off the beaten path summer rentals

March 31st, 2011

GoldenEye, Anantara Kihavah Villas


Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos

What: Bring the family and rent one of Parrot Cay’s airy beach villas. The one-, two-, and three- bedroom villas each have a pool and are just a few steps away from the pristine white sand. For a little indulgence, try the Tamarind Villa – the newest property in the Parrot Cay Estates section comprises two complexes – one with three bedrooms and one with two bedrooms – that can be rented together or separately. When renting separately, rental includes butler service and other standard amenities.  When renting as a whole unit, the estate will include two butlers, standard amenities, a gym, and a private chef. Both houses have a private deck and pool.

Why: The Caribbean is often thought of as a winter destination, which is what makes it such a secret gem in the summer. While the beach is never crowded, in the summer the resort is even more peaceful than usual and rates are at their lowest – plus from June through October, kids eat free!

Camp/Activities: Adults can partake in daily yoga and Pilates and relax at the COMO Shambhala Retreat while kids can take part in activities like treasure hunts and making shark tooth necklaces.

Rates: From June 1-October 31, 2011:

One-bedroom Beach Villa: $3,146

Two-bedroom Beach Villa: $4,114

COMO Beach Villa (three-bedroom): $4,840

Tamarind: Main House/3 Bedrooms – US$12,100 inclusive of tax (for all seasons)

Guest House/2 Bedrooms – US$6,050 inclusive of tax (for all seasons)

GoldenEye Hotel & Resort, Jamaica

What: Vacation like James Bond and rent out Ian Fleming’s villa (or a beach cottage just down the way). The Fleming Villa, where Ian Fleming wrote all of the James Bond books, can accommodate up to 10 people in its original three-bedroom home plus two new poolside cottages, with luxe amenities like a private swimming pool, media room and bar, sunken garden, and direct access to the private Fleming Beach. For a smaller group, consider the barefoot-chic one- and two-bedroom Beach Cottages, situated on Low Cay Beach, that open directly onto the sand.

Why: Who’s cooler than James Bond? Jet ski through the beautiful Caribbean waters pretending to be in the cast of Dr. No, or just relax at the newly opened Bizot Bar and sip a cool Red Stripe in the sun.

Camp/Activities: Jamaican Olympic triathlete Iona Wynter leads the fitness program so guests can stay in shape with activities such as Cardio Kayaking or Stretch and Snorkel sessions. Kiddies can carve coconuts, learn to fish, or stay up to stargaze with Brian, resident astronomy buff.

Rates: May 1-October 31, 2011:

One-bedroom beach cottage: $780

Two-bedroom beach cottage: $960

Fleming Villa: $4,400

Jakes, Jamaica

What: Relax in the quiet seaside town of Treasure Beach in one of Jakes’ island-chic private villas. The three villas – Calabash Bay Villa and Cottage, Hope House, and Cave Canum – are all close to Jakes and guests have all the benefits of the resort (such as the Driftwood Spa and Dougie’s Bar). The villas each have a private pool, although they’re so close to the ocean the pools might be overlooked, and come with a housekeeper and private chef.

Why: With all the benefits of a hotel but the privacy of your own house, these villas are perfect for a family vacation: the little waves lap up just feet from the house, nanny service is available, and they’ll even stock the fridge upon request so you can try your hand at jerk chicken, or maybe just some corn flakes.

Camp/Activities: Kiddies can run down to Jakes and take part in daily activities such as cooking classes and mosaic tile workshops, and the whole family can enjoy one of Jakes’ monthly moonlit farm dinners made with all local produce and set outside on a farm.

Rates: Rates start at $500 per night.


The Cottages at the Boat Basin, Nantucket

What: The ideal rental for a traditionalist, these quintessentially New England one-, two-, and three-bedroom cottages all feature a full kitchen, dining area, living area, and many have a private deck.

Why: The Cottages are steps away from downtown, great for walking and avoiding that infamous Nantucket traffic. Also, if a family trip just isn’t the same without Fido, stay at one of the WOOF Cottages where man’s best friend is treated to dog beds, toys, and a list of pet-friendly spots on the island. (Keep an eye out for Forrest, the Cottage’s new black lab puppy and mascot!)

Camp/Activities: Borrow bikes and pedal around to see the beaches, bogs, and legions of grey shingled houses. Guests at The Cottages also have access to sister hotel’s White Elephant Spa, so one can get a Maritime Seaweed Body Revitalization after a day at the beach.

Rates: With the Hot Dates/Cool Rates promotion…

May: $185: May 1-5, 8-12, 15-18
$235: May 22-26, 30-31

June : $235: June 1-2, 5-8, 13-16

July : $405: July 7, 10-14, 17-21

August: $410: August 28-31

White Elephant Hotel Residences, Nantucket

What: Rentals with all the comforts of a hotel located right on the edge of Nantucket Town. The one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences are great for families of all shapes and sizes, ranging from 750 to 1,525 square feet.  Designed in classic Nantucket style with a sleek, modern tilt, each residence features a flat screen TV, sub-zero refrigerator, and Pratesi by Rivolta Carmignani linens on the four poster beds.  With all the space, grandparents and grandchildren are welcome to experience a pampered Nantucket!

Why: A great place to avoid traffic while still being close to Nantucket Harbor, Jetties Beach, Brant Point Lighthouse, along with all the stores in town. In case cooking at home seems daunting, take advantage of priority reservations at Brant Point Grill.

Camp/Activities: A day at the beach couldn’t be easier, with beach towels, chairs, and towels provided by the White Elephant and being within walking distance of Children’s Beach (a harbor beach with no waves). If lounging by a pool is more your style, the Residences have a beautiful private pool complete with cabanas, pool toys, and daily fresh fruit and ice cream service.

Rates: With the Hot Dates/Cool Rates promotion…

July: $1,200 July 5-6, 10-14, 17-21


La Réserve Ramatuelle, Côte d’Azur

What: These beautiful 4-6 bedroom villas each have a private garden, a pool, and an open view of the Mediterranean Sea.

Why: Along with the privacy of a house, the villas come with all the benefits of being at La Réserve (housekeeper, personal chef upon request, and access to the hotel and spa services).

Camp/Activities: Like heading off to day camp, those at the villas can troop up to the spa for à la carte treatments including a few designed exclusively for the resort by La Mer, or sign up for the 6-day program – one that focuses on weight loss, body sculpting, and revitalization through spa treatments and personally prescribed activities like yoga or hiking..

Rates: 4 bedroom villas start at 15,000 euros for 7 nights (4,000 euros per night on a nightly basis)


Anantara Kihavah Villas, Kihavah Huravalhi Island, Baa Atoll

What: Live like a true jetsetter with an extended stay on the resort’s private island. The newly opened 78 overwater villas all feature private plunge pools, outdoor showers, and oversized bathtubs for two, ooh la la!

Why: If the Maldivian sun isn’t temptation enough, the resort is home to the longest pool in the Maldives (161 feet), an underwater restaurant and wine cellar, and is the only place in the Maldives to go whale shark and pink coral diving.

Camp/Activities: Guests can take traditional cooking and weaving lessons or a day trip to Seabird Island to visit the sea crane nesting ground. For a more relaxed activity, try a signature coconut treatment in an overwater spa suite with an aquatic viewing panel below the treatment beds. The Thiththi Boli Kids Club has plenty of daily activities (such as arts and craft and locally inspired games) to keep the 12-and-under guests busy from sunrise to sunset.

Rates: From June 1-October 31, 2011:

Beach Pool Villa: $2,200

Overwater Pool Villa: $2,450

Two-bedroom Overwater Pool Villa: $7,150

Two-bedroom Beach Pool Villa: $7,500


Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa, Koh Samui

What: Host the ultimate summer BBQ at your temporary residence along one of Koh Samui’s most famous and longest beaches, Chaweng Beach. The Royal Lawana Pool Villa is 3,229-square-feet and designed in remembrance the area’s ancient Chinese merchant settlers. The design is a fusion of Chinese-Thai contemporary styles with unique Chinese rooflines with vaulted ceilings.

Why: The expansive outdoor sala is ideal for summer gatherings, and Lawana provides a private chef, waiters, and bartender to create the perfect party. All rooms overlook the beach, and the private pool and sundeck are just the spot for taking in the setting sun.

Camp/Activities: Anantara Lawana offers Thai cooking classes, yoga lessons, water sports, and an expansive fitness center. Don’t fret if leaving the 9-5 causes a little separation anxiety; the business center and library are available for high-speed Internet access (or just borrowing a new book or DVD)!

Rates: Royal Lawana Pool Villa rack rate between June 1 and October 31, 2011 is 58,000 THB/night (approximately $1,899/night).  The ‘Best Available Rate with Breakfast’ is 42,800 THB/night (approximately $1,401/night) and is available through October 31.

on your mark…get set…

March 31st, 2011

Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

Time to start your engines! The annual Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge kicks off tomorrow and ends next Thursday.  International teams will compete in four categories of motorsport racing through the formidable dunes of the Liwa desert: bikes, quads, cars and trucks. Over 100 competitors will race across 1,570 kilometers of the uninterrupted desert of Rub’-al-Khali, or the ‘Empty Quarter’. The event takes place near the luxurious Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, which itself is plopped right into the sand. If you can’t make it to the action in person, Eurosport TV will be broadcasting all the action globally. We can’t wait to see which team leaves the competition in the dust! Literally.

(Photo courtesy of flickr)

tune into mozart, tune out your mobile

March 29th, 2011

Celebrate Switzerland’s Lucerne Festival with “Spa & Sounds” Package

From Victoria Jungfrau Collections’ Palace Luzern

In conjunction with the renowned Lucerne Festival, Switzerland’s Palace Luzern is offering a two-night “Spa & Sounds” package, available for stays April 9-17. Designed to promote ultimate relaxation, the package combines five-star accommodations with massage, music, and a mobile device drop-off service!

While enjoying Balinese massages, and festival tickets for performances of those chart-toppers of the 17 and 1800s, Bach, Brahms and Mozart; the “Spa & Sounds” package is as much about what you WILL hear as what you DON’T HAVE TO hear – namely, the unsoothing sounds of your cell phone. Bringing new meaning to the term “hands-free”, included in the package is Palace Luzern’s mobile device drop-off service. Simply hand your phone over to the hotel’s concierge on arrival, they’ll be happy to answer any phone calls and relay your messages.

The annual festival has been in existence since 1938 and attracts a roster of major international orchestras, conductors and soloists to the Swiss city. View the complete program here.

The “Spa & Sounds” package costs 1764 CHF based on double occupancy ($1,922 USD at time of release) and includes the details below. Guests can book the two-night offering between April 9 – 17.

  • Two night accommodations with views of Lake Lucerne
  • Breakfast both mornings
  • Tickets for evening of your choice to the Lucerne Festival
  • One Balinese massage per person
  • Roundtrip transfers from the Lucerne train station and KKL (festival location) in a Jaguar car
  • Butler service
  • Mobile “drop off service”
  • Fruit and Swiss chocolate upon arrival

Don’t fret if you can’t make it this time; the offer will also be available in August for the Summer Festival and November for the Piano Festival (Prices may vary).

a gem of a new offering from crystal cruises

March 25th, 2011

crystal drinks

Are you tired of constantly giving people your autograph? You’re in luck, because in 2012, vacations on Crystal Cruises‘ Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will be All Inclusive, which means no more signing for complimentary fine wines and premium spirits. Crystal’s new All Inclusive plan will also include pre-paid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff, including the Penthouse butler service and service in all of Crystal’s fine specialty restaurants and sushi bar. Now you can travel like a celebrity, without being bothered like one.

The new benefits will begin with each ship’s first Trans-Atlantic cruise next year: Crystal Symphony’s “Beyond the Sea” sailing from Miami to Lisbon on March 19, 2012, and Crystal Serenity’s “New World to Norway” voyage from New York to London on May 8, 2012.

spring has sprung

March 22nd, 2011

Holi Colored Powders

Ah, spring—the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and over in India, those celebrating Holi are throwing colored powder and water at each other.  Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors, was celebrated this year on March 20th. The annual festival celebrates the arrival of spring, commemorates various events in Hindu mythology, and is generally a time for disregarding social norms and indulging in merriment. A common saying is “Don’t mind, it’s Holi!” (Hindi = Bura na mano, Holi hai.)

Also on March 20th was the Iranian holiday Nowruz, or Persian New Year. Iranians welcome the new year by wearing new clothes and setting the Haft Seen, a table containing seven items that start with the letter ‘S’: sabzeh (freshly grown greens), samanou (a traditional pudding), senjed (jujube), seeb (apple), seer (garlic), somagh (sumac) and serkeh (vinegar). Nowruz has been celebrated for over 3,000 years on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, the first day of spring for those North of the equator.

Wishing you all a happy Holi, Nowruz, and spring from us here at Alice Marshall!

masters in mendoza? we’ll drink to that

March 18th, 2011


Park Hyatt’s twenty-fifth annual Masters of Food & Wine kicks off March 31st in Mendoza, and what better location to introduce the renowned festival than the heart of Argentina’s winemaking industry and one of the great wine capitals of the world?

The ‘quaffability’ of Mendoza’s Malbecs and Tempranillo grapes come from vines planted at some of the highest altitudes in the world, at an average of 900 meters above sea level, which allows for decreased temperature, exposure  to the sun’s strongest rays, and greater “thermal amplitude”—the difference between day and night temperatures. In most regions, grapes stop growing properly at around 1000 meters.

The team at Bodega Catena Zapata winery has its own Research and Development program, which investigates various aspects of high altitude viticulture on the Malbec variety of grape. The result is a more intense, robust grape with colors, aromas and taste unique to the region—which we can appreciate, even without science. It’s a good thing we have nice things to say about Mendoza Malbecs, because these grapes are notoriously thin-skinned.

daffy for daffodils

March 15th, 2011

The countdown to warm weather is on! The first little crocuses are peeking out with their green leaves, and soon to follow will be the bright yellow heralds of spring, daffodils!

Daffodil Weekend

Nantucket honors the trumpeted bloom with its annual Nantucket Daffodil Festival Weekend. From April 29-May 1, the island celebrates with activities such as the Window Decorating Contest, the Antique Car Parade, the Children’s Parade, and the Daffy Hat Pageant, all culminating in the Annual Tailgate Picnic. Also be sure to eat at Jared Coffin House’s new Brick Bistro – opening just in time for the festival weekend. 

In honor of the weekend, Nantucket Island Resorts has a special package available at the White Elephant,

The Cottages, and the Jared Coffin House.


  • Transportation to and from the Annual Daffodil Tailgate Picnic, with chairs and a blanket
  • Prepared picnic from Brant Point Grill for two with a bottle of wine
  • Two official butter yellow baseball caps with an embroidered Daffodil Festival logo

Rates (based on two-night stay)

  • White Elephant: $500 per room
  • The Cottages: $450 per room
  • Jared Coffin House: $370 per room

For more information, please contact, 211 861 4031.

nueva ofrenda de atlas

March 10th, 2011

Crystal Cruises ahora ofrece su entera 2011 formación de crucero (211-pages) como un Atlas lleno del español-Idioma. If you can read that sentence, it’s all you need to know…. If not, we wanted to share that Crystal Cruises is now offering its complete 2011 cruise atlas in Spanish. Crystal is the only luxury line to publish a full atlas in Spanish and they hopesto start a trend!

Crystal noticed a growing interest from 23 primarily Spanish-speaking countries, and hopes the new atlases will make it easier for native Spanish tongues to understand all of the details within a Crystal itinerary. Crystal prides itself on being the ultimate service-oriented cruise line– and the new publication extends its service to the millions of Spanish-speaking travelers worldwide.

taste of russia from 2,280 miles away

March 4th, 2011

Park Hyatt Dubai The Terrace at Night

For a classic taste of Russia while looking out over the picturesque (and far removed) Dubai Creek, visit The Terrace at Park Hyatt Dubai this month. As a Happy Hour aphrodisiac, The Terrace raw bar offers a wide selection of caviar, oysters, and Balik salmon accompanied by more than 20 premium vodkas.  Plates and pairings are served dialing from noon until 2 a.m.

If you’re feeling slightly more Parisian, the Terrace will also continue its Organic ZwyerCaviar and Veuve Clicquot Champagne Promotion on Fridays and Saturdays in March. Guests may enjoy two complimentary glasses of Veuve Clicquot with every purchase of a 125g tin of ZwyerCaviar. The caviar comes from Russian and Siberian sturgeon, but is harvested exclusively in Uruguay. Bon ваша пища في دبي!

3…2…1… SHHH!!!!

March 4th, 2011

Anantara Seminyak penthouse terrace

Bali residents celebrate New Year Day, or Nyepi, in total silence as a way to start afresh, contemplate, and reassess one’s values in life. On this day, Baliense abstain from traveling, working, and all forms of entertainment.  No flights depart from or arrive at the airport, the streets are closed to pedestrians and vehicles, and even street lights are turned off for the evening.  Guests and travelers are expected to follow the same rules.

Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa is a tempting silent haven. It will be easy to win the quiet game while relaxing in your Anantara Suite’s signature deep terrazzo tub or looking out at the Indian Ocean from the deck of an Ocean Suite. Don’t miss Anantara’s Thai Culinary Journey with a cooking class guided by Wild Orchid’s experienced Thai chefs, followed by a lunch of the students’ own creations.  Spend a peaceful afternoon at the Anantara Spa with an expert therapist who will tailor a package according to guests’ needs, to be enjoyed in a single or couple’s treatment suites, each complete with private terrazzo showers or bathtubs, a personal iPod connection, and views of verdant tree tops and Mount Batukaru.  Now that’s something to shout about.

Celebrate the “Day of Silence” at Uma Ubud with the Nyepi Package. To honor the tradition, the hotel asks guests to remain on the grounds of the resort where complimentary yoga is offered, the Kemiri restaurant is serving a traditional Balinese Rijstaffel dinner, and guests can experience quiet seclusion with a one-hour COMO Shambhala treatment. The package includes two nights’ accommodation and a daily a la carte breakfast, one two-course set lunch at Kemiri restaurant (excluding beverages), one thre-course dinner at Kemiri restaurant (excluding beverages), a 60-minutes COMO Shambhala or Indonesian massage treatment per person, a three-hour guided tour of Ubud, and private return airport transfers. Rates start at $756