Discover the Other Side of Dubai – Art and Adventure in the Desert City

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Over the years, Dubai has grown to be a major business and commercial hub in the Middle East. Despite its several hotels, duty-free shopping, and world-class entertainment, Dubai is more than a business and leisure destination. The city offers an eclectic mix of art, culture, technology, and architecture. There is a different side of Dubai that should be explored if you believe in experiential traveling. To discover the other side of the city, stay at a Dubai hotel near Deira or Bur Dubai and explore the various art and adventure activities the city has to offer.

Once your touristy zeal is satiated by exploring Dubai’s manmade wonders, try these things to make the most of your Dubai vacation:

Desert Safari

desert safari dubai, dubai attractionsImage via Flickr by SimSullen

Dubai is a desert city, so your travel is incomplete without a safari to the Arabian Desert, a half-hour drive from downtown. There are several ways to explore and enjoy in the desert, such as camel rides, dune driving, quad biking, and sand boarding. As dusk falls, your Arabian Desert safari ends with a traditional belly dance performance followed by a barbecue dinner at a resort or a camping site.

Skydiving and Hot Air Ballooning

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Image via Flickr by pictcorrect

A hot air balloon ride is, perhaps, the best to way to witness the beauty of the desert from a different perspective. Glide over the desert and watch the sun rise over the golden sand dunes. The more adventurous can try skydiving for a “one-of-a-kind” experience. Jump into the void from an altitude of 4,000 meters and take in the bird’s-eye view of the iconic Palm Jumeirah as you swoop down to the landing turf.

Waterpark Amusements

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Image via Flickr by Sarah_Ackerman

With exciting water rides and fairy tale-like structures, Wild Wadi Water Park is one of the main attractions in Dubai. The amusement park’s cool wave pools, multiple water slides, and surfing machines let you beat the heat and have fun all day. If you are traveling with kids, Wild Wadi is not to be missed.

Skiing

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Image via Flickr by jonrawlinson

How does it feel to walk on the snow in a desert city like Dubai? Well, you can enjoy all those winter sports at Ski Dubai that you usually enjoy during the winter in North America. It’s not just skiing and snowboarding; you can go crazy with fast-paced rides like Snow Bullet. You can even meet the polar penguins and swim with them. Isn’t it amazing?

Water Sports

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Dubai’s long stretches of white-sand beaches are ideal for relaxation and leisurely walks. They are equally ideal for a wide range of water sports activities.  There are extreme water sports like wakeboarding, stand-up paddle boarding, jet-blade flyboarding, wind surfing, and kite surfing, which requires a bit of training and skill. But Dubai has something for everyone. Beginners can try Frantic Ride, Shark Safari, parasailing, or jet skiing for the adrenaline rush. You can also take your family on a speedboat trip and enjoy the view of the spectacular Dubai skyline.

Arts and Crafts

Dubai art gallery, Dubai international art centre

Image via Dubai International Art Centre

Although Dubai is a symbol of modernity with its high-tech architecture, technology-driven entertainment, and man-made wonders, the city is also fond of arts and crafts. Discover the artistic side of Dubai at Dubai International Art Centre (DIAC). Art connoisseurs can join painting or sculpting courses or simply visit an exhibition in DIAC and admire the works of contemporary artists. Kids can also learn crafts, such as glass painting and sculpture mosaics, at the workshops.
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Palm Springs Boutique Stays for Luxury Living Experience in the Californian Desert

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Palm Springs, California, hotels in Palm Springs, Boutique hotels Palm Springs, CA

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Exotic desert landscape, hot springs with pools, hiking trails, and a range of luxury hotels in Palm Springs beckon for an opulent, fun-filled vacation at this glamorous resort city in the southern Californian desert. So if you are confused where to stay in sunny Palm Springs for the best vacationing experience, the following list of hotels can help you.

Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs

The unique musical theme setting of Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs exudes an air of laid-back Caribbean beachfront life in the desert. Live life king-size in Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs with a range of upscale amenities at your disposal. From a lavish spa and a fitness center to a plush outdoor pool with poolside cocktail lounge, everything is there to ensure luxury and recreation. The guest rooms feature artistically designed interiors with private balcony, large bed, work desk, free Wi-Fi, mini bar, fridge, and premium bath amenities.

Ingleside Inn

Ingleside Inn allows quick access to Palm Spring’s art and cultural museums. This historic boutique hotel in Palm Springs offers old colonial style rooms and villas equipped with modern amenities promising comfort for their guests. Live in an aesthetically landscaped, quiet surrounding and relax in spacious rooms with fluffy bed, private terrace, fireplace, free wireless internet, laundry service, and access to the hotel’s outdoor pool. Enjoy live music and dance performances at night while dining at the hotel’s award-winning restaurant.

La Maison Hotel, Palm Springs

Colonial architecture, classic European-style interiors, French-style wood furnishings, terracotta flooring, and four-poster beds with feather bedding and duvets in every guest room in La Maison Hotel, Palm Springs promise a luxurious living experience in Mediterranean style. The hotel’s airy guest rooms come with separate sitting area, flat screen TV, wireless internet access, mini refrigerator, iron, hair dryer, and a range of premium bath products. In addition, you can spend quality time at the hotel’s library, have fun outdoor with free cruiser bikes, or rejuvenate yourself with a relaxing massage at a discounted rate at the onsite spa.

Los Arboles Hotel

This is another boutique hotel in Palm Springs offering Mediterranean villa-style accommodations nicely appointed with attention to detail. Heated outdoor pool, sun-deck with mountain-view, and massage therapist on call are some of the luxury amenities that guests can enjoy here. Standard room amenities at Los Arboles Hotel include large bed, pull-out sofa, television with movie channel, Wi-Fi internet, fridge, mini bar, and iron with ironing board. En suite bathrooms offer a luxury shower experience with a full-size Jacuzzi tub, rain shower, and branded bath products.

Movie Colony Hotel

Located at the heart of Palm Spring’s historic Movie Colony district, Movie Colony Hotel offers stylish rooms designed with modern amenities for the guests’ ultimate comfort. You can choose from Terrace Rooms, Patio Rooms, Classic Rooms and townhouse style accommodations at the hotel, depending on your need. Facilities in rooms include king beds, flat-screen television, Wi-Fi internet, telephone, iPod docks, DVD players on request, and separate sitting areas with couches. Hotel amenities such as complimentary breakfast and wine service, free bicycles to get around, and 24-hour access to heated outdoor pool and onsite spa further add to guests’ delight.

Flagstaff’s Boutique Stays – Promise for an Extraordinary Vacation in Arizona

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Flagstaff, a small, peaceful city in northern Arizona, has no dearth of hotels and accommodation for all budgets. The city experiences an influx of tourists almost year-round as it serves as the gateway to the famous Grand Canyon and Painted Desert. If you wish for a memorable vacation in Arizona, below are some of Flagstaff’s top boutique stays to consider while you shortlist hotels before booking.

Painted Desert, Arizona, Flagstaff

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Canyon Inn Flagstaff Arizona

Canyon Inn Flagstaff is a budget-friendly hotel conveniently located near North Arizona University. It ensures quick access to some of Arizona’s top tourist attractions and recreation centers such as Sunset Crater, Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park, and Snowbowl Ski Resort. Hotel amenities like car parking, wireless internet, local and long distance calls, and continental breakfast are offered free of charge at  Canyon Inn Flagstaff Arizona. The hotel’s air-conditioned rooms feature queen beds, cable TV, rollaway beds and baby cribs. You can also have microwave, refrigerator, and iron with ironing board on request.

Highland Country Inn

Highland Country Inn is another value for money hotel offering comfortable, modern accommodation in Flagstaff. Complimentary amenities including breakfast, car parking, Wi-Fi internet access, and local calls will help you save money on vacation. The hotel’s standard rooms come with one king bed, cable television, direct dial phone, and laundry service. Its convenient position ensures easy access to popular local eateries, museums, historic landmarks, and tourist attractions. Moreover, Highland Country Inn  is a pet-friendly hotel charging a little extra per night for your furry friends.

Wyndham Flagstaff

Wyndham Flagstaff Resort is a perfect place for an idyllic vacation.  Spacious and nicely furnished guest rooms have large beds, separate sitting area, wireless internet, bathroom with bathtub, washer-cum-dryer, private balcony, and a well-equipped kitchen. In addition, an array of upscale amenities including outdoor Jacuzzi, fitness center, and fine dining restaurant are on site to make sure you experience the best of leisure time in this sprawling resort in the lap of the mountain.  Kids can have fun at the resort’s mini golf course and children’s pool.

Little America Flagstaff

Set in the middle of Arizona’s famous Ponderosa Pine forest, Little America Flagstaff  promises a peaceful, relaxing escape in the lap of nature. The hotel houses upscale accommodations, restaurants, heated outdoor pool, and a fitness club. Services include travel desk, concierge, garage service, and room service. Pastel shades, carpet flooring, and deluxe furnishings creates a relaxing ambience in the air-conditioned guest rooms while soft beds, a mini refrigerator, a coffee maker, and an LED television with satellite channels are there to make sure you enjoy all the comfort of home.

Hotel Aspen InnSuites Flagstaff/Grand Canyon

While Flagstaff’s historic downtown is a couple of miles from Hotel Aspen InnSuites Flagstaff/Grand Canyon, top tourist attractions such as Grand Canyon, Sunset Crater, and Oak Creek Canyon are a short drive from the hotel. The hotel’s swanky suites and studio rooms are equipped with plush queen beds with pillow-top mattresses, cable TV, Wi-Fi internet access, fridge, microwave, and coffee maker. Start your day with free buffet breakfast and enjoy walk along the scenic Urban Trail System near the hotel.

Colorado’s Top Independent Hotels for Unforgettable Winter Vacations

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colorado, colorado hotels, hotels in colorado, usa

Image via Flickr by Jasen Miller

Dense forest, frozen lakes, and the snowy slopes of the Rocky Mountains — what can be a better place than Colorado for an adventure-filled vacation this winter? Check out Colorado’s top independent hotels that promise the most memorable winter escapes.

Red Lion Inn & Suites Denver Airport

A short drive from the Denver International Airport, Red Lion Inn & Suites in Aurora awaits travelers with nicely appointed guest rooms featuring contemporary decor and modern furnishings. Plush king bed, comfortable bedding, separate living and kitchen areas, en suite bathroom with premium bath amenities, and excellent in-room amenities make this Colorado hotel ideal for a leisure vacation with the family. Rooms are also equipped with an LCD TV, fridge, microwave oven, coffee maker, and iron with ironing board, so everything is there to ensure your comfort. Complimentary amenities include breakfast, Wi-Fi internet, and an airport shuttle service.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch

Tucked away in the scenic village of Beaver Creek and overlooking the Rocky Mountains, The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch offers a perfect setting for a romantic escape for city dwellers. The snow-covered mountain trails in the resort beckon travelers for adventure and outdoor activities such as skiing and mountain biking. Other recreational amenities include an award-winning golf course, fine dining restaurant, luxury spa, fitness center, and heated outdoor pool. The resort’s spacious guest rooms and suites come with king beds and designer linens, a fireplace, and a work desk with cushioned chair, table lamp, and internet access.

Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk

If you are thinking about a fun-filled, luxurious retreat, then Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk near Denver awaits you with a range of gaming options and upscale hotel amenities for a memorable vacation. Enjoy a variety of games at the casino, including video poker, slot machines, and table games. The hotel’s standard rooms come with a choice of either one king bed or two queen beds with pillow-top mattresses. Room facilities include a 32-inch LCD television with cable channels, safe, executive desk, Wi-Fi internet, coffee maker, and iron with ironing board.

The Sky Hotel

With an on-site spa, hot tub, heated outdoor pool, ski rental shop, and ski-in access, The Sky Hotel in Aspen can be a perfect winter getaway for adventure lovers. Exclusively designed guest rooms come with soft beds that have down comforters and luxurious linens, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, mini bar, in-room climate control, and of course, stunning outdoor views. This pet-friendly boutique hotel at the foothills of Aspen Mountain is a part of the Kimpton Karma Rewards program that allows guests to earn exclusive offers, so it definitely pays to stay!

Keystone Lodge

Nestled in the lap of the Rocky Mountains, Keystone Lodge offers ample opportunity for mountain sports such as cat skiing, night skiing, snow tubing, skating, and sleigh rides. Whether you’re flying solo, a couple, or traveling with family, you can choose your accommodation accordingly from a variety of lodging options, such as Lakeside Village, Mountain House, River Run, and East, West and North Keystone. Pamper yourself at the resort’s full-service spa or unwind in the heated pool at the end of an activity-packed day. The cozy guest rooms come with modern furnishings, fluffy beds, a television, wireless internet, and DVD player to make sure you enjoy every moment of your stay at Keystone Lodge.

Bask in the Warmth of Southwest Hospitality at these Top Boutique Hotels in Albuquerque

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After the Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque is warming up for winter. The largest city in New Mexico has all the potential to serve as a tourist hotspot. For a happening winter vacation here is a list of some of the top boutique stays in Albuquerque to help you select your accommodation.

Albuquerque Hotels, Hotels in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Image: Fest300

Hotel Cascada

If you want to enjoy the fun of water rides in a family vacation, Hotel Cascada is the best option. This beautiful resort has 300 spacious rooms and suites featuring distinctive interior decorated with deluxe furnishings. The effect of luxury is further enhanced with king beds, expensive linens, in-room climate control, 42” television, work desk, high-speed internet, large closet with drawers, and many more. Be their guest and you are offered cashless wristbands to use the onsite water park during your stay. There are no extra charges for kids under 18, staying in the same room with parents.

hotel cascada, albuquerque, nm, boutique hotels in usa

Image: Hotel Cascada

Isleta Resort & Casino

Isleta Resort & Casino redefines luxury with its opulently designed 201 rooms and an array of modern amenities for the guests. The resort houses fine dining restaurant, luxury spa, fitness center, golf club, and a state-of-the-art conference center. The rooms come with soft beds with expensive linens, couches, work desk, and flat-screen TV with digital channels. Fully tiled en suite bathrooms are equipped with bathtub, shower, vanity, and toiletries. You can spend hours of solitude by Isleta Lake and RV Park. In the evening, enjoy music and wine at the Center Bar or try your luck at the hotel’s casino.

MCM Eleganté Suites

Immerse yourself in luxury in the traditionally decorated rooms in MCM Eleganté Suites. The room facilities at this centrally located Albuquerque hotel include luxurious bedding, sleeper sofa, work desk with table lamp and chair, iron with ironing board, and room service. Guests can use Wi-Fi Internet for free. The hotel’s family suite comes with a well-equipped kitchen and separate living and bedrooms. Enjoy the benefit of the hotel’s exclusive Guest Reward programs, which let you earn points that you can redeem in the form of free night stays at the hotel or a Visa Gift Card.

MCM Eleganté Suites, albuquerque, nm, boutique hotels in usa

Image: MCM Eleganté Suites

Nativo Lodge

If you want to experience the warm hospitality of the Southwest in its true sense Nativo Lodge is the place to choose. This Native American style boutique hotel in Albuquerque offers non-smoking rooms with high-end facilities. The list includes free Wi-Fi Internet, flat-screen TV, plush beds, private balcony, room service, refrigerator on request, and many more. Guests can also enjoy free access to the hotel’s swimming pools and onsite parking. Pet lovers please note that the hotel has pet-friendly policies.

Nativo Lodge, albuquerque, new mexico, boutique hotels in usa

Image: Nativo Lodge

Albuquerque ClubHouse Inn & Suites

If you are looking for a pet-friendly boutique hotel that offers upscale accommodation and amenities within budget check out Albuquerque ClubHouse Inn & Suites. The hotel houses an array of wheelchair-accessible rooms that are spacious and elegantly decorated for your ultimate comfort. Each of the guest rooms and suites come with a large bed, pullout sofa, work desk with ergonomically designed chair, high-speed internet, 32” flat-screen TV, telephone, coffee maker, and complimentary buffet breakfast. Hotel amenities include outdoor heated pool and fitness center.

Boutique Stays at Tennessee for a Memorable Weekend

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The beckoning of adventure in the scenic outdoors, year-round music gigs and festivals, and a history of music makes Tennessee a popular weekend getaway. Be it Memphis, the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, or the lively town of Chattanooga, here is a list of five boutique stays at Tennessee that can add a special charm to your weekend trip to Tennessee this fall.

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Image by Micheal via Flickr

The Peabody Memphis

The Peabody Memphis, Tennessee hotels

Image by Heath Cajandig via Flickr

Established in 1869, The Peabody Memphis has come a long way to offer its guests most modern amenities and services at affordable price. Tastefully designed rooms come with executive desk with workstation, large flat screen TV with cable channels, high-speed internet, telephone, closet, iron with ironing board, and more. The strategic location of The Peabody Memphis allows quick access to the city’s main attractions. You can spend your free time working out at the Peabody Athletic Club or pampering yourself with beauty treatments at the on site spa.  The hotel’s special entertainment feature includes the historic Peabody Ducks March every day at 11 am and 5 pm.

Vista Inn & Suites Memphis

If you are looking for a pet-friendly budget hotel at a convenient place in downtown Memphis, Vista Inn & Suites Memphis can be the right choice.  This boutique hotel’s neatly organized rooms come with work desk, fridge, microwave, free wireless internet, cable television, and more. Enjoy continental breakfast served in your room as you wake up every morning. Choice of food is aplenty at Vista Inn & Suites Memphis as all the popular restaurants and fine dining options at downtown Memphis are quickly accessible from this hotel.

Chattanooga Choo Choo

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With contemporary rooms and suites, a meticulously appointed Victorian rail carriage to sleep and dine, three on site restaurants, a Victorian lounge bar, heated indoor pool, an outdoor pool with waterfall and shaded decks, Chattanooga Choo Choo is more than just a hotel. It is a vacation complex where you can expect most relaxing living experience in the classic settings of Victorian era.

The Victorian sleeper car rooms will take you back to the fifties with their retro style interior. With latest technology and electronic appliances, the room amenities are designed to help both business travelers and vacationers in Chattanooga, TN.

The Read House Hotel Historic Inn and Suites

The uniqueness of The Read House Hotel Historic Inn and Suites in Chattanooga lies in its perfect blending of modern facilities with vintage settings. Traditionally designed, non-smoking rooms come with luxurious bed, antique furnishings, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, complimentary Wi-Fi internet, and coffeemaker. If you are traveling with family, opt for the suites with spacious bedroom and separate living areas.

Porter’s Steakhouse, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, awaits you with a range of American delicacies. Work out anytime at the hotel’s fitness center or unwind at the indoor pool with hot tub.

The Chattanoogan

The Chattanoogan, chattanooga, tennessee hotels

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Overlooking the beautiful Lookout Mountain, The Chattanoogan offers an array of upscale, non-smoking accommodations in downtown Chattanooga. Experience the warm hospitality of Tennessee at this award-winning hotel offering a range of leisure and business amenities to the travelers. Complimentary wireless internet, fully equipped business center with computer and printer, live music shows on weekend, a game room with pool and a full service spa are to name a few of many luxurious amenities at The Chattanoogan.

The Four Best Day Trips For Fall Visitors To Seattle

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This post was posted by The Hipmunk on Hipmunk’s  Tailwind blog on September 23rd.

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For visitors to the Pacific Northwest this fall, there is no shortage of activities in Seattle, the region’s largest and fastest-growing city. Baseball fans can check out a Mariners game, foodies can stroll around Pike Place Market for hours, and brave souls unafraid of heights can take in the unparalleled view from the Space Needle. But travelers who find themselves with free time, and with access to a car, may want to consider the following four day trips, which highlight the lush beauty unique to the Emerald City and the surrounding area, particularly in the Autumn season.

whale watching, san juan island, seattle, usa

The San Juan Islands:

About a three-and-a-half-hour drive north, the San Juan Islands are a must-see destination for out-of-towners. The San Juan Islands are composed of 172 individual islands, but four (San Juan Island, Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island) are served by ferries and feature activities for visitors. For wine aficionados, visiting San Juan Vineyards, located on the main San Juan Island, is well worth the drive – their well-regarded wines have won many awards. Those with fond memories of the film Free Willy should also be sure to go whale watching while exploring the islands, with the best time for viewing occurring from late May to October. All four islands have hotels and inns for those wishing to stay overnight, with the Earthbox Inn and Spa offering the perfect ambiance to relax.

North Cascades National Park, seattle, USA

North Cascades National Park:

Northwest of Seattle is the North Cascades National Park, which is about a four hour drive from the city. Many come here to camp, and the jagged peaks, engulfed by hundreds of glaciers nestled among cascading waters, ensure an unforgettable experience. No other U.S. park outside of Alaska contains as many glaciers, in addition to diverse wildlife: bald eagles, moose, bears, grey wolves, and more than 200 species of birds. If you’d prefer a day trip in the park as opposed to camping, try staying at the budget-friendly Red Roof Inn near the Seattle-Tacoma Airport (Sea-Tac).

Olympic Peninsula, rainforest, seattle

Olympic Peninsula:

Three hours west of Seattle is the Olympic Peninsula, home to temperate rainforests and the Olympic Mountains. There is no shortage of activities with fishing, sailing, boating, and hiking being among the most popular. The Peninsula is also famous for its lush scenery featured in Hollywood blockbusters like the Twilight series. Those wishing to stay in and around the peninsula have a plethora of options, while nearby Olympia offers budget-friendly hotels like Red Lion Hotel or the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites.

Mount Rainier National Park, mt rainier, seattle

Mt. Rainier National Park:

For aspiring mountain climbers, the three hour drive south to Mt. Rainier National Park is a must. Mt. Rainier is an iconic part of Washington state’s landscape, standing at 14,000 feet above sea level. An active volcano, Mt. Rainier has the largest glaciers in the U.S. outside of Alaska. Most climbers require two to three days to reach the summit, with experience in glacier travel and self-rescue required. About half of the 8,000-13,000 climb attempts per year are successful, so only the brave at heart should undertake the climb. Less experienced mountain climbers shouldn’t feel left out though, as the entire park is open for hiking, backcountry skiing, camping. Photographers should definitely pay a visit – you won’t see anything else like it in the U.S. Try staying in nearby Tacoma, at either the Hotel Murano or the Silver Cloud Inn, for affordable, modern luxury.