Villa Buena Onda: Luxury and Privacy on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast

Villa Buena OndaSome places you enjoy while you are there. Other destinations stay with you long after you have come home. Villa Buena Onda is one of those places that does both.

We arrived at dusk, happy to see Villa Buena Onda on the hill above the road. VBO, as locals call it, is an adults-only boutique hotel with eight spacious, well-appointed guest rooms. The hotel is ideal for couples who want a quiet get away in a low key setting or for families and friends who want a house where they can be together for an extended stay.

After a long drive, we had dinner, unpacked, settled into our room and called it an early night. We pulled the curtains shut, set the air conditioning to a comfortable temperature, climbed into bed and quickly fell asleep.

We slept through the night and awakened much later than we usually do. First thing we did when we got out of the comfortable bed was to pull back the curtains so we could see if there was a view.

We walked onto the balcony outside our room. It might have rained last night because the air smelled fresh and clean. We

Collection Baglioni, A Special Way to Experience Italy

Relais Santa CroceItaly abounds with gorgeous five-star hotels, yet, most are either international brands or run by outside management companies. Not so with Baglioni Hotels.

This family-owned and operated luxury hotel group has mastered the art of welcoming guests into founder Roberto Polito’s extended family.

After years in the hotel business, Polito went out on his own in 1974 with a single property in the Italian port town of Punta Ala in Tuscany. Named Hotel Cala del Porto (now Baglioni Hotel Cala del Porto), this five-star hotel and Relais & Châteaux property was the childhood home of Polito’s children, including his son, Guido, who now helps manage the company from his home in Milan.

“Guests really perceive that there is a soul behind the brand,” says Guido Polito, referring to the six properties in Italy, two in France, and one in the U.K. “We select our staff first based on their attitude and then skills because you can always teach skills, but not an attitude. It’s important the staff feel passionate about the brand and share our values,” he continues, “which is to treat guests in an authentic, friendly and caring way.”

Indeed, all the properties exude a warm,

A Visit to the Los Cabos International Film Festival

The Boca Raton Resort & ClubCelebrities come and go from Los Cabos on a regular basis making it a favorite A-list vacation hotspot like St. Bart’s, Aspen and St. Tropez. But the glamour factor intensifies during the annual Los Cabos International Film Festival each November.

Described as the “Cannes of Latin America,” the program curated by the Festival’s team gathers the most outstanding features from the world’s most important film festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Toronto, and Berlin, just to name a few, and presents the world’s best films to Mexico.

This year’s festival attracted Hollywood heavy hitters Liam Neeson, Jared Leto, and Ewan McGregor who was presented with the 2015 Protagonist Award for Excellence in Acting at the closing night ceremony. The four gala evenings from November 11-14th included screenings of ‘Demolition’ starring Jake Gyllenhaal, ‘Carol’ starring Cate Blanchett, ‘Remember’ starring Christopher Plummer, and ‘Steve Jobs’ starring Michael Fassbender.

The backdrop of the festival is the Cabo San Lucas marina filled with glimmering yachts including Kismet, one of the world’s most expensive, owned by billionaire Shahid Khan (owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars) and Ocean Blue owned by Tommy Hilfiger. All the glitz and glamour is here

Save Money and Add Adventure this Holiday Season

With the holiday season just around the corner, you find yourself hard pressed to choose a holiday best suited to your needs and desire for adventure. You chose to visit the usual places last year, and those tourist filled attractions caused more stress and frustration than fun. Rather than set yourself up for another predictable trip, consider the benefits and adventure brought with the choice of cycling. From the wine trails of Provence to the cities of the Czech Republic, there are no limits to the level of fun you find in this perfect choice forholiday. Even if you have a significant other or family to bring along, these holidays are exactly what you need in order to enjoy your holiday from the first day to the last. Consider the factors included in a cycling tour.

Self-Guided for Your Convenience

Unlike tours targeted at a large audience, your cycling tour is self-guided from start to finish. The enjoyment of the beautiful landscapes, rich culture, and friendly locals of any location is taken at your pace. Your level of fitness has nothing to do whatsoever with your choice of cycling holidays. Since tour companies understand no

Hotel greenwashing dirties eco-friendly reputation

Hotels across the globe are increasingly encouraging guests to embrace green practices. Yet while guests think they are supporting the environment by shutting off lights and reusing towels, they may in fact be victims of “greenwashing,” a corporation’s deceitful practice of promoting environmentally friendly programs while hiding ulterior motives.

Greenwashing practices, such as a sign that reads “save the planet: re-use towels,” coupled with claims of corporate social responsibility, have soiled the trust of American consumers who are increasingly recognizing hotels’ green claims may be self-serving. This could cause hotels to lose valuable repeat customers.

Writing in the Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Washington State University hospitality researchers Imran Rahman, Jeongdoo Park and Christina Geng-qing Chi investigate the consequences of greenwashing in the lodging industry and suggest ways hotels can establish credibility in consumers’ minds.

Their paper, “Consequences of ‘Greenwashing:’ Consumers’ Reactions to Hotels’ Green Initiatives,” comes at a time when as many as 79 percent of travelers worldwide agree that implementing eco-friendly practices is important to their choice of lodging. Research shows a majority are willing to boycott a company if misled.

Causes of consumer skepticism

The researchers surveyed over 3,000 consumers to see whether recognizing a hotel’s hidden motive of

Where to Play Golf Eco Style

Revered as one of the world’s most iconic resort destinations, The Breakers located in storied and glamorous Palm Beach, FL, USA, boasts a rich history rivaled only by its own penchant for constant reinvention.

Fusing the relaxed formality of the French Riviera and seaside charm of the Italian coast with the timeless grace of Palm Beach, The Breakers is now entering its second century of enlightened family ownership. A pioneer in the luxury hotel segment, The Breakers invests an unrivaled $25 million each year in its ongoing revitalization and renewal, including the implementation of a number of ecologically-friendly practices to conserve resources and protect the environment. The Breakers continues the tradition of excellence begun by its founder, Henry Morrison Flagler, in 1896.
Ocean Course. Photo Credit: Nile Young Jr.

Ushering in a new era of casual sophistication, The Breakers’ innovative, eco-minded initiatives have permeated not only the guest experience, but also its workplace. Long before “going green” became mainstream in the hospitality industry, The Breakers initiated a formal policy requiring its 2,000 associates to sign off on sustained guidelines to cover waste management, energy use reduction and water conservation. As a pioneer in the luxury hotel segment, the “Green” Team at this

A Luxury Food Tour in Tuscany

Italy has long been the vacation destination that is the ultimate foodie haven: each region boasting its own delicacies based on tradition and a rich agricultural scene. Tomatoes in Puglia, the famous Cotoletta in Milan, and Bergamo’s very own comfort food, polenta. Travel to Tuscany this fall for the food and wine experience of a lifetime: a 6-day retreat organized by Italy Customized at Villa La Palagina, exploring the culture and cuisine of the Tuscan region.

Villa La Palagina has all the quaint charm that Tuscany has to offer. Overlooking the lush valley and olive groves of the Tuscan countryside, you’ll find a little piece of history in this once monastery for Vallombrosian Monks. You’ll enjoy your first day at the Estate tasting specialties of the region: locally made meats and cheeses, bread and wine. You’ll not only taste the delicious foods of Tuscany from wild boar sauce to a traditional soup called Ribollita, but you will also learn their history, how they are made, and why they have become such big food staples in the region.
Truffle Hunting

Another unique experience that this food and wine tour entails is a day dedicated to truffle hunting, something you may only have the

Five of the UK’s Best Wedding Venues

Finding the right location for your wedding is one of the most important activities when planning your big day. This won’t just be where you say your vows, but where you celebrate with friends and family, so everything needs to be as perfect as possible.

Here are five of the most enviable venues across the UK for a little inspiration:

Allerton Castle

A Grade I listed stately home, Allerton Castle boasts 45 bedrooms, an 80-foot Great Hall, and stands within 6 protected acres of North Yorkshire countryside. Built in the nineteenth century by the Lord Mowbray, Segrave, and Stourton as a testament to his monumental position within the aristocracy, the building’s gothic styling defies description.

You’ll enter the Great Hall from the exquisite double staircase, and make your vows beneath the magnificent beamed ceiling, surrounded by carvings, balconies, and the light streaming down through stained glass windows. Afterwards, retire to the Conservatory of Memorial Gardens to celebrate.

Sefton Park Palm House

Built in 1896, and taking inspiration from The Crystal Palace, the Sefton Park Palm House is a wedding venue like no other. This three-tiered dome conservatory is filled with over 300 plants from more than 50 countries, making it one of the most exotic venuesview full post »