Travel Expressions Ltd.'s Blog

Ultra-luxury cruise line Seabourn has debuted its first expedition ship, Seabourn Venture. The newest ship in the Seabourn fleet set sail on its inaugural voyage from Tromsø, Norway, on the 27th ofJuly, bound for the Arctic and the Svalbard Archipelago with its complement of about 250 guests.

Outfitted for Adventure

Seabourn Venture was purpose-built for exploration and appointed with features and amenities to enrich and enlighten guests on board, on shore, and even beneath the waves.

Seabourn Venture is a ‘Polar Class’ PC6 ship with modern hardware and technology that qualify it to the highest ‘ice class’ level for a passenger ship.

The ship is equipped with kayaks and enough Zodiacs to transport every guest on expeditions and landings all at once, as well as two custom-built submarines, each with capacity for six and capability of exploring shipwrecks and natural wonders under the sea in luxurious comfort.

In addition to the ship’s regular navigational and hospitality crew, Seabourn Venture has a 26-member Expedition Team, made up of highly regarded wilderness experts, scientists, historians and naturalists. These experts provide guests with in-depth insights into the history, ecology and culture of the places they visit.

Designed for Luxury Exploration

Seabourn’s longtime, renowned hospitality design partner, Adam D.Tihany and Tihany Design, created the ultra-luxurious setting that allows you to feel like you’re in the lap of luxury – and still part of the dramatic sea- and landscapes you’re exploring.

The cruise line’s vision for Seabourn Venture was for the interiors and exteriors to combine “authenticity at sea with modern romanticism.”


Like all ships in the Seabourn fleet, Seabourn Venture’s 132 guest accommodations are all oceanfront suites. Public spaces were designed to evoke the spirit of adventure, and the thrill of discovery balanced with Seabourn-style luxury and comfort. Picture yourself in:

·      the Expedition Lounge on Deck 4 (below) or its adjacent Discovery Center, spacious for all guests to gather in a classroom-like setting and enjoy natural history and cultural programming;
·      the Bow Lounge, a prime setting for watching marine life with the closest access to the water on the ship;
·      the Constellation Lounge on the top deck, with stunning, 270-degree views and an intimate interior dressed up in dark blue and red inspired by constellations in the night sky, as well as
·      unique versions of beloved spaces found on all Seabourn ships, like Seabourn Square and restaurants.



Inaugural Season: Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica, Amazon and more

Seabourn Venture begins its inaugural season exploring the Arctic, Greenland and Iceland, and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in Nunavut, the most remote and least-populated destinations explored during Seabourn Venture’s Arctic season. Destination highlights include Scoresby Sound, Greenland, home to the largest and longest fjord system in the world; Sermilik Fjord, located in southeastern Greenland and renowned for the many icebergs that flow from multiple glaciers at its head into the Denmark Strait; Svalbard; and Pond Inlet, Nunavut, the eastern entry to the Northwest Passage.

The ship will make its way south in October 2022, stopping at various locales in the Caribbean, Central America, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. There will be opportunities to explore in Zodiacs under cliffs teeming with birds, kayak among tropical coral islands, visit ancient Incan sites, and snorkel unspoiled Caribbean coral gardens, as well as a transit of the magnificent Panama Canal.

Between November 2022 and February 2023, Seabourn Venture will cruise scenic sounds, fjords, channels and glaciers in Chile, sailing to Antarctica, and crossing back to explore South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, with up-close encounters with untamed wilderness and wildlife including icebergs, penguin colonies, and seals, as well as visits to research stations that have footholds on the continent. The voyages will include multiple daily operations using the Zodiacs for landings and cruising along the Antarctic Peninsula. Optional excursions will also be available, such as kayaking and the ship’s submarines, allowing guests to explore the vast frontier below sea level.

In March and April 2023, Seabourn Venture will embark on a series of expedition voyages in Brazil and the Amazon. The ship will visit many colorful colonial cities on the coast of Brazil and sail into the heart of South America through one of the world’s greatest rivers, where guests can cruise in Zodiacs along the Amazon River and visit ancient sites and indigenous villages.

Start Your Expedition Cruise Trip!

 
Images courtesy of Seabourn.
 
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Looking for inspiration for your next holiday close to home? These new hotel openings are the perfect excuse for a short haul vacation in an all-new environment.


From sophisticated urban centers to the Great Outdoors, from beaches to deserts, mountains to cityscapes, these diverse hotels give you the perfect excuse to call your travel advisor to plan a getaway soon!


Massachussets

 
Life House, Lenox, Berkshires, features a cozy library lounge with a crackling fireplace, an outdoor firepit, intimate cocktail club and a restaurant offering locally-sourced bites. The design and aesthetic of this property pays tribute to the nearby Berkshire mountains and historical literary figures that traveled through Lenox, Massachusetts – including Herman Melville and Fanny Kemble. Get away to the country during the summer heat, or bask in autumn colors in this new property in the Berkshires.
 

Montreal


 
Hyatt Place Downtown Montreal provides visitors a new home away from home to experience the cosmopolitan city famous as a global fashion center, alluring culinary scene, and a packed schedule of world-class events, from jazz to comedy to a Grand Prix race and more. The city's first Hyatt Place hotel is located near the Village, one of Montreal's most diverse and colorful neighborhoods, near the Quartier des Spectacles, the city’s festival central. The hotel’s 350 guestrooms have separate spaces to sleep, work and play, as well as a 'Cozy Corner' sofa-sleeper, and guests can enjoy an indoor pool and sauna, with a view of Downtown Montreal, spaces to facilitate remote working with views of over the city, as well as a bistro, restaurant, bar and lounge serving sharing dishes and signature cocktails.
 

New York State

 
Mt. Tremper, NY: Inspired by the influence of ancient Rome on contemporary civilization, The Aurum Catskills New York re-envisions “the bathing culture and rituals that defined the first social clubs.” With 36 rooms and 12 mountain bungalows on 131 acres, the luxury retreat features a Sicilian farm-to-table restaurant, incredible views and private gardens.
 

NYC

 
Luxury hotel brand Aman is expanding its global reach with the unveiling this summer of a new urban sanctuary – and rebirth of an architectural icon within the historic Crown Building – with Aman New York. The hotel offers guests Aman’s signature serenity through 83 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a wine library, jazz club, garden terrace, rooftop outdoor pool with an incredible view, and a 25,000 square foot spa.


For guests wanting to extend their stay permanently, Aman New York features the first Aman-branded urban Residences. The 22 private homes include all hotel amenities and range in size from one to six bedrooms, including a five-story penthouse.
 
The Ritz-Carlton's newest property, The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad, soars 50 stories above the dynamic North of Madison Square Park neighborhood. The newly constructed, hotel with 250 guest rooms, 19 suites, plus residences brings the brand's renowned service and elegance to one of the NYC's most vibrant and emerging districts. The hotel is one of the tallest buildings in NoMad, the birthplace of American popular music at Tin Pan Alley and today a nexus of art, entertainment, fashion, and technology.


A bold, contemporary design, with an impressive art collection and seasonal floral installations pays homage to the hotel's location in the city's vibrant Flower District. There’s a 6,800-square-foot signature Ritz-Carlton Spa and Fitness Center, and the hotel's food and beverage partnership is unique, with all culinary venues, bars and lounges and in-room dining helmed by Michelin-starred chef and global citizen José Andrés.
 
The Ned NoMad opens in New York this summer, marking the brand’s first international site. Paying homage to the original architecture of Manhattan’s Johnston Building and featuring interiors from the famed UK private members club SoHo House team, this new location will bring the hotel’s signature British style across the pond.


The Ned NoMad includes a public bar and restaurant, as well as the members-only Ned’s Club, which features both mezzanine and rooftop bars as well as a terrace restaurant.
 

Nashville, Tennessee


 
The 40-storey Four Seasons Hotel Nashville, opening this year in Music City, connects guests to the creative spirit of the city’s makers and artisans. Situated just one block from the entertainment hub of Broadway in Nashville's SoBro district, the new Four Seasons hotel will feature 235 guest rooms and suites as well as private residences, a new chef-driven dining concept, a full-service spa and resort-style pool deck, event spaces, and more. Its glass tower allows for sunlight to stream in from all sides, with panoramic city and river views in every direction. Light-filled interiors pay homage to Tennessee's iron industry heritage, while making use of steel, copper, bronze and the state's native black walnut, with an art collection featuring local and international contemporary works. Four Seasons Hotel Nashville will also introduce a new dining concept, a resort-style experience for guests with a rooftop pool deck; unveil a new spa; and host weddings, galas and more in its event spaces.
 

Fredericksburg, Texas


 
The Albert Hotel, built as a celebration of Texas Hill Country and noted Fredericksburg architect Albert Keidel, will open this year on the original site of the Keidel family pharmacy and homestead. The hotel will have 110 guest rooms, including bunkrooms, suites, and a private house, each with tailored amenities and custom-designed furniture. The property has three restaurants, two bars, a private dining room, and will offer in-room dining. The grounds include an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a 2,000 square-foot full-service spa.
  

Utah


(Image: Travis Burke)

Set upon 750 acres of high mountain plains, Under Canvas Bryce Canyon offers luxury accommodation with expansive views of John’s Valley.

(Image: Bailey Made - UC Moab interiors for inspiration)

Located just 15 minutes from Bryce Canyon National Park, this “glamping” experience invites guests to reconnect to nature with ensuite bathrooms in every tent, king-sized beds with luxe linens, outdoor dining, as well as complimentary camp programming (including yoga, guided hikes, movie nights and outdoor games).
 
Spirit at Zion National Park invites visitors to experience the Utah wilderness and enjoy the surrounding landscape in one of its 40 suites or homesteads. Both Leaf Suites and Homestead Retreats provide separate living and sleeping areas, including a 'wellness studio' that can be used for exercise, meditation, or in-room spa treatments. Each accommodation also comes with electric bikes for exploring the property's 35 miles of trails.
 

Sedona, AZ

 

Billed as an “exclusive nature escape,” Ambiente: A Landscape Hotel aims to provide guests with modern, elegant accommodations in a nature-focused setting. Each of the 40 free-standing atrium suites offers panoramic views of the red rocks, and a private rooftop with a fire pit (pictured above and top). Additional amenities include an in-house wellness-centered spa, on-site trail access and electric vehicles for rent.
 

Santa Barbara, CA

 
This autumn, former stagecoach stop, and Prohibition destination The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern will open to guests with reimagined guestrooms and cottage-style accommodations nestled among acres of old-growth palm trees. Dine at the Inn’s open-air restaurant, or take a dip in the outdoor pool, followed by stories and s’mores gathered around a firepit. Guests will feel right at home with the inn’s laid-back version of wine country luxury.
 

Hawaii


 
Kauai: Considered one of the most beautiful spots on Earth, 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay will bring a world-class wellness resort and flagship sustainable sanctuary to Kauai’s North Shore. 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay will feature 252 rooms, including 51 suites -with native greenery, reclaimed materials, organic cotton linens, and views of the stunning Hanalei Bay. Seven restaurants and bars will offer fresh, local, and sustainably sourced farm-to-table cuisine using ingredients from the hotel’s organic on-site garden and neighboring farms.
 

Start Your Short Haul Trip!


Images courtesy of their respective properties.

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World First: Lie-Flat Sleeping Pods in Economy Class
The farther you have to travel, the more important comfort is on the way there. So it’s no surprise that the national airline of one of the most remote destinations in the world is championing in-flight sleep.

Air New Zealand has unveiled plans for its new Dreamliner aircraft, scheduled for service beginning in 2024, with what it’s calling “the best sleep in the sky” – for everyone.
 
'New Zealand's location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long haul travel experience,” says the airline’s CEO, Greg Foran. “We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort, and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested. Whether they are heading straight into a meeting, or to their first holiday hotspot - they want to hit the ground running.”
 
We’re used to seeing the extravagant comfort available to business and first class air passengers for many airlines, and Air New Zealand’s premium passengers will be spoiled, indeed. The Kiwi-designed Dreamliner cabin has seven different types of seats: two business class, a premium economy section, and a whopping four types of economy class seats.
 
As Air New Zealand’s Foran says, the new cabin design will provide passengers “options to get some shut eye wherever they're sitting.'
 
 
Business class passengers get a “private nest” for a blissful night’s sleep, with one seating option using the middle row to allow passengers travelling together to open their “nest” into a combined space. Meanwhile, the top tier of business class seats provide the ultimate in space and luxury, with a fully closing door and space for two to dine.
 
Premium Economy seats provide more space and unimpeded reclining space so you don’t disturb the person behind you.
 
But it’s Economy class that really shakes up options for getting much-needed shuteye during long-haul flights.
 
Even the basic Economy class seat boasts “more storage, comfort and space and a 50% bigger screen for entertainment. Connect to Bluetooth audio and pair your device to act as a remote control or second screen,” according to Air New Zealand. Economy Stretch, like the name suggests, gives passengers more leg room.
 
 
Economy Skycouch encompasses multiple seats united in a single surface for sitting, spreading out, or lying down. While it looks ideal for families with young children, imagine booking it all for yourself!
 
Then there’s Economy Skynest (pictured top), “the world’s first sleep pods in the sky.” Air New Zealand’s Dreamliners have six, stacked sleep pods that for the first time, let economy-class passengers lie flat in their own space on a long journey. That’s a game changer.
 
And it’s not just seats. The entire flight experience has been designed to help every passenger feel their best.
 
'Research shows us the first night away from home is the hardest to get a good night's sleep,” says the airline. “So everything we do onboard is to help create a sense of calm – from the lighting and sleep ritual including sleepy teas and balms, to healthier food choices and breathable fabrics.”
 
The new aircraft will have a new Sky Pantry for Premium Economy and Economy class passengers, allowing them to stretch their legs (not just milling around the toilets!), grab a bite to eat, and hydrate at their leisure throughout their journey.
 
Meditative onscreen content, “Zentertainment, “ will also help you unwind and get ready for rest.
 
Those innovations will help you feel better while flying.
 
Other innovations on the new Air New Zealand Dreamliners will help you feel better about flying.
 
The airline has also focused on sustainability in its design process. Using modern, lightweight fabrics, rather than leather in the premium cabins, and switching to ligher serviceware, for example, help to reduce carbon emissions. In economy class, new serviceware will eliminate 28 million plastic dishes used inflight every year.
 
So whether you’re planning a trip to New Zealand for its outstanding wineries, natural wonders, land- and seacapes, outdoor adventures, Maori indigenous culture, or cuisine – or all of the above! Now you can also enjoy an outstanding night’s sleep on the way there.
 

Start your New Zealand Trip!

 
Images courtesy Air New Zealand
 
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Hit the Holiday Weekend with this Travel-Inspired, Rum-Infused Salad Recipe from Antigua and Barbuda
It’s officially summer, and the big holiday weekend of the season spells festive get-togethers and celebrations in the sun and the heat. Well, you can take a cue from a year-round hot-weather destination and spice up your summer salad with a salad recipe from Antigua and Barbuda that hits the spot this hot holiday weekend.

This distinctly tropical salad is simple yet oh so delicious and refreshing – and adults only! It features a large watermelon and is infused with Antigua’s signature Cavalier Rum; yes, rum! The secret is letting the sliced watermelon marinate in the rum for up to two days, ensuring the ultimate sweet flavour that will amp up your festivities and set a high note for the holiday weekend.

This twist on a watermelon recipe comes courtesy of Rodrick Beazer, the Executive Sous Chef of Curtain Bluff Resort in Antigua and Barbuda, the twin-island nation in the heart of the Caribbean Sea.

Antigua and Barbuda offer upscale island travelers not one, but two uniquely distinct experiences. Both islands enjoy ideal temperatures year-round, a rich history, vibrant culture, exhilarating excursions, award-winning resorts, mouth-watering cuisine and 365 stunning pink and white-sand beaches - one for everyday of the year!

The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua, comprises 108-square miles with rich history and spectacular topography that provides a variety of popular sightseeing opportunities. Nelson’s Dockyard, the only remaining example of a Georgian fort, a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, is perhaps the most renowned landmark. Antigua’s tourism events calendar includes the prestigious Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, and the annual Antigua Carnival; dubbed the ‘Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival.’

Barbuda, Antigua’s smaller sister island, is an off-the-radar celebrity hideaway. The island lies 27 miles north-east of Antigua and is just a 15-minute plane ride away. Barbuda is known for its untouched 17-mile stretch of pink sand beach and as the home of the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere. 

 

Antigua and Barbuda’s Cavalier Rum-Infused Local Watermelon Salad

INGREDIENTS:
Start with a large watermelon; seedless watermelon is best for this recipe
1 cup Cavalier rum 
½ cup toasted sliced almonds 
1 bowl of fresh island greens
½ cup local goat cheese
2 sprigs kale 
 
MAKE-AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS:
To infuse the watermelon: 
1. Cut the watermelon in half, horizontally. Place half side down on a clean, dry surface. Then slice a portion off the round top and then each side, making it a square or rectangle. Slice into approximately 1-inch slices.
2. Place sliced (and seeded, if you aren't using seedless) watermelon into vacuum / sealable plastic bag(s). Pour in the Cavalier Rum. 
3. Place vacuum bag into chamber vacuum sealer and pull a full, 100% vacuum on the fruit. You can also do this carefully without a vacuum sealer carefully by hand pressing out all the air.
4. The fruit can marinate in the rum in the refrigerator for up to two days. (After two days, juices will start to expel from the fruit, surrounding the fruit in the vacuum pouch. The fruit is usable, but the texture isn’t as perfect.)
 
To Serve:
1. Remove watermelon from the pouch. Top with goat cheese, almond slices, and kale. Garnish with greens and serve!
 
Chef Beazer says that the rum-infused salad is a perfect side dish for barbequed fish - especially salmon - or chicken. He suggests pairing it with a light rosé or pinot noir wine to accentuate the sweetness of the watermelon.
Until you can make your next – or first! – trip to Antigua and Barbuda, we know this salad recipe will be your travel-inspired star of your sizzling summer entertainment!
 

Start your Tropical Trip!

 
Salad image and recipe courtesy of Antigua and Barbuda.

Australia's Latest Luxe Stays: New Hotels to Inspire a Trip Down Under
Koalas and kangaroos, beaches and beer and ‘bugs’ (lobster-like shellfish), deserts and mountains and rivers iconic in the Southern hemisphere, and that famous Aussie lifestyle and hospitality! There are so many reasons to put a trip to Australia on your travel list – including these new, luxury hotels that make a trip anywhere in Australia just a little more exciting with anticipation.
 
From the first-ever Ace Hotel in the southern hemisphere, to the biggest W Hotel in the world, Australia’s tallest hotel, a nature lodge with indigenous guides, the first Marriott Luxury Collection in Australia, to historic re-imaginations, every style of traveler who appreciates the good life – and the best of Australia - will find a new hotel to love.
 
Ask us to design the trip Down Under of your dreams including one or more of these new hotels.
 

SYDNEY

 
Ace Hotel
Opened in May 2022, the Ace Hotel Sydney marks Ace’s very first home in the Southern Hemisphere. Nestled in Surry Hills, Ace Hotel Sydney is a sweeping re-imagination of a historical location. With 257 incredible guest rooms and a variety of suites, there is a room for every type of holiday. The hotel also offers a range of dining options, including ground-floor restaurant, LOAM; craft cocktails, wine and beers at Lobby Bar; day-to-night cafe and bar, Good Chemistry; and the acclaimed, genre-bending restaurant Kiln, located 18 stories above Ace and helmed by Chef-Partner Mitch Orr.
 
W Sydney (opening late 2022)
Set to be the biggest W Hotel in its catalogue of more than 60 across the globe, W Sydney will be a must-visit for travelers to the harbor city. W Sydney’s undulating ribbon form rises through two elevated roadways on Sydney’s Darling Harbour, creating a spectacular waterfront experience, sightlines over the Harbour and pedestrian links across Cockle Bay and from the Harbour through to Darling Quarter and Sydney's International Convention Centre.


The hotel is within walking distance of the buzzing dining and shopping district as well as the surrounding area. The gleaming glass building will boast 593 guest rooms and an assortment of larger serviced apartments, along with a restaurant, two bars, spa and an infinity pool overlooking the harbor.

 Ⓒ QT Newcastle
QT Newcastle (opening June 2022) - Newcastle, 90-minutes drive north of Sydney
Newcastle may be known for its laid-back beach culture, but it will soon also house its own luxury accommodation offering. The popular boutique QT Hotel brand will be making its debut in Newcastle in June 2022, marking the fourth QT property to open in Australia. Set to take over the former 111-year-old David Jones department store building, QT Newcastle will be conveniently located on Hunter Mall right in the centre of the growing beach-side city. The design-led hotel's luxurious, quirky flair and distinctive service will feature across the 106-rooms, rooftop bar and its signature QT dining concept.
 

GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND

 
The Langham Gold Coast (opening June 2022)

Located on the sands of Surfers Paradise, The Langham Gold Coast will feature 169 rooms and suites and an additional 170 serviced apartments as part of the new Jewel Residences by The Langham. Visible throughout the Gold Coast, the hotel will be located inside the tallest of three waterside skyscrapers.


It is the first and largest development with direct beach access to be built in the coastal city within the last 30 years, offering uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean or the Hinterland. Surrounded by the buzzing dining district and nightlife of the Gold Coast, the hotel offers guests the perfect base to explore the region. The hotel will also offer a Cantonese restaurant T’ang Cou, an afternoon tea experience similar to the world-famous version at sister property The Langham in London, England, and several wellness offerings built around traditional Chinese medicine.
 

MELBOURNE


Ⓒ Ritz Carlton Melbourne
Ritz Carlton (opening late 2022)
Australia’s culture capital is getting set to ‘put on the Ritz,’ with the arrival of The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Melbourne in late 2022. Located in bustling Spencer Street within walking distance of some of the city’s top dining and shopping destinations, the hotel will be housed in the $2.6 billion West Side Place. The precinct will include four striking towers accommodating more than 2,600 one, two and three bedroom residences, many with expansive views across the city and the bay, and exceptional lifestyle facilities. The Ritz Carlton hotel itself will also set a record as Australia’s tallest hotel, complete with a “sky check-in”, a restaurant on level 79 and 263 hotel suites.
 
 

FARTHER AFIELD


Ⓒ Finniss River Lodge
 
Finniss River Lodge - near Darwin, Northern Territory
Perched on the edge of a vast floodplain, the newly opened Finniss River Lodge is located just a 90-minute drive or 20- minute private charter flight south west of Darwin. Boasting one of Australia’s most exciting chefs, Travis Crane, guests will experience dining that celebrates the highest quality and most seasonal produce native to the region.

Ⓒ Finniss River Lodge

Guests will find a relaxing escape, luxurious suites and amenities, along with an inviting wet-edge pool, all offering expansive views out over the surrounding floodplain and fiery sunsets. For those wanting to explore the region, there are a range of immersive experiences led by highly trained guides, including air boating, on-property four-wheel drive or open buggy tours, heli-fishing and cultural learning with an Indigenous guide.
 
The Tasman - Hobart, Tasmania

The Tasman Hotel in Hobart’s city centre is the Marriott Luxury Collection brand’s first in Australia. Located in Parliament Square just a six-minute walk from Hobart’s city centre, the hotel features 152 rooms and suites with carefully restored features and Georgian and Art-Deco design elements throughout.


The hotel also houses a range of premium dining options, including a lobby lounge, whisky bar and signature Italian restaurant in partnership with Chef Massimo Mele. With a range of stylish rooms available, there is something for every kind of traveler looking for a truly memorable experience.
 
Sequoia at Mount Lofty House - Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Located within an hour of Adelaide’s International Airport in the ambient Adelaide Hills, Sequoia houses 14 sustainably designed suites each with unrivalled panoramic views of the city and picturesque surrounding region.


The state-of-the-art lodge, situated on the sprawling Mount Lofty Estate, features spring-fed stone hot pools, an infinity pool, day spa and valley rim campfire amphitheater. Sequoia has an on-site team of local Experience Hosts who guide guests through activities themed around the lodge’s key experience pillars of Food and Wine, Wellness, Nature and History.
 
The Westin Margaret River (opening 2023) - Margaret River, Western Australia
Located on the southern headland of Gnarabup Beach in Margaret River, 2.5 hours’ drive south of Perth, the Westin Margaret River Resort & Spa (below and top images) is slated to open in 2023. The resort will be home to 120 guestrooms, including 45 spacious suites, featuring uninterrupted views of the vivid coastline.


Seeking to offer guests an opportunity to rest and recuperate, the resort will feature a range of spa packages from the iconic Heavenly brand as well as a signature Westin fitness studio and a resort-style outdoor swimming pool. Drawing heavily on local produce, there will be a diverse range of culinary offerings on site including an all-day dining restaurant, lobby lounge and pool bar.
 

Start Your Australia Trip!

 
Images copyright of their respective properties unless otherwise states, all courtesy of Australia.com

Top Souvenirs from a Trip to England
2022 is a great year to be an anglophile! Queen Elizabeth II’s history-making Platinum Jubilee, marking her remarkable 70 years of service, plus a new Downton Abbey film, have brought all things British to the forefront of popular culture.

Interest in travel to Britain is at an all-time high to experience Britain’s storied pomp and circumstance, English culture and quirk, and immerse yourself in one of the world’s most adored and copied lifestyles, from cricket to rowing, afternoon tea to a round at the pub, stately homes and quaint cottages, gardens to skyscrapers, exquisite tailoring to hand-written invitations: the good life, British-style.

You’ll want to bring some of it home to re-live your vacation and share your love of all things English.

Lynn Elmhirst, producer and host of BestTrip TV, just returned from a transatlantic crossing on the British luxury line Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, with a few days post-cruise in London during the Queen’s Jubilee year. Here are the souvenirs that made it into her bag:
 

Books

English authors have made their mark on the world, from Shakespeare up to the present day, and London remains one of the publishing centers of the planet. And even most modest homes today still retain that very British tradition of having a library to be proud of.


Indulge in some time in an English bookstore. “High street” or mainstream bookstores have so many books you’ll never see at home – even though they’re both written in English! That includes books by experts sharing tips and information about traveling around London or Britain through the lens of their special interests that can help inform and shape your travels.

Then there are still treasure troves of independent, specialty bookstores – if you love books, you could get lost forever and love it!

Tea Service

If someone visits England and doesn't have afternoon tea, have they actually been to England at all?

That very civilized tradition of taking a load off one’s feet in the middle of the afternoon and partaking in a restorative cup of your favorite tea, along with light finger sandwiches, a perfect scone, clotted cream and jam and a sweet delicacy or two… simply makes your day. And tides you over til a late dinner after taking in a performance in one of London’s West End theaters, for example.

You may find you can’t live without afternoon tea, in which case, you’ll need a tea service. From impossibly elegant versions made by top names in British fine bone china, including patterns available in England only, to quirky versions that speak to your own personal sense of style, a tea service will allow you to reminisce about your time in England for years to come.


Start with just a tea pot you can mix and match with your own china at home, or go all the way with tea pot, milk and sugar, teacups and saucers, even sandwich plates! Many fine stores even arrange shipping.

Consumables

When it comes to family, friends and colleagues, I’ve found the most-appreciated souvenirs are the ones that disappear – down your throat!

And England does consumables up right. From teas to biscuits (or as we’d call them: cookies) jams to chutneys, sweets to chocolates and more – all in high-designed tins and packages and parcels and baskets that are essential English style.


There’s no end of shops to stock up on edible souvenirs, but you won’t want to miss the grand-daddies of them all: Harrod’s and Fortnum and Mason.

Anything from Liberty’s

The luxury department store in the unmistakeable historic building – erected in Tudor style using ship timbers symbolic of the exotic emporium of its vision - in the heart of London’s Regent Street shopping area, has become synonymous with the truly unique designs of late 19th century creator, William Morris.


A keen anglophile can always spot a Liberty pattern, whether it’s on a shirt, scarf, man’s tie, or woman’s bag.
Those would be for you. To share with loved ones back home: edibles packaged in those unmistakeable Liberty designs.


Gin

While its earliest origins stem from the Netherlands just a short sail across the Channel, hundreds of years ago the English made gin very much their own. Today, a gin and tonic – or G&T, remains the essential English cocktail.

Forget everything about gins you’ve tasted at home, and start sipping unfamiliar, small-batch gins on your trip to Britain. There’s a lot more to gin today than distilled juniper berries! Combinations of botanicals, florals, and herbal ingredients have resulted in intriguing new flavors of gin, that are just as delicious sipped straight up as they are mixed with a high-quality tonic.
Image Courtesy Royal Collection Trust

Buckingham Palace now has its own gin that you can buy at its gift shop in support of the Royal Collection Trust that maintains one of the largest art collections in the world.


So does British cruise line Cunard. In fact, Cunard partnered with the well-known distillery Pickering's to create three gins with different flavor profiles: one for each of its ‘Three Queens’ ships.
 

Umbrella

If you were asked to draw an Englishman, chances are, he’d be sporting a tailcoat, a hat… and an umbrella. The quintessential dapper Englishman flourishes his umbrella, which isn’t just an affectation, but protects him or the lady accompanying him, from the English weather.


If quality apparel and accessories mean something to you, England is the place to acquire an umbrella with character. Check out the fine department stores, some specialty stores, and find yourself the perfect bespoke umbrella that will be a conversation-starter back at home – like this one above, kindly provided for the use of guests at our hotel, The Londoner (below), a stunning new luxury hotel in Leicester Square in the heart of the capital's theater district.

 

Globe

In addition to books, of course, every stately home’s library comes equipped with a splendid globe. Every world traveller should have one, too. Flat maps or – the horror! Apps! – fail to evoke the sense of scale of our planet, the distances between destinations, across seas and oceans… or the magic of travel in the way a globe does. Tactile by its very nature, a globe engages our wonder with travel.

And there’s one person in England making bespoke globes by hand in a studio in London. My camera team and I visited the studios of Bellerby & Co. to learn the secrets of putting a map on a sphere you can touch.


The studio isn’t open to the public, but you can order a globe online – even personalized in any way you can imagine! To have a little piece of bespoke English artisanship - and keep your travel dreams alive as you spin it at home.

 

Start your England Trip!


All images copyright BestTrip TV / Lynn Elmhirst unless otherwise stated.


























The ‘Mega-Moon’ and More Romance Travel Trends Every Couple Needs to Know
With so many celebrations put on ‘hold’ over the last couple of years, we knew when people started getting together to mark life’s great milestones again, it was going to be big.

How big?

Well, according to a new survey conducted by an online travel company, destination weddings and honeymoons are going ‘mega.’

The survey of American couples found that a whopping 97% - nearly all – honeymoon plans over the last two-plus years were affected by the pandemic.  Plans were either downsized, or canceled altogether.

And those couples are having a celebration comeback!  Almost 5 million weddings are expected to be celebrated in 2022 -2023, and happy couples are revisiting their plans  - upwards.
You may be surprised at some of the latest destination wedding / honeymoon trends shaped by two years without travel!   And it’s not just newlyweds. Some of these trends spill over to couples who are already together, and looking to rekindle that spark on a romantic trip together.

Trips, Not Toasters

More than ever before, couples are prizing experiences over an excess of stuff.  Now, a big majority – 65% - of couples are adding a honeymoon fund to their wedding registries. Instead of a complete table service at home, they want to dine in exotic locales together. 

‘Double-Moons’

Why stop at one honeymoon? An incredible 83% of couples now say they are planning multiple honeymoons. That could mean a mini-escape immediately after saying ‘I do,’ followed by a longer, more lavish trip later.

‘Redo-Moons’

Then there’s the clear pandemic trend – the do-over. Over half of couples revealed they were not completely satisfied by a honeymoon they did take during the pandemic.  A lot of couples took shorter trips, closer to home, rather than their dream, celebratory trips, and now they want the chance to make their honeymoon travel dreams come true.

‘Mega-Moons’

Go big, or stay home. Well, most couples did the ‘staying home’ part during the pandemic. Now they’re going big. Over half  - 53% - of couples say they’re going to splash out on their honeymoons, spending more than they had originally budgeted. That’s because now, almost two-thirds say they now want their honeymoon to be a bucket-list trip in luxurious surroundings.

The epic honeymoon today can take different shapes for different couples. Beach and tropical destinations are no longer the first choice of today’s couples.  About the same amount of couples are also interested in multi-destination trips, urban escapes or even national park trips.   Less than half say they’re interested in an all-inclusive resort – but the majority are looking for ‘pampering’ and romantic activities together like hot air balloon rides, sunset boat trips, and soft adventures.

Top Ten Honeymoon Destinations for 2022 - 2023

Move over, traditional island beach destinations! Today’s couples are all over the map when it comes to planning the ultimate honeymoon. 

Only one Caribbean island and one exotic tropical island destination made the top ten list of honeymoon destinations this year. St. Lucia and its twin Pitons are number 7 on the list, and the legendary coral islands of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean made the list at number 10.

Two hot-weather U.S. destinations made the list, including the tropical appeal of Florida, and the mystique of Los Angeles, at numbers 4 and 5 respectively.

The exotic, high-end urban destination of Dubai was the surprising second-most popular honeymoon destination this year.

Europe is made for romance, and honeymooning couples still favor the City of Love, Paris, the number 3 most popular honeymooning destination in the first post-pandemic travel year, as well as the Mediterranean pleasures of Spain (6) and Italy (7).  But the Nordic island of Iceland, with its surreal volcanoes, glaciers, and hotsprings, is an unexpected number 9 on the top ten list.

And the English-speaking U.K. – coming off the Queen’s history-making Platinum Jubilee celebrations, full of fun pubs, castles and stately homes, picturesque tiny villages and familiar cultural appeal, tops the list of 2022-23 honeymoon destinations.

Start Your Romantic Trip!


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How to Travel Like ‘Emily in Paris’
The breakout TV series is the stuff of travel fantasy, but you don’t have to be a fictional character to have a dream trip to France.

The good life, Parisian-style, eye-catching fashion center-stage and a thread of romance against a backdrop of one stunning City of Lights setting after another, Emily in Paris on Netflix follows the French adventures of a young American woman living the dream when her luxury marketing job is relocated to Paris.

The pure escapism of the streaming series, as well as the heroic secondary character – Paris itself! – has captivated and inspired audiences.

If Emily in Paris has made you imagine yourself in Paris, read on!  Here are just a few locations in the City of Love where Emily’s adventures took place – and your own adventures in France, can too!

Jardin du Palais Royal
Emily first meets her friend Mindy, a nanny living in Paris, in the elegantly landscaped gardens just steps from the Louvre in the heart of Paris. 

The Jardin surrounds the 17th century Palais Royal – once, as the name suggests, a palace, but now, government buildings.  It’s a little green haven in this busy part of the city, where locals take five to recharge, and visitors can rest their feet and regroup surrounded by classically French gardens.
 
Café de Flore
In the late 1800’s and first part of the 20th century, Saint-Germain-des-Pres was perhaps the most artistic neighborhood in the world, drawing giants and change-makers who transformed their fields and defined an era. Artists, novelists, and philosophers turned Saint-Germain-des-Pres into an incubator for some of the most profound works from the period that we still know and love today.
 
And many met, exchanged ideas and inspired each other at the picturesque sidewalk tables of the Café de Flore, one of the oldest in the city.  It’s still a must-see destination in Paris today, fantastic for people-watching. Of course producers of Emily in Paris had to include this iconic and easily-identifiable setting for the scene where our heroine meets Thomas, a professor.
 
Opéra National de Paris - Palais Garnier
Emily in Paris is not the first work of fiction to be set in this famous Paris location. Perhaps you’ve heard of “The Phantom of the Opera?”
 
The setting that inspired one of the most successful musicals of all time, Paris’ magnificent opera house dates from the 19th century. As impressive as the architectural masterpiece is on the outside, it’s truly breathtaking on the inside, so like Emily visited to see Swan Lake, we recommend you book tickets for one of the operas, orchestral, or ballet performances scheduled.
 
For her visit to the Palais Garnier, Emily even dresses in a nod to Audrey Hepburn, perhaps the Hollywood actress most associated with her string of classic films set in the City of Light, and as the muse of iconic couturier Hubert de Givenchy.



Pont Alexandre III
 
Gardens, cafés, architectural marvels… and bridges. Any story located in the city built up from the Seine must include at least one of its famous bridges, and Emily in Paris is no exception.
 
Emily’s marketing company uses the Alexander III bridge as the set for a commercial shoot for a client’s perfume, and the shoot-within-a-shoot location couldn’t be more ideal.
 
While the ironically-named Pont Neuf (‘New Bridge’) is the oldest structure spanning the Seine, Pont Alexandre III may have the distinction of being the most beautiful.  Not only is it stunning to behold, a walk across it reveals iconic scenes of the city, including the Eiffel Tower.



EMILY BEYOND PARIS

Like many savvy visitors to France, Emily travels beyond the City of Light’s famous Boulevard Périphérique ring-road, to savor the best of French beach life on the famous Cote d’Azur.

In the series, Emily takes a girls’ getaway to the real-life, iconic Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, an institution on the glamorous French Riviera since the Art Deco era of the 1930’s. On acres of grounds punctuated with local, Mediterranean trees and vegetation with the sea lapping at its secluded pebble beach, this Four Seasons Hotel is the perfect setting for a fictional – or a real life! – escape to the indulgence of one of the world’s most famous seaside lifestyles.

In fact, the hotel has even created an experience, inspired by its starring role in Emily in Paris, for any guest.  Its ‘Girls’ Trip on the French Riviera’ experience echoes Emily’s fictional trip: transfers from the airport in a Bentley; a stay in a Sea-View suite with elegant French windows opening up onto a patio with an infinity pool or, on higher floors, with views high over the sea; bespoke cocktails; Mediterranean-based spa treatments; and private cabanas at the hotel’s famous pool-side Club Dauphin where the hotel also arranges for a photo shoot to memorialize your own, Emily in Paris-inspired dream vacation.

Start your Trip!



All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this material from this page, but it may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Image: courtesy Netflix
Middle Image: Getty
Bottom Image: courtesy Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel




North America to Get its 6th MICHELIN Destination Guide to Star-Rated Restaurants
Or… why will foodies flock to Toronto this fall? That’s when Canada’s largest city becomes only the sixth destination in North America – and the first Canadian city – to be ranked among the crème de la crème of the world’s gastronomic locations.

That’s when the first MICHELIN guide for Toronto will be published. It joins just a rarefied handful of destinations on the continent in getting the seal of approval from the ‘high church’ of culinary credentials.

And those of us who already know and love Toronto’s food scene aren’t surprised.

The city on the north shore of Lake Ontario is surrounded by food producers who collaborate with world-class chefs and restaurateurs, providing farm-fresh ingredients and boutique food products to the appreciative and discriminating palates of city dwellers and visitors. 

As one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities on the continent – and even the world – Toronto also delivers some of the finest international cuisine and chefs who marry their cultural culinary roots with daring new ingredients, preparations, and treatments.

Not to mention Toronto’s just over an hour away from the country’s award-winning Niagara wine region.
Apparently, MICHELIN representatives have been casing the city incognito, evaluating the prospects of awarding coveted stars to restaurants in high profile and tucked-away neighborhoods around the city. Recently, it decided to add Toronto to the ranks of MICHELIN-evaluated destinations.

According to MICHELIN, “A new chapter begins in Toronto, which features global eats and charming cafes as well as high-end dining experiences. It’s a city where top chefs want to establish a presence and where emerging chefs nurture their culinary talent – both drawing on locally produced ingredients unique to Ontario.
 
“This selection will reflect the local flavors and international influences of this gastronomic scene.”
 
“Toronto’s culinary scene is as diverse as the city itself, and MICHELIN Guide Toronto is the perfect way to celebrate our culinary community,” said Scott Beck, President & CEO of Destination Toronto.
 
“It will be a powerful way to share our culinary capabilities with new audiences from around the world.”
 
Anonymous gastronomic inspectors are now investigating Toronto’s culinary scene in earnest and writing their reviews. The City of Toronto notes the coveted ratings in the upcoming guide will involve “complete autonomy regarding the restaurants assessed and the outcome of those assessments.”
 
MICHELIN guides began in France over a century ago as a way for the tire company – yes! the same company as the rotund, MICHELIN man made out of tires! - to encourage early car-owners to travel on road trips throughout the country and beyond (and buy tires!) Its lists, reviews and famously-starred ratings of dining, accommodation, destinations and attractions set a standard for all guide books that followed.
 
Just as they expect celebrated restaurants to re-earn their stars, the famous French guide books haven’t rested on their laurels, either.

In some ways, their culinary evaluations have come full circle.

The earliest MICHELIN guides noted not just justifiably famous restaurants along motoring routes that French travellers followed en route to their vacations in the countryside and beaches of France. They also advised which secret jewels of small, mom-and-pop – or should we say, mere-et-pere? eateries in small, off-the-beaten track villages were worth the drive or diverting from your route.

Today, MICHELIN guides award not only stratospherically-pricey fine dining restaurants in France with priceless stars, but also famously, street food in Singapore.

So travellers to Toronto can look forward to a MICHELIN guide to a full range of culinary adventures at different budgets. 

In fact, you might not want to wait for the word to get out and all the restaurants to fill up, and instead, beat the crowds to your own gastronomic pilgrimage to the world’s latest MICHELIN destination. Toronto’s favorite foodie festival, Summerlicious, returns this summer in August.  

START YOUR CULINARY TRIP!

 
 

New Ways to Celebrate the Start of Summer at the "World's Most Photogenic Beach"
A recent survey of the most popular hashtags in travel photo posts in social media wasn’t a scientific study. But it did generate a clear winner of the title “World’s Most Photogenic Beach.”

That honor went to the seven miles of shorelines and sparkling waters of South Florida’s legendary Miami Beach. If it’s been a while since you indulged in the surfside views and epic lifestyle of one of America’s most famous beaches and beach towns, here are some experiences that can give you new ways to enjoy Miami Beach.

And just in time for the unofficial start of the summer season – with family-friendly ideas, too. 

Seaside

Air & Sea Show: Late May’s unique annual event, dubbed “the Greatest Show Above the Earth,” showcases the men, women, technology and equipment in motion from all five branches of the U.S. military, as well as police and emergency responders. Over two days, you’ll get a rush of adrenaline watching offshore powerboat racing exhibitions, extreme water sports, and more – all with sweeping ocean views from the shores of Miami Beach.

Fishing Charters: Find a little adventure of your own through some of Miami Beach’s world-class offshore, deep sea or wreck fishing just off its shores. Experienced anglers and novice fishers just starting to get a taste for man vs. fish challenges will find an active, educational, and customized day – or half-day – at sea.

Luxury Yacht Charters: Maybe you don’t need your day on the water to have a goal like a big catch. Singles, couples, friends and families can all enjoy a day on the water ‘living the life’ on a luxury yacht. Custom charter itineraries can include a tour of the shore’s gorgeous architecture and celebrity home views, an afternoon learning the ropes on how to operate a water vessel, culinary experiences catered by local private chefs and active water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding and jet skiing.
 
Salt Float Bath Therapy: You can even get the benefits of salt water while on land. The Carillon Miami Wellness Resort lets you float your stress away in a weightless saltwater bath that incorporates 800 pounds of healthy bath salts. The experience helps release natural endorphins, relieve muscle pain, calm anxieties and stimulate blood flow. Who doesn’t need some of that? Plus the stellar ocean views poolside while you relax following your salt water spa experience.

 

Open-Air Design 'Museum'


You may already know about Miami Beach’s globally-recognized collection of design genres including art deco, Mediterranean revival, MiMo and the Miami Beach school of architecture. The city keeps adding to its unique design history in its tropical vacation lifestyle.

Signature Lifeguard Stands:
Recently, the reinvented Miami Beach’s signature lifeguard stands by William Lane (pictured, top) have been newly-recognized as iconic landmarks and symbols of the design-centric, urban beach destination.
 
After Hurricane Andrew destroyed several of the lifeguard stands dotting Miami Beach in the 1990’s, the city called upon designer William Lane to create replacements. Almost immediately, the five lifeguard stands, which the designer said were “influenced not only by Miami’s midcentury and art deco architecture but also by its Caribbean culture and the use of vibrant colors derived from the natural beauty of the tropics” became symbols of the community’s renaissance. Decades later, he was asked to revitalize more of Miami Beach’s seven-miles of sand and sea with new, eye-catching lifeguard towers. You won’t want to miss even one.
 
Get more of a design fix at some new or newly-renovated Miami Beach hotel properties, and design tours, too.
 
The Shelbourne South Beach dates back to the 1940's, exuding timeless luxury, elegance and original Art Deco design. As a stylish playground, guests can expect a dose of oceanside glamour with pops of color and interesting angles to enjoy, even from the hotel’s pool and diving platform. 
 
While Miami Beach is known for incredible Art Deco style, Mediterranean Revival is not to be missed. From superstar couture designer Gianni Versace's masterpiece on Ocean Drive to restaurants and storefronts featuring handmade tile and metal intricacies, travelers can get a taste of another of the city’s distinct design flavors during a walking tour curated by The Miami Design Preservation League. It showcases the architecture made popular on Miami Beach in the 1920's and 1930's. 
 
And, no day is complete on Miami Beach without a classic cocktail in stylish surroundings. Design-lovers can check out the new Lapidus Bar at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach. The beachside hotel was built in the 50’s by iconic architect Morris Lapidus, known as the pioneer of Miami Modern style. Evoking the glamorous, Rat-Pack feel of the era, the bar is located in the hotel's lobby and is part of a spectacular $90 million renovation, bringing the design elements of the past together with iconic, Ritz-Carlton five-star service.
 

Start Your Miami Beach Trip!







You’ll Love This New Generation of Private Island Resorts
There’s a new generation of private islands. One that creates an environment for guests to vacation their way to becoming their best selves.

Scratch any impressions you have of private islands inhabited by music moguls jet-skiing with nude models, royalty sneaking around with other people’s spouses, or tech billionaires popping magnums of champagne.

The new private island experience isn’t just about seclusion away from prying eyes. 

It’s about the ultimate spirit of togetherness with a group of people you value most in the world – having the uplifting and inspiring shared experience of a customized vacation that provides all the means for you to leave better than when you arrived. 

Imagine having an entire island all to yourself for a family gathering, the ultimate destination wedding, vow renewal, reunion, or team-building exercise.

The new type of private island is exclusive, but at the same time also more easily sourced and booked than ever before. Your trusted travel advisor can help you craft an end-to-end private island retreat that will transform your idea of a tropical vacation.

Here’s one of our favorite examples of private islands that’s breaking the mould and redefining what a private island vacation can mean. 


The Aerial BVI

This 43-acre private island destination in the British Virgin Islands is nestled among fourteen surrounding islands, with both stunning sunrises and sunsets.

The new approach to the private island experience comes from its most recent owner, a self-made young woman entrepreneur. Her vision is to “provide guests with the space to find their center again, eat healing food, reconnect to nature and loved ones, and discover what matters most.”


Like the best of private island experiences, guests enjoy the services of a full staff of chefs, hosts, activities managers, housekeeping and watersports teams, boat captains, island concierge and everything needed to fulfil your every need – whether you know you need it or not.

Spectacular Tropical Island Home Away From Home

The Aerial welcomes 26 guests in five residences with names that channel the owner’s aspirations for those coming to the island: Unity House, Faith House, Serenity House, and the Love and Grace Villas.

Rooms in each residence are unique, and as you might expect, they flow into their island surroundings allowing guests to feel part of the natural environment, with island and ocean views dominating sightlines.


Rooms are outfitted in different ways to feed different guest needs ranging from relaxation to reflection, to romance to writing to simply engaging with the outdoors: relaxing daybeds, serene “focus spaces” with writer’s desks for those who want to journal their journeys, private, cliffside balconies, chair swings, outdoor showers or soaking tubs, romantic stargazing decks, and balconies overlooking the infinity pool, to name a few.



Healing Cuisine

The Aerial challenges its guests to think outside the box of private chefs and indulgent dishes.

Its dining, while delicious and satisfying, is about providing “healing,” cuisine that helps guests to “think their best, feel their best, create at their best and connect to the planet in a beautiful and sustainable way.”

The private island resort sources ingredients from local providers in the British Virgin Islands in what it says is a true producer-to-table experience. Food that can’t be bought locally is sustainably sourced. There’s still comfort and fun at the table, though – the resort even has a wood burning pizza oven.


Private Island, Private Beach… and Beyond

 
On a private island, the world – or at least the island- is your oyster. The white sand beach is reserved for you and your private party. But The Aerial, in keeping with its personal, physical and spiritual growth mission, has its own distinct twist on private island activities.

Of course you expect the luxuries of a spa and healing center on the beach, an infinity pool, multiple bars including a beach bar, ping-pong, a yacht, Hobie Cats and a full complement of watersports, and even a recording studio. A wood burning fire pit on the beach? Check.


Those in search of self-improvement and relaxation can participate in yoga in inspired places, guided meditation and writing. Get your blood pumping hiking miles of island-wide trails. Reflect on our place in the universe stargazing.

There’s memory-making fun for families and adults trying to rediscover their inner child. A fleet of pastel-colored, electric Mini Mokes. On the beach: a tribal gym set, giant Jenga and giant Connect 4 and movies and bonfires on the beach.


And beyond your wildest dreams! “Indy’s Redemption Ranch” on the island is home to rescued former race horses, miniature ponies, and even a handful of zebras. Riding on the beach and hand feeding the herd is just the beginning. Swimming with the ponies and guided equine therapy take ranch-on-the-beach to a whole different level.


The Aerial replaces traditional concepts of private island resorts with conscious travel that reconnects you and your select group of guests with the wonders of Nature, and gives you the inspired spaces, seclusion, and activities to discover your very best life.
 

Start Your Private Island Trip!


This chain of couples-only Caribbean resorts is serious about helping guests ‘get in the groove’ while on vacation. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Sandals Resorts has launched an ‘Institute of Romance’ to research trends in couples’ relationships with a goal of helping keep the sparks a’ flying. 

The new trend-house delves into data about modern love, relationships and intimacy… And how they relate to holidays.

Through global surveys of paired-up travelers and its past guests, Sandals’ Institute of Romance’s findings will help the resort chain develop activities and experiences in its resorts, and even relationship guidance for couples before, during and after their all-inclusive beach resort vacation.

One of their most stand-out discoveries: More than half (55%) of North American women wish their relationships mirrored the couples of their favorite romance novels.

Sandals is so serious about love, it has a ‘Director of Romance,’ who explains: “With 49% of women preferring to read on vacation – from the initial plane ride to beachside – and romance novel sales skyrocketing over the last two years, this felt like a natural place for us to lend our 40 years of expertise in the romance space.'

So Sandals decided the perfect next step: to partner with romance novel publisher, Avon Books. 

Sandals Resorts is creating a 'romance library' of titles curated by the experts at Avon Books for guests to borrow while on vacation. Beginning at the Sandals resort in Grenada (pictured), the initial library will include a selection from the 'Michelangelo of dirty talk,' Tessa Bailey, as well as popular titles from Julia Quinn's “Bridgerton” series and authors Talia Hibbert, Olivia Dade and more.

Sandals’ Director of Romance says, 'With this partnership, we are helping bring to life the sometimes swoonworthy, but nearly always attainable relationships our guests read about in their favorite books, creating a meaningful and lasting connection on and off vacation.'

Do any of these stats that Sandals has discovered through its first survey of 1500 North American women sound like you?
·     81% say they read romance novels and
·     45% say they've increased their consumption of the genre over the last two years, citing the comfort of happily ever after (44%), the flirty banter (36%) and steamy scenes (30%) as the primary reasons!
 
They’ve even been able to narrow down the elements in romances between the pages of novels that are missing from many women’s relationships in real life, including:
 
·     better communication (55%),
·     spontaneous romantic gestures (54%), and
·     and more satisfying sex life (34%).
 
Do any of those complaints sound familiar? Take ‘heart,’ Sandals is taking those cues and translating them into even better romantic beach getaways.
 
The resort company will be developing ways to prompt spontaneous romantic moments of connection throughout guests' stays – such as reminders to hold hands, ask a meaningful question or share a compliment.

 

Getting Steamy

 
Fantasy. Connection. Fulfillment. Romance novels and couples’ aspirations for their vacations have some things in common. The survey found that:
·     Over a third (36%) of Sandals’ survey respondents shared that they fantasize about fictional characters more than their significant others,
·     55% say reading romance novels makes them more likely to want to connect with their partner and
·     38% say reading romance novels have made them feel more fulfilled in their relationships.
 
Nearly half (49%) of women surveyed say they've learned something from reading a romance novel that they've brought to their real-life relationships, with
·     53% engaging in more meaningful communication,
·     48% spicing up their love life and
·     35% setting time aside for romantic getaways.
 
Sharing a fictional fantasy can help make romance a reality.
 
'There's something inherently attractive when a partner takes an interest in something you're excited about – whether it be reading a new book from one of your favorite authors or trying a new activity together,” says Sandals’ Director of Romance.
 
“It's why we encourage couples to experience adventures together on vacation – from learning to scuba dive to taking in a round of golf. We always tell couples to be intentional about the time they share with each other; make it meaningful.”
 

Start your Romantic Beach Trip!



Now You Can Get Married in Antarctica
February has been an even more romantic month than usual this year. Not only did countless couples celebrate their love in dream destinations on Valentine’s Day – one couple became the first to be united in matrimony on the White Continent.

On an Atlas Ocean Voyage to Antarctica – that even departed on February 14,, 2022 – Valentine’s Day! Bride Courtnie Dodson and Groom Brody Vermillion exchanged vows on Danko Island during a 15-minute ceremony, officiated by British Antarctic Territory-registered Marriage Officer Bryan Clark.

The ceremony was witnessed by eight additional cruise guests – plus some curious penguins who appeared to follow the tuxedo dress code for the wedding!

In fact, that first-ever wedding on the 7th continent was one of four extraordinary weddings and three vow renewal ceremonies during the nine-night cruise to the Antarctic on the luxury expedition cruise line’s first ship World Navigator. 

Atlas Ocean Voyages bills its destination wedding program “Happy Ever Atlas.” It was complimentary for guests who registered for the wedding or vow renewal program in advance.

The weddings weren’t just ceremonial – they were the first legal weddings on the continent. Each couple received an official U.K. wedding license, which is also recognized in many other countries, including the U.S.


World Navigator hosted a ship-wide wedding reception, as well as held separate bachelorette and bachelor group-parties, for an unforgettable wedding week for the couples. The cruise destination wedding program also included a wedding cake, photos, gift bag, custom wedding announcements and Thank You cards. 

Now the ‘ice is broken’ so to speak, we’re sure many other couples will start thinking about the ultimate destination wedding.

A small, luxury expedition cruise might be tailor made for a one-of-a-kind destination wedding. The World Navigator’s size – only 98 suites, solo suites and staterooms – makes for an intimate luxe-adventure. Especially the adventure of starting your new life together!


World Navigator will cruise the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and Iceland, Greenland and The Arctic in summer 2022; Central and South America in the autumn; and return to Antarctica for her winter 2022-23 season.


The ship’s small size allows it to reach smaller, authentic and exclusive locales where larger ships cannot sail. A second, sister ship to the World Navigator, World Traveller, launches in November 2022. Three additional sister ships, World Seeker, World Adventurer and World Discoverer, join the fleet through 2024.

Giving couples looking for the most unique, out-of-the-way or exotic wedding or vow renewal destination a world of options.

Congratulations to the first Antarctic newlyweds!
 

Start Your Milestone Trip!

 
Images courtesy Atlas Ocean Voyages







3 Caribbean Luxury Golf Resorts Where you can Up Your Game this Winter
Is it time to change winter blues for island “greens?” The ideal outdoor, distanced, leisure activity, golfing got a shot in the arm over the last couple of years.

Even less committed golfers dusted off the clubs during the pandemic, rediscovering the delights to be found on the greens. And now that people are travelling again, the clubs are coming along for the ride.

Here are three Caribbean island golf resorts with a unique twist to freshen up your game in tropical, seaside breezes. Plus, their luxury resort game is as strong as their golf experience.

Which ones have you golfed?

Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic

 
It’s been called the Mecca of golf in the Caribbean. A one-of-a-kind resort with 63 holes over three legendary golf courses designed by Pete Dye.

 
The golf architect calls Casa de Campo’s Teeth of the Dog (above and top) his best work. It remains the only Caribbean course that consistently makes the list of top 100 in the world – usually the top 50. Hand-cleared from wild scrub way back in 1971, it pioneered the dramatic, seaside island golf course. In addition to the breathtaking ‘Heaven 7’ oceanfront holes framed by the sea and dramatic coral shoreline, the course has been described as ‘labyrinthine’ – it remains a challenge this many years later.
 
There are two other courses on the resort. The Links, which is thought to be even more challenging, and Dye Fore. Golfers will find 7 holes run along 300-foot cliff tops, and navigate diverse terrain including lagoons, jungle, and a path down to the resort marina.
 
The Resort
The three courses are all part of the 7000 acre Casa de Campo. Described as the Caribbean version of the Hamptons, it has a resort and nearly 2000 private luxury villas, a modern marina, dozens of restaurants, acclaimed facilities that give non-golfers plenty to do at the shooting club, tennis club, polo and equestrian club, and even a cliffside replica historic European village that includes a 5000-seat amphitheatre that hosts global entertainers.

 

Four Seasons Resort Nevis

 
The tiny island of Nevis – half of the twin-island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis - punches above its weight in golfing. Its legendary and groundbreaking Four Seasons Resort put Nevis on the map for luxury island resort lifestyles. Part of that is its 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II-designed golf course.

It’s considered the best in the Eastern Caribbean. Boasting four tee locations at each hole (and one black tee), this par 71 course offers breathtaking scenery on every green and fairway.

 
Nevis’ standout feature is Mount Nevis, an old, extinct volcanic peak soaring into the clouds. The resort hugs the beach and Mount Nevis rises steeply behind the Four Seasons. The golf course cuts through a former coconut plantation, tropical rainforest and steep ravines over 450 feet of elevation change with scenic views high over the sea. The 15th hole plummets off Mount Nevis itself! To top it off, the island’s famous green vervet monkeys have been known to join golfers along the way.


In addition to private lessons and weekly clinics, the golf program at the Four Seasons Nevis has fun with the game that can sometimes be taken too seriously.

'Foot Golf' games - similar to golf but played with a soccer ball instead, have players working toward a 21-inch 'cup' in place of the usual golf hole. The player who finishes the course with the fewest shots wins!

And with 'Eco-Bio Golf', players are actually encouraged to hit a golf ball or two into the sea. The balls turn into fish food within 72 hours after hitting the ocean floor. Guests can have beach-side golf competition while feeding the ecosystem. The entire family will get to enjoy practicing their swing on a mini beach driving range.

 
The Resort
The resort is a favorite for jetsetters in the know. Nevis is only reachable by water by private yacht, small cruise ship, or water taxi from St. Kitts. It was completely re-imagined just before the pandemic, and the breezy, elegant, tropical design, ocean-facing infinity pool, beachside cabanas where guests can go fishing for local lobster with the chef and then have them barbecued for a luxury seafood meal on the beach – is the stuff island vacations are made of.

 

Sandy Lane, Barbados

 
Both the resort of Sandy Lane on Barbados’ platinum coast, and its golf club have received award after award after award.
 
The three resort golf courses have some of the best golf in the world. Golfing guests can choose between the charming Old Nine course, the resort-style 18-hole Tom Fazio designed Country Club course, with its spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea. For a real ‘wow’ destination golf challenge, golfers can't miss The Green Monkey, another Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole course, carved out of an old limestone quarry that retains towering stone walls. There’s even a green monkey silhouette carved into turf in honor of the equally green monkeys that invite themselves to join golfers on the course. It’s reserved exclusively for resort guests.
 
The Resort
This is where Tiger Woods got married. That says as much about the resort as the golf. British-style tropical hospitality in classical Palladian-style buildings reigns at Sandy Lane. Lush gardens surround an immense pool with a cascading waterfall, with the Pool Bar just the beginning of dining experiences. On one of the best beaches on the island, shaded by mature mahogany trees, with attendants with cold towels, sunglass cleaning, Evian misting and other luxurious touches, the beach is the best 19th hole!
 

Start Your Golf Resort Trip!



Images courtesy of their respective resorts.










Where in the World to Drink Ice Wine
Don’t let winter stop you from enjoying a wine harvest season! There are two ways - and many places - to celebrate a wine harvest in the New Year.

You could travel to the southern hemisphere, where standard vineyard harvests take place during the northern hemisphere’s spring.

Or you can embrace winter – and the one, very special wine it creates.

Ice wine is a case of making lemonade when life gives you lemons. When winter conditions are just right, grapes freeze on the vine, giving vintners the opportunity to make ice wine. 

What makes ice wine special? When grapes are still on the vine as the temperatures turn to freezing, it’s only the water content in the grapes that freezes – not the sugar or other solids. So the small amount of juice extracted from the frozen grapes is very concentrated.

For natural ice wine, grapes must fully ripen on the vine, then undergo a hard freeze (−8 °C (17 °F) or colder). It's risky business. Grapes can be lost before harvest, and then the moment it freezes, pickers have to work at night harvesting all the grapes in a few hours before the sun warms them up again at dawn.

The wine made from that freezing process is very sweet wine with a balanced acidity - and can only be produced in small quantities. And it's priced accordingly.

If you want to taste ice wine at its source - and see the unique way it's made, your geographic choices are limited. Ice wine can only be produced in wine regions where it gets sufficiently – and reliably – cold.

Old World

Like many culinary innovations, ice wine may have been a happy accident that came about as a result of an unexpectedly harsh winter in the Nuremburg region of Germany around 1800. Vintners pressed their frozen grapes anyway… and voila!

It may have helped that sweet, late harvest Rhine wines were already the most highly valued wines in Germany at the time. Although the process is different, sweet late harvest wines may have smoothed the way for sweet ice wines to be appreciated and attempted in the rare, subsequent years when weather conditions presented the opportunity to make ‘Eiswein.’ 

Technology, like electric lights to facilitate night time picking, helped permit more frequent Eiswein vintages in the second half of the 20th century. Austria and a number of other, mostly Central European countries make small quantities, too.

We recommend: combining an Eiswein tasting trip with an alpine winter ski trip to Europe.

New World

While its wine culture is much more recent, Canada’s Niagara wine region consistently achieves ice wine levels of freezing every year.
 
Not long after some Central European winemakers at Niagara wineries began experimenting with ice wine, Niagara was producing the rare wine in commercially-viable quantities. In 1991, a Niagara ice wine won the Grand Prix d'Honneur at Europe’s Vinexpo, putting Canadian ice wine on the international wine map. 
 
Now, Canada is the world's ice wine superstar and largest producer, making more ice wine than all other countries combined. Niagara (pictured above) remains the biggest ice wine region in Canada, although it’s produced in wineries across the country.
 
Across the border and the Great Lakes, American vineyards have been getting into the ice wine act, too, particularly Michigan, although other wineries in neighboring Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania also produce the wine that celebrates the winter cold.

We recommend: Get in on the spirit of ice wine at a local ice wine festival. Sometimes you can even be part of the midnight grape picking, which is more fun than it sounds.
 

START YOUR WINE TRIP!

 


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6 Exciting Hotel Openings in Cities You'll Want to Travel to in 2022

These newly-opened hotels aren't just a home-away-from-home, they're gateways to a city's sites, local urban culture, cuisine, and social scene. Start planning your next city adventure today!


New York, New York

Hotel: Park Lane Hotel, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
What Makes it Special:
This classic, 47-story NYC Central Park South hotel has been re-imagined and re-opened as a sophisticated, playful, and inclusive hotel in a very exclusive part the city. Celebrated design agency Yabu Pushelberg restored the existing architectural details of the historic, post-war building with bold colors and eclectic textures redefining its mid-century luxury aesthetic. Nearly half of the over 600 rooms have park-facing views, with the other half featuring vistas of the Manhattan skyline. Whimsical murals in guest rooms and public spaces shatter any impression of stuffy luxury. Guests have three unique in-house dining options, which include the Parisian-style lobby bar Rose Lane, reimagined Harry’s New York Bar and Central Park South’s only rooftop lounge “secret garden” cocktail bar.

 

 
Why Visit:
Located on “Billionaires’ Row” on Central Park South between 5th and 6th Avenues, the hotel is ideally located directly across the southeast corner of the park and within immediate walking distance to some of NYC’s most famous attractions, such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, 5th Avenue shopping, and the Museum of Modern Art. Of course, everything in New York is within easy reach, from its famous restaurants to rooftop bars with views of the skyline, to icons of American architecture and culture like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. The anniversary of era-defining, NYC-based TV series Friends, and the reboot of Sex and the City, have re-inspired some fans to relive beloved scenes and revisit famous neighborhoods of our favorite fictional characters.

Paris, France

Hotel: Bvlgari Hotel Paris
What makes it special:
Luxury fashion house Bvlgari brings Italian glamour to the magic of the French capital. Located on the Avenue George V in the ‘Golden Triangle’, home to the French capital’s luxury and fashion excellence between the Seine and the Champs-Élysées, the Bvlgari Hotel Paris is where ‘bold’ Italian design and hospitality excellence, as well as contemporary Italian cuisine meet the jewelry heritage of Bvlgari in the glorious setting of Paris. 76 rooms and suites, including the Bvlgari Penthouse, have views of all the capital’s iconic monuments including the iconic Eiffel Tower:






Why visit:
It’s always time to reconnect with the City of Light and one of the world’s most magical, walkable cities. From strolls along either bank of the Seine, to the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, the majesty of historic monuments, to renowned museums and palaces of cuisine to humble restaurants that serve mouth-watering bistro food, from the incomparable boutiques of the Marais and grand department stores that are as much destinations as places to shop for that perfect French addition to your style, there’s no place like Paris.
 

Venice, Italy

Hotel: Radisson Collection Hotel, Palazzo Nani Venice
What makes it special:
Radisson Collection Hotel, Palazzo Nani Venice, near the heart of the city, was built as a private family villa in the 1500’s, and has opened as a 52-room hotel following two years of renovations approved by Venice’s arts and heritage authorities to preserve its authentic qualities. Restoration work focused on the original decorative and architectural elements of the building’s façade and interiors. Special attention was paid to the restoration of historical ornaments, including centuries-old stuccos and paintings on the walls and ceilings. During the excavation works, some Roman flooring was found and registered as an historic find. The hotel’s wine bar and terrace offers traditional Venetian food, wine and cocktails, while the hotel garden overlooks the Cannaregio Canal.


Why visit:
With views of the Cannaregio canal, and located by the Venetian Ghetto in the northern part of the city, the
Radisson Collection Hotel, Palazzo Nani Venice lies in the Cannaregio district, known for the historic Jewish Ghetto and the many local bars and restaurants. The Vaporetto stop just outside the hotel provides access to the rest of the city, including St. Mark’s Square, the romance of walks along canals and bridges with stops at restaurants and shops of famous Venetian craftsmanship, and of course, gondola rides of exploration. You can also take a water taxi from the hotel to the train station, airport and the islands of Murano and Burano, famous for glass workshops and extended Venetian culture and lifestyle.
 

Halifax, Canada

Hotel: Muir, Autograph Collection
What makes it special:
Muir is the first hotel in the Canadian Atlantic coastal province of Nova Scotia to join Marriott Bonvoy’s Autograph Collection. From a picturesque location in the heart of this famous port city’s waterfront lifestyle scene, carefully appointed rooms with thoughtful amenities, to Nova Scotian art, design and dining, Muir establishes an authentic “Sense of Place” that invites guests to forge a meaningful connection with contemporary Nova Scotia and its people. Muir projects a contemporary marine, wharf-like design using local materials, including salt-and-pepper granite and sandstone, as well as Muntz metal, a copper alloy prominently used in shipbuilding.


Why visit:
Muir is part of the Queen’s Marque district of Halifax, a cultural and community destination for locals and visitors to Atlantic Canada. The bustling district encompasses vibrant restaurants, shops, nightlife, offices and luxury residences, all set against a striking harbor backdrop. Halifax is the capital city of the province that fosters Scottish heritage more than nearly anywhere else in the world outside of Scotland, where you can find your inner Scot at a Gathering of the Clans or musical Tattoo. Halifax also cradles a Canadian Atlantic lifestyle that features whale watching, dining on lobster, sailing, coastal exploration, famous lighthouses and more.
 

Mexico City, Mexico

Hotel: Ritz-Carlton Mexico City
What makes it special:
This hotel is the third Ritz-Carlton in the country, but the first urban Ritz-Carlton. It has transformed Mexico city’s skyline with its 58-story tower along the iconic Paseo de Reforma and showcases sweeping, uninterrupted views of the famed Chapultepec Park. Its location and views are maximized by a double glass façade and open-air terraces, inviting guests in its 153 guest rooms and suites to discover a new perspective on the city. The hotel’s design pays homage to Mexico city’s profound role in the surrealist art movement, and how Mexican artists like Frida Kahlo celebrated their indigenous roots. Its design makes use of metals, mirrors and glass to reflect the exterior into the interior, creating a surrealist experience by playing with perspective and distorting the surrounding, traditional architecture. A calm neutral color palette with shades of smokey ash, deep blues, and metallic fibers woven throughout the hotel are a nod to Mexican storytelling and folklore, and local ingredients and botanicals, as well as healing and spiritual traditions of Mexico City’s Aztec culture, in addition to local flavors in its dining offering, add to the hotel’s uniquely local experience.


Why visit:
The personalized guest experience at the Ritz-Carlton Mexico City goes beyond its doors into the vibrant city that’s known for its art and culture scene. A hotel tour with a local historian allows guests to be immersed into the Mexican rituals and celebrations that inspired the hotel design, and hotel staff curate days of exploration for cultural discovery and epicurean adventures in the city. Part of the hotel’s vision is to be a “literal and figurative gateway along the Paseo de Reforma, welcoming and encouraging guests to learn about the colorful history, dynamic present and bright future of Mexico City,” say hotel officials.

Melbourne, Australia

Hotel: Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands
What makes it special:
The first Marriott Hotels property to open in Australia in 20 years is a 189-room center of hospitality whose design takes inspiration from the yachts in the city’s harbor, and its façade offers multiple views over the water, city skyline, and the Bolte Bridge. The hotel’s lobby holds fluted glass windows with art installations to welcome guests, as well as brass golden chains suspended over the area to mimic a cinched sailcloth. But its centrepiece is a 92-foot, wet edge rooftop infinity pool, with an adjoining Sunset House bar, one of the only bars in town with views of sunsets illuminating the city skyline. Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands also welcomes the first exclusive, 24-hour M Club executive lounge in Australia.
 
Why visit:
The hotelier says it aims to offer “an all-encompassing experience” of Australia’s second city. Located within the retail, leisure, and entertainment precinct, The District Docklands on Waterfront Way in Melbourne’s city center, the Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands doesn’t just offer views across Melbourne’s harbour, city skyline, Bolte Bridge, and into sunsets in the west. Melbourne's Docklands is one of Australia’s largest urban renewal projects, reconnecting central Melbourne with its historic waterfront on the Yarra River. Melbourne is the gateway to the state of Victoria’s treasures, including Great Ocean Road and the vineyards of the Yarra Valley.
 

START YOUR URBAN ADVENTURE!


Images courtesy of their respective hotels.



Better Sleep is the Travel Trend We Need Right Now
Is your New Year’s resolution to get more rest – and travel more? The good news is that there are travel experiences that let you do both. 

Lynn Elmhirst, Producer and Host of BestTrip TV, runs down a few of her favorites.
 

Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland – Sleep Retreat

The breathtaking Fogo Island Inn, perched on stilts like the fishing huts on the island on the edge of the North Atlantic ocean, has been rated one of the top luxury lodges in the world.

 
Any trip to the Fogo Island Inn is a retreat into a unique island environment enriched with visiting artists, local artisans and crafters, and centuries-old living off the land and the sea, which curated, hands-on guest experiences bring to life.
 
Don’t take my word for it! WATCH THIS BESTTRIP TV VIDEO OF THE FOGO ISLAND INN. Designer Karen Sealy highlights some of its breathtaking design.
 
The hospitality of the island and the Inn is now legendary. In its 29 unique rooms, beds covered in locally hand-made, colorful quilts face floor-to-ceiling windows onto the sea or the dramatic landscape. Every morning, a wooden box draped with cheerful linens is dropped off at the door of your room, with a carafe of coffee or tea, and a selection of freshly baked treats that inspire you to go right back to bed to enjoy them while gazing out at the view and enjoying the crackling of your room’s wood-burning stove.

 
In addition to an acclaimed dining experience in its restaurant, bar, lounge and Tea Room, the Inn’s Heritage Library, Reading Room, roof-top wood saunas and hot tubs help contribute to a guest’s relaxation and well-being – not to mention the benefits of feeling cut off from the hustle and bustle in this remote edge of the world.
 
What’s more, the Fogo Island Inn is also a community asset, with all of the operating surpluses reinvested into the local community to help secure a sustainable future for Fogo Island.
 
If that doesn’t already make you sleep better, the Inn also hosts a sleep retreat in March 2022. The director of Ryerson University in Toronto’s sleep and depression lab will lead “The Secrets of Sleep” that teaches guests sleep science, including daily workshops, morning yoga, evening meditation, time outdoors in the fresh sea air of the island, and more.
 
 Between the inherently relaxing qualities of a stay at the Inn, and the science-based sleep teachings of the retreat, guests can look forward to restorative sleep during their stay, “and the benefits will endure long after you’ve left our shores,” says the hotel.
 

Rosewood Hotels’ “The Alchemy of Sleep” Retreats

Inspiring guests to improve their state of rest in the New Year, 20 luxury Rosewood Hotels have launched holistic escapes to encourage movement, mindfulness, nutrition and tranquillity leading to more restorative sleep.
 
In addition to the restful features and amenities of their rooms and hotel spas, Alchemy of Sleep is Rosewood’s global collection of new and immersive retreats from January to March 2022, designed to promote rest through sleep-inducing treatments, movement-driven activities and special amenities that create long-lasting benefits to travelers. Dedicated to those setting intentions for profound change in the New Year, the thoughtfully crafted programs support renewal of the body and practices to take home and incorporate into busy, everyday life.
 
Guests can opt for a one-night 'Dreamscape' or extend from two to five nights for a 'Sleep Transformation,' providing an even more immersive stay. As a supplement to these offerings, Curated Sleep Boxes feature products that re-balance such as essential oil blends, tea blends, aromatherapy linen mists and silk eye masks.

Image: Rosewood Hotel Georgia
 
Rosewood's “A Sense of Place” philosophy means the Alchemy of Sleep retreats reflect local wellness customs and embrace the unique natural surroundings. Here are a selection of Alchemy of Sleep programs at hotels and in destinations that inspire:
 
  • In Paris, Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel welcomes guests with an in-room Sleeping Beauty set, featuring all the essentials for ensuring a good night's sleep. Guests continue their stay with personalized messages and centering meditation sessions, concluding the journey with a Sleep Naturopathy consultation to establish long-term patterns for attaining the best sleep possible back home.
  • In St. Barth, the newly-debuted Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth offers an ideal setting for finding serenity. In addition to nutrient-rich dishes and scenic meditation, restorative treatments, such as Healing Sound Bath Therapy, activate the brain waves for a dreamlike state. Each room is enhanced with oil diffusers and mists, silk pillowcases and eye masks, books with sleep tips, as well as access to meditation TV apps.
  • In the British Virgin Islands, Rosewood Little Dix Bay is a tranquil haven that also offers aromatherapy and reflexology treatments releasing tension from the body, supplemented with outdoor activities such as hikes through 'The Baths' National Park. For the deepest possible state of relaxation in full consciousness, guests can partake in Yoga Nindra, also known as 'Yogic Sleep,' offered under the stars just before bedtime.
  • In Mexico's Riviera Maya, Rosewood Mayakoba guests can engage in personal consultations with the resort's wellbeing experts to develop clear actions for improving sleep cycles, while keeping the body moving with Float Fit sessions and Restorative Yoga at the resort's private cenote (natural pool). Guests will also have access to a Sleep Aromatherapy Support Kit featuring a remedy made from a blend of organic oils, as well as a master class on sleep.
  • In California, with the Alchemy of Sleep retreat launch comes the debut of Bryte Sleep Suites at Montecito's Rosewood Miramar Beach and Menlo Park's Rosewood Sand Hill. The suites feature 'The Restorative Bed by Bryte,' which allow for individual heating and cooling personalized to each sleep partner's profile with Circadian Climate technology directly impacting the sleeper's core body temperature. To further reduce stress, guests can choose from a selection of calm-inducing treatments that incorporate ingredients like CBD and lavender, as well as partake in meditations that take advantage of the resorts' breathtaking natural settings and landscaped gardens.
  • Rosewood San Miguel De Allende's retreat hones in on nutrition's impact on the sleep cycle, offering menus specially created by the hotel's Executive Chef Vincent Wallez, who thoughtfully selected soothing ingredients. Throughout the stay, guests will enjoy treatments that encourage deep rest, as well as meditation, yoga and breathing workshops that take advantage of the property's scenic surroundings.
 
Alchemy of Sleep retreats are also available at other Rosewood hotels around the world including Baha Mar, The Bahamas, Phuket, Thailand, London, England, Italy, the Middle East, and other destinations in Asia. 
 

SLEEP by Princess Cruises

Some of my best sleeps ever have been on cruise ships, where the gentle motion lulls you to sleep.
 
Princess Cruises has built on the natural advantages of the rocking motion of ships by consulting with a board-certified sleep expert to optimize staterooms for a sleep-friendly experience via all five of your senses.
 
“SLEEP” is not a specific retreat, but a way of cruising, with added touches for a wonderful, restorative rest on board, from the bedding to wellness treatments at the spa, even SLEEP-friendly evening meals on board. The cruise lines’ sleep expert explains, 'Sleep is a sensory experience. In fact, all five of your senses must be prepared for slumber in order for sleep to come easily and last all night long.'

Images above and top: Princess Cruises

Other resorts, hotels, cruise ships and spas offer enhancements to your sleep practices – from pillow menus to sleep concierges to activities, amenities and therapies. Whatever your travel tastes or needs for better rest, there are practices available at hotels, resorts and ships in dream destinations to help you achieve restorative rest while traveling, and even when you return home.

Ask your expert travel advisor about the perfect, restful travel experience for you.
 

START YOUR (RESTFUL) TRIP!







Celebrate the Festive Season - or Make a Gift of the Holidays at Four Seasons Across North America
There’s only one holiday season, but the luxury lifestyles of one of many Four Seasons hotels or resorts is just around the corner - either a drive or a short-haul flight - from many of us, and our loved ones.

Treating ourselves during the festive season, or giving our loved ones the gift of a recognized luxury travel brand experience in your hometown or at a favorite destination - will help make this holiday special and memorable.

Here are some suggestions to help you get into the Christmas spirit - or capture the holiday magic for your loved ones.

Your expert travel advisor can help you create the perfect luxury travel experience or give the perfect gift, from wellness, culinary, and family festive experiences.


Surround Yourself with Christmas Cheer


Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort gets into the Christmas spirit with a chocolate and gingerbread display created by its award-winning chef. Even a Christmas Grinch can’t help but smile at the charming life-size gingerbread house, with candy canes, lollipops, Santa and more, Plus - it’s the perfect holiday photo backdrop for your social media holiday post. You can enjoy festive treats including holiday gelato flavours such as chocolate peppermint, while the little ones try their hands at cookie decorating.

At Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, the holiday display takes the form of a modern arctic wonderland. A large, mirrored polar bear flanked by custom made flocked trees and poinsettias adorned with snow. The holiday magic extends to the ground floor's reflective Christmas tree and the fifth floor's life-size reindeer, creating a majestic holiday scene and the perfect backdrop for holiday photos.

Make a List, Check it Twice… then get some Help


Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston’s Wellness Floor has curated a holiday gift guide featuring bespoke experiences and products for mindful giving. You can fill your loved ones’ stockings with certificates for a side-by-side couples massage or Cryotherapy Energy facial and gifts such as candles, cashmere loungewear and beautiful Italian leather handbags. Maybe slip one treat in there for yourself for your next visit to Boston, too.

Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC’s Holiday Market is a goldmine of the gifts and culinary works of local artisans as well as the Hotel's craftspeople including their pastry chef’s gourmet hot chocolate bar. And you can shop for your loved ones surrounded by live music entertainment, light and snow displays. You can feel even better about holiday gift giving this seasons as a portion of the proceeds from every sale is donated to Children's National Hospital.

Culinary Christmas - and the Whole Holiday Season


Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel is ringing in the holidays in style. A series of prix fixe menus for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, along with a New Year's Day Brunch let you leave all the work to the hotel chefs - and you can choose to indulge fully with options like caviar, a seafood platter, and Bloody Mary and bottomless champagne bar. The restaurant, which overlooks the famed Rodeo Drive, will also be offering a special holiday afternoon tea, complete with delicate and elegant Italian desserts by its chef.

The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler’s popular Vintage Camper is back for the winter, serving up decadent hot chocolate and cook-your-own s'mores. Guests can enjoy a Tipsy Snowman, the Resort's playful signature hot chocolate, or wind down with a complimentary wine tasting offered every evening featuring a selection of local British Columbia wines.

Hands-on Holiday Experiences



At Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley, a limited-time winter wonderland pop-up reimagines an alpine village. Rustic wooden chalets take center stage, while 'snowfall,' fireside movies, an après-ski menu including s'mores and hot cocktails create an inviting experience on the outdoor terrace. The village includes a sweet shoppe, Instagrammable life-sized snow globe and more.

Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina’s #FSWAYFINDERS program is a weekly series featuring art, culture, history, and in-depth workshops that make the holidays in Hawaii come alive. A curated group of artisans and crafters offers intimate and engaging learning opportunities including ukulele lessons, coconut hat weaving, lei making, evening stargazing and hula workshops with all proceeds going to the artisans themselves.

Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire keeps the holidays active, with horseback riding across the 500 acres of parkland, the ultimate treetop challenge, a relaxing ride on a traditional horse-drawn carriage or a unique bird-watching experience on a wildlife walk.


Restoring from Stresses of the Holiday Season


Four Seasons Hotel Austin’s The Spa has two festive ways to treat winter-ravaged skin and stressed-out bodies. Picture yourself or a loves one enjoying a Peppermint Facial or a Fire & Ice Massage. Up the ante with an after-hours private booking that allows for full access of the entire spa complete with the hotel’s margarita cart.

Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas uses locally sourced materials in its seasonal relaxation treatment. The Cranberry Pomegranate Body Treatment features a wrap, head massage, and full body scrub and leaves you feeling restored for another day of gaming, entertainment, and super-sized shopping of Sin City.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole is celebrating the winter solstice with restorative yoga and intention setting sessions. Guests can enjoy a complimentary restorative yoga session and wassail, the traditional warming drink you sing about in Christmas carols.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is also commemorating the winter solstice with guided meditation, sound healing and intention setting on the longest night of the year.

#HappyHolidays




Images courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts







Rum and Cigar Festival Elevates St. Barts to New Levels of Luxury Island Lifestyle
 It’s a tiny island with a big reputation as one of the most chic destinations in the Caribbean. Legendary St. Barts combines French ‘art de vivre’ with a lush tropical setting and an exclusive atmosphere. 

If you’ve been waiting to discover – or re-visit – this jewel of the islands, there may be no better time than November.
That’s when the Caribbean Rum Awards bring island luminaries and rum and cigar VIP’s from around the world together to celebrate two island luxury indulgences.

Saint-Barthelemy, affectionately shortened to the anglicized nickname St. Barts or St. Barths, is only 25 square kilometers (just under 10 square miles). Only small planes can land on St. Barts, and its iconic yacht harbour – one of the most renowned in the Caribbean – only accommodates yachts. That preserves the island’s charms from mass tourism.

Visitors arrive by small plane from nearby islands like St. Maarten, or sail in on a private or chartered yacht or even on one of the small, luxury cruise ships that can be accommodated in St. Barts’ picture-perfect, U-shaped harbour nestled in a cove in its capital city, Gustavia.

Some of the world’s most stylish, influential and prestigious travelers include the French overseas island on their annual calendar of travels.

The week-long Caribbean Rum Awards originated in 2018 and have become a highlight of the island’s November social calendar.

Anchored by Gustavia’s Rhum Room, home to the largest collection of fine rums of any bar in the hemisphere, the Caribbean Rum Awards are centered around a blind-tasting of the most premium rums in the world vying for the event’s top award. 

Rum luminaries and cigar aficionados from far and wide gather to sip, savour, judge, share their insights and tastes, and celebrate the iconic sugarcane spirit of the Caribbean.

In addition to the main event, rum lovers enjoy a slate of day and evening events including cocktail parties, master classes, private tastings, rum and cigar pairings, cocktail pairing dinners led by top chefs at one of the island’s most talked-about restaurants that end with spectacular, rare cigars, and nightly tasting parties at the Rhum Room.
A one-day Rum Expo is open to the public that week. Only holders of VIP tickets can access the other events.
 
If you haven’t over indulged already, we recommend you stick around in St. Barths. The Caribbean Rum Awards week kicks off the island’s ‘Gourmet Month,’ with the St Barth Gourmet Festival scheduled for the following week.
 

#StartYourTrip!


Images: Getty


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New Ships Put the ‘Luxe’ in Luxury Expedition Cruising to the Remote Oceans of the World
It’s one of the biggest trends in cruising. Not getting bigger, but getting out there. In style.

Expedition cruises used to be only for the most intrepid travelers. You would join a working research vessel on its voyage to a very distant destination, tolerating the discomfort for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of getting up close and personal with the unique and fascinating natural wonders and wildlife of a maritime region you’d never otherwise encounter. 

The good news is that you no longer have to sacrifice comfort for the privilege of immersion into a magical and otherwise unreachable marine frontier.

Luxury expedition cruising is coming of age. Smaller vessels, able to reach hidden places even where there are no ports, staffed by scientific experts and guides, equipped with polar-class hulls for ice safety, zodiacs and kayaks and other ways to get off the ship to explore remote shorelines, but also outfitted with superb onboard amenities, design, cuisine and service - give you the very best of both worlds. 

Think of them as safaris at sea. New ships are being purpose-built for these one-of-a-kind, bucket list voyages in the distant destinations of your dreams: the Galapagos, Antarctica, Canada’s Northwest Passage… the seas around both of the Earth’s poles and every unspoiled, natural marine destination in between.

Here are the new ships making luxury expedition cruising evermore available to curious, active, travelers who appreciate getting outdoors into Nature… then stepping back into a deluxe and pampered lifestyle.


Crystal Endeavor

Crystal Cruise’s first-ever expedition ship sailed in July, 2021 on her inaugural voyage from Reykjavik, a 10-day circumnavigation of Iceland’s dramatic coastlines.

Complimentary excursions led by naturalist experts on the Endeavor’s expedition team include sea kayaking on the waters of the Westfjords in Patreksfjörður, an Arctic Circle walkabout on Grimsey Island, and Zodiac cruising amid mountain landscapes in Djúpivogur. Crystal Endeavor’s expedition leaders and guides for its Iceland voyages include a marine biologist, ornithologist, geologist/glaciologist, historian, two professional photographers, polar expedition specialists and an artist-in-residence who will instruct and encourage guests to capture travel memories with snapshot sketches and drawings.

 
Zodiacs and kayaks can be launched directly from the ship’s marina. Other expedition ‘toys’ include snorkel gear, a six-person sub, and two helicopters for flightseeing spectacular scenery. A 4K camera capturing the land and seascapes sailing by can be directed by guests in the Palm Court and Expedition Lounge, and the imagery fed to large screens in public areas and guest suites.

(The Endeavor's Expedition Lounge)

The polar-class ship accommodates just 200 guests in 100, all-verandah, all-butler, expansive suites. There’s a one-to-one ratio of staff to guests, guaranteeing highly personalized service. And high tech innovations ensure responsible stewardship of the world’s oceans.

The Endeavor sails Europe’s North Seas, including Iceland, Norway, the Scottish Isles, before making her way south as summer turns to fall, calling in London, Bordeaux and Lisbon for her inaugural Europe season.
 
 

Silver Origin

While she was delivered in 2020, Silver Origin (pictured, top) made her inaugural sailing in the summer of 2021 as one of the first Silversea ships to return to cruising.

Unlike other ‘generalist’ expedition ships in Silversea’s luxury fleet, Silver Origin is purpose made just for the very specific and special islands of the Galapagos, where she will sail all-new itineraries year round. The ship has high-tech innovations that ensure it has minimum impact on the sensitive environment.


Just 100 guests luxuriate in balcony-only suites with the only all-butler service in the Galapagos. With the highest expert-to-guest ratio, the Silver Origin doesn’t just deliver luxury and expedition expertise on board. It also incorporates local culture, local ingredients including produce and seafood from Ecuadorian food producers, and its design brings guests closer to the Galapagos seascape with floor-to-ceiling windows in the Restaurant, an open air Grill which can also be converted to a sheltered space, and maximized observation areas that bring the outdoors onboard the ship. 
 
Just how popular is expedition cruising in the lap of luxury and style? Coming Soon…

Silver Wind

Silversea is converting one of its classic ships, Silver Wind, to an ice-class expedition ship, the fourth in Silversea’s fleet. In addition to a strengthened hull, the Silver Wind will be fitted with two dozen zodiacs, 14 kayaks, a Photo Studio, a luxury ‘mudroom’, and a new pool system for heated swimming in cold climates, as well as interior space enhancements in lounges, restaurants, and guest suites.


She’s slated to re-launch late 2021 in time to be in Antarctica for the expedition ship event of 2021: the solar eclipse over the White Continent on December 4th, 2021.

Seabourn Venture

Another luxury cruise line, Seabourn, is also set to launch its first expedition ship, the Seabourn Venture, in December of 2021, with a sister ship in 2022.

The Seabourn Venture will sail inaugural – and one-of-a-kind – winter Norway voyages, and in addition to zodiaks, kayaks, and submarines, it will also carry mountain and e-bikes for its approximately 250 guests.

Quark’s Ultramarine

The newest ship for expedition cruise line Quark, also firmly establishes its luxury credentials. Ultramarine was purpose-built for polar expedition cruising, sailing with 200 guests and 140 crew when it debuts in late 2021.
 
Do you think expedition cruising could be for you? Ask us for more information and..

#StartYourTrip

 
By: Lynn Elmhirst, Producer/ Host, BestTrip TV

Images courtesy their respective cruise lines.

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Miami Heats Up This Summer with Three Hotel Openings
Miami has always been one of the hottest destinations on the continent, with art, design and architecture creds, a blistering beach/ party scene, vibrant cultural scene that reflects the city’s status as a Latin American hub, and a celebrity/ jet set appeal that never seems to die down.
 
This summer, the city’s getting even hotter, with three hotel openings set to hit the reset button on restarting travel to Miami. They’re must-stay, must-taste experiences that tap into the essence of Miami’s iconic South Beach.
 

The Goodtime Hotel

 
With a name like that – and star power like Pharrell Williams’ of the song ‘Happy’ fame – behind it, this hotel (pictured, top) promises escapist, playful atmosphere – and it delivers.

With 100,000 square feet of curated public space and only 266 guest rooms with an Art Deco aesthetic that reimagines the style of the district it lives in, a 30,000 square foot pool deck dotted with cabanas, lush greenery, carpet woven with mock wet footprints and Insta-worthy touches like pink land line phones, the award-winning music celebrity and his partners say The Goodtime Hotel (pictured top) is a place for “hedonistic revelry and laidback R&R.”
 
'We want The Goodtime Hotel to impart a feeling of both revitalization and that rare, exciting thrill that takes over when you discover something special,' says Pharrell Williams. 'It's that adrenaline-fueled sensation of entering a whole new setting and a whole new mindset. This place will provide a natural good time, for all who come through.'
 
Between drinks at ‘Strawberry Moon’, cozying up with an old-time book at the library, or recording music at the on-site studio, guests will feel transported into a fantasy, urban beach resort world that is just so Miami.
 

Moxy Miami South Beach

Colorful murals, floor-to-ceiling windows, blurred transitions between indoors and outdoors, a rooftop pool with panoramic views, a dedicated beach club, and six dining and sipping venues, including a rooftop resto, capture the essence of the district’s Art Deco heritage.
 
Moxy Miami South Beach’s designers say its vibe blends the glamour of midcentury Havana, the artistry of contemporary Mexico City, and a tropical vibrancy that's unmistakably Miami, all located steps from the sand.
 
Inspired in part by an overnight ferry that ran between Miami and Havana in the 1940s and '50s, the rooms resemble ocean liner staterooms dressed in vivid Miami hues and bathed in sunlight thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. Rooms on higher floors offer unobstructed vistas of the Atlantic, while other rooms feature expansive views of South Beach's pastel-hued architecture. Bedrooms feature custom art by Miami artist Aquarela Sabol depicting iconic artists — Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí — visiting South Beach.

 
New dining and drinking venues include Como Como, a marisquería and raw bar; Mezcalista, a sexy mezcal lounge; Serena, an open-air rooftop restaurant and bar; Los Buenos, a taco stand/bodega in the lobby, complemented by Bar Moxy, which does double duty as a social hub and check-in area; and The Upside, a rooftop bar on the eighth floor exclusively for hotel guests and private events.
 
Multiple indoor-outdoor spaces include a ground floor courtyard; a 72-foot, cabana-lined pool; an indoor-outdoor fitness center; an outdoor movie screening room on the rooftop; and an exclusive beach club on Miami's famous South Beach give the young and stylish at heart a natural home in Miami.
 
 

The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach


This hotel isn’t exactly new. In fact, it’s one of the breathtakingly original Miami-Modern hotels along the beach, that gave the city its world-famous signature Deco style.
 
What’s new is its re-opening after a $90-million renovation.
 
As a landmark Ritz-Carlton hotel, this 376-guestroom beach resort delivers urban beach resort luxury with an unmatched glamour and sophistication. It almost looks like a luxe, modern interpretation of a mid-century movie set, except that it’s real and full of life and current style. You can almost imagine the Rat Pack ambling in from the pool, towels over their arms, drinks and cigarettes carelessly in hand and lazy smiles on their faces as they head up to their rooms to get ready to entertain hotel guests that night at the club.

 
The hotel’s stunning new lobby is a celebration of the original design, enhanced by elegant touches that transition the property into a modern era. Steps away, the all-new Lapidus Bar is a classic cocktail lounge honoring that bygone era of Miami with live music, vintage cocktails, and a design that invites visitors to settle in and absorb their magnificent surroundings.
 
The vibrant flavors of Latin America take the lead at Fuego y Mar, the hotel’s new restaurant, where guests also find a tech lounge, where they work in a sophisticated, convivial setting while ordering coffee and cocktails. DiLido Beach Club and its oceanfront location promise an intimate dining enclave with plush seating and views out across the turquoise water, and a new, elevated swimming pool overlooks the ocean.
 
When was the last time you indulged in Miami’s high style, culture, and beach lifestyle?
 

#StartYourTrip!

 
Images courtesy of their respective hotel companies.







Two New Luxury Brands for the Secluded Turks & Caicos Islands
They are among the Caribbean’s best kept secrets. The forty islands and cays that make up the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are favored by travelers in the know for their pristine waters, picture-perfect white sand beaches and conch and lobster fisheries that make local dining such a joy.

TCI’s archipelago is strung out along the sea at the tail-end of The Bahamas and before you get to the Dominican Republic.

Bookended by two popular and busy beach destinations, this British Overseas Territory stands out for its quiet seclusion. Only about 30,000 people live on TCI - mainly on Providenciales in the Caicos islands. In fact, fewer than a dozen of the islands are inhabited at all. But possibly because of its primary business as an international banking center, TCI has great air service from Miami, New York, Toronto and London.

So anyone looking for an idyllic island escape can add TCI to their list. Even more now, since two luxury hospitality brands have arrived on the archipelago, boosting its credentials as a luxe beach destination away from the bustle of its bigger neighbors.

Ritz-Carlton Turks & Caicos

This iconic luxury company has opened its first resort on TCI on renowned Grace Bay in Providenciales. Ritz-Carlton Turks & Caicos joins a small family of Ritz-Carlton ultra-luxury resorts in the Islands, one that includes Aruba, St. Thomas USVI, Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands.


The latest Ritz-Carlton resort’s design was inspired by the natural wonders of the Turks & Caicos, incorporating the heritage of its earliest Lucayan inhabitants in the use of rich wood, calming ocean themes as well as desert magic, incorporating local cactus and sponges into the property, including the native turk-head cactus that thrives in TCI’s dry climate and gave the islands its name.

Guests are welcomed to nearly 150 ocean view rooms including 23 suites, or a number of three-story penthouse suites with private, rooftop plunge pools and endless views.

The resort is designed for private and romantic or fun family vacations; the company’s ‘Ritz Kids’ program offers programs for children to explore the island and learn about marine life through arts and crafts.

For grown-ups, there’s an adults-only pool with private cabanas, a private catamaran for marine exploration, a casino; a seaside spa and yoga on the beach; and multiple dining venues that offer both local and global flavors.

Celebrating the island’s natural abundance of conch, the resort marks the end of every day with the sound of this iconic shell and offers guests the chance to sample conch ceviche and other island delicacies.
 
A Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge offers an exclusive sanctuary that offers private check-in, a dedicated Club Concierge, and multiple culinary presentations throughout the day, in addition to dedicated service at the beach.
 
Indoor and outdoor venues are also designed for meeting and events including a 5000 square-foot ballroom and an ‘event lawn and grand promenade’ with the white sands and sparkling waters of Grace Bay in the background that will fulfil any bride’s dreams.
 

The Meridian Club on Pine Cay

The Meridian Club (pictured top) has occupied a spectacular private, 800 acre island off of Providenciales since the 1970’s, when the exclusive, intimate beachside property became the first tourist development in TCI.

What’s new is its recent adoption into the fold of Relais & Chateaux, the elite collection of boutique hotels, resorts, villas and restaurants all committed to the highest standards of hospitality and gourmet cuisine. That designation just formalizes the recognition of The Meridian Club at Pine Cay as one of the region’s leading private island resorts.

Pine Cay is less than a mile wide and only two miles long. Despite its small size, the island has over 9 miles of trails and a breathtaking 2-mile stretch of white sand beach. The ideal place for beach walking, the island is connected to its neighbors, Water Cay and Little Water Cay – you can even walk the beach for 5 miles to the end of Little Water Cay.

Just 13 rooms host 26 guests with nearly the entire 800 acres of island nature and beauty to explore.


Guests choose between private cottages or spacious beachfront rooms – all inclusive of the fine dining that helped secure its inclusion into the collection of Relais & Chateaux properties world wide. Every room opens directly onto the 2-mile beach.

You can imagine why people with milestones to celebrate often book out the island for their party – it may be the private island party of your dreams!

In addition to miles of arid island hiking, guest while away their days swimming in crystal clear waters, joining daily snorkeling trips, kayaking, paddleboarding, days at the spa, yoga classes, boating on a charter or on complimentary Hobie Cat boats, fishing, or just relaxing seaside.
 
It’s the beach getaway you’ve always really wanted.
 

#StartYourTrip


Images courtesy of their respective resorts. Top image: two of the cottages at the Meridian Club



Top Tips for G7 Leaders - and Travelers Like Us - to Experience Cornwall
The leaders of the world’s seven biggest democratic economies are meeting in Cornwall, England, and it’s putting the Southwest region of the country under a spotlight.

Maybe you’ve heard of ‘bleisure’ travel? It’s about tacking on a leisure vacation to a business trip. We’re not sure if the leaders of the Western World have the time for a little independent fun and exploration during their packed schedules in Cornwall, but here’s what our friends at Visit Britain suggest they – and you – do on a visit.
 

Cliffs, Surf, Record-Breaking and Breathtaking Hikes

Coastal Cornwall’s claim to fame (other than things labelled ‘Cornish’, like Cornish hens and Cornish pasties/ meat pies) are related to its dramatic, seaside location: over 300 sandy beaches, coastal villages and resorts, dramatic cliffs and wild moors.

It’s an ideal scenario for outdoor, fresh air activities like hiking, cycling and even surfing that draws surfers and kitesurfers from around the world when the surf’s up.

Take a walk along the newly-opened English Coast Path, which, at 2,795 miles (4,500 km) is
the longest managed and waymarked coastal trail in the world. (Yes, in case you were wondering, it’s longer than other famous long-distance trails like the 2190 mile Appalachian Trail and the 2600 mile Pacific Crest Trail in the U.S.)
 
The view alone will get your blood racing. Cornwall has 12 “Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty” from the dramatic cliffs of the North Coast to the beautifully bleak hills of Bodmin Moor.


“Jurassic Park” IRL

It’s the closest you might come to a ‘real life’ dinosaur habitat. Cornwall’s “Jurassic Coast” is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and THE place to go fossil hunting with the dinosaur lovers in your family.

The Jurassic Coast begins in Devon and continues for 95 miles (150 km) to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. The rock cliffs at Charmouth and Lyme Regis contain thousands of fossils of animals that swam in the Jurassic seas, and each year fossils are eroded from the cliffs and tumble onto the beaches waiting to be discovered.

If you’ve seen the film Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet, it is set in Lyme Regis and tells the story of amateur fossil collector Mary Anning. She and her brother were the first to discover a complete Ichthyosaur skeleton and a complete Plesiosuar. Some of her fossils are at London’s Natural History Museum. Fossil fans can find out more about Anning’s life at the Lyme Regis Museum. The Museum of Jurassic Marine Life is home to some of the first fossils found. The famous Weymouth Bay pliosaur is on exhibition at the Dorset County Museum.


Photo: VisitBritain/ Jason Hawkes

The World’s Largest Indoor Rainforest

On the Southeast coast of Cornwall, a huge crater inside a depleted clay pit has been transformed into the Eden Project. Visitors discover a thriving garden featuring massive Biomes housing the world’s largest rainforest within walls including stunning plants, contemporary gardens and exhibitions. In 2022, it will even get its own hotel on site, a 109-bedroom designer hotel that maximizes accessibility, energy-efficiency and sustainability.
 
Photo: English Heritage

Legends and Tales

Cornwall’s Tintagel Castle is inextricably linked with the ultimate English tale: the legend of King Arthur. Situated along the dramatic and windswept coastline, the castle ruins echo with stories from centuries ago. Built half on the mainland and half on a jagged headland projecting into the Cornish sea, the startlingly contemporary Tintagel Bridge brings the two impressive sites together in a dramatic way.

Tropical Escapes on British shores

Cornwall’s Isles of Scilly are called England’s own tropical islands, accessible by a 15 minute flight or a ferry ride to what might seem like another world. Only 5 of the 140 islands lying less than 30 miles (45 km) off of Land’s End are inhabited, providing the ultimate in privacy and seclusion to explore crystal clear waters and idyllic beaches.
Those in the know have already discovered the charms of the Isles of Scilly. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Dame Judi Dench all holiday there.

Local Flavor

Cornish pasties, or meat pies, are an historic favorite, but they’re no bygone tradition. Visit Britain tells us more than 120 million Cornish pasties are made each year! Add decadent Cornish Cream Teas to your travel menu and don’t forget about the seafood! Coastal Cornwall is the perfect place for fresh-from-the-sea fish and chips, not to mention Fal Oysters and Cornish Sardines.

At at the luxury resort Carbis Bay Hotel near St. Ives (yes, the St. Ives of the poem, “As I was walking to St. Ives…”), spa treatments include hot tubs infused with Cornish seaweed. That’s fresh!
 

#StartYourTrip



Top Photo: St. Michaels Mount, a historic fortified building on a rocky outcrop in the Marazion bay, off the coast of Cornwall. VisitBritain/ Jason Hawkes

 New, Luxury Water Park Makes a ‘Splash’ in the Bahamas
If you’ve never put the words ‘luxury’ and ‘water park’ together in a sentence before - let alone a vacation - now’s your chance.

Baha Mar is a thousand acres of Bahamian paradise on world-famous Cable Beach near Nassau. The exquisite white sands are home to not one, but three luxury beach resorts: Rosewood, SLS and Grand Hyatt.

Now, in addition to over three dozen restaurants and lounges, convention center, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Royal Blue Golf Course, the Caribbean's first and only flagship ESPA spa, more than 30 luxury boutiques and the largest casino in the Caribbean, Baha Mar has debuted another way for visitors to play.

Baha Bay is a $200 million, 15-acre beachfront water park, exclusively available for guests at Baha Mar. It’s just as luxurious as the rest of the resort complex – with aquatic experiences for the young – and the young at heart.

Imagine the days of water-based active fun on Baha Bay’s 24 water slides, a tropical action river, group raft rides, the first ProSlide Dueling Water Coaster and FlyingSAUCER 45 in the Caribbean, what’s being called the “most spectacular wave pool” in the islands, and splash zones “for kids of all ages.”

For some visitors, the ultimate thrills will come trying your luck at the world’s only outdoor casino inside a waterpark.

Then for a change of pace, the Baha Bay Beach Club offers privacy, beachside entertaining, and chilling out. Infinity pools overlook the endless turquoise sea, and full-service private cabanas, daybeds, and poolside lounge areas make an ideal day on the beach also the most relaxing.
 
Baha Bay Beach Club also has a restaurant serving coastal California-inspired bites and drinks. That’s just one of Baha Bay’s breezy, beachside dining experiences. The al fresco Market includes Cleo Grill, Sam's Crispy Chicken, Plant Nation and Chill, the famed Sugar Factory, Umami Burger, and Barracuda food trucks.
 
All that, wrapped up in the warmth of the Bahamian sunshine and hospitality.
 
Now that travel’s reopening, if you’re among the many people planning to ‘splash out’ a bit on your next holiday, Baha Mar and its new aquatic attraction Baha Bay might just go to the top of your ‘beach vacation’ list.  

#StartYourTrip





'Revenge Travel' is the Latest Trend - And Here's How to Get Some
“Living well is the best revenge,” said a 16th-century poet, and that line may be the inspiration for one of the latest trends in travel.

Over a year of travel shutdowns has reminded us of how precious the privilege to explore the world is – and how we can’t take for granted that the special trips we’ve been dreaming about will still be ‘there’ when we sometime, somehow get around to it.

‘Revenge Travel’ isn’t about ‘getting back’ at any person – but at the pandemic that’s kept us from travel for so long. Like jilted lovers imagining scenarios of vengeance, people started dreaming of extravagant trips that would make up for the lost time.

Then instead of just plotting their ‘revenge’, they started acting on those dreams.

People are booking their Revenge Travel now, and it seems to fall into two categories:
·     Upgrading features of a trip you’re already planning to really make your return to travel in style; or
·     The dream trips that have been put off.

Not surprisingly, the top Revenge Travel trips overlap with travel bucket lists – is one of these your idea of the perfect revenge?

African Safari

The word ‘safari’ is Swahili, an overland journey through some of Africa’s most iconic landscapes, to see the continent’s most legendary wildlife in their natural settings.

Back when going on safari meant big game hunting, the ‘Big Five’ game animals were used as a benchmark of safari success. But these days, simply seeing and maybe photographing lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros and Cape Buffalo – as well as cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, hippos, gorillas, chimps and other animals who fascinate travelers of every age – in their own environment in the plains, mountains and waters of Africa – is a trip of a lifetime for many.

Your travel advisor can help you plan an African safari at the right time of the year, in the right countries and parks to maximize your opportunity to experience your favorite African wildlife. And they can make sure you’re going on safari with a reputable company with knowledgeable and expert guides, that is committed to the conservation and preservation of the animals and their habitat for future travelers who dream of taking an African safari.

(InterContinental Tahiti Resort and Spa)

Tahiti and the South Seas

Just the mention of the ‘South Seas’ or any of its legendary islands like Tahiti, Bora Bora, or Moorea, conjures up images of the ultimate, remote, idyllic tropical escape, the most romantic trip of a lifetime.

Some choose to cruise the islands of the South Pacific and some dream of lazy days in those iconic, overwater villas that are the postcard image of travel to the South Seas. Some smart travelers do both options on the same trip: spend time cruising the legendary islands and looking onto landscapes and overwater villas from their balconies at sea… AND take time to stay on one island to luxuriate in the local lifestyle and overwater villa romance.

Your trusted travel advisor can help you choose which islands, or island-hopping agenda, or help you pair it up with a South Seas cruise in the luxury you want on a trip that’s almost as far away as anyone in North America can travel.
 

Egypt’s Pyramids

The pyramids at Giza, near Cairo, Egypt, remain one of the most mythical destinations for travelers with historic imaginations, to gaze up at these man-made wonders of the world and contemplate the civilization that created such monuments.

With the new, Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) opening in 2021, now may be the best time in years to design a trip to channel your inner ‘Indiana Jones’. Only a couple of miles from the Giza Plateau, the new museum is the largest archaeological museum in the world, home to countless artifacts of ancient Egypt, including the complete Tutankhamun collection and many pieces that there’s now room to display for the very first time. Egypt says the Grand Egyptian Museum will act as a gateway between the ancient pyramids and modern Cairo, with spectacular views of both worlds from the museum building.

In addition, major river cruise lines are returning this year to Egypt, and nothing helps a visitor to Egypt to get a sense of ancient and modern day Egypt than cruise to ancient historic sites, past Biblical landscapes, ancient ruins and communities that reveal the past and present lifestyle on the epic Nile.

Machu Picchu

The so-called “Lost City of the Incas” in Peru is another Revenge Travel destination for many travelers who have been hoping for a lifetime to walk within the 600-year old ruins at the peak of a mountain over 7000 feet high.

It’s the most-visited destination in the Andes, and the name actually means “Old Peak” or “Old Mountain” and represents the height of Incan civilization. Getting there is more than half the fun, as is acclimatizing to the high altitudes. For the intrepid, there are hiking trails to Machu Picchu, but most take the train trip from Cusco, which is one of the epic train trips of the world. 

As the most-visited site in the Andes, with preservation requirements restricting how many visitors are permitted in each day, who must be accompanied by a guide, the best way to experience Machu Picchu is through a tour company that books blocks of tickets to ensure its clients gain admission, and have some of the most experienced and knowledgeable guides in their employ. Your travel advisor can help you book your Revenge Travel trip to the ancient heights of Machu Picchu with the most reputable tour companies with the best service and personal touch, who can also take care of other trip details like hotels and trains so your adventure into the Andes comes in comfort and style.

(Celebrity Cruise's Celebrity Flora)

Galapagos

This archipelago off the coast of Ecuador is the world’s ultimate marine safari. Etched into the world’s collective consciousness as the remote islands whose one-of-a-kind wildlife inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution, the Galapagos remains today a touchstone trip for fans of scientific research or simply natural wonders.

From giant tortoises to famous blue-footed boobies, the fauna on the Galapagos Islands inspires a sense of awe in everyone who travels there.

Formerly accessible to those willing to rough it a bit on boats and from mainland Ecuador, these days, the Galapagos is also a destination for those who love the luxury, small, expedition ship experience. In the last couple of years, a number of cruise lines have even introduced purpose-built small ships for the Galapagos – complete with local design materials and flavours, and committed to the preservation of the ecosystem that is one of the world’s symbols of pristine wilderness at land and sea.

Antarctica

If you thought the Galapagos Islands were remote… the ‘White Continent’ is literally the world’s last frontier. Covered in ice sheets year round, and protected by international covenants from ecological damage, the 7th continent – and usually the last one for travel ‘collectors’ to check off their list – is the ultimate in remote exploration. Between glacial seas, dramatic mountains, and one-of-a-kind wildlife that includes famous Emperor and other types of penguins, seals, whales and other miracles of survival in this severe climate.

Like the Galapagos, Antarctic journeys are now well-served by luxury, small expedition cruises, that keep you cozy and indeed in the lap of luxury between zodiac landings onto ice floes and forays into other-worldly, icy waters. The ‘season for Antarctic cruising is during the southern hemisphere’s summer months, which is late fall and into winter and even early spring in North America.

The closest major urban center jumping off point is thrilling Buenos Aires, so you can add the tempos of tango and delicious wine tasting in Argentina to your once-in-a-lifetime journey to the bottom of the world. 
 
Do any of these meet your requirements for ‘Revenge Travel’? Or will any trip at all satisfy you? I think we can safely conclude that when it comes to travel: “revenge is a dish best served”… at cruising altitude ;-)
 
Tell us what YOUR idea of Revenge Travel is!

#RevengeTravel

#StartYourTrip

 
By: Lynn Elmhirst, Producer/ Host Best Trip TV