Yoga Travel: Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat

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Nowadays, yoga is extremely popular all over the world, and one of the fastest-growing wellness activities. Its rising popularity has made yoga not only a well-liked sport around the world, but it has also become a separate travel activity. There are thousands of destinations from different companies and yoga centers offering tourists diverse yoga retreats.

If you want to work not only on your body, but to also improve your mind, you can try this type of traveling.  If you still wonder whether you should try a yoga retreat abroad or not, here is a list of reasons why you should:

Yoga allows you to connect with people on a different level

At every destination you will meet people that have the same interest and passion for yoga.  You will be practicing yoga together, you will have the same training schedules and you will definitely find common interests and subjects to discuss. This is a great opportunity to make new friends and explore a new destination in a different way.

Yoga Travel: Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat

Due to yoga’s philosophy and the fact that you can practice it almost everywhere, you can choose a destination and yoga retreat center that will be perfect for you. Tropical beaches, calm studios in the forests, meet-ups in local parks, special luxury yoga studios, yoga cruises, acroyoga meetings, city squares – there are countless destinations where you can practice yoga.

Yoga is good for your health

If you really want to make your vacation healthy and wealthy, choose this type of travel. Moreover, a special vegetarian menu is often offered for yogi travelers. So it’s a perfect chance to not only change your environment, but also to have a healthy diet. In order to let your body feel the difference at every level, experience yoga abroad.

Yoga Travel: Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat

Yoga teachers and gurus have master-classes all over the world. So, if you want to get the best lessons from the best teachers, you don’t have to go to India, its birthplace. Today you can choose any world destination and be sure that you will get the best service possible. Just check the time and place of master-classes in advance.

Yoga Travel: Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat

Yoga is available to everyone

It doesn’t matter what age you are, what shape you’re in, or your previous sport activities. Yoga has different levels and classes for everyone, from beginners to advanced yogis.

Yoga Travel: Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat

If you have health problems, you can also practice yoga. But don’t forget to choose the right style, and have a preliminary consultation with your instructor. Moreover, yoga has special styles for those who have health problems.

Yoga is not just an activity; it is a philosophy

If you want to understand your inner self, learn to hear and understand your body and soul, take a yoga lesson abroad. Every trip helps us to better understand ourselves, and this is especially true for a yoga retreat.

To Book Your Trip
Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

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Maybe it has something to do with the altitude (or the wine), but we’re guilty of getting teary-eyed on an airplane – some of us on several occasions – and we know we’re not alone. If you’re up for feeling a little emotional in-transit, go ahead and pre-load your tablet with one of our favorite tearjerkers now.


Apollo 13

“I’ve always been obsessed with space and this Tom Hanks movie captures the post-moon-walk NASA era perfectly. When the Apollo 13 crew looks out and sees Earth, unsure if they’ll get home, it gets me every time. The cheers go up in the NASA mission control room. Jim Lovell’s wife, Marilyn, breaks down. And as I’m whizzing safely above Earth in a tin can, everything seems extra emotional.” – Annie Fitzsimmons, digital editor, Virtuoso

The Fault in Our Stars

“Teenage love meets terminal illness. I cried so hard watching this in the theater that I came out with little bits of soggy Kleenex stuck to my face, which caused my friends to laugh so hard they cried. Bonus points if you watch this on a flight to Amsterdam.” – Marika Cain, managing editor, Virtuoso Life


“This Academy Award-nominated movie is still in the theaters, but will likely be available in-flight soon. You will definitely tear up during this movie, based on a true story about a boy separated from his family in Calcutta. You’ll need a few minutes at the end to reflect and recover.” – Josh Mason, vice president of engineering, Virtuoso

Rocky Balboa

“All of the Rocky films, but especially this 2006 installment, when the aging, widowed boxer reflects on the ups and downs of his life and then reemerges from retirement for one last fight.” – Joel Centano, senior editor, Virtuoso Traveler

A Better Life

“This honest, heartbreaking film about an undocumented immigrant living in the U.S. follows a single father trying to give his son the opportunities he never had. It was released in 2011, but feels timelier than ever.” – Veronica Rosalez, graphic designer, Virtuoso

Inside Out

“I love how this Pixar film can be so happy and sad at the same time. I remember crying three times when I saw it for the first time.” – Rebecca Ratterman, assistant editor, Virtuoso

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

“You can go ahead and add this film, along with Stepmom and Soul Food, to your list of movies to never watch by yourself with two glasses of red wine on a plane.” – David Kolner, senior vice president of global member partnerships, Virtuoso

The Light Between Oceans

“I’m not much of a crier, but my transatlantic Kleenex moments have come from Marley & Me, Steel Magnolias, Bambi, and most recently, The Light Between Oceans, a film about a lighthouse keeper and his wife who live on a remote Australian island. It’s based on the novel by M.L. Stedman.”  – Melanie Fowler, art director, Virtuoso Life

Brian’s Song

“A classic movie based on the true story of an unlikely friendship between Gayle Sayers and Brian Piccolo, the NFL’s first interracial roommates, as Sayers recounts the tragic death of Piccolo.” – David Hansen, vice president of events, Virtuoso

Like Crazy

“I love a good cathartic cry, which makes sad movies my absolute favorite. My go-to is this quiet roller-coaster of a love story between a man from California and a woman from the UK. It feels fitting to watch their transatlantic romance – which doesn’t go as planned – while flying over an ocean. I could watch this over and over and still sob every single time.” – Amy Cassell, assistant editor, Virtuoso Life

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Saint Lucia! Save up to $1000*

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Saint Lucia: a beautiful Caribbean island

There’s more to tourism in Saint Lucia than all-inclusive resort hotels. Dense rainforest, rolling hills, volcanic mountains and bustling towns give travellers something to sink their teeth into beyond swimming and sunbathing.

Saint Lucia! Save up to $1000*

Saint Lucia! Save up to $1000*

Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia

St.James’s Club Morgan Bay ★★★★

All Inclusive

• Baby Club • Kid’s Club • 343 rooms • 4 pools • 6 restaurants • 4 bars • WiFi: lobby • WiFi ($): room • Spa ($)
• Fitness center • In-room safe • Weddings • Beach

Saint Lucia! Save up to $1000*

 Departure from Toronto (YYZ) to St. Lucia (UVF)

  • Dep. Time 9:40 AM
  • Arr. Time 2:50 PM
  • FlightTS 106
  • AircraftB737
  • Duration5h 10 mins

Return from St. Lucia (UVF) to Toronto (YYZ)

  • DateSun., Mar. 26, 2017
  • Dep. Time3:50 PM
  • Arr. Time9:25 PM
  • FlightTS 107
  • AircraftB737
  • Duration5h 35 mins
  • ViaDateSun., Mar. 19, 2017
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Most Essential Free Apps for a Visit to Paris

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Paris, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, is famous for its incredible architecture, rich past and historical sights. However, nowadays it is highly recommended to use modern apps on your devices to make your trip perfect. They could make your trip easier and be really helpful in some situations (as long as your device is fully charged of course).  Don’t forget that Paris is a large metropolis and it is easy not only to get lost there, but also to overpay for different services. To avoid such situations, check the following list of the most essential apps for every Paris tourist.


The first thing that every tourist comes to Paris for is, of course, to see the sights of the city. For that, MyCityHighlight is just irreplaceable. It provides you with the most essential and useful recommendations for the most famous tourist attractions, cafes and shopping malls in the French capital. Moreover, tourists rate every sight or place, so you can be aware of the most recent opinions and suggestions. Of course, you can also share your opinion via the app, as soon as you register. The app also provides a filter which rates the place according to your request, with sections for family-friendly locations, free Wi-Fi spots, and nightlife. You can even choose the best places depending on the weather.

Most Essential Free Apps for a Visit to Paris



For those who plan on visiting some other cities besides Paris, or just do not want to move across the city on foot or by bike, we suggest downloading this useful app. The official app of the French train system works faster than the company website. All you need is to choose the exact train station in the city, after selecting “Paris” in the city section.  It is very easy to find train arrivals and departures using this app, and it also lets you buy tickets.

Most Essential Free Apps for a Visit to Paris


Larousse French-English Dictionary

Many French do speak English, but not everybody. They are more likely to speak French or to pretend that they do not understand your English. It’s not because the locals do not like English; they’re just very proud of their language. Therefore, using French in your everyday conversations will provide you with a positive reaction from locals. There are thousands of dictionary apps, but this one is arguably one of the best. It is also perfect if you are searching for verb conjugation tables.

Most Essential Free Apps for a Visit to Paris



If you come to Paris, The Vélib’ bike system is a must-try. Locals are crazy about biking, and to feel the atmosphere of the capital, we suggest riding a bike like the locals do. Prepare yourself and download this app before you come to Paris. It provides you with information on where to find a bike, the amount of free bikes at every station and the prices for renting one.

Most Essential Free Apps for a Visit to Paris


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Will we ever get it right? If you are a traveler, you have to pack. As stylist Christina Burns says, “Your clothes become part of your travel story.”

Packing can be annoying or exciting, a chore or giddy anticipation.

Try our tips below from those in the Virtuoso family, all expert travelers.



Create a Packing Spreadsheet

This might work for only the most ambitious among us, but if you take Virtuoso travel advisor Jane Martz’s lead and create a packing spreadsheet – further divided by time of day and activity – you just might have the easiest trip of your life.

Take inspiration from her spreadsheet, seen below.


Prepare for Elegance

“I always travel with one dress more elegant than plans call for, just in case I wind up with an invitation or opportunity where I would need to be elegant (and of course that means the shoes and purse, too!).”
– Shelby Donley, Virtuoso travel advisor

Do Laundry

“I simply cannot bear the thought of a lost bag! I can get up to three weeks in a carry-on garment bag. It’s all about tough choices, and recycling, and the freedom that doing laundry at the hotel or on the ship gives you.”
– Charles Wolfe, Virtuoso travel advisor

Packing Cubes and Rolling

“I love my packing cubes! They help me keep everything organized and labeled. I can’t go a week without them. They’re ideal for traveling on a boat, as the cubes neatly fit into compartments as well.”
– Andrew Rein, director of travel trade – London and Paris, Mandarin Oriental Hotels

“Rolling might be the trick for denim and workout clothing, but when it comes to dresses and nicer tops, I layer them one on top of another then fold the whole pile in half and lay it on top of my other packed items. It really cuts down on wrinkling.”
– Marika Cain, managing editor, Virtuoso Life



  • Truffle Clarity pouches and cases are always in my carry-on. They are stylish and functional. I use the zippered Clarity Clutch small and large for various odds and ends like cosmetics, keys, hand sanitizer, art supplies, and headphones. I use the Clarity Case for documents and magazines.
  • Anker Power chargers. This is my security travel blanket so I don’t have to worry about a dead phone battery on the road.
  • If you are vertically challenged and your feet don’t touch the airplane floor, this travel footstool will become your BFF. Is it dorky? Yes! Will people stare at you? Yes! Will you care after you realize how awesome it is and how much better your back feels? No! I can’t live without it, and it even makes traveling in coach on long haul flights bearable. It folds flat and fits easily in your carry-on tote.”
    -Korena Sinnett, associate art director,Virtuoso Life     

“Always, always take running shoes and workout clothes; you’re definitely going to skip the fitness regimen you promised you would maintain if you don’t, and those fitness clothes can do double duty if you end up on an active excursion.”
– Shelby Donley, Virtuoso travel advisor

Luggage Tips

“I always pack this duffle bag with me. I usually pack my carry-on to full capacity, leaving no wiggle room. That’s why I love this bag. It’s collapsible/foldable, so I just throw it in my purse. Then, I have an extra duffle bag to pack souvenirs in when I fly home!”
– Veronica Rosalez, graphic designer, Virtuoso  

“I use an Orvis Battenkill expandable roll-aboard that’s slightly oversize, but if you fly first or business class you won’t be harassed. It’s large enough to hang and fold a jacket or suit if needed.”
– Roy Ramsey, Virtuoso travel advisor


The Carry-On Camp

“Packing light is liberating and the only way to travel. I’ve done a five-day board meeting in Tokyo, followed by three days of sightseeing in Beijing, and then a ten-day Seabourn cruise with only a carry-on. My method: plan ahead, and ensure every piece of clothing goes with at least three other items. I also send clothes to the laundry as I travel.”
– Mary Ann Ramsey, Virtuoso travel advisor

“You can do a carry-on if you are organized. It’s when you are going from cold to hot in one trip that you might need a bit more.”
– Hope Smith, Virtuoso travel advisor

“I always try to carry on ever since years ago when I flew to New York for a gala dinner with President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl – and my checked luggage with my black-tie clothes never arrived. Here are my ‘3 Cs of travel:’ 1-Carry on. 2-Clear containers. 3-Colorful scarves.”
– Kathy Bernstein, Virtuoso travel advisor

Check Away

“I never regret over-packing. I enjoy a destination so much more when I feel like myself. That means bringing outfits I love for each day and evening and the toiletries I normally use at home, just in smaller containers. A trip is not the time to try new beauty products! My only concession to lightening the load is sticking to one color scheme so I don’t overdo the shoes.”
– Tiffany Figueiredo, Virtuoso travel advisor

“I’m a self-proclaimed over-packer. In my opinion, if the bag has the space there is no harm in filling it to max capacity. You never know when you might need a new outfit, something gets dirty, or your mood changes. Layering is always important.”
– Laura Epstein, Virtuoso travel advisor

“I always take things that I must have in my suitcase like an extra curling iron, a bathing suit, and a pair of jeans. Can you imagine the average-sized American woman trying to find a pair of jeans that fit in Italy or France? Forget it! I also take a 15-foot, heavy-duty extension cord – some European hotels don’t have outlets in the bathrooms for safety reasons, and the bedroom is five feet away from the nearest mirror.”
– Kelly Shea, Virtuoso travel advisor

Schlep Less


You calmly arrive at the airport, skip the baggage check-in, and carry only your wallet, passport, a book, and your iPad – maybe some snacks. You don’t elbow for space in the airplane bins. Skip elbowing for overhead bin space or at baggage claim – just walk off the plane and check into your hotel, fresh and relaxed. Your luggage is already in your room. With Luggage Free, a company that works with Virtuoso advisors to ship your luggage ahead of you, it is possible. This is especially helpful if you want to take bulky items like skis or if you’re traveling for a longer period of time.

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Cosmopolitan Cities

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The Comfort Of Home

At onefinestay, they practice “handmade hospitality.” They select the finest homes and ensure personal service throughout your stay, including someone to greet you at the home, introduce you to the home and leave the keys. You get an iPhone, with free data and local calls and area recommendations. Guest services are available 24/7, and you will enjoy the valuable Virtuoso perks described below.

Cosmopolitan Cities. Tower Bridge from the North Bank at dusk, London, UK.

Tower Bridge from the North Bank at dusk, London, UK

Cosmopolitan Cities

Cosmopolitan Cities. Aerial view of the New York skyline on a sunny afternoon.

Aerial view of the New York skyline on a sunny afternoon

Cosmopolitan Cities

Cosmopolitan Cities. View of Rome from Castel Sant'Angelo, Italy

View of Rome from Castel Sant’Angelo, Italy

Cosmopolitan Cities

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Top Reasons to Visit Havana

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There is some inexplicable magic in Havana that you can hardly feel in any other city.  It is a place that sparks your imagination, gives you inspiration to learn more about Cuba’s capital and leaves you speechless with its inimitable beauty.  

Here are some reasons why Havana is so incredible and unforgettable:

Old cars:

Top Reasons to Visit Havana

Havana is very popular for the amazing colorful old American cars that you can find almost everywhere. No other city in the world can impress you with such a huge number of old vehicles. If you think that these cars are used as simply as trophies, you will be surprised to know that they are used by Cubans for their day-to-day means of transportation.  

Retro charm:

If you plan a trip to Havana, include a stop for ice cream at Coppelia in your list of must-see places. The charm of this spot is very special, as the retro ambiance makes you feel like you have traveled into the past. The ice-cream parlor chain was originally established in 1966, and it seems like it hasn’t changed since then.

Though the selection of flavors is not huge, the lines are long and the place is incredibly popular.


Top Reasons to Visit Havana. Coco taxi on the street of Havana. Cuba.

Coco taxi on the street of Havana. Cuba

There is another interesting specialty in Cuba that will surprise you: the coco-taxi. These little yellow rickshaw-type vehicles can be seen only in Havana and Varadero. They have three seats, with the driver in the front and two passengers behind. They’re called coco-taxis because they look like a coconut with a roof combed over the top of the vehicle. You should try to catch a ride in this hilarious taxi and enjoy the amazing Cuban atmosphere.

Havana Vieja

Top Reasons to Visit Havana. Old part of Havana,Cuba

Old part of Havana,Cuba

Stroll along Havana Vieja (Old Havana) and enjoy the picturesque architecture, bright colors and vivid ambiance of the winding streets. Walk around Havana Vieja in the late evening, when it is particularly beautiful. Central Havana is very different from Havana Vieja, which is most tourists’ favorite place in the city.  Take a walk along the main road called Prado, wide and long, with rich verdant trees along its spacious walkway. Take a picture near the National Capital Building and enjoy the stunning calm and pleasant vibe of Havana.

Revolution Museum

A creation of Cuban and Belgian architects, the Museum of the Revolution is one of the most important places to visit in Havana, and one of the most famous.  An incredible mixture of Spanish, French and German architectural styles, the Museum was originally built in 1920.

The building was the main house of the Cuban government for 40 years.  All the main political decisions which have had a great influence on the country’s destiny were made here. Each exhibit covers the rise of the Cuban nation to the present, including the history of Cuba, archeology, weapons, paintings and sculptures.

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Fashion Trends Arond The Globe

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Ecuador – Panama Hat

These stylish hats are created from plaited leaves of the toquilla straw plant. The hat is thought to have orginated in Ecuador, but nowadays it is universally known as a “Panama Hat”. If you have never tried wearing a hat, or if you want to start wearing one, the Panama Hat is an ideal choice. It suits almost everyone, doesn’t look too pompous; it’s mature, never gets “old-fashioned,” and it could be a perfect way to cover up your hair when it doesn’t look good, or protect your head from the sun’s burning rays.

Fashion Trends Arond The Globe. Panama hats in the sun in Otavalo Ecuador

Panama hats in the sun in Otavalo Ecuador

USA – Cowboy Boots

These boots, which were apparently not made for walking, are very popular in The United States. In the beginning, they were an essential accessory for cowboys back in the day, but now they have become simply fashionable. Moreover, the idea of the trend found followers around the globe. This is because cowboy boots are amazing to wear and very versatile. They have a Cuban heel, are rounded to a pointed toe, have a high shaft, and, traditionally, no lacing.  Nowadays this fashion trend is supported by such famous brands as Tony Lama, Anderson Bean, Justin, Lucchese, Double H and many more.

Fashion Trends Arond The Globe

Dredlocks –  Jamaica

The first known reference to this hairstyle dates back to ancient Egypt, where dreadlocks first emerged on Egyptian artifacts. Mummified remains of ancient Egyptians wearing dreadlocks were found at some archaeological sites. The hairstyle was later brought into popular culture with the help of world famous, incredible reggae artist Bob Marley, originally from Jamaica.

These days it is extremely popular in Jamaica and all over the world. If you want to entirely plunge into the flavor of this special country, try this hair-dress. If you don’t like classical dreadlocks, you can try diverse variations more suitable for modern travelers: cornrows, braids, plaits, African hair braiding, and many others.

Fashion Trends Arond The Globe

Japan – Gyaru, Lolita

Gyaru is a Japanese transliteration of the word “girl”, and this trend first appeared in the late 1990s. Japanese girls would dye their hair in bright vibrant color, even a mix of different colors (the less natural it looked – the better), and put an enormous amount of fake tan on their skin. Nowadays this subculture has less popularity than it had few years ago, but it has influenced the new Lolita fashion.

Here the bright, unnatural pastel colors remain, but the concept is different – which is to be in frilly dress with bows and curls. In Japan there are even a lot of modern and popular Lolita fashion brands, such as Angelic Pretty, Atelier Pierrot, Milk, Moi-même-moiti and many more. The last one refers to Gothic Lolita, a style which requires black dresses and skirts, lacy hair accessories, and jewelry adorned with delicate crosses.

Fashion Trends Arond The Globe

Japanese girl in lolita cosplay

Iceland – Beard Cap

A Beard Cap could seem extremely unusual and even useless when first encountered. However, it is based on a traditional “lambshed-hood” that served a purpose for Icelandic farmers. Imagine how hard it was to experience the blustering snowstorms that occurred there regularly. The knitting pattern makes sense since the cap covers the head and neck – with only a small opening for the face. The first appearance of the Beard Cap as a fashion trend dates back to 2005. The design concept belongs to Vík Prjónsdóttir and his studio; today they are available in the Gentleman or Farmer style.

Fashion Trends Arond The Globe


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Deep-Diving and High-Flying Stunts Thrill on Harmony of the Seas

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True Feats are Behind the Scenes at the AquaTheater

On Royal Caribbean’s new Harmony of the Seas, incredible feats are performed by soaring aerialists, tight-rope walkers and divers during spectacular shows in the AquaTheater. Behind the scenes there is an entire team of specialists that make it all run seamlessly. From rigging specialists to certified Scuba divers and intricate equipment like hydraulic lifts and underwater trap doors, what happens behind the scenes is as fascinating as what’s on stage.

Deep-Diving and High-Flying Stunts Thrill on Harmony of the Seas. Harmony of the Seas General Infographic.

Harmony of the Seas General Infographic. Photo:

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Take a one-minute vacation, even if you’re hibernating on a February winter weekend.

At these great beach bars around the world, cocktails come with a side of sand and sun.

Saint Lucia

Legend has it that Saint Lucia’s Smugglers Cove used to be a popular spot for fishermen who liked to ply their trade in the buff. The site now houses the aptly named Naked Fisherman, a thatched-roof bar set below the 49-room Cap Maison Resort & Spa. Rum cocktails such as the Proseccojito (a prosecco-infused mojito) complement the bar’s popular Creole seafood boil.

Advisor Tip:  “The Naked Fisherman is my favorite beach bar on Saint Lucia. I’m partial to the local Piton beer, but if you want something stronger, have the bartender concoct a potent TNF rum punch.” – Michelle Harvell, Virtuoso travel advisor, Fort Worth, Texas


An abandoned fishing boat found washed up on the shore of Bahia, Brazil’s Barra do Rio Trancoso is the centerpiece of the Uxua Praia bar at the 11-room Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa. Grab a caipirinha, claim a daybed, and watch locals practice capoeira by the shore – if you want to join in, the hotel can sign you up for a lesson.


UXUA Praia bar


There’s plenty of room to settle in at The Long Bar at Vietnam’s 200-room InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. Locally sourced decor elements in the elegant, open-air space include dark wood floors, trays made by Southeast Asian hill tribes, and cozy nesting chairs that resemble Vietnamese fishing baskets.


The Long Bar


DJs spin chilled-out playlists at Buddha-Bar Beach Mykonos, the first waterfront outpost from the Parisian-based restaurant group. Set on the private beach of the 114-room Santa Marina, a Luxury Collection Resort, the trendy bar is beloved by travelers looking to soak up the Aegean sun and sip cocktails from the world’s best mixologists, who are flown in for guest appearances.

The Maldives

You’ll find private cabanas, giant cushions, and crystal chandeliers dangling from palm trees at Fanditha, the oceanfront restaurant and lounge at the 122-room One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives. Hookah pipes and mezze plates complete the Middle Eastern mood.


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