Archive for the ‘beach travel’ Category

Marriott Opens First Resort in Belize: Alaia Belize Offers Four Diamond Luxury on Amergris Caye

May 23, 2021
Set among the beautiful and culturally rich southern part of the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize, Alaia debuted as the first Marriott International Autograph Collection hotel in Belize.

AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE– For those with a zeal to discover the outdoors and live with purpose, owner and developer Andrew Ashcroft, in partnership with Autograph Collection Hotels, announces the grand opening of boutique resort Alaia Belize, Autograph Collection. Spanning over 20+ acres and the first in San Pedro Town to sit on more than 1,000 feet of beachfront access, Alaia Belize is a 155-unit complex operating as the first true four diamond resort on Ambergris Caye. The eco-luxury development is the first-ever Marriott International property in the country and evokes the founder’s passion, thoughtfulness of design, inherent craft and connection with the locale.

“With deep family roots in Belize and the hidden gem being my home for over 20 years, I wanted to ensure that Alaia Belize captured the lively spirit, genuine hospitality and friendliness of the destination and locals. My team and I worked closely with the Marriott International team to bring it all to fruition and allow our future guests and owners an opportunity to immerse themselves into the Belizean culture,” said Andrew Ashcroft. “No detail went unnoticed as we wanted to ensure that our travelers will be able to experience a new level of luxury on one of the world’s most photogenic yet untapped destinations. We are now ready to show the world all that Alaia Belize has to offer and take the country to new heights.”

Eco-Luxury Aesthetics 

Situated in the historic town of San Pedro – dubbed La Isla Bonita after the 1987 Madonna’s song about the island – Alaia Belize enables hotel guests and residential owners to intimately connect with their surroundings as it was designed to stimulate all five senses. With interiors curated by renowned Brazilian designer Debora Aguiar, the boutique resort is meant to invite guests to touch, stay and feel connected to Mother Nature, from the warm and harmonious ambiance, woven textures, natural fibers and touches of greenery. The design-forward hotel features 155 guest rooms and suites, ranging from studios to three bedrooms, with a natural color scheme to complement the stunning oceanfront views. Seamlessly blending the indoor and outdoor settings, the rooms offer an average of 1,200 square feet indoors and almost 900 square feet in open air, per unit. 

On the residential end, Alaia Belize is comprised of 71 stylish studios, two- and three-bedroom condominiums and eight oceanfront villas. Owners who don’t live full-time in Belize can put their condominiums or villas into a rental program booked through Marriott International’s reservation system and allow guests to live with a backdrop of deep blue waters. With exterior designs led by International Environments, the branded development features vertical green walls, specialty textured walls and crystal-clear glass windows to not interrupt any views of the tranquil Caribbean Sea and wild tropical foliage.

Autograph Collection Hotels advocates for the original, championing the individuality of each of its 200+ independent hotels located in the most desirable destinations across more than 30 countries and territories. Each hotel is a product of passion and a personal realization of its individual founder’s vision, making each hotel singular and special:  Exactly LikeNothing Else. Hand-selected for their inherent craft and distinct perspectives on design and hospitality, Autograph Collection hotels offer rich immersive moments that leave a lasting imprint. 

First of its Kind Experiences

Raising the luxury bar in Belize, hotel guests and owners have full access to first-of-its-kind amenities in the country, including Belize’s first-ever suspended rooftop pool and lounge with 360-degree views, the only luxury resort in Belize with a dive shop that also allows guests to receive a PADI certification onsite, K’in Spa & Wellness Center, a piano bar with a self-playing baby grand piano, kids’ club, adventure concierge, swimming pools with live DJs, branded golf carts and bicycles, and a live art gallery with local weavers, woodworkers and pottery makers to create custom handicrafts for guests to take a piece of Belize home with them.  

Catering to foodie travelers, Alaia Belize has endless dining and bar options with five different concepts. Sea Salt is the crown jewel of the property with fresh catches of the day, high-quality seafood and meat with a Belizean twist. For those looking to enjoy the tropical weather and gorgeous 360-degree views of the Caribbean Sea, Alaia has a Vista Rooftop restaurant concept with small plate offerings, such as sushi, poke bowls and conch for lunch, dinner and late nights. The beachfront hotel also has The Deck and Beach Bar restaurant for those looking for an open-air beachside lunch or dinner with local favorite dishes, such as tacos, ceviche, burgers, fish sandwiches, wraps, salads, pizza and classic cocktails. Alaia Belize also has a Piano Bar to offer an upscale lounge setting for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night with small pastries, cocktail snacks and high-end wine and cocktails offerings from Alaia’s very own mixologist. Lastly there is the The Terrace Bar for lunch and dinner with flavorful items, such as burgers, sandwiches, salads, ceviche and more. In true Belizean celebratory fashion, this area of the hotel has a lively spirit with DJs and in-pools cabanas for a VIP experience.

Un-Belize-Able Destination

“My team and I had a chance to visit with Andrew Ashcroft at the Alaia Belize earlier this year, while the property was still under construction. I am pleased that the day has finally come to open the doors of this beautiful four-diamond resort on the island of Ambergris Caye. It is a great milestone for the team and the country, as it is a testament of our growth to see high-end brands like Autograph Collection from Marriott International migrating into Belize, elevating our travel scene,” said Hon. Anthony Mahler, Belize’s Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations. “The government is fully supportive of hotel developments and legacy projects such as Alaia Belize, and we are incredibly proud of all the positive steps the Belize tourism industry is making to restore the confidence in travel among our international visitors.”

In October 2020, Belize officially reopened Philip Goldson International Airport to international visitors for leisure travel. As of January 2021, Belize moved on to Phase 4 of its reopening plan with the full reopening of the overnight tourism sector and allowing visitors to move around the country freely. In December 2020, Belize received a Safe Travel Stamp by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in recognition of the country’s enhanced health and safety protocols. To uphold the certification, the Belize Tourism Board created the Tourism Gold Standard program to ensure that all hotels, restaurants and tour operators adapt and maintain health and safety policies, including sanitation practices, social interactions and standard operating procedures while ensuring minimal impact on the guest experience.

Known as the hidden gem of Central America and Caribbean, Belize’s clear blue waters and Caribbean culture is home to endless historic offerings, a variety of adventures and a melting pot of cultures. Just moments away from Alaia, owners and visitors can experience more than 200 caves filled with several preserved Mayan Temples, including Xunantunich (the second tallest ruin in the country), lush jungles, rainforest canopies, and archaeological sites including the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave. For those looking to take a deeper dive and explore the beauty of Belize’s natural underwater locations, Alaia is 600 meters away from the world’s second largest barrier reef and a few minutes away from the ultimate world-class and unrivaled destination – The Great Blue Hole.

Ambergris Caye and Alaia Belize can be reached via Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City. Then, travelers have to take a short 10-minute flight to San Pedro Airport or book tickets for a water taxi. Alaia Belize’s hotel concierge is available to help all guests book travel arrangements. A location for every traveler and every generation, Alaia Belize is offering an Un-Belize-Able Offer with special rates on a Vista Studio King Room, starting at $299.

For more information about Alaia Belize and/or to book your reservation, visit www.alaiabelize.com. For information on Marriott International’s Autograph Collection Hotels, visit www.autographhotels.com.

Autograph Collection participates in Marriott Bonvoy, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit MarriottBonvoy.marriott.com

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Top Ways to Cool Off this Summer in New England

May 23, 2021
Guest at  Glenmoor By The Sea in Lincolnville, Maine can take a boat cruise on Penobscot Bay, bait lobster traps, bird watch, and count the local lighthouses.

Looking for a nearby summer getaway? The New England Inns & Resorts Association (NEIRA) has collected the best accommodations with water experiences for travelers to Cool Off  this summer in the region’s lakes, rivers, oceans, pools, and waterfalls.

Water activities include beach getaways, pool passes, fly fishing, waterfall hunting, SUP excursions. For example:

  • Beach Loving Cows at the Nobnocket Boutique Inn at Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts: explore the Elizabeth Islands by boat, stopping to swim with the highland cattle of Nashawena Island.
  • Waterfall Tour at the Stone Hill Inn in Stowe, Vermont: visit all of Vermont’s famous waterfalls on a 2-hour guided excursion through the Green Mountains.
  • Tuna Fishing at the Beauport Hotel Gloucester in Gloucester, Massachusetts: the crew from the popular TV show “Wicked Tuna” will take guests hunting giant tuna and split the total earnings.
  • Paddle a Lazy River at the Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, Vermont: floating the Clyde River, view birds and wildlife before returning for a romantic dinner at the inn.
  • Themed Water Park at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis, Massachusetts: the indoor/outdoor 30,000 square foot water park with themed pools at the resort offers a magical family getaway.
  • Lobsters & Lighthouses at the Glenmoor By The Sea in Lincolnville, Maine: cruising Penobscot Bay, guests will bait lobster traps, bird watch, and count the local lighthouses on a boat cruise.  

NEIRA is a one-stop shop for travelers to discover more than 300 places to sleep in New England by filtering properties by state, offers, and interests.

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St. Kitts Welcomes Tourists as Airport, Cruise Port and Tourism Providers Resume Operations Unscathed by Hurricane Irma

September 16, 2017

St Kitts Marriott Resort

The beachfront at the Marriott on St. Kitts. The island was relatively unscathed by Hurricane Irma and is back welcoming tourists to its airports, cruise ports and hotels. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Basseterre, St. Kitts (September 15, 2017) – St. Kitts’ tourism authority reports that the island’s airport, cruise port and all tourism providers are open and resuming normal operations, as it was fortunate to be virtually unscathed by Hurricane Irma.

American Airlines’ daily non-stop flights to St. Kitts’ Robert L, Bradshaw International Airport from Miami have resumed today with the Saturday JFK non-stop scheduled to resume on tomorrow. Seaborne Airlines’ daily non-stop flights to St. Kitts from San Juan have also resumed tomorrow. All hotels and resorts are fully operational and the Park Hyatt St. Kitts remains on schedule to debut November 1.

“We are thrilled to get back to business as usual and ready to welcome visitors,” said Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “For those who planning to travel to island, we look forward to providing a world-class experience and all the warm Kittitian hospitality for which we have become known.”

Cruise lines have resumed scheduled port calls to St. Kitts, with passengers from The Carnival Fascination enjoying the island’s various attractions and activities last Friday. Over the course of the next week, a total of four vessels are scheduled to dock at Port Zante, including Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas on September 21. With the arrival of the Carnival Magic on September 20, St. Kitts expects to welcome its one millionth passenger this year. A historic first for the island, the occasion also raises St. Kitts to marquee port status.

“At this time, we continue to send our thoughts and prayers to everyone who has been affected by the storm, particularly to those in need of emergency relief.” For anyone wishing to donate to the recovery efforts of those islands most severely impacted by the hurricane, two official Caribbean Relief Funds are:

The Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund at www.tourismcares.org/caribbean

The Caribbean Tourism Association Hurricane Relief Fund at www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto

For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

 

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Jones Beach State Park Gets $36 Million in Improvements to Enhance Visitor Experience – Just in Time for Holiday Spectaculars

May 26, 2016

US Navy Blue Angels

The US Navy Blue Angels return to the Memorial Day Weekend Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park. New York State is making $36 million in improvements to the park, one of the world’s best beaches, to enhance the visitor experience © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Jones Beach State Park, one of the finest beaches in the entire world, is set for $36 million in improvements, and the first of the improvements will be on view during the Memorial Day Weekend  Bethpage Air Show as well as Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the improvements, including new Taste NY vendors, to enhance the visitor experience at Jones Beach State Park. In addition to the improvement projects, the Governor also announced a new prototype mobile app to assist visitors with parking as well as the return of the annual Memorial Day weekend Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular and the I LOVE NY Tourism Pod. The improvements and events are part of Governor Cuomo’s $65 million commitment to restore the park’s historic grandeur, attract new visitors and create new recreational facilities.

Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach
Kicking off every Memorial Day Weekend, the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach attracts thousands of visitors to Long Island beaches to celebrate the beginning of summer, and shine a light on military families as well as honoring those who serve our country. This year’s show features the United States Navy Blue Angels, the F-35 Lightening II fighter, the Golden Knights U.S. Army parachute team, the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds, and many other world-class military and civilian performers.
The Show takes place Saturday, May 28 and Sunday May 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. For more information, visit  here.

Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular 
The July 4 Fireworks Spectacular, a Long Island patriotic tradition, will return to Jones Beach State Park this summer for the second year in a row. The 30-minute fireworks display, sponsored by Astoria Bank and performed by Garden State Fireworks, will begin at 9:30 p.m.

The Astoria Bank July 4 Fireworks Spectacular has traditionally drawn an average of more than 100,000 spectators in prior years, and is included in the regular price of park admission.

This year’s program, with lead sponsorship by Astoria Bank, is supported by the Natural Heritage Trust, Foundation for Long Island State Parks Inc., Captree Boatman’s Association, Newsday, Connoisseur Media Long Island and J & B Restaurant Partners.

Prototype Jones Beach Parking Mobile App
New York State has developed a prototype for a parking app that will make it easier for people to find parking at Jones Beach. Visitors can go here on their smartphone and find parking availability for each lot updated in real-time. Additionally, the New York State Department of Transportation is working to display those parking updates on electronic signs on the Southern State Parkway and other highways leading to Jones Beach. Parking availability will also be available on Twitter at @JonesBchUpdates.

Field 6 Concession Building
Last year, State Parks completed a $2.3 million renovation of the deteriorated bathroom and dining areas of the Field 6 Concession Building, which serves one of the most popular beach areas in the park. The improvements to 1948 structure allow for booths and tables to be placed in the concession area during the off-season, creating a diner-like experience for many patrons who visit year-round.

Taste NY Café and Taste NY Bar
The Café in the West Bathhouse will be one of the busiest Taste NY locations in the state, with more than 6 million people visiting Jones Beach each year. It will feature products from more than 30 different food and beverage producers located in nearly every region of New York, including Long Island. For a complete list of producers click here.

The Taste NY Café will give visitors the opportunity to enjoy everything from local seafood and hot sandwiches to bakery items and craft beverages. For visitors on the move, it will also offer grab-and-go options such as salads, chips, drinks, and more. The Taste NY Café is the latest addition to a growing number of Taste NY locations across the state. Taste NY products are featured at more than two dozen rest areas and travel plazas along the New York State Thruway, as well as at stores, cafés, and concession stands. Additional locations are expected to open later this year.

Additionally, Taste NY has partnered with State Parks and the premier live entertainment company, Live Nation, to promote the state’s growing craft beverage industry at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater which is operated by Live Nation. The partnership features the launch of a new Taste NY Bar, which will offer a rotation of New York wine, beer, spirits and cider selections to the approximately 350,000 annual visitors of the outdoor amphitheater. The Taste NY Bar will be operational for more than two dozen events this season. It will also offer New York snacks and food. For a list of participating producers click here.

Taste NY is an initiative launched by Governor Cuomo in 2013 to promote New York’s food and beverage industries. It is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and has created opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at large public events, such as the Great New York State Fair. The program has also opened stores at Thruway rest stops along the state’s highways and in transportation hubs, enabling travelers to buy New York State’s homegrown and homemade products. Approximately 1,100 local companies have participated in these opportunities, further linking their products and the state’s growing food and beverage market to consumers from across the globe. For more information about Taste NY, visit www.taste.ny.gov. Connect with Taste NY through FacebookTwitter,Instagram and Pinterest.

The $36 million in improvements also include:

Restoration of the West Bathhouse
The West Bathhouse, built in 1931, underwent a $16 million project to restore interior space and reestablish the open, airy connection between the pool and boardwalk that was part of the original design. The work included reopening the central bays in the West Bathhouse South Building in order to reconnect the water-to-water view and circulation from the pools to the beach. Concession spaces, including a new Taste NY Café, which will serve fresh, New York-made food and beverages, were reoriented to their historic north-south axis to allow easier access through the building and enliven the central core. New kitchens were installed to provide a wider array of menu options at the unique concession areas. It will be operated by the newly selected concessionaire, Centerplate.

The renovations to the West Bathhouse also include the addition of a new retail space and the historic vaulted ceiling that had been covered over by drop ceiling tiles was exposed. The interior improvements build on work completed last year to preserve and improve the Art Deco exterior of the bathhouse, including installing windows to match its original appearance, replacing the pool deck, and repairing the pool filtration system.

The final phase of the West Bathhouse project will be to restore and reactivate the stately second-floor Marine Dining Room and adjoining outdoor terraces to their original 1930s character, providing rentable space for catered weddings, reunions, proms and other events. The Marine Dining Room is expected to open for events by early spring 2017.

Improvements to the East and Central Malls 
Construction will begin this year on a $14 million new green, climate resilient Jones Beach Marketplace on the East Mall. The market will offer fresh prepared foods, featuring Taste NY products and will be operated by Centerplate. The market building will also house a commissary for the preparation of food for the majority of Jones Beach food concessions, new bathrooms, and offices and retail for the new East Mall Adventure Course.

The 15,837 square foot building will be elevated over 2 feet above the base flood elevation which is required by FEMA to prevent the marketplace from being damaged in future storms. Major utilities will be located inside the elevated building or up on the roof and the building itself will be located further back from the original structure so that it is kept outside of the Coastal Erosion Hazard Area. Access to the building will be from elevated terraced boardwalks starting at the height of the existing boardwalk to the floor elevation of the new building.

The design of the new terraces will include hurricane straps to help the structure survive future storm surges. The windows and doors on the exterior will be constructed using impact resistant glass. The new marketplace building will restore the Beaux Arts symmetrical plan of the Central Mall, the gateway to Jones Beach. Since 2004, the East Mall site has remained vacant when building was demolished due to structural failure. Construction is expected to be complete for the 2018 season.

View renderings of the completed market building here and here.

Other improvements taking place this year include:

  • The $2.7 million reconstruction of the East Mall Games Area will provide patrons with shaded picnic areas, new games including bocce ball and shuffle board courts, table tennis, and plantings. This area is to open to patrons in the fall 2016. View rendering here.

    · The East Mall Adventure Course, is a $1.5 million facility that will be constructed by park concessionaire Wildplay, and will include a series of ropes courses, a 40’ zip line, pathways, and small play areas in a naturalized landscape. It is anticipated to be open by summer 2017.

    · The Central Mall will undergo a $1.5 million restoration including paving, new plantings, replacement of historic signage and lighting, and reconstruction of the original fountain. It is anticipated to be completed by summer 2017.

Additional efforts to improve the visitor experience at Jones Beach State Park include:

I LOVE NY Tourism Pod
The I Love NY Pod will once again be appearing at events throughout New York State offering a one-of-a-kind experience to learn more about New York State’s 11 vacation regions. This highly interactive mobile Pod includes a green screen where your picture can be imposed on visuals from around the state, pop quizzes about the state’s world-renowned destinations, and itineraries that can be personalized and e-mailed to you right from the Pod. I Love NY ambassadors are also available to help answer questions and find great places visit.

The I LOVE NY Tourism Pod will appear at the following locations:

For more information on New York’s 11 vacation regions, visit www.iloveny.com.

“Today we are seeing the historic grandeur of Jones Beach as it was meant to be,” Governor Cuomo said. “The rebirth of Jones Beach is helping to grow our tourism industry while bringing jobs to Long Island communities, and I encourage everyone to visit one of most beautiful and celebrated seasides in New York State.”

World famous Jones Beach State Park, home of 6.5 miles of beautiful white-sand beach on the Atlantic Ocean, is made up of more than 2,400-acres of maritime environment on the south shore of Long Island and attracts more than 6 million visitors each year.

The park improvements and events reflect Governor Cuomo’s commitment to revitalizing the state park system and expanding access to outdoor recreation. The Governor’s NY Parks 2020 program is a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The Governor’s 2016-17 Executive Budget allocates $90 million toward this initiative. In addition, this year the Governor announced the Connect Kids to Parks program, which provides free day-use park entry to fourth-grade students and their families, and creates a new transportation grant program to help students from underserved schools visit state parks and historic sites.

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

April 13, 2016

Spice Island Beachfront - high res

Spice Island Resort, Grenada

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

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

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

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

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

Spice Island award

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Four Seasons Resort Nevis Earns 2016 AAA Five Diamond Award

August 13, 2015

Four Seasons Nevis as seen from the private ferry between Porte Zante, St. Kitts to its private dock on Nevis

Four Seasons Nevis as seen from the private ferry between Porte Zante, St. Kitts to its private dock on Nevis

NEVIS, WEST INDIES – For the 20th time, Four Seasons Resort Nevis was named among the recipients of the coveted 2016 AAA/CAA Five Diamond Award. The award recognizes properties that deliver ultimate luxury, sophistication and comfort with extraordinary physical attributes, meticulous personalized service, extensive amenities and impeccable standards of excellence.

“We are truly delighted and honored to receive our 20th AAA Five Diamond Award,” said General Manager Ed Gannon. “Every member of the exceptional Four Seasons Resort Nevis staff is committed to delivering a true Caribbean experience with superior personalized service to every guest, every day. We are especially happy to receive this latest AAA Five Diamond Award for our resort’s 25th anniversary in 2016.”

Opened on February 14, 1991, the 196-room Four Seasons Resort Nevis delivers an intimate and authentic travel experience for adventurous and up-market couples and families. The resort was the first among Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to ever receive the AAA Five Diamond Award in 1992, and Four Seasons Resort Nevis is currently among only seven Caribbean hotels and resorts to receive the 2015 Five Diamond recognition. The new recognition for 2016 ranks the resort as a premier establishment, esteemed by AAA’s professional inspectors, the hospitality industry, and the club’s more than 55 million members.

Four Seasons Resort Nevis, the only Four Seasons Resort in the Caribbean, is set along the golden sands of Pinney’s Beach, on the western coast of the island, minutes from museums, plantation homes and historic churches dating to the 1600s.

For more information, visit www.FourSeasons.com/Nevis.

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Barbados’ Island Inn Hotel Offers Early Booking Bonus, Saving 15%

February 25, 2015

The 24-room Island Inn Hotel, an ideal all-inclusive getaway for a couples retreat or family vacation on Barbados, is offering an early booking bonus of 15%.

The 24-room Island Inn Hotel, an ideal all-inclusive getaway for a couples retreat or family vacation on Barbados, is offering an early booking bonus of 15%.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The 24-room Island Inn Hotel, an ideal all-inclusive getaway for a couples retreat or family vacation, is offering an early booking bonus of 15% off stays that are a minimum of five nights when booked directly on the Island Inn website.

An Island Inn Hotel all-inclusive vacation includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and all beverages (except specialty wines, champagne and bottled water) as well as in-pool scuba lessons which are available by request. Island Inn also features a new mini gym on property for guest use. Through the early booking offer, rates begin at US$353 per room, per night, based on double occupancy. Rates vary based on travel dates.

To take advantage of the early booking offer, reservations must be made on www.IslandInnBarbados.com by March 31, 2015 for travel by Dec. 22, 2015.

The quaint property is the perfect setting for a tropical vacation steeped with a rich, historic past, situated just footsteps from beautiful Carlisle Bay, less than one mile from the center of Bridgetown and conveniently located near the UNESCO world heritage site in the Garrison Historic Area of Barbados, which also boasts numerous shops and nightlife options.

Originally constructed in 1804 as a rum storage facility for the British Regiment, Island Inn amazes guests with its simplicity and old-world charm and is perfect whether visiting alone, traveling on a family vacation or staying on business. The newly renovated boutique hotel offers unrivaled warmth of atmosphere with contemporary ambiance and a true Bajan experience.

For more information on the Island Inn Hotel, call (246) 436-6393; email bookings@islandinnbarbados.com or visit www.IslandInnBarbados.com.

 

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St. Maarten Named to Top 10 ‘Best Romantic Caribbean Island’ List

January 3, 2015

 

The romantic island of St. Maarten/St. Martin has been named in the Top 10 of the "Best Romantic Caribbean Island" by USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards

The romantic island of St. Maarten/St. Martin has been named in the Top 10 of the “Best Romantic Caribbean Island” by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

The romantic island of St. Maarten/St. Martin (www.VacationStMaarten.com) has been named in the Top 10 of the “Best Romantic Caribbean Island” by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

The full list of winners can be seen here: http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-romantic-caribbean-island/St. Maarten/

Couples visiting St. Maarten/St. Martin enjoy a natural, picturesque backdrop of swaying palm trees, turquoise blue water and white-sand beaches. The destination offers countless activities and attractions for romantic outings including sunset catamaran cruises, horseback riding, beach-side couples massages, intimate meals and more.

Those wishing to get married in St. Maarten/St. Martin can engage the services of on-island wedding planners, who can assist with making the necessary arrangements for a ceremony, and caterers who can plan the perfect reception for the couple. Many of the destination’s hotels and resorts offer complete wedding packages inclusive of an abundance of special amenities for the big day.

St. Maarten/St. Martin is home to 37 square miles of breathtaking beaches and boasts numerous historical and romance-oriented attractions. During the day, watersport enthusiasts can take full advantage of the island’s scuba diving and snorkeling facilities, while the capital of Philipsburg offers duty-free shopping with a lovely city atmosphere, 14 world-class, Vegas-style casinos and many nightclubs that provide endless entertainment.

With the widest variety of dining experiences of any other island in the Caribbean, the Dutch nation of St. Maarten and the French overseas collectivity of St. Martin offer a wide range of  cuisines served in  365 restaurants one for every day of the year.

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.

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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Mango Bay Hotel Voted Barbados’ Leading Boutique Resort at World Travel Awards

December 24, 2014

Barbados' Mango Bay Hotel was voted Barbados' Leading Boutique Resort at the World Travel Awards.

Barbados’ Mango Bay Hotel was voted Barbados’ Leading Boutique Resort at the World Travel Awards.

Barbados’ Mango Bay Hotel (www.MangoBayBarbados.com) has been voted Barbados’ Leading Boutique Resort at the World Travel Awards™, recognizing the property’s commitment to excellence over the last 12 months.

“I speak for the entire Mango Bay team in saying that we are truly honored to be voted as Barbados’ Leading Boutique Resort,” said Peter Odle, chairman of the Mango Bay Hotel Group.  “Our team members strive for outstanding service and are eager to meet guests’ needs, something which we feel is imperative in reaching this caliber of excellence,” he continued.

The World Travel Awards™ was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the travel and tourism industry.  The annual program is renowned as the most prestigious and comprehensive in the field.

Nominations for World Travel Awards™ are based on past years’ winners, approved self-nominations and approved World Travel Awards™ commendations.  Once nominated, votes come from qualified executives working within travel and tourism and consumer travel buyers.  Votes are internally audited to ensure the validity of each individual vote.

Located in the historic Holetown area on the famed Gold Coast of Barbados, the 76-room Mango Bay Hotel is known for its sophistication and all-inclusive value. This beachfront, boutique-style property is the ideal tropical retreat for travelers seeking an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle, offering spacious accommodations, a picturesque beach, a centrally-located swimming pool and superb dining. The property is just a short walk from the posh Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, where guests can shop at global luxury retailers including Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Cartier, Michael Kors and more.

Mango Bay is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014 with discounted rates starting at US$384 per room, per night, based on double occupancy, on an all-inclusive basis when booked directly.  A Mango Bay all-inclusive vacation includes hotel accommodations, all meals, afternoon tea, all local and brand name drinks including glasses of wine, use of the on-site gym and nightly entertainment. The property is also now offering room service as well as drink and food service at the pool and the beach.  Water skiing, kayaking, snorkeling, wakeboarding, pedal boats, a glass bottom boat ride and a catamaran trip to snorkel with the turtles are also included.

For more information on Mango Bay, call 246-432-1384, email reservations@mangobaybarbados.comor, or visit www.MangoBayBarbados.com.

Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Montego Bay Offers ‘Suite Spring Sale’

December 24, 2014

Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Montego Bay, Jamaica

Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Montego Bay, Jamaica

Spring Break in Jamaica will be sweeter in 2015 for guests of the all-inclusive Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay thanks to a new Suite Spring Sale. Savings of up to 50% off published rates are available in KidSuites® and One-Bedroom Suites between February and April 2015:

 

KidSuites®   One-Bedroom Suites
Savings Travel Dates Rates Savings Travel Dates Rates
35% Feb 1 – April 11, 2015 $443 35% Feb 1 – April 11, 2015 $508
50% April 12 – April 30, 2015 $314 50% April 12 – April 30, 2015 $364

*All rates based on single/double occupancy

“Spring Break in Jamaica is always great, but in one of our suites, the experience is that much more magical,” said Nicola Madden-Greig, Group Director of Marketing & Sales. “Ultra spacious and more elegant than you might expect, our suites were fully-renovated recently to provide guests with an unmatched level of comfort for the money. Our new Suite Spring Sale makes an already great value even better.”

For families, the new KidSuites® are simply ideal. KidSuites® feature a unique room within a room concept, where kids and parents enjoy their own private space. Each unit features a partially separated sleep/play area for kids, with one set of bunk beds, cable TV with kid friendly channels, and play table or desk. The main sleeping area has a king bed, flat screen cable TV with premium movie channels, direct dial telephone with voice mail, coffee maker, in-room safe, AM/FM clock radio, hair dryer, refrigerator, iron and ironing board. KidSuites® are also ideally located on the ground floor adjacent to the resort’s award-winning KidSpree Vacation Club.

One-bedroom suites offer the ultimate in comfort and refinement for guests of the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay. Each of these ultra-spacious penthouse accommodations features a completely separate living area, full ocean view, private whirlpool, vaulted ceilings, dark wood accents, fine décor, flat screen TV with premium movie and sports channels, work desk, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, AM/FM clock radio, coffee maker, refrigerator, an in-room safe, and enough room to comfortably sleep up to five persons.

The Suite Spring Sale is valid on bookings made by April 29, 2015 for resort stays enjoyed between February 1 and April 30, 2015. There are no blackout dates and a minimum night stay of three nights is required for resort stays taking place February 12 – 17, 2015, as well as March 30 – April 5, 2015.

Savings apply to KidSuites® and One-Bedroom Suites room categories and include unlimited meals, snacks and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), non-motorized watersports, resort amenities (tennis, mini golf, fitness center, etc.), taxes, gratuities, and free nightly shuttle service to Margaritaville in the heart of Montego Bay’s nightlife center, The Hip Strip.

As an added value, free Wifi Internet service is accessible in all rooms and suites at the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego, and all kids 12 and under stay, play and eat free when sharing accommodations with parents.

Group bookings are ineligible and revisions on current bookings are not permitted. Savings of up to 50% cannot be combined with any other promotion or consumer savings and can be withdrawn at any time.

The Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay is a 518-room full-service resort which combines the strength of the world’s most-trusted hotel brand with authentic Jamaican hospitality. Distinguished as the only 100% all-inclusive Holiday Inn*, the property helps travelers stretch their vacation dollars to new heights, offering a series of complimentary special programs benefiting families (KidSpree) and seniors (GoldenSpree). Those wishing to tie the knot can even take advantage of the Free Caribbean Wedding program (conditions apply). The resort continues to upgrade its facilities and amenities to better serve the modern traveler.  New room categories – Junior Suites for added elegance, and KidSuites® for more family fun – together with exciting dining options at the just-opened Kenko Teppanyaki Restaurant, upgraded rooms and common areas add a refreshed feel to the property, even for the most frequent of repeat guests. Additional amenities, such as the boutique Sol-Mer Spa & Salon, five restaurants/grill, four bars, two pools, tennis, mini golf, half-mile of pristine white sand beach and boardwalk, “Tek-it-Easy” private island, 4,000 square feet of meeting space, electronic casino, and more, affirm that the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay truly offers something for everyone.

 

For Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay reservations, visit www.caribbeanhi.com/jamaica, or call 1-888-288-6006.
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