New York Getaway: The Lodge at Woodloch, PA


Everyone thinks you have to go to the Hamptons for a quick getaway from the stress of the city, but little do they know about a secret gem Jaunt Magazine uncovered only 90 miles (that’s two hours) from NYC in the beautiful lake region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Surrounded by 75 acres of scenic woodlands and a private 15 acre lake, we’re talking about the Lodge at Woodloch.

Inspired by Adirondack and Western lodge architecture, The Lodge at Woodloch features stunning lake views, walls of windows, an internationally recognized destination spa, four fitness studios, and soaking pools with hydro-massage WaterWalls. Just what you need to momentarily forget about that VC deal or a boss that won’t stop breathing down your neck.
The Indoor Pool

The Lodge’s philosophy of ‘awakening’ teaches guests to listen to their inner wisdom through fitness classes, delicious healthy cuisine, chef’s cooking classes, art and watercolor classes in their studio, meditation by a fire circle and taking in the beauty of nature.

There’s hiking, kayaking the Delaware River, antique shopping in Hawley, and even championship golf if you want to get your tee on. Innovative five-star spa cuisine comes from award-winning chef, Mark Timms, who places emphasis on flavor and real-life choices while their restaurant, Tree, offers live music every night and an impressive wine list. Oh, and each of The Lodge’s 58 guest rooms has its own private veranda with beautiful views. Check it.

So what are you waiting for? Your boss to suddenly become enlightened?
Unlikely.
You better get on it first.

$350-$450/per person, per night

http://www.slh.com/usa/hawley/hawlod.html

Advertisements

Carry It On: Keen’s Recycled Travel Bags & Totes


Sing along with me…

“Rice, rice baby… do do do… do do do do…”

Jaunt Magazine is headquartered in the heart of Hollywood which invariably means, we love sushi and we really love rice.

It also means we love to recycle and, what better way to pay homage to our love of the all things green, wrapped in seaweed, and reminiscent of the hard labor it takes to toil in the rice fields than to carry a bag that takes a stylish, earth-friendly, and, more importantly, durable, approach to travel and shopping.

Say hello to KEEN’s Hybrid Transport Harvest collection, part of the environmentally-conscious shoe line turned bag and tote maunfacturer.

NORTHRUP from KEEN
This large brown tote is a great companion to any summer destination, from the farmers market to the beach. The beauty of these recycled bags? Their individuality – no two are the same, although all feature the same construction thanks to the varied patterns of the material repurposed to make these totes. It features a cushioned shoulder strap handle, internal security pocket, interior pockets to stash small accessories, and interior water bottle pockets.

Materials: Recycled Rice Paper
Color: Brown Recycle
$40.00

Back in the Fall of 2007, KEEN also launched Hybrid.STAND, an innovative program to promote sustainability through an online contest and campus outreach. KEEN gave $200,000 in grants to individuals and environmental organizations developing projects centered around sustainability. Providing high-quality products to an outdoor community while demonstrating the integrity and leadership of a company truly dedicated to social and environmental commitments, KEEN was also inspired by the 2005 Southeast Asian tsunami to redirect its advertising funds contributing more than $1.5 million to organizations such as the Conservation Alliance, Big City Mountaineers, Medicines Global, and other environmental and social nonprofits.

Talk about not leaving a carbon footprint.

This kind of forward-thinking caught our attention years ago, but it wasn’t until we spotted their Harvest line of recycled rice bags that we really began to realize that their design team is stepping it up a notch.


KEARNEY from KEEN
Call it a Backpack or a knapsack. Just don’t call it “garbage”. Rescued from a fate worse than landfill, this bag uses materials whose lifecycle might have otherwise been underestimated. A durable, formidable, 100% recycled bag for hauling everything you need, wherever it is you’re going. It features: water bottle pockets, an external lid pocket, and internal security pocket.

Materials: Recycled Rice Paper
Color: White Recycle
$50.00

It goes without saying that when someone is sporting one of these bags it’s a sign that they’re Keenly aware of how to make a mark.

http://www.keenfootwear.com

A Flair Necessity: Hard Tail Forever (and ever)

Hard Tail.

So many underlying meanings to such a name.

So many well-cut garments to choose from.

Seasonless and effortless, you’re likely already familiar with their famous (and classic) roll down pant, still the top-selling product due to its excellent cut and shape. We wondered how Dick Cantrell, lounge/yoga/casual wear mogul, was able to have such a great handle on the needs of women. That is, until we discovered Cantrell is an ex-fighter pilot.

Certainly, such a man would understand precision and the subtle art of good angles. Like a well-aged Macallan, Cantrell was at the forefront of the industry over fifteen years ago as a sportswear manufacturer rooted in the southern California lifestyle. Bridging the gap between sloppy sweats and uncomfortable pantyhose, Cantrell helped usher in a casual look for both the gym and cafe. Thanks to him, women in California said hello to soft cottons and clothes that breathe. And hello to comfortable, hip fashion.

We covet his pants, hoodies, dresses, and tops. You name it, we want it. That’s why we’re so glad there’s a shop on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Thanks to Dick for not charging an arm and a leg, as we could easily go into debt stocking up on them. They’re quite possibly the softest – and sturdest – of most casual wear and their dying secrets are second to none. Not only has he launched a ‘Green Label’ using only organic cottons, but all products are ‘Made in the USA’ and, we don’t know about you, but we’re tired of seeing ‘Made in China’ or ‘Made in Bulgaria’ on everything from Prada to Stella McCartney. Forgoing what many consider selling out to cheaper production costs (and little to no worker regulation) overseas, Hard Tail offers quality – and sustainability – to the US market when we need it most.

Go Dick!

Photo Above:
Hard Tail Green Label
Style #: GR-101
An organic cotton rib racer back tank dress in Swamp, perfect for traveling to and from Turks & Caicos this summer.
Retail price: $58.00

Style #: VL-13
A cotton voile bell sleeve beach tunic in Redwood perfect for lounging on the beach as you eye that Club Med cabana boy.
Retail price: $54.00

http://www.hardtailforever.com

Hot Travel Deal: Qantas to Australia for $380 R/T!!


We usually leave the last minute or cheap flights to the plethora of economy travel sites, but this one is for those in the know so we felt compelled to share the wealth. As a matter of fact, it’s so hot they’re running it for the next 48 hours only!

Starting…

NOW!

Seats on Qantas’ new flagship, the Airbus A380, went on sale today, ahead of the airline’s first A380 flight between Los Angeles and Melbourne on October 20, 2008. From Los Angeles to Sydney and Melbourne, 380 Economy seats on the new A380 aircraft are on sale for just $380 round-trip . Yes, that’s cheaper than going to New York!

This is a 48-hour fare sale for purchase and ticketing on June 16-17, 2008 (or until sold out). Tickets are valid for travel departing November 2 to December 8, 2008 on A380 flights only. Fares are valid to Sydney on QF 12 and returning on QF 11 (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday), and to Melbourne on QF 94 (Monday and Wednesday), returning on QF 93. Other restrictions apply.

The Qantas A380 will be configured with 450 seats – 14 individual First Suites, 72 in Business, 32 in Premium Economy cabin and 332 in Economy.

Qantas A380 features will include:

– completely redesigned First cabin, offering customers privacy and luxury in their own First Suite
– a fully-flat next generation Skybed and separate, dedicated lounge area in Business
– the airline’s Premium Economy cabin with extra wide Recaro seats
– new ergonomically designed Recaro seats and self-service refreshment bars in Economy
– on demand entertainment system with over 1000 entertainment options and onboard connectivity.

For reservations or information
Qantas Airways
Tel: 1-800-227-4500

Sleep It Off: Top Four Art Hotels


ANATOLIAN HOUSES (CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY)

Imagine this. A hotel carved out of the soft stone of a mountainside. Now imagine lounging on a bear rug on top of these stones and taking in an ancient view. A luxurious new boutique hotel built by the villagers in the Turkish mountains of Cappadocia, Anatolian Houses, contain spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms like nothing you’ve ever seen. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this hotel was constructed within five different cave formations. Each suite represents a different historical era and the themed furniture artwork in each suite is individually chosen.

Rates begin at $300
http://www.anatolianhouses.com

MARQUES DE RISCAL (SPAIN)

One of Frank O. Gehry’s architectural masterpieces, Hotel Marqués De Riscal comes in after Bilbao’s Guggenheim. Located in Spain’s beautiful Rioja wine country, it’s a work of modern art complete with Gehry’s signature metal sculptures twisting around the exterior and surrounding vineyards. An ancient wine cellar also serves as banqueting space (hint hint….perfect for weddings or a renewal of your vows)

Rates start at $953 per night when booked on:
http://www.kiwicollection.com

HOTEL OF MODERN ART – HOMA LIBRE (CHINA)

Whether you agree with China’s politics or not, this hotel is a tremendous piece of art on it’s own and certainly worth mentioning. HOMA Libre – The Hotel of Modern Art – is home to Asia’s largest art studio and the leading collection of contemporary Asian art. Not far from Yangshou, Hotel of Modern Art – HOMA Libre is located within the Yuzi Paradise private park. In addition to greeting your inner-artist with Chinese calligraphy classes, you can take a private gondolier that will guide you down the Yulong River on a two-seat bamboo raft. The only Chinese property that’s part of the prestigious Relais Chateaux alliance, not to be missed… dinner in the impressive cathedral-sized cave.

Rates range from $297 to $1143
http://www.kiwicollection.com

INDIGO PEARL (PHUKET, THAILAND)

The Indigo Pearl resort was inspired by the city’s tin-mining past, a post-modern interpretation of a Thai factory by Bensley Design Studios, the hot design group known for creating some of Asia’s most interesting design hotels, including the Udaivilas, Udaipur (India) mentioned in the post below. Modern sculpture and industrial art mix past with present. High design aesthetics + nature = excellence in destination travel. Unusual chandeliers light up the hallways leading to rooms, villas, and pool pavilions where surreal design is married with deluxe amenities.

Rates begin at $260
http://www.indigo-pearl.com

India in Luxury: From Mumbai to Jaipur


Oberoi Udaipur, India

This week, Guest Blogger and Jaunt Contributor, Jordan Zucker, takes us to the colorful world of India. An actress and native New Yorker, Zucker is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Mathematics who moved to LA ‘to satisfy her thirst for seaside sunsets and avocados.’ With a hearty appetite for adventure and a good dose of gypsy blood, currently, she can be found on syndicated reruns of [Scrubs] as “Lisa,” the intern.

PS. Jordan loves water chestnuts, but despises cilantro. “I mean, don’t even put us in the same room,” she (half) jokes.

India in Luxury: From Mumbai to Jaipur
By Jordan Zucker

So I went to Northern India for two weeks with the folks and here’s what I gathered for Jaunt. The places we went (in order) were: Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Udaipur, and Mumbai. India is a large country so keep that in mind. We visited the North (Rajasthan) and what would be considered only one state out of 35 states and union territories. States were formed on a linguistic basis and, as Wikipedia notes, “India is home to two major linguistic families: Indo-Aryan (74%) and Dravidian (24%). Other languages spoken come from the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman linguistic families. Hindi, with the largest number of speakers, is the official language. English, which is used extensively in business, has the status of a ‘subsidiary official language. The constitution also recognizes in particular 21 other languages that are either abundantly spoken or have classical status.”

That should give you some idea of the rich -and ancient – cultural influences still present in India today. The country consists of historic trade routes, the Hindu people of the Indus Valley, Aryan-speaking tribal descendants, the tribes of Genghis Kahn, and, of course, a history of British rule. Religions are varied with Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and Christian being the main four, and Jianism and Sikhism also originating from here. As the fastest growing and largest world democracy, with the second largest population in the world, India shares it’s borders with China, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma. It goes without saying that it’s important territory from both a social and political framework. Somewhere between past and present, poverty and promise.

We saw a part of this awesome land on a two-week Sita Tour called ‘India in Luxury.’ Sita Tours offer organized travel for the ‘discerning’ guest. In this case, that meant staying at almost every 5-star Oberoi Hotel & Resort in India. My parents finished off the trip with a jaunt to Goa in the south, so I’ve included some pointers from there, as well.

Here are the pros and cons:

Pros: A great tour guide, fab hotels, and I didn’t get sick from street food. A few notes: you must bring money to use public bathrooms. Delhi isn’t as dirty as I had expected and Mumbai is like the NY of India. It is by far the most cosmopolitan, the most urban, the hippest. Delhi was large in geography but more flat and residential than I would have imagined. Traffic is crazy in Delhi. Apparently, there are multiple pedestrian deaths a day from people being hit by cars while crossing the street. Agra is just a tiny village in comparison, with streetfront box shops just as you’d picture Indian countryside. Also, most of the cities I saw were in Rajasthan. If I had continued to travel to the south – or to the Himalayas- like my folks did, I would have noticed a more drastic difference in culture between the areas, I’m sure. Something I found interesting was that the locals were not opposed to calling the cities by their British rule names (Madras, Calcutta, Bombay). We thought it would offend them but they sometimes prefer the old names.

Delhi, India

When people talk about India, they often reference the poverty, the smells, the grit… Well, I have to say, the country didn’t smell half as bad as I’d anticipated. Yes, it was dirty, but it smelled more of jasmine than feces. There are far cleaner places that smell worse (ie. trash in NJ, BO in Istanbul, the cows at Harris Ranch halfway between LA and SF), but yes, you see TONS of starving people, you see 9 year-olds carrying infants to get pity money for their families, you see all of the poor. It is also common to see people just squatting on the curb and taking a dump. You actually see if fall to the ground like a dog’s would. I recommend carrying around a box of EO lavender hand sanitizers. I get them at Whole Foods.

Cons: Because we traveled in luxury, I felt the experience was a little ‘watered down.’ I felt like a tourist. I like to get a local view and really experience what life is like – authentically – where ever I am. Perhaps it was safer to see the country being shielded slightly from the culture, but if I had my choice…

I also felt that everything was too expensive where we went. Because we could afford to stay in the nicest hotels, the locals on the tour took advantage of that a little too much.


INDIA’S HOTELS

We stayed at the Oberoi’s in each city. As incredible as I find the Oberoi properties, I wouldn’t recommend the Oberoi in the big cities (ie. Delhi and Mumbai). There are better places there. In Mumbai, the place to stay is The Taj Hotel, built by renowned architect W. A. Stevens. The Taj ‘embodies Jamsetji Tata’s vision of a luxurious hotel’ and was the first property with electricity and modern sanitation. It’s an architectural gem with a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea. We’re talking vaulted alabaster ceilings, Indian archways, crystal chandeliers, a stunning art collection and cantilever stairway. You can’t go wrong. It was also counted among the “1,000 places to see before you die” by the New York Times Best Seller and voted in Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best Places to Stay”.

I also heard that The Taj is good in Delhi too, but the Imperial is supposed to be the best. Known as a museum hotel, it’s been a property for artists for over 70 years and displays an impressive collection of the ‘British Art on India.’

http://www.theimperialindia.com

That said, along the countryside, opt for the Oberoi Hotels. They’re fabulous when it comes to design and service. Here are my favs:

1) Oberoi Vanyavilas – Ranthambore – worth the trip just to go here.

And check out the Tiger Safari!

2) Oberoi Amarvilas – Agra – I could see the Taj Mahal from my balcony and had the best India moment out there – all senses on India overload!

3) Oberoi Udaivilas – Udaipur – This property had stunning grounds where you can dine on a patio overlooking the lake.

Special note: The Banyan Tree Spas at all of the Oberois are GORGEOUS!

INDIA’S RESTAURANTS
Again, I felt a little limited in this department as we were always guided to eat at the hotels, but at least I didn’t get sick, right?

1) Bukhara – Delhi – Great Chicken Tikki, Family Naan, etc.

2) Trishna – Mumbai – Best seafood place in the city!!! Favorite of the locals as well!

3) Dome – Mumbai – This is the place to go for an evening cocktail to see the sunset

ACTIVITIES/SHOPPING

1) Mumbai, India – Bombay Electric – Great women’s clothing store

2) Jaipur, India – Elephant Ride. Do NOT take the elephant ride up the fort – the wait in line is hours. Take a jeep up, then get an elephant ride directly from the stable in town – no wait.

3) Delhi, India – Chandni Chowk (market). Pick out your own fabric, make a clothing item.

4) Goa, India – Ingo’s saturday night market is a must to go. Bring cash. Here you’ll get the best buys in everything you can imagine. Favorite shopping spot in Goa: Janota shoes # 64, yellow lane Arpora, Goa.

5) Arpora, Goa – Seasonal store “The Haystack.”
For info call Angela @ 9881773053 or go to http://www.janotagoa.com

GOA HOTELS
My parents stayed at The Taj, but Jaunt editors found these two sites for boutique hotels in Goa.

http://www.directoryofhotels.com/asia/hotels_india_goa.asp

http://www.chiangdao.com/hotels4/asiahotels/indiahotels/goahotels/goahotels.htm

For the upper-crust artsy crowd, Jaunt recommend sites like Tablet Hotels and Design Hotels for finding boutique digs that excel in design and service.

PHRASES TO LEARN

Shukria = thank you

Chalo = go away

Chordo = leave me alone. This is administered with a dismissive flick of the hand (the street vendors are relentless!)

Tuk tuks (mini taxis) = The rate that appears on the meter is the rate code, NOT the fare. You need to ask the driver for the rate card and pay what corresponds to the code! (ie. if the meter reads 350, you do not pay 350 rupees (about $8.50) you look on the card and see what rate 350 costs (probably around 32 rupees which is a little over a dollar)

Always check your bill! They’re notorious for overcharging in hopes that the tourists won’t check. As soon as you point out the ‘error’ they will apologize and remove the excess charges. Don’t take it personally – it’s just their culture.

When asked if I would go back, I’ll say this. There is only one place in the world I have been to that I didn’t like (Morocco) so saying I’d go back to India isn’t a big endorsement. That said, I am also the type of person that wouldn’t go back to a place for the mere reason that I’ve already been and there are far too many new places I need to conquer before I start repeating things.

Do I think it’s worth seeing? Definitely.

The first day we were there we went to a temple in Delhi and there were about 12 school trips there, so it was us and thousands of kids ages 6-14. They ALL wanted to shake our hand and say ‘Hi, how are you!!’ kind of to show off their english speaking skills. They were so excited to see ‘westerners’ and a group of the boys even asked for my autograph (just because I was something new they’d seen, not because of TV)

The people in India were lovely. I felt safer than in Morocco (SKETCHY! I didn’t even trust our tour guide), though they will be overly aggressive if they want you to buy something. Hindu and religion is their highest purpose. They’ll build a 40 year temple in 8 years but will never quite finish fixing the roads – just not as important or worthy a cause for them. There’s something to be said for that.

So I’ll close with my favorite highway sign:

MOTORCYCLES, SCOOTERS, DIPLOMATS, AND CAMELS – PLEASE STAY TO THE LEFT OF THE TOLL PLAZA!

Now Chalo!

14 Day Itinerary
INR 445,000 (US$ 11,125*)

http://www.sitatours.com/Asia/India/india_indiainluxury_14days.html

http://www.oberoihotels.com/specialOffers/india-in-luxury_itineraries1.asp