Posts Tagged ‘girls getaways’

Sweet: Lesbian Travel with a Twist

What if going to a beautiful resort, giving back to a community in need, and partying your butt off were all possible in the same week – and what if the whole trip was carbon neutral? This is exactly the kind of trip customers of Sweet embark upon – an adventure filled with do-goodery… and debauchery.

Sweet is the latest in lesbian travel… with a twist. Merging the best of lesbian travel with social and environmental awareness, Sweet aims to make the world a better place while having a blast in it. All of Sweet’s vacations are carbon neutral, meaning they offset the pollution created by their air, land and sea travel. They traveling to amazing places (Belize, Mexico, Italy) with the very best lesbian entertainers and extravagant parties, while also supporting their guests’ personal enrichment, raising money for worthwhile causes and doing meaningful projects all over the world. How sweet is that?

Sweet's Founder, Shannon Wentworth

This niche travel company has set out to change the world – one bite-sized chunk at a time. The founder of Sweet, Shannon Wentworth, believes that if we break down this huge social issues (poverty, pollution, human rights, education in developing nations) that we can make a difference. We agree, Shannon, and we commend you!

Sweet has given back in many ways – from filling over 200 giant bags of garbage from Uvero Beach in Mexico and painting bright cartoon characters on the walls of a children’s hospital ward to donating two new computers to a children’s e-learning center in Honduras – Sweet is dedicated to enriching the lives of not only their guests but also enriching the communities that they visit. PBS also just did a feature on Sweet’s  ‘In the Life’ program, calling Sweet customers ‘voluntouristas’. Pretty fun so check it out here:  Sweet Lesbian Eco-Travel or, better yet, discover sweet for yourself!

www.discoversweet.com

Que Rica… Colombia!

El Penol Lake near Medellin - Colombia

Colombia is a destination ready for discovery. From its beautiful landscapes, rich heritage, cosmopolitan cities, and mouthwatering cuisine, Colombia is rumored to be THE next hot destination in Latin America. Listed below are the top reasons to fall in love with the passion of Colombia, and a million reasons for wanting to stay. So what inspires you?

  • Coasts: As a destination where the sand is caressed by two oceans, Colombia’s privileged location allows its visitors to enjoy over 2,900 km of coasts on two oceans and the Caribbean Sea. Talk about the ultimate beach vacation! Long, tranquil beaches between jungles and the sea line most of the Pacific coast, while the Caribbean coast contains wide beach beaches, large resort complexes, and various shops and restaurants. Make sure to experience the country’s diving adventures. Go to the depth of Colombia’s colorful seas. Bordered by both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, there is a world that is designed for the delight of divers under the sea. The famous Seaflower Biopsphere Reserve around the Island of Providencia contains the world’s third largest reef park, and is a global haven for spotting the sea’s shiny starfish, crabs, angelfish, corals, sponges and various other species in strange shapes and vibrant colors.

Colombia Coffee Farmer (c) Neil Palmer - CIAT

  • Coffee: Recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2011, Colombia’s Coffee Triangle is known for producing the world’s best coffee. Let the aroma and the taste of coffee surround you, while getting to know the beauty of the key regions. Keeping in tradition with its diverse culture and landscapes, Colombia pays tributes to its roots by containing food that is a mixture of Indian, Spanish, African and Arabic cuisines. Every region is has its own gastronomy, related to its natural resources. Delight in the ocean’s bountiful harvest in the Caribbean region; Savor the meats, potatoes, beans and corn in the Andean region; Enjoy the Pacific Coast’s abundance of rice, lentils, and rice; and appreciate the veal, manioc and various fishes in the Orinoco River region.

Colombia's Amazon (c) Jill Robinson

  • Nature: In a land where the earth breathes, The Amazon is the traditional destination of scientist and scholars who want to learn to talk with nature. Containing the world’s second longest river the largest tropical jungle on the planet, Colombia’s shares the Amazon Rainforest with Brazil and Peru. Enjoy the fauna and flora of the jungle by zipping between trees, or hiking along the forest various jungle paths. 90 percent of Colombia is Nature, while 10 percent of Colombia’s territory is protected by nature reserves– including 37 national parks, 12 fauna and flora sanctuaries, two natural reserves, and one parkway—11,000,000 hectares that encompass beautiful scenery, a variety of climate and soils, floras and fauna, and 230 civil society natural reserves. Talk about Biodiversity! Colombia contains the world’s largest collection of amphibians, butterflies and flowers. It also holds the title of containing the world’s second highest number of bird species (containing 1,865 bird species). From June to November the country turns into the homes of hundreds of bird, whale, and marine turtle species that visit the Colombian Pacific coast to mate, feed, and take rest on their migratory journey.

Cartagena

  • Vibrant Cities: Colombians are festive by nature, and always seek opportunities to celebrate their cultural heritage. From the colorful Barranquilla Carnival every February and Medellin Flower Fair every August, to the much acclaimed Cali Fair, there is always a reason to celebrate. Colombians take pride in the rich cultural life contained within their cities walls. From cosmopolitan Cartagena, modern Bogota, passionate Cali and progressive Medellin, each one of  Colombia’s cities offers its guests something different and unique. Known for their warm and friendly spirit, the people of Colombia are ready to open their arms to the whole world. Seeking to show the world its true face, Colombia’s passion for developing its global status in the world is the ultimate driving force for their authentic energy and dynamic spirit.

There’s even more to be discovered in person. With a booming tourism sector, Colombia is ready for you.

www.colombia.travel

The New Shore Hotel Santa Monica

Shore Hotel - Santa Monica

A day doesn’t go by when we don’t miss the sunny days we spent in Cali. So, always on the hunt for new hotels and openings in the beloved stomping grounds of our 20s, we tracked down this sweet opening. This October in Santa Monica, just steps from the Santa Monica Pier, 3rd Street Promenade, and the city’s popular beaches and shopping, Shore Hotel is the newest addition to the coastline. It’s also, incidentally, a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) registered property that offers eco-friendly accommodations with stunning views of the Pacific.  The open-air, U-shaped design of the main hotel building has a stainless steel-clad trellis over the street-side of the courtyard, which unifies the two wings of the main building creating an outdoor “living room,” with an outdoor pool, a water feature, and patio dining at Blue Plate Taco. In addition to rooms with crisp turquoise and vibrant orange accents, the hotel also has a unique public-use space that blurs the line between the sidewalk and hotel entrance and includes park benches for pedestrians looking to chillax.

Upon completion of construction, if awarded LEED Gold Certification, Shore Hotel will be the only property in the city of Santa Monica with this elite status.  In June, the Shore Hotel was recognized at the 41st annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards, recognizing the project teams responsible for the City’s very best architecture. So, check it out next month, and let us know what you think!

www.shorehotel.com

www.facebook.com/ShoreHotel

Vermont’s Best Hiking

New Life Hiking Spa

A hiking spa? Who’s ever heard of such a thing? Well, we have and we thought it sounded pretty damn cool. Located in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont, since 1978, New Life Hiking Spa is known for its exhilarating hiking program. A world renowned weight loss retreat located in Killington, New Life also offers delicious healthy meals in a comfortable atmosphere where you can experience the peace of the outdoors in a down-to-earth, country inn environment.

Re-opening after Hurricane Irene, New Life Hiking Spa (which was forced to close for two weeks due to the aftermath) has also decided to extend their season until October 16th!

A bit about the joint: In January of 2010 & 2011, New Life Hiking Spa was selected as one of the top 10 fitness vacations in the world by MSNBC. It was also selected by Shape Magazine as “one of the eight best weight loss spas” and by Health Magazine as “one of four great weight loss spas.” And, for four years in a row (2006-2010), New Life has won Best for Weight Loss, Best for Hiking and Best for Affordability by SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Awards.

Pretty impressive.

“The saying goes, ‘After a hurricane comes a rainbow and in this case, it’s a rainbow of fall colors in Vermont”, said Kathleen LeSage who owns New Life with her husband, Jimmy. Mrs. LeSage has been doing some research about fall foliage and found a great article on “What factor affects the intensity of fall colors”. It states, “Mild, sunny days combined with cold but not freezing nights will produce brilliant colors, as will adequate rainfall in autumn”. Vermont has definitely had the adequate rainfall, but luckily with little wind, so leaves were not lost in the storm. “It seems like it is really the perfect conditions for a brilliant foliage season!”

The weather is gorgeous and the trees are starting to change, so why don’t you kick start your own life and opt for change too?

www.newlifehikingspa.com

A New York Treat for Families

New York City Rugrats Riding the Streets of the City

On July 1st, The Plaza invited you to connect with your inner child. That’s right, get back to the days when lemonade sales were you’re biggest worry. Get this: the landmark hotel just re-launched a 1956 original – the Tricycle Garage! City dwellers and hotel guests will be able to rent Radio Flyer tricycles, bicycles and scooters to celebrate summer in Central Park and explore some of the city’s most popular sights. How cute (and eco-friendly) is that?

Following the success of Kay Thompson’s book and the upsurge of Eloise fans everywhere, the Tricycle Garage was originally instated in May 1956 and housed children’s’ bicycles and tricycles in a whimsical, candy-store inspired setting. Bike racks and numbered license plates were available for a nominal fee of $.15 a day (that’s $3/month!) and Plaza guests were allowed to use the garage gratis. Today, The Plaza Boutique’s Tricycle Garage will offer kids of all ages and families the same exciting New York City experience.  Rental fees will range from $20/hour to $40/day (2011 NYC city prices, of course), but it will promise to be that bicycle in the city experience you and your little ones will never forget.

The Plaza Hotel's Eloise Suite (compliments of Betsey Johnson)

Want to go even further with the whimsical theme? Me too. The Plaza, along with Betsey Johnson, also happened to team up to design an Eloise suite! J’adore.

In addition to all that, with Central Park Conservancy’s premier historian and photographer, Sara Cedar Miller, the adults can have their own enlightening experience. They’re offering exclusive, private tours of Central Park as a part of a new summer package.  Tours can be customized to the guests’ interests and passions, making this New York city deal ideal for families, couples and girlfriend getaways.  Package details are as follows, but contact the hotel for more info (because if this doesn’t tickle your fancy, The Plaza will certainly have something that might):

  • Luxurious overnight accommodations in a Suite
  • A private, customized tour through one of New York’s most fabled attractions
  • A signed copy of Central Park, An American Masterpiece; Seeing Central Park, The Official Guide to the World’s Greatest Urban Park; or Strawberry Fields: Central Park’s Memorial to John Lennon by Sara Cedar Miller
  • Champagne toast for two in the Champagne Bar at The Plaza

Maine: Inn by the Sea

Sarah Breidenbach, Jaunt Magazine

Sarah Breidenbach, Jaunt Magazine

Sarah Breidenbach, one of Eco-Adventurer’s favorite Contributors, currently resides in Taipei, Taiwan. Bringing a well-trained eye to our valued team, as an artist, filmmaker, writer, and social activist, she has lived and worked in Zimbabwe, Mexico, Portland, and Arizona, and has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Today, she brings us news of an eco-spa in the Northeast, so we’re keen to hear about it. Next up… sexy retreats (and the bizarre spa beat) of Asia.

It’s always been nature’s expansive places, the endless skyscapes and bodies of water, which calm even the deepest reservoirs of stress within me.

The Inn by the Sea, Maine

From large canyon views to the slopes of massive gorges, that which gives perspective to your size seems to quiet the mind.  So you can imagine my excitement when I heard of an eco-spa that could do just that without having to trek all over the map.

At Inn by the Sea, located on Crescent Beach in the coastal town of Cape Elizabeth, you can disappear into the ocean itself while surrounded by 4 walls.  To match these four walls are four signature spa treatments inspired by the deep blue sea.   Each treatment was masterfully created so that you can disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself in a complete coastal experience.

I plan to book the first flight to marine bliss tomorrow, the only problem is how many choices there are.  Maybe I’ll begin with the Sea Waves Massage, other wise known as 90 minutes of a mermaid’s dream come true.  Custom blended oils infused with therapeutic scents are rubbed into your body via hand strokes skillfully synchronized to an ocean soundtrack.  Meanwhile the ocean floor, or massage table, gently vibrates beneath you as the mundane world slips away all together.  These good folks are not afraid to access technology for optimal relaxation navigation.

Inn by the Sea: Eco-Spa

But how could I pass up the 90 minute Deep Sea Soother that begins with a full body dry brush and must leave your whole body feeling as good as bare feet sunk into soft, exfoliating, warm sand?  This is followed by a full body massage after which you’re wrapped in a warm aromatherapy cocoon.  You can even experience this one lying next to your lover or without ever leaving your room.  Both options have “return to the womb” written all over them, but I still can’t decide.  Lucky for me, they’ve created the Sea-Sational Combo which combines a 45 minute body scrub and one hour massage so I don’t have to miss anything.

This amazing hotel and luxury eco-spa is just minutes from Portland and has been selected as one of Tripadvisor’s Top Ten Green Hotels worldwide and Top 100 Hotels in US & Canada by Travel & Leisure.  We at Eco-Adventurer are grateful that deep sea diving just got a lot more convenient and includes a plush white bathrobe.

www.innbythesea.com

Provence’s Eco-Retreat

Eco House Provence - Aups, France

Off-the-grid and out-of-sight, this little eco-gem perched on a hillside above the medieval village of Aups in Provence, France is one we may not have uncovered had our buddy not been working with the owner!

With incredible views of the the Cote d’Azur, it’s a private retreat for the discrete, reached by an unpaved road and surrounded by 14 acres of forest and a terraced garden of lavender, rosemary, and olive trees.

When we say, “This is what we mean by unplugging and unwinding,” we mean it.

The home/villa/eco-paradise sleeps at least 6 people and consists of two separate buildings. The main house: an old farm that sleeps 4 people in 2 double bedrooms, and a third double bedroom – get this – within a 13th Century chapel (Chapelle St Marc, for all you Francophiles). There’s also a wooden cabin containing a single bed and blow-up mattresses, as well as surf boards, basic gym equipment, and other beach gear.

Another view of the Provence eco-retreat

The best part?

The property is off-grid with energy generated through solar panels and a wind turbine.

Energy is then stored in batteries which provide each of the buildings with a regular, uninterrupted electricity supply. Water is also from the property’s own well (pumped from the ground via a petrol generator).

But don’t let the rustic roots fool you. The house includes a fully equipped kitchen, hot water showers, open fireplaces, and modern amenities like: a DVD player with wide selection of films, an iPOD docking station, a CD player with a music selection, and Wi-Fi (because some of us still can’t be without Facebook for too long).

A bedroom

The Provencal village of Aups, full of fountains and squares shaded by huge palm trees, numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops, is only a 15-minute walk from the house.

Only 15 minutes’ drive north of Aups is the remarkable Gorges de Verdun, Europe’s Grand Canyon, and the stunning Lac St Croix with its countless beaches and clear water where you can swim, sail, kayak and windsurf. The owner also adds: “Kayaking down the gorge on a hot summer’s day is an unbeatable experience.” We believe him.  The beaches of the Mediterranean are just over an hour away (longer in the summer high season), with St. Tropez about 60km.

The village of Aups

Equidistant from 3 different airports- Nice, Marseille, and Toulon– where it takes about 90 minutes max to drive to the house, you can also take the TGV from Paris to Les Arcs which is only 30 minutes drive from the house.

Rates from £500-£700 per week, depending on month and availability.

To see more photos and to rent this eco-adventurer retreat click here.

For more information, contact James Greenshields:

james@ecohouseprovence.co.uk

To find out more about the village of Aups and the surrounding area click here.

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