NYC: Xanadu & You

Remember the days when you were a beautiful bouncy blonde with a voice like Olivia Newton and long coltish legs that skated into some shiny hot pants? Me neither, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

XANADU, an all-out freewheelin’ party on wheels, is still going strong; thrilling audiences with it’s hilarious take on the 1980 Olivia Newton-John flick, a veritable must see for anyone stressed out in New York City and in need of a good laugh. Now that all those strikes are over, you need Broadway and she needs you.

Told by master Broadway playwright, Douglas Carter Beane, Xanadu is about a muse from ancient Greece sent to Earth to inspire a struggling artist. And you know Jaunt… we adore anything relating to ancient Greece, a muse, and struggling artists. Particularly if there’s singing and roller-skating involved. Plus, Kerry Butler plays the lead and she’s about as close to Olivia as anyone’s gonna get, right down to that sweet Aussie accent.

Her hunky co-star, Cheyenne Jackson, appropriately dubbed by the NY Post as “The Sexiest Man on Broadway” brings a set of acting and singing chops, proving, once and for all, that a man really can have movie star good looks and exceptional stage skills. When he sings “Don’t Walk Away”, shivers just might roll up your spine and set off a string of fireworks.

The best part? The music of Xanadu. All Top 10 hits from the 1980’s written by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) and John Farrar. The New York Times calls it “Heaven on Wheels”, the Daily News “90 minutes of hilarity” and New Yorker Magazine… “The Most Fun You Will Have on Broadway!”

How’s that for the perfect weekend matinee? A certifiable party, complete with glowsticks and dancing in the aisles. It’s more fun than making out with a hot co-worker in a storage closet at the company Christmas party. And everyone knows how much fun that is (until Monday morning, of course).

Xanadu. It’s guilt-free fun entertainment. Sort of like Snackwell’s… with a little ice-cream on top. Let’s face it, you could use a good dose of roller party after busting your hump all week. You’ll feel like a kid again.

For tickets to Xanadu at the Helen Hayes Theatre:

A Flair Necessity: Organic Accessories

Necklaces of Cardamom and Lupine?

When we say travel light, this is exactly what we mean. Reclaimed natural elements incorporated into a beautifully designed set piece. Jenny Nelson first caught our attention when we saw her interesting work and learned a bit about her life… chock full of equally inspiring experiences. Raised on the coast of Maine, inland from the mystical sounding ‘Mount Desert Island’ (where she currently resides), Nelson was completely surrounded by wild gardens, colorful flowers, and just the sort of woods filled with creatures who sing and buzz.

This idyllic childhood was the perfect setting for outdoor adventures… hiking and kayaking all around her forests, islands and little trees. With a passionate love of nature and words, she went on to study at a prestigious Creative Writing program straight out of high school (because they have such things in those magical Northern lands). In the years that followed, she lived ‘beautifully and randomly, hauling her snowboard around the Alps, teaching skiing and snowboarding, working at small and incredibly fun bakeries, poetry cooperatives, organic farming…’ until she happened upon a very well known jeweler in Northeast Harbor who soon became her mentor. She’s been a full time bench jeweler for her for the past five years, as Nelson says, ‘learning from someone who is a master at what they do.’

Talk about your regular, run-of-the-mill, renaissance Jauntophile.

“Inspired by a childhood spent in gardens and antique shops…’ she beautifully writes, ‘Embarking on countless adventures in the outside world, full of seedlings resting in organic soil, freshly cut wood, and salty ocean wanderings,’ she carries those scented memories into her hand-crafted line.
The only impact her work leaves on the environment? Beauty and substance. Working only with organic materials, found objects, salvaged metals and conflict-free stones, adorning yourself – whether jaunting to the kitchen or the Kasbah – has never felt, or looked, so damn cool. What’s more? You won’t show up to the same party with the same necklace as someone else. She customizes her pieces and each one is unique.

Just like you.

Now buzz off and get some work done already.
Don’t worry, you can come back later.

Pieces range from $65-$325.

Tell her Jaunt Magazine sent you.

Chile: Domo Domo

With the most powerful economy in South America (and a woman at the helm of the country… HURRAH!), Chile tops my list of ‘Get Off Your Hiney And Go’s. Inexpensive accommodations, economic stability, vibrant graffiti art that rivals the street sketches of Buenos Aires, Chile has the Andean peaks and plenty ‘o plenty of vino. What more does one person really need? Sharing a string of ice blue glacier lakes in the South with Argentina and hosting a plethora of vineyards scattered about the country, Chile is the next big thing. Which is why, when we here at Jaunt happened upon this little gem of a secret spot, we said, ‘Aye Dios! Que Bueno!’

There’s something about a geodesic dome that just screams serenity, doesn’t it? It’s a bit off the beaten path (about 580 Km from Santiago), but you won’t regret the trek. The road is paved until you reach the town of Pisco Elqui, but the resort will help arrange travel from there. One of only seven astronomic hotels in the world, you can literally sleep with the top down. Each has two floors. The first, with a living room and the bathroom, and the second, with the main bed (and your detachable roof). They also have a terrace, as well as a telescope and offer a fridge bar, free tea & coffee, specialized astronomic literature, BBQ’s and cutlery. In addition to viewing the night-sky with your lover, they offer astronomic tours and nighttime horseback rides.

Does it really get any more romantico? Oh, and it’s all earth-friendly too. So hitch that wagon to a star. Orion’s waiting.


Sleep It Off: Personalized Pillows & Conradtinis

It’s a good thing the Board ‘o Hiltons listened to their marketing department because the Hilton name has sadly become old tired news. However, Conrad Hotels, the newly re-vamped contemporary luxury hotel brand, is upping the ante by delivering properties everywhere from Australia’s Gold Coast to Punta del Este. Those under development include properties in Koh Samui and Dubai. Just to give you a taste, that up there… is the underwater restaurant at Conrad Hotel Maldives.

Now, I’m not one to shamelessly plug Hilton, but back in the day Hilton was synonymous with quality. Many years later (and many upgrades undelivered), their properties fell into a state of dis… well, let’s just say Paris wouldn’t be so proud. Thankfully, they’re pulling themselves back from the 80’s, introducing new amenities that sound downright fresh and fun. We’ll start with a bespoke cocktail service called the ‘Conradtini,’ which enables guests to become a master mixologist by creating their own cocktail.

While most restaurants and bars offer standard martini and cocktail menus, this modern bar alternative allows guests to order and mix their cocktails exactly as they wish without worrying about finding the best combination of their preferred ingredients or sacrificing their interest in a peach martini because of their aversion to lime juice. Furthermore, each hotel and resort has created its own Conradtini menu to reflect the cultural preferences of location and local customs.

That’s the part that I really like.

Whether guests prefer a gin base or vodka, juice or carbonation, nectars, syrup, a martini shaken or stirred, Conradtini offers guests the luxury of choice. So take a seat at the bar and create an individual concoction with as much – or as little – assistance from Conrad’s own talented mixologists.

Will it be caramel, watermelon juice, banana nectar, cidona or Lucozade? From capers and cucumber to honeydew and snakefruit, you’ll pick your own glassware (and prepare to get loopy).

Richard Blamey, Senior Vice President Brand Management, Conrad Hotels & Resorts says of the new Conradtini, “At Conrad we’re always looking for ways to extend our commitment to providing options and personalised luxury experiences for our guests. This new bar concept, which we believe is the first of its kind… celebrates each guest’s individual preferences. We want everyone to feel comfortable ordering their cocktails the way they enjoy them most, rather than for each guest to alter an already-existing menu.”

Thanks, Richie. We appreciate the concern (and the attention to detail). Speaking of details, listen to this one:

A Global Pillow Menu!

Conrad Maldives

In line with their motto ‘Luxury for Every Guest,’ and for those of us with discerning pillow tastes, you can order up a speciality pillow depending on your needs. Whether I’m cramming the pillow between my legs or smashing it down to make it less bulky, this idea is clever customization at it’s best.

Here’s a sampling of pillow options (keep this in mind… when I was sent The Pillow Menu for the entire range of Conrad properties, it was several pages long!)

Bangkok Shogun Pillow – Igusu grass of Japan
Small holes inside the mat absorb humidity and heat. Tatami fiber massages feet and stimulates blood circulation when walked on.

Bangkok Miracle Pillow Polyester – 100% The “Anatomic Pillow”
In hygienic vacuum-packing, it’s warm, shape retaining, springy, insulated, antiallergenic and antibacterial.

Chicago Cold and Flu Pillow
Infused with eucalyptus, tea tree, bergamot and sandlewood, Clear congestion and breath easier. The refreshing scents of eucalyptus and tea tree help relieve and clear noses. Bergamont eases headaches
and soothes a troubled stomach, while sandlewood relieves sore throats.

Chicago Romance Pillow
A relaxing fragrance stimulates and inspires a romantic ambiance with vetivert, patchouli, ylang-ylang and
sandlewood oils. This combination of scents is an essential for romance.

Chicago Snore No More Pillow
At last, a pillow designed by a doctor to help reduce snoring while improving sleeping posture to provide luxurious comfort for a better night’s sleep. Designed to help reduce airway obstruction.

So, after downing my own personalized Cocktinis, I mean… Conradtinis, I can snooze it off in style. After all, who really NEEDS a lover when you can catch a cat nap in the Windy City with a Romance Pillow?

PS. If you’re married, just throw your husband the Snore No More and watch some late night hotel programming.

Nighty nighty.