January 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The NYT Travel section once again rocks my world, with superb pieces on St. Barts, the popularity of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (and the unchecked development that can plague towns that are named to the list), Aspen's Winter X Games, comparing online Vacation Packages, and the unrivaled, glamorous destination of South Beach.
It's back. The very popular, very scrumptious, very affordable Dine Out Vancouver. Where-- for a limited time-- lucky foodies can enjoy three-course dinners at 144 of Vancouver's hottest restaurants for $15, $25 and $35 per person. But hurry! Tables fill up fast, and time is running out (from January 20 to February 2). Vancouver.com's compiled a full list of all participating restaurants according to the price-tiered menus.
Situated in perhaps the most stunning city on earth, perched above the Atlantic with dramatic views of the Twelve Apostles mountain range, the hotel and spa is often deemed the best in Africa (sure Leading Hotels may be a teensy bit biased in their choices, but mags like CNT also rave that the Twelve Apostles is pretty darn hot...) Swim in the rock pool overlooking the ocean, enjoy prime diving spots nearby or head out on whale and dolphin watching excursions. In the afternoon, relax in the exceptional Sanctuary Spa (the treatments are beyond lavish), or imbibe a few drinks on the terrace. Though tearing yourself away from the luxury of your room may prove difficult. Further enticements include some sweet special packages, i.e. Stay Four Nights For the Price of Three! Along with the complimentary 4th night, you'll score some fun amenities: welcome drink on arrival, full South African breakfast daily, luxury shuttle transfers within a 13 km radius, and daily wine tastings.
Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Official Site
Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Five Star Alliance
A big thanks to the Mobissimo blog. (Flights from SF are $435, from NYC $389, and LaLaland $325.)
IHT's got the skinny on a newly released study on the health dangers for those traveling to developing countries. Fun stuff like mosquito-born dengue fever (aka bone-crushing disease) and parasite infections. Two thirds of travelers to the developing world get sick, and the study-- which contains the most comprehensive records of those travelers treated at travel clinics-- provides a real blueprint for doctors. For more gory deets (parasites, bugs, worms, mosquitos...), check out the related CNN.com article.
Discover the ultimate in luxury and seclusion at this elegant 17th century hacienda on the mesmerizing Mediterranean isle of Mallorca. Dating from 1672, the Gran Hotel Son Net features an exquisite patio, terraces, the original interior beams, beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, and walls graced by an awesome collection of modern art. And with only 25 rooms and suites, guests are ensured the utmost in privacy and the most attentive of service. The perfect Valentine's retreat includes two nights accommodations, two Son Net breakfasts, a bottle of cava and fresh fruit arrangement in-room, and a romantic candle-lit dinner at L'Orangerie restaurant. Prices starting at EUR 225 per person, valid Feb 10-28.
Gran Hotel Son Net, Official Site
Gran Hotel Son Net, Five Star Alliance
Happy 5th to the Mandarin Oriental Miami! What's in store for this year's big birthday bash? Why, lucky guests can pamper themselves with a free night at this most luxurious and swanky of Miami's oceanfront properties. With the "Fifth Anniversary, Fifth Free Night" package, reserve five nights and get the last one free. Even better, if you too are celebrating a fifth anniversary, book the "Five Year Celebration" package and receive all kinds of goodies. Accommodations for two nights, a five-year anniversary gift made of wood, five-piece gift box from Norman Love Chocolates, and a $50 resort credit to use in the restaurants, bars, beach club, and spa, starting at $915.
Mandarin Oriental Miami, Official Site
Mandarin Oriental Miami, Five Star Alliance
Ringed by volcanoes, brimming with colonial charm, Antigua has become a hotspot for savvy travelers, who are enchanted by the pastel facades of churches and large Spanish houses, cobblestone streets lit by antique street lamps and Mayan markets. This town is the essence of romance. But finding a decent restaurant may prove difficult. Clinton may have dined at La Fonda de la Calle Real, but forget it— this place has gone to the dogs. Avoid Frida's at all costs, where overpriced Mexican fare is bland and mediocre. Near the Parque Central, Monoloco serves ghastly American-style bar food to a crowd of eager Norteamericano youth and Guatemaltecans from the capital who trek to scope Antigua's bar scene on the weekends. So what's a hungry gal to do? Head to the exquisite, romantic Panza Verde, set in a graceful colonial building with candle-lit walkways, garden courtyards with fountains, and a menu that includes such delightful dishes as tenderloin slathered in mushrooms and escargot.
The sights, the eats, the Turin Olympic transformation... CNN.com Travel's got it covered. (But the best time for experiencing the city's marvelous renaissance may be after the Feb 10-26 Olympic Games, when visitors can enjoy a year full of festivals sponsored by UNESCO, sin the crowds.)
Mark your calendars for January 27-January 31; you can't possibly miss this party. We're talking the premier winter action sports event in the world (!) and Aspen is going off. Over 200 bad-ass athletes compete for medals and prize money in the following sports: Moto X, Ski, Snowboard and Snowmobile. If you can't make it to Aspen to gawk and gape at their wondrous stunts (and thereby miss out on Aspen's hedonistic nightlife), you can still catch all the nighttime events broadcast live on ESPN and ABC.