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Posted on: July 04, 2012 at 2:31PMEncompassing more than 7,000 islands of 30 separate territories, the Caribbean can be almost anything you want when traveling. From U.S. destinations to islands within England, Spain, France the Netherlands and many independent nations planning and visiting the Caribbean can be as simple or as difficult as you would like it to be. Generally considered to be a sub region of North America, the entire area encompasses almost over 1 million square miles and many languages, weather patterns, cultures and experiences. Choosing The Right Caribbean Island For You Many travelers planning a trip to the Caribbean ask the question, “Which island is the best island for me to visit?”. This is somewhat of a loaded question as the area is so vast and so varied, that choosing one “right” destination can not really be done. To begin the answer to this question on a different level however, we can take a look at the most popular areas for travel within the Caribbean. These most well known and top destinations for travel in the Caribbean include: Puerto Rico Bahamas Aruba Dominican Republic Jamaica Well known and well respected for a host of reasons, just of few include such things as world famous beaches, a large number of cultural activities and events, stunning and pristine natural areas. For example, Puerto Rico has of late, become one of the most popular destinations within the Caribbean for eco tourism. The Bahamas are very large and diverse and offer great vacations from big city types in Nassau to exotic retreats such as the island of Eleuthera. Aruba is known for being home to some of the worlds most beautiful beaches. The Dominican Republic is considered one of the the greenest areas and offers vast opportunities for adventure tourism. The island of Jamaica is very well known for its world famous festivals and celebrations unlike any in the world. Begin Your Caribbean Adventure Obviously, choosing the right island to begin your journey to the Caribbean, is one which requires much thought as to which type of experience you are looking for. Berkshire Concepts invites you to share your experiences and your opinions about this and other topics on travel and vacationing worldwide. Which island is your favorite? We welcome you to explore, get to know and begin your vacation adventurer right here with tips and advice on travel to help you. Make the most of your vacation experiences and travel more with Berkshire Concepts as your partner in travel. report a problem
Posted on: December 11, 2012 at 6:04PMCirque Romanès, Paris, France This is a unique, magical experience, a red-tented Roma circus in the French capital, surrounded by suburban housing blocks. The whole event has a ramshackle, mesmerising passion, with a lost-in-time atmosphere. There are no spangles and sequins here, but circus skills that have been honed outside in the wasteland around the caravans, from fire-eating to tightrope walking, acrobats and jugglers. The women swish and dance in their long skirts, and the soundtrack is frenetic Balkan folk from the live band. For more information and tickets see www.cirqueromanes.com. Fairmont Peace Hotel Band, Shanghai, China A Shanghai landmark, the tall, graceful Peace Hotel, overlooking the Bund, is one of the most powerfully resonant relics of old Shanghai. Its time-capsule nature is all the more pronounced as it faces the futurist landscape of Pudong on the opposite riverbank. Renovations have given the hotel’s snazzy Art Deco interiors a facelift, but one thing remains eternal: the Jazz Bar in the basement. There’s an old-school elegance here, and you’ll feel transported back to the 1920s and ‘30s listening to the Old Jazz Band’s six veteran musicians (their average age is 77). To book or find out more, visit www.fairmont.com/PeaceHotel; the band play nightly from 7pm. Royal Opera House Tea Dance, London, England Harking back to the days when the Royal Opera House was the place in London to dance the cha-cha, waltz and quick step, there are now regular tea dances throughout the season in the stately Paul Hamlyn Hall. Huge windows overlook the Covent Garden piazza, palms in pots grace the hall, nimble feet of all ages do the steps, and it’s all to the accompaniment of the Royal Opera House Dance Band. Sundays here will transport you back to a seemingly gentler time, when dancing meant gliding around a room rather than throwing shapes. For dates and to buy tickets see the Royal Opera House website at www.roh.org.uk. Whirling Dervishes Whirling Dervishes by Vladimer Shioshvili. Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence Whirling Dervishes, Istanbul, Turkey At the Silivrikapı Mevlana Cultural Center you can see the ancient spiritual Sema Ceremony, where whirling dervishes spin in order to encourage communication with god and intoxicate the soul, as has been the tradition for hundreds of years. Of course, this is not an entertainment, but an important religious ceremony, but it’s a beautiful event to experience purely aesthetically as well as spiritually. The dervishes spin with complete control, their long robes circling outwards, forming a pattern like stylised blooms. For information on the regular evening Sema ceremonies, see www.emav.org. El Misteri d’Elx, Spain The Mystery of Elche is one of the world’s great mystery plays, depicting the Virgin Mary’s death and ascendance into heaven, and is performed every year in the picturesque town of Elche, close to Alicante. The mystical rendering of the story has been performed in this way, in Elche’s Basilica of Santa Maria and the evocative Moorish streets of its palm-shaded old town since the 15th century. To watch is to be suspended in time: it’s medieval to its core, with its epic pomp, flowing robes and solemn, emotive processions. The event is on Unesco’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and was designated a ‘national monument’ in 1931. For more information see the Elche Tourist Board website at www.visitelche.com; takes place over two days in mid-August annually. Greek amphitheatre Greek amphitheatre by Athena Lao. Creative Commons Attribution Licence Greek Tragedy, Amphitheatre, Epidaurus, Greece To experience theatre as people did in Ancient Greece, head to the amphitheatre of Epidaurus, one of the world’s great buildings, a fan-shaped, open-air auditorium set into a hillside. The amphitheatre is famed for its incredible acoustics – even if an actor speaks quietly, they will be heard from every seat. The theatre is situated within the archaeological site of the Sanctuary of Asklepios, around two hours’ drive from Athens. During the annual summer Athens & Epidaurus Festival there are regular performances of ancient classics, such as plays by Euripides. Attend for an uncanny sense of what the experience was like for theatregoers around 2000 years ago. For more details see www.greekfestival.gr/en; most performances take place in August and September; book tickets on +30 210-32 72 000. Qawaali Singers, Delhi, India Rather than pure entertainment, the Qawaali singers at the shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin, perform for an important religious, devotional purpose. However, the songs after evening prayers are open to all, and visiting when the performance is taking place is a mystical and evocative experience that should not be missed if you’re in the area. The devotional concert feels as if it has barely changed for hundreds of years; pilgrims collect smouldering incense and buy trinkets to leave at the shrine, and the hypnotic music mesmerises the crowd. The singing takes place nightly from around sunset at Hazrat Nisamuddin Dargah, Delhi; it’s most spectacular on Thursdays and feast days. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London Close to the site of the iconic Elizabethan Globe theatre, London’s contemporary Globe was created to evoke the original, a half-timbered theatre-in-the-round, open to the sky. Attending a Shakespeare performance here today is unlike any other theatrical experience, especially if you stand with the ‘groundlings’, the cheapest price ticket, though you don’t have to contend with brawling and lack of toilets as the Elizabethans standing in this area would have. Although you have to stand, there’s no better way to feel involved in the show and close to the action. To read more, see the program and book tickets, see www.shakespearesglobe.com. Presepe Vivanti (Living Nativity), Sutri, Lazio, Italy Living Nativities – re-enactments of the story of Jesus Christ’s birth in a stable – take place all over Italy over Christmas. Some are impressive pageants, some small and local recreations of the Christmas story. The one at Sutri in Lazio, a short trip from Rome, is of the latter variety, but deserves particular mention because of its mesmerising, back-in-time setting, which is the hollowed-out Etruscan tombs that surround the town. The scenes are candlelit; the atmosphere compelling. It definitely feels not-of-this-century. For more information, contact the Sutri Turismo; check the local town hall website at www.comune.sutri.vt.it. Bali Dancers / Balinese Dance - Yellow Gold Silk Bali Dancers / Balinese Dance - Yellow Gold Silk by Dominic Alves. Creative Commons Attribution Licence Balinese Dance, Indonesia Resembling ancient temple reliefs come to life, Balinese dancers are exquisite, even otherworldly looking, elaborately dressed in outfits of bright colours shot through with delicate gold, with fresh flowers adorning their headdresses. They use stylised hand and feet gestures, as well as eye movements, imbued with ancient meaning. Traditional dances are tied up with religious expression, and tell the stories of the great Hindu epics. But beyond its liturgical function, Balinese dance is also a majestic spectacle, and one that connects you directly to the past. At Ubud Palace, Jl Raya Ubud, Bali, there are near-nightly performances in a royal setting, while Pura Dalem Ubud Jl Raya Ubud, is one of the prettiest venues. Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/themes/best-in-travel-2013/best-back-in-time-entertainments/?intaffil=lpemail#ixzz2EmsPhD4v
Posted on: November 26, 2012 at 6:02PMthought I had gotten a great deal when I traveled to Cancun Mexico and bought a timeshare (this was my second timeshare purchase) to the beautiful Palace Resorts Premier organization. I guess it's all in the way that you look at it. Palace Resorts offers some of the most beautiful five star properties in Mexico. I have a hard time deciding which one of their properties is my favorite. Moon Palace Resort is huge, boasting over 2,000 deluxe jacuzzi rooms. Their lobby entrance is grand, decorated with marble columns, marble floors so clean you could even eat off of them, and gorgeous stained glass ceilings. The lobby is bustling with excitement and visitors are scurrying to and from the 12 on-site restaurants, shops, and spa facilities. You really couldn't ask for a more wonderful vacation resort. Then there is my personal favorite, the Playacar Palace Resort. Playacar has about 200 modern and beautifully appointed deluxe jacuzzi rooms. The view is spectacular as you look out over the blue greens of the Mexican caribbean sea. Off in the distance faintly, you can see the island of Cozumel and at night, the island's twinkling lights. Just to your left, the ferry boats maintain their busy schedule taking tourists and local workers to and from the island of Cozumel many times throughout the day. If you are a shopper, you will love Playacar as the famous 5th Avenue shops are right around the corner from the resort. There is a huge local Mexican marketplace right beside it. The famed Froggy's sits right on Playacar's small, but white powder sugary sand beach. The pools and swim up bar are ever so relaxing. The service is second to none anywhere I have traveled. I could go on and on, and maybe now you can see why I purchased my timeshare. But the point to all of this is vacation discounts. Now that I have purchased way too many weeks for me and my family to use in both of our lifetimes, I sell the use of my VIP membership on Ebay. That is a great deal for you, the vacationer, as you get all of my benefits and save $700 or more off of your deluxe jacuzzi room while getting a free manicure, pedicure, massage and free unlimited tours and so much more. You will have an excellent vacation taking advantage of using my VIP discount. But that's not all. I recently joined a travel membership club that, had I known existed before purchasing my timeshare, hands-down, I would not have purchased my timeshare. Here's why. My Palace Resorts Timeshare is an excellent timeshare. I know what I am going to get when I travel and I know I am getting the best value for my money. I have to be honest with you though. It was very very expensive. The downpayment was expensive and now the monthly payments on top of that are very expensive. I even have my whole timeshare up for sale, along with selling the use of my membership weeks on Ebay. Here's why I have it up for sale. I joined a travel membership club. When I took a look at this membership club and saw that they were negotiating with Palace Resorts to get just about the same discounted rates (not the same vip membership benefits but just a little bit higher cost than my own vip membership WITHOUT having to join the timeshare), I almost fell off of my computer chair. In fact, this membership club offers timeshare travel to four and five star resorts (over 5,000 of them worldwide), and deep discount cruises and airfare discounts, without having to pay the extraordinary charges associated with a timeshare, to numerous resorts I had already been to. I knew the quality of the resorts they were offering and it took me about a half hour and I became a member. Having owned two timeshares, I immediately saw the value in this club membership and knew I would never buy another timeshare again during my lifetime. I could not believe that they even have what are called "hot weeks" to five star resorts for $298 per week! The most they ever charge is $698 for a week for a family of up to four. And, they were offering to give members a chance to tell others about their club and if they did, and someone joined, they could earn up to $1,000 over and over again. It does seem to be too good to be true, but now I have something else I can pass along to my children and family members that will allow them to save literally thousands upon thousands of dollars when they go on vacation. In conclusion, you have two new discount vacation options open to you. . . you can rent my timeshare week on Ebay which is a great deal (remember, I paid all of the timeshare costs so you don't have to) by paying to use my VIP membership number or you can find out more information about joining one of the best travel clubs on the planet today, backed by 20 years of success, and save yourself and your family a small fortune in the process.
Posted on: November 26, 2012 at 5:25PMShould you buy a timeshare or join a vacation club is a question that has been asked by many who love to travel. The more you know about each, the better decision you will be able to make. I am an avid traveler and love to head toward any resort that offers a white, sandy beach. I have also owned several timeshares (and do presently) and also, more recently, now own a vacation club membership. The truth being told, if I had to do it all over again after joining the vacation club, I would never have purchased a timeshare. Many timeshares are very expensive. You need to put money down up front or pay for the entire timeshare purchase. The most expensive timeshares require a lot of money up front but they don't necessarily require maintenance fees. Even though you pay a significant amount of money up front you still have to pay when you travel. The only difference is that you will save about $1,000 off the week that you book and you will have other priviledges that non-timeshare owners don't have. You do have great flexibility in when you can travel and how often you can travel with some of the timeshares. Other timeshares don't cost quite as much and they have what are called fixed weeks. Fixed week timeshares don't require a payment at the time that you travel but you will be paying maintenance fees every month or every year depending on how your timeshare company sets up your payments. The problem with monthly fees is that they can go up uncontrollably and you are subject to increased payments due to natural disasters. The club membership that I have requires that you pay a one time, lifetime fee up front to join. It is about the cost of a nice one week vacation that you might take your family on to join, however, once you pay that once in a lifetime cost, you are only obligated to pay for the actual weeks that you choose. Those weeks range in price from $298 to $698 on average. Occasionally there will be a more expensive week offered, but there are over 5,000 weeks to choose from that are under $698. There are accommodations for two to four for the same one week price. There are numerous four and five star resorts, including some Gold Crown RCI resorts that are part of the membership club. I would definitely choose a membership club over ever buying another timeshare. The investment I paid up front will pay itself back in my next two or three vacations. Then I am free to travel as many times a year as I want and take as many guests along as I want as well at the same discount price that I receive. The more flexible you are the more money you will save. Can you imagine staying in a five star resort in Hawaii during a "hot week" for $298? or even for $698? How about going on a cruise for $298! It's true. You just have to know where to go to find out.
Posted on: November 22, 2012 at 2:09AMOne way to rekindle the fire between the sheets is to take off on an intimate adults-only getaway. Even if it's only for a long weekend, taking a time-out can add a little extra electricity to your relationship and give you a chance to recharge and reconnect. These 6 sexy slipaways offer couples a chance to indulge themselves and feast all of their senses. The Four Seasons Maui at Wailea Maui, Hawaii The gorgeous landscape of Maui is custom-made for romance. Boasting year-round bikini-friendly temperatures and a diverse lineup of activities -- from posh spas and postcard-worthy beaches to world-class golf courses and waterfall hiking -- Maui is a tropical respite from the real world. Once you set foot in the 5-star Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, you'll be hard-pressed to break free from the poolside foot massages, Japanese Kobe beef at DUO, complimentary activities and endless thoughtful amenities. Wickaninnish Inn Tofino, Canada Few places in the world are more romantic than the relatively unspoiled Tofino. Tucked away on the western end of British Columbia's Vancouver Island, you'll spend days meandering through Pacific Rim National Park or kayaking, surfing and whale-watching at Long Beach -- widely considered 1 of the best oceanfronts in all of Canada. After sunset, cuddle up in front of a fireplace listening to the crashing waves with a glass of British Columbia wine. Romantics will love the posh environs of the Wickaninnish Inn where every room boasts ocean or beach views. Try side-by-side couple's treatments at the resort's elegant Ancient Cedars Spa. Viceroy Santa Monica Santa Monica, California Think SoCal sophistication sans the snobbery of other nearby beachfront locales. A mere 16 miles west of the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica is the quintessential laid-back California beach town. A thrill at any age, steal smooches with your honey on the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Beach & Pier, admire the always-stunning sunsets or shop till you drop at retail mecca, the Third Street Promenade. For a romantic rendezvous, indulge yourselves at the Viceroy Santa Monica. From private poolside cabanas to retro-style bikes guests can borrow to cruise along the beach to top-notch dining at the property's restaurant, Whist. Here Chef Warren Schwartz will customize menus for über-romantic cabana dinners. The Setai Miami, Florida Packed with runway-ready locals, glamorous nightclubs, spectacular warm weather and picture-perfect beaches, there's something inherently sexy about Miami's South Beach. The ultimate getaway for nightlife lovers, the Ocean Drive strip of restaurants and clubs is always a scenester's haven, and there are plenty of swank places to sleep in late after a night on the town. Among the most luxurious is Asian-inspired The Setai. A Zen-like counterbalance to trendier hotels, suites are spacious and serene, the pool areas feature 3 pools with 3 different temperatures and the hotel spa offers in-room treatments. When the sun goes down, the hotel's courtyard transforms into a sexy lounge with mood-making ambient music. AQUA Cancun Cancun, Mexico Cancun gets a bad rap for resorts filled with raucous spring breakers and screaming kids, but this Mexican-owned Grupo Posadas property defies such silly notions. Despite its Zona Turística address, calm, privacy and panoramic blue skies prevail at this tony resort. Expect soothing hues, large airy rooms, and resident DJ Gottardo Dorado's tunes perfecting the vibe. The clientele is marked by mostly luxury-minded 30-something sun-worshippers, and service is personable. Splurge for a suite; they come equipped with freestanding circular Jacuzzi tubs and Aqua Lounge access. L'Auberge Carmel Carmel-by-the-Sea, California With its mix of chi-chi boutiques, art galleries and bistros, the coastal village of Carmel, where Clint Eastwood was once mayor, caters to a well-heeled clientele. This former artists' colony is now a romantic refuge for those who appreciate a refined and slow-paced getaway. Built in 1929 and later renovated, L'Auberge is the intentionally intimate 20-room boutique hotel owned by the husband-and-wife team of David and Kathleen Fink. Rooms with French windows and ocean views are kitted out with comfy king-sized beds, decadent Hungarian down bedding, an oversized sunken tub and heated bathroom floors. The hotel's 12-table restaurant, Aubergine, is equally beguiling and features a 4,500-bottle wine cellar.
Posted on: September 11, 2012 at 11:07PMFirst started in 1916, the U.S. National Park system was touted as Americas best idea. Created to preserve and protect our greatest resources both historically and naturally, the U.S. is now home to almost 400 National Parks which host almost 300 million visitors each year. More than just protecting the areas they encompass, National Parks also serve to educate their visitors as well as revitalizing the communities around them with programs which celebrate the local cultures and heritage that make them special. A great way to enjoy a vacation, National Parks are an inexpensive way to see some of the worlds most spectacular areas and not spend much money. Berkshire Concepts Boston MA invites you to get out and enjoy a National Park near you on your vacation. You do not have to spend a lot to see some of the most amazing sites in the world, you just need to know where to find them. Take a look at some of our National Parks most popular destinations with a look at the top five National Parks in the U.S. 2010 Statistics Rocky Mountain NP (CO) – Showcasing the beauty and awe inspiring Rocky Mountains, elevations range from 8,000 feet in the lush valleys to 14,259 feet at the top of Longs Peak. Visitors here can see sites unmatched in the world and experience adventures of a lifetime Yellowstone NP (WY, MT, ID) – Established in 1872, Yellowstone is America’s first National Park. Here visitors have a chance to see a large variety of wildlife including not only large predators such as grizzly bears, wolves and black bears but other amazing animals including bison and elk. Yellowstone is famous for Old Faithful and more geysers and hot springs than anywhere in the world. Yosemite (CA) – Amazing views of natures awesome power can be found throughout Yosemite including granite, glaciers and the High Sierra Mountains. One of the first wilderness parks in the U.S., Yosemite is best known for its amazing waterfalls and ancient giant sequoias. Grand Canyon NP – (AZ) – Encompassing over 270 miles of rivers and canyons, mountains and more, the Grand Canyon received National Park Status in 1919, just three years after the creation of the Park Service itself. Generally receiving almost 5 million visitors each year, Grand Canyon offers much to do from exploring archeology to walking out on a glass platform extending out over a two mile deep ravine above the mighty Colorado River. Great Smoky Mountains NP (TN, NC) – A hikers paradise, over 800 miles of maintained trails wind their way through some of the most stunning mountain views in the world. Known for its rich ecological diversity, this is Americas most visited National Park.
Posted on: September 11, 2012 at 11:06PMBershire Concepts NationaL Parks First started in 1916, the U.S. National Park system was touted as Americas best idea. Created to preserve and protect our greatest resources both historically and naturally, the U.S. is now home to almost 400 National Parks which host almost 300 million visitors each year. More than just protecting the areas they encompass, National Parks also serve to educate their visitors as well as revitalizing the communities around them with programs which celebrate the local cultures and heritage that make them special. A great way to enjoy a vacation, National Parks are an inexpensive way to see some of the worlds most spectacular areas and not spend much money. Berkshire Concepts Boston MA invites you to get out and enjoy a National Park near you on your vacation. You do not have to spend a lot to see some of the most amazing sites in the world, you just need to know where to find them. Take a look at some of our National Parks most popular destinations with a look at the top five National Parks in the U.S. 2010 Statistics Rocky Mountain NP (CO) – Showcasing the beauty and awe inspiring Rocky Mountains, elevations range from 8,000 feet in the lush valleys to 14,259 feet at the top of Longs Peak. Visitors here can see sites unmatched in the world and experience adventures of a lifetime Yellowstone NP (WY, MT, ID) – Established in 1872, Yellowstone is America’s first National Park. Here visitors have a chance to see a large variety of wildlife including not only large predators such as grizzly bears, wolves and black bears but other amazing animals including bison and elk. Yellowstone is famous for Old Faithful and more geysers and hot springs than anywhere in the world. Yosemite (CA) – Amazing views of natures awesome power can be found throughout Yosemite including granite, glaciers and the High Sierra Mountains. One of the first wilderness parks in the U.S., Yosemite is best known for its amazing waterfalls and ancient giant sequoias. Grand Canyon NP – (AZ) – Encompassing over 270 miles of rivers and canyons, mountains and more, the Grand Canyon received National Park Status in 1919, just three years after the creation of the Park Service itself. Generally receiving almost 5 million visitors each year, Grand Canyon offers much to do from exploring archeology to walking out on a glass platform extending out over a two mile deep ravine above the mighty Colorado River. Great Smoky Mountains NP (TN, NC) – A hikers paradise, over 800 miles of maintained trails wind their way through some of the most stunning mountain views in the world. Known for its rich ecological diversity, this is Americas most visited National Park.
Posted on: September 11, 2012 at 11:05PMYou hear it over and over again from inexperienced travelers, they just want to let their vacation unfold as it will. While it can benefit you to leave some parts of your vacation up to chance, you will be far better off if you spend time learning about your destination before you go and plan ahead. Travel abroad can seem daunting what with all the preparations involved with your journey from the very start. Planning what to pack and making sure that you have all the correct paperwork is just the beginning. Throw in communication barriers, culture differences and other just getting around and you can easily have a logistical nightmare if you are not prepared. Preparation can make or break your trip, so it is best to begin planning early, especially for the longer vacations and those outside of the country. If you are staying in the country, you are still well advised to plan ahead as well as the U.S. is a quite diverse area. If you are from Midwest for example, you may be completely unprepared for what to expect in Hawaii or the US Virgin Islands as they are culturally and climatically, very different from your home. Therefore, researching what to expect can be the most important step to ensuring that you can know what to expect and further enhance your experience. Making The Most Of You Vacation We work very hard to get both the time and the money to travel to all the destinations we want to explore and for this reason, it is in our best interest to do what we can before we go to make sure that we get the most from our vacation. Make sure you pay attention to all the ways that you can prepare before you go including: What to bring What is your budget Where are you staying What do you want to see Where are you going to go How can you be contacted in case of emergency Have you traveled without preparing? How did it impact your trip? How do you better prepare now? Berkshire Concepts reviews the facts, areas and information to help you make more of your experiences. Whether traveling for the weekend or the summer, it is important that you research topics to help you. Do not leave everything up to chance when you travel. Make more of your vacation by being prepared. Review travel with Berkshire Concepts.