Archive for the ‘best in travel’ Category

Kiawah Island, Roy Emerson Head List of Top 100 Tennis Resorts & Camps

May 11, 2017

Kiawah Sanctuary Aerial OceanFront B

Tennis Resorts Online has just published its annual rankings of the Top 100 Tennis Resorts and CampsKiawah Island Golf Resort on Kiawah Island in South Carolina remains in the top position among resorts, edging out a former No. 1 Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Kiawah took top honors partly on the strength of its “Tennis Instruction and Programming,” both for adults and juniors. The top camp was once again the Roy Emerson Tennis Weeks program at the Gstaad Palace in Gstaad, Switzerland, which also drew raves and the No. 1 slot for “Tennis Staff”.
As in years past, these results are based on the critiques submitted over the past year by vacationers themselves. Reviewers were asked to evaluate each resort or camp in more than 20 different categories. These ranged from the quality of the tennis staff, programs, instruction, and game matching to such amenities as accommodations, cuisine, overall recreation, spa and fitness facilities, children’s programs, and more.
With all the reviews in, results are tabulated using a formula that gives added weight to tennis elements. To ensure that the final results are statistically meaningful, we require a minimum of 25 reviews to qualify for a ranking among the Top 10 resorts or Top 5 camps. We then award Gold Medals to the Top 25 Resorts and Top 10 Camps, listing them in ranking order, and Silver and Bronze medals to the remaining finalists.
Our goal is to reward the resorts and camps that truly do provide an exceptional experience for tennis players. Our formula, which emphasizes the tennis experience, ensures that the list as a whole contains a broad spectrum of vacation properties, from large, multi-dimensional resorts to intimate retreats, both in the U.S. and beyond. After all, tennis players have different tastes in tennis vacations, so any list of great resorts and camps has to reflect those differences. By making those players the arbiters of excellence, this one does.
To see the complete list, as well as the best in various categories, visit Top 100 Tennis Resorts and Camps (http://www.tennisresortsonline.com/trofiles/top-100-tennis-resorts-and-camps.cfm)

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Jade Mountain Club Named One of World’s Most Romantic Destinations

February 10, 2017
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Jade Mountain Club, Saint Lucia

The new National Geographic Society book, The World’s Most Romantic Destinations, names Jade Mountain as the recommended hotel for the island of Saint Lucia, one of the 50 featured locales.

“We are thrilled to be part of this definitive new travel guide,” said co-owner Karolin Troubetzkoy of the gorgeous coffee-table book, an inspirational planner for romantic trips such as weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries. “The very essence of Jade Mountain is the celebration of life and love, and our goal has always been to provide the utmost level in service and privacy for special occasions such as weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries.”

The resort is known for its intimate weddings, and its Celestial Terrace, one of the most popular locations, was used twice as the Final Red Rose Proposal in ABC’s The Bachelor. The hotel even employs a Romance Concierge to help with proposals, surprise gifts and other memorable moments during honeymoons and anniversaries.

Jade Mountain is set on a lush, scenic 600-acre estate overlooking the Gros and Petit Pitons, 2,500-foot twin volcanoes that have come to symbolize St. Lucia and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The resort’s cuisine, which the book deemed “exquisite,” is overseen by the highly acclaimed chef Allen Susser, who conceived the groundbreaking Miami restaurant Chef Allen’s and has won the James Beard Foundation’s Best Southeast Chef award.

Architect and owner Nick Troubetzkoy’s story began in the 1970s, when he opened Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain’s sister property, as a pioneering eco-conscious hotel. In 2007, after many years of planning and construction, Troubetzkoy opened his labor of love: Jade Mountain, an intimate, luxurious resort at the top half of the property.

Troubetzkoy’s bold architectural vision helped bring to life extraordinary details like dramatically suspended bridge walkways (instead of hallways) and extravagant suites called “sanctuaries,” each missing a fourth wall. The book specifically called out the “aptly” named sanctuaries saying, “there’s nothing between you and your Pitons panorama … Marvel at the scene from the sumptuous, mosquito-netted bed, elegant sun loungers or private infinity pool.”

With their incredible panoramas, massive infinity pools that seem to float over the Caribbean and handcrafted furnishings sourced from local materials, each room is a majestic, sweeping space that’s a true work of art. These sanctuaries provide an unforgettable stage set for the wedding, honeymoon or anniversary of a lifetime.

Jade Mountain has received numerous other accolades, including several Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards and placement on Travel + Leisure’s T+L 500 and World’s Best Awards lists, the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, American Express Travel’s Top 25 List and BRIDES magazine’s rundown, “The 10 Best Honeymoon Resorts in the Caribbean.”

For reservations, call 800-223-1108 or contact Jade Mountain at 1-758-459-7000, e-mail jademountain@ansechastanet.com, www.jademountain.com.

 

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Learn to Ski or Ride at Liftopia’s Top-Rated Beginner-Friendly Ski Areas

January 6, 2017
vt-ski-smuggs-122610_58e2-c-karen-rubin

Smugglers Notch, Vermont, came in #7 for Best Family resorts and #10 for Top Beginner Friendly in the Northeast on Liftopia’s Best in Snow Awards list © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, and Liftopia, which claims to be the largest online and mobile marketplace for lift tickets and other mountain activities, has compiled a list of the top beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski areas across North America that are ideal for those looking to learn one of winter’s signature sports.

This list is part of Liftopia’s Best in Snow Awards, honoring North America’s most beloved ski areas. The awards, unveiled last week, feature winners across five regions and seven categories (including Beginner-Friendly and Family-Friendly) that Liftopia customers said would be most useful in helping them make the most informed decisions when choosing where to ski or snowboard, regardless of ski area size. You can find the complete list of winners along with methodology here: https://bestinsnow.liftopia.com/#/.

Some highlights:

West Coast:  California has the most beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski areas in the West, including Tahoe Donner (first place in the family-friendly category), June, Boreal, Bear Valley, Snow Valley, Homewood, Donner Ski Ranch, Mammoth, Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows and Sierra-At-Tahoe. Anthony Lakes (OR) is the #1 beginner-friendly ski area in the region.

Northeast: Bretton Woods is the #1 beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski area in the region. In addition to Bretton Woods, New Hampshire has the most beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski areas in the Northeast, including King Pine, Cranmore, Black Mountain, Pats Peak, Ragged and Attitash.

High West: Utah is home to the most beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski areas in the High West, including Eagle Point (#1 Beginner-Friendly Ski Area), Sundance, Brighton, Powder, Alta, Solitude and Brian Head. In the Family Friendly category, Sipapu, NM came in #1 in the region.

Midwest: Michigan ski areas reign supreme in the Midwest, with the most beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski areas including Crystal Mountain (first place in both categories), Shanty Creek, Boyne Highlands, Caberfae, Nubs Nob and Boyne Mountain.

Southeast: West Virginia has the most beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski areas in the Southeast, with Canaan Valley the number one Beginner Friendly and Family Friendly Ski Area in the region. Other winners include Snowshoe, Timberline Four Seasons and Winterplace.

Liftopia operates the largest online and mobile marketplace and resort technology platform serving the ski and mountain activity industry. Skiers and riders can purchase lift tickets, equipment rentals, meal vouchers and more from more than 250 ski areas in North America on Liftopia.com and via the Liftopia mobile app, with savings of up to 85% off walk-up window rates when purchased in advance. Founded in 2005, Liftopia is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading institutional and angel investors. Visit the Liftopia blog or follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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Magic Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Mad River Glen Get Top Spots in Liftopia’s First-Ever ‘Best in Snow’ Awards

January 6, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO– Liftopia, the largest online and mobile marketplace for lift tickets and other mountain activities, unveiled its first-ever 2016-17 Best in Snow Awards honoring the most beloved ski areas in North America. Unlike other awards, the 2016-17 Best in Snow Awards, is the only ranking that incorporates the largest dataset in the industry combined with feedback from thousands of skiers and snowboarders to determine ski areas they are most passionate about in North America.

The 2016-17 Best in Snow Awards, Powered By Liftopia, features winners across seven categories that Liftopia customers identified as most useful for choosing where to ski or snowboard, regardless of ski area size. These categories include Beginner-Friendly, Most Challenging, Family-Friendly, Best Snow Consistency and Quality, Least Crowded, and Best Value in addition to overall Best in Snow. Winners were compiled in five different regions: Northeast, West Coast, High West, Southeast and Midwest.

Magic Mountain in Vermont took the top spot as Overall Best in Snow winner in North America, with customers saying it’s “the best kept secret in the Northeast” and “a true skier’s mountain” that is “steeped in tradition” and “never overcrowded” with “awesome terrain,” “challenging runs,” and “the best staff in the business.” Crystal Mountain in Michigan, coming in second, received raves for their “great atmosphere,” “lifts and runs are fun and varied,” “people are very friendly” and “they’re always doing improvements at the resort.” Liftopia customers love the terrain at third place Mad River Glen in Vermont, saying “Nothing compares to the challenge of Northeast skiing and Mad River Glen. It is simply the best if you are up for it.”

The remaining Overall Best in Snow winners include Alta, Utah (#4); Jay Peak, Vt. (#5); Bretton Woods, N.H. (#6); Wildcat Mountain, N.H. (#7); Powder Mountain, Utah (#8); Snowbird, Utah (#9); and Sugarloaf, Maine (#10). Bretton Woods and Crystal Mountain took top spots as Beginner- and Family-Friendly Ski Areas as well as Ski Areas With the Best Snow Consistency and Quality in their respective regions (Northeast and Midwest); Magic Mountain is the Most Challenging Ski Area in the Northeast; Alta has the Best Snow Consistency and Quality in the High West; and Powder Mountain offers the Best Value in the High West.

“For years people have told us they wanted a ranking system that wasn’t based simply on which resorts were the biggest or relied on a handful of ‘expert’ opinions or advertising dollars. They want to find their next favorite ski area and to know which resorts are most beloved by other skiers and boarders,” said Evan Reece, co-founder and CEO of Liftopia. “We crafted the Best in Snow Awards with details from a consumer survey and combined the results with our proprietary data to uncover the ski areas people love most. We are excited that the findings show what we already believed to be true: consumers do have amazing passion for ski areas of all sizes.”

Methodology

To compile the 2016-17 Best in Snow Awards, Liftopia surveyed their customers to measure their enthusiasm on specific aspects of their favorite resorts such as family friendliness, challenging terrain, crowds, and snow consistency and quality. Respondents took into consideration criteria such as snow quality and conditions, grooming, accessibility, terrain variety and difficulty, vertical drop, learn to ski and snowboard programs, staff and instructors, resort size, crowds and lift lines, accessibility of lifts and beginner terrain, off-slope activities, the surrounding community, and cost of lift tickets, rentals and programs, among others. More than 10,000 responses were then weighted with a proprietary algorithm based on Liftopia’s exclusive dataset that includes skier and snowboarder visits annually, acreage, uphill capacity and average true cost of skiing to surface the best ski areas overall, across seven categories and five regions, based on what matters most to skiers and snowboarders.

Winners for the Overall Best in Snow, Beginner Friendly Ski Areas, Most Challenging Ski Areas, Family Friendly Ski Areas and Ski Areas with the Best Snow Consistency and Quality categories were determined by the total number of votes from survey participants for their favorite resorts in each category, normalized by skier and snowboarder visits annually. Winners for the Least Crowded Ski Areas category were determined by total number of skier and snowboarder visits annually divided by skiable acreage as well as participant feedback and votes on the least crowded ski area. Winners for the Ski Areas with the Best Value category were determined by total number of votes for ski area with the best value, normalized by skier and snowboarder visits annually and the average true cost of skiing based on effective ticket prices per resort, including ticket window, advance purchase and season pass data.

Complete List of 2016-17 Best in Snow Awards, Powered By Liftopia: The winning ski areas in each category and region can be found by visiting http://bestinsnow.liftopia.com/

About Liftopia

Liftopia operates the largest online and mobile marketplace and resort technology platform serving the ski and mountain activity industry. Skiers and riders can purchase lift tickets, equipment rentals, meal vouchers and more from more than 250 ski areas in North America on Liftopia.com and via the Liftopia mobile app, with savings of up to 85% off walk-up window rates when purchased in advance. Founded in 2005, Liftopia is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading institutional and angel investors. Visit the Liftopia blog or follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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WalletHub Study: 2016 Best & Worst Airlines

May 21, 2016
AZ-Flagstaff_100315_04e2(c) Karen Rubin

Flying American Airlines into Flagstaff, Arizona © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

WalletHub has just announced its list of 2016’s Best & Worst Airlines in order to help consumers prepare for the busy summer travel season.

“Everyone can compare airlines based on price, but it’s much more difficult to weigh your options when it comes to other aspects of the air travel experience. WalletHub’s report therefore focuses on quantifying those aspects – delays, baggage issues, pet care, passenger comfort and more – in order to help travelers make more-informed decisions.”
Among the highlights:

  • Best & Worst Overall: Virgin America (soon to be part of Alaska Airlines) and JetBlue top the list of 2016’s best airlines, while United, American and ExpressJet are the worst.
  • Most & Least Reliable: Delta is the best airline for avoiding cancelations, delays and mishandled luggage, while ExpressJet and Envoy Air are the worst.
  • Most & Least Comfortable: JetBlue offers the most comfortable in-flight experience, while Spirit and Frontier are the least comfortable.

For the full list of 2016’s Best & Worst Airlines, visit:
http://www.wallethub.com/edu/best-airlines/20916/

For CardHub’s report on 2016’s Best & Worst Frequent Flyer Programs, visit:
http://www.cardhub.com/edu/best-frequent-flyer-program/

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Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada Awarded AAA 5-Diamond Rating

May 11, 2016
spice island-5diamond1

Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada has received the ultimate distinction for hotels – the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award, only granted to six other resorts in the Caribbean.

GRAND ANSE BEACH, Grenada — Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada has just received the ultimate distinction for hotels — the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award, which has been granted to only six other resorts in the Caribbean and 118 hotels worldwide.

According to AAA, nearly 28,000 hotels are reviewed by AAA inspectors who use published guidelines to evaluate and rate properties for the AAA Five Diamond Award and only 0.4 percent make the AAA Five Diamond List. This achievement elevates the Spice Island Beach Resort from a Four Diamond status which it maintained for over 15 years and ranks the resort as a premier establishment esteemed by AAA professional inspectors, the hospitality industry and over 56 million AAA/CAA members.

“I am overjoyed and heartened by this accomplishment,” Chairman and Managing Director of Spice Island Beach Resort Sir Royston Hopkin, KCMG, said. “I continue to be encouraged by the hard work and dedication of the Spice Family which has brought us to this significant milestone of which we are extremely proud. I am only the custodian, but this success belongs to my outstanding team, my wife Betty, my General Manager Brian Hardy, my three children Nerissa, Janelle and Ryan, the rest of the management team and my entire staff who make it happen day after day. They are all important cogs in our wheel of success.”

This award comes on the heels of Sir Royston being honored last month by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences with a Six Star Diamond Lifetime Achievement award, recognizing his untiring service of over 51 years to Grenada and the Caribbean region as well as the resort’s third consecutive year of achieving Six-Star-Diamond status.

No stranger to awards, Sir Royston gave a brief insight into some of his strategy. “Over the years, I have invested substantially, both in the continuous upgrade of the physical plant and in the development of my most valuable asset, my human resources,” he said

“The key to our success is providing unforgettable and essentially priceless experiences with our guest-centric service philosophy as well as our attention to fine details,” noted Sir Royston. “In other words, we spare no effort in providing our guests with the finest and most luxurious amenities. 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.”

Spice Island Beach Resort

Tucked away on spectacular Grand Anse Beach (frequently named one of the top 10 beaches in the Caribbean) and just 10 minutes from the airport, Spice Island Beach Resort is surrounded by pristine tropical gardens and offers a world-class spa, culinary program, and a wide choice of super-elegant accommodation including beachfront suites, situated at the edge of the Caribbean Sea, providing a new spin on beachfront elegance in its Sea Grape Suites equipped with a luxurious large bathtub with views of the ocean. A 225 sq ft. patio with private garden, chaise lounges and double hammock provide the perfect romantic setting to absorb the Caribbean sunset.

The 1,200 sq. ft. Anthurium Pool Suites have 12′ x 16′ plunge pools, private terrace with a double daybed for relaxing.

The resort’s 1,500 sq. ft. Luxury Almond Pool Suites offer private luxury with a 16′ x 20′ residential-size swimming pool as well as guests’ own private entrance, tropical garden and outdoor dining terrace.

The Royal Collection Pool Suites are the quintessential honeymooner’s dream featuring a 16′ x 20′ pool and every amenity in the Luxury Almond Pool Suites, plus a full-scale living room, enchanting marble bathroom and private Cedar Sauna on the patio.

The palatial Cinnamon and Saffron Suites measure 1,440 sq. feet each and feature a romantic ambiance with a floating canopy bed, an elaborate marble bathroom, spacious living room with 47″ LCD television and Bose Lifestyle Entertainment System, wet-bar and dining area set for six and private patios with a double hammock.

All suites are air conditioned and outfitted with spectacular five-star amenities including flat panel televisions, iPod docking stations, Italian Frette bathrobes and linens, Molton Brown bath and body amenities, mini-bar, Internet access, safe, coffee/tea facility, toaster, chaise lounges and patio or balcony.

The award-winning Spice Island Beach Resort features 64 elegantly-appointed suites, a full-service Janissa’s Spa, a fitness center and Omnicourt® tennis court, 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, the Nutmeg Pod children’s activity center, the Gatsby Boutique and more.

Spice Island Beach Resort is a proud recipient of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Six Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and was ranked the #1 property in the Caribbean by TripAdvisor according to traveler reviews in 2013. The resort has also received Virgin Holidays’ Gold Award as the #1 property in its exclusive worldwide Platinum Collection for 10 consecutive years from 2006-2015.

Spice Island Beach Resort is a proud 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.

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. Connect with Spice Island Beach Resort on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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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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New Orleans, Savannah, Pensacola are Winners of First-Ever CheapOair ‘Owards’

October 28, 2015
With New York's Empire State Building in the background, Chris Cuddy, Fareportal Chief Commercial Officer (left), Werner Kunz, Fareportal Chief Operating Officer (center), and Sam Jain, Founder and CEO of CheapOair (right) present the Owards to representatives from Savannah, New Orleans and Pensacola at the Inaugural Owards Ceremony at The Strand in NYC © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

With New York’s Empire State Building in the background, Chris Cuddy, Fareportal Chief Commercial Officer (left), Werner Kunz, Fareportal Chief Operating Officer (center), and Sam Jain, Founder and CEO of CheapOair (right) present the Owards to representatives from Savannah, New Orleans and Pensacola at the Inaugural Owards Ceremony at The Strand in NYC © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

New York– CheapOair®, a leading hybrid travel agency (both online and traditional), announced the Gold Winners for the Most Effortless, Most Affordable and Most Enjoyable Cities of the Year in the inaugural CheapOair OwardsTM.

In its first year, the CheapOair Owards recognized 15 American cities that best embody the brand’s mission and vision of making travel effortless, affordable and enjoyable. The finalist cities were chosen by a panel of internal travel experts with years of collective travel and travel booking experience. The finalist cities were then narrowed down to three Gold winners based on independent online travelers’ voting over a two month period.

The 2015 CheapOair Owards Gold Winners are:

  • New Orleans, Louisiana named the Most Effortless City of the Year
  • Savannah, Georgia named the Most Affordable City of the Year
  • Pensacola, Florida named the Most Enjoyable City of the Year

“The winners of the popular vote truly make travel effortless, affordable and enjoyable – just like we strive to do every day at CheapOair,” said Sam Jain, CEO and founder of Fareportal, the company that operates CheapOair. “Travelers booking their next trip to the winning cities of New Orleans, La.., Savannah, Ga., or Pensacola, Fla. can rest assured they’ll enjoy an effortless, budget-friendly and enjoyable travel experience. ”

For more information on each Gold Oward Winner and the city finalists, visit www.CheapOair.com/Owards/ or follow CheapOair on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

CheapOair, as a hybrid (online/traditional) travel agency, enables consumers to book travel online, on mobile apps, by phone or live chat. CheapOair (http://www.cheapoair.com, 1-800-566-2345) bridges the gap between an online and traditional travel agency with certified travel agents available 24/7 to help find deals and offers to destinations worldwide on over 450 airlines, 150,000 hotels, and 100s of car rentals. Partner airlines benefit from access to CheapOair’s broad customer base that books high yield international travel and add-on ancillaries at above the industry average. Follow CheapOair on Facebook and Twitter to learn how to travel the world for less.

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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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Virtuoso Luxe Report Picks Top Destinations for Affluent Travelers in 2015

January 28, 2015
 Miami/South Beach, Florida, is the top domestic destination for 2015 for affluent travelers, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com


Miami/South Beach, Florida, is the top domestic destination for 2015 for affluent travelers, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

NEW YORK Virtuoso®, an international network of luxury travel agencies, has unveiled its 2015 Virtuoso Luxe Report, the results of which are based on an annual survey of its professional travel advisors. Recognized throughout the industry as an authoritative trend-predictor, the report forecasts luxury travel trends and favored destinations while offering insight into the patterns and decisions of the world’s most affluent travelers.

For the first time in five years, river cruising trumped multigenerational travel as the number one trend and Croatia secured the top spot in the “Emerging Destinations” category (the country didn’t make the “top 10” in 2014). Iceland is on the rise while Cuba, Myanmar, and Bhutan continue to be favored emerging destinations. “Adventure travel” surfaced as a dominant trend for 2015 with Costa Rica and South Africa sweeping the top two spots, respectively, proving travelers are less interested in sitting still.

The love affair with Italy continues as it reigned supreme for the “Top International Destination” as well as the favorite country for family travel and honeymoons.  France, Mexico, South Africa, and Australia follow as top international locales, respectively.

Within the U.S., New York City maintained its top spot, followed by Maui, Napa Valley/Sonoma, and Las Vegas. Miami/South Beach climbed three places to reach the “top 5,” bumping Hawaii’s Big Island to ninth place.

Honeymooners showed they are seeking romance at tried and true favorites, as well as some more exotic locales. The most popular honeymoon destinations included Italy, Maui, French Polynesia, France, and the Maldives.

Exploring new destinations, seeking authentic experiences, rest and relaxation, and spending time or reconnecting with loved ones prove to be the key motivators behind high-end travel.

Key findings from the 2015 Virtuoso Luxe Report:

Top Travel Trends

  1. River cruising
  2. Multigenerational travel
  3. Active or adventure trips
  4. Celebration travel
  5. Family travel (immediate)

Top Domestic Destinations  

  1. New York, NY
  2. Maui, HI
  3. Napa Valley/Sonoma, CA
  4. Las Vegas, NV
  5. Miami/South Beach, FL

Top International Destinations

  1.  Italy
  2. France
  3. Mexico
  4. South Africa
  5. Australia

Top Family Travel Destinations

  1. Italy
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. Mexico
  4. Hawaii
  5. England

Top Adventure Destinations

  1. Costa Rica
  2. South Africa
  3. Galapagos Islands
  4. New Zealand
  5. Peru

 Top Honeymoon Destinations

  1. Italy
  2. Maui, HI
  3. French Polynesia
  4. France
  5. Maldives

A record total of 599 travel advisors from Virtuoso member agencies in 25 countries throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and Europe participated in the survey.

Virtuoso® is a leading network of luxury travel advisors and entities.  This by-invitation-only organization comprises 355 agencies with more than 8,900 travel specialists in 25 countries throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and Europe, as well as over 1,700 travel providers and destinations.  The network’s member agencies generate over $14 billion annually in travel sales, making the group one of the largest in the luxury travel segment.  Their relationships with the travel companies provide the network’s affluent clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. For more information, visit http://www.virtuoso.com. To view Virtuoso’s latest videos, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/VirtuosoTraveler.

 

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