Montego Bay, Jamaican Me Crazy

Montego BayWe love Jamaica.  Sure, it has something to do with the luscious fresh lobster and constant Bob Marley pumping from every speaker in every shanty town.  It also has something to do with the Jerk Chicken and Mrs. Brown’s mushroom stand (yes, those kind of mushrooms).  We also love Jamaica because her beaches are some of the finest around. From the soft powder white sands to plunging into crystal blue waters from atop the tall cliffs, you can live your vacation just like a scene from your own personal version of Cocktail.

So, when we came across this Fall special, we started to daydream about our youth and the time we spent in Montego Bay and Negril as a college student seeing this historic reggae country for the very first time.

Half Moon Royal VillaHalf Moon, a luxury property in Montego Bay, is offering some deeply discounted rates that are reason enough to hitch a flight and party (or veg on the aforementioned powder white sand). Boasting barefoot elegance and a gracious staff, Half Moon offers an ample list of “onlys” on the island: it is the only resort in Jamaica with its own Dolphin Lagoon, an on-site equestrian center, the private Half Moon Golf Academy and 13 tennis courts for day and night play. Plus, with the addition of the world-class Fern Tree, the Spa at Half Moon it is the only resort in Jamaica to offer spa-goers the expertise of a Spa Elder along with six luxurious beachfront spa suites.  So check it out and tell ’em we sent you.

This economical package at the Montego Bay, Jamaica resort have the lowest rates of the year, starting at only $159/night.

Half Moon’s ‘Fall Break’ Package

Valid from September 1-October 31st, the package includes accommodations, unlimited use of tennis courts, gym, paddle-boats and kayaks as well as a personal invitation to the managers cocktail party.  The best part for families is that children ages 3-12 sharing a room with two adults stay for free (maximum of two children per room).

Rates range from $159 to a Superior Room to $649 for a large 2 Bedroom Royal Suite & 2 bedroom Hibiscus suite $649 (price based on four adults).

The voucher code for Fall Break is HMFB09.  All rates are subject to 10% service charge and 8.25% tax.

Finding places to party and eat is a cinch, just ask the concierge at Half Moon, but you some of your usual suspects include: Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Tapas (behind the Coral Cliff Hotel), The Brewery on Miranda Ridge, and Pelican on Glouster Avenue, a long-time favorite of visitors and locals.

www.halfmoon.com


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Stylish Headphones for Travel

Stylish headphones

Hear this! It’s hard to be comfortable and look put together when we travel.  So, since you won’t catch us wearing heels or wedges as we flutter through London Heathrow’s endless maze, we like to cover up our often disheveled look with the appropriate… accessories! That’s how we found iPopperz™, the stylishly designed headphones for those who enjoy customizing their accessories to match their personalities.  Compatible with all iPod, and other MP3 devices, as well as all portable CD and DVD players, iPopperz™ headphones give the same high quality frequency and response found in full size headphones, but this time you have five different themed collections geared towards the different styles and personalities of travel trendsetters.

Now, every electronic device can now be turned into a stylish and personalized accessory. So we say, if you can’t look like Elizabeth Hurley at the airport, you might as well look like Gwen Stefani.

PS. We love their skull headphones (we also think they make a great, inexpensive gift).

Retailing for $19.95 and $14.95

www.i-popperz.com

Hakobe: LA’s Latest Japanese Restaurant

New Los Angeles Restaurants HakobeHer name is Asako and she owns Hakobe, the latest restaurant on La Cienega’s Restaurant Row. The Row is tough to beat, competing with the likes of Matsuhisa, but Asako has done her best to assemble some of the top sushi chefs and operation staff to help her deliver a unique fine dining experience in the grand standard of the omakase style. Dishes like Steamed Sea bass in Light Soy Sauce Broth, Asparagus wrapped Wagyu, Baked Mussels with garlic butter sauce, Oysters on a half shell and various sushi rolls, make Hakobe well worth a visit.

Hip New LA Restaurant Hakobe

Tomo Kohyama, the Head Sushi Chef at Hakobe, is a master sushi chef having been trained in the art of sushi in his native Japan, as well as in some of the best kitchens in Los Angeles such as Chaya Venice, Katana and Koi.  In addition to his mastery of sushi, Tomo is classically trained in Japanese-French cuisine as well as California cuisine under the tutorage of the father of California cuisine, the great Wolfgang Puck.

So what are you waiting for? A flight to Nippon with your cuplet of sake?

Hakobe

14 La Cienega Blvd. Beverley Hills, CA  90211

P: 310.652.0007

Native American Tribal Jewelry

The Native Americans understood a few profound things about life. Among them, the knowledge that the land itself does not belong to us. We are merely the shepherds of each borrowed flock that happens to inhabit this earth.

As we travel far and wide, Native American culture reminds us that, for as much as we try to own, take, buy, sell, save or destroy the land, it, in fact, owns us. In addition to their wise acknowledgments of all things terrestrial, the Pacific Northwest coast tribes, situated within the Canadian Province of British Columbia and the U.S. states of Alaska, Washington and Oregon, also considered animals akin to human beings, with varying degrees of supernatural powers. Each animal had its own teaching and healing medicine and all of them were capable of taking human form, assuming their other forms when consorting with humans. There were Salmon People, Herring People and Grizzly Bear People. In fact, in ancient Native American lore, frequent references are made to a time when animals were humans, gifted with the power of speech and other human attributes. Native American tribes believed that animals had souls which are immortal and that they were reborn after death.

With this in mind, we stumbled upon this fine website while searching for interesting tribal jewelry that reflected this all too forgotten culture, so rich with art and story. Before European contact, the Northwest coast tribes used wood, stone, and copper as mediums; since European contact, paper, canvas, glass, and precious metals have also been used. The patterns depicted include natural forms such as bears, ravens, eagles, and humans, as well as legendary creatures such as thunderbirds and sisiutls (a mythological two-headed sea serpent or snake creature with an anthropomorphic head and hands in the middle of the body). These crazy mytho-monsters were common among the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, and other indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. The best part? All three heads of this mythological creature are surmounted by “horns of power”.

The artifacts these Native Americans made served also as a means of transmitting stories, history, and wisdom. Later, the art of the native Northwestern tribes were then used to decorate traditional ‘First Nations’ household items like spoons, baskets, hats, and paddles. Since European contact, the Northwest Coast art style has increasingly been used in gallery-oriented forms such as paintings, prints and sculptures.

Now, they bring us beautiful silver jewelry that will bring out the Tribal Goddess in you.

Retails $65-$200

http://www.native-american-indian-silver-jewelry.com

San Diego: A Quick Weekend Getaway

Rancho Bernardo Hotel

Sometimes it’s easier than you think it is to spoil yourself. The only good thing about the economy still being in shambles is that 4 and 5 star properties are cutting deals for those in need of a quick escape from the stresses of the city. From July 31 through September 13, The Rancho Bernardo Inn is inviting guests to head to sunny Southern California to experience an ultimate getaway for one all-inclusive price. The new “Spoil Me” package combines all of the property’s amenities—deluxe accommodations, exquisite dining, fabulous wine, championship golf, and luxurious spa treatments—providing a no surprises getaway in a warm, relaxing setting.
Starting at $289 per person, guests can relax, unwind and be pampered during their stay. With all amenities and resort fees included in the package price, The “Spoil Me” package features:

• Overnight stay in deluxe accommodations
• All meals, including the option of dinner at El Bizcocho
• All honor bar beverages and wine amenity
• Unlimited rounds of golf
• One signature spa treatment per person per day
• Tickets to local area attractions
• All resort and parking fees
• On property recreational facilities

Rancho Bernardo Inn, a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, is not only a Mobil Four Star property for 18 years, but it also has a AAA Four Diamond rating. The Inn is conveniently located within 25 minutes of most of San Diego’s main attractions including the Wild Animal Park, Lego Land, Sea World, San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and the Pacific Ocean. Rancho Bernardo Inn is owned by JC Resorts, whose other properties include Surf & Sand Resort, Temecula Creek Inn, and JC Golf.

http://www.ranchobernardoinn.com

Tel: 800.770.7329

Bali & Java: The *Virtual* Spa Escape

I want to… oh, where is that exotic escape to Java when you need it? For those thirsting for a last dose of stress-free summer vacation before September, but don’t have the budget to spend on travel, 17th century Bali is at your fingertips. For the month of August, mySpaShop.com, a premier online spa lifestyle resource, is inviting you to embark on a virtual journey to Central Java and explore its rich spa and beauty traditions, all from the comfort of your own home. Each month, mySpaShop.com provides virtual journeys, the recommendations of spa lifestyle product advisors who have combed the world for standout products and experiences.

In Bali, they’d say ‘experience the royal Balinese wedding ritual of Lulur, beginning with a JAMU massage of Jasmine Frangipani oil and ending with a yogurt splash, shower and flower bath.’ The JAMU lulur scrub is infused with antioxidants that leave the skin with a bright, Asian-inspired radiance. Right now, mySpaShop.com offers a JAMU Frangipaini Spa Traveler so you can enjoy a personal Javanese spa experience no matter where you are.

Check it out.

http://www.myspashop.com

Caribbean Escapes: Discounted Flights, Over-Water Spas, & Chic Yoga Retreats

This hot off the press from an independent island hopper who reps some hidden gems in the Caribbean.
Kamalame Cay, Bahamas – Outer Islands

BAHAMAS & JAMAICA
In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, Kamalame Cay, a 96-acre private island resort in the Bahamas, invites guests to FLY FOR FREE* THROUGH DECEMBER 14 and is also offering 20% OFF ALL SPA TREATMENTS for any Girls World* bookings. With the addition of new General Manager Peter Bauer, a new Spa Director, an onsite wedding planner, a new solar power system – and a new sister property in Jamaica – there are so many reasons this year is better than ever to seek out sunny serenity at two of the most authentic hideaways in the Caribbean. Perched on the edge of the ‘Tongue of the Ocean’ in The Bahamas, Kamalame Cay is a private island hideaway unlike any other. The secluded beachfront cottages combined with the three miles of white sand shores that run the length of the island are just what the body and soul need to re-center, relax and rejuvenate.
Kamalame Cay Private Island Resort Room

The new ‘Best of Both Worlds’ package encourages guests to extend their barefoot Bahamian getaway to Jamaica’s lesser known northeast coast – and the Hew family’s (who own Kamalame) – personal getaway. Using either Air Jamaica’s direct Nassau to Kingston service or flying private to maximize precious holiday minutes, the package includes three nights at Kamalame with choice of full day fishing or equivalent spa credit, 3 nights at Kanopi House, a VIP river rafting trip with quintessential Jamaican barbecue and another full or half-day excursion to one of the countless nearby waterfall wonderlands. Kamalame is also bringing back its ‘New Year, New You’ workshops in January at no extra charge. With (optional) daily yoga and motivational life coaching sessions with renowned Handel Group Life Coach Jo Sawalha to inspire and reinforce the “to thine own self be true” philosophy and encourage participants to exercise the power of body and mind to achieve the life of their dreams. The Kamalame Spa is also located over the turquoise waters of the lagoon and its five treatment rooms face out onto the surrounding sea with floor-to-ceiling windows that fully collapse. Hello?!?

Diving, snorkelling, tennis, sea kayaking into mangroves, as well as deep sea and bone fishing are all available right on property. So dine on the conch fritters at Hank’s Place (242/368-2447; http://www.hanks-place.com) on the water at Fresh Creek and tell Kamalame we sent you.

Kanopi House, in Jamaica, is a low-impact resort featuring a relaxed club house and four individual eco-chic tree houses in a luscious rainforest with commanding views over Port Antonio, often referred to as the Jamaican Riviera. A stone’s throw from the world famous Blue Lagoon, all meals and activities are catered to individual tastes.

http://www.kamalame.com
http://www.kanopihouse.com

Rates for six nights as above including inter-island air start at $2500pp based on double occupancy.

Visit: http://www.kamalame.com/news/The_Kamalame_Summer09.html for complete details.

Reservations for both properties (and the Best of Both Worlds) can be made by calling +1.800.790.7971 and mentioning this deal and where you heard about it. Meanwhile, Jet Blue launches service from JFK to Saint Lucia (UVF) October 26 and to Kingston, Jamaica on October 30th making this offer even more tempting.