Archive for the ‘romantic places’ Category

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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Valentine’s Gift of Travel: 10 Romantic Adventures for Lovers

February 10, 2017

 

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What could be more romantic than experiencing the Northern Lights in Iceland together? Big Chill Adventures offers that trip (photo by Mindy Cambiar)

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, many have romance on the mind. If you are looking to rekindle old flames or charm your significant other with something extraordinary, consider these romantic retreats. From “glamping” in Wyoming to touring France by bike, here are 10 adventures that will make capture your hearts. Consider gifting the romantic trip for a future date, with so much to look forward to.

Bike Across France – Ride & Seek has introduced a romantic cycling tour in the Provence region of France highlighting some of the most beautiful villages as ordained by the group Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Guests will visit a number of classic destinations such as St Remy de Provence and the Vaucluse. From Venasque to Les Alpilles to Glanum, this is a dreamy tour of Provence.

Rocky Mountain Glamping – Hike, ride horses, fly fish, snowmobile, x-country ski, and play cowboy at the 25,000 acre Red Reflet Ranch in Wyoming. The ranch is both working ranch and luxury resort.  Gourmet dining offers ingredients from the ranch’s butcher shop, organic greenhouse and gardens.  From cattle drives to branding, the true western lifestyle thrives at Red Reflet.

Robinson Caruso Island Retreat – Retreat to the mystical Chilean island where marooned explorer Robinson Crusoe once lived. Hear the legends of pirates and treasure as you hike through deep forested ravines, cascading streams, and along jagged coastlines in this World Heritage Biosphere Reserve. Enjoy active excursions such as snorkeling, hiking, diving, horseback riding, and fishing, by day. Return to the comfort of your Robinson Crusoe Island resort by night.

New Zealand Food & Wine Adventure – On this exclusive luxury food and wine tour hosted by Frontiers International Travel President, Mike Fitzgerald, guests will experience New Zealand’s charming mixture of refined lifestyle and adventure. Discerning travelers will visit some of the most scenic coastal and inland areas of New Zealand, while enjoying a variety of outdoor activities, fine dining, and world-class wine.

Trek with Gorillas in Rwanda – Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world on a Gondwana EcoTours trek into the lush forests of Rwanda. Intrepid travelers will also track chimpanzees and the golden monkey, and likely come across elephants and African buffalo.

Escape to Romantic St. Petersburg – Forget Paris or Rome. Join MIR Corporation in St. Petersburg where you and your lover can peruse Fabergé eggs, attend world-class ballet and opera performances, walk the halls of luxurious palaces of the czars, and stand before “The Dance,” a joyous painting by Henri Matisse.

Après-Ski Retreat in Montana – Rent a luxurious cabin at the Moonlight Basin community in Big Sky, Montana and find active pursuits paired with food and drinks. Ski beautiful terrain that isn’t open to the public, sample hors d’oeuvres and après-ski drinks by a campfire, snowshoe to the clubhouse by starlight, and then sit down for an exquisite wine-paired dinner.

Wine Cruise on the Douro River –  On this romantic cruise with Adventure Life, guests will visit a fairytale castle from Portugal’s Romantic period, dine with breathtaking views from a 14th century monastery, take in art from the 12th century to modern times, and taste plenty of wine – including at a family-run estate and a terraced vineyard.

See the Northern Lights in Iceland – Big Chill Adventures offers an opportunity to explore the southern part of Iceland, known for its glaciers, icebergs and black sand beaches. Highlights include dogsledding, trekking glaciers, snowmobiling, spelunking, and soaking in geothermal hot springs.

Discover the Silk Road and Tibet – Explore the Tibetan Plateau on a splendid circular route that embraces the sacred cities of Tsetang, Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse. Ride the high-altitude train from Lhasa down to Lanzhou, and onto Western China and the Kashgar Animal Market. Along the way, visit Dunhuang’s UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves and Turpan’s lush Grape Valley.

 

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Romantic Getaways: Iconic Santorini Boutique ‘Cave’ Hideaway Offers Early Booking Discounts

February 9, 2017
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Iconic Santorini is a multi-level hideaway carved into traditional caves on the volcanic cliffs, perched 1,000 feet above the sparkling blue bay of the caldera.

(Santorini, Greece) If sitting in the sun, gazing at a sweeping view of the Aegean Sea or bathing in your own plunge pool while sipping a glass of local Greek wine, is your ideal for a romantic getaway, you might plot a stay at the Iconic Santorini and taking advantage of early booking discounts for vacations between April 28 and June 18.

Iconic Santorini is an extraordinary multi-level hideaway carved into traditional caves on the volcanic cliffs, perched 1,000 feet above the sparkling blue bay of the caldera.  Its 19 residences and rooftop decks feature balconies and terraces so that guests can dine, relax, cool off and cast off the cares of the everyday life enveloped by awesome panoramic views.

The serene retreat has been voted “Greece’s Leading Boutique Hotel” at the World Travel Awards 3 years in a row.

The individually designed suites, re-imagined from traditional Santorini homes and craft shops, reflect the island’s famous white-vaulted style and colorful fabrics, adapted for today’s demanding travelers.  Guests live the authentic Greek experience while still enjoying luxury amenities like individual air-conditioning, flat-screen televisions with international channels, private routers for hi-speed Wi-Fi, JBL sound systems and sumptuous 4-layer COCO-MAT bedding.

In addition, discerning travelers, honeymooners and lovers rave about Iconic’s serene fitness and massage suite with its own grotto pool, the outdoor swimming pool with a jetted seating area and the hotel’s modern take on a traditional taverna serving Greek cuisine of the highest quality.

Regular double rates at “Greece’s Leading Boutique Hotel” include breakfast, mineral water, roundtrip airport transfers and complimentary high-speed Internet access begin at $621 a night .  For details of the specific Early Booking Offers for each individual suite, email info@iconicsantorini.com and include booking code ICO-10.

Special Romance Packages that include sightseeing, Moet & Chandon Champagne, dinners and other extras at great value-added rates are available at

www.iconicsantorini.com/iconic-santorini-romance-packages

Visit www.iconicsantorini.com  for full details of each residence with photographs.

 

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Feel the Love Throughout New York City This Valentine’s Day Weekend

February 10, 2016
Love fills the air throughout New York City through Valentine's Day weekend © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Love fills the air throughout New York City through Valentine’s Day weekend © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Feel the love in New York City this Valentine’s Day. Throughout Valentine’s Day weekend, the City’s five boroughs will be filled with activities and events where residents and visitors can find their true love or cherish time with their loved ones.

“New York City is the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable and romantic Valentine’s Day getaway,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “From a date night under the stars of the Hayden Planetarium to romantic nature walks and chocolate tastings at Wave Hill in the Bronx, the heart of the five boroughs can be felt throughout the City.”

At the crossroads of the world in Times Square, celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Heart of Hearts public art installation. The display features 12 golden mirrored hearts that create a kaleidoscopic effect, reflecting the fast pace action of Times Square. Those looking for the perfect spot to renew their vows can join hundreds of locals and visitors at Duffy Square for a vow renewal ceremony. When the sun goes down, a special midnight moment by artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss will span across Times Square’s billboards for three minutes before midnight every night in February, presented in partnership with the Guggenheim Museum. (timessquarenyc.org).

Theatergoers who are in town during Valentine’s Day weekend can take advantage of 2-for-1 tickets to some of New York City’s best shows during Off-Broadway Week. Featuring more than 30 productions, Off-Broadway Week makes seeing a production more accessible and affordable. To purchase tickets, visit nycgo.com/offbroadwayweek.

Other Valentine’s Day events and activities taking place throughout the City include:

American Museum of Natural History: The stars of the Hayden Planetarium will illuminate on Valentine’s Day evening with a special Romance Under the Stars event. The museum invites couples for this unique date night, complete with an open bar cocktail hour, champagne, chocolates, hors d’oeuvres and music by the Josh Rutner Quartet, followed by romance storytelling under the stars of the Planetarium. To purchase tickets, visit amnh.org.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts: Kids can create their own special valentine with arts and crafts on Saturday, February 13. There will be activities throughout the afternoon and plenty of fun for the entire family (bronxmuseum.org).

Brooklyn Museum: In celebration of Valentine’s Day, take the free Love and Lust in American Art tour, which includes a stop at the American Identities installation and the exciting Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland exhibition (brooklynmuseum.org).

Bronx Zoo: On Valentine’s Day, the Bronx Zoo’s Name a Roach event will crawl back to life. Visitors can keep an eye out for more information about this year’s event at bronxzoo.com.

Brookfield Place: Purchase gifts for a special someone at Dry Bar, Cos Bar and many other fine shops at the new Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan. When done shopping, take a romantic walk beneath the 650 color-changing lanterns in the Winter Garden atrium as part of the Luminaries lighting display, which has been extended through Monday, February 29. (artsbrookfield.com).

Carnegie Hall: Mitsuko Uchida will conduct The Cleveland Orchestra from the piano as they charm the audience with beautiful melodies of Mozart this Valentine’s Day. The blend of the heroic and humane makes Piano Concerto No. 25 one of Mozart’s most popular, and the andante movement’s tenderness will fill your heart with love. To purchase tickets, visit carnegiehall.org.

Central Park Conservancy Ice Festival: This Valentine’s Day, celebrate at Central Park Conservancy’s Fifth Annual Ice Festival in Naumburg Bandshell. The event includes ice carving, a photo booth, a Central Park trivia contest, sweet treats and, as night falls, a 1980s-themed silent disco with DJs and more. For information on this free event, visit centralparknyc.org.

Cupid’s Chase 5K New York: Community Options, Inc., will hold its Annual Cupid’s Chase 5K Run on Saturday, February 13, kicking off at 10am in the West Village. The race will take place at Hudson River Park’s Charles Street Pier (enter at Christopher Street). To register, go to comop.org.

Empire State Building: The world famous Empire State Building will host 14 lucky pre-selected couples on Valentine’s Day as they say “I Do” on the 86th floor observation deck. At night, the spectacular heartbeat light show illuminates the building with shades of red, pink and white. Visit esbnyc.com for more information.

Gotham Archery: Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow like Cupid at Brooklyn’s Gotham Archery during Valentine’s Day weekend. After a brief intro class, archers can test their skills on one of the 30 shooting lanes and enjoy some friendly competition. To book a class, visit got-archery.com.

Historic Richmond Town: Take a step back in time, tour village homes from the 1690s to 1860s and see images of valentines from the General Store’s collection at Staten Island’s Historic Richmond Town on Saturday, February 6. Participate in the Victorian Valentine Workshop, where guests will learn about Victorian scraps, paper lace and decoupage to create their own valentine (historicrichmondtown.org).

Hornblower New York Cruises: This Valentine’s Day, sail aboard a love boat with one of several Hornblower New York cruises. From a Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise to a two-hour happy hour mixer aboard the Aboard Alive After Five cruise, a cruise around the City’s skyline makes for an unforgettable evening. To book, visit hornblowernewyork.com.

Jazz at Lincoln Center: The sound of jazz will fill the air as Jazz at Lincoln Center offers three musical jazz performances through Valentine’s Day weekend. A regular at Jazz at Lincoln Center, singer Cécile McLorin Salvant will put on a Valentine’s Day–inspired performance that will have you feeling the love. Monty Alexander & Friends: Sinatra at 100 will treat you to jazz hits that will satisfy both nostalgic and contemporary tastes. In addition, jazz pianist and singer Freddy Cole will share Songs for Lovers, a great way to end a date night. To purchase tickets, visit jazz.org.

Love Sculpture: While exploring the sights of Midtown Manhattan, take a photo in front of the Love Sculpture. Originally designed by American artist Robert Indiana as a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art, the sculpture sits on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 55th Street and is the perfect backdrop for a Valentine’s Day photo. For those looking for hope in the new year, not too far away is the Hope Sculpture on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street.

Museum Hack: Couples can join Museum Hack for a private tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a guide will reveal stories of love, relationships, fertility and ancient longing. Book a tour at museumhack.com.

Museum of the Moving Image: The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens will be screening several films throughout the day including Inside Out and Burden of Dreams. Families can also check out the family workshop and learn what goes into designing their favorite characters. For screening schedules, visit movingimage.us.

National Lighthouse Museum: All lighthouse lovers are invited to Staten Island on Saturday, February 6, for a beautiful evening of Valentine cabaret. Special signature drinks, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment are all part of a night to remember. To register, go to lighthousemuseum.org.

New York Botanical Garden: Between chocolate tastings and exploring the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, visitors to the Bronx are in for an immersive treat on Valentine’s Day. Walk through beautiful tropical rain forests of the conservatory, have a special love poem written and listen to music under the palm dome. Champagne, beer and wine will also be available for purchase (nybg.org).

New York Public Library: On Thursday, February 11, the New York Public Library will present Shakespeare, Love and Spring at Lincoln Center. This free performance is on a first come, first serve basis and features skits and songs of women in love, doomed love and universal love (nypl.org).

NYC Candy Stores: Sweeten your visit to New York with gifts from around the City. At M&M’s World Times Square, create customized M&M’s candies with your own image and personal message for special someone. Also stock up on jelly beans, gummies, chocolates and apparel at Dylan’s Candy Bar in Manhattan. Voilà Chocolat invites chocolate lovers to dip their own chocolate-covered strawberries, top off their own artisanal truffles and create personalized chocolate bars with love messages on Valentine’s Day weekend.

On Location Tours’ Romantic Movie Moments Tour: On the Romantic Movie Moments Tour, a local New York City actor will bring to life some of the most alluring movie locations featured on the big screen, including the bookstore where Harry and Sally met in When Harry Met Sally. To book a tour, go to onlocationtours.com.

One World Observatory: With breathtaking 360-degree views, One World Observatory, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, can be the perfect place for a memorable night. The Date Night package includes admission for two, two glasses of prosecco and chocolate truffles. To purchase tickets, visit oneworldobservatory.com or call 800-416-7192.

Queens Botanical Garden: For an unusual yet fun Valentine’s Day weekend event, the Queens Botanical Garden invites bird lovers to their 19th Annual Bird Counting Event. The event will include a nature walk, scavenger hunt and bird spotting along the way. To register for this free event, visit queensbotanical.org.

Rainbow Room: Atop Rockefeller Center, the beautiful Rainbow Room will be open for brunch and dinner, with live music from Vince Giorando & The Nighthawks and Nightingale Jazz Band, throughout Valentine’s Day weekend. Gigacup oysters, truffled boulangere potatoes and roasted salsify are just some of the delicious offerings to be found. To book a table, go to rainbowroom.com.

Staten Island Museum: Painter Sarah Yuster will share insights into her dreamy and romantic works of art depicting the lush landscapes and streets of Staten Island at the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor on Saturday, February 13; wine will be served. To register, visit statenislandmuseum.org.

St. George Theatre: On Saturday, February 13, the St. George Theatre in Staten Island will host its exclusive Murder Mystery Dinner Show: Crime and Pun-ishment. Couples are invited to wear their best pin-striped suits and flapper dresses as a pair of undercover feds and jilted lovers make an appearance at this fun speakeasy. Book a table at stgeorgetheatre.com.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center: For those ready to pop the question, The Rink at Rockefeller Center is offering three VIP packages as part of its Engagement on Ice program. All packages include exclusive ice time and a celebratory romantic glide as the crowd cheers. Couples can also choose their favorite song to play and enjoy a celebratory champagne toast for an unforgettable proposal. For more information, visit the rinkatrockcenter.com.

Top of the Rock: As part of the 2016 Winter Starlight Music Series, Top of the Rock Observation Deck will host a special Valentine’s Day concert with a live performance from Joelle and the Pinehurst Trio. Guests will be immersed in 360-degree views of the City as they enjoy food and beverage available for purchase from The Sea Grill. To purchase tickets, visit topoftherocknyc.com; concert is free with price of admission.

Wave Hill: The intimate winter gardens of Wave Hill in the Bronx are a perfect backdrop for spending time with someone you love on Valentine’s Day. Adults can enjoy a decadent chocolate and wine tasting, where they can learn about how the chocolates were made from a premier chocolate maker. Families can enjoy a nature walk through the gardens, spot heart-shaped leaves and create a special keepsake to take home (wavehill.org).

Your Love, Our Musical: Located in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, the Littlefield venue will host Your Love, Our Musical on Valentine’s Day, where comedians Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman will interview a real couple and create an improvised musical about the couple’s love story. Tickets to this fun celebration of love can be purchased online at littlefieldnyc.com.

In addition to these events, there are several Valentine’s Day and romantic-themed hotel packages throughout the City:

Hotel Packages 

Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island and Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island: For a quiet getaway that is close to all the action, the Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island have several offerings as part of their “Eat. Stay. Love” package during Valentine’s Day weekend. Enjoy a three-course dinner at Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Bar & Cabaret or a lavish gourmet brunch buffet, complete with romantic piano music. Overnight accommodations are also available and includes in-room champagne and a breakfast buffet. For reservations, go to lorenzodining.com or call 718-477-2400.

Loews Regency New York: For the perfect girls’ night, the Loews Regency New York on the Upper East Side is offering a Girls’ Night In package, complete with a $200 food and beverage credit, monogrammed bathrobes and slippers, an in-room movie and accommodations in a grand or luxury suite. Spa treatments at the Julien Farel Salon are also available for an additional cost. To book the package, visit loewshotels.com or call 212-759-4100.

The Marmara Park Avenue: One of Manhattan’s newest hotels, the Marmara Park Avenue invites couples to book their Suite Hearts package on Valentine’s Day weekend. The package includes a drink at the OneOne-Four Bar & Lounge, a carriage ride around Central Park, a special hammam treatment for two in the authentic Turkish hammam and complementary early check in and late check out. To book, visit park.marmaranyc.com or call 212-603-9000.

The New York EDITION: Celebrate the month of love in style with the New York EDITION’s Suite Surrender package, which includes overnight accommodations, a premium bottle of rosé, a white rose petal turndown service and room service breakfast for two. To book a room, visit editionhotels.com/new-york or call 212-413-4200.

Peninsula New York: Romance is in the air during Valentine’s Day weekend at The Peninsula New York. The hotel’s Lucky in Love package includes accommodations in a deluxe king room, one dozen roses, a bottle of champagne and daily breakfast or brunch for two. Upon arrival, guests will receive a red envelope that could contain a complimentary upgrade to a suite, free dessert, a champagne toast at the rooftop bar and lounge and more. Go to newyork.peninsula.com or call 212-956-2888 to learn more.

Royalton New York: Couples can warm up by the fireplace and book a special Royalton Fireplace hotel package. The package features a choice of scented fireplace wood including oak, pecan, maple, hickory apple or limited-edition Burn Baby Burn Cherry Wood in the room’s fireplace. In addition, couples can enjoy cherry-chipotle braised short rib, a specially made cocktail named “My Cherry Amore,” a selection of desserts and more. To book, visit royaltonhotel.com or call 212-869-4400.

Sheraton New York Times Square: For the ultimate and memorable New York luxury experience, book a Penthouse Escape Package at the Sheraton New York Times Square. Relax in their two-level, 3,500 square-foot Penthouse Suite on the 45th floor overlooking Times Square and Central Park, complete with bottomless premium wine tastings, an in-suite gourmet cooking session and more. To book, visit sheratonnewyork.com or call 212-581-1000.

The Westin New York Grand Central: Just a short stroll from Bryant Park in Manhattan, the Westin New York Grand Central is offering a romantic getaway for couples with their Presidential Suite package. The package includes a split of prosecco, a personal guided Manhattan run, late checkout and accommodations in the 1,035-square-foot Presidential Suite on the 40th floor, complete with sweeping views of the skyline and a Jacuzzi tub. To reserve, call 212-490-8900 or visitwestinnewyorkgrandcentral.com and enter code PRSPKG.

For other great Valentine’s Day weekend events, visit nycgo.com/valentinesday.

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Booking a Romantic Biking Adventure Shows You Care for Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2016
A romantic biking/boat trip through the Greek Islands with BikeTours © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A romantic biking/boat trip through the Greek Islands with BikeTours © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This Valentine’s Day, celebrate the love in your life by booking a romantic adventure for two.

From leisurely cycling on romantic country roads to wine tastings in charming vineyards to slow strolls exploring a new city, there are many ways to embrace adventure with the one you love.

“A romantic trip or honeymoon doesn’t have to mean sitting in a beach lounger all day,” says Vice President of BikeTours.com, Natalie Cook. “Explorer-type couples look beyond the all-inclusive to active vacations that immerse them in the culture and beauty of a destination.

Leisurely cycling, plenty of scenic selfie-opps, and plenty of off-bike time to relax and relish the day — these are the experiences that make memories for a lifetime.”

BikeTours.com highlights its top suggestions (and some limited-time special offers) for dreamy escapes with your significant other.

Tuscan Wine Classic: Popular for honeymooners, this tour features charming inns, incredible landscapes, candlelit dinners, visits to vineyards and breathtaking scenery. Learn more.

Bali Paradise Ride: With its verdant rice paddies, white-sand beaches, ancient temples, and colorful culture, Bali is a place where every day is a celebration and where love and family are heralded above all else. Learn more.

The Aeolian Islands by Bike and Boat: Cycle among the charming islands in Sicily by day and sleep on a romantic Turkish gulet by night. This tour features delicious dinners with wine on deck each evening and beautiful Italian islands perfect for exploring on two wheels. Learn more.

Atlantic West Coast and Sintra: Portugal’s bluebird skies, charming inns, gorgeous coastlines, and sunny disposition all make for a perfect week of wine, romance, and adventure. Learn more.

Connemara Lazy Days: This is a relaxing and enjoyable cycling trip that leaves plenty of time for picnic lunches, a visit to the romantic and storied Kylemore Abbey, walks on the beach, and more.

PLUS! All bookings made in February for any date in 2016 will get a free bottle of bubbly on arrival! Learn more.

Castles and Wine of Portugal: Charming hotels, beautiful castles, and delicious wine make this tour a real treat.

Plus! For all tours booked in February 2016, they’ll throw in a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride in Évora for free!

Treasures of the Donegal Coast (Ireland): Peaceful, hidden beaches, charming Irish pubs and restaurants, vibrant traditional music – this tour along the coast offers relaxation, culture, and adventure.

Mosel Bike Path (Germany): This popular tour offers a leisurely ride along a popular wine route.

Plus! Add a special wine tasting (6 wines) in Trittenheim for €15 per person.

The Cotswolds and Stonehenge (England): Experience Shakespeare, country charm, and loads of romance bottled up in a 9-night self-guided tour perfect for a romantic holiday.

Prague to Venice (Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, and Italy): A 21-night self-guided tour along a romantic route, featuring beautiful landmarks of UNESCO heritage and some of the most charming cities in Europe.

Bruges and the Belgian Coast (Belgium): Experience this country’s culture, nature, and history on this 7-night self-guided tour full of romance and charm.

Hudson Valley National Heritage Area: Explore the Hudson Valley’s romantic country roads, award-winning wineries, historic inns, and lovely scenic vistas, all great recipes for romance in New England. Learn more.

BikeTours serves as a central resource for bicycle tours worldwide, representing 125 tour companies with over 500 tours in 71 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas (the newest program is in Namibia).

Bike Tours, 1222 Tremont St., Suite 100, Chattanooga, TN 37405, 877-462-2423, 423-756-8907, info@biketours.com, www.biketours.com.

See

A biking/boating odyssey amid the Greek Isles and slideshow

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Historic Hotels of America™ New Romance Super Site is Source for Getaways, Weddings, Celebrations

February 13, 2015
Jekyll Island Club, Georgia, a member of Historic Hotels of America which has just launched a super site dedicated to romance © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Jekyll Island Club, Georgia, a member of Historic Hotels of America which has just launched a super site dedicated to romance © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

WASHINGTON, DC- Looking for a weekend getaway or a romantic vacation or a destination wedding? HistoricHotels.org/Romance is your source for romance inspired travel and heartfelt ideas. Use Historic Hotels of America as your guide to plan a luxury retreat, a garden wedding, or a romantic night out on the town. From romantic escapes to reunions, weddings to honeymoons and of course, anniversaries, Historic Hotels of America turns romantic celebrations into life’s most cherished moments. With over 260 historic hotels, inns, and resorts, Historic Hotels of America is home to the largest collection of romantic hotels. When history meets romance, nothing can be sweeter.

Historic Hotels of America has launched its all new romantic escapes e-guide, featuring more than 150 pages of new and expanded content highlighting its most romantic historic hotels, more content and destinations continue to be added. From romantic getaways to reunions, weddings to honeymoons and anniversaries, the new HistoricHotels.org/Romance puts romantic historic hotels and destinations in the spotlight, turning romantic celebrations into life’s most cherished moments. HistoricHotels.org/Romance has a number of inspirational sections for travelers to peruse the site’s many romantic escapes, including:

Romantic getaways. Historic Hotels of America has romantic inns, hotels, and resorts that blend history, luxury, and location into the ultimate destination, perfect for weekend getaways or vacation stays. Home to one of the world’s largest free-span dome, the West Baden Springs Hotel (1902) in French Lick, Indiana is an architectural wonder and just one of many marvels that will take your beloved’s breath away during your stay. This hotel has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark French Lick Springs Hotel (1845), also located within French Lick Resort boasts a spa that offers the best in tranquility, the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing treatment with your loved one. Travelers can select from more than 30 romantic hotels in the upper Midwest.

Grand Hotel (1887) on Mackinac Island, Michigan is the ideal location for a couple to steal away for a romantic getaway. In addition to the hotel’s five-course dinner served in the Main Dining Room, the Woods Restaurant, an opulent Tudor mansion accessible only by horse-drawn carriage, nestled in the wooded interior of Mackinac Island.

Weddings. Ambiance, architecture and history blend to create a storybook wedding. In Paso Robles, California where orange rays streak through lush gardens, your wedding photos will be works of art thanks to the Paso Robles Inn’s (1891) breathtaking gardens. With a number of outdoor wedding venues to choose from, couples can exchange their vows next to a babbling brook, then dance the night away at a fireside patio reception. Select from more than 19 romantic hotels in California.

Eureka Spring, Arkansas is often known as “The Wedding Capital of The South.” The 1886 Crescent Hotel’s (1886) picturesque location atop West Mountain and its proximity to Thorncrown Chapel make the hotel one of the most photographed wedding ceremony and reception sites in the contiguous six-state region.

Honeymoons. Create the honeymoon experience of your dreams and sweep your new bride or groom off their feet. Historic hotels are the perfect backdrop to set off on your newlywed celebration. The Caribe Hilton San Juan (1949) is the perfect locale for your romantic honeymoon with tranquil waves lapping at the shore of the secluded beach and seductive trade winds swaying into exotic gardens. Guests will come to understand why this AAA Four Diamond award-winning San Juan beach resort is the perfect backdrop for a honeymoon, or select from four romantic hotels in Puerto Rico.

As Waikiki’s only true destination resort, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort Honolulu (1955) has everything newlyweds will need for the most romantic honeymoon including breathtaking beaches, luxurious accommodations, fine dining, scenic views, and fun activities. Or select from the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (1901), the first lady of Waikiki, or The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort (1927) the pink palace of the Pacific.

Celebrations. Take time to celebrate life’s special moments. From engagement parties, anniversary getaways and life’s other important celebrations, Historic Hotels of America has just the right setting to commemorate your important milestone. The Lord Baltimore Hotel (1928) in Baltimore, Maryland is the ideal setting for an engagement party, bridal shower, or anniversary party. With a great city-center setting, The Lord Baltimore is the perfect location for all of your out-of-town guests with attractions and shops mere steps away. The French Kitchen sits at the top of the lobby’s grand staircase in the historic mirrored Versailles Room, and focuses on market-driven interpretations of classic French bistro fare, perfect for your special party or event. Travelers can also select from over 28 romantic hotels in the Maryland, DC, and Virginia region.

Reunions. Family history is born out of love and strengthened when those roots are cherished. For this reason, historical, romantic settings lend way for great family reunion inspiration. One of America’s most scenic routes, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the perfect setting for romantic drives and family adventure. Winding through North Carolina, this scenic highway boasts hazy mountains and colorful woodlands, idyllic for a family reunion getaway. The Green Park Inn (1891) in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, is a reunion favorite with generations of history peaking in the High Country mountains. Choose from over 12 hotels in the Carolinas.

“This is a year-round campaign launching in time for Valentine’s Day. Romance is not just one day a year, it is year-round at our historic hotels,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Love stories are breathless moments that stand the test of time. Write your next chapter at one of the many Historic Hotels of America, where ambiance, architecture, and history blend to create timeless romance. Historic Hotels of America is the largest collection of the most romantic hotels anywhere. Whether you’re courting, celebrating, rekindling, or reminiscing, we have the romantic escape for you.”

From booking a romantic getaway with your stunning sweetheart or planning the next family reunion, take a look on HistoricHotels.org/Romance where Every Day is Valentine’s Day at Historic Hotels of America.

Historic Hotels of America® is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation® for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Founded in 1989 with 32 charter members, today, Historic Hotels of America has more than 260 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated properties.  More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit HistoricHotels.org.

To receive the free Discover & Explore e-newsletter each month with advance notice about Insiders Savings, special discounts, epic package, and up and coming events in historic hotels in 30 countries, plus free or reduced rate admission to historic and cultural sites, click here.

To view the Historic Hotels of America 2015 Annual Directory eBook, click here.

 

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In Time for Valentine’s Day, Bicycle Adventures Shares List of Most Romantic Lodges on Two-Wheel Escapes

February 3, 2015
Bicycle Adventures is sharing its short list of the most romantic lodges guests can enjoy on a two-wheeled vacation, even after Valentine's Day has come and gone.

Bicycle Adventures is sharing its short list of the most romantic lodges guests can enjoy on a two-wheeled vacation, even after Valentine’s Day has come and gone.

Issaquah, WA– To mark Valentine’s Day, Bicycle Adventures, a Pacific Northwest-based active travel company specializing in two-wheel tours in North America, Hawaii (the Big Island) and internationally, has shared its short list of what its staff consider are the most romantic lodges guests can enjoy on a two-wheeled vacation, even after Feb. 14 has come and gone.

“Most of our cycling vacationers are couples seeking a mix of road miles through gorgeous scenery, good food, wine and, ideally, romantic accommodations,” said Todd Starnes, Bicycle Adventures’ Owner and President. “In other words, day-by-day, minute-to-minute quality of life counts.”

“Whether you opt for an active week exploring the countryside with Bicycle Adventures (http://bicycleadventures.com/) or you seek a cozy weekend retreat on your own, here’s a list of our very favorite inns and lodges where romance reigns.”

Two San Juan Islands resorts were featured by Fox news in its “10 Romantic Getaways in Washington State”. Bicycle Adventures uses both on three different itineraries. Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes is located between Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. Here guests enjoy the experience of lakeside views from the property’s lodge. Outlook Inn offers an experience of Orcas Island culture including watching the rising and falling tides. The following trips utilize these classics: San Juan Islands 4 Day, San Juan Islands 6 Day and San Juan Islands & Victoria.

At Moraine Lake Lodge on Moraine Lake in the Rocky Mountains, a naturalist guide tempts guests to hike if he/she can get the guests up from the Adirondack chairs they’ve settled into with a glass of wine to toast the glaciers. Luxury Travel Magazine hailed it as ‘the ultimate romantic getaway’ and Bicycle Adventures’ guests rave about it in trip reviews of the following trips: Banff-Jasper 6 Day and Glacier-Banff-Jasper (8 days).

Casa de San Pedro in southern Arizona is said to be “The Most Romantic Inn in Arizona” from its perch on 10 acres adjacent to the San Pedro River and Riparian National Conservation Area. Over 355 species of birds and hundreds of butterflies call this place home. Adobe, cacti and the history of the Old West make this a place to be remembered on Bicycle Adventure’s Cactus Classic.

“The Most Romantic Getaway” in Central Oregon (according to Bend Living) is Five Pine Lodge. This was also named one of the top five hotels in the US by TripAdvisor in 2014.  Surrounded by the Three Sisters and a thriving craft brew culture, there’s plenty of added value on Bicycle Adventure’s Bend Breakaway.

For more information on these inns and associated trips contact the romantics at Bicycle Adventures by phone: 800.443.6060, email: office@bicycleadventures.com or visit online at: http://bicycleadventures.com/.

Bicycle Adventures

Scenic byways, four and five-star accommodations and local dining and visits to National Parks are trademarks of Bicycle Adventures, founded in 1984.  Types of tours include Classic (25-50 miles a day), Classic Plus (50-60 miles a day) and Epic (70+ miles a day with the most demanding terrain). Value-driven Frugal category of trips offers budget-conscious lodging and meals with full van support; Family tours offer multi-sport adventures and riding on safe, scenic bike paths.

Pre-set and custom tours embrace the Pacific Northwest into Canada, California and the Southwest, as well as Colorado, the Dakotas, New York, Hawaii, New Zealand, Spain’s Basque region and Taiwan. Excelling in its own backyard the Issaquah, WA-based company’s line-up includes a National Geographic ‘Tours of a Lifetime’ award-winning Empire Epic cycling tour from Washington to Montana’s Glacier National Park, urban adventures in Seattle and Portland and immersions into the craft beer industry in Oregon and Washington.

Follow Bicycle Adventures:
Website: http://bicycleadventures.com/
Facebook: Bicycle Adventures
Twitter: @BikeAdventures

 

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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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Empty Nesters Invited to Rekindle Romance at Belmond Charleston Place

August 26, 2014
Belmond Charleston Place, in Charleston, South Carolina, has introduced a "Newly Nesters Package," designed to reawaken the spark that was in couples whose kids have flown the coop and find themselves emptynesters

Belmond Charleston Place, in Charleston, South Carolina, has introduced a “Newly Nesters Package,” designed to reawaken the spark that was in couples whose kids have flown the coop and find themselves emptynesters

Belmond Charleston Place, in Charleston, South Carolina, has introduced a “Newly Nesters Package,” designed to reawaken the spark that was in couples whose kids have flown the coop and find themselves emptynesters.

The Newly Nesters package includes one night luxury hotel accommodations in one of the new Premier rooms, sparkling wine welcome amenity, dinner for two in the award winning Charleston Grill (which the New York Times recently described as “simultaneously glamorous and comfortable”) and continental breakfast for two in the garden-inspired Palmetto Cafe. Rates from $389 plus tax.

Consistently ranked among the best hotels in the world by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines, Belmond Charleston Place evokes the feeling of a grand, 17th century residence, from its lush personal suites to the Italian marble lobby with its signature Georgian Open Arm staircase and 12-foot crystal chandelier. The staff of the hotel is dedicated to indulging its guests with the finest in Southern hospitality, and has become the choice of celebrities, princes and politicians.  Guests can enjoy the hotel’s full service European-style spa and horizon-edge swimming pool with retractable glass roof. The hotel is centrally located, surrounded by historic homes and buildings, and within strolling distance of the Charleston’s many boutiques, galleries and restaurants.

For more information visit www.CharlestonPlace.com or call 800-383-2335.

Belmond Charleston Place is part of Belmond Ltd., a global collection of exceptional hotel and luxury travel adventures in some of the world’s most inspiring and enriching destinations.  Established almost 40 years ago with the acquisition of Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice, the Company owns and operates 45 distinctive hotel, rail and river cruise experiences in many of the world’s most celebrated destinations.  From city landmarks to intimate resorts, the collection includes Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg; Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro; Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya; and Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara.  Belmond also encompasses safaris, six luxury tourist trains including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, three river cruises and ‘21’, one of New York’s most storied restaurants.  Orient-Express is a trademark of SNCF For more information, visit  belmond.com.

 

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In Celebration of Valentine’s Day, Villas of Distinction® Names its Top Five Most Romantic Villa Vacations

February 14, 2014
Leamington Cottage in Barbados is one of the five most romantic places for a villa vacation.

Leamington Cottage in Barbados is one of the five most romantic places for a villa vacation.

Love is in the air and the villa experts at Villas of Distinction®, the world’s premier villa rental company as part of World Travel Holdings, are sharing five of the most romantic villa vacations.

Count them down …

5. Leamington Cottage in Barbados – Couples can relax, sit back and enjoy each other while a cook prepares their favorite meal for a romantic dinner on the spacious terrace with breathtaking views of the beach and sea, and a housekeeper takes care of the cleaning — what’s more romantic than that? This one-bedroom, one-bath self-contained cottage has its own private entrance and is located on the beachfront in front of a reef, which is ideal for swimming and snorkeling with your sweetie.

4. Les Palmiers in St. Martin – Extreme privacy is what makes this villa a dreamy location for adoring couples looking to spend time beachfront. Les Palmiers, a one-bedroom villa with a king-sized bed sits on Baie Rouge Beach with spectacular views of Anguilla. Couples will enjoy sipping a drink in the daybed on the marble pool terrace just feet from the beach. Les Palmiers was also named the prime honeymoon location in St. Martin by “L’Art de voyager.”

3. Bali Hale Cottage in Maui – Covered patios surround this cozy hideaway for the best of outdoor living along with spectacular ocean and mountain views. If passion in a relationship equals adventure … this is the right getaway. Bali Hale Cottage is located near Launiupoko Beach Park, which offers adventures such as whale watching, surfing, snorkeling, kayaking and more. This elegant one bedroom allows guests to enjoy the tranquility of peaceful sunsets while being just minutes away from the action — fine dining, theater, shopping, parasailing, deep sea fishing, scuba diving, championship golf courses, Hawaiian Luaus, and dozens of white sand beaches.

2. The Loft in Tuscany – Italy is considered one of the most romantic destinations and a stay at The Loft, a completely renovated apartment just a few steps from Piazza Santa Croce, in the historical center of Florence is the perfect setting to fall in love all over again. A couple who enjoys the rural chic feel will relish in The Loft’s features including hardwood floors, high original beamed ceilings and two large luminous windows facing a narrow street, typical of old Florence. The dining area and fully-equipped kitchen with all the modern finishes is the ideal room to create a romantic meal together.

1. Tremoille in Paris – Paris … the city of love, a favorite destination for couples enjoying their honeymoon, renewing their wedding vows, or just wanting to rekindle their love. Tremoille oozes love with its early 19th-century setting, large windows overlooking a quiet courtyard and its contemporary elegance with a beige leather sofa and glass coffee table. Exploring one of the most seductive cities in the world is sure to spice up any relationship.

Of course the definition of romance is different for everyone and the villas offered by Villas of Distinction offer something for all types of romantics. To find a villa vacation that fits your relationship, visit www.VillasofDistinction.com or call 1-800-289-0900 to speak to a Villa Specialist who can customize a romantic adventure.

Villas of Distinction®, part of World Travel Holdings, is a premier luxury villa provider with an extensive portfolio of thousands of privately-owned villas in more than 50 luxurious destinations. For nearly 25 years, Villas of Distinction and its team of expert concierges have been helping travelers find their perfect vacation home without a membership fee. The company takes pride in offering customized vacations to meet every imaginable need, with most villas featuring private pools, butlers, maids and chefs. www.VillasofDistinction.com.

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