Travel and outdoors product reviews and trips


Fun Travels in the Caribbean ---Anguilla, Antigua, Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Belize, Bonaire, British West Indies, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Grand Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Nassau, Punta Cana, St. Barts, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten/St. Martin, and the Turks & Caicos

News: Note --- (Cities & Towns Follow the News)

New Experiences Await in St. Barts with Recent Bar, Restaurant and Hotel Grand Openings

St. Barts Provides Savings of Over 25% on Villa Rentals Putting You Within Easy Reach of the Island's New & Buzzing Restaurants

Plan Your Summer Getaway to Jamaica Now - Sizzling Seasonal Deals on Offer at Top Hotels to Further Entice Visitors

St. Kitts Hosts 7th Annual Pro-Am Golf Tournament

Saint Lucia Announces Soleil – A Summer of Festivals for 2017

Guests Encouraged to "Make a Scene" with New Five-Day Vacation Package at Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina -- Package includes New GoPro Hero4 Session Camera, Professional Editing Services

Strong Line-Up of Events Ensures Active Fun at St. Croix’s Legendary Buccaneer Resort

Seven Stars Resort in Turks and Caicos Takes Guests on Watersports AdventuresPrivate Boating Excursions and a Snorkeling Paradise Awaits on Beautiful Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales

St. Barth Properties Adds Two New Villas to Portfolio

ANGUILLA

Where to Stay

Redefine Spring Break at Award-Winning Ani Villas Anguilla

Plan the ultimate spring break at an exclusive, Caribbean oceanfront vacation estate where a team of private staff awaits—ready to pamper your family or group as you enjoy the island of Anguilla’s pristine natural beauty and endless recreational activities.

Ani Villas Anguilla is a strikingly scenic 10 bedroom estate with 2 villas fully staffed and serviced with private butlers, chef, housekeepers, concierge service and security to cater to the every need of families and groups looking for an unforgettable getaway. “Our Anguilla estate is perfect for multi-generational travelers looking for a more exclusive and pampered private villa vacation experience,” said Ira Bloom, CEO of Ani Villas.

Both villas in the Ani Villas Anguilla estate are designed to showcase the dramatic cliff top setting and feature their own pools, hot tubs, kitchens, indoor and outdoor dining areas, lounges and decks, along with a tennis court and fully outfitted gym. Unique to the design of Ani Villas in Anguilla is the ability to combine the two fully outfitted and private villas on the estate for larger groups – sleeping up to 20 guests.

The 4-bedroom North Villa overlooks Little Bay - Anguilla's most treasured hideaway for swimming and snorkeling. The master bedrooms and indoor and outdoor living spaces face the breathtaking western view down the Anguilla coastline and jaw-dropping sunset views. The North Villa also features a dramatic stair atrium with massive skylight and water feature, a rooftop lounge, pool deck and cliff-edge hot tub. With similar amenities, 6-bedroom South Villa is a fully accessible home with elevator, roll-in showers, pool lift, and other wheelchair-friendly features subtly incorporated into its design. Both villas offer an assortment of decks and covered areas for gathering as a group or to find your own private space.

Rates at Ani Villas include the full service team, all breakfasts, a private chef, all beverages, and an assortment of activities:

Tennis--The in-house pro is available for unlimited tennis lessons during guests’ stay and can organize private, group, adult and children’s programs. An assortment of tennis rackets along with a ball machine are available at no additional fee.
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding --Ani Villas has a “quiver” of stand up paddle boards (SUP’s), offering great exercise and a fantastic way to see Anguilla’s beaches and coastline from a different perspective, that can be delivered for guests’ use at any beach they wish. 
Bicycle Riding--Guests may choose from a collection of bikes for all ages – ride the dirt trails by the villas to explore some hidden beaches or head out to further points on the island for more rugged trail riding
Snorkeling--The villas come equipped with a collection of masks, fins and snorkels that can be delivered to any beach upon request – or guests can walk the trail down to Little Bay, one of Anguilla’s most remarkable spots, or nearby Limestone Bay.

For more information, e-mail dreams@anivillas.com or visit www.anivillas.com.  

CuisinArt Resort & Spa Debuts $10 Million Expansion Of World-Class Venus Spa

CuisinArt Resort & Spa has opened its new world-class Venus Spa & Fitness Center. The resort’s Venus Spa has reopened after a $10 million expansion that tripled the size of the pre-existing facility to 27,000 sq. ft. State-of-the-art additions include 16 new treatment rooms, Men’s Club Room, VIP suite, an expansive fitness center, relaxation room with sea views, couple’s suites and the first aqua therapy pool of its kind, in the Caribbean.

One of the most luxurious additions of the expansion is an exclusively designed indoor aqua therapy pool, also called the “Healing Waters Pool.” The aqua therapy pool features built-in lounges and soothing hydrotherapy jets where guests can soak in warm nutrient and mineral enriched salt water known for its healing properties. Signature water treatments include the Aqua Massage and Aqua Reflexology, which is a blending of therapies translated into the medium of water.
Among the Venus Spa’s 16 new treatment rooms are wet rooms, lavish massage and facial rooms, a VIP suite, two couple’s suites featuring specialty showers, men’s and women’s hammams and oversized tubs.

The new facility also offers a zen-inspired relaxation room with sweeping views of the sea, as well as a Men’s Club Room to provide male guests with a tranquil, private setting for their treatments which include anything from a deep tissue massage to the indulgent Gentleman’s Facial and Hot Towel Shave. The new fitness center nearly doubled in size, and offers new TechnoGym equipment and Kinesis System weight training.

CuisinArt Resort & Spa, a member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World, is a five-star, award-winning resort on the unspoiled Caribbean island of Anguilla.  Nestled along Rendezvous Bay, the resort offers 93 luxurious accommodations on pristine beachfront property.  The unique architecture of the whitewashed villas is inspired by the Greek island of Mykonos and creates a visually stunning contrast against the sparkling turquoise waters and exquisite white sand beach. With the recently expanded world-class Venus Spa, inspired cuisine including an exclusive Chef’s Table and Wine Cellar, breathtaking views, and the world’s first resort based hydroponic farm, CuisinArt Resort & Spa provides an unrivaled Caribbean experience.  

For additional information on CuisinArt Resort & Spa or to make a reservation, please call (800) 943.3210 or visit <www.cuisinartresort.com.

First Golf Course Now Open in Anguilla

The Caribbean island of Anguilla will be hotter than ever this winter with the opening of it’s first 18 hole championship golf course, increased airlift, new luxury villas, restaurants and attractions to indulge the most discriminating traveler. Some of the world’s best beaches, delicious cuisine, and accommodations to suit every budget put Anguilla on the top of the warm weather getaway list this winter. Highlights of special packages and what’s new island include:

ANGUILLA’S FIRST GOLF COURSE
marks the long anticipated grand opening of Anguilla’s first ever 18-hole championship golf course, the exclusive Temenos Golf Club. Created and designed by golf legend Greg Norman, the course is an integral component of the magnificent St. Regis Resort, Temenos Anguilla, scheduled for completion in winter 2008. This ultra-luxe hotel, residential and golf oasis is nestled along a mile of pristine beach..

BLANCHARD’S SECOND OUTPOST:
New also on the scene is the opening of a second outpost of the world-renowned Blanchard’s Restaurant in the architecturally stunning 28,000-square foot Clubhouse at Temenos Golf Club. Best known for their unique and innovative cuisine, Bob & Melinda Blanchard’s new restaurant is timed to coincide with the grand opening of the island’s first-ever golf course which is destined to be one of the world’s finest.

For more information, contact Sandy Ground at 264-498-0177.

Villa View Fort:

This is one of Anguilla’s newest luxury villas, located on the highest elevation of the island at Crocus Hill, Anguilla. From its cliff-side vantage point there are spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean, boasting the island’s only 360-degree view of the island and its surrounding cays and neighbors. Villa guests receive a special “thank you” --- a trip to gorgeous Little Bay for swimming and snorkeling, a picnic basket and a full Caribbean-style breakfast on the first morning of their stay. The Villa is characterized by an intriguing marriage of “old-world” Caribbean charm and modern architecture, and features cutting edge technology and state of the art equipment and appliances. No detail has been left unchecked, including the quality of service, which is tailored to the wishes of the client, whether it be daily housekeeping duties, or discreet and professional butler and private chef service. www.villasatviewfort.com.

Arawak Beach Inn:

A perfect getaway in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. Comprised of just 17 accommodations painted in pretty pastel shades, a home-away-from-home atmosphere prevails with a distinctly Caribbean flavor. The Inn features a pool, the Arawak Beach Inn Café, a bar, and oceanfront accommodations boasting a balcony or deck with spectacular views, a king- or queen-size bed, a refrigerator, and a private bath. Most oceanfront deluxe rooms also include cable TV and four-poster beds. But the best part may be Maria Hawkins, Arawak’s exuberant innkeeper extraordinaire who offers chauffeured rides around the island in the inn’s pick-up truck and invites guest into the kitchen to whip up their favorite meal. Arawak Beach Inn is offering a special rate and a complimentary day-trip to a private island when guests book the four-night Passport to Paradise package. Just in time for the implementation of the passport initiative, the package is available to first-time passport holders priced seasonally. Rates start at $240* per person, based on double occupancy and includes accommodations for four nights, a complimentary private day excursion to a secluded beach on an uninhabited island, including gourmet packed lunch. The package is also valid for those veteran passport holders with two or more Anguilla stamps. This incredibly priced getaway, which works out to just $60 per person, per night, is reason enough to have people lining up for passports!  The four night Escape package is priced seasonally and starts at $399* per person, offering savings of over 30%. The package includes daily American breakfast, two dinners at the Arawak Beach Inn Cafe, private day excursion to a secluded beach on an uninhabited island including gourmet lunch, one-day car rental and all transfers.Rates are subject to availability and do not include tax and service

For reservations contact 1-877-4-ARAWAK or e-mail relax@arawakbeach.com. For more information, check web site www.arawakbeach.com.  

What to See & Do

Art Café Opens at Island Harbour:

is Anguilla’s newest gallery located in the Coconut Paradise Building at Island Harbour. Owned by Elizabeth Chronicka-Pavluk and Janus Pavluk, the building has undergone considerable renovations and is a spacious gallery with the lighting specially designed for maximum effect. Visitors can relax at the café for coffee, breakfast or lunch served on the balcony under umbrellas. Exhibits will showcase the work of local artists from Anguilla and St Maarten, as well as glass and wood sculpture.

Check web site www.oceanterracecondos.net for details.

ANTIGUA

ST. JOHNS

Where to Stay

Quinta Maconda Is The Place for Romance

Privacy and seclusion in this villa of one's own for Valentine's Day is for the adventurous romantic. This historic Colonial residence (four guest rooms, a living room, dining room, tropical gardens and quiet, sun-splashed corners for reading, painting or writing) with services including bespoke travel planning, valet and cook. The house is located in the center of Antigua, Guatemala, the 16th-century UNESCO World Heritage City. Quinta Maconda is only rented in its entirely with rates dependent on the number of bedrooms used: $1,250 per night for all four bedrooms; $995 per night for any three bedrooms or $775 per night for any 1 or 2 bedrooms. This rate includes full breakfast daily, complimentary laundry service, one mobile phone per room, tropical flowers and firewood. Nightly rates are exclusive of taxes.

For information and reservations, call 1-866-621-4032, via e-mail at info@quintamaconda.com or check web site www.quintamaconda.com.

ARUBA

Where to Stay

Bucuti Beach Resort - Where Romance and Eco-Friendly Meet        

Bucuti Beach Resort, one of the greenest resorts in the Caribbean, invites guests to fall in love with their new eco-friendly Experience Aruba Green Package as they learn more about Aruba’s environment, culture and history.
          
The Experience Aruba Green Package includes a guided hike with a native park ranger through Arikok National Park, a preserve of desert resources comprising of 20 percent of the land on Aruba that is home to most of the island’s flora and fauna, including the unique indigenous burrowing owl and Prikichi parrot; a tour of the Aruba Aloe factory to learn how Aruba’s oldest industry has been producing aloe for more than 100 years; an authentic Aruban dinner for two at the resort’s Pirates’ Nest restaurant; and a full American breakfast buffet daily. Guests can also participate in the resort’s monthly beach clean-up, watch sea turtles hatch (seasonally) and enjoy the widest and most pristine stretch of Eagle Beach. Bucuti also hosts seasonally environmental activities, including a bi-annual recycling contest where guests are invited to judge and a special Earth Day celebration. Rates for the five-night package start at $2,179 for a superior room, including all taxes and service charges.
          
A multiple award-winning and owner-managed resort, Bucuti has been officially certified Green Globe 21 since 2000 and ISO 14001 since 2003, making it not only one of the greenest resorts in the Caribbean but one of the first and most progressively committed. To reduce environmental impacts, the resort has implemented many energy and water-saving practices that include the use of solar panels, equipping guest rooms with automatic air conditioner sensors, flowing wastewater from the toilets to the government treatment plant for re-use, using biodegradable containers for beverages and food instead of plastic material, and collecting all water used in showers, sinks and baths in a grey water recycling system. The resort is dedicated to a high level of service and associates are trained on environmental practices along with customer service. Bucuti also sponsors several local environmental groups, including Turtugaruba Aruba’s Sea Turtle Foundation and the island’s Reef Care Foundation.
          
For more information or reservations, visit www.bucuti.com or call (888) 4-BUCUTI.

About Bucuti Beach Resort: Bucuti Beach Resort featuring Tara Beach Suites & Spa is Aruba’s premier, intimate, upscale boutique resort for couples. Located on the white-powder sands of Eagle Beach, Bucuti was named one of the world’s most romantic resorts by TripAdvisor. Bucuti offers 104 guest rooms, an abundance of contemporary European charm and a caring and attentive staff. Bucuti is a leader in sustainable tourism throughout the world, is ISO 14001 certified and has been recognized by notable organizations such as the Caribbean Hotel Association, American Express and the International Hotel and Restaurant Association for its environmentally responsible hotel operations.

Bucuti Beach Resort -- Drastic Plastic -- Bucuti Beach Resort, Aruba, helps environment by reducing imported water bottles

In 2006, each American consumed approximately 99 liters of bottled water, according to the World Watch Institute. Unfortunately this growing trend of drinking bottled water leads to a surplus of discarded bottles that are not being recycled – an issue impacting Americans not only at home but also abroad.
For the Caribbean island of Aruba, which annually hosts thousands of American tourists, discarded bottles have a direct negative impact on the island’s beaches and native wildlife.

Bucuti Beach Resort in Aruba is a favorite green destination for many American travelers and is spearheading a project to reduce imported bottled water at the resort.  The bottle project will ultimately reduce unnecessary dumping of imported bottles and help keep Aruba’s beaches and roads clean. “We are confident that Bucuti guests will embrace this new policy while supporting Aruba’s local water purification plant,” said Bucuti Beach owner and CEO, Ewald Biemans. “The majority of our guests are not only savvy supporters of green travel, but committed to protecting our island and our planet.”

Bucuti, which has been at the forefront of green tourism for the past 20 years, sees the importance of adding this new proactive step to its long list of other green practices. The resort regularly invites guests and employees to participate in monthly beach clean ups and other environmentally-friendly initiatives. Bucuti’s Green Team has not only taken the initiative with bottled water, they now offer only two types of beer at Sand Bar, part of the Pirate Nest Restaurant. The green resort serves locally brewed Balashi Beer and Heineken, which are both served in returnable, recyclable and locally refillable glass bottles.  

Bucuti Beach Resort featuring Tara Beach Suites & Spa is Aruba’s premier, intimate, upscale boutique resort. Located on the white powder sands of Eagle Beach, Bucuti offers 104 guest rooms and an abundance of contemporary European charm in addition to a caring and attentive staff, innovative technology including advance check-in, high-speed Wi-Fi access throughout the resort and loaner laptops, and a commitment to sustainable tourism. Bucuti Beach Resort is Green Globe 21 and ISO 14001 certified and has been recognized by notable organizations such as the Caribbean Hotel Association, American Express and the International Hotel and Restaurant Association for its environmentally responsible hotel operations.

For more information, visit www.bucuti.com.

BAHAMAS

Where to Stay

Nassau Paradise Island

Renowned for its powder-white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters, Nassau Paradise Island is an ideal escape for any type of traveler. The destination is convenient to many major U.S. markets, while still offering travelers a true Caribbean escape. With world-class resorts and casinos, gourmet dining, duty-free shopping and numerous historical and natural attractions, Nassau Paradise Island has something for everyone.

The following participating hotels provide accommodation options for every budget and style:

Atlantis, Paradise Island
Best Western Bay View Suites
British Colonial Hilton Nassau
Comfort Suites Paradise Island
The Cove Atlantis
Graycliff Hotel
Harborside Resort at Atlantis
Meliá Nassau Beach Resort
One&Only Ocean Club
Paradise Harbour Club & Marina
Paradise Island Beach Club
The Reef Atlantis
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island
Sunrise Beach Club & Villas

This offer is valid for travel originating in the U.S. and Canada. For more information on these resorts, additional packages, or to book the Instant Savings offer, visit www.NassauParadiseIsland.com.

About Nassau Paradise Island:
Nassau Paradise Island, Bahamas is known for having some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world, turquoise blue water, the Caribbean‚s best entertainment and a spectrum of resorts from ultra-exclusive to family-friendly. This convenient destination is serviced by several non-stop flights from most major U.S. cities. Less than an hour from South Florida and less than three hours from New York City, Nassau Paradise Island is so close, yet feels like it‚s a world away. Additional information about where to stay and incredible value-added packages may be found at www.NassauParadiseIsland.com.

Warwick International Hotels

Warwick International Hotels (WIH) was launched in 1980 with the purchase of Warwick New York, a hotel originally built by William Randolph Hearst for his Hollywood friends. The WIH Group now includes more than 55 prestigious Hotels, Resorts & Spas worldwide located in city centres and resort destinations in the United States, Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Bali, the South Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Further details can be found at www.warwickhotels.com.

ABACO

Where to Stay

Whisk Your Loved One To the Bahamas To Say "I Do"

The holidays are rapidly approaching which mean the engagements are going to be announced everywhere! Plan a head and look no further than Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour for the most romantic day in your live. Just imagine picture perfect setting, powder white sand, a sea that features a kaleidoscope of blues, gentle Caribbean breezes and of course lots of sunshine!

Welcome to Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour where getting married is a relaxing day in paradise. Get married and honeymoon at a resort that offers everything from a wealth of activities to just lazing in a hammock. Come just with your future spouse for an intimate event or bring a group – Abaco Beach can accommodate up to 350 comfortably for a sit down dinner.

Abaco Beach Resort offers perfect accommodations for the bride and groom as well as for families with children of all ages. Located on the peaceful and secluded island of Abaco in the Bahamas, this island paradise features luxurious accommodations that include 82 oceanfront rooms - all with a terrace or balcony. The bride, groom and their guests can spread out in a one or two-bedroom suite complete with fully-equipped kitchens. All rooms come with breathtaking views, cool ocean breezes and luxury and service that is unmatched.

Getting married in the Bahamas is simple. Let the wedding coordinators at Abaco Beach take care of all the details including assisting the bride and groom in obtaining a marriage license, decorations, registrations, flowers, photography and of course wrapping up the details for the special day.

Abaco Beach has many different options for the wedding of your dreams. Plan an intimate affair beachside, or say “I do” on the beautifully lush landscaped grounds. Enjoy the comfort of the “Marquee” tent with a view of the marina and more than 6,600 square feet of space. The “Below Deck” meeting room overlooks the landscaped grounds and the beautiful sea of Abaco. This octagon shaped room offers more than 2,500 feet of air-conditioned space. With so many choices, your day is sure to be nothing short of perfection.

Abaco Beach Resort is located on 52 beautifully landscaped acres that include white sandy beaches, lush gardens and local cays - a true island paradise. Abaco Beach Resort is a great choice for accommodating wedding parties, large or small.
From exquisite Bahamian cuisine, to endless activities, Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour provide the perfect scenery for a dream-like wedding. Say your Vows at Abaco Beach Resort – the Premier Destination in the Bahamas Out Islands.

For more information call 242-367-2158, 1-800-468-4799 or visit the web site at www.abacobeachresort.com.

Book Your Vacation With Confidence at Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbor

The words "hurricane season" can strike fear into the hearts of even the most seasoned travelers. Tropical storms can take the vacation of your dreams and quickly make them the stuff of nightmares. With the financial and emotional upheaval possible due to a ruined vacation, many find themselves nervous about booking a tropical getaway. Relax -- and book the vacation of your dreams with confidence at Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour.

Abaco Beach Resort, a resort located on the peaceful and secluded island of Abaco in The Bahamas, is pleased to feature a hurricane policy that ensures guests have no need to worry about weather upstaging their plans. For those who have booked with the resort, but are unable to reach it due to a named tropical storm or major hurricane, Abaco Beach will either allow them to use their deposit as prepayment toward a future stay, or to receive a full refund of all deposits. If guests are already at the resort and it becomes necessary to leave the island for a tropical storm or hurricane, Abaco Beach will allow guests to return within 12 months, or receive a full refund for the remainder of their scheduled stay.

The resort's hurricane policy is only one of many reasons guest will find Abaco Beach Resort the best place to book the tropical getaway of their dreams. The resort features 88 rooms that include suites, ocean front rooms and six upscale cottage style villas. All rooms offer breathtaking views and cool ocean breezes, and the friendly service is unmatched.

Abaco Beach Resort offers the total vacation experience - a wide variety of activities for guests, stunning natural surroundings, and a fabulous location. Visitors can relax and unwind and do nothing at all, or take advantage of any number of island adventures. Guests may choose to snorkel, scuba dive, play tennis, fish, bike, try a new water sport, or charter a boat and try sport fishing or sailing. Later, they may select to just lounge on the white sandy beach and enjoy the turquoise view, or perhaps dine at Angler's restaurant, a AAA diamond-rated establishment overlooking the picturesque marina. For golf aficionados, the nearby Treasure Cay Golf Course provides 18 holes of enjoyment in a spectacular setting, and was rated the #1 golf course in the Bahamas by Golf Digest.  

When choosing to stay at Abaco Beach Resort, guests are offered a choice of luxurious accommodations including:

Suites

The luxury suites offer one bedroom with a fully-equipped kitchen, sitting room and a pull-out sofa for extra guests. In addition, two more connecting bedroom accommodations can be included to provide guests with a private apartment with three bedrooms, parlor, and a kitchen.

Cottage Style Villas

Nestled in tropical foliage, these quaint cottage-style villas at Abaco Beach Resort come standard with two bedrooms - ideal for families or couples traveling together. In addition to the standard in-room luxuries, each villa features upgraded amenities including a fully - equipped kitchen, a spacious living room, two full bathrooms, a flat screen television and

DVD player, a veranda and lots of storage space. Children under 12 stay for free in the villas.

This Out Island is convenient and easy to get to with scheduled air service from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach or choose from many local charter services. The Abacos is just a 50 minute flight from the east coast of Florida.

For more information on Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbor , call 242-367-2158, 1-800-753-9259 or visit the web site at www.abacobeachresort.com.

Abaco Beach Resort Offers A Great Getaway With the Grandkids

Abaco Beach Resort in Abaco Bahamas, is the perfect destination for grandparents looking for a place to relax and bond with their grandchildren in a pristine, tropical paradise they’ll remember forever.

Abaco Beach features spacious accommodations with every comfort of home, breathtaking natural scenery and special itineraries for guests traveling with children that offer an exciting new adventure each day. Enjoy everything from snorkeling to bonefishing to island hopping - there is something for everyone. 

Get ready for a fun-filled schedule that leaves plenty of time for relaxation if desired. Adults and children will enjoy the flexibility of an unplanned schedule with so many choices right at their fingertips including:

What to See & Do

Take the ferry to Hope town, stroll down its narrow streets and learn about the history of this small quaint island. Visits the gift shops and admire the houses in bright pastel island colors. Dine on the water for lunch and watch the boats come in and out of the harbour. The landmark of Hope Town is the candy-striped lighthouse - one of the world's most photographed and a favorite subject for artists. It was built in 1862, and is still operated by kerosene light. The lighthouse keepers still haul cans of kerosene to the top of the tower, pump up the air pressure, and wind the timing mechanism, all by hand! It stands 120 feet above sea level, flashes every 15 seconds, and is visible for miles. Climb to the top and experience breathtaking views of Abaco.

BOATING

Rent a boat with your grandkids and teach them to navigate the Sea of Abaco – a once popular stomping ground for pirates such as Blackbeard, Captain Kidd and Henry Morgan. Visit Shell Island and find a deserted beach full of shells for collecting. Explore dozens of islands perfect for picnicking or just bonding with your family. The Sea of Abaco is perfect for anyone to navigate, even novice boaters, with close shorelines and no reefs.

KAYAKING

Grab a kayak at Abaco Beach and learn how to maneuver the gentle waves of the Sea of Abaco. Glide through the water while watching the boats sail into the marina. All kayak’s and a variety of outdoor water sports equipment at Abaco Beach are complimentary.

SCUBA DIVING

Stop by the on-site dive shop at Abaco Beach for an afternoon of exploring the underwater sea life of Abaco. With great dive instructors on hand, even first-timers can explore the sea of Abaco from beautiful shells to marine life to colorful coral.

SNORKELING

Grab some diving gear and hit the water for some under the sea exploring. Snorkeling is fun for everyone – no matter the skill level. Adults and kids can snorkel in the same spot regardless of their experience.

PIG ROASTS 

Enjoy the weekly pig roast at Nippers while enjoying refreshing island drinks and gazing at the spectacular ocean view. Nippers provides a fun atmosphere for all ages. Talk about the best part of vacation – being together!

HAMMOCK SWINGING

Leave time for lounging – hang out on the beach with a good book and let the kids jump on the water trampoline or just explore the grounds of the resort. Play tennis; go for a walk or just watch the yachts cruise into the marina. 

Located on the peaceful and secluded island of Abaco in The Bahamas, Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbor features 88 rooms that include suites, ocean front rooms and six upscale cottages style villas. All rooms feature breathtaking views, cool ocean breezes and friendly service that is unmatched. Abaco Beach offers two larger room categories, perfect for guests traveling with children.  

Abaco Beach Resort is the Premier Destination in the Bahamas Out Islands. This Out Island is convenient and easy to get to with scheduled air service from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach or choose from many local charter services. The Abacos is just a 50-minute flight from the east coast of Florida.

For more information, call 242-367-2158, 1-800-753-9259, or visit web site www.abacobeachresort.com.

GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND

Old Bahama Bay -- Grand Bahama Island’s premier resort adds 24 junior suites for a total of 73 suites

Old Bahama Bay at Ginn sur Mer, Grand Bahama Island’s premier resort and marina and announces the addition of 24 king-bedded junior suites, bringing the total number of guestrooms to 73, with 67 junior suites and 6 two-bedroom suites. The new junior suites are now available. Half of the rooms are ocean front, while the others are ocean view.

All of the new rooms combine the resort’s casual elegance with colonial influences and feature king beds with duvet covers. They incorporate white flowing fabrics, flat screen LCD televisions with DVDs and plantation shutters. Kitchens are outfitted with stainless steel appliances and granite kitchen counter tops.   Like the existing suites, the new rooms are decorated in the resort’s signature style of dark woods, rich fabrics and custom-designed Island Plantation-style furnishings. Warm, textured leathers garnish the interiors while tropical pastels and exquisite landscaping enliven the exteriors. Additionally, all suites feature spacious living areas with the finest amenities as well as sleeper sofas, 100% cotton Frette linens, spacious bathrooms with Kohler fixtures and large soaking tubs with spa features. 

Old Bahama Bay rates for 2007 range from $235 to $515 for an ocean view suite, $280 to $620 for an ocean front suite and $560 to $1,240 for a two-bedroom suite.

Situated on the western-most tip of Grand Bahama Island, just 56 miles from Palm Beach, Florida, Old Bahama Bay features an oceanfront pool, restaurants, a massage pavilion and the region's finest fishing, diving, snorkeling and boating activities. All guest suites have a stunning 120 square-foot ocean-view terrace and are filled with extra touches of luxury, such as robes, refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, DVD and CD players (with movie and music libraries), custom designed furnishings, cable televisions, fax and modem lines, and much more.

For more information and for reservations call 1-800-572-5711 or visit www.oldbahamabay.com.

Harbour View Villas at Old Bahama Bay

Want to live in style? You can, now, because Old Bahama Bay has previewed Harbour View Villas; a Private Residence Club designed for those who want the very best in vacation real estate ownership in the new millennium. Located on a private and secluded site overlooking the marina, Harbour View Villas feature spacious one, two and three bedroom floor plans, a private pool and clubhouse, a waterfront promenade, garden areas for picnic barbeques and tropically landscaped grounds. It is situated in close proximity to The Village at Old Bahama Bay, with its shops, restaurants and activities center, and is accessed by a private bridge with beautiful wrought iron gates. Designed with a traditional Bahamas British Colonial theme both inside and out, the Villas showcase superb furnishings and finishes, state-of-the-art appliances and communication capabilities, spacious kitchens and baths, and delightful indoor and outdoor living areas. The views are extraordinary.

Harbour View Villas is a Private Residence Club offering one-tenth deeded ownership interests in its one, two and three bedroom units, and a reservations use plan that assures owners the opportunity to enjoy vacationing at the resort throughout the year.  Full ownership of a specific unit is available as well. Harbour View Villas owners can enjoy the many amenities and services of the resort including complimentary and discounted dockage packages at the Old Bahama Bay Yacht Harbour featuring the docks immediately adjacent to Harbour View Villas.

Preliminary Pre-Construction Price List

One Bedroom Villas -------- $115,000 One-Tenth Ownership Interest
Two Bedroom Villas -------- $150,000 One-Tenth Ownership Interest
Three Bedroom Villas -------$187,500 One-Tenth Ownership Interest

OLD Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour is the Remedy for a "Bahamvention"

Tired of being over-worked and under-appreciated, or are you just plain tired? In conjunction with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s latest campaign, “Bahamavention,” Old Bahama Resort & Yacht Harbour is offering a special package to encourage people to escape for some much- needed rest and relaxation at one of the island’s most exclusive oceanfront resorts. A perfect locale for both families and couples, guests are invited to enjoy the spectacular resort and experience all the exciting activities the property has to offer for a special rate.          

“Bahamavention” is defined as the action taken by concerned friends or family members to get a stress-out loved one the help only the Islands of The Bahamas can provide. These loved ones will find the perfect cure with Old Bahamas Bay’s special “Bahamavention Package.”

“Bahamavention” Package Specifications:

Package Inclusions
(4 days/3 nights. Maximum 2 adults, 2 children per room.. Additional nights available)
·   Three nights/four days in an ocean view accommodations
·   Two massages (either for one person each or two for the same person)
·   One hour fishing or sailing lesson
·   A bottle of wine upon arrival
·   Bahamian music CD to enjoy even after the “Bahamavention”
·   Keepsake conch shell
·   Complimentary sailing, kayaking and snorkeling
·   Round trip airport transfers.
·   Tax and service

Located on the pristine shores of West End Grand Bahama Island, Old Bahama Bay features 73 well-appointed suites set within cottages along a private beach. The resort also offers a state-of-the-art marina, two restaurants and a beach bar and grill, some of the areas best snorkeling including seven custom-designed snorkel trails, festive guest “celebrations” and much more. Just 26 miles from Grand Bahama International Airport, Old Bahama Bay is the perfect choice for an out-island experience and a perfect remedy for those in need of a “Bahamavention.”

Old Bahama Bay features 49 luxury ocean guest rooms and suites with 24 more opening shortly, a 72 slip port of entry marina, and a waterfront residential community. In early January, Ginn Resorts assumed operations of the Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour. Ginn Resorts is currently developing Ginn Sur Mer, a 2,000 acre resort community adjacent to Old Bahama Bay that will contain more than 4,400 condominium and hotel units, nearly 2,000 single family residential home sites, signature golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, clubhouses, two large marinas, a private airport, a Monte Carlo style casino, water and swim pavilions, a beach club and a spa. The $4.9 billion Sur Mer development will serve as Ginn Resort’s flagship Caribbean development.

For more information or reservations call 1-800-572-5711 or visit web site www.oldbahamabay.com.

BELIZE

Discover the Unique Wonders of Belize with Matachica Resort & Spa and GAÏA Riverlodge

Belize, the unique country situated on the Caribbean coast of northern Central America, is known for its lush tropical rainforests, unspoiled lush mountains, glorious white sand beaches and a spectacular 174 mile-long barrier reef, the world’s second-largest barrier reef. And that’s not to mention the country’s rich cultural treasures and the wonder of the Mayan ruins. 

For years Belize, the only English-speaking country in Central America, has been a favorite destination of adventure travelers but in the past few years the country has also been increasingly recognized as a top destination for relaxation, romance travel and sheer enjoyment of the many wonders the country has to offer. Indeed, there is a world of exotic adventure and beauty to explore in Belize. Whether you want to switch off and rejuvenate in a lush rainforest location or to explore the diverse underwater landscape at the breathtaking barrier reef, you can discover the country’s delights at Matachica Resort and Spa, or sister property, eco-friendly GAÏA Riverlodge.

Matachica Resort and Spa is a truly special island destination. Perfectly located facing the worlds second-largest barrier reef, Matachica Resort & Spa offers all the elements to make it the ideal escape for romance, indulgence or adventure. Snorkel off the barrier reef, relax in a freshwater infinity pool, or indulge in a papaya facial or Mayan coffee scrub at the Jade Spa. For the perfect end to your day, enjoy exotic, locally inspired flavors by candlelight at the award-winning Mambo restaurant, considered to be one of the best restaurants in the country.

Your secluded retreat awaits at the healing GAÏA Riverlodge . Surrounded by the dramatic Five Sisters waterfalls of the Privassion River, GAÏA Riverlodge offers an exotic jungle getaway while still maintaining the signature relaxed approach and consummate hospitality that has come to be expected from owner Daniel Lighter. From spectacular natural beauty and over 450 species of exotic bird and plant life, to fascinating tours and treks, the hydro-powered GAÏA Riverlodge provides an authentic Belizean experience in the most culturally-rich and scenic regions of the country. One of only five properties in Belize to be Green Globe Certified, the hotel prides itself in upholding the highest standard of sustainability and preserving Belize’s natural beauty. Unwind by the river, hike the Mayan ruins, dine on fresh, seasonal delicacies from their organic garden, or discover your adventurous side with zip-lining, horseback riding or rafting. Wherever your holiday takes you, enjoy the utmost in service, hospitality and ecotourism that GAÏA Riverlodge has to offer.
With direct flights to Belize City from New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Charlotte and Atlanta, Belize is your perfect destination for a short weekend getaway or long Caribbean adventure. 

For additional information on either Matachica Resort & Spa or GAÏA Riverlodge, or to request high-res images, please contact: ZOÏ Agency, Avril Nolan at avril@agence-zoi.com
212.229.9888 or web site www.gaiariverlodge.com or www.matachica.com

Matachica Resort & Spa Receives Top Award from Condé Nast Johansens 

Matachica Resort & Spa has announced that it is the recipient of the Best for Romance Award by Condé Nast Johansens, one of the world’s most distinguished travel publications. Condé Nast Johansens Excellence Awards winners represent the very best in travel. After a careful selection process and combined results of online voting, guest feedback and local experts, Condé Nast Johansens has revealed the winners of the 2015 Awards for Excellence in Central and South America. Matachica Resort & Spa, which faces the world’s second-largest barrier reef and recently received a multimillion-dollar redesign and expansion, was selected amongst Central and South America’s most outstanding properties this year as the Best for Romance.

Set on a secluded stretch of beachfront with 31 spacious thatched-roof villas, Matachica Resort & Spa offers all the elements to make this the ideal escape for romance, adventure and indulgence. Travelers can snorkel or dive off the world’s second largest barrier reef, dine by candlelight at the award-winning Mambo Restaurant with locally sourced ingredients and indulge in rejuvenating massages, papaya facials or Mayan coffee scrubs at the Jade Spa.

For additional information about the award please contact ZOÏ Agency:
at e-mail lauren@agence-zoi.com

BONAIRE (Dutch Antilles )

Bonaire Offers Summer Specials Above & Below the Water

Just in time for planning summertime travel, many of Bonaire's hoteliers and activity providers are making it easier for visitors to enjoy their vacation with additional savings. By taking advantage of these offers, visitors to Bonaire will experience a vacation to remember.

Packages and deals available:

Where to stay:

Den Laman Condominiums 7- night package starts as low as $717 per person, based on four people sharing a Two Bedroom Ocean View condo. The package includes a four door, air-conditioned pick-up truck, six days of unlimited tanks for shore diving, free Nitrox upgrades and room tax. For more information visit www.denlaman.com, email reservations@denlaman.com, call 1-800-382-1094 or visit www.facebook.com/denlamanbonaire.

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino is offering up to 30% in savings on rates, starting at just $139 per night. Starting rates are based on double occupancy and are per person.
For information and bookings, visit www.diviresorts.com/divi-flamingo-beach-resort-bonaire.htm, email reserve@diviresorts.com, or call 1-800-367-3484 ext. 2077.

Plaza Beach Resort is offering their Dive experience package starting from US $1,110 based on season and occupancy. For more information visit www.plazaresortbonaire.com, email reservations@plazaresortbonaire.com, or call +599-717-2500.

Yachting it:

Bonaire from the Sea is offering introductory prices for a fully catered day of diving and snorkeling on their luxury sailing yacht, the AMORAY. Rates begin at $650 for 1 to 2 guests, and $750 for groups of 5 and 6 guests. Bonaire from the Sea is also offering weekly self-catering live-aboard packages. The package includes daily sailing with the crew and full diving and snorkeling options. The live-aboard contains 3 in-suite double cabins and is moored at the Harbour Village Marina where guests will have full access to shore facilities, bars and restaurants. Weekly rates begin at $3,750 for 1 to 2 people, and $4,500 for a group of 5 to 6 guests. All prices are inclusive of local taxes. For more information visit www.bonairefromthesea.org, email info@bonairefromthesea.org, or call +599-785-2277.

Below the waterline:  

Flow Bonaire invites visitors to enjoy its Double Adventure Special. Guests can experience the Fluorescent night dive/snorkel and see the reef from a new perspective using a special dive light in combination with a mask visor. Flow Bonaire also offers their caving adventure, which entails exploring both a dry cave and one where tourists can snorkel in clear, fresh water. The Double Adventure Special is $79 (including all taxes), as opposed to the regular price of $50 per adventure. For more information visit www.flowbonaire.com/, email info@flowbonaire.com, or call +599-788-4636.

Land lovers delight:  

Tropical Travel Bonaire is offering their Nature Park Tour that includes a guided tour through Washington Slagbaai National Park, and complimentary snacks and refreshments. Transportation to/from hotel is also included. The tour is available 8:30am - 1:30pm, for $55 per person. The price does not include the $25 entrance fee to the Park. For more information visit www.tropicaltravelbonaire.com, email info@tropicaltravelbonaire.com, or call +599-701-1232.

About Bonaire

Located eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire offers year-round sunshine, low annual rainfall, pristine coral formations and the most abundant fish population in the Caribbean. World renowned for scuba diving and snorkeling, it is also ideal for adventurers and explorers as it offers a myriad of eco-adventure activities from sea and mangrove kayaking to windsurfing or kite boarding and more. For those who want to kick back and relax, not having traffic lights on the island makes it easy to stroll into town or hop on a scooter or bike to peruse the island at their own pace. Accommodations range from full-service oceanfront resorts and condominiums to intimate guesthouses, small inns and private villas.

Bonaire is ranked at #5 on the list of Trip Advisor's Travelers' Choice Awards Top 10 Caribbean Islands and was also voted #1 in Islands magazine's Editors' Picks: Best Snorkeling in the Caribbean. The Bonaire Marine Park was named one of the Caribbean's Best Places for Snorkeling in 2016 by USAToday.com, and was named one of the10 Beaches to Visit in January 2015" by USA Today.

Bonaire continues to be recognized as one of the top destinations worldwide for its sustainable tourism. For the 10th year it was recognized as the Best Overall Diving in Scuba Diving Magazine's Annual Readers' Choice Awards. Bonaire has also been selected as the number one Shore Diving Destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic for 23 consecutive years in Scuba Diving Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards. This year, it received 12 awards. It was also voted number one for Macro Diving, Beginner Diving and Best Snorkeling.

Getting to Bonaire...

Delta operates a Saturday non-stop flight to/from Atlanta on Saturdays. Delta added two more non-stop flights to Bonaire from Atlanta through March 2016. United Airlines operates weekly non-stop flights to Bonaire from Houston, TX and from Newark, NJ. As the schedule can vary from either a Saturday or Sunday departure from the USA, please visit United.com the most current flight information.

Other flights from North America generally arrive in Curacao or Aruba; Insel Air flies from Miami, FL to Bonaire via Curacao. Flights between Bonaire, Aruba and Curacao are available on Insel Air and Divi Divi Air flies between Bonaire and Curacao.

For more information on Bonaire visit www.tourismbonaire.com.

Bonaire’s Harbour Village Beach Club Launches Guided Stand-Up Paddleboard Tours

Combining one of the fastest growing fitness and recreation activities with one of the most beautiful seascapes in the Caribbean, Harbour Village Beach Club in Bonaire now offers guests Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) tours of the island’s northern coast.  A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Harbour Village Beach Club is located on a four-acre private peninsula with well-appointed villas nestled amid lush tropical gardens, a white sand beach, and an onsite First Class 5 Star PADI Instructor Development Center catering to all ages and skill levels.

The new, guided Stand-Up Paddleboard tours will let guests explore the beautiful northern coast of the main island of Bonaire and the picturesque Harbour Village marina while experiencing the fitness benefits of this increasingly popular activity. The one-hour tour is priced at $75 per person, and is limited to three people per tour so the expert guides from the resort’s dive shop can provide a personalized experience. “This is a great tour for both experienced Stand-Up Paddleboarders and those trying it for the first time,” said Jean-Marc Petin, General Manager of Harbour Village Beach Club. In addition to the SUP tours, the resort’s dive shop will add kayak tours to its already burgeoning list of offerings.

For those interested in exploring below the surface, Harbour Village features diving packages for both certified and non-certified divers, along with some of the Caribbean’s best snorkeling opportunities. Due to Bonaire's leeward location outside of the hurricane belt, and its consistently pleasant climate, crystal-clear visibility prevails at any depth, giving an enthralling view of the undersea landscape.

Guests can explore dive sites just off Harbour Village’s shore, including the shipwreck of the 60-foot "Our Confidence,” located just 50 yards out from the beach a great spot for beginners that can even be seen by snorkelers from the surface. Another popular dive site, "Something Special,” is also a short swim away. Guests at Harbour Village also can participate in coral reef educational dives at Harbour Village, a founding member of the Coral Restoration Foundation in Bonaire, along with many other onsite activities.  And after a full day of fun on and under the water, guests can relax in their luxurious accommodations, situated just a few steps away from the beach and feature opulent décor and thoughtful details like secluded lanais and double hammocks. The resort is also home to the acclaimed La Balandra Restaurant, which gives the sensation of sailing into the Caribbean seascape with a dining deck located on a jetty extending out to sea, as well as The Spa at Harbour Village Beach Club.

For more information on Bonaire and Harbour Village Beach Club, visit www.harbourvillage.com, call 1-800-424-0004, or e-mail reservations@harbourvillage.com to learn more

About Harbour Village Beach Club

Harbour Village Beach Club is located within an exclusive beachfront enclave on the unspoiled Caribbean island of Bonaire. Its well-appointed guest suites are nestled amid lush tropical gardens, just steps from its private, white-sand beach, and feature opulent décor and thoughtful details like secluded lanais and double hammocks. Amenities include a First Class 5 Star PADI Instructor Development Center offering onsite scuba classes and certification and a picturesque, 64-slip marina.

The resort is also home to the acclaimed La Balandra restaurant, designed after an antique Spanish ship and giving the feeling of sailing with its dining deck located on a jetty extending out to sea, as well as a full-service spa offering professional reflexology, aromatherapy, therapeutic and relaxing couples massage.  Harbour Village Beach Club was named Bonaire's Leading Hotel nine times in the past decade and is Bonaire's only member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

Top 15 Reasons to Visit Harbour Village Beach Club

Resolve to experience Harbour Village, the Caribbean’s premier luxury dive and beach club. Below are the top 15 reasons to plan your escape:

1.     Scuba DivingHarbour Village Beach Club’s onsite dive shop offers diving packages and courses for all ages including beginner, advanced and instructor levels. Explore intriguing sites in the shallow waters just off the resort’s shore or take excursions to the more than 80 other well-defined dive sites around the island. More than 30 years of environmental protection laws has made Bonaire home to some of the most well-preserved marine life in the world.  Harbour Village is also growing new reef-building corals to add to those already flourishing near the resort’s beach.

2. Snorkeling – Harbour Village is one of the Caribbean’s best snorkeling destinations, with daily snorkeling boat trips and options to snorkel alongside diving companions. The resort’s dive shop offers a popular fluorescence night snorkel, allowing guests to use special UV lights to see the astounding array of florescent colors emitted by underwater animals and corals.

3. Underwater Photography –  For those who want to capture the breathtaking images they see, the resort has an excellent Underwater Photography course. Youth photography adventures also are available, as are beach scavenges for younger guests to gather sea glass and driftwood for creating keepsake art projects.

4. Windsurfing – In addition to scuba and snorkeling, Bonaire is known world-wide for its windsurfing. The junior world windsurfing championships are held in Bonaire each year, and the island is the setting for the acclaimed 2013 documentary, “Children of the Wind.”

5. Bird-Watching –  More than 150 species of tropical birds can be found on Bonaire, including its famous flamingos. There are only four places in the world where flamingos breed, and Bonaire is one of them.

6. Beach front Accommodations – Harbour Village offers beautifully appointed rooms and suites as well as family-friendly, 2- to 5-bedroom beach houses with plenty of room to spread out in your tropical home-away-from-home.

7. Honeymoon Registry – The resort offers idyllic honeymoon packages that are especially perfect for active couples. Our Honeymoon Wishes registry lets friends and family purchase resort credits and a host of amenities and adventures for the bride and groom.

8. Private, White-Sand Beach – Harbour Village has the only private beach on the island, complete with hammocks for napping and lounging, complimentary lounge chairs and beach towels, as well as beach service from the resort’s La Balandra Restaurant.

9. Perfect Weather Year – Round – Located outside of the hurricane belt, the island of Bonaire offers year-round sunshine, low annual rainfall and an average temperature of 82 degrees.

10. Yoga Retreats –Harbour Village offers Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga Retreats and a host of other wellness program, healthy dining options and therapeutic spa treatments to enjoy after a full day of fun in the sun.

11. Direct Flights – With newly expanded air service that includes direct flights from Newark, Houston and Atlanta, it’s never been easier to get to beautiful Bonaire.

12. Dining Delights –Bonaire offers an array of world-class restaurants, including Harbour Village’s own La Balandra, designed after an antique Spanish ship with its dining deck located on a jetty extending out to sea. Candlelight dining on the beach is available upon prior request.

13. No Traffic Lights on the Island—The least industrialized island in the Dutch Caribbean, Bonaire has no traffic lights! Enjoy the unique opportunity for a laid-back, nature-oriented escape but with all the luxuries and comforts of home.

14.  Friendly Locals – The locals lucky enough to call Bonaire home year-round are happy to help visitors discover their amazing island. Most of Bonaire’s residents speak four languages fluently.

15. The Caribbean’s First 100% Sustainable Island – The Dutch government is undertaking an ambitious project to create a 100% sustainable energy supply, further developing it as one of the world’s top eco-friendly destinations.

For more information on Bonaire and Harbour Village Beach Club, visit www.harbourvillage.com, call 1-800-424-0004, or e-mail: reservations@harbourvillage.com to learn more.

About Harbour Village Beach Club
Harbour Village Beach Club is located on a four-acre private peninsula with well-appointed villas nestled amid lush tropical gardens, a private white-sand beach, and an onsite First Class 5 Star PADI Dive Center catering to all ages and skill levels. Guests can explore dive sites just off Harbour Village’s shore, including the shipwreck of the 60-foot "Our Confidence,” located just 50 yards out from the beach, a great spot for beginners that can even be seen by snorkelers from the surface. Another popular dive site, "Something Special,” is also a short swim away. The resort’s luxurious accommodations are situated just a few steps away from the beach and feature opulent décor and thoughtful details like secluded lanais and double hammocks. The resort is also home to the acclaimed La Balandra Restaurant, which gives the sensation of sailing into the Caribbean seascape with a dining deck located on a jetty extending out to sea, as well as The Spa at Harbour Village Beach Club. Harbour Village Beach Club was named Bonaire's Leading Hotel nine times in the past decade and is Bonaire's only member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

GRAND CAYMAN

Where to Stay

Kimpton Hotels Reveals First Glimpse Of Seafire, Its New Grand Cayman Resort

Kimpton Hotels introduced Seafire Resort + Spa, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman in November 2016. Seafire reflects Kimpton’s first new build venture in a dedicated resort market and is the first property outside the continental U.S. within the brand’s current portfolio. It also holds the honor of being the first new development along Seven Mile Beach in more than a decade.

Seafire represents Kimpton’s take on what a playful yet sophisticated island escape should be for today’s discerning leisure travelers and meeting/incentive groups seeking a balance between luxury and authenticity. The property will deliver the brand’s hallmark genuine service, inspired design, and an array of signature amenities and culinary offerings set against the striking backdrop of famed Seven Mile Beach.

Seafire, which first broke ground in 2012 celebrated the topping off of its main building, home to the resort’s 266 distinctively-appointed guest rooms and suites. These include a penthouse Presidential Suite, 16 oceanfront suites, nine beachfront bungalows, 18 oceanview suites, 118 oceanview guest rooms, and eight uniquely configured family suites, along with an eclectic mix of features such as spa bathrooms, wide orientations to maximize ocean views, and convenient kitchenettes.

Signature elements of the resort include:

The Arrival
Upon arrival, a Ficus Aurora heritage tree and lush tropical landscaping provide a memorable welcome to guests. Once at the hotel, guests will be greeted with their first glimpse of the sea as seen through the open lobby building set far enough to provide a grand visual of the surrounding seascape.

The Lawn
A promenade that leads guests on a path to relaxation and enjoyment via special seating areas, “hidden spots,” a communal fire pit,1,300 square foot event lawn, and one of the resort’s two pools.

The North End
Home to the resort’s main pool, beach and water sports access, the interconnected coastal biking and walking paths, and a retail and restaurant promenade located alongside a spectacular blue/green accent wall.

The property will also house 62 residential units with access to all Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa amenities, a private social rooftop, personalized concierge service and a beach view from every unit.

About Seafire Resort & Spa, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Kimpton’s Seafire Resort & Spa, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman melds the locally-inspired with the contemporary comforts of luxury resort living. Once complete, Seafire will be one of the largest resorts along Seven Mile Beach, and the only resort to offer unmatched, unobstructed water views from every guest room, including the spectacular sun-kissed horizon that inspired the resort’s name.

Cotton Tree: Boutique Caymanian Resort and Purveyor of Fine Jewels Announce Sparkling New Offer

Renew your vows, pop the question, or celebrate your anniversary at Cotton Tree, the Cayman Islands≠ first traditional cottage boutique hotel, and receive a complimentary $100 gift certificate from the largest jewelry retailer in the Caribbean, Diamonds International. If redeemed, lovers will be personally escorted to the store where they enjoy Champagne and a private showing of world-class sparklers reminiscent of mesmerizing Caymanian sunsets and shimmering Caribbean seas.

Back at Cotton Tree, a romantic milestone rendezvous includes:

- Upscale accommodation in a Caymanian-inspired beach cottage, each featuring comfortable living spaces, spa bathrooms, fully equipped kitchens, plasma TVs, and complimentary Wi-Fi, local calls, and daily housekeeping services;

- Soothing spa treatments given in open-air pavilions surrounded by seagrape trees and perfumed with a fragrant infusion of island scents and wafts of calming ocean breezes;

- A pre-stocked selection of regular and decaffeinated coffee, bottled water, tea, milk, sugar, orange juice, and assorted cereals);

-Access to and the use of a swimming pool; fitness center, yoga, and bicycles; a media library of books, music and DVDs; recreational activities including water sports, hiking, biking, and bird-watching; cultural diversions, on-site art and culinary classes; and

-One-way airport transfers.

Concierge services are also available to guests seeking to customize a personalized vacation, as are in-cottage catering and sommelier services.

US rates start at $540.00 per night, excluding 10% in government tax. Guests must book a minimum three-night stay at Cotton Tree to receive a complimentary gift certificate. Other terms and conditions stipulate that no minimum purchase at Diamonds International is required; only one gift certificate may be applied per item of retail value; gift certificates are not transferable, redeemable for cash, or combinable with special promotions or discounts. Nor are they valid for purchasing loose stones, branded watches or designer jewelry. Gift certificates must be validated only at Diamonds International Grand Cayman.

Cotton Tree is available for property takeovers but closes in September of every year. Smoking is not permitted in cottages or near pool area.

For more information about Cotton Tree or to make a reservation, visit www.caymancottontree.com.

About Cotton Tree:
The Cayman Islands≠ new luxury hideaway, Cotton Tree, on the northernmost point of Grand Cayman (just 10 minutes from the famed Seven Mile Beach), beautifully evokes the spirit of the Cayman Islands with its pastel-hued, plantation-style cottages just steps from the Caribbean Sea and lush garden setting of tropical flowers and avocado, guava, mango and cotton trees for which the hotel was named. Owner Heather Lockington, a global traveler who was born in the Cayman Islands, built her dream property in West Bay, creating an authentic haven where guests could embrace Caymanian heritage. Four 1,600 square foot two-bedroom beachfront cottages resemble fully equipped houses featuring ≥Caribbean chic≈ décor, classic contemporary furnishings, French doors overlooking the sea, plasma TVs, state-of-the-art Kitchen Aid appliances, and more. Additional amenities include a freshwater swimming pool, fitness center and yoga and spa pavilions nestled among seagrape trees, perfect for a sunset massage. A personal chef can whip up gourmet meals accompanied by wines chosen by a sommelier, or Cotton Tree is a quick drive to Grand Cayman≠s best restaurants. Hotel services such as a reception/concierge, bellhop, housekeeping and turndown on request are also featured.

GREAT EXUMA

Delta Flights Direct Nonstop from Atlanta to Exuma International Airport and Grand Isle Resort

Exuma is also served by other major airlines that fly direct from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Charlotte and Nassau.

Where to Stay

Grand Isle Resort

Looking for that perfect summer vacation spot? You know, the kind you daydream about during the daily grind the rest of the year? Look no further than the Grand Isle Resort, a luxurious and spacious oceanfront retreat on a crystal-white sand beach in Great Exuma, Bahamas. And, this summer, enjoy significant savings on a stay at Grand Isle.

Great Exuma is the largest island in the Exuma chain of 365 cays and is known for its natural beauty, idyllic climate, and variety of activities for travelers of all interests and ages that make for the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. A fun place for celebrity spotting, it is unspoiled by overdevelopment yet fast becoming one of the most popular destinations in the Bahamas. Recent additions to the island include the new boutique-style Casino at Emerald Bay, as well as a 45-acre mega-yacht marina.

Guests find everything they need for the vacation of a lifetime at Grand Isle Resort, a community of 78 luxurious ocean and golf course villas located within the 500-acre Emerald Bay Resort on a glistening white, crescent-shaped beach and warm, calm sapphire-blue Caribbean waters. From parents to teens to the youngest family members, Grand Isle Resort offers something appealing for everyone this summer.

Junkanoo Kids Club

The family’s junior set will love Grand Isle Resort’s new Junkanoo Kids Club. While mom and dad relax on the beach, get pampered at the nearby spa, play a round of golf or enjoy a quiet meal, kids can experience special Bahamas-themed activities and adventures at the club. Sessions are held 5 days a week, twice daily, with each session lasting for two hours (from 10 AM to noon and from 2 – 4 PM). The cost is $20 per session for each child. Children ages 3 – 12 are welcome, and are split into groups based on age. The club is completely supervised by Grand Isle Resort trained staff, allowing parents peace of mind to enjoy their own pursuits while children are engrossed with fun and enriching activities.

Private Boat Charter

A great way to bond with teenagers (although the entire family will enjoy it) is to charter the resort’s 35-food Marlago for deep sea fishing, snorkeling, island tours, sailing or a picnic on a nearby island. Grand Isle Resort has an on-staff licensed Boat Captain ready to pilot your family’s private sea adventure.

Water Sports and Activities

Complimentary snorkeling equipment and kayaks are provided by Grand Isle Resort for the family’s enjoyment. Snorkeling is available at the nearby reef, only footsteps off the sandy white beach. Great Exuma’s calm, turquoise waters are perfect for leisurely swimming or sailing.

Grand Isle Resort also features a spectacular pool pavilion including a 3,600 square foot infinity pool with recently expanded pool deck, whirlpool spa, fitness center and tropical bar and grill -- all overlooking Emerald Bay.

Additional Activities for Family Fun

In addition to the activities mentioned above, family members can choose from a variety of other options, such as:

· Golf – Dads, moms or teens can play a round on an 18-hole Greg Norman designed golf course with six signature holes, providing a challenging experience for professionals and beginners alike.

· Sight Seeing Tours -- The Exuma islands are full of rich heritage and culture ripe for exploration. Arrange a sightseeing tour for the family and learn about local history and natural wonders with trips to George Town, Williams Town, Stocking Island or Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.

· Spa – Mom can escape for an hour or two to be pampered, or can even bring dad or her teenage daughter along to enjoy some relaxation. A full-service spa offering a range of treatments with a unique Bahamian twist is just a short distance away from Grand Isle Resort. Or, enjoy a relaxing seaside massage at Grand Isle! Beginning this summer, the resort will feature its own on-site spa for even greater guest convenience.

· Gaming -- Just minutes from Grand Isle Resort is the new Casino at Emerald Bay, the first and only casino on the island. Mom and dad can enjoy the experience of a sophisticated boutique casino environment infused with a taste of Bahamian flavor.

· Tennis – Families can enjoy a spirited game of tennis on six Har-Tru lighted tennis courts, available for night play.

· Kite Flying, On-shore Fishing – Additional activities that family members of all ages can enjoy include world-class bonefishing in the nearby flats.

At the end of a fun-packed day, after experiencing the many adventures Grand Isle Resort has to offer, it’s time to come home – to your spacious villa. These extensive accommodations allow the family to spread out, get comfortable and truly feel like they are in a home away from home. The one-, two- and three-bedroom villas range from 1,000 to 2,600 square feet, and many offer stunning ocean views. The staff at Grand Isle strives to make the logistics of vacation as simple as possible so everyone is free to relax and enjoy spending time together – the way a great family vacation should be. Personal concierge service includes pre-arrival activity planning, grocery shopping (for an additional fee) and menu planning. A private chef is available for in-villa dining service. Personal golf carts are provided to all guests for easier mobility throughout the resort.

For more information on the Grand Isle Resort or to book your family vacation, call 888-472-6310 or visit web site www.grandisleresort.com.

Grand Isle Villas

Grand Isle Villas, a community of 78 luxurious ocean and golf course villas located in Great Exuma, Bahamas, has changed its name to Grand Isle Resort. The change was made to more accurately reflect its status as a world-class resort offering a complete luxury vacation getaway for its guests. In addition to the name change, Grand Isle Resort is in the midst of numerous modifications designed to further enhance the guest experience. Major improvements to be made include:

Pool Area Expansion

The Grand Isle Resort features a spectacular pool pavilion including a 3,600 square foot infinity pool, whirlpool spa, fitness center and the tropical Pallapa Bar and Grill. The pool deck is now being expanded to provide additional seating, as well as privacy, to guests. Fire pits and chimineas will also be available for enjoyment of the pool area on cooler evenings. As of December 1, 2006, The Pallapa Bar and Grill will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, providing even more dining options for patrons.

New On-Property Spa

One of the most exciting additions to Grand Isle Resort is the new spa,. A full range of spa treatments will be offered, providing the ultimate opportunity to relax and revitalize. In the meantime, a limited menu of spa treatments is available for guests in cabanas on the sandy white beach, allowing them to enjoy the beautiful setting while they are pampered.

New Guest Amenities

Complimentary continental breakfasts will be provided for guests of Grand Isle Resort each day, as well as evening canapés, all freshly prepared in the kitchens of the Pallapa Bar and Grill. A bottle of preferred beverage of choice will also be waiting in the villa upon arrival. Grand Isle Resort will now also provide complimentary airport transfers for its guests.

Kids' Club

In an effort to enhance the Grand Isle Resort experience for its youngest guests, a Kids' Club will debut in Winter 2006, with daily events and activities planned especially for children. Kids will be grouped from ages 3-7 and ages 8-12 in order to provide age-appropriate experiences. The Kids' Club will be located in a cabana on the beach for fun-in-the-sun themed games and activities. Children will be enriched and entertained by the Kids' Club, while parents will gain some additional free time for rest and relaxation.

Outdoor Water Sports

Grand Isle Resort has hired a Boat Captain and is offering guests the opportunity to charter a 35-food Marlago for deep sea fishing, island tours, sailing or a private picnic on a nearby island. Currently, complimentary snorkeling equipment and kayaks are provided for guests of Grand Isle Resort. Beginning December 1, 2006, hobie cats will also be available to provide another option for guests to enjoy the beautiful waters surrounding Great Exuma.

In addition to the planned enhancements, Grand Isle Resort will continue to offer the outstanding amenities and recreational opportunities it has in the past. Among the highlights are:

 An 18-hole Greg Norman designed, oceanfront golf course
 Six lighted Har-Tru tennis courts
 Access to the nearby Casino at Emerald Bay
 Exuma sight-seeing tours
 All-new mega-yacht marina at Emerald Bay.

Grand Isle Resort provides many special touches that set it apart from other vacation retreats in the Caribbean. Personal concierge service includes pre-arrival activity planning, grocery shopping and menu planning. A private chef is available for in-villa dining service. Personal golf carts are provided to all guests for easier mobility throughout the resort. Grand Isle Resort's Villas provide the ultimate in luxurious, spacious accommodations, with plenty of room to spread out and make a home away from home. The comfort of guests is the first priority at Grand Isle Resort. Guests can choose the option which best meets their needs:

One-Bedroom Villa

The one-bedroom, one bath luxury flat is more than 1,000 square-feet and includes a spacious and luxurious master suite with natural stone flooring and an expansive terrace. The villas overlook the golf course, beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

Two-Bedroom Villas

The two-bedroom, 2.5 bath deluxe villas offer 2,285 square feet of living space. The bedrooms and full baths are located on the first floor and the master bedroom offers a private terrace. The living room, dining room, kitchen and half bath are located on the second floor to maximize the breathtaking views of the blue Caribbean waters.

Three-Bedroom Villas

The three-bedroom, three bath luxury villas offer 2,600 square feet of living space. Two bedrooms and full baths are located on the first floor and the master bedroom features a private terrace. The third bedroom and full bath, living room, dining room and kitchen are located on the second floor to maximize the magnificent view.
The decor of Grand Isle Villas is casual elegance, with large natural stone terraces and high performance appliances such as Sub-Zero and Dacor, Plasma and LCD televisions. The villas also offer high-speed Internet access and a full size washer and dryer.

Villas are offered with either an Oceanfront view, partial ocean view, or marina and ocean view.

Great Exuma is the largest island in the Exuma chain of 365 cays and is easily accessible from both Ft. Lauderdale and Miami International Airport.
For more information on the Grand Isle Resort or Great Exuma, call 888-472-6310 or check web site www.grandislevillas.com
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Grand Isle Resort & Spa Selects Frette, World's Finest Linens

A stay at the Grand Isle Resort & Spa already is a feast for the senses, with its glistening white-sand beach and sapphire-blue Caribbean waters. Now, after a day of taking in the sights and sounds in and around the lush, tropical paradise, guests can slip into the world's finest, most luxurious bed linens before drifting off to sleep.

Grand Isle Resort has chosen Frette, known throughout the world for their decadent textures and styling, to provide all its bed linens. The linens have a 400-thread count crafted from Frette's signature Egyptian cotton. Frette linens became the official purveyors to the Italian Royal Family in 1881 and are found in other world-class establishments such as the Ritz in Paris and the Savoy in London. The Italy-based textile company also created the Tablecloth of the Holy Virgin for the altar at St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome, based upon a drawing by the French painter Meurillion. Frette table linens were used in the banqueting rooms onboard the Titanic, and are still used today aboard the Orient Express.

Countless special touches and attention to detail set Grand Isle Resort apart from other vacation retreats in the Caribbean. Personal concierge services include pre-arrival activity planning, grocery shopping and menu planning. A private chef is available for in-villa dining service. Personal golf carts are provided to all guests for easier mobility throughout the resort and the Emerald Bay area. The villas feature large, natural stone terraces and high-performance appliances such as Sub-Zero and Dacor, Plasma and LCD televisions. The villas also offer wireless high-speed Internet access and a full-size washer and dryer.

The comfort of guests is the first priority at Grand Island Resort. Guests can choose the option which best meets their needs:

ONE BEDROOM VILLA: The one-bedroom 1.5-bathroom villa offers 1,038 square feet of living space. The master bedroom offers a private terrace. The living room, dining room, kitchen and half bath are located on the second floor to maximize the breathtaking views of the blue Caribbean waters.

TWO BEDROOM VILLAS: The two-bedroom, 2.5 bath luxury villas offer 1,900 square feet of living space. The bedrooms and full baths are located on the first floor. The living and dining room, kitchen and half baths are on the second floor.

THREE BEDROOM VILLAS: The three-bedroom, three-bath luxury villas offer more than 2,100 square feet of living space. Two bedrooms and full baths are located on the first floor, and the master bedroom features a private terrace. The third bedroom and full bath, living room, dining room and kitchen are located on the second floor to maximize the magnificent view.

Grand Isle guests can enjoy snorkeling on the vibrant coral reef just off the resort's unique, crescent shaped beach. On-site amenities include a 3,600 square foot free-form pool with infinity edge and heated whirlpool spa, a full-size beach volleyball court, lighted tennis courts, state-of-the-art fitness center, and complementary use of Hobie cats, snorkeling equipment and kayaks. Guests also have access to the 18-hole Greg Norman designed golf course with six signature holes, or relax for a therapeutic massage under the beach-side spa gazebo . Guests may also enjoy deep sea fishing or island hopping on Grand Isle Resort's 35-foot Marlago. The Resort also provides the new Junkanoo Kids Club for guests age 3-12.

The island of Great Exuma is rapidly becoming one of the hottest destinations in the Bahamas, known for its pristine beauty, idyllic climate, and variety of activities for travelers of all interests and ages. Those looking for the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure can find it here in this best-kept secret locale.

Great Exuma is the largest island in the Exuma chain of 365 cays and is easily accessible from both Ft. Lauderdale and Miami International Airport (with direct flights on Delta from Atlanta coming in June). Recent developments on the island include the new, boutique-style Casino at Emerald Bay, as well as a 45-acre mega-yacht marina.

For more information on the Grand Isle Resort or Great Exuma, call 888-472-6310 or visit web sitewww.grandisleresort.com.

BARBADOS

Where to Stay

Sandalo

An exceptional beachfront property shaded by a canopy of mature mahogany trees on the island’s renowned Gibbs Beach. Architect Ian Morrison has overseen the total renovation and refurbishment of this outstanding 6,000 sq ft home, with four balconied Caribbean view bedrooms in the main house and a one-bedroom cottage. For alfresco dining, a delightful poolside gazebo awaits, or dine steps from the shore at the beach gate. 5 bedrooms. Sleeps 9. 

Barbados Information

The launch of www.idobarbados.com provides details on special settings, such as a wedding in a sugar mill, locals’ top picks for the best hidden spots for sunset cocktails and countless other tips.

For more information, check web site www.visitbarbados.org

BERMUDA

What to See & Do in Bermuda

Bermuda offers sunny skies, great weather, warm water for swimming, friendly people, and spotless streets and beaches. There's so much to see and do that one visit - whether you fly or cruise to get here - won't be enough. Here are some of the highlights:

Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute

As soon as I walked in to the Institute, I was impressed by the map of Bermuda on the terrazzo floor and the 27-foot squid hanging from the ceiling. Before you wander further, enjoy the informative intro film, examine the Exosuit, dive suit and pump and audio helmet.

Then, journey beneath the waves at the Bermuda Undeerwater Exploration Institute, where two floors of exhibits showcase the wonders of the deep sea. Learn about world-renowned scientists like Jacques Cousteau, the strange creatures they discovered and the equipment they used to explore 'the last frontier.' The Institute is home to one of the world's premier shell collections, as well as artifacts recovered from Bermuda's 150 known shipwrecks. And, if you want to take a break, try La Coquille, and award-winning restaurant, located here, too. Highlights include "The Tucker Cross" - Bermuda's greatest unsolved mystery; a giant squid with eyes the size of dinner plates and can grow to 6y0 feet in length; the Exosuit worn for outer space or ocean depths long ago; and, if you dare, experience a simulated shark cage atack! Above all, don't miss the fantastic Jack Lightbourn shell collection with over 750 from local waters and over 5000 different species from foreign waters. If you like looking at shark teeth, here you'll find the largest of all!

Don't miss another great -- The Teddy Tucker Shipwreck Gallery where you'll see footage of a sailing ship during a storm and underwater footage of shipwrecks. You'll also learn about ship designs through the ages, examples of general cargo, Bermuda's wreck sites, model of an excavated wreck site with audio by Teddy Tucker and video, and the world's beest preserved wooden collection of the period from the "Frenchman.'

Open daily 2 am-5 pm. For more information contact the Institute at 40 Crow Lane, Pembroke HM 19, info@buei.org or check web site www.buci.org

Bermuda Maritime Museum

Bermuda's rich marine history comes alive at the 19th-Century Royal Naval Dockyard where The Keep consists of over a dozen historic buildings - including the Commissioner's House on the upper grounds. We spent the better part of a day here exploring the island's largest fort. On the lower grounds (Keep Yard), you'll find numerous exhibits and will Travel from the Age of Discovery through Bermuda's glory days of salt-trading, whaling, privateering and ship-building. The six-acre museum offers panoramic views of the Great Sound and the North Shore from its extensive ramparts.

Open daily from 10am-4:30 pm. Phone 441-234-1333.

Fort St. Catherine

This, one of Bermuda's oldest forts, offers an interesting glimpse of the island's fortifications. See dioramas of Bermuda's early history, wander through the artillery magazines, explore the ramparts and view artifacts, weapons, and even replicas of the British Crown Jewels.

Open 10 am to 4:30 pm daily and most holidays. Phone 441-297-1920.

Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo

I loved my visit here - for I saw native fishes, exotic reptiles and free-flying birds that all ages will enjoy. The location is great, too - on the waterfront in beautiful Flatts Village. Daily free animal tours are offered with the opportunity to interact with a diver feeding fish in the North Rock tank and spending time with animal caregivers as they feed and talk about the seals. Don't miss "islands of Australsia," with tree kangaroos and wallabies, and 'North Rock," a 140,000-gallon replica of Bermuda's coral reef system. "Local Tails" highlights native and endemic species with a marine touch pool, and you'll learn about Bermuda's volcanic birth and whaling history at the Natural History Museum.

Open daily from 9 am to 4 pm with Tours at 1:10 pm. Located at 40 North Shore Road; Phone 441-293-2727.

Tucker House

Once a merchant's house, this 18th-cenutry building is a classic Bermudian residence once owned by the family of Henry Tucker. He headed the Governor's Council in St. George's from 1775 and many Tucker family furnishings, portraits and pieces of silver are on display. The cellars house an archaeology exhibit that offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the building's residents over the centuries.

Open Mon-Saturday from 10 am-4 pm. Phone 441-.297-0545.

Historic Royal Naval Dockyard

Here you will find restaurants, shops, watersports, crafts and museum exhibits all in one place.It's actually a one-stop entertainment center where jet sking, fishing, snorkeling, helmet diving, parasailing and a lot more is offered. If you're fortunate to be here during one of the cultural exhibitions, that's another plus. Rich in history, the dockyard facility was established after the Ameerican War of Independence to provide a secure operational base off the east coast of the 13 former colnies. . and the island was attractive from a military standpoint. In 1809, slaves and English convicts began work on the dockyard. It was here during the War of 1812, that British war vessels set sail to attack Washington, D.C. During World War 1 and II, the facility was a launch base for submarines and ships, as well as a repair station and supply base. No longer a military installation, it's a perfect example of urban renewal transformed into one of the island's most popular tourist attractions.

Getting here is easy via a bus ride from Hamilton to the Sea Express ferry, or from mid-April to November, the ferry offers a direct trip between St. Georg's and Dockyard. For details call 441-295-4506.

Where to Stay

Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Tennis Club

If you like to sail, motorboat, kayak, play with beach toys, dive or just enjoy a gorgeous, clean white sandy beach, then the Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Tennis Club is the perfect place. The restaurant's food is fresh and delicious, but I learned that it's best - and more economical - to take the dining plan because prices throughout the island are extremely high, cafes and other food places jammed with tourists, and the food not always the highest quality. When I was on the Grotto Bay food plan, all drinks were included, the dining areas nicely decorated and quiet, and the service excellent.

Rooms are just steps away from the beach and water, and don't miss walking down to the Grotto for a unique look beneath the earth.

For more information contact Grotto Bay Beach Resort Bermuda, 11 Blue Hole Hill, Bailey's Bay, Bermuda; 441-293-8333 or toll free at 1-800-582-3190 or 1-800-463-0851 (in Canada), or e-mail to LSgrottobay@logic.BM; web site www.grottobay.com.

9 Beaches -- Where Being Eco-Friendly Is Second Nature

For the ultra-casual and green at heart, 9 Beaches leads the way in being environmentally-friendly and one of the most popular hotels in Bermuda. According to TripAdvisor, 9 Beaches is now ranked Number 5 of all the hotels on Bermuda. With its flop-flops required, ultra-casual, flair, 9 Beaches offers guests a spectacular setting for a relaxing vacation in an ecologically sound resort.

Set among some of the most spectacular seascapes in the Northern Hemisphere, 9 Beaches’ 84 accommodations are cabanas on stilts so there is little environmental impact to the land. 9 Beaches is especially proud of its xeric garden landscaping used throughout the resort. (From the Greek “xeros,” meaning dry) Intended to conserve water, 9 Beaches’ “xeriscape” uses native varietals requiring no additional watering. 9 Beaches’ xeriscape is attractive and sustainable, conserves water and is based on sound horticultural practices. Also, the property is dotted with artificial Longtail nests to encourage the native bird population.

So, guests can enjoy stunning ocean views from a cozy stilted bungalow situated in a healthy, natural setting — perfect for traveling earth lovers.

Other environmental aspects include:

Solar powered lighting and hot water
Battery operated transportation around resort
Caught rainwater for use in the hotel
Minimal air conditioning; main house air-conditioned only in hot months. Doors open for fresh air.
Motion sensors on exterior cabana lights
Pedal bicycles for transportation
Local produce

Of course, 9 Beaches utilizes eco-basics such as replacing sheets and towels only upon request by the guests, encouraging guests to conserve water, and serving drinking water on request only. The daily newspaper is provided in the lobby only, not in every room, and the staff reuses paper in the fax machine and photocopier. Marketing is primarily electronic, saving paper used on traditional printed materials.

9 Beaches even offers an eco-friendly wedding package. Highlights of the 9 Beaches Eco-Chic Wedding include:
§         6 Bottles of organic champagne
§         3- or 4-tiered organic wedding cake
§         Organic bouquet and boutonniere
§         Organic floral cake topper
§         Eco-centerpiece: simple but elegant centerpiece of carefully gathered 9 Beaches sand with naturally harvested seashells and a clean burning pillar candle set in a clear cylinder vase

Couples can help Bermuda’s environment by planting the nearly extinct Bermuda Cedar tree at 9 Beaches to commemorate their union. The couple can label their seedling with a personalized name plate, so when they return for their anniversaries, they can visit their own tree at 9 Beaches.

For a full description of the Eco-Chic Wedding offerings, please see 9 Beaches downloadable Wedding Planner at www.9beaches.com/weddings/WeddingPlanner.pdf. 

9 Beaches is an anomaly for Bermuda – an ultra-casual resort on an island renowned for small luxury hotels. Still the hotel has found its niche of upscale and adventurous travelers looking for a completely unique experience. Today 9 Beaches is ranked as the 5th most popular hotel out of 33 in Bermuda according to TripAdvisor the world’s largest online travel community.

Visit www.9beaches.com for reservations or information about Bermuda’s only ultra-casual resort. Or, call 9 Beaches directly at 866-841-9009 toll-free or your favorite travel agent.

ABOUT 9 BEACHES
9 Beaches is Bermuda’s only ultra-casual resort and includes 84 private cabanas stretched over 18 acres on the westernmost tip of Bermuda. Some guests have called it, “Heaven on Earth for the down to Earth” and “Bermuda’s Unassuming Paradise.”

Soft-sided cabanas stand on stilts and all have a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean. Some cabanas even perch over the sapphire sea and have Plexiglas floor panels that reveal tropical fish fluttering underfoot. Ceiling fans and tropical breezes maintain comfortable temperatures, and, for guests who need that extra bit of cool air, each cabana has air conditioners. All 84 cabanas have ample windows and double doors that open onto ocean view verandas. These sturdy structures have aluminum frames and sailcloth-like material covering the aluminum frames, perfect for casual Bermudian living. While some guests have called 9 Beaches cabanas “luxury tents” they are more like private beach houses furnished with a queen-size bed, a small bathroom with shower and a veranda.

With nine private beaches (even at high tide) and some of the most beautiful water in Bermuda, the resort caters to active, down-to-earth individuals who are young at heart and love the great outdoors. Guests at 9 Beaches enjoy a most relaxed Bermuda atmosphere where flip-flops are required, stilettos banned, and traditional “luxury seekers” discouraged from coming. 

9 Beaches is has taken a new attitude and more casual approach with dining in 2008, with a new chef and new menus accompanied by an affordable and interesting wine list. Purposefully 9 Beaches provides three different dining venues: Hi Tide with a full complement of menu options; Dark ‘n Stormy’s, the beachfront bar and grill; and A la Cart, a most convenient way to order and eat anywhere on the resort. Soaking up the casual atmosphere, some guests prefer to enjoy a private meal with wine on the veranda of their own cabana overlooking amazing views of the Atlantic. 

Aquatic options abound: Hobie Catamarans, sailboards and sea kayaks. Ripple the waves in a paddleboat or snorkel or snuba — a snorkeling-scuba hybrid — to the wreck of the HMS Vixen, a small, 1860s twin-screwed ironclad that is just off the coast of one of the 9 beaches. More adventuresome guests can skim the surface on windsurfers. Explore Bermuda’s beautiful coral reefs on the Reef Comber, a glass bottom boat. The cruise goes out six miles off Bermuda to the Reef Flats, extremely shallow waters with amazing coral and marine life. For an even closer look, snorkeling equipment is provided, as well. Guests can even take Learn to Scuba courses right at 9 Beaches.

Guests of 9 Beaches can downshift and download at the same time with Wi-Fi (high-speed wireless connections) over various hot spots around the resort. There’s an Internet station in the lobby for use free of charge. All guests also receive a Bermuda cell phone (one per cabana) for free local calls and to avoid incoming international call roaming charges. Long distance calling cards are available for purchase. Important numbers such as the Concierge, A la Cart food & beverage service and the Duty Manager– are pre-programmed.

The Reefs

The Reefs, widely recognized as Bermuda’s best hotel, announces that Nicolay Kreidler and Vision Design have teamed up to re-create La Serena Spa . With the latest approach to relaxation, and a design to match, La Serena Spa delivers on its namesake promise. 

Spa Expert Nicolay Kreidler of iSpad and Spa College is working his magic to develop a program for La Serena at The Reefs that incorporates the spa experience as an integral aspect of the vacation, similar to how guests view dining.  He emphasizes that the spa should be enjoyed not just once but throughout the stay, enhancing the travel experience, maximizing the results of a vacation or business trip and augmenting health, wellness and beauty.

As the new spa menu unfolds, La Serena will include eco-centric treatments using natural indigenous ingredients tapping into the abundant island flora. Kreidler is coaching the on-site spa professionals, all of whom enjoy a dedicated following, to enhance their individual approaches to meet each guest’s needs. “A Manhattanite requires a different approach from a Bermudian or a Brit,” says Kreidler. “At La Serena, we will have a tailored approach to match the style and needs of each of our guests individually.”

As the seasons change, so will the spa options, to complement the weather as well as culturally what’s happening on the island. Committed to sustainability, Kreidler elaborates that plans for La Serena will include using products in a way to minimize the impact on the environment. In sum, Kreidler offers a multi-layered process to ensure the ultimate in healing and renewal for each individual in the context of the environment — culturally, climatically and environmentally. 

In tandem with Kreidler, Vision Design, the luxury hotel design firm of Dallas, has created an inspiring scheme incorporating water elements to encourage absolute relaxation. A cascading water feature serves as a focal point of a central court, which then opens through a moongate out to the recovery terrace with water views of the spectacular Atlantic Ocean. La Serena, perched above the surf, offers an endless view of the horizon, mesmerizing in its infinite beauty, and enhancing the experience for guests as they rest following their treatments.

The completion of the adjacent Reefs Club has allowed for the expansion of La Serena Spa. A private club of just 19 luxurious, fully-furnished two- and three-bedroom beachfront residences, The Reefs Club is offered for sale on an affordable fractional ownership basis. For a limited time until the residences are sold, a few will be available for a one-time-only vacation rental.

The Reefs features three gourmet restaurants, a secluded pink sand beach, snorkeling and tennis, and is convenient to nearby world-class golf and diving.

To plan a vacation at The Reefs or The Reefs Club, call toll-free (800) 742-2008 or visit www.TheReefs.com.

About The Reefs and The Reefs Club Vacation Rentals
One of Bermuda’s finest resort properties, The Reefs has been welcoming guests since 1947 with the traditional hospitality for which the island has long been famous. Crowning a cliff overlooking its own pink sand beach and the turquoise waters that surround Bermuda, The Reefs is in the Southampton parish on the island’s famous South Shore. Lush tropical flowers — hibiscus, oleander and bougainvillea — cascade down the salmon pink-and-white property.  With only 65 guest rooms and suites, this intimate resort consistently receives accolades, including:

Gold List of the “World’s Best Places to Stay” Condé Nast Traveler
# 3 in the 2008 “World’s Best in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas” category of the Travel + Leisure Readers Survey
# 1 "World's Best Hotel Value" “World’s Best Service” Readers Survey Travel + Leisure
Coconuts as “Best Place to Fall in Love,” Ocean Echo as “Best Al Fresco Dining,” “Best Sunday Brunch,” and La Serena as “Best Day Spa” The Bermudian

For a limited time only, and on a space available basis, guests can reserve one of the two- and three-bedroom luxury residences at The Reefs Club next door to the hotel. Those guests who take advantage of The Reefs Club one-time vacation offer will enjoy all the amenities and services afforded to Club owners. Club amenities include the owners’ lounge, separate infinity-edge pool, fitness center and rooftop putting green with impressive views of the Atlantic. An on-site concierge coordinates dinner reservations, La Serena Spa appointments, golf tee times and other island adventures.

For information on The Reefs or to plan a vacation at The Reefs Club, call (800) 742-2008 or visit www.TheReefs.com.

For information on the advantages of becoming an Owner at The Reefs Club, call toll-free 1-866-399-9568.

Elbow Beach Offers Personilized Proposal Planning

Whether one wishes to “pop the question” in simple or elaborate fashion, Elbow Beach, Bermuda's team of “romance” experts can help tailor the perfect proposal plan for guests at the prestigious resort, set along the sparkling blue waters of Bermuda’s South Shore in Paget Parish.

With the resort’s personalized proposal planning package, even the most “romantically-challenged” guest can arrange a flawless, romantic moment for the ages. Guests wishing to propose while on vacation at Elbow Beach, Bermuda will work in advance with the Guest Recognition Manager, Kijean Dill to create their own one-of-a-kind proposal. During the three night stay, the resort will execute every detail with finesse and careful attention, ensuring the plan is carried out seamlessly.

Guests can choose from a variety of on-property and off-property suggestions such as a moon-bathed candlelight dinner on our private pink sand beach, a proposal dive out to Elbow Beach’s very own shipwreck, a romantic spa bath with a submerged gem at the relaxing Spa at Elbow Beach, a “Fire and Ice” proposal with surprise fireworks to complement the icy sparkle of the engagement ring, a message in a bottle washed up conveniently while riding horses along the beach or a customized combination depending on guests’ specific requests.

“Romance is built in at Elbow Beach,” says Kijean Dill, Guest Recognition Manager. “People have been falling in love and staying in love on our property for over 100 years. We have guests that come back year after year to the revisit the place they met, to relive the memories of their honeymoons or to celebrate anniversaries. For a memorable proposal, you really can’t begin with a better location.”

Elbow Beach, Bermuda’s Proposal Package starts at USD3500 for double occupancy and includes:
·        Three nights’ stay in Premier accommodation
·        Daily Breakfast at the Seahorse Grill
·        Three hours of pre-planning consultation with Guest Recognition Manager
·        One on-property proposal meal
·        Welcome amenities including wine and chocolates
·        All other arrangements can be added on an a la carte basis

Reservations can be made by contacting Elbow Beach directly at +1 (441) 236-3535 or mailto: ebbda-reservations@mohg.com.

About Elbow Beach, Bermuda

Elbow Beach, Bermuda’s finest resort since 1908, overlooks the sparkling blue waters of South Shore and is within close distance of Hamilton – the island’s capital. Elbow Beach is a brilliant assemblage of 235 rooms spread amongst the main building and a quaint cottage colony, all set amongst 50 acres of lush manicured gardens that gently slope down to our signature pink sand beach. Elbow Beach, Bermuda has been managed by the Mandarin Oriental Group since 2000.

About Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world's most prestigious hotels and resorts. Mandarin Oriental now operates, or has under development, 40 hotels representing over 10,000 rooms in 24 countries, with 16 hotels in Asia, 14 in The Americas and 10 in Europe and North Africa.

Where to Eat

Royston's, Ocean Echo Restaurant's Debut at The Reefs Resort & Unveils Two New Restaurants and New Kitchen

The kitchens and restaurants at The Reefs have undergone an “extreme makeover,” and the result is nothing short of spectacular. More than $3 million have been invested in the complete redevelopment of the kitchens alone at The Reefs. The two expanded and redesigned restaurants, Ocean Echo and Royston’s designed by Vision Design (Rosewood’s Mansion on Turtle Creek), have just reopened.

The new kitchens, designed by William Caruso and replete with more than $1 million in state-of-the-art appliances and operational flows honed by Baring Industries, will ensure superlative service. The entire culinary undertaking is being directed by The Reefs Escoffier Chef Laurent Ajas. Chef Laurent, solidly grounded in the basics of fine French cuisine draws on his experiences from around the world — Toulouse, Cannes, Ireland, Grand Cayman, Luxembourg, Thailand and Bermuda — to provide guests innovative international dining. “The hotel always has been famous for its dining, and now Chef Laurent will have a platform to take gourmet dining to the highest level,” says Managing Director Ben Tutt.

Ocean Echo, located in the newly-renovated south side of the main clubhouse, feels like an ocean lookout with a large curved window-wall providing nearly 180-degree views of the horizon from its perch high on the cliffs. Designed to be Bermuda’s most serene fine dining experience, Ocean Echo features colors and materials chosen to enhance the native Bermudian architectural elements of coral stone and high peaked ceiling with cedar trusses. Silvery blue-green tones for the furnishings are accented by a select collection of Bermudian works of art and nautical antiques. 

Bermudian classic starters like Cod fish cakes served on a chayote squash slaw and Bermuda fish chowder are offered alongside salmon “gravlax” or asparagus with wasabi hollandaise. The main course will feature a daily fresh Bermudian delicacy as well as enchanting pasta and risotto dishes, pan fried rock fish, grilled beef tenderloin and seared maple duck breast. The menu has mouth watering descriptions. Inside Ocean Echo jackets are recommended but not required; patio dining is slightly less formal.

Royston’s, on the north side of the clubhouse, has the feel of a supper club, a huge fireplace, beamed ceiling and views of the display kitchen where chefs plate their creations. Attention to detail is apparent in the lighting – showcasing custom fixtures and a wall of candle niches with glowing alabaster shades to create a warm and convivial atmosphere.  

The ambiance is casual affluence, staying true to the traditions of Bermudian hospitality that have been developed over the last 60 years. Food is ample in portion and elegant. The supper club feel is reflected in the menu with items like Gosling soaked pork chops and Steak Wellington.  

Royston’s accents The Reefs’ impressive wine list, by featuring an adjoining Wine Room, built around a custom-built, temperature-controlled, mahogany wine storage fixture holding over 1,200 bottles. The Wine Room, with Bermuda stone on the walls, can be separated from Royston’s by double doors to serve as your private dining room. After a dinner at Royston’s a nice Cognac would be the norm.

The popular Reefs beachside dining venue, Coconuts, has been cited as “best place to fall in love in Bermuda.” Its private pink sand beach, available for reservations May through November, provides the island’s most romantic dining beneath the stars, complete with tiki torches and the rhythm of the waves. 

Development of the The Reefs Club next to the resort has allowed The Reefs to expand and enhance its amenities, providing the utmost intimate and luxurious experience. Guests already are raving about the completion of Phase I, the redesigned bar, lounge and terrace providing elegant and relaxing places to unwind. The newly-unveiled restaurants undoubtedly will be in high demand. 

La Serena Spa, the first spa in Bermuda to offer the relaxing Thai massage therapy, is one of the most popular spas on the island. Being so popular it was oftentimes difficult for guests to secure an appointment due to its small size. That will all change once the New La Serena Spa opens in 2009. The facility will more than quadruple in size going from 2 to 8 treatment rooms. The new spa will sport two saunas and a full locker facility along with expanded manicure and pedicure stations. A large relaxation area with expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean is a new feature sure to please every guest.

The 19 private residences of The Reefs Club are planned for completion mid-2009.  Those who enjoy visiting The Reefs to “feel perfectly at ease” in beautiful Bermuda, now can “live perfectly at ease” with fractional ownership of these two- and three-bedroom homes. For information on the residences, please visit www.reefsclub.com. 

Since 1947, The Reefs has been providing the ultimate in hospitality for its guests, many of whom return year after year.  For information and reservations at the hotel, call 800-742-2008 or visit www.TheReefs.com.

About Elbow Beach

Elbow Beach, Bermuda’s finest resort since 1908, overlooks the sparkling blue waters of South Shore and is within close distance of Hamilton – the island’s capital. Elbow Beach is a brilliant assemblage of 235 rooms spread amongst the main building and a quaint cottage colony, all set amongst 50 acres of lush manicured gardens that gently slope down to our signature pink sand beach. Elbow Beach, Bermuda has been managed by the Mandarin Oriental Group since 2000.

About Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world’s most prestigious hotels and resorts. Mandarin Oriental now operates, or has under development, over 10,000 rooms in 23 countries with 16 hotels in Asia, 14 in The Americas and nine in Europe and North Africa.

BONAIRE

Bonaire Continues to Preserve The Environment Through Ecofriendly Programs

STINAPA officially launched their waste reduction campaign earlier this year at "A Taste of Bonaire," during International Year of the Reef Week. The waste reduction campaign encourages visitors to take home their used batteries instead of disposing of them in Bonaire's landfill, and also encourages visitors to fill reusable water bottles with tap water instead of purchasing bottled water and disposing of the empty plastic bottles in Bonaire‚s landfill.

Resulting from the launch of STINAPA‚s campaign, hotels and venues in Bonaire have been taking eco-initiatives to encourage their guests to help keep the island pristine. Below are some of the programs the stakeholders have implemented to keep an eco-friendly environment.

Sand Dollar Condominium Resort
Sand Dollar is supporting Selibon, the garbage management company on the island, in separation of glass, by having special yellow containers for glass at all of their garbage collecting spots on the property. The property removed bottled water from their grocery stocking list, and are advising guests to bring their own recyclable bottle. The front desk is also collecting batteries and with the help of the guests and the owner they are sending the batteries to the US for recycling. For more information visit www.sanddollarbonaire.com or email: res@sanddollarbonaire.com.

Captain Don's Habitat
Captain Don's Habitat announced they are now providing each guest with a reusable water bottle made from recycled plastic and that the resort, along with Rum Runners Restaurant, will no longer sell bottled water. For more information visit www.habitatbonaire.com or email: cdh@maduro.com.

Ocean Adventures
For eight years, Ocean Adventures has been encouraging their guests to use rechargeable batteries for cameras and dive lights. For the guests that use regular batteries, they collect and store the batteries in a special box and ship the trash to Germany. Ocean Adventures also promotes drinking tap water instead of bottled water to their guests in their welcoming brief. For more information, visit www.oceanadventures.com.

Bonaire Tours and Vacations
During Bonaire Tour and Vacations briefings to their guests, they inform their guests that the water on Bonaire is excellent drinking water and recommend they drink tap water, instead of bottled water. They also inform guests that an air conditioner unit cools a room within 10 minutes and there is no need to leave air conditioning units running all day. For more information, visit www.bonairetours.com.

Sonrisa Rooms & Apartments
Upon guests checking into Sonrisa Rooms & Apartments, they are informed to drink water from the tap and use re-usable batteries, forks/spoons, solar energy for hot water, and to throw their bath towels on the floor if they want clean ones. For more information, email info@sonrisabonaire.com.

Wannadive Hut
Wanadive Hut asks Dutch visitors to keep their used batteries and bring them back to Holland since they provide special boxes to dispose of batteries. They also collect empty ink cartridges and put them in special envelopes to be refilled. Bottled water is also not sold, but ice water is available in a big jug for people to refill their reusable bottles. For more information, email info@wannadivehutbonaire.com.

Black Durgon and Divers Paradise
Black Durgon and Divers Paradise discourage buying bottle water and inform guests that the bottled water in Bonaire is the same as tap water. They also have guests put all fruit rinds and melon seeds in a separate container that is given to the horses, donkeys, goats and chickens daily. For more information, email Bonaire@blackdurgon.com or visit www.blackdurgon.com / www.diversparadisebonaire.com.

Den Laman Condominiums
Den Laman is continuing efforts to seek measures to lessen their environmental impact while ensuring guest comfort and convenience. For several years now, they have used only eco-friendly cleaning products, and by the end of 2008, two new measures will be added to the list of existing accomplishments, including the installation of room sensors designed to shut off air-conditioning units when guest rooms are unoccupied, and the installation of a laundry facility on property which will enable the use of green laundering products. The laundry facility will also have coin operated machines available for guest use once completed. For more information, email Denlaman@diveres.com or visit www.denlaman.com.

Bonaire Caribbean Real Estate
Bonaire Caribbean Real Estate encourages guests to hand over their batteries to the front desk so they can put them in a special container that gets shipped to the USA. For more information, email muys@sunrentalsbonaire.com or visit www.sunrentalsbonaire.com.

Washington Slagbaai National Park
Washington Slagbaai National Park helps the environment as all their buildings in the park generate electricity from solar energy, waste water is collected in hard plastic containers and park vehicles receive regular service: motor service and tire pressure check. For more information, visit www.stinapa.org.

STINAPA Headquarters of the Bonaire National Marine Park
Bonaire National Marine Park has solar guard film placed on all glass windows of the building that reduces 70% of solar rays, all park vehicles as well as outboard boat motors receive regular service, daily car pooling to and from work of employees and all air-conditioning units receive regular service. For more information, visit www.stinapa.org.


About Bonaire --

Located eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire offers year-round sunshine, low annual rainfall, pristine coral formations and the most thriving fish population in the Caribbean. Ideal for adventurers, explorers and sun-worshippers alike, Bonaire offers myriad eco-adventure activities including world renowned scuba diving and snorkeling, windsurfing, kiteboarding, mountain biking, sea and mangrove kayaking, horseback riding, nature tours, hiking, bird watching, sailing and deep sea and bone fishing. And with a selection of accommodations ranging from full-service oceanfront resorts and condominiums to guesthouses and small inns, Bonaire has something for every lifestyle and budget.

For more information on Bonaire contact the Tourism Corporation Bonaire in the U.S. at 1-800-BONAIRE or visit Bonaire‚s official web site at www.tourismbonaire.com.

Bonaire Voted Favorite Dive Destination in the World in About.com Reader Poll

The votes have been tallied and the results are in - Bonaire has been voted your favorite dive destination in the world in the About.com Favorite Dive Destination Reader Poll!

In round five of the poll Bonaire was voted the favorite dive destination in the Caribbean, beating out other well-known Caribbean dive destinations such as Bahamas, Cayman Islands and the US Virgin Islands. In the final round, Bonaire went head-to-head with seven other dive destinations from around the world including The Philippines, Galapagos Islands and Cozumel, and won with an overwhelming 51% of the total votes!

'The most rewarding compliment is one that comes directly from our visitors,' said Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, Director of Tourism Corporation Bonaire. 'We are honored to have been recognized by those who took the time to vote in About.com‚s Favorite Dive Destination Poll and want to ensure our visitors that we are continuing to take measures to protect our underwater environment to keep Bonaire sustainable as well as the favorite dive destination.'

About.com, part of the prestigious New York Times company, is a Top 10 web property used by one out of every five people on the Internet, reaching nearly 21 million unique visitors per month.

Located eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire offers year-round sunshine, low annual rainfall, pristine coral formations and the most thriving fish population in the Caribbean. Ideal for adventurers, explorers and sun-worshippers alike, Bonaire offers myriad eco-adventure activities including world renowned scuba diving and snorkeling, windsurfing, kiteboarding, landsailing, mountain biking, sea and mangrove kayaking, horseback riding, nature tours, hiking, bird watching, sailing and deep sea and bone fishing. And with a selection of accommodations ranging from full-service oceanfront resorts and condominiums to guesthouses and small inns, Bonaire has something for every lifestyle and budget.

For more information on Bonaire contact the Tourism Corporation Bonaire in the U.S. at 1-800-BONAIRE or visit Bonaire‚s official web site at www.tourismbonaire.com.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Where to Stay

Scrub Island Resort

Scrub Island Resort received two Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards. Named one of Travel + Leisure‚s 500 World's Best Hotels for 2014 and ranked eighth World's Best Family Hotel in the Caribbean, the newest luxury private-island resort in the British Virgin Islands boasts 52 suites and a collection of two-, three- and four-bedroom villas featuring spacious floor plans, custom furnishings, natural stone, spectacular master suites, gourmet kitchens with Wolf and Subzero appliances, and breathtaking views of the Caribbean. Guests can also enjoy other amenities at the private island resort, including three pristine beaches, renowned restaurants and bars, a well-equipped health club, exciting excursions offered by the on-site dive shop, unlimited use of sea kayaks and stand up paddleboards, resort-wide Wi-Fi, resort ferry, on-island transportation and complimentary airport transfers from EIS/Beef Island Tortola.

The rankings are determined from the results of a reader questionnaire developed by the editors of Travel + Leisure which judges hotels, cities, islands, airlines, tour companies, spas and more. Respondents evaluated hotels on five characteristics, rooms/facilities, location, service, restaurants/food and value, rating each on a five- point scale of excellent, above average, average, below average and poor. Required component ratings were then averaged, creating an overall score.

The 2015 World's Best Awards survey is currently live at TLWorldsBest.com. Participants are entered to win a $10,000 dream trip in addition to other prizes.

For more information about Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina visit ScrubIsland.com or stay up-to-date with its latest news and promotions on Facebook or Twitter.

Scrub Island Resort--

also ended 2014 on a great note with the announcement that they received two Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards. Named one of Travel + Leisure's 500 World's Best Hotels for 2014 and ranked eighth World's Best Family Hotel in the Caribbean, the newest luxury private-island resort in the British Virgin Islands boasts 52 suites and a collection of two-, three- and four-bedroom villas featuring spacious floor plans, custom furnishings, natural stone, spectacular master suites, gourmet kitchens with Wolf and Subzero appliances, and breathtaking views of the Caribbean. Guests can also enjoy other amenities at the private island resort, including three pristine beaches, renowned restaurants and bars, a well-equipped health club, exciting excursions offered by the on-site dive shop, unlimited use of sea kayaks and stand up paddleboards, resort-wide Wi-Fi, resort ferry, on-island transportation and complimentary airport transfers from EIS/Beef Island Tortola.

The rankings are determined from the results of a reader questionnaire developed by the editors of Travel + Leisure which judges hotels, cities, islands, airlines, tour companies, spas and more. Respondents evaluated hotels on five characteristics, rooms/facilities, location, service, restaurants/food and value, rating each on a five- point scale of excellent, above average, average, below average and poor. Required component ratings were then averaged, creating an overall score.

For more information about Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina visit ScrubIsland.com or stay up-to-date with its latest news and promotions on Facebook or Twitter.

Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina -- the newest luxury private-island resort in the British Virgin Islands and one of Travel + Leisure's 2014 500 World‚s Best Hotels -- has partnered with the on-island dive shop, DiveBVI, Association of Reef Keepers and the Conservation & Fisheries Departments, to offer guests a new 'Turtle Researcher for A Day' program, a once in a lifetime experience that also assists in on-going sea turtle conservation efforts.

By participating in half- and full-day turtle tagging experiences hosted by DiveBVI, guests can learn about sea turtles and the local marine environment. The experience includes instruction on the latest techniques to safely catch a turtle and take measurements before it is then carefully tagged, micro-chipped and released back into the water. Data collected during each adventure will be recorded and used to help global efforts to better understand sea turtles and their conservation.

The half-day experience starts at $3,000 and the full-day experience at $4,800 for six guests. Up to six additional guests can participate for $50 extra per additional person. The experience includes gift bags, recognition cards, flash drive with photos from the day, fuel, water, adult beverages, snacks, towels and snorkeling gear. The full-day experience also includes lunch and soft drinks at a nearby restaurant.

For an additional $75, guests participating in the 'Turtle Researcher for A Day' program have the opportunity to name and 'adopt' any tagged turtles. Guests receive a certificate of adoption with all the details about their turtle, general information about sea turtles, a reusable grocery bag and a glass turtle handmade by the local Green VI, a non-profit dedicated to maintaining balance between development and conservation of the natural environment in the BVI.

For guests interested in staying on-island before or after their adventure, Scrub Island Resort offers 52 ocean view guest rooms and suites, as well as a collection of two-, three- and four-bedroom villas with spacious floor plans and featuring custom furnishings, natural stone, spectacular master suites, gourmet kitchens with Wolf and Subzero appliances, and breathtaking views of the Caribbean. Guests can also enjoy other amenities at the private island resort, including three pristine beaches, renowned restaurants and bars, a well-equipped health club, exciting excursions offered by the on-site dive shop, unlimited use of sea kayaks and stand up paddleboards, resort-wide Wi-Fi, resort ferry, on-island transportation and complimentary airport transfers from EIS/Beef Island Tortola. Ocean view guest room rates start at $435 per night, while villas start at $1,400 per night.

For more information about Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina or DiveBVI‚s 'Turtle Researcher for A Day' program, visit ScrubIsland.com or stay up-to-date with its latest news and promotions on Facebook or Twitter.

About Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, BVI

Opened in July 2010, Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina is named after its location, a serene 230-acre private-island haven situated at the east end of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. The first luxury resort development in the destination in more than 15 years and first member of Marriott‚s Autograph Collection in the Caribbean, the resort is tucked into a rugged cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and neighboring uninhabited islands. It features 52 guest accommodations as well as a collection of two-, three- and four-bedroom villas, the intimate Ixora Spa, world-class restaurants including the popular Caravela, three private beaches and a 55-slip marina. For more information, call toll free U.S. 813-849-4153 or visit ScrubIsland.com.

About Mainsail Lodging and Development
Mainsail Lodging and Development is a Tampa-based hospitality company that develops and operates lodging products in the Southeastern US and the Caribbean. Their properties include Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina (ScrubIsland.com), a private island resort in the British Virgin Islands and member of Autograph Collection® of Marriott International; Mainsail Beach Inn (MainsailBeachInn.com); a boutique beachfront hotel on Anna Maria Island, Florida; and the boutique food-focused Epicurean Hotel (EpicureanHotel.com) in Tampa, Florida which was created in collaboration with the legendary Bern‚s Steak House and was the first newly constructed property in the United States to join the Autograph Collection®. The company also operates corporate housing throughout the Southeast, exclusively managing the Florida market for Oakwood Worldwide® under both its ExecuStay® (ExecuStay.com) and Oakwood® (Oakwood.com) brands, while also operating ExecuStay (ExecuStay.com) in Georgia, portions of Alabama, and The Carolinas. Mainsail is developing their third Autograph Collection® hotel, Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club on Anna Maria Island, Florida, which is slated to open late Fall 2016. MainsailHotels.com

About Autograph Collection Hotels
Autograph Collection Hotels celebrates a collection of independent leaders in film, art, design and literature by curating one-of-a-kind travel experiences at 91 luxury lifestyle hotels found in the world‚s most desirable destinations. Exactly like nothing else, each hotel has been hand selected for its distinction as an iconic landmark, for its remarkable design or for its best-in-class resort amenities. For more information please visit web site www.autographhotels.com, or explore social media channels to learn more about championing the independent spirit:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AutographCollection 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Autograph 
Tumblr: /autographcollectionhotels.tumblr.com/ 
Instagram: www.instagram.com/AutographHotels

BRITISH WEST INDIES

Where to Stay

Sheriva at Sheriton Estates - A Luxury Boutique Villa Hotel Is Anguilla's Most Unique New Hideaway

Take everything you’ve ever dreamed of in a boutique hotel experience…now add the unparalleled luxury, endless amenities and first-class personalized service found only at the world’s premier private villa properties. You have just arrived at Anguilla’s SHERIVA at Sheriton Estates, a new 20-room boutique villa hotel that is setting a new standard for elite travel in the Caribbean.

Set in Anguilla’s chic West End overlooking the island’s most picturesque and spectacular beaches, SHERIVA is a hideaway designed to meet and exceed the standards of the world’s most discerning travelers. The property is located on a lush, 10-acre enclave that boasts sensational views of the Caribbean Sea and the rolling hills of neighboring St. Martin. And while this is a haven for privacy seekers, the property offers easy access to the island’s finest beaches, activities and restaurants.

SHERIVA is comprised of three fully staffed and spectacularly appointed villas, each providing its own intimate luxury resort. The identical 14,000 square-foot Infinity and Harmony villas feature seven bedrooms, 8.5 baths, two private pools, a games and entertainment room, and a workout nook. Villa Mystique, said to be the island’s largest villa at 21,000 square-feet, features four Grand Villa Suites, a Loft Junior Suite, a Garden Suite, three pools, and its own fully equipped workout facility.

The inspiration for the property’s concept came from the Anguillian owner’s desire to raise the bar for Caribbean luxury to new heights. “SHERIVA is a place for those who believe they can truly have the best of both worlds,” said owner, Sheridan Smith. “We wanted to offer our guests the privacy and luxury of the world’s grandest villas, the service and amenities of the world’s finest small hotels…all in a single place and set in the heart of one of the Caribbean’s most exclusive islands.”

Dream your most unforgettable experience, then let Sheriva deliver it to you. Fantasizing about the ultimate romantic rendezvous? Make it a reality by booking any of their spectacularly spacious suites. Looking for a family reunion to top all family reunions? Book an entire villa and create memories that will last a lifetime. Planning a unique executive retreat or board meeting? The villa hotel’s full Conference Suite offers boardroom, classroom and theatre style seating for up to 40 persons with full audiovisual services.

As you enter your spacious private villa or suite you’ll discover all you might hope for in a world-class retreat. Fine marble, granite and exotic hardwood finishes combine with contemporary furnishings and interior design by Norma Chase-Jobert to add a new level of sophistication to classic Caribbean charm. As Anguilla’s only boutique villa hotel, SHERIVA offers the distinguished traveler an array of deliciously designed oversized lodging options. Choose from the Grand Villa Suites with their signature infinity-edge bathtub highlighting a gleaming bathroom sanctuary…to the Loft Suites with direct access to a private rooftop sun terrace…or sizeable two, three or four-bedroom Grand Villa pool suites. Each suite features its own personality and boasts its own signature style, from sprawling changing rooms and sitting rooms to kitchenettes and private balconies. Then there are the wonderfully expansive five, six and seven bedroom villas which include all of the above.

The service at SHERIVA is as spectacular as the place itself. If you indulge and opt to take any of the larger accommodations starting from a 4-bedroom villa, you can head down to the magnificently appointed kitchen each morning to find your own private chef serving up the delectable beginnings of a truly great day, then return for extraordinary encores in the afternoon and evening. Your personal Concierge Privé places a cache of activities and services at your fingertips at all times. Contemplating a revitalizing sunset massage on your private deck as you gaze out toward Cove Lagoon? Or perhaps an afternoon shopping jaunt to the world-renowned shops on St. Barths? Daydreaming of an intimate picnic on a deserted cay? The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and your concierge makes each whim a seamless reality. In separate suite accommodation continental breakfast is included in the rate and served on the guests terrace daily. There is also a central concierge service available through Guest Services.

In all the accommodations, one enjoys the prompt, professional attention of a full staff of housekeepers, laundresses, groundsmen, and more who are well skilled in the art of anticipating your every need…even before you do. 

SHERIVA guests enjoy beach and signing privileges at one of the world’s most exclusive and luxurious retreats, Cap Juluca…minutes away via one of the property’s golf carts where they will find Maundays and Cove Bays, two of the most spectacular beaches on the island and practically at your doorstep.

Sheriva guests may also take advantage of the flight concierge service if they wish to take a private Citation II jet from any location in the Caribbean or U.S. mainland to Anguilla and truly take pleasure in the wonders of this new luxury Boutique Villa Hotel.

For more information or to book your SHERIVA experience, visit www.sheritonestates.com, call 264 498 9898 or email info@sheritonestates.com 

CAYMAN ISLANDS

GRAND CAYMAN

Rentals in Cayman, Ltd., now boasts Seven Treasures on Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman   

Rentals in Cayman, Ltd (RIC) announces a brand new property for vacation rentals. Seven Treasures on prime Seven Mile Beach has 7 bedrooms with the capabilities of sleeping upwards of 14 persons.

Situated at the end of Lizard Run Drive off Seven Mile Beach Road, this spacious private villa looks out unto a large expanse of white powdery sand beach with hammock shed and crystal clear waters for your enjoyment. Modern kitchen facilities with new appliances, cable TV, stereo, etc., compliment this perfectly appointed home. A large verandah with access from main bedrooms opens out unto the beach and is perfect for entertaining, seaside lunches or simply relaxing.

The rental also comes with daily maid service for guests’ convenience and comfort. Seven Treasures is also within walking distance on many terrific restaurants, watersports operators, duty-free shopping, convenience stores, boutiques, attractions, etc., in the Seven Mile Beach area.

This private villa is perfect for vacationing families, small groups, extended families, the celebration of special occasions such as weddings, family reunions, Thanksgiving and Christmas, etc.

Check web site www.rentalsincayman.ky for a tour of this property and others, or e-mail to info@rentalsincayman.ky

CURACAO

The Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao boasts an eclectic mix of history and culture creating a Caribbean experience like no other. This 38-mile long melting pot of diversity offers the emblematic sea, sun and sand of the Caribbean combined with the sophistication and atmosphere of Europe. Visitors to Curaçao will enjoy a broad selection of activities, from hiking and biking, to museums and art galleries, to gourmet dining and local cuisine. Also known for its pristine diving conditions, Curaçao attracts the adventure traveler as well as those just looking to unwind and enjoy its perfect climate.

American Airlines offers twice daily flights into Curaçao from Miami and Continental Airlines provides weekly service to Curaçao from Newark.

To learn more about Curaçao or to receive a free destination DVD, contact 1-800-3-CURACAO (1-800-328-7222) or visit www.curacao.com.

Curacao's Lodge Kura Hulanda & Beach Club Completes Tree House Mansion
Luxury tree house provides one-of-a-kind vacation accommodations

Lodge Kura Hulanda & Beach Club, a member of Leading Small Hotels of the World, located on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao, has put the finishing touches on its Tree House Mansion, which is now available for guests to rent. This two bedroom, two bathroom treetop suite provides all the luxuries and comforts of a hotel with a unique safari twist.

Built atop wooden stilts among the island foliage, the Tree House Mansion is 1312 square feet and decorated with an African vibe - filled with artifacts and antiques that Kura Hulanda owner and visionary, Jacob Gelt Dekker, brought back from his travels over the years.

A wooden spiral staircase leads up to the Tree House Mansion and into the open-air living room, which features an authentic, ornate Bali Bridal bed and a wide terrace providing picturesque sunset views over the water. Each bedroom is air-conditioned and offers a four-poster king size bed with mosquito netting, flat screen TV, and full bathroom with tub and shower. The Tree House Mansion also has wireless Internet and a full kitchen with refrigerator, stove, sink and microwave.

The Tree House Mansion sleeps up to four people

For a more novelty experience, Lodge Kura Hulanda also offers a basic Tree House located amongst the Lodge Garden View Rooms and Suites, which rents for $100/night. Guests climb up a ladder, through a trap door and on to a wooden platform where a full sized safari tent is erected. Inside the zippered tent door the tree house is equipped with a king size bed, nightstands and working electricity (lights, mini-refrigerator and television). While not air-conditioned, the cross breeze that blows through the windows when unzipped provides all the cool air necessary. Located on the ground, beneath the platform, is the tree house bathroom which features a shower, sink and toilet, built in a rustic manor encompassing the feel of the great outdoors while not quite roughing it.

Nestled in the tranquil and idyllic setting of Curaçao’s west end, Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club offers a luxurious ambiance coupled with a relaxing beachfront retreat and the seclusion of a unique island hideaway.  Featuring a beautiful, white sand beach and a spectacular swimming pool, Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club offers guests the chance to experience world class diving, hiking, cycling and adventure within feet of the resort while just 45 minutes away, downtown Willemstad offers the enjoyment of diverse culture, dining, shopping and nightlife.

For more info about Kura Hulanda Resorts, please visit www.kurahulanda.com. For reservations call 877-264-3106 or e-mail reservations@kurahulanda.com.

DOMINICA

Dominica Announces New Projects on the Nature Island

With an abundance of natural wonders and breathtaking views, Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-eek-a) continues to grow with a wide variety of new developments, upgrades and packages. Here is some of the latest news from 'The Nature Island' making it the destination to visit in 2009!

UNIQUE HOTELS ON THE  SCENE

Comfortel De Champ --

Residing in Picard village, 2 miles south of Portsmouth, Comfortel De Champ opened its doors November 2008. This new property is located at a height of 200 feet above sea level. The hotel has 5 double rooms, with king/queen size beds and an excellent, modern design bathroom. Amenities include but are not limited to air condition, ceiling fan, mini-bar, an electric kettle with complimentary coffee and tea, personal safe, LCD television and wireless internet. Each room has a private balcony offering a breathtaking view of Prince Rupert Bay and Cabrits National Park. Rates start as low as $90 per room, per night. For more information visit www.godominica.com, email:info@godominica.com or call 767-445-4452.

Silks Hotel --

Silks announced the reopening of their luxury boutique hotel to guests in January 2009. Formerly a museum, the hotel has been transformed into a seductively furnished Creole mansion. The property entails five luxurious bedrooms, elegant lounges and a dining area that extends to the patio and pool area. Rates start at $140 per room per night. For more information visit www.silkshotel.com, call 767-445-8846 or email silkshotel@gmail.com.

Calibishie Cove --

This new eco-luxurious boutique villa overlooks the stretch of Dominica's coastline, providing an unforgettable experience by combining luxury, privacy and blissful comfort. All rooms include but are not limited to; free wireless Internet access, natural soaps made in Dominica, local Dominican artwork, complimentary use of local cell phone, refrigerator and complimentary use of snorkeling equipment. Rates start as low as $140 per night. For more information visit www.calibishiecove.com, email calibishiecove@gmail.com or call 813-417-8448.

Jungle Bay Resort & Spa --

Jungle Bay Resort & Spa is now offering environmentally friendly corporate meetings, retreats and incentive travel group packages. The retreat center is eco-friendly and provides a rejuvenating island setting to get employees outside of the boardroom, while supporting the growing movement of Corporate Social Responsibility. The hotel designs retreats, meetings, conferences and workshops for small to medium size groups of up to 60 persons. Travel groups have the option of three spectacular meeting spaces with wireless internet, daily stress relieving island excursions, yoga, fresh organic meals and accommodation in cottages on stilts under the rain forest canopy.

For more information visit www.junglebaydominica.com/meeting.cfm, email info@junglebaydominica.com or call 767-446-1789.

Rainforest Shangri-la Resort --

Known for their natural hot springs, Rainforest Shangri-la Resort discovered additional hot springs on their property beside the River Blanc. The hotel recently completed their newest stone hot tub for a total of 8 on property. This eco-friendly property is the only resort in Dominica that has the only boiling water cave, 'Dragon's Mouth.' For more information please email shangrila@cwdom.dm or visit www.rainforestshangrilaresort.com.

Sea Cliff Cottages --

Located only 15 minutes from Dominica's Melville Airport, experience the beauty of a tropical Caribbean night at Sea Cliff Cottages, which has completed construction on their final cottage and is now available for renting. This two bedroom cottage with a lovely view of the sea and mountains is the perfect set up for two couples or a family. Amenities include but are not limited to; balcony, WiFi, washing machine, cable TV, cell phone and full kitchen. For more information email seacliff@dominica-cottages.com or visit www.dominica-cottages.com.

HOTEL PACKAGES

Destination Marketing Company (DMC) Dominica --

Save money with 'DMC Overnight & Tour Package' at the Fort Young Hotel. The package includes one night's accommodation, full buffet breakfast, one hotel dinner, one Adventure Tour with packed lunch, fresh juice and water, site user fees, airport transfers with departure tax and complimentary farewell gift basket. Rates start as low as $650 per person based on double occupancy. For more information call 767-255-1104, email customerservice@whitchurch.com or visit www.whitchurch.com.

Calibishie Lodges --

Calibishie Lodges is offering a free night of accommodations with their 'Book for 7 Nights/Pay for 6' promotion. Rates begin at $780 per person . For more information visit www.calibishielodges.com, email info@calibishie-lodges.com or call 767-445-8573.

Where to Eat

Bar De Champ ---

Comfortel De Champ's Bar De Champ, has already gained a lot of popularity in the student community of Picard. The sunset bar is open every day excluding Wednesday's, from 5pm - 9pm and offers beer, cocktails and a range of self imported Spanish wines and champagnes. The bar will also provide back-to-back transportation to residents who reside in Picard. For more information visit www.godominica.com, email info@godominica.com or call 767-445-4452.

Cabrits Dive and Café --

On November 24 2008, Cabrits Dive Center opened their second branch on the waterfront in Lagoon, Portsmouth. Cabrits Dive and Café is open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and offers dive/snorkel reservations and snorkel equipment retail/rentals. After your dive, sip on a latte or cocktail while enjoying the breathtaking view of Prince Rupert Bay at their European Café. Also, to help raise money for Cabrits night security, Portsmouth Association of Yacht Security hosts a barbeque with food, rum punch and music every Sunday on the bay front.   For more information email cabritsdive@cwdom.dm, call 767-445-3010 or visit www.cabritsdive.com.

TOURS/EXCURSIONS

Escapes Tours --

Escapes Tours offer wonderful opportunities to discover Dominica and experience an unforgettable adventure in a natural environment. This year, Escapes introduces two new excursions; Canyoning and Aquatic River Hiking. The Canyoning tour will have your adrenaline pumping as you are swimming through the waterfalls or jumping in the rock-pools. The Aquatic River Hiking is a real adventure where you can jump, dive and slide along rivers. For more information visit www.canyonspeleo.com, email sgsc@canyonspeleo.com or call 767-317-0490.

Jungle Trekking Adventures and Safaris Inc. (JTAS) --

JTAS provides their guests with a unique opportunity to prepare and present traditional Caribbean dishes with their Cooking Caribbean Adventure Tour. This 3.5 hour special will allow you to experience different aspects of Dominican culture and heritage. This two part experience begins with a bus ride from the wharf to a mountain home nestled in the tropical rainforest. Upon arrival you will be welcomed and greeted with a brief introduction on traditional Creole cooking and will have a tour of their kitchen herbal garden. For more information visit www.experiencescaribbean.com, email info@experiencescaribbean.com or call 845-367-4264.

ABOUT DOMINICA

Known as 'the Nature Island' and located between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean, the independent nation of Dominica (pronounced 'Dom-in-eek-a') is the largest and most mountainous of the Windward Islands, encompassing an area of nearly 290 square miles. Of volcanic origins with mountains reaching heights of nearly 5,000 feet, rainforests that are considered among the latest true oceanic rainforests in the world, more than 365 rivers, waterfalls, the second largest Boiling Lake in the world and pristine coral reefs, Dominica's natural diversity is truly unique. Dominica is also home to the last remaining settlement of Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean ˆ The Carib Indians. A place where man and nature live in harmony, adventurers and nature lovers alike will revel in the Island's eco-tourism options which include scuba diving, snorkeling, mountain biking, kayaking, horseback riding, nature tours, hiking/trekking, whale, dolphin and bird watching, sailing and fishing.

Dominica continues to be recognized for its attributes and responsible tourism efforts, including being the first country in the world to receive Benchmarking designation from the prestigious eco-tourism organization Green Globe 21. National Geographic‚s Center for Sustainable Destination ranked the island as the top sustainable island in the Caribbean and among the top ten in the world. Most recently, Dominica was recognized by Islands Magazine and was included in its 2007 Blue List for being a leader in responsible tourism and ensuring an environmentally and culturally sound island for future generations. Most recently Travel + Leisure announced Dominica as one of the most compelling destinations to visit in their 100 Greats Trips 2008 edition.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Tourism Authority at 866-522-4057. Or, visit Dominica's official web site at www.discoverdominica.com.

Cabrits Dive Centre --

Cabrits Dive Centre, the only PADI 5 star dive operation in Dominica, offers daily dive tours along the beautiful North West Coast line. As the only dive operator located in the North of Dominica, Cabrits Dive Centre specializes in small groups to emphasize your "Sense of Discovery."  Cabrits Dive Centre also offers a wide range of dive instruction to accommodate all divers from the novice to Dive Master!  Double-tank dives start at $75 per person. For more information call 767-445-3010, email cabritsdive@yahoo.com or visit www.cabritsdive.com.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

There's always lots going on in the Dominican Republic. Here's the latest news and events:

-Dominican Republic’s East Coast Ignites as the “It” Destination of Golf

With over $6.5 billion in new mega resort developments covering a combined 33,000 acres, the Dominican Republic’s (DR) East Coast has indelibly transformed into the quintessential destination for golf. New championship golf courses, marinas and luxury resort accommodations being developed will enhance a dozen well-known and loved existing championship golf courses, igniting golf tourism and transforming the area into the new international ‘It’ destination for golf. Luxury developments like Roco Ki and Cap Cana will feature phase one openings this year and many more golf courses, upscale hotel properties and marinas are planned over the next 12 years.

Among the already established golf courses there, the East Coast also reports an abundant amount of enhancements thoughtfully added to well-loved championship golf courses located at resorts such as Casa de Campo, Punta Cana Resort & Golf and more. Well-known designer courses in Punta Cana and La Romana boast phenomenal beauty and provide diverse golf that please an established following and attract many new loyal players.

New luxury communities like Roco Ki and Cap Cana, and also Costa Blanca near Juan Dolio, are attracting prestigious golf and U.S. hotel developments including Aman, Four Seasons, the Fairmont, Ritz Carlton and Westin luxury brand hotels. The East Coast area received 44 percent of the record-breaking first quarter 2008 visitor arrivals at the DR’s busiest airport, Punta Cana International Airport.

“The vision and commitment of the Ministry of Tourism in support of the East Coast’s new resort communities are drawing the top echelon of golf developers to the DR,” said Dana Garmany, Chief Executive Officer of Troon Golf and Golf Inc.’s second most influential person in the golf industry. “The stunning golf facilities being developed along the DR’s East Coast compel the golf world to sit up and take notice. Troon Golf is honored to work alongside such dazzling, distinctive properties,” he added.

DR golfer’s can visit and play these many courses in the quintessential golf destination:

Catalonia Cabeza de Toro Golf Club
Designed by Alberto Sola, the 27-hole course located at the Catalonia Bavaro Resort in Punta Cana is unique and challenging. www.hoteles-catalonia.com>www.hoteles-catalonia.com

Cocotal Golf and Country Club
The 18-hole course, designed by six-time Spanish champion Jose Pepe Gancedo, uses the natural terrain of an old coconut plantation and includes serene lakes and palm trees in its landscape. In 2002, an additional nine-hole course opened. www.cocotalgolf.com

Corales Golf Course
Opening in winter 2008, the Tom Fazio-designed second oceanfront golf course at Punta Cana Resort & Club will feature holes perched on cliffs along the north shore of the resort's luxury enclave called Corales. Oscar de la Renta, Julio Iglesias and Mikhail Baryshnikov all have beachfront residences and visit often. Visit www.puntacana.com>www.puntacana.com

Dye Fore at Casa de Campo
The newest Pete Dye course to open at the luxurious Casa de Campo resort in La Romana features a 300-foot deep river gorge, Mediterranean village, mountains and the Caribbean Sea as backdrops. Although visually intimidating, the course is very playable. Visit www.casadecampo.com.do

The Faldo Legacy Course at Roco Ki Golf Club
The Faldo Legacy Course will open this fall and promises to thrill golfers of every ability with its challenging cliffside and ocean-view holes and tropical mangroves. Troon Golf will manage this 18-hole golf facility. Visit www.rocoki.com

Golf de Bavaro
Located at the Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort in Punta Cana, this 18-hole course was designed by Juan Manuel Gordillo in 1991. Visit www.barcelo.com

Greg Norman Signature Golf Course in Costa Blanca
Slated to open in 2010, this first Greg Norman designed golf course in the DR is taking the “least disturbance” approach to preserve and protect the environment. The course will feature many vistas along the Caribbean Sea. Visit www.costablanca.com.do

Guavaberry Golf & Country Club
This Gary Player designed course is located 20 minutes east of Santo Domingo's airport near the resort town of Juan Dolio, Guavaberry Golf & Country Club opened in 2002 and has quickly become known worldwide as a challenging course. Visit www.guavaberrygolf.com

La Cana Golf Course
Located at Punta Cana Resort & Club, every hole in this P.B. Dye-designed championship course captures the scenery of the Caribbean with 14 ocean-view and four oceanfront holes. In fact, the 18th hole has been said to resemble the infamous 18th hole at Pebble Beach. And, according to Dye, the 7th hole is golfer’s purgatory. Visit www.puntacana.com

La Hacienda at Puntacana Resort & Club
The P.B. Dye course will be opening in the summer of 2008, making it the resort’s first inland course, La Hacienda. This challenging course will be irrigated with recycled water and will use the newest golf grass, Sea Island Supreme, a Paspalum hybrid. Visit www.puntacana.com

Las Iguanas Golf Course at Cap Cana
Promising to be one of the most luxurious and largest resorts in the Caribbean, Cap Cana is just south of Punta Cana. Las Iguanas is Cap Cana’s second of three Jack Nicklaus Signature courses. This facility will be managed by Troon Golf and will open in late 2009. Visit www.capcana.com

Links at Casa de Campo
The second course designed by Pete Dye at Casa de Campo in La Romana opened in 1975 and has been compared to traditional British and Scottish link courses. There are five holes where water makes this course an exceptional challenge. Visit www.casadecampo.com.do

Los Marlins Golf Course
Designed by international award-winning architect Charles Ankrom and located in Juan Dolio, the championship 18-hole course is located at the Metro Country Club. Numerous artistic sand traps, lakes and mounds play well with the surrounding beauty of the Caribbean. Visit  www.groupmetro.com

Punta Blanca at Punta Cana Beach Resort
With a grand opening in May 2007, the new five-star Majestic Colonial Punta Cana Beach Resort features a casino, spa and 18-hole golf course designed by Nick Price. Visit www.punta-blanca.com

Punta Espada Golf Course at Cap Cana
This was the first golf course to open at luxurious Cap Cana and is the first Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in the Dominican Republic. World renowned golf course management company Troon Golf runs the 7,382 yard-long 18-hole course. Visit www.capcana.com

Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo
Consistently ranked by golf experts as one of the top 50 courses in the world, Teeth of the Dog is located in La Romana and features several signature Dye formations, seven oceanfront holes and is considered extra challenging due to tricky sea breezes. The course opened in 1971 and recently had its teeth sharpened and lengthened. Visit www.casadecampo.com.do

White Sands Golf Course at White Sands Golf & Beach Resort
Six-time Spanish champion Jose “Pepe” Gancedo designed this nine-hole course located in the heart of Bavaro. Nine additional holes opened in August of 2007. Visit www.whitesands.com.do

Rich in history, the Dominican Republic’s first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Since then, it has developed into a diverse and luxurious destination offering both Dominican and European flavors to more than one million U.S. visitors each year. At 10,000 feet, the Dominican Republic is home to the highest point in the Caribbean. It also features some of the best golf courses and beaches in the world, the largest marina in the Caribbean and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families.

For more information, visit the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism’s official Web site at: www.godominicanrepublic.com or call 1-888-374-6361.

Casa Colonial Beach & Spa Resort Named to Prestigious Virttuoso Hotel & Resort Program

Ideally located on the golden sand beaches of Puerto Plata, the Dominican Republic's north coast, the 50-room boutique property Casa Colonial Beach & Spa Resort has quickly become known as a resort that offers guests the highest level of service and luxury. As a testament to this, Casa Colonial has been inducted into Virtuoso's prestigious Hotels & Resorts Program, as announced by Executive Vice President of VH Hotels & Resorts, Roberto Casoni.  Virtuoso's Hotels & Resorts Program is a by-invitation-only program comprised of the finest properties in the world.

Virtuoso is the industry's leading luxury travel network. Each property in Virtuoso'‚s Hotels & Resorts Program undergos an extensive evaluation and approval process by a committee, comprised of a select panel of Virtuoso travel agency owners and managers.  With the committee's sights focused on the highest level of personal service, luxurious appointments, world-class accommodations and prime locations, only the most elite properties receive a coveted invitation to join the program.  Casa Colonial Beach & Spa Resort joins Virtuoso'‚s Hotels & Resorts Program as one of only 730-plus properties in the world.

Casa Colonial Beach & Spa was created by the late Dominican entrepreneur Don Isidro Garcia and opened in December 2004 as the first luxury property in Puerto Plata. Designed by Mr. Garcia's daughter and renowned architect, Sarah Garcia, Casa Colonial Beach & Spa was fashioned as a home or 'casa' and exudes classic Dominican plantation estate allure. The Spanish colonial-inspired lobby features high ceilings, limestone floors, elegant furnishings in rich woods and sheer cotton draperies. The resort's 50 spacious guestrooms and suites include private terraces with views of the ocean or the property's tropical gardens, some with large outdoor soaking tubs. Each guestroom is exquisitely decorated with mahogany furniture, custom-designed Caribbean furnishings, original paintings reflecting Dominican architecture, comfortable seating areas, flat screen televisions, Italian marble baths, fine linens and double Presidential Suite Soft mattresses specially created for the resort by Serta offering the 'best sleep in the Caribbean.'  

In addition to the impeccable design and décor, the hotel features two dining venues and bar, including upscale Lucia Restaurant, the state-of-the-art Bagua Spa featuring indigenous treatments, fitness center, room service, meeting room, wedding pavilion and private transfer to the 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Sr. golf course. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the ocean from the extraordinary third floor rooftop Infinity pool, featuring four Jacuzzi pools and a teak deck with chaise lounges and bar. The property was the first member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World in the Dominican Republic.

For reservations or more information about Casa Colonial Beach and Spa (809) 320-3232 or visit www.casacolonialhotel.com.

About Casa Colonial Beach & Spa Resort

Founded in 1988 by esteemed Dominican entrepreneur, Don Isidro Garcia, Victoria Hotels, now VH Hotels & Resorts is headquartered in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and has established itself as an icon of service and value for travelers to this exotic destination. In December 2004, VH Hotels & Resorts added Casa Colonial Beach & Spa, the first five-star luxury boutique hotel in Puerto Plata and the first Small Luxury Hotel of the World member in the Dominican Republic, to its portfolio.  VH Hotels & Resorts also owns Gran Ventana Beach Resort and Victoria Golf & Beach. Defined by elegant architecture, superb amenities and gracious service, each property is uniquely designed and offers a true taste of the Dominican Republic. Ideally situated along the sun kissed shores of Playa Dorada, each resort boasts prime locations for sand, sun and golf, just a stroll away from all of the hot nightlife, international shopping, fine dining and recreational activities that Puerto Plata has to offer.

About Virtuoso

Virtuoso is the industry'‚s leading luxury travel network. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 300 agencies with more than 6,000 elite travel specialists in 22 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, as well as over 1,000 of the world‚s best travel providers and premier destinations. Independent travel agencies receive sales, marketing and technology support, as well as exclusive services and products, as a result of their membership in Virtuoso. The network's member agencies generate over $4.8 billion annually in travel sales, making the group the most powerful in the luxury travel segment. Their relationships with the finest travel companies provide the network's affluent clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access.  Virtuoso is the exclusive network of travel advisors provided by MasterCard for World Elite® MasterCard® cardholders. For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.

Dominican Republic Meets “Jurassic Park” – Country’s Amber a Tourist Attraction in Itself

The Dominican Republic (DR), named the hottest Caribbean destination by the World Tourism Organization due to its brilliant coastlines, diverse accommodations and eclectic culture, continues to gain the attention of tourists from around the world with its highly regarded collection of amber, a striking gemstone.

Best known for its debut in Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park,” Dominican amber is born out of tree sap which hardened billions of years ago and is most abundant on the DR’s North Coast, nicknamed “The Amber Coast,” and Santiago, located in the Central region. Due to its excellent value and superior quality, amber is one of the most popular souvenirs for tourists to the DR.

The remarkable array of colors, high transparencies and assortment of fossils found within the stone are what make Dominican amber distinctive. Hues vary from the most commonly seen honey yellows and deep sienna reds to the rarest tones of vibrant greens and blues. Amber from the DR is known for its diversity and abundance of inclusions – such as lizards, insects and leaves – that are trapped inside the stone and 90 percent more visible than inclusions found in amber elsewhere. These characteristics make Dominican amber among the most valued in the world.

With price points comparable to other semi-precious stones, Dominican amber has naturally become a hot commodity amongst tourists. Cost depends on the quality and color of the stone with pieces containing inclusions being the priciest. The stone can be purchased individually or mounted in various forms of jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings and anklets. It is also used as a decorative accent in items such as serving trays, picture frames, purses and apparel. Amber is also often times paired with larimar, an endemic turquoise stone found only in the DR. Locally, these particular pieces are called “Happy Hour.”

The reputable Amber Museum located in Puerto Plata (pieces of its amber were used in “Jurassic Park”) and Amber World Museum in Santo Domingo (www.amberworldmuseum.com) receive the most foot traffic amongst tourists. These museums invite guests to participate in a guided tour and to stop by the gift shop afterwards. Visitors can also purchase Dominican amber from souvenir stores located throughout the country. To ensure authenticity of the amber, buyers can test the stone by dropping it in a glass of salt water – if the amber floats, it’s the real thing.

For additional information about Dominican amber visit www.godominicanrepublic.com.

Rich in history, the Dominican Republic’s first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Since then, it has developed into a diverse and luxurious destination offering both Dominican and European flavors to more than one million U.S. visitors each year. At 10,000 feet, the Dominican Republic is home to the highest point in the Caribbean. It also features some of the best golf courses and beaches in the world, the largest marina in the Caribbean and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families.

CAP CANA

Carleton Villas

Sancturary Cap Cana Golf & Spa

Golden Bear Lodge

With more than three miles of pristine white powder beaches, Cap Cana has recently seen the opening Caletón Villas, a group of 16 three-and-four bedroom villas operating as a boutique hotel and located beside the Caletón Beach Club with views of the Caribbean Sea and the Punta Espada Golf Course. The five-star Sanctuary Cap Cana Golf & Spa will open this winter and will house 176 uniquely distributed suites, all with exceptional views of the Caribbean Sea and nearly half featuring entrances from the ocean.

The Sanctuary is located on a private beach exclusively for guests and will also have a 22,000 square-foot spa, eight restaurants and bars, and event space accommodating up to 500 guests. Also opening this winter, Golden Bear Lodge is a complex of 98 condominiums with exquisite architecture, private pools and spectacular views. Co-developed by golf legend, Jack Nicklaus, Golden Bear is located between the Punta Espada and Las Iguanas courses. The condominiums will be connected to the main club building, offering complete restaurant service, business center, spa and private installations to practice golf.

For more information check web site www.capcana.com

Westin RyCO KI Beach & Golf Resort

Destined to become one of the world’s most spectacular luxury properties, the 337-room resort is located directly on a dedicated four-mile stretch of white sand beach in Punta Macao, Dominican Republic. In addition to offering more beachfront than any other resort in the region, The Westin Rÿco Ki Beach & Golf Resort is housed on an exquisitely beautiful 2,700 acre property. It the first U.S.-branded resort in the region, providing premium golf, spectacular spa, superb cuisine at international specialty restaurants and breathtaking views of turquoise blue water.

Highlights of The Westin Rÿco Ki Beach & Golf Resort include a Nick Faldo signature golf course, a world-class spa, a choice of fine dining restaurants, and several entertainment options – all designed to enrich mind, body and spirit. Accommodations include 32 sensational Jungle Luxe® bungalows, two- and three-bedroom resort condominiums, 20 cliff-side villas and 157 spacious hotel guest rooms and suites, most with magnificent ocean views. Recharging and relaxing guests during their stay, the resort equips all its rooms with the Westin Heavenly Bed® and the Westin Heavenly Bath®, flat screen televisions and the latest communications technology.

The Westin Rÿco Ki Beach & Golf Resort’s facilities includes seven restaurants, four bars and a conference center accommodating up to 700 guests for meetings and special occasions, as well as a beautiful outdoor wedding site overlooking the sea. Recreational choices include tennis courts, four swimming pools, a Westin Kids Club®, an aquatic sports complex offering snorkeling, diving, sailing and deep-sea fishing. The wildlife sanctuary and resort grounds showcase the island’s tropical splendor and ecological variety while the Activity Center housse the disco, game room and an area for entertainment, arts and movies.

Nick Faldo’s 18-hole championship course, Campo Alto Verde, features a dazzling variety of exciting opportunities, including cliff-side and ocean view holes, tropical mangrove forest, lake, marsh and lagoon water hazards and the unique “Los Dos Rezos,” or Two Prayers 18th hole, with its water carries and a challenging green. Designed to thrill golfers of every ability level, the course will be managed by renowned golf management experts, Troon Golf.

The resort’s dining facilities includes Casibi, a casual all-day dining restaurant serving Caribbean and international cuisine, Amarti, an upscale Italian trattoria, and Sabor, a delightful Nuevo-Latino specialty restaurant. Guests can enjoy satisfying steak entrees at Anacaona Steakhouse, while those seeking more casual fare can visit Apito Verde, a bar and grill at the Golf Clubhouse. Poolside, guests can choose between El Risco, serving casual Caribbean fare and drinks and El Bohio poolside bar & grill. In the lobby, Cohaba Lounge will feature island specialty cocktails, while Baqua Grill and El Rincón Market Place will offer snacks, beverages and sundries. 

The 18,000 square foot Spa at The Westin Rÿco Ki Beach and Golf Resort includes 15 treatment rooms, a fitness boutique, and separate cardio, yoga and styling salons. The spa offers a variety of revitalizing treatments such as aroma therapy, body wraps, facial and body skin treatments, hydrotherapy and massage that incorporate the rejuvenating methods and natural ingredients indigenous to this tropical region.

In addition to the variety of resort accommodations and amenities, Rÿco Ki offers several residential options ranging from Cliffside villas and Jungle Luxe® bungalows to luxurious condos near the golf course and beach. The property is owned by Macao Beach Resort, Inc., a subsidiary of Geostar, Inc. which has tourism investments worldwide

Rÿco Ki is considered one of the most magnificent spots in the Caribbean, surrounded by ocean, wetlands, tropical forests, mangroves, cliffs, and rolling hills. Designated as one of the world’s finest natural sites by UNESCO, the area is distinguished by its commitment to preserve and celebrate its natural beauty. The resort incorporates and pays tribute to the heritage of the Caribbean’s pre-Columbian culture at its interpretive center where it will display unique Taino Indian artifacts found on the site.

To learn more about The Westin Rÿco Ki Beach & Golf Resort, visit www.westin.com/rocoki.

About Westin Hotels & Resorts

Westin Hotels & Resorts, with more than 137 hotels and resorts in more than 31 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT). Starwood Hotels is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien® and the recently announced AloftSM and ElementSM Hotels. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts.

For more information, visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

LA ROMANA

La Romana's Undersea World of Treasures

A diver's dream, La Romana's undersea world offers incredible ocean adventures with ancient shipwrecks, underwater caverns and stunning coral reefs. Combined with its spectacular clear blue warm waters, La Romana makes an ideal destination for diving - now the second-most popular activity enjoyed by vacationers.

La Romana makes it easy for travelers seeking an affordable dive getaway. The destination offers an array of superior accommodations set along miles of the finest white sand beaches in the Caribbean and many are equipped with on-site PADI certified dive centers outfitted with the latest diving equipment and expert scuba instructors. Vacation-goers interested in learning to dive will find classes readily available and in just a few days time can explore the breathtaking waters of this region.

Home to one of the most important coralline ecosystems in all of the Antilles, the waters of the La Romana and Bayahibe region in the Dominican Republic are filled more than 120 species of tropical fish and a numerous variety of marine animals including sea turtles, rays and barracuda, just to name a few. Divers visiting the region will have the opportunity to experience one of the greatest examples of marine biodiversity found in the Caribbean and can also enjoy chance encounters with magnificent ocean mammals including dolphins and humpback whales.

Along with its diverse and abundant marine life, La Romana boasts spectacular coral reefs and more than 28 different dive sites to explore. Popular dive spots include the National Park of the East, known for its amazing coral formations, and the underwater archaeological reserves of Guadalupe and Guaraguao, located along the coast of the Bayahibe hotel zone.

A truly incredible attraction for vacationers, the underwater archaeological reserves of Guadalupe and Guaraguao boasts 18th century shipwrecked galleons and archaeological artifacts retrieved from various sites discovered along the Dominican coast. Divers can journey back in time to discover the ancient wrecks of Spanish navigators who lost their battle with the sea and uncover the underwater treasures surrounding these remarkable sunken ships. The recovered shipwrecks, cannons, weapons, ceramics and other original artifacts are innovatively displayed, placed as they originally were found when discovered by marine archaeologists, at the bottom of the sea to create the effect of an underwater museum. These underwater museum sites are at depths of 15 - 30 feet, making them easily accessible to both snorkelers and scuba divers.

Divers can also explore "cenotes" or underground caves that are located in Bayhibe. These cenotes have a long history in this region, with the island's first inhabitants, the Tainos, who used these underwater lakes to present offerings to the goddess Atabey, the Mother of Waters. Today, one can still find Taino artifacts while exploring these crystal clear underwater caves.

La Romana is a destination focused on preserving the environment, above and below the sea, and offers divers some of the most pristine waters in the Caribbean. Currently part of the Green Globe and internationally recognized Blue Flag program, La Romana's beaches and waters meet the highest of environmental and quality standards.

A wonderful vacation spot for divers, La Romana is also an exciting and fulfilling destination for singles, couples and families. Along with the destination's range of recreational activities, which includes adventures with Tropical Tours and the soon to open Casino Dominicus, La Romana offers a variety of first-rate accommodations including the popular resorts of Casa de Campo, Oasis Canoa, Sunscape Casa del Mar, Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach and Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace. Visitors will enjoy La Romana's breathtaking scenery, vibrant culture, and rich colonial past while in the midst of miles and miles of clean white sandy beaches and pristine waters.

For more information, visit www.explorelaromana.com.

Dominican Republic Offering “Edu-cations” -- Visitors to the country get a distinctive experience while learning facets of Dominican culture

As the demand for leisure travel continues to grow, the type of getaway Americans seek is transforming. According to the Travel Industry Association of America, educational vacations, or “Edu-cations,” are one of the latest trends in traveling. A new term to describe getaways that create a distinctive experience through the learning of a new hobby or skill, Edu-cations are widely available in the Dominican Republic (DR) where they’re naturally embedded into the country’s rich culture and everyday life. From lessons in Spanish, history and golf to dancing the merengue, rolling cigars and surfing the Atlantic Ocean, the opportunities are virtually endless.

Whether the traveler’s mission is to learn a brand new skill or improve upon an existing one, the DR is plentiful with enlightening opportunities, no matter which coast is visited.

The North Coast

The DR’s North Coast, widely known as one of the world’s best destinations for water and wind sports, entertains those desiring to learn or practice one of the many adrenaline-pumping activities it offers. From kiteboarding, surfing, and windsurfing to cascading, whitewater rafting, mountain biking and more, the North Coast, which includes the towns of Cabarete, Sosua and Puerto Plata, features numerous local adventure tour companies that teach visitors the basics of the sport or help enthusiasts improve upon their skills.

Following an adrenaline-filled day, visitors can head to the Brugal rum plant located in Puerto Plata where they’ll tour the factory and learn the process of rum-making. When finished, they’ll be able to distinguish between the various types of Brugal rum while enjoying a refreshing Dominican-style cocktail.

For dinner, visitors can get a taste for various international cuisines, including Dominican, on Cabarete Beach. Plentiful with delectable choices, Cabarete restaurants not only entertain the palate but also the senses, as each restaurant is beachfront and transforms into a nightlife hot spot in the evenings.

The South Central Coast

Calling all history buffs, the South Central Coast, featuring the DR’s capital city of Santo Domingo, serves as an extraordinary background to a history lesson featuring none other than Christopher Columbus. This is the only country in the Caribbean where travelers can tour the New World’s first cathedral, university, hospital and other monumental achievements, in addition to Columbus’ gravesite at the Lighthouse.

When visitors aren’t getting a history lesson they’re encouraged to stroll along the ancient cobblestone streets of the Colonial Zone which is populated with fascinating museums and a tempting layout of hip restaurants. Those eager to learn merengue, the DR’s national music and dance, will enjoy the Santo Domingo de Fiesta held Fridays and Saturdays all year in front of the Alcazar de Colon, the former home of Columbus’ son. Here professional merengue dancers and musicians entertain on-stage and conclude their performance with crowd interaction, providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn the dance.

The East Coast

Known as the DR’s golf mecca, the East Coast currently features nine courses all designed by famed architects including Pete Dye, P.B. Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Nick Faldo and more. Plus, five more courses will open between now and 2009. This area is ideal for both beginners and golf enthusiasts, as the challenge level varies for each course and most offer onsite lessons by golf pros.

For those in need of a lesson on rekindling love, the East Coast is the perfect backdrop for couples to engage in together time. Here, long stretches of white sand beach border a variety of spectacular resorts, from lavish boutiques to expansive all-inclusives. And, most of these resorts feature exceptional spas – perfect for a couple to indulge in a getaway of pampered bliss.

*The Northeast Coast

Visitors to the “off the beaten path” Samana peninsula can expect a unique learning experience through interaction with majestic humpback whales. Each January through March an estimated 2,000 to 5,000 whales populate the Atlantic Ocean, practically guaranteeing onlookers a sighting. Fantastic tour operators are available in the area and feature knowledgeable guides.  

In addition to whale watching, Samana hosts an array of other interesting educational opportunities. Day-trips include an archeological outing to Los Haitises National Park where centuries-old caves display petroglyphs by Taino Indians, a boat ride to the postcard-worthy island of Cayo Levantado, or a horseback excursion to breathtaking Salto de Limon waterfall.

The Central Region

Cigar aficionados will appreciate the Central region of the DR which features the city of Santiago, or “Cigar Country.” Numerous tobacco museums and cigar factories are housed here such as the famed Arturo Fuente, Centro Leon and more. During tours visitors will learn the art of cigar rolling and will commonly part with a gratis, freshly rolled stogie.

La Vega educates visitors on Carnival, one of the oldest and most dynamic Dominican traditions. Travelers to this area can experience the history of the festival and the art of Carnival mask- and costume-making as La Vega is abundant with artisans who endlessly prepare for the ritual.

For additional Edu-cation ideas or information about the DR’s assortment of options visit www.godominicanrepublic.com.

Rich in history, the Dominican Republic’s first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Since then, it has developed into a diverse and luxurious destination offering both Dominican and European flavors to more than one million U.S. visitors each year. At 10,000 feet, the Dominican Republic is home to the highest point in the Caribbean. It also features some of the best golf courses and beaches in the world, the largest marina in the Caribbean and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families.

Dominican Republic: A One-Size-Fits-All Honeymoon Destination

To honeymooning couples, the choice of travel destination is equally important as each intricate detail of the wedding. Selecting a destination that harmonizes the desires of the couple with time and budget limitations can prove to be challenging.

Luckily the Dominican Republic (DR) boasts one of the most diverse landscapes in the Caribbean that is complemented by a wide variety of price points, styles and amenities, resulting in the perfect ingredients for a once-in-a-lifetime romantic getaway.

Featuring miles of picturesque stretches of beach, dozens of extreme activities, designer golf courses, world-class spas and distinct cultural attractions, the DR satisfies practically any honeymoon fantasy. Perhaps the most attractive aspect, however, is the DR’s endless range of cost options – both for those on a budget as well as those looking to honeymoon in luxury.

Among the top four recommended DR destinations for an all-encompassing honeymoon are:

1. The East Coast. One of the longest stretches of white sand beach in the Caribbean borders a variety of spectacular resorts, from lavish boutiques to expansive all-inclusives, that encourage guests to relax, effortlessly sip tropical cocktails and engage in together time. The area also satisfies the appetite of golf lovers with its assortment of stunning courses, all designed by highly regarded golf architects. And, many of the resorts, specifically in Punta Cana, La Romana and Bavaro, feature world-class spas – perfect for the couple looking to indulge in a honeymoon of pampered bliss.

2. The North Coast. The surfer town of Cabarete entertains couples striving for a laid-back yet energetic vibe complete with surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing and incredible beach-side nightlife. And, couples looking to fill their honeymoon with adrenaline-pumping activities like cascading, whitewater rafting and mountain biking can book with local adventure tour companies. The Playa

Dorada complex in Puerto Plata features a long list of all-inclusives, a luxury boutique hotel, restaurants and shops, providing a truly inclusive experience to couples. Those seeking dolphin and sea lion interaction can head to Ocean World, a large marine park in Puerto Plata which also features a casino complete with spectacular Vegas-style shows and fabulous nightlife.

3. The Northeast Coast. Visitors to the “off the beaten path” Samana peninsula can expect interaction with whales, fantastic waterfalls, coconut-covered mountains and secluded, unspoiled beaches. Several gorgeous, intimate resorts are also available in the area. This is a romantic and less-populated destination where couples will truly feel like they’ve escaped from mainstream life.

4. The South Central Coast. Home to the DR’s capital of Santo Domingo, this area boasts a metropolitan flare yet has incredible historical charm. Here couples experience history by walking the 16th century cobblestone streets of the Colonial Zone. This cultural area features archeological sites and art museums along with ancient cathedrals and religious structures dating back to 1508 A.D. And, Santo Domingo’s new Hard Rock Café is an excellent dinner and souvenir stop.

For additional honeymoon ideas or information about the DR’s assortment of options visit www.godominicanrepublic.com.

Rich in history, the Dominican Republic’s first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Since then, it has developed into a diverse and luxurious destination offering both Dominican and European flavors to more than one million U.S. visitors each year. At 10,000 feet, the Dominican Republic is home to the highest point in the Caribbean. It also features some of the best golf courses and beaches in the world, the largest marina in the Caribbean and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families.

Paradisus Palma Real Newest Member of Leading Hotels of the World

The Paradisus Palma Real, a five-star luxury all-inclusive hotel located in Punta Cana, was recently awarded with a certification from the “Leading Hotels of the World.” The certification is attributed to the resort’s exacting standards of quality, its impeccable service and immaculate design. The Paradisus Palma Real is the third Paradisus resort to be recognized as one of the Leading Hotels of the World, joining the Cancun and Costa Rica properties.

For more information, check web site www.paradisuspalmareal.com.

Agua Resort & Spa in Punta Cana Now Open

Agua Resort & Spa, a five-star luxury property in Punta Cana, is now open. The property is situated just 24 miles from Punta Cana International Airport and will boast 18 villas with 53 suites. Agua Resort & Spa was created by Antonio Segundo Imbert, the same designer of Cana’s beach club and the Punta Cana International Airport. The property features a spa, beachfront infinity pool, fitness room, meeting facilities, a personal concierge and butler and 24-hour room service.

For additional details visit www.aguaresort.com.

The Golf Suites -- New Luxury Boutique Property Opens in Bavaro

A boutique hotel located in Bavaro, The Golf Suites opened this month and features 58 luxurious villas which include 94 exquisite suites. The hotel brand is part of the Spanish-owned CTCOP Group, and was designed by CTCOP as well as architect Sergio Marrero, president of The Golf Suites. Guests of the property enjoy an infinity pool, beach club, meeting facilities, 24-hour room service and spa and fitness center. In addition, the 27-hole Jose “Pepe” Gancedo course located at Cocotal Golf & Country Club sits virtually in the back yard of The Golf Suites and grants guests of the property access.

For additional details visit www.thegolfsuites.com.

U.S. Students, Instructors and Architects Build New Entrance to Pomier Caves

The Pomier Caves, located in San Cristobal about one hour west of Santo Domingo, boasts a new entrance thanks to a design team comprised of students, instructors and architects from the United States. The team was formed on behalf of Yestermorrow Design/Build School, based out of Vermont. The school organized the trip for its architecture students which occurred in January and included 17 days of construction and sight-seeing of the Dominican Republic’s south central region.

The Pomier Caves Anthropological Reserve in the Dominican Republic was hand selected for the protection of its subterranean ecosystem. It is the Caribbean’s most important pre-Columbian site, featuring approximately 6,000 pictographs and 500 petroglyphs. The caves are so significant, in fact, that UNESCO has called for their application for World Heritage Status.

For additional information about the Pomier Caves project visit web site www.4tdomrep.com/yestermorrow2007.html.

Jack Tar Village -- Now Remodeled -- Boasts New Name and Family-Orientated Focus

Formally known as the Occidental Allegro Jack Tar Village, the property, now called First Choice Holiday Village Golden Beach, was recently remodeled into a family-orientated resort. Located in the Playa Dorada complex, the newly renovated 24-hour all-inclusive resort features a wave pool and club for the kids, while keeping the parents happy with an exclusive adults-only area. The property continues to be managed by Occidental but ownership has been transferred to First Choice.

For more information, check web site www.firstchoice.co.uk.

Casa Colonial's Beachfront Romantic Haven

For those looking to extend their wedding bliss and continue the celebration, Casa Colonial Beach & Spa is the perfect retreat, ideally located on the golden sand beaches in the city of Puerto Plata. This luxurious boutique resort has introduced its “Honeymoon Package”, the perfect offering for a truly romantic honeymoon which includes a couples massage, romantic beach dinner, accommodations in the penthouse ocean-front suite and many more romantic touches.
          
Designed to reflect the Victorian architecture of Puerto Plata, Casa Colonial offers unparalleled service and a unique approach to Caribbean luxury. The three-story, oceanfront resort consists of 50 suites, and features the finest amenities, including a rooftop Infinity Pool, four ocean-view Jacuzzis, a fitness center, a private dining room and wine cellar and an outdoor oceanfront event pavilion ideal for gatherings. Situated on the glittering Amber Coast and surrounded by lush tropical gardens, Casa Colonial provides an alluring backdrop for a romantic getaway.

Casa Colonial is located directly on the beach at Playa Dorada, and is surrounded by lush mountain ranges, historic Spanish forts, scenic golf courses, aquatic programs, restaurants, discotheques and entertainment venues and provides an ideal getaway for a romantic and exotic honeymoon.

For reservations or more information about Casa Colonial Beach and Spa call
(800) 847-0291 or visit web site www.casacolonialhotel.com.

Dominican Republic's Rich History

Rich in history, the Dominican Republic's first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Since then, it has developed into a diverse and luxurious destination offering both Dominican and European flavors to more than one million U.S. visitors each year. At 10,000 feet, the Dominican Republic is home to the highest point in the Caribbean. It also features some of the best golf courses and beaches in the world, the largest marina in the Caribbean and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families.

For more information visit web site www.godominicanrepublic.com or call 1-888-374-6361.

PUNTA CANA

Punta Cana Resort

Punta Cana opened December of 2005 as Punta Cana's newest Five-Star luxury property situated on what is considered Punta Cana's gold coast on its own private beach.  It features 55 guestrooms, all of which are suites many offering oceanfront views, private plunge pools, 2 meeting rooms accommodating up to 150, wellness center, full-service spa, 3 gourmet restaurants, reflecting pool and 2 casual dining bars, cigar bar, an extensive wine cellar featuring the finest vintages from around the world. Services and amenities include butler service, pool and beach valet, parking valet, business center and Wi-Fi. The four-diamond property is a proud member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and Private Entrance Collection.

Punta Cana Resort & Club's Beachfront Casitas at the Punta Cana Hotel

The PUNTACANA Hotel at PuntaCana Resort & Club has updated furnishings, flat screen TVs and adding a fresh and modern feel – to an ideal destination for families and groups alike to enjoy a budget-friendly vacation together in a relaxed setting and a beautiful location.

The two and three-bedroom Casitas are located directly on the beach with either a scenic ocean or garden view. The beachfront Casitas offer bedrooms with a king-size bed or bedrooms with two full-size beds, along with a common area including a living-dining room and a garden or terrace for guests’ privacy and comfort.

For families visiting the property, each Casita will be equipped with video baby monitors to help parents keep an eye on sleeping babies. And for older children, activities such as horseback riding, tennis, scuba diving (coral reefs and sunken ships located just offshore), skin diving, water skiing, sailing, fishing, windsurfing and kayaks are certain to keep even the most particular son or daughter entertained.

The Casitas are in the perfect location at PuntaCana Resort & Club, just steps away from the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea and the resort's family-friendly pool and restaurants. Other accommodations at the resort include the exclusive Oscar de la Renta-designed Tortuga Bay Hotel a Leading Small Hotel of the World.

The PUNTACANA Hotel at PuntaCana Resort & Club offers a number of facilities that can only be found in a property conceived, constructed and managed with a strong ecological consciousness. The Six Senses Spa offers a wide range of holistic wellness, rejuvenation and beauty treatments to balance the senses - all administered under the guidance of expert therapists from around the world. In addition to the spa, the resort boasts a golf course designed by P.B. Dye, a full service marina, a private nature reserve, an international biodiversity center (The PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation), a horse ranch and several gated residential communities.

About PuntaCana Resort & Club

The development of PuntaCana Resort & Club dates back to 1971 when Dominican businessman and hotelier Frank R. Rainieri and Theodore W. Kheel, the prominent New York attorney and labor mediator, created a partnership to construct a resort community that respects the natural habitat of PUNTACANA while offering visitors a world-class vacation experience. Maintaining a dedication to sustainable tourism, PuntaCana Resort & Club has since grown to encompass over 15,000 acres and now includes Tortuga Bay, Six Senses Spa, the PuntaCana Resort & Club Ecological Foundation, three residential communities, a full service marina, seven restaurants, a shopping village, a P.B. Dye-designed golf course, and Punta Cana International Airport, a modern convenient and architecturally exciting facility. In 1997, Julio Iglesias and Oscar de la Renta joined the Group as co-investors and have made PuntaCana Resort & Club their home. Currently, Punta Cana is the most highly visited Caribbean destination and is easily accessible from all over the globe.

For further resort information and reservations, call 888-442-2262 or visit Puntacana.com For information on real estate, call 809-959-7325.

JAMAICA

Where to Stay

Jamaica Extras at Sunset at the Palms Resort & Spa

Guests at this boutique all-inclusive in Negril now enjoy free nature walks, mixology and cooking classes. The resort’s long-time resident gardener, Shorty, takes guests on twice a week walks on the property highlighting local flora and fauna. Smoked, spiced or sautéed? Foodies take home some serious Jamaican recipes: local breakfast fave is ackee (Jamaica’s national fruit) and saltfish, but rasta pasta and fresh, peppered shrimp are also colorful demonstrations led by Sunset’s executive chef. And everyone gets a little Tom Cruise-crazy by learning to make their favorite tropical cocktails…especially Planter’s Punch, which gets a kick with Jamaica’s famous Appleton rum. All classes are free.

Room rates from $365 for two including room, meals, drinks, taxes and activities. Book online at www.sunsetatthepalms.com.

Solís The Palmyra Resort & Spa

Designed to appeal to discerning, well-traveled guests, the Solís brand was developed by Horst Schulze and his team of hospitality experts to satisfy the needs of today’s sophisticated travelers. Combining a new sense of luxury with anticipatory, superior customer service, Solís The Palmyra Resort & Spa will be the brand's premier Caribbean resort property.

Set on 16 oceanfront acres on the grounds of a former Jamaican plantation within the elite enclave of historic Rose Hall, Solís, Palmyra offers 299 beautifully appointed guestrooms plus one-, two- three- and four-bedroom suites, penthouses and private villas that feature between 645 to 2,600 square feet of living space with large private terraces. The casually elegant resort boasts Jamaica’s first branded, 30,000 square-foot ESPA spa, an ocean-view fitness center, nearby championship golf at three of the Caribbean’s most prestigious courses including White Witch, Cinnamon Hill and Half Moon, as well as five dining venues offering authentic, internationally inspired dishes with organic options, a gourmet shop and wine cellar featuring fine wines from around the world. The property features 13,000 square-feet of indoor meeting space and outdoor event lawns. Private concierge, butler, maid and chef services are available at a premium and are included with each private villa.

Solís The Palmyra Resort & Spa is a member of “The Leading Hotels of the World”; was recognized as "One of the Top 10 Most Exciting Home Developments in the World" by Travel + Leisure magazine (March 2007); and is a recipient of the Five-star award at the 2007 CNBC International Property Awards. Solís The Palmyra will be unlike any other resort in the area, offering an unmatched array of amenities, services and experiences available to suit the needs of the world’s most discerning travelers, specifically in the following areas:

ESPA SPA:
Under the direction of veteran Spa Director, Sonsiarea Boyce, the resort’s ESPA Spa promises to be one of the Caribbean’s best. The stand-alone, 30,000 square-feet, two-story spa is the first in the region and will feature spectacular water gardens, charming terraces and enchanting courtyards, all overlooking Rose Hall. ESPA Spa will offer 14 treatment rooms and an array of body and facial treatments and massages that combine the finest products from around the world, along with native ingredients derived from the island.

RESTAURANT/DINING:
Solís The Palmyra will feature 24-hour room service and five food and beverage outlets offering both fine and casual dining options that showcase fresh, local flavors and continental favorites. The resort also offers the option of an in-suite private chef, a 1,200 square-foot gourmet shop offering organic foods and delicacies from around the world, and an exquisite wine cellar featuring international reserves.

WEDDINGS/HONEYMOONS:  
Solís The Palmyra Resort & Spa offers couples the storybook wedding of a lifetime amidst the famous Jamaican mountains and the glittering Caribbean Sea. In addition to the resort’s signature superlative service, its wedding coordinators are specially trained to plan and manage every last detail, from bachelorette and bachelor parties and rehearsal dinners, to the wedding ceremony, to the celebration reception. Couples can enjoy a honeymoon experience unlike any other with the resort’s top-notch amenities, which include luxurious accommodations in a suite, penthouse or one of its eleven, three-story villas with 2,600 square feet of living area. Each villa comes complete with a personal chef, butler and housekeeper.

GOLF/RECREATION:
Solís The Palmyra Resort & Spa offers guests privileged access to three of the Caribbean’s most notable golf courses, the legendary White Witch Golf Course, venerable Cinnamon Hill Golf Course and renowned Half Moon Golf Club, all just a short drive from the resort. Guests receive preferential tee times and special green fee rates of $125 per person during low season and $159 per person during high season. The green fees include caddie, cart rental, roundtrip transportation to and from the golf course, as well as post-golf services upon return to the resort - valet service for golf shoes and golf clubs and preparation of golf equipment for the next round is also included. Rates include taxes and are valid for the guest’s golf course of choice. The resort also features a variety of non-motorized water sports activities, horseback riding and two pools that overlook the sea, a swimming cove, and a private white-sand beach.

MEETINGS:
Solís The Palmyra Resort & Spa offers 23,000 square-feet of indoor and outdoor space. Intimate groups may choose to host an outdoor event at a panoramic gazebo that extends 300 feet into the bay perched on the ocean’s edge with spectacular 360 degree views of the Caribbean Sea; or at a seemingly endless verdant lawn providing 10,000 square feet of natural beauty. The resort’s indoor facilities feature a 5,500 square-foot ballroom, which accommodates up to 400 seated guests for dinner or 500 standing guests for cocktail gatherings; Five additional breakout rooms, ranging in size from 340 square-feet to 1,000 square-feet each, are also available for smaller gatherings. The resort’s fully-equipped business center includes the latest audio-visual equipment, support staff, high-speed Internet capabilities and Wi-Fi access in public areas.

GETTING THERE/RESERVATIONS:
Solís The Palmyra Resort & Spa is a 15 minute drive from Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport, with daily nonstop flights from New York, Boston, Newark, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore, Orlando, Miami, Houston, Washington, DC, Memphis, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas, Toronto and Chicago.

For more information or group reservations, please visit www.solisthepalmyra.com or call (954) 772-4282. For guest reservations, call 800-591-0473.

For more details on planning a trip to Jamaica, go to www.visitjamaica.com or call the Jamaica Tourist Board at 1-800-JAMAICA (1-800-526-2422).

Calabash Bay Villa Honored With Green Globe for Eco-Friendly Tourism

Jake’s Calabash Bay villa has achieved the prestigious Green Globe Benchmarked Bronze status under the globally recognized program, which recognizes businesses’ commitment to operating at the world’s highest environmental standard. 

In achieving Benchmarked Bronze status, Calabash Bay achieved Best Practice results in the categories of Waste Sent to Landfill; Community Commitment; Community Contributions; Paper Products; Cleaning Products; and Pesticide Products. These measures ensure efficient practices and large cost savings, on the path to securing a sustainable future for the environment. 

Green Globe is the worldwide Benchmarking, Certification and performance improvement system assisting international organizations to attain sustainability. Green Globe provides a certification system that responds directly to the major environmental problems facing the planet, including climate change, waste reduction and non-renewable resource management. 

Nestled amongst tall golden grass and flowering lignum vitae trees on a gently sloping hillside in the rustic fishing village of Treasure Beach, Calabash Bay Villa looks out at an uninterrupted view of the Caribbean Sea over a secluded bay.  Large windows, always-open-doors, a spacious floor plan and several outdoor lounging areas keep the house cool and the beauty of the seascape always in sight.

The main house has four bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, several large inside and outside living and dining spaces, a fresh water pool and private access to the beach. Features of the Villa include a large waterfront thatch gazebo, a freshwater pool, complimentary wireless access, a Jake's signature out-door shower and soaking tub designed by Sally Henzell, DVD and CD player, a live-in chef and a staff of three. A smaller version of the main house, the Calabash Cottage is well-suited for a small family and includes two bedrooms, a shared bathroom, full kitchen, inside and outside dining, and a great wooden deck for lounging or tanning with its own private access to the beach. From a vantage point of over two acres of prime beachfront, the property is a barefoot walk away from the golden sands of the bay, dotted with playful pelicans and colorfully painted canoes that embody the timeless Jamaican charm of this small fishing village--already on the map because of nearby sister property, Jake's.

Unpretentious and welcoming, Calabash Bay exudes genuine, relaxed, Jamaican hospitality with the backdrop of understated yet elegant modern Caribbean décor, Royal Hut throws, Indian and Moroccan accessories, and a host of useful amenities. Rented as two units together or separately, the entire Calabash Bay experience offers private pampering, geared in one way or another to every member of the modern family.  For more information or to make a reservation, please call 1-800-OUTPOST, email: <mailto:jakesinfo@cwjamaica.com>jakesinfo@cwjamaica.com or visit <http://www.islandoutpost.com/jakes>www.islandoutpost.com/jakes. The four-bedroom oceanview Calabash Villa starts at $800 and the two-bedroom oceanview cottage starts at $195 a night.

About Island Outpost:

Created by Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records and Palm Pictures, Island Outpost properties are known for their interesting character and stunning surroundings and strive to offer their clients a feeling reminiscent of staying at a friend's home. The group includes Goldeneye, Strawberry Hill, Jake's, and The Caves in Jamaica, Compass Point and Pink Sands in The Bahamas and an exclusive selection of villas.

For more information or to make a reservation, call 1-800-OUTPOST or visit www.islandoutpost.com, 44 (0) 1895 450 731 in the UK.

What to See & Do

Plan Your Summer Getaway to Jamaica Now - Sizzling Seasonal Deals on Offer at Top Hotels to Further Entice Visitors

With the peak summer season fast approaching, travelers looking to take advantage of great offers in Jamaica must begin booking now. As the temperature heats up, consumers are encouraged to make the most of the sizzling seasonal deals now available in the Home of All Right.

“Visitors looking to experience a fun-filled summer vacation can book Jamaica now, thanks in large measure to our travel partners which are offering some incredible deals on accommodation,” noted Paul Pennicook, Director of Tourism. “With such advance planning, travelers are guaranteed a vacation of a lifetime, and with these significant savings they can experience even more on-island activities.”

Below is a sampling of properties offering great summer savings:

Spanish Court Hotel:

This boutique property in the heart of Jamaica’s capital was just mentioned in The New York Times 52 Places to go in 2017. The hotel is offering a Summer Weekend Special for travelers who want to be in the middle of the action in colorful Kingston. In addition to the hotel’s style and unrivaled service, guests can enjoy a daily breakfast buffet, two pools, complimentary Wi-Fi, 24-hour concierge and room service. Those who book directly with the hotel by May 1, 2017 will qualify for rates as low as $179, valid for Friday and Saturday night stays July 1 – September 30, 2017.

Half Moon Resort awards early birds this summer season by offering 10% off the best available rate for guests who book a minimum 4-night stay at least 14 days in advance. Summer guests will be awed by this iconic property in Montego Bay, which sits on 400 acres of tropical gardens and is bordered by two miles of beach. Rates start at $222.30 per room, per night.

Jamaica Inn invites travelers to enjoy free nights with its Hot Summer Savings offer. From May 1 – October 31, 2017, guests can stay four nights for the price of 3, 7 nights for the price of 5 or 14 nights for the price of 10. Located in Ocho Rios, Jamaica Inn boasts an eight-acre property situated on a private cove with an offshore reef and a 700-foot private white sand beach. Family owned since 1958 and boasting a roster of famed guests including Marilyn Monroe, Ian Fleming and Kathryn Hepburn, Jamaica Inn offers timeless elegance and relaxed luxury. Summer rates start at $339 per room, per night.

Jewel Resorts Jamaica is offering up to 55% off when guests book a minimum three-night stay at any of its three all-inclusive resorts by May 10, 2017. With adults-only wellness-focused activities at Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa, family-friendly fun at Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort and adults-only luxury at Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort and Spa, Jewel Resorts offers something for everyone. Rates start at $97 per person, per night.

Additional taxes, service charges, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply for hotel packages.

For more information about Jamaica or to plan a Jamaican summer vacation, check out web site www.visitjamaica.com.

About Jamaica Tourist Board
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. TripAdvisor® ranked Jamaica #12 Best Destination in the World in 2017 and top three island in the world in 2016. The JTB was declared the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board by the World Travel Awards (WTA) from 2006 to 2016. In 2016, Jamaica earned the WTA’s vote for the Caribbean’s Leading Destination and the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination for the tenth consecutive year.

Additionally, Ocho Rios was named the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Port; Sangster International Airport was voted the Caribbean’s Leading Airport; Club Mobay was named the Caribbean’s Leading Airport Lounge; Dolphin Cove was voted the Caribbean’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction; the Montego Bay Convention Center was named the Caribbean’s Leading Meeting & Conventions Center; and GO! Jamaica Travel was named the Caribbean’s Leading Tour Operator.

JTB offices are located in Kingston, Montego Bay, Miami, Toronto and London. Representative offices are located in Berlin, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Mumbai and Tokyo. For details on upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica go to the JTB’s Web site at www.visitjamaica.com or call the Jamaica Tourist Board at 1-800-JAMAICA (1-800-526-2422).  

MONTEGO BAY

Where to Stay

Round Hill Hotel & Villas Yoga Retreats

Travelers who seek a connection with nature and want the very best in accommodations can visit Round Hill Hotel & Villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Round Hill is offering a series of Yoga Retreats from Inward Bound, a yoga program which combines body and mind fitness and meditation at a Caribbean resort known for its natural splendor. Each Retreat is limited to 20 people and all classes are optional. It is suitable for all levels of fitness, including beginners.

The Inward Bound Program consists of Yoga, Pilates, and other disciplines; private airport transfers; accommodation in an oceanfront room in the Pineapple House; all meals; afternoon tea; non-motorized water sports; tennis; fitness center with instructor for exercise classes and gym-equipment; one massage, welcome gift; and a jogging and walking path. Inward Bound classes begin on Wednesday afternoon and end Sunday morning. The schedule varies with each retreat and the price starts at $1,800, double occupancy. Inward Bound is the brainchild of Jane Fryer, a master teacher of yoga who works with the body's natural energy systems to create a holistic approach to rejuvenation. This year, she has retained a group of distinguished teachers to work with her at Round Hill for a five day period at various times. Each of these teachers has a unique approach to the restoration of the body and spirit and will complement Jane's skill with an exciting, diversified program. Both men and women are welcome and single occupancy rates are available.

For more information about the program or reservations, call 1-800-972-2159, e-mail Sigrid@mccabebremertravel.com, or check web site www.roundhilljamaica.com.

Half Moon Resort Announces the new Fern Tree Spa

Plans are underway for Half Moon, the luxury resort located in the exclusive Rose Hall enclave in Jamaica, to debut an expansive new spa facility and spa suites.
The project will see the conversion of the resort's signature villa, Fern Tree House, into a 68,000 square foot sanctuary for the mind and body. Drawing on Jamaica's lush landscape and centuries-old healing traditions as inspiration, the Fern Tree Spa will meld modern spa techniques with Jamaica's ancient healing remedies of native herbs, fruits and botanicals.

Having at its foundation a philosophy of wellness, Fern Tree Spa will introduce clients to a Spa Elder versed in the art of holistic healing, to guide clients through the four phases of wellness: addressing the individual, the body, the mind and the spirit. Incorporating the natural herbs and botanicals found in Jamaica as a base, the Spa Elder will create a treatment menu that reflects both traditional remedies and present day spa techniques. Clients can also benefit from the Spa Elder's expertise with private consultations to develop personalized treatments or a regimen of treatments and programs that follow a path to wellness.

Borrowing from Fern Tree House's original colonial design of hardwood floors, grand entryways and opulent furnishings, treatment rooms will be set amidst lush gardens allowing guests the option of having their room enclosed or open to their own private garden terrace. Couples can reserve the plantation-styled couples massage room, bedecked with wooden millwork, pitched ceilings and private patio with dipping pool.Families, wedding parties and groups will enjoy the spa cottage,
offering separate living room and spa treatment room affording the group quality bonding time and private tranquillity. The Fern Tree Spa complex will also house a relaxation lounge, yoga pavilion, hydrotherapy swimming pool, sculpture garden and several water features.

This extensive development will also include the creation of six signature beachfront spa suites adjacent to the spa. The suites will provide all the comforts found in a traditional hotel suite along with added features and services of a personal spa. Each spa suite will feature an expansive bedroom with sitting area, an oversized bathroom, private patio overlooking the Caribbean Sea with outdoor soaking tub and shower and a personal studio that can be used for private en-suite treatments, personal fitness or yoga. Special features of the spa suite will include an organic spa refreshment bar and a spa bath bar.

"The creation of this new world class spa has spent many years in development; creating the concept, doing research on what spa-goers want for their spa experience. I am confident that when finished the Fern Tree Spa will be one of Jamaica's best spas," said Richard Whitfield, Half Moon's managing director.

The Fern Tree Spa is the third in a series of major refurbishing projects to be undertaken by Half Moon in the resort's five-year master plan project. Other upgrades included the rebuilding of the resort's beachfront Hibiscus Suites, the renovation of the 41-year old Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed golf course, refurbishing the Oleander deluxe suites, adding a new children's play area and upgrading two of the resort's specialty restaurants.

NASSAU

Where to Stay

The Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort,

located in Nassau, The Bahamas, offers the setting – and savings – for travelers seeking a getaway to escape the stresses and routines of every day life.

Upon arrival, guests will be welcomed by the resort’s warm and friendly Bahamian atmosphere. Decorated in soothing tones, the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort features 694 guestrooms and suites that offer a large private balcony or patio with breathtaking views of the ocean, lush gardens or its spectacular poolside waterscape. Rooms are adorned to exude a contemporary look while providing a comfortable oasis to relax, and feature the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper™ Bed – a multi-layered creation adorned with voluptuous down pillows, sensuous cotton sheets and a signature blanket and duvet – as well as an LCD flat-screen television and high-speed internet.

At the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort, guests have an array of amenities at their disposal for enjoyment including three freshwater pools; a 1,000 foot stretch of Nassau’s white-sand beach; a variety of complimentary non-motorized water sports activities, such as kayaking, snorkeling, and wind surfing; and the nearby Cable Beach Golf Club.  

Families traveling together can also take advantage of the resort’s Love Your Family program, which offers various complimentary, family-focused activities each day, including fireside storytelling, stargazing, ‘dive-in’ movies, and exclusive experiences indigenous of the Bahamian culture and heritage, such as the Junkanoo Jamboree, a festival featuring authentic foods, dance and music. For those parents who wish to have a day or night out for themselves, the Sheraton Adventure Club, provides youngsters with daily and evening counselor-led activities and hands-on educational programs that will keep them entertained and energized during their vacation experience.

For more information and/or reservations, call the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort at (877) 782-0149 or visit www.sheratonnassau.com/.

About the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort
Situated on a 1,000-foot stretch of one of Nassau’s spectacular white-sand beaches, the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort is set on seven exquisite acres of stunning waterscape, including three freshwater pools with flowing waterfalls, a swim-up bar and oversized whirlpools nestled among tropical landscaping. The resort houses six restaurants and lounges serving a variety of island specialties and international cuisine.

The 694-room Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort offers accommodations featuring a large private balcony or patio. Rooms are equipped with high-speed Internet access, LCD flat-screen televisions and the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper™ Bed – a multi-layered creation adorned with voluptuous down pillows, sensuous cotton sheets and a signature blanket and duvet.

The Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort is 15 minutes from Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport, which is serviced by a number of domestic and international carriers.

Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort Offers the Ultimate Romantic Caribbean Wedding Experience

Situated on a 1,000-foot stretch of one of Nassau’s spectacular white-sand beaches, the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort in The Bahamas, is the ideal Caribbean location for the couple who dreams of a unique destination wedding. The resort’s wedding consultants work closely with the bride- and groom-to-be to ensure that their wedding fantasies come true by providing the flexibility of tailoring packages to meet specific requests and budgets while also offering select upgrades and discounts.

A true partner to the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort in creating splendid bridal settings for both the ceremony and reception is Cacique International, a full-service event and design company. Whether couples would like their special day to have a specific color scheme or theme, Cacique International offers affordable décor packages that can be tailored to specific needs and offer exceptional solutions for any bride and groom no matter what the budget. From simple yet elegant flowers and linens to grand and extravagant events with live entertainment and fireworks, Cacique International events are tailored specifically to the bride and groom’s wishes.

The Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort Offers Awe-Inspiring Ceremony and Reception Sites Along with Great Food, Fine Spirits and a Lifetime of Memories. The most sought-after wedding ceremony location at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort is undoubtedly the resort’s beach, which is completely unobstructed giving the couple and their attendants a sweeping view of the soft white sand and crystal-clear ocean. Other locations for wedding ceremonies include the Beach Pavilion, which overlooks the Caribbean’s most beautiful waters; the West Gazebo that sits prominently among the property’s lush pool area; or the West Gazebo Patio which offers a romantic setting with cascading waterfall and tropical landscaping.

For receptions, the resort offers various outdoor locations including the beach and pool areas as well as the Dolphin Grill, which is located near the main pool and still offers beautiful views of the ocean. For smaller wedding receptions, the indoor Rum Runner Room, an 800 square foot space on the second story of the hotel, faces the beach so that although the reception is indoors, the views of the water make for a lovely backdrop. The Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort also has the capability of hosting large weddings and receptions at its Independence Ballroom which can accommodate up to 1200 guests.

An exceptional culinary experience for the couple and their attendants is provided by the resort’s award-winning chefs. Offering menus for any size party from 75 to 1,000, combined with world-class service, the culinary team at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort will ensure each plate is delivered hot and delicious, and that no guest is ever unattended.

Couples planning their upcoming nuptials can call the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort at (877) 782-0149 or visit www.sheraton.com/Nassau for more information.

About the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort

Situated on a 1,000-foot stretch of one of Nassau’s spectacular white-sand beaches, the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort is set on seven exquisite acres of stunning waterscape, including three freshwater pools with flowing waterfalls, a swim-up bar and oversized whirlpools nestled among tropical landscaping. The resort houses six restaurants and lounges serving a variety of island specialties and international cuisine.

The 694-room Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort offers accommodations featuring a large private balcony or patio. Rooms are equipped with high-speed Internet access, LCD flat-screen televisions and the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper™ Bed – a multi-layered creation adorned with voluptuous down pillows, sensuous cotton sheets and a signature blanket and duvet.

The Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort is 15 minutes from Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport, which is serviced by a number of domestic and international carriers.

For more information and/or reservations, please call the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort at (877) 782-0149 or visit www.sheraton.com/nassau.

Sheraton Cable Beach Resort Offers Kids An Array of Exciting Activities at the Sheraton Adventure Club

The Sheraton Cable Beach Resort in Nassau, the Bahamas, invites families to start off their summer vacation by relaxing on the beach and having fun in the sun. And with the newly-opened Sheraton Adventure Club, kids will have a blast making new friends while playing beach and water games, or learning and exploring Bahamian culture.

Open to Sheraton Cable Beach Resort guests between the ages 4-12, the Sheraton Adventure Club offers an endless variety of daily and evening activities and hands-on educational programs that will keep kids entertained all vacation long. Club activities include Bahamian arts & crafts, beach bowling and other beach games, swimming activities, video games, junior chef cooking classes, field trips to the Straw Market and other off property excursions, and more.

By dropping off the little ones at the Sheraton Adventure Club, parents can rest assure that their children are safe and secure, while they enjoy some relaxation time, soak up on the sun on Nassau’s famed Cable Beach, swim and enjoy water sports, or enjoy a romantic dinner for two at the resort’s exquisite Italian restaurant, Amici, A Trattoria.

“Campers” can be enrolled for full-day, half-day or evening sessions, ranging from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with session fees ranging from $25 to $60. Depending on which session they are signed up for, kids will receive snacks and/or meals at the resort’s Bimini Market, which offers a variety of tasty kid-friendly foods, such as pizza, pasta, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, ice cream, and other assorted desserts. Kids 5 and under eat for free, while kids between the ages of 6 and 12 receive a 50 percent discount on meals.

The all-new Sheraton Cable Beach Resort features an array of new amenities and dining options, bringing a fresh and inviting guest experience to the Bahamas. Situated on a 1,000-foot stretch of Nassau’s spectacular Cable Beach, the resort is set on seven exquisite acres of stunning waterscape, including three freshwater pools with flowing waterfalls, a swim-up bar and oversized Jacuzzis nestled among tropical landscaping. The resort offers 694 guest rooms and suites – all featuring balconies – as well as six restaurants and lounges serving a variety of island specialties and international cuisine.

For more information or reservations,contact Sheraton Cable Beach Resort at 888-627-7712 or visit www.sheraton.com/cablebeach.

Sheraton Cable Beach Resort Offers Newlyweds A Romantic Caribbean Getaway With Its New Honeymoon Package

The all-new Sheraton Cable Beach Resort is offering a variety of romantic amenities and upgrades to create a dream Caribbean honeymoon experience for couples when they stay at Nassau’s newest resort hotel.

Newlyweds who book Sheraton Cable Beach Resort’s special Honeymoon Package* will receive a number of complementary and romantically-inspired upgrades and amenities, including:
-         a free upgrade to the next room type
-         a bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate upon check-in
-         daily American breakfast for two at Bimini Market or through room service
-         dinner for two in the resort’s Amici A Trattoria Italian restaurant
-         a fruit and cheese basket
-         late check-out on the day of departure.

Room rates for the Honeymoon Package start at $325 per night. A minimum stay of four nights is required.

Set on seven exquisite acres, the 694-room resort offers a complete resort experience with stunning waterscapes, including three freshwater pools with flowing waterfalls, a swim-up bar and oversized whirlpools.  Guests can also enjoy a unique and expansive set of amenities and activities that are shared with those of the neighboring Cable Beach Resorts properties, including the 35,000-square-foot Crystal Palace Casino, a golf course and a variety of water sport activities, such as kayaking and snorkeling.

Throughout their stay, honeymooners can also enjoy the Sheraton Cable Beach Resort’s wide array of daytime activities and evening entertainment options - from relaxing on Nassau’s famed Cable Beach to enjoying any of the resort’s six restaurants and lounges.

For more information or reservations, please contact Sheraton Cable Beach Resort at 888-627-7712 or visit www.sheraton.com/cablebeach.

About Cable Beach Resorts & Crystal Palace Casino

Cable Beach Resorts is comprised of the all-new Sheraton Cable Beach Resort, Wyndham Nassau Resort, and the Crystal Palace Casino. Guests of Cable Beach Resorts can enjoy activities and amenity entitlements at both properties, as well as the casino, no matter where they stay. Together, the resorts offer 1,544 guest rooms and suites, most with incredible ocean views; 15 restaurants and lounges; a complete tennis facility; an 18-hole golf course; over a half mile of Nassau’s best beach; and a variety of water sport activities.

Cable Beach Resorts & Crystal Palace Casino is conveniently located within 15 minutes of Nassau International Airport, which is easily accessible by air by a number of domestic and international carriers. The resort’s 35,000-square-foot Crystal Palace Casino is the only casino on Cable Beach offering Vegas-style gaming and features nearly 500 state-of-the-art slot machines with ticket-in/ticket-out capability; nearly 40 liberal table games; video poker; and video blackjack. Guests may also wager at the casino’s state-of-the art Sports Book.

For reservations or to register for any of the casino tournaments, call Cable Beach Resorts at 1-800-222-7466 or visit www.CableBeachResorts.com. The site features information on both resorts, including direct links to each hotel for additional property information; and the ability to book online.

Cable Beach Resorts® and Crystal Palace Casino® are trademarks and service marks of Cable Beach Resorts Ltd.

PUERTO RICO

"Rendezvous at El Conquistador"-filming wraps in luxurious fashion!

Island Pictures announced today the completion of its film shoot for Rendezvous at El Conquistador. The highly anticipated masterpiece lures the audience into a maze of seduction,fantasy and intrigue. All eyes will follow provocative newcomer “Victoria” as she lights up the screen in a spellbinding quest through the rolling hills and exotic grounds of the secluded Caribbean paradise.
The executive producers were the driving force behind the scenes of this captivating journey through some of the most stunning backdrops in Puerto Rico. “We knew we had an amazing story to tell,” recalls a co-producer. “The location alone is the real heroine. Victoria just adds to the mystery.” The film’s mesmerizing cinematography captures El Conquistador’s vibrant beauty. A delicate blend of Moorish and Spanish Colonial influence is revealed in the cobblestone streets, white stucco and terra cotta buildings, open-air plazas and 300-foot cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

During production, crew members worked relentlessly to bring Rendezvous to life, and also got to experience firsthand the modern elegance and ultra comfort of this enchanting locale. Exquisitely appointed guest accommodations, sumptuous dining and picturesque views were all complemented by the staff’s impeccable service and gracious hospitality provided throughout the production.

Back in the States, the film’s momentum seems virtually unstoppable. Movieposters are already being distributed among industry executives as the countdown to the premiere continues. Fans can look for several upcoming public appearances by star Victoria.

PUNTA CANA

Where to Stay

Ocean Blue & Sand Hotel in Punta Cana

LOCATION: 20 Km from Punta Cana Airport and 200 Km from Santo Domingo. Coordinates: 68°26’39.45”W - 18°42’42.60”N.

DESCRIPTION: Located on the beach front, over the paradisiacal beaches of white sand and turquoise water of bavaro, the Ocean Blue & Sand hotel boasts a complete structure perfectly integrated to its setting. Enjoy a 24hrs. All inclusive service, the Despacio Spa Centre, the diving center Dive it! and numerous options of water sports besides of a program with countless activities to make of your stay an unforgettable experience.

ALL INCLUSIVE 24h: Meals, national drinks, cocktails and snacks included 24 hours. *The wine menu at all the restaurants have an extra cost.

SUITES: 570 Junior Suites • 116 Junior Suites Privilege • 10 Honeymoon Junior Suites • 12 Honeymoon Suites.

SERVICES: Unlimited Free Wi-Fi Service • 2 swimming pools and jacuzzis • Babysitter service (with additional charge) • Theatre (with shows every night) • Wave Disco • Car and bike rental • Foreign exchange • Shopping center with boutique, Photoshop, souvenir store and mini-market • Ocean Tower Casino • Medical service (with additional charge).
BARS (11) Mike’s Coffee: coffee and tea specialties, sandwiches and homemade pastries • Las Palmeras Swim-up bar and El Cocotal Pool bar: bars in the pool area • Over Time Sport Bar: national and international drinks included and midnight snacks • Wave Disco Bar: national and international drinks included • Luna Bar: at the theatre with national and international drinks included • La Cana Bar: at the La Cana restaurant • Tortuga Carey Bar: at the El Carey & La Tortuga restaurant • Bar Arenal: on the beach • Piano Lounge bar: at the lobby area (Adults Only) • Lobby bar.

1/2ROOMS JUNIOR SUITES Spacious and comfortable, they can accommodate up to 5 persons (2 adults + 3 children or 3 adults + 2 children or 4 adults + 1 child. Available with pool view (extra charge) • King size bed or two Queen size beds • Sofa-bed • Balcony • Air conditioning • Electric coffee machine for expresso coffee or tea • Minibar with soft drinks, beer and water • Telephone in the room and in the bathroom • TV with international channels • Free safe box • Air conditioning and ceiling fan • Iron and ironing board • Umbrella • Full-equipped bathroom • Private jacuzzi incorporated to the shower • Magnifying mirror and hair-dryer • Room service: Free from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. NEW! From 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. also available with extra charge
PRIVILEGE JUNIOR SUITES On the first line of the sea, gardens or swimming pool, sophisticated and spacious. Private terrace and Jacuzzi. Capacity of up to 5 persons (2 adults + 3 children or 3 adults + 2 children or 4 adults + 1 child). Available with pool view (extra charge) • King size bed or two Queen size beds • Electric coffee machine for expresso coffee or tea • Minibar (with daily free restock of soft drinks and national beer). Availability of Premium drinks (upon arrival) • Telephone • Flat LCD 32’’ TV with international channels • Free safe box • Air conditioning and ceiling fan • Iron and ironing board • Full-equipped bathroom • Jacuzzi • Magnifying mirror and hair-dryer and VIP Privilege Deluxe amenities • Bottle of wine and welcome selection from the chef • Privilege welcome gift and Daisy gift for kids • Beds dressed with special linen and pillow top • Pillow menu and daily turn-down service • Privilege beach towels • Bath robe and slippers for adults and children • DVD player and film selection (available under request) • Alarm- clock with iPod player – USB Charger • Scale • Room service included 24hrs.
HONEYMOON JUNIOR SUITES Exclusive rooms with an elegant interior design exclusively reserved for couples, with a modern touch perfectly place facing our two gorgeous pools. Modernly and stylish decorated King size bed garnished with a delicate fabric, this room boasts a private Jacuzzi on the outside balcony • Beds dressed with special linen and pillow top • Pillow menu • Balcony • Electric coffee machine for expresso coffee or tea • Full-equipped bar with Premium drinks • Minibar (with daily free restock of soft drinks and national beer). Availability of Premium drinks (upon arrival) • Telephone in the room and in the bathroom • Flat LCD 32’’ TV with international channels • Free safe box • Air conditioning and ceiling fan • Iron and ironing board • Full-equipped bathroom • Magnifying mirror and hair-dryer • Daily turn-down service • Beach towels in the room • Bath robe and slippers for adults and children • DVD player • Alarm-clock with iPod player • Special amenities and scale • Room service included 24hrs.
All clients that book the Honeymoon Junior Suite can enjoy Privilege services with no additional cost.
MEETINGS & EVENTS
HONEYMOON SUITES
Exclusive rooms next to the beach and with an elegant interior design in white. Boasts two spaces separated in two levels. Modernly and stylish decorated King size bed garnished with a delicate fabric, Jacuzzi and access to a private outdoor shower • Beds dressed with special linen and pillow top • Pillow menu • Balcony • Electric coffee machine for expresso coffee or tea • Minibar (with daily free restock of soft drinks and national beer). Availability of Premium drinks (upon arrival) • Full-equipped bar with Premium drinks • Telephone in the room and in the bathroom • Flat LCD 32’’ TV with international channels • Free safe box • Air conditioning and ceiling fan • Iron and ironing board • Full-equipped bathroom • Magnifying mirror and hair-dryer • Daily turn-down service • Beach towels in the room • Bath robe and slippers for adults and children • DVD player • Alarm-clock with iPod player • Special amenities and scale • Room service included 24hrs.
All clients that book the Honeymoon Suite can enjoy Privilege services with no additional cost.
PRIVILEGE EXCLUSIVE ROOMS AND SERVICES Selected services for unforgettable stays. Privilege Lounge: With concierge service • Lounge with air conditioning opened from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.
• Availability of Premium drinks, selection of wines, coffee and tea menu during the whole day as well as hors d’oeuvres and appetizers • Availability of PC’s and free Wi-Fi connection • Library and DVD selection for adults and children • Daily newspapers Dining Privilege: Reservations with priority seating in all a la carte restaurants • Privilege breakfast in bed, served as part of the room service • Daily a la carte Privilege breakfast, served in private areas • One lobster dinner per stay (under request) • Room service included 24hrs.
Concierge service & Butler during your stay:
Private check in and check out • Unpacking and organization of luggage in the room • Shoe shining- ironing • Collection of clothes from the laundry • Reservations for spa services, restaurants, tennis court, etc • Jacuzzi setup • Change of swimming pool towels • Message service • Flight confirmation and airport pick up service.
Privilege Beach: Privilege private beach: with exclusive sun loungers and private waiter service • Personalized Oasis drinks. Privilege Kids: Welcome Daisy kit upon arrival • Special drinks and meals for kids available at our Privilege Lounge • Bathing gowns for kids in your room • Books and DVD’s for kids available at the Privilege Lounge.
Privilege a la Carte: Prior to arrival, Privilege guests may submit their personalized requests to Privilege Guest Services via the resort website: http://www.oceanhotels.net/en/privilege/privilege- a-la-carte.php. Nine a la carte service selections will be available including: Room location (high or ground floor, for example) in accordance with room type reserved • Advance reservations at a la carte specialty restaurants on evenings of choice
• Menu choices for in-room breakfast service the day after arrival at the resort • Mini bar beverages and snacks selections • Preferred in-room welcome amenity (fruit basket or cold cuts, for example) • Preferred pillow type (goose feather, firm, soft, orthopedic) • VIK (Very Important Kid) age- appropriate preferences • Advance reservations for spa treatments and services • Daily newspaper preference.
Other Privilege advantages: 10% discount for services at Despacio Spa Centre • 20% discount for car rental.
DESPACIO
At the Despacio Spa Centre you can enjoy our relaxation zone and let yourself be pampered by our high qualified team of professionals specialized in a varied selection of beauty treatments and massages. This is the place where to unwind and completely renew.
Relaxation Zone and Fitness room included. Massages booths, Sauna, Hairdresser and beauty parlor available with additional charge
DAISY
Mini Club and Teen Club:
Day and night activities for kids between 4 and 12 years old (Mini Club Daisy) and teenagers up to 17 years old (Teen Club). Entertainment • Children park • 6 Nintendo Wii stations • Table games • Table football • Air Hockey • Ballroom opened up to 1 a.m. • Bar with non- alcoholic drinks • Billards.
DIVE IT! SCUBA & FUN
The PADI diving centre from Ocean by H10 Hotels. PADI diving classes to all levels and certification • Snorkel excursions • Scuba • Scuba classes in the swimming pool • Day and night excursions • Banana boat • Aquatic ski • Turbo boat • Sailing
• Catamaran • Fishing • Horse riding.
*All the activities and excursions with the diving center have additional charge.
BLUE TEAM
At the Ocean Blue & Sand you will find a wide variety of sports and activities programs organized by our Blue Team entertainers: Day and night entertainment program • Bowling Alley • Climbing wall • Games and contests • Thematic parties • Aerobic • Beach volley • Aquatic Polo • Windsurf • Kayak • Bridge • Archery • Tennis • Bike • Table games • Children park • Game rooms • Billards.
PERFECT DAY WEDDINGS & CELEBRATIONS We will take care of all the details to make sure your celebration is everything you always dreamed it would be. We have one-of-a-kind, exclusive locations for weddings and unforgettable celebrations – a magnificent beach with azure waters, a wedding gazebo with stunning sea views and beautiful tropical gardens.
The Ocean Blue & Sand boasts three meeting rooms with all the necessary to celebrate business meetings or any other type of event. The rooms El Pescador B and El Pescador C can be turned into the big room El Pescador A with capacity to accommodate up to 420 persons.
*Recommended (optimum) maximum capacity for these rooms by event type.
MEETING ROOM

ST. BARTS

About St. Barts

St. Barts is one of the Caribbean‚s most varied and upscale islands that features a collection of world class villas, hotels, spas, fine dining and a wide choice of leisure activities including nautical sports and full calendar of cultural events. At eight square miles, the island is adorned with beautiful inlets and bays of soft white sand that provides a breathtaking backdrop for families, couples and adventure seekers. For more information, visit www.saintbarth-tourisme.com/en.

New Experiences Await in St. Barts with Recent Bar, Restaurant and Hotel Grand Openings

Known as one of the Caribbean's most varied and upscale islands, St. Barts continues to thrive as a tropical destination by offering a collection of world class villas, hotels, spas, fine dining and an array of cultural events.  In 2017, the island welcomes new hotels, restaurants, bars and more, all of which will call St. Barts home.

'The energy and excitement on St. Barts is unlike any other destination in the Caribbean, attracting visitors from across the globe,' shares Nils Dufau, president of Tourisme de St. Barts. ' We look forward to the continued success of our partners that bring new offerings and additions throughout 2017.'

Below is a selection of new or recently opened additions to St. Barts for 2017 with more to be announced in the coming months:

Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa

Le Barthelemy, a high-end luxury boutique hotel, opened in October 2016 on the Grand Cul-de-Sac. The hotel features 46 rooms and suites with interiors designed by Sybille de Margerie, a spa with a hamman and two dining experiences by Michelin-starred French Chef Guy Martin.

Villa Marie -- formally the Francois Plantation, was recently renovated by the Sibuet Group, opening December of 2016. Located in Colombier, the Villa Marie overlooks Flamands Beach and features 18 bungalows and villas, the Pure Altitude spa, a rum & cigar bar and François Plantation restaurant, led by Chef Emmanuel Motte featuring locally inspired dishes.

Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf

The Barrière hotel group is currently renovating the Hotel Carl Gustaf with a grand opening scheduled for late 2017. The hotel promises unique five-star service with fine dining and special access to Shellona restaurant.

Shellona

Located a short walk from Gustavia Harbor is Shellona, a new beach-front restaurant serving Greek cuisine by Chef Yiannis Kioroglou. Formally DO Brazil, the eatery was purchased by the Barrière hotel group and recently renovated opening December of 2016. The menu will feature creative signature cocktails, authentic Mediterranean cuisine and live music upon occasion. The restaurant was named after its location, Shell Beach, which overflows with millions of tiny, beautiful shells and is only one of four shell beaches in the world.

Bo Kao

Located in the heart of Gustavia, Bo Kao, formally Le Carre, is the latest addition to culinary scene opening December of 2016. Chef Luis Arévalo is the first to bring the widely popular Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian gastronomy, to St. Barts.

Eden Rock

Located on top of the iconic rock of St. Jean Bay, Eden Rock officially opened its doors in October of 2016 serving cocktails expertly crafted with rare alcohols and vintages. Signature cocktails featured on the Rock Bar menu include the Lotus Martini, Eden Garden, Chili-Chili Bang Bang, and 'La Corne On the Rocks,' a genuine cow-horn containing Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Chambord liqueur, fresh raspberries, mint and cranberry juice.

About St. Barts

St. Barts one of the Caribbean's most varied and upscale islands that features a collection of world class villas, hotels, spas, fine dining and a wide choice of leisure activities including nautical sports and full calendar of cultural events. At eight square miles, the island is adorned with beautiful inlets and bays of soft white sand that provides a breathtaking backdrop for families, couples and adventure seekers. For more information, visit <www.saintbarth-tourisme.com/en.

Where to Stay

St. Barts Provides Savings of Over 25% on Villa Rentals Putting You Within Easy Reach of the Island's New & Buzzing Restaurants

Villa Theïs is a newly listed contemporary three-bedroom private villa located above the center of Gustavia offering stunning views of the harbor, close proximity to Shell Beach and the town’s bistros and boutiques. The spacious living room boasts a wall of glass sliders that open to the terrace and frame the view of Gustavia harbor. Enjoy al fresco dining at its finest along with a well-equipped kitchen. The master (king) bedroom includes an en suite bath that features indoor and outdoor shower. The other two en suite guest bedrooms (king beds convertible to twins) are privately situated with meandering deck that includes a Jacuzzi. The pool is tucked away on the lower level with a separate covered sitting area for guests to gather and relax. Prices start at $5,570 during the value season and $7,570 during high season.

Peg Walsh, owner of St. Barts Properties, offered up two restaurant recommendations during her recent stay att Villa Theïs

Bo Káo is a new favorite restaurant of Peg's, with an exotic "Peruvian Japanese" menu, which just recently opened New Year's eve of 2016. Some of her favorites dishes includes ceviche, a fusion chicken tempura with creamed corn, sushi and lamb chops served with Nikkei stew and hucatay. This is in walking distance to Villa Theïs, located on Rue de la Republique in Gustavia.

Le Guanahani's Indigo restaurant offers casual poolside beachfront dining with Thursday evening barbecue. An apéritif planter's punch is included with the barbecue menu with wide array of appetizer sections including ceviche, fresh asparagus, greens and shrimp and BBQ main course ribs, steak, mahi mahi and langouste. Inquire with St. Barth Properties, regarding Villa Genia, which is in walking distance to this restaurant and includes signing privileges.

*Value season runs from April 16-December 14 each year and high season runs from December 15 through April 15 annually. 

St. Barts Properties Adds Two New Villas to Portfolio

St. Barts Properties, a boutique travel company specializing in vacations to St. Barth in the French West Indies, is excited to announce the addition of two new luxury villas to its portfolio: Villa Brume de Mer and Villa Orion. The two-bedroom Villa Brume de Mer located near gorgeous Flamand Beach is available to rent exclusively through St. Barth Properties beginning at $3,970* per week. Located hillside in St. Jean, the four-bedroom Villa Orion’s is available for guests to rent beginning at $12,570* per week.

Highlights of Villa Brume de Mer, exclusively available through St. Barth Properties, include:

Beautiful views of Baie de Flamands, its islets and the sound of the surf. The beach is just a three-minute walk from the villa;
A main level air-conditioned living room, dining area, well-equipped kitchen and en suite bedroom;
An upper level master suite with a balcony overlooking the brilliant blue Caribbean waters;
Outdoor living space with a gazebo for shaded relaxing and dining; a solar heated swimming pool and a Jacuzzi, all looking out to the sea.

Highlights of Villa Orion include:

Spacious indoor living and dining areas blending with expansive, multi-level outdoor living space.
A graceful ajoupa-like structure that provides shade for a portion of the pool, and for relaxing and dining.
Four privately situated en suite bedrooms including a master housed in a separate bungalow. All have sweeping sea views.
A full range of media amenities including U.S. satellite, Apple TV service, Spotify accessible through out, and a home cinema.
Striking décor with an eclectic mix of traditional furnishing and mid-century pieces.

For more information about Villa Brume de Mer, please visit http://stbarth.com/villas/detail/brume

For more information about Villa Orion, please visit stbarth.com/villas/detail/orion

About St. Barts Properties

St. Barts Properties is a boutique travel company specializing in vacations to St. Barth, French West Indies, with a portfolio of more than 190 carefully selected private villas, a branded collection of the island’s most distinctive hotels, and provides a full range of concierge services. Founded in 1989 by Peg Walsh around the mantra of Live Your Dream®, St. Barth Properties delivers premium accommodations in the island’s villas and hotels, as well as assisting clients in the planning of destination weddings and special events.

Headquartered in the United States, with an office on the harbor in St. Barth. For more information, please visithttp://www.stbarth.com/ or call <tel:1-800-421-3396>1-800-421-3396

Barefoot Luxury, Private Retreats, Unbelievable Views -- Reign in New Selection of Wimco Villats on St. Barts

Whether your desire is beachfront and modern, or tucked away and romantic, Wimco Villas, the premier villa rental agency for St. Barts and the Caribbean, is proud to introduce four brand-new villas catering to your every whim and fancy.

Paradise is found in the views at Villa SIB ATT (Arte) perched on a ridge high above Flamands Beach overlooking nearby islands. The master bedroom enjoys privacy in its own cottage overlooking the pool and vista. The villa features a gourmet kitchen, heated Jacuzzi and pool, and fitness room. This villa can be rented as two, three or four bedrooms depending on season, and rates vary accordingly, starting at $9,000 per week.

With a main house and master suite, Villa SIB MDL (Le Manoir de Lurin) features three independent cottages, each with a king or two queen-size beds. The large, heated swimming pool is perfect for lounging with cocktail as the nights turn cool. Enjoy the fitness room and tropical grounds in this private, luxurious retreat. Rates begin at $25,000 a week.

Couples looking for the perfect romantic retreat need look no further than Villa SIB KAI just steps away from Flamands Beach. This multi-level, one-bedroom villa features ocean views throughout the property, a plasma TV, large deck and heated pool. Rates are from $3,600-$8,800 per week.

Bright, modern design rules at Villa SIB PRX (Princess X), located within the private complex of Domaine du Levant and within walking distance to the beach. The contemporary and chic dÈcor doesnít detract from the comfort of the home, with large white leather sofas, a beautiful kitchen and spacious terrace. Choose to dine under the private gazebo with gas grill, refrigerator, and table. Rates begin at $8,000 per week.

For couples and families traveling together, or for larger groups, villa vacations are often much more affordable with per bedroom, per night rates often far less than island hotels. Villa vacations also offer the space and privacy that typically are not found at resort properties. All of Wimcoís villas on St Barts come with daily maid service (except Sunday) and Wimcoís local concierge desk is available to take care of its clientsí every need while they are on the island.

About Wimco Villas

Wimco Villas is an award-winning luxury villa rental company, providing access to some of the world's most beautiful and exceptional private villas. In the Caribbean, Wimco represents over 270 villas on St Barts and offers an expansive selection of privately owned villas throughout the region including the US and British Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos, Anguilla, Barbados, Mustique, Nevis, St Martin, Jamaica and Grand Cayman. In Europe, Wimco represents villas in Italy, the South of France, and Mykonos. In the Americas there are villa rentals on Nantucket, Maui and Oahu, Hawaii, and in Punta Mita and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Voted 'Best Presented Villas' by the readers of CondÈ Nast Traveler, Wimco Villasí inspection process of visiting and evaluating each villa insures that a match is made for each client's expectation of value. As well as providing accommodation and destination information, Wimco Villas can tailor make the villa holidays to suit each client's needs, whether it be arranging for private chefs, yoga instructors, yacht charters or simply a restaurant reservation.

For additional information on Wimco Villas please visit www.wimco.com or call 800-449-1553.

Hotel St. Barth Isle de France

Sexy, secluded and glamorous, Hôtel St. Barth Isle de France is a 33-room retreat; some accommodations include private plunge pools, others, unobstructed views of the Baie des Flamands, arguably the island’s best beach. Weekly fashion shows feature the tanned, toned and taut staff modeling the boutique’s chic resort wear while guests sip Champagne by the pool. Fractional ownership options are also available under the Isle de France Club (FOLIO Collection) umbrella.

For more information check web site www.isle-de-france.com

ST. CROIX

Where to Stay

The Buccaneer Beach and Golf Resort, St. Croix Announces Luxury Romance Package

The Buccaneer Beach & Golf Resort is one of the most romantic destinations on the island of St. Croix. Don’t just take the hotel's word as the ever-popular reality TV program The Bachelor was filmed here at the resort where guests enjoyed the 340 tropical acres, private beaches and more.

The resort is offering a unique romance package highlighting the best the hotel has to offer.  Guest’s can retrace the steps of the participants from The Bachelor with a trip to historic Christiansted, to shop the quaint boutiques, enjoy the magnificent waterfront and local eateries, plus have access to a rental car to explore the island further. The contestants of The Bachelor just may be green with envy as this package also offers:

Welcome champagne and fine chocolates
Plush Buccaneer bathrobes
A beachfront lunch at the Mermaid Restaurant
50-minute in-room couples massage
Deluxe picnic basket lunch to enjoy beachside
A half-day snorkeling excursion to Buck Island National Park from the resort’s private dock - National Geographic sites Turtle Beach as one of the best beaches in the world
Sunset sail from The Buccaneer’s private dock
Sterling silver infinity bracelets by the island’s most noted jewelry makers IB Designs
An evening culinary extravaganza at The Terrace; wine and three course dinner
An unforgettable dinner at the historic Sugar Mill
A one-day car rental

This package also includes round-trip airport transfers, and a one category upgrade for only $US 1,800 per couple, added to each room selection. The luxury beachside doubloons are the favorite category for honeymoons and romantic occasions. Rates begin at $618 per night plus taxes.

This 340-acre tropical resort also offers charm and elegance from the 17th century. This family-run historic property blends old world charm with warm hospitality. Completely self-contained, 138 air-conditioned accommodations are scattered throughout the grounds with expansive terraces and impressive views. The Buccaneer offers a luxurious country club setting, with three picture-perfect beaches, an 18-hole golf course and pro shop, eight tennis courts (two lit for night play) and pro-shop, a health spa, fitness center, Kids Camp and watersports center.

The Buccaneer is recognized by the National Trust as a Historic Hotel of America, and is a partner in Stash Hotel Rewards, offering free nights at independent hotels throughout the United States. For more information and reservations visit www.thebuccaneer.com or call 800-255-3881.

Strong Line-Up of Events Ensures Active Fun at St. Croix’s Legendary Buccaneer Resort

Sporting an all-star lineup of wellness retreats and fitness events, three glorious beaches stocked with plentiful watersports equipment, an award-winning tennis center, famed 18-hole golf course and more, St. Croix’s legendary Buccaneer resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands is the place to be for active fun this fall and winter.

Set on sprawling, scenic acres of tropical island paradise, The Buccaneer’s numerous accolades include being voted one of the 500 Best Hotels in the World, one of the Top 25 Hotels in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda, and one of the World`s Top 50 Tropical Resorts. It features 138 luxurious and scenic rooms to enjoy after a full day of fun in the sun--particularly plentiful in St. Croix this fall and winter.

Events include:

Beyond scheduled activities, The Buccaneer features plenty of onsite amenities for active fun. The three beaches at The Buccaneer resort are among the very best on the island of St. Croix, a West Indies gem known for its stunningly beautiful sandy shores. The resort’s Mermaid and Grotto Beaches each have a water-sports center with ocean kayaks, snorkeling gear, mats and floats, sand toys and towels available for guests’ complementary use. The resort’s beach attendants host weekly snorkeling and kayaking tours to showcase our beautiful bays and sea life. Volleyball, soccer, corn hole, ping pong and beachside basketball are also offered.

Complimentary learn-to-scuba classes are available for guests 10 years old and over. Guests successfully completing this two-hour session can opt for a shallow open water dive either the same day or another day during their stay at extra charge. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is available several times weekly. Lessons are available by appointment and at extra charge.

The Buccaneer also features a world-class tennis center and the resort’s famed par 70, 18-hole golf course, featuring stunning views of the Caribbean Sea from 13 holes. (The late U.S. Senator Edward, after playing the #3 signature hole, remarked: "The only problem with this hole is that it's so beautiful, you don't want to leave the green.") The resort’s tennis center is equally impressive and features eight Laykold courts, two lit for night play. Tennis magazine deems The Buccaneer "the best tennis resort in the Virgin Islands," and it was chosen “Best of the Caribbean” winner by Tennis Life. A fully-stocked pro shop provides top-of-the-line equipment and stringing services. Weekly round robins, and doubles drills for ladies, cardio clinics and other seasonal clinics are scheduled for guests.

Younger guests won’t miss out on the fun. Teens especially love the resort’s free learn-to-scuba classes, while the younger set (4-12 year olds) gather for complimentary Kids' Camp. Soccer, basketball and volleyball games are beachside, and fun for the entire family. Yoga and stand-up paddle board are available for an extra fee. Around St. Croix, active families delight in sailing and snorkeling at the Buck Island National Monument, suitable for all ages and swimming abilities. Kids and adults alike also enjoy horseback riding through the rainforest or on the beach, or on a nighttime kayak tour to see the twinkling, bioluminescent underwater life of Salt River Bay.

“The Buccaneer is a great place to come and do nothing but soak up the beautiful surroundings, but for those who like to be active it is also perfect,” said Elizabeth Armstrong, The Buccaneer’s owner and general manager.

For more information and reservations visit www.thebuccaneer.com/ or call  800-255-3881.

Begin Your Happily Ever After at St. Croix’s Legendary Buccaneer Resort

Create wedding memories you’ll treasure forever at the legendary Buccaneer Resort, steeped in history and romance on 340 sprawling acres of Caribbean island paradise that include three of the best beaches on St. Croix.

Founded in the 17th century and recognized by the National Trust as a Historic Hotel of America, The Buccaneer’s numerous accolades include being voted one of the 500 Best Hotels in the World, one of the Top 25 Hotels in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda, and one of the World`s Top 50 Tropical Resorts. Strikingly scenic and serene, the resort is so romantic it was even featured as the setting for a recent season’s episode of “The Bachelor.”

The Buccaneer offers a selection of exclusive, hassle-free wedding packages for just the two of you or up to 100 friends and family. Couples can choose to exchange vows at our 18th century Sugar Mill or the resort’s beautiful Mermaid or Whistle Beaches, and all packages include the attentive service of our experienced wedding planners to handle every detail so you can relax and savor your special day. Select from packages offering a range of romantic touches such as welcome champagne, engraved champagne flutes, his-and-hers Buccaneer bathrobes, handcrafted keepsake jewelry and a relaxing massage at The Hideaway Spa.

These include:

• BOUGAINVILLEA WEDDING PACKAGE (2 to 19 PERSONS)The Bougainvillea Wedding Package sets the scene for an idyllic Virgin Islands wedding for just the two of you, or for up to 19 people. Everything you need for a one-of-a kind experience is thoughtfully arranged by our professional wedding coordinators, leaving you to enjoy your special day. Package starts at $2,800 for two, plus accommodations. www.thebuccaneer.com

• THE SUGAR MILL WEDDING PACKAGE (12 ADULT MAXIMUM)Experience the Legend with a romantic sunset wedding on the beach or scenic lawn followed by an elegant, unique dinner reception in a centuries-old sugar mill. Package starts at $6,300 for a maximum of 12 people, plus accommodations. .thebuccaneer.com

• THE HIBISCUS WEDDING PACKAGE (20 ADULT MINIMUM)Bring friends and family to celebrate one of life's most joyous occasions in one of the world's most spectacular settings with this perfect St. Croix wedding package. Enjoy the romantic ambience - and each other -- and let our experienced wedding planners take care of the details. Package starts at $9,000 for a minimum of 20 people, plus accommodations. Upgrades and a free return stay are offered for qualifying group stays. thebuccaneer.comg

• ELOPE TO PARADISE WEDDING PACKAGE (2 to 6 PERSONS)A perfect way to celebrate your wedding: simply, elegantly, and free of stress. We take care of the details for you so you can spend your time enjoying each other. Package starts at $1,670 for two, plus accommodations. www.thebuccaneer.com

'I STILL DO' RENEWAL PACKAGE Escape to paradise and celebrate a lifetime of happiness with our 'I Still Do' package. Create new memories and renew your vows at our 18th century Sugar Mill or beautiful Grotto Beach. Package starts at $999 for two, plus accommodations. www.thebuccaneer.com

“We take care of all the details for the bride and groom, so they simply relax and focus on each other and their beautiful surroundings,” said general manager Elizabeth Armstrong, whose family has owned and operated The Buccaneer for generations. The Buccaneer offers elegant accommodations that include 138 spacious guest rooms and suites and The Buccaneer Beach House at Whistle Point--a six-bedroom enclave surrounded by sea and gardens with a main house, two cottages and a villa-style master suite. Amenities include three gorgeous beaches, acclaimed 18-hole golf course, tennis center ranked the best in the Virgin Islands, full-service spa and two freshwater pools. The resort also features a water sports center and free learn-to-scuba classes. Yoga and stand-up paddle board are available for an extra fee, as are activities such as horseback riding, kayak tours and Buck Island snorkeling excursions departing right from the hotel’s private dock.

For more information about weddings at The Buccaneer, visit  www.TheBuccaneer.com or call  800-255-3881.

Carambola Beach Resort

Located on St. Croix’s north shore, the oceanfront Carambola Beach Resort has announced that it will join the Renaissance Hotels & Resorts family.  In conjunction with this important news, the 151-room resort will undergo a transformation thanks to a $20 million renovation and expansion of its accommodations, meeting spaces, restaurants and lounges and public spaces.  In addition, the resort’s new, lavish 2,200 square-foot Larimar Spa has recently opened. 

For more details, call (888) 503-8760 or visit www.carambolabeach.com.

What to See & Do

Frederiksted Revitalization

The Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility—the main cruise ship port for St. Croix—and the Frederiksted pier area have undergone a comprehensive transformation.  Visitors and residents will now enjoy a lush park, fountains and cobbled pedestrian paths stretching one-quarter mile along the town’s waterfront.  The pier was upgraded to accommodate two eagle-class vessels and two mini-cruise vessels and now serves as a gateway to St. Croix.  A shopping area with permanent vendors’ booths is located within walking distance of the pier—with space for additional booths on days when cruise ships dock.  Taxis and tour buses regularly depart from the pier, taking visitors to Christiansted, the island’s other main town, and to beaches, shopping and attractions throughout the island.  Along the waterfront, an elevated stage provides the perfect setting for Frederiksted’s monthly Sunset Jazz Festivals, where residents and visitors enjoy music from locally and internationally acclaimed jazz artists against the backdrop of a spectacular Caribbean sunset.

ST. JOHN -- U.S. Virgin Islands

POND BAY

Pond Bay has opened on a tranquil cove on St. John and consists of 50 exquisitely furnished three bedroom cottages and villas on 15 acres of beachfront property lapped by the crystal blue waters of Chocolate Hole Bay. The resort’s recreational facilities include a large beachfront pool with gazebo bar and trellises, a separate children’s pool, and a full size tennis court. The heart of Pond Bay (both socially and geographically) will be The Club, home to a 12,000-square-foot spa by ESPA and an elegant yet comfortable 140-seat restaurant.

Westin St. John Resort & Villas

The Westin St. John Resort & Villas is converting 186 existing hotel rooms in seven buildings located within the resort’s hillside section into 94 two- and three-bedroom villas for sale overlooking Great Cruz Bay.  Construction of the first 54 villas began in July 2006 with an expected occupancy in late 2007, and the second phase of 40 villas will begin shortly thereafter.  The Westin St. John Resort & Villas currently has a total of 92 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas. Owners and guests will enjoy full access to all amenities at The Westin St. John, including the pools, spa, fitness facility, beachside water activities, tennis, Westin Kids Club and hotel restaurants. 

For more information, call (866) 4-STAR-PR or visit www.westinresortstjohn.com

Green Innovations, New Pavilion And Café At Estate Concordia Preserve, St. John

Estate Concordia Preserve’s latest addition includes a store, a café with alfresco dining and an event pavilion with a large open space boasting a 280-degree panoramic view.  The Concordia Pavilion and Café features a 1,500-square-foot greenhouse-covered roof deck and an open-air restaurant overlooking the Caribbean Sea.  Offering a stunning setting, the wheelchair-accessible pavilion can easily accommodate parties of 50 or more for meetings, retreats, workshops, weddings, receptions and yoga.  St. John architect Glenn Speer used green building techniques throughout: The Pavilion deck was built entirely of rock-filled gabion baskets excavated from the site, which were then planted with native vines and hanging plants to blend into the natural landscape.  Water is collected from the roof and made potable onsite.  Glass blocks invite natural light and fixtures were crafted at Maho Bay Camps recycled arts center.  Estate Concordia Preserve, on the less traveled southeast corner of St. John, abuts the Virgin Islands National Park’s Salt Pond area.  Salt Pond Bay’s white sand and calm water are an easy 15-minute walk from Concordia along a scenic trail.  Each of Concordia’s 25 eco-tents is solar-powered (shower, lights, refrigerators, electric fans) and includes a sleeping loft in addition to a first-floor bedroom area. 

For further details and reservations, call (800) 392-9004 or visit maho.org.

Maho Bay Offers Holistic Yoga and Meditation Eco-Retreat with Nurture Through Nature

An enriching and laid back getaway in the Caribbean sun at the pioneer of green resorts. Enjoy yoga, meditation, mindfulness practices, hiking in the Virgin Islands National Park, custom sailing and snorkeling and spectacular beaches on beautiful St John, an island that is 90% national park!

Retreat Includes:

Eco-Tent accommodations for 2 or 3, Daily Hatha Yoga sessions for every-body, Evening Mindfulness and Meditation Circles, Full day custom sailing and snorkeling adventure throughout the uninhabited cays in the waters of the Virgin Islands National Park, includes healthy lunch and beverage choices and Two group walks in the national forest.

Programming will be in the morning and evening so that you will have your afternoons to enjoy the beaches, hiking, touring the island, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, or just kicking back, taking in the sun and blue-green Caribbean waters.

Per Person Cost for triple accommodations: $978
Per Person Cost for double accommodations: $1110.00
Price subject to change

Early reservations required to confirm your reservation at Maho Bay Camps
Send your non-refundable $300 deposit to: Nurture Through Nature, 77 Warren Rd, Denmark, Maine 04022

For More Information: www.ntnretreats.com

ST. KITTS

What to See & Do

About St. Kitts

St. Kitts is currently ranked, with sister island Nevis, at #3 on a list of the Best Islands in the World, #3 on a list of the Best Caribbean Vacations, and #7 on a list of the Best Beach Honeymoon Destinations in the World, #8 on a list of Best Caribbean Honeymoons, and #8 on a list of the Best Affordable Caribbean Destinations by US News & World Report. It is also currently ranked at #7 among the destination Hottest Places to Travel this Winter by CNN Money based on bookings received by Virtuoso, #8 on a list of the Top 10 Best Islands for a Holiday by Places To See In Your Lifetime, #14 on a list of the 50 Travel Destinations That Will Be Huge In The Next 10 Years by Business Insider and one of the Top 12 Best Caribbean Vacations on FlipKey.com, the vacation rental company of leading travel website, TripAdvisor®. Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on a sandy beach. Accommodations range from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels and resorts.

Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination's natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. The island's stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island's former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts' exclusive casino or simply relaxing on a sandy beach. Accommodations range from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels and resorts.

For more information about St. Kitts, please contact the St. Kitts Tourism Authority toll free from the US at 1-800-582-6208 or from Canada 1-888-395-4887, e-mail info@stkittstourism.kn, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

St. Kitts Hosts 7th Annual Pro-Am Golf Tournament

More than 125 PGA club professionals, amateur golfers and guests, a new record number of event participants, all enjoyed the lush natural beauty and warm hospitality of St. Kitts & Nevis during the 7th Annual St. Kitts-Nevis Admiral's Cup Pro-Am Tournament, featuring play on both islands of the Federation from February 4-9, 2017. Further, Bermuda Sands has been named the official lifestyle apparel partner for the event, marking another historic first this year.

"The Pro-Am is our premier golf event to build awareness for the destination among this lucrative niche travel market," said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. "While attendance continues to grow each year, the addition of an official apparel partner for the first time is yet further evidence of the success of the tournament. Golf continues to support our overall tourism sector and remains a key target for development moving forward."

2017 is the first year that St. Kitts is partnering with Bermuda Sands, designers and manufacturers of premium performance apparel for leisure sports and activities and the active lifestyle consumer, for the Pro-Am. All Pro-Am players received two shirts and a pullover emblazoned with the tournament logo, while event staff wore shirts displaying the St. Kitts Tourism authority logo. Bermuda Sands also provided $100 gift certificates to their online store to Hole Contest winners on their sponsored hole. Tim Garrett, VP of Sales and Marketing attended on behalf of Bermuda Sands and played in the event.

The Admiral's Cup Pro-Am is an annual golf event for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority that features a team tournament in which a PGA Club Professional and three amateurs pair up to compete against other teams from golf clubs across the US, UK, Canada and the Caribbean. The 54-hole annual event was contested over the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club designed by Canadian course architect Thomas McBroom and the signature Robert Trent Jones II course at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis, two of the Caribbean's most scenic and challenging championship courses.

Rounds one and two of the tournament were played in a two-best ball format (one gross and one net) simultaneously on both courses. Deciding the Admiral's Cup, the third and final round of play utilized a three-best ball competition (one gross and two net) took place at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club. The winning team was the Worthing Golf Club from London, who played well from the start, owning a share of the lead on day one, before ultimately winning with a close margin by just 2 shots on the final day. This is the same team that won the Elite Pro-Am Series, an event held this past summer to promote the Admirals Cup Pro-Am in the UK market. Worthing beat 7 other teams in the Elite Pro-Am Series Grand Final this past fall to earn the spot in this week's tournament.

Peter Tarver-Jones, the winning team's host golf professional, said "this has been an amazing experience, truly emotional. To play such good golf courses, be treated to fantastic hospitality and get to know so many golfers from around the world, we're speechless really".

All participants, guests, and sponsors of the Admiral's Cup Pro-Am were treated to warm welcomes and great golf throughout the five-day event. Kicking off the activities was a full day of practice rounds followed by a Super Bowl party complete with a buffet dinner and open bar in a private party tent at Carambola Beach Club. The big game provided plenty of excitement and entertainment for the evening, setting the tone for the overall event.

Additional highlights included a Junior Golf clinic conducted by 4 attending US golf pros, player gift bags filled with prizes including Tommy Bahama St. Kitts men's or women's fragrance samples and a Welcome Reception as well as an Awards Dinner at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel, the official host hotel for this year's event. Participants also enjoyed exploring the island, dining out at various restaurants and basking in the warm Caribbean sunshine.

The Royal St. Kitts Golf Club is an 18-hole course featuring holes on both the Caribbean and Atlantic which is managed by Marriott Golf. Most recently, it was voted among the Caribbean's top golf courses in USA Today's annual 10Best Reader's Choice Best of the Caribbean awards. The Four Seasons Resort Nevis Golf Club is a par 71, 18-hole course that overlooks the Caribbean Sea and St. Kitts with a spectacular beach-side finishing 18th green.

To learn more about the Admiral's Cup Pro-Am and golf in St. Kitts and Nevis, visit www.StKittsProAm.com. The tournament is managed exclusively by The Golf Connection LLC for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.

St. Kitts' New Tom Fazio Golf Course

A groundbreaking ceremony for the 18-hole Tom Fazio designed championship golf course on St. Kitts‚ picturesque Southeast Peninsula demonstrated continued progress in the development of the island‚s tourism product.

The ceremonial 'first dig' was made by St. Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; Chairman and CEO of Christophe Harbour‚s developer, Kiawah Development Partners, Mr. Charles P. 'Buddy' Darby; and acclaimed golf course architect Mr. Tom Fazio during a groundbreaking event held on island Wednesday, November 12th. Tom Fazio is regarded as one of the world's preeminent golf architects and creator of more than 200 top-ranking golf courses.  The course is set 500 feet above sea level on the green hills overlooking the water and will also feature an elegant golf club.

Speaking at the groundbreaking event, Prime Minister Douglas praised Mr. Darby for moving the Christophe Harbour development forward, 'Because of the developer's optimism and faith in the future of St. Kitts & Nevis, and his confidence that the investment in this project will bring significant returns to his investors and will, at the same time, help to bring a better quality of life to the people of St. Kitts & Nevis.' The Prime Minister also expressed confidence that Mr. Fazio would make this project his finest course yet.

'This important project will become the centerpiece of the growing upscale portion of our tourism product,' said Senator Ricky Skerritt, Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism, Sports & Culture. 'It's clear that Mr. Fazio, Kiawah Development Partners and our Government are collectively committed to the timely completion of Christophe Harbour, which will further strengthen St Kitts‚ efforts to become a world class travel destination'.

The 250 acre golf course is a major component in the multi-million dollar Christophe Harbour development, which will also include a Mandarin Oriental hotel, a mega-yacht marina, and marina village with upscale shops and restaurants, oceanfront home sites and villas. The first small component of the development, the impressive Beach House restaurant at Turtle beach, opened earlier this year and is already being led by award-winning hospitality professionals.

Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, St. Kitts offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination's natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. The island's stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island's sugar plantations, touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean, and the more traditional vacation pastimes such as water sports, golf, shopping, tennis, gourmet dining, gaming at one of St. Kitts‚ two casinos or simply relaxing on one of the island‚s sandy beaches. Guests can select from accommodations ranging from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels or resorts.

For more information about St. Kitts, please contact the St. Kitts Tourism Authority toll free from the US at 1-800-582-6208 or from Canada 1-888-395-4887, e-mail 'nfo@stkittstourism.kn or visit the website at 'www.stkittstourism.kn.

Where to Stay

Paradise Beach Resort--

is the only beachfront villa resort on Nevis, privately owned and replete with an 8-person beach bar, private butlers, and private pools. With only seven two-, three-, and four-bedroom thatched roof villas, the resort offers butler and concierge service, in-room spa treatments, and more than 50 varieties of mangos you can forage from your doorstep and cook with your personal chef. 

For more information check web site paradisebeachnevis.com/

Christophe Harbour Announces Turtle Beach Bungalows

A New Boutique Caribbean Retreat on St Kitts -- The luxury lifestyle experts behind the exclusive Charleston-based Kiawah Island and Ireland's Lodge At Doonbeg are proud to announce the opening of Turtle Beach Bungalows (www.TurtleBeachBungalows.com), part of the emerging Christophe Harbour development on the Caribbean Leeward Island of St. Kitts. The island's most upscale property, Turtle Beach Bungalows is one of the first stages in Christophe Harbour, a 2500-acre residential real estate development which will include a 300-acre mega-yacht harbour, marina village, private beach club with bar and grille, two luxury hotels, and spectacular 18-hole Tom Fazio designed golf course. “The Turtle Beach Bungalows offer by far the finest accommodations on St. Kitts with the unique benefit of private beach access right outside the door,” said LeGrand Elebash, Chief Operating Officer of Christophe Harbour. “The availability of the bungalows represents a major shift on the island, as it swings its focus from the sugar industry to tourism.” Dotted along the dunes of the eponymous Turtle Beach all four individual bungalows named after natural local botanicals are made of hand-hewn logs and showcase elegant dark wood floors, subtle Caribbean flair, including framed sago palm leaves, and massive marble slab showers. Three walls of plantation-style shutters and sliding glass doors open onto unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean and St. Kitts’ neighboring sister-island, Nevis. Nightly rates that include a continental breakfast delivered to each bungalow are $450 USD June-October and $550 USD November-May.

Just beyond the ocean-facing sliding glass door each unit has a tiered patio—nearly as large as the bungalow itself—with a gazebo sitting area for early morning breakfasts and an individual plunge pool for late-night soaks. Adjacent to the front door is an outdoor all-copper shower where guests can rinse off after an ocean
swim.

The property’s seaside restaurant, The Beach House (awarded a Fodor’s Choice Gold Award 2010), has seating for 90 guests in the main dining area, a full cocktail bar as well as a second floor Member’s lounge which all overlook the water and sand flanked by massive palms and an illuminated pier. Executive Chef Lionel Garnier, who supplies many of the dishes with herbs grown in the garden behind the restaurant, features a menu with highlights including sweet carrot and crab soup, lobster tempura salad and spicy beef tenderloin carpaccio. Island activities, arranged by Turtle Beach Bungalows concierge Kathleen Brownsdon, include ocean side
massages ($100/hour), private catamaran rentals ($480 small, $560 large), water taxis to Nevis ($160), fishing charters ($500), a volcano/rainforest hike ($95), and Zipline ($89).

For more information visit www.TurtleBeachBungalows.com, www.ChristopheHarbour.com or call 800-881-7180. To book directly call 1-869-466-4557.

About Turtle Beach Bungalows, Christophe Harbour, St Kitts
Turtle Beach Bungalows is owned and operated by Christophe Harbour Development Company a division of Kiawah Partners. Christophe Harbour has been said by experts to comprise the most ideal setting for a harbor in the western
hemisphere in terms of natural protection, prevailing winds, uncommonly elegant surroundings, dramatic topography, proximity to the Atlantic and Caribbean and, soon an array of world class marina-oriented services and amenities. As it will encompass more than 2,500 acres, 6 exquisite beaches, luxury hotels, a marina village, and a Tom Fazio golf course. For further information about Christophe Harbour, please visit: http://www.ChristopheHarbour.com

St. Kitts Marriott Resort Celebrates New Direct Flight Service From New York With A Special Package for Guests

The St. Kitts Marriott Resort and The Royal Beach Casino are introducing the Let’s Be Direct package to celebrate the addition of direct flight service into St. Kitts from New York on American Airlines.

The Let’s Be Direct package is and includes welcome gift upon arrival, deluxe accommodations, daily breakfast and two rounds of golf at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club. Those guests who show boarding passes for new direct flight service will also receive a $100 resort credit to use at any of the facilities on property. The package starts at $292 per night, including room tax and gratuities, with a minimum stay requirement of four nights. It is based on double occupancy and is subject to availability.

The American Airlines direct flight from New York’s JFK Airport operates twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Sundays.

The St. Kitts Marriott Resort and The Royal Beach Casino is located in the Frigate Bay area of the island, just a 10-minute drive from the airport and capital city Basseterre. The resort offers 573 guest rooms and luxurious suites. The golden sands of North Frigate Bay Beach, a championship golf course and the largest Vegas-style casino in the Caribbean help provide an unparalleled vacation experience. The resort also features a revitalizing spa, meeting facilities, the Pirates of St. Kitts Kids Club program, eight restaurants and two lounges that make it the ideal destination for families, couples and corporate travelers.

For more information or to make a reservation, please contact the St. Kitts Marriott Resort directly at (869) 466.1200 or visit www.stkittsmarriott.com.

St. Kitts Marriott Resort and The Royal Beach Casino Introduces New Packages Highlighting Great Ways to Get Away

Some people escape for fun in the sun, some people escape to treat themselves and some people escape just to get away from it all. Understanding that there are many motives for a Caribbean escape, the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and The Royal Beach Casino has designed six new packages that make it easy for travelers to design a personalized St. Kitts experience.  All rates are based on double occupancy.

The Escape Spa Package is ideal for those in search of a vacation for the mind and body and includes one massage and one facial per person at the resort’s Emerald Mist Spa, two complementary spa robes, breakfast buffet for two daily and a welcome gift. Rates start at $247 per night and a minimum 4 night stay is required.

Those who dream of teeing off on the shores of both the azure Atlantic Ocean and the sparkling Caribbean Sea can take advantage of the Escape Golf Package.  This package includes two rounds of golf at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club per room and breakfast buffet for two daily with rates starting at $187. Need even more time on the greens?  Upgrade the package to breakfast for two daily and two rounds of golf per day, per room, with rates starting at $280. Minimum 4 night stay is required.

No trip to St. Kitts would be complete without exploring the former sugar colony’s rich cultural history. The Escape Destination Package includes a breakfast buffet for two daily, an island tour for two, entrance to Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park for two and a welcome gift. Rates start at $199 and a minimum 4 night stay is required. Room tax and maid and bellman gratuities included.

From fresh seafood delicacies to authentic Northern Italian cuisine and a city-style steakhouse, the St. Kitts Marriott Resort offers diverse culinary choices for all palates. The Escape Dining Package allows guests to tempt their taste buds with the breakfast buffet for two daily, a $200 food and beverage credit and a welcome gift. Rates start at $251 and a minimum 4 night stay is required.

For couples celebrating their first days as man and wife, St. Kitts provides a romantic setting filled with warm Caribbean ambience. The Escape Honeymoon Package helps heat things up even more with the breakfast buffet for two daily, two dinners per room plus an additional $45 dinner credit per person, one bottle of champagne and a welcome gift. Rates start at $211 per night and a minimum 4 night stay is required.

Other popular Escape packages that will continue to be offered are the Escape Inclusive Package which includes accommodations, meals, beverages and non-motorized water sports with rates starting at $319; the Escape Family Package which includes complimentary breakfast daily for two adults and two children 12 and under, admission to the Kids Club for two children, pizza and movie for one night, a milk and cookies nightly turndown service, welcome gift and fruit punch upon arrival with rates starting at $253; and the Escape Romance Package which includes the breakfast buffet for two daily, one bottle of champagne, and a welcome gift with rates starting at $211.

The St. Kitts Marriott Resort and The Royal Beach Casino is located in the Frigate Bay area of the island, just a 10 minute drive from the airport and capital city Basseterre. The resort offers 513 guest rooms and luxurious suites. A pristine beach, championship golf course and the largest Vegas-style casino in the Caribbean help provide an unparalleled vacation experience. The resort also features a revitalizing spa, meeting facilities, the Pirates of St. Kitts Kids Club program, eight restaurants and two lounges that make it the ideal destination for families, couples and corporate travelers.

For more information or to make a reservation, contact The St. Kitts Marriott Resort directly at (869) 466-1200 or visit www.stkittsmarriott.com.

ST. LUCIA

Saint Lucia Announces Soleil – A Summer of Festivals for 2017

Saint Lucia, whose global reputation for quality entertainment is built on 25 years of experience hosting the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts festival, announces SOLEIL – the Saint Lucia Summer Festival, a series of six festivals taking place from May through October.

“With the new season of festivals, Saint Lucia aims to increase tourism arrivals while also creating opportunities for local artists and businesses that will enhance the visibility of the island as a vibrant and diverse cultural destination,” explains Minister for Tourism Dominic Fedee. “We look forward to not only celebrating Saint Lucian traditions, but also serving up a summer of fun and entertainment to visitors and locals alike.”

The Summer Festival series will kick off May 12-14, 2017, with Saint Lucia Jazz, a celebration of Caribbean and international jazz music. Events will take place across the island with three major concerts taking place at Pigeon Island National Landmark. Saint Lucia Jazz will culminate on Sunday, May 14 with a star-studded line-up including Grammy-nominated singer and actress Vanessa Williams and multi-talented Rachelle Ferrell. Confirmed headliners also include Rupert Lay, steel pannist Victor Provost and Malavoi, hailing from Martinique.

The Saint Lucia Summer Festival will also feature:

·         Roots & Soul (June 16-18): Dedicated to new trends in reggae, conscious hip-hop, Afropunk and R&B, this festival will also mark the launch of Saint Lucia Carnival.

·         Saint Lucia Carnival (mid-June through mid-July): A variety of musical competitions lead up to the Parade of the Bands on July 17 and 18. Throughout, Lucian Carnival gives revelers the opportunity to fête throughout the island in true Caribbean fashion.

Saint Lucia Offers Travelers Scorching Winter Savings

A welcome retreat from forecasted snowy, subzero climates, Saint Lucia offers winter solace for travelers seeking tropical temperatures and warm Caribbean waters. This winter, hotels and resorts throughout the island are offering free nights, value added packages and discounts up to 60 percent off standard rates.

From a catamaran sail, horseback riding on the beach, hiking the famous Pitons, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or simply embracing Saint Lucia’s picturesque beaches, there is an abundance of activities found on Saint Lucia that will appeal to a variety of vacation styles.

Travel to Saint Lucia is convenient with non-stop flights from major gateways including New York, New Jersey, Boston, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago and Philadelphia. JetBlue’s Mint Service between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Saint Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport launched on Saturday, November 5, 2016, and will run through spring 2017 (Saturday service only).

United Airlines continues seasonal non-stop service from Chicago O'Hare International Airport. The Saturday flights to and from Saint Lucia started on December 17, 2016, and go through April 8, 2017. In addition, United Airlines will maintain seasonal non-stop service on Sundays to and from Saint Lucia via Newark Liberty International Airport. The flights will be available now through April 30, 2017 (there is also non-stop service to and from Newark on Saturdays).

For more information, travelers can visitwww.stlucia.org/escape-winter/. Lodging packages from participating hotels and resorts include:

Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa – Rodney Bay
“Escape Winter Sale”

Room rates start at $275 per night for a savings of 25 percent off standard rates
Blackout dates: April 14-17, 2017
Book by March 31, 2017 for travel from January 3 through May 11, 2017
Visit www.baygardensresorts.com for resort information

Bay Gardens Hotel – Rodney Bay
“Escape Winter Sale”

Room rates start at $150 per night for a savings of 25 percent off standard rates
Includes free access to Splash Island Water Park and complimentary non-motorized water sports
Blackout dates: April 14-17, 2017
Visit www.baygardensresorts.com for resort information

Bay Gardens Inn – Rodney Bay
“Escape Winter Sale”

Room rates start at $140 per night for a savings of 25 percent off standard rates
Includes free access to Splash Island Water Park and complimentary non-motorized water sports
Blackout dates: April 14-17, 2017
Visit www.baygardensresorts.com for resort information

Calabash Cove Resort & Spa – Gros Islet
“Winter Escapade”

Book five nights or more in the Oceanview Junior Suite and receive 45 percent off standard rates; a five night stay is $3,490, per couple, including tax
Includes a champagne reception upon arrival, a couples massage at the Ti-Spa, daily full breakfast and a romantic beachfront dinner for two
Reservations are subject to availability
Visit www.calabashcove.com/ for more resort information; call 1-800-917-2683 to make reservations

Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina – Marigot Bay
“Winter Early Booking”

Package rates start at $650 per night, in a standard room, based on double occupancy for a savings of 25 percent off standard rates
Package rates start at $990 per night, in a suite, based on double occupancy for a savings of 35 percent off standard rates
Includes daily resort and in-room amenities; complimentary Wi-Fi
Reservations are subject to availability
Visit www.capellahotels.com/saintlucia for more information and package details

Ladera Resort – Soufrière
“Fourth Night Free”

Book four nights and receive one night free plus $75 resort credit per night, per room; offer is valid for stays between January 4 through June 30, 2017
Book four nights and receive one night free plus $25 resort credit per night, per room; offer is valid for stays between July 1 through December 21, 2017
Reservations are not combinable with other offers; maximum of one free night per stay and $300 credit per room, per stay
Blackout dates: May 26-29, 2017
Use code 4NT to book by June 30, 2017 for travel from January 4 through December 25, 2017

Visit www.ladera.com/ for more information and package details

Mango Beach Inn – Marigot Bay
“Mango Beach Inn Winter Special Offer”

Book a stay for $160 per night, per couple, for a savings of 20 percent off standard rates
Includes complimentary healthy breakfast and one free dinner at Rainforest Hideaway Restaurant, per person
Minimum five-night stay required; children stay for free
Visit www.mangobeachmarigot.com/ for resort information

The Villa Beach Cottages – Castries
“Warm Winter Package”

Receive 10 percent off all room categories; rates start at $175 per night, based on double occupancy, in a one bedroom Villa Suite
Includes round-trip airport transfers, couples massage, complimentary cocoa plantation, use of kayaks, and 10 percent off vehicle rentals
Minimum six night stay required; reservations are subject to availability
Book by April 25, 2017 for travel from January 4 through May 4, 2017
Visit www.villabeachcottages.com/ for resort information
For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA or visit stlucia.org/.

About Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the Eastern Caribbean archipelago. The "Helen of the West Indies," Saint Lucia is known for its lush natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains - a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and a tropical rainforest, which comprises 75 percent of the island’s landscape, and one of the world's few drive-in volcanoes. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival. Saint Lucia's wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties. Saint Lucia also is home to world class cruise and yachting facilities. The island is continually recognized as one of the Leading Wedding and Honeymoon destinations worldwide.

Calabash Cove Resort & Spa Premiers Fresh Bouquet of Wedding Package Options

Say "I do" in a picture-perfect paradise as you enjoy a stress-free start to your married lives with one of this beachfront boutique resort's idyllic new wedding packages.

Whether it's an intimate affair for just the two of you or a larger event with up to 18 guests you're dreaming of, Saint Lucia's romantic Calabash Cove Resort & Spa now offers ideal package options to ensure a stress-free, storybook start to your married lives.

Calabash Cove specializes in elegant yet relaxed nuptials that couples and their guests will cherish forever. Calabash prides itself on limiting the number of weddings so there is never more than one on a given day at the resort to preserve each event's individuality. Knowledgeable resort staff attends to every detail so the bride and groom can focus on savoring the day, one another, and the remarkable surroundings.
The packages include:

Perfect Paradise Package for the Bride and Groom and up to 18 guests ($7,000).

Ceremony location and set up on Calabash Cove's private pierwith the sapphire sea and sky forming one as your backdrop, the gentle sounds of the ocean waves beneath you, and tropical flora and fauna delicately spun along wooden deck rails.

Chairs adorned with elegant chair ties, natural flowers for the bridal bouquet, groom boutonniere and two table arrangements.

Private dinner reservations for 20 guests, a chilled bottle of Champagne for wedding toast and a two-tier wedding cake.

One-hour post-ceremony cocktail reception with five hors d'oeuvres and full open bar.

Special turn down service on wedding night and romantic breakfast in bed the morning after for the bride and groom.

Island Romance Couples Message in the resort's private gazebo.

Morning after Brunch for 20 guests at Windsong restaurant.

License/fees and marriage officer.

Blissful Love Package for Bride and Groom and up to 8 guests($3,500).

Ceremony location and set up at the resort's charming, handcrafted gazebo draped with exotic tropical flowers and greenery, overlooking the glistening waters sea and coastal landscape.

Natural flowers for bridal bouquet, groom boutonniere and one table arrangement.

Semi-Private dinner reservations for 10 guests with chilled bottle of Champagne for wedding toast and one-tier wedding cake.

One-hour post-ceremony cocktail reception with five hors d'oeuvres and full open bar.

Special turn down service on wedding night and romantic breakfast in bed the morning after for the bride and groom.

Island Romance Couples Message in the gazebo/

License/fees and marriage officer.

Lover's Cove Package for just the two of you($1,500)

Ceremony location and set up on the beach, with sunlight reflecting like diamonds off the crystal-white sand beneath your feet and the gentle, rhythmic lapping of

Caribbean waves providing a serene soundtrack.

Natural flowers including a bridal bouquet, groom boutonniere and table arrangements.

Private dinner reservations for two at your choice of location, a chilled bottle of

Champagne for wedding toast and one-tier wedding cake.

Special turn down service on wedding night and romantic breakfast in bed the morning after.

License/fees and marriage officer.

Nestled on a lush, tropical hillside sloping gently toward the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, Calabash Cove radiates romance with sweeping ocean vistas, a secluded white sand beach, custom-designed boardwalk and gazebo and one of the island's finest restaurants. Its accommodations each offer direct views of the brilliant blue Caribbean Sea and include handcrafted teak and mahogany Water's Edge Cottages right on the beach with private plunge pools, outdoor rain showers and patio hammocks; unique Swim-Up Junior Suites with unrestricted access to the resort's infinity-edge pool directly from the patio of your room; and Sunset Ocean View Junior Suites with private Jacuzzis.

Couples planning to honeymoon at Calabash Cove can take advantage of the resort's partnership with Honeymoonwishes.com and register for resort credits and a host of romantic amenities and adventures during their stay, such as a couples massage, sunset cruise, private dinner on the beach, and snorkeling, horseback-riding and rainforest zipline excursions. Gifts and credits can be purchased at calabashcove.honeymoonwishes.com by friends and family members and transferred directly to the resort for the couple to use and enjoy hassle-free once they arrive. Couples can also use their Calabash Cove registry site on Honeymoonwishes.com to create a complimentary website, blog and photo album with photos from their wedding and honeymoon. The link is a personal URL created for each couple.

Package pricing is subject to change without notice and includes service charge and VAT. Extra person charges apply for additional guests above package inclusions. For more information, visit www.calabashcove.com or call 1-800-917-COVE (2683).

Firefly has it all on exclusive Cap Estate

This is outdoor living in style! Secluded hillside setting on 2.4 acres of the exclusive Cap Estate, Firefly has it all -- luxury, privacy and breathtaking views of the Caribbean, Pigeon Island and Anse du Cap Bay below. The villa’s airy, 35 ft high atrium and vast 1,500 sq. ft. covered terrace offer perfect vantage points for relaxing, dining and reclining - all with panoramic sea views and brilliant sunsets. Six bedrooms. Sleeps 12

Villas and Apartments Abroad, LLC, one of the industry’s leading designers of exclusive vacations, offers a collection of rare and unique homes for rental around the globe.

For additional information on Villas and Apartments Abroad, LLC, or to book a holiday villa, call 800-433-3020, email villas@vaanyc.com or check web site www.vaanyc.com.

ST. MAARTEN / ST. MARTIN

About Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino

The Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino in Dutch St. Maarten is a "destination within a destination,” offering exciting nightlife and a variety of accommodations and first-rate amenities. The 10-acre, 537-room beachfront property is located on the island's southwest shore and features a casino; two outdoor pools and beach; three restaurants; a promenade of 40 boutiques and restaurants; four tennis courts; the world-class Good Life Spa, fitness center and over 16,000 square feet of meeting space. Visit www.sonesta.com/mahobeach for more information or call 1-800-223-0757.

A serene Caribbean haven, the 257-room Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino is located on St. Maarten’s one mile stretch of soft white sand near the vibrant capital of Philipsburg, named #1 Latin American/Caribbean Destination by TripAdvisor.com’s 2008 Traveler’s Choice Awards. This four-star property invites guests to unwind with three swimming pools, three restaurants, four bars, the Golden Casino and the Vitality Oasis health club and spa. Adding to the excitement and amenities are a host of water sports, tours and excursions, tennis, internet service, meeting rooms and live nightly entertainment. For reservations and/or group sales enquiries: Call 1-800-223-0757 or visit www.sonesta.com/greatbay.
www.facebook.com/pages/Sonesta-St-Maarten/49579304106Join Sonesta St. Maarten on Facebook!

Dutch and French Tourist Bureaus Announce Joint Marketing Efforts

St. Maarten/St. Martin, known collectively as “the culinary capital of the Caribbean,” is officially extending an invitation to U.S. travelers to “Bring their Appetite for Life” through a joint marketing campaign that unifies both the Dutch and French sides of the island as one destination.  The new campaign, which was officially unveiled at the Caribbean Hotel Association conference in Aruba on January 14th, introduces Americans to the unique culture, cuisine and traditions that can only be experienced in St. Maarten/St. Martin. The joint marketing effort, spearheaded by both tourist bureaus, represents the first time both sides have come together to promote the island as one.

As a result of extensive consumer research conducted in key markets throughout the U.S., it was determined that the primary goal of the joint marketing campaign would be to position St. Maarten/St. Martin to the U.S. travel market as a safe, English-speaking destination that offers guests a sophisticated/upscale charm derived from its rich Dutch and French heritage and complimented by a Caribbean flare. The slogan, “St. Maarten/St. Martin: Bring your Appetite for Life,” was designed to express the idea that the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin offers a host of experiences to the average traveler. Additionally, the phrase “Appetite for Life” is intended to conjure multiple meanings for the word appetite – appetite for the unparalleled cuisine, appetite for St. Maarten/St. Martin as a luxury travel destination, appetite for adventure, etc.

About St. Maarten / St. Martin

St. Maarten / St. Martin, known as “the culinary capital of the Caribbean”, is the smallest island in the world to have been partitioned between two different nations, France and the Netherlands.  Visitors have a choice of 37 spectacular beaches to discover and enjoy across the two sides of the island.  Besides beaches, other great attractions on the island include duty free shopping, deep sea fishing, horseback riding, diving, snorkeling and numerous other land and watersports.  The island nightlife is unparalleled with some of the best entertainment in the Caribbean and the people are as inviting and warm as the tropical climate.  Whether you’re staying in a luxury villa or spending the night in the casinos, you’ll experience the only Caribbean island with grand sophistication and European flair.

For more information on St. Maarten/St. Martin’s growing tourism industry, check the websites at www.st-maarten.com and www.st-martin.org.

LA SAMANNA (St. Martin)

La Samanna’s Take a Month Off’ is a seemingly endless luxurious vacation. The 30-night stay in a two bedroom beach suite provides the perfect base for reveling in the inviting warm waters, golden sand beach and lush tropical foliage that envelop this celebrated Caribbean enclave. The package is $21,680 for up to five guests. Celebratory fêtes with private tastings and/or dinners are a specialty at La Samanna as well. The resort’s award-winning wine cellar and private dining room, La Cave, features 10,000 bottles and has been recognized as one of the top collections in the Caribbean.

For more information check web site www.lasamanna.com

ST. THOMAS

Yacht Haven Grande

Since its debut in March 2007, the $150 million Yacht Haven Grande has claimed its rightful place as the Caribbean’s most comprehensive and well-appointed marina.  Specifically designed for mega-yachts and catering to those who own or operate them, Yacht Haven Grande is a mixed-use luxury lifestyle destination overlooking the largest natural harbor in the Caribbean. 

This world-class complex features a Yacht Club, extensive retail and office space, four restaurants and 12 three-bedroom condominiums with balconies facing the sparkling waters.  From its Long Bay Harbor location, yachtsmen may dock vessels up to 450 feet in length, refuel in-slip and have in-slip access to high-speed communications connections.  Gourmet provisions, catering, laundry and florist services are among Yacht Haven Grande other thoughtful amenities.  Yacht Haven Grande is a project of Island Capital Group, LLC, a New York-based real estate merchant banking firm. 

For more information, visit www.yachthavengrande.com.

Marriott Frenchman’s Cove

Marriott Vacation Club International is constructing the multimillion-dollar Marriott Frenchman’s Cove—its first timeshare resort on St. Thomas.  Adjacent to the 504-room Frenchman’s Reef Marriott Beach Resort and spread over 13 waterfront acres overlooking Pacquereau Bay, the timeshare resort’s first phase features 28 Danish colonial-inspired villas with balconies, an Infinity pool and a fitness center.  A health club and pool bar will follow this spring.  When completed, the property will comprise 220 two- and three-level vacation homes within seven buildings for owners and renters. 

For further details, call (800) 527-1787 or visit www.marriott-timeshare.com.

Upscale Cottage Campground Opens On Water Island

Visitors who yearn to feel close to nature without giving up the comforts of home will love the newly opened Virgin Islands Campground on residential, 500-acre Water Island, just a ten-minute ferry ride from Crown Bay, St. Thomas.  Its eco-sensitive wood-frame-and-canvas cottages are nestled among lush foliage and have private terraces that overlook the sea. 

In order to maintain a minimal environmental footprint, cottages are equipped with wind-powered electricity, comfortable beds, linens and towels, lounge chairs and a cooler.  Guests can sunbathe next to the solar-heated hot tub or take a five-minute walk down to beautiful Honeymoon Beach.  They can also grill and eat meals at the nearby Pavilion (gas grill, cooking utensils and dishware provided) and wash up at the clean and spacious communal Bathhouse—with solar-heated collected rainwater used for the sinks and showers. 

For those who prefer their own space, the campground rents one efficiency apartment with a king-size bed, kitchenette, private bath and an ocean view.  The campground offers bicycle and snorkel rentals and a communications room with Internet access and satellite TV.  Cottage rates start at $75 per night, double occupancy. 

For further information, call (877) 502-7225 or visit virginislandscampground.com.

At Home in the Tropics Bed and Breakfast

At Home in the Tropics, a delightful bed and breakfast in St. Thomas, recently opened on Blackbeard’s Hill overlooking Charlotte Amalie Harbor.  A gracious former home built in 1803, this intimate B&B features four sunny and spacious guest rooms—all with private baths and picturesque ocean views.  Guests can relax on one of three decks, swim in the deep-water pool, help themselves to the honor bar and wake to a sumptuous breakfast each morning. 

For further details, call (340) 777-9857 or visit www.athomeinthetropics.com.

Frenchman’s Reef And Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort $25 Million Renovation Complete

This summer welcomed the completion of the hotly-anticipated, two-year, $25 million overhaul, which has enhanced every public space in the 479-room Frenchman’s Reef.  Guests will enjoy Revive bedding, mahogany and granite furniture, new window treatments and new bathroom amenities in both the main hotel and the more intimate 96-unit beachfront Morning Star Resort.  All 28 suites at Frenchman’s Reef have been refreshed, with $100,000 spent on each of the four bi-level Grand Suites.  The lobbies in both buildings have been renewed with brightly-hued, contemporary Caribbean furniture.  Morning Star Resort now boasts a more relaxed check-in area, while the attractive pod seating in the lobby of Frenchman’s Reef is conducive to socializing and conducting business.  And Windows on the Harbour, one of the resort’s five restaurants, features new carpeting and booths as well as a revised menu, which includes a “Fit for you” section offering low-cholesterol, carb-conscious and low-fat meals.

For further details and reservations, call (800) 524-2000 or visit www.frenchmansreefmarriott.com.

Crown Bay Center, St. Thomas

Having recently opened on St. Thomas, the $28 million Crown Bay Center provides visitors and residents with an unsurpassed range of products and services.  This upscale, waterfront retail shopping and commercial center, located on the southwest side of the island at the Crown Bay cruise ship pier, offers a range of new dining options, nightly entertainment, specialty retail and tourist-oriented retail outlets. 

For more information, call (340) 774-1629.

The Ritz-Carlton,

Consistently ranked among the finest resorts in the Caribbean, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, has completed extensive renovations and enhancements to its 30-acre beachfront property.  The $40 million project includes the addition of 55 guest rooms, 16 executive suites, four presidential suites and two beautifully designed villas.  The guest experience has been dramatically enhanced, with significant improvements in areas ranging from spa and weddings to dining.  The Ritz-Carlton Spa has doubled in size, adding eight treatment rooms, open-air cabanas, an outdoor relaxation terrace overlooking the ocean and separate ocean-view exercise studios. Already a favorite setting for small weddings, the resort will add two outdoor gazebos for seaside ceremonies, as well as a meditation garden where brides can choose tropical flowers for their bridal bouquet and couples can plant a tree as an enduring symbol of their love.  Culinary upgrades include reconfigured and enlarged restaurants, featuring Ocean’s, the resort’s eclectic seafood restaurant serving the island’s freshest catch, and Sails, an oceanfront favorite with all-day open-air dining directly on the Caribbean. 

For details and reservations, call (800) 241-3333 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com.

New Visitor Center Opens On St. Thomas

The Lucky Iguana Visitor Center recently opened its doors for business. Located at the corner of Main Street and the historic Rothschild Francis Market Square in the heart of Charlotte Amalie’s downtown shopping district on St. Thomas,  the Visitor Center provides information and concierge services on attractions, restaurants, shopping, nightlife and the arts; maps; special event schedules; detailed information about hotels & public transportation; the Wifi Hot Spot Café & Ice Cream Corner with internet & email services; a boutique souvenir shop; a Western Union Money Transfer booth opening in early September; same-day luggage storage; phones and phone cards; an ATM; and video lottery games. The Visitor Center will be open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information, call The Lucky Iguana Visitor Center at (340) 774-0450.

ParadiseGate

Recently opened on the West Indian Company cruise ship dock in St. Thomas, ParadiseGate is an exciting multi-use recreational center and club that includes a swimming pool, a full-service gym (offering both day passes and annual memberships) and a game room with pool tables, flat-screen televisions and an arcade.  Guests will also find an espresso bar and two full-service restaurants one of which specializes in local dishes.  In addition, web-savvy guests can take advantage of a 30-station Internet kiosk, as well as a wireless phone center and a Western Union office.  ParadiseGate is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

For further details, call (340) 714-1400 or visit www.paradisegate.net.

What to See & Do

Butterfly Farm Opens At Havensight Mall

The Butterfly Farm has opened on the Cruise Ship Dock at Havensight Mall in St. Thomas . Visitors walk through a 10,000 square-foot atrium, which contains beautiful tropical landscaped gardens, exotic flowers and pools as well as 30 unique species of butterflies from all over the world that fly freely around the space. A twenty-five minute guided tour provides information on the evolutionary cycle of the butterflies from microscopic eggs to exotic caterpillars. The Butterfly Farm is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (the last tour is at 4:30 p.m.). Admission is $9 for children and $15 for adults. Admission is free for children under 3.

For more information, call (340) 715 3366 or visit www.thebutterflyfarm.com.

Sea Lions Splash Down At Coral World Ocean Park

Earlier this year, Coral World welcomed four male South American sea lions to its facility at Coki Point.  Romeo, Remo, Omar and Franco arrived from the International Sea Lion Search and Rescue facility in Koh Samui, Thailand, where they have lived for the last two years.  Coral World has begun to invite small groups of visitors to interact with the sea lions.  During an educational briefing, participants will learn about various topics including sea lion habitat, feeding habits, predation, reproductive biology, threats to longevity, and conservation.  Following the orientation, participants will have an opportunity to see a demonstration of behaviors by the sea lions and then swim with them.

For more information about Coral World Ocean Park, visit www.coralworldvi.com.

Grande Cru Wine Bar and Bistro Opens In Yacht Haven Grande

Grande Cru is the latest epicurean addition to the impressive roster of restaurants within Yacht Haven Grande, and its arrival only adds to the allure of this spectacular new waterside marina, entertainment facility and lifestyle destination in St. Thomas.  Grande Cru, a sophisticated waterfront wine bar that specializes in wine flights, martinis and signature cocktails, also serves small, tapas-style plates of delicious Mediterranean fare—all with a tropical flair. 

For further details, call (340) 775-8278 or visit www.yachthavengrande.com.

TURKS & CAICOS ISLAN S& PROVIDENCIALES

Where to Stay

Seven Stars Resort in Turks and Caicos Takes Guests on Watersports AdventuresPrivate Boating Excursions and a Snorkeling Paradise Awaits on Beautiful Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales

For some, the perfect vacation may involve relaxation and rejuvenation, but for others, vacation means the perfect combination of adventure and exploration. Seven Stars Resort, located on world-famous Grace Bay Beach and on TripAdvisor’s ‘Best Island in the World’ of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos lets guests experience the beauty of the picturesque waters with complimentary watersports, scenic snorkeling and boating excursions.

The blue waters of Grace Bay surrounding Seven Stars Resort serve as the perfect playground for adventure enthusiasts and guests can check in with the experienced staff at the beachfront Watersports Hut for details on use of the resort’s complimentary watersports equipment and snorkel gear. Hobie Cats, kayaks, paddleboards and surfboards are available for thrill-seekers and first-timers alike.

Diving and snorkeling are also must-dos while in Turks and Caicos. Dive sites surrounding the Turks and Caicos feature some of the clearest blue waters in the world, ideal for exploring the eco-system below and the absence of motorized watersports on Grace Bay allows guests to enjoy the exploration without any distractions.

In addition to an assortment of watersports activities offered on property, Seven Stars offers guests romantic and adventurous sailings aboard the resort-owned boat, Lady Tamara. Visitors can journey to neighboring cays to take pictures of iguanas, comb the beach, snorkel and explore. Other excursions include trips to a private beach and cruises to see an awe-inspiring sunset over Grace Bay. Rentals can be arranged for full or half day excursions.

After an adventurous day on the water, The Deck at Seven Stars Resort is the perfect place to enjoy al fresco dining, sundowners, mojitos and local brews. Or, guests can choose to relax in their well-appointed suite offering everything needed for a night in, including an upscale kitchen featuring marble countertops, high-end appliances and a wine cooler. Each suite also features oversized bathrooms and spacious living and dining areas decked out with flat screen TV’s, iPod docking stations, complimentary Internet access and a private laundry room.

For more information on Seven Stars Resort, visit www.SevenStarsGraceBay.com or to stay up-to-date on the latest news and travel deals from Seven Stars Resort, travelers and guests are invited to contact the resort on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SevenStarsResort and follow the resort on Twitter at twitter.com/7StarsResort.

ABOUT SEVEN STARS GRACE BAY
Framed by white-sand beaches and the marine preserve of Princess Alexandra National Park, Seven Stars embraces the natural environment and beauty of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Seven Stars Resort features a magnificent pool that serves as its centerpiece, luxuriously appointed junior, one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites, island inspired gourmet dining, a tranquil spa, a resort-owned catamaran offering daily excursions and complimentary water sports such as kayaking, surfing, snorkeling in the calm waters and along the acclaimed Grace Bay Beach. Recent accolades include being named to Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List as one of the World’s Best Hotels and Resorts, Top 10 Ranked Resort in the Caribbean by U.S. News and World Report, Top 25 Spa’s in the World by Condé Nast Traveler, and being named one of the Top 500 Hotels in the World by Travel + Leisure, among others. For more information on Seven Stars Resort, visit www.SevenStarsGraceBay.com.

Beaches Resorts

With three spectacular locations in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica and soon a fourth in Barbados and a fifth in Antigua, Beaches Resorts is the ultimate getaway for every member of the family. With outrageous waterparks, XBOX Play Lounge, the Scratch DJ Academy, exclusive Kids Camps, teen nightclubs, Certified Nannies, Butler service, Red Lane Spas, Aqua Centers with expert PADI certification and training; and free Wi-Fi, Beaches Resorts provides more quality inclusions than any other resort company on the planet.

As a proud sponsor of Sesame Street, Beaches Resorts also offers the Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street, where kids can spend their vacation with their favorite friends from the Sesame Street gang with daily activities and weekly stage shows. Beaches Resorts are also the perfect place for family gatherings from reunions and special birthdays to FamilyMoons, Beaches’ signature destination wedding and vow renewal program. Beaches Resorts is part of family-owned Sandals Resorts International (SRI), which includes Luxury-Included Sandals Resorts and is the Caribbean’s leading all-inclusive resort company.

Point Grace Voted Caribbean's Leading Boutique Hotel

Point Grace, a luxury resort in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, has been recognized as the Caribbean's Leading Boutique Hotel by the 14th Annual World Travel Awards. This is the third consecutive year Point Grace has been presented with this honor.

Located on a serene stretch of white sandy beach, Point Grace offers a selection of ocean-front suites that directly overlook the beach or cottage suites with relaxing pool and garden views. All suites are exquisitely furnished and decorated. With magnificent views of the ocean and the peaceful sounds of the gentle Caribbean waves in the background, Point Grace offers an unsurpassed elegant setting matched with the most exceptional service and stunning, high-quality suites. Grace Bay, the beach on which Point Grace sits, was also recognized this year by the World Travel Awards as the Caribbean's Best Beach.

The World Travel Awards were established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate the enormous achievements in all sectors of the global travel industry. Candidates for nomination are based upon the previous year's voting. This is the world's most comprehensive travel awards ceremony, with trophies awarded in all areas of the industry. Voting is cast by travel agents in over 190 countries around the world.

Providenciales is one of the 49 islands that comprise the British Crown Colony of Turks and Caicos. This caring islands community of 25,000 friendly locals and internationals is located halfway between Florida and Puerto Rico and only a ninety-minute non-stop jet flight from Miami. For more information on Point Grace, please visit the website at www.pointgrace.com or call 1-866-924-7223.

ISLAND OF PROVIDENCIALES

Old Fashioned Romance and Weddings at Point Grace

Imagine reciting your wedding vows with a turquoise sea and the peaceful sound of waves in the background - a setting so breathtaking your guests will remember your wedding for years to come. Imagine a romantic, private wedding in a boutique resort known for sunsets and sunrises so beautiful, they will be embedded in your memory forever. Imagine starting your life with the person you adore after having the most perfect wedding.

Point Grace is an all-suite luxury resort located in the Turks & Caicos Islands and offers a selection of beachfront suites and penthouses, plus one bedroom pool-front or ocean view cottage suites that are exquisitely furnished and decorated. Adorned with a unique collection of African tribal crafts and Grand Masters artwork, the décor is both comfortable and exotic. Each suite features Egyptian linens, comfortable furnishings and glorious views many of the Atlantic Ocean and the lush landscapes.

Weddings at Point Grace are relaxed - not stressful. Spend time enjoying your family and your guests, your spouse, the special day. Enjoy time in the courtyard, hanging out by the pool bar and relaxing. Spend a therapeutic day at the spa preparing for the special day, relax and read a novel or just walk down the pier that leads you straight to a pristine beach with sand so white, you think you are walking on diamonds.

Point Grace is the ultimate destination to host large or small groups. Plan a quiet romantic affair for the two of you, or invite up to 80 guests to be a part of the occasion. Entertain your guests by spending the day on a 52 ft. Power catamaran on the ocean, go whale-watching, golf, explore the island or simply float in the sea.

Here, you're offered all the special touches needed to make your wedding day perfect including world-class photography, a DVD of the event, professional hair and make-up application, exotic flowers and beautiful decorations. A few of the wedding packages offered at Point Grace offers include:

THE CORAL WEDDING PACKAGE

Spend three nights in a romantic Cottage Suite complete with a pool or garden view, living room and a terrace. The Coral Wedding Package includes a wedding coordinator, pastor, lawyer and registrar fees and messenger service/transport of documents. Walk down the aisle with an exotic tropical wedding bouquet and boutonniere, enjoy a one-tier wedding cake and a celebratory bottle of Moet & Chandon Campagne - remember the occasion with 24 photographed shots of the event.

Relax before or after the ceremony with Swedish massages for the bride and groom. After the ceremony, enjoy a candle light dinner for two. After the event enjoy a luxurious ride to the airport in a stylish London Taxi. The Coral Wedding Package is priced at $5,907 (Inclusive of Tax and Service Charge).

THE TURQUOISE WEDDING PACKAGE

Enjoy four nights in a beautiful romantic Ocean-Front Suite with an exquisite view of the ocean. The Turquoise Wedding Package includes a personalized wedding coordinator, pastor, lawyer and registrar fees and messenger service/transport of documents. Walk down the aisle with an exotic tropical wedding bouquet and boutonniere, enjoy a one-tier wedding cake and a celebratory bottle of Moet & Chandon Campagne - remember the occasion with 36 photographed shots of the event.

Relax before or after the ceremony with a spa package the includes a one-hour Swedish massage for the groom and a four-hour Spa Package for the bride which includes a body scrub, a body wrap and a facial treatment of your choice along with a rejuvenating manicure and pedicure.

After the ceremony, arrive at your romantic dinner for two in a Rolls Royce. After the event, return to the airport in a stylish London Taxi. The Turquoise Wedding Package is priced at $9,707 (Inclusive of Tax and Service Charge).

THE SAPHIRE WEDDING PACKAGE

Renew your vows at Point Grace! Spend three nights in a Cottage Suite complete with a pool or garden view, living room and a terrace. The Saphire Wedding Package includes a wedding coordinator, pastor, lawyer and registrar fees and messenger service/transport of documents. Enjoy a fragrant, tropical bouquet and boutonniere a one-tier wedding cake and a celebratory bottle of Moet & Chandon Campagne - remember the occasion with 12 photographs of the event.

End a perfect day with a romantic dinner - just the two of you at Grace's Cottage. The Sapphire Wedding Package is priced at $4,312 (Inclusive of Tax and Service Charge).

THE DIAMOND WEDDING PACKAGE

Enjoy three nights in the luxurious Nonsuch Suite (Penthouse) with complimentary late check-out, full-cooked breakfast in-room daily and your own personal butler and maid service. Feel like a king and queen in this suite that features a breathtaking ocean view, and plenty of room to spread out. The Diamond Wedding Package includes a personal wedding coordinator, pastor, lawyer and registrant fees and messenger service/transport of documents. An exotic tropical wedding bouquet and boutonniere and a two-tier wedding cake are included with a bottle of Dom Perignon. Save your memories with a complete photo package of 48 shots and a video package.

Relax before or after the ceremony with a three day wellness package at the spa. After the ceremony, enjoy a candle light dinner for two. After the event, return to the airport in a Rolls Royce. The Diamond Wedding Package is priced at $28,014.80, (Inclusive of Tax and Service Charge).

All packages are subject to black-out dates

Group wedding options are also available.

Point Grace is an all-suite luxury resort located in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Virtually undiscovered, Providenciales is one of the 49 islands that comprise the British Crown Colony of Turks and Caicos. This caring island community of about 25,000 friendly locals and internationals is located halfway between Florida and Puerto Rico, and only a ninety minute, non-stop jet flight from Miami.

For more information on weddings at Point Grace, check web site www.pointgrace.com or call 649-946-5096.

The Beach House Movement Begins in Turks and Caicos with Grace Bay's First Authentically Boutique Hotel

The Beach House Turks and Caicos, a 21-suite property where there are “No Socks Allowe.” opened after a full renovation in 2012. It has ushered in a new era of barefoot elegance with a focus on style, a passion for relaxation, playful attention to detail and a vigorous commitment to raising Caribbean cuisine to new heights.
It sits on 22-acres in a prime location overlooking one of the world's most beautiful destinations, Grace Bay Beach, and bring the colors and aura of the ocean indoors.

Guest suites, each no smaller than 1,150 square-feet, have “Pampering Pods” on Grace Bay Beach.  The Pods will provide guests with a sense of “home on the beach” as well as a private haven for intimate relaxation and beachfront dining.

"The combination of a breathtaking property and stellar launch team has presented us with an extraordinary platform in which to commence the Beach House Movement, which will be venturing beyond Turks and Caicos in the future,” said Andrew Ashcroft, Managing Director of Beach House Turks and Caicos. "We look forward to providing a new type of hotel experience here on Grace Bay Beach, one that brings a sense of fun and playfulness set against the backdrop of a spacious and relaxed environment.”

The food and beverage operation has been greatly expanded during the renovation with the build-out of a 1,500 square foot kitchen, wine cellar and bar area that will support full-scale special events for up to 200 people. The 90-seat poolside restaurant and an extensive in-suite dining program includes sea-to-table and Chef’s garden-to-table cuisine, wine tastings, tapas primers and other fun surprises that will magically appear on guest suite patios.

Every great party must have a great host, and The Beach House Movement is no exception to that rule. Jean Sebastien Richer - known to everyone as JS - will be guiding guests on adventures of the senses as Director of Food and Beverage. An accomplished hotelier and sommelier, JS’s career has taken him throughout the world, most notably to the Cunard Line’s RMS Queen Mary 2 as Chief Sommelier, and most recently to The Regent Palms Turks and Caicos in food and beverage development.

Brides and grooms with dreams of exchanging Grace Bay nuptials have a limitless sense of ownership when booking their destination wedding at Beach House Turks and Caicos. The property is ideally suited for wedding buyouts and plans are in development to offer wedding couples a full-scale event planning service unequalled in Turks and Caicos. 

Beach House Turks and Caicos also provides the ideal locale for corporate group buyouts and intimate retreats, as well as incentive-driven getaways.

Nightly rates at Beach House Turks and Caicos are from $532 to $1,038 on weekends and holidays with special rates available during shoulder seasons. For additional information on Beach House Turks and Caicos or to book reservations, please visit www.beachhousetci.com or call (649) 946-5800 or toll free in the US and Canada at (855) 946-5800.

The Alexandra

Situated on the most beautiful stretch of Grace Bay Beach, which was named the 2006 World Travel Awards “Best Beach in the World,” The Alexandra offers an exceptional vacation experience.  Each suite is oceanfront or has an ocean view, and features a spectacular designer-designed interior with fully equipped kitchen, relaxing feather topped beds with Egyptian combed cotton linens and expansive private balcony.  Resort facilities include: free form swimming pool with swim-up bar, beachfront fitness center, lighted tennis courts, and resort Ambassador Services. The resort’s restaurant and bar,  The Orchid, features an outdoor oceanfront and poolside dining deck and new menu offering international cuisine with a bit of island flavoring.

Enjoy the Wedding, Honeymoon of Your Dreams at Point Grace

Point Grace already offers couples the absolute perfect wedding spot - a pristine, tropical beach deemed the best in the world and named for a bride who honeymooned there a century ago. Now, this luxury resort is pleased to offer the bride and groom a complimentary night‚s stay in the resort‚s ultra-luxurious Cotton Cay Suite.

Fitting for what could be considered the castle of the Caribbean, Point Grace is a lavish retreat set in the Princess Alexandra Park--a protected marine reserve on the north coast of Grace Bay in the Turks & Caicos Islands of the British West Indies. The beach and resort is named for Grace Hutchings, a gracious, elegant young woman who honeymooned here in a small cottage in 1892 and so charmed local residents that they named the 12-mile, breathtaking beach in her honor. 

Choose an intimate ceremony right on the beach, its crystalline, white sand between your toes and waves gently caressing the shore as you exchange vows, or a more formal affair for up to 80 guests in Point Grace's lush, British Colonial reception area and courtyard.

The bride and groom will receive a complimentary night's stay in the exquisite Cotton Cay Suite when they book the suite for three additional nights, and have wedding guests staying at the resort. The three-bedroom, 2,600-square-foot suite is an oasis of luxury, with an oceanfront master bedroom, living room, and balcony, a grand salon, lounge, dining room and full kitchen.

Point Grace also offers a selection of beachfront suites and penthouses, plus one bedroom pool-front or ocean-view cottage suites. Adorned with a unique collection of African tribal crafts and Grand Masters artwork, the décor is both comfortable and exotic, featuring Indonesian hardwood and teak furniture embellished with brightly colored fabrics. The Cotton Cay Suite features central air conditioning, ceiling fans and in-room safes, Frette bed linens and bath robes, CD and DVD players, as well as cable and plasma TV, washer/dryer and hairdryers. Additional, extra amenities include flowers in the room on arrival, gourmet continental breakfast each morning, afternoon sorbets served on the beach, early evening drinks and canapés at the Pool Bar and at turn-down, staff-lit bedside oil lamps.

Point Grace weddings are relaxing˜not stressful˜so you can spend time enjoying your family, your guests, and your new spouse on your special day. The bride and groom can choose to be escorted from the airport in the resort‚s vintage Rolls Royce and receive a "destress" treatment at the spa following in-suite check-in, where chilled drinks await.

Before or after the ceremony, lounge on the stunning beach just outside the courtyard, splash in the sapphire sea or hang out by the freshwater swimming pool and pool bar. Use the resort's kayaks, Hobie Cats and snorkel and other watersport equipment to explore and the magnificent coral reefs and other wonders of nature all around.

Point Grace guests can also take a shuttle to the Provo Golf & Country Club, which offers golf on a Karl Litton-designed 18-hole Championship course, and the country's only casino is nearby.

Providenciales is one of four dozen islands that comprise Turks and Caicos, an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. The community of about 25,000 friendly locals and internationals is located halfway between Florida and Puerto Rico, and only a ninety minute, non-stop jet flight from Miami.

Point Grace was recently voted Best Small Hotel in a 2007 Readers Poll conducted by Caribbean Travel & Life Magazine. It was also voted the Caribbean's Leading Boutique Hotel by World Travel Awards in 2005 and 2006, and is a recipient of the Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Services.

For more information on Point Grace weddings, visit web site www.pointgrace.com>www.pointgrace.com or call 1-866-924-7223 or 1-970-513-8007.

Grace Bay Club's New Ultimate Penthouse Package     

For the most exclusive of travelers with the most exclusive of tastes, Grace Bay Club introduces the "Ultimate Penthouse Package." Grace Bay Club is offering the following amenities to couples / families staying six days / five nights in the Penthouse:

Welcome airport greeting and Limo transfers
Welcome fruit or rum punch with cold scented towels
Signature Turquoise Daiquiri at sunset
Accommodation in an oceanfront three-bedroom Penthouse at our Villas
Champagne and fruit basket en suite upon arrival
Personal Chef and Concierge throughout your stay
Unlimited meals in any of Grace Bay Club’s restaurants
Full-day Luxury Yacht Cruise with gourmet Lunch by Grace Bay Club
Unlimited Anani Spa Treatments
Unlimited Limo Service
Daily continental breakfast in the restaurant
Daily special turndown
Provisions List upon arrival
Island Tour and Lunch at Da Conch Shack with
General Manager or Member of our Senior Management Team
Unlimited Horseback Riding

Rates for six days / five nights in our Penthouse at Grace Bay Club Penthouse:

* For any inquiries on dates that are not listed above kindly contact Reservations at (800) 946-575

This year, Grace Bay Club, the renowned luxury boutique resort in the Turks & Caicos Islands, completes one of the Caribbean’s most creative and inspired transformations. Remaining independently owned and managed, Grace Bay Club has expanded from a small boutique property valued at a mere $15 million to a world-class resort on 11 acres with 1100 feet of beachfront, worth well over $140 million.

The exclusive resort now offers two discrete vacation experiences (one for adults only, one for families and all guests). Direct oceanfront views are ensured from every suite at the resort. At the new 21-suite adults-only Hotel, opening Spring 2007, romance and intimacy are only steps off the beach. The 38 elegant suites at the Villas also promise a sophisticated enclave with spacious layouts perfect for families.

The original luxury resort pioneer in Providenciales, Grace Bay Club continues to set the hospitality bar even higher by redefining privacy, personalization, in-room appointments and the intimate Caribbean resort experience. Adults and families each have their own swimming pools and Jacuzzis, dining venues, beachfront lounges, bars and beach. The sexy adult pool and beach area boasts Balinese four-poster beds for couples tanning, glowing fire pits, and total solitude, whereas the family pool enjoys a kids-depth area, swim-up bar and casually elegant oceanfront grill and lounge. The new Anani Spa & Fitness Center and eco-activity children’s program at Kid’s Town complete the resort. Grace Bay Club is a member of Leading Hotels of the World.

Under the supervision of Grace Bay Club’s new superstar Chef Gerry Gnassi, formerly of Miami’s Barton G, dining options include inspired creativity at Anacaona -- repeatedly ranked as the island’s most romantic restaurant -- under open-air palapas with seating “pods” that disappear into the surrounding beachfront and lush landscaping; the oceanfront Grill offering a family-friendly Caribbean bistro setting; lighter fare at Captain’s Bar; and tapas and original martinis at the ultra-cool Lounge, just steps off the beach. Grace Bay Club’s concierges arrange activities from onsite sailing, tennis, biking, and spa treatments, to snorkeling, fishing, eco-touring and diving excursions. To ensure the highest standards in service and guest care, the resort has opened its own Hotel School. In 2008, the resort will add The Estate at Grace Bay Club, 22 custom residences currently priced at $3.5 million, each of the highest luxury, set on a private area adjacent to the Hotel, with The Cabanas, a limited collection of poolside suites for spa treatments and private lounging. Direct flights to Provo and private air facilities are available. www.gracebayclub.com, 800-946-5757.

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

U.S. Virgin Islands Celebrated 90th Anniversary

2007 was a milestone year for the U.S. Virgin Islands as it marked the 90th anniversary of becoming a U.S Territory. On March 31, 1917, the Danish government officially transferred ownership of the approximately 50 islands and cays known then as the Danish West Indies to the United States, formally establishing the U.S. Virgin Islands. Throughout 2007, visitors will have opportunities to participate in commemorative anniversary events, activities and festivals on all three islands. 

No Passport Required for Travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands

U.S. citizens do not require a passport for travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) implemented by Homeland Security and the State Department earlier this year. 

WHTI requires that travelers, including U.S. citizens who travel via air to and from the Americas, the Caribbean and Bermuda must travel with a passport in order to enter or re-enter the United States. But as a U.S. Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens. 

For additional information and facts regarding the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2225.html. United States citizens can visit the State Department’s travel web site, www.travel.state.gov, or call the U.S. National Passport Information Center: 1-877-4USA-PPT; TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793. 

For further information about flight schedules or to make reservations, call (800) 692-6955 (en Español, (800) 345-7411) or visit www.nwa.com.

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