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The latest news from Life

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    the private suite lax

    • A new terminal called The Private Suite opened at Los Angeles International Airport in late 2017.
    • The Private Suite offers a $4,500-a-year base membership and costs $2,700 to use per domestic flight and $3,000 per international flight for up to four passengers.
    • Food and drinks, a private room and bathroom, an on-site spa, and a personal chauffeur who takes you directly to your plane are included.
    • I recently toured The Private Suite and found it accommodating and comfortable. The best part? No crowds.

    I didn't expect to leave The Private Suite feeling like a pampered billionaire.

    When I pulled into the driveway on an unusually gloomy Los Angeles morning, a man with a wide, toothy grin and a bulletproof vest emblazoned with "SECURITY" greeted me cheerily. The dichotomy caught me off guard; they'd been expecting me, he said, and the tall gates parted, revealing a modern-looking, one-story building facing the airport runway.

    The Private Suite is a terminal built specifically for wealthy travelers flying in and out of Los Angeles International Airport. (I'm not a wealthy traveler by any means, but the folks at The Private Suite made an exception for this story. I get the feeling they treat their paying customers with the same dutiful enthusiasm.)

    The independently owned and operated terminal opened in October 2017 and offers a quiet, crowd-free, luxurious space to hang out before boarding a commercial flight.

    As you may expect, it's not cheap. But for celebrities routinely hounded by paparazzi in the public terminals at LAX and wealthy businesspeople and families seeking solitude, it's a safe haven offering the best privacy, security, and amenities money can buy.

    Here's what it's like inside The Private Suite.

    SEE ALSO: I've spent 6 months traveling the world on business, and I've found the perfect way to make airports less miserable

    DON'T MISS: I've been traveling the world for 6 months, and I've found real life doesn't always live up to the hype. These are the most disappointing places I've been.

    The Private Suite is owned and operated by security firm Gavin de Becker and Associates. It's located opposite the public LAX terminals, so there's no traffic to battle.



    The Private Suite accommodates travelers flying on one of the 70 commercial airlines operating at LAX.



    It's the first private terminal at a major US airport, but similar models exist at airports in London; Munich; Frankfurt, Germany; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. My first impression was that it's intimate and isolated, in the best way.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    retired woman

    • US News & World Report released its 2019 ranking of the best places to retire in America, and housing affordability was one of the primary determinants. 
    • We filtered US News' ranking to narrow down the list to the cities where a typical home costs less than $250,000.
    • Lancaster, Pennsylvania, came out on top and four other cities in the state appear in the top 20.

    Turns out, Pennsylvania is a fabulous — and affordable — place to retire.

    That's according to US News & World Report's 2019 ranking of the best places to retire in America. To determine its overall ranking, US News evaluated the 100 largest US metros on six metrics: housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, job market, and healthcare quality. You can read the detailed methodology here.

    We filtered the US News list to find the cities where retirees can buy a home for under $250,000 and find a rental under $1,600 a month — that's slightly below the national median asking price for a home and the national median rent, according to Zillow's latest estimates.

    Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Fort Myers, Florida, took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively, on the best places to retire ranking. They also appear in the top two spots when filtered by housing costs, but the list diverges from there. A total of five cities in Pennsylvania appear in the top 20.  

    Read more: What a $250,000 home looks like in the biggest city in every state

    The housing affordability category was weighted 19.7%, second only to happiness, which was weighted 22.5%; these percentages were determined by a survey of Americans who were asked what the most important considerations are when moving.

    To determine housing affordability, US News gathered US Census Bureau data on average annual costs for homeowners (mortgage, utilities, and taxes) and average annual costs for renters (rent and utilities). 

    Keep reading to find out the best places to live affordably in retirement.

    SEE ALSO: Rich retirees are paying over $1 million to move into luxury communities that operate like 'five-star resorts' with award-winning chefs, wine cellars, and VIP treatment

    DON'T MISS: Home values have more than doubled in the US since 1970 — here's how much they've increased in every state

    19. Charlotte, North Carolina

    Median home price: $200,942

    Median monthly rent: $893

    Overall rank: 34



    18. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Median home price: $200,858

    Median monthly rent: $1,040

    Overall rank: 31



    17. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

    Median home price: $156,833

    Median monthly rent: $873

    Overall rank: 29



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    the plaza new years eve nyc

    • The Plaza, a five-star hotel overlooking Central Park, is one of the city's most legendary and luxurious hotels.
    • The hotel is throwing a lavish New Year's Eve bash that will include aerialists, decadent desserts and hors d'oeuvres, live music, and of course, plenty of Champagne at an open bar.
    • Tickets start at $1,200 for two people.

     

    One of New York City's most iconic hotels is hosting a New Year's Eve party to remember.

    The Plaza, a five-star hotel that overlooks Central Park, is holding a lavish black-tie masquerade ball on December 31, and it will include aerialists, live music, a decadent dinner and dessert, and of course, free-flowing Champagne. Tickets start at $1,200 for two people.

    "Welcome 2019 with an evening fete unlike you've seen before," reads the Plaza's description of the event. "Just steps from the comfort of your room, embrace a black tie affair complete with delectable hors d'oeuvres, a decadent dinner and an evening of dancing under the legendary laylight in the selection of Fine Wines and Champagne."

    The Plaza promises glitz, glamour, and a midnight balloon drop.

    Read more: A luxury hotel in Times Square hosts a rooftop New Year's Eve party where guests are only 150 feet from the ball drop and box seats cost up to $125,000

    The party will take place at the hotel's glamorous and iconic Palm Court, with its palm trees and soaring ceilings.

    Everyone has a Plaza story, and we’d love to hear yours! What’s your favorite memory from The Palm Court? 📷: @rachelannjensen

    A post shared by The Plaza Hotel (@theplazahotel) on Jun 8, 2018 at 11:17am PDT on

    Tickets to the party start at $1,200 for two people, according to the Plaza's website. But it appears that you'll need to book a room at the Plaza to attend. As of the time of publication, New Year's Eve packages in the hotel's booking system start at $2,767, which includes a night in a deluxe king room, one admission to the Palm Court party (with each additional ticket costing $900), and a $100 in-room dining credit.

    SEE ALSO: Rich people can now celebrate New Year's Eve twice with a private jet company that flies them around the world in a Gulfstream G550 for $250,000

    DON'T MISS: I stayed at New York’s most iconic luxury hotel that charges up to $50,000 a night and was once owned by Donald Trump

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: You've probably been cooking your turkey all wrong — here's how to do it in 90 minutes flat


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    CiaroPyramids.JPG

    • Cairo, Egypt, is one of the world's most polluted cities, if not No.1.
    • I recently visited and found that, even after just a day in the city, I could feel the effects on my breathing, sleep, and skin.
    • The experience reminded me of how lucky I, as an American, am to have the air quality in the country I live. I think most Americans have no conception of what it is like to live in a heavily polluted city like much of the world in Egypt, China, and India.
    • The Egyptian government is taking steps to improve air quality, with a plan to reduce air pollution by half by 2023.

    I don't think I understood what it was like to live in a truly polluted city until I went to one.

    As an American, I'd never really experienced a place choked with smog. New York, my home, is the 21st most polluted city, according to a recent study by Eco Experts, which combines data on air quality, noise pollution, and light pollution. Los Angeles, which I've been to a few times, comes in 10th.

    That's a far cry from the cities that top the list, where checking particulate matter levels, or PM, is as routine as checking the weather.

    I got my first taste of the smog life in April, when I visited Shanghai and Beijing (7th and 3rd on the Eco Experts' list).

    While the pollution was noticeable — I saw a blue sky only a few times on that entire trip — I was in town during what was comparatively the best time of the year, pollution-wise. The winter in Beijing, when millions are burning coal for heat, is when the real pollution rolls in.

    Cairo is one of the most polluted cities — you can feel it

    I rode in a taxi from the Cairo airport this past week, it hit me that I'd entered the big leagues.

    As a city of more than 20 million people, Cairo is the most populous city in the Middle East and the second most populous in Africa. And it feels like it.

    Every highway, road, and alleyway is clogged with cars and motorbikes spewing fumes into the air. The honking never stops: long honks, short beeps, and everything in between. The cars, and their drivers, are in every kind of conversation imaginable. Other noises proliferate, from street-side shouts to the rumble of construction. Every street seems to have a construction site and a building under renovation or being built.

    Cairo is the most polluted city in the world, according to the Eco Experts' report. The World Health Organization's Global Ambient Air Quality Database, which focuses on measures of air quality, ranks Cairo second worst for PM10, or particulate matter that is 10 micrometers in diameter or less. When judging by PM2.5, or particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less — the worst kind of pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Agency — Cairo is not quite as bad, but still near the bottom.

    Particulate pollution is made up a mix of solid and liquid droplets in the air, including sulfates, nitrates, and carbon. It's largely caused by energy used by homes, automobile traffic, manufacturing, and power plants. Sand or desert dust can add to the air pollution. In Cairo's case, the city is in a valley and has a large industrial sector, tons of traffic, poor waste management, and a dusty climate, according to the Arab News.

    “Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalized people bear the brunt of the burden,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO's director general, said in a statement regarding its most recent report.

    On average, residents of Cairo breathe in air suffused with 11.7 times the WHO recommended safe level of PM2.5 and 14.2 times the safe level of PM10. Translation: The air is really bad and you can feel it.

    Dry mouth, itchy eyes, and rashes: Bad pollution has immediate effects

    CairoPollution

    Within a day of being in Cairo, the effects started to settle in. When I woke in the morning to look out the window the first few days, a thick haze lay over the city.

    After a few hours walking around in even one of the more green neighborhoods — the embassy-populated, moderately wealthy island of Zamalek — I found myself severely dehydrated despite having a water bottle by my side the whole time. The taste in my mouth was bitter, my nostrils felt caked in dust, and my eyes had grown itchy. It feels like you're constantly at a construction site, with sawdust or concrete dust in the air. After a few days, I'd found that my skin, unused to the pollution, was breaking out in hives on my face.

    And that's just the air pollution.

    Cairo's noise pollution is arguably worse, though it is rarely talked about. Eco Experts' research found that Cairo is the third loudest city, after Guangzhou, China, and Delhi, India. A report by the Egyptian National Research Center found noise pollution in Cairo reaches a daily average of 85 decibels or, in the words of Eco Experts, “like spending all day inside a factory.” Even at 3 a.m., the honking doesn't stop.

    facewipecairo

    The honking, shouting, and construction noises are ever present, no matter where you are in the city. It literally leaves your ears ringing. Even as a New Yorker who lived for years above bars in the rambunctious East Village, I found the noise shocking.

    Combine that with the light pollution — Eco Experts reported Cairo the third-brightest city, with artificial light 85 times as bright as the natural sky — and it all makes for a bad night's sleep.

    Every night, I slept with blackout curtains drawn and earplugs in. And still I found myself to be getting terrible sleep. Every day, I overslept and woke up groggy. Before you assume jet lag, I was in the region for three weeks and slept fine while in the United Arab Emirates.

    Over time, pollution has devastating effects

    blackcloud.JPG

    All of this after a week. Imagine living in it for a few months, a year, or your whole life.

    My partner, who has more sensitive lungs than I do, contracted pneumonia and a respiratory infection halfway through a semester studying in Shanghai. When we visited Shanghai in April, she'd contracted a wheezing cough after a day in the city.

    Researchers and scientists are still studying the effects of pollution on humans, but it has been connected to health conditions like asthma, lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, according to WHO and the EPA. Researchers suspect that pollution is connected to obesity, insomnia, depression, as well as effects on the immune, endocrine, and reproductive systems.

    One recent study out of Beijing Normal University's school of statistics found that long-term exposure to particulate matter was correlated with cognitive declines in study participants as they aged.

    The Egyptian government pushed back on the Eco Experts report shortly after it was published, criticizing the methodology of the study. But there's no denying the pollution in Cairo. It would appear the Egyptian government agrees with that much.

    Earlier this year, the government announced a plan to reduce air pollution by half by 2023, and began an initiative to plant 1 million fruit trees in public spaces throughout the country.

    A major pollution issue for Egypt since 1997 has been farmers' yearly burning of leftover rice straw from September to November, which can create a "dark cloud" over Cairo. To tackle the issue, the government has offered to buy the straw from farmers for $3 a ton, Mohamed Salah, head of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, said in October.

    "Today, the dark cloud season is over and all citizens in Egypt are saying that they have not sensed any problem relating to this, unlike what had happened in previous years," Salah said.

    But, for this American in Cairo, I found the city to be stark reminder of how lucky the US is when it comes to air quality and pollution and how little we bear the burden of global manufacturing and other polluting industries around the world.

    When I told one Beijing resident in April that I head to the countryside outside New York City when I want fresh air, he looked at me incredulously. He said: "You have to understand: We think of New York City air as pristine."

    SEE ALSO: Dubai has the world's largest, completely automated, driverless metro line — and it shows how far behind the US really is

    DON'T MISS: If you've ever wanted to visit Dubai, there's likely never been a better time than right now. Here's why.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: An undercover investigation reveals air quality on a cruise ship deck could be worse than the world’s most polluted cities


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    Dubai Burj Al Arab Most Luxurious Hotel (1 of 74)

    • One of the most decorated luxury hotels in the world, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, was recently named the "best hotel in the world" by the Ultratravel Awards. The Burj has frequently been called "the world's first seven-star hotel" and "the most luxurious hotel in the world" by travel writers and critics.
    • I recently stayed at the hotel on a trip to Dubai to see if the Burj Al Arab could possibly live up to the hype.
    • Adorned with more gold and marble than any reasonable person would choose, the Burj Al Arab impresses through the sheer force of its vision of luxury.
    • A guest's every whim is attended to, the architecture and design astounds with color, patterns, and vertigo, and extravagances like caviar and truffles find their way into numerous dishes at the hotel's restaurants. It's like living in the dream world of an Emirati royal or President Donald Trump.

    If you've ever wondered what it's like to vacation like a billionaire, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai is likely the closest we normies will ever get. 

    Shaped like the sail of an Arabian dhow ship and built for $1 billion, the hotel is full of extravagances like a Rolls-Royce chauffeur, a 14-piece set of Hermès toiletries, personal butlers — Burj says the staff-to-guest ratio is 6:1 — and 24-karat gold everything. 

    Since the hotel opened nearly 20 years ago, the Burj Al Arab has won accolade after accolade for its bonkers approach to luxury.

    In just the last year, it was named the Best Hotel in the World by The Telegraph's ULTRA Awards and given a Five-Star Award by Forbes Travel Guide. When it first opened, a journalist was supposedly so enamored with the Burj that she exclaimed that it must be a seven-star hotel, a rating that does not exist.

    Gold-plated luxury usually makes me roll my eyes, making me think something along the lines of, This is what the richest people in the world waste their money on? 

    I certainly had that reaction when I stayed at the Burj Al Arab on a recent trip to Dubai, but I also found myself overwhelmed by the sheer audacity of the hotel's luxurious vision. 

    While I can't condone spending the $1,500 a night minimum it costs to stay there, I can say that staying the night inside the dreamworld of an Emirati royal is a very interesting trip.

    Keep reading to see what it was like:

    SEE ALSO: I stayed at Robert De Niro's ridiculously swanky new hotel in Ibiza — and it makes you feel like a celebrity, if you can afford it

    SEE ALSO: I stayed at New York’s most iconic luxury hotel that charges up to $50,000 a night and was once owned by Donald Trump

    The Burj's vision of luxury starts with its location. The hotel was built on a tiny man-made island a few hundred meters off the Dubai coastline. That means any would-be visitors must enter via guard-monitored bridge.



    Most people arrive via complimentary chauffeured Rolls-Royce pick up. Your other option is to arrive in a private helicopter — to a private helipad, of course.



    Compared to the rest of the Burj, the lobby is nothing to write home about, with low ceilings and a pared-back design. But that's by design. The lobby is mostly used to corral tourists coming to marvel at the structure, not guests.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider and The Points Guy Affiliate Network receive a commission from card issuers if you apply through these links and are approved.

    december best credit cards 4x3

    • The fastest way to earn credit card rewards and frequent flyer miles is to open a new card and get the new membership bonus.
    • For the last month of 2018, there's an excellent slate of both consumer and small business cards offering excellent, but limited-time, offers — there's even a huge new sign-up bonus on a United Airlines credit card, perfect for those looking to score an award flight on United or its partners.
    • We've also included a few of our favorite ongoing offers.
    • You can use the points from these cards to fly or stay in hotels for virtually free, or for upgrades, cash back, gift cards, and more.
    • Read on for the best offers of December 2018.

    It's easy to earn frequent flyer miles and rewards points from everyday credit card spending.

    To step up your rewards and get serious points, though, the best thing to do is open a new card and earn the bonus offered to new members.

    Credit card issuers offer huge bonuses to attract customers, and while each card may have different eligibility requirements, in most cases you can get the bonus as long as you haven't had that card before — or, in some cases, as long as you haven't had it in the past few years.

    Over the course of 2018 we've seen some incredible offers on new cards, refreshed products, and old standbys — and right now, some of the best offers we've seen are available as we get ready to close out the year.

    Even after you earn the bonus, it's easy to keep the rewards and benefits coming. All you need to do is use a card for your normal spending — and pay it off in full each month — and you'll earn tons of bonus points in categories like grocery stores, dining, and travel.

    You can read more about earning new card member bonuses and how that will affect your credit score here, or scroll down to find some of the best offers available this month.

    Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.

    When you're working to earn credit card rewards, it's important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card.

    1. United Explorer Card

    Sign-up bonus: Up to 65,000 United miles (40,000 after spending $2,000 in the first three months, and an additional 25,000 miles after spending a total of $10,000 in the first six months). For a limited time only.

    Earlier this year, United and Chase re-launched their co-branded credit card, slightly changing the name, but more importantly, tweaking the benefits and improving how the card earns points. Previously, the card earned 2x miles on every dollar spent with United Airlines and 1x dollar on everything else. Now, the card also earns 2x points at restaurants and hotels. 

    This sign-up bonus is one of the best public offers we've ever seen on this card, but it's only available until January 8, 2019.

    The card offers a free checked bag when you use your card to purchase your tickets, priority boarding as long as you have the open card attached to your MileagePlus account, 25% off in-flight purchases, and a fee credit to cover your application to Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

    The United Explorer also has two benefits that are unique among US airline credit cards in the same class. First, you'll get two complimentary United Club lounge passes each year. In the lounges, you can enjoy comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, free food and drinks, and more before your flight. Normally, one-time entry to a United Club would cost $59 if you didn't have a membership.

    Second, although this is an unpublished benefit, United cardholders also get access to more saver award space than other United members — that makes it easier to find good flights when it's time to use your miles..

    The card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.

    Click here to learn more about the United Explorer Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    2. American Express® Gold Card

    amex rose gold new york 12

    Welcome offer: 25,000 Membership Rewards points (after spending $2,000 in the first three months). Until January 9: Get up 20% back at US restaurants within the first three months, up to $100 total.

    Last month, American Express launched a massive reboot of its Premier Rewards Gold card, rebranding it as the American Express Gold Card, releasing a new metal design and limited-edition rose gold version, and totally overhauling the rewards and benefits on the card. Because that wasn't quite enough, AmEx also introduced a fairly unique new welcome bonus.

    The new Gold Card earns 4x points at US restaurants and on up to $25,000 per year at US supermarkets (and 1x after that), 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline, and 1x point on everything else.

    Based on the fact that you can easily redeem Membership Rewards points for more than 1¢ of value each, that makes this the highest-earning card for everything food-related.

    The Gold Card keeps the old card's $100 airline fee credit each calendar year, and adds up to $120 of dining credits — split into $10 each month — at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Steak House, or participating Shake Shack locations. If you use those credits in full, that's a guaranteed $220 of value each year.

    New card members — those who haven't previously had the Premier Rewards Gold — can earn a welcome bonus of 25,000 points when they spend $2,000 in the first three months. Additionally, those who apply before January 9 can get 20% back on all US restaurant charges — up to $100 total — in the form of a statement credit. Keep in mind you may be able to be targeted for a higher offer.

    While it's difficult to assign a single objective value to Membership Rewards points, due to the many ways you can redeem them, travel website The Points Guy subjectively estimates each point as worth 1.9¢. That makes the welcome bonus worth $575 — $475 for the points, and up to $100 back from restaurants. Even without factoring in the annual credit benefits, that's more than enough to make up for the card's $250 annual fee.

    Click here to learn more about the AmEx Gold Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    3. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

    Capital_One_Venture_Photoshoot

    Sign-up bonus: 50,000 miles (after spending $3,000 in the first three months).

    The Capital One Venture has historically been a useful card, thanks to a solid earning rate of 2x miles on everything, even though the rewards program was just...fine. Unlike cards offered by competitors, miles had a fixed value of 1¢ each toward travel purchases. Generally, transferable credit card points— those that you can transfer to an airline frequent flyer program, should you choose — are more valuable, thanks to the way that booking frequent flyer award tickets works. You can read more about that here.

    However, Capital One has announced that as of December 10, Venture cardholders will be able to transfer miles to 12 new airline partners, significantly increasing the potential value of each mile.

    Capital One had a month-long promotional sign-up bonus (up to 75,000 miles) when it first made the announcement. Although the bonus has returned to its normal amount — 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months — it's still a solid value worth pursuing. 

    The Capital One Venture earns miles at a rate of 2x per dollar spent on all purchases, and an incredible 10x points per dollar spent on hotel stays when you book and pay through Hotels.com/Venture. Hotels.com has its own loyalty program that rewards you with a free night after 10 paid nights, so that equates to a staggering 20% return on hotels.

    Between the ability to transfer miles to airlines, and the chance to earn up to 10x miles on hotels, this is one of the best cards available right now.

    The card also offers a credit to enroll in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. It has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year. 

    Click here to learn more about the Capital One Venture from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    4. Capital One Spark Miles for Business

    Sign-up bonus: Up to 200,000 miles (50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months, and an additional 150,000 miles after spending $50,000 in the first six months). For a limited time only.

    Like the Venture, the Capital One Spark Miles is gaining the ability to transfer miles to 12 airline frequent flyer partners. Unlike the Venture, the Spark Miles is still offering a limited-time sign-up bonus to mark the change.

    The spending requirement to earn the full bonus — $50,000 in the first six months — is high, but it's definitely achievable for plenty of small- and medium-sized businesses — particularly those that lay out for materials, equipment, or services on behalf of a client.

    The Spark Miles is fairly similar to the Venture, aside from the fact that it's a business card rather than a personal one. It earns 2x miles on all purchases, with no limits, and has a $95 annual fee that's waived the first year.

    It was already a solid card; with the ability to transfer miles to airline partners, plus the massive sign-up bonus, the Spark Miles becomes a major player.

    Click here to learn more about the Capital One Spark Miles from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    5. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

    Sign-up bonus: 70,000 miles (after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days), for a limited time only.

    This is the highest sign-up bonus we've ever seen for this card — an exciting development, coming near the end of a busy year for Barclaycard's flagship US product.

    Earlier this year, Barclays closed applications for one of its most popular credit cards, before relaunching the card with a new all-time highest sign-up bonus. Then, this fall, Barclays began waiving the card's $89 annual fee for the first year, a first for the card.

    The Barclaycard Arrival Plus earns double miles on every dollar spent. Miles can be redeemed for one cent each on travel purchases (applied as a statement credit to negate the cost of that purchase), or a half-cent each for cash back or gift cards. Best of all, you'll earn 5% of your miles back every time you make a redemption.

    Effectively, that means that the sign-up bonus is worth $700 toward travel, plus an extra $100 from the miles you'll earn meeting the spending requirement.

    The card comes equipped with Chip-and-PIN service, which, combined with the fact that the card has no foreign transaction fees, makes it a great option when traveling internationally.

    Depending on your spending habits, it is easy to get more value from the card than what you pay for the annual fee, thanks to the 2x earning rate on all purchases. Of course, the sign-up bonus alone will cover the annual fee for more than eight years.

    Click here to learn more about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard.

    6. Platinum Card® from American Express

    amex business

    Welcome Offer: 60,000 points (after spending $5,000 in the first three months)

    The American Express Platinum card has one of the highest annual fees of any consumer credit or charge card — $550 — but as AmEx's flagship product, this premium credit card offers a tremendous amount of value to offset that fee. For example, I got more than $2,000 worth of value in my first year with the card.

    The card earns Membership Rewards points, the currency in AmEx's loyalty program, which can be exchanged for statement credits or cash back, used to book travel through AmEx's travel website, or, to get the most value, transferred to any of 17 airline and three hotel transfer partners (transferable points are among the best). Travel website The Points Guy lists a valuation of 1.9¢ per Membership Rewards point; based on that, the welcome offer is worth around $1,140.

    Because $5,000 is one of the steepest spending requirements of any consumer credit card, this is an ideal time to open it — with holiday spending going on, you can take advantage of those planned expenses to meet a higher minimum required spend than you would normally be able to.

    Plus, you can take advantage of the card's airport lounge access to make holiday travel a little bit less hectic.

    The Platinum Card earns an incredible 5x points on airfare purchased directly from the airline, and offers a $200 airline fee credit each calendar year, and up to $200 in Uber credits each card member year. It also grants the cardholder access to more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world, including Delta Sky Clubs and AmEx's own Centurion Lounges. Other benefits include automatic gold elite status at Starwood, Marriott, and Hilton hotels, a statement credit to cover enrollment in Global Entry/TSA PreCheck, concierge service, and much more.

    If you're an active military servicemember, you can get the AmEx Platinum Card's fee waived.

    You can read our complete review of the card here.

    Click here to learn more about the American Express Platinum from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    7. Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

    capital one savor

    Sign-up bonus: $500 (after spending $3,000 in the first three months)

    If dining and cooking are your thing, and cash back is what you're after, the Capital One Savor is sure to please.

    The card earns unlimited 4% cash back on all dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% on everything else. Plus, the card offers a whopping $500 sign-up bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

    The Savor carries a lower annual fee than the AmEx Gold — $95, waived the first year. The earning rate will make up for the fee in many cases, based on normal spending, but if that's too high for you, there's an alternative: the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.

    The SavorOne card has no annual fee, and offers a slightly lower — but still valuable — earning rate of 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% on everything else. It offers a lower sign-up bonus of $150 when you spend $500 in the first three months.

    Click here to learn more about the Capital One Savor card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    Click here to learn more about the Capital One SavorOne card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    Read more: The Capital One Savor offers 4% cash back on dining and entertainment — here's how much the average American saves each year with the card

    8. Chase Sapphire Preferred

    Card Group — Chase Sapphire Preferred Chase Sapphire Reserve_21 1

    Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points (after spending $4,000 in the first three months)

    The Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular all-around rewards credit cards, and it's easy to see why. This card earns 2x points per dollar spent on just about all travel and dining purchases, and 1x point on everything else. It also comes with a ton of travel and purchase protections, such as rental car insurance, trip delay coverage, and extended warranty.

    The sign-up bonus — 50,000 UR points — is worth, at the very least, $500 as cash back or gift cards. However, if you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and use points to pay, you'll get a 25% bonus, making points worth 1.25 cents each. That means that the sign-up bonus would be worth $625.

    Even more lucrative — the Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you transfer your UR points to a few different frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. This comes in handy because, in many cases, it costs fewer points to book a trip if you go through one of those programs, as opposed to using the points as cash. You can read more about why transferring points to frequent flyer programs gets you more value here.

    This all comes for a fairly standard annual fee of $95, which is waived the first year.

    Click here to learn more about the Sapphire Preferred from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    9. Chase Sapphire Reserve

    Chase card

    Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points (after spending $4,000 in the first three months)

    The Sapphire Reserve is basically a beefier version of the Preferred. While the card comes with the same sign-up bonus, it earns points on everyday spending faster, nabbing a higher 3x points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases, and 1x on everything else. It also offers similar, though in many cases, enhanced travel and purchase protections.

    Unlike the Preferred, the Sapphire Reserve comes with a Priority Pass Select membership, which gets you and any travel companions free access to more than 1,000 airport lounges around the world.

    You can use points from the Reserve the same ways as with the Preferred, except that you'll get a 50% bonus when booking travel through Chase, making your points worth 1.5¢ each.

    The card carries a higher annual fee than the Preferred: $450. However, it also comes with a $300 travel credit each card member year. Each year, you'll get statement credits for the first $300 in travel-related purchases you make, including things like subway fare, taxis, parking, and tolls, as well as airfare and hotels. When you subtract this credit from the annual fee, the card is effectively only $150 each year.

    If you're not sure whether the Preferred or Reserve is the better card for you, take a look at this breakdown. Also keep in mind that you can typically only earn the sign-up bonus for one Sapphire-branded card every two years.

    Click here to learn more about the Sapphire Reserve from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    10. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

    Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

    Welcome offer: 150,000 Hilton Honors points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months

    The premium Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card has a hefty $450 annual fee, but it comes with so many perks, benefits, and rebates that it's more than worth paying for Hilton loyalists — or even brand-agnostic hotel guests.

    In addition to a $250 airline fee credit per calendar year and a $250 Hilton resort statement credit each card member year, the Aspire also offers a $100 Hilton on-property credit every time you book a stay of two nights or longer at a Hilton property — you just need to book through a specific website for cardholders.

    The card also offers a free weekend night reward each year — regardless of how much you spend — and a second if you spend $60,000 on the card in a calendar year. It also comes with complimentary Diamond status.

    The Aspire earns a tremendous 14x points per dollar spent with Hilton, 7x points on flights booked with the airline, car rentals, and at US restaurants, and 3x points on everything else.

    Click here to learn more about the Hilton Honors Aspire card from Insider Picks' partner The Points Guy.

    11. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

    https_%2F%2Fblogs images.forbes.com%2Fthepointsguy%2Ffiles%2F2018%2F07%2FNY City Cards wells fargo propel 8 1200x800

    Welcome offer: 30,000 Go Far points (after spending $3,000 in the first three months)

    This new card from Wells Fargo has one of the more attractive rewards offerings you'll find from a no-annual-fee card. The new Propel card is actually a re-launch of an old product — Wells Fargo stopped accepting applications for the old card back in February, before announcing the new product and reopening applications this summer.

    The card earns 3x points on all travel, dining, and select streaming services (and 1x point on everything else). If that sounds familiar, it's because it's almost the same as the popular Chase Sapphire Reserve.

    There are some key differences between the cards. The Propel lets you redeem points for 1¢ each toward cash back, merchandise, travel, or more, while the Sapphire Reserve offers a range of more valuable redemption options — it's easy to get at least 50% more value for Chase points. Plus, the Sapphire Reserve offers a number of premium perks that the Propel doesn't, like airport lounge access, a $300 annual travel credit travel delay insurance, and more.

    Of course, the Sapphire Reserve also comes with a $450 annual fee, while the Wells Fargo Propel doesn't have a fee. Between the new member offer, and the solid earning rate on popular spend categories, the Propel makes a decent option for those who don't travel often, or who aren't comfortable floating a large annual fee.

    We named the Propel the best no-fee card of 2018.

    Click here to learn more about the Wells Fargo Propel card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

    SEE ALSO: I pay $1,000 in annual fees for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum — and as far as I’m concerned, the math checks out

    DON'T MISS: The AmEx Platinum is available to active duty servicemembers at no annual fee — but even with the fee, the credit card is a great value

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    AmazonBasics Memory Foam Mattress

    • If you're looking for a bed on a budget, the AmazonBasics Memory Foam Mattress provides plush comfort and an impressive level of quality at an unbeatable price. It starts at $130 for the 8-inch Twin size.
    • The construction of the mattress allows for breathability, and neither I nor my partner had any issues with sleeping too hot.
    • The mattress is backed by a one-year limited warranty, and is available in Twin, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes.

    With the wide range of products Amazon offers, it's not much of a surprise that the company decided to produce its own private line of products under the label AmazonBasics.

    In keeping up with the competition of the online mattress market, Amazon added an AmazonBasics mattress to their product lineup, which also includes bed frames and sheets. This memory foam mattress is a remarkably affordable offering in the sea of online mattresses currently available. The 10-inch king-size mattress comes in at just under $300. The price alone makes this a mattress worth considering.

    While the price is nearly unbeatable, I put the AmazonBasics Mattress to the test to see if the quality and the comfort make it a worthwhile purchase. I slept on the queen-sized 10-inch mattress, but depths of 8 inches and 12 inches are also available, and sizes range from twin to California king.

    As with so many of the products featured on Amazon, you won't be without options.

    First impressions

    I came home to find the AmazonBasics propped on my back porch. While the cardboard exterior was a little worse for wear, the rest of the mattress was perfectly encased and vacuum sealed in a compact roll, resulting in a narrow box that easily fit through the door and up the stairs. There is no white glove delivery service available here, but at this price point I wouldn't expect that type of service. I would highly recommend two people to carry the box just to be safe, but my boyfriend did manage to get this up the stairs on his own — so if you're feeling particularly strong and can't snag a friend, or have a stubborn significant other who insists they don't need help — one can get the job done.

    As with most out-of-the-box mattresses, set up was easy. The mattress unrolled from the outer plastic wrapping onto our frame, and I used a pair of scissors to carefully cut through the vacuum-sealed wrapping. It immediately started to expand. Up to 72 hours are recommended for the mattress to come to its full size. I would say it took about a full 24 hours for the mattress to fully take its shape.

    There was some odor from the off gassing, and while unpleasant at first, the smell dissipated within 48 hours and hasn't lingered since.

    Construction

    The AmazonBasics Mattress is made of CertiPUR-US memory foam, and comprises three different layers for support and comfort. The top layer is the softest, providing a nice cushion that conforms to the body. While this mattress isn't without support, those looking for the feeling of resting on top of the mattress won't find that here — this is a softer mattress with more give than some of the firmer options out there. While this mattress does conform to the body more, it's still breathable thanks to the holes in the second layer of foam, and the wave-like shape of the third layer.

    All these layers fit together to form a mattress that provides a decent amount of support coupled with plush comfort. The mattress cover that surrounds these layers is removable, but spot cleaning is recommended. I personally haven't tried washing the cover myself, and the tag advises against it. However, I didn't find this to be an issue with the use of a fitted sheet.

    Comfort

    Overall, I found this mattress to be both comfortable and durable.

    From a support standpoint, I personally would have preferred a firmer feel, but this makes sense for me as I tend to sleep mostly on my stomach. If you're looking for a firmer mattress, but don't want to sacrifice affordability, I would recommend giving the Allswell Hybrid Mattress a try. On the other hand, my boyfriend is a back sleeper and experienced no discomfort or back issues during testing. This would also be an ideal mattress for side sleepers, as the plush memory foam cushions the common pressure points of the shoulders and hips, and helps keep everything in alignment.

    As mentioned above, the construction of the mattress allows for breathability, and neither one of us had any issues with sleeping too hot.

    As a light sleeper, I also appreciated how this mattress performs with motion transference. When my partner rolled over at night, it had a minimal effect on my side of the bed. However, I did notice that because my boyfriend and I are on different spectrums weight wise, I did tend to slide more toward the middle of the mattress during the night. More edge support would likely have helped with this. Overall though, this wasn't a deal breaker, especially considering the deal you get at such an affordable price point.

    Final thoughts

    Whether you don't have the means to drop a large sum of money on a mattress, or you're looking for affordable options for spaces like a guest room, I would definitely recommend the AmazonBasics Mattress.

    Comfort and quality aren't sacrificed here.

    Sleep Sherpa says, "The biggest benefit of this mattress is the price. If you know you like the feel of memory foam, and want a mattress a little on the softer side, this would be a great choice." Amazon reviewers like Neil also praise the affordability. He says, "[I] haven't slept this well in a while, and given the cost it's well worth it."

    The AmazonBasics Mattress is backed by a one-year limited warranty, and is available in Twin, Full, Queen, King, and California King sizes.

    Buy the AmazonBasics Memory Foam Mattress starting at $130 for the 8-inch Twin size here.

    SEE ALSO: I tried a $240 Roomba alternative that automatically vacuums and mops floors — here's what using it was like

    DON'T MISS: I've slept on several different 'beds-in-a-box' — and this luxury hybrid mattress is by far the most comfortable

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    everlane choose what you pay 11

    While most retailers have a sale section, Everlane takes a slightly different approach to discounting products. Its 'Choose What You Pay' model doesn't mean you can pay any price you want, but it does offer up three tiered prices (low, medium, high) to choose from. 

    This alternative sale section is usually available year-round for both men's and women's apparel, but the biggest Choose What You Pay sales event that Everlane has ever held is going on now.

    From December 26 through December 30, a little over 200 styles in select colors enjoy this special pricing option. Some styles will even be discounted up to 50%. With popular styles like the Day Boot, silk shirts, and cashmere crew sweaters on sale, it's one of the nicer inventory cast-offs you'll find online at the end of the year. 

    We've tried a lot of things from Everlane, and have collected many favorites over time, so we certainly won't be sleeping on this rare opportunity to save on its high-quality closet essentials. 

    You can find our top 10 picks from Everlane's Choose What You Pay event below, or shop the sale directly. 

    Shop the biggest Choose What You Pay sale of the year for men or women.

    SEE ALSO: 19 styles from Everlane that we wear in our everyday lives — for both men and women

    A soft, warm cashmere sweater

    The Cashmere Crew in Black/White Mini Stripe, from $70 (originally $100) 

    Read our review of the Cashmere Crew here



    A thicker cashmere sweater

    The Heavyweight Cashmere Crew in Heather Blue, from $98 (originally $140) 



    A bright red cable-knit wool sweater

    The Cable Mockneck in Red, from $78 (originally $130)



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    17626572_1407259976013999_123338604646373978_n

    • Hungryroot sends healthy meals to your doorstep that you can make in under 10 minutes.
    • Each meal is packed with nutrients, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, and is free of gluten, dairy, preservatives and trans-fats.
    • Meals break down to about $7 or $6 each, though your first week is less expensive.
    • I tried Hungryroot and was impressed by the taste, quantity, and how easy it made eating healthy. I'm not a vegan or vegetarian, but I enjoyed every meal without feeling like I was "eating healthy" and it required zero free time or grocery shopping.

    When it comes right down to it, my biggest hurdle to healthy eating is convenience. 

    I love neither grocery shopping nor cooking, and I don't want to spend my limited free time deep diving into (often contentious) online nutritional resources to construct balanced meals each week.

    But, I do want to eat healthy foods that are good for me. So when I heard about Hungryroot through a colleague, I was intrigued.

    Hungryroot is a meal subscription service that sends healthy, nearly-ready meals to your door, with ingredients and sauces that you essentially just heat and mix together. Each serving costs about $6-$7 when you do the math, and they take fewer than 10 minutes to prepare. 

    Hungryroot meals solve the problems caused by a lack of cooking expertise or time to dedicate to figuring it out. The foods sent are 100% vegan and gluten-free, and they're packed with nutrients, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, cashews, almonds, and avocados) and complex carbs (sweet potatoes, cauliflower, quinoa, beans, and oats) keep you energized and satisfied without the pitfalls of "bad" fats and carbs, which can raise your cholesterol and spike your blood sugar, among other concerns. 

    Generally, I’m willing to spend a bit more than I would on the ingredients for the convenience. Hungryroot is more expensive than buying these ingredients in bulk, but you could make the argument that anyone buying single-person groceries may find that— with shelf life of fresh ingredients factored in — it's not altogether that much pricier.

    What I personally appreciate about Hungryroot is that it aims to make truly healthy foods convenient and inexpensive, since affordability and convenience are what make people (myself included) settle for unhealthy options packed with trans fats, sodium, and preservatives.

    And this sounded pretty hard to beat: simple, delicious meals that were pretty much already made by the time they got to my doorstep.

    27331636_2137057686367554_4658755766343536317_n

    How Hungryroot works:

    Choose between The Starter Set or The Good Life

    • The Starter Setis four meals (two servings each) and two sides, snacks, or sweets. The weekly box is $69 typically, but $59 for your first. Including the sides, snacks, or sweets, each serving comes out to about $7.
    • The Good Life is five meals (two servings each) and five sides, snacks, or sweets. The weekly box is $99 typically, but $79 for your first. Including the sides, snacks, or sweets, each serving comes out to a little over $6.50.

    Shipping is free for both plans, and you can skip or cancel any time in your account online.

    Once you select your plan and make an account, you can view what meals your shipment will include. If your meal is set to arrive Monday, August 27, you'll have until 5 p.m. the Friday before (in this case, the 24th) to edit it. Since it’s all fresh food, you may get an email prior to shipment that one meal has been altered due to stock (not enough high-quality cauliflower one week, for instance).

    If you want to change delivery dates, it's as easy as clicking the "Manage Schedule" icon on the upper right and selecting a new date. 

    Screen Shot 2018 08 21 at 1.39.52 PM

    What Hungryroot is like in person:

    Shipping was fast and my box arrived as scheduled. Inside, I was happy to find it included biodegradable insulation.

    I was surprised by how much I liked what Hungryroot sent. I let the company auto-generate the first shipment, and my box included ingredients for the following foods:

    1. Southwestern Quinoa Tofu Scramble
    2. Cherry Chia Maple Oatmeal
    3. Green Goddess Lentil Salad
    4. Italian Chickpea Quinoa Bowl
    5. Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Tagine
    6. Kohlrabi Peanut Takeout Noodles
    7. Ginger Brussels Yuba Lo Mein
    8. Pad Thai Fried Rice
    9. Black Bean Brownie Batter
    10. Almond Chickpea Cookie Dough

    19961586_2131489396924383_2415647335914581502_n

    The box is supposed to include an instructional recipe booklet but I may have thrown mine away in a primitive hunger-driven craze. Thankfully, you can find everything you need to know online and by clicking on a select meal in the email Hungryroot sends detailing what's in your box.

    The meals were delicious, easy to make, and the entrees filled me up. I'm not a vegan, and I balance an interest in taste over an interest in strictly healthy food, but I enjoyed everything as meals. It didn't feel like I was eating "healthy" in the sense that I was making compromises. And while I do eat meat, I enjoyed the tofu included. If you really wanted to, though, you could easily substitute and make the recipe with your own choice of meat. 

    I typically wind up eating more than one serving for meal plans that I've tried, but Hungryroot delivered enough ingredients and variety where I ended up making most entrees last for dinner and for lunch. Having said that, the ingredients initially seemed small and few when unpacking, and I'm still not willing to say I'm entirely confident all future plant-based meals would entirely stave off hunger, though these actually did.

    The standouts were the delicious (and pretty big) Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Tagine, both the ridiculously tasty black bean brownie batter and almond chickpea cookie dough (both ok to eat as is or after baking), and Pad Thai Fried Rice. To be honest, though, everything was really good.

    True to promise, each meal took under 10 minutes to make — and that's probably the only reason I finished the fresh food before it went bad and ate healthy meals all week. I don’t like cooking, and my schedule usually allows only 30 minutes to cook and eat. For me, Hungryroot succeeded in making it possible to eat healthy in a convenient, fast, and pretty affordable way.

    Who should get it:

    If you like the sound of healthy, tasty food you can make in under 10 minutes, you’re probably going to like Hungryroot. It's more expensive than buying the ingredients yourself, but I probably wouldn't do the research and grocery shopping if left to my own devices. If you want convenience and consistency, this is a good tool.

    The biggest upsides for me were convenience, time-saving (no research, minimal prep), and the ability to learn more about eating healthy if I wished. The company sends emails (not too many) about your upcoming shipment as well as "Nutrition 101." They also include succinct, healthy eating insight under your prep instructions so you can learn as you go.

    Screen Shot 2018 08 21 at 1.13.02 PM

    If you don’t have a reliable way to pick up packages day-of, you may want to steer clear. The food is fresh and doesn't include preservatives, so it likely won’t keep for longer than a day or so. And if you'd prefer to be more involved in cooking the meals rather than mixing ingredients together, you'll be better suited to a Blue Apron, Sun Basket, Hello Fresh or anothermeal kit delivery service. If you just need help with constructing healthy meal plans, you should check out PlateJoy

    Another thing to consider is that the snacks are not meal replacements, so it's not necessarily fair to say each part of the box is worth its respective $6-$7 equally. But, if the other pros are worth it to you (or you get more snacks and greater variety with the Good Life Plan), then it may even out for you anyway. 

    All in all, Hungryroot is a great option for anyone looking to eat healthier or learn by doing. In my experience, meals were delicious, filling, and extremely simple to make. It helped me with consistency, provided useful tidbits, and was just enough personalization and minimal effort. If you're looking to make healthy eating convenient or despise cooking, grocery shopping, and are willing to pay a few bucks more for someone else to do the legwork, Hungryroot is worth looking into. 

    Sign up for Hungryroot here.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    ebola

    • An American who may have been exposed to Ebola while working in the Democratic Republic of Congo has returned to the United States for monitoring.
    • The person will be monitored for up to two weeks at the Nebraska Medical Center, which has handled Ebola patients before.
    • An infectious diseases specialist at the medical center said the person is not currently ill and is not contagious.
    • Congo has been battling an Ebola outbreak for months, with hundreds of deaths as of December.

    An American medical worker who may have been exposed to Ebola while working in the Democratic Republic of Congo was flown back to the United States on Saturday and brought immediately to the Nebraska Medical Center for monitoring.

    The person, whose identity wasn't revealed because they requested privacy, will be monitored for up to two weeks in a "secure area" the public can't access, the Nebraska Medical Center said in a press release.

    The person was privately transported to the medical center Saturday afternoon, Politico reported.

    "This person may have been exposed to the virus but is not ill and is not contagious," Ted Cieslak, an infectious diseases specialist with Nebraska Medicine and an associate professor of epidemiology in the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, said in a statement. "Should any symptoms develop, the Nebraska Medicine/UNMC team is among the most qualified in the world to deal with them."

    Read more: The latest reports from Congo show patients not usually known to contract Ebola are infected: newborn babies

    The medical center said it would provide updates on the person's condition only if it becomes necessary to transfer the person to the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit.

    The medical center treated several Ebola patients in 2014, and monitored several other exposed people in 2015, though none contracted the disease.

    Congo has been battling an Ebola outbreak since August, culminating in 543 cases confirmed and 357 deaths as of late December, according to the World Health Organization.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's how many children you can have in a lifetime


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    felipe gomez alonzo

    • Catarina Alonzo, the mother of 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo, said her son wasn't ill on his journey to the United States.
    • Felipe is the second child to die this month in Border Patrol custody.
    • His mother's comments contradicted President Donald Trump's tweets on Saturday, which said the two children were already sick by the time they entered Border Patrol custody.
    • The New Mexico medical examiner's office, which conducted an autopsy, said that Felipe tested positive for the flu.

    The mother of a boy who died while in US custody says her son was healthy when he left Guatemala with his father on their journey hoping to migrate to the United States.

    The mother of 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo, Catarina Alonzo, spoke Saturday with Associated Press journalists at the family's home in a remote Guatemalan village some 250 miles west of Guatemala City.

    She said her son reported he was doing well every time that he and his father called home during their trek. She said the last time she spoke with Felipe he was in Mexico at the US border and said he was eating chicken.

    US authorities say the boy was suffering from the flu when he died last Monday in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

    He was the second child this month to die in US custody after crossing the border. The first was a seven-year-old Guatemalan girl, Jakelin Caal Maquin, who died in hospital roughly 24 hours after being arrested with her father and a large group of migrants in a remote area of the New Mexico desert.

    Catarina Alonzo's comments contradicted remarks made earlier Saturday by President Donald Trump, who said the children had been sick before they were arrested by Border Patrol.

    Read more: 'We've seen this coming': Why migrant children are dying in Border Patrol custody

    jakelin caal maquin

    Trump addressed the children's deaths for the first time Saturday afternoon in a series of tweets blaming Democratic lawmakers for US immigration laws.

    "Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. They can't. If we had a Wall, they wouldn't even try!" he tweeted.

    He continued: "The two … children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol."

    The Customs and Border Protection agency has responded to the deaths by conducting secondary medical screenings on all children currently detained, and commissioning other federal agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and the US Coast Guard to assist.

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen traveled to the US-Mexico border on Friday and Saturday to meet with Border Patrol officials, and be briefed on new procedures to conduct in-depth initial health exams.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The legendary economist who predicted the housing crisis says the US will win the trade war


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    jermaine massey oregon hotel

    • An Oregon hotel announced Saturday it fired two employees who called the police on a black guest, after spotting him in the lobby and demanding to know his room number.
    • Jermaine Massey said that even though he showed the guard his hotel key, the guard told him to leave and a manager called the police and accused Massey of loitering.
    • The DoubleTree by Hilton hotel tweeted on Saturday it had "zero tolerance for racism," and apologized to Massey.

    A hotel in Portland, Oregon, announced Saturday it fired two employees over mistreating a black guest, whom they asked to leave last week before calling the police.

    Jermaine Massey, 34, said he was talking to his mother on his phone in lobby of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel last Saturday when a security guard approached him to ask if he was a guest, and what his room number was.

    Massey said that even though he showed the guard his hotel key, the guard told him to leave and a manager called the police and accused Massey of loitering.

    In an Instagram post, Massey said he believed he was targeted by the hotel staff due to his race.

    "It is never ok to discriminate against guests for the color of their skin and to prejudge them based on your own bias against that race," Massey wrote.

    Read more: A hotel in Portland called the police on a black guest who was taking a phone call in the lobby

    Tonight I was racially profiled and discriminated against for taking a phone call in the lobby of my hotel room at the @doubletreepdx @doubletree. The security guard “Earl” decided that he would call the police on me, the exact reason is still unclear to me. He said that I was a safety threat to the other guests and that I was trespassing and said that I was a disturbance because I took a personal phone call from my mom in a more remote area of the lobby. The manager who actually called the cops, “Luis” actually asked me AFTER he called the cops, what happened? They already had in their minds that they didn’t want me there so I waited for the cops to show up and when they did, I explained my side of the story and they didn’t want to hear it. They asked me if I had personal items in my room (which of course I did) and asked me to go retrieve them. They told me that since the hotel requested me to leave, that if I didn’t I would be considered a trespasser and would be thrown in jail. I complied and cooperated and was not issued a refund for my room. I packed my stuff and went to another hotel. I cannot believe the level of professionalism that this hotel property had with me tonight. It is never ok to discriminate against guests for the color of their skin and to prejudge them based on your own bias against that race. Earl is a disgrace, calls himself a man but calls the Portland Police Dept on a man who was minding his own business in the lobby of his hotel. I had my hotel key in my hand the entire conversation, he knew I was a guest. He wanted to prove a point and did it in the worst way. Not really shocked that this happened but just extremely disappointed. I will be seeking justice. Believe that. @doubletree @doubletreepdx @hiltonhonors #hilton #hiltonhotels #racism #racisminamerica #racismisreal @shaunking

    A post shared by m a i n e (@mymainereason) on Dec 23, 2018 at 2:04am PST on

    The hotel included an apology to Massey in its tweet on Saturday.

    "DoubleTree by Hilton has zero tolerance for racism," the hotel tweeted, adding that it had "terminated 2 employees involved in the mistreatment of Mr. Massey and is working with Diversity & Inclusion experts. Hilton deeply apologizes to Mr. Massey."

    Massey spoke out about the incident on CNN on Friday, saying he felt hurt and humiliated by the situation.

    "I'm a person, at the end of the day, just like everyone else. And I deserve respect and fair treatment, and I did not receive that on Saturday," Massey said. "I think that there's a lot of perceptions about black males, in particular. That we're threats, and we're harmful, and we're just fearful individuals. And that bias impacts these situations and it's harmful to us as a people."

    The police call at the DoubleTree is just the latest in a series of instances where white people have called the police on black people for seemingly innocuous behavior, prompting viral outrage and raising concerns of racial bias.

    In October, a white woman in Brooklyn called the police on a black child she wrongly accused of sexual assault, later admitting she had been mistaken. In April, two young black men were forcibly removed from a Starbucks in Philadelphia by police as they sat in the café waiting for a business meeting.

    In May, a graduate student at Yale University was questioned by police after a fellow student reported her for sleeping in the common area of their dormitory. In June, one black firefighter in uniform was reported to police as he conducted a city-mandated inspection on homes in a neighborhood in Oakland, California.

    SEE ALSO: 'We've seen this coming': Why migrant children are dying in Border Patrol custody

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Tiny Home Jackson Hole Homeaway

    • Tiny houses are becoming increasingly popular around the world; their novelty makes for a unique vacation stay.
    • We teamed up with HomeAway to find some of the coolest tiny-home rentals around the world.
    • From a circus car in Germany to a cabin in Wyoming, one of these tiny homes could be your next getaway.

    Looking for something a little more novel than a traditional hotel or the tried-and-true Airbnb for your next vacation? Consider a tiny home.

    Living miniature, defined as residing in a space less than 600 square feet, has turned into a worldwide movement. The global tiny homes market is expected to increase by 7% over the next four years. 

    But you don't need to live in a tiny home to see what all the fuss is about. 

    We teamed up with HomeAway to find some of the coolest tiny home rentals on HomeAway and VRBO around the world, from a charming circus car in Germany to a luxury cabin in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and ranked them by cost per night.

    Which one will be home to your future getaway?

    SEE ALSO: Here's what living in a tiny house is really like, according to people who traded their homes for minimalism

    DON'T MISS: See inside the 15 most expensive penthouses for sale in America

    Somerset, California — $72 per night



    An eco-friendly, off-the-grid tiny home that runs completely on solar power, this award-winning tiny home has a private deck and prime proximity to 50 vineyards.

    See the listing »



    Homer, Alaska — $76 per night



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    Les Anges 51

    • The Chalet Les Anges has been named the world's best skichalet.
    • This is the second year in a row that the three-story chalet in Zermatt, Switzerland has been given the title by The World Ski Awards
    • The cabin has seven bedrooms and sweeping views of the iconic Matterhorn.

    For the second year in a row, Chalet Les Anges has been named the world's best ski chalet by the World Ski Awards.

    The chalet is located in Zermatt, a ski town in the southern, German-speaking part of Switzerland, just north of the Italian border.

    According to its website, it's available for rent in week-long increments. While the chalet is already booked up for many of the remaining winter 2018/2019 weekends, it's still available for some at a cool starting price point of $45,000 a week.

    The World Ski Awards looks at the best ski chalet — amongst other categories, like Best Ski Resort — in each of the world's top 25 ski tourism countries. Votes are then cast by professionals working in the ski industry. Chalet Les Anges, with its 2017 and 2018 wins, unseated the 2016 winner, Canada's Bighorn Revelstoke.

    Here's a look at the Swiss chalet:

    SEE ALSO: Inside 10 of the most luxurious ski chalets you can rent on Airbnb, ranked by price

    READ MORE: 50 of the best ski resorts to visit this winter in the US and Canada, ranked from most expensive to least

    The Chalet Les Anges is located in Zermatt, a famous ski resort town in the Swiss Alps.

    Source: Elysian Collection



    It offers spectacular views of one of Europe's most iconic peaks, the Matterhorn ...

    Source: Elysian Collection



    ... but the three-story chalet is also pretty noteworthy in its own right.

    Source: Elysian Collection



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    rihanna bodyguards

    • Rich people have always been private, but their desire for privacy has increased as they seek more security in a technological age.
    • But in an age of constant connection, some of the ultrarich are reeling in the flashiness in the name of safety.
    • Experts in high-end security say wealthy people are living under the radar at home and while traveling.

    Perhaps nothing conjures up an image of wealth like Nicki Minaj in her $400,000 pink Lamborghini or Mark Cuban stepping out of his $40 million private jet.

    But in an age of constant connection, some of the ultrarich are reeling in the flashiness in the name of safety.

    "Privacy and safety are inextricably linked. There was a time when privacy concerns were primarily about financial loss, such as bank wire or credit-card fraud," Gary Howlin, the senior vice president at Gavin de Becker & Associates, which provides executive protection for wealthy people including clients in the Supreme Court and the CIA, told Business Insider.

    "Now, particularly with personal information readily available via internet and social-media sources, people are using what was once private information to learn where clients live — or information about their activities in order to seek personal encounters with them," Howlin said.

    As a result, the wealthy are proceeding with caution when it comes to grand displays of wealth.

    Take for example Kim Kardashian West. The Queen of Selfies has always been known for flaunting her diamonds on Instagram and on "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," but after being held at gunpoint and robbed of more than $10 million in jewelry in 2016, she became more discreet about her wealth by toning down her social-media photos, no longer wearing a lot of jewelry in public, and getting 24-hour security.

    Kim Kardashian West

    But such a harrowing incident isn't a prerequisite for being discreet.

    CEOs and business moguls, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson, have always been somewhat private, at least to the general public, but even celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Melissa McCarthy are refraining from putting their wealth on display.

    The wealthy are living under the radar at home

    "There was a time when people really flaunted their wealth — now they don't," David Forbes, the head of private office at the estate agent Savills, told the reporter Kate Allen of the Financial Times. "People's priorities over the years have shifted. Now right at the top of the list, it's security."

    He added that while the wealthy still spent money on boats and planes, they didn't want to attract the kind of attention open displays of wealth bring; they're increasingly opting for what Allen called "under the radar" living, which takes shape on both small and big scales.

    This involves blocking GPS from locating property with a jamming signal, removing homes from the grid, and hiring architects to conceal buildings — whether by designing an underground home or by using a "stealth concealment design" for aboveground properties, Allen reported.

    These privacy tactics don't come cheap — one underground mansion was listed for $185 million last year. And those without underground homes are paying up to $500,000 to install luxe panic rooms, which are becoming more popular than ever among the rich as gun violence increases, Business Insider's Katie Warren previously reported.

    drake

    They're also living in affluent neighborhoods that bar Google's photography vehicles from entering — meaning their residences don't show up on Google Street View.

    Paul McCartney's mansion isn't visible on Street View, and neither are the homes of the residents in the celebrity-studded Hidden Hills, California, which include Kardashian West and Kanye West, Lisa Marie Presley, Drake, and Miley Cyrus, according to Vanity Fair.

    Try to drop a pin on Sea Island, Georgia, where numerous PGA Tour players live and where the average home costs $3.2 million, and you'll find no results on Street View either.

    Read more: 7 places you can't find on Google Maps

    Forbes told Allen that shell companies and ownership structures enabled anonymity to property buyers, as do gated communities. Homeowners are also spending more on home security systems, he said.

    Gavin de Becker & Associates provides a very high level of protection. At residential estates, that involves a dedicated security office, elaborate technological early-warning systems, and strict access control to keep people out, Howlin said.

    Mark Zuckerberg

    "It is common for a successful, well-known executive to spend a million dollars a year — or much more — for a comprehensive security and privacy program," Howlin said.

    This year, Facebook approved a $10 million annual security allowance for Zuckerberg and his family, an increase of nearly $3 million from the previous year, Business Insider previously reported.

    The wealthy are also seeking out privacy and security when they travel

    But such security isn't limited to the home — the ultrarich are also taking steps to travel more discreetly.

    "If you're driving a convertible Bentley right now in the South of France, you're asking for trouble — you'll be followed back to your villa by a couple of scooters," Forbes told Allen.

    Perhaps that's partly why so many billionaires avoid driving luxury cars. Zuckerberg has been seen in an Acura TSX, a Volkswagen hatchback, and a Honda Fit, each valued at or under $30,000. The Walmart heiress Alice Walton, the world's richest woman, drives a 2006 Ford F-150 King Ranch, which retails for about $40,000, according to CNBC.

    But that's just on the road — traveling across the country or internationally brings other challenges.

    For this, Gavin de Becker & Associates relies heavily on logistical planning and execution — clients want hotel rooms prechecked under an alias and privately accessible.

    "Our clients will never be found standing at the lobby desk to check in, and even walking through the public spaces is optional," Howlin said. The firm also owns and operates the Private Suite at LAX, where rich people pay upward of $4,500 for solitude when traveling — that includes drop-offs on the tarmac, bodyguard protection, and "private" security lines.

    Read more: I visited the private terminal at LAX where rich people pay upward of $4,500 to skip the lines and pull up to their planes in BMWs, and it made me feel like a billionaire

    "It's a safe haven offering the best privacy, security, and amenities money can buy," wrote Business Insider's Tanza Loudenback, who toured the luxury terminal.

    But that's when they're flying commercially.

    the private suite lax

    Any jet — even a private one — that's registered has a tail number and can be found, according to XOJET, an on-demand private-jet operator. Billionaire moguls, CEOs, and celebrities are shifting to on-demand charter jets for more privacy.

    "If you're a celebrity and you don't want the public knowing your every move, flying charter ... allows anonymity as the jets are randomly assigned based on the leg," James Henderson, the president of commercial operations at XOJET, told Business Insider. "Meaning you may never get the same jet twice — allowing for complete privacy."

    Jamie Foxx, Fergie, and Kardashian West have all flown on-demand private jets via JetSmarter, according to Travel + Leisure.

    Chartering a private jet doesn't come cheap — a trip from New York to Los Angeles via XOJET is $25,000 one way. But for many wealthy people, privacy is priceless.

    SEE ALSO: A foreign passport is the latest status symbol, and rich people are spending up to $200,000 to buy it

    DON'T MISS: Rich people of different ages prefer to spend their money in vastly different ways

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    cos 4202

    • Though H&M's business has been struggling as of late, other H&M group brands have been doing well, according to the company's CEO, Karl-Johan Persson.
    • Cos, which launched in 2007, is focused on timeless, minimalist designs sold in a modern setting. 
    • & Other Stories, launched in 2010, offers shoes, bags, accessories, beauty products, stationery and women's clothing. 
    • H&M tries to follow trends and sells an abundance of styles in stores, but its sister stores tend to be more timeless and high-end.
    • We compared H&M with its sister stores and saw why Cos and & Other Stories are helping keep H&M afloat. 
    H&M may be struggling, but its more high-end sister brands and thriving. 

    H&M is the largest brand owned by H&M group, with 4,353 stores worldwide. The brand struggled throughout 2017, and it has spent this year trying to correct issues like high prices and low-quality clothing. 

    "Customers have responded positively to the changes we are making, for example, in those H&M stores where we are trying out various adjustments to the selection, product presentation and store image to better suit the taste and shopping patterns of the local customers," CEO Karl-Johan Persson said in the brand's most recent earnings call in September. 

    It also has struggled with inventory — in June, the brand had over $4 billion worth of unsold clothing. Persson said in September that inventory is still higher than planned, but the brand is  "increasing automation" and "optimizing the logistics network," putting H&M in a better position than it was in this time last year.

    While H&M is struggling to fix its brand issues, its sister stores appear to be on a better track.

    Cos, short for Collection of Style, is known for its high-quality, thoughtful, and timeless designs meant to "last beyond the season," according to its website. While the philosophy is similar to that of H&M in terms of creating relatively affordable fashion, the brand has previously stated that "Cos prices start where H&M's finish." 

    & Other Stories, launched in 2010, offers shoes, bags, accessories, beauty products, stationery and women's clothing. According to its website, & Other Stories is a "a one-stop styling destination filled with collections from three design ateliers in Paris, Stockholm and Los Angeles." As with Cos, the brand is typically more expensive than H&M. 

    Cos currently has 255 stores, and & Other Stories has 63. 

    "We keep expanding our brands online through our own channels as well as through digital marketplaces. Later this year, Cos will open its online store in China." Persson said.

    "Our new brands benefit from the group’s economies of scale and infrastructure, enabling them to grow successfully – and we can already see several examples of this, such as Cos, & Other Stories and Monki.”

    We shopped at H&M, Cos, and & Other Stories to see why H&M is struggling to keep up:

    SEE ALSO: Lululemon is jumping on the cozy trend by opening a homey library space in one of its stores. Here's what it's like to visit.

    The first store we went to was H&M.



    The front of the store held a lot of business casual clothes...



    ... but a lot of the clothes were wrinkled and cluttered together.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    bezos

    • Amazon had a killer 2018 in nearly all respects, but its retail performance defied expectations.
    • The company is projected to close the year netting half of all online shopping done in the US with staggering sales growth online.
    • No other retailer came close, which is why we're naming it the most impressive retailer of 2018.

    For retail in 2018, there was really only one word that was on everybody's lips: Amazon.

    Just a mere mention of the online shopping giant sends other companies into a flurry of speculation — whether Amazon competes directly or not.

    It's easy to see why: Amazon is seeing incredible growth for a company of its size, making it one of the biggest retailers in the US and the world both online and off.

    In the US, Amazon will close out the year nabbing nearly half of all online sales, according to analysis by Emarketer, up from a 43.5% in 2017. Amazon will generate $258.22 billion in online retail sales in the US by the end of the year, a staggering increase of almost 30% from the year prior.

    Read more: Amazon reveals the top-selling items of the season as it announces record-breaking holiday sales

    But impressive sales aren't the only thing that Amazon got right in 2018.

    Amazon Web Services and Amazon Advertising are both also experiencing phenomenal growth, and its Alexa-enabled products remain the most popular smart devices. It's moving increasingly offline with Amazon Go stores, and its new 4-Star concept.

    As a company, it was able to perform to this impressive standard despite a growing set of detractors, both from elected representatives and the public. Despite a glitchy Prime Day that made customers upset. Despite HQ2 backlash. Despite competitors like Walmart nipping at its heels. Despite a trade war waged between China and President Trump and shipping costs becoming incrementally more expensive.

    Despite it all, Amazon will head into 2019 more confident than ever that nothing will hold it back. Now that is impressive.

    SEE ALSO: Making returns on Amazon isn't usually free, but it can be if you follow a simple rule

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    The Knickerbocker Hotel

    • The Knickerbocker Hotel was built in 1906 by John Jacob Astor IV in 1906, who died in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. It sits on the corner of 42nd street and Broadway.
    • After closing its doors in 1921, the hotel reopened in 2015 and began hosting luxury New Year's Eve rooftop parties, just 150 feet from the ball drop in Times Square. 
    • You can enjoy the exclusive party with three experiences ranging from $4,335 to $125,000. 
    • Each package includes two tickets, a minimum two-night stay at the hotel, access to a buffet and top-shelf open bar, and live entertainment, among other perks.

    An estimated one million people crowd into sectioned-off quarters of Times Square every year to see the famous countdown and ball drop on New Year's Eve.

    But that's not the only way to enjoy the celebratory night in person. You can experience an exclusive party at The Knickerbocker Hotel's St. Cloud rooftop, just 150 feet from the ball drop — if you're willing to pay at least $4,335.

    The hotel sits on the corner of 42nd street and Broadway, giving guests the Times Square experience without the crowded streets. The site was built in 1906 by Jacob Astor IV, whose family line is also responsible for several other properties in New York City, including the St. Regis Hotel

    The Knickerbocker Hotel claims several historical moments happened within its walls, including the creation of the first-ever martini and the debut of the red velvet rope to help control dinner crowds.

    But one of its most luxurious creations is an exclusive rooftop experience to ring in the new year. Check out what up to $125,000 could buy you on New Year's Eve at the historic hotel. 

    SEE ALSO: 30 highly successful people share their New Year's resolutions for 2018

    DON'T MISS: The 27 best under-the-radar places to spend New Year's Eve, according to the world's leading travel experts

    You can enjoy New Year's Eve 150 feet away from the iconic ball drop atop The Knickerbocker Hotel with a choice of three experiences: Gold, Platinum, or VIP box seats.

    Instagram Embed:
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    Source: The Knickerbocker Hotel



    Each package includes two tickets, a minimum two-night stay at the hotel, access to the St. Cloud rooftop, hors d'oeuvres, buffet, top-shelf open bar, live entertainment, party favors (including hand warmers) and a champagne toast at midnight.

    Instagram Embed:
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    Source: The Knickerbocker Hotel



    Here's what it looked like last year...

    Instagram Embed:
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    dkaXR6wBffmmojmTqADDgR014qz3cxTuDa9eLOFt4m4_preview

    • The Hanging Gardens of Bali is a luxurious resort in the middle of the jungle in Bali.
    • It has 44 villas, a twin-tiered pool, and was just named as having "the most stunning views" in the 2018 Boutique Hotel Awards.
    • But the views will cost you: A stay at the hotel ranges from $645 to $6,200 per night.

    Set in the middle of the jungle, with views of a valley, and surrounded by a rainforest: How could a resort like that offer anything but spectacular views?

    The Hanging Gardens of Bali were recently awarded the title of "the most stunning views" by the Boutique Hotel Awards.

    The resort was completed in 2005 and is built into a mountainside with a 45-degree slope. It consists of 44 villas.

    The Boutique Hotel Awards are in their eighth year. According to their website, nominations are made by industry experts, luxury hotel journalists, and self-nominations. This year, winners were selected from more than 300 nominations across 80 countries. It's also the first year the awards have included a "most stunning views" category.

    Also up for consideration in the same category were five other hotels in Sri Lanka, Belize, Mexico, Kenya, and Spain, respectively.

    The resort joins a host of other popular destinations across the island of Bali, including a pool that's become so popular the resort recently chose to ban the use of electronics as part of an "In The Moment" movement, and the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, where tourists pay $3 to risk wild monkeys stealing their phones and jewelry.

    Take a look inside the Hanging Gardens of Bali below.

    SEE ALSO: The top 14 boutique hotels in the world, from a romantic retreat in South Africa to a private villa in Thailand

    READ MORE: A luxury Bali resort that's popular with influencers has banned phones at its famous swimming pool

    The Hanging Gardens of Bali is located near the village of Payangan in the heart of Bali.

    Source: Hanging Gardens of Bali



    The luxurious resort has had multiple claims to fame since it first opened in 2005, most of them focused on its iconic twin-tiered swimming pool.

    Source: Hanging Gardens of Bali



    The resort consists of 44 private villas.

    Source: Hanging Gardens of Bali



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    golden door spa

    • Golden Door is an exclusive spa retreat in California unlike any other — it focuses on inner reflection and self-discovery through activities like predawn hikes and fencing lessons.
    • Celebrities, Hollywood elite, CEOs, and the rich flock to Golden Door to re-evaluate their life and de-stress.
    • A seven-night stay at Golden Door costs nearly $10,000.

    If you want to be pampered like the rich, look no further than Golden Door.

    Tucked away in the hills of San Marcos, California, this luxury spa retreat is like no other of its kind: Not only did it help kick-start start the wellness industry, according to the Hollywood Reporter, it also offers much more than the momentary bliss guaranteed in most spa retreats.

    Instead, it allows guests to indulge in their entire stay by helping them focus on inner reflection and self-discovery through mindfulness, healthy eating, spa treatments, fitness, and meditation. Attendees have gone to Golden Door to re-evaluate their life, de-stress, and expand their horizons.

    Because of its exclusivity, Golden Door was named the number one destination spa in the world by Travel + Leisure in 2015 and has been listed as one of the top 1,000 places to see before you die by The New York Times, according to its website.

    It's no wonder Golden Door, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2018, has been a favorite among celebrities and other Hollywood elite, as well as CEOs and real estate agents.

    With such accolades and clientele, Golden Door's steep cost shouldn't be shocking, but it's still enough to make your eyes pop. A seven-day stay will run you up nearly $10,000, according to Condé Nast Traveler.

    Here's what it's like to stay there, from its 1,200-calorie per day menus and Bollywood dancing classes to its predawn hikes and men's-only retreat.

    SEE ALSO: What it's like to vacation in St. Moritz, the hidden gem in the Swiss Alps where celebrities, billionaires, and royalty go to ski

    DON'T MISS: Inside the Molsheim Experience, the exclusive Bugatti-buying process that takes customers to France to create their own $3 million sports car

    Golden Door is located in San Marcos, California, between Los Angeles and San Diego. Travel + Leisure once named it the number one spa destination in the world.

    Source: Golden Door



    Situated on 600 acres, the spa has been around for 60 years and helped spur today's $4.2 trillion wellness industry.

    Source: Hollywood Reporter



    Before it was the spa it is today, Golden Door began as a motel with themed suites and was later reopened as a Japanese Inn.

    Source: Hollywood Reporter



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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