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Qualia – Hamilton Island, Australia

If you’re going to do Australia, do it properly. Qualia is a luxury holiday resort on Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef. With two pools, two restaurants, a gym, a spa and a library this is the ultimate place to get away from it all.

Just a stone’s throw off the Queensland coast, qualia sits in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Qualia can be reached in only a few hours by plane from international gateway cities on Australia’s east coast, truly making it a world-class destination without the journey.

Situated in the Whitsundays, qualia puts the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef right on your doorstep. Its sun-drenched northern aspect provides the ideal location to appreciate the passing beauty of each day, surrounding you with some of the most stunning and spectacular waters to be found anywhere in the world.

I’m sold. Choose from Leeward pavillion (from 950.00 per night), Windward pavillion or Beach House accommodation.

Purchase Information:

Price: AUD950.00
Availability: Buy Qualia – Hamilton Island, Australia here

The Wolseley – London

Practically an institution and winner of best breakfast in London for several years, the Wolseley is my favourite restaurant in London. Located on Piccadilly next to the Ritz, this bistro restaurant has actually only been running since 2003 but has quickly acquired a stellar reputation.

Built in a former Wolseley car showroom, hence the name, the restaurant offers classic bistro dishes which along with the vintage styling and very proper staff help create the appearance that this place has been around for ages. Seven years on the occasional celebrity can always be spotted and the place is always buzzing. Refreshingly they always have non-bookable tables and you can almost always get seated.

Posada La Sacristia – Tarifa, Spain

In an idyllic corner of Spain, about as far removed from the concrete skyscrapers of the Costa del Sol as you can imagine, lies this endearing Posada. Tarifa, just west of Gibraltar is an old port city, the closest in Europe to Morocco. Not far away is a National Park with beautiful wild, windy beaches and sharp, rugged hills. This small guesthouse-like accommodation is situated in the centre of the city. From here you can take the ferry to Ceuta, the Spanish African enclave or straight to Morocco. Alternatively you can walk round the ancient fortress town or be in Kite-Surfing beach paradise in 20 minutes. The posada also offers a spa ‘wellness’ programme, boutique accessories and a good restaurant.

Purchase Information:

Price: €from 115
Availability: Buy Posada La Sacristia – Tarifa, Spain here

Brenner Grill Munich

This is a great restaurant in Munich should you find yourself there. It’s located just off Maximilianstrasse, the main shopping street. If you’ve ever been to the Wolseley in London, the atmosphere here is equally busy and buzzy.

Tall white arches supported by Doric columns, vast windows, globe lights, banquettes, and black wood chairs provide the classic setting for one of the hottest places in town. And when this place says “Grill” it really means grill: Centre stage is a cluster of open fires, one group for broiling, the other, gas flames for preparing pasta. The extreme open kitchen conceit would be irritating if it added tens of euros to the check, but this place is very reasonable, which no doubt explains its mass appeal.

Book early to avoid disappointment! Here is a menu in English.


More information:

View Brenner Grill Munich here

Source: Via

Eat Shop Guides

When I first visited Portland I didn’t have an itinerary, and thus was a little bored. I tried Yelp but that only helped so much. I checked out the bookstore and thumbed through some typical travel guides. Not any better. Then I stumbled upon portland, a curated listing of the best and most unique local businesses. Suddenly I wished my vacation was two weeks longer.

Extra credit: Have you visited all the shops and restaurants listed in your city?

Purchase Information:

Price: $14.95
Availability: Buy Eat Shop Guides here

Hospes Hoteles

Here’s a stylish Spanish boutique hotel chain with properties in major Spanish cities and Paris.

The Hospes group takes classically beautiful older buildings and adds their unique contemporary makeover to make gorgeous hotels. To the mix they add high quality furnishings, spas and swimming pools, Korres products and the latest in-room technology.

Take a look if you’re visiting one of the following cities: Seville, Alicante, Mallorca, Madrid, Valencia, Cordoba, Granada, Ibiza, Puigcerdà and Paris.

More information:

View Hospes Hoteles here

Hotel Distrito Capital

I’m loving these black and white interiors of Mexico City hotel Distrito Capital.

GRUPO HABITA, celebrated worldwide for exceeding expectations in hotel design, unveils its 8th property, DISTRITO CAPITAL, in Mexico City’s international business neighborhood of Santa Fe, and most resolutely the world’s 21st-Century metropolis. So close to the US, Mexico will focus on travel with easy access, year round warm climate and increasing business. With DISTRITO CAPITAL Grupo HABITA once again carries its signature chic and outstanding service to previously unthought-of environments and transforms them into instant classics.

Hotel Gabriel Paris Marais

Last month I was lucky enough to make time for a quick getaway trip to Paris and I stayed at this little gem. The room was super small just like a ship’s cabin, yet the decor was soothing and well designed, which made the room seem cozy and comfortable (the bed gets 5 stars in my book as far as sleep comfort). Most of the places I wanted to visit was within easy walking distance or reachable by metro (a stop is about a 5 min. walk away), so all in all, it was a pleasurable experience. (Note: I didn’t try out the menu seeing I was intent on getting as many baguettes and cheeses into me as humanly possible, nor did I indulge in any of the ‘detox’ spa treatments. Next time…)

The first-ever “detox hotel,” this Paris property is entirely devoted to the regeneration of its guests’ internal ecologies via healthy food, quality sleep and soothing atmosphere – the detoxification trifecta. Located right in the busy heart of the city, it is a mecca for the urban frazzled, a metropolitan oasis in the truest sense of the term. –

Rate for 3 or more days starts from €110
See review on tripadvisor.

€116-€160, Book it here.

Purchase Information:

Price: €116
Availability: Buy Hotel Gabriel Paris Marais here

Ace Hotel: Palm Springs

Sometimes hotel interiors serve as inspiration for small touches in our own homes, and the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs has me taking notes. On my list: denim slouchy headboards, patterned rugs, canvas bedspreads (with simple graphics), wood and leather accents…all together it equals a relaxed comfortable look.

Rooms: Doubles from $89.00, book it here.
Also, check out their packages for some nice discounts/specials.

Purchase Information:

Price: $89.00
Availability: Buy Ace Hotel: Palm Springs here

Hotel Room nr 1

This hotel has a different sort of concept: rooms will be spread all over the world. The very first room (Room nr 1) has opened its doors in Helsinki’s bohemian district Kallio. It looks like it’s worth checking out if you’re the type to venture off the beaten path, and personally, I’m looking forward to seeing rooms nr 2 & 3.

Room nr 1 is anything but. It´s a 30m2 fully furnished flat with complete
kitchen and funky interior to make you feel that strange but alluring
Finnish vibe. It´s located on the main boulevard of Kallio (Helsinginkatu 12),
surrounded by the most vivid bar scene, alternative shops and ethnic
restaurants in Helsinki. The tram stops at the hotel, and runs
directly to the city and back. Room nr 1 is perfect if you are looking for something different to those
seen-one-seen-all downtown hotels, or if you wish to live like a local in
a home-like environment with the freedom and space.

120 € per night, Book it here.
(The longer you stay, the more discount you´ll get.)

Subway Travel Folder

This travel folder has a subway map with stickers to mark your favorite spots…so far, it’s just New York and Seoul, but here’s hoping there will be more.

These beautifully graphic subway maps for New York City and Seoul incorporate an icon from each city. Each comes in a small folder with stickers for marking the map with favorite spots, restaurants, appointments, hotel locations, and major attractions. When traveling, the folder can also be used to jot down notes and to hold transit passes, tickets, and more. Made of paper.

Size: Maps: 15l x 20.5″w

New York City or Seoul, $12.00 ($10.80 Members), Buy it here.

Purchase Information:

Price: $12.00
Availability: Buy Subway Travel Folder here

Not For Tourists Guidebooks

What an excellent interpretation of a guidebook- if you’ve lived in a city for a little while or a lot, it’d be interesting to see what things you haven’t seen or done.

“Not For Tourists is a growing series of guides to major cities. Their philosophy is simple: people need to use the cities they live in, commute into, or travel to effectively. They need to use their city’s transportation systems; its governmental infrastructure; its shops, restaurants, and nightspots—and they need all of this information while they’re on the move in a format that’s more accessible than the Yellow Pages, more informative than Zagat’s, and more useful than any other tourist’s guide out there.”

Seattle, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, DC, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Chicago

$15.00, Buy it here.

visit Not For Tourists online.

Purchase Information:

Price: $15.00
Availability: Buy Not For Tourists Guidebooks here

Secret Hotels

Secret hotels around the world that usually cost less than $200/night? I think I’m adding this book to my ‘need’ list.

Compiled by the editors of Budget Travel magazine, this out-of-the-ordinary guidebook acquaints you with an enticing array of lodgings—from beachside cottages, to hilltop villas, to gracious, family-run guesthouses—where you’ll vacation in comfort and style without having to worry about breaking the bank. Setting its sights on eight of the world’s top travel destinations—Provence, Tuscany, Tahiti, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Cornwall, Bali, and the French Riviera—Secret Hotels scopes out the hidden treasures that, till now, have mostly been known only to the locals. The description of each hotel is accompanied by sumptuous color photos of the grounds and interiors, and contact information and rates (usually less than $200 per night) are provided.

$15.61, Buy it here.

Purchase Information:

Price: $15.61
Availability: Buy Secret Hotels here

LUXE City Guides

These look to have some interesting information on wherever your travels might take you.

LUXE City Guides – the consummately stylish pocket travel guides, packed with astute, opinionated information for the busy and sophisticated visitor. Each hip, smart and stylish pocket-sized guidebook is packed with a highly selective and opinionated list of only the best shops, restaurants and hotels, unique services and lifestyle options each city has to offer. And what’s more, LUXE guides come with handy online updates.

Each guide, $9.99
Australia, China or European Travel Set, $17.99-$26.99
Asian, Europe, or World Grand Tour Box, $75.00-$110.00

Buy it here.

Purchase Information:

Price: $9.99-$110.00
Availability: Buy LUXE City Guides here

AirBed & Breakfast

This site is so easy to browse through- it’s perfect for finding a local place to crash when traveling on a small budget.

$35.00/night and up, browse here.