Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Vaux le Vicomte

On a 500-hectare estate only 45 minutes outside of Paris in Maincy, France, lies the magnifique chateau, Vaux le Vicomte - a quintessential example of 17th-century baroque architecture and elegance. 

17th-Century Opulence
While not as widely known as Fontainebleau or Versailles, the 41,000-foot Vaux le Vicomte showcases an array of lavishly decorated apartments and bedrooms, a stunning double-height Grand Salon with embellished ceilings painted by Charles Le Brun, and its signature formal French garden with 26 ponds. Of course, there's also a moat and a carriage house full of period carriages.

A Brief History of Vaux le Vicomte
Designed in 1653 by famed architect Andre le Notre, Vaux le Vicomte was built for Nicolas Fouquet, the soon-to-be Superintendent of Finances for France. His extravagance in building his masterpiece came to the attention of politician Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who claimed Fouquet had embezzled his fortune. On August 17, 1661, Fouquet threw a lavish party in honor of King Louis XIV, which included spectacular fireworks. The plot worked as only 2 weeks later, Fouquet was arrested and Colbert became the finance minister.

"On 17 August, at 6 o'clock in the evening, 

Fouquet was king of France;

at 2 o’clock in the morning, he was nothing.” 

- Voltaire

After Fouquets arrest, the entire contents of Vaux le Vicomte were auctioned off. Eventually, Vaux was abandoned for 30 years and was again auctioned off in 1875, which is initially when it's elegant restoration started. 

Celebrating Vaux le Vicomte Today
Today visitors are welcome to step back in time to experience Vaux le Vicomte at its 1600s prime. On Saturday from May through the end of September, guests can enjoy a magical Candlelit Evening complete with a pop-up restaurant in the garden and a period character walking tour. There's also family dining and am exquisite champagne and macron option.

How to Get to Vaux le Vicomte
From Paris, it's easy to take a 1-hour train ride on Line P from Paris Gare de L'Est while disembarking at Verneuil l’Etang. There's a cash-only shuttle available to the chateau. There are also coach tours available through Paris CityVision.  

The Ultimate Way to Visit Vaux le Vicomte
If you'd like to see the chateau in a unique way, consider taking a hot air balloon ride high above the beautiful French countryside. Or, the ultimate and most extravagant way to visit Vaux le Vicomte is by helicopter. Imagine being whisked out of Paris on a private helicopter, landing at the chateau at dusk, savoring a gourmet 3-course dinner, to be followed by a limousine transfer back to Paris. What could be more romantic??

On Sunday, June 26th, 2016, Vaux le Vicomte will once again play host to it's popular Grand Siecle luncheon and fashion show event. Visitors can join in on the fun by renting period costumes, or just enjoy watching the carriage promenades, falconry and entertainment including minuet performances.

For more information or to make your reservation, visit Vaux le Vicomte. 

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What Does $25 a Night Buy You in Costa Rica?

What does $25 a night buy you in Costa Rica?? How about a 1-bedroom, ocean-view condo with a rooftop terrace!! Really?? As low as $25, during green/low season from April through October, this great condo can be yours. Now is your time to visit Costa Rica!!

Where's this Costa Rica condo located? It's in a little fishing town, Playas del Coco, on the northern Pacific coast in the province of Guanacaste. The 1-bedroom ocean-view condo is in a small, quiet complete (17 units) about 5 minutes away from the beach by taxi.

What does the condo offer?
🌴bedroom with a king-sized bed and a balcony
🌴airy 10-foot high ceilings
🌴air-conditioning throughout
🌴kitchen featuring Costa Rican wood cabinets & granite counter tops
🌴living room with a flat-screen tv
🌴personal safe & 24-hour on-site security 
🌴FREE laundry facilities
🌴swimming pool just steps from the front door

Check availability now!

What are the things to do in Playas del Coco? There's a great selection of nightlife ranging from beach bars to clubs, and restaurants going from mom & pop places serving a typical Costa Rican dish to high-end seafood dining. There are shops, several grocery stores and a movie theater. But that's just Playas del Coco! You can go scuba diving, sunset sailing, canoeing, jet skiing, mountain biking and more. Check out the area beaches with 3 different colors of sand, watch the monkeys, go turtle watching or even take a trip to a volcano! 

Green/Low Season Specials, from $25 a night! This condo in Costa Rica offers special savings during green/low season for only $800 per month, which works out to $25 per night. If you're not able to stay that long, check out the Pay for 5, Get 2 Nights FREE savings with rates of only $300 per week, or just $43 per night.

Where's the closest airport? 
This clean and comfortable Costa Rica condo is only 25 minutes from the international airport in Liberia

For more information or to make your reservation, visit RentOurCostaRicaCondo.com.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ride the Hello Kitty Train

Hello Kitty fans rejoice: a visit to Taiwan can now include a purr-fect ride on board the high-speed Hello Kitty train!

Traveling between Taipei and Taitung (currently weekends only), this 376-passenger train oozes Hello Kitty cartoon logos from it's walls, to it's food serving carts, and right down to a life-size Hello Kitty train master. Yes, you can even pose for pictures with this adorable Hello Kitty.

While you're at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, be sure to visit the Hello Kitty airport lounge, plus there's a Hello Kitty Kitchen & Dining Restaurant in the city center. 

For more information or to book your reservation, visit the Taiwan Railways Administration.


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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Discover: Ovation of the Seas

Part of Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class, Ovation of the Seas is a billion-dollar cruise ship featuring ground-breaking innovations and attractions for guests of all ages to enjoy. Let's check it out!

Ovation of the Seas Facts:
  • Gross Tonnage 168,666
  • Length 1,138 feet
  • Maiden Voyage April 17, 2016
  • Decks 18
  • Guest capacity 4,905
  • Crew 1,500
  • 2,091 staterooms:
      1572 balcony
      148 outside
      375 virtual balcony
      16 family connected
      12 studio with balcony
What makes the Ovation of the Seas so innovative? It offers:
  • 'first at sea' activities including Ripcord by iFly (skydiving experience)
  • North Star (an over-the-sea observation capsule offering 360° views)
  • Bionic Bar powered by robotic bartenders
  • staterooms featuring virtual balconies where floor-to-ceiling high-definition screens provide real-time views of the ocean and ports
There's also an 11,000-piece art collection on board, as well as an exciting Two70 lounge that turns into a nightly entertainment production. Signature restaurants feature Japanese and Italian cuisine, a steakhouse and a gastropub.

Further amenities & sporting activities on board Ovation of the Seas include:
  • Flowrider Surf Simulator
  • circus school
  • bumper cars, basketball and roller skating at the Seaplex
  • 30-foot high rock climbing wall
  • 2 outdoor pools
  • 2 indoor pools
  • 4 whirlpools
  • Dreamworks Experience
  • Casino Royale
  • 220-foot outdoor poolside movie screen/theater
  • Video arcade
  • Vitality at Sea Spa & Fitness Center
Designer shopping on board the Ovation of the Seas includes Cartier, Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Omega. The concept of Dynamic Dining means there are no assigned seats, no set times to dine and no required formal nights.

The 2016 inaugural season of the Ovation of the Seas will be spent cruising the waters of China, Australia and New Zealand.

For more information or to make your reservation, visit Royal Caribbean International

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