work and leisure don’t mix

July 5th, 2012

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Many of us go on vacation to escape from the anxieties of reality – but perhaps we are unknowingly bringing our everyday life with us.  Between constantly checking our phones, computers, and crafting mental to-do lists for work and home, we are not allowing ourselves to fully decompress and appreciate the beauty of a stress-free vacation.  Nevertheless, there are secrets to avoid this vacation sabotage. According to a recent article by Matt Richtel of The New York Times, the secret involves understanding your motives and your brain.  Here are some tips from the article to take advantage of your next vacation:

1. Start now and practice letting go on a daily basis.  Whether you prefer to engage in meditation techniques to slow the mind or to simply turn off your phone an hour before you go to bed, try to shift your brain out of work mode and into relaxation mode.

2. While on vacation, break your gadget habits and try disabling your e-mail or leaving your phone in the room for a few hours.

3. Absorb and enjoy boredom.  Try to relax and stay in your lounge chair for more than five minutes.  Experts suggest low-stake activities such as hiking or snorkeling to help your brain out.

4. Do not raise your expectations of your trip.  According to Richtel, raising expectations builds dopamine (the organic chemical that is responsible for the brain’s reward and pleasure centers), but if our expectations aren’t met, we are often left disappointed.

5. Work and vacations do not mix.  Experts believe that mixing the two not only interferes with your supposed-to-be relaxing trip but it also prevents you from reaching your full creativity potential.

6. Don’t worry about the load of e-mails that will be waiting for you when you get back to work.  Experts say this will also restrict you from tranquility and from thoroughly enjoying your vacation.  Your workplace will survive and so will you!

So unplug from the office, detach yourself from the phone or computer and give your brain a little R&R.


December 15th, 2010

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara desert sun

Explore the famous Empty Quarter, or Rub’-al-Khali, area of the Liwa Desert with a Canon and acclaimed photographer Ira Block. Ira, who has shot for National Geographic Traveler and the Discovery Channel, and will lead the two-night landscape photography course Thursday, January 20 – Saturday, January 22 at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.

Ninety minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, the resort is in an ideal setting for a photography course, with some of the world’s largest sand dunes, some measuring up to 820 feet high.  Don’t let a lack of a camera prevent you from a new hobby in 2011, Canon cameras will be available for those without!

be a follower

October 20th, 2010

Pappardalle Duck Confit

All followers – on Twitter, not just devotees – of Park Hyatt Toronto’s Executive Chef Joan Monfaredi (@Chef_JMonfaredi) can visit Annona today to receive the hotel’s latest offer: tweeters-only can purchase one entrée at full-price and get the second half off.

Use this socially savvy deal to sample new items on the hotel’s fall and winter menu premiering today. Items to note: the Paparadelle duck confit, Star Anise shortribs, and sweet potato poutine.

hotels go high-tech

July 29th, 2010

Admittedly, no one can keep the innovative pace of Steve Jobs.  But hotels, in their pursuit to give guests an ever-richer experience, delivered ever more quickly, are helping to push technology to its limit. We aren’t speaking of iPod docking stations in every room – those seem as de rigueur as the VCR was in the 1990s.  Here’s what’s next…


Royal Mansour Marrakech 

 Royal Mansour Marrakech