Tuesday, March 18, 2008

TIGER WOODS BUYS $65M ESTATE IN HAMPTONS

$65M SAND BUNKER

TIGER BUYS SEASIDE ESTATE IN HAMPTONS

By BRADEN KEIL

A PLACE TO HOLE UP: Tiger Woods and wife Elin have a new dream house that covers six acres off Southampton's posh Gin Lane and is "one of the oldest and grandest estates on the East End."
A PLACE TO HOLE UP: Tiger Woods and wife Elin have a new dream house that covers six acres off Southampton's posh Gin Lane and is "one of the oldest and grandest estates on the East End."
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March 18, 2008 -- Tiger has a brand-new lair - a $65 million estate in the Hamp tons where he can send his chip shots flying into the ocean.

Located on exclusive Gin Lane, Tiger Woods' estate is on nearly six gated acres with a 13,200-square-foot Colonial Revival main residence, a 7,500-square-foot guesthouse and a four-car garage with staff quar ters.

The lush grounds feature an oversized seaside pool with spa, a tennis court, a lily pond and professionally groomed gardens.

And no doubt soon a miniature golf course, where he and wife Elin can teach their 9-month-old daughter, Sam Alexis, the basics.

It's just the latest acquisition the greatest golfer in the world has scored. Woods' portfolio includes:

* A $40 million estate on Jupiter Island, Fla., which was partially destroyed last year in a fire.

* A 155-foot-long yacht, Privacy.

* A 16,500-square-foot palace with pool and theater that he is building at the golf course he has designed in Dubai.

His new neighbors in Southampton include real-estate developer Alfred Taubman, former New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger and fashion designer Vera Wang.

Included in the recently renovated 19th-century manor home are six bedroom suites, a music room, a cypress wood-paneled library and staff quarters.

The guesthouse, which also features ocean views, includes three bedrooms, each with bathrooms, a den and a kitchen.

"It's one of the oldest and grandest estates on the East End," one broker said. "As soon as something goes on the market on Gin Lane it gets snapped up quickly, even in this slowing economy."

Woods' bid nearly landed in the rough.

"Tiger almost lost the house," a source said.

"Another buyer came in with a higher offer, but the deal was already sealed just hours before."

The seller of the estate, known as "By the Sea," is Austrian-born leveraged-buyout specialist, Gerhard Andlinger, 77.

braden.keil@nypost.com

Saturday, March 8, 2008

What You Get for ...$8 Million

What You Get for ...$8 Million

Homes on the market in Arizona, Florida and Montana. More Photos >


Published: March 5, 2008

Miami Beach

WHAT: A seven-bedroom eight-bath contemporary home with 7,435 square feet of space on San Marco Island.

HOW MUCH: $7,950,000

PER SQUARE FOOT: $1,069.28

SETTING: The house is on the Venetian Causeway, in a residential enclave about halfway between downtown Miami and Miami Beach. It has 60 feet of water frontage with views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami. Lincoln Road in South Beach is within walking distance.

COMMON SPACES: The entryway opens up into a three-story-high atrium and the living room. The kitchen has a breakfast booth with views of the water. There is an entertainment and media room on the second floor with its own terrace.

PERSONAL SPACES: The master suite has Brazilian hardwood floors, as well as an en suite bathroom with a soaking tub; a walk-in closet; and a terrace overlooking the water. Each of the other bedrooms, including a large guest suite with its own balcony, has its own bath. There is a staff bedroom is on the first floor.

OUTDOOR SPACE: A private elevator opens directly onto a rooftop patio surrounding an infinity-edge pool; an owner could entertain without guests’ having to enter the house. The property also has a dock, a putting green and a lap pool.

AMENITIES: These include a three-car garage and a centrally controlled media network for televisions and audio throughout the house.

TAXES: $96,608 a year

CONTACT: Nelson Gonzalez, Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors Inc. (305) 674-4040; www.nelsongonzalez.com

Belgrade, Mont.

WHAT: A 1,048-acre ranch with a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath log lodge, a horse barn with caretaker’s quarters and a two-car garage with a one-bedroom apartment

HOW MUCH: $8,000,000

PER SQUARE FOOT: $1,941.75, or $7,633 per acre

SETTING: Bremmer Creek and Willie’s Spring flow through the property, which has deer, elk, bears, mountain lions, cranes, bald eagles, Hungarian partridge and grouse. The ranch is 30 miles north of Bozeman and the second-largest airport in the state, Gallatin Field. Yellowstone National Park is two hours south.

COMMON SPACES: A double-height living room has a vaulted ceiling and a fireplace. A wet bar is open to the dining area and kitchen. On the second level is a family room loft overlooking the living room.

PERSONAL SPACES: The master bedroom is on the main level. The other bedrooms are on the second floor; each has its own bath. The horse barn has a caretaker’s quarters above it with two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen.

OUTDOOR SPACE: There are open meadows, wooded areas and hilly regions

AMENITIES: The ranch comprises three parcels, each with a conservation easement that allows for a total of three additional buildings. There are corrals, a sand-based round pen and an outdoor riding arena for horses.

TAXES: $5,000 a year

CONTACT: Vivian Bridaham, The Collection Sotheby’s International Realty (406) 586-4408; www.thecollectionsir.com

Fountain Hills, Ariz.

WHAT: A 10,800-square-foot house with four bedrooms and five and a half baths in the FireRock Country Club, a gated community with an 18-hole Gary Panks-designed golf course.

HOW MUCH: $7,750,000

PER SQUARE FOOT: $717.60

SETTING: This property northeast of Scottsdale is situated on the slope of a hill; it overlooks Phoenix Valley. FireRock Country Club is about 30 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

COMMON SPACES: The living room has Turkish limestone floors, a wall of built-in wood paneling and glass shelves, and a limestone gas fireplace with a flame emerging through shards of glass. An indoor heated pool has a wet bar and a massage and exercise room. The kitchen has a breakfast nook with views of the valley.

PERSONAL SPACES: The master suite has a curved wall of windows overlooking the golf course, as well as its own gas fireplace and a large walk-in closet with wood shelves. The en suite bathroom has a large soaking tub under a skylight, a walk-in steam shower and a water closet with a urinal and bidet.

OUTDOOR SPACE: The house has patios and balconies. There is a landscaped yard beyond the pool.

AMENITIES: These include a four-car garage, an elevator and a 500-bottle wine room. The laundry room has an elevated limestone dog shower. The community has a 29,000-square-foot country club with a formal dining room, a lounge and recreational activities like tennis, swimming and a fitness center.

TAXES: $4,084 a year; homeowner association fee: $455 a quarter

CONTACT: Sandra Wilken, Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties (480) 596-0001; www.sandrawilkenhomes.com

Saturday, March 1, 2008

DO YOU WANT TO MEET, DATE, MARRY A MILLIONAIRE

Relationship author reveals "101 Hottest Places To Meet A Millionaire." Gain a competitive advantage in the dating game and meet the man of your dreams. Click below for more information.

http://meet-a-millionaire.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 18, 2008

Visiting Tuileries Palace in Paris

How to Choose Attractions in Paris:

Tuileries Palace in Paris, France is the French regal residency, which neighbors the famous Louvre. In the early 1870s, the Tuileries burned. Tuileries was the original house for the commission of Frances famous Catherine de Médicis. Once the establishment burnt, France set out to construct the building, making it Paris, Frances fabulous Tuileries Garden. The texture has changed since the mid 1660s, which France extended the walkways further past the garden. The walkway now extends to the countryside and onto the west hilltops of the Tuileries Palace. In its region is the famous Arc de Triomphe.

The Arc is the world’s largest arch. The masterpiece was structured on the Classicism of Romance. Paris visitors from around the world enjoy visiting this lavish gardens where many statues attract the eye. The Arc is positioned at the center western region of Charles Place de Gaulle. At the terminal near Champs-Elyées, the Palace attracts visitors around the world. The famous Jean-François-Thérése Chalgrin commenced this structure as requested by the historical Napoleon. The building was structured in the 1800s. The structure is a memorable of celebrations that took place for Napoleon and his military men who victoriously defeated the enemy. The area will take you back to WWI in the day that German warriors set the tenor.

Today the Jardin des Tuileries is popular, since it has many interesting statues around the area. If you intend to visit this lovely attraction in Paris, likely you want to choose a hotel in the area as well.

How to choose hotels near Tuileries Garden:
The Westin Paris Hotel is a Frances’ four-star establishment. The hotel is located in Paris’s popular areas, which the Rue De Castiglione is in this vicinity. The Rue faces the lovely gardens. Staying at the Westin gives you the advantage of visiting the most beautiful gardens in Paris, as well as the convenient of visiting Paris’s Louvre Museum. You are close to the Place Vendóme as well. If you are visiting Paris for business or simply vacationing, you have a wide array of financial districts and shopping malls to choose from in the area as well.

The Westin has more than 400 rooms, including apartments. It is the chain of Starwood hotels, which houses a bar, garden, etc, as well as terraces. While staying at the hotel, you receive a continental breakfast to start you day. The breakfast buffet gives you an option. Gays and lesbians are treated with respect.

The hotel also has a fitness center. It is located near Paris’s Central City, shopping centers, Panoramic views, museums, and so on. The train station and subway is near the hotel as well.

Dining at Westin:
At Westin, you have a taste of cuisines, modern dishes and more to choose from. Dining at the restaurants is nice, since Westin set up the environment to fit home living.

If you are not sure about Westin, perhaps you may want to stay at Hotel Lotti, which is another of Paris’s four-star hotels. The hotel is situated amidst the beautiful gardens. Along the pathways are the most extravagant jewelry shops. Place Vendóme is also near the hotel. The hotel only has a little over 100 rooms; therefore, you may want to make reservations if you intend to stay at the Lotti. The chain of Jolly establishments offers you a place to park, yet you must pay a fee. You can bring you pet. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, safety deposit box, and more. The subway is near the hotel; as well, you are close to the Center City of Paris.

Picking the Hot Museums to Visit In Paris

How to choose museums

Choosing museums to visit in Paris is not an easy task. Perhaps you want to go online to find day passes, which these passes will take you to and from many of Paris’s museums. Paris has scores of museums. At the museums, you have science, arts, learning centers, military, and so on. To choose museums we can consider a few details. Do you intend to take the children to Paris with you?

How to choose children museums in Paris:
Musée de la Poupee is a children’s museum you may like. Even if you do not have children, you may enjoy the cluster of beautiful dolls on the displays. The dolls will take you back to the day when life was filled with men and women dressed in traditional attire. During certain months at this museum, Paris gives a Quel Spectacle show. The staff uses the dolls to deliver themed arts show. Inside the museum, you will enjoy fashions, dolls, textile, arts, decorative exhibits and more. Check the Internet for details on dates, times, location and more.

Opéra Bastille is not your average museum, yet you may enjoy visiting this remarkable opera house. If you enjoy ballet, you must visit the Opéra Bastille. Opéra Bastille is seated at Paris’s Place de la Bastille.

Musée du Louvre is another of Paris’s nice museums where you will enjoy Antiquities from Egypt, Roman, Etruscan, Greek, Eastern Antiques, Islamic Fine arts, décor arts, sculptures, drawings, prints, paintings, and more.

Notre-Dame de Paris ET Son Tresor is Paris’s clone towers. The building was sculpted to fit cathedral and gothic nineteenth century history of Paris. The building alone is something to see.

When visiting museums in Paris, it is wise to go online and purchase passes. The passes will take you to more than 70 popular museums in Paris. You have free passes. Some passes will take you to Centre Pompidou, Musée du Louvre, Musée de Rodin, Arc de Triomphe, Musée national Picasso, Musée d ‘Orsay, and so on.

When you purchase passes, it gives you many benefits. You have over 50 or more museums to visit. In addition, you get discounts and coupons to eat at Paris’s restaurants, shop at the department stores, or visit the beautiful Lafayette Galleries.

If you purchase passes, also you will not have to wait in long lines to purchase tickets in Paris. The notion behind tickets is to make life easier on you.

How do I find passes?
You can go online to purchase passes. Online you will find a wide array of travel sites that offer you the opportunity to purchase your tickets.

The tickets are sent to your doorstep. Once you receive your tickets, carrying them on the plane to Paris and use them to visit the many museums in Paris.

The passes are nice, since you also get free transportation with the tickets. Some areas offer to travel you on Paris’s metro buses, which are open at hours that give you the choice of visiting the museums as you choose.

How much are the tickets?
It depends on where you purchase the passes. You can find passes for as low as 69 French dollars per couple. Children passes are 19 French dollars per two. When you purchase passes you, also receive discounts at Paris Cinemas, Hard Rock Cafés, Galleries, and so forth. Some passes offer you a buy one and get the next one free at certain locations.

To learn more about passes to Paris’s museums go online and check out the wide array of travel web sites.

Visiting Beaches in Paris

How to find beaches in Paris

Paris has many sandy beaches, including Vendee, which has over a 100 miles of dunes with backgrounds of pine. The climate is usually mild, which allows you to enjoy surfing, diving, swimming and so on. On the south end of the beach is the nude area. Throughout the beach are marshes that spark attention of birds. You also have a batch of lakes and rivers to cast your fishing rod. Throughout the area, you will enjoy wildlife at its best. Along the shores are scores of walkways that take you through some of Paris’s finest environments. You also have museums nearby as well as abbey, places of worship and more.

Paris’s Cap Ferret is a nice beach where you will enjoy boating adventures. At the beach, you will enjoy swimming, surfing, fishing, diving and quietness. Around the area are nice campgrounds and fabulous hotels. Along this area is Frances popular coastline that stretches to the La Marenda and surrounds villages around Pyrées-Orientales, which is the location of département around Paris.

Paris also has nice beaches at the Pegasus Bridge and along through Benouville and Normandy. Around the beach, you can enjoy tasty pastries at the Café Gondree and then move onto the coastlines of Landing Beach. Harbors around this area were built in a few days, which the structures are artificially patterned along Gold and Juno. At the front area of the sea is one of Paris’s fine restaurants where many tourists enjoy a hardy meal. Pointe du Hoc is one of the main attractions along this beach. St. Laurent Cemetery is another of the main attractions. Omaha Landing is the beach areas where you can enjoy fine dining as well.

How to find deals:
If you want to visit Normandy area go online to find great deals. Packages are available, which you can visit the area for under $200.

Crozet Islands is another area you may want to visit in France. This South Territories is in France district, yet it stretches to the Indian Ocean grouping around smaller islands. The islands make up the Big/Little Islands, which are France’s major inlets. Around the area are rock foundations and uninhibited regions. You may want to visit this area, but I am not sure you want to swim in the waters, at least not in deep waters. According to the history, this region has been noted fro preys, such as the Killer Whales. A nice selection of seals swims these waters also. The waters have a history of shipwrecks also. In fact, so many wrecks and disappearances occurred in these waters that the military took action.

Paris is surrounded about many areas where the Mediterranean Sea spreads over the Black Sea, Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Caspian Sea, and so on. Much of Paris’s water however streams from the Seine River and the Atlantic Ocean. Around the Seine River, you will find waterways, ponds, lakes and more. At some areas, you can enjoy fishing, diving, swimming, boating, water skiing, and so forth. Downstream of the Seine River is where you will find Normandy Beach.

The Seine River has areas where you can enjoy rides on riverboats, traveling calm waters where the boats will navigate easily through the streams. Make sure that you look along the shores where you will enjoy many brilliantly lit buildings around Paris.

When visiting Paris be sure to check out the history of the Seine River to see where it leads you. The history has an amazing punch line that takes you back to the massacre in Paris.

Taking a Shopping Trip in Paris

When shopping in Paris it can be fun. Paris not only has huge stores to shop in the country also has shopping on the streets. Paris has everything you would want to take home for the whole family to enjoy. You will notice that everyone on the streets is dressed in very high fashions. Paris is known for their stylish fashions, yet at many shopping malls the prices are affordable, making Paris’s pricey fashions deceiving. Therefore, when it comes to shopping you are in fashion haven when you shop at Paris.

How to choose six of Paris’s best stores:
The Christian Laouboutin is one of Paris’s top selling stores. The store has a fashionable display, i.e. one of its kind shoes. You will find the perfect pair of shoes that suit all your family needs.

The Emporio Armani is a great store in Paris to shop as well. The store is well known for its casual wear to custom suits. The store has four floors to shop, which it has nearly anything you could image on the shelves.

Forum des Halles is Paris’s top store also. The store is known for its largest food market. The store shops are underground, which the surface is used for a parking lot.

The Galexis Lafayette is the fourth known store in Paris you may want to visit. This store is known for its beautiful stain glass dome. The store has a wide selection of cosmetics and the huge slot of perfumes is the legion fashioned in this store. Galexis has a high profile on women and men selections.

Hermes is known for its wide selection of home office and office supplies.


Its window display holds a wide selection of products that keep people coming back because they sell leather agendas and notebooks and some umbrellas. The store sells lots of hats and oh yea-riding boots too.


The last is number six and the store is called LeBonMarché. This store is known for its ancient history. The store is over 100 years old. It is the largest men and women appeal fashion store of its kind, and it has the only full menu restaurant option so you can go shopping and when you tired, you can sit down and have a full course meal before going home. Forget cooking aye!

While you are in Paris, go on a shopping trip, since you will have a ball seeing all the things the stores offer you. The stores make everything easy for you, since everything is at your fingertips.

There are many other shops to visit in Paris as well. The list in this article is just the top six shopping areas. Paris, France’s Capital has over a 100 stores in the country to shop in so you can pick which one you want and shop until you drop.

Once you are done shopping you might want to go to your hotel and just relax. Perhaps take a hot bath and enjoy the rest of the evening, then again you might want to go out on the town. What ever you decide have fun doing it.

Paris has many nightclubs you might want to go see as well. You can choose from dancing to comedy or maybe you would like to just go see the performing arts. Paris has a wide selection of museums as well. Whether you enjoy history, arts, science, etc, Paris has something for you to see. To learn more about Paris’s shopping malls, diners, nightclubs, and museums check out the resources online. Paris is only a click away!

Choosing a Hotel in Paris

How to Choose Paris hotels
When choosing the right hotel you may want to check with your local travel agent or you may even want to go online to check out the site for hotels. However, I like to go for the stars. Stars rate the hotel in Paris. The more stars they have the better hotel they are. For this reason, I will tell you about the three best hotels in Paris. Remember the stars will tell you which hotel offers the best choices. The hotels include the 3, 4, and 5 star hotels. The higher the stars, the better you choice of staff, room, amenities, and more that you have.

How to look for options in 4-start hotels:
When you are looking for a good hotel in Paris, you need to decide what and where you want to be, like near a historical site or in the gardens of Paris. Perhaps you would even like to rest near the banks. Whatever meets your needs will help you decide where to spend time in Paris. In hotels in Paris, you have amenities, which include Internet connection. If you are on a business trip, this is the ideal hotel for you. Most hotels in Paris have restaurant. You also have hotels near shopping centers, financial districts, and so forth.

How do I choose the hotels?
Paris has many four star hotels to select from. One of Paris’ finest hotels is the Le Meridren Etoile. This hotel is located on the right side of the riverbank looking over the Palais De Congres. The hotel has up to 1026 rooms that were all redecorated in 2001. The rooms offer you a warm and modern surrounding.

The hotel has a restaurant, as well as room service. You can choose rooms, including the non-smoking rooms. All rooms in this hotel have soundproof walls. The hotel offers you babysitting availability. For those who want go and have a few after dinner drinks, you will not have to worry about the little ones. The children will be safely waiting for your return.

In the morning, you can wake up to a hardy breakfast buffet. Throughout the day or night hours you can enjoy Internet connectivity. This hotel is nice, since many famous people have stayed here, as well continue to rent rooms in this hotel today.

Perhaps you like outdoor surroundings. Paris has a wide array of garden-like hotels. The Hotel Exelmans in Paris is 10 minutes via transportation from the Porte de Versailles Exhibit Center. Surrounding the hotel is the Parc des Princes, which is also near the famous Roland Garros. The hotel is suited for business guests or those enjoying leisure time in Paris.

The hotel overlooks the beautiful garden. The hotel provides you with garage and convenient distance to the Shuttle. You have many room features, including cable TV, which you can watch on color platforms. A private bath, alarm clock, and direct in-house phone line is available as well.

How do I book a room or make reservations?
Online you will find travel sites. The sites offer you the ability to book rooms or make reservations. When you visit online sites to book rooms or make reservations take note. If the site is unsecured and has no proven history, avoid giving your credit card or other personal information. Conduct a quick BBB (Better Business Bureau) check of the site, as well check for reviews. The reviews should offer you verified details on the site operation.

To learn more about hotels in Paris, go online and check out the travel packages.

Heading to Paris France

If you are planning a trip to Paris, why not check out of list of restaurants, museums, and more online. Ultimately you can check out a very nice and beautiful area in Paris to site sees. Once of the nice areas to visit in France, Paris is the great Seine River, which is a dinner cruise. On the cruise, you will enjoy a wonderful trip around Paris waters, as you sip on a glass of champagne. Enjoy cheese puffs with a glass of Paris’s finest wine also.

When you first board the ship, the host greets you and upon arrival, you are treated with the up most priority. At the front of the ship is a fabulous table, which the host will seat you and your family. At the table, you will enjoy a tasty meal. The whole time that you are on board there will be musical programs like a violinist and singer, this will be held under a glass roof so you can enjoy your dinner and dancing in the moon light as the ship floats down the river
How much does the cruise cost?
This wonderful cruise is only 186.05 USD. In addition, it takes about 4 hours round trip. It departs from the Eiffel tower and goes until the ministry of finance, and then it returns to the Eiffel towers. When it leaves it goes down the left side of the bank and on return it goes on the right side of the bank making sure you see all the things to see on this wonder cruise.

The cruise line is made up of glass, which makes sightseeing in Paris a wonderful experience aboard this ship. The boat leaves at dust dark making all the lights though out the cruise a wonderful view.
About the diner menu:
The finest cooks in Paris will prepare the dinner for you. The cooks prepare a variety of delicate delights that suit your tastes.

How do I know if Paris is for me?
Paris is one of the most outstanding countries in the world. Paris allows you to enjoy many adventures, including the 25th Anniversary, which you can enjoy on your honeymoon. Even if you are celebrating your birthday, you will enjoy the Anniversary events.

In the country, you have many options for travel, sightseeing, feasting, and more. Paris is one of the most liked historic arenas, making it one of the world’s popular countries to visit.
Paris has the finest hotels and very nice restaurants to chose from but you might want to visit your local travel agent or even maybe even get on the Internet to check out all the wonderful things you can see while your visiting Paris. The information you gather will help you to see why visiting Paris is for you.
How to choose more hotels in Paris:
Paris has some hotels outside of town, which includes the Courtyard Charles. The hotel is a four star establishment. Near the hotel is a shuttle service, which you can travel about the city. The hotel has a fabulous restaurant as well, yet reviewers say that the meals are a bit on the costly side. Still, you have an excellent quality of French dishes to select. The hotel has an outstanding rank, which the staff members are friendly. De Gaulle is another of Paris’s courtyard Charles hotels near the airport. The staff at the front desk is helpful and friendly, which makes this hotel one of the nicest establishments in Paris. You also have a shuttle service near this hotel, which you can take a half hour trip for as little as 5 France Euros dollars. That is a roundtrip service.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Where To Stay In Paris - Choose The Right Area For Your Holidays In Paris

Deciding where to stay in Paris and finding the right area according to your visiting goals and tastes can make or break the success of your stay in the French capital city. We usually devote a fair amount of time to accommodation search and that's important but finding out about location and what it has to offer should be the first step of your planning.

No matter what your visiting goals are, romance, shopping, travel with kids or partying, Paris has something to offer to everyone. However, each Paris area has its own ambiance and characteristics. If you are in Paris for romantic and relaxing holidays you might not want to find yourself in the middle of party hard Paris with loud neighborhoods until early in the morning.

Paris is divided into twenty areas (arrondissement in French) split by Seine river. From a tourist point of view there are five main areas where to stay in Paris. Louvre area (1st 2nd arrondissement) Marais area (3rd and 4th arrondissement) Latin Quarter (5th 6th 7th arrondissement) Champs Elysees area (8th 9th 16th arrondissement) and Montmartre (9th 18th arrondissement).

Paris for great shopping: Champs Elysees area (8th 9th 16th arrondissement) and Marais Quarter (3rd and 4th arrondissement)

Major luxury and fashion brands have stores and boutiques around Champs Elysees Avenue (8th arrondissement), this is the place to be if you want to explore latest fashion trends from leading luxury brands. The area itself is quite upmarket beautifully renovated Haussmann style buildings with plenty of lights glitters and style especially around Christmas time. A little further from Champs Elysees Avenue on Haussmann Boulevard (9th arrondissement) you will find two of Paris department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.

Other area of interest for shoppers in Paris is Marais Quarter (3rd and 4th arrondissement). Le Marais became the place to be for trend setting young fashion designers eager to make themselves a name in the industry. You'll find plenty of showrooms and boutiques to satisfy your shopping needs.

Paris for museum and art lovers: Le Louvre area (1st 2nd arrondissement)

There isn't a specific area in Paris where art galleries and museums are located. You will find them spread over most Paris areas, same for monuments and historical buildings. The best thing to do is to stay around 1st arrondissement near Le Louvre museum. It is a central location where to stay in Paris. Major Paris museums and monuments can easily be accessed from there with public transports. Le Louvre museum itself will at least take you a day to visit properly and right across Seine River at walking distance you'll find Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral and Orsay museum.

Paris for romantics and lovers: Montmartre (9th 18th arrondissement) and Marais Quarter (3rd and 4th arrondissement)

What is romantic is quite subjective but Montmartre area (18th arrondissement), a French village like area on Paris heights, is a charming place to stay in Paris. The old Marais quarter (3rd and 4th arrondissement) also works a treat. You will find quiet paved streets on side of small parks surrounded with middle age buildings with all the necessary cozy cafes for the perfect face to face moment.

Paris to party and enjoy nightlife the French way: Latin Quarter (5th 6th arrondissement) and area between Marais and Oberkampf Street (3rd 11th)

The lively student area of Latin Quarter has plenty of fun places to have a great time at night, Oberkampf street bordering Marais quarter is also very trendy with lounge bars pulsing cafes and dance floors.

There are other places in Paris where you could stay but if you are a first time visitor try to pick one of the areas mentioned above. Unless you are a seasoned traveler and know what you are doing try to avoid 12th 13th 14th 15th 17th 20th arrondissement. They are a little out of the way and not always safe at night.

Enjoy your stay.

John Benedict is a Paris passionate. He writes and reviews about Paris tourism industry to share his enthusiasm about the French capital city.

http://www.where-to-stay-in-paris.blogspot.com

Monday, January 21, 2008

Chinese Art And Its Hidden Meanings

Whether it is a painting, wall scroll, hand fan, porcelain or other object, Chinese art can be enjoyed for its unexplainable qualities that make it pleasing to the eye. But the subjects of Chinese art also have ancient meanings. Three Chinese have long taken these meanings into consideration when giving or receiving gifts. Here are a few objects used as subjects in Chinese art, and their meanings:

  • Bats - Bats in western culture most always are thought of in a negative sense. But in China, the bat is a sign of good luck. Two bats are even better - double good luck. The depiction of five bats represents the five blessings of wealth, health, virtue, a long life and a natural death.
  • Cranes - The crane represents longevity. A pair of cranes represents longevity in a relationship as cranes mate for life.
  • Dragons - Like the bat, dragons in western culture are thought of as bad creatures, while in China they represent positive attributes. The dragon can represent many things. Good fortune, energy, power, and success.
  • Bamboo - The attributes of bamboo are taken from the way it grows in nature. Bamboo is a plant that is delicate yet strong. It bends in the strongest of winds, but seldom breaks. Its delicate leaves over slender stems represent the combination of vitality and durability.
  • Peony - Most Chinese flowers are associated with love and female beauty. The peony is also known as the 'flower of wealth and honor' in China.
  • Lotus - A sacred symbol of Buddhism, the lotus rises out of the muddy river and lake bed into a representation of purity and perfection.
  • Pine Tree - Holds it greenery year-round thus represents longevity and endurance. It is also a hardy tree, and represents ongoing life in the face of adversity.
  • Tiger - Bravery, courage and strength.
  • Duck - A symbol of married bliss. A pair of ducks also brings longevity to the marriage. Most birds that are represented in pairs have the attribute of longevity for a relationship.
  • Peach - The fruit of a long and healthy life.

Alan Beggerow along with his wife Cathleen owns and operates Cathleen's Bargain Basement, an online business that offers custom made apparel and hand crafted teddy bears by Cathleen, and also offers a selection of jewelry, home decor, Asian motif items, and much more. Visit them at http://www.cathleensbargainbasement.com

Alan is also a free lance writer. For further examples of his writings, visit his political and current events blog Random Thoughts at http://www.winkle52.blogspot.com

In Home Child Care - Things to Consider

Considering in-home care for your children? You are not alone. A growing number of parents are now considering this childcare option.

Your children are your most precious possession and one that we want to protect for all time. For those of us parents who have to leave them each day in order to work outside of our home, it is imperative that the chosen childcare provider is fitted for your children's needs. Childcare is an important arrangement that should not be taken lightly or rushed into.

Making the decision for in-home childcare is sometimes a better option for some than others depending on the personal circumstances of the family. Daycare centers and outside day homes can be very scary for some parents and children as well. New caregivers surrounded by strange children all demanding attention from the same worker can be overwhelming for some children, causing unnecessary anxiety and stress.

Although there are government regulations in place for daycare centers and home-based day homes, there is always the chance that these regulations are not being followed to code or if they are, they may not be what you personally have set for standards in terms of your own child's care.

There are many aspects to look for when choosing an in home childcare provider. By writing each characteristic down, you can compile a thorough and detailed list of attributes you want your childcare provider to have as well as a 'nice to have' list of optional features that would be an added bonus for you and your child. Use this list each time you interview for a provider, checking off each in order to make an informed decision in the end.

Some of the things to consider are including in your list:

Religion - For some this is an important aspect in their lives and for some it is not. Regardless, you will want to either choose someone who reinforces what is taught by you.

Criminal Record - Asking for a criminal record check is essential. If you use a service like Sittercity to find the babysitter, they will do this for you.

Discipline -However you choose to discipline your child, you will want to be sure that your provider is in agreement and compliments your own discipline style.

References - Check each and every reference that is provided to you. You would be surprised at the people who have listed references that do not provide positive feedback. This is a great way to weed out those who are always late for work, sick often or have other idiosyncrasies.

It may seem like a lot of work to find a good sitter, but it will be worth it. You will never be sorry that you took the time and effort to find that perfect person to help you raise and guide your child during the time you spend away from home.

Beth Howland is a reviewer of parenting products like Sittercity. If you need help finding the right sitter for your family, visit http://www.SittercityReview.com for more information.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What You Get for ... $5 Million

Homes on the market in Colorado, Florida and Oregon. More Photos >

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Published: January 9, 2008

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

WHAT: A five-bedroom five-and-a-half-bath house with 7,617 square feet of living space and a one-bedroom guest house.

HOW MUCH: $5,000,000

PER SQUARE FOOT: $651.80

SETTING: Several golf courses are nearby, and the ocean is a short drive away. Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport is 30 minutes away.

COMMON SPACES: The main living spaces, including the kitchen, have hardwood floors. A recreation room has vaulted ceilings, a wet bar and space for a billiards table.

PERSONAL SPACES: The master suite has oversized windows, sitting area, adjoining office and separate tub and shower. The other bedrooms have private baths.

OUTDOOR SPACE: An outdoor kitchen, Tiki hut, pool and basketball court.

AMENITIES: A three-car attached garage.

TAXES: $45,653.48 a year

CONTACT: Giselle Bonetti, SOL Sotheby’s International Realty (954) 828-9722;

www.solsothebysrealty.com

Beaver Creek, Colo.

WHAT: A four-bedroom four-and-a-half-bath condominium with 3,201 square feet of space sold fully furnished.

HOW MUCH: $4,995,000

PER SQUARE FOOT: $1,560

SETTING: A slope-side condo near Beaver Creek Village’s shops, galleries, restaurants and bars. The area has several golf courses, as well as hiking and mountain biking trails.

COMMON SPACES: The living room has a stone fireplace and a wet bar.

PERSONAL SPACES: The master bedroom is carpeted and has an office area with a built-in desk. The other bedrooms each have private baths.

OUTDOOR SPACE: A deck off of the living room has views of the ski slopes.

AMENITIES: Two outdoor hot-tubs, a ski room with boot driers and private ski lockers, a two-story lobby and lounge area, and concierge service.

TAXES: $9,731 a year; maintenance: $1,504 a month

CONTACT: Tony O’Brien, Silfer, Smith & Frampton Real Estate (970) 471-0652; www.tonyobrien.com

Portland, Ore.

WHAT: A five-bedroom five-and-a-half-bath house with nearly 10,000 square feet of living space, a guesthouse and two acres of property.

HOW MUCH: $5,200,000

PER SQUARE FOOT: $524.50

SETTING: The house is near Tryon Creek State Park, several golf courses and Oswego Lake. It’s about 10 minutes from downtown Portland and around 30 minutes from Portland International Airport.

COMMON SPACES: The living room has French doors with access to a rose garden. The formal dining room has similar doors with access to the backyard. The family room has wood paneling and a built-in saltwater aquarium. The media room, on the lower level, has tiered movie-theater style seats and a projection screen.

PERSONAL SPACES: On the upper level there is an office with hardwood floors, a wet bar, a fireplace and built-in shelves. The master suite, also on the upper level, has a fireplace and a jetted tub. The other bedrooms each have private baths.

OUTDOOR SPACE: A koi pond, a swimming pool and a pool house.

AMENITIES: A five-car attached garage, five fireplaces and a tennis/basketball court.

TAXES: $15,562.88 a year

CONTACT: Tricia Epping and Steve Kaer, Coldwell Banker Barbara Sue Seal (503) 890-1221; www.cbseal.com

Monday, December 31, 2007

The 2008 Aston Martin V8 Vantage N400

The 2008 Aston Martin V8 Vantage N400 is a gorgeous car. It is seen by car experts as an even more charged version of the previous V8 Vantage that was released by Aston Martin. The car has even more power and is available as both a coupe and a roadster. The Aston Martins are very popular and are loved for both their engines as well as their sleek looks. The Vantage N400 is a special edition vehicle that is as gorgeous and as it is powerful. History of Aston Martin

Aston Martin is a British vehicle manufacturer that is cantered in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England. It was started by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin in 1913. The two men had partnered to sell cars made by Singer in 1912. The two men decided to make their own cars and named their model the Aston Martin after Martin's love of the hill climb races at Aston Hill (which is near Aston Clinton). The first Aston Martin ever produced was a four cylinder Coventry-simplex engine that was on the chassis of an Isotta Fraschini from 1908. The car was made before they managed to acquire manufacturing premises in Kensington at Henniker Place (this happened in 1915). Unfortunately mass production of their cars could not start as soon as the partner's had hoped because of the outbreak of the first World War, which is when Martin joined the Royal Army Service Corps and they sold all of their machinery to the Sopwith Aviation Company.

The company was re-founded and revitalized after the war ended when the company received financing from Count Louis Zborowski. Bramford left the company in 1920 but not until they had designed a new car.

Over the course of the car's history, Aston Martins have been made to compete in the French Grand Prix (1922); they have set world endurance and speed records at Brooklands. The company has failed two times, once in 1924 and in 1925 with a factory closing taking place in 1926. The company was finally bought by some very rich investors, Lady Charnwood among them, and it was renamed Aston Martin Motors. The company headquarters were moved to Feltham and in 1929 the Aston Martin International racer car was a huge success.

In 2007, the company was purchased by David Richards, who is the Prodrive chairman. It is still co-owned by Ford (a development that happened in 1994). The company has also recently opened dealers in Europe and China. Now the company has dealers in 28 countries.

Aston Martin in the Media

The Aston Martin is most famously the car of that popular super spy, James Bond. The author of James Bond, Ian Fleming, gave his protagonist a DB Mark III in Goldfinger, the seventh James Bond book. The car first appeared on film in 1964 with the release of Goldfinger the movie and quickly became James Bond's company car. In the most recent James Bond movie, two Aston Martin cars are driven: the classic DB5 and the new DB5.

The V8 Vantage N400

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage N400 was made to commemorate the achievements of Aston Martin at Nurburgring where the car has had extreme success in racing. This is absolutely a race car but it also has a variety of technical upgrades and enhancements to the usual standard range of external specifications.

The most important development in this special edition vehicle is the 4.3 litre V8 engine, which is much more virile than the engines in previous models. The new car has a power of 400bhp and a torque peak of 420Nm. It also comes with a "Sports Pack." This "Sports Pack" is tailored to racing dynamics fans that are in search of a car with superior handling. The Sports Pack is responsible for the car's wheels (aluminum) and turning (diamond), springs (up-rated), dampers and the coupe is equipped with an anti-roll bar. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage N400 comes standard as a two-door coupe that seats two and has a convertible top. It has a six-speed transmission and the Sports Package comes with a sport shift option. It has sports suspension and cruise control.

This car also comes standard with satellite navigation, a premium audio system, exterior mirrors that are power fold, heated memory seats, cruise control and even preparation for the Bluetooth telephone.

Options of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage N400

The N400 has a ton of special options that buyers can order to enhance what is already a magnificent vehicle. American buyers can choose to add a Satellite radio system and Roadster owners can choose to add a wind deflector and hood colors. Buyers in the UK can choose to add a tracking device. Other special options include an alarm upgrade, a battery conditioner and an auto-dimming interior rear view mirror. There are also the options of including an alternative brake caliper finish as well as a smoker's pack.

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage N400 is going to be a rare car as only two hundred and forty of them will be made and they are already in great demand. Aston Martins, as a rule are rare as the company's history has led to less than fifteen thousand of them being produced. These spectacular cars are the dream of every car enthusiast in the world.

Because of the rarity of these cars, the reviews are few and far between. In fact, a web search will only turn up basic information gathered from the Aston Martin website and a bunch of photos. Car enthusiasts agree, the car is absolutely gorgeous and is being drooled over by car fanatics from all over the world.

The Aston Martin Company hasn't had an easy time of it, but there is no doubt that the cars created by this company are superior to almost every other car on the road. They are beautiful and extremely sporty. After all, no matter what the stakes in a poker game might be, James Bond would not drive just any car, right?

Search and post new cars, used cars, luxury cars, prestige cars, concept cars, sports cars, hydro cars, SUVs, CUVs, convertibles, trucks, pickups, vans, minivans, coupes, sedans and read car reviews at VehicleRide.com.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Get The Best Art Deal With An Art Lawyer

It is an art lover who knows the real value of an art piece. In fact, it is an art lover who knows how to value and appreciate an art piece. Art is one such thing that has its appeal in whatever form it is. Any form of art can never go unnoticed by any art lover and given a chance, they make sure that they buy the art piece that they have liked. However, these days, forgery and fraudulence has become such a problem that even buying an original art piece can become a problem. Therefore, to buy an original art piece one should take the help of an art lawyer. An art lawyer is a professional who has knowledge about genuine art pieces and can help a seeker get an original art piece that he or she wants to buy. Moreover, if someone has already become the victim of buying a fake art piece, then also he or she can take the help of a lawyer to fight his case and get his money back.

An art lawyer is like other lawyers and has immense knowledge in genuine art pieces. Taking the help of an art lawyer not only helps you to buy an original art piece but he can also guide you in case if you have bought a fake art piece. Well, this is a normal scenario these days that many people sell fake art pieces claiming them to be the original piece. With the rise in the number of art dealers and vendors, it has definitely become difficult to find out which one is a fake art piece and which one is the original. Therefore, many people land up buying fake art pieces thinking them to be the original one and it is later that they realize that they have invested their money in a fake art piece. Therefore, in such situations, it is best to go through the legal way to get back the money and this can be done with the help of an art lawyer.

Moreover, an art lawyer can also help an art vendor get his money from a customer who has bought an art piece but has not paid the due money. In such cases also, the art dealer or the vendor can take the help of an art lawyer to fight a legal case against the customer and then to get the money that he deserves. Well, it is not at all difficult to find an art lawyer. The internet can be a good support in this case and you can easily get to know about an art lawyer through the internet. However, you should see his record of accomplishment to make sure that he can help you to get justice in the right way.

Therefore, now if you want to buy or sell an art piece and are worried about the fact of forgery and fraudulence, then you need not worry anymore, as an art lawyer can help you to solve all your problems.

Damyel Flower is an exprienced divorce lawyer.He has successfully handled many divorce cases.He gives advice to clients who are looking for Art lawyer,Divorce lawyer NYC,celebrity divorce lawyer.To hire services of a lawyer in New York and any legal advice visit www.mtllp.com.

Hand Bag - Learn How To Get The Best Hand Bag

Designer Handbags

Not all designer handbags are impossibly small or unnecessarily big, thus, when you choose an imitation designer handbag, you will save money and loose nothing but that tiny, designer brand-name label. The most famous designer handbags are always the impressive and most expensive handbags, however they are virtually always the highest quality handbags as well.

Ladies are increasingly investing in fashion accessories, particularly designer handbags, you've probably seen sites advertising replica designer handbags. Sometimes, they even come with replica designer tags, dust bags, and receipts. is it a genuine designer handbag or a knock-off that would naturally be available at a significantly lower price. One needs a discerning eye to spot a genuine, discounted designer handbag in a market flooded with many fakes.

If you have an eye for detail, you can save a lot of cash while buying wholesale designer handbags for resale. A source for wholesale designer handbags is eBay. Counterfeit fashion is a universally growing business, and it is getting increasingly difficult to differentiate designer handbags from non real ones.

Knockoff designer goods are readily available on the street in areas such as Los Angeles' Santee Street and New York's Canal Street, on the Internet alone, there are literally hundreds of sites selling fake designer handbags at low low costs. There's a new kid on the block in the wonderful, wacky world of designer handbags, can you guess? Owner and writer of Designer Fashion Trends - all of the latest on Fashion Info. There are many web sites out there claiming to sell authentic designer handbags, but there is no simply formula that will determine whether a web site sells authentic designer handbags.

Designer Purses

This allows you to have two purses for the price of one. USE THE CLOTH: Cloth purses are very casual fashion items but they are very popular, of course, buckles have been in for the last couple years and they will still be found on Wholesale Prada handbags, Gucci and Dior purses as well. If you’re looking for something a little different, there are literally thousands of beautifully crafted unique handbags and purses available for purchase online, here is a brief rundown of what’s coming in unique purses and handbags in 2008.

Cigar Box Purses, the unique women who carries a cigar box purse likes to be different and stand out from the crowd. There are many different kinds of leather purses as well, for this very reason, leather purses usually cost more than any other material, but just remember that it's also going to last longer than any other handbag.


Knee High Boots - Winter Season's Seduction

Winter season is on and it's time for saying adieu to your sandals and open toes, and look for comfortable boots that keep your legs warm. But that doesn't take up all charm and enjoyment of looking glamorous. Knee high boots, also known as over-the-knee or kinky boots, are equally glamorous and seductive as open toed boots if you know how to pick up on them.

Knee high boots come with a variety design and colors that it is hard to keep yourself look ugly wearing them. Wearing these will make your wider calves look slimmer and cover up any scar marks in your lower leg that you wish weren't there on your legs. One of the main reasons for choosing knee high boots is its definite seductive appeal. And that's also the only reason why some prefer not to have them for certain occasions where you want to look good but not sexy. With knee high boots, you can toggle your appearance between looking sexy and not-sexy-but-good with the dress you pair with them. With longer skirts they give you a feminine and romantic appeal and with shorter skirts they are definitely sexy.

Knee High Boots for Plus Size Women

One of the common problems with wearing them is that it is hard to find a boot to fit your calves, if you are a plus size woman. This had been a main problem for many women but now it is no longer. Manufacturers are now a days paying close attention to the demands of wide calf boots and it is no more a problem to get a wide calf boot. And to make your legs look thinner, the trick is to go for chunkier heels which will make your legs appear lanky and sexy as well.

Knee High Boots for Thinner Legs

If you are legs are very thin, you can look for boots that add a little bulk to your feet. Western or slouch boots can be a good choice for women who have thin legs. Also you can look for ones which have thinner heels so that your legs don't look incredibly even thinner.

Knee high boots look great for a dinner but you can wear it for office too. If you are a person who normally tucks jeans into them, you should probably look for skinny jeans so that you can avoid clumsy look and feel of something bulky inside your boots.

Clara Havisham pens fashion articles for Shoecapital on all about shoes from the wide variety of models to the latest trends. Read more on Knee High Boots at Shoecapital.com

Flamingo Beach Costa Rica - A Guide to Flamingo

Flamingo is located about 10 miles north of Tamarindo. That is North Pacific, in Guanacaste, around 4-5 hours driving; you can fly to Tamarindo and then make a short drive to Flamingo that takes about an hour, 30-45 minute flight, 20 minutes driving. Also you can take your international flight to the Liberia Airport and then its 45 minutes from there. Flamingo is one of the very few white sand beaches in our Pacific coast, between Playa Potrero and Brasilito. They gave careful planning to the town, so the coast is pretty clean and building free.

Flamingo is distinguished for the marina; there you'll find a number of sea activities. They include sport fishing, snorkeling, and diving. Since it's near Tamarindo, places and species are the same, check that article if you want more info.

They also have surfing, sailing, horseback riding, canopy, hiking, basically Tamarindo and Flamingo offer same tours because of the location. I want to try and focus on the things they differ, and what makes Flamingo unique. There are basically two things, one is golf, the other, night life.

Now if you are a Golf lover, here you can play with beautiful scenery around you, mountains, and sea, even monkeys or birds can be heard from far away. This is not a crowded place so you'll never have to wait to play, there aren't many people around.

The gold course name is Garra de Leon or Lions Paw, is considered a world class course with 18 holes. There is plenty of information online about the course itself; golf isn't my specialty so you'll probably understand it better than me.

Nightlife is better here though, you'll find casinos if you are a gambler. Usually they have poker (holdem is the most popular), blackjack, roulette, slots, craps, tute, etc. Try getting the gaming rules, some games tend to have different ones than in Las Vegas, so find information before you loose your money.

There are a number of local bars; you'll find anything from local ones to Ibiza style, electronic, psychedelic chill out sessions (if that means anything). Again, this is only a guideline, you can find information online to get a better idea of the places; soon will move down under, to Jaco and Manuel Antonio. Have a good one!!

Alfonso Chaves is a Costa Rica Travel advisor that has helped lots of travelers looking for tips and advice about traveling to Costa Rica. He currently works for Amapola Hotel located in Jaco Beach, Costa Rica for the internet client service department.

Feel free to leave him a question by clicking on the below link, he will gladly help you in any way he can:

For Free Costa Rica Travel Information Request - Click Here

Thursday, November 22, 2007

In Europe, Fractional Properties Have Room to Grow

Claus Soerensen became a fractional owner of a second home before the term was even coined. Years ago, Mr. Soerensen inherited a share of a vacation house that had once belonged to his great-grandfather. When other heirs sold their shares, he essentially owned the house in common with strangers.

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Courtesy of 47 Park Street

The entrance to 47 Park Street.

Courtesy of 47 Park Street

The members lounge at 47 Park Street.

So Mr. Soerensen, who lives in the Jutland region of Denmark, was comfortable with the idea of fractional ownership in 2005, when he and his wife, Karen Margrethe, went looking for another second home in southern France or Italy. They found French Property Shares, based in the United States, and bought a share of a Languedoc farmhouse.

“If you are very rich and you want to be on your own, you can buy all the properties you want,” Mr. Soerensen said. “But if you only intend to use the property a few times a year, it feels sound to share the possibilities and the costs.”

So far, relatively few Europeans see it that way. The Organization for Timeshare in Europe estimates that the continent has fewer than 25 fractional developments, compared with nearly 200 in the United States.

Some industry observers attribute the difference to the relative lack of big-name players in the European market, as well as to legal issues and general perceptions of the product. But some of those factors may be about to change as more major North American hospitality companies move across the Atlantic.

“We are aware that some of the brands have been looking at this very keenly,” said Darren Ettridge, vice president for resort sales in Europe at Interval International. Interval has contracts with resorts that allow their timeshare buyers to use their stays in other locations.

Timeshares involve a guaranteed period of time at a resort and usually involve an initial payment, followed by annual maintenance or management fees. Fractional ownerships, in contrast, involve actual equity in a property.

“In terms of growth percentages, it’s pretty clear to us that this is a rapidly developing product that has got some value, that has some potential, particularly in certain areas, such as Portugal and Spain, where the product is sort of linked to second-home markets,” Mr. Ettridge said.

Similarly, Scott Berman, director of PriceWaterhouseCoopers’s U.S. hospitality and leisure division, said, “We’re getting more and more calls, particularly from the brand sponsors, who are very interested in penetrating Europe, both with traditional timeshares and, in select destinations, fractionals.”

Marriott is eyeing vacation-home markets as it plans to expand its traditional timeshare and fractional offerings in Europe, according to Bill Phillips, Marriott’s director of worldwide development. The company’s only European fractional property is 47 Park Street in London, which opened in 2003 and has 49 units.

But before the company acts, Mr. Phillips said, it wants to see tighter timeshare regulations, which also cover fractionals. The European Commission regulates fractionals and timeshares, and is considering new rules that are widely expected to be passed next year.

“The reason Europe lags behind the U.S. in terms of development in general and branded development in particular is the lack of effective regulations and enforcement of those regulations, and we think that’s beginning to change,” Mr. Phillips said.

It was not until individual state governments began regulating the timeshare industry in the late 1980s that the American market took off, he noted. “That ended the unsavory development and sales and marketing practices and allowed the industry to grow at double-digit rates.”

A 2005 PriceWaterhouseCoopers report on the European timeshare industry laments the damage done to the industry’s reputation by so-called holiday clubs, which fall outside current timeshare regulations but are nonetheless viewed as timeshares by many consumers. Operators of holiday clubs sometimes engage in high-pressure and misleading sales tactics, according to the British-based Timeshare Consumers Association, and the report says the clubs often sell vacations that are “not supported by inventory.”

A fractional is “perceived by most consumers for what it is, which is a timeshare, and the word ‘timeshare’ now is a killer,” said Sandy Grey, chairman of the consumers association. “Most of the trade bodies don’t use it because they know just mentioning timeshare, whoever they’re trying to sell it to will just walk out the door.”

But many observers predict that the entry of well-respected hotel brands will give the European fractional market a huge image boost.

Steve Navaro, a Colorado-based lawyer who develops fractionals in Paris, encourages his buyers to think of the apartments as their second homes, noting they are free to leave some belongings, like compact discs or books, in the apartments.

Similarly, Ginny Blackwell, the New York-based entrepreneur behind French Property Shares, said: “You never have a timeshare person walk into the place where they’re staying and say, ‘Look at my gorgeous house,’ do you? It doesn’t belong to them. They only own the time there.”

If the home-away-from-home allure sets fractionals apart, so, too, does the cost.

In the United States, Mr. Berman said, the average timeshare sells for about $20,000, while prices for fractionals start at around $250,000.

Shares in Marriott’s 47 Park Street begin at 106,000 pounds, or about $216,000. Other European fractional developments include De Vere’s collection of converted stately homes throughout Britain, which start at around 5,000 pounds per week, or about $10,250, and six properties in Portugal by the Vigia Group, with prices starting at 27,000 pounds, or about $38,500.

Mr. Navaro said: “What I’m marketing is true real estate, with the ownership divided up among a limited number of people, and what you pay to get in reflects pretty closely what the true market value is of that property. So if property values go up, your ownership interest will probably follow that trend.”

Ms. Blackwell does not handle all the secondary sales in her developments, but she said she knows of several shares that have come up for resale. “I’ve never heard of them selling for less than somebody paid,” she said, adding that she typically has three or four requests per property from people who have asked to be notified if shares become available.

Still, fractional developments in Europe are too new and too few to have a resale track record.

Mr. Grey, of the consumers group, said the question of secondary sales hangs over the market’s development. A timeshare, he said, “depreciates instantly by about 70 percent overnight and then goes slowly downward thereafter. With fractionals, we’ve no idea. I doubt if it will appreciate because the market won’t allow it to do so. The market will always keep ahead of it in producing new products and accommodations, which should keep the secondhand prices down.”

Saturday, November 10, 2007

How To Choose A Bottle Of Good French Wine

First, let's decide: what we will drink. A French wine has its own ranking system.

Table wine has the lowest rank. It is the cheapest and the simplest. Local wine is ranked slightly higher. It is produced in certain regions of France.

The next stage is higher-quality wine produced in a limited territory. Its production techniques is under the strict control. Manufacturers are required to use only certain varieties of grapes growing on the particular wine industry castle's soil.

Finally, the highest ranked wine category - aristocratic "controlled by descent" wine. This wine is bought by collectors and sold at auctions for the crazy money. Requirements for its manufacturing are much more rigid. For example, even if the grape harvest has been abundant, there is a strict limit of producing elite wines. Prestigious wine must me limited!

How to choose elite wine?

First of all, pay attention to the label. It should not be garish or colorful. Typically, the better the wine, the label looks more modest. And if you choose the higher-class wine, it must have three words in its inscription. First - Appellation (winemaking community), or Chateau (Castle). Then the name of the community or castle. And the key word "control" means that the wine is controlled by descent.

Very often these three words are typed in very small font. But they are the key! If they are not on the label, the wine could not be considered elite. The best French wines have also "Grand Cru" classification. Most often this inscription can be found on the label after the name of vineyard.

What should you pay attention to when choosing wines from different regions of France?

The most famous are Bordeaux and Burgundy wines.

Individual wine-making households - Chateau - are located Inside the Bordeaux wine-growing areas. Therefore, when choosing Bordeaux wine you must draw your attention to the name of the castle.

Each Chateau has its unique flavor, identity and bouquet. Even if a few castles are located in the neighborhood and use the same sort of wine grapes, they produces quite different wines. Indeed, each Chateau has its own secrets, which are handed down for several centuries. Unlike Bordeaux, Burgundy is famous by wine-growing communities, which may belong to several tens of producers. Pay attention to the producer of the wine - its taste and smell depends on its producer.

How do size and length of the bottle corks characterize the quality of wine?

The real connoisseurs of French wine knows what the cork means. Firstly, it must be made from cork oak bark. Secondly, the name of the community or castle as well as the harvest year must be printed there. The longer the cork, the more expensive drink, and the higher its quality. But short pressed cork is a sign of cheap wine.

As is the convention, the long-lived wine corks is changed every 15 years.

As for the bottle, the most famous elite wine bottle is called "Magnum" (1.5L). The fact is that "Magnum" is used for very high quality wine of the best years.

Still don't know what wine to choose? Visit our site http://www.waitingforgift.com/Wines.html to enjoy great wines from all over the world!

I am the owner of gifts site www.waitingforgift.com - a lot of free gifts and interesting propositions.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nataliya_S

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tips on Cleaning and Storing Jewelry

If you find that your pearls and a few gems are scratched and your silver is tarnished; it may be that you are not storing and cleaning your jewelry properly. Cleaning and Storing of Jewelry doesn't have to be so hard nor does it have to be expensive. Jewelry can be stored properly using cheap readily available materials and cleaning can be achieved with the use of ordinary household cleaners. Here are a few tips that you might find handy when cleaning and storing valuaubles.

Cleaning:
Toothpastes and dish soaps are best left for use on the kitchen sink. It is not advisable to use these products when cleaning jewelry as they may be abrasive and cause stones to loose their luster. It is then advised that you use a sudsy solution when cleaning jewelry.

Soak jewelry in warm sudsy water for at least an hour before rinsing them under warm running water. After the jewelry has been rinsed. Pat them dry with a towel or another absorbent fabric. Most of the time, running jewelry under water is enough to get them clean but there are those that are studded. Grime and grease gets into the nooks and crannies. For these stubborn dirt you can use and eyebrow brush or a soft baby's brush to gently clean it.

To remove greasy residues on diamonds soak them in alcohol a few minutes before running them under water. Don't use alcohol on all your jewelry because most of them are not as hard as diamonds and may be damaged when they come in contact with it.

Be careful when using commercial cleaners because they may damage your jewelry when used improperly. An example of a commercial cleaner is an ultrasonic cleaner. Don't use an ultrasonic cleaner on the following stones: Emerald, Peridot, Tanzanite, Topaz, and Opals. When using ultrasonic cleaners, don't soak jewelry for more than a few minutes.

Storing:
Gems and precious stones have different gradients of hardness. Stones are on the top of the list. They are very hard to scratch but they can scratch other items. Diamonds are the hardest, below them are sapphire, rubies, etc. at the lower end of the list you will find pearls and metals like gold, platinum and silver. With that in mind, it is wise to store jewelry separately or at least in individual containers or pouches.

Velvet, cotton and felt are great for storing delicate stones like pearls. These materials are easily available in fabric stores. Swatches can be cut from the fabric and made to wrap around delicate jewelry. They can even be made into pouches making them easier to use. It is not advisable to cram jewelry into one box. This may result in scratching and chipping.

Maintenance:
Keep your jewelry in tip top shape. Look out for loose stones and take them to your jeweler to have the settings reinforced.

Have pearls restrung when the strings start to fray. Don't wait till the last minute or you might end up loosing all your pearls.

If you enjoy reading this, you may interested to read more comprehensive resources about Brighton Jewelry and Jared Jewelers and Jewelry Armoire
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Puripong_Koomsin

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hawaii Vacation Rentals - A Dream Holiday For You

There are many fully appointed Big Island of Hawaii vacation rentals that will make excellent places to stay during your trip. Many homeowners also rent their houses to vacationers to make extra money, and such Big Island vacation rentals come fully equipped with everything you may require while staying on the islands.

Many people prefer Hawaii vacation rentals over hotels because they have more room, and do not have to worry about thin walls and nosy neighbors. Hotel rooms often leave one feeling tight and frazzled, but vacation rentals are spacious, with all the comforts of your own living room! Getting from place to place is a chore when an entire family is packed like sardines in a can. When renting a home, there is plenty of free turf, often with individual bedrooms, kitchens and dining rooms.

Imagine being at your own home, yet far away in an enchanted land. This is what renting Kauai vacation rentals will feel like. On the one hand, you are comfortable and relaxed. On the other, you are isolated on a beautiful island full of mystery and wonder.

There are many different rentals from which to choose. If sun and surf are what you love best, you can stay right on the shore at a beach house. If colorful flowers make you happy, consider a home surrounded by nature. If you like to be off the beaten path and away from the tourists, choose a house on a quiet street away from the hubbub of downtown.

Wherever you stay, there is no doubt you will be happy to have made the decision to rent a home in Hawaii. Another option is Maui condo rentals. Because Hawaii is such a perfect place to vacation, many people buy condos on the Island so they have a permanent place to stay when they visit. During the times when they are away, they will rent their condos to people like you!

Hawaii is a dream holiday for many and Maui is a wonderful place to be there in Hawaii. Maui is a beautiful place. It has the sandy beaches, waterfalls, and volcanoes and offers many adventurous activities for the visitors. One can rent a condo to enjoy every moment there.

Hawaii vacation rentals are a great way to get the most out of your Hawaiian vacation. Why stay in a cramped hotel room with thin walls and nosy neighbors when you can enjoy the space and freedom of Kauai vacation rentals? You can choose from a variety of rentals, including beach houses right on the shore or homes in natural surroundings with flowers all around. Maui condo rentals are also a good choice because Maui is one of the most popular places in Hawaii, featuring volcanoes, waterfalls, and white sandy beaches. Why not look into a Hawaiian rental today?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hamptons - TV viewing for the rich and richer

SIMON HOUPT

The summer may be over, but out in the Hamptons the time is right for picking up a vacation property before next year's crush. If you're interested, there's a lovely little four bedroom / four bath out in Watermill that can be yours for only $6-million or so. I know this because I've been watching Plum TV, where the Watermill spread was the featured property at an end-of-season real-estate wrap-up last week.
Well, that's only half true: I've been watching Plum online, not on TV. That's because Plum is a fledgling network that is broadcast only in the Hamptons and seven other locales that are popular with the country's financial elite: Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Vail, Aspen, Telluride, Sun Valley and Miami Beach. Even though Plum's corporate headquarters are in the East Village, if I want a fix of its programming here in New York, I have to get it online.
But then, I'm not exactly the network's target demographic.
Launched a few years ago with its first broadcasting operation in Nantucket, the network is an example of what TV executives call narrowcasting: identifying a valuable niche market, and targeting it with extreme ardour. Plum says it targets the 14.2-million people (about 5 per cent of the U.S. population) who travel through its eight markets during the vacation seasons. But its real interest is even narrower: the three million Americans in the top percentile of net worth.


Plum says it has research to suggest 57 per cent of the people in its markets - those with an average household income of $600,000, and an average net worth of $7-million - watch an average of 3.6 hours of the network every week they're in town.
If so, my estimation of rich people has just plummeted. Want to know what grabs the attention of masters of the universe? Locally-oriented programming that is almost embarrassingly lo-fi in its execution and unchallenging in its content. The network's flagship broadcast, The Morning-Noon&Night Show, is a two-to-three-hour block of cable access-style talk that airs in the morning (and then, per its name, repeats at least twice more during the day). The hosts are folksy and unpolished, the guests a mix of the famous and notorious who happen to vacation in the area.
The former NBC chairman Bob Wright might drop by the Nantucket broadcast to talk about the charity work he's doing (and then in another edition take a turn as a guest host, interviewing his friend Gordon Gund, the former owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the San Jose Sharks, and his wife Lulie, about their conservation efforts on the island. The interview runs for only 12 minutes, but it feels like it lasts a whole summer). Norman Pearlstein, the former editor-in-chief of Time Inc., promoted a book on the Hamptons broadcast.
The show Beyond Politics taped a casual conversation over pizza with the controversial Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. And the reality show Bob Builds His Dream House followed the actor Bob Balaban as he tried to get a vacation home built in Bridgehampton.
"Our viewers represent a demographic that advertisers really want to get a hold of, and they're also our content," says Graham Veysey, a network spokesman. "They can turn on the TV and see their friend, or they can see somebody they recognize, and we're doing it in a casual enough tone that you feel like you're hanging out with these people while they're talking about business or politics or a philanthropic organization they're passionate about."
And the guests surely know they're not going to face any genuine debate. Last month Judith Miller, the controversial former New York Times journalist whose reporting on Saddam Hussein's quest for weapons of mass destruction may have been used to help build support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, swung by for an interview in the Hamptons. (She has a home in Sag Harbor.) The host began the show by joking, "In a minute, I'm going to ask her the big question, which is: Did she single-handedly lead America into the Iraq war?" Off-camera, you could hear the appreciative, relaxed laughter of Miller and a couple of production assistants.
Plum prides itself on its ability to create a seamless local experience for viewers that ensures the outside world will never intrude on their vacation reveries. Part of the strategy is airing ads for national brands that are tailored to the local communities. "When somebody goes out to Aspen and has that second home they're completely infatuated with, or they're spending an enormous amount of money to get the most out of their two weeks there, they want to stay in Aspen, or Sun Valley, or the Miami Beach mindset," says Veysey. "When we go to commercial break, you're not going to leave that Aspen experience and therefore you're going to be more receptive to that marketer's message."
One program segment on the website features a spokesman for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons discussing "non-invasive rejuvenation" (i.e. Botox). Another highlights Houses of the Hamptons, an illustrated book with gorgeous archival photos of the East End's Gatsby-era mansions. My favourite, though, is probably the segment with Chris Rimmer, from the company Ocean Independence, who swung by to talk about how yachts seem to be getting bigger these days. (True, the deputy managing editor of CNNMoney.com, Jim Ledbetter, appeared in one segment to talk about his new book, a collection of the journalism of Karl Marx. But he and the host somehow managed to avoid talking about communism.)
Plum claims top-shelf advertisers that include Porsche, American Express, and the fractional jet services Netjets and FlexJet. Still, the company refuses to say whether it is profitable, which doesn't sound very promising. It had better not tell its viewers: they hate anything that reeks of failure.
shoupt@globeandmail.com

Monday, September 3, 2007

How to Get the Best Possible Beach Vacation Home

There is nothing more relaxing than having a week or two to spend at the beach. Vacation homes are a wonderful change from staying at a large or impersonal motel or hotel, plus they have the added convenience of being close to or even right on the water, having all the amenities of a house, as well as being much larger than a hotel room or even a suite would be.

Many of the beach vacation homes available offer all the features of a hotel vacation. If you are considering a rental and are going through an agency or property management company, it is usually possible to have a rental car provided for you upon arrival. In addition, many companies and agencies can also offer bonded and professional cleaning staff, chefs and even tour guides that will personalize your beach vacation and really make it a holiday for everyone in the family.

If you would prefer to just be able to relax and enjoy the warm weather, beach vacation homes can offer a quiet, stress-free holiday environment. To ensure that you get the best possible rental property, be sure to check the following:

* Ensure that you know the full amount of the rental and any additional expenses that may be included. Most beach vacation homes, especially those that are right on the beach or at the water will book up at least one season in advance. Holiday times such as summer vacation, spring break and even Christmas holidays may be booked several seasons in advance. * Before sending a deposit or providing a credit card number for a deposit or reservation, fully understand the cancellation policy or any insurance that you may need to have on the property.

* Whether you are renting beach vacation homes from an individual or a company, be sure to get everything in writing before supplying a deposit or credit card information, especially if you have not rented through the company or from the individual before. A verbal agreement is not binding or legally valid in a court but a written, signed contract is a legal document.

* Finally, check the area in which the beach vacation home is located. While property right on the beach is great in quiet or secluded places, on busy beaches it can be a bit more stressful and noisy, especially if you are wanting a quiet vacation spot. Doing some advanced research on beach vacation homes is simple through the internet or making a few phone calls. Planning your vacation is half the fun and knowing what you want and finding just the right beach vacation homes makes the holiday perfect for the whole family.

About The Author
Terry Roberts is a professional translator and linguist, with a wide range of interests. To read more about beach vacation homes, and vacation homes in general, please visit his website: http://vacation.home-and-garden-now.com.

 

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