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Friday, November 17, 2017

Vacation in Bimini - Gateway to The Bahamas

Bimini - Where the Gulf Stream Meets the Bahamas Bank

The Bimini Islands are located in the westernmost Bahamas chain at the very 
edge of the Gulf Stream. The island is well known for deep sea fishing, diving, 
sailing, coral reefs, and miles of white sand beaches. 

Photo courtesy of Scuba Diving Smiles - 

Bimini is only a half block wide, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and constant ocean breezes. The best way to explore the 7 mile island is by golf cart, or bike rental. You can't get lost as there is only one main road.  

This is where Ernest Hemingway was motivated to write Islands In The Stream. One of the characters in the novel described life on the island in simple terms - "Swim, eat, drink, work, read, talk, read, fish, fish, swim, drink, sleep."    

U.S. Representative and Civil Rights Activist Adam Clayton Powell Jr. spent a great deal of time on Bimini at his vacation home. He referred to the island as his "Shaggy Paradise." Upon his death Powell requested his ashes be scattered over the island chain.

Photo Credit: SeaCrest Bimini


Today's travel special is from Resorts World Bimini, operated by Resorts World under a franchise agreement with Hilton Worldwide. 

The 750-acre property features a variety of accommodations, including condos, beachfront villas and the Hilton. It also has the largest marina in the Bahamas with 280 slips. 

Resorts World Bimini in Alice Town (North Bimini)



Miles of white sand beaches, infinity pools, first class spa, 10 restaurants and a world class casino. 

The hotel is just minutes from Bimini Undersea Dive Center and Bimini Bay Marina. This hotel is also within close proximity of Stones of Atlantis Dive Site, Rainbow Reef, and Bimini Bay Resort and Marina. 



Resorts World operates an open-air tram offering free transportation throughout the property. During the day, guests can also take the tram into Alicetown to visit the Straw Market and Bimini Museum. 

At the center of the resort is the largest marina complex in the Bahamas - Fisherman’s Village Marina (136 slips) and the Mega Yacht Marina (94 slips) 

Accommodations feature breathtaking views of lush gardens, Bimini Bay, or the pristine beaches that surround the resort.




The 305 guestrooms and 18 suites feature kitchens with refrigerators, microwaves, rainfall shower heads in the marble bathrooms, LED lighting, a 46-inch HDTV, and private patios. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available, and guests can enjoy an extensive selection of activities and excursions such as snorkeling, kayaking, fishing and paddle boarding.

A rooftop bar and adults-only infinity pool (one of four pools at Resorts World) offer stunning sunset views, and the private Paradise Beach is less than a 15 minute walk (shuttle service is also available).

The resort includes six dining options, the Serenity Spa, a rooftop pool and grill, the lobby raw bar, a sushi bar and piano lounge. 

10,000 sq. ft. of live action table games in addition to more than 150 slot machines. Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps and Roulette, and more than one hundred slot machines. 

There are three main ways to reach the island - by scheduled flight, by charter/private flight, or by boat. 





Most travelers arrive by commercial flights which is just 45 minutes from Fort Lauderdale International Airport. 

A number of private yacht, seaplane charters, and flights from Nassau, and Grand Bahama Island are also available. 






Another alternative is FRS Caribbean which provides ferry service from Miami to Bimini, and the trip takes approximately two hours. Vist the site for schedule info along with hotel package specials
https://www.frs-caribbean.com/hotel-packages-info/

Resorts World Bimini $99 Roundtrip Seaplane Special
Minimum 2 night stay available until Dec 21st
https://www.rwbimini.com/tropicoceanairways

More special offers from Resorts World Bimini
https://www.rwbimini.com/bahamas-vacation-specials

Note:
A Daily Resort Charge will be added to the room rate and includes the following: guest internet access; on property transportation including shuttle services from the Resorts World Bimini Casino to Alice Town and to venues within the resort; beach chairs; towels; and local and toll free calls.

Learn more about Bimini at Islands of the Bahamas https://www.bahamas.com/islands/bimini



Happy Travels,
Linda




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Natural Wonder in the Bahamas


Eleuthera, Bahamas is home to one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the Western Hemisphere. 

The Glass Window Bridge is one of the most popular 
tourist spots on the island. 

The dark blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and calm turquoise waters of Exuma Sound in the Caribbean Sea meet at the narrowest point of the island. This is the only place in the world to experience this profound contrast when very different bodies of water meet. 


The Caribbean Sea and Atlantic are separated by a strip of rock that is just 30 ft wide!
Photo Credit Amusing Planet

The natural stone bridge has connected North and South Eleuthera for centuries, and over the decades it has been damaged by annual hurricanes. In 1999 the original rock bridge was completely destroyed by Hurricane Floyd, and a concrete bridge was built over the original rock. 


The bridge requires on-going work to reinforce the shoreline  

Huge waves and surf can arrive suddenly and wash over the bridge. There are no reefs to break up the raging surf along with Atlantic side, and these rogue waves have been known to wash people and vehicles out into the ocean. 



It is advisable to check weather conditions before visiting the area, and tourist should be careful on the rocky cliff areas when taking photos. 

Head over to the Bahamas Tourism site and learn more about the Bahama Out Islands of Eleuthera and neighboring Harbour Island 
https://www.bahamas.com/islands/eleuthera-harbour-island


Happy Travels,
Linda




Monday, November 13, 2017

Caribbean Pumpkin Fritters & Mango Cream Cheese Spread

Caribbean Pumpkin, sometimes called Calabasas, is a staple vegetable in the Caribbean region. It is used to make Breads, Snacks Desserts, Soups, Stews and other native Caribbean dishes. 


Calabasas got its name from the Spanish word “Calabaza” meaning “pumpkin” or “gourd”. The color and texture of the flesh is bright yellow/orange with a creamy buttery like flavor and texture.

Calabasas pumpkins are slightly greenish yellow - some almost dark green to almost black in color - and does not resemble the bright yellow fall pumpkin found in most USA markets. Actually Caribbean pumpkin is more comparable to squash than the typical North American pumpkin. 



Caribbean Pumpkin Fritters

  • 1 cup cooked mashed pumpkin (Can also used caned firm pumpkin)
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Oil for frying

In a medium bowl add mashed pumpkin, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly combined. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger together and fold into the pumpkin mixture. Set aside for 5 minutes. 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, and fry the fritters on both sides using a large spoon until golden brown (about 10-12 minutes) - adjust heat to prevent burning. Remove from heat and place on paper towels to drain.  Serve warm with mango cream cheese spread.

Mango Cream Cheese Spread

  • 1/2 cup of very ripe mangoes chopped
  • 1 cup of softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white rum

Mix cream cheese with powdered sugar 
Add rum and lightly beat until soft and combined
Fold in the mango, and lightly mix together
Chill until ready to serve

Recipe source: Chef Freda Gore - Caribbean Culinary Tours


Caribbean Culinary Tours is now taking bookings for a 7 Day Caribbean Food, Wine and Rum Cruise aboard Royal Caribbean. 

This culinary cruise is scheduled for December 16-23, 2018, and will visit ports of call in Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia, and St Martin. 




Visit the site for more info http://caribbeanculinaryvacations.com/food-rum-and-wine-adventure-cruise/


Happy Travels,
Linda

Friday, November 10, 2017

New Level of Modern Luxury Coming to Grenada

Silversands Grenada is set to open in 2018


This new modern luxury property will be located along the southwestern tip on beautiful Grand Anse Beach. 

Silversands will feature 44 suites and nine residential villas. Guests and villa owners will enjoy the intimacy and exclusivity of a boutique hotel along with five-star experiences and amenities.

Each of the hotel’s spacious suites will feature chic minimalist interiors. Nine residences will also be available for purchase, including five Seaside Villas and four Hillside Villas ranging from 13,500 to 26,500 square feet.

Silver Sands Villa - image courtesy of TL Magazine

Two resort restaurants will showcase the island’s unique agriculture 

Casual breakfast and lunch will be served at the Beach Club with menu items including line-caught fish, handpicked fruits, and vegetables along with Grenadian craft beers, rums and wines from around the world. 

The second restaurant will offer a refined Thai restaurant with vibrant flavors drawing on Grenada’s reputation as “the Spice of the Caribbean.”


The longest in the Caribbean, fit for swimming laps or simply bathing and looking on at its infinity edges. Silver Sands Pool - Image courtesy of Grenada Broadcast

Guests will enjoy access to a full-service spa with four treatment rooms, a sauna, hammam, swimming pool and gym. The property will also include a private beach club with resident DJ, and curated rotating art collections. 

View more about this upcoming property at www.silversandsgrenada.com


Happy Travels,
Linda

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Luxury Mountaintop Retreat in Jamaica


Strawberry Hill, the 26–acre mountain–top retreat, 
is located 3,000 feet above the Caribbean Sea. 

Located on the steep slopes of Jamaica's famous Blue Mountains 

Listed in The New York Times #1 bestselling book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, Strawberry Hill features awe–inspiring views of the mountains in one direction and the twinkling city of Kingston in the other. 





Strawberry Hill features 12 cottage accommodations, an infinity–edge pool, The Spa at Strawberry Hill, expansive botanical gardens, and world–class dining.


2 bedroom villa

Winding footpaths curve around the mountainside, uniting the cottages while maintaining privacy within the hills’ flanks. Each cottage surrounds you with nature’s spectacular views and lush gardens. 

Dining/Bar
On-site restaurant features Jamaican cuisine, and is home to a popular Sunday Brunch
Strawberry Hill Cocktail Bar

Spa
Take advantage of the signature treatment - the Blue Mountain Elixir Body Scrub, utilizes local coffee beans, followed by a rejuvenating 60-minute deep tissue body massage and hydrotherapy session.

Getting There
Strawberry Hill is a little over an hours drive from Kingston’s international airport. For a quicker route, the hotel has its own helicopter - call well in advance to make arrangements.

https://www.strawberryhillhotel.com/


Happy Travels,
Linda




Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Barbados Food and Rum Festival 2017


It's almost time for the 
8th edition of the Barbados Food and Rum Festival 


Photo courtesy of Baywater tours

Barbados is often referred to as "Culinary Capital" of the Caribbean, and is a year-round epicurean escape for foodies. 


Photo courtesy of WSB Villas

The island also has the distinction of being the birthplace of rum. Mount Gay distillery was founded in 1703, and is believed to produce the oldest rum founds anywhere in the world. So it's no wonder that the Barbados Food & Rum festival continues to be one of the most popular festivals in the region.

Festival events for this year

November 16, 2017 
OISTINS BAY GARDENS COOK OFF (Festival Launch - Free Event)
This years festival opens at the historic Oistins fishing village on Barbados southern coast. 

November 17, 2017
RUM EXTRAVAGANZA - TASTE OF THE EXOTIC AT CONCORDE EXPERIENCE - Concorde Museum Grantley Adams International Airport
Local award-winning chefs prepare unique hors d’oeuvres to complement the delicious aperitifs and hand-crafted rum cocktails.

November 18, 2017
GOURMET SAFARI WITH CHEF CHRIS DE LA ROSA
An evening of fine-dining at The Crane Resort.

November 18, 2017
GOURMET SAFARI WITH CHEF JEAN-GEORGES VONGERICHTEN
An evening of opulent dining at the Cliff Restaurant on Barbados western coast

November 18, 2017
TASTE THE SPIRIT OF POLO - "RUM & POLO"
Cocktails, canap├ęs and polo match at this all inclusive event at the Holder’s Polo Club.

November 19, 2017
GOURMET SAFARI WITH CHEF TOM AIKENS
Chef Tom Aikens from the U.K. host the final Dinner Safari journey at the Tides Restaurant. 

November 19, 2017
FEET IN THE SAND BEACH PARTY
The festival ends with an all-inclusive beach party on the shoreline of Needham’s Point beach at Hilton Barbados. The evens will include live performances, and a wide variety of food tasting stations.


Get all the festival info here https://www.visitbarbados.org/food-and-rum-festival


Happy Travels,
Linda

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fall Only in Cayman Sale

The perfect beachfront spot with your name on it!


Book by December 15, 2017 and save up to 40% - Plus $100 Food & Beverage credit for 4 night stays through December 22, 2017.  

Wyndham Reef Resort is located at the East End of Grand Cayman, which gives you the peace and quiet that many island hoppers are looking for. 



ALL STUDIOS AND VILLAS ARE BEACHFRONT, PLUS WITH THE ALL-INCLUSIVE OPTION, YOU CAN ADD MEALS, BEVERAGES & WATER SPORTS!

Step outside your comfortable suite onto the beach and dip into the crystal clear Caribbean waters. Spoil yourself in the Le Soleil Spa or wander down to the Beach Bar for fresh catch and delicious island delights. For the adventurous, we offer a host of beach, water and island activities.

Dining



Casual and chic, our Tides Restaurant (show above) offers a wide range of Continental cuisine including seafood exquisitely prepared with Caribbean flair. Guests also enjoy the Beach Bar for light fare in a casual beachfront setting, and our delightful Coffee Corner, including specialty coffees and pastries. Subway Restaurant is also available onsite - guests can dine in or order your favorite sandwiches via room service. 

Travel by December 22, 2017 - Book by December 15, 2017 

View the hotel site https://wyndhamcayman.com/

View all Only In Cayman Offers
https://www.visitcaymanislands.com/en-us/only-in-cayman/fall/offers


Happy Travels,
Linda




Thursday, November 2, 2017

St Lucia Total Romance Package

Rated as one of the world's most romantic resorts! 

Rising majestically above the 600 acre beach front resort of Anse Chastanet. 


This high-end resort offers an incredible Piton views and unique design. The 29 "sanctuaries" offer an open fourth wall, and each has a view of a sea from the entire room.

STUNNING POOL SANCTUARIES WITH MAGNIFICENT VIEWS


Grand sweeping spaces where bedroom, living area and an extravagant private infinity pool glide into one another to form extraordinary platforms floating out into nature.

Only a few sanctuaries are available in each category on basis of this free night promotion so book as early as possible to ensure your desired travel dates are available.




TAKE FIVE
Enjoy a 5th NIGHT FREE at JADE MOUNTAIN in 2017 when reserving a Sky jacuzzi suite or a Star or Moon infinity pool sanctuary. This promotion is available on basis of our daily rate or our all-inclusive TOTAL ROMANCE PACKAGE. 

Book by December 13, 2017 - Valid January 10, 2017 through December 19, 2017

Jade Mountain launches new range of spa treatments
Jade Mountain has introduced a new range of home-grown spa treatments that seek to be as kind to the environment as they are to skin. The new treatments on offer at the hilltop Kai En Ciel Spa utilise the finest organic produce from the resort’s 600-acre Emerald Estate, including chocolate, mangoes, spices and botanicals.

Rates Starting at $960
http://jademountain.com/takefive2017


Happy Travels,
Linda


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Longest Bar in the Caribbean


The Infiniti Bar at Bar, Grace Bay Resort in Turks & Caicos 
has the distinction of being the first infinity bar in the world, 
and it is the longest bar in the Caribbean.


The bar has been featured in many publications including the NY Times, Trave & Leasure, and Huffington Post. 

The 90 foot bluish/black marble bar stretches from the restaurant to Grace Bay Beach, and seems to disappear into the ocean. This is one of the best places places on the island to watch sunsets. 

The resort offers several dining options, and non-guests are always welcome. The expansive beachfront dining area includes the Infinity Restaurant and Raw Bar, The Lounge which serves Caribbean-inspired tapas, and the more formal Infiniti Restaurant is located on a deck under a thatched roof.   

The original Infiniti Martini is a guest favorite


Ingredients:

4 ounce Pineapple juice
1 ounce Malibu rum
1 ounce Hypnotiq liqueur

Combine all ingredients with a cup of ice in martini shaker, shake to blend and pour into chilled martini glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry.


Grace Bay Club was the first luxury, all-suite hotel in the Turks & Caicos Islands


Visit the site, and view this fabulous luxury boutique resort
https://gracebayresorts.com/gracebayclub/


Happy Travels,
Linda