views will be seared into memories.

Rhododendrons color the forests where langur monkeys play and yak herds graze. Families in Gurung (an indigenous nationality in Nepal) villages share their homes and hospitality en route to the camp. Guests may experience planting or harvesting crops and learn the basics of weaving at a loom and how to cook traditional dishes. A highlight is a visit with The Gurung Weavers who are sponsored by the Women’s Skills Development Organization (WSDO). The extraordinary skills of these weavers, who contributed to the launch of the textile trade in Nepal, are a valuable source of income for their communities. (The WSDO is a non-profit, fair trade organization that has been working since 1975 to empower women who face social and economic hardships.) In Peru, the 11-day Colca Canyon Riding Adventure brings guests into the gateway city of Arequipa, a colonial-era paradise of white buildings and excellent cuisine. This city, second only to Lima in size, offers museums, markets and workshops showcasing traditional crafts. Guests visit a leather saddle workshop where they are introduced to tack that will be used on the journey. Day Two brings a meet-up in the high Andean plains at a traditional ranch with mountain guides and novo-Andino cooks. This local, all-female team will lead riders mounted on surefooted Peruvian horses into Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons, en route introducing them to archaeological sites, encounters with local artisans and breaks at natural hot springs. Each rider will primarily ride a dedicated horse during this journey, allowing for a true bond and connection to evolve. Riding through rock formations called “stone cathedrals” brings the canyon to life before emerging onto a ridge above the Colca River and riding across cattle ranges. In Sibayo, a village famous for its beautiful pebble-laid streets and traditional straw-roofed houses, guests are introduced to alpaca and sheep wool handling and traditional Andean weaving. Still, in the mountains, riders move on to another village with exceptionally beautiful Incan agricultural terraces. Another visit is to Uyo Uyo, a well-preserved pre-Incan village that served as the control point for the peoples of the entire Colca Valley. Traditional foods, cooking classes, meet-ups with a women’s embroidery collective creating traditional Colcan clothing and an optional camp-out add textures to this journey. An immersion in the habits and habitats of the world’s largest raptor, the Andean condor, an endangered species, helps Wild Women Expeditions share its mission for preserving the environmental health of the planet. “Respecting the special connection between women and wildlife speaks to the heart of our Wild WomenKind mission to make the world a kinder place by empowering women to become leaders and change agents. We are responsible to take actions to protect wildlife in the precious places we explore on our tours around the world,” said Haddow.

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AUDRINA PATRIDGE By: Jennifer Dunn Photography by: Huey Bui

From growing up in Los Angeles to current resident of Orange County, this reality star is getting ready for her big return to "The Hills". When she’s not setting trends on MTV you can find her having girl time at Mama Shelter, hiking Runyon Canyon or listening to live music at The Mint. When she is laying low at home in the OC she frequents Las Brisas for Brunch or grabbing drinks at A's. Even with her TV workload, overseeing her company Prey Swim and being a mom she loves to travel and jumps at the opportunity to see new destinations whenever possible! Recently we sat down with the SoCal native to pick her brain on all her crazy travel experiences, including an unforgettable trip to Mexico that became the best and worst trip she has ever been on.


HER LOOK:

Styled by: Horacio Aguilar @ styledbyhoracio Hair Stylist: Tiffany Loe @christianmsalon MUA: Julie Patel @thelookbyjulie Suit: Z Crave @zcrave Shoes: Charles David @ charlesdavidshoes Necklace: Mahrukh Akuly @mahrukh.akuly.jewelry


LATM: Where are your favorite spots to hit up in LA when you’re not working? AP: When I’m up in LA I like Doheny Room, Crossroads, Black Rabbit Rose, Mama Shelter, Birds, Runyon Canyon, and The Laugh Factory. For live music I like The Mint or Viper Room. LATM: What is your most proud achievement over the course of your career? AP: Receiving the “Female Stars of Tomorrow” awards with the cast of Sorority Row at ShoWest. LATM: Where is one country or culture you would like to explore or learn more about and why? AP: I would really love to visit Columbia. It’s such a vibrant, beautiful, and passionate country and I hear only good things about it! I would also love to travel all over Italy. I could live in Italy! I love everything about it. LATM: What are your go-to travel items you must have on a trip? AP: Some of my travel must-haves include Oribe dry texture spray, Dr. Lancer’s face masks, Bose headphones, Stance socks, Vita Liberata selftanner, Evian spray mist, La Mer hand lotion, Vichy hydrating face gel, and Unite 7 Seconds conditioner. LATM: As a current resident of the OC, what places would you recommend to our readers who are visiting the area? What should they do and where are your favorite spots? AP: For happy hour drinks or a night out, I recommend Bungalow. The Deck is great for dinner, The Rooftop is great for tapas and watching the sunset, and Las Brisas is a beautiful restaurant for both a meal and nice beach walk. A restaurant has been around forever and has some good old school traditional food with a very Mad Men ambiance. Fashion Island is great for shopping, and Pacific City also has some great restaurants and shopping. I definitely recommend going to Thousand Steps Beach. It’s a hike down but definitely worth it! Crystal Cove is really beautiful too with all of the tide pools. Lido Island has cute shops and restaurants, plus you can rent a Duffy and cruise the marina, which is always a fun time! LATM: Where is your ideal destination for a weekend getaway? AP: Cabo! It’s a quick flight and great for weekend getaways. For longer trips I love Bora Bora and Bali. LATM: When you have time off from the show, where do you like to escape to? AP: When I have time off from The Hills, I usually use that time to catch up with friends and family and get caught up on house work. That’s the only time I’m able to check things off my to-do list! My schedule has been so hectic that I haven’t had a chance to really get away yet, but Kirra and I love to escape to some local beaches in Orange County. LATM: Anything you can tell us about the new version of The Hills coming out? AP: Be prepared for a wild ride! Things have definitely changed for a lot of us, but when we are all together there’s no shortage of drama. LATM: What are your next big goals for this year and going into 2020? AP: My biggest goals are to establish and take my company, Prey Swim, to the next level! I would also love to get involved with designing a baby line and doing something in the beauty world of makeup.

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"I want to experience different things with my daughter at different ages, but right now she is obsessed with the ocean! I would love to take her to a beautiful island and let her swim, meet dolphins and introduce her to all the beautiful sea life in the ocean that we read about in her mermaid books." -Audrina

Shot on location at 58 N La Senda, Laguna Beach Listed by Andrew McDonald of The Agency 949.290.8393 Delivering unparalleled, vast ocean, coastline and sunset views, this timeless modern masterpiece rests on a distinctly exceptional Laguna Beach bluff site with stairs to a private, pristine beach pool below. The sleek lines throughout the estate highlight the serenity of this spectacular coastal sanctuary. Flawlessly designed by renowned Horst Architects and impeccably constructed in eight years with the finest hand-selected materials and finishes, the home showcases powerful precision and harmony.

HER LOOK:

Photography: Huey Bui Dress: @DAALARNACOUTURE Hair Piece: @OuthouseJewellry Shoes: @Its_Alejandra_G Styled by: Stephanie Amelie @steph_amelie Hair: Tiffany Loe @christianmsalon MUA: Julie Patel @thelookbyjulie


HER LOOK:

Photography by Huey Bui Dress: @DAALARNACOUTURE Hair Piece: @OuthouseJewellry Shoes: @Its_Alejandra_G Styled by: Stephanie Amelie @Steph_Amelie Hair: Tiffany Loe @christianmsalon MUA: Julie Patel @thelookbyjulie

"Traveling to Puebla, Mexico was an unforgettable experience. I love the city for its culture, history and beauty. I learned how to make mole and paint Talavera pottery, and I went inside The Great Pyramid of Cholula, which was super cool. Unfortunately, I got really bad altitude sickness halfway through the trip, which I never imagined I would get. It was the best trip and worst trip I’ve ever been on and very bitter sweet." -Audrina

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"My biggest goals are to establish and take my company, Prey Swim, to the next level! I would also love to get involved with designing a baby line and doing something in the beauty world of makeup." -Audrina

HER LOOK:

Photography: Huey Bui Suit: Z Crave Shoes: Charles David Necklace: Mahrukh Akuly Styled By: Horacio Aguilar @styledbyhoracio Hair: Tiffany Loe @christianmsalon Makeup: Julie Patel @thelookbyjulie

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Solomooning:

TRAVELERS TAKE LAST CHANCE SOLO TRIPS BEFORE T YING THE KNOT HERE’S 5 WAYS TO LEAP ONTO THE TREND By: Britney Hope

Following the babymoon trend – a last chance for couples to travel together before newborns enter the scene – we welcome the solomoon, where individuals in a relationship are travelling solo one last time before tying the knot. Solomooning is about practicing self-love through new experiences such as disappearing to a remote corner of Greenland, spoiling yourself with a food-centric walking tour or taking that epic voyage that's always been on your list. 106

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ESCAPE TO COLOMBIA, WHERE EVERYTHING IS IN BLOOM Cannúa guests are encouraged to literally stop and smell the roses. This 18-room boutique hotel opening in April is set in Antioquia, Columbia, where 70% of the flowers purchased in the US on Valentine’s Day are grown! Settled in 27-acres of protected forest, Cannúa guests can take sunset hikes along the hillside, visit local villages and working farms, and discover new varieties of flora and fauna with the help of an expert guide. The retreat will also feature a spa, on-site restaurant for organic dining, and abundant surrounding gardens – perfect for travelers looking to clear their minds from all the wedding planning madness.

SELF-REFLECT ON A VOYAGE TO GREENLAND Set in the wide-open spaces of Iceland and Greenland, this expedition gives solomooners time to reflect on the immensity of life and love. Witness pristine glaciers and icebergs that outline the jagged coasts of these two destinations, spot the puffins of Vestmannaeyjar (Westman islands) up-close and learn about the area’s volcanic history.

to see Serranlunga d’Alba, where the c13 castle soars upwards. And like any proper Italian holiday, this one features plenty of local culinary favourites like white truffles, hazelnuts and chocolate. And since you don’t have to share, you can eat as much as you want. Now, that’s amore.

GET CLOSE TO ALASKAN GRIZZLIES In Kodiak, a remote part of Alaska, they will be welcomed by sea otters, puffins, bald eagles, sea lions and sometimes humpback and fin whales. But the piėce de résistance are the mighty Grizzly bears of Katmai. Solomooners can watch one of North America’s largest land predators, just yards away, fishing for salmon, digging for clams and mussels or gallivanting by the shore with their cubs. Through one of these epic adventures, solomooners can hop on the solomoon train to enjoy that final dose of pure independence before living happily ever after.

CYCLE THROUGH IRELAND’S NATURAL BEAUTY Some solomooners choose to knock off one last trip in a sport their partners may not love quite as much as them, such as cycling, yoga, sailing or scuba diving. A Biking and Yoga Escape tour gives solomooners a nice combination of physical challenge and inner calm. They will start the adventure in Sligo, from what used to be the center of an ancient civilization, and cycle through glaciated valleys formed in the last ice age. They will continue along the Darty Mountains to Donegal beach, to see the view of the churning Atlantic waves.

PRACTICE SELF-AMORE A key aspect of the solomooning trend is using travel to gain greater self-acceptance and self-love as an individual before getting married. For Solomooners looking to practice self-amore (and self-indulgence) a self-guided walking holiday covering the north-western corner of Italy, is just the ticket. Taste your way through Barolo, considered The King of Wine, visiting savoy castles and tiny frescoed chapels through cobbled squares and hiking through a holm oak forest 107


A Bucketlist Trip You Don't Want to Miss

EPIC NEW 45-DAY ROAD TRIP REVEALS THE BEST OF CHILE’S RUTA DE LOS PARQUES


Pura Aventura has long been pioneering self-drive trips along the little-visited Carretera Austral in Northern Patagonia and sharing the quieter parts of Torres del Paine further south. However, the region is set to gain in popularity in 2019 following the development of the new Ruta de los Parques, a hugely ambitious project to connect a staggering network of 17 National Parks along a 2,800km route stretching from Puetto Montt in Chile’s Lake District, all the way down to mythical Cape Horn. The Ruta, which can already be explored, is expected to become one of the iconic journeys of the world. In celebration, Pura Aventura is introducing a 45-day Ruta Uncovered road trip taking in the route’s highlights – it can be done in one marathon journey or in two or three chapters. The Ruta is set to be the world's biggest ever conservation project encompassing 11.5 million hectares and protecting 60 communities and 24 different ecosystems in Chilean Patagonia. The name is evocative, the numbers impressive and the scale mind-boggling. But at its heart, the Ruta is the culmination of a very personal and improbable ambition, realized over time thanks to extraordinary perseverance, dedication and a sheer love of Patagonia on the part of Doug and Kristine Tompkins and like-minded partners. In January 2018, one million acres of land covering the Chacabuco Valley and the ancient temperate forests of Pumalin further north were handed over to the Chilean government by the Tompkins Foundation in the biggest ever private land donation. Another nine million acres were added by the government thus protecting 10 million acres of land, creating five new National Parks and extending a further three. Pura Aventura has been sharing the Carretera Austral - the 1,200km long backbone of the new Ruta de los Parques - for over 20 years. On their new Ruta Uncovered trip, the postcard images of Patagonia - immense glaciers, herds of guanacos roaming the grassy steppe and dramatic mountains - are present in great abundance, but this journey delves much deeper. Imagine sharing a yerba mate with gauchos, watching condors soaring up close with Alejandro at his estancia and enjoying an impromptu asado in an upturned wheelbarrow with locals.

RUTA UNCOVERED Delivering swathes of unbelievably beautiful wilderness, as well as tons of culture, this new 45-day self-drive route by land and sea, has it all. The Carretera Austral alone quickly transitions through temperate rainforests, mountain amphitheaters, fertile steppes and ice fields to

lonely glaciers that few others reach. Add to this hiking in Torres del Paine - which this year celebrates its 60th birthday, cruising through Tierra del Fuego to Cape Horn and accommodation in some wonderful little lodges. Then there’s the opportunity to: discover 12 National Parks; whitewater raft on the Fú River; kayak along Queulat’s fjords; take a boat trip on the Cochrane River, one of the clearest in the world; enjoy close encounters with condors; watch glorious sunsets over the Patagonian steppe; and dip into Argentina. The epic adventure begins with a flight south from Santiago to the Chilean Lakes and Puerto Varas where guests collect their 4x4 vehicle. Over the next few days, they head into the Alerce Andino National Park to walk amongst some of the oldest trees on earth, take a ferry south to the tiny outpost of Caleta Gonzalo, explore Pumalin National Park with plenty of stunning hiking trails, and visit the enormous caldera of Chaitén Volcano. More National Parks and Reserves are on the agenda with a hike through the Valdivian rainforests of Reserva Nacional Futaleufú, a high trail for eye-level views of Queulat National Park’s famous hanging glacier, exploring the lunar landscapes of Jeinimeni, guided walks in the Tamango Reserve and Parque Patagonia, and Cerro Castillo National Park, a little-known gem with fantastic hiking and few visitors. Further highlights on the Carretera Austral leg of the trip include a scenic drive along the Baker River, the beautifully-located Tortel with access to the remote ice fields, and Lago General Carrera, from where it’s possible to walk on fossil beds and picnic in isolation next to the remote Leones Glacier. A flight south to Punta Arenas signals a new set of wheels and a journey into the Torres del Paine National Park. 250,000 visitors tread their way through Chile’s most famous Park each year, so Pura aims to take guests away from the crowds, as well as still weaving in some of the highlights. Jumping over the border to Argentina, stay in the small mountain village of El Chaltén at the foot of Cerro Fitz Roy to enjoy trails around Mount Fitz Roy, considered one of the most beautiful mountains on Earth. Returning to Chile, visit the little-known Pali Aike National Park where guanacos and foxes are more likely to be spotted than people. The finale is cruising along the icy channels of the Magellan Straits all the way to Cape Horn aboard the Australis expedition vessel. Take zodiacs to spot Magellanic penguins, cormorants and elephant seals; navigate along the ‘Glacier Alley’ of the Beagle Channel; and set foot on Cape Horn, which precious few get to experience.


#TravelSquad #LATRAVELFIT

THIS SEASON'S HOTTEST NEW :

FITNESS PRODUCTS stealth core trainer

The evolution of planking is here! The Stealth Core Trainer is changing the way people exercise by using video game technology to keep the mind and body fully engaged while holding a plank! Simply go to the app store for IOS or the Google Play store for Android search Stealth Body Fitness, download the games for free and get ready to have a rock-solid core! Place your smartphone into the slot on the Stealth Core Trainer and get ready to compete. The concept is simple but super effective; the stronger you hold your posture the better you breathe and the more efficient your movement patterns will be which in turn will give you a better score. You will be amazed how you can almost forget you're exercising when your mind is completely focused on beating not only your personal best score but others around the world as well. Follow them on Instagram @stealthbodyfitness for new game updates and more!

rogue thompson fatbells Rogue Fitness one of the global leaders in the fitness industry has revolutionized the traditional kettlebell with the release of the Fatbell. Developed by power-lifting legend Donnie Thompson the Fatbell was designed as the "perfect geometric shape for maximizing optimal performance" while working out. With this new design with the handle inside the Fatbell your hand and bell essentially act as one unit allowing for more effective movement overall. The center mass design helps to improve the efficiency and balance of every swing/press while also reducing common kettlebell safety risks. With your hand inside the sphere, the equal distribution of the weight leads to not only safer, more isolated movement patterns but also less stress on your joints. Rogue Thompson Fatbells are available in many different weight increments and include Rogue's signature black powder coat finish. You can follow Rogue Fitness on Instagram @roguefitness

cryosphere Recoup Fitness the leader in recovery products has introduced the concept of portable cryotherapy with the release of the Cryosphere. The only product that combines massage and cold therapy the Cryosphere is the ultimate tool for post workout, recovery from injury and pain management. With its small portable size and the fact that it stays ice cold for 6 hours, there's no wonder pro athletes all over the world are using the Cryosphere on a daily basis. No more bags of ice that melt all over, simply throw the Cryosphere in your gym bag and you have the ultimate recovery tool at your fingertips whenever you need it! Follow their Instagram for endless testimonials and other amazing recovery products @recoupfitness

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edge cross-x

#LATRAVELFIT

The future of fitness is here! There is a good reason why they are calling the EdgeCross-X "The 10 Minute Miracle" This multi-functional workout "system" will literally shred your core and ultimately build your strength to a place you didn't know was possible! Created by father and son dynamic duo Steve and Kyle Berman the EdgeCross-X has been making waves throughout social media even before its release to the market. Integrating the ideal blend of bodyweight, balance and leverage the EdgeCross-X was designed to give you the most efficient workout in the shortest amount of time. Hundreds of exercises can be performed simply by attaching bands, using the roller wheel as well as the main unit itself. The sky's the limit, open your mind and start building the body of your dreams with the EdgeCross-X. Make sure to follow their Instagram @edgecrossx to watch users all over the world performing some of the coolest most innovative exercises you've ever seen!

suples ball Fitness icon Ivan Ivanov has done it again with the release of the Suples Ball. The original creator of the Bulgarian Bag Ivanov wanted to add even more dynamic versatility than was already in the industry and the Suples does just that and more! Adding the longer straps to the ball allows for more swing, more speed, more dynamic movement and the result is an incredibly challenging and super fun workout. Built out of very high-quality materials the Suples Ball was designed to withstand the most intense workouts including the patented slams off the mat to increase your explosive power. The Suples Ball has removable handles which allows you to use it as a traditional medicine ball and comes in 4 different weights, one for speed, endurance, strength and power. Choose your size that is applicable to your type of training or even better choose multiple options to add a plethora of exercises to up your game. Make sure to follow their Instagram page @suples. training.systems for mind-blowing workouts from trainers all over the world as well as master trainer @mike.salemi who you can watch dominate the Suples Ball like no other!

roxs Move over boring workouts! A-Champs ROXs is changing the way athletes train with their state of the art Flash Reflex Technology. ROXs use the excitement of sensor technology and gamification to push athletes to their maximum while having a blast! Simply download the Run Jump Play by A Champs app, sync up your ROXs and you are ready to go to work. Set up the ROXs in different patterns using timing, speed and reaction drills that will be saved right on the app showing you your overall progress. Endless drills are available on the app to take your game to a whole new level. A perfect way to distract the mind from exercise while getting into the best shape of your life. Follow their Instagram page @achampsofficial to see engaging workouts for people of all ages!

core momentum trainer The Core Momentum Trainer from Escape Fitness is putting the "fun" in functional training! As the name suggests the device is all about blasting your core each and every time you pick it up. The CMT was designed to be the perfect feedback mechanism thus forcing the user to perform all movement patterns with proper form. Inside the CMT a lubricated steel shot collides with the cavity walls as the force is applied through range of motion exercises. This significant force created from the shot moving back and forth places a high demand on all the intrinsic core stabilizers giving you an amazing workout. The CMT comes in three models, green (2.2lbs), blue (4.4lbs) and red (8.8lbs), use them all for creating speed, strength and power! Follow their Instagram page @escapefitness 111


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Good Vibrations 4 Crystals to make your life healthier and happier at home or on the road. By Energy Muse Founders Heather Askinosie & Timmi Jandro

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Crystals come from the earth and contain the energy of nature. Each crystal emits a unique frequency that can shift your energy. Depending on the energy you want to embody, you can choose a specific crystal for a specific energy. By connecting with a crystal, you gain a tool to help you maneuver the twists and turns of relationships, work, and everyday life. While there are seemingly endless possibilities of crystals to work with and what they each can do for you, here are some of our favorite crystals that everyone can (and should!) incorporate into their lives! Amethyst is a crystal of peace and relaxation. Its calming energy soothes away stress, worry, and anxiety that can arise day-to-day. Connecting with an Amethyst crystal is like taking a mini-trip to the spa. It brings peace to your mind and eases any tension in your body so you can relax and recharge. How to use it: hold an Amethyst crystal over your third eye, in between your eyebrows. By placing the crystal in this spot, you allow the Amethyst's calming energy to infuse your mind with relaxing vibrations. You can also place an Amethyst crystal in your bedroom (at home or on-the-go) to create a relaxing environment for restful sleep. Shungite is a protective crystal that works to counteract the effects of Electromagnetic Fields, or EMFs, by absorbing them. With all the electronic frequencies that surround us at work, home, or even in the car or airplane, Shungite is the crystal you need to prevent these harmful frequencies from entering your energy field. How to use it: wear a Shungite necklace or carry a piece of Shungite with you wherever you go to minimize the effects of EMFs. Or, place a Shungite crystal on top of your phone, laptop, desktop computer, or any other electronic device.

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Selenite is a cleansing stone that acts like soap for your energy. When you feel drained, depleted or dull, connecting with this crystal can help to brighten your energy and help you feel refreshed. This very high vibrational crystal raises the vibration of everything around it. How to use it: Place a piece of Selenite over your chest and take three deep breaths. Allow the Selenite crystal to cleanse your energy. You can also place a Selenite crystal under the bed or on a windowsill to cleanse your space. Black Tourmaline is the ultimate energy protector. While Shungite absorbs EMFs, Black Tourmaline blocks negative vibrations from other people or encounters so that bad vibes don't impact your personal energy. This crystal acts as a bodyguard, protecting your energy from bad vibes. No matter where you are, Black Tourmaline has your back!


How to use it: Place a Black Tourmaline crystal in the four corners of a room to protect your space, and yourself, from negativity. Or, place a Black Tourmaline crystal by the front door to seal the energy of your environment. This technique works well for your home, or wherever you are staying while traveling. You can also place it in your car for on-the-go protection!

business executives, and pro athletes how to use crystals to achieve the results they’re looking for. For more information or to secure your own set of crystals visit energymuse.com.

Just as crystals can help you live your best life, even in the face of daily challenges, they can also help you get the most out of your travels. When you are ready to set out on your next adventure, don't forget to take your crystals with you. Energy Muse Founders Heather Askinosie and Timmi Jandro have over 20 years of experience in teaching everyone from celebrities,

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Red Carpet

READY ALL YEAR LONG

Glamour is about feeling confident in your own skin, and we’ve got the best tips to pamper and prep yourself before heading out to your next big event. From a glowing complexion to getting rid of a few inches quickly, make a statement in the spotlight with a new head to toe look.

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DESUAR SPA, DTLA Anti-Aging XMF Youth Revealing Anti- Aging, Instant results for firm, smooth skin Enjoy the ultimate in age defiance with this facial that includes the latest ingredients from marine bio-technology to plump the skin and smooth wrinkles. After a thorough double exfoliation and deep cleansing process, a Pro-Youth Massage is performed with massage tools and a skin regenerating concentrate. Keeping your skin refreshed before and during a trip is important. This facial is Hollywood’s best kept skin care secret as it has no down time, is utterly painless and will leave your face feeling ultra hydrated and glowing. *M'lis Contour Body Wraps & Body Shaping The M’lis Professional Contour body wrap helps to free and remove trapped waste in the connective tissue, eliminate internal disfiguring deposits and stimulate inch loss. This is not a temporary water loss wrap. Inch loss of 4”-14” is guaranteed. M’lis’ Contour Body Wrap that offers permanent inch loss (not caused by excessive sweating). You’re wrapped up there is no sweating you are actually flushing down toxins and fat! First your skin is exfoliated with a scrub, then the treatment cream is applied, and a special wrapping technique is used to help firm and lift the “trouble areas”. The wrapping also plays a role in enhancing lymphatic drainage. The Contour Body Wrap was originally developed by a UCLA biochemist to enhance circulation and lymphatic flow in patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases. Further research revealed that the wrap not only increased circulation but also cleansed the tissue which resulted in healthy inch loss and smoother skin. The Contour Body Wrap is a complete

detoxification system for internal and external cleansing, cellulite reduction and inch loss. This body wrap system has been around for over 30 years which is further testament to its efficacy. Like most holistic treatments, a series of body wrap treatments is more effective than just one (ideally 6 treatments). You probably wouldn’t want to do more than 1 treatment per week. The inches will only return if the client goes back to old habits. Eating the right types of foods, proper exercise, and drinking 8 glasses of water per day are always recommended. Makeup at Blushington Specializing in professional makeup applications in a chic feminine atmosphere, Blushington knows how to give you the look you want. With locations in West Hollywood and Newport Beach, they use and retail Stila, Becca, Julie Hewett, and Kevyn Aucoin products. Choose a Temptu airbrush foundation or a Camera Ready package, which includes a Full Face application plus extra contouring and color choices. Blushington.com Score a Designer Dress from Rent the Runway Who are you wearing to this season’s hottest events? From Vera Wang to Badgley Mischka, choose from over 250 top designers and 50,000 dresses for your trend-setting look. This online service allows customers to rent gowns and accessories for a four to eight-day period at 10% of the retail price. Rent the Runway supplies customers with a pre-paid, pre-addressed package for returning the dress and rental prices include dry cleaning and care of the garments. Renttherunway.com

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THE SPRING

Style Guide A season for fresh starts, this season is the perfect time to revive your wardrobe, alter your lifestyle and find fresh ways to mix up your existing decor. We’ve picked our favorite items for the season, showing you how to follow the trends while keeping it fun and improving all that you do.

CITRINE POINT $19.99 Happiness • Positivity • Abundance This crystal’s vibe is anything but sour! Sweet is the essence of this fortune flourishing gem. A Natural Citrine Point is known as the “money stone” because it is believed to elevate optimism and energy to a place more able to manifest and accept opportunity. As you attract new possibilities, people and energy into your life, prosperity and abundance will soon follow. In working with the solar plexus chakra, citrine warms the core to radiate power, centeredness, confidence and endurance throughout the body and mind. Citrine is your crystal cheerleader, rooting you on when you need a win! energymuse.com

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SPRING 2019

LA TRAVEL


AMETHYST EYE PILLOW $24.95 Sleep • Stress Relief • Rejuvenation Never has getting a little shut eye been so luxurious. You need to sleep, but you’ll want to sleep while under the soothing energy of this silk Amethyst Eye Pillow filled with lavender, flax seed and tiny Amethyst crystals. Let the amethyst cleanse all of the worries from your third eye chakra, and usher you into a peaceful night’s rest. They say that the blue light cast off of tech devices is what keeps many of us from getting the sleep we need. Using these eye pillows will not only block out blue light, it will also block the negativity and toxic thought patterns that keep you up at night. energymuse.com

EDIFIER BLUETOOTH OVER-EAR HEADPHONES $69.99 While the W830BT Bluetooth headphones rest softly on your head, you will listen to a rich deep bass that Edifier is known for producing. This equates well with genres such as EDM, Jazz, Hip Hop and many great genres that take advantage of a great bass sound. These fantastic wireless headphones have good Highs and great Lows. Edifier’s W830BT headphones enriches your tunes giving audiophiles the warm exciting feeling they deserve. edifier.com

MY CHARGE HOME & GO $29.99 The myCharge Home & Go Series offers a powerful 2-in-1 solution serving both as a wall adapter and a portable charger. With fold-out wall prongs and up to 4x extra battery life – myCharge is a travel necessity for every road trip, camping weekend, or long flight. The Home & Go Series consists of three different batteries: Home & Go, Home & Go Plus, Home & Go Pride Edition. mycharge.com

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This Season's Hot Hotels

aliz hotel times square new york city, ny

The Aliz Hotel, a modern hospitality marvel is quickly changing the luxury hotel sector in and around Times Square. Ideally located at 310 West 40th street at one of the most iconic intersections in the country the Aliz prides itself in offering a world set apart from the fast-paced city life while situated only a few steps away. Developed by Aliz Group and managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts the flagship property is setting the tone for modern hotel lifestyle brands. As you enter the lobby you instantly feel the peaceful atmosphere they strive for. After a quick check-in, the elevator doors open and you are seconds away from full relaxation in the comfort of your own room. The 287 guest rooms feature luxury amenities that provide all the comforts of home while you gaze out at the infamous city skyline. The exemplary combination of plush bedding with an Ultra High Definition Flat Screen TV makes for a great night of winding down after a long day in the city. Designed by Andres Escobar & Associates, Aliz was conceptualized to be known as a sanctuary high above the streets of New York for all types of guests, whether in town for business or pleasure. Sophisticated, sleek designed guestrooms were drawn up with a welcoming appeal in mind. Showcasing bold chrome and black leather features complete with classic white marble bathrooms guests feel all the luxurious style of a 5-star hotel. Special amenities include Beekman 1802's natural bath products, ultra high-speed Wifi and Keurig Coffeemakers. In the mood for an invigorating workout? Try out the Aliz Cycling Studio featuring Peloton bikes which is available for guests 24 hours a day located on the lower lobby level. The cycling studio features six bikes connected to the hotel's WiFi each with their own virtual personal trainer. After you get your fitness on make sure to head over to Farm to Burger the hotel's acclaimed dining establishment that is making waves in the foodie scene. Farm to Burger prides themselves in delivering the freshest burgers to their guests only using the highest quality grass-fed beef from local farmers, organic vegetables and local breads. Located on the lobby level Farm to Burger is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Aliz was conceived from a very simple idea, to bring its guests a quiet stay steps away from hustle and bustle of Times Square. The mission is being followed through each and every day with impeccable service, world-class amenities and a great location in the city.


Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Cape Town, South africa Arguably one of the top hotels in Capetown, the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa has everything you could need for the ideal South African getaway. Situated perfectly between the mountains and the sea, the hotel is the only building on the coastal road between Camps Bay and Llandudno Beach which works well for those looking to escape from the fast-paced city life. As you can guess with its prime geographical location the hotel offers stunning views of both the Atlantic Ocean to the front as well as sheer-faced mountain views to the rear of the property. The name of the hotel comes from the Twelve Apostles Mountain range that is directly behind the property which forms the back of Table Mountain, arguably the most popular hiked mountain in all of South Africa. A part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection the Twelve Apostles boasts a total of 70 rooms and suites that come individually decorated with a blend of both contemporary African style and classic European design. All the comforts of home paired with luxurious amenities guests truly have no reason to leave the property. After a day of challenging yourself up Table Mountain make sure to take full advantage of the property's award-winning spa which showcases a plethora of invigorating massages, facials, body scrubs and more to bring your body back to a state of well being. The hotel's culinary program competes with any in the city offering guests a choice of relaxed dining 24 hours a day at The Cafe Grill or for a fine dining experience book a table at Azure. Both dining establishments are overseen by head chef Christo Pretorius who was recently named Red Carnation Chef of the Year. Pretorius was also named one of the eight "trailblazers" by the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative for his love of the ocean and sustainability efforts. Before dinner grab a cocktail at Leopard Bar which is a popular spot to watch the sun go down. Live entertainment and tasty martinis are a major draw for even the locals on a daily basis. It is no wonder The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa has collected such an array of hospitality awards for its impeccable service, culinary program and spa. South Africa is perfectly represented from the moment you enter the lobby until your time at check out. One thing is for sure, you will never forget the royal treatment you received from one of Capetown's best!

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HOT HOTELS

the landing resort & spa lake tahoe, ca

Ideally situated in South Lake Tahoe, lies the stunning Landing Resort & Spa. Only minutes from the Heavenly Village, Edgewood Tahoe, and the South Tahoe casinos, this renowned destination impeccably provides a soothing escape with an endless variety of activities that make this oasis a standout above the rest. A stay at The Landing captures a mountain luxury spirit with jaw-dropping lake views, a full-service spa and dining that celebrates local flavors. Upon arrival, it immediately becomes evident why this upscale resort is popular with locals and tourists alike. A spacious Lakeview Patio provides an optimal place to unwind next to the firepit with a glass of wine. The woodsy dĂŠcor, stone wall fireplace and plaid flooring create a peaceful atmosphere to recuperate after a day of adventure. As you explore your room a range of upgraded amenities are provided including plush bedding, LCD flat-panel televisions with DirecTV and premium HD channels, heated bathroom floors and Keurig coffeemakers. If you are looking for the highest level of opulence book a treatment at the spa. This elegant oasis offers an inspiring array of restorative spa treatments utilizing organic products and natural botanicals. Try a Foot Reflexology Treatment or a Scalp, Neck, and Shoulder Massage. Experience the mind-bending pleasure of a Deep Tissue Massage or Hot Stone Massage. No visit to The Landing would be complete without embarking on a culinary adventure offered at the property's signature restaurant, Jimmy's. Providing guests with local culinary flavors and an equally authentic atmosphere Jimmy's offers Greek flavor with a splash of California chic. The dĂŠcor showcases tufted leather booths and glowing fireplaces balanced by eye-catching touches like an onyx and granite bar and a sleek, 1,500-bottle wine vault. From small plates to full-size dishes with the freshest ingredients this restaurant has something for everyone. Start with a handcrafted libation like the Cherry Maple Woodford Sour and end with a Tequila Toddy from the Soul Warmer selection of drinks. The Landing embodies all of what one could want in a luxury escape in the mountains. From the hospitable service, signature activity programs, fine dining, and stunning setting, all it takes is one visit to this location to understand why it's one of the most popular resorts in all of Lake Tahoe.


hotel Erwin

Hot Hotels

venice, Ca

Venice is a destination renowned for its diverse culture, natural vibes and energetic nightlife, all reasons this California beach city is a tourism haven. Known for capturing the essence of Old Venice, this local gem continues to be chosen as discerning traveler's temporary home, and even more so today with the hotel's beautiful selection of rooms and suites. A night spent at Hotel Erwin captures all that Venice has to offer, from a surfer vibe to the hottest rooftop bar in the area; this beloved property never disappoints. Upon entering your spacious room, your eyes are immediately drawn to the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door views of the ocean. The modern furnishings complement the light, airy feel of the space making you feel right at home. Walking around the modern room, you make note of the extra amenities available to you. A locally inspired honor bar sits on one side of your private dining area while the pillow-top mattress and triple-sheet, 300-thread count linens provides a soothing spot to unwind before your night on the town begins. Between its undeniably sizable rooms and modern architecture, it's the property's eclectic dining options that make a stay here above the rest. Sit on the rooftop at sunset as your hospitable server greets you with a menu at High Rooftop Lounge. For a bird's eye view of Venice Beach, there is no better place than the rooftop where you can observe the thriving life below with a refreshing drink in hand. Sitting high above the area this spot is sure to be your favorite getaway to sip and gaze out over one of the most spectacular unobstructed views in all of Venice. Celebrate SoCal’s fresh flavors at Erwin’s Kitchen + Cocktails downstairs. Guests can expect bold flavor profiles with dishes inspired by the local culture of creativity. With delectable menu choices like their Chickpea Curry and Chicken Pesto Buccatini, any choice you make is sure to be a great one! Hotel Erwin has set the standard for a beach-chic getaway and is boldly living up to its reputation in the hospitality sector. From eclectic dining to its friendly service and surf-style accommodations, this property is sure to be treasured for many years to come.

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HOT HOTELS

trisara resort phuket, thailand By: Kelly Magyarics It’s all too easy when you are on vacation to be concerned about logistics that you don’t truly appreciate the setting or experience, only to reminisce with wistful longing when you are back home. Trust us you will want to be mindful of soaking in every precious fleeting moment during a stay at this blissful property on Phuket’s northwest coast. Tucked among the palm trees, foliage and tropical gardens are sixty spacious villas that are warm and welcoming--but we admit it’s more than a bit soul-crushing when you realize you eventually have to check out. The villas range in size from two to seven bedrooms and face either the Andaman sea or lush gardens. The inviting interior is done up in a neutral palate with hardwood floors and inlaid ceilings, built-in seating flanks the walls, a comfortable desk lets you catch up on work if you need to, the bar is stocked with spirits, wines, beer, mixers and snacks and the living room comes equipped with a Bose sound system and hidden flat screen television. The patio and private infinity pool will keep you dreaming about this property long after your respite is over. Dip your toes with a glass of wine as dusk settles in and you spot the neon green lights of the squid fishing boats on the horizon. It’s all pure heaven--just like the resort’s name which translates to: “garden in the third heaven.” If you can pull yourself away from your nook of utopia, you’ll find attendants waiting to set up lounge chairs on the palm tree-dotted beach. Grab a hammock and sway the day away, or enjoy the large saltwater infinity lap pool with built-in whirlpool jets and loungers that runs parallel to the beach, along with several tiers of lounge chairs. JARA Spa’s rooms tout both garden and sea views, and treatments use Thai techniques and the Five Pillars that are inspired by the ficus tree among which the spa is situated. These pillars address the body’s root, trunk, leaves, blossoms and spiritual core and promise serenity and well-being. The Royal Trisara 6 Hand Massage is the signature therapy, during which a trio of therapists work their magic with nourishing oils, herbal compresses, Swedish massage and acupressure. A Thai herbal wrap uses local products like white mud, fresh herbs and yogurt, while the samunpai scrub improves blood circulation and promotes detoxification with a blend of jasmine, cananga, turmeric and plai. There is nothing quite like tasting Thai cuisine in its native environment, and at Trisara that becomes even more of a treat when you can dine at a table so close to the water, you can smell the salt air. The Deck is where you’ll find traditional Thai or Chinese dishes à la carte, dim sum and tropical fruit on the buffet. For lunch and dinner opt for Thai or international fare. Among the dinner specialties at Seafood next door are traditional “mama recipes” that have been passed down over the generations. PRU is the resort’s crown jewel, a 14-seat restaurant that currently holds the only Michelin star on Phuket. Chef Jimmy Ophorst draws on his upbringing in the Netherlands where he was raised to help his family tend to their gardens and greenhouses for farm-to-table cuisine. All ingredients at PRU (“Plant. Raise. Understand”) are sourced locally, and many are procured from Trisara’s farm PRU Jampa. If you fall in love with the cuisine and want to replicate it at home, book a three-course cooking class available on property.


grand hyatt kauai resort & spa

Hot Hotels

kauai, hawaii By: Ben Esque

Situated on the northwest border of the Hawaiian archipelago the island of Kauai is directly exposed to extremely rough surf as well as more rain than any of its neighboring Hawaiian islands. This heavy rainfall and turbulent waters over the years have molded Kauai into one of the most dramatically beautiful islands on this planet. Sheer faced cliffs, lush jungle and bright colored rainbows are three things you are guaranteed to witness during your stay on the garden island. Active travelers flock here from all over the globe to take in all that Kauai has to offer, from its long list of water sports, adventure hikes, deep sea fishing, golf and more, one thing is certain you will never find yourself bored. When visiting the Garden Island there is no better place to stay than the Grand Hyatt. Nestled alongside the ocean in the sunny area of Poipu, the resort boasts scenic views of lush mountains, verdant gardens or the azure waters of the Pacific depending on which room you choose. The elaborate property is one of the largest in all of the Hawaiian Islands with a grand total of 604 rooms and suites all which have a private balcony or lanai to take in the striking views every direction you look. This four-diamond resort is truly a city within itself providing guests everything one could need from an endless amount of leisure activities, water sports, a 24-hour fitness center, tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course and much more. For those looking to kick back and relax under the Hawaiian sun spend an afternoon lounging at the multi-level pool and saltwater lagoon. Grab a cocktail and float down the lava rock-lined lazy river or opt for an adrenaline rush cascading down the 150-foot waterslide. Whichever option you choose you simply can not go wrong with a fun day in the sun at the pool area, grab some friends for a game of water volleyball or take a nap in your private cabana. If you like to golf, a round at the Poipu Bay Golf Course is an absolute must. This Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed beauty competes with any course in all of the Pacific with its jaw-dropping picturesque views every direction you look. Manicured greens, swaying palm trees in the warm Hawaiian breeze give way to drastic sheer cliffs that line the fairways to the ocean below. From 1994 to 2006 the course played host to the annual Grand Slam of Golf which as you can imagine holds a very high standard in the industry. After an activity-filled day there is no better place to completely surrender your mind, body and soul than the Anara Spa. Using traditional healing customs to bring "lokahi", (Hawaiian for balance and harmony of body and spirit) the staff at Anara will make sure you leave feeling completely refreshed. A long list of spa treatments are offered from invigorating massages, facials, body scrubs, mani/pedis and more. This 45,000 square foot facility is the largest in all of Kauai and features a 24-hour state of the art fitness center, open-air yoga and multiple fitness classes to try. Panoramic ocean views welcome you to the restaurants and bars on property. For steak and seafood visit Tidepools, the resort's thatched roof bungalow which floats above a koi-filled lagoon. Sit back as the chefs dazzle you with contemporary Hawaiian cuisine using the finest of ingredients from local farms nearby and the freshest seafood from the waters of the Pacific, a stone's throw away. If Italian is what you are craving don't miss an evening at Donderos where you can enjoy old world favorites and fine wines all in a Tuscan Villa setting. Sushi lovers need not fret, Stevenson's Sushi & Spirits offers a team of highly trained sushi chefs that are sure to impress! Fresh cut sushi rolls, sashimi of the top quality paired with sake, Japanese spirits and more make for the perfect evening with friends. The Grand Hyatt covers all bases when it comes to a luxury vacation resort. From 12,000 square feet of retail shops to an incredibly long list of activities that are way too long to list, an awardwinning spa to one of the top golf courses in all of Hawaii one thing is guaranteed, you are in for the vacation of a lifetime! 125


Travel the World From Dubai to Brazil discover your inner explorer with these travel spots we suggest you add to your bucket list ASAP.

126 Burj ENDLESS SUMMER Dubai 2016 LA TRAVEL The Khalifa,


Sognefjord, Norway


The Leaning Tower of Pisa Tuscany, Italy

The Twelve Apostles Victoria, Australia


Copacabana Beach Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


"My Soul is Tuned to the Quietness, Peace and Stillness That Nature Inspires.." -Shikoba

PUCHASE TICKETS AT LATRAVELMAGAZINE.COM/TOW


2019

Taste

OF THE WORLD ROLLING HILLS COUNTRY CLUB

MAY 19, 2019 PUCHASE TICKETS AT LATRAVELMAGAZINE.COM/TOW

Food & Wine Connoisseurs unite as the top chefs from Southern California come together in Los Angeles for a worldly experience that will excite both your senses and taste buds. Only a few lucky guests will be able to partake in this very private and exclusive event so get your tickets early! Join us for an afternoon of Internationally inspired food and beverage from some of Southern California’s most prominent chefs and mixologists. Sample all of their creative dishes and then vote for your favorite at the end of the event. Enjoy live International performances and music, Wine Tasting and Specialty Cocktails.


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Los Angeles Travel Magazine 2019 Spring-Summer Issue  

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