TripAdvisor’s Top Hotel in the World Is Home to a Sloth Sanctuary

iStock.com/tomalu
iStock.com/tomalu

Beautiful weather, lush rainforests, and white-sand beaches are just a few of the reasons why Costa Rica is well worth adding to your bucket list. But just in case you needed another excuse to travel there, it's home to one of the best hotels in the world—where you just might meet a sloth on your visit.

As Insider reports, Tulemar Bungalows and Villas in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica was recently named the best hotel in the world by TripAdvisor users. No doubt voters were swayed by the fact that the resort offers guests the exclusive opportunity to sign up for its “sloth walk,” an $18 guided hike led by researchers from the Sloth Institute Costa Rica. The tour gives attendees the chance to see plenty of sloths, colorful birds, and monkeys up close.

Since 2014, the Sloth Institute has been rehabilitating and releasing orphaned sloths back into the wild while also tracking wild sloths to learn more about their ecology. Although other wildlife centers in Costa Rica handle sloths, the Sloth Institute is one of the few facilities that releases the animals back into the wild—something that has traditionally been risky for the animals. (You can learn more about how researchers prepare them for life in the wild in Slothlove, the book Sloth Institute cofounder Sam Trull wrote about her work with sloths, as well as in our 2017 feature on Trull.)

Of course, the Tulemar resort probably received a Travelers' Choice Award for reasons other than sloths, too—its private villas, verandas overlooking the ocean, and large infinity pools are pretty impressive, too. It doesn’t hurt to have a few adorable two-toed and three-toed neighbors, though.

Not ready to head to Costa Rica? Hotels in Italy, Cambodia, Taiwan, and Austria also made the top five of Trip Advisor's list this year. As for U.S. hotels, users rated the French Quarter Inn in Charleston, South Carolina the top hotel in the nation and the No. 6 hotel globally.

[h/t Insider]

This Course Will Teach You How to Play Guitar Like a Pro for $29

BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images
BartekSzewczyk/iStock via Getty Images

Be honest: You’ve watched a YouTube video or two in an attempt to learn how to play a song on the guitar. Whether it was through tabs or simply copying whatever you saw on the screen, the fun always ends when friends start throwing out requests for songs you have no idea how to play. So how about you actually learn how to play guitar for real this time?

It’s now possible to learn guitar from home with the Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle, which is currently on sale for $29. Grab that Gibson, Fender, or whatever you have handy, and learn to strum rhythms from scratch.

The strumming course will teach you how to count beats and rests to turn your hands and fingers into the perfect accompaniment for your own voice or other musicians. Then, you can take things a step further and learn advanced jamming and soloing to riff anytime, anywhere. This course will teach you to improvise across various chords and progressions so you can jump into any jam with something original. You’ll also have the chance to dive deep into the major guitar genres of bluegrass, blues, and jazz. Lessons in jam etiquette, genre history, and how to read music will separate you from a novice player.

This bundle also includes courses in ear training so you can properly identify any relative note, interval, or pitch. That way, you can play along with any song when it comes on, or even understand how to modify it into the key you’d prefer. And when the time comes to perform, be prepared with skilled hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends, trills, vibrato, and fret-tapping. Not only will you learn the basic foundations of guitar, you’ll ultimately be able to develop your own style with the help of these lessons.

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle is discounted for a limited time. Act on this $29 offer now to work on those fingertip calluses and play like a pro.

 

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lessons Bundle - $29

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Instead of Taco Tuesday, Sweden Celebrates Taco Friday (or Taco Fredag)

ptpower, iStock via Getty Images
ptpower, iStock via Getty Images

If you think Swedish cuisine is limited to meatballs and herring, you've never celebrated Fredagsmys—the Swedish version of Taco Tuesday. The day, which translates to "cozy Fridays," is a chance for Swedes to get together with loved ones and eat comfort food at the end of a long week. And instead of indulging in more traditional Swedish fare, the Fredagsmys cuisine of choice is Tex-Mex.

Fredagsmys takes the already-Americanized taco and puts a Swedish spin on it. On Taco Fredag (Taco Friday), ingredients like tortillas, ground meat, peppers, and tomatoes are laid out smörgåsbord-style. The spread may also include some toppings that are rarely served with tacos outside of Scandinavia, such as yogurt, cucumber, peanuts, and pineapple. After assembling their meal, diners enjoy it in a cozy spot in front of the TV, ideally surrounded by pillows and candles.

The Swedish tradition of starting the weekend with a taco feast has only been around for a couple of decades. In the 1990s, the Swedish potato chip company OLW introduced the slogan “Now it’s cozy Friday time” into the national lexicon. Old El Paso capitalized on this concept with its own ad campaign showing Swedes how to assemble tacos at home. The Swedish spice company Santa Maria noticed the emerging trend and further popularized the idea of eating tacos on Fridays in its TV advertisements.

Tacos may be the food that's most closely associated with Fredagsmys today, but any quick junk food is appropriate for the occasion. Burgers and pizza are also popular items, as are candy, chips, and popcorn. The meal makes up just one part of the night: Settling in on the couch in pajamas to watch TV with loved ones is just as important as the food.

Making time for comforting indoor activities is a necessity in Sweden, where the weather is harsh and daylight is scarce for much of the year. The Danish do something similar with hygge, although tacos aren't an explicit part of that tradition.