March 22, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Beyonce's cover shot for the Sports Illustrated 2007 Swimsuit Issue sure generated a lot of buzz. But even more buzzworthy is the Jamaican setting for the photo shoot. Where exactly were the Sports Illustrated models cooling off by the ocean? Surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coral reefs, The Caves in Negril provided the beautiful sanctuary and luxurious accommodations for the magazine's 2007 issue. Ten handcrafted cottages are nestled in lush gardens at the edge of the sea. Within a grotto in the cliff overlooking the ocean, the restaurant is impossibly romantic, lit by candles and strewn with flower petals. There's even an Aveda mini-spa. The Caves is a favorite for high-profile events, but also adored by couples who value their privacy. On the island's westernmost tip, Negril entices with the best beaches in Jamaica and miles of coral reef just offshore, teeming with marine life for excellent scuba diving and snorkeling. Visitors are drawn to Negril's laid-back roots, and casual, cool attitude.
March 21, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Now that it is officially spring (yup, it's finally March 21st) hotels and resorts are releasing more information about their summer packages. Peter Island Resort is offering the "Summer Spa Retreat" beginning April 16 and running through November 16th, 2007. The 5-Night Retreat Package includes one spa treatment per day:
* Day 1 West Indian Honey and Sesame Seed Glow (80 min)
* Day 2 Frangipani and Coconut Moisturizer (80 min)
* Day 3 Sun Kissed Soother Facial (60 min)
* Day 4 Peter Island Sea Spa Pedicure (75 min)
* Day 5 Cucumber Aloe Sun Soother (50 min)
The package runs 6 days/5 nights and also includes the following amenities for two: Full American Plan (Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Refreshments, and Dinner), round trip airport transfers, unlimited ferry services to/from Tortola, and unlimited use of all Peter Island Resort complimentary activities.
The cost? Daily rates for the package start at USD $4090 for an Ocean View Room and USD $5515 for a Beach Front Junior Suite.
UPDATE: Thanks to Matt bringing it to our attention - the hotel accidently put "daily rate" instead of "total rate" regarding the cost above. This package is now much more affordable!
March 20, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
The weather outside is (still) frightful, though Spring Break is just around the corner. Tempt yourself with a last minute vaca to the tropical idyll of St. Bart's: splashy, chic, and utterly fabulous. At the award-winning Guanahani Hotel, guests find the ultimate retreat in colorful cottages (yellow, indigo, purple, bright green) nestled within bougainvilleas, hibiscus, and coconut groves. Heaven-on-earth wouldn't be complete without a sumptuous spa, and the hotel's Clarins Spa fits the bill: a sophisticated hideaway of pure indulgence. And for those seeking the ultimate sanctuary... check into the Wellness Suite, the former top-floor couple's spa suite which is now available for overnight accommodations. Talk about pampering! Enjoy 180 degree views of the turquoise sea from a covered terrace, plus private access to the spa's pool and relaxation area long after closing time. Since the spa is right downstairs, the therapists come to you for in-room treatments.
Orient-Express - famous for their luxury hotels, trains, and cruises - has also introduced a range of property developments linked closely with some of their most popular hotels and resorts. Cupecoy Yacht Club, Saint Maarten is a rare opportunity for 5-star condominium ownership on Saint Maarten and is linked with La Samanna - the luxury resort. The Cupecoy Yacht Club & Villas will feature 169 luxury condominiums, ranging in size from 750 to 3,000 square feet. Owners of these one to four bedroom homes can choose from a variety of styles designed by leading interior designers who have put their stamp on some of the most renowned luxury hotels in the world. At the Residences La Samanna, St. Martin, the first villa at La Samanna officially opened in December of 2006. The Residences will include eight Mediterranean style villas ranging in size from 4000 to 4500 square feet. When Orient-Express Hotels purchased the 600-acre Keswick Estate in 2000, they knew that it would be a great accompaniment to Keswick Hall. The Estate features two to eight acre wooded home sites in a secured, gated community - some homes with lake views, others nestled in mature woodlands, and many bordering on the Arnold Palmer signature golf course. The Villas at Maroma offer the unique opportunity to own one of 25 exclusive residences at Maroma. The 3 to 4 bedroom villas at Maroma will begin pre-sell in late 2007. Owners will enjoy all the luxuries of this boutique hotel including two restaurants, three pools, two bars and the award winning Kinan Spa.
Half Moon's Camp Half Moon program in Rose Hall, Jamaica is an exciting adventure camp for children age 6 – 12, filled with exciting competitions for the top prize of a return trip for a family of four. (Who knew you could use your kids to pay for family trips?)
The four-day Camp Half Moon, which runs from Mondays through Thursdays starting on June 4 until August 30, will see children grouped into teams with a team leader/supervisor at the start of the camp and presented with their team colours; then the fun begins. Camp Half Moon includes:
- a welcome social,
- scavenger hunt,
- kayak race,
- mini triathalon,
- log rolling and many other team and individual competitions.
There is a fee for participation, but includes all activities, team shirts, welcome social and farewell barbecue, and prizes.
Check availability for you and your clan at Half Moon Rose Hall, Jamaica >>
March 13, 2007
By: Courtney W. May
"I have a hobby. I have the world's largest collection of sea shells. I keep it scattered on beaches all over the world. Maybe you've seen some of it." - Steven Wright Coastal Living Magazine has come up with their list of the top 10 shelling beaches in North America - "Winter storms stir up a bounty of prize specimens. Here's where to hunt." See if you agree with their assesment: 1. Sanibel Island, Florida 2. Ocracoke Island, North Carolina 3. Bandon, Oregon 4. Galveston, Texas 5. Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii 6. Flag Ponds Nature Park, Lusby, Maryland 7. Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia 8. Eleuthera Island, The Bahamas 9. Great Peconic Bay, Long Island, New York 10. Stinson Beach, California Read more about each location over at Coastal Living or leave us your own thoughts below.
By: Courtney W. May
March 9, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Exciting news from the exclusive private island-resort of Peter Island. The newest addition to Peter Island's luxury private villa collection, Falcon's Nest, will open in May 2007. And there is still availability for the Year-End Holidays! The Villa Estates provide the ultimate, self-indulgent get-away at one of the world's finest resorts. Nestled on the hillside in an idyllic location overlooking White Bay Beach, the six-bedroom Falcon's Nest boasts breathtaking views (you can even see Norman Island and St. Croix!) and unparalleled luxury. Features include wrap-around verandah, Media room, outside bar, cabana, infinity-edge pool, dipping pool, and large outdoor whirlpool. Consisting of three separate residences connected by winding stone paths, Falcon's Nest is designed with indigenous stone, massive wooden beams, and hand-trawled stucco walls. A stay at Falcon's Nest means the best possible service; the personal staff includes a valet, chef, housekeeper, and grounds-man.
Sir Richard Branson has scored another one. A gem of a Caribbean island, that is. The founder of the Virgin group of companies (including Virgin Atlantic airline and Virgin Galactic) purchased Mosquito Island in the British Virgin Islands for $13.2 million and plans to convert it into a luxurious, eco-friendly resort. Accessible by boat from Virgin Gorda, the 124-acre Mosquito Island sits in North Sound about a mile from Necker Island, Branson's other Caribbean paradise, a favorite celebrity hideaway. Plans are in the works for the resort to be environmentally-savvy: the resort will be powered by renewable energy sources (wind, wave, and solar power); the Balinese style guest buildings will be built from sustainable materials; electric buggies will serve as the transportation. Branson aims to make his resort island carbon-neutral, providing an example for other resort properties in the Caribbean.
Never fear: the island was named for the Indian tribe, and not the pesky insect.
The award-winning Palms, the 72-suite resort on Grace Bay Beach, will be morphing into the new Regent Resort. Now's your chance to enjoy the powder fine sand and azure waters of the Turks and Caicos with an exclusive preview offer. Experience the resort's world-class amenities (25,000 square foot spa, multi-million dollar infinity pool, lighted tennis court, and nearby 18-hole golf course), snorkeling, scuba, and endless surfside activities before the Regent makes its debut on April 2, 2007. Throughout the month of March, enjoy special rates at this luxurious boutique resort: Oceanview Suite (1 bedroom) for $875 a night, Oceanfront Suite (1 bedroom) for $995 per night, Oceanview Suite (2 bedroom) for $1,775, and the Oceanfront Suite (2 bedroom) for $1,600 per night.
February 28, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Overlooking the turquoise waters of Montego Bay, Rose Hall Resort and Country Club was once an 18th century sugar plantation. Now this enchanting property-- with a private beach, championship golf, and the Caribbean's largest water park-- is surrounded by 400 acres of the historic Rose Hall Plantation. This all-inclusive resort is now offering a special "Buy One, Get One Free" discount for all couples visiting between January 1 through March 31, 2007. Buy a space for any of the following tours or spa services, and you'll receive a second space for free: Negril Sunset Tour, Ocho Rios 1/2 Day or Full Day Tour, or Swedish Massage (buy one half-hour Swedish massage, and receive a second one free).