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Rocky Mountain Resort Towns

Typically viewed as a nuisance in the city, alpine villages view snow as the gift of all gifts from mother nature. For the big mountain resorts in the Colorado Rockies, significant snow storms represent cash falling from the skies.  If you count yourself among those wanting to hit the slopes and carve a few black diamonds before the warm weather arrives, there is no better time for a weekend getaway. Continue reading

Vitamin C Bomb—Rose Hip Syrup

Whoever discovers a cure for the common cold will be richer than Midas, if not richer than the guy who can instantly heal hangovers, but in the meantime we’ve got vitamin C. It just so happens that rose hips—the red, globular fruit of the rose—have vitamin C in spades.

Making your own rosehip syrup, whether for health reasons, to top a scoop of ice cream, or even add zing to a martini, is an easy and delicious way to enter the burgeoning world of wild food foraging, that new frontier for foodies, health nuts, and outdoors enthusiasts. Besides, it’s fun. After a few seasons of making your own, you’ll find that foraging rose hips is a calendar event, an annual mission that connects you to your landscape.

Look for rosehips wherever ornamental shrubbery plantings are in abundance. City parks, sidewalks, and lakeshores play host to many varieties of rose bush, while more rural areas support native species. Scout the patches in summer when the roses are in bloom, then return in fall to collect the fruit, usually marble to walnut-sized and a deep shade of red. They say hips are at their best after the first frost when the flavor and sweetness are most concentrated.

The recipe is simple. After rinsing, grind the hips in a food processor. Transfer contents to a saucepan, cover with water, and simmer for 30 minutes before running the resulting mush through a food mill or sieve to strain out the pulp. Return the strained juice to a pot and add sugar—or better yet, honey—to taste. Simmer until syrupy.

You can mix in other flavorings or herbal supplements such as cloves, cinnamon, or ginger—and voila: a Vitamin C Bomb to chase away the winter nasties. Mix into juice or water when you’re feeling low, or use the syrup for more gustatory purposes in desserts, sauces, jams, or cocktails.

 

rose hip syrup

 

Langdon Cook is the author of  Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager (Skipstone Press, 2009)The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America (Random House, 2013) and Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table (Random House, 2017).

Belmond Cap Juluca: Peaceful Luxury On Anguilla

If you think you’ve seen one Caribbean island you’ve seen them all, think again. Although popular spots like St. Johns and Antigua are beautiful, the tourist hordes have made finding a peaceful stretch of beach nigh on impossible. For blue skies, quieter beaches and hospitable locals, head to Anguilla. Continue reading

Flurry of New Celeb Chef Outposts in Las Vegas Shows How Hot Sin City Has Become

Sin City just got more decadently delicious. When in Las Vegas, make sure to hit the food jackpot by booking a table at the newest restaurants helmed by some of the most world’s most famous culinary stars.

 

Photo of Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Caesars Entertainment
DOMINIQUE ANSEL LAS VEGAS at CAESARS PALACE

Creative confectionaries, decadent desserts and, of course, the original Cronut have arrived at Dominique Ansel Las Vegas at Caesars Palace. James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Ansel has opened his bake shop and introduced his only-in-Vegas “Lucky 7” collection, Cookie Shots, Frozen S’mores, baked-to-order Mini Madeleines, the best-selling DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann), and the Cronut flavor of the month which never repeats. The first featured flavor is November’s Lucky Cherry Chambord and Caramelia Cronut filled with cherry Chambord jam and Valrhona Caramelia (caramelized milk chocolate) ganache. Treats are baked fresh daily, made with Beurre d’Isigny butter and Les Grands Moulins des Paris flour imported from France.

“I’m so thrilled to finally have a home here at Caesars Palace,” said Ansel. “For each of our shops, we strive to make each menu unique, and we hope our ‘Lucky 7’ pastry collection will bring some good fortune to everyone here. I can’t wait to share what we have planned for our future menu creations.”

The cafe-style bakery has seating for 20 people and is located next to Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill near the Caesars Palace Forum.

 

Vetri Cucina by Mac Vetri photo by Clint Jenkins/Courtesy of Palms Casino Resort
VETRI CUCINA at PALMS CASINO RESORT

The return of the beloved Vetri Cucina at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas is official, with the Palms Ivory Tower elevator now whisking guests to the 56th floor for panoramic city views and award-winning Italian cuisine by Chef Marc Vetri, Philadelphia’s shining culinary star for the past 25 years.

“I’m very excited and honored to be open in this amazing space and location once again,” says owner/chef Marc Vetri. “This space is magical and one that can only be found here at Palms. We love creating memories for our guests and simply celebrating life.”

Vetri Cucina’s menu features many of the favorite dishes and wines that first brought it acclaim, as well as new menu items. Highlights include Foie Gras Pastrami with Toasted Brioche and Mostarda, Sweet Onion Crepe with White Truffle Fondue, Spinach Gnocchi with Ricotta Salata and Brown Butter, Smoked Baby Goat with Fresh Milled Polenta au Jus.

The new Palms Casino Resort is making history as the first resort in Las Vegas fully owned and operated by a Native American Tribe. The off-Strip property features two towers with 766 hotel rooms and suites, a variety of bars, restaurants, and live entertainment venues across a 95,000-square-foot reimagined casino.

 

 

BEDFORD BY MARTHA STEWART at PARIS LAS VEGAS

An authentic, immersive experience awaits at The Bedford by Martha Stewart, a replica of Martha’s 1925 farmhouse with culinary inspiration drawn from her legendary gardens and love of French cooking. Locally sourced ingredients round out a menu of Martha’s most celebrated dishes.

Developed by Martha and her team, The Bedford’s menu features flavorful dishes from fresh ingredients sourced as locally as possible. Transporting guests to an authentic dining experience at Martha Stewart’s famed country farmhouse, the restaurant boasts French-inspired cuisine and a combination of Martha’s favorite recipes for Oysters Rockefeller, Salmon en Croûte, Martha’s $30 Square Burger, a Whole Roast Chicken carved tableside, and, of course, a Martha-tini made with Zubrówka bison grass vodka.

 

 

RAMSAY’S KITCHEN BY GORDON RAMSAY at HARRAH’S LAS VEGAS

With so many restaurants in Sin City – including Gordon Ramsay’s Steak, Pub & Grill, Fish & Chips, Burger, and Hell’s Kitchen – the world’s favorite potty-mouthed Michelin-starred chef is the unofficial culinary king of Las Vegas. Well, make room in your tummy for Ramsay’s sixth Vegas restaurant: Harrah’s Las Vegas has just opened Ramsay’s Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay. Foodies can tuck into many of Gordon’s classic dishes such as Beef Wellington and his irresistible Sticky Toffee Pudding, plus “new dishes not yet served anywhere else,” says Ramsay.

The 240-seat restaurant has a seven-seat seafood counter, a private booth, and a private dining room. This marks the iconic chef’s second Ramsay’s Kitchen location – the original Ramsay’s Kitchen first opened in Boston’s vibrant Back Bay neighborhood and features an expansive menu including a raw bar, soups, salads, sandwiches, and signature mains.

“I’ve had an amazing 10 years with Caesars Entertainment, and I couldn’t be more excited to expand the partnership in Las Vegas,” said Gordon Ramsay. “I’m really looking forward to introducing Ramsay’s Kitchen to the millions of guests that visit Harrah’s each year.”

 

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7 Great Hotels In San Francisco

While San Francisco may have become too expensive to live in, it is still relatively affordable to visit. Unlike New York City’s hotel scene, which seems to grow and grow, with trendy newcomers stealing the show, many of San Francisco’s top places to stay are the same properties they have always been—albeit some minor name changes.

Continue reading

Nomad Hotel Library Bar

Best Library Bars

Ah, the library bar. An urban oasis steeped in history (quite literally). Vintage, deep-seated armchairs, mahogany shelves and leather bound books ease the soul, while a single malt scotch calms the nerves after a long day of work. Ron Burgundy’s kind of place. My kind of place. Continue reading

Fields of Plenty—A Foray into the Best Ballpark Food

Although the temperature is still in the 40’s in some cities, the 2019 baseball season is in full swing. It’s impossible to predict what will happen over the course of a 162-game season—that’s already evident, with the reigning World Series Champion Red Sox team having trouble finding a victory while the seemingly hapless (on paper) Baltimore Orioles have managed a winning record in the first week of play. They are forecast to win 58 games. Continue reading

OPINION & VARIETY

Nomadic Nutrition—Foraging Tips From an Expert Forager

In the Time of Covid, the wide blue yonder is both my escape hatch and my sanity maintenance pill. Specifically the swath of public lands east and west of my home in Seattle. Out there, in the ancient forests and lonesome mountains of the Cascades and Olympics, I can breathe in the fresh air and not worry about tainted particles of disease, those “air-born droplets” we’ve heard so much about.

 

Only, those same mountains aren’t so lonely these days.

 

It turns out there are plenty other Americans with cabin fever, and outdoor recreation is seeing a boom like never before. Retail stores are sold out of camping equipment, fishing gear, bikes, and cross-country skis. Trailheads overflow with cars. Popular spots for hiking and angling are busier than Grand Central Station.

I enjoy all those activities, too, but thankfully I’m also a forager, which encourages me to get off the beaten path to go on a more solitary outdoor treasure hunt for wild edible foods. Foraging is a perfect way, in fact, to forget about the downward spiraling news cycle and find literal sustenance in nature.

 

Chokecherries, common across much of North America, make tasty jam

 

And in case you’ve been squirreled away in deep quarantine, foraging is hip these days. It’s now cool to traipse through the woods, woven Guatemalan basket in hand, in search of chanterelle mushrooms for the table, or to brave the bite of stinging nettles for a pot of soup. Every Michelin-aspiring chef has wild foods on the menu, and the bearded hipsters in their logging shirts from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine, are learning how to tell a Death Cap mushroom from a delicious clump of porcini.

 

Fiddlehead ferns, lovely and full of earthy flavor

 

But…about those Death Caps… If you’d like to learn how to find a few untamed foods to spice up dinner during lockdown, just remember the forager’s Golden Rule: Never, ever, eat anything from the wild without one-hundred percent certainty of its identification. While there aren’t many deadly poisonous plants and mushrooms, there are a few, meaning it’s a good idea to learn how to recognize, for instance, a common weed such as poison hemlock (looks a bit like parsley!), yes the same one that killed Socrates.

If you’re new to foraging, try to go beyond leafing through field guides or surfing YouTube videos. Take a class or workshop if possible, join a mycological or horticultural society (most club meetings are via Zoom these days, but it’s a start), and best of all, find a more experienced friend or willing teacher who can mentor you.

 

Pan-seared diver scallops with morels and potatoes in stinging nettle sauce

 

There’s ample foraging just about everywhere across this stricken nation, including within city limits. Every region boasts of a few specialties: prickly pear cactus in the Southwest desert; wild rice in the Great Lakes; onion-y ramps up and down Appalachia. In many places you can harvest something as ubiquitous as the humble-yet-nutritionally-off-the-charts dandelion year-round, or go for the more advanced art of clam digging or mushroom hunting in season.

Regardless of quarry, wild food foraging is a great way to get outside for a while and forget about what ails us.

Langdon Cook, award-winning author of Upstream and The Mushroom Hunters.

Venice Beach—With Kids?

Fifi+Hop’s Corey Cook takes us to energetic Venice Beach which, despite it’s edginess, can be a great place to take kids. You just need to know where to go.

Some may look at the title of this post – Venice Beach with Kids – with speculation, but Venice was actually my girls’ self-proclaimed favorite part of our L.A. family vacation. They loved it. This post is all about things to do in Venice with kids, and why it should be on every family’s L.A. must-see list.

Venice Beach with Kids

 

Venice, CA, bohemian in spirit, has always been the funkier side of town, filled with eclectic shops and people, restaurants, street entertainers, and, in general, an off-beat vibe all its own. It’s never really had a reputation as a family-oriented kind of hood. Yet it’s this colorfulness of Venice which is exactly why I wanted to take my kids – all the action and eye-candy, I knew, would entertain them for hours.

 

We decided to allot 1 day in Venice, out of our 5 days. How did we go about planning our 1 day in Venice itinerary? I knew just who I wanted to show us around – my blogging friend Hilary from the blog HilaryStyle. She is the eyes and ears of L.A. and would be the perfect person to show my kids everything that makes Venice, Venice.

 

Venice Beach with Kids, HilaryStyle and mePin this image on Pinterest

 

Hilary and Me!

Hilary was on board for our visit, and then some. We covered it all, and by the end of the day my girls were reeling from all the fun they had. Here’s all the fun things to do in Venice Beach with kids. (Tip: we went first thing in the morning around 9:30, which was a perfect time to start our day, as there were hardly any crowds and it was very manageable with the kids).

WALK ALONG THE VENICE BOARDWALK (AKA OCEAN FRONT WALK)
Venice Beach with kids, walk along the Venice Boardwalk

 

The famous Venice Boardwalk spans about 1 ½ miles, with beautiful, white sand and the Pacific Ocean on one side, and funky storefronts and eateries on the other. Whatever bric-a-brac shops you can think of, the Ocean Front Walk has: souvenirs, sunglasses, surf and skate shops, t-shirts, tattoos, etc. My girls got their L.A. souvenirs here, in the form of sweatshirts, and have been wearing them ever since. Both say Venice Beach in different patterns, and they think they are the coolest girls in town when they wear them!

We walked for a while along the path, and Hilary pointed out all the other interesting things to see that make Venice the happening place it is. We saw people biking, rollerblading, playing paddle tennis, which are some of the activities you can do while you’re there (though we did not). And then there is of course Muscle Beach, an iconic part of the boardwalk where all the body builders work out. This is where Gold’s Gym got its start, begun by 70’s and 80’s superstar body builder, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

 

Later in our walk the girls got henna tattoos, which was a big hit – there are tattoo shops, fortune tellers and other off-beat things like that scattered all over the boardwalk. As well as restaurants – we ate at Wee Chippy at the recommendation of Hilary as having the best fries anywhere, and I have to say, she was right! In general, the Venice Boardwalk has an energy that appeals to any age, and is just plain FUN.

 

WATCH THE SKATEBOARDERS AT VENICE SKATE PARK
Venice Beach with kids, Venice Skate Park

Venice Skate Park is truly an amazing skate park, and definitely worth a visit. If you’re like us then you will love watching all the skate boarders do their tricks. The boarders span all ages, and you can see older men as much as younger kids skate about. It’s a lot of fun for the kids, and it can take up as much or little time as you want it to.

CHECK OUT ALL THE STREET ART AND WALL MURALS
Looking at the Venice Beach street art with kidsPin this image on Pinterest

 

Venice Beach wall mural

Venice is known for its abundance of street art, and seeing as Hilary is the street art expert, she showed us mural after mural, art piece after art piece, all throughout Venice. I’ll get to some of these places below, but we saw street art in many of the side streets off of the boardwalk, on our way over to the canals, and along Abbot Kinney Boulevard. There are wall murals everywhere, some I would have probably walked right by had it not been for them being pointed out – so make sure to keep your eyes open and on the look-out. They are colorful and whimsical and great fun for the kids to pose in front of for vaca pics.

 

Venice Art Walls with kidsPin this image on Pinterest

One of the highlights of our day in Venice was making some street art/ graffiti of our own! Hilary brought cans of paint with her, which the kids sprayed out on the beach. There is a designated area called the Venice Art Walls where the public can spray paint themselves, and the kids went to town – a great, unique activity that they will always remember!

 

WATCH THE STREET PERFORMERS
Watching the street performers and dancers on Venice Beach

We’re from New York, and whenever there are street performers doing their thing (always) in the subway, on the streets, Union Square, Times Square, wherever, we like to check them out. The girls love watching their shows. Venice is no stranger to street performers so we of course had to see them too. They are a big part of the chemistry that makes up Venice, with a contagious energy that you can’t help but feel a part of. Until they want you to join the show! We watched one group do their break dance, gymnastic stunts, etc. until they started to head our way to get the kids to participate. We immediately high-tailed it, but up until then it was a lot of fun for the kids, with a huge crowd getting into it.

 

WALK ALONG THE VENICE CANALS
Walking along the Venice Canals in Venice Beach, CA

It is no coincidence that the “Venice of America” has the same name as its Italian counterpart. Venice was founded by millionaire developer Abbot Kinney and modeled after his favorite European city, Venice. In the early 1900’s the canals that we see today used to be wetlands, and the perfect spot to build canals. Today (especially after a major renovation project completed in the 90’s), they are one of L.A.’s most unique neighborhoods and so much fun to walk around. I really enjoy walking along the canals and over the bridges, and so did my kids.

 

Giant Unicorn float in the Venice Beach canals in Venice Beach, CAPin this image on Pinterest

 

With the renovation came many newly built, modern homes, and looking at the houses is just as much a part of the appeal. So many of the city’s beautiful homes are located in the Venice Canals. We particularly liked looking at all the different boats home owners had, from canoes to kayaks to unicorn rafts!

STROLL ABBOT KINNEY BOULEVARD

Checking out the wall murals in Abbot Kinney in VenicePin this image on Pinterest

 

Having fun at Avatar Nation in Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach           

 

Perhaps the chicest part of L.A., Abbot Kinney Blvd. is filled with Boho fashion stores, home design shops, fabulous restaurants and an overall trendy vibe. You can’t go to Venice without hitting Abbot Kinney. What’s in it for the kids? Good question – it’s mostly for adults. But for the adults who are visiting with their kids and don’t want to miss out, there are some gems to take the kids. We went to Salt n Straw ice cream, which has amazing, unique flavors and which the kids loved. We found plenty of street art to take pics of them with, and we found fun stores to take them in too – one of them being Avatar Nation. The kids played ping pong in the back, it’s full of bright colors, and they loved it. It was a welcome respite for us adults too to take a break and let the kids play.

How To Cook Steak Like a Professional Chef

Learn how to make perfect, restaurant quality steaks at home. Restaurant chef secrets are revealed in this how-to segment that teaches you how to make the best steaks. Featuring Lobel’s Steaks of NYC and wine from Robert Mondavi of Napa Valley, enjoy an easy culinary creation for a gourmet meal at home.

 

 

Ingredients:

Steaks – Lobel’s American Wagyu Ribeye Steaks Recommended
Sea Salt
Fresh Pepper
Olive Oil
Wine – Robert Mondavi 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Recommended

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Step 2:
Open a bottle of wine.

Step 3:
Let the steaks come to room temperature.

Step 4:
Lightly brush the steaks with olive oil on both sides.

Step 5:
Sprinkle steaks with sea salt and cover with fresh ground pepper.

Step 6:
Turn burner on high heat. Pre-heat dry pan for 2 minutes. Place steaks in pan.

Step 7:
Don’t flip-flop the steaks. With tongs, check to see if a crust is forming after a few minutes. If so, turn the steaks over once and repeat the process.

Step 8:
Place the pan containing the steaks into the oven. Enjoy more wine.

Step 9:
After two minutes, take the pan out of the oven. Check the steaks with a meat thermometer. Desired temperature for medium rare is 125 degrees F.

Step 10:
Take the steaks out of the pan. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes so the juices settle before eating. Plate, garnish and and enjoy your steak.

About Lobel’s Steaks:

For five generations, the Lobels have been purveyors of fine meats dedicated to the highest standards of quality and personal service. These standards have made their butcher shop an institution in New York City, where the family’s Upper East Side store enjoys a devoted clientele comprised of celebrities, prominent business executives, and others who value the highest quality prime meats and attentive service. Learn more at: http://www.lobels.com

About Robert Mondavi Winery:

The Robert Mondavi Winery is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the wine industry. From the introduction of cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks and the use of French oak barrels in the late 1960’s, to collaboration with NASA using aerial imaging to understand the health and vigor of the vines in the 1990’s, the Robert Mondavi Winery has always been at the forefront of wine industry technology. Their innovations, such as gentle winemaking techniques to increase wine quality and natural farming to protect people and the environment, have led to fundamental changes in the industry’s approach to winegrowing. Learn more more at: http://www.robertmondavi.com/

Why MeCabo Should Be On Your 2022/2023 Travel List

Well-known as a chic, party-themed hotel, ME Cabo reopened in the fall of 2021 after a complete transformation. The weekend of the Day of the Dead, one of Mexico’s biggest holidays of the year was the rebirth of this popular destination. Drawing scores of bikini-clad, well-heeled travelers from the west coast, all over Mexico and a growing number from the rest of the United States, ME Cabo opened its doors again and is ready to impress after investing over $10 million in its total redesign. These are the five top reasons why the seaside ME Cabo resort should be on the bucket list for every Mexico-bound reveler.

The location

 

beach

 

Within walking distance of town, this resort doubles down on the nightlife and fun-in-the-sun vibe. Not only are you in perfect view of the famous El Arco from much of the resort, but you can be shopping, “cheersing” or boating just minutes after leaving the hotel. It may be hard to pull yourself away from the resort’s own beautiful stretch of beach, oceanfront pool and bevy of highly celebrated restaurants though.

 

The resort sits at the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, and during the winter months, it is possible to see whales frolicking offshore. While the beaches are public, the resort does have a roped-off section with private chairs and umbrellas where guests can relax uninterrupted. The water is warm (this is Los Cabos’ only swimmable beach), and servers circle around to take orders from the nearby bar.

The party vibe

 

lounge

 

This is not the kind of place you come to for a quiet nap by the pool with cucumbers over your eyes. And the guest list here knows that. The upscale crowd here seeks out the party vibe making nightlife part of their daily routine, too. The rates here prohibit the Spring Break crowd from coming to the resort meaning it is ready and waiting for the often young, elite and chic crowds of Mexico City and Los Angeles.

 

 

saxophonist

 

As one of Meliá Hotels International’s brands, ME hotels are known globally for their sophisticated and fashionable party spirit. By the pool, dancers shimmy and shake from morning to night on pedestals as guests sip fruity cocktails or chilled Mexican beer. Clubby music emanates from speakers morning to night, and it is hard not to wake up in a good mood here. Even the hotel’s top suite has its own DJ booth for those that want to try their hand at mixing music. Poolside musicians perform throughout the day to entertain the crowd including jazz-style violinists and saxophonists.

 

A swim-up bar complements the roving pool servers, and visiting DJs often entertain at the beach club. The same thumping music continues in many of the bars and restaurants keeping the party mood alive throughout the day. It’s the kind of young and hip party place that is designed to impress.

This resort is not a mecca for conferences, but it does draw plenty of social events and weddings that take advantage of the beach club platform and pool area for parties.

Headline-worthy food and beverage

 

cocktail

 

Rosa Negra, famed for its numerous dining outlets in Mexico, is at the helm of the food and beverage experience here. It is responsible for the four dining and drinking outlets here, each with a focus to serve Latin American flavors using local ingredients.

Confessions Skybar & Tapas serves light bites of mostly Spanish fare with a mix of meat, seafood and veggie options. Arrive before sunset to catch the beautiful views, but once the sun goes down, the lights turn up for a DJ-fueled party atmosphere with coastal breezes. Dress to impress up here.

 

restaurant

 

Expect Thai, Chinese and Japanese fare at Funky Geisha while Mamazzita Mexican Soul serves three meals a day focused on traditional Mexican fare. Like the pool, musicians and entertainers perform throughout the space as guests dine on beautifully presented dishes. The Rosa Negra affiliation has brought tremendous buzz among foodies and from around the country to the resort. Don’t miss the fruit and grain bowls and chilaquiles at breakfast, which luckily serves until late.

 

lamb

 

At Taboo Beach Club, Mediterranean fare is the go-to option with everything from Greek-style rack of lamb to healthy platters of vegetables and chilled gazpacho. The outdoor setting is meant to feel like you’re at the beach on a Greek island or Turkish cafe.

 

The redesigned rooms

 

guest room

 

Perhaps the highlight of a stay here is the quiet spot you have to seek respite after a day partying by the pool or dancing on the beach. If you had stayed here before, you will hardly recognize the new look of the guest rooms. Polished tile floors and white-washed walls show off minimalist design with the occasional pops of color in the Mexican art and design pieces. Throughout the hotel, regional touches in Mexican art and design abound.

 

 

bed

 

The bedding features chic, yet unpretentious, bespoke bedding with power and USB outlets on either side of the bed. I particularly like how the bed is positioned to maximize the window views in many rooms. Open-plan bathrooms continue the edgy design with vanities stocked with towels and C.O. Bigelow toiletries. Separate marble rain shower and water closet sections make the entire bathroom and dressing area feel more spacious. Built-in luggage racks above drawers are another well-thought-out touch.

 

 

suite

 

Minibars (which the hotel calls “maxibars”) are stocked with regional Mexican products, but all rooms come with complimentary Evian bottled water. Suites add separate living room areas with day beds and Nespresso machines. There is a variety of suite types, some of which have outdoor whirlpools on the balcony and the most up-front-and-personal views of El Arco. Guests in the ME+ Suite enjoy a pre-reserved day bed at Taboo Beach Club each day of their stay.

 

The spa

lobby
The hotel’s redesigned lobby
 

With all of that partying, your body deserves a touch of pampering in between the ruckus. The spa is tucked away into a corner of the resort as if it were an afterthought, but once you pass through the changing rooms, you realize there is much more than meets the eye.

Grab a glass of chlorophyll water and head for the relaxation areas to feel the ocean breeze in the shade. Splashing waterfalls bring you into another world as you wait for your treatment. On the menu are facials, massages and medical treatments from a well-trained staff.

 

design details
The design details around the resort are beautiful.

In addition to sauna and steam room areas, there’s also a modern fitness center with the latest workout equipment, stacks of towels and a fridge stocked with chilled bottled water. It’s clear that many of those parading around the pool have spent at least some time in the gym or spa. For most of us though, the views and food are what clinches the deal when considering a top resort for a trip to famous Cabo.

How To Take Cool Instagram Photos—From a Pro

The art of photography once was a closed world, filled with mystery and concrete details. It was commonly considered that to make a decent photograph, you should at least obtain a few professional items – camera, lights, etc. But the technologies stepped forward, and with the appearance of the first smartphone models with cameras, the ethereal world of photography has shaken. At first, no one took it all seriously, but nowadays, mobile photography has become a separate kind of art form that can compete with classic techniques. By now, iPhone owners can create outstanding works using their phones solely.

There is a proven way to make your works popular, like the possibility to buy custom Instagram comments or likes. But in this article, we shall concentrate on mobile photography tips for beginners.

 

Turn On The Grid

 

The grid will divide your screen into nine equal segments. This is one of the key points that will help you create a decent composition for your photos. Remember that the objects you want to accentuate on your work should be situated either in the central segment or on the crossings of the lines. The grid also will help you to keep the horizon line parallel to the frame. The crooked horizon line is a fact that effortlessly reveals that you are a newbie in taking photos, so train a bit, or use framing later. But if your grid is turned on, it will be easier to shoot accurately at once.

 

Don’t Make Things Complicated

 

Getting back to the composition, as it is a prominent aspect in photography. At some time, if you feel the urge to put more and more details in your frame – drop it like it’s hot! Adding too many objects to your composition distracts the viewer’s attention from the one you want to show as the central piece. But you can also interact with your followers in the comment section and ask them what they think about your works. Minimalism is easier to shoot and requires fewer corrections later. Of course, shooting a single object on a monotone background can seem tedious, but you should focus on the textures and colors, which can add accents to your photo.

 

Find A New Angle

 

The secret of being a good photographer is to be able to see things differently. Thinking outside of the box is a must if you really want to impress people with your works. While the majority of people shoot, holding the device in the chest area, a true photography enthusiast will find another angle to make a great shot. Use your fantasy and try out all the ideas that you come up with. Don’t always give a deep sense to your pictures – sometimes, the desired result is a pure visual delight. Pay attention to things that happen around you, and try to show how colorful and engaging the world can be.

 

Aim For Depth

 

Creating a three-dimensional effect on your photos makes the shot more engaging and storytelling. This factor is especially vital for landscapes, where animated objects are often absent. The easiest way to add depth to your photo is to include leading lines in your composition. Mostly, a role of a leading line is played by roads of different kinds. Still, it can be rivers, clouds, or fences – basically, anything that can lead the viewer’s eyes through the architecture of the shot from the foreground to the background.

The second popular method to add a sense of depth in the photo is to use closed composition. Closed composition means adding an object into the foreground, which is partly visible, so the picture tunnels. This way, you have objects in your frame’s front, middle, and back, imitating the actual sight.

 

Show More Details Closely

 

The devil is in details, and sometimes a close-up can reveal a whole new world for your viewers. Macro-shooting discovers textures and colors deeper, making your works more engaging as well. In a few years before, to catch the minor details, a specific camera objective was required. Still, modern smartphones can now capture high-resolution images as well, so in your search for a perfect frame, you can get closer to the object. Shortening the distance between the photographer and the object works not only for exciting nature shoots but for portraits too. With the current possibilities of the camera, you can catch emotions and tiny face features that would visualize the character of your model. If you work well enough on the details, it will all pay off in the comments, likes and followers on your profile.

 

Retouching And Enhancing

 

Of course, it is hard to create a masterpiece in one click. Most photos require a particular correction after the initial shooting. For mobile photography, the main tool that helps to improve the shot is color correction, along with cropping, graining, exposure settings, etc. These are fundamental changes that are implemented in most mobile appsfor photo retouching. Nowadays, one of the most popular apps for iPhones is VSCO, which offers a free set of basic enhancements (contrast, white balance, graining, etc.) and a range of more complicated instruments available to users for paid subscriptions. The main benefit of this app is creating, and saving presets that can be applied to several photos – making a series. VSCO presets are also sold and distributed freely by people who are mobile photography enthusiasts, so you can choose the ones you like and apply them to your shots, having a brilliant result.

 

Look For Symmetry

 

Another excellent technique for creating interesting and beautiful photos is capturing symmetry in your works. The human eye loves perfection, and symmetrical shots easily drive attention and impress the public. Besides, it is easy – nature is all about symmetry and perfect forms, so the world around you is filled to the top with the objects to catch in your camera. However, beware of making a totally symmetric composition. To make the picture look more natural, move the central part of the composition to any side slightly, or allow one tiny detail to intrude on it. Imperfections are also natural, so this way, you will make your scene look lively. Find symmetry in the real things – reflection in the water, leaf patterns, or the structure of human features.

 

Place Objects By Diagonal

 

Along with centered perspective, you can also add intrigue and engagement to your shot if the objects in your frame are placed diagonally. Such method allows you to add more details to the shot and provides visual harmony that pleases the eye of your viewers and will make him leave the like or comment organically. The technique works perfectly if you want to introduce two or three objects in your shot. The diagonal lines in your composition can be displayed by the patterns and shades as well – thus, you also create a direction for the viewer’s eye to follow.

 

This article was originally published on Pursuitist. Republished by permission.