Travel Guide: Venice, Italy

Venice is like no other city in the world. Built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea, Venice can only truly be experienced in person. Despite some rain and cooler temperatures, December and January are some of the quietest times of the year to visit this stunning city.

What to Do

Grand Canal in Venice, Italy
Photo Courtesy of Britannica

The Grand Canal is one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city. It’s also a classic way to view Venice’s beautiful Venetian architecture. Take a gondola down the canal, where you will end at two of the most stunning monuments, the Palazzo Ducale and the Basilica di San Marco.

The city of Venice is stunning at any angle, but a view from above is a great way to take it all in. Climb to the top of Campanile di San Marco for views that stretch across Venice’s rooftops.

Where to Stay

Ca'sagrado Hotel in Venice, Italy
Photo Courtesy of Ca’sagredo Hotel

This 5-star luxury hotel is also a national monument located a few minutes away from St. Mark’s Square. Ca’sagredo Hotel is a 15th century grand central palazzo with original frescoes by Tiepolo and Longhi. The interior features a ceremonial marble staircase and an ornate 18th century music room. There are four stunning historical suites that include terraces with stunning rooftop views.

What to See

Palazzo Ducale in Venice, Italy

The Palazzo Ducale is a symbol of Venice and one of the city’s main landmarks. Made up of three large blocks, this building once held the political and administrative seat of the Venetian Republic. It was originally built in the Venetian Gothic style in the 14th and 15th century and still maintains its grandeur.

Basilica di San Marco in Venice, Italy
Photo Courtesy of Art.It

The Basilica di San Marco is a popular tourist destination for a reason. The cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice features over 800 square meters of beautiful mosaics. It was originally founded in the 9th century to house the corpse of St. Mark. It burnt down in 932 but was rebuilt with Byzantine domes, a Greek cross layout and walls clad of marble.

The Jetsetters 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas is a little over two weeks away, let the holiday shopping commence! For the jetsetter who spends more time in the air than on land, we have the ultimate gift guide for you. From the next best in luggage to killer wireless headphones, we have the gifts that your travel trendy loved ones won’t want to live without.

Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Series 3
Photo Courtesy of Apple

This isn’t your ordinary watch, the third generation Apple Watch features built-in LTE cellular so you no longer have to carry around your iPhone to use it. This is the ideal watch for traveling with its integrated GPS and sleek Apple design. Ask Siri to send a text message all while streaming your favorite song. Now that’s multitasking.

Arlo Skye Luggage

Arlo Skye Luggage
Photo Courtesy of Arlo Skye

The jetsetter is always on the hunt for the next best in luggage. Arlo Skye is just that. With sleek looks, silent Japanese engineered wheels, no zippers and a built in battery bank, it will be smooth sailing down the runway. Bonus: Arlo Skye uses anodized aluminum and an alloy shell to help reduce scratching for a clean classic look.

AKG N60 NC Wireless Headphones

AKG N60 NC Wireless Headphones
Photo Courtesy of AKG

If you are looking for the best in lightweight noise canceling headphones, AKG N60 NC Wireless Headphones are it. The lightweight feel and compact size doesn’t put any additional pressure on your ears and can be worn comfortably on cross-country and international flights. They also feature blue tooth connectivity and up to 30 hours of the best-in-class noise canceling technology.

La Prairie Swiss Cellular White Intensive Illuminating Mask

La Prairie Swiss Cellular Illuminating Mask
Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom

For all those ladies (and men!) looking to hydrate their skin after a long flight, look no further. The La Prairie Swiss Cellular White Intensive Illuminating Mask is a skin relaxing two-part mask that saturates the skin with moisture, leaving it smooth and nourished. It also features potent brightening effects that reduce discoloration and even out skin tone. This pack comes with six masks to maintain that glow no matter the destination.

Nerocco iPad Mini Case

Nerocco iPad Mini Case
Photo Courtesy of Etsy

Whether your loved one travels for business or pleasure, it’s always best when the essentials are organized and all in one place. The Nerocco iPad Mini Case is a sleek portfolio made in Germany from genuine leather. It has five slots for credit cards, a slot for bills and most importantly, will keep your tablet secure. The delicate design features a snap closure and a stand function so you can Netflix and chill mid-flight.

Top 3 European Holiday Destinations

With the month of December right around the corner, we can’t help but get in the holiday spirit. For those looking to immerse themselves in all things winter wonderland, there are a few European cities that really come to life. From Christmas markets to a holiday circus, you don’t want to miss these top three European holiday destinations!

Luxembourg

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Photo Courtesy of Visit Luxembourg

Every year traditional Christmas markets pop up throughout Luxembourg, making this city a great holiday destination. The Place d’Armes, Place de la Constitution and Place de Paris turn into Christmas villages with small wooden huts selling candles, toys, decorations and sweets. You will also find traditional food and drink like hot wine and potato pancakes and sausages. While this city does not celebrate Santa Claus, they do have St. Nicholas Day on December 6th!

London

London, England
Photo Courtesy of Town & Country Magazine

This festive city has an array of holiday activities from Christmas markets to ice-skating and the popular Winter Wonderland. The city’s largest Christmas market, Winter Wonderland, fills Hyde Park with over 200 wooden cabins selling handmade crafts and jewelry. After perusing the market, visit the largest open air ice-skating rink in the country or check out the holiday lights at the Royal Botanical Gardens, where over a million bulbs illuminate trees, gardens and buildings.

Zurich

Circus Conelli, Zurich
Photo Courtesy of Weihnachten Zuerich

The city of Zurich turns into an enchanting holiday wonderland come December. The Christmas markets and Advent events will fill your calendar and boost your holiday spirit. Visit Europe’s largest covered market Christkindlimarkt with a sparking 15-foot tree as its centerpiece or watch the historical Lichterschwimmen, where children in Zurich release hundreds of candles on the Limmat River. And not to be missed is Circus Conelli, Switzerland’s first Christmas circus which has been a permanent fixture of Advent for more than 30 years.

 

Travel Guide: Seville, Spain

The capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region, Seville entices visitors with its flamenco dancing, historic architecture and warm hospitality. Discover one of the world’s largest cathedrals, nosh on delicious tapas and experience the soul of the city with our travel guide to Seville!

Where to Stay

Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain
Photo Courtesy of Hotel Alfonso XIII Seville

Most of the hotels in Seville are housed in former palaces or noblemen’s stately homes. Hotel Alfonso XIII, located in the historic Santa Cruz quarter, once housed dignitaries in 1929. In 2012 it was completely renovated and the Moorish architecture was enriched and beautifully restored. The 151 rooms are some of the most lavish in town, with intricately carved ceilings, frescoes and tile work.

Where to Eat

El Rinconcillo, Seville, Spain
Photo Courtesy of Jet Setting Fools

The region’s infamous tapas originated in Andalusia’s taverns and are traditionally served with sherry or wine. One of the country’s oldest bars and one of Seville’s most beloved tapas spots is El Rinconcillo. This ancient bar dates back to 1670 and the authentic wooden and tile interior remains untouched. Another locally loved spot is Restaurante Eslava, which serves Seville’s most popular tapas, with a twist. Located in the San Lorenzo district, you can order tapas in half or full portions to share.

What to Do

Seville Cathedral, Seville, Spain
Photo Courtesy of Travel for Kids

For a peak inside Seville’s soul visit Barrio Triana on the opposite bank of Guadalquivir. This district is the birthplace of flamenco, beautiful handmade tiles and some world-class bullfighters. Of all the historical buildings in the city, Seville Cathedral is one of the most amazing. Erected in 1502, it’s the world’s largest cathedral and inside you will find the tomb of Christopher Columbus and famous Spanish paintings.

The Best Hotels in Los Cabos, Mexico

As the cold and rainy weather sets in, what better time to take a warm weather getaway! Los Cabos, located on the Baja Peninsula, boasts 350 days of sunshine per year, making it the ultimate seaside escape. With so many accommodations to choose from we’ve narrowed it down to the best, from boutique-style to all-inclusives.

Hotel El Ganzo

Hotel El Ganzo, Los Cabos, Mexico
Photo Courtesy of El Ganzo

This unique boutique hotel celebrates diversity, creativity, artistry and sustainability. The 70 guest rooms at Hotel El Ganzo are a much-needed departure from what you would see at a cookie-cutter resort. They are filled with custom furnishings, original artwork and the finest amenities. Spend your days at the hotel spa, rooftop sushi bar and listen to live music at the hotel’s Underground Studio.

One & Only Palmilla

One & Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico
Photo Courtesy of One and Only Resorts

Somewhere between boutique hotel and all-inclusive resort is the One & Only Palmilla. This resort features beach front access to one of the few swimmable beaches in the entire region. There are four onsite restaurants serving everything from steak and seafood to light fare and specialty drinks. For the utmost privacy, book the new private villa, which features four bedrooms, a butler suite and dramatic views of Sea of Cortez.

Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort

Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico
Photo Courtesy of Jet Setter

This all-inclusive resort is nestled on a secluded beach and caters to adults seeking a tranquil ocean front hideaway. Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort features 201 rooms with superb dining, a wellness inspired spa and private beach privileges. Stay in the recently debuted Towers at Pacifica, which includes 47 rooms and suites with private terraces. Venture to the third tower by sky bridge to discover an ocean front VIP lounge and state of the art fitness center.

Travel Guide: Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva is many things, a modern day international hub, a gateway to the Alps and a diversely rich cultural center. But one of the best parts about this city is that it can easily be conquered in a weekend!

What to Do

Mont Saleve, Geneva
Photo Courtesy of Geneve.com

Geneva is located on the southern tip of Lake Geneva with the Alps and Jura mountains as its backdrop. For one of the best views of the city, take a cable car up to Mont Saleve, known as the balcony of Geneva. If you prefer an outdoor adventure, hiking, paragliding or mountain biking is available.

Jet D'Eau, Geneva
Photo Courtesy of Geneva.info

Known as the world’s tallest water fountain, Jet D’Eau is one of the most famous monuments in Geneva. In 1886 it was originally built to control and release the excessive pressure of a hydraulic plant. Today it pushes 132 gallons of water up 459 feet every second! If the wind picks up, you are sure to get soaked.

What to See

St. Peter's Cathedral, Geneva
Photo Courtesy of My Switzerland

Make your way through the cobblestone streets of Old Town, starting at St. Peter’s Cathedral. Climb the 157 steps to the North Tower for some spectacular views of the city. With more than 30 museums and art galleries, there is plenty to see in Old Town. Make a stop at Les Armures Restaurant where they serve Swiss specialties, like raclette and fondue.

Patek Phillippe Museum, Geneva
Photo Courtesy of Watch Time

The art of Swiss clock making has its roots in Geneva. To learn all about the history visit Patek Phillippe Museum. Spread over four floors you will discover how Geneva became a watch-making center and on display are some of the most complicated and unusual watches in the world.

Where to Stay

Hotel Les Armures, Geneva
Photo Courtesy of Hotel Les Armures

Luxury meets history at Hotel Les Armures. This 5-star hotel is located in a historic family residence in the heart of Old Town. Inside you will find the epitome of refined 17th century elegance. The 32 restored rooms and suites have maintained the spirit of a private residence and the hotel restaurant is one of the oldest in the city.

The Best Alternative Airports in England

The holidays are fast approaching and it’s time to finalize travel plans and book your plane tickets, if you haven’t already. While Heathrow and Gatwick are the most popular airports in England, there are many alternative airports that can get you were you need to be.

London City Airport

London City Airport
Photo Courtesy of UK Construction Media

The London City Airport is considered the gateway to the North and Northwest. The major perk of landing or taking off from this airport is its close proximity to the busting capital. London City Airport is 10 miles from the city center and is closer than any other airport in the country. It’s a great airport for business travelers and serves many major American travel hubs if you seek an international destination.

Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport
Photo Courtesy of Manchester Evening News

This city is known for its soccer clubs and being the capital of the North. It also holds a major international airport eight miles south of the city. Manchester Airport is the third busiest airport in England with more than 19 million passengers each year. It might not be a major inbound destination, but it can get you where you need to be. With such a lively metropolitan city center, flying into this airport can also be quite a treat!

Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport
Photo Courtesy of Bristol Post

This relatively small, but busy airport just experienced a record summer! Passenger numbers reached eight million in a 12-month period. Bristol Airport is currently the ninth busiest airport in the UK and the fifth largest outside of London. This is a great airport if you’re seeking to explore areas in West England or South Wales. There are no direct flights to the United States, but there are many connecting flights to major U.S. cities.

 

Top 5 Places to Visit in Barcelona

This bustling capital has been breaking ground in art and architecture since the 19th century. Barcelona continues to impress visitors today with its iconic Gaudi structures, the Gothic Quarter and the Picasso Museum, among others. If you find yourself in this lively city, don’t miss visiting these incredible spots.

Park Guell

Park Guell, Barcelona
Photo Courtesy of Lonely Planet

This whimsical public park was originally supposed to be a housing community. Today Parc Guell covers 42 acres of land with a quintessential Antoni Gaudi twist. The park is built around the natural elements of the land and was modeled after gardens Gaudi had seen in England. The colorful mosaics and Dr. Suess-style architecture draws thousands of visitors daily.

Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter, Barcelona
Photo Courtesy of Barcelonando

The Gothic Quarter is the oldest part of Barcelona and also one of the liveliest. Lose the map and let yourself wander through the streets where you will spot Roman and Medieval architecture as well as cafes, bars, clubs and shops. Walk down Placa de la Catedral to see the stunning Barcelona Cathedral.

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
Photo Courtesy of Architectural Digest

For over 40 years Catalan art nouveau master Antoni Gaudi devoted himself to the construction of La Sagrada Familia or Church of Sacred Family. He was not able to finish the structure, but it remains his most recognized work. Gaudi worked off of the neo-Gothic style but went for something more innovative. Through his architecture he aimed to teach people about Catholicism. The four towers represent the 12 apostles and the carved facades show the life of Christ.

Museu Picasso

Museu Picasso, Barcelona
Photo Courtesy of Ajuntament de Barcelona

Discover the many sides of Pablo Picasso at the Museu Picasso. On display are several thousand pieces featured on a timeline that allows you to follow Picasso’s progression from more controlled works to the whimsical paintings and sculptures at the end of his career, including several works from his famous blue period. In addition, you can explore his lifelong relationship with the city of Barcelona.

Palau de la Musica Catalana

Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona
Photo Courtesy of Palau Musica

The Palau de la Musica Catalana is one of the most beautiful modernist buildings in the city. The polychromatic exterior draws visitors in and the flamboyant interior keeps them coming back.  Lluis Domenech I Montaner depicted the Catalan modernista style through the ornate sculptures and inverted stained glass dome. Join a guided tour or better yet, watch a concert!

48 Hours in Faro, Portugal

Near southern Portugal’s resort towns is a city that has retained its peaceful ambiance and traditional charm. Faro might not be a destination for most tourists, but hidden among its cobblestone streets and deserted beaches is a city worth visiting. Spend 48 hours in Faro for a peek into Portuguese history.

What to Do

Ria Formosa National Park, Faro
Photo Courtesy of Formosamar

Faro is located on the edge of the Ria Formosa National Park. This park is one of the seven natural wonders in Portugal. Its unique coastal salt-water lagoons are protected from the sea by five barrier islands and two peninsulas. You will witness an array of natural habitats, from marshes and tidal flats to dunes and woodlands.

The three sandbar islands make up Faro’s beaches, which are some of the least developed in the Algarve region. The best beach is Praia de Faro, a five-kilometer stretch of golden sand and blue waters that runs along Ilha de Faro. For a day trip, take a boat out to Ilha Deserta or Barreta Island, a deserted island forming part of Ria Formosa.

Where to Stay

Hotel Faro, Portugal
Photo Courtesy of Hotel Faro

For the best of both worlds, stay at Hotel Faro. This elegant hotel boasts views of the marina and Ria Formosa National Park, while still being in the city center. The sophisticated rooms, ranging from standard to suite, are spacious and bright. Enjoy dinner at the Ria Formosa Lounge Bar and Restaurant located on the hotel’s rooftop. Also located on the roof, a heated hydro-massage pool and solarium.

What to See

Capela Dos Ossos, Faro
Photo Courtesy of Atlas Obscura

Make your way into old town through the Arco da Vila, one of three gates leading into the city’s old quarters. One of the most beautiful historical monuments is the Faro Cathedral, built in the 13th century. You won’t want to miss seeing the Capela dos Ossos, the bone chapel. Inside the small chapel you will find bones and 1,245 skulls from overcrowded cemeteries that have been incorporated into the design of the walls.

The Best European Cities for Fall Travel

Cooler days and crimson hues have us craving a fall weekend getaway. What better way to admire the beautiful foliage than a visit to one of Europe’s stunning city centers? From a classic autumn in Paris to Prague’s cozy fare, you can’t go wrong visiting these cities in the fall.

Paris, France

Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris
Photo Courtesy of Serene Marceau

There is rarely a bad time to visit the city of Paris, but it’s truly breathtaking in the fall. Take in the beautiful foliage with a stroll around Jardin du Luxembourg and enjoy a coffee outside at a nearby café. Stay at the Hotel d’Aubusson, a former 17th century mansion in Saint Germain des Pres and walk to all the best museums and art galleries.

London, England

London, England
Photo Courtesy of Visit London

Known as a layover city, London is so much more than a pit stop. With over 300 museums and a dozen plus parks, there are endless ways to enjoy the fall colors. Join the Royal Parks Walk, a tour of the city’s five main parks. After a day of walking, duck into a cozy pub like The Spaniards Inn. Take a seat in one of their comfy leather chairs, order their famous roast and snuggle up by the open fire.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia
Photo Courtesy of Dubrovnik Hotels

With temperatures hovering around 65 degrees, Dubrovnik is the perfect spot to comfortably enjoy autumn’s beautiful weather. Spend your time in Old Town, the city’s cultural center, which is filled with baroque churches and aristocratic palaces. Stay at the Pucic Palace, a 17th century building overlooking the main square in Old Town, where the rooms are filled with antiques and views of the city.

Edinburgh, Scotland

The Witchery by the Castle, Edinburgh
Photo Courtesy of Telegraph

This city is known for its leaves turning shades of gold, bronze and crimson. One of the best places to take in fall’s beauty is at the Royal Botanical Garden. Rest your head in Old Town at the Witchery by the Castle, which features nine Gothic-style suites tucked into two buildings that date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Enjoy the hotel’s candle-lit restaurant, one of the best in town.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Italy
Photo Courtesy of Telegraph

With warm days that last through September, Prague is filled with a golden light that is perfect for admiring the fall foliage. End your day with some traditional Czech fare, cabbage, pork, potatoes and beer. Stay at the Romantik Hotel U Raka, which is made up of two farm buildings that date back to 1794. Inside you will find the original wood beam ceilings and open hearths in the rooms.