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2019= New Year, New….Food bingeing spree?

Many of us began the year on a health and fitness kick. I say 'us', I don't actually mean ourselves included. Most people are still couch potatoes and the passing of time won't do much to change that.

80 percent of people will have abandoned their New Year's resolutions by February, which is a pretty high statistic.

The only thing that could tempt us to change our deviant ways and embrace the health kick is…luxurious travel destinations. Luckily for you gals, we've discovered the best value deals for your health-focused trips.

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Travel Republic have helped us to bring wellness to the forefront of our priorities…by having a selection of INSANELY stunning destinations to lure us towards.

Health and rejuvenation are the goal, and now it's never been easier to take a relaxing post-January break which doesn't negatively impact your lifestyle choices.

Sounds good to us, so what are the winners?

1. Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa: Killarney, Co .Kerry

The Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa is unbelievably magical, and offers unparalleled luxury overlooking the world-famous lakes of Killarney.

The spa at Aghadoe is honestly an oasis of pure serenity; the 10,000 square foot Resort Spa has 11 treatment rooms, relaxation areas, couples suites and a THERMAL SUITE.

The hotel has a fully equipped gym, conservatory-style indoor pool and outdoor terrace and some stunning local hikes and walking trails to enjoy.

If it's good enough for Gary Barlow, it's good enough for us:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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2. RedLevel at Melia Palacio de Isora – Tenerife

This is next-level privacy chic, and it's adults ONLY. The RedLevel at Melia Palacio de Isadora is located beside the Tenerife sea, where the excellent service and facilities will give you a classy, unique stay.

The destination has the elite SPA by Clarins on offer, as well as a private pool surrounded by Bali beds and a Pool Concierge service for the infinity pool. They also boast the LARGEST saltwater hotel pool in Europe, at a 5,000m2.

If you need the perfect place for relaxed rejuvenation with the best food you can buy, total seclusion and dazzling sunshine, this one's a winner. Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and embrace the wellness, if you've got the cash, that is.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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3. 137 Pillars House: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Ah, our personal favourite. This destination is NEXT. LEVEL. GORGEOUSNESS.

If a far-flung and exotic setting is your biggest wish for the great escape, look no further than the beauty of Chiang Mai. The tropical Thai paradise is famed worldwide for it's calm and serene vibe, and private space.

Nestled in lush scenery, the hotel boasts a luxurious spa, yoga classes, tropical gardens, a drool-worthy pool, a gym….and Tai Chi. Wowza.

The hotel has a variety of wellness packages on offer to suit the needs of every traveller; it's the ideal health-driven retreat. There are also millions of elephant sanctuaries nestled in Chiang Mai which make the perfect tourist treat.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 4. Taj Bentota Resort & Spa – Bentota, Sri Lanka

The Golden Mile of Bentota beach is something of a gem, nestled along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka.

The setting is totally unique, with the hotel overlooking the idyllic Indian Ocean and only 40 miles south of Colombo; Sri Lanka's capital.

The relaxing resort comprises 162 rooms with sea or garden views, vistas of the Indian Ocean of the lush vegetation of the tropical shrubbery around the building. They've got two tennis courts, a health club with a steam bath and sauna and a fully-equipped gym. Oh, and don't forget about the outdoor swimming pool, a poolside snack bar and games.

Asia's most exotic sanctuary is without a doubt a great decision for those wellness and health fanatics out there to enjoy:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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5. Hotel Palazzo Montemartini: Rome, Italy

JUST LOOK AT THE POOL.

The prestigious Palazzo Montemartini is a boujée five-star hotel in central Rome, within walking distance from Termini Station, Baths of Diocletian and Michaelangelo's church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. Need we say more?

It's the ONLY hotel in Rome crossed by the Servian Walls, built way back in the sixth century BC. Wellness and holiday fans can find unique high-tech elegance in the location, with 82 rooms and suites and the ultra-exclusive Senses Restaurant & Lounge Bar

The exclusive SPA ExPure has pure unforgettable moments of relaxation. They've got massage and treatment rooms, colour therapy showers, heated swimming pools, saunas and Turkish baths. The dream.

We. Are. Drooling. It's the destination we want, but also the destination we NEED. 

There you have it, ladies and gents. The top five wellness and health destinations the world can offer, with opulent, lavish and sumptuous locations for y'all to visit.

You deserve this level of decadence, plus you'd achieve the most EXTRA of Instagram snaps.

Retreat to these magical destinations and never look back. Actually, screw that. Just don't ever leave? 

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Everyone's jetting off on their holidays all of a sudden, and we can't help but look out the window wistfully as we sit here at home.

If you're also green with travel envy though, never fear. No longer will you have to look at your friends' Insta posts wishing you were travelling the world, too.

Thanks to cheap-ish flights and the beauty of our European neighbours, you can still go on those last-minute trips. 

Here are our top picks for Airbnb homes in Madrid, Budapest, Rome, and Edinburgh.

Madrid

NEW Remodel Madrid Sol downtown duplex €63 p/n

This chic apartment is nestled in the heart of Madrid, near plenty of the Spanish capital's main attractions.

The flat can accommodate two guests and is exquisitely decorated – perfect for the cosmopolitan traveller.

Private Studio in Sol, Madrid €80 p/n

If you're looking for a place steeped in history, this is it. This antique apartment was built in the 17th century but has been refurbished in a modern style.

The studio fits four guests, has two large balconies to enjoy, and is just a stone's throw away from Sol Square.

Budapest

Best panorama, great location on Buda side €48 p/n

This one-room flat offers a gorgeous view of the Danube and Chain Bridge.

The cosy apartment suits two guests and the hosts hope that, while everyone may arrive as strangers, they leave as close friends.

Rooftop Atelier Apt.- Cozy & Lovely €50

A mere five minute walk away from the lively bars and restaurants of the Jewish Quarter, this cute apartment is a lovely home away from home.

Sleeping up to three guests, the balcony opening onto a courtyard is just one of the many touches that make this a memorable place to stay.

Edinburgh

Converted factory with parking €103

This flat is the perfect place for you and three of your friends to enjoy the bohemian Stockbridge neighbourhood.

As well, the funky industrial-style apartment is within walking distance of Edinburgh city centre.

Quiet, bright apartment with free parking space! €62 p/n

Tucked away in a family-friendly neighbourhood, this place is so lovely with its bright pops of colour and eclectic decor.

City centre is a walkable distance away, and there are plenty of amenities nearby for the four guests staying in the flat.

Rome

PignetoRhome: Casetta Allegra €40 p/n

By far the highlight of this cosy attic home is its rooftop with an amazing terrace. Just imagine sipping an espresso up there in the morning!

The apartment fits two guests and is quite close to public transport lines.

Loft Garden San Lorenzo €45 p/n

We are simply in love with this apartment situated in the historical San Lorenzo neighbourhood.

Besides its beautiful retro decor, the flat also boasts an outdoor courtyard and has enough room for you and five friends.

 

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Among the many exciting European cities I have been lucky enough to visit, Rome holds a special place in my heart.

Aesthetically, it is one of the most beautiful places you will ever get to see; culturally, you can discover some truly incredible artwork, feeling like you are walking in an open air museum; foodwise, it offers some of the best food you could dream of.

While the offer is overabundant and overall quite affordable, here are some tried and tested places we seriously recommend if you are planning a trip to the Italian capital this summer.

1. Matricianella

 

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A few steps from the Borghese Palace, Matricianella is an old trattoria with checked tablecloths, black-and-white-dressed waiters and a menu that will make you drool.

Go for the Taglioni al tartuffo (the truffle pasta), they are a proper masterpiece.

2. Trattoria Da Teo

 

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Located in the gorgeous neighbourhood of Trastevere, this small eatery offers the most typically Roman experience.

Get a table outside and order some pasta, it will probably be the best ones you have ever tasted – we particularly recommend the Spaghetti alle Vongole. 

3. Pizzeria Ostiense

Roman pizzas are quite different to the thick doughy Neapolitan-style pizza we are mostly used to. Paper-thin, with simple yet tasty topping, it makes for a whole new pizza experience.

In the hip neighbourhood of Testaccio, we recommend Pizzeria Ostiense, loved by the locals. You are in for a treat!

4. Giolitti

 

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Open since 1900, this gelateria can be considered a landmark at that stage and some consider it the best one in Rome. 

Don't be repelled by the queue and the absolute mayhem inside the shop. Your ice-cream will be 100% worth it.

5. Al Moro

 

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Located near the Trevi Fountain, Al Moro is a high-end, 1920s wood-paneled restaurant with a classic Roman menu.

Offering excellent traditional and seasonal dishes, this historic eatery will provide a fabulous Roman experience. 

6. Pasticceria Regoli

 

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This family run pastry shop has been serving sweet delicacies since 1916 and is a highly popular shop among the Romans.

Get a selection of pastries and unapologetically make a meal out of it, you won't regret it!

Featured image: Instagram @ken_loh

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It looks like Rita Ora has a new man in her life, and judging by her actions, she wants to keep this one low key.

The singer kept her head down yesterday as she arrived in London, but it was what she was up to beforehand that has everyone talking.

While in Rome, the singer was seen getting comfortable with her rumoured new boyfriend, Andrew Watt, and they shared some PDA while they thought the cameras were off them.

Andrew is an American singer and songwriter, and was formerly a member of the band California Breed.

Rita hasn't made any comments about the photos yet, but we just hope she's happy!

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Posting a stunning snap to her Instagram account, it's clear that X Factor's Cheryl Fernandez Versini had picked an incredible location for judges' houses this year.

Admitting that she was a lucky girl, she shared a photograph from Rome, Italy, which showed the breathtaking lakeside view from her bedroom.

Unsurprisingly, it was an image which quickly garnered more than 35,000 likes. 

"Oh wow… what I would give to be sat there for a couple of hours… amazing image x," one fan said in response.

"Wow such An amazing view," said another, while a third added: "What a beautiful view!! You are one lucky girl."

The 32-year-old singer was in the Eternal City for a whistle-stop, two-night stay. There, she was faced with the task of whittling down the groups from a total of six to just three. 

And rather than hire a private jet to transport her and her entourage, Ms Fernandez Versini was happy to catch a BA flight from London there and back, although she did enjoy a helicopter transfer to the luxurious villa on arrival in Rome. 

Still, her return journey was not entirely without incident: she said that she was surrounded by coughing and sneezing sick passengers. "Dear work," she added in an Instagram picture, "I think I'm getting sick I may need a week off."

Luckily, however, Cheryl had recovered sufficiently to make BFF and fellow Girls Aloud songstress Nicola Roberts's 30th birthday bash.

Held in London's swish Hotel Chantelle in Mayfair, the woman-of-hour herself looked stunning in a full-length black dress with thigh-high slit and a deep-V neckline.

 

Happy 30th to this gorgeous lady @lilcola thanks for a super fun night

A photo posted by Lily England (@iamlil) on

Also in attendance was Kimberley Walsh, though noticeably absent were Sarah Harding and Nadine Coyle. 

The Roman episode of judges' houses will be aired later this month on The X Factor. Cheryl was accompanied on the trip by guest judge, Jess Glynne.

Simon Cowell, meanwhile, was in France for the same segment, while Rita Ora jetted to LA. Due to additional work commitments, Rick Grimshaw remained in England. 

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We're already on the cusp of Rio 2016 – while the 2020 Games have now been awarded to Tokyo.

And this morning, the short-list for the 2024 Olympics was announced, and FOUR out of the five cities are in Europe. 

Close to home Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome all fancy their chances, while Los Angeles takes up the final spot. 

There will now be a period of intense lobbying before the International Olympic Committee makes its decision in 2017.

As the announcement was made earlier today, IOC president Thomas Bach said the five cities were all “outstanding” candidates.

They're not all novices either: LA held the Games in 1932 and 1984, while Paris also has the same experience: it played host in 1900 and 1924.

Rome was the location for the 1960 Olympics, although Budapest and Hamburg have yet to hold the sporting spectacle. 

London spent around €15bn hosting the Olympic Games in 2012 – with security alone costing around €750m.

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They arrived in Rome three days ago for a mother-daughter jaunt – and Reese Witherspoon and Ava Phillippe have already bumped into some very famous faces.

Dining at the well-known Il Bolognese near Pizza del Popolo in the centre of the city, they ran into none other than Valentino Garavani.

The 83-year-old designer, a native of Rome, looked dapper in a light tweed suit, blue shirt, and dark blue tie.

Meanwhile, the Oscar-winning actress wore a blue and white skirt, white top and white blazer. Her 15-year-old daughter, to whom she bears a striking resemblance, donned a white lace dress.

The duo, who are also joined by Reese’s own mother, Betty, have certainly been enjoying the sights and sounds of the Eternal City: both have been posting images to their respective Instagram accounts. Indeed, Ms Witherspoon's first post was of a delicious-looking pizza.

Reese, 39, seemed particularly taken with the churches on offer, singling out St Ignatius and St Peter’s as her favourites.

She, Ava, and Betty are staying at the swish, five-star Hotel Hassler near the Spanish Steps. There, the two-bed, 400sqm penthouse suite costs an eye-watering €15,000 a night.

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If you ever need anyone to spill the beans on your big news just ask Lauren Goodger!

The TOWIE star sent a congratulatory tweet to her friend and former co-star Billi Mucklow who got engaged in Rome to footballer Andy Carroll over the weekend.

Last night, Lauren tweeted: “Congratulations @BilliMucklow and @AndyTCarroll just seen the ring on @giorgiemucklow FaceTime wow!! So happy for you both lots love.”

It was only an hour ago that Billi actually managaed to announce the news to her followers in her own way, with a lovely photo of herself and Andy in Rome with the caption: “Last Night The Love Of My Life Asked Me To Marry Him – I’m So Happy! @andytcarroll You Are My Everything And I Can’t Wait To Be Your Wife #MrsCarroll.”

Look at that ring!

We hope Billi got the chance to share her news with her loved ones before Lauren’s big reveal on Twitter!

Billi and Andy are rumoured to have been dating since February of this year, but were friends for a long time before this.

Congratulations to Billi and Andy on their engagement! 

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