Boutique Lifestyle of the Best Hotels in Nicosia: Enjoyed With a Traditional Cyprus Christmas!

Christmas in Nicosia! It’s a fascinating mix for the culturally curious traveller. The contemporary, boutique lifestyle of the best hotels in Nicosia enjoyed alongside traditional Cyprus festivities.

From the cool pastel tones and gleaming designer chic of a classic Richard Eames chair, hotel guests may also comfortably let their senses wander beyond the hotel balcony window. Throughout Nicosia, as well as in the towns and villages across the island, local communities are preparing for a typical Cyprus Christmas.

Sweet aroma of rich savoury bakes

As the days count down, perhaps you may pick up the tantalising, sweet aroma of baked “Kourabiedes” and “Melomakarona” mingling with the mild December air.

Kourabiedes are a type of light shortbread, typically made with almonds and shaped into crescents or balls, then baked till slightly golden. It’s also traditional for the rich savoury bakes to be flavoured with brandy, such as Metaxa – a fine Greek spirit made from aged, cask strength brandy with Muscat grape wine – vanilla, or rose water.

Melomakarona are traditional Christmas honey cookies made with flour or semolina, cognac, cinnamon and olive oil. In a final mouth-watering touch the cookies are filled with dates and nuts, and then immersed in hot syrup made of honey and sugar.

Offered as a thank-you to carol singers

When local carol singers gather together and go door to door on Christmas Eve, they are often offered kourabiedes and melomakarona as a thank-you for their vocal efforts! It’s a very long standing tradition indeed, which is believed to date back to the island’s Byzantine era (330 – 1191AD) or even as far back as Ancient Greece (C 800BC).

It’s known that children would visit their neighbours and sing while carrying small wooden boats in honour of Dionysos, mythic god of wine and festivity. Today on Christmas Eve, Cypriot children are more likely to be heard singing carols, known as “Calanda” and “Good evening, the Magi”, “Jingle Bells” and “Koleda”, which is mostly sung in northern Greece.

Decorated with the symbol of the cross

Another baked savoury, which is actually prepared by hand-kneading on Christmas Eve, is “Gennopitta”, a special sweet yeast bread – also known as “Christopsomo” as it’s usually decorated with the symbol of the cross – and eaten on Christmas Day.

It’s a reminder that Christmas in Cyprus is still traditionally regarded in parts of the island as primarily a religious celebration and is preceded by a period of fasting. For many Cypriots, devotions for the festive season are from the Feast of St. Nicholas on 6th December until the Feast of Epiphany on January 6th.

 

 

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Festive Events in Nicosia Begin With Lighting the Christmas Tree!

The festive season is underway!

Naturally, the best hotels in Nicosia are busy preparing to welcome back regular guests and new visitors. They all love the personalised, boutique lifestyle and many often stay right through to the New Year.

With daily temperatures typically peaking around 18C, celebrating Christmas and New Year in the mild warm Mediterranean air is simply an irresistible combination. In 2018, a record-breaking 106,500 visitors were in Cyprus during December, up from 99,000 the year before (Cyprus Statistical Service).

Lighting the Christmas Tree

For those currently visiting Nicosia, the start of December sees the first of many traditional events in Nicosia to herald the coming celebrations. Lighting the Christmas Tree –  in a local public space – definitely sends a message that the festive season has begun.

The Sosse Chapter of humanitarian aid group, ARS Cyprus (founded in 1910), will be hosting this inaugural event with a “decoration and lighting” of their Christmas Tree at Homenetmen AYMA, Alasia 8, Nicosia on Sunday 1st December, starting at 3:30pm. The switching on of the lights is schedule for 6:00pm and everyone is welcome to continue the celebrations accompanied by music, snacks and a display of arts and crafts.

Annual German Christmas Fayre

On the same day, the annual German Christmas Fayre, organised by the Cypriot-German Cultural Association takes place at the Municipal Centre, by Famagusta Gate between 1:00 and 8:00pm. There will  definitely be something for everybody among a huge variety of handmade gifts and traditional German Christmas decorations and treats, such as Lebkuchen ( a traditional German baked Christmas cookie) and Stollen (a fruit bread of nuts, spices and candied fruit, coated with powdered sugar) brought directly from Germany at affordable prices.

No traditional German Fayre would be complete without the chance to enjoy the ever-popular German sausages, Glühwein (mulled wine) plus a variety of other German beers to sample, waffles and many other delicacies. All accompanied by a live serenade of Christmas music. There’s even an appearance by Santa Claus too!

Viennese Christmas Concert

A long-established tradition in Austria, the Viennese Christmas Concert takes place at the Presidential Palace, Nicosia, on Thursday, December 5th (8:00pm).

This special concert was first held in Nicosia in 2015 – and every year since then – in support of the Cyprus Association, “One Wish One Dream”, for children suffering with cancer and related diseases.

The annual collaboration with the Embassy of Austria in Cyprus is also under the patronage of Mrs Antri Anastasiades, wife of the President of the Republic of Cyprus.

This year features the special appearance of The Vienna Classic Orchestra alongside international singers and musicians. Many popular Christmas songs will be included in the programme as well as highlights from Viennese “Opereta and Valses”.

 

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A Healthy-Eating Breakfast Buffet at the Best Hotels In Nicosia!

Healthy-eating, the Mediterranean diet and boutique lifestyle! A powerful triple bill that has come to redefine the hotel experience among a new generation of global traveller. Not least, in the Cyprus capital! In recent years, the best hotels in Nicosia have continued to work tirelessly to always ensure they offer a breakfast buffet menu sought by guests who increasingly have adopted a healthy-eating lifestyle.

Furthermore, holidaymaker and business traveller alike may simply not want to abandon their healthy-eating routines. In many ways, visitors to Cyprus often seek to increase their dietary knowledge and experience of the Mediterranean diet. It’s variety of dishes are daily prepared with fruits and salad vegetables, nuts, grains and infused with lemon and olive oil, well-seasoned with a variety of herbs.

A recent report of more than 800 collected medical studies, clearly shows that those people who eat a Mediterranean-type diet every day are “less prone to chronic disease, stroke or heart attack, and more likely to remain mentally alert”.

Guests actually thinking about eating breakfast when booking

However, it is the importance of the hotel breakfast, which appears to be a major determining factor in whether a guest will proceed with booking an accommodation, according to a recent hotel.com survey. It’s so important that guests are actually thinking about what they will be eating for breakfast when they book their reservation. Nearly a half (42 per cent) in a Google consumer survey admitted that the “hotel feature they most looked forward to” was eating breakfast!

A traditional Cyprus breakfast typically consists of olives, juicy tomatoes, baby cucumbers, fried/grilled halloumi (mixed goat and sheep’s milk), eggs and lountza (cured pork tenderloin). This is further accompanied by fresh, sesame-seed covered bread, Anari (soft Cyprus cheese) or yogurt with fresh fruit drizzled with honey.

Extended the traditional continental breakfast

However, it is likely to be the “inclusive” help-yourself, buffet breakfast, which has extended the traditional continental breakfast beyond the basic bread basket selection, accompanied by coffee or tea. Today, you may also find a selection of cereals and muesli, toast, muffins, croissants, waffles, pancakes, pastries and bagels. Plus, the necessary condiments such as butter, cream, several types of cheeses, jam and jelly. Many buffet breakfast also offer eggs, mostly boiled or scrambled, cold meats even grilled sausages.

Today, providing fruit as the healthier option increasingly takes centre stage on the serving counter. Typically, there will be apples and bananas, but also more often, melon, pears, grapes, and an assortment of berries. No mention of hotel breakfast is complete without the fruit juice. Where once the choice was simply orange or apple, today options often include cranberry, grapefruit, and grape juice too.

 

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Boutique Nicosia Accommodation – Choice of Real Estate Professionals At 4-Day Expo

The Annual Global Housing and Real Estate Summit and Expo is due to take place in Cyprus, 25–28 Nov 2019. Amongst the many conferences and business events, for which delegates continually arrive on the island to attend, it is arguably, the property sector that is the biggest attraction for global investors.

Naturally, for these kinds of high end occasions, the best hotels in Nicosia tend to be booked, especially by executive guests who expect the boutique lifestyle and experiences offered by premium Nicosia accommodation.

One of the faster growing economies in Europe

Recording an annual 3.9 per cent increase in GDP, Cyprus is recognised as one of the faster growing economies in Europe. A leading role is continued to be played by the real estate sector, contributing nearly 40 per cent of the annual growth rate and 16 per cent towards the Cypriot economy, according to the KPMG Cyprus Real Estate Market Report, 2018. The report also shows that the number of building permits issued over the last year has continued its rising trend – up by 12 per cent – with Nicosia issuing the highest number at 37 per cent.

It’s increasingly clear that the various Government incentives have led to a surge in demand, principally from overseas investors, with measures such as, the abolition of immovable property taxes, schemes for permanent residency and naturalisation of investors by exception. KPMG also say that the volume of transactions for high value residential properties above €1million euros rose by 27 per cent.

Meet with leading real estate experts

The Global Housing and Real Estate Summit and Expo, organised by FOW world Properties, is headlined as “Shelter for Humanity”. The event is aimed at ‘principal solution’ contributors and the most influential real estate professionals from the private and public sector including, investment brokers, high net-worth principals, government agencies and state-run enterprises, building and construction companies, real estate firms and land surveyors.

Over the four days of the expo – including seminars and workshops – delegates will have the opportunity to meet with leading real estate experts and discuss emerging global real estate issues, explore current market opportunities and challenges, and create new partnerships and alliances.

Personalised facilities and guest service

The daily schedule of exploring the exhibition, attending seminars, meetings and appointments can invariably continue late into the night with a non-stop round of receptions, dinners and associated company events. It can be demanding even for veteran attendees.

It’s another very good reason why the experienced executive knows that they can rely on the personalised facilities and guest service of the best boutique hotels to ensure they receive the luxury power sleep they need for the duration of the event.

 

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The Best Nicosia Accommodation – Distinctive Identity and Memorable Experiences!

Why stay in a boutique hotel? Are they so different from any other small, independent hotel or even in some cases, a chain hotel? All questions that can be asked by anyone thinking of booking best Nicosia accommodation, even it’s only a single room for a couple of nights. The redefinition of the guest ‘experience’ continues to transform the meaning of ‘luxury’ accommodation and the best hotels in Nicosia reflect this dynamic, ongoing trend.

Global hospitality research services, HVS, report that more than half of the world’s hotels are still dominated by large chain brands, and a handful such as the Hilton or the Marriott supply around one in three rooms. Nevertheless, the global traveller increasingly opts for the ‘personalised’ experience. In 2017, the boutique hotel sector grew by 7 per cent, actually outstripping on average, the high-end hotel (The Boutique Hotel Report, STR Global).

A new cohort of the culturally curious

By understanding the individual needs of their guests, each with their own different and sometimes demanding travel schedule, the independent boutique hotel is ‘customer focused’ to provide unique, personalised comfort and relaxation. Since its inception three decades ago, the boutique age of distinctive identity, themed design and décor has whetted the appetite for ‘memorable experiences’ and created a new cohort of the culturally curious.

The explorer traveller is now a ‘state of mind’, even if embarked on a standard business trip. Typically consisting of between 10 and 100 rooms in unusual or unexpected settings, the boutique hotel has the flexibility to be both ‘upscale’ and offer individualised, unique facilities as compelling selling points. From hotel reception to guest room, restaurant, bar, spa and beyond, every attention to design detail and amenity intends to fascinate and satisfy.

The trouser press and 14in TV are no longer enough

It’s no coincidence, therefore, that many of the large global hotel chains have increasingly turned to offering their own boutique style brand facilities as an alternative to the outdated, dull and uninspiring, standard issue rooms. The trouser press, mini bar and 14in TV are no longer enough! As in many areas of modern human existence, technology is increasingly an essential part of any hospitality service. The concept of the ‘intelligent’ room has already begun with the essential fast internet / WiFi connection.

Inspiring boutique hotel experiences get themselves noticed too. One guest’s quiet personal moment of discovery and joy can often be shared among countless numbers on social media. From an unusual room decoration or a stunning balcony view to a local cocktail mix or individual buffet dish. Ultimately, people choose to go boutique because of the service dedication to guest care and attention.

 

Redefining the guest ‘experience’
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Best Hotels In Nicosia Prepare for VIP Guests at 15th Cyprus Summit

The 15th Cyprus Summit – “Cyprus Unimpeded? Europe in Need of A New Narrative” – takes place in Nicosia on Mon 4th and Tue 5th November 2019.

The 2-day event, organised by the British weekly news group, the Economist, is always an important annual date, which this year includes a symposium on whether Cyprus will manage to “diversify its economy and become a significant business hub”.

The Summit takes place at the Hilton, however, many of the best hotels in Nicosia will also be putting the final touches in place to ensure the highest level of personalised boutique hotel experience meets and greets key delegates and their entourage when they arrive.

Wide range of “international and regional issues”

Nearly 40 distinguished guest speakers from the worlds of “government, banking and business” as well as CEOs and leading executives from European, US and neighbouring state institutions will be discussing a wide range of “international and regional issues.”

The Summit will be officially opened by Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, addressing the topic, “Cyprus: Creating Solid Foundations For Regional Co-operation”. This will be followed by a talk on Brexit and the EU, given by Jo Johnson, Britain’s former Director of Policy at No.10 Downing Street and brother of current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

Further debates scheduled for Day One will include contributions from Nikos Christodoulides, Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs, Savvas Angelides, Cyprus Minster of Defence and Judith G. Garber, US Ambassador to Rep. of Cyprus. An Opening Gala Dinner will be addressed by Dr Wess Mitchell, former US assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.

Impressive “who’s who” of Cypriot speakers

Day Two will primarily focus on tackling key business and trade subjects such as, the “most significant challenges for the global economy and growth”, an update on the banking sector, “global trends in hydrocarbon exploitation” and examining the “strategy for investments in Cyprus and the region”.

An impressive “ministerial who’s who” of Cypriot speakers include, Harris Georgiades Minister of Finance, Georgios Lakkotrypis, Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry, Constantinos Herodotou Governor, Central Bank of Cyprus and Christodoulos E. Angastiniotis, President, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Summit, organised with the collaboration of the European Commission, comes at a pivotal moment in the ongoing economic and financial progress of Cyprus within the European environment. The Cyprus economy grew 3.2 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2019, according the Statistical Service of Cyprus. GDP also expanded 0.8 per cent – higher than the predicted 0.7 per cent – up from a 0.6 per cent in the first quarter.

 

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Nicosia Hotels Near Nature’s Autumn Colour Spectacular

During the autumn months, the best Nicosia hotels are not only busy with guests arriving for business conferences, exhibitions and cultural events. They are often also booking in guests keen to take advantage of nature’s colour spectacular that the island herself puts on at this time of the year.

As the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia brings business professionals every day to its urban decision-making centre. But the natural beauty of the surrounding Mediterranean countryside, which is never too far away, is also a powerful lure. Summer’s verdant green leaf splendour becomes a radiant canopy of crimson, copper, orange and yellow covering the island’s woodlands and winemaking villages. Burnished copper hues carpet the forest floors – making a dazzling hiking trail to follow.

Athalassa National Forest Park

In the age of the boutique hotel, wellbeing and personalised experience – and with the warm October Cyprus air around 27C – executive travellers and autumn holidaymakers can enjoy nature’s display in Nicosia’s local parks. Starting off with Athalassa National Forest Park on the south-eastern edge of the city, which covers 840 hectares (2,075 acres) – the largest public green space in the area. Complete with a large lake, visitor centre and picnic sites, Athalassa is a bustling haven of native flora and fauna which can be readily explored over some 20kms of nature trails, cycling paths and birdwatching sites.

Grammiko Park 

Close by to Agios Dimitrios Park is Grammiko Park – also known as Pedieos Linear Park – with nearly 10kms of walking and cycling paths following along the banks of the Pedieos River. The park is well-known as the home of the Presidential Place, behind which, is a bronze bust of Russian Cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin – the first man in space. Declared an honorary citizen of Cyprus when Gagarin visited in 1962, the small monument commemorates the 50th anniversary of his flight.

Mitsero Mines’ Red Lake

Also, back in time more than half a century, a ”colourful” monument of a different kind! Cyprus first began mining for copper around 4,000 BC. The vivid orange metal – Latin “cuprum” – was even named after the Greek word for Cyprus “Kúpros”. Around 28kms (17 ml) south west of Nicosia en-route to the village of Mitsero, are the two old Kokkinopezoula and Kokkinoyia copper mines near the village of Mitsero, which ceased excavations in 1966. Over time, the large abandoned quarry filled with water during the winter months, it’s high acid levels mixed with the natural mineral order to create a deep scarlet, red liquid lake. Today, the area is are part of a UNESCO Geopark.

 

Experience the dazzling colours in a warm Cyprus autumn
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Best Nicosia Hotels Welcome Guests Seeking Family Friendly Events at Autumn Half Term

School half-term holidays are nearly here. The summer tourist season may be over but the best Nicosia hotels look forward to welcoming guests on a mini-break during mid-October. There is much for the culturally curious with kids in tow to see and do, of course. However, not all Cyprus establishments or even some Nicosia accommodation stay open during the autumn/winter months.

Almost 60 per cent of tourist arrivals to Cyprus are from EU member states – the top five countries being UK, Russia, Sweden, Greece and Germany (CYSTAT) – which mostly have their autumn school holidays around this time. (UK: 22-26 Oct, Russia: 27 Oct-5 Nov, Sweden: 28 Oct-1 Nov, Germany: 3-18 Oct).

October visitors on the rise

Cyprus is often perceived as a summer holiday destination, not least because of the near, all-year round warm climate – currently, temperatures in Nicosia are still hitting 28C! Nevertheless, while arrivals between May and September have increased by five or even six times than the rest of the year, visitors during October are on the rise too!

In Oct 2018, the total number of Cyprus visitors was 433,617 compared to 406,870 in Oct 2017 – up by 6.6 per cent. A figure that has nearly doubled in five years and by two thirds in ten years. In Oct 2013, there were 273,587 visitors and 267,866 in Oct 2009 (CYSTAT).

So, which family friendly events will be on in Nicosia during the half term holidaymakers’ brief stay? Here’s a flavour…

Fun exploration of Larnaca’s cultural heritage

“Let’s Share Nicosia” is a walking treasure hunt around the capital where everyone is invited on a fun exploration of Larnaca’s cultural heritage sites and other fascinating places of interest.

During the one day event, which starts at Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia on Saturday, October 19th, 2019 (10:30 – 13:00), all participants will receive a photo and other materials, from which they must identify the location and find the person who will hand over the next photo-clue.

Inspire visiting families to star in an adventure story

All six photos / items must be collected within 2 hours and pics posted to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using specific hashtags. Whoever receives the most “likes” / reaction will be declared the winner after the count has taken place on Tuesday 22 October.

“Family Stories” – taking place at the Leventis Gallery on Sunday 20 Oct (10:30 & 15:00) – is billed as an “alternative experience”, where “the unfamiliar can become familiar”. Paintings exhibited at the Gallery are aimed to inspire visiting families to star in an adventure story picked from their choice of house, garden and people depicted.

 

Autumn mini-breaks for all!
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Nicosia Accommodations Welcome Guests For Building, Design and Logistics Conferences

The conference season is well underway. Many Nicosia accommodations are busy welcoming guests from the worlds of business, research and education as conference expos take place around the capital, including building construction, TFYD (First Year Design) and supply chain logistics.

The personalised boutique experience offered by the best Nicosia hotel tends to be an absolute must! Not only for holiday-makers and business executives but also researchers, academics, and other guests with a professional background.

Latest data and future trends in construction

The Conference on the Design and Construction of Building (Wed, 23 Oct at Nicosia’s Hilton Park, Egkomi, Nicosia) comes at a strategic time in the economic development of Cyprus. In May, the Cyprus finance minister, Harris Georgiades stated that “the island nation’s economy was on track to grow by 3.5 percent in 2019, double the European Union average”.

More than 2,000 building permits had been issued in the first six months of 2019 – up by more than 6 per cent on 2018 – and the number of buildings constructed rose by more than 38 per cent. It is also reported that the “most active construction” is currently underway in Nicosia with more than 700 construction permits issued.

The Conference will present analysis of the latest data and future trends in construction to as many as 500 attendees including, civil, geotechnical, environmental and communication engineers, architects, structural surveyors, urban and regional designers.

Start of a student’s architectural education

The development of architectural training is, of course, essential to progressing economic growth and sustainable design / construction in Cyprus. At the same time, the great architectural traditions of the medieval craft guilds is an important component to an architecture student’s education.

The First Year Design (TFYD) Conference (23-25 Oct at University of Cyprus, Nicosia) will focus on the challenges of teaching design at the very start of a student’s architectural education, including analysis and discussion of the methods, symbols, narratives and customs of current first-year design teaching practice, including the tradition of the master-apprentice model.

Essential role in sustainable deliverability

Today, business economic growth is poised more than ever on the knife-edge of exact supply and demand. Latest technology advances are playing an essential role in sustainable deliverability. The Supply Chain and Logistics Exhibition (24 Oct at Filoxenia Conference Centre, Aglantzia, Nicosia) will be identifying and assessing “methodologies, tools and solutions that deliver cost savings in storage and distribution” and “reducing inventory and maintenance costs”.

The continuing transformation of the Cyprus economy embraces both finance real estate as well as traditional tourism. All three industries are estimated to bring in more than three quarters (80 per cent) of the island’s income and employment.

 

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Is Your Nicosia Accommodation a Boutique or Lifestyle Hotel? Research Explains the Difference!

Two words – one meaning? Today, even global chains claim to offer a “boutique hotel” experience. Is it possible to find a single definition that is totally on-message with the needs of the modern traveller?

The attraction of staying in a boutique hotel, even for only a couple of nights, has captured the traveller’s imagination and transformed tourism over the last three decades. Visitors to the Cyprus capital who seek the best hotels in Nicosia increasingly look to the boutique concept and its promise of a “lifestyle” experience.

But everybody is likely to have their own definition of boutique and what they might expect at their chosen Nicosia accommodation from the moment they walk through the reception doors. Around the world and on this island alone, all types of Nicosia city centre hotels may declare their boutique or lifestyle  credentials. But there can be a difference between the two, and recent research provides instructive insight…

Experienced global traveller is no longer content with brand standardisation

Over the last 30 years, the increasingly experienced global traveller is no longer content with brand standardisation supplied by the major international hotel chains. Whether on annual vacation, weekend minibreak or business trip. The rise of the boutique and lifestyle hotel reflects a changed sensibility towards travel and leisure. A journey in the outward world is also about the inner journey of meaningful  discovery and transformation.

A panel of more than 40 industry professionals from around the world – commissioned by the Boutique and Lifestyle Lodging Association – agreed that the most important defining features of a boutique hotel are Cultural, Historical and its Authenticity. Boutique hotels are typically small hotels offering high levels of service, not part of a chain and provide unique and interesting services with “many, high quality in‐room features”.

Hotel experience should provide guests with important emotional responses

Hotels often describe themselves as boutique and lifestyle, but there are perceived differences.

Lifestyle hotels tend to be small to medium sized which are most importantly focused on innovation and providing a more “personalised experience” than the traditional “branded” hotels. The aesthetics of a lifestyle hotel are more contemporary, offering unusual design and architecture plus high level technology. A lifestyle hotel tends to focus on wellness and life‐enhancement.

However, the research reveals both the boutique and lifestyle hotel experience should provide guests with the important emotional responses of Discovery, Curiosity, Intrigue” and Amazement. Other meaningful emotions include, “Happy, Joyful, Amused” and “Sensual, Sexy, Romantic”. A luxury hotel is increasingly redefined as the richness of the personalised meaningful experience.

 

A lifestyle experience
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