Diamonds and Disneyland?

Disneyland

Disneyland and Diamonds? Doesn’t that have a fabulous ring to it? The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration begins Friday, May 22, 2015, celebrating 60 years of Disney magic with three new nighttime spectaculars, dazzling decor and an exciting sweepstakes that will award authentic diamonds and one-of-a-kind prizes to some lucky guests!

Nighttime will glitter as never before with three, sensational shows that expand the 60-year tradition of innovative and immersive storytelling: the brilliant, high-energy “Paint the Night” parade and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular at Disneyland Park, and the all-new “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” at Disney California Adventure Park. In “World of Color – Celebrate!,” Mickey Mouse and award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris will tell the story of Walt Disney and the Happiest Place on Earth with film, animation, music and spectacular fountains.

The electrifying new shows will premiere during a 24-hour party that inaugurates the Diamond Celebration, from 6 a.m. Friday, May 22, until 6 a.m. Saturday, May 23, 2015, local time.*

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Disneyland Diamond Days** – an exciting sweepstakes – will award daily and weekly prizes as part of the Diamond Celebration. Weekly prizes include a one-carat, authentic diamond, custom engraved for Disney, paired with a stay in the Disneyland Dream suite; a clear, crystal Cinderella slipper, with a diamond-and-topaz pendant, and private experiences in the park such as a party in Fantasyland or a romantic cruise aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat. The available prize will vary each week. Daily prizes also will be awarded during the Diamond Celebration, and each daily prize package for that day includes an individualized tour of the parks with dining, preferred access to select attractions, and VIP viewing at some of the dazzling, new nighttime spectaculars.  Daily prize winners must be present on the Disneyland Resort premises at the time of entry and at the time of prize redemption in order to be able to enjoy these special experiences and theme park admission is not necessary to enter or win the sweepstakes.

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Innovation Inspires Exciting Future

The Diamond Celebration continues this tradition with three fantastic new shows that expand the boundaries of after-dark entertainment – Disney’s signature “kiss goodnight.

1. “Paint the Night” parade – When the lights go down in Disneyland, the Diamond Celebration illuminates the park with a brilliant, new parade. The luminescent parade creates a river of color flowing down Main Street, U.S.A., with an array of Disney characters and more than 1.5 million brilliant LED lights that flash and glow as Mickey Mouse uses his vivid imagination to “Paint the Night.” With dazzling special effects, unforgettable music, energetic performances, fun surprises and spectacular floats, “Paint the Night” is more vibrant than any parade in 60 years at the Disneyland Resort.

2. “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular – The dazzling new fireworks show, “Disneyland Forever,” is a street-to-sky, immersive experience like nothing seen before at the Disneyland Resort. Guests will be surrounded by the worlds of timeless Disney tales, from the tips of their toes to the sky high above, thanks to the largest installation of projection mapping technology in a Disney park and surprising special effects. One minute they will be standing on Main Street, U.S.A., and the next they could be stampeding across Simba’s Pride Lands, dancing with King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” traveling “Under the Sea” with the Little Mermaid, flying over London with Peter Pan, dripping in honey with Pooh in a whimsical dream of heffalumps and woozles, or quivering as Queen Elsa brings a glimmering blanket of snow over Disneyland.

3. “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” – Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris will join Mickey Mouse on a magical water canvas to entertain guests in this fun-filled new presentation of the popular, nighttime “World of Color” spectacular in Disney California Adventure. Both epic and intimate in scope, “World of Color – Celebrate!” brings to life the remarkable story of Walt and The Happiest Place on Earth with animated imagery, live-action film, fountains, lasers, special effects and a stirring musical score.

Entertainment, Dining and Shopping Experiences Add to the Celebration

During the Diamond Celebration, guests will be invited to become part of the musical magic, singing, dancing and marching along with resort performers such as the Disneyland Band, Dapper Dans, Red Car News Boys, Straw Hatters and Five & Dime. The after-dark “Mad T Party” will return to Disney California Adventure as a dazzling new “Diamond Mad T Party,” featuring sparkling new decor, interactive fun, dancing and delectable food and drink.

Restaurants and food carts in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will offer new drinks and cupcakes specially created for the Diamond Celebration.  More than 500 special merchandise items have been created for the Diamond Celebration, including apparel, accessories, art, collectibles, headwear, home décor, jewelry, pins, souvenirs, toys and more. Additional information about the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration will be shared in the coming months at www.Disneyland.com and www.DisneyParksBlog.com. If you didn’t have an excuse to go, now  you do. Let’s get on a plane to California!

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Luxurious Winter Spa Treatments

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With the colder months upon us, what better way for travelers to warm up and replenish their dry skin than with enriching spa treatments. From a sugar polish in Hawaii to seasonal spa treatments found around the world, here are some of my top recommendations for luxury winter spa treatments:

Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay, Lana’i, HI

The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay recently unwrapped a new look earlier this year with the refurbishment of all treatment rooms and great room featuring a clean, contemporary design incorporating natural wood found throughout the islands materials reflecting the hues and tones found on Lanai, anchored by distinctive Hawaiian artwork. A new menu just launched last month highlights a number of Hawaiian influenced treatments as well as a new range of well-being sessions, including the Macadamia Sugar Polish, a body scrub of ground macadamia nuts, grown abundantly on the Hawaiian islands, blended with pure Hawaiian cane sugar. Dull skin is gently exfoliated, releasing a glow that is felt both inside and out. Then, complete the experience with a virgin coconut oil full-body massage. 80 minutes | $240.

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Chill Spa at Hotel Terra

The elegant, intimate Chill Spa floats six floors off the ground, on the top floor of Hotel Terra Jackson Hole.  Designed with crisp fresh colors and light airy textures, Chill Spa includes six treatment rooms with vaulted ceilings, including a couples treatment room with a picture window, a deep soaking Jacuzzi and gas fireplace. This winter, guests can enjoy these festive treatments to celebrate the holiday season.

Organic Cranberry & Chocolate Hydrating Body Wrap 50 Minutes/$140

Enjoy an a festive cranberry sugar scrub to kick winter skin and indulge with a hydrating chocolate wrap.

Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illuminating Facial 80 Minutes $220

See anti-aging results with an enzymatic exfoliation and a natural peel featuring a powerful blend of arctic berries. Naturally-derived peptides finish the treatment with an illuminating glow!

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Solitude Spa at Teton Mountain Lodge

Named after one of Grand Teton National Park’s most spectacular high alpine lakes, Lake Solitude, Solitude Spa offers a great selection of experiential spa services to delight the mind, sooth the soul and enliven the spirit. With its tranquility lounge, steam showers, hot tubs and state-of-the-art fitness center, Solitude is a great place to indulge in their two winter exclusive spa treatments.

Solitude Spa is hosting a holiday celebration filled with champagne, complimentary skincare solutions featuring Naturopathica, giveaways, retail discounts, complimentary facility use, and Farm House Fresh Foot Massages on December 13 from 3:00pm – 6:00pm.

Gingerbread Body Scrub 45 Minutes $145

Your body will be treated to an intoxicating brown sugar polish to exfoliate and revive winter skin leaving the scent of gingersnap-bourbon behind.  The treatment is concluded with a thorough skin quenching house made product.

Vanilla Peppermint Mani Pedi Service

Enjoy a dreamy dip into a whole milk soak infused with chicory root and sweet almond oil followed by an invigorating vanilla peppermint salt scrub to buff away winter woes.  Once polished and smooth, enjoy a velvety buttercream shea butter massage finished with a color of your choice.

Manicure 45 Minutes $60

Pedicure 60 Minutes $8

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L’Auberge de Sedona – Sedona, AZ

Guests and spa lovers alike can warm up and ward off the winter blues with the Winter Blessings Body Scrub at L’Apothecary Spa, a newly designed space for hotel guests and Arizona visitors to blend their own custom body care products and experience spa treatments that draw upon the destination’s rich bounty of healing botanicals, fragrant herbs and flowers. With Orange Peel, Cedar Leaf, Cinnamon, Cloves and a choice of either Clove or Tangerine Essential Oil, the Winter Blessings Body Scrub will keep colds away with antiseptic properties as well as many antioxidants to help boost the immune system.

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Twin Farms – Barnard, Vermont

As the cold winter months approach,Twin Farms, the only five-star resort in Vermont, offers guests the perfect escape and spa treatment with a new Winter Wellness Package. Set amidst 300 acres of meadows and woodlands, the all-inclusive Relais & Chateaux property will provide guests who purchase this specialty package daily yoga classes, group hike/snowshoe trips, cooking demonstrations with award-winning Executive Chef Nathan Rich, breakfast juice bar and healthy in-room amenities. Twin Farms will be providing each guest who books the Winter Wellness package with a pair of “winter wellies,” complimentary Hunter Boots in their requested color (red, black, navy or green) and size in-room upon arrival to explore around the expansive property. Guests who reserve one of Twin Farms whimsical cottages tucked away in the property’s secluded woodlands can choose from a private yoga session or a Tata Harper facial in addition to the other wellness offerings. The Winter Wellness Package is offered during the following selected dates: (1/4-1/13, 2/1-2/10, 3/1-3/17). All-inclusive package rates start at $1,450/night.

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Paresa Resort – Phuket, Thailand

Paresa Resort, the hideaway-style luxury pool villa and pool suite resort perched on the cliffs of Kamala amongst a lush tropical forest in Phuket Thailand, is the perfect destination to reset the mind and body. Paresa boasts breathtaking views of the dramatic indigo Andaman sea, embracing the exclusivity of its natural surroundings. A world-class sanctuary inspired spa provides the ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation with unique and regionally-inspired experiences for ultimate restoration and purification of the senses. Paresa Resort offers a winter spa treatment, Dead Sea Salt Scrub, to remove the dead skin cells from the harsh winter climate to reveal younger looking, smooth skin and improve skin hydration by nourishing the skin with the essential minerals. The treatment lasts 45 minutes and is 2,300++THB.

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Half Moon– Montego Bay, Jamaica 

Half Moon is a 400-acre luxury resort located on Jamaica’s North Coast, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The resort features two miles of private, white-sand beach with 197 spacious rooms and suites. The AAA Four-Diamond resort has the only overwater bungalows in Jamaica; here, guests can get a couples massage looking out in to the ocean. It’s an incredible view and the sounds of the waves is really special.

The multi-award winning Fern Tree Spa, offers the perfect winter spa treatment, to hydrate and rejuvenate dry skin. The Coconut Milk and Honey Wrap uses intense hydrating coconut rich in vitamin E combined with the healing power of honey to nourish dry and chapped winter skin to leave skin with a healthy glow.

Five Reasons to Book A Colorado Ski Vacation Early

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It’s a common dilemma for vacationing families: Should they book their ski vacation early, or hold out with the hope of cashing in on a last minute bargain? I already have my reservations for February, and Colorado ski vacation planners agree, earlier is always better, and below are five reasons why.

1.) Budget-friendly Offers for Early Bookers

Ski areas are a lot like grandparents: They can’t wait to hear when guests are coming, and they want to know how many people they’re bringing with them. The resorts of Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) offer a slew of incentives for booking early, including discounted lift and lodging packages, and even promotions for saving money on airfare and travel.

Further savings can be had by working with resorts’ in-house vacation planning professionals. “The value of working with a local vacation expert at one of Colorado’s many central reservations operators can reap many rewards,” advises Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass. “They have access to inventory that may not exist online, and have relationships with the properties that no website or online travel agency could ever establish.  They have the ability to seek out holes that properties are looking to fill and can often negotiate special rates while over-riding minimum stay requirements for guests who are flexible, all while providing a personalized level of service that could never be emulated online.”

2.) Make a Down Payment on Family Fun

Ski areas operate much like airlines: The earlier the reservation, the better the bargain. Guests planning on an extended stay may save money by purchasing a season pass or other multi-day lift ticket product. Most ski areas offer the lowest price on a season pass and other lift ticket packages during the spring of the prior season, summer and fall months.

A few resorts even allow skiers and snowboarders to make a down payment on a season pass, locking in the lowest price of the season. Programs like this allow guests and their families several months to set aside money for the ski and snowboard vacation they’ve always dreamed of taking.

In addition, ski areas often offer season pass holders numerous additional incentives such as discounted lessons, equipment rentals, lodging packages, and even promotions with other local businesses.

Another way ski areas are like airlines is in the savings of online purchasing. Whether guests are looking for a season pass or a seven day pass, purchases made in advance and online will likely bring the greatest savings. Walking up to a ski resort lift ticket window to buy a multi day lift ticket starting that day would be like walking up to an airline counter and buying a plane ticket on the day of travel.

3.) The Early Bird Gets the Worm they Want

The more in advance guests book their ski vacation, the more choice they’ll have on lodging properties. It’s hard to find an unsuitable room at a ski area, but booking early means vacationers can request a room just a few steps from the slopes, or on a bus line, or an end unit. “Planning and booking your Colorado vacation lodging and activities such as lift tickets, lessons, equipment rental, child care, and tubing in advance will assure your activities are confirmed for the days and times you want and will often net substantial savings as well,” says Sue Neumann, director of Winter Park Central Reservations. 

Guests will also have more options for flight departure and arrival times and seating choices. By booking early, skiers and snowboarders can ensure they get a room in their favorite hotel, their kids are enrolled in lessons or day care, and they can even secure a reservation at their favorite restaurant.

4.) Vacation Timing Makes A Difference

For families with kids, vacations are normally predicated by school breaks and work holidays, so deciding when to take a ski trip is easy. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many other families also on school break and work holiday and who are also planning to visit the mountains during this same period.

To circumvent the masses, consider an off-peak ski vacation. There are certain times during the ski season when the perfect vacation is there for the taking,” says Jill Higgins, director of Crested Butte Vacations. “Early in the season, just after the New Year’s holiday, and late spring are all great times to come ski because any crowds are gone, snow is plentiful and options open up for flights and lodging at a great value.”

5.) Something the Whole Family Can Look Forward To

Having a Colorado ski vacation marked on the calendar is almost better than having presents under the tree. The whole family can savor the anticipation by counting the days until they are all sliding together in the Rocky Mountain splendor. “We make it easy for families by helping them arrange as many details ahead of time so they don’t have to think about it later,” says Tyler Silvernail, director of reservations at Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort. “We arrange everything from lodging, lessons and rentals, to childcare and dog sledding. The more activities booked in advance, the less hassle it is to plan last minute at the resort when activities may be already booked.”

In addition, by booking early guests leave themselves plenty of time to plan what they need to pack and what gear they might need. They also have time to research various destination options by reading reviews and browsing resort guides and websites. Colorado’s ski resorts encourage skiers and snowboarders across the globe to book their vacations now and put a picture of the ski area they plan to visit on their refrigerator to remind themselves and their families and friends of the good times to come.

For more information on Colorado ski vacation planning please visit:

·         www.ColoradoSki.com

·         www.Steamboat.com/Plan-your-trip/getting-here/steamboat-central-reservations.aspx

·         www.TellurideSkiResort.com/trip-planning

·         www.CopperColorado.com/winter/plan_and_buy

·         www.StayAspenSnowmass.com

·         www.WinterParkResort.com/plan-your-trip

·         www.SkiCB.com/plan-your-trip

·         www.DurangoMountainResort.com/bookyourvacation

 

Cool New Spa Treatments at Miraval

I am always looking for new trends in spa treatments, and Miraval Spa, in Tuscon, has some spectacular new experiences that are incredible healing emotionally and physically. Check out these 4 cool new spa treatments on my wish list:

Himalayan Sound Bath:

This new groundbreaking sound therapy treatment will tune your body into its natural state and create balance emotionally, mentally, and physically as the sound from these ancient healing bowls radiates profoundly through the water. This treatment will increase mental clarity, relieve stress, and decrease anxiety as you float effortlessly in the warm water of the therapeutic pool and surrender to the healing vibrations. You will feel more grounded and connected to the world around you.

Shuniya Sound Ceremony:

Shuniya Sound Healing Ceremony is a full body session that transforms your state of being emotionally, physically and spiritually. The ancient healing arts of Tibetan bowls, Kundulini yoga gong baths and tuning forks are masterfully combined with traditional Thai massage, Chi nei tsang and Shiatsu. Infused with sound and vibration, your body will become energetically balanced as the spirit is harmonically brought into a deep state of healing. This ceremony creates an anchor to the memory of well-being, initiating a deep inner stillness and reconnecting the mind, body and soul. This deeply centering experience will help you attain optimal health, clarity and serenity.

Tibetan Chakra Balancing:

This session will surround you with the healing sounds and vibrations of the Tibetan bowls and the cleansing power of the symphonic gongs. Master Practitioner, Pamela Lancaster, brings the ability to hold sacred space including a heightened level of consciousness and spiritual awareness of self. Through this experience, you learn to live with a deeper wisdom and reconnect with your true nature.

Floating Meditation:

Enjoy the pleasure of being suspended from the ceiling in a nurturing yoga hammock while your mind is gently guided into a relaxed state. Experience the calming benefits of induced meditation while you are gently rocked to the soothing vibrations of crystal bowls. Release your mind’s stress, tension or worry while you “float” weightlessly in a silk hammock. See more on Miraval. Phone number is (800) 232-3969.

Treatments are by Pam Lancaster who has over 18 years of experience in the fields of holistic healing, spiritual counseling, and integrative medicine to her practice. She brings forth a newfound sense of self-awareness in each client, empowering others to heal disconnections, traumas or blocks that are impeding the highest expression of their soul and personal well-being. This healing approach guides you to reclaim the truth of your body and awaken its innate healing abilities.