A Grand Staycation to Experience the Suite Life

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Book a minimum of two nights at the Grand Hyatt Singapore and experience a wealth of privileges such as access to the Grand Club Lounge at the hotel, with complimentary breakfast and evening cocktails, with an S$500 nett credit per day, arrival and departure limousine transfer in a BMW 5 series and a champagne afternoon tea for two people at 10 SCOTTS.

Book online at singapore.grand.hyatt.com using the promotional code “Suite” when calling +65 6235 4111 or by e-mailing reservations.sinro@hyatt.com. Available from 1 May to 31 July 2015, the Suite Life has a total value of SGD 2086++ for a Grand Suite, but can be experienced with a prepaid booking for a minimum of two nights, starting from SGD1100++ per room per night.

3 Amazing Global Cruise Itineraries

Vibe Beach Club onboard Norwegian Escape

Vibe Beach Club onboard Norwegian Escape

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Beachfront Celebrity Villa in Bali

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Join celebrities like Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall and Charlie Chaplin in staying at the iconic Villa Batujimbar, a beachfront villa in Sanur, Bali. This comprises eight bedrooms with luxurious ensuites that are located in a hectare of park-like grounds. These are lined with heritage trees, stone statues and ponds. Most importantly, the villa also opens up to the untouched, sandy white beach of Sanur. Its facilities include a private chef, multiple pavilions, gym, 20m pool and tennis court. The villa has also been recently added to the Elite Havens Luxury Villa Rentals portfolio, which consists of more than 170 luxurious properties in Bali, Lombok, Phuket and Sri Lanka.

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Exclusive Whisky Collection

JOHN WALKER & SONS PRIVATE COLLECTION - Packaged

JOHN WALKER & SONS PRIVATE COLLECTION – Packaged

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Yachting Rendezvous at Kata Rocks

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5 Invigorating Urban Retreats

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Enjoy the most luxurious and life-changing wellness retreats right in your city.
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Asian Luxury Hotels at Unbeatable Prices

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Stretch your travel dollar when you book a hotel with us!

✓ Lowest rates guaranteed
✓ No booking fee
✓ $1 Airport Transfer
✓ $1 Daily Breakfast for 1
✓ $1 Wi-Fi

 

 FEATURED HOTELS & RESORTS

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 * Hotel prices are indicative and subject to change, depending on travel period.

BOOK NOW

Send us an email at booking@inspire-publishing.com with the following details:

1) Guest Names
2) Check-in/Check-out Dates
3) Choice of Hotel
4) Email
5) Contact Number
6) Pls indicate if you require Airport Transfer, Daily Breakfast and/or Wi-Fi service (if it’s not free)
7) Preferred mode of payment – SGD or USD

  • As the hotel rooms are in limited supply, bookings will be accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • Successful bookings will receive an email confirmation on the next working day, Monday 13 October 2014 (GMT+8).
  • No payment will be needed until your booking is confirmed by us via email. 
  • No cancellations for bookings allowed. 
  • All relevant taxes, service charge, visas, expenses and other incidentals are to be borne by you.

Happy Hour at Humble House Taipei

Humble House

Enjoy cocktails with a view from The Terrace at Humble House Taipei. Located on the 6th floor and next to the sky garden, The Terrace is perfect for unwinding in its cosy setting.

From now till 30 September, The Terrace is offering guests the following intoxicating promotions.

Happy Hour.Two for One
6pm to 9pm daily
Take your pick of whiskey (Glenfiddich 12 years, Jack Daniel’s), Vodka (Absolut), cocktails (Hugo, Beillin, Raspberry Mojito), and beer (Taiwan Gold Label, Budweiser, Kirin, Heineken) at NT$290+10% with a buy-one-get-one-free special offer.

Hearty Drinks: All You Can Drink
9pm to 1230am daily
Unlimited drinks ranging from France A.O.C. Alpha SelectionConnaisseur Club Bordeaux, Beringer Stone Cellars Chardonnay, Prosecco Superiore (Extra Dry Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG Glera), and cocktails (JD Coke, Gin Tonic, Screwdriver) at NT$1,280+10% per capita

For reservations or more details, please contact: +886 2 6631 8066.


Humble House Taipei

No.18, Songgao Road, Xinyi District, Taipei 110, Taiwan (Republic of China)
Tel: +886 2 6631 8000
Fax: +886 2 6631 8080
Website: humblehousehotels.com

 

Celebrity Cruises’ Best Offer is Back

 

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Enjoy 1 of the 3 offers below with your next booking, or 2 of the 3 offers if you book Europe cruises:

  • Classic Beverage Package for 2 guests
  • Free Gratuities for 2 guests
  • Onboard Credit based on  sail nights up to $300 per stateroom

PLUS: Third or more guests in the stateroom will automatically receive complimentary 40 minute internet package and complimentary classic non-alcoholic beverage package.

Terms & Conditions:

  1. Book by July 31, 2014 for sailing from October 2015 – April 2016
  2. Applicable to all destinations except Galapagos, Transatlantic, Transpacific and South America Celebrity Infinity cruises departing December 4, 2014 & March 15, 2015
  3. Applicable to Ocean View staterooms and above
  4. Offers applicable to the 1st and 2nd guests only, additional guests sharing the same cabin will receive complimentary 40 minute internet package and complimentary classic non-alcoholic beverage package

For reservations or information, please contact:

Hong Kong +852 2316 1308
India +91 7303 278473
Indonesia +62 21 3199 1339
Malaysia +60 3 7727 4835
Singapore +65 6305 0033

Unadulterated & Indulgent ‘Samui Luxury’ Package

IC Samui Baan Taling Ngam-Arrive in style at licenced privatAt InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, experience unadulterated VIP hospitality with the new ‘Samui Luxury’ package, when you book 5N at the prestigious three-bedroom Napa Reserve Villa.

Suitable for a family or group of four, you’ll be treated to:

  • Round trip airport transfers by Luxury Speed Boat (if weather permits) or Hotel Limousine
  • VIP Welcome amenities including a bottle of Champagne
  • Choice of one 60-minute Therapeutic Body Massage per day at Baan Thai Spa (for four persons)
  • One degustation five-course private dinner on the beach or in the villa (for four persons)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout the resort
  • Private driver with car or private captain with boat at your disposal
  • Sunset speedboat cruise to the Five Islands
  • Club Intercontinental benefits:
  • Dedicated butler service
  • Daily breakfast in Amber or in the villa (for four persons)
  • Afternoon Tea from 3-5pm in Serene
  • Selected beverages in the dedicated lounge from 6-8pm
  • Unlimited soft drinks from the mini-bar
  • Complimentary pressing service on day of arrival or day before departure
  • Invitation to the weekly VIP sunset cocktail party hosted by the Resort’s General Manager.

Rates for the ‘Samui Luxury’ package start from THB 125,000 (USD 3,866) a night for four.

About InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort
InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort is located within the exclusive enclave of Taling Ngam on the west coast of Koh Samui, 45 minutes by car from Koh Samui International Airport. Baan Taling Ngam, which means “Home on the Beautiful Cliff”, fittingly describes InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort. The stunning 22-acre address is located on the former site of Baan Taling Ngam Resort and has a legendary status as Koh Samui’s first ever luxury resort of grand dame stature.

 

Contact
295 Moo 3, Taling Ngam Beach, Koh Samui,
Suratthani 84140, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 7742 9100
Fax: +66 (0) 7742 3220
Email: reservations@ickohsamui.com

 

Captivating London

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Romantic Escape at Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua

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Book a minimum of 3N at the One Bedroom Villa with Private Pool and enjoy the following benefits:

  • Breakfast for 2 persons
  • Daily seasonal fruit basket
  • Daily turn down service
  • Daily replenishment of mini-bar
  • Free WiFi
  • Free bottle of house wine
  • 1 x 3-course set lunch
  • 1 x romantic dinner in the villa
  • 1 x 2-hour body massage treatment

* Valid from now to 31 March 2015

About Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua Mgallery Collection
Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua Mgallery Collection is a luxurious private pool villa inspired by the environment and everyday life of a traditional Balinese Village that offers a fully rounded, enriching and enlightening lifestyle experience. Set in idyllic Nusa Dua, Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua provides easy access to Bali’s main convention centre, the most famous golf course, walking distance to Bali Collection – shopping centre and just a stone’s throw away from the sublime white sand beaches of Nusa Dua.

 

Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua
BTDC Nusa Dua Bali 80363, Indonesia
Tel: +62(0)361 776 400 | Fax: +62(0)361 776 300
Email: info@amarterravilla.com
Website: www.amarterravilla.com

 

The Spanish Experience at El Kabron

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Perched 50 meters above sea level on the cliff in Uluwatu, El Kabron Spanish Restaurant has the most gorgeous sunset in the Island of Gods.
With a modern Mediterranean décor, you will experience a truly Spanish atmosphere, offering with a 180-degree view of the Indian Ocean & the endless horizon beyond.

Have a taste of Spain as you indulge in Tapas and Paellas in the most traditional style prepared by chef Marc Torices, in a modern Mediterranean restaurant setting. Adjourn to the cliff edge post dinner and sample drinks like classic and signature cocktails, and soak in the panoramic view of the Indian Ocean.

Definitely one of Bali’s hidden gems, it’s a must-visit if you wish to enjoy Spanish cuisine and cocktails against a picturesque backdrop, away
from the maddening crowd.

 

El Kabron Spanish Restaurant
Jln Pantai Cemongkak Bali, Pecatu, Bali, Indonesia
Tel: +62 361 7803416
Website: www.elkabron.com

 

Greening Luxury

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The most luxurious cruises to suit every type of traveller. [Read more…]

Barcelona at its Finest

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Featuring the best of the city, with its architectural gems, Michelin-starred dining, sumptuous accommodation and immersive experiences.
By Angela Miller


A classically European city, Barcelona offers what most have – a plethora of outdoor markets, restaurants, churches, museums and shops. Yet, this is a mere catalogue that barely scratches the surface of the true Barcelona. It’s a thriving metropolis merging the best of Gaudi architecture, Michelin-starred dining, glorious vineyards and amazingly luxurious accommodation.

Classic Motifs

2014-03-25_175031Together with my local guide from Abercrombie and Kent (www.abercrombiekent.com), my partner and I set out to find the masterpieces of Catalonia’s most famous architect Antoni Gaudí i Cornet. His work was revolutionary at the time, where new techniques were evoked for treating materials, such as the trencadis, a mosaic created from broken tile shards. Rather than drawing detailed plans of his works, he preferred to create them organically, building three-dimensional scale models and then adding the details as he went along.

One such example of his masterpiece is the Casa Milà or La Pedrera (www.lapedrera.com), which showcases both ideals and classified a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1984. It was built to house two apartment blocks with separate entrances. These were linked by two large inner courtyards, distinguished by a sinuous façade and the unique mosaics used on the domes and turrets of the building. Its moniker was derived by its appearance, which resembles an open quarry. I opted for The Secret Pedrera tour (about US$67) which brought us into the nooks and crannies not normally available for visitors. The evening tour took us through the same sections as the morning tour did, but the projections and holograms that the guides used really illuminated the building’s history, with accounts of the lives, customs and every day stories of the residents who had lived 100 years ago. It was rather magical to see the building and its history brought to life in such a simple yet effective manner. This unique experience was followed by a glass of cava and dinner at the building’s cafe. The highlight of our meal was the Iberian pork shortribs cooked precisely at 70°C and paired with honey, mustard and soy sauce.

Not just limited to the incredible works of Gaudi, the city has also been awarded the 1999 Royal Institute of British Architects Royal Gold Medal, the first and possibly only time a city has been given such a prestigious accolade. Notable buildings include the Barcelona Pavilion (www.miesbcn.com), designed by the great Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Palau de la Música (www.palaumusica.cat) by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

Curiosity piqued, I sought the expert advice of the pavilion’s guide on the scheduled tour (about US$112 per person including entrance fee) to learn more about its history. It was first built to be the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, and is renowned for its simple form yet grandiose in its use of marble, red onyx and travertine. Within its interiors is a range of furniture that has been designed especially for the building, including the iconic Barcelona chair. The flat roof and floor-to-ceiling glass windows might be a familiar design concept to us today, yet revolutionary for its creation some 80 years ago. Since then, the building has also hosted the 2013 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.

I found the minimalist architecture of the Barcelona Pavilion to be in great contrast to the Palau de la Música Catalana. The Palau was built between 1905 and 1908, and is considered to be an architectural jewel of Catalan Art Nouveau. It’s designed around a central metal structure that is covered in glass and decorated with various mediums including ironwork, sculpture, mosaic and stained glass. The Palau houses the Concert Auditorium, Petit Palau, the Sala d’Assaig de l’Orfeó Català and the Sala Lluís Millet.

Of all these, I was most amazed by the Concert Auditorium, which is a magnificent spectacle embodying grandeur and Art Nouveau. First off, its very size is staggering, spanning a total of 189sqm and able to accommodate up to 2,015 seats. Its main highlights are the inverted dome skylight, designed by Atoni Rigalt, in shades of blue that narrow to gold in the middle of the dome, reminiscent of the sky and the sun. The concert hall’s imagery brings to life the theme of choral music, with two female choirs depicted in the hall, the first surrounding the ‘sun’ and the second to the left side of the stage. Inspiring the musical performances are the 18 muses at the back of the stage. Guests can subscribe to musical programmes (price upon request) during the season, which begins in early May. Groups of up to 50 persons can have a private tour of the Palau (about US$1,398) that includes a welcome drink and a cocktail. 

Glorious Stays

2014-03-25_175122For one of the most luxurious accommodations in the city, stay at the W Barcelona (www.w-barcelona.com) in the three bedroom 295sqm Extreme Wow Suite (about US$14,800 per night) that is located on the penthouse floor for ultimate privacy with the most spectacular views. The suite, designed by renowned Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill, includes a dining table for six, with an extensive 59sqm private terrace that has sun beds and a Jacuzzi. Interestingly, Bofill has also put his own touches in the room, such as his personal book selection. The three-bedroom penthouse suite looks over the famous Barcelona Plaça de la Rosa del Vents and out to the Mediterranean sea. Television presenter Phil Spencer is a fan of this hotel’s location as it’s right on the beach.

El Palauet (www.elpalauet.com) has the distinction of having the most expensive starting priced rooms (at about US$700) in the city. It’s clear why; the hotel has just six two-bedroom suites over a five-storey property. The top floor suite, the Àtico Paseo de Gracia (about US$953 per night) has amazing views of Passeig de Gràcia from its three balconies, with its furnishings designed by top names like Philippe Starck, Knoll International, Eero Saarinen, Warren Platner, Antonio Citterio and Established & Sons in the living, dining area and kitchen. The highlight of this suite is its floral stucco designed ceiling that is so gorgeous and precious that it’s protected from destruction by the Town Hall of Barcelona. A personal assistant will also be at your service to organise your meals, every day shopping, arrange for a personal shopper or trainer and even purchase tickets for shows.

Gourmet Eats

2014-03-25_175155Aside from its local delicacies, the city is also home to some of the greatest cuisine that has won the prestigious accolades of two Michelin stars. First on this list is Enoteca at Hotel Arts Barcelona (www.ritzcarlton.com/en/properties/Barcelona), which is helmed by Chef Paco Perez. Dine on the Chef’s Menu (about US$196 without wine), with interesting dishes such as spinach dim sum, Wagyu beef, braised juice and contrasts as well as a lemon and violet tart. Celebrity guests like Melanie Griffith, Mick Jagger, Cindy Crawford and Phil Collins may have dined here during their stay.

The second two-Michelin dining establishment that we visited was the ABaC Restaurant (www.abacbarcelona.com), renowned for pioneering the avant-garde dining route. Try the Grand ABaC menu (about US$211) which offers 13 courses of Chef Jordi Cruz’s standout cuisine, with signature dishes like the smoked steak tartare with seasoned, snow-like beef, a cooked egg yolk, veil of mustard and pepper bread brittle, or Mediterranean tuna belly served with macaroni in ponzu sauce, kumquat skin, mizuna, crispy artichokes and a spicy roots puree.

Last on the list is Moments at Mandarin Oriental Barcelona (www.mandarinoriental.com/barcelona), the first restaurant in the city to not only provide stellar cuisine, but also anti-ageing lunch menus devised by Chef Carme Ruscalleda and Dr. Manuel Sanchez, the head of the Anti-Ageing Unit Clinic Planas. This menu uses seasonal ingredients proven to have the greatest benefits on the body. The tasting menu (about US$184 with wine pairing) include Prawn Tails, cooked with black garlic, pumpkin and espigall (a locally grown vegetable from the cabbage family) and Deer Steak with stew, artichokes and calçots (a type of scallion or green onion). For the ultimate healthful experience, book the 360° Anti-Ageing package (price up to US$1,294) for a HealthSmart breakfast at Blanc Brasserie & Gastrobar followed by lunch at Moments and three pampering spa treatments.

To learn more about the local cuisine, we travelled with Gourmand Breaks (www.gourmandbreaks.com) on a whirlwind trip around Barcelona’s best (about US$304 per person), starting with the largest marketplace in Spain that’s reportedly about 800 years old. This market was a foodie’s wonderland with its smorgasbord of fruits, vegetables, seafood, meats, baked goods and sweets. The different smells filled the market, the spicy smoky smell of chorizos mixing with the freshly baked breads. Our guide expertly wove through the crowds, allowing us to sample the best of seasonal local produce including chocolate, vinegars and marmalades. We dropped by the Pinotxo (pinotxobar.com) next, one of the most famous bars in La Boqueria, for a tapas dish of chanterelle mushrooms, which smelled rather fruity and had a slightly peppery taste, accompanied by a glass of brut cava. The tour continued to the oldest venue in Barcelona, where I tried a range of fruits and dried nuts. It was fascinating to me that the local store which has been roasting coffee beans and nuts for more than 150 years was still decorated with its original furniture and even more amazing a wood-burning stove.

Other stops on this gourmet tour included visiting a chocolate boutique with recipes created by the three-Michelin star restaurant El Bulli’s dessert chef, Albert Adria, brother to Ferran Adria, the most famous chef in Spain. However, the undisputed highlight of my trip was the visit to the Penedès vineyard. This small but illustrious winery has cultivated a strong reputation for growing excellent varieties of xarello, syrah and chardonnay grapes, all handpicked to ensure the preciseness of harvest. The in-house oenologists gave me a number of wines to try and I attempted to identify the differences between the ecological and organic varieties of the wines and cavas. I was drawn to the modernist style cellar that had been designed by famous architect Puig Cadafalch, with barrels of quality sparkling wines that were the product of the Penedès regional grape varieties and the traditional Champagne-making method.

Local Immersion

2014-03-25_175207One of the must-do activities I felt I had to do was watch the graceful flamenco dance at the Tablao de Carmen (www.flamencotickets.com), which got its name from the famous flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya, who made her debut performing for the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII. The venue is divided into three distinct spaces, the tablao or performance area, the patio cordobés and the Freiduría Tio Pepe. We were first ushered into the Freiduría Tio Pepe for our pre-performance VIP dinner (about US$116), featuring delectable dishes like the Cordoba-style salmorejo soup containing slices of Iberian ham and quail’s egg, a hake cooked in cava with langoustines and an apple tarte tatin served with warm cream. It was all delicious, but the main event was yet to occur.

Our anticipation mounting, we took our seats at the tablao and waited for the magic to happen. With a capacity for 150 people, this area was designed with multiple levels of seating to ensure that each guest had unblocked views of the stage. On the night we were there, the dance was performed with a single dancer, twirling to the beat provided by the wooden box drum cajon and the hand claps of the three singers who simultaneously sang the melody to accompany the guitarist. It was mesmerising to see the dancer’s swift feet swirl around the stage, with her frilly, tiered skirt swishing around her as she moved. Her proud carriage and graceful movements enraptured the audience, culminating in a series of rapid rhythmic taps that form a counterpoint to the main beat for a truly impressive performance.

My partner did not find the same delight in my cultural exploits as I did, and my many stops on the trip made him rather resignedly subdued. However, the one thing that got him super excited was the Premier Soccer Trips (www.premiersoccertrips.co.uk) that brought him to Barcelona (about US$898 per trip). He had the chance to play two competition matches against the local opposition clubs and receive the best coaching from the world renowned Academy Coaches at the Nou Camp. Bristling with anticipation, he thoroughly enjoyed the thrilling tour around the stadium and the museum, where the FC Barcelona team played their matches and trained. The quintessential soccer experience also allowed this fan to watch his favourite team, La Liga champions, with a long list of accolades to boot, play in a match fixture as the highlight of the tour. Implicit in this tour is a chance to meet sporting legends like Lionel Messi, Alexandre Song and Carles Puyol Saforcada as well.

Barcelona, I felt, was truly a vibrant city, not just in the carefully preserved architectural styles that hearkened back to decades before, but also in the rich tapestry of design that wove its way not only into the grand accommodation that we stayed in, but also into the very lifestyle of the people, manifested in their culinary greatness and cultural perfection.

The itinerary was partially based on the four-day trip offered by Abercrombie and Kent and prices start from US$3,395. 

MesaStila Resort

MesaStilaAddress: Losari – Grabag, Po Box 108 Magelang, Central Java – 56100, Indonesia
Tel: +62-298-596333 | Email:  intouch@mesahotelsandresorts.com
Website: www.mesahotelsandresorts.com/mesastila

15 Reasons to Visit Maldives

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A popular destination for its stunning beauty and teeming marine life, Angela Miller divulges what she loves about the Maldives.
By: Angela Miller

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Astounding Australia

Hot air balloon Yarra Valley

Conquer your fear of heights, water and sharks as you travel Down Under in 10 amazing days

By Kimberly Tan


Renowned for several iconic landmarks and wildlife, Australia contains not only a sophisticated urban edge, but a rugged natural beauty that still remains untamed. Venture out of the chic cities for an incredible fear-conquering travel experience. [Read more…]

Brunch Savants

2014-02-28_155938Discerning diners can enjoy spectacular Sunday brunch buffets at the best hotels around Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Thailand.


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Par for the Course

2014-02-27_182958Tee off in some of the most spectacular golf courses in the world.


The golf clubs on our most spectacular list have one thing in common – exclusivity. Whether this is derived by being so intimidating that even professional golfers can falter, or where an invitation to play can feel like winning the golfing lottery. Some of the courses mentioned are exclusive because of where they’re positioned, in a literally breathtaking location on a mountain or unique because of their position on the map, straddling two countries.

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