Wednesday, October 1, 2014

French St Martin's First All Inclusive Hotel

The Riu Palace St. Martin Hotel is the newest hotel on the French side of the island 

And it has the distinction of being the very first All Inclusive


All photo's courtesy of Hotel Riu Palace St Martin

The newest hotel boasts a wide array of superb cuisine, modern services, pools, beautiful gardens - and beginning in November 2014 the hotel will begin to offer the All Inclusive program.

Located in Anse Marcel, the property is situated on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. 



With direct access to the Anse Marcel Marina, the hotel's location is ideal for island hopping. 




The 24 hour All Inclusive program includes:

Unlimited meals, snacks, specialty restaurants, unlimited non alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, unlimited use of in-room mini bar and liquor dispenser, various water and land sports, daily activities, live entertainment, taxes and service charges included.


Other ammenties include:
  • 24 hour room service
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
  • Kids miniclub
  • Gym and Spa
  • Infinity pool
  • (4) restaurants and (3) bars

NOTE: Currently Riu Palace St. Martin is only taking reservations for United States Residents


More info here http://www.riusaintmartinpalace.com/


Happy Travels,
Linda

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oil Nut Bay Private Island Lifestyle in Virgin Gorda

(ˆ◡ˆ) Ahh, the Good Life!


Oil Nut Bay is only accessible by boat or helicopter, and features the seclusion of a personal private island with the comfort and amenities of a full-service resort.


The warm, crystal-clear waters of Virgin Gorda is a prime destination for sailing and yachting, and the islands beaches, quiet coves and unparalleled beauty makes this the perfect Caribbean destination.  


Oil Nut Bay offers guests top of the line equipment and the best Virgin Gorda has to offer - exploring pristine reefs, sailing, diving, windsurfing, sport fishing, paddle sports, swimming in the protected waters of Oil Nut Bay beach, or cruise the area in a glass-bottom kayak. 


The resort’s Beach Club offers gourmet dining, three pools and a poolside bar, a kids’ club and nature center, 24-hour spa and health and fitness center services, a business center and 24-hour concierge service. 


Villa accommodations range from two to six bedrooms, and the resort’s Cliff Suites, positioned on Oil Nut Bay’s rocky southeast bluffs, feature three private plunge pools and views of the Caribbean Sea.

Amenities include a beach club, water sports, a kids’ club and access to the YCCS Marina. Rates range from $795 to $8,750 per night, depending on accommodations and booking date. Oil Nut Bay is currently offering guests seven nights in any villa for the price of five. 

https://oilnutbay.com/


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Monday, September 29, 2014

Best Way to Explore Oranjestad Aruba

One of the best ways of getting around downtown Aruba - and it's FREE! 

Photo Credit: http://www.tramz.com/aw/aw.html

Inaugurated in 2012, the hydrogen-powered trams are the free alternative to explore Aruba's capital free of charge. The tram makes six stops, at monuments and museums along the way - as well as at popular shopping and dining establishments. 

Map Photo Credit: Aruba Forum

Aruba is starting the transition to 100% renewable energy, and hopes to become one of the world's first sustainable economies. Sir Richard Branson's Carbon War Room Smart Island Economies initiative is developing a model that can be replicated across the Caribbean and Pacific islands. 

The solar-powered tram uses no fossil oil and produces no carbon emission. The self-powered hybrid/electric cars run on sophisticated energy and power control software combining lithium batteries, regenerative braking, and a hydrogen fuel cell. 

Photo Credit: http://www.tramz.com/aw/aw.html

The inner city loop runs the full length of Main Street with departures from the wharf at the cruise ship terminal to the Schelpstraat, and all the way up to the end of Mainstreet. The return trip's starting point passes through the Havenstraat, up to Burger King and makes six stops with the last stop of the popular Bon Bini Bazaar.  

Passengers have the choice of the top of the open roof double-decker or riding in the shade of the single deck. 


The tram has been a hit with the locals as they use the streetcar to easily travel the downtown area, while tourists use the service to do their shopping, visit the archaeological and historical museums. The tram will be of special benefit for cruise ship passengers for returning to the main gate of the cruise terminal quickly. 

The tram is modified with a hydraulic lift to accommodate wheelchairs and disabled. The street car operators have been certified to operate the vehicles, and there are always a conductor and two officials on board each car. The officials inform passengers where to get off or get on the car, and what specific stop is approaching.


Happy Travels,
Linda


More info:

The Streetcars of Oranjestad, great pictures and background story about Aruba and the streetcars. Lots of history http://www.tramz.com/aw/aw.html

TIG/m Modern Street Railways, Los Angeles, California is the manufacturer of the world's greenest streetcars for inner-city public transportation, and is working on are in major developments in Texas and California, and in Baha, Mexico. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fallin' Into a Sweet Deal In St Croix USVI


A Private Hideaway in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands


The Sugar Beach Condo Resort on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands is offering “Falllin’ into a Sweet Deal,” a special travel package offering one free night - plus 10% off a car rental to travelers who book a minimum four-night stay by Dec. 1, 2014 for travel through Dec. 15, 2014. 


Sugar Beach Condo Resort is just one and a half miles from Christiansted, and the beach offers a 500 foot stretch of premier palm tree lined beachfront. All units offer a full view of the stunning Caribbean aqua waters. 

The resort offers guests two lighted tennis courts, swimming pool, and complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet access available in public areas. Additional amenities include laundry facilities and complimentary self parking for guests. 

Sugar Beach Resort ground-floor units open right onto the resort’s palm-lined beach and second and third floor units offer over-sized balconies. 

Amenities in air-conditioned guestrooms include
Washers/Dryers
Coffee/Tea makers
Premium cable channels/ DVD players
Shower/tub combinations/hair dryers

All units at this 3-star resort have kitchens with stovetops, full-sized refrigerators/freezers, microwaves, and dishwashers. Additional amenities include irons/ironing boards, ceiling fans, and daily housekeeping. 

View the brief video of the property

.

To book the "Fallin' Into a Sweet Deal" you must use booking code: FALL2014 http://sugarbeachstcroix.com/specials.html 

More vacation packages at Sugar Beach Resort: http://sugarbeachstcroix.com/packages.html 

Happy Travels, 
Linda


Friday, September 26, 2014

Divi Little Bay St Maarten All Inclusive Sale


Stay a few nights or longer - there is no minimum stay required to receive special rates starting at $149 per night until December 19, 2014.

Divi Little Bay Beach Resort is located on the South Coast of the island, and lies along a semi-private peninsula between beautiful Great Bay and Little Bay. 

The resort offers a beautiful private beach which wraps around a soft, wide arc of white sand, and the location offers wonderful views of the cruise ships as they arrive into Great Bay. 

Guests are just a few minutes from the capital city Philipsburg, and a couple of miles from the islands shops, restaurants, and casinos. St Martin, the French side of the island, is just a 30 minute drive away. 

Spacious suites at the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort are perfect for families. Children 12 and under stay free when staying with an adult. For the kids, Divi Little Bay has a Kids Program - Treasures of the Caribbean



Studio Accommodations - offer private patios or balconies with views to Great Bay or Little Bay. 

Each studio offers a king-sized bed with a queen sleeper in the living area, fully equipped kitchen, air-conditioning, television with VCR, and clock radio. Some studios offer television with DVD player, CD stereo system, and jacuzzi tub.





Beachfront GuestroomsThe guestrooms offer private patios or balconies with beautiful ocean views, walk-out beach access, king sized bed, or two double beds with air-conditioning, television, and clock radio. 








One Bedroom Suites - Private patios or balconies with sweeping views of Little Bay or Great Bay, one king bed or one queen bed, fully equipped kitchen, air-conditioning, television with vcr, and clock radio. 

Deluxe suite amenities include a fully equipped kitchen, television with DVD player, CD stereo system and air-conditioning. Most luxury suites offer one full bath, with one half bath.




Divi Little Bay also offers Casita One Bedroom Luxury Suites which are located on the hillside with garden and pool views. The suites offer one king-sized bed in the bedroom, with a queen sleeper sofa in the separate living area. Upgraded amenities include thermostatic showers, flat screen televisions, DVD player, clock radio with iPod docking station, fully equipped kitchen with granite countertops, wood cabinets, and private patio.

ALL-INCLUSIVE OPTION INCLUDES

  • All meals and snacks at three dining venues
  • Toucan’s Café, with live music and theme nights
  • Seabreeze Restaurant serving casual poolside lunches
  • Bayview Café offering pastries and sandwiches
  • Unlimited beverages at three bars

Guests also enjoy three fresh-water pools, lush landscaped grounds, a tennis court, water sports center, retail promenade with gift shops, jewelry, and crafts, children’s club, family activity program, and Wi-fi access. 

View special offers - http://www.diviresorts.com//DiviLittleBay/little-bay-special-offers.html

For more information about the island of St Maarten, visit www.st-maarten.com

Happy Travels,
Linda

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Marathon Bahamas Race Weekend 2015

Sunshine Insurance Marathon Bahamas Race Weekend
January 17-18, 2015

An oceanfront start, finish and a scenic course make 
the Marathon Bahamas beach racing at its best

Photo Credits: Marathon Bahamas

Nassau Paradise Island will host the 6th annual running of the Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend. Marathon events include the full marathon, half marathon, 5K and relay, health & fitness expo, and post race party on the beach with beer, music, and more.

Marathon Bahamas offers a distance for every runner including a 5K, half-marathon, marathon, and four-person marathon relay with legs ranging from 5.6 to 7.5 miles. The courses are flat, with a jaunt over the bridge connecting Nassau and Paradise Island. 




About Race Weekend

Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend is in it’s sixth annual running, and it’s fifth running and partnership with the Susan G. Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure® 5K. The event features runners from 25 countries and 31 states and is supported by a large volunteer contingent from every walk of Bahamian life.

Sunshine Insurance, in its role as the lead sponsor and organizer for Marathon Bahamas, has fostered a strategic partnership between Marathon Bahamas and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the global leader of the breast cancer movement and the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists. 


100% of the money raised by the Race for the Cure will remain in The Bahamas to fund breast cancer and women’s health programs. Beneficiaries are:  The Cancer Society of The Bahamas, The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group, The Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative and the Cancer Association of Grand Bahama.


Early-bird registration fees are $30 for adults, and $15 for children under 12. 

Online and mail-in registration is now available at http://marathonbahamas.com/
In-person registration is available at Sunshine Insurance Offices (East Shirley Street and Blue Hill Road)

To take advantage of the early registration offer, runners must register by November 15, 2014 - fees will increase incrementally to the event day. 


http://marathonbahamas.com/about-race-weekend/


Happy Travels,

Linda


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Quantum of the Seas Sails Backwards from Shipyard

Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas has left the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany and is making its way to the North Sea. 

But the path to open water requires quite a stunning bit of navigation . . . 
PHOTO: Quantum of the Seas moves slowly through the German countryside on its way to the North Sea. (Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

The 136-foot wide ship will maneuver for 20 miles - backwards, no less - on the River Ems, with just a few feet clearance on both sides

At 168,666 gross tons, it is the largest ship to ever make this unusual trip, which the shipyard calls “the conveyance.”  Continue reading full article at Travel Pulse

The North Star - the jewel-shaped capsule ascends over 300 feet above sea level with breathtaking 360° views of the sea 

I ♥ the diversity of the Ports of Call on Quantum of the Seas 11 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise departing from Cape Liberty, New Jersey on December 1, 2014 - San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Fort De France, Martinique; Bridgetown, Barbados; and Basseterre, St. Kitts. 

Find out why "WOW" is the only word that can possibly sum up Royal Caribbean's newest ship, Quantum of the Seas - Prepare to be wowed!

Happy Sails,
Linda

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cayman Roasted Pumpkin Holiday Salad

Just in time for the holidays - a Caribbean inspired salad from the Cayman Islands! 

James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink at Camana Bay on Grand Cayman has created a roasted pumpkin salad that's perfect for any fall festivity. 


Photo Credit: Camana Bay

Michael originally created this dish for Slow Food Day, an annual daylong celebration of the Cayman Islands’ farmers and fishermen that calls attention to eating locally and sourcing sustainability. Pumpkin is available almost year-round in the Cayman Islands and can be found at the weekly Farmers & Artisans Market at Camana Bay.

This easy to make recipe combines fresh pumpkin, quinoa, long beans and heart of palm with a savory parsley vinaigrette, making it the ideal seasonal side dish for a dinner party or a Thanksgiving celebration.

Roasted Pumpkin Salad - Serves 6

  • 3 quarts fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut into large cubes
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 pound long beans
  • 1/2  cup heart of palm, shaved
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup parsley vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup scallion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
  • 1/2  cup cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the cut pumpkin on a sheet pan, dress with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the pumpkin until it becomes tender, about 12 minutes. Once tender, remove and allow to cool at room temperature. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the long beans for 15 seconds then shock into ice water to stop the cooking. Once the long beans are chilled, cut into 2 inch long pieces. 

To assemble the salad, warm the roasted pumpkin in an oven set at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine the warm pumpkin, cooked quinoa, long beans, shaved heart of palm and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the vinaigrette and herbs. Serve while the salad is warm.

Parsley Vinaigrette - Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup parlsey leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup oregano leaves, packed
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Add 1/2 cup of water to a saucepot over medium heat and add the salt. Once dissolved, set aside and allow to cool. Finely chop the parsley and oregano. Combine the herbs, shallots, garlic and sherry vinegar in a mixing bowl. Using a whisk, bruise the herbs with the vinegar and whisk in the salt water and finally the olive oil. Place in a plastic container until ready to use. You can allow the dressing to marinate for a day and the flavors will improve.

Happy Travels,
Linda

Source: The Wilbert Group

Spend a Luxury Holiday in the Caribbean


Enjoy a $500 dining credit for winter holiday reservations 
(December 18, 2014 – January 5, 2015)

A luxury Caribbean villa is the perfect vacation value for families and friends. Each luxury villa is priced by the night - not by the person. Check out these fabulous villas in Jamaica, St Barths, the Bahamas and Anguilla.

Kai Kala - Jamaica

10 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms. Extra large home, perfect for couples or large family.
Available Starting December 27 For New Year's! More info


La Vie En Rose - St Barths

5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms.  Within convenient walking distance of Petit Cul-de-Sac Beach. Accepting 7 Night Stay, Beginning December 28! More info


Seven Peaks Villa - Bahamas

6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms. Enjoy beach, golf and tennis access on Paradise Island.
Open For Both Christmas And New Year's! More info


Modena Villa - Anguilla

5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms. Contemporary dream home providing maximum privacy and luxury. Open For Both Christmas And New Year's! (10 night min stay) More info

Visit http://www.travelkeys.com/ for a complete listing of luxury vacation villas in the Caribbean region - and around the globe.

Happy Travels,
Linda