Crowning a secluded ridge above Bali's Valley of the Kings, the Viceroy Bali is a luxurious 25 villa retreat perfect for those seeking an exotic and elegant destination for a wedding. With mesmerizing views of the serene valley below, and a once favored retreat of royals, the Viceroy Bali is a member of Small Luxury Hotels and is located near the village of Ubud in central Bali.
The resort offers five categories of expansive yet intimate villas, each with its own pool, an award winning restaurant, spa, gym, onsite helipad; plus easy access to the many wonders of the region. The management and staff of Viceroy Bali are unsurpassed in their professionalism and discretion, the resort is one of the few in Bali to have a dedicated guest services manager devoted to satisfying requests from event planning to excursion arrangements to special meal requests.
Nearby Ubud, previously the sea of feudal lords, is a thriving cultural mecca offering an excellent introduction to Balinese culture, with an emphasis on the arts, yoga, and nature. Museums, crafts, dance performances, and shopping at the Persar Seni (art market) are just a few of the activities that could be enjoyed by a wedding party and their guests while staying at The Viceroy Bali. Additional attractions are the Puri Saren Agung palace, The Ubud Monkey Forest, The Moon of Pejeng, The Goa Gaja (Elephant Cave) temple and the Pura Saraswati (Water Palace). But there is much more to discover as well in the surrounding area including exploring a traditional coffee plantation, world class reef diving, beach horseback riding, hiking at Batur volcano, Harley Davidson touring, and golfing in the mountains.
For those planning a wedding at the Viceroy Bali, a dedicated Guest Service Manager will be available to coordinate every detail of the wedding celebration.
Royal weddings are traditionally among the most auspicious occasions for the people of Bali, where they have been celebrated for centuries with elaborate, joyous rituals. With the debut of the Royal Balinese Wedding Blessing Package at the Viceroy Bali, couples can experience a traditional regal wedding in a uniquely exclusive, exotic, and elegant setting without paying a king’s ransom. The package’s highlights include a choice of two exclusive wedding venues, traditional Balinese wedding costumes, Balinese or contemporary decorations, yellow rice wedding cake, wedding dinner, wedding photographs, and leader of the wedding ceremony.
The wedding package also includes a traditional Balinese dance performance, entertainment by a Balinese gamelan percussion orchestra, flower girls bedecked in local Balinese dress, and incorporation of other ceremonial elements such as incense, blessed water, and rice. Imagine treating your guests to this completely unique experience to celebrate. If you prefer a classic western-style wedding rather than the Balinese package this can be arranged. The Viceroy Bali’s staff is at your service to make sure you have the wedding of your dreams.
There is an amazing Dream Honeymoon package that the resort has put together well including, VIP immigration service, five nights accommodations in a luxury Pool villa, champagne upon arrival, a romantic candlelit dinner, two hour couples spa treatment, and a flower bath.
Start making your destination wedding at The Viceroy Bali a reality!
The Place for Romance
There is no better place to celebrate a new life together than on Tahiti (photo 1) and her islands. The islands of French Polynesia cover over two million square miles of the South Pacific ocean and are comprised of 118 islands spread over five archipelagos. many of these islands are crowned with jagged peaks while others appear to float just above the breaking waves. The total land mass of all the islands add up to an area only slightly larger than the tiny state of rhode island.
Within the five archipelagos, there are several islands which are the most sought after by visitors. They include Tahiti, moorea, Bora Bora (photo 2), huahine, raiatea, and Taha’a. on these islands, you can enjoy lagoons of warm, bright-emerald waters, and white, coral-sand beaches. The number one reason the islands of Tahiti are perfectly suited for romance is the “alone time” couples can enjoy during their stay. intimate resorts, small peaceful villages, and miles of quiet pristine beaches afford couples with valued seclusion.
Tahiti is famous for its over-the-water bungalows. These bungalows are a perfect hotel room. imagine sleeping above the turquoise waters in a thatched-roof hideaway with all the amenities and service of a first class hotel. The only sounds heard are the soothing lagoon waters and the occasional splash of fish below.
if a bungalow is not your thing, there are numerous resorts offering luxurious accommodations. manava Suites resorts, moorea Pearl resort and Spa, huahine Te Tiare Beach resort and Spa, and Tikehau Pearl Beach resort are some to consider. and the Polynesian spas are the ultimate in true relaxation and rejuvenation.
Enjoy snorkeling and diving in the warm, crystal-clear lagoons and swift ocean passes with schools of beautifully-colored fish, docile sharks, and giant manta rays. Take a voyage within the legendary South Pacific aboard luxurious cruise ships, super yachts, or passenger freighters that travel among Tahiti’s most beautiful islands.
There are many other reasons that make Tahiti so special, including the Polynesian people, whose love for their island is seen through music, dance, and their hospitality. Perhaps the most special reason to visit the islands of Tahiti is to simply do nothing but enjoy the true sound of silence. only in French Polynesia can one enjoy such seclusion, beauty, and serenity.
it is easier than you might imagine traveling to Tahiti. Tahiti’s Faa’a airport is under 8 hours by air from los angeles lax airport, with daily nonstop flights. as far south of the equator as hawaii is north, Tahiti is halfway between California and australia, on the same side of the international Date line as north america, and in the same time zone as hawaii.
Travel arrangements can be easy by an expert in French Polynesia travel. Uschi helfrich, the owner of Crossroads Travel, inc., located in richmond, Virginia, can help plan a perfect Tahiti honeymoon. She has been cited in “The Tahiti and French Polynesian Guide” by Jan Price and is certified by the Tahiti Tourist Board. Tahiti by Crossroads Travel, inc. is a member of Virtuoso, a prestigious travel organization recognized by many resorts in French Polynesia. Being a member, she can offer competitive pricing, and often include extras like upgrades, spa credits, and discounted transfers.
AGENT Uschi helfrich • Tahiti Specialist
LOCATION Crossroads Travel, inc. 11400 W. Huguenot Road #114 Midlothian, Virginia
Colonial Charm & More
“Oozing charm from every pore,” goes the song lyrics from the famous movie and play My Fair Lady. This description could just as easily fit the characteristically southern city Charleston, South Carolina. Historic homes, flowering gardens, winsome churches, cobblestone streets and tiny courtyards create a sense of timeless fantasy. Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, the gold standard in the travel industry, named Charleston the “Top City in the U.S.” based on six categories: atmosphere and ambiance, culture and sites, friendliness, lodging, restaurants and shopping. With a buildup like that, who wouldn’t want to honeymoon here?
A good way to begin your exploration is by taking a horse or mule-drawn carriage through the old District. Clippity-clop back to colonial times on a one hour tour, immersing in 300 years of antebellum sights, facts, folklore and humor. historic homes abound within a 30-block area, such as the perfectly preserved mansion and collection of outbuildings named the aiken-rhett house. Dating from the early 1800’s, these structures stand as the most intact showcase of urban pre-Civil War life in Charleston. a step inside immediately transports you to a bygone era. Today it is a public museum.
Since 1808 visitors have admired the grand Federal house of Charleston merchant nathaniel russell. Set amid spacious formal gardens, the gorgeously preserved home is widely recognized as one of america’s most important neoclassical dwellings. The graceful interior with elaborate ornamentation, geometrically shaped rooms and magnificent free-flying staircase is among the most exuberant in early america. The house is furnished with period antiques and artwork that evoke the gracious lifestyle of the city’s merchant elite.
A must stop on any tour of old Charleston is the City market, (photo 1) dating back to 1788. The original commodities of beef, fish, poultry and produce have been replaced by such contemporary treasures as sweet grass baskets, low Country (nickname for the area) recipe books, clothing, artwork, jewelry, perfume and local souvenirs.
A simple stroll down the winsome streets becomes an outing in itself, providing glimpses of secret gardens, delicate wrought iron balconies, charming side streets, hidden alleys, fountains and church spirals, as well as the scent of lush flowers in bloom.
Charleston also evokes the memory of another ultra-famous movie Gone With The Wind. honeymooners simply cannot leave without a dip into the eighteenth-century world of plantation life. Your honeymoon To-Do list should include a visit to a real-life version of the movie set planation Tara.
Get your camera ready! “magnolia Planation is one of the most inspirational gardens i visited,” (photo 2) notes Jennifer Trehane, former Director of the international Camellia Society, a non-profit organization devoted to nurturing this stunning species. magnolia Plantation, founded in 1676, has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our nation from the american revolution through the Civil War and beyond. it is the oldest public gardens in the USa, first opening its doors to visitors in 1870, beckoning with thousands of exquisite flowers and plants. The plantation has been owned by the same family for more than three centuries and each generation has added their own personal touch to the gardens, expanding the variety.
Boone hall Plantation is another movie set-perfect location. in 1743, the son of major John Boone planted two evenly spaced rows of oak trees at the entrance to his homestead. Centuries later, this spectacular approach would come to symbolize the epitome of Southern heritage. Today, 90 moss-draped oaks stretch three-quarters of a mile, massive branches meeting overhead to form a canopied corridor that is the quintessential symbol of the old South.
Boone hall is one of america’s oldest living plantations, continuously growing crops for 320 years. once known for cotton and pecans, it still actively produces strawberries, tomatoes, pumpkins and other fruits and vegetables for visitors to enjoy. The main house can be viewed on a variety of tours conducted by guides dressed in period clothing. The gardens of another plantation, middleton Place (photo 4) built in 1755, reflect the elegant symmetry of 17th century european design. Sculpted terraces and reflection pools inhabited by swans are highlights of the intricate design. rare flower species blaze with brilliant color during differing seasons. a tour of the estate interprets the middleton family’s vital role in american history. in the stable yard, a blacksmith, potter, carpenter and weaver recreate the activities of a self-sustaining low Country plantation.
Moving from terraced gardens to watery topography, the city of Charleston sits on a harbor with a wonderful view of Fort Sumter, (photo 5) the island fort where the Civil War began. Today it is a national Park. Tour boats to the island offer a 30 minute cruise along Charleston’s bustling waterfront, providing panoramic vistas of the atlantic ocean. a narrator explains the many points of interest. once on the island, historians give detailed information about the fort’s pivotal role in the War Between the States. There’s also a small museum and gift shop.
To experience the sea in a different venue, head to the South Carolina aquarium for a close-up look at turtles, stingrays, sharks, otters, alligators and colorful fish. The Great hall offers an impressive introduction to the South Carolina coastline with a large wall map illustrating the regions of the state represented in the aquarium. The facility’s theater combines 3-D imagery, interactive experiences and special effects to enable visitors to feel gusts of wind, splashes of water and movement under their feet.
To get even more intimate with the sea, there’s nothing like the nearby beaches for a wet-and-wonderful adventure. Folly Beach (photo 8) is a beautiful barrier island only 15 minutes from downtown Charleston. The public park is located at the east end of the isle and includes outdoor showers, restrooms and picnic areas. morris island lighthouse stands 300 feet off shore, creating a perfect photo op.
Walking along Kiawah island’s ten mile stretch of undisturbed sandy beach, guests find it hard to believe the city of Charleston is a mere 21 miles away. Kiawah island is an idyllic private community with beach admittance primarily limited to property owners and resort guests. however, public access is available at Beachwalker County Park, located on the west end. natural beauty abounds from endless acres of marsh to thick pine forests, magnolias and massive oaks. The Travel Channel named Kiawah’s beach among the nation’s Top Ten.
Another choice is isle of Palm, just 12 miles away. Boating opportunities include kayaks, canoes, sailboats, fishing boats and even luxury harbor cruises. Personal watercraft like Jet Skis can be rented to explore nearby islands. Getting around is easy; most roads have marked bike paths. Bicycle and rollerblade rentals are available. Tennis and golf can be pursued on the island with two world class golf courses. The Charleston area also has many well-known courses.
For more information on everything from sightseeing to outdoor recreation, world class cuisine and hotel accommodations, visit www.charlestoncvb.com
Natural Beauty Remedies
So much of what we do on a daily basis adds stress not just to our mind and body, but to our skin as well. Whether it is too much sunlight, or not enough, deadlines, or other crises, what we do in our everyday life can take a toll on us, both inside and out. But don’t worry, this does not necessarily mean you have to compromise big bucks for the exchange of good-looking skin. Sometimes the best beauty secrets can be found in your very own kitchen. So, before you think about investing in those overpriced anti-aging moisturizers and harsh masks, take a second look at some essential ingredients you may already own. I am talking about the best kind of remedies — homemade, of course.
Step 1 : diet
FAVORITE MIRACLE FOODS Carrots, salmon, blueberries, beats, avocado, spinach, yogurt, and olive oil.
What we do to the exterior of our skin is one thing, but how we treat it internally is a whole other subject. You can improve the condition of your skin drastically just by changing your diet. Replacing the bag of chips with some mixed berries, and you are already on your way to better-looking skin. The food we consume is a homemade remedy in itself. Always make sure to look for natural ingredients. The more ingredients you can recognize, the healthier it probably is. Stay clear of anything with massive amounts of sugar, including high-fructose corn syrup. Eating an overabundance of sugar is like asking acne to stay awhile (and nobody wants to do that). Some ingredients that are great for the skin are foods that contain: Vitamin A, E, and D. And fish oil is a great supplement to take on the side.
While you’re eating those healthy and natural foods, make sure to cut out the sodas and replace with water (a 12oz can of Mountain Dew contains 46 g of sugar). Water is the simplest way to improve the tone and look of your skin. It clarifies your inside, as well as it does your outside. I don’t care what anyone says, what you eat does effect how you look. There is a reason they say you are what you eat! And if certain foods can deteriorate or improve our inside, there is no reason why they cannot do the same for our outside (skin, nails and hair).
Step 2: homemade remedies
FAVORITE FACIAL INGREDIENTS Egg yolk, yogurt, oatmeal, honey, coconut water, avocado, various oils, cucumber, rose water, and almonds.
Some of the same foods we eat can make for the best at-home facials. However, it is important to keep in mind that too much of anything is not a good thing, and this applies to facial treatments as well. Keep it in moderation and keep in mind that the foods you are allergic to may also cause a reaction, even if used topically. And because every skin type is different, some may need to use a product more often to see results than others who have more sensitive skin. For anything you use on the surface of your skin, allow at least two weeks for the results to kick in.
(These ingredients can be mixed and used in almost any way you prefer. Normally, you do not need more than two to three ingredients per facial).
For dry skin: If you have dry skin, use avocado for the base in your facial. It is known to lock in moisture and soothe skin texture.
One avocado + two spoons of honey + one spoon of yogurt: Mash (or blend in blender) one avocado with a fork and mix in two spoons of honey and one spoon of yogurt. Apply it to skin with brush or bare fingers for best result. Let it set for at least 15 minutes before washing. Always apply a facial to clean skin (make sure to cleanse before applying the mask).
For oily skin: If you have oily skin, use oatmeal as a base for your facial. It is great for exfoliation and evening skin moisture.
Handful of plain oatmeal + three tablespoons of yogurt + one teaspoon of honey: Mush a handful of oatmeal and a couple drops of water in your hand, then mix it in a bowl with three tablespoons of yogurt and a teaspoon of honey. Make sure the oatmeal isn’t completely blended (you want a bit of the rough texture for maximum exfoliation). Rub gently onto skin and let set for 15-20 minutes.
For combination skin: If you have a mix between oily and dry skin, use any of the essential facial ingredients as your base. Coconut water is great as a base mixed with blended cucumber and yogurt. Yogurt is ideal for moisture, while cucumber eliminates puffiness.
Egg yolk can be used as a mask alone. It naturally dries tightly onto your skin. You can literally feel your face tighten with this remedy. If you don’t like the feeling of plain yolk on your face, you can always add some rose water for that natural pink glow. Adding a few blended almonds to your mix can be used as the exfoliation to your mask if you do not have oatmeal.
Step 2: relaxation
The first two steps above work hand in hand with this last step. Relaxing means giving your body the required amount of time to rest and unwind. This includes exercise, sleep, and daily breathing strategies, or yoga.
Exercise (30 mins-1 hour): Working out on a routine basis allows your pores to breathe. Yes, sweating is a natural facial. Sweating gets rid of all the excess oils in your body and purifies it. It also helps shrink pores. Good to know, huh?
Sleep (8 hours preferred): We live in a busy world. And our mental checklist does not help us either (since it can at times keep us up at night). However, sleep does not just aid in good skin, it also aids in living longer. Those who get more sleep are considered healthier and wiser, and some studies suggest, even live longer. Getting the required eight hours of sleep a night will definitely reduce under eye circles, bags, and puffiness. It will also keep your skin looking youthful, giving you a fresh and well-rested appearance.
Breathing (15-30 minutes): Sometimes the best way to relax is just taking in a deep breath. Inhale, exhale — yes, it is that simple. That is why some are a huge fan of yoga. Yoga not only makes you sweat, which as we mentioned above is great for your skin, it also calms the body and puts it in a trance of peace. Stress is an aging factor, so fight back with some simple breathing strategies that can be learned through various mind, body, and soul websites, and through a yoga class.
There you go, now you have the complete list of ways to look your best from the convenience of your very own home. Whether it is what you eat, wear, or do, be rest assured that there is always a natural alternative to looking and feeling better. And if you add all three steps into the equation, there is no reason you won’t be on your way to a better, healthier you.