Love it or hate it, Miami is a truly singular place – a beach side paradise carved out of a swamp by the sweat and the will of man. With all its extravagance and being so over the top in many ways, this part of Florida has attracted all sorts – from fashionistas to artists, 4seohunt.com/www/blog.housetrip.com musicians to jet-setters and dreamers and failed dreams.
Please enjoy this eclectic collection of images from this slice of the American Dream, and have an authentic weekend.
South Beach – Image © Thomas Hawk
Image © Thomas Hawk
South Beach Art Deco – Image © Wyn Van Devanter
Image © Phillip Pessar
Venetian Pool, Coral Gables – Image © Ines Hegedus-Garcia
Image © Kaysha
Image © Francis Ledoux
South Beach – Image © Timothy Valentine
Miami at night (from the air) – Image © Ken Douglas
Image © Phil Hilfiker
Winter is coming. You can start to feel the bite in the air. You can start to see the darkening skies. But the onset of the frosty season doesn’t need to be all gloom and foreboding, in fact we love winter. Winter means mulled wines and ciders; winter means warming, hearty meals and baggy jumpers to cover the dents they leave. But what gets us most excited about the twilight of the year is the dawn of the ski season. Stuck on where to go gliding on glaciers? Here are some reasons to give Méribel in the French Alps a try.
Image © 123_456
It is beautiful here
The ski resort of Méribel is actually made up of three picturesque neighbouring villages – Méribel Centre, Méribel-Mottaret and Méribel Village. Together they form one of the most beautifully designed and well-crafted resorts you will find in the Alps, and the beatific individual chalets lend each ski party their own little piece of peace and privacy in the Vanoise National Park.
Chalets © jimgrant
They have an impressive ski system
As part of Les Trois Vallées ski region, Méribel enjoys being part of the largest lift network in the world. Les Trois Vallées has 183 ski lifts covering 600km of ski slopes and 120km of cross country skiing, which means this lift system makes it the largest ski region in the world. You’ll surely find a stretch somewhere to match your skill and energy levels.
Méribelski ski lift © Leo-setä
Go dog sledding with (or without) the kids
If you’d like to hang up the skis for a day but still want to get the most out of the slopes, what better way than by taking charge of a sled and guiding your very own pack of huskies? We highly recommend this activity to those who feel an affinity to nature and want to learn how they would have coped in a bygone era before electric cars, or any cars for that matter. Mush!
Dog sledding © kk+
Méribel has après-ski for all sorts
With healthy and varied after-ski nightlife, you are sure to find something to do for a few hours, or into the wee hours, once you hit the bottom of the piste. From sparkling parties with comedians, toffee vodka shots and late night dancing to live music – to the more upmarket and sophisticated cocktail bars with their comfy sofas and beautiful people, whatever you have the energy and inclination to do is possible. One of the most delightful options is certainly steaming hot chocolate, fresh patisseries and belly-aching laughter, followed by a soothing spa trip.
Image © loic80l
It’s a great place for beginners and families
There are many gentle, beginner slopes around the resort, making it a superb base for the novice and younger skier. Scattered with high-quality ski schools, you can make sure you’re learning from the best at the location that is best for you, or the little ones.
Image © Bemep
Whether you are looking for an epic run down a daredevil ridge, or a lazy saunter while holding hands, Méribel is big enough, varied enough and above all enjoyable enough to make your winter blues a thing of the past.
First image © loic80l
Tempted by the idea of renting your property out short-term on HouseTrip but unsure about the financial possibilities? Well, look no further as the HouseTrip team have done the research to help you decide on what makes more monetary sense in ten key UK cities. You might be surprised by just how much you could lose if you are an investor renting out your property on a traditional, long-term model.
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Bali is most certainly the most popular destination in Indonesia with holidaymakers and visitors, and it isn’t hard to see why. With its amazing weather, friendly sunny people, stunning temples and architectural influences from Chinese, Indian and particularly Hindu culture as early as the first century AD; and an incredible variety of fauna and flora, the island is scattered with sights and marvels both natural and man-made which are bound to leave you breathless.
Please enjoy this colourful and offbeat image collection of a people and a place to fall in love with, and have a dazzling weekend.
Image © Y0$HlMl
Image © Willy Tseng
Market at Ubud – Image © Zenubud
The showroom at John Hardy Jewelry (KTI). Sibang Kaja, near Ubud, Bali - Image © Jeff Werner
Rice terrace – Image © Marco
The rice paddies of Tirta Gangga, Bali – Image © Andy Carvin
Prambanan temple, Yogjakarta - Image © Mikaku
Tanah Lot – Image © Jaywei80
Batur Lake - Image © Marina & Enrique
Image © By
Image © Sunova Surfboards
West Bay, Lombok - Image © Mikaku
Gili Islands, Lombok - Image © Mikaku
Image © Marc Veraart
How did this happen again? New year is approaching and only a matter of weeks separates you from writing your list of thoroughly thought out, well-intended New Year’s resolutions, and seeing 2012 off with a bang in one of the world’s best cities. Here are six of the best New Year’s Eve parties in Europe for you, your friends and family.
Berlin – Don’t expect the fireworks to wait until midnight in Berlin with locals often choosing to offer their own warm-up displays from balconies or in local parks, where people will sit around small fires or BBQs enjoying a lively Silvester atmosphere. One of the most iconic fireworks displays can be enjoyed at Brandenburg Gate and if you’re feeling up for seeing 2012 off in a more unusual and active way, take part in the Berlin Silvesterlauf, also known as the “Pancake Race” a 10km or 6.3 km run up and down Teufelsberg, which we warn you literally translates as “Devil’s Hill”.
Image © Bby
Image © Robert Agthe
Firework smoke in Berlin – Image © Kaspar Metz
Paris – Spending New Year’s in Paris is worth it just to see the Eiffel Tower glitter and sparkle. The main party will take place along the Champs Elysée but we recommend climbing up to the picturesque Montmartre for a view of Paris lit up with party spirit. Here and in nearby Pigalle you’ll find an equally buzzing celebratory atmosphere but with fewer crowds and less tourists.
Image © Adrien Mogenet
Image © LinksmanJD
London – Despite their moaning about the cold and inevitable rain that will no doubt descend upon London at New Year’s (if not before) the banks of the Thames are always teeming with cheery spirited locals and tourists waiting for the city’s impressive fireworks display and to hear Big Ben’s chimes. London is also one of the best places for themed parties and events like the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park or a Medieval Banquet down in the “dungeons” of St Katherine’s Dock and you can also take advantage of all night free public transport.
At the banks of the Thames on New Year’s Eve – Image © Tahir
Image © Paul Williams
Trafalgar Square, London on New Year’s Eve - Image © Chris Skitch
Barcelona – Take your pick from the beach at Barceloneta, the main drag of Las Ramblas or one of the many plaças as they’ll all be lively, family friendly spots to soak up a special flavour of Catalonia’s party city’s revelry. Our recommendation for NYE in Barcelona is to find a spot near the marina or on Barceloneta beach and await the fireworks that will light up the sky at the far end of the beach. Don’t forget to try cava sangria and freshly cooked churros con chocolate
The Gothic Quarter, Barcelona on New Year’s Eve – Image © [Jim]
Istanbul – Already a bustling, atmospheric and historic city, Istanbul somehow ups its own game on New Year’s Eve with street parties and celebrations taking place throughout the city. Enjoy a traditional Turkish meze dinner in slightly calmer quarters like Bebek or Istiklal Caddesi before joining the revellers on Taksim’s pedestrianised streets. To avoid the crowds and to make this a new year you won’t forget, book a midnight river cruise along the Bosphorus where you’ll have the best view of the fireworks at midnight.
Image © Alexander Ljung
Image © Steve Calcott
Amsterdam – Those crazy Amsterdammers know how to throw a party and every New Year’s Eve they throw a nice big free one for the whole city complete with live music and entertainment. This year’s party is taking place in Museumplein, where music and a giant countdown will see in 2013. The city’s streets will be alive with street vendors trying to sell you some tasty vlamse frites, bitterballen and oliebollen doughnuts which you can eat while watching partying locals sailing slowly along the canals playing music and drinking the local beer, Heineken. Fireworks along the river Amstel will light up the skies and the water so head to Magere Bruge (“Skinny Bridge”) for the best views.
Happy New Year planning from HouseTrip. We hope you pick somewhere wonderful.