Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa

Casa Madrona

I just got back from dropping my son off at University of Missouri. He’s a freshman, and it’s a 101/2 hour drive from Birmingham, so I honestly thought today was Tuesday. It’s Thursday (as you know), and I am trying to cheer myself up from being sad that he’s gone, so I wanted to share one of my favorite newest, coolest travel finds in Sausalito perfect for girlfriends, family and romance. Happy Thursday Travel!

A look inside Casa Madrona Hotel in Spa  It’s more amazing in person!

What’s New in Nantucket

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I have never been to Nantucket, but I know where I want to stay! The Nantucket, the island’s only luxury all-season destination resort which in January 2015 will unveil an entirely new wing of five Cottage Guest Suites.  The new wing suites, designed by Kevin O’Brien, will have a glamorous yet breezy coastal living vibe- the inspiration is a classic and aspirational beach home but with a twist.

The hotel is very geared up to wellness and will shortly launch The Art of Cabin Fever later this month until Spring 2015 – designed to bringing mind & body together through a cozy hunker down and hibernation program including everything from specially tailored massages in the boutique spa, mediation classes, daily yoga, heated outdoor hot tub with detox cocktails, healthy fondue by the outdoor fire pits, a fully stocked library in each room with specialist book recommendations, luxurious Marine Mer Sea bath experiences, an appointment with a nutritionist etc. It’s a unique take on the ever popular digital detox, perfect for guests to contemplate the year ahead and for mastering the art of mindfulness!

Lastly Spring will see the launch of “Sea For Yourself”- a one-of-kind island hopping experience for guests between The Nantucket hotel and the sister island resort (same owners) on Martha’s Vineyard, Winnetu Oceanside  – so guests can visit both properties and islands within the one trip.

This week is the famous island Christmas Stroll (Dec 4-7). With it’s seasonal fall and winter activities, off season is the ideal time to visit Nantucket free from the crowds and at a great price – discounted rates start at $175/night on weekdays and $350/night on weekends. While the exterior is classic Nantucket 1891, the nautical chic interiors feature all the modern conveniences to enjoy breezy coastal living.

6 Must Resorts for National Yoga Month

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September is National Yoga Month, and here is a list of the 6 relaxing destinations to enjoy and channel your inner yogi. From Mexico to New England, here are 6 must resorts to put on your list!

 Tower23 in Pacific Beach, California is a luxury boutique, oceanfront property in San Diego, is excited to announce a brand new partnership with lululemon athletica, La Jolla for National Yoga Month. Throughout the month of September, Tower23 will host Sunset Yoga Sessions every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on the boutique hotel’s Tower Deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean. After achieving yogi bliss, guests are invited to enjoy healthy cocktails while mingling and watching the sunset at the hotel’s signature restaurant, JRDN. Space is limited and reservations are recommended. Donations are encouraged, with each session sponsoring a different cause:

For more information on Sunset Yoga Sessions, visit: http://www.t23hotel.com/events.

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Keystone Resort , Keystone, CO offers mountaintop yoga with spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. The mind-body practice begins with a scenic gondola ride to the top of Dercum Mountain with breathtaking views of the 10-mile mountain range and clean, clear air. Then, a certified yoga instructor leads the discussion of the benefits of yoga along with an hour-long class for an unforgettable experience that refreshes and rejuvenates the spirit, body and mind. Good through September 13, 2014; beginning at $25 / person

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Vanderbilt Grace, the historical mansion turned luxe boutique property in Newport, RI, offers Full MoonYoga on the roof of the property. The class will be offered at midnight during each full moon for $15 on September 8th. The experience of yoga in the open air and under the full moon helps guest deepen their breath and connect to nature. Vanderbilt Grace includes 33 rooms and suites, and sumptuous spa and two restaurants including Muse by Jonathan Cartwright.

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Mayflower Grace, a Relais & Cheateaux New England Getaway nestled on 58 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and woodlands in Washington, CT, offers full moon guided meditation and yoga on full moon days from April to October. The property includes an award-winning 20,000 sq. ft. spa, newly refreshed rooms and two restaurants including the new fine dining restaurant by Chef Jonathan Cartwright, Muse.

  • Full Moon Guided Meditation:  Let us take you on a restful journey as we welcome Grandmother Moon.  Surround yourself with the scents and sounds of the night world in this totally unique, deeply relaxing, multi-sensory journey.  Comfortable clothing suggested. Complimentary to in-house guests on night of full moon.  Private session available for $110, plus tax and service charge. 45 minutes. From 7pm.
  • Moon Salutation Yoga: Please join us in welcoming the full moon with Chandra Namaskar, the Moon Salutation.  This beautiful, rejuvenating  ritual is appropriate for all levels. Complimentary to in-house guests on night of full moon.

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Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, MX is the original “fitness resort” and spa welcomes some 140 guests each week to its 3,000 private acres of gardens, mountains and meadows in Baja California, Mexico. All facilities and land are for the exclusive use of guests who come for an entire week, Saturday to Saturday, or partial-week stays of three or four nights. It’s a unique escape for women and men offering over 80 fitness classes including TRX, yoga, pilates and advanced hiking trails as well as spa treatments and therapeutic sessions. In addition to fitness and spa experiences, the Ranch offers daily lectures and workshops to inspire guests. Yoga first soared in popularity at Rancho La Puerta and throughout North America almost simultaneously. Although there were many sources of new yoga programs in the United States in the mid-20th century, leader Indra Devi (whom many credit as being the most influential yoga teacher of the time) was at the Ranch as well as their sister spa, the Golden Door. She even opened her own yoga retreat center next door to Rancho La Puerta. Rancho La Puerta offers a variety of yoga classes including Restorative Yoga, Yoga/Fundamentals Level One and Two, and Yoga Sculpt.  In addition, Specialty Weeks at the Ranch are offered year-round, featuring visiting guest speakers, talented performers and workshop leaders—authors, politicians, musicians, artists, MDs and other leaders in their fields — to present afternoon learning experiences and evening lectures. The Ranch also offers unique fitness retreats covering a wide range of exercise specialties led by fitness enthusiasts from all over the world. Examples include:

Yoga for Health and Wellness in September 2014 – A series of yoga classes offering yoga for insomnia, low back pain, digestion and more. Guests will learn about the common tips for a better night sleep, increase mobility and manage pain, and how to keep the body flowing.

Iyengar Yoga in October 2014 – The series will start at the guest’s level of ability and build from there. Through a systematic progression of poses guests’ abilities will develop over time, encouraging confidence and commitment.

Yoga for Every B.O.D.Y. in November 2014 – This dynamic mother and daughter have been co-teaching yoga, meditation, and guided hikes in Aspen, Colorado, where both reside, for the past 10 years. They have been featured in Forbes Magazine, Aspen Peak Magazine, Yoga Journal, Gaiam Catalogues, Healthy Planet, and Elephant Magazineamong other publications. River (ERYT-500) is a third generation yogini, who blends her dance, GYROKINESIS® exercise and somatic therapy with an alignment-based vinyasa flow that caters to all levels of practitioners. She has been teaching dance and yoga for over 18 years.  Shayne has a background in Rolfing, massage therapy and Iyengar Yoga, in which she has integrated a therapeutic approach that makes yoga accessible to all ages and body types. Join Yoga for Every B.O.D.Y. and witness your practice flourish and evolve no matter what your level of experience is.

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THE MODERN HONOLULU, Honolulu, HI  just announced their next date for their Glow Flow Yoga event as part of the hotel’s Modern Yogi series. This is the event that took place in the hotel’s popular nightclub (frequented by the likes of RiRi) which features a ceiling covered in 40,000 lightbulbs. Aside from the black lights, the venue will be packed with neon painted yogis doing their best asanas.

Inside THE MODERN HONOLULU’s exclusive ADDICTION Nightclub, yogis can experience a modern take on the traditional yoga class with Glow Flow Yoga Event on Saturday, September 13, beginning at 6 p.m. with a welcome reception followed by yoga at 7 p.m. Glow Flow Yoga hosted by THE MODERN in partnership with Power Yoga Hawaii is a black light yoga class where yogis get zen by painting their faces with in glow-in-the-dark paint for a yoga experience unlike any other. Tickets to the event are $30 and are available for pre-sale only at: www.poweryogahawaii.com.

New Kids Spa Program in Puerto Rico

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Catering to its youngest spa go-ers, El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort and Las Casitas Village, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, both in Puerto Rico, introduce “Ki’ Spa,” a kids spa program designed specifically for children featuring signature spa offerings and new kid-friendly products.  Derived from the Taino word meaning “Earth Spirit,” the Ki’ spa program introduces children to healthy living practices, while pampering them with the freshest products and local ingredients.

Children’s spa offerings available now at the resort include:

  • My Time! – A 25-minute signature massage using a special blend of massage oil containing coconut oil, avocado oil, and Vitamin E. The massage focuses on the back, neck and shoulders to help relax the body. Afterwards, children are treated to a 25-minute signature facial using Eminence Organic Skin Care.
  • I Am Glowing! – A mini-version of the resort’s most popular Tropical Spa Ritual – the Coconut Sugar Scrub, featuring a sweet sugar scrub with cold pressed coconut oil to buff and polish the skin’s surface. Followed by a 25-minute signature massage using the resort’s very own blend of massage oil containing coconut oil, avocado oil, and Vitamin E.
  • Mommy or Daddy & Me Luxury Time! – Parents can share the fun experience of the spa with their children by selecting from the ‘My Time!’ or ‘Am Glowing!’ packages above to be enjoyed together at the same time in the same suite.

In addition to new spa offerings, Ki’ Spa presents two new kids collections of spa products –Essence for Life Kids and Tai Kids. With products such as “Triple Chocolate Layer Soap,” “Banana Massage Lotion,” and “Orange Swirl Massage Oil,” children can pamper themselves to products designed to treat common skin conditions, such as dry patches and boo-boos as well as allergies and colds. They can also select from aromatherapy roll ons, which are ideal for daily use before bed, and before or after school.

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Inspired by Wimbledon? Fabulous Tennis Hotels

 

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The start of Wimbledon this month is sure to see many tune in to see fellow Brit Andy Murray try to retain his coveted 2013 Championship title after becoming the first British man to win the tournament in 77 years. The Wimbledon Championship, held annually at the All England Club in London since 1877, is the world’s oldest tennis tournament and widely considered the most prestigious. It is one of four Grand Slam tennis events, along with the Australian, French and US Open, and is the only Major still played on grass, the game’s original surface.

The tournament is a highlight in the British sporting calendar. Every year the nation embraces the Wimbledon spirit, whether it’s queuing for hours to get a ticket for ‘Henman Hill’, eating strawberries and cream or dusting off rackets and hitting some balls in the park. Whether it’s a week’s private tuition, the chance to go head to head in tournaments, or to simply enjoy a few friendly games in the sun, venture further than a local tennis club this summer and book a holiday inspired by its tennis.

Sani Beach Club, Halkidiki, Greece

The new sports complex near to the Sani Beach Hotel features six floodlit clay courts and qualified tennis instructors who offer professional coaching for groups and individuals, as well as organising guest tournaments and equipment hire. There is the option to buy partner courses or family packages and for children there is a teen programme and a kids camp.

 The five star Sani Beach Club. The price starts from £1,579 per family of three. The offer includes a complimentary upgrade to full board, an exclusive free child place and seven nights in a Garden View Bungalow, based on a departure date of 20 October 2014. Price includes return flights from London Gatwick with Easyjet, airport lounge access and private resort transfers.

Sheraton Algarve Hotel, Albufeira, Portugal

The Sheraton Algarve Hotel is home to the Pine Cliffs Tennis Academy which features five floodlit courts located in beautifully landscaped grounds of the hotel. The Academy is run by a team of qualified tennis professionals who can arrange matches for solo players as well as clinics for guests of all ages and skill levels. All players are offered a free consultation on the right equipment for their style of play and stringing services are available.

Sovereign is offering a saving of up to £483 on a holiday for two to the five star Sheraton Algarve Hotel. The price starts from £999 per person for seven B&B in a Deluxe Room, based on July 9th departures, and includes a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate coated strawberries and an exclusive 20% accommodation discount,  return flights from Manchester with Monarch, airport lounge access and private resort transfers. 

InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort, Paphos, Cyprus

The InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort is home to the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy, which has nine floodlit tennis courts and offers a range of private coaching and group lessons to suit adults and juniors of all levels. The pro shop stocks the latest equipment and apparel from sponsors Nike and Wilson and there is a 24 hour re-stringing service

Sovereign is offering a saving of up to £1,276 on a family holiday to the InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort. The price starts from £3,845 per family of four and includes an exclusive free child place, a complimentary upgrade to half board, a second child stays free offer (3-17 years), UK airport lounge access, private resort transfers and seven nights in a Junior Suite. Based on 26 August 2014 departure, the price includes return flights from London Gatwick with Thomas Cook

Hotel Jardin Tecina, La Gomera

This five star luxury hotel features four floodlit tennis courts which can be reserved for guests by the hour. The hotel also offers professional tennis courses for adults and children for those who fancy working on their serve. Sovereign is offering a saving of over £330 and a complimentary upgrade to half board on a holiday for two to the five star Hotel Jardin Tecina. The price starts from just £895 per person for seven nights, based on a departure date of 14 September 2014 and includes ferry transfers from Tenerife, return flights from Birmingham with Thomson, airport lounge access and private resort transfers.

Why to Travel To Keystone Colorado

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As the snow continues to melt and spring fades into summer, Keystone Resort officially kicks off the season June 13 with a variety of outdoor adventures designed for families and friends who want an authentic Rocky Mountain getaway. With temperatures rarely exceeding 75 degrees and opportunities for summer entertainment available around every corner, guests at Keystone Resort can play, stay and explore while enjoying an effortlessly healthy and active vacation. Here are just a few reasons to travel to Keystone Colorado this summer:

Women Mountain Biking at Keystone

Active Outdoor Activities

Planning a vacation that gets family and friends moving is easy at Keystone. Whether guests are ready to tackle a 2000 calorie burner hike or seek new adventures with a “Bike 101 Downhill Mountain Bike Clinic,” active adventures are available daily on-and-off the mountain. Also, with two world-class golf courses, indoor and outdoor tennis facilities and challenging mountain roads perfect for running, walking or biking, Keystone offers outdoor pursuits designed for any active lifestyle. I am ready!!

Serenity in the Mountains

For those looking to escape the hectic pace of everyday life, Keystone offers a variety of peaceful wellness opportunities devoted to mind, body and spirit. Whether partaking in a mountaintop yoga class at 11,640’, stand-up paddle boarding on Keystone’s five-acre lake, horseback riding through the Arapahoe Nation Forest or hiking among aspen groves, the resort’s breathtaking mountain vistas and pursuits are meant to inspire and excite while guests connect to the more important things in life. Sounds so amazing!!

Indulge and Refresh

After a long day of fast-paced adventures or channeling ones inner Zen, Keystone guests can visit the resort’s spa featuring over 10,000 square feet of amenities including a relaxation room, an outdoor heated pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, a eucalyptus steam room and a dry sauna, providing hours of peaceful serenity. Also, treat deserving muscles and melt stress away with specialized treatments such as a bliss facial and massage journey or coco-luscious body wrap with the Keystone Spa’s professional and experienced staff. Yes please!

Food to Nourish and Invigorate

After a day well-spent participating in a number of health-minded activities, prepare to sit back and enjoy a signature cocktail or health-conscious meal. Boasting three AAA four-diamond rated restaurants, award winning chefs and après decks with spectacular views, Keystone offers culinary experiences that are the perfect complement to any activity-filled day. Plus, Keystone’s Chefs are proud to provide meals that utilize locally-sourced proteins, fresh produce and are always created with the finest natural ingredients. Whether enjoying Colorado brews on the Village patio of 9280’ Taphouse, cocktails and appetizers river-side at the quaint Ski Tip restaurant, which ranks among Open Table’s Top 100, or savoring a local game-inspired meal at the historic Keystone Ranch, the resort’s culinary offerings are a palate enticing experience. And with such action-packed days, savoring a delicious dessert can be a well-deserved treat.

Rest and Relax at an Affordable Rate

With more than 800 accommodation options, Keystone offers lodging for every size group and budget. Reconnect in a comfortable condo with the “Rocky Mountain Getaway” package and receive incredible rates when staying five or more nights, or create new memories with friends and family when booking the “Choose Your Own Adventure” package for discounted lodging and à la carte activity options—perfect for shared experiences and individual adventures. Whether staying in the heart of River Run Village, or escaping to a creek side condo, guests will enjoy amenity-packed options complete with full kitchens, barbecues, decks, balconies and hot tubs with mountain views. Plus, with any two or more night stay Keystone lodging guests will receive “Play for Free,” including free scenic lift tickets for children 12 and under, a free guided hike, a free yoga class and free nine holes of golf after 4 p.m.

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Why to Travel to Travel Malia: Travel Tuesday

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Malia is one of the most popular destinations in Crete, and this charming town is situated at the base of Mount Selena. Malia holidays are all about having fun and partying in a beach setting. This part of the world is blessed with endless sunny days, perfect for summertime.

Beautiful beaches

Sun worshippers will find plenty of stunning beaches to choose from in Malia. The main beach is very close to the heart of the town, while several high end hotels and resorts also line the golden sand. Sun Beach is another popular stretch of sand that features plenty of amenities including a children’s pool. Other gorgeous stretches of sand in and around Malia include Potamos Beach and Tropical Beach.

 Historical attractions

Malia boasts a large number of interesting historical attractions that are just waiting to be discovered. The historical church of Agioi Pantes is set on and islet near the town and can be reached by boat from Malia’s main beach. Visiting this charming church is an experience that should not be missed, while the boat trip offers visitors the opportunity to see Malia in a different way.

The town also features a large archaeological site, which is situated near Potamos Beach. This ancient site features several collections of ancient artefacts as well as displays that offer an insight into the area’s rich history and culture. Old Town is packed with buildings that date back several centuries and wandering along the narrow lanes that wind their way through Old Town is an enchanting experience.

Vibrant nightlife

Visitors who really want to let their hair down after dark will find plenty of places to play in Malia. Traditional tavernas are great places to warm up at the start of the evening before heading to Dimokratias Street. This vibrant street is malia’s main nightlife hub and visitors will find a large selection of different types of venues here from trendy cafes to local bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

Of course, this is just a small selection of what Malia has to offer. The setting here is extremely romantic, which makes Malia a popular destination among couples on their honeymoon. The area boasts several luxurious resorts where visitors can unwind in style.

(This post is in collaboration with Julie Brooks)

5 Unexpected Spa Experiences

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Looking for new spa experiences in your travels? Resorts are getting more creative and offering unique new spa menu items to promote healing, personal growth, relaxation, balance and even life challenges. From New York to Thailand, here are 5 unexpected spa treatments that will keep you wanting more than a massage or facial.

1. Cornelia Spa at The Surrey, New York, NY
The long and frigid winter has begun to weigh on our minds and bodies as we wait for Spring. Rise out of this seasonal blue spirit with energy healer Diane Goldner at Cornelia Spa at The Surrey. Goldner is part of the spa’s innovative Experts in Residence Program, bringing celebrated experts in varying field into the spa in early April. A master in her field and handpicked by Cornelia Spa, Goldner brings exclusive New York access to her highly regarded services to address issues associated with insomnia, chronic illness and life challenges which are commonly flared up during the colder seasons. Together with the guest, the healer will set an intention for healing and gently run healing energy into the body. Guests also have the option to add-on a Cornelia treatment to extend the healing experience with Goldner.

2. Regent Palms, Turks & Caicos
Regent Palms Turks & Caicos is home to an award winning Spa at Regent Palms, named World’s Best several years in a row, with 18 treatment bungalows and innovative East meets West inspired treatments. For spring, Regent Palms unveiled its new Bath Room. This never-before-used-room features a deep soaking tub with mood music and lighting that rhythmically dances alongside the music for a meditative experience. One new treatment in the Bath Room is the Detox Seaweed Leaf Bath: This seaweed bath utilizes organic hand-harvested seaweed by Voya to moisturize the skin, increase circulation and promote healing.

3. L’Auberge de Sedona, Sedona, AZ
In May 2014, L’Auberge de Sedona will be debuting L’Apothecary at the spa, a place for guests and Arizona visitors to draw upon the destination’s rich bounty of healing botanicals and fragrant herbs and flowers. L’Apothecary will offer the ingredients and supplies for guests to concoct and design their own bath salts, body scrubs, oils and masques with an abundant offering of elements found in Sedona, including rosemary, clay, piñon pine, juniper and more.

4. Royal Palms Resort & Spa, Phoenix, AZ
The Dehp ® Enrichment Spa Experience at Alvadora Spa is a unique spa treatment, which unlocks your bodies, own innate intelligence to process and integrate stored experiences, promotes a sense of deep well being, and assists you in your personal growth and development. The session is delivered in a luxury spa room/suite which includes the Dehp ® integrative technique, balancing massage and essential oils. The Dehp® Experience brings relaxation to a whole new level, allowing guests to reflect upon their experience in a luxury spa room/suite following their treatment, and will leave them will a sense of clarity and balance.

5 Paresa Resort, Phuket, Thailand
The Spa by PARESA in Kamala offers a heavenly sanctuary inspired by Thai ancient healing. The Paresa Spa features 5 double treatments suites with soothing baths and steam showers and after treatments, guests can spend time relaxing on their private balconies over looking the sunset on the Andaman Sea. As an alternative to the treatment table, former Buddhist Monk and celebrated wellness mentor Nikorn Banjerdlert offers the following services at The Spa by Paresa:

Reiki & Energy Healing – By combining the universal energy of Reiki Healing together with the intuitive skills and direct methods of energy healing, Nikorn channels a powerful healing effect into the energy bodies of your being. No discussion of symptoms or ailments is needed as the Reiki energy naturally flows to where it is needed, activating the body’s innate ability to self-heal. Through the simply laying-on of hands, Reiki Energy Healing will help to harmonize body, mind and spirit and is a powerful tool to allow our bodies time to tune in, relax and heal, leaving you with feelings of profound peace and well-being.

Meditation and Mind Detox – Nikorn will share his knowledge and experience of this secret which has existed for over 2,500 years from the foundation of Buddhism. With exercises and techniques which are applicable to everyone, from any religion and any cultural background, Nikorn will help you to go within in order to find ultimate truth and clarity.

“Fix Me” – Simply tell Nikorn how are you feeling and he will do the rest by combining all the therapies and tools he has learned over the years: meditation, reiki, energy healing, affirmations, visualization and self-help techniques.