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Travel Tips Around The World

Jun 20 2016

Exploring the Animal Orphanage at Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club

Category: Destinations | Hotels | On The SceneMegan Leader @ 07:24

When I checked into the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki, Kenya, I knew I was someplace special. This gorgeous, sweeping resort is a haven perched on the equator, abutting Mount Kenya National Park. Its lush grounds and range of amenities create a welcome respite after a long journey to eastern Africa, but the resort boasts something truly unique: an on-site animal orphanage staffed by enthusiastic volunteers.

The animal orphanage is a retreat-within-a-retreat, housing dozens of different animals—many indigenous to Kenya, as well as a few species that were given to the country of Kenya and its high-ranking officials as gifts. So in addition to monkeys, bongos, ostriches and cheetahs, you'll also see a More...

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Jun 16 2016

Juneau Tours: Whale watching at its finest

Category: Cruises | Destinations | On The Scenebhicks @ 05:28

When adventuring in Juneau, Alaska, whale watching seems to be a standard "go-to" activity for most tourists. Many companies offer tours, and at first glance it may be hard to decide with whom to embark. Luckily, this blogger has well informed local friends, so I chose Juneau Tours- a well established and locally respected brand. Booking this excursion was simple and fast, and the cost is very consistent with the quality of the tour.

I sailed with my good friend Patrick, we arrived early and were able to chat for a moment with Emily and Jon, the deckhands. Both of these employees were highly motivated to be there, and seemed to genuinely enjoy leading the trips out to see the humpback whales. More...

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Jun 15 2016

A Tour of Halong Bay with Indochina Junk

This post comes from two of our hotel correspondents, Meghan Mirchich and Daniel Doyon, who are spending a year traveling the world. Check out their adventures at undeferred.io.

Junk boats with sails

Indochina Junk is a luxury cruise line operating a variety of traditional junk boats in the scenic waters of Halong Bay. Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site in northeast Vietnam. Tourists come from around the world to see Halong’s unique emerald waters punctuated by limestone towers covered in rain forests. Given its popularity, More...

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Jun 2 2016

Delicious, delightful dining in Rio de Janeiro

Category: Destinations | Dining | FavoritesChristine Norris @ 07:56

Brazil's most colorful city, Rio de Janeiro, might be host to this summer's Olympic Games, but it's also a cultural behemoth with a wide array of dining options to satisfy any palate. The traditional Brazilian food that you can find there is to die for, but as a global hub, there are also many international options to choose from; in short, eating in Rio is a treat that will please all palates. These are just a few of our favorite places in the city to nosh, but variety and quality abound all over Rio.

Casa de Feijoada serves Brazil's traditional black-bean stew; the meal is typically eaten on Saturday, but at this restaurant, you can get it any day of the week. The dish consists of black beans cooked with a variety of meat products, including pork, beef, bacon and sausage; pork "trimmings" (feet, ears, tails—you know, the fun stuff) are typical, too. For those a little worried about what parts of what animals they're putting in their mouths, the Casa de Feijoada accommodates you by allowing you to choose the cuts of meat that go into your stew (this is not a usual practice in Rio; everywhere else, be prepared to eat what's in front of you and try not to think about what might be in it). Portions are huge, making this place not only a cultural stop, but a great deal, too.

                      

                    A typical serving of the namesake dish at Casa de Feijoada. Photo via Cruzando Mundo.

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May 19 2016

Wellington, New Zealand: The perfect starting point for day trips and tours

Wellington is the capital of New Zealand, yet is is much less frequently visited than its northern neighbor, the thriving metropolis of Auckland. Still, Wellington is worth the visit, not only for the sights within the city, but for it prime position as a jumping-off point to explore some of the more remote areas of New Zealand. From there, you can easily travel to the areas of Martinborough and Cape Palliser, or join in on a Lord of the Rings-themed tour.

                         

                                         Seal pups at Cape Palliser. Photo courtesy of Rolf Hicker.

Cape Palliser is a gorgeous spot not far from Wellington, at the very southern tip of the island. It boasts a lovely lighthouse (the climb is steep and tiring, but worth it) and a large population of fur seals that sun themselves on the coast. Visit in summer to see seal pups—they're insanely adorable, and playful, too. The drive out to Cape Palliser itself is worth the trip, as the approximately hour's journey takes you along some sheer, but stunning, rock cliffs. For nature lovers, the cape is not to be missed.

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May 2 2016

A first peek into The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, the restaurant at Kimpton's latest hotel, The Cardinal

Category: Christine Norris @ 06:31

Last Thursday, I had the great privilege of attending the soft opening of The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, the restaurant that lies within The Cardinal, Kimpton Hotels' most newly opened property, located in Winston-Salem, NC. The hotel itself is, at a glance, gorgeous, with updated and restored art-deco accents everywhere in the lobby, and the facade of the historic R.J. Reynolds building (the model, on a much smaller scale, for the Empire State Building) has never looked better; but the restaurant is sure to be the standout here, since it combines those lovely details with excellent French-meets-Southern cuisine and serious date-night vibes. The Katharine celebrates its grand opening today; while you wait for dinner service to start, here are a few highlights from my first trip.

                                                     

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Apr 13 2016

Bornholm Island: Your next Danish destination

Bornholm Island, off the eastern coast of Denmark, has long been a favorite vacation spot for Danes; tourism is an important part of the economy there, as are fishing, farming and arts and crafts such as glass work and pottery. The island's strategic position in the Baltic Sea means it has been inhabited for centuries, and is rich with history—there are 15 medieval churches on the island, for starters. And there's almost endless recreation, with a forest in the center of the island and plenty of beaches and cycling options. If you want to really get away (it's a one-hour ferry from Ystad, Denmark—a three hour drive from Copenhagen), this island has a wealth of things to see and do in a gorgeous and relaxed atmosphere; this blog is only an introduction to the many fascinating things the island has to offer.

                                         

                                   The coastline of Bornholm Island; photo via Wikimedia Commons

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Apr 6 2016

Five must-see temples in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan is a city of seemingly endless temples and shrines, and it is easy to begin to feel as though one has seen it all—there are so many that even several days in Kyoto wouldn't allow for visiting nearly all of them. A few temples stand out for their intricacies and idiosyncrasies, and we highly recommend checking them out.

1. Fushimi Inari. This temple is famous for its red torii gates—there are thousands of them crawling up the hillside to the temple, with more being added all the time: Wealthy businesspeople donate them for large sums of money as tribute to the shrine of the god of rice and money. The shrine itself, at the top of the mountain (a long hike, and not really a necessity), isn't much of an attraction; you come for the gates. It's a great place to visit at night as well.

                                                                                    

          Just a small sampling of the thousands of gates at Fushimi Inari; photo via Wikimedia Commons

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Apr 1 2016

Exploring the world's oldest amusement parks in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark is home to the world's two oldest operating amusement parks: Dyrehavsbakken (more often simply referred to as Bakken) opened in 1583, while Tivoli Gardens dates from 1843. While the phrase "amusement park" might bring to mind huge crowds, screaming children, greasy, overpriced food and a general sense of exhaustion, these Danish parks provide a stark contrast (though they're certain to be crowded at peak times, too): They're overwhelmingly green, and provide plenty of places for quiet retreat; the dining is excellent, even, in some cases, Michelin-starred; and there are still plenty of rides to please thrill-seekers. As spring unfolds and the parks reopen for the season, take the time to explore the history of fun in Copenhagen.

                       

                                     The Tivoli Gardens illuminated at night. Photo via AMB Wallpaper.

The Tivoli Gardens is one of the most famous theme parks in the world, and is said to have been a major inspiration behind Walt Disney's Disney World (the Chicago World's Fair's White City, which Disney's father helped to construct, is another touchstone). Expect it to be packed, but it's worth the visit; there, you can see the renowned and breathtaking gardens, ride one of the world's oldest operating roller coasters (it's been running since 1914), and see one of the best performances of Commedia dell'Arte outside of Italy (this classic pantomime show doesn't use language of any sort, so it's accessible to anyone!). The dining options within Tivoli Gardens are truly outstanding: You can find high-end cuisine, from Japanese to American to traditional Danish, as well as the more typical amusement park fare. We especially recommend Nimb Terrace, a fine-dining establishment with excellent views and a friendly atmosphere; its French take on Scandinavian cuisine is to die for.

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Mar 24 2016

Win a trip for two to Hawaii with the Hawaii Destination Specialist Program

Category: Destinationstravel42 editorial team @ 00:15

From February 15 through June 15, 2016, you could win a trip to Hawaii or cash prizes simply by learning more about Hawaii and how to sell the six iconic islands that deliver the vacation of your clients' dreams. 

Qualifying travel agents who register will be entered into monthly drawings for $100 American Express gift cards. Even better, qualified agents who register for the program and complete the online Hawaii Destination Specialist Program (Certifications 1 and 2) will have a chance to win the Grand Prize: Round-trip airfare for two and a five-night stay at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa for two!

Click here to register!

Keep reading to learn more about all that Hawaii offers your clients and the resources that HVCB provides to our travel professional partners:

With six iconic islands, the Hawaiian Islands deliver More...

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