Celebrities in the Halloween spirit

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Lady Ghoulga: Lady Gaga puts her best(?) Halloween face forward.

EVERY year the eve of October 31 turns ordinary people into different creatures as the world marks the dark and macabre elements of the occasion or lighten the mood with pop culture references and the comedic. You can see everything from the horrific and scary – beasts, ghouls and witches through to the hilarious such as King-Kong, and superheroes.

Celebrities naturally never miss parties devoted to Halloween to demonstrate their taste and uniqueness, so fans can not wait to see their idols’ costumes on this year’s Halloween party circuit. After all dressing up as someone else is a job description in Hollywood, so it’s no surprise that celebrities pull out all stops when Halloween rolls around.

Booked.net’s Svetlana Malukha has rounded up the most creative, clever, and downright outrageous costumes from the A-list Halloween parties of the past.

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Haunted hotels – the top 3 to visit on Halloween

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WHILE  most guests usually check out of hotels at the end of their stay, if you believe in things paranormal, there are some guests who check in for eternity.

It is the time of year when our thoughts turn to the supernatural, spooky and scary.

Of course, for those that don’t believe, the whole event can be written off as just more crass commercialism and in the United States it is big business.

But believer or not, these hotels might just give you an experience that extends beyond finding mints on your pillow.

Planning a trip around Halloween? Choose one of the most haunted hotels in the US and share your trip with ghosts, if you dare.

Here is Booked.net‘s top-three hotels to visit on Halloween.

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Renaissance city – Liverpool

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TWO cities in the United Kingdom were to play a crucial role in the huge cultural shift globally that epitomizes the Swinging Sixties – London and…Liverpool.

As unlikely as it seems this gritty port and industrial was to spawn a musical legacy unrivalled anywhere in the world.

And the legacy of pioneering Liverpudlian or “Scouser” musicians have led to the city claiming titles that have yet to be challenged. Liverpool is known as the World Capital City of Pop – a title bestowed upon it  by Guinness World Records because the record 56 number one singles produced by the city’s musicians still stands.

The names are synonymous with Western pop culture –  The Beatles…Gerry and the Pacemakers…Billy Fury.

Later acts like Frankie Goes to Hollywood have further added to that status.

While, many believe the city peaked with the Mersey Beat sound of the ’60s, before becoming a symbol of economic decline and stagnation, this is a city rapidly on the comeback.

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the song that launched Beatlemania and the Beatles – Love Me DoBooked.net samples Liverpool.

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The Hilton family and the Hilton Hotel “empire”

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Socialite sisters Paris (left) and Nicky Hilton.

IT’S a story that, turned into a dramatic serial, would rate highly, but would defy credibility.

Yet it’s true.

On the way to building arguably the world’s greatest hotel dynasty, the Hilton family would rise to the highest level of society. Along the way, it is a family that has spawned allegations of rape and rivalry, socialites, starlets and a sex-tape.

The names involved are famous in their own right and include patriarch Conrad Hilton, Zsa Zsa Gabor, sons Nicky and Barron, Elizabeth Taylor, through to great-granddaughters Paris and Nicky Hilton.

It’s quite a story and while the family’s association with Hilton Worldwide has ended, the name lives on.

Booked.net‘s Jared Morgan profiles the family.

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Lost in translation in Barcelona

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A man wearing a costume of Antoni Gaudi’s creation, Ceramic Dragon. This character can be seen across the city.

EVERY note, every word sung by Freddie Mercury and Monserrat Caballe about Barcelona is true.

The city is, putting it simply, gorgeous.

Home to architectural and other masterpieces created by Antoni Gaudí, captivating parks and narrow streets with the spirit of the past still inhabiting them.

The capital of Catalonia and Spain’s second largest city welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists annually and it does a great job, but…and there’s always a “but”…

Here are a few “buts” Dmitry Dmitriev of Booked.net and his girlfriend Marina Solonnikova discovered in thier travels around Europe’s fourth most visited city – Barcelona:

When it comes to describing those “buts” it’s easiest to make a list.

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The Watergate Scandal: ill luck or conspiracy?

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The Watergate Complex

IT is a fair to say a lot happens in hotels, but rarely does what goes on behind closed doors change the world…but it can happen.

The Watergate Scandal is proof of this.

Exposed by a story in The Washington Post, it was to mark the overturn of the entire American political system, marring it with distrust and resulting in the eventual resignation of the 37th President Richard Nixon.

Olga Leleka looks at the events that unfolded in the Watergate Hotel and their impact.

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The top 5 inspiring and powerful Olympic moments

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Olympic logoAS the world focuses on the spectacle of the London Olympics it is timely to look at some of the event’s proud history and some amazing stories of courage and athleticism that transcend mankind’s potential.

The history of Olympic Games proves that only supreme human effort brings an Olympic medal but even competitors that never make the medal dias can inspire the world.

So here are our top 5 five Olympic moments – a word of warning, the video of our number one moment might make you shed a tear.

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A slice of Tuscan paradise – Castel Monastero

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The Tuscan vineyards surrounding Castel Monastero

TUSCANY can be likened to a fine wine, with time it just gets better.

And this triangular section of Italy has certainly taken its time.

From the first major civilization, the ancient Etruscans to assimilation with the Romans through to becoming the birthplace of the Renaissance, Tuscany secured its place in world history as an epicenter of innovation, culture and art.

It’s a legacy that lures millions of visitors every year and the list of cultural hubs is daunting.

Castel Monastero, detail of the entrance

From the regional capital and renaissance center Florence, to Siena, Pisa and the other “cities of art”, known in Italian as città di arte, the list of cultural attractions is long.

Gourmets and wine buffs will find themselves in their element savoring the simple yet awe-inspiring food while accompanying their dish with vintages from what is recognized as one of the finest wine-producing regions in the world.

No less inspiring is the beautiful countryside and for those looking for a destination that combines all the elements of the best of Tuscany there is a place nestled among Chianti vineyards, just 20 kilometers from Siena that encapsulates Tuscany in one package.

As the saying goes a picture speaks a thousand words, so we’ll keep the text short and let the images do the talking as we take you inside Castel Monastero (be sure to click on the images for a larger view).

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Follow in the footsteps of Doctor Who

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The title card of the Eleventh and current Doctor Who – all rights BBC.

HE has had 11 faces, is etched into the consciousness of millions; yet no-one knows his name – he is known simply as “The Doctor”.

Next year marks 50 years since Doctor Who first appeared on British television screens.

It’s long enough to enthrall and often terrify more than two generations and become a quintessentially British institution.

Booked.net presents a potted history of a sci-fi cult phenomenon.

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