Some places fulfill that powerfully human desire to feel like everything is just the way you want it and to live well. Naxos one of the islands in the archipelago that makes up Greece lives up to the very highest expectations of getaway experiences and cultural history. It is the most lush-y and largest of the rocky islands that make up Cyclades. Nicknamed the Aegean Sea’s “green leaf”, one only has to look at Naxos to see its geographical diversity that can satisfy the need for outdoor adventures of active travelers and the exotic local cuisine from the fertile local land that feeds those seeking a culinary experience. The place is rich with medieval architecture and mythology creating a strip of unending allure from land all the way to the sea.
From underwater caves to unfinished temples to the Greek Gods, the place has it all. Naxos boasts some of the best diving and bird watching experiences on this side of Greece. With a plethora of activities ranging from the adventurous kite surfing and windsurfing to the more traditional hiking, traveling the coasts by boat and horseback riding expeditions across the island, there is no shortage of things to do or new places to see on the island. Once you’ve had your fill of sightseeing, the bold local dishes made from fresh vegetables and herbs will keep you asking for more.
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When the Umaid Bhawan Palace was built from1928 to 1943 in Jodhpur, India, it was meant to be a private residence (one of the largest in the world) for the Maharaja Umaid Singh. No one would have thought that the palace would be used partially as a hotel nearly 100 years down the line. Not only is a part of the place now in the hands of the Taj Group hotels, but it is also Trip Advisor’s 2016 winner for world’s best hotel in the Travelers’ Choice category.
The palace sits dainty on 26 acres of green, well-kept gardens. It has 64 bookable hotel suites and rooms in the Art Deco-inspired palace. While there are actually more than 350 rooms, a majority of them are reserved for the Maharaja’s use. There are several restaurants and a bakery for those whose stay is based on the food a place can deliver.
A collection of millions of reviews over the period of a year play the role of deciding the winders of the Travelers’ Choice list. The spokeswoman for TripAdvisor Julie Cassetina says that the eligibility for top 10 ranking hotels is to provide unwavering quality and service to its patrons, and must have a five bubble rating on the website. These properties go beyond their call of duty of simply providing a place to spend a night or two and aim to leave their guests with an unforgettable experience.
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Something that most airlines have been late to understand is that air travel doesn’t begin on a plane or even at take-off. However, the industry is catching wind of it and is finally realizing in order to keep passengers content, it needs to step up its game both on the ground and while flying. Airport Service Quality Awards are an incentive in the industry to do their best making customers smile. The winners of 2015’s award were recently announced as Singapore’s Changi Airport and South Korea’s Incheon Airport who tied at first place. They were awarded the Best Airports in the category of most passenger traffic with over 40 million passengers passing through them per year.
This is just another feather in the cap of these acclaimed establishments. Last October, Incheon and Changi were awarded the first and second places for world’s best airports from a survey conducted by the “Sleeping in Airports” travel website.
Changi has consistently been topping the ASQ Award charts for five years in a row. It’s easy to see why this airport is such a hit with the masses from its innovative around the clock movie screenings the latest movies for free to various shopping options and experience centers.
The Awards from ASQ are organized yearly by Airports Council International, which is based in Montreal, Canada. They are the unbiased outcomes of half a million traveler surveys which are carried out each year across 300 airports in 80 countries. These in-depth surveys ask passengers for their opinions on service indicators which include access to the airport, their check-in and security experiences and airport facilities such as beverages, food and retail.
It is always been a dream of most travelers to head off the beaten path and find themselves in a world of wonder than no other human has discovered. Well, the world is relatively mapped out now, and though there is literally no place that has been left undiscovered, some gems are less visited than others and still retain their untouched charm to this day.
Sabah, Malaysian Borneo is a nature lover’s dream come true. The place is a diversity hot spot, hidden away due to its rather inaccessible route. Clouded leopards, pygmy elephants, orangutans, bearded pigs and a few of the critically endangered Bornean rhinos have all thrived here.
The Republic of Georgia may be more appealing to people who have no desire for a bout in the jungle. Boasting some of the world’s most variants in wine and grapes, this little mentioned country is an explosion of castles, succulent food and immaculate snow-topped mountains.
If older castles are more your fancy, you may find Peru a more delectable choice. Apart from the historical treasures it has to offer, including the famous pre-Inca pyramids and the Pachamanca forests, the culinary experience in Peru has earned it more than a few praises. Both traditional and modern cuisines are highly praised, making it a must-see for any foodie.
For those who would like the familiarity of a well-known place but wish to experience it anew, the island of Kyushu in Japan would be the right place for you. With scenic, ethereal beauty of surrounding volcanoes, luxurious ryosan and wonderful onsen to rejuvenate your travel-wear body, Kyushu is a hidden gem of Japanese hospitality and beauty.