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15 Amazing Hotels You’ll Regret Not Visiting in Your Lifetime

15 Amazing Hotels You’ll Regret Not Visiting in Your Lifetime

Every self-respecting traveler needs a dream-hotel bucket list. Here are a few adventurous options you can add to yours.

Ahwahnee Hotel – Yosemite National Park, United States

Ahwahnee Hotel

    “The destination of queens and presidents alike,” this Four-Diamond hotel is sure to impress travelers who appreciate the great outdoors.

    Many Glacier Hotel – Glacier National Park, United States

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      Located in “the Switzerland of North America,” this charming hotel is famous for what it doesn’t have – TV or air conditioning. The low-distraction environment is great for reading, thinking, unwinding, and connecting with the people you love.

      The Fairmont Banff Springs – Banff, Canada

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        With golf in the summer and skiing in the winter, the Fairmont Banff Springs is a treat year-round.

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        In case the outdoors aren’t your idea of a dream vacation, here are two urban hotels that tower above the competition…

        Burj Al Arab – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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          Voted “the world’s most luxurious hotel,” the Burj Al Arab’s many amenities include “an optional chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce.”

          Shangri-La Hotel – London, England

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            Located in The Shard, London’s iconic glass tower, the Shangri-La Hotel is a classy way to holiday amidst the beautiful views of England’s capital city.

            If you’re scared of heights, those last two hotels could make for a stressful vacation. Perhaps one of these quirky vacation spots will strike your fancy…

            Hotel Unique – São Paulo, Brazil

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              “Known locally as the “Watermelon” for its striking crescent shape, Hotel Unique tries, and mostly succeeds, to be a combination of quirky and luxurious.” – NYTimes

              Kakslauttanen – Saariselkä, Finland

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                While many towering luxury hotels offer views of the ground below, the glass igloos at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort turn your attention to the star-studded sky above.

                Bora Bora Four Seasons Resort – Leeward Islands, French Polynesia

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                  Relax ashore in a bungalow suite equipped with a private pool, or dare to spend your nights perched atop the turquoise waters of the lagoon.

                  Montaña Mágica Lodge – Southern Chile

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                    Tucked away in a native Chilean forest, this “Magic Mountain” hotel offers accommodations Smaug and Bilbo would both enjoy. The creative design consists of cave-like rooms nestled in a lonely mountain. Visit the hotel website for pictures of the fascinating exterior.

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                    ICEHOTEL – Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

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                      Ever stayed in a hotel that melts in the spring? Founded in 1989, Sweden’s ICEHOTEL is “an art exhibition and hotel made of natural ice and snow from one of Europe’s last wild rivers, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle.”

                      If you’re craving more traditional luxury, these next few destinations are for you.

                      The Cliff Bay – Funchal Portugal

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                        Breathtaking views, award-winning cuisine, and an atmosphere primed for romance are just are few of the luxuries provided by this Five Star hotel.

                        Porto Bay Rio Internacional – Rio de Janeiro

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                          With the calming ocean on one side and the energizing city of Rio de Janeiro on the other, Porto Bay Rio Internacional is a versatile vacation destination.

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                          Ca’ Sagredo Hotel – Venice, Italy

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                            Live like royalty in the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel, with rooms that feature magnificent Italian art and offer charming views of the Canal Grande. If Italy isn’t in the budget, you might try this next hotel.

                            The Venetian – Las Vegas, United States.

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                              Boasting a standard suite that’s “nearly double the size of the average Las Vegas hotel room,” the Venetian is a luxurious way to enjoy the city. While you’re in town, you might also want to spend a night at this next hotel.

                              The Bellagio – Las Vegas, United States

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                                With iconic fountains that served as a backdrop to Brad Pitt and George Clooney in the movie Ocean’s 11, this Five Diamond hotel is a vacation in itself.

                                Hopefully this list will inspire a trip or two for you. Happy trails!

                                Featured photo credit: Jon Rawlinson via flickr.com

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                                Last Updated on November 17, 2019

                                20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

                                20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

                                Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

                                1. Make a gift bag.

                                A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

                                2. Give a toast.

                                Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

                                3. Write a poem.

                                “Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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                                4. Create your own labels.

                                There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

                                5. Give a gift card.

                                Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

                                6. Send a letter.

                                Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

                                7. Use social media to send a special message.

                                If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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                                8. Make your own digital greeting card.

                                While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

                                9. Make a YouTube video.

                                Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

                                10. Deliver cookies or candies.

                                Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

                                11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

                                There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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                                12. Put together a flower basket.

                                Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

                                13. Take a picture.

                                Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

                                14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

                                The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

                                15. Do something special for them.

                                Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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                                16. Reciprocate their help.

                                Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

                                17. Be there for them.

                                Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

                                18. Listen to them.

                                Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

                                19. Say it in another language…or two…

                                A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

                                20. Show them some love.

                                A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

                                Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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