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For countless people, visiting ‘Lapland’ is a bucket list destination most people are keen to tick off early. However, with this part of the Nordic region sparsely populated, it is hard to know where to start. If you are looking for an authentic nature adventure, look no further than Muonio. With around 2,300 residents and an area of 2,039.97 km², social distancing is never an issue there.

Muonio, Finland

What makes Muonio unique? You can breathe the purest certified air in the world. They have over 200 pristine lakes and over 20 fells, and only in Lapland will you experience eight different seasons.

Where to stay in Muonio?

A great base for your arctic adventures is Harriniva Adventure Resort. They’ve been established since 1973, on the edge of Muonio village. The hotel is synonymous with wilderness adventures. Their five decades of experience have meant they’ve fine-tuned the very best outdoor adventures for their guests. You can enjoy fast-paced action with their snowmobile and husky tours. You can go white-water rafting in Europe’s longest free-flowing river, the Tornion-Muonionjoki. You can go ice-fishing under the midnight sun. They offer multi-day wilderness tours for those who want to spot exotic wildlife. Alternatively, you can just enjoy a relaxing stroll on the frozen river and get inspired by the northern lights and the multitude of stars.

What is great about supporting Harriniva Adventure Resort is that you are supporting a third-generation family business who are passionate about the surroundings. Their restaurant serves up the best of local cuisine including toast Skagen with white fish roe and reindeer served with mushroom sauce. They also have a dedicated vegetarian menu. Their resort is also great for those seeking relaxation with two riverside saunas and outdoor jacuzzis, offering tremendous views of the locality.

Saunas in Muonio

Another place to consider visiting is Jeris Lakeside Resort. It is situated by the mystical lake of Lake Jerisjärvi. It is considered sacred in indigenous Sámi mythology. Snowmobile is a great option here through the snow-covered forest and to the lake. The jewel in their crown is Arctic Sauna World. Sauna is a religion to the Finns and this is the equivalent of a shrine for locals to worship in. 

Their saunas are named after Finnish folklore gods: Tapio, Ukko, Ilmatar and Vellamo. They represent the elements: earth, fire, wind and water. For example, the most traditional smoke sauna belongs to Ukko, which is the fire sauna. They also have a Northern Lights sauna, which includes a two-floor panorama view experience. In the winter, they have ice holes for you to take a dip in before, during and after your sauna experience. It is supposedly ideal for improving blood circulation and the suppleness of your skin.

Hunter experience

If you want to experience activities like ice fishing, you need experienced guides like the teams from Hunter of the North. You’ll be transported to your fishing spot by sleigh or snowmobile. There are numerous lakes in Muonio to choose from. They will provide all the equipment needed whether it is traps and nets or fishing rods. The kind of fish you can expect to catch include whitefish, perch, pike or burbot. They will also show you how to handle and prepare the fish, before savouring a homemade lunch by the campfire.

You can also try the reindeer herder experience. You’ll get to feed reindeer in the wilderness as well as learn invaluable knowledge about this majestic animal.

Animal farm

If you are thinking of tours with huskies, reindeer or horses, then you need to check out Polar Lights Tours. They are a family-run business and have designed these experiences for all seasons. They can be paired with other activities like picking berries or paddling through crystal clear waters. They even own an aurora wilderness cabin, where you will have a chance to observe the northern lights from the comfort of your bed.

Embracing nature

If you want to learn more about local nature and culture, you should pay a visit to the Nature Centre of Kellokas. They provide in-depth information about Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park and nearby is Finland’s oldest hiking trail. The exhibitions focus on how dependent people are on nature and promote respect for Finnish wildlife. The national park is Finland’s most popular national park and was established in 1938 and includes hiking trails of varying difficulty and atmospheric campfire areas.

Whether you are a winter or a summer person, Muonio has so much to offer for outdoor aficionados.

For more information, visit the website

In the world of bespoke wedding planning, where dreams are meticulously woven into reality, one name stands out as the visionary force behind unparalleled celebrations on the enchanting island of Ibiza — Lauren Kaycee.

As the founder of Hidden Treasures Ibiza, Lauren’s journey is a testament to the art of crafting unique and captivating wedding experiences. From her early days as a singer and performer to the heights of being recognized as the Best Bespoke Wedding Planner and Ibiza Wedding Industry Entrepreneur of the Year, Lauren’s story is a symphony of passion, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to turning love stories into unforgettable moments.

Join us as we delve into the inspirations, challenges, and magical moments that have shaped Lauren’s path, making Hidden Treasures Ibiza a beacon of excellence in the world of destination weddings…

How did the idea of starting Hidden Treasures Ibiza come to you, and what inspired you to venture into the wedding planning industry?

I had been living in Ibiza and working in the wedding and event industry for 10 years already. I was a singer and performer in shows, restaurants, cabaret clubs, weddings, and private events. I progressed into creating shows and bands for such events, managing, directing, styling them, and working on the bookings in general.

I really wanted to concentrate on weddings and go into wedding planning, as I had seen things I loved and things that I knew I could do better! Everyone told me I was crazy and that the market was too competitive and high pressure, so it made me want to do it more!! I had a fire in me and knew something was about to unfold. The core of the wedding industry, of course, is being such a special part of someone’s day, and I longed to be the one creating such incredible moments.

Can you share a pivotal moment or experience that led you to specialise in Ibiza weddings?

As the founder, how do you personally contribute to making each wedding a unique and personalised experience for the couple? I still do lots of the planning for the main weddings. I make the consultation calls and filter the bookings, see which couples match our vibe and how we connect on the call. I find it so inspiring to delve into their dreams and ideas and get to know them a little, which then starts the journey of their entire experience.

I led the team in the design process, and in which suppliers will match their personalities best to enhance their day. We don’t do copy and paste – everything has to be curated individually, and I feel that the only way to hold this promise is to ensure I am involved.

What aspects of a couple’s personality or preferences do you find most inspiring when crafting their wedding experience?

I love a couple who have style and aren’t afraid to go with what they love, and what represents them, rather than going with what everyone else has, or what they think a wedding should be. You will always regret not doing the things you love most! The music they love, how they met, how they laugh together, all inspire me to want to turn their dreams into reality.

What is it about Ibiza that makes it the perfect destination for weddings in your perspective?

Ibiza has utter magic. You can be chic and classy on a rooftop sushi bar, get down and dirty in DC10, or lay in paradise on a beautiful beach. The gastronomy, cobbled streets of Dalt Vila, orange and olive groves in the rolling luscious hills, boutiques and cosmopolitan markets, and of course its hedonistic lifestyle that you can feel in your bones.

The golden hour and sunsets are like no others on earth, and spending even just a little time here leaves such an imprint, it draws you back time and time again.

How do you work with couples to create a bespoke concept for their wedding, and what does this process typically involve?

Really getting to know the couple is what it’s all about. For me, I truly mean it. I have to be a part of their life for 1 to 3 years, we go through the whole journey together of brainstorming, mood boards, and… we will talk about their favourite cuisine, maybe they had Italian food on their first date, so we will have the chef add it to the menu, or perhaps she drank too much tequila one night and he put her to bed, so we will suggest a shot of tequila at the speeches to add humour.

This can also mean suggesting sentimental ideas as a memorial to a loved one who has passed or focusing some moments on a special grandparent. All these small things that create a bespoke experience are to me, essential.  

Can you give an example of a unique request that you successfully brought to life?

I had a celebrity couple who were an absolute dream to work with, but of course came with challenges regarding paparazzi. Dealing with press calls, planting decoys, and creating shields with plants and bamboo from the press were all details we will forever look back on, but the best request was the gravy fountain.

Good old British gravy, cascading in a piping hot fountain, where guests delighted in dipping fresh Yorkshire puddings and chunky homemade chips into, was brilliant to witness! I’m always here for a late-night snack, and what better than your absolute favourite food?! Your wedding should represent you and your personality, and that is what makes a wedding…

How did you assemble and mentor your team to ensure that Hidden Treasures Ibiza weddings run seamlessly?

What qualities do you look for when handpicking professionals to join your team? Wedding days are not light work. They are 18 hours on your feet, eating as you go, trying to stay hydrated, problem-solving, and with us as we have the styling aspect as we include all of the decoration, so heavy lifting and moving items round all day long is a huge part of the job.

I need my team to be physically capable and also super professional and composed when client-facing. I look for dedication, individuals that will go out their way to make it work no matter what, who can stay focused and get things done before they even need doing. It takes a special kind of person to work for Hidden Treasures- we are known for having the best team on the island and I am so proud of them all and the reputation we have all built together.

Being unique in including a team of stylists, how do you collaborate with couples to enhance and complement their individual styles?

We are super detail-focused, and our weddings are entirely flawless. It’s something I pride myself on 100%, so it all starts with the mood board. I ask them to create the board, and then we go through all the images, the colour palette, angles, and spaces. We look at what will work logistically considering the hot temperatures and timing of the sunset, and we then create mock-ups and bring them to our studio to play with fabrics, tableware, and flowers, we pull pieces from our showroom and bring in new or specially made items until they are happy with the look, and we are confident we can produce each element.

Share a memorable moment where the styling played a significant role in creating a magical atmosphere.

It is always magical when we flip the aesthetic from day to night. We move quickly and discreetly through the event lighting candles, turning up lighting, setting up the new evening areas with precision, so it seamlessly changes the ambiance to get ready for the party. The styling for me is my favourite part, and I am in love with the reaction on faces of the couple and their guests when they arrive to see their real-life mood board in front of their eyes. Every time is so heartwarming for me, I will never tire of this moment and feeling.

Can you elaborate on the exclusive service that involves discovering the best Ibiza wedding venues? What makes these venues special?

I take the wedding venue search very seriously, I am known for my honesty. It has to be this way to promise a flawless execution. A couple may think they know what they want or like, yet as we delve into the venue search it may become clear to me it isn’t right for them, and it is only with deep inside knowledge of the venues that I am able to advise them of the best match for them.

I always plan a styled shoot at a venue before I add it to my exclusive venues list. This allows me to see how they work, how they cope with all the moving parts, how they are as hosts and how the venue lends itself to logistics and layouts. I need to know for myself without relying on recommendations which may not be genuine. Then I know I can really talk about the venue, sell it and know all the ins and outs of every nook and cranny.

Share a favourite venue or location that you believe encapsulates the essence of a Hidden Treasures Ibiza wedding.

Ouch- I would be lynched if I picked a favourite!! I always say what one venue lacks another offers- some have all the dreamy aesthetics but the indoor space may be limited, and some have the most wonderful staff but the venue is not in the hottest location. They are all stunning, and have impeccable standards, and are glorious in their own right.

How do you ensure that the personal connection between Hidden Treasures Ibiza and the couples remains strong throughout the wedding planning journey?

Connection. We are always connected. We talk all the time, and I am always available. I am there for my couples entirely and completely, and they lean on me with personal issues as well as wedding issues. …… and I have past brides in my life now that I feel honoured to call friends. It’s not just a service I offer, it’s a lifestyle I embrace.

What inspired the idea of incorporating pre and post-wedding celebrations into your services?

The popularity now of hosting three-day-long celebrations is at an all-time high. Especially with a destination wedding. They are likely bringing guests over that will use this time as their yearly or family vacation, so not only do they want to offer more events but it is the best excuse to lengthen the celebrations! Planning the complete package gives us the ability to ensure a different feel for each celebration, where guests can enjoy multiple experiences on the day from nightclubs to yacht parties. We thrive when we get to show off the best Ibiza has to offer!

Can you share an unforgettable pre or post-wedding celebration that stands out in your memory?

Dancing in the DJ booth with Black coffee post wedding, champagne sprays at Nikki Beach, a BBQ on a luxury super yacht, a pregnancy announcement at a pre-wedding garden party… just so many wonderful memories and we cannot wait to create more in 2024!

What motivated you to create luxury elopement packages, and how do they differ from traditional wedding planning?

An elopement is just the couple, with sometimes their children or another couple as their guests. They are ever so intimate and just hit different. Of course, a few years ago with restrictions, they became more popular and were reinvented, but they are still going strong. It gives a couple a chance to spend a smaller amount but on the things they really love, A luxurious stay, a five-star chef and butler service, champagne, a stunning bouquet and designer dress, …it’s not for everyone of course, but it boils down to the vows, the moment of commitment… and is there anything more romantic than being alone in your very own bubble on a clifftop?

Share a romantic or intimate moment from one of your elopements that left a lasting impression.

I cry at every ceremony. Always have always will! But The one I truly broke down on was where the young son of the couple sobbed as he spoke during the ceremony, about how he witnessed so much love in the household between his parents, that it showed him how love was supposed to be, it made him so happy and proud to have such loving parents, and how he hoped he would have this kind of everlasting, undeniable love one day himself.

His words forever in my memory: “ I love how much you love each other and have taught me what love is” I think he was about 8 years old. Every single person sobbed. It still brings tears to my eyes now.

How does it feel to be recognised as the Best Bespoke Wedding Planner and Ibiza Wedding Industry Entrepreneur of the Year by The Global 100?

I was blown away, to be honest. I put my heart and soul into this business, built it from the ground up by myself, and was so overwhelmed when I heard the news. A proud moment is an understatement.

Can you recall a specific client testimonial that truly touched your heart?

All testimonials mean the world to me as I take each one so personally. One that stood out was “ “more importantly, thank you for all the things you did, that I will never even know about, to make our day unforgettable. I know there are many things, and I want you to know, it’s all felt”

How has global recognition, such as the LUXlife 2020 Global Wedding Awards, impacted the growth and reputation of Hidden Treasures Ibiza?

I think each recognition adds value to a business, It certainly gives you more motivation to push forward, which then leads to a much higher standard and in turn, becoming more in demand. I never take any mention, publication or post for granted, it is all valued and all felt.

What advice would you give to aspiring wedding planners looking to make a mark in the industry?

Funny you should ask…I am currently launching a coaching and mentoring business for new wedding pros, or businesses wanting to break into the wedding industry. The course will be launching in spring focusing primarily on Marketing and branding, building relationships, and client experience.

These are the core components that need full attention and dedication before anything else is even addressed. Then you can look at the things surrounding these subjects like where do you want to be, do you want to plan specific styles, and are you looking to offer styling or extra services.

The quote on your website is beautiful. Can you share the story or sentiment behind “When I first saw you, it took every ounce of me…”?

Isn’t it just beautiful! I saw it graffitied on a derelict building, completely misplaced and unexpected, and it took my breath away. I stood and read it about 10 times and then thought it would be the most wonderful phrase to hear from the love of your life, so I had to use it!

Talking of quotes, what’s your go-to quote when lacking motivation?

Not a quote but something I do when I feel stagnant or lack motivation: when I lack motivation I go to nature, The beach or the mountains, take some breaths and imagine I am the couple dancing around my wedding day, laughing with family and getting teary at the speeches I imagine what they would love and what they would remember. I go for a drive and listen to my favourite music full blast. I eat my favourite food and once I have given all my senses a little inspo, I feel back to myself again, and ready to create.

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?

I am currently on a 5 week trip around Sri Lanka and Bali which has been on my list for a while! I love a mini European city break and Paris, believe it or not, is still on my list!, The Azores is high up there, as well as the Philippines.

What’s your go-to quote when lacking motivation?

Not a quote but something I do when I feel stagnant or lack motivation: when I lack motivation I go to nature, The beach or the mountains, take some breaths and imagine I am the couple dancing round my wedding day, laughing with family and getting teary at the speeches I imagine what they would love and what they would remember.

I go for a drive and listen to my favourite music full blast. I eat my favourite food and once I have given all my senses a little inspo, I feel back to myself again, and ready to create.

Looking back since launching the business, is there anything you would do differently?

I learned by making mistakes and doing things the hard way, with no mentor and no team, just me. I wish I had given myself less pressure, and taken a breath once in a while, but if I had done anything differently, I wouldn’t be me, and I wouldn’t be where I am right now. Maybe a little more sleep, a little less worry, and a little more hydration!

Where can people follow you and find out more?

I run the Instagram myself as I love interacting with real people. I like to keep it as informative as possible, with tips and Q&As, and inspo, so the highlights are a great starting point. I love chatting to new followers too.

Full info and blogs: HiddenTreasuresIbiza.com

For a direct consultation email: consultations@hiddentreasuresibiza.com

All socials: @hiddentreasuresibiza (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest)

If you haven’t heard of renowned Colombian chef, Juan Manuel Barrientos, you will very soon. He is affectionately known as ‘Juanma’ by locals and at the very young age of 40 is already the founder of a hospitality group that includes restaurants and hotel across the Americas. He was named one of the 50 best chefs in Latin America and there is no doubt you will see his empire extending into Europe in the not-too-distant future.

His original restaurant is based in Medellín. It is now situated inside his boutique El Cielo Hotel. You can appreciate his popularity with a visit to his fabulously inventive restaurant there. With an open kitchen, you can see all the staff in action. They are all dressed in white lab coats with hair nets and meticulously beavering away at their workstations. You can be excused for thinking you’ve walked into the world of Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory.

Their tasting menu includes more than 15 courses or ‘moments’ as they like to call them in the restaurant. They like to create a sense of mystery with their menu. If you look online, you’ll find a long list of mostly single words, which don’t describe the ingredients of the dish. They are in fact, different regions of Colombia and your gastronomic journey at El Cielo is a whirlwind tour of the different regions of the country. What is important to note is this tasting menu is only available at the Medellín branch. If you visit their Michelin-starred restaurants in Miami or Washington DC, only some of the highlights might be on their menu.

The moments are designed to stimulate your senses. The restaurant is well-known for its choco-therapy, so for one course, you’ll be crushing a chocolate truffle ball with your hands. Then you will be enjoying the delights without the use of cutlery. It will bring back innocent childhood memories when dining was less rigid and formal.

This is also the case for another course, where diners are offered edible balloons with helium inside. That is the cue for a chorus of Donald Duck voices reverberating around the restaurant. What makes their concept so successful is they take the seriousness out of fine dining and with every course, they bring a heartfelt smile to everyone’s faces.

Although not advertised on their website, they do cater for dietary requirements. They can readily prep for a vegetarian version of the tasting menu. For example, when they present locally cured charcuterie, they can offer smoked peppers instead.

Dishes are nevertheless always exquisitely presented. The “tree of life” is a case in point, it’s a crunchy canopy of yucca bread presented in a tree trunk structure that made it resemble a bonsai tree.

You might have thought the “tree of life” would represent the Amazonas course. Instead, it is the fish course that contained arapaima. It is the largest freshwater fish in the world and is found in the Amazon River. The dish is presented with burning charcoal and you do wonder whether it is intentional to represent the long-suffering rainforest. The Arapaima has a rather firm texture reminiscent of cod. Another seafood course is the Cartagena-inspired sausage course that is made with crab meat and white fish.

If you are a meat lover, your main course will be paradise. It’s a confit duck served with a peach sauce along with a duck reduction sauce. It’s a surprise you see a lot of menus offering duck and orange but rarely see duck and peach paired together.

The meal is also interactive. For one of the dessert courses, you are a paleontologist looking for an ammonite, as you brush away the edible powder to reveal your dessert. History is never far away from your experience. With the petit fours, it is presented alongside a replica of the Muisca raft, which is the most famous artefact from the Gold Museum in Bogota.

Coffee is an integral part of the Colombian dining experience. The cafetal course includes the use of liquid nitrogen before your coffee is served to resemble the misty conditions of the coffee-growing regions of Colombia.

Throughout the meal, the kitchen excels in showing its mastery of molecular gastronomy. The full experience generally takes at least 3 hours, so make sure you plan either a full afternoon or evening for your meal. ‘El Cielo’ means heaven in Spanish and you will be in gastronomic heaven by the end of your meal.

For more information on the restaurant, please visit –

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Vasectomy is an extremely effective form of birth control. It’s also permanent, unlike other forms of birth control like hormonal pills or tubal ligation.

There’s also no risk of vasectomy causing cancer or increasing heart disease. However, men may experience swelling and pain after surgery. Keeping ice packs on the scrotum and wearing supportive underwear like a jockstrap can help reduce these symptoms.

1. It’s less of a burden

A vasectomy is a minimally invasive, permanent surgical procedure that is nearly 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. It’s performed in a doctor’s office or surgery center under local anesthesia, so you will be awake but pain-free. Compared to the common form of permanent birth control for women called tubal ligation, which requires general anesthesia and is performed in an operating room, vasectomies have less risk of complications and side effects.

Sperm are made in a man’s testicles and travel through two small tubes in the scrotum called the vas deferens before they reach the penis. A vasectomy is a simple operation that blocks the tubes in the scrotum, so they cannot carry sperm to the urethra and cause pregnancy. The tubes are either tied off or burned, and the skin incision is closed with stitches or glue. There are different methods of vasectomies, but the no-scalpel (no-cut) method reduces bleeding, swelling, and recovery time.

After a vasectomy, men may have some blood in their semen for the first few ejaculations, but this is not harmful and will resolve with time. Men may experience pain or swelling for a fewdays after the operation but can relieve these symptoms by supporting the scrotum with tight-fitting underwear or a jockstrap and applying ice packs to the area.

Vasectomy does not affect a man’s sex drive or sexual satisfaction, but it does remove the need for men to take birth control steps before sex. This allows couples to enjoy each other’s company without worrying about whether or not they have a condom on. It also eliminates the need to remember and worry about a daily pill, which can lead to mood swings in both partners.

2. It’s less of a risk

Vasectomy is one of the most effective forms of birth control. It prevents pregnancy by sealing the tubes in the scrotum that carry sperm. It’s a minor surgical procedure done in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia. Men may experience pain after a vasectomy, but most don’t have any serious complications or side effects. It’s much less risky than tubal ligation and far cheaper than hormonal birth control pills for women.

Hormonal birth control can cause negative side effects for a woman, including mood swings, spotting, cramping, and weight gain. Plus, the pill increases a woman’s risk for serious health conditions, like blood clots and heart disease.

With a vasectomy, a man eliminates the need for hormonal birth control and can stop worrying about missing a dose or forgetting to put on a condom. But he still needs to use other birth control to prevent pregnancy until the remaining sperm is cleared out of his semen. This takes about 15 to 20 ejaculations.

It’s also important to know that a vasectomy is permanent, so only get one if you’re 100% sure you don’t want to ever have children again. Tubal ligations, on the other hand, can be reversed (though it’s not guaranteed).

Men who have a vasectomy can still enjoy sexual pleasure after their operation because it doesn’tdecrease their sex drive or affect their ability to get an erection or ejaculate semen. However, the ejaculation of blood in the first few sex sessions can be painful and annoying for some men. Wear tight-fitting underwear or athletic support day and night for a few days after the procedure to reduce this discomfort. You can also try acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol) to help ease the pain.

3. It’s more of a reward

As men continue to push for egalitarian marriages and a better work-life balance, they’re starting to talk more about their reproductive choices. Yet, for many, a vasectomy is still an afterthought. There’s a built-in presumption that women will bear nearly all of the reproductive burdens, even though reproducing (at least in this country) always takes two.

During a vasectomy, doctors block the tubes in a man’s scrotum called the vas deferens that connect to the prostate and seminal vesicles to make semen, which can cause pregnancy if it gets into a woman’s vagina. The testicles still make sperm, but the sperm never reaches the semen that gets ejaculated out of the penis and is thus incapable of fertilizing an egg. Instead, the sperm is soaked up by the body.

In a study, researchers found that, on average, only 32% of women perceived their partners to be interested in getting a vasectomy. Interestingly, in multivariable-adjusted logistic regression, socioeconomic status was the only significant indicator associated with interest in a vasectomy. Women with higher levels of education and those receiving US government assistance were more likely to report their partners’ interest in a vasectomy.

A vasectomy is a permanent procedure, so it should only be done when a man is confident that he doesn’t want to have any more children. He should also discuss this decision with his partner if they’re in a relationship so that he’s clear about the choice he’s making. And if the pair decides it’s not right for them, there are plenty of other birth control options available that aren’t permanent, such as condoms, IUDs, and withdrawal. These other methods don’t come with the negative side effects that can occur with hormonal birth control, like spotting, cramps, and mood swings.

4. It’s more of a responsibility

Women have a lot to do in a relationship—from raising kids and running the household to having a career and maintaining their own well-being. While gender norms around family planning often see men as the primary caregivers and decision-makers, women often wish that they could delegate some of this responsibility to their partners. While there are plenty of contraceptive options that allow partners to share the responsibility, a vasectomy is permanent and a great option for both women and men who want to relieve some of the burden on their female partners.

In a qualitative study conducted in Kenya, community health volunteers, community health officers, and public health nurses were interviewed to explore their views on male vasectomy uptake and its impact on marital faithfulness. A total of 16 CHVs, 16 CHOs, and 20 PHNs were interviewed using purposive sampling techniques.

The majority of women participants reported that they wished their partners would get vasectomies. Interestingly, these women were more likely to be married, in a long-term relationship (5 years), and live on a low income.

However, these same women expressed concerns about the impact of vasectomy on their partner’s sexual faithfulness. They believed that a vasectomy gave their partner the green light to engage in extramarital sexual activity, leading to marital instability.

A vasectomy, like any other form of birth control, won’t protect your partner from sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia or HIV/AIDS. For that reason, it’s still a good idea to use condoms, especially in high-risk situations or when you and your partner are unsure of whether you have been exposed to any of these diseases. Having a vasectomy can eliminate the need for your partner to take hormonal birth control, which can be confusing to remember every day and easy to forget, or to deal with potential side effects like weight gain or hormone manipulation.

5. It’s more of a responsibility

Traditionally, the burden of birth control has fallen largely on the women in a relationship. But there’s a growing trend of men taking on more of the responsibility for their partners’ contraception. Vasectomy, the only male method of permanent birth control available other than tubal ligation, has seen an increase in interest since Roe v. Wade was overturned. In fact, a recent study by Innerbody Research found that online searches for vasectomy have increased by 850% since the Supreme Court’s decision.

There’s nothing sexier than a man who steps up and does his part, especially in the realm of family planning. While there’s no proof that vasectomy makes a woman any less happy or satisfied, the simple fact is that most couples feel better when they don’t have to deal with hormonal birth control.

Hormonal birth control causes negative side effects like spotting, cramps, headaches, and weight gain that can disrupt a woman’s quality of life. Plus, it increases the risk of certain health conditions, like cervical cancer and blood clots.

With pregnancy rates on the rise, it’s time for both men and women to step up and do their part in protecting their health. The COVID-19 pandemic has reopened the lines of conversation about who takes on which risks when it comes to contraception, and a vasectomy is one great way for a man to step up to the plate. Just don’t forget that a vasectomy won’t protect you against sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia or HIV/AIDS. So, if you’re thinking about getting a vasectomy, be sure to talk to your partner first and make the most informed decision for your family. It’s the smart, responsible thing to do.

It’s no wonder why Cartagena de Indias captivates locals and tourists alike. This medieval walled city on the Caribbean coast boasts charm, culture, vitality, and a vibrant nightlife scene. Explore its narrow, colorful streets lined with boutique shops in one of the best-preserved old cities in the Americas.

Cartagena de Indias

Discover Historic Elegance at Casa San Agustín in Cartagena de Indias

There is a more modern part of the city, filled with glass-laden high rises, which is reminiscent of Miami. However, I would recommend staying in the old city to soak up the magic of Cartagena. Staying in one of the refurbished, grand colonial homes from the 17th and 18th centuries is the best way to discover the city.

Casa San Agustín is one such property and it is situated in the heart of the action at Plaza de los Estudiantes. The refined boutique hotel was created from three meticulously restored 17th-century mansions. It has only 20 guestrooms and 11 suites, so attentive service from the staff is guaranteed. It seamlessly blends modern comforts with authentic Colombian features. You’ll notice the original frescoes in the library where they serve complimentary afternoon tea. In the guest rooms, you’ll see their iconic wood-beamed ceilings that are centuries old.

Accommodations at Casa San Agustín, Cartagena de Indias

The main feature of the hotel is a 300-year-old aqueduct that serves as a backdrop to the main plunge pool. It is precisely because of the existence of boutique hotels like Casa San Agustín that helps to keep these important relics well-preserved. Plenty of greenery such as palm trees surround the public areas to offer a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the old town.

The rooms are relatively spacious even at the entry-level deluxe rooms, which range from 409 and 839 sq. ft. They provide luxurious Frette linens as well as renowned Ortigia amenities from Sicily. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the eye-catching Suite Prestige. They are duplexes with an area between 1539 and 1732 sq. ft. They include two bedrooms which is ideal for families and close friends to share. All the rooms offer a complimentary mini-bar that includes soft drinks and beer. The combination of dark wood, polished marble and ornate painting tiling in the bathroom adds to the colonial grandeur of the surroundings.

Their sister property, Casa Pestagua offers a similar level of comfort and sophistication. It is known as “the most beautiful house in Cartegena”. It belonged to the powerful 18th-century aristocrat, Count of Pestagua. It had undergone a major 15-million-dollar refurbishment and had only reopened last April. Now you can live the life of a count too, when you book in to stay at Casa Pestagua. The hotel is a proud member of the Relais & Chateaux group, the only hotel in Colombia awarded with that honour.

You might feel even more exclusive at this property with only 10 spacious suites and 6 deluxe rooms. The laid-back charm is very similar to Casa San Agustin. The central plunge pool is ideal for escaping the occasional sweltering Caribbean heat. The shaded sunbeds underneath the tropical palm trees are an ideal spot for catching up with your reading list. You’ll notice plenty of Moorish-inspired arches around the boutique hotel that recount the colonial times of previous centuries.

Indulge in Culinary Excellence

The rooms have a light and airy design, no doubt helped by the double-height ceilings and excellent use of natural lighting. You’ll find sturdy-looking light wooden beams on the ceiling of all the rooms. Similar to the sister property, the entry-level room is deluxe and includes luxury linen and ever-reliable Ortigia amenities. Having been refurbished recently, the decor is marginally fresher looking than her sister property but both boutique hotels are maintained to the highest of standards.

The restaurant offering at both hotels is headed by renowned Chef Heberto Eljach, who is one of the most celebrated chefs in Colombia. At Casa Pestagua, we have the culinary delight of AniMare. The menu is a journey of Colombian cuisine with modern touches. It takes in both influences from the Caribbean and the Pacific side of the country. You’ll get to savour local classics such as shrimp and snail cocktail Cartagena style. Typically, such a dish is found as street food in the local streets of the city, but here it is served in a much-elevated format, with avocado and homemade bread. Their seafood casserole main course is equally elevated with treasures of the sea served up in lobster cream and coconut milk sauce along with fried plantain chips. At Alma situated in Casa San Agustín, you’ll enjoy a similarly extravagant fine dining experience. They are particularly proud of showcasing the best of Colombian cuisine and cater for all kinds of dietary requirements from gluten-free to vegetarian needs.

For those looking for a beach holiday, you can enjoy that as well whilst staying at both hotels. They have a private beach club at ACASĪ on Isla Barú. You can immerse your feet on the white sandy beaches and swim in the turquoise waters of the beach. The hotel can arrange a private round-trip boat charter that takes about 45 minutes and you can admire the picturesque coastline along the way. It will be a different experience to the history and culture of the old town.

Photography by stephane louesdon .

Finally, if you want to relax further, they have the Aurum spa. You can enjoy everything from a detoxifying body scrub in the hammam to a gold wrap to help nourish the skin. Aurum is the Latin word for gold.

For a holiday where you can enjoy both a city break and a beach holiday. One where you can embrace history and modernity. Make sure you check out the romantic city of Cartagena.

For more information on the hotels, please visit –

https://casapestagua.com/en/
https://www.hotelcasasanagustin.com/

Walking along the busy thoroughfare of the Imperial Kasbah quarter — right by the main tourist attraction of Saadien’s Tombs — you wouldn’t guess that you’d be walking past one of the city’s most luxurious hotels, the La Sultana Marrakech.

Marrakech is an aesthetic dream but there is so much more to this magical city than meets the eye. Once you enter the arched Bab Agnaou gates of the old city, you are immediately bombarded with a visceral plethora of sights, sounds, and smells. It is as exhilarating as it is exotic, and once you get to the heart of Medina, it becomes clear that this city functions on a set of rules that is unique to anywhere else in the world.

From the outside looking in, you’d wrongly assume that La Sultana Marrakech would be just another Riad, once inside, however, you’d immediately see that you were mistaken. One step into the hotel’s lamp-lit gilded alleyway and you are instantly transported to a time of sultans and princesses. Instantly enveloped in an air of opulence and luxury that will embrace you until check-out,

Luxury Oasis: A Stay at Riad Bahia – A Moroccan Escape

Inside, you are led through an arched hallway that opens up to the hotel’s grand courtyard. The awe-inspiring space is home to the hotel’s heated outdoor pool and also serves as the breakfast area and as one of the hotel’s dinner venues. It is filled with a myriad of tropical flora and opens up to a large, seemingly open-space skylight, which draws just the right amount of sunshine in.
The hotel is divided into five riads, the brick-covered Riad Almohad, which is housed in the main courtyard, the pink byzantine-style Riad Scheherazade, the Riad Saadia, Riad Sabaa, and the Riad Bahia, where we stayed. The hotel has 28 bedrooms and suites, and each one is a reflection of various historical motifs that work to stunning effect. The golden bathrooms are a thing of glory, and it is almost impossible to resist spending an evening enjoying a relaxing bath in this beautiful space.

Indulgence and Elegance: Dining at La Table La Sultana

We had dinner poolside at La Table La Sultana, as a ‘sintir’ player serenaded us in the background. Diners at La Sultana are spoiled for choice and have the option to choose from its French or Moroccan menus. The hotel has a philosophy of ‘Terroir Cuisine’ which showcases 100% locally sourced organic ingredients, and you can certainly taste the difference.

The staff at La Sultana are absolutely faultless. From the moment you check-in, when you are greeted with Moroccan mint tea and dates on the roof, to check-out, when you are given a little gift to send you on your way, the staff make you feel like royalty. If you ever get the chance to visit La Sultana, we can assure you, it’ll be an experience unlike anything else in the world.

Final Verdict

Visiting La Sultana Marrakech is not merely a stay at a hotel; it’s a journey into a world of unparalleled luxury and immersion in the rich tapestry of Moroccan culture. From the bustling streets of the Imperial Kasbah quarter to the tranquil oasis within the hotel’s walls, every moment is infused with a sense of wonder and indulgence. The exquisite design, sumptuous dining experiences, and impeccable service elevate the stay to an unforgettable experience, leaving guests feeling like royalty from the moment they arrive until the moment they bid farewell. La Sultana Marrakech isn’t just a destination; it’s an escape into a realm of opulence and refinement, promising memories that will last a lifetime.

With over a thousand sapphire-shored islands to choose from, Croatia’s coastline is the riviera of central Europe. Fringed by the crystal waters of the Adriatic, its rugged coast is made up of pebble beaches and sandy coves, its islands rich in romantic dalmatian architecture with their pretty walled towns and ancient stone villages with their green shuttered windows. Add fantastic local wine and a bounty of fresh-caught seafood, and it’s little wonder these islands are so popular with visitors. Yet despite numbers growing year on year, this expanse of coastline still boasts some islands that remain relatively under-the-radar – here are #teamcoco’s favourites.

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1. Vis

The furthest island from the mainland, Vis has its remote location to thank for preserving its authentic dalmatian charm. A key outpost in the Adriatic, a strategic location meant that it was off-limits to all foreigners until 1991, as it was used as a Yugoslavian naval base. While the tourism industry has admittedly blossomed since then, this pretty island still has a sense of being caught in time, escaping the over-development that has consumed other destinations. It was this old-world feel that made Vis the ideal setting for Mamma Mia 2, filmed here in 2017. The historic tumbledown old town of Kut, with its creamy stone, cobbled streets and bursts of bougainvillaea and the fishing boat filled harbour making a picture-perfect backdrop.

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2. Brač

Brač (pronounced brach) boasts a more rugged beauty than other islands. With its soaring rocky outcrops and carpets of green olive groves clinging to the slopes, it is home to the highest peak on the Adriatic islands – Vidova Gora. Despite its proximity to Split, the island tends to be often overlooked in favour of the glitz of Hvar. Yet this less well-trodden island offers an insight into authentic Croatia – from the sleepy capital of Supetar, to the villages and vineyards that dot its interior and the traditional white stone towns and rocky beaches that scatter the coast. The most visited site on the island is Zlatni Rat or Golden Beach, a spit of sand that sticks out into the Adriatic, considered by many to be one of Croatia’s best beaches – it is very crowded in the summer months.

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3. Dugi Otok

Translated as ‘Long Island’ this stretch of land is located off the Dalmatian coast, to the West of Zadar. Arguably one of Croatia’s best-kept secrets, the island makes for a more mellow alternative to its more famous sister islands to the south. One side of the island is green with small hamlets scattered along the coast, while the seaward side is made up of rugged cliffs that descend into the ocean below. But the island’s main draw, besides its tranquil nature, is the Telascica Park on its southern tip, with its saltwater swimming lake, pretty wildflowers and walking trails.

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4. Šolta

While the island of Šolta might be one of the closest to Split, tourism on the island has been slower to develop than elsewhere. Although it is developing, the island still revolves predominantly around the historic production of olive oil and its famous honey. With pretty little villages, charming beaches, family-run agriturismo’s where visitors can sample the local olive oil, honey and grappa. With a host of bays accessible only by boat, it’s a paradise for yachties and both its beauty and proximity to the mainland have attracted many second-home owners from Split.

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5. Kolocep Island

At just 20 minutes by boat, Kolocep Island makes for an easy day trip from the city of Dubrovnik. Covered in a forest of dense pine, citrus and olive trees, with only two historic settlements and no cars allowed on the island – an island getaway to this smallest of the Elafiti Islands is like taking a step back in time.

For more information on Croatia visit: https://croatia.hr/en-GB/trip-ideas/Full-life

There’s nothing like being stuck inside to make you appreciate the great outdoors. So while COVID-19 may mean we are unable to travel at the moment, it won’t stop us dreaming of our next glamping getaway. Whether it’s a cosy cabin, whimsical treehouse or bedecked bell tent, these unusual staycation choices are not only eco-friendly but will support local businesses when it is once again safe to travel. Add to that an outdoor bathtub for an alfresco soak, and there’s nowhere we’d rather get off-the-grid and back to nature.

While we may not be able to travel right now – companies like Canopy and Stars also do gift cards, so you can support businesses in the short term and plan your trip for when it is safe to travel. In the meantime, here are 9 of the best outdoor bathtubs in the UK to inspire your next staycation – whenever that may be.

The Woodman’s Treehouse , West Dorset

Set high in the oak canopy, this stylish treehouse tucked away in ancient Dorset woodland is a design-lovers dream getaway – having been featured on both Grand Designs and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. A kingsize bed, rotating fireplace, hot tub and even a slide are just some of the features in this high-end hideaway, while a double-ended freestanding copper tub provides the ultimate canopy views.

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The Old Piggery, Windout Barn Exeter

Set among centuries-old buildings in the rural Devonshire hills, this open plan barn hideaway was made for lovers – with side-by-side “his and hers” claw-foot bathtubs that sit on a private deck overlooking the apple orchard.

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The Lakehouse at Coddington Mill, Cheshire

This luxurious lakeside retreat is nestled on a stretch of Cheshire countryside in the grounds of the historic Coddington Mill. Dark woods and rich textures inside ooze romance – while the copper tub on the decking is the ideal place to watch for wildlife darting across the waters. Funds from your stay will go to the restoration of the mill and preservation of its surroundings, so you can relax knowing you’re making a positive contribution to this ecosystem.

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The Nook, Coleman’s Farm, Essex

This tiny wooden house in the Essex countryside exemplifies small but perfectly formed in the cosiest escape imaginable – a snug complete with mezzanine beds, wood burner and tin hot tub. Within just an hour of London, even the most stressed-out city slicker has no excuse not to unwind here.

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Cleave Treehouse, Devon

A nordic inspired A-frame treehouse tangled in the treetops overlooking Dartmoor National Park – this super secluded hideaway takes laid-back luxe to new heights. A birch plywood interior creates a calming Scandi-chic vibe, with dramatic double-height ceilings, cosy log burner and huge windows to take in the forest views. On the deck, a claw foot tub big enough for two overlooks the canopy.

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Cheviot, Huts in the Hills, Northumberland

Located in the rugged hills of Northumberland National Park, Cheviot is one of four luxury shepherds huts on a traditional working hill farm with cattle and sheep. Made from solid reclaimed oak, these huts are designed to take you back to nature – but not without a few luxuries, like the private deck complete with free-standing tub, or sky window above the bed – perfect for gazing up at Northumberland’s dark skies – renowned for their stargazing.

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Hill Cottage, Croft 103, West Sutherland, Scotland

Set on the shores of Loch Eriboll near Durness in North West Sutherland, these low impact buildings are designed to reflect this bleakly beautiful landscape, with rough-hewn honey-coloured stones. Inside, sleek, modern finishes and every creature comfort awaits – including two baths, one inside and one outdoors on the terrace, overlooking the sea.

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Willow The Wisp Cabin, East Sussex

Tucked away in five acres of woodland in East Sussex, this fairytale cabin is a cosy escape for two, with a wood-burner and outdoor wood-fired Hikki tub.

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The Hide Roundhouse, Somerset

Set on an organic farm, this adults-only glamping retreat has just two yurts and two wooden roundhouses. Hide Roundhouse boasts chic white-walled interiors that wouldn’t be amiss in a beach house in Tulum, with an ensuite bathroom, underfloor heating, clawfoot bath and rain shower – while an outdoor bathhouse surrounded by twinkling fairy lights is nestled in your own private garden.

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There’s a Victorian mansion that has sat proudly overlooking Derwentwater for over 200 years, but with a new luxury spa, restaurants and selection of stunning suites, the past here isn’t nearly as relevant as the present.

The Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa sits on the edge of Keswick’s Lake, a landmark hotel that has been rejuvenated into the oasis it is known for today. The original building has of course been renovated, extended, pulled apart and put back together again many times to house two restaurants, a spa, conservatory, countless lounges and almost 100 bedrooms.

We visited the place on a couple break, and the first thing you notice is how un-fussily romantic it is. It’s not a big show of white doves and fireworks, it’s slow dancing kissing in the rain… unless you go in the winter then you can almost guarantee snowfall.

And where’s the most romantic place to go when it’s snowing out? The outdoor pool of course, heated to a temperature just enough to keep things on the PG side of “steamy”. The pool is jewel in the crown that is the Falls Spa, with its treatment rooms, aroma steam room, herbal sauna, ice fountain and drench showers.

If you’re in need of notching up the romance a little, there’s even a Champagne bar actually inside the spa. Now that, is sexy.

The interior of the softly contemporary hotel tells a different story. Windows cover the walls where pictures would usually hang when there’s not such an impressive view on the other side. There is a collection of art too, showing off the area through a series of picture postcards and vintage photos of someones happy memories.

The rooms are neutral, with flashes of bold colour here and there. It’s definitely worth the extra few quid to secure a view of the lake, because after all that’s what you’re here for. If you’re on a blowout, go for a suite for bigger space and a much more decked out room with a Scandi vibe, huge beds and marble bathrooms. Most of the suites come with a balcony too with sweeping views.

There are several dining options, but one restaurant in particular sets the hotel apart from most classic British countryside Victorian hotels. Mizu is an award winning Asian fusion restaurant, blending Japanese, Malaysian and Thai cuisines. The result? A tangy combination of perfection set against a backdrop of contradictions.

We’ve become known to be a little unpredictable, but one thing that will always reign true will be our love for tasting menus. Choosing dishes can sometimes be a bore, and any chef that goes to the effort of creating this type of menu is clearly very, proud of it. Here, there was good reason. For two people, there’s a selection of sushi and sashimi, miso soup with tofu, beef tataki (seared beef with blue cheese and sesame seeds), crispy ginger shrimp. The showstopper is the perfectly tender teriyaki lamb cutlets – served with crispy leeks, fresh chillies on a choice of either sticky rice or yaki soba noodles. Asian cuisine in a countryside location is one of the most refreshing things about this place, and going to bed full has never been so satisfying.

https://www.lakedistricthotels.net/lodorefalls

You might have heard, we get around the world a bit. That said we always find our way back home, and are proud to have our feet firmly planted in Yorkshire, where there’s always plenty to explore. About ten minutes outside of the centre of York stands Middlethorpe Hall – a 1699 country house turned luxurious hotel and spa.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Former Home

The location in itself is something worth shouting about. It’s one and a half miles outside of the medieval city walls and yet sits quite alone amid gardens, parkland and countryside. Bafflingly there’s a bus stop on the main road, with easy access to the town (or back from the town when you’ve had a few wines).

Still bearing frontage to that archetypal English country house, the building is striking yet comfortable. It was once the home of famous diarist Lady Mary Wortley Montagu who described it as a “pretty place” – and while she wasn’t one for exciting adjectives, she wasn’t wrong…

Elegant Accommodations and Unique Amenities at Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Estate

There are ten rooms in the main house, where wood panelling and oil paintings give true Downton Abbey vibes. It’s not overly fussy, but all of the thoughtful details are covered. Fresh flowers, thick books and well-equipped old-fashioned dressing tables will make you feel like you’ve landed in Judi Dench’s guest room. The rest of the rooms rest in the former stable block and cottages, renovated to the confidently traditional grandeur that extends from the main house.

A few of the other outbuildings now have other uses. A slightly unusual spa lives inside an old Edwardian cottage, with an indoor pool and gym inside a Victorian summerhouse. The spa has three beauty salons with qualified therapists who can sort you out with their long list of treatments – body, face or otherwise.

Gourmet Delights at Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Dining Experience

Short of announcing like a cavalry charge, dinner is made to be quite the occasion. In the summer, canapés are served on the lawn at a la Buckingham Palace garden party before the candle-lit dining rooms welcome you in. There’s a choice between a la carte or a taster menu, which is your call to make because take it from us, both have been crafted to perfection.

Head Chef Ashley Binder and Pastry Chef Paul Harrison have produced menus created with supplies from their Yorkshire doorstep that are fresh, seasonal and sustainable. Some classic favourites are served with a twist, like roast duck with a side of sauerkraut, or beef fillet with smoked bone marrow.

Exquisite Wine Selection and Pairing Expertise at Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Estate

The wine list is a really weighty tome – 38 pages to be exact – and in our language, that’s fine by us. If you’re a wine novice who throws it back, or that type of person at a tasting who spits it back into the glass, you’ll find something on here to satisfy your lust. They even have a selection of vegan and organic wines and a clever few pages of suggestions which help you pair your drinks with whatever you’ve ordered. Did you know a New Zealand Pinot Noir goes perfectly with winged game? Well, we do now…

Laura Bartlett was hosted by Middlethorpe Hall, a member of the Pride of Britain Hotels collection (never more than 50 hotels, to guarantee quality and exclusivity). The National Trust-owned William III country house hotel is set on 20 acres of grounds in York and has a 2-AA Rosette fine-dining restaurant and spa. An overnight stay costs £219 per room (two sharing), including a full English breakfast. Call Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).