All inclusive indulgence in the Dominican Republic

Guest blogger, Sharon Gourlay from WheresSharon.com shares her experience at the Be Live Grand Marien Resort

Guest blogger, Sharon Gourlay from WheresSharon.com shares her experience at the Be Live Grand Marien Resort

The beautiful Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic is  as well known for its all inclusive resorts as its gorgeous beaches. The city of Puerto Plata is one of the best places to enjoy these beaches and get a real taste of the Dominican Republic’s colonial past.  With many inclusive resorts surrounding the city and we were excited to be checking out the Be Live Grand Marien in Costa Dorada with our young kids.

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Exploring Rio de Janeiro’s Top-Rated Hotels

The beautiful pool at the Belmond Copacabana Palace

The Belmond Copacabana Palace is one of Rio de Janeiro’s top-rated hotels

All eyes are on Brazil at the moment, as teams from around the world compete for the 2014 World Cup title.The  final this year will be played in Rio de Janeiro - a city with 6.3 million people and more than two million tourists per year. With thousands of accommodation options to choose from it can be difficult to decide where to stay while visiting.

That is where we come in. As well as comparing prices from all major travel sites so our users can get the best deal, HotelsCombined also aggregates over 38 million reviews so travellers can find the properties that scored highest in guest feedback.

We took a look through the HotelsCombined database at the 3,000 plus accommodation options available in Rio de Janeiro to find those with the best customer reviews. Of the four and five star hotels in the area, there were just eight with customer ratings of 8.5 or more out of a possible 10:

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The Festival of the Sun: Peru

Peru, the country famous for Machu Picchu, Pisco and Ceviche has will soon be celebrating the Festival of the Sun, so we decided to take a closer look at what it all means.

Cusco in Peru

Cusco in Peru

The Peruvian festival ‘Inti Raymi’ is a nine day winter solstice celebration worshiping the Incan God Inti. The celebration occurs on the shortest day of the year and is the equivalent of a New Year festival. This year the ceremony falls on the 24 June.

Based in the capital city of Tawantinsuyo , Cusco, the celebrations incorporate lively traditional music, colourful costumes and extravagant feasts. There are historical re-enactments, grand ceremonies around 200 actors and thousands of tourists taking part in the day.

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Family Travel Adventures: We Chat With Travel Blogger, Sharon Gourlay

Sharon and her family, WheresSharon.com

Sharon and her family, WheresSharon.com

Most people assume that once you have a family, trekking around the world and overseas adventures must come to an end. Luckily travel blogger Sharon and her husband Josh are proving otherwise – the pair document the experiences of travelling with their two and four-year old children (the good, the bad and the sometimes challenging!) on their family travel blog, WheresSharon.com.

Together they aim to inspire other people and families to continue travelling, spreading the message that children are not a barrier for travel.

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World Cup Hotel Luxury: Where the teams are staying

Football fans are flocking to Brazil for the 20th FIFA World Cup, which scheduled to run in Brazil from the 12 June to the 13 July 2014.

With teams flying in from all over the world, we took a look at the luxury accommodation where some of the teams will be staying.Where they choose to stay during the World Cup can be an indicator of potential success, with some accommodations focused on preparation and others simply offering the best of the Brazilian weather and beaches.

For those hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite team, this is where some of the key teams of 2014 will be staying:

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Australians holiday close to home this winter

New York City

Where are you headed for the Winter school holidays?

The winter school holidays are fast approaching and holidaymakers are starting to consider potential holiday opportunities for the break. Overseas? Or close to home? We decided to check out where is Australians are looking. Continue reading

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A Glastonbury Getaway

 

Have you got tickets to Glastonbury 2014?

Have you got tickets to Glastonbury 2014?

At HotelsCombined HQ we are sitting here in envy after realising that one of the world’s biggest festivals, Glastonbury, kicks off in less than a month’s time.

For those who don’t know, Glastonbury is a five day music festival, organised by Michael Eavis on his own land – Worthy Farm in Pilton, England. It’s a festival that attracts more than 175,000 people and raises millions of dollars for good causes. The tickets this year sold out in just one hour and 27 minutes, which is unsurprising given the amazing line-up of artists including Arcade Fire, Metallica, Dolly Parton, Lily Allen, Lana Del Rey and Ed Sheeran.

While most people choose to rough it during the festival itself - camping in the mud and slime - we had a look at some luxury accommodation options in the area for post-festival relaxation. After a few days of sleeping on an (increasingly flat) air-mattress, a few days recovering at one these places would be heavenly:

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Guest Review: A relaxing getaway at the Akaryn Boutique Resort Koh Samui

Akaryn Resort room, Koh Samui

Guest blogger, Nicole Connolly of Suitcase Stories shares her experience of the Akaryn Boutique Resort in Koh Samui

When looking for an exotic holiday escape to revive and restore, Thailand usually tops the list. With its sapphire blue sea, white sand beaches and tropical forest it is easy to see why the south island of Koh Samui is one of the most popular vacation locations in the country.

The Akaryn Koh Samui resort is a private, tranquil retreat set in Hanuman Bay, with its own private half kilometre beach and enclosed by rocky headlands. It offers everything you would expect from a top end resort – a stunning setting, ample rooms with their own pools and plenty of privacy to relax and re-energise.

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Greener Pastures: The Globe’s Top Five Luxury Farm Stays

As the farm-to-table movement grows in popularity, people are becoming more mindful about how food – the very soul of our existence – ultimately gets to our plates. Recognizing this surge of interest in sustainable produce and cultivation, a number of working farms around the world have created unique travel experiences that provide guests with the chance not only to relax, but also to learn about and connect with local food sources.

We unearth the ultimate farm-to-table getaways

We unearth the ultimate farm-to-table getaways

We recently combed through our database of more than 800,000 properties to select five truly outstanding farm stays offering the ultimate in both luxury and agritourism:

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Looking for luxury? Here are the world’s most expensive hotels

The stunning St Regis Saddiyat Island Resort was named as one of the most expensive hotels

The stunning St Regis Saddiyat Island Resort was named as one of our most expensive hotels

Can money buy happiness? A stay at one of these swanky hotels may just convince you that it can. We have looked through the database of the world’s leading hotel price comparison site, HotelsCombined and have named 10 of the world’s most expensive hotel experiences:

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