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Thursday, 02 November 2017 15:37

a celebration of wine

we have it with dinner, after a long day, and to celebrate. yes, we are talking about wine. recent studies have found that drinking wine moderately has health benefits beyond putting a smile on our face

it’s important to note that a proper glass of wine is a 5-ounce pour. and when we say “moderate drinking”, that means what is clinically considered to be healthy. for women, it’s one glass a day and for men it’s two

so what good comes with that glass of wine?

  1. it contains antioxidants

wine is full of antioxidants that attack free radicals when they come lurking around.

  1. increases bone density

red wine has high levels of silicon, which is great for your bone mineral density. it increases the density and reduces the chance of osteoporosis

  1. can reduce the risk of stroke

wine acts as a natural blood thinner, breaking up any blood clots that could lead to a stroke

  1. reduces the risk of heart disease

the tannins found in red wine contain procyanidins – phenols which neutralize free radicals – that have shown to be effective in preventing cardiovascular disease

  1. promotes longevity

there is something magical inside the daily glass of wine that increases life span. and that magical thing is resveratrol: it activates a protein that acts as an anti-aging agent

  1. lowers cholesterol

reservatrol also decreases LDL – bad cholesterol – while increasing the HDL – good cholesterol. this also means that red wine benefits blood pressure, so if you’re suffering from high blood pressure, it’s best to pour a glass

so, bottoms up… to your good health!

zenotel team

Thursday, 28 September 2017 12:07

a halloween dinner

planning a halloween eve does not necessarily  involve scary costumes, a trick or treat bag, and a white bed sheet made into a ghost!

we’ve done the leg work for you and gathered the best tips out there to host a truly classy party for grown-ups


keep your dinner menu short and filled with season produce

have large crudité options to keep you from spending too much time cooking

bring elegance to your table with flowers in shades of purple and darker colors, such as dahlias or roses

add a “hitchcock” feel with cut-out black crows spread out in your dining area

wherever possible, place a candle to really set in the halloween atmosphere


dazzle your guests with these easy, almost pumpkin-everything menu ideas:

pumpkin crudité – use a carved pumpkin as a bowl for a ranch sauce with carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, and baby tomatoes

pumpkin ravioli – your classic cheese ravioli, only with a pumpkin puree sauce

butternut squash risotto – roast the squash before adding it to the risotto with a dash of white wine


happy halloween!


zenotel team

Monday, 28 August 2017 15:29

your equinox recipes

the herbal harvest month brings about balance between day and night, peaking on the autumnal equinox. and as fall finally descends on the northern hemisphere we witness cooler temperatures, shorter days, and new produce in the market.

around the world, festivities honoring the equinox are held this time of year to reap the rewards of hard-earned harvests.

we compiled a list of recipes and activities you can enjoy with your family


 your fall bucket list

  • have a bonfire evening with roasted marshmallows
  • start practicing your pumpkin carving skills
  • go star gazing and sleep in a tent
  • make a wreath with leaves and dried wood
  • plan an equinox gathering with your loved ones


your equinox recipes

pumpkin hummus

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste as desired
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin, plus more to taste as desired
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper


combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender. process or blend until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl or pitcher.

drizzle 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil over the top and serve with raw veggies, chips and/or crackers.

apple cider mimosas

  • in a small dish, pour caramel. In another small dish, pour cinnamon sugar. dip champagne flutes into caramel to rim glass, then dip in cinnamon and sugar
  • pour 1/4 cup apple cider and 2 ounces caramel vodka into each flute and top with champagne
  • garnish with an apple slice and serve


party on, and have a happy autumnal equinox!


zenotel team

Monday, 31 July 2017 18:02

summer activities at home

while many hit the beach or find haven in a mountain house, some of us prefer the comfort of our own backyard to ride the summer heat. we compiled a list of fun, family oriented things to do in your outdoor space to inspire you. some activities can also come in handy when you’re trying to chill and tan at a resort and want to make sure the children are having just as much fun


the great outdoor games


first, the inevitable, classic hopscotch! bring out the colored chalk and help your children draw a huge hopscotch path. you know this one, the numbers go from zero to ten in the squares and the one to reach the last tile first is a winner.  add a little extra fun by drawing shapes in the path or adding candy: butterflies and jelly, cars and chocolate, stars and lollipops, the choice is yours!


fun and exercise go together in a good old’ game of tag! enjoy a rollicking game of family tag or flag football in the backyard. kids of all ages love to run and be chased!


in for movie night? hang a white sheet on the side of your house or from a clothesline, and project your movie using a digital projector. set up a cozy blanket with pillows on the floor, then bring on the popcorn for a perfect outdoor movie night.


alternatively, avoid any hassle and join us at zenotel with all your family!


zenotel team

Wednesday, 28 June 2017 19:40

summer tanning

while we usually like to remain tanned all year, and often resort to a fake tan to maintain that matte skin even in the greyest months, there are plenty of reasons why we love the sun. it boosts our levels of serotonin, relieving us from anxiety, and helps the production of vitamin D which is essential for our bones, teeth, and skin. but to avoid premature ageing and skin cancer risks you need to take care for a safe, sun-kissed glow


some tips for safe tanning

first, let’s state the obvious: apply the right sunscreen

don't just rely on SPF; on the bottle you need to look for the term 'broad spectrum' or the UVA logo plus the word 'high'. the best is to go for SPF30 over SPF50. it filters 97% of UVB rays, while SPF50 filters 98%. the latter can give a false sense of security and can be so chalky you may not reapply it every two hours like you should


tanning is in the timing

your skin reaches a tanning cut-off point when it physically can't produce any more melanin, the tanning pigment, so it's pointless to lounge by the pool all day. this differs for everyone, but a good estimate is two to three hours or less if you have a very fair skin


take a break in the shade

taking breaks from the sun will reduce UV intensity and your sunburn risk and means your tan will be healthier and longer-lasting. grab this opportunity to sip on a carrot juice in the shade


eat sun-friendly foods

certain foods are known to increase lycopene, the skin's own SPF. an antioxidant found in tomatoes, and other red and orange fruit and vegetables, it can boost your sun protection by a whopping 33%.

beneficial foods also include dark chocolate and green tea!


so before hitting the sunbeds, how about penne with tomato sauce for lunch, followed by a digestive green tea and a small piece of dark chocolate for dessert?


zenotel team

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 17:45

preparing for your child’s first communion

preparing for your child’s first communion is truly a special occasion. hosting a communion party to celebrate with loved ones is a meaningful gesture but it can be a bit stressful to plan.

here are some useful first communion party ideas and tips:


choose a venue 

on the list of things to do, the most important one is to pick the right venue for your celebration. think of the number of guests you have, the type of food you want to serve, the area, and the availability of a playground for children.  


party theme and favors

first do some research to see what theme you prefer for the party  and select the favors accordingly. you can stick to the traditional personalized bookmark, bracelet with a cross, mini rosaries, or go for something modern like mini honey jars, custom ornaments or personalized keepsake box.


enjoy the moment

remember to let go of the stressful preparations and planning and simply enjoy the company of your family and friends  

 “be like a flower and turn your face to the sun” - khalil gibran

Monday, 27 March 2017 23:09

planning a great easter day

easter is a great family day, but one that can be hectic if not planned well. here are the best tips for planning a great easter day


simple menu

plan a simple brunch, with muffins and fruits and cinnamon rolls and maybe some pancakes. nothing complicated. if you’ve got a few smaller families coming together, make sure it’s a potluck, so each family just has to worry about one dish. the simpler the menu, the better.


have an egg-coloring party

the day before easter, let the family and your kids’ friends join you to boil and color eggs. have food coloring, crayons, stickers, rubber bands, cheesecloth, and other fun coloring tools, and have a lot of fun. it’s even more fun for the kids than hunting for the eggs.


count the eggs before you hide them for the egg hunt

be sure you know how many there are before they’re hidden. otherwise, you may be getting a surprise a week or two after easter.


the golden egg 

a great tradition is to mark one of the eggs as the golden egg. that egg might have $5 or $10 put in it by grandpa and grandma. it makes the hunt all the more fun, especially for the bigger kids.


prepare a couple of fun games

egg hunting is a blast, but your gathering will be even more fun if you’ve got a few games ready to go. an egg toss, egg race (holding an egg on a spoon with your mouth while racing), sports, water balloons, treasure hunts — the possibilities are endless.


don’t forget to have fun

no family gathering will be perfect. there will be spilled punch, broken eggs, crying babies and more. just accept the chaos and enjoy the time with your family. and no matter what goes wrong, laugh.

“happy easter…and hunting…”

zenotel team

Thursday, 02 March 2017 16:44

mother's day

mom can be one of the easiest or hardest people on your list to shop for. want to giver her a meaningful gift?


we’ve done the research and have come up with 4 awesome gift ideas for your mom


  • create a milestones frame

research all the most important dates in your mom’s life such as birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations or important dates that affected her life positively, paint them on a carton and create a nice design around it.

you can frame this nicely customized cardboard so she can hang it on her wall.

  • grandchildren hand print set

get your children to do their hand prints on a piece of canvas with different colors and draw “we love you grandma” under the hand prints with their names next to it.

  • spa getaway

want to combine mother-daughter time with some pampering and luxury? join our mother-daughter getaway weekend at zenotel in bhersaf.

  • carved bracelet

choose your mom’s favorite bracelet design and carve yours and your siblings’ names on it; nothing is more precious to your mom than her children.

Thursday, 02 February 2017 19:20

4 tips for a great valentine's date

valentine’s day can feel like an overly-commercialized holiday only meant to sell greeting cards, flowers and candy. but we all still love it…

how about you go beyond the card and flowers and plan a date night out with your sweetheart


4 tips for a great valentine's date 


secure a baby-sitter early

valentine’s day is one of the most popular date nights in lebanon,

which means it’s also one of the most popular days for families to hire a babysitter.

if your regular sitter has date night plans of her own, make sure you know that early on and arrange for a back-up sitter from now


show your kids some love

plan a special family breakfast or spend some extra time with the kids during the day, you can even design your valentine’s cards together


pamper yourself

ask the baby-sitter to come an hour early so you could spend time getting ready at your pace.

take a real bubble bath, get a manicure and treat yourself to a new outfit


plan your dinner date

think outside the box! If you are planning for a dinner date why not go the extra mile and book for a room at the same hotel where

you are having dinner and spend the night with your partner away from your daily routine


“there is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved”

georges sand

Friday, 06 January 2017 16:28

new year’s resolutions

new year’s resolutions are a bit like babies: they’re fun to make but extremely difficult to maintain. this year, pick only one of the following worthy resolutions, but stick with it


new year, new and healthier you


lose weight. use a food journal to keep track of what you eat. it’s proven. it works!


stay connected to those who matter rather then to your phone. research suggests people with strong social ties live longer than those who don’t!


quit smoking.  acupuncture or hypnosis have proven to be the most effective ways to quit smoking with ease.


cut out on stress.  a little pressure now and again give us an energy boost but if stress is chronic, your health suffers overtime. so give yourself some you time.


volunteer. we tend to think our own bliss relies on bettering ourselves, but happiness also increases when we help others.


get more sleep. it does wonders for your mood and your looks.


travel. the joys and rewards of vacations can last long after the suitcase is put away. even a simple local getaway  allows you to tap into life as an adventure.


“let our new year's resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word“

                                                                                             goran persson

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