how to celebrate national rum punch day

September 18th, 2014

This week in  NYC we really started to feel the chill creep up.  Instead of rushing for cashmere throw blankets and Farmer’s Market hot apple cider, we’re burying our heads in the proverbial sand and grasping one last inch of summer.  How?  By throwing a Rum Punch Party! We highly recommend you do the same to celebrate National Rum Punch Day on Saturday, September 20.  Here’s how:

Step 1: Mix up one or all of our preferred rum libations (recipes below)

Step 2: Tune into some Reggae and steel drum beats (may we suggest the Jolly Boys?)

Step 3: Fill your home with sand and palm trees and transform your bathtub into a swimming pool (optional)

Traditional Rum Punch at Sugar Beach in St. Lucia

3 oz fresh pineapple juice
3 oz fresh orange juice
1 oz g St. Lucia Distillers Crystal White Rum
1 oz St. Lucia Distillers Bounty Rum
1 oz grenadine syrup for color

Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into an ice filled glass. Sprinkle the top with fresh nutmeg and dress with fresh pineapple.

Planteur at Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France in Saint Barth

  • 2 oz white and dark rum
  • 1.5 oz orange juice
  • .5 oz pineapple juice
  • .5 oz guava juice

Shake over ice and add fresh lime juice and cinnamon.

Blackwell Rum Cooler at Island Outpost’s GoldenEye in Jamaica

  • 2 oz Blackwell Rum
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 orange
  • Brown sugar to taste
  • 1 can of ginger ale
  • 6 to 10 ice cubes

Mix Blackwell Rum with muddled lime and orange, brown sugar and crushed ice, top with ginger ale and garnish with orange slices.

 

queenstown winter fest kicks off today

June 21st, 2013

The 39th annual American Express Queenstown Winter Festival, the Southern Hemispheres biggest winter celebration, kicks off today. Thousands of locals and visitors alike will hit the streets and slopes of Queenstown, New Zealand to partake in more than 75 different events (most of which are free and fun for the whole family), such as firework showings, performances by major Kiwi musicians and comedians, and on mountain skiing and snowboarding.

Perfect for families attending the festival, Matakauri Lodge‘s “Family Heaven” package includes two nights’ accommodation with an interconnecting second bedroom, daily pre-dinner drinks, gourmet dinner, full breakfast and mini-bar, spa treatments for all family members, a four-hour babysitter with room service, and a private dining experience. Guests can attend the festival, exploring beyond the lodge, and then return back to luxury once the day is over.

Originating in 1975, the Winter Festival began when a group of locals decided to use the arrival of snow as an excuse for a party, bringing residents and visitors together. The tradition was born and, over the years, this little celebration has grown immensely, attracting people from all over the world to join the Kiwis in welcoming the winter. Now an iconic event, marked and circled on every local resident’s calendar, the festival attracts 45,000 attendees. The annual Winter Festival is all about celebrating the community, the mountain environment, and the start of the winter holiday season.

For more information on the Matakauri Lodge’s “Family Heaven” package visit:  http://www.matakaurilodge.com/family-heaven

For more Winter Festival Information visit: www.winterfestival.co.nz

wed your one-and-only at one&only

February 19th, 2013

With the mother-in-law overstepping her bounds, parents padding the invite list with long lost uncles and college friends, and the stress of keeping everyone happy – planning a wedding can be a little stressful. Enter One&Only. Outsource the wedding planning to their amazingly capable planners, and along with taking away the angst of planning a wedding, the guest list will automatically be strictly nearest and dearest for a destination wedding. Here are some dream wedding options, and tips for any destination wedding, from the experts at One&Only.

Out of Africa at One&Only Cape Town

One&Only Cape Town’s new Weddings Consultant has over 2,000 weddings under her belt and can arrange very personalized weddings in the Marina Room with views of the V&A Waterfront, an outdoor reception on the hotel’s spa island, or an intimate maritime celebration on the hotel’s yacht with Table Mountain in the background and the sun setting over the sea.

 

Hacienda Style Ceremony at  One&Only Palmilla

One&Only Palmilla’s on-site chapel makes the perfect spot for an intimate ceremony, or a larger blow out if it takes place on the steps outside. A chapel ceremony package includes floral arrangements for the altar, an array of candles, and a horse-drawn carriage with a coachman and footman – a Mexican fairy tale!

 

Classic Destination at One&Only Ocean Club

Say ‘I Do’ with the views of the Nassau Harbor from the top of the Versailles Gardens. One&Only Ocean Club offers wedding ceremonies under the arches of a 12th-century Augustinian cloister, a romantic and whimsical setting for ceremonies and receptions. A five-night package includes private airport transfer, photographer, complimentary spa treatments, and catering by Ocean Club’s signature restaurant, Dune by Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

 

Tips for the Destination Bride:

Adele Bennett, Personalized Wedding Consultant at One&Only Cape Town

  • Try to arrive at least four days before your wedding to familiarize yourself with the surroundings, climate, etc.
  • Be daring when doing a wedding menu tasting – you are in a foreign destination so really enjoy the local flavors, which may be a delicious surprise for you and your guests.
  • Check with your resort’s spas, which may have tailor-made packages like One&Only Cape Town’s De-Stress Bridal Spa Wedding Packages to keep you relaxed and calm until you’re down the aisle. (more…)

more than just turkeys and touchdowns, nantucket thanksgiving

November 14th, 2012

Come celebrate Turkey Day in the same state as the Pilgrims (the Grey Lady isn’t so far from Plymouth Rock!). The island is full of charm in the fall; the summer crowds have dispersed, prices have dropped, and the island is awash with vivid hues of crimson and purple. There’s no better setting for a tryptophan-induced food coma and a belly full of pie!

Stay

With Nantucket Island Resorts’ Hot Dates, Cool Rates promotion, rates at the White Elephant for Thanksgiving weekend (November 22-26) start at $195 and rates at the Jared Coffin House start at $155.

Feast

White Elephant’s Brant Point Grill hosts a special Thanksgiving buffet with all of the comfort foods you’d expect at your grandmother’s house, without all of the cooking and dishes. Think turkey with gravy, roasted leg of lamb, tenderloin, raw bar, warm cranberry bread pudding and house-made pies. Cost: Adults $72; children 4-10 $10; 3 & under free. Reservations required: 508.325.1320

Play

While football may be the traditional Thanksgiving game, golfers will be thrilled to know that post-pie they can go play 18 at Nantucket’s top-notch Sankaty Head Golf Club. This members-only club with coveted ocean views and links-style holes is open (for a fee) to anyone from October to May.

Sip

Nantucket’s own Cisco Brewers, known for its Whale’s Tale Pale Ale and other beers as well as its wine and distilled liquors, is a great place to come in from the fall chill. Taste a flight of beer, wine, or liquor and catch a brewery tour.

Plunge

Take part in a Nantucket tradition with the 11th Annual Cold Turkey Plunge! Every Thanksgiving morning, hundreds of brave souls gather on Children’s Beach and jump into the cold Nantucket Harbor. Prizes are awarded for best costumes, so be creative!

Cook

If you don’t want the Thanksgiving fun to end once you’ve returned home, here’s a recipe from Chef Fred Bisaillon of Brant Point Grill to help you hold on to that autumnal spirit.

Chocolate and Cranberry Herb Scones (makes 20 scones)

Ingredients:

1lb +10oz Pastry flour

2tsp salt

1oz baking powder

3oz sugar

12oz cubed cold butter

2oz egg yolk

2oz egg

15oz heavy cream

6oz cranberries

6oz white chocolate chips

Zest of 1 orange

¼ tsp chopped fresh thyme

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking powder, and sugar. Add butter to dry ingredients, mixing on low speed with paddle attachment. In another bowl, combine the eggs, yolks, and cream, then add the egg mixture to the sifted ingredients and butter all at once, mix just to incorporate, then add zest, cranberry, chocolate, and thyme. Pat down dough onto the baking pan about 1” thick. Allow to rest in refrigerator for about 1.25 hours. Cut the dough into 4”rounds or any desired shape, brush with eggwash (one beaten egg, separate from the recipe above, plus 1 T cold water) and allow to sit for 5 minutes then repeat. Bake until golden brown. About 15-18 minutes in a convection oven. Cool to room temp and Enjoy!

 

win a trip to sunny santa fe

September 28th, 2012

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year, not only in Santa Fe but everywhere! The clear blue fall skies make the perfect backdrop and make every color seem more dramatic, from the burning gold of changing leaves to the flowering autumn perennials and the bright orange of falls favorite vegetable, the pumpkin. Every scene is breathtakingly beautiful, making it a photographer’s favorite season.

To celebrate its favorite season, the Inn on the Alameda is inviting photographers of all kinds to enter their autumn glories in its Facebook Photo Contest, where one evocative image will win its creator a two-night stay in a Deluxe King Room with a fireplace at the Inn! Simply post one colorful autumn picture on the Autumn Photo Contest tab, which will be activated and live on the Inn’s Facebook page beginning on Friday, October 5th. The contest runs for only 10 days, so be sure to get that photo up by end of day on October 14. The image with the most Facebook “likes” will win their own two-night stay at the cozy Inn in Santa Fe.

Now, put on your boots and fall jackets, grab your camera (whether it’s your iPhone or professional Nikon!), and start snapping some colorful autumn pictures!

park hyatt masters of food & wine september 2012 series

September 19th, 2012

The final weekend of the 2012 Park Hyatt Masters of Food and Wine, a global series of seasonally- and locally-inspired culinary weekend workshops, will occur at Park Hyatts around the world from September 21 – 23, 2012.

Through engaging and interactive programming, resident and visiting gourmands and oenophiles can become ‘masters’ of regional cuisine. Park Hyatt chefs and sommeliers will lead masters-in-training in three hands-on ‘courses’ on the designated day:

In the Field: Interaction with artisanal food or beverage purveyors
In the Kitchen: Onsite cooking and prep workshops
In the Moment: Tips on service and presentation

Sample hotel itineraries during the September series include:

- Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi will introduce guests to a culinary weekend that will focus on the local and sustainable resources of the region. It will open with a “Sustainable Grill Dinner” hosted by Executive Chef Laurent Pommey and will feature a seven-course menu with dishes such as Seared Tuna and Omani Lobster Carpaccio with Coriander, Local Mackeral Fillet with Herb Crust, and more. The hotel’s signature restaurant, The Park Bar & Grill, will be offering a special four-course vegetarian grill menu throughout the weekend that will include specialities such as Orange Couscous and Mint Salad and Stuffed Purple Kohlrabi with Sweet Potato-Chili Puree and Kenia Beans. Chef de Cuisine Maik Lilenthal will also be hosting a cooking class that will focus on vegetarian cooking and feature a three-course menu.

- Park Hyatt Aviara will take guests to Orfila Vineyards & Winery where they will be greeted with a unique tribute to the European tradition of tasting the Bourru, a young wine derived from fermentation of the Must. Long celebrated during the harvest season, this tasting of the Bourru traditionally takes place from early September to late October and is generally served with savory foods or chestnuts. Masters of Food & Wine is honored to introduce guests to this unique and rarely seen experience. Guests will experience a tour of the winery and enjoy a family-style lunch led by Park Hyatt Aviara’s Executive Chef, Pierre Albaladejo, that will incorporate different types of estate grapes into each dish.

- Park Hyatt Buenos Aires will host an “Organic Springtime” event where organic producers and suppliers create a premium Organic Market in the gardens of the hotel, inviting guests to experience a uniquely organic universe. Attendees will be able to meet, taste, and learn about organic trends while celebrating spring’s arrival in Buenos Aires.

- Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme will offer a special workshop with Mr. Cohen at Les Vergers St. Eustache, the official supplier of all the Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris. Guests will have the opportunity to discover amazing and forgotten vegetables thanks to Mr. Cohen, a real fruit and vegetable storyteller.

For more information and additional itineraries for Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine September series, please click here.

 

take time in tokyo

August 2nd, 2012

It’s already August, and you still haven’t planned that much needed summer vacation? Well, worry not, because Park Hyatt Tokyo (hyperlink) has just what you need!  Available until September 30th, Park Hyatt Tokyo is offering an All-inclusive package that happens to be coinciding with some of the most popular events and festivals happening in the city.  On the last Saturday and Sunday in August, around 1.2 million spectators will flock to the city’s shotengai (shopping promenades) for the 53rd Annual Koenji Awaodori Festival. Over 12,000 participants from 188 groups of choreographed dancers and musicians will parade through the city streets in traditional obon dance costumes, accompanied by traditional Japanese instruments such as the shamisen lute, taiko drums, shinobue flute, and the kane bell.  For some more competitive action, attend the 2012 Grand Sumo Tournament. Happening from September 9-23, wrestlers young and old from across Japan will come to Tokyo to partake in the event. Hakkeyoi!

Park Hyatt Toyko’s package will offer you the serenity and laid-back luxury you will crave after all the excitement.  With your choice of a Park Deluxe Room, Park View Room, or Park Suite, the package includes:

-Lunch with a glass of sparkling wine at New York Grill per person per night

-Daily breakfast at Girandole or via Room Service

-Complimentary access to Club On The Park fitness & spa facilities

-15,000JPY credit per room per night (Park Suite only)

Rates are for two people with a Park Deluxe Room from 55,440JPY, a Park View Room from 68,145JPY, and a Park Suite from 148,995JPY.

*Above rates are inclusive of tax and service charge, and are subject to a 200JPY accommodation taxes per person per night
*Rates are subject to change on a daily basis.

vive la france

July 13th, 2012

© Celeste Hutchins & Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

The storming of the Bastille not only triggered the French Revolution, but also a mid-summer celebration.  Taking place on the 14th of July each year, cities all around the world join France to honor the countries national holiday, La Fête Nationale, a.k.a Bastille Day.  Celebrations include much more than tasty wine, French hors d’oeuvres, and shouting “Vive la France!” The day is filled with Military Parades, fireworks, concerts, and balls.  Commencing at 9am,  join in on the fun with the Military parade, where the crowd will honor the French Military while the French Military Jets distribute blue, white, and red smoke overhead in celebration of the nation’s colors.  Post-parade events consist of an invite-only presidential garden party and a gigantic picnic for all on the banks of the Grand Canal.  If you need some downtime before the infamous Eiffel Tower firework display, head to Musee d’Orsay or the Louvre – all museums throughout Paris are free to the public in celebration!  Nevertheless, be sure to preserve some energy for the lively night scene because the festivities will continue into the wee hours of the morning at various nightclubs and hosted events.  Retire with your dancing shoes to a lavish room at either Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome or Pavillion de la Reine to enjoy all the luxuries the French have to offer.

For apparent reasons, there is no better location to commemorate the holiday than in Paris.  However if you can’t make the trip, put on your beret and look closer to home because this holiday is internationally celebrated.

first zurich food festival will fill the swiss

June 26th, 2012

This summer, Zurich is holding its first ever food festival, Il Tavolo! Beginning on June 27 and lasting until July 1, the event will take place along the beautiful Limmat River in Switzerland, showcasing a mixture of Mediterranean food and haute Swiss cuisine from local five-star hotels and restaurants, including the Park Hyatt Zurich.

As host of the opening night dinner, Park Hyatt Zurich will be serving a lavish six-course meal prepared by six different chefs.  Join in the fun and watch them as they run from kitchen to kitchen to prepare your five-star dish!

The highlight of the festival will be the Gala Night held at the Swiss National Museum, which will serve a delicious array of foods prepared by the top chefs of Switzerland. The goal of the festival is to highlight the fantastic cuisine Switzerland has to offer, as well as bring the Zurich community together for a few great days of food and fun.  Our recommendation? Stay at Park Hyatt Zurich to be in the middle of the action, or Eden Au Lac for a gorgeous getaway just five-minutes away. Bon appétit!

artisans from around the world meet in santa fe to sell their work and help their countries

June 26th, 2012

Images courtesy of Inn on the Alameda and skirlball.org

If you’re heading to Santa Fe this summer, you can help save the world – just by purchasing art! Each year, the “City Different” is host to the International Folk Art Market. This year’s event, taking place from July 13-15, 2012, will feature over 170 artists from 50 different countries.  Not only is the festival an outlet for the artists to sell their work; it is a way for them to make a better life for their countrymen. Last year, the festival raised close to $2.3 million for the artists to take home, impacting around 200,000 people.  One of our favorite success stories comes from a South African mother. Thanks to her impeccable basket-weaving skills, she can now provide shelter for her family and even send her children to school.

What will you find at the festival itself?  Folk Art is a way for the artists to represent and capture their culture through their art.  Beads from Kenya to white porcelain tea bowls from South Korea – you will not be able to find these items authentically anywhere else.  In addition to the artwork, the market has a variety of entertainment to keep you busy all weekend.  The featured group this year is the “African Showboyz” from Ghana, West Africa, who have been known to collaborate with Stevie Wonder!

The Folk Art Market takes place on Museum Hill.  Just a short ten minutes away, you can stay at the Inn on the Alameda.  It is the closest hotel to the Gallery District on Canyon Road and is the perfect place to continue your culture-filled excursion!

Tickets for the festival can be purchased at http://holdmyticket.com/buy/folk%20art%20market.

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