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Travel & Escape

These getaways for grown-ups allow you to ditch the kids




Adults-only vacations for parents appear to be growing in popularity. Expedia recently reported that social media posts about child-free trips doubled in the past year. Travel Leaders Group, which represents 50,000 travel agents in North America, reports an upsurge in adults-only travel — in particular romantic trips, getaways with friends and parents travelling with adult children. Sales of river cruising within the network, predominantly an adults-only vacation option, is expanding by double digits, according to a company spokesperson.

A Farmhouse Getaway

At Twin Farms, which is set in an 18th-century farmhouse surrounded by 300 acres of land, a stay includes all activities, meals and alcohol.
At Twin Farms, which is set in an 18th-century farmhouse surrounded by 300 acres of land, a stay includes all activities, meals and alcohol.  (TWIN FARMS / The New York Times)

Jonathan Knudsen, a hospitality executive from Westchester County in New York, is one of the increasing number of adults who enjoys trips where children aren’t allowed: He and his wife have been to Twin Farms, an adults-only property in Barnard, Vermont, three times. The father of two young boys said he appreciates an occasional child-free retreat. “As a parent, I’m constantly having to think what’s next when it comes to my kids, and at Twin Farms, I get a break from that,” he said. “I have other people taking care of me, and that’s a real luxury.”

At Twin Farms, which is set in an 18th-century farmhouse surrounded by 300 acres of land, a stay includes all activities, meals and alcohol. Parents of picky eaters will particularly enjoy the freedom of those meals: There are no menus; instead, the chefs create dishes for each guest based on their preferences and the most seasonal produce. Options for activities in fall and winter include bicycling, fly fishing, guided hikes, sledding and skiing. Bookings start at $1,500 a night for two people.

Wine and Wellness in Greece

In Greece, Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu, reopening this August after a renovation, is a beachfront retreat for adults that was originally built for the Onassis family in the late 1960s. It’s surrounded by centuries-old olive groves and has a focus on wellness with activities such as yoga on the beach and hikes. The property has a grand opening offer through October that includes breakfast, a bottle of wine, a lunch for two and a 20 per cent discount on drinks. Nightly rates start at 229 euros (about $262). A three-night minimum stay is required.

European River Cruising

For those who prefer to travel by water, U by Uniworld is a new river cruise brand for those 18 and over. Its two ships accommodate 120 passengers each; each boat has two rooftop bars, a spa, communal tables for dining and farm-to-table cuisine. The company offers a range of eight-day itineraries that include longer stays at ports. This September and October, for example, one option is a trip from Regensburg, Germany, to Budapest that includes a stop in Vienna and a two-night stay in Budapest. Tickets begin from $1,499 a person, and include most meals and excursions.

Stargazing in a Blue Ridge Mountain Retreat

Primland, in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, offers a retreat within a retreat, made up of three treehouses solely for adults. They all have large decks and are built around the solid branches of the tree tops; guests can expect views of the Kibler Valley by day and the stars at night. This fall, the property has a stargazing experience that includes a treehouse stay, an evening star walk and a tour of the property’s observatory, complete with two telescopes. Prices start at $900 for two people.

Jamaican Sun and Sand

Jamaica offers two options. In Negril, Sunset at the Palms is an adults-only, all-inclusive hotel that has 85 treehouse-style guest rooms with private balconies. A stay includes a variety of non-motorized sports, tennis and all meals and drinks. Bookings begin at $152 a person per night.

Another possibility is the newly renovated Sandals Montego Bay. A stay includes unlimited water and land sports, unlimited dining at nine restaurants and premium spirits. Rates start at $234 per person per night.


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Travel & Escape

Why your hotel mattress feels like heaven (and how to bring that feeling home)




(NC) Choosing the right mattress is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. To make a good choice for your home, take a cue from luxury hotel-room beds, which are designed to support the sound sleep of tens of thousands of guests, 365 nights a year.

“When we’re shopping for a mattress, we do lab testing, identify the best materials, bring in multiple mattress samples and have our associates test them,” explains David Rizzo, who works for Marriott International. “We ask for ratings on comfort level, firmness, body support and movement disruption. It takes 12 to 18 months just to research and select materials.”

Here, he shares his tips to pick the perfect mattress for your best sleep:

Understand your needs. People have different food and exercise preferences, as well as different sleep cycles. So, it’s no surprise that everyone has unique mattress preferences. Not sure whether a firm or a soft mattress is better? Rizzo says the best gauge is to ask yourself, “Do I wake up with aches and pains?” If the answer is no, you’re golden.

Foam versus spring. All mattresses have a core that is made up foam or innersprings or a combination of the two. Today’s foam-core mattresses contain memory foam — a material engineered by NASA to keep astronauts comfortable in their seats. It’s special because it retains or “remembers” its shape, yielding to pressure from the sleeper’s body, then bouncing back once the pressure is removed.

An innerspring mattress has an encased array of springs with individual coils that are connected by a single helical wire. This wire creates continuous movement across the coil that minimizes disruption if the mattress is disturbed, such as by a restless sleeper. According to Rizzo, the innerspring is “bouncier.”

Temperature preference. Consider how warm or cool you like to sleep, and factor in the construction of the mattress to find one with a temperature that suits you. The air space engineered into an innerspring mattress promotes ventilation, which some people find keeps them pleasantly cool. To accomplish the same purpose with a foam mattress (or the foam layer of an innerspring) it may be infused with metal, usually silver or copper, to help dissipate heat and humidity.

Need to test out the right mattress for your needs? Find the right fit during your next trip by booking your stay at

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Travel & Escape

How to make the most of summer travel




(NC) One of the best parts of our short Canadian summers is the opportunity to enjoy them a little bit extra on long weekends. If you need ideas, check out these creative things to do whether you decide to stay in town or go away.

Do a dinner crawl. Pub crawls are fun for couples, friends and also families with older kids. For an exciting twist that stretches your dollars and lets you taste food from several spots before you get too full, try a dinner crawl. Eat apps at one restaurant, mains at another and dessert at another.

Go on a mini getaway. You don’t need to go very far to enjoy a vacation – exploring a Canadian city over a summer weekend is great way to treat yourself to a holiday. Whether it’s checking out the museums in Toronto or the parks in Vancouver, there’s something for everyone. For upgraded benefits, special experiences and the best rates guaranteed, join Marriott Bonvoy and book direct on

Host a potluck. Perfect whether you’re staying at home or going to your cottage, gather friends and family together for some food and fun. A potluck is an easy and affordable way to host a big get-together and lets everyone try something new and swap recipes. Make the festivities extra special with a fireworks potluck, too – ask everyone to bring some fireworks or sparklers and put on a light show. Just be sure to follow local regulations for consumer fireworks.

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Travel & Escape

Lottoland: Here’s why Canadians love it!




Lotteries have been in existence for many centuries now and it’s an open secret that most people enjoy playing a good lottery.

Asides from gauging your own luck, the thrill of playing, the anticipation of the results and the big wins every now and then is something most people look forward to. Since 1982, the lottery has been in Canada, but now there is a way to play both the Lotto and other international lotteries from Canada, all from the comfort of your home.

With Lottoland, all you need to do is register and get access to numerous international lotteries right from their website. The easy-to-use interface has all the information you need, and great amount of care has been taken to ensure that the online experience is similar—and even better—than if players were to visit each location personally.

The Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are hitting record highs with their prize money, in what the organizers claim to be the largest jackpot in the history of the world. However, the U.S. has gambling laws that are state controlled and buying your ticket through an online broker can be considered gambling.

“No one except the lottery or their licensed retailers can sell a lottery ticket. No one. Not even us. No one. No, not even that website. Or that one,” Powerball’s website says.

Therefore, to stand a chance to win the $1.5 billion-dollar lottery jackpot it means you have to purchase your lottery tickets directly from a licensed retailer such as Lottoland.

Since 2013, Lottoland has been operating in Canada, rapidly growing in popularity amongst Canadians. Due to its easy of use and instant access to lotteries that were previously considered inaccessible—as Canadians had to travel all the way to the U.S. to purchase tickets in the past—Lottoland has attracted lots of visitors.

Currently, there about 8-million players on Lottoland, a figure that points to the reliability of the website.

One of the core values of Lottoland is transparency and that’s why a quick search on the website would show you a list of all of their winners. Recently, a Lottoland customer was awarded a world-record fee of $137 million CND.

Also, due to the incredibly slim chances of winning the grand prize not everyone would take home mega-dollar winnings, but there are substantial winnings every day.

Securing your information online is usually one important factor when registering on any platform and as the site explains, “Lottoland works very hard to verify your information.”

The site has a multi-verification process that will ensure that you confirm your identity and age before giving you a pay-out. However, in the rare case that a player has immediate luck and wins a lottery before completing the verification process, Lottoland will hold on to the winnings until they complete your verification.

While this might seem like a tedious process, it is very important as these safety features would ensure that your information wasn’t stolen and ultimately your winning routed to another account.

Lottoland is licensed with the National Supervisory Bodies For Lotteries in several countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Ireland and Australia—where it is called a wagering license. Typically, most gaming companies don’t establish insurance companies as it entails that their activities have to be transparent and the must be highly reputable in the industry.

Nonetheless, Lottoland has no issues meeting up to these standards as they have established themselves as the only gaming sector company who has its own insurance company—an added advantage for new and existing users.

Lotteries aren’t the only games Canadians enjoy playing and Lottoland recognizes this by providing players with other types of gaming. As an industry leader, video designers of online games often make them their first choice when it comes to publishing their works.

Online games such as slots, blackjack, video poker, baccarat, keno, scratchoffs, roulette and many others are always on offer at the Lottoland Casino. There’s also the option of playing with a live dealer and a total of over 100 games.

Lottoland has received numerous rave reviews from its growing list of satisfied customer and their responsive customer service agents are always available to answer any questions users may have, along with solving challenges they may have encountered.

More and more Canadians are trooping to Lottoland in droves due to the unique experience of going to a casino without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

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