Archive for January, 2014

Mystic Seaport seeks applicants to ‘stowaway’ aboard Charles W Morgan this summer

January 30, 2014
The Charles W Morgan is looking for an adventurer to be a stowaway on its first sea voyage in 80 years, but visitors will be invited to see the ship while it is in port.

The Charles W Morgan is looking for an adventurer to be a stowaway on its first sea voyage in 80 years, but visitors will be invited to see the ship while it is in port.

OMG! What an opportunity for an adventurer: to be a stowaway on 1841 whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan making its first voyage in 80 years! There’s a contest – applications due Feb. 18 – and if you win, you live aboard the ship for 3 months and actually get paid! The rest of us get to visit the ship when it is in port.

To land this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you need to apply to Mystic Seaport, the maritime museum in Connecticut which is home to the Charles W. Morgan and three other landmark vessels, by February 18. To apply, you need to submit a resume, online application including essay, and 60-second YouTube video, by February 18.

The stowaway must be 21 years or older. Prior sailing experience is not required, but curiosity and enthusiasm are a must. It’s probably also a good idea to be should be somewhat well-bodied in being able to move about the ship. The stowaway will receive a stipend.

To apply and submit your video entry, visit www.mysticseaport.org/stowaway.

“This is for someone with a sense of adventure,” said Susan Funk, executive vice president of Mystic Seaport. “The word stowaway brings to mind a romantic image. To take a chance. To not know what you’re getting into until you’re already in it, and to go to places you’ve never been before, or go to places you’ve been, but seeing them in a whole different perspective.”

While on the 38th Voyage from May to August, the Charles W. Morgan will stop at historic ports of call throughout New England including visits to New London, Conn.; Newport, R.I.; and Vineyard Haven, New Bedford, and Boston, Mass., where she’ll dock next to the USS Constitution. She will also anchor off the coast of Provincetown, Mass. for day sails to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, where the Morgan will team up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to observe whales in their natural environment.

The stowaway will watch, inquire, learn, participate, and use their creative energy to share the voyage experience with the general public through blogging, videos, social media, and activities in the port cities. The stowaway must be 21 years or older. Prior sailing experience is not required, but curiosity and enthusiasm are a must.

The stowaway will be immersed in all aspects of the Charles W. Morgan’s 38th Voyage while living on board the ship with the crew. The stowaway will learn and take on any jobs associated with living and working on a 19th-century vessel including handling the sails and lines, steering the ship, and scrubbing the decks. The stowaway will be a key player during events and exhibits at each port of call with an opportunity to explore and meet new and interesting people. The stowaway will receive compensation in the form of a stipend for their work.

“This is a unique opportunity, a moment in time that won’t come around again,” said Funk. “This person will go into record as the stowaway on board this voyage. This is going to be the Morgan’s most documented voyage ever.”

The Stowaway program has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport is one of the nation’s leading maritime museums. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $24 for adults and $15 for children ages 6-17. Museum members and children 5 and under are admitted free. For more information, visit www.mysticseaport.org.

See more at:

Mystic Seaport seeks ‘stowaway’ for historic Charles W Morgan voyage this summer and slideshow

See our stories on sailing with Capt. Kip on the Maine Windjammer, Victory Chimes and sailing in the Great Schooner Race:

A Maine Windjammer Cruise Aboard ‘Victory Chimes’ and slideshow

Onboard Maine Windjammer ‘Victory Chimes’ for the Great Schooner Race and slideshow

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Villas of Distinction Celebrates New Website with Chance to Win 7-Nite Stay at Villa Aquamare

January 28, 2014

Villas of Distinction®, a premier villa rental company that is part of World Travel Holdings, is celebrating the launch of its redesigned, mobile-friendly website with a 7-night stay giveaway at the beautiful Villa Aquamare, in Virgin Gorda.

Through March 12, consumers who visit the newly enhanced Villas of Distinction website can enter for a chance to win a 7-night stay in the luxurious Villa Aquamare. One lucky winner can bring up to nine guests to stay in one of Aquamare’s 8,000 square foot, 5-bedroom beachfront villas with unobstructed sunset views over Sir Francis Drake Channel and experience Virgin Gorda, one of the most breathtaking islands in the Caribbean.

From a private stretch of Mahoe Bay Beach, a private heated pool and outdoor showers to complimentary kayaks and snorkeling equipment, signature spa treatments and daily maid service, this is an ultimate vacation in a stunning location that some only dream of.

Villas of Distinction’s new website that launched today, is mobile-friendly, has updated search capabilities, streamlined navigation and larger images making it easier for consumers to find and select the villa that best fits their vacation wishes.

To enter to win a 7-night stay at Villa Aquamare, a premier rental villa in Virgin Gorda and for terms and conditions, visit the Villa Aquamare contest page on VillasofDistinction.com.

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Squaw Valley Hosts the Lake Tahoe Wedding Faire on Saturday, February 1

January 28, 2014

 

North Lake Tahoe offers some of the most stunning wedding venues in the country.

North Lake Tahoe offers some of the most stunning wedding venues in the country.

North Lake Tahoe offers some of the most stunning wedding venues in the country and at the Wedding Faire, future brides can meet and mingle with local business owners who can provide everything brides need to create the wedding of their dreams. The event will host a wide range of bakeries, florists, musicians, photo booths, photographers, venues, event coordinators and wedding rentals.

“We wanted to host this Wedding Faire to make it as easy as possible for brides to see all of what Squaw Valley and North Lake Tahoe have to offer,” said Jessica Greenleaf, Squaw Valley’s wedding and banquet sales manager. “I really believe there is no better place for a wedding.”

This event will feature interactive bridal activities and will offer brides a chance to meet vendors face to face and secure their services for their weddings.  In addition to a great list of vendors, the WeddingFaire will feature a raffle with some great prizes.
Interested brides-to-be can register for the event online at www.squaw.com. Admission to the event is free and includes champagne. The first one-hundred people to register will be entered to win a special selection of elite raffle prizes.

North Lake Tahoe
For more information about North Lake Tahoe, visit www.gotahoenorth.com. And for the best bargains, including lodging, check out the “Cool Deals” tab, which is updated daily. North LakeTahoe is a 45-minute drive from the Reno Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento International Airport and just over three hours from San Francisco International Airport. Visitor information centers are located at 100 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City and 969 Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village.

Squaw Valley
Host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is a year-round mountain destination offering world-class adventures in every season. Squaw is renowned for its legendary skiing and riding that spans 3,600 skiable acres, six peaks and 30 chairlifts including a unique mountaintop beginner area and unrivaled expert steeps, chutes and bowls. In summer, the resort welcomes a full line-up of live music and festivals and Squaw’s Aerial Tram offers a scenic ride up to a host of mountaintop activities. For the ultimate slopeside lodging experience, guests can stay in one of The Village at Squaw Valley’s one, two or three bedroom suites, each with a fireplace, kitchen and balcony.

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows joined forces in November 2011, bringing the two ski resorts under common ownership. Skiers and riders can access 6,000 skiable acres, 43 lifts and 270+ trails at Squaw and Alpine Meadows on one lift ticket or season pass. For more information about Squaw Valley or Alpine Meadows, visit www.squaw.com orwww.skialpine.com or call 800-403-0206.

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Special Events for Kids Night On Broadway, Feb 24-Mar 2, Revealed

January 28, 2014
Idina Menzel from Broadway’s new musical If/Then is the 2014 KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY® National Ambassador. The 18th KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY will take place February 24 to March 2, 2014.

Idina Menzel from Broadway’s new musical If/Then is the 2014 KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY® National Ambassador. The 18th KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY will take place February 24 to March 2, 2014.

The Broadway League has just announced special events scheduled to take place during KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY®, Monday, February 24, 2014 to Sunday, March 2, 2014.

Kids ages 6 to 18 can see Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. A KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY ticket includes restaurant discounts, parking discounts, educational programs, and special events including: KidsVuz Broadway video contest, Schmackary’s “Official Cookie of Kids’ Night on Broadway” casting, Madam Tussauds New York all-access pass for kids, and Google+ hangouts with Broadway casts.

KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY is an audience development program created by The Broadway League to make theatre accessible, encourage theatre as a form of family entertainment, and build larger audiences for the future.

KidzVuz Broadway Video Contest

Kids’ Night on Broadway and KidzVuz.com are inviting kids age 6-18 to create original videos on three suggested Broadway topics. Submitted videos will be entered for a chance win all kinds of Broadway prizes, including tickets to a participating KNOB show.  Contest rules are posted on kidsnightonbroadway.com.

In the weeks leading up to Kids’ Night on Broadway, videos of cast members from some of this years’ participating shows will be posted, talking about their favorite Broadway memories and why they love Broadway!

Schmackary’s Creates the First-Ever Kids’ Night Cookie

Kids will get a chance to help decide what the Official Cookie of Kids’ Night on Broadway will be by casting a vote via Facebook from January 27th to January 31st. Then, from February 24th to March 2nd, kids can visit Schmackary’s at 362 W 45th Street to get the special Kids’ Night on Broadway cookie for free with the purchase of a regular-priced cookie (must show KNOB ticket). A sweet surprise: Broadway talent will be on hand to greet kids and sell cookies for a good cause. A portion of proceeds from each day’s event will go to the participating shows’ charities of choice.  There will also be a free Kids’ Night on Broadway activity book provided by the New York Times.

Madame Tussauds New York

Kids go for free at Madam Tussauds New York with a Free Child All Access Pass with the purchase of a Full Price Adult All Access Pass when presenting theatre tickets to a participating Kids’ Night on Broadway show.

For more information, kidsnightonbroadway.com/fans.

Hang Out with the Stars on Google+

Meet the stars and go behind the scenes with first-ever Kids’ Night on Broadway Google+ Hangout Series. During the week of Kids’ Night on Broadway, kids can participate in hangouts with cast, crew, and creative staff from this year’s participating shows. Exact date and talent to be announced soon. Updates will be found on  KidsNightonBroadway.com.

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel from Broadway’s new musical If/Then is the 2014 KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY® National Ambassador. She made her Broadway debut in the Pulitzer Prize-winner, Rent, for which she was nominated for a Tony Awardâ and followed that with her Tony Award-winning performance in Wicked, which she subsequently brought to London’s West End. Other New York stage work includes See What I Wanna See (Public), The Wild Party (MTC), and Hair (Encores).  She will make her highly anticipated return to the Broadway stage this March in the new musical, If/Then.  Menzel recently received rave reviews for her performance voicing Elsa, the Snow Queen, in the animated feature Frozen, in which she sings the Oscar-nominated song “Let it Go.” On film, she recreated her role of Maureen Johnson in Chris Columbus’ film version of Rent, and has appeared in movies as varied as Enchanted and Ask the Dust.  On television, Menzel recurred over multiple seasons of “Glee” and has guest-starred in numerous other shows. She starred in her own PBS special, “Barefoot at the Symphony,” with an accompanying album. Menzel recently concluded a highly successful international concert tour with a sold out performance at Carnegie Hall.  In addition to cast albums, Menzel’s prolific recording career includes solo albums: PBS Special; I Stand; Here; and Still I Can’t Be Still.

In 2010, Idina Menzel founded “A Broader Way Foundation,” a not-for-profit dedicated to offering girls from urban communities an outlet for self-expression and creativity through arts-centered programs, with an emphasis on building self-esteem, developing leadership qualities and striving for personal and social achievement. Kids’ Night on Broadway is proud to salute A Broadway Way Foundation as this year’s cause-related component. Visit ABroaderWay.org for more information.

Participating shows (to date) include:

BROADWAY: Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, The Bridges of Madison County, Bronx Bombers, Chicago, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Jersey Boys, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Matilda the Musical, Motown the Musical, Newsies, A Night with Janis Joplin, Once, The Phantom of the Opera, Pippin, Rock of Ages, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Wicked. OFF-BROADWAY: Avenue Q, iLuminate, Murder for Two, Stomp.

Many Times Square area eateries will offer specials for Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket-holders.

Participating restaurants (to date) include:

Blue Fin, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Café Un Deux Trois, Casa Nonna, Ceci Italian Restaurant, Churrascaria Plataforma, Connolly’s Pub and Restaurant, Glass House Tavern, Guy’s American Kitchen and Grill, Hurley’s, Le Rivage, Matt’s Grill, Nanking Asian Fusion, Pergola Des Artistes, Playwright’s Tavern, Playwright’s Celtic Pub and Restaurant, Ruby Foos Times Square, Ruby Tuesdays, Schnipper’s, Southern Hospitality BBQ, Tasti-D-Lite, Ted’s Montana Grill,The Lambs Club, Toloache, Tony’s Di Napoli, Trattoria Tre Colori, Virgil’s Real BBQ.

For more information, visit www.BroadwayLeague.com, or follow The Broadway League on Twitter @TheBwayLeague or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BroadwayLeague. BROADWAY.ORG is the League’s new official on-line headquarters for Broadway in NYC and on tour. Download the free Broadway.org mobile app for iOS or Android, and the free IBDB mobile app for iOS or Android.

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St Maarten Resorts, Restaurants Offer Couples Reduced Valentine’s Day Rates Through February

January 28, 2014
St. Maarten beach

St. Maarten beach

Couples seeking passion and romance on Valentine’s Day should look to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten (http://www.VacationStMaarten.com) where resorts and hotels are providing reduced rates of up to 30%

Flamingo Beach Resort is offering reduced rates of 30% for Valentine’s Day with rates starting at $199 per room, per night, plus tax for a studio and $229 per room, per night, plus tax for a deluxe oceanview studio.  With beautiful white sand, sparkling blue waters and sunny skies, couples staying at Flamingo Beach Resort are sure to find the perfect combination of romance, relaxation and adventure.  The offer is valid on minimum stays of two nights and must be booked by Feb. 28, 2014 for travel now – Feb. 28, 2014.  To book, call (800) 438-2929 or visit https://www.DiamondResortsandHotels.com/?MKC=KTCPR2.

Horizon View Beach Resort is affording couples traveling for Valentine’s Day a savings of 20% off its normal rates when booked by Feb. 14, 2014 for travel Feb. 13 – Feb. 16, 2014.  Located in Philipsburg on Great Bay Beach, Horizon View Beach Resort is perfect for couples seeking spacious and affordable accommodations.  Room rates start at $116 and direct ocean views at $156.  To book, call (721) 543-2121 or email horizon@sintmaarten.net.

Royal Palm Beach Resort is offering reduced rates for Valentine’s Day starting at $259 per room, per night, plus tax, a savings of 30%.  When visiting Royal Palm Beach Resort, guests are greeted by warm weather, sun and sand, creating the perfect Caribbean atmosphere for romance.  The beaches are endless stretches of powder white sand and swaying palm trees, and the warm waters are ideal for snorkeling, diving, swimming and many other watersports.  The offer includes a two-bedroom suite for a minimum stay of two nights and must be booked by Feb. 28, 2014 for travel now – Feb 28, 2014.  To book, call (800) 438-2929 or visit https://www.DiamondResortsandHotels.com/?MKC=KTCPR2.

For couples seeking a romantic meal on island to celebrate the holiday, travelers can enjoy special Valentine’s Day dinners at the following locations:

Oyster Bay Beach Resort’s Infinity Restaurant is providing couples with a Valentine’s Day special prix-fix menu for $28.95 per person which provides each guest with a mouthwatering choice of chicken scallopine topped with fresh mozzarella and shrimp in a Mediterranean tomato sauce or Valentine panko tilapia, along with a glass of champagne, a choice of appetizer and dessert.  Visit www.OysterBayBeachResort.com for more information.

The independently owned restaurant, Tropical Heaven, located on-property at The Summit Resort is offering a three-course menu or buffet style menu priced at $45 per person and $30 per person, respectively.  The three-course menu includes succulent prime rib or lobster, an appetizer and dessert for each guest, along with one free glass of wine.  The all-you-can-eat buffet comes with one free fruit punch and gives guests a taste of a variety of options.  Visit www.TheSummitResort.com for more information.

St. Maarten

St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and France, creating a European-influenced vibe with a Caribbean flair.  As “the culinary capital of the Caribbean,” St. Maarten offers an eclectic array of cuisine fusion for food lovers with more than 365 restaurants, one for each day of the year to satisfy the tastes of every palate and pocketbook.

Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island’s 37 square miles has 37 breathtaking beaches and is home to many historical and family-oriented attractions.  During the day, watersport enthusiasts can take full advantage of the island’s scuba diving and snorkeling facilities.  The capital of Philipsburg offers duty-free shopping with a bustling city atmosphere, while 14 casinos and numerous nightclubs provide endless entertainment.

Accommodations are varied and include elegant private villas, family oriented resorts, quaint cottages and luxury spa resorts.  Air service is available to Princess Juliana International Airport from numerous U.S. and Canadian cities as well as from Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

Find St. Maarten on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VacationStMaarten and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/StMaartenTravel.  For more information, visit www.VacationStMaarten.com.

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Blue Residences Upscale Condo Resort Opens March 1 in Aruba

January 28, 2014
Blue Residences, an upscale condominium resort, opens March 1, 2014 on Aruba's Eagle Beach, frequently listed as one of the top 10 beaches in the Caribbean.

Blue Residences, an upscale condominium resort, opens March 1, 2014 on Aruba’s Eagle Beach, frequently listed as one of the top 10 beaches in the Caribbean.

Blue Residences, an upscale condominium resort, will provide luxurious accommodations and services when it opens March 1, 2014 on Aruba’s Eagle Beach, frequently listed as one of the top 10 beaches in the Caribbean. Travelers can be the first to experience this ground-breaking property with the resort’s Grand Opening Special offering 20% off regular rates, with deluxe hotel rooms starting at $120 per night during the summer season and one-bedroom apartment suites at $180 per night (two-, three- and five-bedroom units available at discounted rates as well).

The resort will consist of three towers with unobstructed views of the ocean, elevated ceilings in the bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms, private Jacuzzi terraces, fully loaded kitchens featuring upscale appliances and wireless Internet throughout. On-site amenities include a private beach and poolside butler service, concierge services and golf privileges at two nearby courses.

“This is the first luxury resort to open on Eagle Beach in the past 20 years and we are excited about the prospect of promoting this to both loyal Aruba vacationers as well as those coming to the island for the first time,” said Herber Valkenberg, president of Icon Hotel Marketing, the North American representative for the resort.

Blue Residences is currently under the final phase of development and will consist of three residential towers, with the debut of its first tower – consisting of two five-bedroom penthouses, four three-bedroom penthouses, 12 three-bedroom units and 24 two-bedroom units, totaling 42 units – scheduled for March 1, 2014. A second tower is scheduled to open in May 2014, while the third tower will open in January 2015. At its completion, the resort will boast 124 total units.

Spacious units, ranging in size from one to five bedrooms, will be decorated in a sleek contemporary design and will each feature elevated ceilings, a roomy balcony, upscale appliances and electronics, wireless Internet, fully-equipped kitchen, living and dining room, cable TV, and a washer and dryer. Ground floor suites will additionally feature a private Jacuzzi terrace. Deluxe ocean view hotel rooms (no kitchen) are available as well.

Planned on-site amenities include a private beach protected by a jetty, two infinity swimming pools, full-service spa, fitness center, upscale restaurant and bar, mini market and deli and a landscaped sundeck. In addition to poolside butler service, guests will have access to a Thrifty Car Rental desk, concierge services by De Palm Tours and can request pre-arrival grocery stocking and daily maid service. Visitors can also enjoy water sports at Eagle Beach and golf privileges at two nearby courses, including the 18-hole Tierra del Sol, which was designed by Robert Trent Jones.

Blue Residences’ Grand Opening Special offers 20% off published prices at this chic property with rates starting at $180 per room, per night for a deluxe ocean view hotel room, and from $280 for one-bedroom suites with fully-equipped kitchens, based on travel March 1 – April 26, 2014. Off-season rates start at $120 per deluxe hotel room, per night, and from $180 for one-bedroom suites, based on travel April 27 – Dec. 20, 2014. Similar discounts are offered on the larger two-, three- and five-bedroom suites as well. The Grand Opening Special is valid on bookings made through Jan. 31, 2014 for travel March 1 – Dec. 20, 2014.

Just four miles from Blue Residences, Aruba’s capital city of Oranjestad retains the charm of a quaint seaside village with the allure of a cosmopolitan, international tourist destination featuring stylish shops, gourmet restaurants, nightclubs and casinos. The city’s crystal-clear blue waters and miles of white-sand beaches often play host to music festivals and local cultural events, providing vacationers with many activities to enrich their stays.

For more information or to book a vacation at Blue Residences, call toll-free (800) 728-4910 or (401) 847-4720, email info@icon-hotels.com or visit www.bluearuba.com.

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Spice Island Beach Resort Valentine’s Day Offer: 1 Free Night for 7 Nights Stay from May 1-Oct 31

January 28, 2014
Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada , has extended its Valentine's Day offer, which includes the seventh night free with weeklong bookings made through Jan. 31, 2014 for travel between May 1 - Oct.

Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada , has extended its Valentine’s Day offer, which includes the seventh night free with weeklong bookings made through Jan. 31, 2014 for travel between May 1 – Oct.

Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada (www.SpiceIslandBeachResort.com), the #1 rated resort in the Caribbean based on TripAdvisor reviews, has extended its Valentine’s Day offer, which includes the seventh night free with weeklong bookings made through Jan. 31, 2014 for travel between May 1 – Oct. 31, 2014. Couples can bask in their love over dinner for two on the world-renowned Grand Anse Beach, enjoy a complimentary couples massage and a romantic sunset cruise.

Tucked away on pristine shorelines just 10 minutes from the airport, Spice Island Beach Resort is surrounded by immaculate tropical gardens and offers a world-class spa featuring treatments using local herbs and spices. The resort also offers an unmatched culinary program serving seven-course dinners ranging from diet-friendly to decadent.

Spice Island Beach Resort offers several suite categories including garden, beachfront and private pool suites. All suites are air conditioned and outfitted with spectacular five-star amenities including a large whirlpool, LCD flat panel televisions with cable, dvd player and iPod docking station, the softest Italian Frette bathrobes and linen, Molton Brown bath and body amenities, mini-bar, CD player/clock radio, iron, ironing board, hairdryer, direct dial telephone with Internet access, safe, coffee/tea facility, toaster, chaise lounges and patio or balcony. Several suites feature a private pool.

The resort recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation project which included a redesigned courtyard, reception area, residence lounge, restaurants and guest rooms, in addition to an extensive upgrade and expansion to the property’s full-service Janissa’s Spa.

The award-winning Spice Island Beach Resort features 64 elegantly-appointed suites, the full-service Janissa’s Spa, a Cybex® fitness center, Oliver’s beachside gourmet restaurant, the Sea & Surf Terrace for light lunches, the Sea & Surf Bar for refreshing cocktails throughout the day, a central swimming pool with swim-up whirlpool, an Omnicourt® tennis court, the Nutmeg Pod children’s activity center, the Gatsby Boutique and more.

Spice Island Beach Resort is a member of the esteemed Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) collection and the first and only resort in Grenada to be featured in the exclusive Virtuoso network’s Hotels & Resorts Program and Signature Hotels & Resorts Collection.

Click on http://www.spiceislandbeachresort.com/imagelibrary for pictures of the property.  Visit http://www.spicebeachresort.com/VirtualTours.htm for a virtual tour.

For more information, contact Spice Island Beach Resort toll-free at 1-800-501-8603, tel: 473-444-4258, fax: 473-444-4807, e-mail: reservations@spicebeachresort.com, or visit www.SpiceIslandBeachResort.com.

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Just in Time for Valentine’s Day: Romance Hotel Packages in New York City

January 28, 2014

With just days until Valentine’s Day, here are three New York City romance packages ideal for any budget, from an over-the-top $15,000 package with luxury food & wine experiences; to a Real Romance package at $349 per night which includes a gift certificate to an on-site jeweler, and a romantic getaway package starting at $299 per night with special amenities for couples.

Over the Top Love: Penthouse Escape Package at Sheraton NY Times Square, $15,000 for Three Nights

For couples who want to experience New York luxury and a truly memorable experience, the Penthouse Escape Package offers a stylish retreat with food and wine experiences. Amenities include: A three-night stay in the posh Penthouse Suite with views of Central Park and NYC; bottomless fine wine tasting experience; two-hour cooking session with Executive Chef; Club Lounge access. More info at www.sheratonnewyork.com/PenthouseNYCPackage or call 212-841-6400 to book.

 

Real Romance Package: Sheraton New York Times Square, Starting at $349 per night throughout February

Snuggle up in the hotel’s cozy Fireplace Nook and enjoy this special package throughout the month of February 2014, starting at $349 per night. Amenities include: accommodations in newly renovated rooms with Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds; $50 gift certificate to Landau Jeweler located on-site (valid toward a purchase of $60 or more); one bottle of sparkling wine and chocolates; complimentary full American breakfast for two per day; 4pm late checkout. Go to www.sheratonnewyork.com/romance and enter rate code SIROMPKG or call 212-841-6400 for details.

Romantic Getaway: Westin New York Grand Central Romance Package, from $299 per night

Nestled in the Grand Central area of Manhattan is the Westin New York Grand Central, just steps from top attractions including Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park. Romance Package amenities include: sparkling wine and strawberries to enjoy upon arrival; full American breakfast for two people daily and 3pm late checkout on Sundays so couples can sleep in late. To reserve online, go to www.WestinNewYorkGrandCentral.com and enter rate plan RPKGWEB or call 212-581-1000.

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5th Annual Wine, Waves & Beyond: Central Coast Longboard Surf Classic Returns to San Luis Obispo April 30-May 4

January 28, 2014

The 5th Annual Wine, Waves & Beyond: Central Coast Longboard Surf Classic returns April 30-May 4, 2014 to Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, and San Luis Obispo. This four-day event includes a Surf Movie Night, Rabobank’s Barrel to Barrel grand tasting, Hops & Hogs Throwdown, Central Coast Longboard Surf Contest, and the 805 Classic BBQ featuring the Firestone Walker Brewing Company & Vintage VW Display.

This classic surf and wine event celebrates the best of San Luis Obispo County. Combining the fun, laid back atmosphere of our wine country and unique surf culture, it is four days of unforgettable events evoking the magic of wine and waves that take place at numerous scenic venues throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Wednesday, April 30, 6:30pm at the historic Fremont Theater in SanLuis Obispo, kicks off this 4-day event with Surf Movie Night featuring Taylor Steele’s “MISSING.”  Taylor puts ASP World Champion, Mick Fanning, in some of the most radical places on the planet alongside his good friends John-John Florence, Jordy Smith, Matt Wilkinson and Tom Curren. This epic movie night is filled with community, culture, surfing, and prizes from original art & custom boards, to dinner at SLO county’s finest restaurants, plus tickets to weekend Wine Waves & Beyond events.

 

Friday May 2, 2014, 5-8pm at the Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach, is Rabobank’s Barrel to Barrel grand tasting event. Held on the ocean front lawn of Pismo Beach’s premier classic resort, guests will enjoy tastings from over 35 visiting wineries and breweries, cuisine samplings from the best local restaurants, live music, and a breathtaking panoramic ocean view.

 

Saturday, May 3,2014, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort in Avila Beach, hosts the Hops & Hogs Throwdown. This lively cooking competition features six distinguished Central Coast chefs who will face off to create spectacular dishes paired with local craft beers. Guests in attendance will sample outstanding cuisine, sip specialty craft brews and have a chance to vote on their favorite pairing. Cap the evening off by dancing under the stars to live music by Occasional Mustache. Featured breweries include; FirestoneWalker, Figueroa Mountain and Central Coast Brewing.

 

Sunday, May 4, 2014, 7:00am in Pismo Beach at the Pier, the 5thAnnual Longboard Surf Contest begins with both men and women’s heats, a Challenged Athletes division, and once again, the highly anticipated local Winemakers/Brew Masters heat.

 

Additionally, on May 4, in Pismo Beach at the SeaVenture Resort, is the 805 Classic & VW Display. Just minutes from the surf contest is the Vintage VW Display and the 805 Classic, a social and savory Central Coast BBQ featuring the brews of local favorite Firestone Walker Brewing Company, on the beach in front of the SeaVenture Beach House.

 

Proceeds from Wine, Waves & Beyond are donated to the Association of Amputee Surfers (AmpSurf), an organization that strives to promote, inspire, educate, and rehabilitate those with disabilities, especially veterans, through adaptive surfing and other outdoor activities.

For a complete listing of events and more information, visit www.winewavesandbeyond.com 

Boutique Hotel Collection

Located half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, in San Luis Obispo County, the Boutique Hotel Collection properties are gateways to pristine beaches, golfing, family activities, shopping, artisan villages, classic beach communities, quaint towns, festivals, an array of cultural events, countless outdoor adventures, the world-renowned Hearst Castle. San Luis Obispo County is also now widely considered one of the finest wine regions in the world, with over 300 wineries from Paso Robles to Edna Valley.

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www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

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11th Annual New York Times Travel Show to be held Feb 28-Mar 2 at Javits Center, NYC

January 9, 2014
Get a taste of travel to exotic destinations at The Travel Show, taking place at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City February 28 – March 2, 2014 © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Get a taste of travel to exotic destinations at The Travel Show, taking place at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City February 28 – March 2, 2014 © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The 11th annual New York Times Travel Show will be held February 28 – March 2, 2014 (Friday – Sunday) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.  The Travel Show will feature nearly 500 exhibitors representing more than 150 countries and will focus on family, adventure and cruise line travel.

American Express, the founding sponsor of The New York Times Travel Show, has participated since the show’s inception.

The New York Times Travel Show is the largest consumer and trade travel event in North America, featuring exhibitors from Africa, Asia, Australia/South Pacific, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Mexico and the United States.  The show will offer discounts, educational seminars and live entertainment for families, individuals, couples and seniors, including:

Exclusive Travel Discounts. Offers will include on-site-only vacation discounts and travel packages from sponsors and exhibitors.

Travel Seminars with the Experts. Travel experts from television, radio, the leading travel blogs and The New York Times will take questions and offer tips in over 45 on-site seminars, including Pauline and Arthur Frommer, Julia Dimon, Brian “The Points Guy” Kelly and Peter Greenberg.

Family-Friendly Activities. The show will feature an interactive area with opportunities to climb with a 24-foot rock-climbing wall, bungee jump on a giant trampoline, and meet animal ambassadors from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment among other activities for attendees of all ages.

International Food and Wine Tastings. Doug Duda, A&E International Network’s “The Well-Seasoned Traveler,” will host discussions and demonstrations for the culinary traveler.  At the “Taste of the World” culinary stage, the audience will be able to sample exciting food and wine from around the globe.

“Travel is all about discovery – both of the world and of yourself,” said Claire Bennett, executive vice president of American Express Travel. “More and more travelers are looking for engaging, insider experiences and once again, we are thrilled to offer guidance to consumers as the founding sponsor of The New York Times Travel Show.  Whether they’re seeking a luxurious escape, a family vacation or an adventurous getaway, we look forward to inspiring prospective travelers during this annual industry event.”

“The New York Times Travel Show delivers a truly unique lineup of travel experts, live entertainment and vacation discounts for solo travelers, couples, seniors and families. Whether you are an industry professional or interested in learning about travel destinations, don’t miss this event,” said Lou Fabrizio, vice president of advertising at The New York Times. “We would like to thank American Express for sponsoring the event.”

The Travel Show will begin with a trade day for industry professionals on Friday, February 28.  Travel Industry Conference sessions will be held from 8am until 5pm ET. The exhibition hall will be open for exclusive viewing by travel trade professionals until 7pm. The event will be open to consumers on Saturday, March 1 from 10am until 6pm and on Sunday, March 2 from 11am until 5pm.

The Travel Show will be held in Hall 3D & E located on 11th Avenue at the 34th Street entrance to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

For more information, visit www.NYTimes.com/TravelShow.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

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