Top 25 Historic Hotels of America for a Romantic Proposal

February 5, 2021
Romantic gazebos placed along the lake’s edge are extremely popular for popping the question at Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian jewel in New York’s Hudson Valley (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. –“Every day is Valentine’s Day at Historic Hotels of America,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Vice President, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Historic hotels are the perfect place for celebrating special occasions that create lifelong memories and are the ideal location for a romantic proposal.”

These special milestones celebrated at historic hotels include romantic getaways, the ideal place to propose, the destination for the perfect wedding, the getaway for a memorable honeymoon, and the location to celebrate a special anniversary.

“The most romantic hotels are historic hotels.  These romantic historic hotels range from intimate to grand and opulent. Proposing at a historic hotel is a wonderful opportunity to create an ever-lasting memory and increases the chance that the answer will be ‘yes.’ From historic destination resorts with romantic gardens to city-center legendary historic hotels, each provides the setting, the backdrop, and the ambiance for making and hearing yes to the perfect proposal.” 

Each year, the hotel membership organization of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, publishes its Top 25 Historic Hotels of America for a Romantic Proposal: Here’s the 2021 Top 25:  

The Buccaneer (1653) Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands 
The Buccaneer Resort has a history from centuries ago.  The Danes purchased St Croix in 1733, and installed Governor Von Prock, who lived in the original hilltop Great House.  He turned the property into a sugar factory, including a large sugar mill, still intact.  This structure provides a most romantic and unique location for proposals.  With sweeping Caribbean views and gentle breezes, this setting has been a favorite for romance seekers for generations. The Sugar Mill is located on the hilltop overlooking the resort and Caribbean Sea, which combine to make it the perfect proposal location.  For those looking for an evening proposal, just before sunset is ideal as the special moment can be followed by a private dinner in the Sugar Mill. Or pair this location with The Buccaneer’s Pop the Question package to enhance the experience.  The package includes an upgraded room category, welcome basket, private beachside cabana rental for one day, and prosecco at the site on the day of the proposal.  

The Omni Homestead Resort (1766) Hot Springs, Virginia 

The Omni Homestead Resort has beautiful, breathtaking views everywhere guests turn. From the gorgeous mountain scenery to the grand and glamorous interior settings, there are numerous places for romantic proposals. The associates at the hotel can accommodate unique proposals on-site. One proposal took place during an archery lesson with a message “Will you marry me” inserted into a balloon on the target. The bride-to-be popped the balloon as the groom-to-be popped the question.  While there are a lot of romantic settings for the proposal, the Dining Room is one of the most popular.  Part of The Omni Homestead experience for more than a century, the elegant Dining Room features custom chandeliers, an incredible domed ceiling, and large windows. Each night there’s music for dancing, a time-honored tradition at the resort. With a little advance notice, The Homestead team can arrange for the band to play the couple’s favorite song while a photographer captures the special moment.   

Inn at Perry Cabin (1816) St. Michaels, Maryland 
The gazebo on The Pointe at Inn at Perry Cabin is the most romantic spot to pop the question. On the shores of the Miles River, the gazebo overlooks a beautiful wide stretch of water often filled with boats of all sizes for a true sense of the place on the Chesapeake Bay. The Inn at Perry Cabin crew will help guests pull off the plan and once they say yes, will help the couple celebrate with a private dinner from an award-winning Chef inside the gazebo before the newly engaged retire to one of their luxurious waterfront guestrooms for the evening. 

The Willard InterContinental (1818) Washington DC 
Throughout the year, The Willard InterContinental is the location for a great number of proposals. Yet the most popular place and time throughout the year to pop the big question, is around The Willard’s iconic Christmas tree in the lobby. Couples enjoy this most festive atmosphere for a proposal, as the hotel shines bright in all its holiday decor. Recently, a groom-to-be worked with the Guest Relations Manager to strategically place a Marry Me ornament on The Willard Christmas tree that the bride-to-be would spot as they came by to view the holiday decorations and have a drink, a holiday tradition they have done each year since moving to Washington DC. In another proposal, the groom-to-be placed a present under the Christmas tree; as the couple was viewing the tree, they spotted the wrapped gift with the name of the finance-to-be that contained the ring that he needed for the proposal.  Coordinating proposals on-site is often a team effort and typically coordinated by The Willard Guest Relations team who will work with the individual proposing in advance to ensure they have the support needed to carry out the proposal and any items required such as rose petals, champagne, chocolates, balloons, and more.  

Omni Royal Orleans (1843) New Orleans, Louisiana  
At the highest point of the hotel is the famous Observation Deck which has a panoramic view of the city with a backdrop of the mighty Mississippi, riverboats, and a view of the infamous Jackson Square.  It truly captures the essence of what makes New Orleans, New Orleans.  It is easy to lure the unsuspecting fiancé up to that area with an invitation from a family member or friend to join them for a cocktail at La Riviera, the Rooftop Pool Bar.   Then a suggestion of “come see the view of the city” brings the intended up the stairs of the Observation Deck.  Sometimes family members are hiding up there and others have a few friends.  Shortly after the intended gets up the stairs, the proposer comes following behind and dropping to their knee to ask the big question. The hotel’s ensures for a memorable event that the area be temporarily closed to the public and provide Champagne with flutes for a congratulations toast.  Others have enhanced their experience by having dinner for two afterwards in a private dining room in the award-winning Rib Room.    

Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama  
As the sun starts to set into Mobile Bay, the romantic couple sits in one of the swings under giant oak trees and pops the question. Named the best large historic hotel in 2019 by Historic Hotels of America, couples have been getting engaged at the Grand Hotel since 1847. After a massive transformation, the resort has even more places for proposals. Private beach and pool cabanas offer a quiet setting for proposals. A very memorable setting is to get down on a knee at Julip Point and make the proposal as the sunsets and majestic pelicans fly above to salute the lovebirds.  Once they say yes, it is time to stroll over to Southern Roots for a delicious meal. A full team of wedding and event experts is available to help in proposal planning and all wedding aspects thereafter. 

Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian castle perched over a private lake, is among the Top 25 most romantic Historic Hotels of America members for proposing (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Mohonk Mountain House (1869) New Paltz, New York 
Mohonk Mountain House is a Victorian Castle perched at the top of a mountain with a private lake. The hotel has 120 “summerhouses” which are rustic gazebos designed for two people to share special moments together; taking in stunning views during or after a hike on 85 miles of trails- all of which provide the perfect romantic backdrop for someone to get down on bended knee. The Sky Top Tower is a hiking destination with panoramic views of the Shawangunk Cliffs and Catskill Mountains and a very popular engagement site, along with the boat dock, which provides amazing views of serene Lake Mohonk.  

Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, Michigan 
For 135 years, Grand Hotel provides the charm and beauty of a variety of romantic settings for a grand gesture. The World’s Longest Front Porch, overlooking the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge, provides an enchanting backdrop. At the very top of Grand Hotel, the Cupola Bar offers breathtaking panoramic island views, ideal for that special moment. The picturesque Main Dining Room is an elegant setting with the instrumental background of the Grand Hotel Orchestra. Grand Hotel’s lush gardens provide an intimate opportunity that some couples prefer. Woods Restaurant, an opulent Tudor mansion with Bavarian charm, offers private candlelit dining experiences and is just a short, romantic horse-drawn carriage ride into the wooded interior of Mackinac Island.  Request the Grand Proposal Package and assistance with behind-the-scenes reservations and arrangements. The Grand Proposal Package includes a select location for the proposal, one-hour private carriage tour, 30 minutes of professional photography, VIP dinner reservations with a bouquet of fresh flowers, and a bottle of Grand Hotel Sparkling Wine on the table upon arrival.  

Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Georgia exudes Southern charm and has various settings for a romantic proposal (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1887) Jekyll Island, Georgia  
Built in the Queen Ann style, the Jekyll Island Club Resort is like a castle surrounded by Southern charm. With sweeping Spanish moss and hundred years old live oaks, Jekyll Island is one of the most romantic spots in the South.  From the top of the turret to quiet moments in Crane Garden, its little slice of Heaven is perfect for any romantic proposal. The three top romantic spots include The Turret, Crane Garden, and The Grand Dining Room.  The Turret of the Clubhouse is the second tallest structure on Jekyll Island and the tallest structure in the Jekyll Island Historic District with a panoramic view of the Historic District and Jekyll River, most romantic at sunset. The manicured grounds of Crane Cottage, especially Crane Garden, offers couples the perfect romantic garden to sneak away to on property. The sunken garden features a lush lawn, sweeping ivy covered trellis, a running fountain, and an abundance of flowers. The sunken garden allows for a private moment between the blooming flowers with the Italian Renaissance style Crane Cottage framing the background. The historic Grand Dining Room offers the timeless charm of years long ago.  A private candlelit dinner experience can be arranged in advance. Special delivery of the ring can be arranged with the Catering team.  From a special toast to an extra sweet dessert moment, team members are ready to help enhance this special moment. 

The historic, iconic Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, California (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Hotel del Coronado (1888) Coronado, California
Hotel del Coronado is lucky to be the “go-to” proposal spot for San Diego. Its enchanting Victorian architecture and beachfront location lend an air of romance to any proposal. While many have popped the question at the holiday ice skating rink and even surprised their intended with a flash mob on the oceanfront Windsor Lawn, the two most popular proposals ideas are both on the sparkling beach. What could be more romantic the dropping down on one knee on the beach at sunset next to a roaring private beach bonfire? The hotel team is happy to assist with reserving the private beach bonfire experience and can also provide a full menu of fireside treats and cocktails to lead up to the big moment. Some proposers even go the extra mile and arrange for family and friends to join them at a neighboring bonfire after the big moment. Another romantic proposal idea is to end a romantic beach stroll with a proposal in front of a custom sandcastle. One of the highlights of the Hotel del Coronado beach resort is the sandcastle man, a talented local artist who builds custom sandcastles daily. Potential proposers can contact him directly, or through the help of hotel team, and he will create a custom sandcastle for the magical moment. With the help of a local photographer, the sandcastle proposal will be a memory that the couple can cherish for years to come. 

Ledges Hotel (1890) Hawley, Pennsylvania  
Ledges Hotel was created from a repurposed 1890s era glass factory. Thoughtful, modern design and a commitment to historic preservation offer a unique atmosphere. Every aspect of the hotel was designed to be in harmony with nature. Gathering spaces and guestrooms boast adaptive reuse furnishings, environmentally friendly amenities, and stunning views of the river gorge waterfall. The historic Bluestone building situated atop Paupack High Falls provides a dramatic backdrop for proposals. The tiered decks overlooking the natural waterfall and river gorge are one of the most romantic spots to pop the question at Ledges Hotel. It is a popular destination for engagements no matter the season. During winter, the frozen falls offer a stunning backdrop. Budding trees and rushing waters are a hallmark of spring. Summer by the waterfall is lush and cool while fall foliage creates a vibrant landscape in autumn. Seasonal specials afford special romantic touches such as a couple’s massage, in-room wine and cheese, a private yoga class, chocolate covered strawberries and split of prosecco. 

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (1901) (Waikiki Beach) Honolulu, Hawaii 
The First Lady of Waikiki, overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean, offers either a beachfront table at the hotel’s bar, or on the sand very near the bar. It all depends on how much privacy the couple would like during the proposal. Along the beach or at the bar under the famous Banyan Tree, especially during sunset is the busiest time. If a couple does not mind an audience, something can be pre-arranged with the hotel’s food and beverage department and the nightly entertainer –such as making an announcement to direct attention to the proposal. The Beach Bar located beneath the famed Banyan Tree at the Banyan Courtyard is the most romantic location. If a couple prefers to be engaged in private, a tower room facing the ocean at sunset would be ideal. 

Southern Hotel (1907) Covington, Louisiana 
The Southern Hotel has many romantic spots. Its restaurant, Ox Lot 9, offers a farm-to-table Southern cuisine experience, sourcing from local producers and suppliers to create inventive, seasonal menus. Its ballroom is perfect for a fairytale dance, and its courtyard is the perfect place to share a cup of coffee at sunrise. The most favorite romantic spot is its garden path.  Tucked away beyond the hedge of the courtyard, this quaint little path leads to the pool. Moss covered bricks meander under a trellis—a small, verdant universe. The splashing of the trickling fountain is majestic and musical. Each season brings with it a host of new blooms. Camellias blossom and welcome guests in winter and sleep in summer when the hydrangeas’ vibrant colors illuminate. In spring this garden path truly comes alive when the imperial jasmine blooms and gently perfumes the air. The hotel team can make the moment more special by lighting a few candles, coordinating with a photographer, or picking out just the perfect spot, including finding the right time and spot at sunset for the perfect moment to hear yes. 

Hotel Boulderado (1909) Boulder, Colorado 
For more than one hundred years, Hotel Boulderado has been a beloved place for proposals and weddings in Colorado. One of the most romantic locations at the luxury property is the charming balcony landing of the original grand cantilevered cherrywood staircase in the historic lobby. Couples who say “I Do” on the landing are surrounded by their loved ones lining the cherrywood railing of the mezzanine with the beautiful stained-glass ceiling above. The historic property is the perfect backdrop for memorable wedding ceremonies, rehearsal dinners, and receptions of up to 240 guests.   

Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, is the epitome of elegance, storied history and southern hospitality (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Hermitage Hotel (1910) Nashville, Tennessee  
The Hermitage Hotel provides the epitome of undisputed elegance, storied history, southern hospitality all while offering the quintessential backdrop for a romantic proposal. As Tennessee’s only Five Star hotel and designated as a National Historical Landmark, The Hermitage’s legendary grand lobby offers lovers a special place to hear the answer “Yes” to one of life sweetest questions. This stunning space is adorned with soaring columns of original Italian marble, ornate chandeliers, and light filters into the sundrenched space through a magnificent painted glass skylight, which, since the building’s erection, remains the crown jewel of the lobby. To ensure memories from this special day never fade, The Hermitage offers an engagement photoshoot package to capture the life-changing moment. 

Bear Mountain Inn (1915) Bear Mountain, New York 
Built in 1915, the historic Bear Mountain Inn is located within the beautiful Bear Mountain State Park that spans 5,025 acres located on the West Bank of the Hudson River (in Rockland and Orange Counties, New York). Many proposals have been made on these beautiful grounds, from the top of Perkins Memorial Tower, by Hessian Lake, along the Hudson River by the Bear Mountain Boat Dock, to the grand fireplace of Restaurant 1915. And countless other nooks in this luscious park and within the walls of this great historic building to ask the question Many couples who have said “Yes!” to a lifetime of love on the grounds of the Bear Mountain State Park, return to the Bear Mountain Inn to celebrate their wedding with their family and friends. Because it is in a state park and open to the public, many couples return year after year to celebrate their anniversary with a stroll through the zoo, a hike, or a romantic dinner at Restaurant 1915 by the roaring fire. 

La Fonda on the Plaza (1922) Santa Fe, New Mexico 
There is no more romantic place to propose than Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the city’s historic La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel sets the perfect scene with its “Blingarita” proposal package.  The engagement experience, orchestrated by the hotel’s expert concierge staff, starts with luxury accommodations in the historic hotel’s exclusive Fireworks Suite.  The deluxe suite has a romantic fireplace and for the popping of the question, its private wrap-around balcony will be festooned with farolitos – the traditional small candles that cast a romantic glow on the adobe.  At the appointed time, a server will arrive at the suite with a pair of La Fonda’s exclusive, ultra-premium “Blingaritas,” one of them bedazzled with an engagement ring provided by the proposer and slipped secretly to staff upon arrival. Arguably the priciest margarita in town and certainly the prettiest, the Blingarita is crafted with Don Julio 1942 tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, Grand Marnier, and a 24-karat gold flake rim. The drinks are served in exquisite keepsake glasses by Southwestern designer Jan Barboglio that the couple will take home to kickstart their barware collection.  Following the proposal, a sumptuous Southwestern dinner for two will be served in the Fireworks Suite.   

Francis Marion Hotel (1924) Charleston, South Carolina 
Located in historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the Francis Marion Hotel is in one the South’s most romantic cities. It offers so many romantic opportunities to pop the question; from a horse drawn carriage ride to a romantic walk under moss-covered oak trees. The hotel is home to historic charm, romantic details and years of love being celebrated within its walls. Offering a beautiful backdrop in the lobby or even overlooking the view in one of the penthouse suites, a proposal at the Francis Marion is sure to be met with a yes. Including the historic and grand lobby, a few popular places in the hotel that couples have gotten engaged include the penthouse suites overlooking the city of Charleston or in one of the classic and elegant ballrooms. Its concierge can help coordinate details to in-suite amenities like champagne to celebrate saying ‘yes!’

The Terrace Hotel (1924) Lakeland, Florida 
The most popular romantic spot, the Terrace Grille, offers fine dining in a historic setting. The romantic couple can have a candlelight dinner with white linen, fine-dining service. The restaurant features a beautiful cypress ceiling with antique chandeliers, massive arched windows throughout, and a view of downtown even featuring Lake Morton.  Nearby special spots for the question include an area steeped in history, the Lake Mirror Promenade where the happy couple can enjoy sweeping views of the lake and the historic buildings. Another perfect spot is Allen Kryger Overlook Park, a half-acre commemorative park that is beautiful in design and features dramatic columns in an open, flowing space. 

InterContinental Mark Hopkins (1926) San Francisco, California 
The Top of the Mark sky-lounge has become a popular venue for romantic proposals and other celebratory occasions, including weddings and anniversaries. Located on the 19th floor of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco, the world-renowned sky-lounge affords a near 360-degree visit of San Francisco with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands, as well as Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf. 

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (1927) Sonoma, California  
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is the only comprehensive luxury destination resort in Sonoma Wine Country, boasting championship golf, geo-thermal pools, world-class spa, and fine dining. Every guest receives a complimentary bottle of wine as well as champagne upon arrival ensuring that the stage is set for romance.   Mission Suites at Fairmont Sonoma feature a four-poster king bed, wood-burning fireplace, and oversized Jacuzzi tub. All suites have a balcony or patio.  Or lovebirds may prefer a private cabana poolside at the world-famous geo-thermal Willow Stream Spa at the Wine Country resort. The destination expert concierge team at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn can assist in creating the ultimate lavish proposal which may include hot air balloon adventures, bespoke wine blending sessions, private dining options, or decadent couples massage options. 

The famed Don Cesar of St. Pete Beach, Florida, was built as a wedding present to rsemble a Mediterranean-style castle (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Don CeSar (1928) St. Pete Beach, Florida 
Built as a wedding present in 1928 to resemble a Mediterranean-style castle, The Don CeSar was once the playground for distinguished celebrities, such as Clarence Darrow and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Don CeSar continues to charm and impress guests today with service preserved from the Great Gatsby era of pampering. Blending European grandeur, seaside elegance, and sweet sunsets with the enchantment of yesteryear, the romantic legend exemplifies the grandness of America’s traditional beach resorts.  Favorite spots to propose are on the beach, in the gardens, or on a boat with the picturesque Don CeSar in the background. 

The Hotel Hershey® (1933) Hershey, Pennsylvania 
Known for its refined elegance, signature services and abundant amenities, The Hotel Hershey is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway with beautiful locations to get down on one knee. The Formal Gardens behind the hotel are a popular spot for proposals. There, guests can find a quiet, romantic, picturesque area with beautiful flower beds, pergolas, fountains and reflecting pools. Inside the Hotel, the Fountain Lobby is another picturesque location worthy of popping the question. It was designed to look like a Spanish-style courtyard with palm trees, a beautiful fountain, and a painted sky on the ceiling. 

Royal Palms Resort & Spa (1948) Phoenix, Arizona 
With lush greenery, vibrant florals, and rustic accents throughout, there are several locations at the Royal Palms Resort for the perfect, romantic setting to propose. The resort grounds have a few favorite locations that are tucked away off the main pathways for a romantic setting, including Camelback Mountain Vista and Cervantes Patio. They are framed with landscape to accent the focal points, allowing for a romantic dinner for two, or a cozy setting to share a glass of wine and focus on one another. Sunset and evenings are the most ideal time to set the mood, with candles and patio lights. The  Via Cappello dining experience is the perfect opportunity for a proposal.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (1965) Kohala Coast, Hawaii 
As a long sought-after romantic destination on the big island of Hawaii, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel provides special touches. There are three standout locations at the hotel that have been favorites for more than 50 years. The first is the grand staircase fronting the enormous, ancient 12th century Buddha. The original historic third tee at Mauna Kea’s golf course, perched above the ocean’s edge, secluded and dramatic, particularly at sunset. And lastly, the Vista Decks.  For an over-the-top proposal, sunset from the hotel’s Vista Deck overlooking the soft white sands of Kauna’oa Bay, with views to the ocean’s far horizon, is a popular romantic spot. Offering privacy, views of the white sands of Kauna’oa Bay, and the ocean’s horizon beyond, the Vista Deck can be staged for a romantic torchlit dinner for two or an intimate gathering of cocktails and pupus (appetizers) with family and friends. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s professional team of romance specialists will help arrange for a photographer (who have been known to hide in the bushes until the moment is right), florals, champagne and more to make certain all goes without a hitch and the couple’s future launches spectacularly. The shores of Kauna‘oa Bay provide the perfect backdrop to pop the question. Another option, the stunning venue above the ocean’s edge on Mauna Kea Resort’s golf course, is one of the most popular wedding locales!  The rolling blue surf of the Pacific Ocean and vibrant hues of a setting sun complete this dramatic setting.  From the sand beneath their toes to the sounds of the waves rolling onto the shore, Kauna’oa Bay sets the scene for every romantic proposal.      

Historic Hotels of America is the membership official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. The 300 members have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit HistoricHotels.org.  

Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn offers Special Elopement Wedding Packages

January 23, 2021
Proving that an elopement can be synonymous with a “destination wedding”. Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn offers special wedding and elopement packages that keep intimacy and romance in mind.

CARMEL, Calif., — First used in the 14th century, the word elope came from aloper, which meant to leap. While origins of elopement paint the term as something last-minute or secret, modern couples now see it a bit differently and favor less stress and less urgency, with more focus on a true celebration of love. Proving that an elopement can be synonymous with a “destination wedding”. Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn offers special wedding and elopement packages that keep intimacy and romance in mind.

Designed for 2 to 20 people, the Highlands Elopement Package allows couples to exchange vows on a romantic gazebo overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This package includes:

  • Wedding Changing Room (Makeup, Hair and First Look)
  • White Folding Chairs and Cocktail Tables for your ceremony
  • Site Fee (Monday-Thursdays) starting at $1,500, limited to 1.5 hours of event time
  • Site Fee (Weekends) starting at $3,000, service charge and tax not included.

The special package is available to book for a weekend elopement (Fridays-Sundays) within 60 days of saying “I do.” There is not a restriction in booking a midweek elopement (Mondays-Thursdays).

Couples can elect to add the following:

  • Additional Event Time: $500 per hour
  • Officiant: $300 for Elopement Ceremonies
  • Photographer: $650/1 hour, $1,200/2 hours
  • Florals: $500 allowance, with choice of bouquet, boutonniere, or other floral decorations

Believing a Carmel Highlands wedding should be an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime event, the Events Team takes great pride in handling the special details so couples can spend time on what’s most important — creating memories in a magnificent and romantic environment. Prospective guests may schedule a site or a virtual tour with Hyatt events specialists by calling 831-622-5461. More information on weddings and elopement packages are available here.

Perched on the hillside of the Carmel Highlands with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, Hyatt Carmel Highlands combines true Carmel luxury with an approachable and sophisticated spirit. A haven for artists and discerning travelers since its opening in 1917, the property also offers spectacular dining at the award-winning California Market at Pacific’s Edge, 4,800 square feet of meeting space, heated outdoor swimming pool, three spa tubs and a StayFit fitness facility. Situated only four miles from downtown Carmel, Hyatt Carmel Highlands’ idyllic setting and personalized service has attracted families, weddings, honeymooners and privileged travelers for nearly a century.

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Club Med Launches Flash Sale For Up To 55 Percent Off All-Inclusive, Warm-Weather Escapes Through Summer 2021

January 15, 2021
Learning to scuba dive at the all-inclusive Club Med Sandpiper Resort in Florida. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

Club Med, a pioneer of the all-inclusive resort concept, is kicking off the new year with new opportunities to save on all-inclusive getaways at its spacious resorts in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Florida – from last-minute winter escapes to planning ahead for spring and summer travel.

The January Flash Sale, open for bookings now through January 19, 2021 with travel dates through August 27, 2021, offers guests up to 55 percent off stays, free room upgrades and additional perks, unlimited land and water activities, extensive culinary options and premium oceanfront accommodations.  

Offering more room for guests to roam freely and comfortably, Club Med’s open-air, low density resorts are integrated in and respectful of the surrounding nature and feature low-rise buildings spread across 50 acres. Each resort is currently operating at a limited capacity in order to enable social distancing and exclusivity. In addition to creating a sense of privacy and freedom, Club Med’s enhanced safety and hygiene protocols allow travelers to feel confident and protected when booking their upcoming getaway.

For full details on the Flash Sale, visit www.clubmed.us/flashsale.

January Flash Sale

  • Booking window: Today through January 19, 2021
  • Travel window: Select dates from January 12, 2021 (check-in) through August 27, 2021 (check out by August 28, 2021; Blackout dates apply including President’s week & Easter/Passover weeks)
  • Up to 55% off* plus perks:
    • Free room upgrade
    • Up to $400 air credit
    • Kids under 4 stay free
    • No single supplement
    • Flexibility and protection with free cancellation and more (see Terms & Conditions below)

Participating Club Med Resorts 

  • Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Florida: Now Open. Recently named one of the top ten family resorts in the U.S. by USA TODAY 10Best‘s 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards, the resort – located in between Miami and Orlando – offers an all-inclusive getaway sans passport with a variety of land and water sports fit for the entire family, like kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, pickle ball and the flying trapeze. While the kids have their own adventure, adults can relax by the adult-exclusive pool, on the beach that is situated alongside the St. Lucie River, or at the Club Med Spa, while kids enjoy time at the children’s clubs with unlimited land and water activities.
  • Club Med Cancún, Mexico: Now Open. Located at the tip of the iconic Riviera Maya surrounded by white sandy beaches and the world’s second largest coral reef, the family-friendly resort is perfect for those looking to create life-long memories. The resort’s recently expanded Aguamarina family oasis area features 120 oceanfront family rooms, exhilarating water games at the dedicated family pool, and outdoor activities as part of the new Club Med Amazing Family programming. For added R&R, rediscover wellness through one of our personalized beauty or relaxation treatments at the L’OCCITANE Spa.
  • Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: Now Open. On a 2,000-foot stretch of beach, Club Med Punta Cana welcomes all travelers to enjoy reconnection and relaxation through: a newly renovated Tiara Exclusive Collection space featuring 32 oceanside family suites, a dedicated infinity pool and bar, and morning room service; the new Club Med Amazing Family program, a fun-filled agenda of weekly activities for families to bond and create memories; Club Med CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil, an interactive playground with more than 25 acrobatic and artistic activities for guests of all ages; and treatments at L’OCCITANE Spa and men’s barber shop. Adults can stay or access the resorts’ Zen Oasis, an adult-exclusive area featuring an oversized lagoon pool, spacious Jacuzzi and private cabanas.
  • Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, Dominican Republic: Now Open. Located in the unspoiled beaches of Miches on the Dominican Republic’s northeast coast, the Exclusive Collection (5 star) eco-chic resort is the first in the region and features four boutique villages specializing in wellness, adventure, kid-friendly and adults-exclusive experiences catering to travelers seeking a boutique, hotel-within-a-hotel experience. Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda was recently selected as winner of the ‘Best Hotel Over 200 Rooms Americas/Caribbean’ category in the 2020 International Hotel and Property Awards.
  • Club Med Turkoise, Turks and Caicos: Now Open. Nestled into Grace Bay Beach, consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the world by TripAdvisor, the adults-exclusive resort is an all-inclusive paradise offering freshly renovated accommodations including deluxe ocean-front guestrooms with balconies, infinity edge pool, a wellness center and a wine cellar, as well as unlimited activities including sailing, kayaking, and flying trapeze.

Additional participating resorts include Club Med Caravelle, Guadeloupe, French Caribbean and Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek, Martinique, French Caribbean.

To ensure added flexibility and peace of mind for travelers, Club Med also offers:

  • **Free Cancellation Policy: Cancel for free up to 15 days prior to departure for bookings made before February 28, 2021 and for travels on or prior to September 3rd, 2021. For complete cancellation policy details, see here.
  • Emergency Assistance Program: All guests traveling before April 30, 2021 will receive coverage for emergency medical expenses during their stay, including those related to COVID-19.
  • Safe Together safety and hygiene protocols: Implemented in all of the brand’s resorts as they reopen, including those in Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean, these newly enhanced hygiene and safety measures were developed through recommendations from the World Health Organization, local health authorities, and the advice of an International Scientific Committee comprised of a specialized team of doctors and professors.

Full details on the above policies can be found here.

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Hilton Sandestin Introduces Home at Hilton Extended Workcation

January 10, 2021
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in South Walton, Florida, is debuting a new Home at Hilton work-from-hotel program catering to remote workers interested in moving their home office beachside for an extended “workcation”.

SOUTH WALTON, Florida –With millions of Americans still working from home, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa is debuting their new Home at Hilton work-from-hotel program catering to remote workers interested in moving their home office beachside for an extended Florida workcation this winter. 

Home at Hilton offers business professionals seeking a warm-weather relocation two discounted package options, a 14-night Change of Scenery and a 30-night One Month Life Swap, both providing amenities and benefits to create a home-away-from-home setting at Hilton Sandestin. Available for bookings now through February 28, 2021, each of the Home at Hilton packages include spacious beachfront accommodations with a workspace, off-property shuttle service, access to the business kiosk, as well as free reign of the resort’s white sand beach to use for a morning run, mid-day meditation break, or as the backdrop for Zoom calls. Additional benefits for those who choose the extended month-long stay include daily breakfast, a complimentary cocktail every afternoon, beach rentals and laundry service. 

“We’re making it easy for anyone who is remote working or learning to switch up their virtual living situation and move to our beautiful beachfront resort for an extended working vacation,” said Gary Brielmayer, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa General Manager. “It’s a chance to escape the cold and enjoy some warm weather, fresh air, and our charming beach town experience. We look forward to welcoming guests for a break from everyday life in the new normal.”

Hilton Sandestin sits along the white sand beach of Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast and provides guests with easy access and shuttle service to nearby attractions, including golf, cultural centers, state parks, shopping outlets, and the vibrant Village at Baytowne Wharf, which is known for its array of boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and nightlife. The resort also offers a variety of on-property activities such as bike rentals, watersports, tennis courts, a world-class spa, as well as dining options, including the area’s only AAA Four Diamond steakhouse, Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood. 

Guests who choose the 14-day stay will receive a 30 percent discount on the best available nightly rate. Pricing begins at $90 per night for those who choose to swap homes for the longer 30-day time period. For more information on the Home at Hilton program visit www.hiltonsandestinbeach.com/home-at-hilton or call 850.267.9500 to make a reservation.

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, managed by Sandcastle Resorts & Hotels, is located on the sugar-white sands and emerald-green waters of Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast near Destin in South Walton, Fla. Northwest Florida’s largest full-service beachfront resort hotel boasts 602 spacious accommodations, more than 40,000 square feet of award-winning meeting space, a world-class spa and state-of-the-art fitness center, six on-site seasonal dining venues – including the Emerald Coast’s only AAA Four-Diamond steakhouse – abundant resort recreation options, access to championship golf courses, and close proximity to the area’s best attractions. A place where moments become memories that last a lifetime, there is only one Hilton Sandestin Beach. For more information on the premier hotel, visit HiltonSandestinBeach.com, or stay up to date with its latest news and promotions on its FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

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Cape May MAC’s 47th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour Goes Virtual But Holiday Tours of Physick Estate Continue

December 12, 2020
Cape May’s Candlelight House Tour will be virtual this year, but other traditional tours and events go on (photo courtesy Cape May MAC)

CAPE MAY, NJ –Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture) announces its 2020 Cape May Christmas Candlelight House Tour is available for purchase to experience virtually this year, but other Cape May traditional holiday programs, focused around the historic Emlen Physick Estate, continue daily.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and protocols this year, Cape May MAC made the difficult decision that these annual holiday tours, usually offered on three nights in December, must be cancelled in 2020. Cape May’s Christmas Candlelight House Tours have been a beloved annual tradition for nearly half a century. Cape May MAC launched this tour in 1973 and ever since it has been a highlight of the Christmas season in Cape May, America’s only National Historic Landmark City. Thousands of people on three nights in December travel to more than a dozen homes, inns, B&Bs, churches and hotels, stepping across the thresholds to take in interiors beautifully decorated for the holidays. It is one of Cape May MAC’s largest fund-raisers.

“This year, it was decided to create a video that will bring the joy and excitement of these Cape May Christmas tours directly into people’s homes, to continue this tradition unbroken. With enthusiastic participation from Cape May innkeepers, B&B owners and homeowners, planning began this summer and production is nearly complete.”

“Of course, we look forward to when we can offer these self-guided tours in person once again, but we could not have Christmas in Cape May without them in 2020,” said Cape May MAC Director and CEO Jody Alessandrine.

For the first time, the tour will be entirely virtual, via a video available for purchase through Vimeo On Demand ($30). Featured are 10 Cape May homes, B&Bs and inns decorated for the holidays including interviews with owners and innkeepers. Participating properties include: The John B. McCreary House (“The Abbey”), Angel of the Sea Bed & Breakfast, The Bedford Inn, The Cherry House, The Emlen Physick Estate, Franklin at 721, The Henry Sawyer Inn, The Mainstay Inn, The Mason Cottage and The Mission Inn.

The Trailer is available to watch online here;

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/capemaychristmastour.

Guests may purchase the video directly anytime via the link. The video will then be made available to purchasers automatically to watch after its release on Monday, Dec. 21 at 9 a.m.

This presentation is sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank and Brown & Brown Insurance. Proceeds benefit Cape May MAC, a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors since 1970. Cape May MAC membership is open to all. Visit capemaymac.org/support/membership to learn more.

While the candlelight tour is virtual, the rest of Cape May’s traditional holiday tours are taking place daily:

The Emlen Physick Estate is open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) for holiday tours. Designed by American architect Frank Furness, the Physick House is Cape May’s Victorian House Museum. Its restoration began Cape May’s 50-year renaissance that continues to this day.

New in 2020! Winter Wonderwalk this season at the Physick Estate.

Open-air trolley tours are offered throughout this holiday season in Cape May. Bring a blanket!

Vintage restaurant is open during the holidays with heated, outdoor dining under the patio tent on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, for both brunch and dinner.

An Old-fashioned Christmas Exhibit features a huge indoor Christmas Tree and a Dept. 56 Dickens Village collection. There is free admission to this popular annual display.

For information about Cape May MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals and special events, visit capemaymac.org. For information about historic accommodations, contact Cape May Historic Accommodations at capemaylodging.com. For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at 609-884-5508. For information on the city’s COVID-19 response, please visit capemaystrong.org.

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Have a Colonial Christmas in Williamsburg, Virginia

December 11, 2020
The Busch Gardens Christmas Celebration runs on select dates through Jan. 3, featuring new village entertainment, 15 coasters and rides, a Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt, festive holiday shopping, sweet culinary offerings, and meeting Santa in his Workshop.

In Colonial Williamsburg, in addition to Grand Illumination, enjoy special holiday events throughout December include caroling at the Courthouse, walking tours highlighting colonial Christmas decorations and the galleries of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, visits with Father Christmas, ice skating at the Liberty Ice Pavilion, the community Christmas Tree lighting with special readings of “The Night Before Christmas,” the Lighting of the Cressets on historic Duke of Gloucester Street with strolling musicians and tidings of good cheer Dec. 17 – 24, holiday feasts and meals, plenty of opportunities to shop for unique colonial gifts such as wreaths, centerpieces, and more. The living history attraction remains open for daily holiday programs with special health protocols in place.

Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area is fully decorated and holidaythemed programming is being presented daily ― mostly outdoors ― through New Year’s Day, along with a range of new exhibitions, seasonal programming and the famous Folk Art Christmas Tree at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, which this year completed a $41.7-million donor-funded expansion.

In Merchants Square, a variety of shopping and dining options await, along with Liberty Ice Pavilion, now open daily on Duke of Gloucester Street. A new Christmas Market opens Fridays through Sundays, Dec. 4-19, at the corner of South Boundary Street and Francis Street, hosted in partnership with the City and CultureFixVA.

Event schedules and admission information is available at colonialwilliamsburg.org/holidays. Details on Colonial Williamsburg Resorts getaways, plus tavern and contemporary dining information are available at colonialwilliamsburghotels.com.

The Busch Gardens Christmas Celebration runs on select dates through Jan. 3, featuring new village entertainment, fifteen coasters and rides, a Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt, festive holiday shopping, sweet culinary offerings, and meeting Santa in his Workshop.

In Yorktown, catch the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting, a community tradition that goes back to 1945, on Dec. 4. The Christmas Market on Main Street, Dec. 5-6, features 60 vendors for holiday gift shopping along with holiday music, The Fifes and Drums of Yorktown, festive food and drink, and an appearance by Santa on York County’s first fire truck. On Dec. 6, enjoy Cookies with Santa at the Gallery at York Hall and learn about ancient Norse influences on modern Christmas culture at the Viking Yuletide Celebration at the Watermen’s Museum. Shop for holiday gifts while enjoying chowders, soups, baked goods and other treats at the Mistletoe Market at Riverwalk Landing, Dec. 12, also featuring a live ice carving demonstration and a Toyland Parade. From Dec. 19-31, Christmastide in Virginia at Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown recalls 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions through special interpretive programs and musical entertainment of the period. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, hear accounts of Christmas and winter in military encampments during the American Revolution and glimpse holiday preparations on a Revolution-era farm. A Jamestown Settlement, compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the period with how the season may have been observed in the difficult early years of the Jamestown colony. 

At Berkeley Plantation, enjoy Centuries of Christmas, Dec. 5 – Jan. 1, when the elegant 1726 mansion will be beautifully decorated with fresh greenery from Berkley’s gardens. Highlights include costumed guides sharing four centuries of stories, tours, workshops, teas and other special events.

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Palm Beach Zoo Lights is ‘Wild’ Holiday Celebration

December 11, 2020
Zoo Lights presented by FPL SolarNow, illuminates Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society with more than one-million eco-friendly LED lights this holiday season.

WEST PALM BEACH – Zoo Lights presented by FPL SolarNow, illuminates Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society with more than one-million eco-friendly LED lights this holiday season. Starting November 27, the Zoo is open after regular hours on select nights from 6- 9 PM for a WILD holiday celebration featuring family fun, Santa, decadent treats, music and holiday charm.

“We can all use some holiday magic to shine through this season,” said Margo McKnight, president and CEO of Palm Beach Zoo. “The premiere of Zoo Lights last year was a huge holiday hit with our community. This year it is even more important to offer visitors a safe celebration where families can be outside in nature, enjoy great weather and embrace the spirit of the holidays.”

Zoo Lights visitors can expect to have a safe, socially distanced and enjoyable experience including photos with Santa, a DJ playing holiday tunes, sweet treats and more including:

  • An evening stroll through the Zoo surrounded by one-million holiday lights and lighted displays.
  • A unique theme for each area of the Zoo. New for 2020, the Asia section will dazzle in golden hues as lighted animals sparkle, adding more square footage to the vast event.
  • The Florida Wetlands section features traditional holiday cheer and Santa’s workshop. Families can have their portraits made with Santa, and children can share their holiday wishes through December 23.
  • The Fountain Plaza transforms into a North Pole dance floor where a DJ will spin family-friendly holiday hits each evening.
  • While the jaguars sleep, the Mayan Plaza shines with blue lights and dripping icicles.
  • The Tropics Cafe features festive holiday fare, and food stations around the Zoo will offer seasonal treats, beverages and cocktails, as well as a s’mores fire pit for some sticky hands-on fun.
  • The gift shop will offer lighted merchandise sure to be your children’s favorite.

For the second consecutive year, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is sponsoring Zoo Lights with its FPL SolarNow program. “It’s fitting for Florida Power & Light Company to illuminate the holiday season in this special way, with energy-efficient LED lights that brightens the Zoo’s pathways and gives families a safe place to celebrate,” said Matt Valle, vice president, FPL Development at NextEra Energy, Inc. and Zoo board member. “Having the ability to bring your family to a world-class destination that represents conservation is a benefit that many parents, such as myself, find invaluable now more than ever.”

Tickets for Zoo Lights are $14.95 for adults and $12.95 for children. Palm Beach Zoo Annual Members receive special pricing. Pre-sale tickets are available at www.palmbeachzoo.org/zoolights

This year, Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is the official non-profit community partner of Sandi and the City of West Palm Beach Holidays in Paradise annual downtown campaign. In addition to taking part in Zoo Lights, plan on visiting Sandi and her flamingo friend Hope as Sandi Brings Hope to West Palm Beach. Learn more at wpb.org/events 

For more than 50 years, Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society has provided visitors with up-close and personal animal encounters that connect people to wildlife. Palm Beach Zoo guests explore a WILD ecosystem thriving on 23 lush, tropical acres while discovering hundreds of exotic animals. Visitors enjoy interactive animal experiences, nature and water play, and a lakeside cafe. Palm Beach Zoo participates in AZA Species Survival Plan® programs, ensuring healthy animal populations for rare and endangered species. The impact of a visit to Palm Beach Zoo extends beyond the gates, inspiring people to take action and save wildlife in wild places. For more information, visit www.palmbeachzoo.org.

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is a steadfast partner of the Zoo and supports the nonprofit organization through the years including the installation of the SolarNow canopy in the Zoo’s parking lot. The solar canopy is a symbol of sustainability representing FPL’s larger universal solar energy centers in remote geographic locations, just as the animal ambassadors in the Zoo represent their species in the wild.

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White Elephant Palm Beach Hotel Opening Nov. 4, 2020

October 16, 2020
The 32-room White Elephant Palm Beach, which is opening November 4, 2020 and is the sister property to the famed White Elephant resort in Nantucket,  is housed in the former Bradley Park Hotel – originally constructed in 1924 as one of the first resorts on Palm Beach’s Main Street. 

From one vacation destination to another, Nantucket’s White Elephant resort will welcome a sister property in Palm Beach on November 4, 2020. The 32-room White Elephant Palm Beach is housed in the former Bradley Park Hotel – originally constructed in 1924 as one of the first resorts on Palm Beach’s Main Street. During its century-long history, it was initially owned by Colonel Edward R. Bradley, who ran a private and celebrated Beach Club casino on land that is today Bradley Park. For more than 20 years, the hotel served as a magnet for business tycoons and high rollers who frequented the salon. Over the decades that followed, the hotel remained a mainstay for seasonal visitors. In 1980, in part to its architectural significance, the hotel was listed with the Landmark Preservation Commission.  

The footprint of the structure and the facade remains, while the interiors have been stripped to the bones and rebuilt by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects. The nationally recognized firm, known for their projects with The Peninsula Chicago and Four Seasons Residences, Boston, worked closely with the Town of Palm Beach to create a new hotel that showcases the history of the existing building while incorporating a contemporary interpretation of Mediterranean-revival architecture. White Elephant Palm Beach will maintain the welcoming feel of a private residence with 13 rooms and 19 suites spread across four stories.  

The hotel stands one street north of Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach’s original Main Street, less than two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and one block from the Intracoastal Waterway. White Elephant Palm Beach is adjacent to Bradley Park, which will serve as a grand lawn to the hotel, and is less than a half mile from the newly redeveloped Royal Poinciana Plaza shopping complex.   

The layout of the property takes advantage of the South Florida sunshine and features a U-shaped outdoor courtyard that is the social heart of the hotel – a place to relax and recharge, whether lounging on the patio or around the pool. The landscaping features mature, local flora whose lush colors and tropical fragrances envelop guests.  Previews of what’s to come started earlier this year, when White Elephant Palm Beach’s signature restaurant Lola 41– a Nantucket staple – began serving its globally-inspired dishes and local seafood specialties.  

The design captures the spirit of a grand home while maintaining the ambiance of a landmarked boutique hotel. Breaking from the bright pinks and greens that dominate the Palm Beach aesthetic, the White Elephant Palm Beach features a neutral color palette with sleek metal accents and vibrant pops of color. The hardwood floors, Carrara marble, elegant tiles and woven rugs are all interpreted with contemporary style.  Outside, the Mizner-style facade is painted a light, creamy-white color with classic black-and-white striped awnings, terracotta roof tiles, and black trim to bring a fresh, sophisticated look to the classic structure. Guests will be welcomed onto the property by a seven-foot white elephant statue by Santa Fe-based artist Fredrick Prescott. (A “sister” elephant statue, Trunket, is on the grounds of White Elephant in Nantucket.) 

The statue is just one of 120 original pieces of colorful modern and pop art personally curated by the owners and Elkus Manfredi. The museum-worthy collection will be on display throughout the rooms and common spaces. Featured artists include Robert Rauschenberg, whose early creations in the 1950s anticipated the pop art movement, and Jennifer Bartlett, known for her small, square steel plates that are combined in grid formations to create large-scale works. Several pieces by painter Kenzo Okada, the first Japanese-American artist to receive international acclaim using abstract expressionist style, will be on display, as will works by Donald Baechler, part of the East Village, New York 1980s art movement. A 54-inch round acrylic work by Orit Fuchs was specifically created for the hotel and is a focal point of the lobby; while six prints by Yinka Shonibare, who will unveil a new public sculpture installation in West Palm Beach in 2021, will be found on the second-floor corridor. Doodle Boy, a 10-year-old British artist, was also commissioned to create 30 exclusive pieces for the powder rooms. Using clean black lines hand drawn with a thick marker, he incorporated a hidden signature elephant in each of his drawings.  

Guestrooms and suites range from 510- to 3,000-square feet featuring custom-designed furniture. King-size beds will be outfitted with Pratesi by Rivolta linens with upholstered backboards accented in a colorful palm and flower print. The same fabric will be found on the back of the desk chairs and on the throw pillow piping. Other noteworthy pieces include console tables by Selamat Designs in collaboration with the heritage brand, Morris & Co, which are wrapped inside and out with authentic William Morris “Strawberry Thief” covering. The pattern was originally created in 1883. Each of the suites will be furnished with plush grey and cream armchairs and couches. The custom-designed wooden arches that frame the entrance to some of the rooms are a defining architectural element of the hotel. Other decorative accents such as bronze elephant door knockers, bold patterned throw pillows, rattan ceiling light fixtures, and black and white striped side tables are sprinkled throughout. The bathrooms feature marble tiles, double sinks crafted from stone, a dry vanity and glass-enclosed walk in showers with L’Occitane bath amenities. 

The two penthouse suites are ideal for those who want to entertain, with large living rooms, fully equipped kitchens, and terraces ranging between 800- to 1,200-square-feet. With views of Bradley Park, the Park Suite is a three-bedroom that can be expanded into four, and the ocean-facing Palm Suite is a two-bedroom that can be expanded into three.  

Among other amenities, guests will have complimentary use of BMW courtesy vehicles, Priority Bicycles and Radio Flyer Wagons as well as exclusive access to Barton & Gray yachts for excursions. A shuttle will be offered to transport guests between the beach and property, and complimentary sweet treats from the White Elephant ice cream cart will be available poolside daily.  

“Our main mission is to combine our vision of hospitality with the ethos and style of casually elegant Palm Beach,” comments Douglass Karp, President of New England Development. He notes, “We are pleased to combine our promise of service excellence with the exciting tradition of hospitality in this legendary resort destination. We feel right at home in Palm Beach.” 

New England Development   (NED) is one of the nation’s premier real estate development and management companies, led by Chairman Stephen R. Karp, Vice Chairman Steven S. Fischman and President Douglass E. Karp. As part of NED’s national portfolio that includes retail, mixed-use and hospitality assets, plus marinas and golf courses, the company operates luxury hotels on Nantucket, MA, including White Elephant and The Wauwinet. Both are recipients of Conde Nast Travelers’ Readers’ Choice Award. In 2019, TOPPER’s was also named AAA’s only “Five Diamond” restaurant on Nantucket and has been a recipient of Wine Spectator’s “Grand Award” for 24 consecutive years. In addition, NED was a major part of the team that developed the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel adjacent to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. 

New England Development also developed and manages the 440,000 SF Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach and the adjacent 300,000 SF Marketplace at the Outlets, located directly off Interstate 95 on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach, FL.  

Reservations are being taken now; rates start at $650 for a guest room and $995 for a suite. (280 Sunset Avenue, Palm Beach, FL )

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Gold Coast Film Festival Goes On With Virtual & Drive-In Films, Free Opening Night Virtual Gala to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

October 8, 2020
Actor Bruce Dern, in 2011, was honored as the first recipient of the Gold Coast International Film Festival’s Legend award. This year’s film festival features Dern starring with Lena Olin in The Artist’s Wife © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

LONG ISLAND, NY — The 2020 Gold Coast International Virtual Film Festival and Drive-In Series will celebrate its 10th anniversary from October 13 – 20 with a host of unique offerings that will appeal to a wide range of audiences throughout the Long Island, New York, region and beyond.  The Virtual Film Festival, powered by CineSend, will be available via mobile and desktop web browsers as well as Apple TV and Roku apps. This special digital platform will allow you to customize your Film Festival experience either through an All-Access pass or single-ticket option, and special discounts will be offered to Gold Coast Film Society members. Films offered as part of the Virtual Festival will be available to view throughout the Festival week. The Festival will also feature four Drive-In events that will take place at various venues across the Town of North Hempstead including in Great Neck and Port Washington.

This year’s lineup showcases more than 70 feature-length and short films, many with pre-recorded filmmaker Q&As, including documentaries, foreign films, narratives, dramas, comedies and more.

The Festival will launch on October 13 with a free Opening Night Virtual Gala to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Gold Coast Arts Center, the non-profit organization that produces the Festival. Included in this year’s virtual film screening lineup are several new films saluting the visual and performing arts including BILLIE, a documentary about the life and music of iconic jazz singer Billie Holiday; MATISSE, From MoMA and Tate Modern, an intimate behind-the-scenes documentary celebrating the giant of modern art; a 10th anniversary screening of the NAACP Image Award-winning film Thunder Soul, a heartwarming documentary showcasing the Kashmere High School Stage Band and word-class funk powerhouse; and Beyond Moving, which tells the inspirational story of a South African ballet prodigy on his ‘Billy Elliot’-like journey to become a professional dancer, followed by a special conversation with the film’s director Vikram Dasgupta and ballet dancer and star Siphe November.

Other highlights include the Sundance Grand Jury Award-winning film YALDA: A Night for Forgiveness, a provocative new film from Iran about a woman who accidentally kills her husband and must plead forgiveness from his family on a reality TV show; The Artist’s Wife, starring Lena Olin and Bruce Dern (GCIFF 2011 Legend Award winner); SXSW winner for Best Documentary The Donut King, about an immigrant achieving the American Dream by baking one of America’s favorite desserts; and Thou Shalt Not Hate, a tense drama about an Italian doctor and son of a Holocaust survivor, who comes across a traffic accident victim with a Nazi tattoo on his chest. In honor of National Emergency Room Nurse’s Month, and as a tribute to all essential workers, the Festival will also present a free online screening of the new documentary In Case of Emergency which profiles the life and work of several emergency room nurses around the United States. This screening is being presented in partnership with Northwell Health’s Katz Institute for Women’s Health.

In addition to its Virtual Festival, GCIFF will present several films as part of a new Drive-In Series including The Beatles in their feature film debut A Hard Day’s Night, one of the “most deliriously entertaining movies of all time”; a fabulously fun program of Family Short Films appropriate for children of all ages and the award-winning classic suspense film North by Northwest by Alfred Hitchcock, best viewed on the big screen.

For more information regarding the complete schedule of virtual film screenings and filmmaker Q&As and drive-in events, and to purchase passes and tickets, visit www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org

To RSVP for the free Opening Night Virtual Gala celebrating Gold Coast Arts 25th Anniversary, and for ways to help sponsor or support this important event, visit www.goldcoastarts.org/gala25.

Gold Coast International Film Festival

Since 2011, the festival has brought the latest Hollywood hits and Indie favorites to standing room only audiences throughout the fabled Gold Coast of Long Island. Add A-list celebrities and unforgettable events to the mix, and it’s easy to see why the Gold Coast International Film Festival has become the “go to” festival for film buffs and the public. The Gold Coast International Film Festival is produced by the not-for-profit Gold Coast Arts Center.

Previous honorees and special guests of the festival and the Gold Coast Arts Center include film industry VIPs Francis Ford Coppola, Hugh Grant, Baz Luhrmann, Brian Dennehy, Paul Sorvino, Ed Burns, Bruce Dern, Isabella Rossellini, Lou Diamond Phillips, Morgan Spurlock, Eli Wallach, Gabriel Byrne, Jacques Pepin, Bill Plympton, Phil Donahue, Phylicia Rashad, Joan Allen, Jay McInerney and Michael Cuesta, as well as composer Morton Gould, artists James Rosenquist, Oleg Cassini, Edwina Sandys and Bob Gruen, comedian Susie Essman, Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara, Melissa Errico and Savion Glover, and 4-time Oscar winner for production and costume design Catherine Martin

Sponsors and partners of this year’s Festival include: founding partner, the Town of North Hempstead; Nassau County Industrial Development Agency; Warner Media; AT&T; AARP Long Island; A.L. Sarroff Fund; TD Charitable Foundation; Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; The Katz Institute for Women’s Health at Northwell Health; Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock; The Bristal Assisted Living; Liman Video Rental; Sid Jacobson JCC; Great Neck Parks District; Landmark on Main Street; The Inn at Great Neck; WLIW21; Altice; Blank Slate Media; and many local businesses.

Gold Coast Arts is a 501(c)(3) multi-arts organization dedicated to promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance, and outreach. For a quarter-century, it has brought the arts to tens of thousands of people throughout the Long Island region. Among the Center’s offerings are its School for the Arts, which holds year-round classes in visual and performing arts for students of all ages and abilities; a free public art gallery; a concert and lecture series; film screenings and discussions; the annual Gold Coast International Film Festival; and initiatives that focus on senior citizens and underserved communities. These initiatives include artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher-training workshops, and parent-child workshops. The Gold Coast Arts Center’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Gold Coast Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts “Partners in Education” program and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

For more information, visit www.goldcoastarts.org.

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NY Gilbert & Sullivan Players Mount First-Ever, Free Virtual Gala, Oct. 20, Kicking Off Virtual Season

October 7, 2020
New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players taking bows at the end of “Mikado” last season. The 2020 season will be virtual, starting off with its first-ever virtual gala Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 7PM, which can be enjoyed free © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com 

(New York, NY) New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players has postponed their traditional NYC season of live performance full productions until 2021-2022. But in its place, an exciting and creative virtual season is underway as the company toasts the best of Gilbert & Sullivan at NYGASP’s first ever Virtual Gala, Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 7PM. 

NYGASP will be celebrating “With Unusual Revelry,” like those famous Pirates of Penzance, and deliver the company’s signature brand of musical merriment in an entirely new way. NYGASP is honored to feature exclusive performances by Broadway stars and Honorary Board members, Victoria Clark and Robert Cuccioli, as well as appearances by NYGASP’s unrivaled roster of artists. Grab the best seat in (your) house, as the beauty and wit of this repertoire is served up sofa-side. Connect with the NYGASP community via live chat during the show and stick around for the official After-Party on Zoom, hosted by some of your company favorites. 

The event is free and registration is at www.nygasp.org 

Victoria Clark is equally at home in plays, musicals, film, television, and the concert stage, she maintains a wonderfully diverse acting career, including Broadway’s The Light in the Piazza (TONY award), Gigi, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and Sister Act (TONY nominations). She is also an accomplished stage director with work spanning from original musicals to opera to educational programming. She fostered a love of G&S at Yale University, appearing as some of the duo’s most beloved heroines.

Robert Cuccioli isknown by many for his critically acclaimed TONY nominated performance as the title role in the Broadway hit musical Jekyll & Hyde (earning Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and FANY Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Musical), he began his career starring in Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas with The Light Opera of Manhattan. Broadway: Les Miserables (Javert); Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (Dr. Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin). Robert is also a sought-after director and concert performer.

On Sunday, November 15th at 3:00 PM, NYGASP will present The Heroines of Gilbert & Sullivan: We Really Know Our Worth.  Laurelyn Watson Chase hosts a musical exploration and discussion of women in G&S works from their premieres to modern day.  How do today’s women interpret and feel about the heroines of Gilbert & Sullivan? Get the opinions that really matter! Featuring Claire Leyden, soprano; Amy Maude Helfer, mezzo-soprano; Angela Christine Smith, contralto; Alena Gerst Daily LCSW, RYT, Dr. Jamé Heskett, and Lauren Wenegrat, Esq. Registration is at: www.nygasp.org

NYGASP’s grand finale for 2020 will feature David Macaluso, Matthew Wages and Daniel Greenwood reprising their roles in Cox and BoxSullivan and Bernand’s comic operetta, Cox and Box, is now a premiere cinematic stage performance adapted especially for NYGASP. In this one act farce, Mr. Cox and Mr. Box dig in their heels, and Victorian formality is thrown to the wind, when they discover the mischievous scheme of their landlord Sgt. Bouncer. The premiere will be streamed at 7PM on Sunday, December 27, 2020, and includes a virtual meet and greet afterwards with the cast and producers. Tickets will be available soon on www.nygasp.org.

NYGASP on social media: 

            -Twitter: @NYGASP 

            -Facebook: @NYGASP

            -Instagram: @NYGASP 

For more travel features, visit:

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