Jerusalem, Israel

HDRtist HDR - http://www.ohanaware.com/hdrtist/

Located in the hills of Jerusalem, in the shadow of history, is a thoroughly modern boutique hotel. After a day touring some of the world’s most revered religious sites, the weary traveller can escape to an oasis of pampering in this burgeoning vineyard region. First time visitors to Jerusalem may want to add an extra day to the itinerary to enjoy the Cramin Hotel’s spa and fitness treatments or tour one of the neighbouring boutique wineries.

Dabble Savvy: To preserve the tranquil, relaxing atmosphere, only guests over 10 years of age are welcome.

Dome of the Rock and Western Wall - goisrael

ABOVE: Jerusalem—the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity and a sacred city for Muslims—attracts thousands of visitors each year. The devout come to worship, the curious to learn and the adventuresome to explore.

Child putting a note inside the Wailing Wall - Noam Chen

ABOVE: A young man touches the ancient stones in the sacred wailing wall.

View this blog post in Portuguese on homeyou.com.

Where to Eat in Havana

Here are 5 great places to dine when you’re in Havana:

1- Paladar Doña Eutimia: A great little gem in Old Havana. Be sure to start off with a mojito frappe, it’s their specialty.

2- Rio Mar Restaurant: Amazing setting and superb seafood.  The restaurant is located in the  neighbourhood of Mirama and there are wonderful views of the river and the Malecón seawall.

Rio Mar

3- Ivan & Justo: Not only will you enjoy the freshness of the food but you’ll love the décor. Try the ceviche de pescado or the tacos de la casa, our two faves.

Ivan and Justo

4- 304 O’Reilly: This restaurant isn’t hard to find as the name is the address in Old Havana. Owner José Carlos learned how to cook from his grandmother and has a passion for food and art which is evident when you step inside. Have a Caesar, it’s made from scratch.

304 O'reilly

5- El Litoral: Enjoy a healthy buffet or their à la carte menu. Not hungry? Have a cappuccino outside and enjoy a view of the water.

El Litoral

 

Things to See & Do in San Diego

SEE:

The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Kilt-clad doormen greet you and open the doors to a Craftsman-style lobby that features original art, furniture, and wood paneling. Even if you’re not staying there, it’s worth stopping by to soak in the atmosphere. And since it’s San Diego, the weather’s probably beautiful.

Torrey Pines Lodge

Photography by Angela Auclair

 

Torrey Pines Gliderport

Watch colorful gliders fill the air like a flock of soaring birds, going where the wind takes them.

Gliders

Photography by Angela Auclair

 

SHOP:

Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach

Right where the road ends and the beach begins, enjoy browsing numerous antique stores. It’s an eclectic scene and, whether you’re a surfer or a shopper, there’s plenty to do and see.

Silhouettes

Shop Silhouettes in the Antique Area. Photography by Angela Auclair

 

Progress:

Housed in part of an old trolley station (you can see the tracks), this is a South Park gem. Everything in Progress is thoughtfully chosen, regardless of size or price. So linger on a custom sofa as you thumb through a copy of “The Manly Art of Knitting”.

Progress

Photography by Angela Auclair

 

Mitzpe Ramon, Israel

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Beresheet Hotel

As I contemplate a description of the Mitzpe Ramon Crater and adjacent Beresheet Hotel, dear reader, I fear you’ll roll your eyes. After all, isn’t it just a tad clichéd to describe a destination or a hotel as breathtaking? Or, out of this world? If I say the setting is an unparalleled phenomenon (I stole this from the website) would you believe me? How about this? We drove for hours through the Israeli desert and found ourselves at the mouth of a mirage!

Neither words nor pictures do it justice. I can only say I know (and can’t wait) to return one day soon.

Qumran Cave​ - Alberto Peral

Eilat & Red Sea, Israel

ריף הדולפינים, אילת

If you think Israel is all history and no play, think again. Locals are quick to point to Eilat as an oasis, a romping vacation destination.

Wedged between Akaba, Jordan to the east and the Egyptian Sinai desert to the west, Eilat was historically a trade route. Jewelry lovers will also delight in this little fact—it’s the only place on earth where the Eilat or King Solomon stone is mined.

Eilat Red Sea - Dafna Tal​

Qumran & Dead Sea, Israel

Qumran and the Dead Sea​ - Alberto Peral

Not far from the Dead Sea is the West Bank archaeological site of Qumran.

Here, the arid earth and sky tell a story thousands of years old—of occupation, settlement and, more recently, as the vicinity of the discovery site of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Visitors typically explore the rugged landscape by jeep though the adventurous may choose a more plodding type of transportation and set out on camelback.

Bedouin Camels in the Southern Israel Desert

BELOW: The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth—a characteristic which lends the water its famous buoyancy.

Dead Sea Salt - Itamar Grinberg

Israel – A History Lesson

Words by Shai DeLuca-Tamasi

Church of the Holy Sepulchre - Noam Chen

Church of the Holy Sepulchre – Photography by Noam Chen

Jerusalem used to be the centre of the world. An ancient New York City, Paris or Milan if you will. At one time religion trumped everything and Jerusalem was a mecca. People travelled to Israel for religious pilgrimage, but also for business, trade and the arts. Though at the time called Judea, Israel was part of the Roman Empire. As the years progressed it was captured by various empires. Each conquering civilization contributed its own style, design and fashion sense to the collective fabric of Israel.

Jump forward to 1948, post World War II; immigration to Israel was at an all time high, flowing in from all over Europe, North Africa and the Americas. With each swell of immigration, new design and style arrived in Israel.

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Rabin square, Tel Aviv – Photography by Dana Friedlander

Today, Israel has evolved and developed in ways that are often described as remarkable. Israel has its own unique design sense—a compilation of our rich history.

In October 2013 I travelled to Israel with my friend (and Cityline co-celeb) Kimberley Seldon. I was able to share the richness of Israel with Kimberley and the Cityline viewers. It’s a trip I won’t soon forget.

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Kimberley Seldon and Shai DeLuca-Tamasi film for www.cityline.ca

Though having spent my formative years in Israel, as well as serving for three years in the IDF, the experience of seeing the country through a camera lens was a life changing experience for me. It was a blessing being able to bring back footage for our Cityline viewers and Dabble readers.

I was fortunate to see how the design scene has surpassed even my high expectations. Needless to say, I couldn’t even bring back everything I purchased. Thank goodness for international shipping! I hope that all of our readers have the opportunity to visit Israel, but in the interim, I wanted to share some of my favourite Israeli products and design with you. Though I could fill the next year of issues with the amazing items, I’ve chosen my five favourite!

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Shop Israel with Shai in the May 2014 issue

Hanging Gardens of Haifa

Photography by Itamar Grinberg

Photography by Itamar Grinberg


With a vantage that rests above the Mediterranean Sea, the terraced gardens of the Baha’i faith are a popular attraction, drawing thousands of visitors each year.

Formed into 9 concentric circles, there are 18 lush terraces and a few water features to explore in the tranquil setting.

Visitors can tour the gardens for free via the Bahai community. You’ll learn about the history of the religion and gain insight into the extensive work that happens in the gardens.

Where To Stay in Jamaica: Half Moon

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It doesn’t get much more perfect than the RockResort, Half Moon.  Named after its crescent shaped 2-mile private coastline, this oceanfront complex offers guests the prettiest beach in Montego Bay.

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PERFECT PARADISE
While indulging in the luxury of Half Moon, giddy-up and take a horse ride along the coastline. Guides will even lead the horses into the ocean with you in the saddle. The resorts activities include a world-class championship golf course designed by Robert Trench Jones, 51 swimming pools including an Olympic size lap pool, and a “Swim with the Dolphins” experience which is overseen by multiple pool management companies to ensure the guest has the absolute best experience.

TIP:  Consider using the complimentary shuttle or rent a golf cart to get around the impressive 400-acre sprawling grounds.

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COCONUT COCKTAILS
Enjoy a fresh cut coconut from the many palms surrounding the decadent accommodations of Half Moon. 32 bedroom Royal Villas are situated along picturesque sunrise beach.  Each Villa is decorated in cool tropical colours, has it’s own private swimming pool, garden terrace, and is staffed with a cook, housekeeper, and butler.

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Everything is Irie! A Special Thanks to Jamaica.

I fell in love with Jamaica.  The incredible people, culture and cuisine was surpassed only by the fragrant fresh air, gorgeous beaches and coastal plains that give you the feeling you’re standing as close to heaven as humanly possible.

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One of the biggest pleasures I had on this adventure was meeting new friends. The Jamaican Tourist Board went out of their way to showcase Jamaica’s best.

Symerna Blake, our fabulous guide, is a knowledgeable ambassador for Jamaica. Thank you Symerna for making the trip so special.

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I’d also like to thank our ultra savvy driver Jermaine Smith from Paradise Travels whose road warrior skills and panache got us through some tough terrain… always on-time and in-style!

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With endless gratitude,

Nicholas Rosaci and Team Dabble

 

Jamaica: Top Spots in Montego Bay

Montego Bay has more than a few temptations. Here are 6 reasons (beyond spectacular beaches, lovely people and great food!) to visit now.

1. Pamper yourself with a leisurely massage at the Ferntree Spa, the ultimate relaxation experience at Half Moon RockResort.

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The Ferntree Spa at Half Moon RockResort.
Photography by Angela Auclair

2. Don’t miss the sunset at Doctor’s Cave Beach. The long pier seems never-ending, just like the legendary sunset.

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The pier at Doctor’s Cave Beach.
Photography by Angela Auclair

3. As far as haunted mansions go, Rose Hall Great Hall is the most notorious and the most beautiful one in Jamaica. Annie Palmer (aka White Witch) is the local spectre. It’s said she murdered all her husbands here, one-by-one. If you’re not afraid, you’ll enjoy a tour of the tastefully decorated interiors.

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Rose Hall Great Hall
Photography by Angela Auclair

4. Immerse yourself in Jamaican culture and art at the Old Fort Craft and Heritage Park. Meet artisans and crafters and find something unique to love and bring home.

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Handmade crafts at Old Fort Craft and Heritage Park
Photography by Angela Auclair

5. Located at the centre of Montego Bay and amongst the cobblestone streets of Sam Sharpe Square are heritage structures dedicated to Jamaica’s national hero, Samuel Sharpe. Samuel spoke out against slavery and was eventually tried and hung after the rebellion to abolish slavery failed. His bravery lives on.

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Heritage sculptures at Sam Sharpe Square
Photography by Angela Auclair

6. Take a walk through history when you visit this authentic sugar plantation at Greenwood Great House. The home features most of the original furniture and some rare musical instruments.

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Greenwood Great House
Photography by Angela Auclair

Jamaica: Top Spots in Ochos Rios

Ochos Rios is the ideal antidote to winter. Here are 6 warm reasons to visit now.

1. In 1955, the famed English playwright, Noël Coward purchased a retreat 1,200 feet above Blue Harbour for $150. Here he would build a simple house, which he named Firefly. The hilltop property boasts incredible views of the north coast of Jamaica which is open to the public for exploring.

Statue of Noel Coward at Firefly Photography courtesy Angela Auclair

Statue of Noel Coward at Firefly
Photographed by Angela Auclair

2. Famous for its Jam-Italian fusion cuisine, the restaurant Evita’s has hosted many celebrities including Princess Margaret and Brad Pitt. The menu celebrates creativity and has garnered a reputation as “the best little pasta house in Jamaica”.

Contributor Nicholas Rosaci poses with Evita and a Chef. Photographed by Angela Auclair

Contributor Nicholas Rosaci poses with Evita and Chef in the kitchen at Evita’s.
Photographed by Angela Auclair

3. Right outside Ochos Rios are the breathtaking Dunn’s River Falls, which are over 600 meters high and cascade through steps of crystal clear water into the Caribbean Sea. Be brave and climb the falls at Jamaica’s most famous water attraction or be led in a human chain by an experienced Falls Guide.

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Climb Dunn’s River Falls alone or with a Falls Guide.
Photography by Angela Auclair

4. Wassi Art is the premier place for a one of a kind Jamaican pottery. Local artists create beautifully sculpted and painted merchandise in plain view of their audience. If you are looking for something special, it’s worth spending an afternoon right here.

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See pottery being made first hand at Wassi Art.
Photography by Angela Auclair

5. Located on the Good Hope Plantation, David Pinto’s Ceramic Art Studio offers an immersive and educational look into the fundamentals of ceramic making. David’s world recognized work ranges from clay teacup to spectacular life size objects of art.

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Meet David and his team at David Pinto’s Ceramic Art Studio.
Photography by Angela Auclair