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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Spotlight on French Gastronomy: St Barth Haute Cuisine




3rd edition of the St Barth Gourmet Festival
November 3-6, 2016 


A fabulous celebration of French cuisine! 



The world’s most exceptional chefs partner up with some of the island’s most talented chefs at the islands luxury hotel restaurants.

All Photo Credits: Courtesy of St Barth Gourmet Festival

French Chef Christian Le Squer is the 2016 Festival Sponsor 


Christian Le Squer, Head Chef at Le Cinq restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris. 

The Four Seasons Hotel George V is one of the most prestigious hotels of the capital, and is listed among the most luxurious in the world. 

Chef Le Squer has received two Michelin stars in 2015 - and three Michelin stars in 2016.

This year (8) visiting chefs will prepare their signature cuisine in hotels around the islands.



In addition to the special dinners and lunches,  the festival includes cooking lessons from the masters, tips on mixing cocktails from one of France’s top bartenders, young chef contests and tastings of traditional St Barth cuisine – all free to the general public.

Experience Exceptional Dining at these Restaurants in St Barths:

Bartolomeo and Indigo at Hotel Guanahani
http://www.leguanahani.com

On the Rocks at Eden Rock Hotel - St. Jean Bay
http://www.edenrockhotel.com

Le Sereno at Le Sereno Hotel
http://www.lesereno.com

La Case at Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France Hotel
http://www.stbarthisledefrance.chevalblanc.com

Le Gaiac at Hotel Toiny - Anse de Toiny
http://www.letoiny.com

Mango and Taino at Hotel Christopher - Pointe Milou
http://www.hotelchristopher.com

La Plage at Hotel Tom Beach - Baie de St. Jean
http://www.tombeach.com

Do Brazil - Shell Beach Gustavia
http://www.dobrazil.com

Find out more about the chefs and festival
http://www.stbarthgourmetfestival.com/


Bon Appetit & Happy Travels,
Linda


Monday, July 11, 2016

Deals at Bermuda's Only Oceanfront Resort

Elbow Beach Resort is the only Oceanfront Bermuda Resort 
which overlooks a half mile of private pink sand beach on 
Bermuda's South Shore 


Current travel deals include a Bed & Breakfast Package which is available for all travel dates, and Every 3rd Night Free Package (Lanai and Ocean View Rooms) valid from September 1, 2016 thru April 14, 2017. 


The luxurious rooms, suites and cottages all offer stunning ocean views with amenities that will make every guest feel right at home. 


There are several on-site oceanfront dining options, a luxury spa with private suites, and numerous on-site activities for the kids. The resort is located close to the islands top attractions,  activities, and shopping.   


Elbow Beach Resort offers (4) onsite Dining options: Mickey’s Bar & Bistro, CafĂ© Lido, Sea Breeze (shown above), and Blue Point.

Visit the resort site for more info on this property, along with rates and availability.
http://www.elbowbeachbermuda.com/


Happy Travels,
Linda


Friday, July 8, 2016

Head to Jamaica for the Ultimate Staycation


August 12 – November 12, 2016 
Explore Jamaica with great value packages from participating hotels, attractions, tours, restaurant and shopping providers with discounts of up to 50% on your vacation 

Choose from beach resorts, hotels, villas and guest house around the island, and try something new and delicious, from spicy jerk and seafood, to exotic fruit and the infamous Jamaican rum. 

Jamaica offers so much to do, and has something for every age to enjoy

KINGSTON

Bob Marley Museum - Photo Credit: Visit Jamaica

Jamaica’s capital and the cultural capital of the Caribbean, Kingston is the place for international themed restaurants, major sporting events, galleries, museums, nightlife and theater - there is always something to see and do in the capital. 

SOUTH COAST

YS Falls, St Elizabeth Parish - Photo Credit: Visit Jamaica

Jamaica’s bread basket - off the beaten path where the black sand beaches meet towering hills – and in between is the simple life. 

NEGRIL


The "Capital of Casual" is known for awesome sunsets, the famous sands of Seven Mile Beach, a lively nightlife, and unique accommodations ranging from thatched roofed cottages, cliff-side bungalows and expansive tree lined resorts. 

MONTEGO BAY

Rafting on the Martha Brae River

Mo Bay offers an extensive mix of accommodations, exciting tours and attractions, championship golf courses, historic great houses, plantations and white-sand beaches.

OCHO RIOS
Dunns River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Jamaica Tourism Board)

Ochi is majestic waterfalls, beautiful beaches, colorful gardens, and lots of adventure on ATV's, dune buggy's or horseback. Seaside villas and multiple options for hotels offer a range of comfortable options for couples and families. 

PORT ANTONIO

Blue Lagoon - Photo Credit: Travel Well Guide

Home of the beautiful Blue Lagoon. Escape the hustle and bustle in this charming part of the island offering hideaways on the beach or cliffs, and . 

Get all the details here http://www.ultimatejamaicastaycation.com/


Happy Travels,
Linda

Thursday, July 7, 2016

19th Annual World Creole Music Festival

A world class platform showcasing music from 
Creole speaking countries around the globe  . . . 


The 19th World Creole Music Festival will be held on Oct 28-30 at the Windsor Park Stadium in the capital city of Roseau. 

Last year's festival, which was scheduled in August, did not take place due to Tropical Storm Erika which caused severe damage to the island. 



Aside from being known as the "Nature Island" of the Caribbean, Dominica is the birthplace of musical genres Bouyon and Cadence-Lypso. 

The popular World's Creole Festival is known for featuring French West Indies and Dominican acts who represent the French and African influenced genres of Zouk, along with Cadence, Bouyon, Soukous dance music from the Congo Basin, Compas/Kompa Haitian Creole, and Zydeco from Louisiana in the U.S. 

Other music genres include Dancehall, Reggae and Hip Hop with a Caribbean flavor.  



The World Creole Musical Festival is actually a three week celebration featuring the Cadence-Lypso Competition, and Creole In The Park. 

MIDNIGHT GROOVERS – KINGS OF CADENCE! 



Chubby, the legendary Lead Singer of Midnight Groovers
50 years in the music business, legendary cadence-lypso group of Dominica - Photo Credit: Dominica Festivals






Scheduled Performers:

FRIDAY October 28th

  • Timaya (Nigeria)
  • Midnight Groovers (Dominica)
  • Original Bouton Pioneers (Dominica)
  • Kreole La (Haiti)
  • Grand Merchant de Zouk (French Antilles)
  • Popcaan (Jamaica)
  • Triple Kay Global (Dominica)





Morgan Heritage 
Winner of the 2016 Grammy for best Reggae album - Photo Credit: Jamaica Gleaner 








SATURDAY October 29

  • Extasy Band (Dominica)
  • Dede Saint Prix (Martinique)
  • Ophelia Marie (Dominica)
  • Kes the Band (Trinidad & Tobago)
  • Mr Killa (Grenada)
  • Morgan Heritage (Jamaica)
  • Wyclef Jean (Haiti)
  • WCK (Dominica)

SUNDAY – October 30

  • Breve and more (Dominica)
  • T-Mickey (Haiti)
  • Michele Henderson (Dominica)
  • Gentleman (Germany)
  • Asa Banton (Dominica)
  • Akon (U.S. and Senegal)


http://dominicafestivals.com/

Discover more about the Nature Island of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) visit www.discoverdominica.com

Happy Travels,
Linda


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The MOST All-Inclusives in the Caribbean

Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa, Paradise Cove Runaway Bay, is a contemporary beachfront resort near Ocho Rios on Jamaica’s north coast. 


The adults only resort offers the most all-inclusive offerings in the Caribbean for couples and singles.  


Offering the "most" in all-inclusives is not hype!
Here's some of the activities included in the all-inclusive pricing

  • Airport transfers to and from Montego Bay Sangster International Airport
  • All meals and snacks at Jewel’s best restaurant concepts
  • Unlimited premium drinks at the resort’s bars
  • Complimentary wireless Internet access available in the lobby and all guest rooms/suites
  • Tour of Konoko Falls and Park Tour 
  • Shopping tour with stop at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (once per stay)
  • Hobie Cat, paddle boarding, kayaking and other non-motorized water sport adventures
  • Complimentary green fees at the resort’s nearby championship Runaway Bay Golf Club, a par 72, 18-hole championship course, and daily complimentary shuttle service 
  • Weekly “dive-in” movies
  • Live entertainment (day and nightly activities)
  • Glass-bottom boat tours offered daily (weather permitting)
  • Reef snorkeling excursions, offered daily (weather permitting)
  • On-site fitness center, two (2) tennis courts with Instructor, basketball and a roster of classes and activities including water aerobics, spinning, yoga, beach volleyball and soccer, nature walks, beach cricket, Reggae and Soca dance classes and more


The resort features 210 rooms and junior suites with luxurious bedding, modern furniture, and deluxe bathrooms. 

Private balconies and patios have floor-to-ceiling glass doors. There are two secluded beaches along with a beachfront cove. Three separate pool areas each have a swim up bar, 202 foot double looped water slide, and pool concierge service. 

The junior suites include a personal butler. The trained butler can take care of in-suite check-in, unpacking and pressing, turn down service, priority seating in restaurants and arranging excursions any other on property activities to enhance the vacation experience. 


Diverse On-Site Dining:

Platinum - Fine dining featuring contemporary Caribbean cuisine 
Moonstone by Sophia - Fine Italian cuisine from the various culinary corners of Italy
Jade Samurai - Far East exotic gourmet specialties - Teppanyaki style cooking and entertainment
Golden Sabre Sushi - Fresh, creative sushi, sashimi and more
Coral Cafe - Buffet breakfast and lunch offering local specialties and a la carte dinner with West Indies cuisine available
Aquamarina Bar & Grill - Made-to-order sandwiches, burgers wraps and jerked treats and salads
Court Jesters Pizzeria - Custom-made pizza
In-Room Dining – Food available all day as well as an overnight indulgence menu

Additional Bars:
- Aquamarina Bar
- The Emerald Cove Bar
- Sunken Treasure Swim-up Bar
- Oceanfront Boardwalk Bar
- Jaspers Chillin Pool & Piano Bar
- Bling (Disco Bar)

A 10 station Fit Trail Spans the Entire Property  
A new addition to the resort is the oceanfront, full-service Radiant Spa, where specialty spa treatments are performed with panoramic Caribbean views by highly trained spa professionals including the Chakra-aligned Vichy Shower. 

The two-story wellness facility also houses the oceanfront Cut Fitness Center offering cardio equipment, a full range of free weights, access to expert instructors and trainers and a variety of indoor and outdoor classes, including spinning and yoga classes.

Also Jewel Paradise Cove is an ideal choice for a company retreat or wedding with 3,000 square feet of banquet facilities, and onsite catering.  

Note: This is an adults-only resort - The minimum age to check-in is 18 years of age.

Check out special offers for this resort, along with other Jewel properties in Jamaica (Jewel Dunn's River & Jewel Runaway Bay)
http://www.jewelresorts.com/resorts/paradisecove/specials


Happy Travels,
Linda

Monday, June 27, 2016

2016 St Croix USVI Coral Reef Swim

The 21st Annual Coral Reef Swim Race will be held on 
November 6, 2016

Photo Credit: GoToStCroix.com

This is an open water experience where participants race to protect the very coral reefs they swim past on the way to the finish line. All of the proceeds from the race go directly to the Nature Conservancy’s program to protect the coral reefs of the US Virgin Islands. 

Photo Credit: Steve Simonson via Swimming World Magazine 

The swim offers 1, 2, and 5-mile races, and attracts 150 to 200 swimmers from around the world 

With three distances to choose from, the Coral Reef Swims offer an experience for all level of swimmers, including world class athletes. Race contestants can be as young as 11 years old along with 75 year old seniors. 

Olympic Gold Medalist Misty Hyman has been involved with organizing the Coral Reef Swim since 2004. 

Five-Mile Swim Race
The race begins on world-famous Buck Island, which boasts a spectacular beach and living coral reef designated as an underwater park by the National Park Service, continues across the channel, and then along St. Croix’s shoreline of colorful reefs and sandy bottom. 

Two-Mile Swim Race
The two mile race will start on the west side of Pull Point. Swimmers will head west passing Shoys Point Beach before reaching the final turn buoy about 800 yards off Mermaid Beach. 

One-Mile Swim Race
The One mile race starts on Shoys Beach. Swimmers will head west before reaching the final turn buoy.   

Buccaneer’s Mermaid Beach is the finish for all the races, and the hotel is the hub for all the swim's events


Whether first or last, swimmers come in to the sounds of a live steel band, enjoy tropical refreshments, and share their race stories. Later on, the celebration continues with an awards ceremony and lunch at the Terrace Restaurant.

The events festivities begin several days before the race, including island tours, snorkeling trips, a rum tasting and other activities offered by the hotel. A cocktail event the day before the race at the historic Sugar Mill allows race participants to meet in an informal setting.

Buccaneer Hotel Coral Reef Swim Race Package 2016
The (3) night value package for two persons is $1390 for an Ocean View room or $1690 for a Deluxe Oceanfront room. Single occupancy rate is $1200 for an Ocean View room or $1500 for a Deluxe Oceanfront room (shown below). 


The Buccaneer is a completely modern hotel with a historical background that dates back to 1653. 

The property occupies a 300-acre estate that was formerly a sugar plantation. For dining you can choose from the hotels three top rated St Croix Restaurants.  

Each room features a private patio or balcony for maximum enjoyment of our spectacular views. Conveniences include air conditioning, small refrigerators, safes, hair dryers, telephones, satellite television, DVD players, irons and ironing boards, coffee makers, shower or shower/tub combination, double sinks and ceiling fans. Some rooms have soothing whirlpool tubs. Cribs, roll-aways, and microwaves are available upon request.

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • (3) nights accommodations, including taxes
  • Breakfast daily
  • Two dinners and gratuity, including Saturday night swimmer's buffet
  • Round trip airport transportation
  • Buck Island snorkeling trip
  • Sugar Mill cocktail party

Special offer at The Buccaneer - http://www.thebuccaneer.com/special-offers-en.html

For more details about the annual swim race visit - http://swimrace.com/


Happy Travels,
Linda


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Lobster Fest in Belize


Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2016
July 1, 2016 - July 3, 2016 
Palapa Gardens - Caye Caulker, Belize

Belize is host to (3) Lobster Fests in June and July! 


Ambergris Caye Lobster Fest started earlier this month, and will continue until June 26. Then Placencia's Lobster Fest starts on June 24-26, and will be held at the beach and municipal pier.   

Caye Caulker is a small village - the island is 4 miles long, however the town only measures about a mile - the water taxi from Belize City takes about an hour. 

Beach houses at Caye Caulker - Image Credit W. Auxillou via Travel Belize

Almost all the businesses are locally owned, vehicles larger than golf carts and bikes are hardly ever seen on the streets, and accommodations are reasonably priced. 


The small island has an easygoing attitude with a strong Creole presence, and Caye Caulker is also home to a small community of Rastafarians. 

The islanders make their living from the sea from the spiny lobsters and red snapper that inhabit its warm waters. The fishermen started the celebration at the opening of lobster season which starts in June. They still practice the traditional catching methods of free diving and using wooden lobster traps. 

Festival Highlights Include:

  • Water sports
  • Beach parties
  • Miss Lobster Festival
  • Lobster-eating competitions
  • Live cultural and musical performances
  • The “biggest lobster catch” competition
  • And the main dance event on Saturday night 



Happy Travels,
Linda

Discover more about the island at Travel Belize





Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Anguilla 2016 Summer Carnival Festival



This year's theme is 
"Showcasing our culture through Boat Racing, Feting and Spreeing"  



Anguilla is unique as many of the carnival festivities take place in the water, and on the islands beaches. 


You can't have Carnival in Anguilla without boat racing, which is deeply rooted in the islands heritage. 

Throughout the week crewed boats race around the island at rapid speeds to win bragging rights, eligibility for other future races and the champion title. 

Photo Credit: Time.com

In fact Anguilla goes against international racing rules which state if two boats are sailing towards each other, the boat without the right away must turn

Not on Anguila! If you hear shouts of "Hard Lee" the captain has opted for the boats to collide, and there's more action as the the crews will have to be rescued. 

Anguilla Carnival's Big August Monday!  This day is a government holiday, and many businesses are closed 

The action gets underway around 5:00 a.m. Jouvert Morning is the big kick-off to August Monday with the loud sounds of Soca and Calypso bands on floats. The "Road March" goes all the way from The Valley to Sandy Ground, Anguilla’s main port. This is an all day affair, and when the sun goes down the bands perform at the Caribbean Beach Party. 

More boat races and parties are held during the week throughout the island at Island Harbour, Sandy Ground, and Meads Bay. Islanders picnic and enjoy family reunions, and there's always plenty of food, rum and music.  


The colorful Parade of Troupes is held on Friday. The troupes are from villages all over the island and parade through the streets of the Valley. The beautiful handmade costumes are very intricate, and depict cultural and fantasy themes.  

Head over to Anguilla Beaches Blog for detailed info on Anguilla's Carnival
http://www.anguilla-beaches.com/anguilla-carnival.html

Happy Travels,
Linda



Monday, June 20, 2016

Cayman Islands First New Property Build in a Decade

The new Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa will feature 266 distinctively-appointed guest rooms and suites, including 16 oceanfront suites, 
nine beachfront bungalows, and 
eight uniquely configured family suites 


This is the first new project to be developed in the area in a decade

There will be multiple dining venues and bars with scenic views, a cascading oceanfront pool, destination spa, along with expansive indoor and outdoor meeting and function spaces. The luxury resort and spa will offer a luxury modern vibe which blends seamlessly native landscape of lush gardens. 

The Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa will be located on Seven Mile Beach, and opening date is set for late November 2016. 


(3) new dining venues are set to debut as part of the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa

Chef Massimo De Francesca will serve as Executive Chef for the property. He has spent considerable time in Grand Cayman's most popular kitchens, and is known as an authority on the Cayman’s multicultural culinary scene. 

All three of the resorts new restaurants will incorporate Chef Massimo's expertise with local ingredients, along with the knowledge gained from local restaurateurs and the islands fishermen.  

Ave Restaurant


The menu will blend local produce and seafood with light and fresh coastal Mediterranean cuisine. Seasonal small plates with a broad menu are the highlights, along with hand-mixed cocktails, liqueurs, local/imported beers, and an extensive wine list. Open for breakfast and dinner daily.  

Avecita - An exhibition-style “restaurant within a restaurant” 


Only a few will have reserved seats at the dining counter, where a nightly tasting menu is a culinary tour de force. Communal seating is available for additional guests who are treated to a modern Spanish tapas-style menu.

Coccoloba - a casual, beachside experience


Coccoloba will offer a culinary island life experience with inspiration from coastal Mexico. The open-air restaurant will be shaded by seagrape trees (for which the restaurant was named) with a bar, tables, and communal seating. On the menu will be tacos, tostadas and ceviche, juices, and cocktails. The music starts at sundown just in time for happy hour with margaritas. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

With three signature restaurants, two pool bars with innovative cocktails, and a pantry with fun cafe-style items for purchase (such as cookie dough to bake in the suites and bungalows,) guests will be fully satisfied.

Visit http://www.seafireresortandspa.com/


Happy Travels,
Linda


Previous Cayman Island Posts:

Summer Only In Cayman Deals http://www.travel2thecaribbeanblog.com/2016/05/summer-only-in-cayman-deals.html

Cayman Islands 5 Star Farm to Table Experience
http://www.travel2thecaribbeanblog.com/2016/01/cayman-islands-5-star-farm-to-table.html