Thursday, October 13, 2016

Food/Rum Fest in the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean

Barbados, the perfect island to host a Food & Rum Fest!

The 7th edition of the Barbados Food and Rum Festival 
will be held from November 17 - 20, 2016

Photo's courtesy of Visit Barbados

The island is known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean - and also the home of Mount Gay, the World's Oldest Rum. 

This is the islands premier festival, and this year is historically significant as Barbados will celebrate 50 years of Independence on November 30, 2016. 

The Food and Rum Festival takes places across various venues around the island - all with their own theme, live entertainment and more. 

Each year international, local world class chefs, rum experts and mixologists all come together to provide appetizing menus, along with exceptional cocktails.    

Professional Chefs for this year's event include
Jean-Georges, Craig Harding, Athlone McCollin, Jèrmèy Dupire, Creig Greenidge, Damian Leach, Duayne Holligan, Henderson Butcher, Jason Howard, John Hazzard, Michael Harrison and Michael Hinds.

Festival Events Schedule

  • Nov 17 - Festival Opening at Oistins Bay Gardens - Cook Off Challenge of the Challenger 
  • Nov 18 - Rum Extravaganza - Taste of the Exotic at the Concorde Museum 
  • Nov 19 - Afternoon Polo Exhibition Match at Holder’s Polo Club in St James 
  • Nov 19 - Gourmet Safari with Chef Craig Harding - St Philip 
  • Nov 19 - Gourmet Safari with Chef - Chef Jean-Georges Vongerich - St James 
  • Nov 20 - Sunday Beach Party Cook-off and food sampling - Grand finale Needham’s Point beach at Hilton Barbados

Visit the site for more festival events, and learn more about Barbados

Happy Travels,

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Caribbean Island Hopping Via St Maarten/St Martin

The two nation island of Dutch St Maarten and French St Martin offer visitors easy access for day trips to other Caribbean destinations. 

The islands of Anguilla, Saba, St Eustatius and St Barths are all easily reached by ferry or small plane.  

Anguilla boasts some of the most beautiful white powder sand beaches surrounded by deep blue skies, and aquamarine seas lined with palm trees/sea grapes. The narrow island was named for its shape from the French word anguille which means eel

Aside from the world class beaches, exceptional resorts, horseback beach rides, and scuba diving, Anguilla offers fine dining. On every visitor's list is the islands famous sweet, tender spiny lobster which the locals call crayfish. 

Taking the ferry from Marigot, St Martin takes about 20 minutes, and is far more economical than flying.  Make sure to take a swin suit, and take an island tour -  the majority of drivers at the ferry terminal will be happy to act as your guide, and lead you to the crayfish. (ˆ◡ˆ) 

Saba is a green volcanic mountain island which rocky cliffs propel straight up from the sea. This tiny Dutch Caribbean island is known as the "Unspoiled Queen" of the Caribbean. 

Unlike other islands in the region you will not find fabulous beaches - this is an island for world class scuba diving, snorkeling, and hiking the rain forest which takes you up to over 2,800 feet into the clouds.   

The hillsides are dotted with old Caribbean-style cottages painted white with gingerbread, green shutters and red/orange roofs. The island is extremely clean, and each home is neatly landscaped with lovely gardens. 

There is only one road which runs through the island mountain, and one of the islands distinctions is the world's shortest runways. Yes that tiny strip below is where planes land!

The airport is located on a cliff, and only a few pilots are licensed to fly into the island. The flight into Saba is a rather hair-raising experience. I prefer the ferry service which sails out of St Martin. Check schedule here

Photo by Carrie Gibson The tiny Dutch island of St Eustatius (also known as Statia) was the first international recognition of American independence in 1776. 

Although tiny in size, St Eustatius was known in the 17th and 18th century as the Emporium of the Western World and the Golden Rock. The island's harbor was central to the commerce flowing between Europe and America. This all changed after the firing of an 11-gun salute to U.S. independence. Soon after Great Britain seized the islands warehouses, merchant goods and literally destroyed the island's economy. 

Statia attracts divers, hikers, and history buffs with its well preserved early century historical sites. Unfortunately there is no scheduled ferry service, however there are daily flights via St Martin. 

St. Barthélemy, also called St Barth or St Barts is the eptitone of French Culture in the Caribbean. Here you will find the latest European and American high end fashions, haute cuisine, and if you are lucky perhaps run into a favorite celebrity. 

The terrain is hilly and rocky, however the coastline is lined with fabulous beaches, along with bays and coves called anses. 

The island has a vibrant nightlife, and the favorite sport is windsurfing. People watching is another favorite pastime, and there's no better place than Baie de St Jean where the worlds finest yachts dock. 

The ferry ride from St Martin takes about 40 minutes versus a 10 minute flight. Check both rates - often there is a small difference in price. 

St Maarten/St Martin - Of course there is plenty to keep you busy in the twin island nation. There is no easier place in the Caribbean to experience two completely cultures. The border is seamless, and you can go back and forth enjoying both cultures with ease.  

The Dutch side of St Maarten offers great shopping, lots of world class casinos, and beaches. Dutch culture is reflected in the street signs, names and unique souvenirs such as wooden shoes, windmills, and delft china. 

This side of the island has over 35 beaches, with one of the more unique (Maho Bay) located right on the end of the main airport. No doubt you have seen images of beach goers getting sand blasted by the commercial jets as they come in for landing.  

While St Martin is unmistakably French in its language, customs and food, travelers will find a comfortable reception for those who do not speak the language. The cuisine is excellent, along with many fine beaches, unique lodging, and a variety of chic boutiques offering fine imported goods. 

Happy Travels,

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Eat Local - Aruba Restaurant Month

Explore Aruba's finest dining
October 1 - 31, 2016

Reserve your table at your favorite participating restaurant with lunches at $15 and dinners for $30 to $40 - and no passes, tickets or vouchers are required. 

Some of the Participating Restaurants include:

Papillon Restaurant

Old French meets modern Caribbean in this casual fine dining restaurant

The Chophouse

Renowned for Angus Beef

Palms Restaurant

Beach side dining experience at Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Spa 

Amuse Sunset Restaurant

Specializing in International cuisine, fresh, high-quality food at affordable prices 

For a full list of participating restaurants visit

Reserve your table in Aruba

Happy Travels,

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

New Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla 
Now Accepting Reservations

Debuting this October, the new Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla is extending several limited-time offers.

From garden-view guest rooms to five-bedroom beachfront villas with private pools, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla offers 166 sleek and spacious guest rooms, suites, residences and villas - 80% with views of the Caribbean Sea.

Four Seasons Anguilla offers tempting options for every taste, mood or time of day in (4) restaurants and lounges

  • Half Shell Beach Bar - With a picturesque location on Barnes Bay Beach, Half Shell Beach Bar is a casual spot to grab a light lunch or a refreshing frozen drink
  • Sunset Lounge - A must-visit on the island, Sunset Lounge is your place for sushi, vintage Caribbean rums, classic island cocktails, cigars and stunning views over the sea - especially at sunset  
  • Bamboo Bar & Grill -  A fun beach bar on Meads Bay, Bamboo offers quick, simple, inspired Antillean street food such as rotis, crab cakes or sweet potato hummus, plus global favourites like pizzas and burgers
  • Coba - Nestled between two bays overlooking the Caribbean, Cobà is a stylish setting for daily breakfast and dinner. At dinner, the focus turns to fresh, local seafood in an atmosphere both vibrant and relaxed
  • In-Room Dining - An extensive menu available day or night

The two story beachfront spa features (13) indoor spa rooms, (3) Spa Cabanas, (3) Facial Rooms, (2) Couples Spa Rooms, and an outdoor infinity pool with views of Meads Bay 

Reservations are now being confirmed for the fall and winter season, with these vacation packages available in addition to standard room rates:

Opening Offer: Complimentary Night
Ideal for busy people with only a few days to spare, the Stay Longer package offers travelers a complimentary extra night with consecutive nights paid. As a special introductory offer, a third complimentary night is offered with two consecutive nights paid between October 20 and December 15, 2016. In 2017, the Stay Longer package includes a complimentary fifth night when four consecutive nights are booked.

Festive Package: Spend the Holidays in Paradise
In anticipation of its first holiday season as a Four Seasons, the Resort is offering a special Resort Credit that merrymakers can apply to incidental charges including on-site dining, spa and on-site recreation. The Experience More credit is based on room category – $500 for one-bedroom suites, $800 for four-bedroom oceanfront villas, and $1,000 for five-bedroom villas, per stay. This offer is available for stays between December 17, 2016 and January 5, 2017. Minimum 10-night stay required.

Happy Travels,

Monday, September 19, 2016

Affordable and Eco Friendly in Tobago

The small fishing village of Castara is one of Tobago's hidden gems, and the perfect place to drop off the grid . . . 

Rustic tree houses surrounded by the oldest protected rainforest 
in the Western Hemisphere.

Castara Beach

Castara Retreats is a family-run eco-resort featuring 15 lodges built of cypress and cedar wood. The property is perched on the hillside, and sits on two acres of lush tropical garden overlooking the beautiful Bay of Castara and two sandy beaches. 

Firefly is the smallest and most modestly priced of Castara's accommodations, yet guests will find the same high quality living experience and facilities. 

Air-conditioned studio apartment with en-suite bedroom, along with kitchenette/dining area. 

The compact kitchen includes two electric hobs (cook top) along with a small fridge, toaster, kettle, sinks, pans, and tableware. The garden terrace offers ocean views, and in the evening you view the glow of fireflies in the tropical gardens. 

Studio Apartment Features

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi service
  • Stand-alone ventilator fans
  • High-quality mosquito net
  • Double hammock
  • iPod docking station, hair dryer & iron
  • Security safe
  • Bamboo bird feeder

On-Site Dining
Caribbean Kitchen is rated as one of the best restaurants on the island. The open air dining atmosphere is relaxed with superb panoramic views of the beach, ocean and rainforest. 

Now through December 20, 2016, guests can save 10% on stays of (6) nights or more in the Firefly Studio with rates starting at $114 per night (based on double occupancy) inclusive of all taxes and a complimentary cocktail upon arrival at the pavilion restaurant. 

Discover more about this eco-friendly resort, along with the culture and activities in Castera, Tobago.

Happy Travels,

Friday, September 16, 2016

Luxury Sky Jacuzzi Suite With Free Night(s)

Luxury at it's BEST in St Lucia

There's still limited availability for Jade Mountain's 
“Summer Sanctuary” package which includes the Sky Jacuzzi, 
along with the Star and Moon suites. 

Book a (4) night stay and receive (1) night free OR book a (7) night stay and receive (2) nights free. 

There are no televisions, radio, or telephone in the infinity pool sanctuaries and sky sanctuaries in keeping with the overall resort experience. 

Upon arrival, guests receive a "firefly " communication device, allowing guests to contact the service team at any time. 

SKY JACUZZI SUITE (No private infinity pool)

Just (5) SKY jacuzzi suites located on the lower hillside level of JADE MOUNTAIN. The SKY suites feature large jacuzzi tub for 2 persons but they do not have a private pool. The jacuzzi suites feature 15 ft hight ceilings and have the 4th wall open to the views. The raised Jacuzzi tub towers above the living space, and is open to the views. 

All infinity pool sanctuaries have king size beds. In-sanctuary facilities include fridge, tea/coffee making facilities, hair dryer, iron, ironing board (your major domo will gladly perform the chore for you) and electronic in-room safe. 

MOON infinity pool sanctuaries are located on various levels of the property. The suites are between 1600-1950 square feet in size with infinity pools averaging 650 square feet. 

Breakfast and dinner can be added for $200 per couple, per day; all-inclusive meals and drinks package can be added for $360 per couple, per day (meal plans complimentary on free days)

Package rates start at $1,080 per couple, per night in a Sky Jacuzzi Suite, and must be booked by September 30, 2016. This package cannot be combined with other offers. Rates are subject to 10% service charge and 10% VAT. 

For more information or to book, contact your travel professional or call 1-800-223-1108

Visit the site for more info on this special along with other deals

Happy Travels,

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Is Martinique the Safest Caribbean Destination?

According to the 2016 Caribbean Tourism Quality Index, 
Martinique is the "Safest Destination in the Caribbean"

The Caribbean Tourism Quality Index is an annual study which measures tourism’s supply-side performance and competitiveness in 28 destinations across the Caribbean. 

As flowers are an international symbol of peace, I suppose it’s fitting in a way that The Isle of Flowers should be recognized like this. In reality, though, it is the warmth and welcoming spirit of the Martinican people and the steadfast dedication of our local authorities that keeps us at the top for travel safety.” Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas for the Martinique Promotion Bureau. 

The French Caribbean island of Martinique is a French state, and part of the European Union. 

Photo Credit: Postcards Voyage

Visitors will discover a unique culture from the local women dressed in colorful madras in the marketplaces, gourmet continental French and spicy Creole cuisine, and the sounds of biguine and zook music.

Its urban areas have a stylish French feel with upscale shops, international cuisine, nightlife, and gambling. The western and southern coasts have chic resorts reminiscent of the French Riviera, while the countryside offers inns and small restaurants.  

On the other hand, Martinique has the distinctive qualities of what you would expect in the Caribbean region. The island is known as the "Isle of Flowers" and offers a prolific amount of hibiscus bougainvillea, frangipani, wild orchids and other tropical flowers. 

Also there are tropical forests, waterfalls, lush green mountains, a dormant volcano, and beaches in all sands colors. One of the more unique sites is a desert of petrified wood.

Martinique will appeal to travelers looking for a different Caribbean experience . . . 

In contrast to other islands, few people outside the downtown area and major resorts speak English. The island attracts European visitors, plus a good number of French-Canadians. Topless bathing is normal at the beaches, and also hotel pools. 

Over the past year, here are other top safety ranking honors for Martinique 
  • Ranked in the Top 16 Places to go to in 2016, Condé Nast Traveler
  • Ranked #7 (of 24) Top Destinations of 2016, Budget Travel
  • Travel Top 10: Trendiest 2016 Destinations, Ebony
  • Best Culinary, Cruise, Tourism Board Destination – Caribbean (2016), Travvy Awards
  • Top 5 Best Romantic Islands in the Caribbean (2015), USA TODAY
  • Ranked #1 Must-Visit Place in the Caribbean (2015), Caribbean Journal
  • Traveler’s Choice Award, Best Beaches (2015), TripAdvisor
  • Named Best Caribbean Island for Romance (2015), Business Insider
  • Silver Magellan Awards, Overall Destination and Waterfront Development (2015), Travel Weekly
Discover more at

Happy Travels,

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Dining Around St Lucia

The Dine Around Program is an initiative created by the St Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) for visitors staying at various hotels around the island, and is also extended to locals as well.

Enjoy the varied cuisine at any one of the 16 participating restaurants 

Appetizing meals from Mediterranean style dining to Indian fusion, French cuisine among other restaurant offerings. The voucher cost is just $55 US for a three course meal - Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. 

Rainforest Hideaway
Closed until October 10th (re-opening five nights a week)
Over the water dining on Marigot Bay. Listed by Trip Advisor as one of the Top Ten Fine Dining Restaurants in the Caribbean. The two minute ferry ride across the bay is just the start to a fantastic dining experience.  

Apsara At Trou Au Diable Restaurant
Below the Pitons on the southwestern coast of St. Lucia, Apsara sits on the beach of Anse Chastanet Resort. The kitchen uses organic produce from the resort's island farm in the Soufriere hills. The cuisine is a fusion of Caribbean and Indian spices. 

Dasheene at Ladera
Photo Credit:

Dasheene is well known for its award-winning cuisine of eclectic and innovative menu items, and spectacular views. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a Sunday Brunch offering.

Blue Olive Restaurant - Re-opening in October 2016
Fresh pasta made daily. Mediterranean cuisine entangled with a twist of Caribbean creole flavors. wonderful selection of wines and champagnes

Windsong Restaurant 
Considered one of the finest Caribbean restaurants in St. Lucia, Windsong at Calabash Cove offers a mouth-watering mix of international cuisine and local fare. 

Much of the menu is inspired by Asian cuisine and only local, fresh ingredients are used in every dish. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the views are breathtaking. 

Orlando's Restaurant & Bar

Located in a beautiful courtyard on the northern end of Soufrière. Orlando embraces the concept of farm to table using only local ingredients from local farms and vendors. Serves Caribbean inspired cuisine "Ti Manje" which means small plate of food in  the local Creole language. 

La Terrasse

Home style South of France experience in the Caribbean. 

Cozy, casual, tropical French Restaurant in Rodney Bay Village.

Zaika the Taste
Roasted Fish Kebabs
Zaika features the best Authentic Indian cuisine in Saint Lucia with a traditional Indian ambiance, and superior service. Stop by today at the Rodney Bay Marina and check us out! We are now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Get all the details on more participating restaurants at

Happy Travels,

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Private Island Luxury in the Turks and Caicos

The Meridian Club is the only resort on the 800 acre 
private island of Pine Cay, a pristine, natural haven 
with no automobiles and very limited development

Pine Cay is the destination for travelers looking for “barefoot luxury” and a true private island vacation.

It’s a world away, yet only a 15 minute journey by boat from Providenciales commonly known as Provo. Guests are taken by taxi from the airport to a marina, and then transported by water shuttle to Pine Cay. 

The Meridian Club offers 38 comfortable private homes, 13-guestroom beach club, and the on-island transportation relies on battery-operated golf carts and bicycles.

The upscale accommodations DO NOT include televisions, radios or telephones. 

Instead technology is replaced by nature . . . soothing trade winds, rare natural beauty, and lounging on one of the best beaches in the world. 

Resort Cuisine:
 Ocean view dining, candlelight dinners, poolside barbecues, deserted island picnics, dining by your private beach. Guests enjoy outstanding cuisine from fresh baked goods at breakfast, international flavors during lunchtime buffets, and innovative cuisine during dinner service. 

The resort is also an ideal venue for a private wedding or any other occasion suitable to rent the entire island, allowing for up to 80 guests. 

Whats Included In Your Stay

  • All meals
  • Early morning coffee service
  • Breakfast room service
  • Casual mid-afternoon refreshments
  • Hobie Wave sailing boats
  • Kayaks
  • Paddleboard equipment
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Fresh-water pool
  • Mini-Basketball court
  • Bicycles
  • Shuffleboard, Tennis Court & Racquets
  • Some excursions to some neighboring islands
  • In-room WiFi
  • Wireless Internet access in the vicinity of the main club facility
  • Access to computer center with two computers reserved for guests
  • Arrival and departure
  • Boat and taxi transfers
  • Postcards

Getting There:
There are non-stop flights to Providenciales, subject to seasonal variation, from Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Chicago, New York, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Philadelphia. The airlines servicing Provo include American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and United.  

CALL 888-286-7993 to book now for the new season opening November 1, 2016

Happy Travels,