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Looking for a Quiet Getaway? Consider a Boutique Hotel Over a Chain

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Are you considering going on a quiet getaway, a time to rest, and to reflect on the challenges 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon the world?

The world has moved through three-quarters of 2020. And so far, it has been interesting and extremely challenging. 

 Why?

Succinctly stated, the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has spread rapidly through the world’s population, resulting in over 40 million infections and 1 119 545 deaths to date. These global figures are currently increasing between 300 000 and 420 000 infections per day. Similarly, the total fatality rate is going up by 6 000 and 8 000 every 24 hours.

Most of the world’s governments instituted a hard lockdown or shelter-in-place order where all non-essential businesses were closed. Residents were confined to their homes, only being allowed out to buy food and seek medical attention.

These national and state-wide lockdowns were lifted by the start of the northern hemisphere summer. However, countries and states are attempting to implement local lockdowns in neighborhoods where the virus numbers are shooting up once again.

As an aside, only two countries, Israel and Ireland, have reinstated national lockdown measures to slow down the virus’s R rate or the reproduction rate.

What does the COVID-19 pandemic have to do with the boutique hotels like the Condor Hotel in Brooklyn and the need for a quiet getaway?

The succinct answer to this question is that the mental health consequences of the global pandemic and the need for social distance have led to issues such as anxiety, major depression, and general burnout.

Note: Burnout is not an official psychiatric diagnosis, but it describes a “state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.” And “it occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

A quiet, relaxing getaway is one of the best answers to the question of how to recover from burnout.

At the outset of this discussion, it is essential to note that, according to Wikipedia.com, a boutique hotel is described as a “small hotel which typically has between 10 and 100 rooms in settings with upscale accommodations and individualized, unique selling points” like a strong personality or theme, is steeped in the local culture and focuses on high-quality food and beverage.

Reasons to Stay at a Boutique Hotel Over a Chain

1. Small, intimate setting

As highlighted above, a boutique hotel should have no more than 100 rooms. The Condor, for instance, has 35 rooms, each with a private bathroom. These rooms are a talking point for The Condor. Each room features contemporary décor with luxurious bedding, modern amenities, and a private entrance onto the hotel property’s stunning garden.

The most significant benefit of this hotel is that there will never be a large number of guests at any given moment. Therefore, you can relax and enjoy yourself in a peaceful, tranquil environment.

2. Strong personality or ambiance

Again, the maximum number of guests plays a major role in the hotel’s ambiance. In other words, a boutique hotel’s environment is individualistic, has an independent attitude, and staff are extremely attentive to guests.

Concierge staff go out of their way to offer guests a one-of-a-kind experience providing the special touches. They also organize tours to local tourist sites. For example, the Condor is located in the historical Williamsburg district of Brooklyn. If asked, the staff will recommend which sights to visit.

3. Infused with local flavor

Boutique hotels often take on the cultural heritage of its surrounding buildings. Again, if we use our example of the Williamsburg district, we can see how the Condor has taken on the local culture to become an integral part of the district.

Williamsburg is infused with a combination of history and the area’s gentrification with a contemporary art scene, the hipster culture, and a vibrant nightlife.

As a town, Williamsburg originated in 1638 when the Dutch West India Company bought the town’s land from the Lenape Native Americans who lived in the area. The area grew, and in 1855, several villages and towns were joined together to form Brooklyn. And in 1898, the five boroughs, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan, were consolidated into the modern New York City.

The town of Williamsburg is best known for the Battle of Williamsburg, as part of the American Civil War in 1862. The Wikipedia.com article on this battle has noted that “much of the battlefield has been lost to development, but the Civil War Trust (a division of the American Battlefield Trust) and its partners have acquired and preserved 69 acres (0.28 km2) of the battlefield.”

This precinct forms an integral part of the historical part of Williamsburg and the greater Brooklyn area and often forms part of local tours around Williamsburg.

The post Looking for a Quiet Getaway? Consider a Boutique Hotel Over a Chain appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: Looking for a Quiet Getaway? Consider a Boutique Hotel Over a Chain
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/XBtqxOBKZ4Y/looking-quiet-getaway-consider-boutique-hotel-chain.html
Published Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2020 18:49:05 +0000

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Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday

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Days spent on hiking is beneficial to every individual involved. It boosts up metabolism, burns out calories, releases oxytocin, and strengthens the muscles while keeping our bodily functions alert sharpening our senses. Hiking is a delightful way to explore places with our loved ones, friends, and relatives, so if you know a hiker inside your closest circle, giving them quality presents that can be used for hiking can enhance their experiences.

Black Friday Outdoor Equipment Deals

Hiking and wilderness exploration can be an excellent dynamic activity open to everyone. For some of us, a common detriment that we encounter is the amount of gear and equipment to prepare and bring for each of our adventures. These things should ensure our safety and convenience while being able to function proportionate to our needs.

Every seasoned backpacker or trekking enthusiast may indulge in quality tools and equipment that can assist them with their undertakings. If you know a passionate hiker you can read this review of the north face jester backpack in case you are wondering what to give them as a gift this coming holiday. Remember that the gear you want to present to them is manufactured with rugged materials built to withstand the strains and difficulties of natural terrain and different atmospheric conditions.

Black Friday is one of our most awaited shopping days of the year since it gives us the opportunity to land affordable deals with items of interest. Several companies have already launched many discounts and sales three weeks early before the actual event happens. More enterprises and products are expected to follow this trend until the ultimate showcase of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

If you want to purchase gifts in the form of outdoor gear and equipment, some of them are already accessible for early acquisition. But it is recommended to wait for Black Friday to avail them at their most discounted price. Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a shopping experience you do not want to miss when choosing and buying the best equipment for your next hiking activity.

Top Black Friday Gifts for the Hiking Enthusiast

Every outdoor specialist or hiking enthusiast knows the value that every tool on their arsenal can bring them while on the trail. They know that the quality of each item is proportionate to the function with their primary purpose. Modern-day equipment is built with robust materials that perform in conjunction with each personal need during any hiking adventure.

Hiking Jacket

Any person that wants to go on a hike should be prepared with every possibility. Rain, snow, hail, sleet, are probabilities that come naturally with adverse atmospheric conditions. Having a reliable hiking jacket layered with quality waterproof and tear-resistant fabrics keeps you dry while regulating your sweat output and body temperature.

Hydration Flask

Modern fluid flasks come in various forms such as the camel bak that lets you sip water or the rugged hydro flask manufactured with industrial metals. One of the difficulties caused by strenuous activities such as mountain climbing, jogging, hiking, or PT is the onset of dehydration. Outdoor items such as flasks and hydrating-equipment are designed to accompany every adventurer while providing them enough fluids during their journey.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are built with nylon, advanced composites, and durable yet lightweight fabrics. These shoes are designed to be waterproof while having a slip-resistant base that helps you grasp even the slimiest surfaces. They are also incorporated with enough padding and fits well with the contours of your feet that aids in preventing physical damages and discomfort while hiking or navigating rough terrain.

Campground Tents

In case your hiking ends up in a two or more day ordeal, having a convenient camping tent may provide you immediate shelter and a forward outpost. Camping tents are now capable of fitting in 8 people all at once built with reliable and flexible all-weather fabrics supported by modular poles for quick builds. These tents can be easily folded and stored in a carrying bag for travel convenience.

Conclusion

Hiking is an enjoyable activity that everyone can benefit from. It is great for exploring natural areas of the earth while providing enough exercise to burn out calories and excess fat stored while sitting in the office. If you know an outdoor enthusiast, then Black Friday can be a great opportunity to gather items valuable to their next adventure.

The post Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Shahbaz Ahmed
Title: Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/iLTbl2wK9RE/gift-ideas-to-buy-for-hiking-fans-on-black-friday.html
Published Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2020 13:44:00 +0000

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Surprise Alaska 50% bonus promotion, buy miles at 1.83 cents per mile

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A surprise Alaska 50% bonus promotion is underway right now, where members can purchase miles with up to 50% bonus. The current promotion of up to 50% bonus is applicable on minimum purchase of 30K miles, on transactions completed by December 23, 2020.

ALASKA MILEAGE PLAN – UP TO 50% BONUS MILES

Link to Promotion

 

This promotion is tiered with 40% bonus on purchase of up to 29k miles. Minimum purchase of 30K miles is required for the 50% bonus. The bonus tiers look like this;

  • Buy 3,000 – 29,000 miles, get a 40% bonus
  • Buy 30,000 – 100,000 miles, get a 50% bonus

With a 50% bonus, this promotion yields 1.83 cents per mile – a decent value. Note that Alaska MileagePlan has has 60% bonus promotions in the past, which yield 1.72 cents per mile. The current promotion can be maximized by purchasing 100K miles, for a total of 150,000 Alaska miles;

Recall that Alaska airlines will not be joining OneWorld alliance until March 31, 2021, which means a window to leverage the sweet spots in the program. In its current state, Alaska miles are one of the most valuable airlines currency in the market and come with great airline partners and routing sweet spots (including stopover on on-way awards) – couple of examples;

  • Cathay Pacific from North America to Asia (Cathay Pacific Business Class on 777-300ER review 2018), o/w for 30K/35K/50K/70K across all cabins
  • Fiji Airways (no first class) and Qantas from North America to Australia, o/w for 55k in Business or 70K in First Class
  • American Airlines from North America to Europe, o/w for 22.5K/57.5K across Econ and Business

If you plan on purchasing miles, I recommend using them in a short turnaround, because there is a good chance we see some devaluations as the generous Alaska MileagePlan joins OneWorld.

Additional Terms and Conditions of the promotion

  • Transactions must be completed between 6:00 AM PST November 13, 2020 and 11:59 PM PST December 23, 2020 to be eligible for bonus miles.

  • Miles are purchased from Points.com Inc. for a cost of $27.50 per 1,000 miles, plus GST/HST for Canadian residents. QST will be charged to Quebec residents.

  • Miles are non-refundable and do not count toward MVP and MVP/Gold status.

  • You may purchase and gift Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles in increments of 1,000 miles up to 60,000 miles, and in increments of 5,000 miles up to a maximum of 100,000 miles per transaction.

  • MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K Mileage Plan member (Elite Member) accounts have no annual limit on the number of miles which may be purchased or gifted through Points.com. If you are not an Elite Member, your account may only be credited up to a maximum total of 150,000 miles acquired through Points.com in a calendar year, whether purchased by you or gifted to you.

  • Offer is subject to change and all terms and conditions of the Mileage Plan Program apply.

 

By: Points Miles and Bling
Title: Surprise Alaska 50% bonus promotion, buy miles at 1.83 cents per mile
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/surprise-alaska-50-bonus-promotion-buy-miles-at-1-83-cents-per-mile/
Published Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2020 18:05:04 +0000

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Sponsored: The Modern Sapien: Book One: The American – Sci-Fi, Apocalyptic, Satire Book Review

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Sponsored – this review is sponsored by writer of The Modern Sapien, John Michael Thomas.

 

PREMISE

For the most part, I’ve been stuck inside since March, due to COVID-19. I’ve had to cancel plenty of travel plans, and have been cooped up in my place due to my pre-existing condition making COVID a higher threat for people like me. While I have been daydreaming and planning future trips – late in 2021, hopefully – I’ve been trying to improve my knowledge base and read more. The author reached out and asked if I’d do a review, and I said I’d be happy to read and review. I purchased The Modern Sapien on Amazon for $2.99 for Kindle, and there is also a paperback and Kindle Unlimited subscription option.

Per the author, The Modern Sapien “…takes place in future phoenix, and is a satirical take on the way we live. It’s sci fi cyberpunk.” Sounds good to me, I’m a huge fan of sci-fi, alternative history, and the like from authors like Robert Conroy or Harry Turtledove, so this should be a fun review. I’m writing this as I read through it, which is something I have not done before.

Cover art from Amazon

 

Initial Thoughts

I’m not even 10% into the book, and it lives up to what he said – satirical take on the way we live. Set ~80 years in the future, the EU has launched their neucular arsenal against what’s left of the United States, based in Phoenix, and people are not only not afraid, they welcome the destruction. Lots of discussion about warring hash-tags and selfies and the misery olympics, between presumably better-off people of Phoenix ‘almost’ dying and having conniptions, and the “poverty-stricken Malawi” saying welcome-to-my-everyday-life in Africa. Definitely a very reputation-oriented culture in this book, which reminded me of the episode “Majority Rule” by FOX’s Orville by Seth McFarlane, where citizens rate each other and appearance is everything.
The book’s structure of data entries from various character’s point of view is a bit jarring, not entirely setting the stage for readers to grasp. Who is this person, why is this person the perspective that is important – is not entirely clear. Similar to the World War Z book where it’s told from different person’s perspectives, perhaps later in the book they’ll tie together somehow.
Modern Sapien paints a fantastical, disparate picture of the world 80 years in the future, due to the devastation from something called the “Seattle Hack” led by evil villain Jeff Bezos, and how companies became conglomerates and their own city-states to survive. There’s a online universe called the Nexus, which is similar to the Oasis from Ready Player One or the Matrix virtual reality, but with the real-life costs of the movie Surrogates, where the humans still need nutrients to survive. It is strongly anti-consumerism, I think, highlighting the reverence and honor paid to the Red Solo cup for example, as a goal to be achieved – everyone wants an authentically created one, rather than a “fabricated” product.
A quarter of the way in, the book starts to explain the setting. I’m a bit confused why it’s brought up here, when it should have been at the beginning, but I just shrug and move on.
I learned a lot more about encryption than I cared or needed to know, but interesting nonetheless, at a very basic level.

Relatable

While it is sci-fi and futuristic, it is relatable, such as when the Japanese kid at his graduation party (called adulting party) gets mobbed by far off relatives he barely knows, or is forced by his parents to make small talk and say hello to people he just could not care about. I certainly understand that feeling, as growing up I was told to go say hi to this person or talk to that person, and I just hated feeling like a talking, dancing monkey.

There’s a very good Handmaid’s Tale vibe of sacrificing freedoms for security with protection military and drones. Give up your guns, and everyone is safe (thanks to the drones)

Very distinct sci-fi vibe, maybe steampunk I could see as well.

 

Themes

As I’m progressing through the book I’m getting a very weird Brave New World vibe where everything, everyone has its place. The satire continues, as the author mocks vegetarians, war hawks, gun nuts, the younger generation, social media obsession, consumerism, religion, and many other topics. Very interesting, making me develop a mental ??? as I’m reading through it.

 

CONCLUSION

I did notice and do some double-takes over various typos in the book, which I assume an editor would have caught, which can change the wording or meaning of the sentences. That’s not ideal, but a good first effort. I would certainly read more about other books in the series once they are released, and for a reasonable $3 for 200+ pages, I’m pretty pleased with this purchase, sponsored or not. It boots you off to this parallel world where things are different, yet vaguely the same. I was not expecting some of the NSFW language or scenes I found in the book, so I wouldn’t prescribe it for young adults, but to each their own.

You can purchase a copy or learn more about the book on Amazon here.

 

 

Sponsored – this review is sponsored by writer of The Modern Sapien, John Michael Thomas.

Featured Image is from Pixabay. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which, should you click through and/or make a purchase, grant me a commission. Also, I only post in the best interest of my readers. Lastly, thank you for supporting my blog and my travels. 

What do you think of my writing? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments, or reach me directly at TheHotelion@gmail.com! Like my posts? See more here, on TravelUpdate! Follow me on Facebook (The Hotelion) or on Twitter and Instagram: @TheHotelion

By: The Hotelion
Title: Sponsored: The Modern Sapien: Book One: The American – Sci-Fi, Apocalyptic, Satire Book Review
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/the-modern-sapien-american-sci-fi-apocalyptic-book-review/
Published Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2020 01:41:35 +0000

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