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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BEST PLACES TO SOAK IN THE WORLD

Nothing says "R&R" like a long, hot bath: That ahh feeling is the best cure for stress. Sure, you can find hot water and a tub just about anywhere (including your own home), but you can only extract so much ambience from bathroom tiles. To really kick back, leave your well-treaded bathmat behind and head to a soak-spot that both calms the nerves and soothes the senses. We've uncovered some spectacular bathing locales that drip with history, luxury and natural beauty.
Thermae Bath Spa, Bath, England


This beautiful town in southwest England has always been a heavyweight in the R&R sector. The city's original name, Aquae Sulis, honors the Celtic goddess of Sulis. Said to be a nurturing giver of life, Sulis presided over Bath's ancient hot springs and was worshipped by the pool's previous patrons, the Romans.






The Thermae Bath Spa's pools are fed by the same steamy springs that have long beckoned to bathers. Although the city's three springs -- the Cross Spring, the Hetling Spring and the King's Spring -- are located more than a mile underground, the best place to enjoy them is Thermae's rooftop pool. While you're simmering away, you can look out over the beautiful, Gothic-style Bath Abbey.


Molori Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa








Just because you're in the wilderness doesn't mean you have to rough it: The Molori Safari Lodge's five bungalows bring chic to the Savanna. These unique accommodations seated within the Madikwe Game Reserve include floor-to-ceiling windows that allow visitors to wake up to stunning African vistas. But for the best views, grab your swimsuit and head to the main lodge's hot tub. This in-ground soaking spot looks out over an ever-busy watering hole, frequented by elephants, lions and zebras.


Chena Hot Springs, Fairbanks, Alaska


Simply thinking of Alaska may send a shiver down your spine, but the northernmost state holds the key to a warm, relaxing getaway:






The Chena Hot Springs. Located about 60 miles east of Fairbanks, these bubbling waters are at the heart of a 40-square-mile geothermal activity zone. The hot springs funnel mineral water at a whopping 165 degrees Fahrenheit into the massive pools at the Chena Hot Springs Resort. But don't worry about the heat: The water is cooled well before it makes its way to the pool. When you do settle in for a soak, you'll find that the region's alpine peaks and verdant evergreen forests make for a splendid backdrop.


Rome Cavalieri, Rome, Italy




Guests at the Rome Cavalieri have a one-up in avoiding Rome's massive crowds: This ornate Waldorf Astoria property in the heart of Rome boasts a bird's-eye view of the city. The scenery is particularly sweet if you're savoring it from the steamy waters of the Penthouse Suite's private rooftop whirlpool. Watch the city unfold beneath you as you soak; consider a nighttime dip to glimpse St. Peter's Basilica illuminating the skyline.




Hot Water Beach, Waikato, New Zealand


If you're a more active traveler, you might prefer the DIY spa experience at Hot Water Beach, located on the northeast shore of New Zealand. The two underground fissures leak gallons of water at 147 degrees Fahrenheit every minute; the water then bubbles its way up through the beach's golden sands to the surface. To make the most out of your visit, plan to arrive one to two hours before low tide (when more of the beach is exposed) with a bucket and shovel in hand -- you'll need them to dig your own hot tub.




Pamukkale,Denizli, Turkey






Located approximately 400 miles south of Istanbul in Denizli, Turkey, these hot springs are rumored to have both healing and beautifying powers. The site's own beauty is worth beholding. Formed by mineral deposits left behind by 17 flowing hot springs, these crystalline-white terraces collect shallow pools of steamy water ideal for a soothing soak. While visiting Pamukkale, your view will extend far over the city of Denizli.


Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island, The Maldives


Spread out across two remote islands, the Conrad Maldives' 150 villas offer spectacular panoramas of the Indian Ocean. And there is no better place to enjoy the landscape than from the soothing 104-degree waters of a private hot tub. Consider one of the villas on the Rangali Island section of the resort; the tubs in these Beach Villas are flanked by sugary-white sands and a vibrant coral reef. And if the scenery isn't enough, hotel staff members provide a few extra luxuries like cool glasses of fresh papaya juice.




Jigokudani Monkey Park, Yamanouchi, Japan







We're not the only ones who enjoy a hot bath from time to time -- our primate brethren do too. And nowhere are the R&R needs of monkeys catered to better than in Japan's Jigokudani Monkey Park. Sitting 158 miles northwest of Tokyo in Yamanouchi, this natural park sits atop bubbling hot springs that feed a man-made pool frequented by Japanese macaques (or snow monkeys). Although Homo sapiens are not welcome in these pools, followers of the old "monkey see, monkey

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

12 TRAVEL TRENDS & TIPS FOR 2012

With the end of 2011 fast approaching, Unique Travel Concepts thought we would present these insightful new trends and tips to guide you  in choosing your adventures for 2012


Many travelers are looking to voyage back through time to the golden age of travel. "Journeys reminiscent of the romantic adventure style of old are extremely popular," notes expert Brad Crockett. "Travelers are interested in the old world elegance of train journeys, classic desert camps & mobile safaris where they sleep under the stars."




"Colombia's back & ready to show the world what they've been missing," says Expert Noraly Barillas. This Latin American treasure is a museum of adventure with pirate legends, colonial ruins, the Amazon rainforest & the lost city of Ciudad Perdida. "With beaches that rival those in the Caribbean & charismatic cities like Bogota & Cartagena, this is one country that won't be denied its chance to shine."


Don't Be A "Would-Be Traveler"


Travelers who plan ahead win when it matters. "Every year we see disappointed would-be travelers who waited too long to book bucket-list experiences like a safari during the Great Migration, Galapagos at Christmas or Costa Rica during spring break," says Expert Brad Crockett. "Booking in advance is crucial. You get the best hotels, flights & connections to ensure your dream trip is just that, perfect.


Indonesia - Beyond Bali



" Bali may be on the top of every traveler`s list thanks to Eat, Pray Love, but once through with yoga & monkey dances, the rest of Indonesia awaits. Asia Expert Jacob Hason says, "adventurers in 2012 are going further afield to the exotic island of the legendary Komodo dragon, heading to Borneo to see the orangutans, climbing Mt. Bromo volcano & traveling to Sulawesi to witness the eerie funeral rites of the Toraja."

The Myanmar Road An Exotic Time Warp

Asia Expert Sarah Ferguson recommends Myanmar for those who yearn for exotic adventures more akin to the Angkor Wat & South East Asia of over a century ago. Largely off limits to tourists until recently, this time-locked land offers a mosaic of intriguing wonders with its hundreds of pagodas, leg-rowers, monastery of jumping cats, painted caves, golden Buddas, river cruises, floating gardens & tranquil beaches.


On Your Mark... Get Set London's Calling

"Hot on the heels of Will & Kate upping its hip factor, the UK is buzzing for 2012," says Expert Kerstin Sowden. Monarchists will be going for Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee in June & sports fans for the Summer Games. "For those not interested in taking part in either event, the secret to traveling smart is to go after the Games when the UK is still at its shiny best but the Olympic size crowds, lines & prices are gone."



Israel's Spiritual Sites Mixed With Adrenaline Adventures


With a record 3.45 million visitors to Israel last year & numbers predicted to rise, the Holy Land is attracting more visitors than it has in millenniums partially due to an assortment of new adrenaline adventures attracting far more than just pilgrims. "Visitors to Israel in 2012 will be hiking, biking, horseback riding, mountain climbing rappelling, scuba diving, going on archaeological digs & enjoying jeep safaris" according to Middle East Destination Expert Chris Bazos.


Personalized Cruising - Pre & Post Tours & Private Shore Excursions

For those who love to cruise, tailor-made pre & post tours with private shore excursions are transforming cruises into a rich cultural experience. "Cruisers are realizing the folly of just breezing through Europe's great stepping-off points," says Expert Dana Toma. "Instead, savvy travelers are booking 2-3 day customized land tours before & after their cruise. During the voyage, many are skipping the crowds on traditional group excursions & are opting to be met at each port by a private guide."

Customized Heritage Tours Getting To The Root of It



European bookings coming on strong for 2012 often focus on the traveler`s interest in their genealogical past, want to trace their individual family`s lineage & to explore their ancestral homelands. "Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Poland, France, Italy & Russia are all extremely popular due to emigration around World War II," says Europe Expert Eimear Duggan.


Intimate African Wilds Private Concession Style




Savvy safari goers looking for a more intimate African experience are opting for privately owned concessions. "South Africa has always been well known for this exclusive safari style," according to Expert Gabrielle Nijdam. "But now, conservancies are no longer just the well-kept secret of the jet-set & there are a growing number in Tanzania as well like Singita's Sabora Camp & the new Manyara Ranch Conservancy."

Short & Stylish North American Escapes

 "The focus of today's weekend escape is on quality & being experiential," explains Expert Olivia Paszkowski. "Travelers want culture, great food & new experiences even when it's just a quick four day getaway. I recommend Quebec City's Ice Hotel for a once-in-a-lifetime winter experience & the vineyards of Ontario's Niagara for a new spin on food & ice wine."

The 2012 Phenomenon The End Of The World


 Finally....a side note for superstitious travelers. This is the year to hit the road, as according to the ancient Mayan calendar the world will end on December 21st. So now's the time to hit up everything on your bucket list. For those who want to investigate doomsday for themselves, Expert Erika Linares suggests heading to Mexico to see the fabled Mayan ruins & calendars firsthand.


So what is your 2012 adventure going to be?

Unique Travel Concepts looks forward to assisting you in your travel plans to the above locations or wherever our dreams long for..... 

UNIQUE TRAVEL CONCEPTS - 1-800-879-8635 

Visit our website and tell us where you want to go at http://www.uniquetravelconcepts.com/

 

Friday, December 2, 2011

HONORING THOSE THAT SERVE OUR NATION

Unique Travel Concepts want to salute those that serve our nation every day with a special deal.  It is our way of saying Thank you......

















Call Unique Travel Concepts and let us plan your getaway.....  
1-800-879-8635