Welcome to the Summer of Adventure

June 20th, 2016

Today marks the first day of summer and everyone’s eager to make the most of the beautiful weather.  From sky diving to whitewater rafting, this season is all about embracing thrilling new pastimes.  Below we’ve highlighted four experiences that are ideal for a summer adventure.

Evian Resorts

What better place to paraglide than in the region where the sport was invented? From sailing on the biggest lake in Western Europe to paragliding over the Alpine peaks, Evian Resorts boasts over 80 outdoor activities.  The resorts even offer helicopter rides over the Chamonix Valley followed by a picnic lunch on the mountain.  Located between Lac Léman and the French Alps, Hotel Royal and Hotel Ermitage flourish in the summer with endless adventures for the whole family.

Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle De France


Go on an afternoon excursion with the team of experts at Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France’s sports center.  Choose any activity, from sailing to water skiing, and the resort’s team of Alchemists will combine their professional ability to interact with nature and their knowledge of the island to create an unforgettable tropical experience. You might even spot the hotel’s very own mermaid in the water!

Nayara Springs


Discover the rainforests of Costa Rica while staying at Nayara Springs.  Water rafting, canoeing, and horseback riding are just a few of the many ways to explore the tropical wilderness.  Those feeling especially adventurous might try the canopy tour and zip-line along the top of the rainforest, 150 feet above the ground.

Domaine de Manville


Only a short drive from Domaine de Manville, the Camargue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the perfect place to explore Provence’s unique terrain.  Bike, bird-watch, and ride horses through the acres of wetlands. Those who wish to stay on-property can hike the 3 kilometer nature trail and take in the French countryside. The family-friendly journey is filled with panoramic views of the Alpilles, the mountain range that dominates Provence’s landscape.

 

 

 

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

from relaxation to adventure: stand up paddle boarding has it all

July 16th, 2012

A couple goes stand up paddle boarding at Island Outpost’s GoldenEye in Jamacia

A new surfing trend is sweeping the beaches, allowing novice and experienced surfers alike the chance to experience their very own surfing safari.  Made popular by Laird Hamilton (big time surfer Bill Hamilton’s son), stand up paddle boarding is versatile and easy to learn, unlike surfing.

Stand up paddle boarding, also called SUP, can be as difficult or easy as you want.  To start off, it is best go in calm waters and prepare for a relaxing day cruising around the ocean, lake, or river.  Stand up paddle boarding has an effect that makes you feel as if you’re walking on water.  More experienced “SUP”-ers can go out in the tide to have more of a thrill ride!

Some SUP-ing is best with a little motivation, like when Wall Street Journal Columnist, Charles Bethea took his first SUP adventure.  He kept his eyes on the prize:  an ice-cold rum drink overlooking the ocean.  Bethea went out with his instructor off the coast of Anguilla to cross the water and over to an island where his drink was ordered and waiting for him.  He completed his journey and ended back on the beach gloating, almost soberly. Read more about his experience here.

Do you want to have your own SUP adventure? GoldenEye Resort in Jamaica offers personal SUP lessons around some of the most breath-taking sites.  Wata Sport Beach is available for anyone to learn and perfect their favorite water sports.  If you need some personal motivation like Bethea did, make your reservation at the Bizot Bar, paddle up, and enjoy!

rocket man: crystal cruise’s tribute to elton john

June 6th, 2012

“Saturday Night’s Alright” aboard Crystal Cruises!  Crystal recently took the idea of entertainment to a higher level with their newest show, “Rocket Man: A Tribute to Elton John.”

British impersonator Jonathan Kane exceptionally mimics Sir Elton’s unique style – from his piano playing, voice, and mannerisms, to his unmistakable on-stage persona (Kane wears a shiny gold tux, a perfectly shaped wig and funky glasses, need we say more?).  Kane’s masquerade is flawless, bringing guests along for an entertaining, sensational ride.

Taking place in Crystal’s award winning showroom, the Galaxy Lounge, the lounge features a hydraulic-rising stage along with comfortable seating, giving everyone a taste of Crystal’s own “Rocket Man.”  Grab your passport and hop on board because Crystal’s taste in entertainment is only becoming more spectacular.

le petite prince (and princess)

May 30th, 2012

Been there, done that? This summer, embark on a different family-friendly getaway in Geneva, Switzerland, with La Réserve Genève.

Where: Nestled along the shores of Lake Geneva, La Réserve Genève, the contemporary five-star hotel with interiors by Jacques Garcia, features spacious rooms and suites, some even with separate kitchens and living and dining rooms – ideal for families.

Fun for the Little Ones: Younger guests can spend their days at La Petite Réserve, an en plein playground and tree house. Daily supervised age-appropriate activities and babysitting services are available for kids ages six months to 14 years and include tennis, golf, diving, sailing, wakeboarding, and swimming lessons. *

Fun for Adults: Parents can relax poolside indulging in a luxurious spa treatment using products such as La Prairie, enjoying an intimate meal at one of the property’s three restaurants, or cruising around Geneva in one of the hotel’s Tesla roadsters.

Fun Times Together: Geneva is home to a variety of family-friendly festivals this summer, including the Bol D’Or (June 15-17), in which 600 boats and yachts take to the waters of Lake Geneva in a contest for the Golden Cup, or the Fêtes de Genève (July 19 – August 12), one of the biggest events in Switzerland offering over 250 free concerts, crafts, food, and one of the largest musical firework shows in the world.

For more information about La Réserve Genève click here, or call +41 22 959 59 59.

*The kids program is offered Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. One week enrollment costs 1,200 CHF (approximately $1,322 USD).

park it in tokyo this summer

May 29th, 2012

With the launch of American Airlines groundbreaking new route between JFK and Tokyo’s Haneda International airport, located much closer to the city center than the traditionally used Narita Airport and with much faster immigration, everyone is talking Tokyo these days. Now that the “Vertical City” is faster than ever to get to, head there to experience some of its popular summer festivities. Here’s the latest scoop of summer city happenings from Park Hyatt Tokyo:

Mark calendars for June 27, 2012, when Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine will host a special Brewmaster’s Dinner as part of the brand’s global series of seasonally and locally inspired culinary events. The event, held in collaboration with Kanagawa’s Sankt Gallen Brewery (renowned for its locally-produced craft ales) will offer a tasting menu of six-courses, each complemented by vintage labels, as well as a chocolate stout and a surprise ale from the brewery’s cellar.

Summer is the season of fireworks – especially in Japan. Almost every night, communities around the country stage lively firework displays to illuminate the night sky. The biggest and most popular of these is the Sumida River Fireworks Festival on July 28. During the festival, twenty thousand sets of fireworks will light up the Tokyo summer sky and the event also includes a competition for the best fireworks.

The Tokyo Sky Tree just opened as the world’s second-tallest structure. Standing at 2,080 feet, it takes about 50 seconds for the high-speed elevator to zip visitors up to the lower observation deck at 1,148 feet, and another 30 seconds to reach the higher deck at 1,475 feet. Don’t miss the vertigo-inducing glass floor!

On the last Saturday and Sunday in August, around 1.2 million spectators flock to 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.

Celebrate the end of summer by attending the September 2012 Grand Sumo Tournament. From September 9 – 23, wrestlers young and old from across Japan will come to Tokyo to partake in the event. Hakkeyoi!

 

take your mama out

April 30th, 2012

Forget the Hallmark card or the flowers and take Mom away for a real treat. We’ve put together some suggestions for a Mother’s Day she won’t soon forget.

Where: One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico

What: Get Mom a weekend of spa treatments in paradise.

When: Mother’s Day Weekend

Why Mom will love it: Mothers and daughters can unwind in the privacy of a double Spa villa at the ESPA spa complete with private garden, rain showers, outdoor Mexican daybeds, and whirlpool baths to relax in after a treatment. Special for the weekend are Mother-Daughter Soul-to-Soul moments ($640 for two) that include a Mother-Daughter yoga or salsa experience, an ESPA age-defying radiance facial or intensive facial, a spa lunch, and full use of the heat experience and relaxation area, or the Enduring Memory Mother’s Day Experience ($355) with a two-hour holistic body ritual, an in-villa 30-minute experience including a foot ritual, bath, and relaxation time, a spa lunch, and full use of the heat experience and relaxation areas. And all of this with her now favorite child.

Where: Inn on the Alameda, Santa Fe, New Mexico

What: Show Mom how much you care by sending her to the welcoming Inn on the Alameda for a weekend of adult-only relaxation.

When: Mothers Day Weekend

Why Mom will love it: With the Please Your Parents Package, Mom and Dad can enjoy a weekend away from the kids in Deluxe Accommodations at the Inn, including the Inn’s signature continental breakfast, afternoon wine hour, and one box of yummy bizcochitos, the official New Mexico state cookie.

Rate: Nightly rate is $220 plus tax per room per night. With a regular rate of $270 plus tax, this package has $50 nightly savings and applies to the Inn’s Deluxe Rooms only. The stay must include Mother’s Day, Sunday May 13, 2012, but there is no minimum night stay requirement. The offer is subject to hotel availability.

Where: The Peninsula Spa, New York

What: An amazing ESPA “Spa-Cation” without leaving the island

When: Perfect for the week before or after Mother’s Day

Why Mom will love it: Play hooky and take your mama out! Without hopping on planes trains, or automobiles, have a spa-cation right in the city. You and mom can indulge in a 60-minute treatment, a special lunch, and complimentary use of the pool and fitness center. It’s available Monday-Thursday for $285 per person.

Where: White Elephant and Brant Point Grill, Nantucket, Massachusetts

What: Breakfast in bed is a nice gesture, but we bet Mom will enjoy the “Best Brunch on the Island” even more!

When: Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Why Mom will love it: From the Benedict Burger to the make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, a Sparkling Station for mimosas, and a brand new tapas station, this brunch is complete with all of Mom’s favorites.

Rate: Brant Point Grill’s Mother’s Day Brunch is $55 for adults, $25 for kids ages 6-12 and $5 for kids ages 3-5. Combine your brunch with a stay at White Elephant and enjoy special Hot Dates Cool Rates, starting at $195 per night.

Where: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Avon, Colorado

What: Located in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, this luxury chateau-style resort features many amenities, including the 30,000 square-foot Allegria Spa, with a full-service fitness center, slopeside pool and hot tubs. This world-class spa is offering the “Her Day, Her Way Mother’s Day” package, an exceptional package for moms to unwind on their special day.

When: Mothers Day, Sunday, May 13, 2012.

Why Mom will love it: Spoil Mom with an extra luxurious spa escape with the “Her Day, Her Way Mother’s Day” package that includes a 50-minute Swedish Massage; choice of one of three select treatments (25 minute Sweet Lavender Body Scrub, 30 minute Custom Facial or Express Manicure & Pedicure); champagne; take-home spa gift; and access to Aqua Sanitas, the health club, the pools and hot tubs.

Where: Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos

What: Max and relax with Mom for a stress-free weekend away

When: Mothers Day Weekend

Why Mom will love it: Stress is a fact of life for mothers and daughters alike, which is why Parrot Cay has designed a Stress Management Wellness Package to target and relieve sources of tension and worry. Professional consultants will take things down a few notches with deep relaxing therapies, enlightening outdoor pursuits, and smart tips to put some of the carefree “island life” of Turks & Caicos into the home routine. Let the experienced personal fitness trainers convert pent-up stress into a productive mother-daughter workout, and follow it up with mind- and body-balancing yoga and meditation.

wash off the sun, salt, and sand with guinot’s new gel douche soleil

April 19th, 2012

Guinot’s new Gel Douche Soleil to the rescue! This NEW shower gel, made especially for bathing after sun exposure, is here just in time for Spring and Summer 2012. Sun, salt, and chlorine dry the skin, while sunscreens leave minerals behind. This shower gel has been formulated to dissolve sunscreen residues and UV filters while neutralizing the effects of chlorine and salt water. While all things relating to a day at the beach or pool tend to cause skin dehydration, so, too, do many ordinary soaps and cleansers. This after-sun superstar has Jojoba Oil to moisturize and soften, preventing dehydration and making it gentle enough for sunburned skin.

TO USE:Lather with Gel Douche Soleil in the shower to wash away sunscreens, salt, and chlorine.

Gel Douche Soleil comes in a 300ml bottle priced at $30.  Guinot products are carried in over 1,000 spas and salons within the US.  To locate a spa, visit www.GuinotUSA.com.

ocean racers drop anchor in abu dhabi

January 17th, 2012

Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

Sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race have had quite the adventurous couple of months. After departing from their starting port in Alicante, Spain in October, they braved the treacherous Atlantic to Cape Town, Africa, narrowly avoiding potential pirate attacks in the Straight of Hormuz. From Cape Town, they set sail to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where they arrived last Thursday to the welcoming music of Coldplay.

After several in-port races in Abu Dhabi, the boats embarked on the next leg of their journey to Sanya, China, where they can expect some surprises in the water. While sailing the Malacca Straights, the second busiest shipping channel in the world, they need to be on the lookout for logs and other debris in the water that have the potential to cause disaster.

After Sanya, they will set sail for Auckland, Australia; Itajai, Brazil; Miami, USA; Lisbon, Portugal; Lorient, France, and finally, Galway, Ireland. After approximately nine months of racing and 39,270 nautical miles, there will only be one champion in Galway. We can’t wait to find out who!

For the most up-to-date information and updates on the race, visit www.volvooceanrace.com.

oh, sunny santa fe would be nice

December 8th, 2011

There’s a reason Angel and Collins from our favorite musical, Rent, wanted to leave New York to open a restaurant in Santa Fe. The City Different was recently voted one of the Top Ten US Food Destinations by TripAdvisor!  Now you can learn to cook like a Santa Fean chef at the charming Inn on the Alameda, recently named one of Condé Nast’s Top 200 Hotels, with the Taste the City Different Package. Led by a chef from the Santa Fe Cooking School, guests will take an afternoon tour of the city with four stops at unique dining destinations, where they can taste the menus, meet the chefs and owners, and learn about the eclectic mix of old and new that defines the region’s distinctive cuisine. The package also includes a cooking class, where guests will learn how to throw some southwestern flair into their kitchens at home.

January to April, 2012 dates are:

January – 1/19-21

February – 2/2-4; 2/9-11; 2/16-18; and 2/23-25

March – 3/1-3; 3/8-10; 3/15-17; 3/22-25; and 3/29-31

April – 4/5-7; 4/12-14; 4/19-21; and 4/26-28

So jump on the bandwagon, and find out for yourself why everyone is talking about Santa Fe!

To see if your favorite U.S. hotel made the list, click here!

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