For Mothers Day, Give the Gift of Travel: 8 ‘Bucket List’ Adventures Sure to Make this an Epic Event

April 26, 2016

 

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This Mother’s Day, you can fulfill a bucket list wish of giving the gift of travel to Iceland, Land of Fire and Ice © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This Mother’s Day, spice things up by giving her the gift of travel. Travel expert Adam York has selected eight bucket list adventures that span the spectrum of Moms, but are sure to make this the most epic Mother’s Day ever. 

  1. Nicaragua Escape – Retreat to a tranquil hideaway overlooking the white sands beaches of the Pacific Ocean at Aqua Wellness Resort. Mom will enjoy two days in charming Granada City where she will kayak, volcano hike, and zip-line, before heading to her exceptional beachfront retreat. She will relax, play, and decompress in a beautiful rainforest setting.
  1. Alaska Northern Lights – Join Gondwana EcoTours on a Northern Lights tour of Alaska. Mom will get a dose of local culture by day, and by night have the opportunity to photograph the Aurora Borealis under the massive Alaskan sky! She will zip between snow-covered trees on the back of a dog-sled, soak in the mineral-rich waters of geothermal hot springs, walk through the frozen art of an ice-sculpture museum, and sip martinis out of glasses made of ice.
  1. Argentina Wine + Photo Adventure– Mom will join renowned Argentine photographer, teacher, and documentary filmmaker, Ossian Lindholm, on the first-ever photography + high-altitude wine tour of Northwest Argentina. This is a magical journey that is perfect for photographers and wine lovers of all levels. Mom will be immersed in the region’s geography, wildlife, cuisine, and culture.
  1. Barge Cruise through France – Fine wines, delicious cuisine, and a leisurely approach to the enjoyment of each day await Mom on a barge cruise down France’s picturesque waterways. From the rolling vineyards of Burgundy to the tree-lined Canal du Midi in the Languedoc region, Frontiers International Travel’s selection of handpicked vessels provide a range of options suitable for anyone in search of a unique holiday with like-minded people.
  1. Moscow, the Golden Ring and St. Petersburg – Mom will discover where Russian art, architecture and culture began. In between the urban centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg, she’ll experience the Russian countryside. The oldest and loveliest churches in Russia, Sergiev Posad’s wooden crafts, and Fedoskino’s glowing lacquer boxes all put a shine on Russia’s Golden Ring that Mom will never forget.  
  1. Cycle Villages of Provence – Take Mom on Ride & Seek’s Provence cycling tour through the most beautiful villages of France as ordained by the group Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. This tour emphasizes authentic cuisine and local wines. There is a wonderful correlation between fine wine growing areas and world-class cycling.
  1. Dude Ranch Retreat – The 25,000 acre Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming is both working ranch and luxury resort. Mom will hike, ride horses, skeet shoot, fly fish, mountain bike, dine on gourmet food, and play cowgirl on this fun-filled getaway.  From cattle drives to branding, the true western lifestyle thrives at Red Reflet.
  1. Diamond Circle Tour of Iceland – The land of fire and ice, active volcanoes and glaciers! Countless geysers, hot pots, and fumaroles dot the landscape. These unique features create a landscape filled with incredible waterfalls, lakes, mountains and stories of trolls and elves. On this six-day trip, Mom will travel by 4WD car from Reykjavik through the Skagafjordur Region to see the highlights of the Diamond Circle in the north, and return to Reykjavik by plane.

 

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Off-Season Rates in Effect at Luxurious All-Inclusive Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada

April 13, 2016
Spice Island Beachfront - high res

Spice Island Resort, Grenada

Tucked away along a 1,600-foot stretch of spectacular Grand Anse Beach Sir Royston’s Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada, is one of the most luxurious all-inclusives in the world, and beginning April 16, travelers can take advantage of off-season rates, with savings up to 30% on elegant beachfront and private pool suites.

Beginning April 16, travelers can enjoy the ultimate in attentive-yet unobtrusive-service starting at $1,145 per suite, per night, based on double occupancy, while Sir Royston’s signature beachfront Sea Grape Suites open up directly onto magnificent Grand Anse Beach just steps away from the Caribbean Sea from $1,387 per suite.

For private pool suites, Spice Island Beach Resort offers three options: Anthurium, Luxury Almond and Royal Collection Pool Suites. Starting at $1,344 per suite, the 1,200 sq. foot Anthurium Pool Suites feature a private terrace with a double daybed for relaxing and reading as well as private sun beds with umbrellas right besides guests very own 12′ x 16′ plunge pool. Meanwhile, the 1,500 sq. ft. Luxury Almond Pool Suites, which offer a true oasis of private luxury with a 16′ x 20′ residential-size swimming pool, tropical garden and outdoor dining terrace, start at $1,601 per suite during the off-season. The Royal Collection Pool Suites feature a similar configuration to the Luxury Almond category with the added benefit of a full-scale living room, enchanting marble bathroom and private Cedar Sauna, starting at $1,872 per suite, after April 16.

Sir Royston’s most luxurious room category, the palatial Cinnamon and Saffron Suites(only one of each at the resort) offers a new spin on beachside elegance as guests literally step foot on the sand as they exit their lavishly decorated 1440 sq. foot suite. These suites can be reserved during the off-season for $2,155 per suite – representing a savings of $936.

Spice Island Resort, which is surrounded by pristine tropical gardens and offers a world-class spa and culinary program, and a wide choice of super-elegant beachfront suites situated at the edge of the Caribbean Sea, features the full-service Janissa’s Spa, a Cybex® fitness center, an Omnicourt® tennis court and an unmatched culinary program serving seven-course, table d’hote dinners at Oliver’s beachside gourmet restaurant and casual lunches at the Sea & Surf Terrace. Fabulous five-star amenities add to its lavish experience featuring the smoothest Italian Frette bathrobes and linens as well as Molton Brown bath and body amenities, large-screen flat panel televisions, iPod docking stations and more.

Spice Island award

Sir Royston Hopkin KCMG, Chairman & Managing Director of Spice Island Beach Resort, was honored with the AAHS Six Star Diamond Lifetime Achievement award, with (l-r) Lesley Hardy; Brian Hardy, General Manager at Spice Island Beach Resort; Lady Hopkin; Janelle Hopkin, Deputy Managing Director for Spice Island Beach Resort; Sir Royston Hopkin; Joseph Cinque, CEO of AAHS; and Karen Dixon, International GM for AAHS

Sir Royston Hopkin KCMG, Chairman & Managing Director of Spice Island Beach Resort, one of the Caribbean’s leading hoteliers and Grenada’s Tourism Ambassador at Large, was recently honored at the world renowned Friar’s Club in New York, with the AAHS Six Star Diamond Lifetime Achievement award recognizing his untiring service of over 51 years to Grenada and the Caribbean region.

“I am humbled by this award,” said a surprised Sir Royston who thought he was there only to receive Spice Island Beach Resort’ s third-consecutive Six Star Diamond Award. “As my motto has always been, I serve with honor, but not for honor.  I am only driven by a deep desire to see my country and the Caribbean continue to grow, especially in the area of tourism” he added.  Sir Royston thanked his wife Lady Hopkin and his children Nerissa, Ryan and Janelle whose support he acknowledged “has been pivotal” to his success.

A recipient of Lifetime Achievement awards from the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Sir Royston explained: “This recognition is particularly meaningful as it is very rarely bestowed. I am truly in the company of some of the most visionary entrepreneurs in luxury tourism.”

The Lifetime Achievement award was presented at a gala event held in honor of Spice Island Beach Resort’s third consecutive Six Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

The resort prides itself on being family owned and operated, making each guest feel as they are personally welcomed into their home, and each employee feel they are part of the Spice Island family. Each month, the “employee of the month” is hosted at Sir Royston’s home for a cocktail party with resort guests, and then invited to dinner with the family.

The hallmark of a luxury resort is service and Spice Island has 210 employees (all who are local) for 64 rooms – which works out to more than two employees per guest.

Spice Island Resort is also known for its culinary prowess – the chef, a 12-year veteran – uses mostly locally sourced products (even the fish, with the exception of salmon, would likely have been fresh caught), and recipes from Sir Royston’s mother, who modified international favorites with local ingredients.

All inclusive means all the meals plus afternoon tea – even room service – as well as premium drinks are included in the price (pool suites have a $10 delivery charge).

The resort extends 1,600 feet along the beach; beach suites are just 20 to 25 feet from water’s edge; the pool suites are notable for privacy.

Other amenities include a tennis court (lighted for night play), a swimming pool (no chlorine), free use of non-powered water sports (snorkeling equipment provided, on-site scuba is available for a fee)

The luxury, beach setting and privacy – and location a 4 ½ hour nonstop flight on JetBlue from JF Kennedy International Airport in New York, and just 10 minutes from the international airport in Grenada –make Spice Island Resort ideal for destination weddings (limited to 24 people in size), and honeymoons.

“The key to our success is providing memorable and essentially priceless experiences with our guest-centric service philosophy as well as our attention to fine detail when it comes to amenities, from Italian Frette bathrobes and linen to Molton Brown bath and body products,” noted Sir Royston. “In other words, we spare no effort in providing our guests with the finest and most luxurious amenities.”

Equally as important to the amenities, if not more so, Spice Island Beach Resort’s unique service-oriented philosophy is cited among the top reasons for repeat guests’ loyalty to the resort.

“The true Grenadian hospitality exhibited in the courtesy of all team members ensures seamless perfection. Each highly disciplined employee plays an important role in the creation of memorable experiences, personalized for each discerning guest,” said Sir Royston.

“When a guest doesn’t cry when they leave, we feel have done something wrong,” said Janelle Hopkin, Deputy Managing Director, a graduate of hotel school in Switzerland. 

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Spring skiing at Northstar at Tahoe

April 13, 2016
Northstar_3713e2-EricLeiberman-pondskim

Snowboarder tries his luck at making it across the pond as part of Northstar at Tahoe’s annual pond skim during the Spring It On celebration

 

Northstar_3749e2-EricLeiberman

Spring skiing and snowboarding at Northstar at Tahoe on a beautiful bluebird day (photo by Sarah Falter)

 

For more, visit northstarcalifornia.com or snow.com.

Breaking Down Barriers on Broadway: Broadway League, TDF Launch Website of Accessible Performances for Theatergoers with Disabilities

March 24, 2016
NYC Bdwy League

Charlotte St. Martin (President of The Broadway League); Victor Calise (Commissioner for the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities) and Victoria Bailey (Executive Director of Theatre Development Fund). Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel

New York, NY – Theatre Development Fund and The Broadway League are Breaking Barriers to Broadway with the launch of Theatre Access NYC, www.theatreaccess.nyc, a new website designed to assist theatergoers with disabilities in finding accessible performances of Broadway productions.

This website is a way to help theatergoers with physical disabilities or autism and other sensory sensitivities find Broadway shows with the particular type of accessibility service they require.  Theatre Access NYC is an intuitive, user-friendly show finder that allows users to filter and sort through dozens of Broadway shows based on accessibility, and provides details including dates, times and ticket availability for accessible performances.

“We are pleased to be part of Theatre Access NYC, in collaboration with Theatre Development Fund, which will bring more people with disabilities to Broadway.  Our goal for the new website is to provide all theatergoers who want to experience our shows an easy-to-navigate place where they can find extensive information in one location,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League.

“It’s at the heart of Theatre Development Fund’s mission to do what we can to make theater accessible to all who want to attend, no matter what the barrier,” said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s Executive Director. “Theatre Access NYC will make it easier for New Yorkers and visitors with these functional needs see more theater.”

“Theatre Access NYC is bringing much needed information to people with disabilities in one, accessible location and moving NYC one step closer to achieving its goal of being the most accessible city in the world,” said Victor Calise, Commissioner for the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

TDF and The Broadway League worked with their developer to conform to web accessibility standards, ensuring that all people with all disabilities are able to access the site.

Among the services listed are:

Mobility issues – wheelchair access, info on stairs/elevators in theaters, accessible restrooms, water fountains, etc;

Mild to severe hearing loss – theaters that regularly provide iCaption units (handheld closed caption units) and assistive listening devices (headphone units that amplify the sound onstage), as well as listings of upcoming specially scheduled open captioned and sign language interpreted performances;

Mild to severe vision loss – theaters that always provide D-scriptive audio devices (which provide a detailed account of all onstage activity) as well as listings for upcoming specially scheduled audio described performances); and

Autism friendly performances – upcoming scheduled autism/sensory friendly performances (creating a safe, supportive environment for an audience of families with children and adults on the autism spectrum. The shows are performed with minor adjustments to lighting and sound cues).

THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND (TDF) was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since 1968, TDF’s programs have provided over 90 million people with access to performances at affordable prices and have returned over $2.5 billion to thousands of productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access (including its internationally renowned Autism Theatre Initiative) and award-winning education programs — as well as its Costume Collection — have introduced thousands of people to the theater and helped make the unique experience of theater available to everyone, including students and people with disabilities. Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program, a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community, and a 2013 Lortel Award “Outstanding Body of Work Award.” For more information about TDF, go to: www.tdf.org.

THE BROADWAY LEAGUE, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League’s 700-plus members include theater owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers who present in nearly 200 markets in North America. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. The Broadway League annually co-presents the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards®, one of the most coveted awards in the entertainment industry. Key League programs and resources include: Kids’ Night on Broadway®, The National High School Musical Theatre Awards (The Jimmys), Stars in the Alley®, Internet Broadway Database® (ibdb.com), Broadway.org, SpotlightonBroadway.com, Commercial Theater Institute (with Theatre Development Fund), as well as numerous conferences and forums for our members. TheatreAccess.nyc (co-produced with TDF) is the one-stop website of accessible Broadway performances for theatregoers with disabilities. Broadway.org is the League’s official on-line headquarters for Broadway in NYC, on tour, and internationally. For more information visit BroadwayLeague.com, or follow The Broadway League on Twitter @TheBwayLeague and on Facebook at Facebook.com/BroadwayLeague. Download the free Broadway.org and IBDB mobile apps from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

 

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Girlfriend Getaway Month in Morro Bay, California

March 24, 2016
Morro Bay, California

The estuary at Morro Bay, California – a fabulous destination for an adventurous Gal Getaway © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

MORRO BAY, Calif. — April is a perfect time to grab your best gal pals to explore, unwind, shop and indulge during Girlfriend Getaway Month in Morro Bay, and take advantage of special discounts on kayaking, paddle boarding, candlelit yoga classes, local boutiques and BnBs.

Imagine starting the morning off with your best gal pals taking a nice jaunt down the waterfront Embarcadero and out the harbor walk to Morro Rock and onto the beach, a great way to get in exercise before the day really begins. As a special reward, you and your BFFs can enjoy a girls brunch at Dorn’s, sitting on the patio overlooking the Embarcadero and the bay planning out what adventure to tackle next. A candlelight Yoga class? Shopping the citywide yard sale? Learning how to make a sun-kissed Pacific sea salt scrub to nourish, hydrate and protect your skin from harmful sun rays, or attending a special fairy garden workshop? Laughing out loud at “Menopause the Musical,” or special girlfriends adventures including kayaking on the bay or standup paddle Yoga? Sub Sea tours is also offering a special Girlfriends Getaway discount on bay cruises and whale watching, and an evening sunset cruise on the bay with one of the many other tour operators along the Embarcadero is a fine way to dine with the girls. There is no shortage of girl-cation activities in Morro Bay this April.

Take advantage of special classes, activities and discounts designed to inspire you to spend quality time with your besties in Morro Bay, the ideal location for a best friends getaway along California’s Central Coast. This quaint seaside fishing village with a bustling waterfront filled with restaurants, wine bars, boutique shops and harbor cruises and activities is the picture-perfect girl-cation destination.

Located along scenic Highway 1 midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, click here for a list of Girlfriend Getaway month classes, activities and deals. For more travel information visit www.morrobay.org or follow Morro Bay on FacebookTwitter or Pinterest.

 

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Okemo Mountain Resort 2016/17 Season Passes on Sale at Discount, With Bonuses

March 24, 2016
Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont

Enjoying the bubble chairs at Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

LUDLOW, Vt. – Okemo Mountain Resort Season Passes for the 2016/2017 ski and snowboard season are available for purchase now. Savvy skiers and riders enjoy substantial savings when they buy their season passes for next winter by April 30, 2016. Some Okemo season passes offer benefits including skiing at Okemo’s sister resorts: Mount Sunapee Resort, in N.H. and Crested Butte Mountain Resort, in Colorado, plus three days at nearby Killington. As an added bonus, any skier or rider who purchases a pass for next winter on or before April 30 will receive discounts for Okemo’s Adventure Zone this summer.

New this year, anyone with a registered Okemo Real.Easy Card can purchase a season pass online at okemo.com and load their season pass onto their RFID-enabled card. Made of durable plastic, cards can last for years and Real.Easy Cards offer direct-to-lift convenience.

For ultimate access and the best benefits, Okemo’s Ultra Pass covers it all. Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the slopes every day at Okemo, Mount Sunapee or Crested Butte with no restrictions for $1,519, for adults, if purchased by April 30. This premium pass offers special benefits like three complimentary days of skiing or riding at Killington, early lift access at Okemo on weekends and holidays, discounts on dining, retail purchases, Spring House fitness memberships and more.

A popular season pass returning for 2016/2017 is Four.0 The College Pass. It provides full-time college students with unrestricted access to Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Killington and Pico at a price that fits a student’s budget: just $349 when purchased on or before August 31.

Additional season pass products include Okemo’s Peak Pass, Value Pass, Millennial Pass, Sunday Plus Pass and Midweek Pass.

For more information, call 802-228-1600 or visit okemo.com.

See story:

Bubble chairs, great snowmaking give Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont an edge and slideshow

 

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Save on Vermont Ski & Snowboard Resorts’ 2016/17 Season Pass this Spring

March 24, 2016
Okemo 010316_20160105_200e2 (c) Karen Rubin-bubble

Take advantage of the nifty bubble chairs at Okemo Mountain Resort © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Skiers and riders can save on next season’s turns at Ski Vermont resorts by purchasing 2016-17 season passes this spring. Some deals include free skiing and riding for the rest of this season and other perks like discounted summer access, lessons, equipment and more.

Bolton Valley’s lowest priced season passes are on sale from now through April 4, when prices will go up. College kids check out the Ski Bum Pass (ages 18-25) for just $159.  The Senior Plus (ages 75+) start at $29 and the Night Pass at $119. Youth passes start at $99 if purchased with an All Access Adult pass which starts at $489.

Bromley Mountain is currently offering the lowest discounted rates available for 2016/17 season passes. Skiers and riders can save up to $155 on each pass when purchased before May 15, 2016.

Pay in three interest free installments with the 1-2-3 Payment Plan, only offered through May 15, 2016.  For complete pass options, rates and payment plan info, visit bromley.com.

Bromley season pass benefits include saving 50% on one-hour private lessons, 20% savings off full price retail items in the Bromley Shop by Potter Brothers, and one free all day pass to the Mountain  Adventure Park. All Bromley Season Pass holders ski for half price, midweek non-holiday at Jiminy Peak. Full season pass holders also get $15 off weekends & holidays, and Super Value pass holders receive $15 off non-holiday weekends.

Jay Peak Resort  has frozen all pass rates so they’re the same as last year with best prices ending on May 9, 2016. Passes purchased early also include extra lift tickets to share with friends. Purchase a Judge (Jay Peak + Q Burke) Adult pass (includes standard Adult, Family Adult, and U29 passes) and get 3 lift tickets for the 2016/17 season valid at either Jay Peak or Q Burke. Purchase a Jay Only Adult pass (includes standard Adult, Family Adult or Couple passes) and get 2 lift tickets (4 lift tickets for couples) valid for Jay Peak only through the 2016-17 season.

Canadian guests, with valid proof of current residency, can purchase their season pass at par by cash or check. See more information at jaypeakresort.com.

Killington Resort and Pico Mountain: Killington season pass means access to the longest season and the most terrain in the East, with steeps, parks, glades and cruisers spread across seven peaks. For best prices on the Unlimited Pass, purchase by June 16, 2016 or check out the discounted Blackout, Midweek or Vermont Student Pass. Check out some of Killington’s favorite pass holder perks and join the club.

College kids can enjoy skiing and riding Killington, Pico, Okemo and Jiminy Peak for just $349 and 50% off 1-day lift tickets for friends with the 4.0 The College Pass. New Pico pass holders will be eligible to use their pass midweek at Killington through April 1 and at Pico weekends through the end of the 2015-16 season.

Mount Snow Resort is introducing a new pass product – the Peak Pass. It’s the only unrestricted ski pass that offers unlimited skiing or riding at seven northeast mountains in four states for just $599. Youth pricing starts at $60 for kids under 6 years old. Prices will increase on April 30, 2016, so purchase early and ride the rest of the 2015/16 season for free.

Okemo Mountain Resort is offering savvy skiers and riders substantial savings when they purchase their Okemo season passes for next winter by April 30, 2016. Some Okemo season passes offer benefits including skiing at Okemo’s sister resorts: Mount Sunapee Resort, in N.H., Crested Butte Mountain Resort, in Colorado, plus three days at nearby Killington. As an added bonus, any skier or rider who purchases a pass for next winter on or before April 30 will receive discounts for Okemo’s Adventure Zone this summer.

Q Burke Mountain: Purchase 2016/17 Q Burke season passes before May 9, 2016 and save hundreds of dollars with Tier 1 pricing. Other incentives include two free non-restricted full day Q Burke lift tickets with the purchase of adult winter Q Burke season pass. Purchase an adult winter Judge season pass and receive one free Great Big Kingdom Card. The Great Big Kingdom Card is a pre-loaded card which includes three non-restricted full day lift tickets for Q Burke or Jay Peak.

Stowe Mountain Resort: Enjoy two days of skiing and riding at Stowe Mountain Resort during the 2016/17 season with theMountain Collective Pass. Limited numbers of the pass are available now and include 24 days of skiing and riding at 12 destinations and 50% off lift tickets for additional days for just $379.

Stratton Mountain Resort’s 2016/17 season passes are on sale with best rates through April 22, 2016. Starting with the Sunday Pass from $219 to the Summit Pass with Early Access, there’s a perfect pass for everyone. Stratton access is also available through the M.A.X. Pass which includes 25 mountains for one low price of $599. Other Vermont resorts include Killington Resort and Pico Mountain. The M.A.X. Pass Add-on can be added to a Stratton season pass for just $299 opening access to 24 other peaks.

Sugarbush Resort Sugarbush Resort is offering free skiing and riding from March 21st through the remainder of the 2015/16 Winter Season with the purchase of select 2016/2017 season passes. By purchasing next year’s season pass this spring, Sugarbush skiers and riders lock in the best rates. Adult 2016/2017 season passes can start as low as $339. Full details on season pass pricing are available at sugarbush.com. Lowest available pricing is valid through May 4, 2016.

2016/17 seven-day passes will include free dependent passes. Purchasing an Adult All Mountain 7 Pass comes with a free dependent All Mountain Pass for a child age 12 and under. A family of four  with two kids under the age of 12 could purchase two Adult All Mountain 7 Passes and ski for just $575 per person. A Mt. Ellen 7 family of four can ski for just $270 per person, and a Mt. Ellen 7 Plus family for just $398 per person.

All 2016/17 All Mountain 7 pass holders receive a 2016 Summer Season Pass for free,  which includes scenic lift rides, lift-served mountain biking and disc golf. All other 2016-2017 winter pass holders can add a 2016 Summer Season Pass for just $30.

For more information, visit skivermont.com.

 

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Kennebunkport Resort Collection Offers ‘Stay & Play’ Packages in Coastal Maine

March 22, 2016

KENNEBUNKPORT, ME– Lighter crowds and moderate temperatures gives travelers a jump on the joys of summer during the late spring months in the coastal New England town of Kennebunkport. With the opening on May 6 of the seasonal hotels in the Kennebunkport Resort Collection (KRC), a new “Stay & Play” package paves the way for visitors to tailor their fun with resort credits of up to $50 per night for use towards dining, outdoor pursuits, spa and more.

Starting May 1 (or May 6 at select seasonal properties) through June 23, the “Stay & Play” package is available for one, two, or three night visits and includes resort credits up to $50 per night.  Guests can choose from any of the following eight boutique properties:

  • Hidden Pond, a 60-acre luxury resort reminiscent of summer camp with starting rates of $309 per night and $50 per night KRC Resort Credit;
  • The Tides Beach Club, the only boutique hotel in southern Maine located right on the beach with rates starting at $159 per night and a $35 per night KRC Resort Credit;
  • Cape Arundel Inn & Resort featuring oceanfront views and sitting on the desirable Ocean Avenue, rates start at $149 per night and feature a $35 per day KRC Resort Credit;
  • Kennebunkport Inn, a local landmark and casually hip hotel in Dock Square with rates starting at $129 per night and $25 per night KRC Resort Credit;
  • The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel, located on a prime waterfront site on the harbor side of the Kennebunk River with rates starting at $129 per night and $25 per night KRC Resort Credit;
  • Grand Hotel, just a short stroll from the center of town with rates starting at $119 per night with a $25 per night KRC Resort Credit (available midweek only);
  • The Lodge on the Cove, an original motor lodge completely refurbished with a playful, “retro chic” vibe with starting rates at $99 per night and a $25 per night KRC Resort Credit;
  • The Cottages at Cabot Cove features 16 unique cottages with distinctive personalities located on an idyllic cove fed by the Kennebunk River and the sea beyond. Rates start at $179 per night and include a $25 per night KRC Resort Credit.

KRC Resort Credits can be used towards amenities and activities on property such as signature French 75 cocktails at One Dock Prime, hotel stay enhancements including wine, cheese plates, milk and cookies, and kayak and stand up paddleboard rentals, as well as at any of the KRC restaurants, gift shops and Tree Spa at Hidden Pond.  To book the “Stay & Play” package, visit the individual property websites, www.kennebunkportresortcollection.com, or call (800) 573-7186.  (Package is subject to availability, black-out dates and minimum stay restrictions may apply.)

While in Kennebunkport, travelers can bike around town or on the back roads to view the first signs of summer, shop the many boutiques and galleries of Dock Square and lower Kennebunk, and dine at some of the hottest restaurants in Kennebunkport including Ocean at the Cape Arundel Inn & Resort, One Dock Prime at the Kennebunkport Inn, Hidden Pond’s “farm to fork” restaurant Earth, among others.

Comprising a diverse portfolio of luxury and upscale properties, the Kennebunkport Resort Collection (KRC) includes Hidden Pond, one of the finest luxury boutique hotels in the Northeast;  The Tides Beach Club, Southern Maine’s only beachfront luxury boutique hotel; the Kennebunkport Inn, centrally located in downtown Kennebunkport; Cape Arundel Inn & Resort, a grand, oceanfront summer estate in nearby Cape Arundel; The Cottages at Cabot Cove, featuring individually designed luxury cottages; sister property The Lodge on the Cove, a family-oriented boutique resort; the Grand Hotel, located on Chase Hill in Kennebunk; and The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel, a social locale situated harbor side on the Kennebunk River.  KRC also owns and manages restaurants and catering venues in the area.

For more information on the KRC portfolio of hotels and restaurants, visit www.kennebunkportresortcollection.com or follow @kennebunkportmaine on Instagram.

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Topnotch Resort Creates New Ways to Enjoy Mud Season with New Package

March 22, 2016

Stowe, VT (March 22, 2016) – Topnotch Resort welcomes New England’s fifth season with a muddy mix of activities and amenities, inviting guests to “Get Dirty” during a two night stay at the 68-room luxury boutique resort. With 120 acres to explore, visitors can hike along the recreation path, tear down the mud-laden roads on fat tire bikes or end up knee deep in infused clay at the Spa throughout Topnotch’s extended mud season, now through June 30.

The Get Dirty mud season package includes a two night stay in luxury accommodations with breakfast daily, one muddy mountain bike road tour and fat tire bike rental per adult from Mountain Ops (on-property), and a mud puddle cookie and mocha milk amenity delivered during turn down. In addition, guests who book the package can add-on an optional 50-minute combo Swedish massage at the special price of $100, per person. Offer is subject to availability. Rates start at $285 per night, based on double occupancy, now through June 30. The package can be booked online here.

Following the mud trail indoors, the Topnotch Spa, featuring more than 120 treatments in 30 rooms, has designed dedicated spring treatments including a Maple Sugar Body Scrub, priced at $75 plus 20 percent service charge, or an infused mud therapy session using rich jasmine clay to detoxify and nourish guests’ lower legs and feet, followed by a massage, priced at $125 plus 20 percent service charge. Before or after working up an appetite on the trails, Topnotch offers a menu of mud-inspired snacks, like Muddy Buddy Trail Mix, and desserts, such as the mud pie made with chocolate pudding, dirty Oreo crumb and gummy worms, served at the on-site restaurants The Roost and Flannel.

Set within 120 acres of woodland at the foot of Mount Mansfield in the village of Stowe, Vermont, Topnotch Resort blends the gracious charm of a ski lodge with the luxurious amenities of world-class resort. In 2013, a $15M renovation encompassed all 68 guest rooms, 9,000 square feet of meeting space and added a new concept restaurant, The Roost, to complement the locally sourced, full-service restaurant Flannel.   Additional accommodations can be found in a variety of Resort Homes.

Amenities at the luxury boutique resort include the 35,000 square foot Topnotch Spa; the Tennis Center with four indoor and six outdoor courts; a state-of-the-art Fitness Center; and water features such as an indoor pool, a whirlpool/Jacuzzi, and two outdoor pools with mountain-views – one of which is heated year-round. Among the outdoor pursuits is cross-country and downhill skiing, mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. One of members of the MetWest Terra Hospitality collection of boutique hotels, Topnotch Resort is a AAA Four-Diamond property.

For more information on Topnotch Resort and to book the “Get Dirty” mud season package, visit www.topnotchresort.com or call 800-451-8686.

 

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AccuWeather: California Ski Resorts On Pace to Extend Season with Abundant Snowfall

March 22, 2016
Skiing down the California Trail at Heavenly Resort, Lake Tahoe © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Skiing down the California Trail at Heavenly Resort, Lake Tahoe © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

AccuWeather reports  this year’s ski season in California is on pace to be one of the longest seasons in the past several years due to the abundance of mountain snow that El Niño has delivered.

This is a significant turnaround from the past several winters when ski resorts in California were forced to close early due to a lack of snow.

Last season, Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area closed on Jan. 29. According to Ashely Quadros, the resort’s marketing content coordinator, the mountain typically stays open until the middle of April.

Other ski resorts echoed the return to a normal or a longer-than-normal season.

“We’ve come off of a couple pretty low snow years and this season has really been a return to a normal snow year for us,” Lauren Burke, public relations manager for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, said.

Mammoth Mountain usually open their slopes around the middle of November and they remains open through Memorial Day weekend.

However, this winter is on pace to be an extended season for the ski resort due to the stormy El Niño weather pattern.

According to Burke, Mammoth Mountain opened ahead of schedule this season due to early-season storms, allowing skiers and snowboarders to hit the slopes about a week earlier than normal.

Additionally, the feet of snow that fell over California’s mountain ranges during the first half of March will help the resort stay open through the entire spring.

“We’re committed to staying open through Memorial Day, and then we [will] just reassess week by week how our snowpack is holding up,” Burke said. “So depending on how late-season storms come through, we’re really looking forward to a long season.”

Not only will ski resorts in California be able to stay open later this season, but they will also have more trails and terrain parks open for skiers and snowboarders.

“The terrain that we’re going to have available as we move through the spring is going to be a lot larger [than last year],” Burke said.

The increased snowfall and extended length of this year’s ski season has been a significant help to the ski industry in California following multiple years with poor conditions.

“With more snow comes higher visitation,” Burke said. “We’ve already surpassed last season’s total ski visits number, so we’ve definitely seen a great pickup this year and we are having a strong financial year.”

Following the snow drought and shorter season last year, some resorts are touting that winter of 2015-2016 ranks among their top seasons.

“This season has been our best yet and we can’t wait to see what else Mother Nature brings us [next] season,” Quadros added.

 

For more travel features, visit:

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