If you would like to know more about Indonesia, see Wonderful Indonesia – Indonesia’s official tourism website – or on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Youtube (see the best of Indonesia on film here), [ and ]( 8. Sawarna BeachRice paddy fields, rows of coconut trees and the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean stretching out before you: these are just some of the wonderful sights that await when you arrive in Sawarna on the south coast of Java Island. Get some surf time in on Sawarna Beach, where the waves have attracted board pros from all over the world. The karst caves in Sawarna are also worth a day trip inland. Watch out for the hundreds of bats that hang from the walls of Lalay Cave. Winter blues already setting in? Want to escape to a sun-soaked beach somewhere exotic?Golden sands stretching for miles, warm tropical waters and a stay in a cute beach bungalow that won’t break the bank: sounds like the ideal getaway? Indonesia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and a trip to any of them could be just the ticket if the winter’s already got you dreaming of summer sun. Here are eight of the best Indonesian beaches.1. Pink Beach, KomodoWhen you think of Indonesian hideaways you probably think of remote islands, tropical rainforests and golden sandy beaches. Komodo certainly ticks all of these boxes, with one exception, this particular slice of paradise features pink beaches, made from mixed white and red sands. There are plenty of secluded spots to throw down your beach towel, but if you’re after a bit more adventure then check out some of the local wildlife. Try snorkelling or diving, or stay on dry land and head out in search of the island’s most famous residents, Komodo dragons. 4. Pandawa BeachOne of south Bail’s most secluded stretches of sand, Pandawa Beach is the spot for watersport enthusiasts, with plenty of great opportunites to go canoeing or paragliding. If you’re in town during March then you must check out Melasti, a religious parade held to purify the world as part of Hindu-Balinese New Year celebrations. RelatedExplore Komodo National Park in IndonesiaHere be dragons…if you thought giant lizards only existed in Game of Thrones, think again. Komodo National Park in Indonesia is the only place on Earth you can see the fascinating Komodo Dragon in the wild. Throw in world-class diving, snorkelling and coral-pink beaches, and you’ve got a holiday destination…50 of the world’s most beautiful beaches: in picturesDreaming of summer and longing to park your bum on some sand? Here’s our selection of 50 of the most perfect beaches in the world, including beautiful spots in Bali, hidden coves in Cornwall and spectacular stretches of black sand in Hawaii.10 of the most beautiful beaches in ItalyWhite sand, bays, inlets and coves: here are 10 show-stopping stretches of Italian shores.
InterContinental Chicago (505 N. Michigan Ave.) is going green, converting the historic hotel into a sustainable use facility through major adjustments to the building and practices throughout every division. In order to maintain the luxurious elements of the establishment, no concessions on the standards of service and quality will be diminished by the process of installing eco-friendly upgrades. Hotel guests may expect the same service and elegant accommodations with an increased effort towards environmentally friendly practices.To start, the hotel has committed to purchasing “Green Sustainable Energy Credits” to supply 50% of its annual energy consumption, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of the facility ahead of the impact of the numerous other environmentally-focused initiatives. With plans to create a “Green Roof” during summer 2008 and attain LEED certification, the InterContinental Chicago is making a positive impact on the environment.GREEN AMENITIES: Hotel guests are unlikely to notice the in-room modifications, though their consciences will be clear with green upgrades permeating the plumbing, electric and laundry systems. Hotel rooms are outfitted with energy efficient light bulbs and automated motion detectors to conserve energy while rooms are unoccupied. Aerators installed in guest room sinks reduce water use by 50% and toilet “tummies” in all historic tower guest rooms reduce water utilized when flushing. In the bathrooms, coreless toilet paper rolls minimize cardboard waste. Public restrooms also make use of solar-powered faucets. Most significantly, plans exist to install solar thermal panels on the rooftop to heat hotel water, one of the greatest sources of hotel energy use.FOOD & BEVERAGE: Within the food and beverage program, efforts are being made to use non-disposable serving ware and cloth napkins, where possible, and are in the process of sourcing napkins made from recycled paper for use in the Lobby bar. The culinary team is reaching out to local purveyors to source organic meat and produce. Organic wine is also available at Eno, the hotel’s chic wine, cheese and chocolate lounge. Food scraps from the hotel are being donated to composting sites and local farms for environmental reuse.GREEN WEDDINGS & MEETINGS: The InterContinental Chicago turns white weddings to green with a specially designed eco-friendly catering plan. Guests may select from an array of organically-raised and locally-sourced hors d’oeuvres such as Ernst Farm-raised Chicken Brochettes with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce, Leslie Cooperband’s Creamy Goat’s Milk Cheese and Mick Klug Farm Fresh Blueberry Croustade and BLT Triangles from Organically grown Arugula and Green Acres Farm-produced Heirloom Tomatoes. Dinner options include greens from local farms, grass-fed Tallgrass beef, and breads from locally-based Red Hen Bakery. Certified organic wine, beer and spirits, as well as Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs, a sustainable wine, will accompany the event. Perhaps the most important element of the affair, the cake, will come from Chicago’s Bittersweet Bakery, constructed entirely from organic ingredients. Green Meetings include organic catering replete with organic coffee, Green Market fruit and organic pastries, as well as regionally produced Wisconsin and Michigan cheeses to enjoy during the day.Reservations are available by calling (312) 944-4100 or visiting www.chicago.intercontinental.comThe InterContinental Chicago is the only hotel with a front entrance on the prestigious Magnificent Mile, Chicago’s most desirable address. Originally built in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club, an exclusive luxury men’s club, the InterContinental is one of Chicago’s most elegant landmarks. The hotel features 792 recently refurbished guest rooms, including 73 lavishly decorated suites. The hotel’s historic, junior Olympic size pool is recognized as one of the best indoor pools in the U.S. and is included in Chicago’s architectural tours. Dining and entertainment options in the hotel include: Zest, a bistro featuring contemporary, American cuisine; the Lobby Bar featuring classic cocktails and Eno, the hotel’s upscale, approachable and lively lounge that offers an easily paired selection of wine, cheese and chocolate.