It’s that time of year again… National Spa Week® is back, April 16-22. Hurrah!
A Caribbean vacation in summer? What else do you go in the summer? Cooling trade breezes, sparkling beaches and travel discounts are guaranteed. To that end, at select Divi Resorts across the Caribbean, rates are reduced as much as 30% from standard summer rates. Book now through April 30 to secure savings, which are good for even a one-night stay for the quickest of vacation getaways to Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire and St. Maarten.
For a real family-friendly vacation, kids stay and eat free at Divi Carina Bay, an all inclusive resort, where the summer rate is $199 per adult/night. The sale extends the discounts all the way into December at select Divi Resorts.
Divi Village Golf and Beach Resorts, an all-suite resort– 30% off; starting rate: $149
Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort – 30% off; starting rate: $179
Divi Dutch Village – 20% off; starting rate: $139
Divi Little Bay – 20% off; starting rate: $149
Divi Flamingo Beach – 30% off; starting rate: $135
Divi Southwinds, an all-suite resort – 20% off, starting rate: $125
Divi Heritage, small 23-room, all suite property – 20% off; starting rate: $89
Divi Carina Bay, St. Croix’s only all-inclusive resort, has discounted rates for June, July and August starting at $199 per person, based on double occupancy. Kids up to age 12 always stay and eat free. A three-minimum stay is required.
It’s called “Divi’s Spring Sale,” so you get the fun of locking in a deal in spring and going on vacation in summer.
A bit about Divi Resorts: Divi Resorts is the vacation expert of the Caribbean, operating ten premium resorts on five Caribbean islands: Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, St. Croix and St. Maarten. With vacation stays as well as full and fractional ownership, the resorts provide a myriad vacation options from relaxing on white sand beaches and indulging in spa services to scuba diving adventures and perfecting one’s golf swing.
As HRH Prince Harry embarks on his Royal Tour of South America, on behalf of the Queen and her Diamond Jubilee celebrations on March 2nd, the world’s eyes are firmly on this bachelor prince and his exotic gallivants. Starting in Belize and ending in Rio de Janeiro, followed by a couple of days staying on in the city for a private holiday, Jacada Travel, Specialists in Inspired Luxury Travel to Africa and Latin America, have thought about how best they’d entertain a Prince with his time in the magnificent and heady Marvelous City. Because of all cities, Rio is possibly the most fitting choice for a fun-loving Prince. Check out their suggested Royal Itinerary below for some inspiring ideas and leads.
Fly into Rio de Janeiro. In light of Prince Harry’s career as a military helicopter pilot, he’ll appreciate this particularly poignant introduction to Rio; a panoramic and phenomenally-scenic flight by a state-of-the-art helicopter into the striking setting of this city named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. He’ll fly over the bays of Guanabara, Leblon and Botafogo, the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, swinging around the Sugar Loaf and hills of Dois Irmaos before coming to land. Lunch will be then be organised in one of the quaint restaurants of the bohemian hillside quarter (and the city’s oldest neighborhood) of Santa Teresa. Then, spend the afternoon with a trained kitesurfing instructor in the one the bays of Rio’s natural harbour, followed by some jetskiing to explore nearby beaches such as the exclusive Joatinga.
That evening, begin the night with dinner at Sobrenatural, for traditional seafood dishes such as Moqueca followed by cocktails at the Fasano Hotel’s understated yet glamourous Londra Bar. Frommer’s also recommends Espirito Santo for dinner, while for cheap and cheerful Brazilian cuisine, there’s Bar do Mineiro – recommended by the NY Times.
Start the second day with some surf lessons at Prainha beach. A personal guide and instructor will collect you from your hotel and drive you to this, one of the best beaches just outside the city for catching the best waves. Lunch at Sushi Leblon for some of the best sushi outside of Japan. That afternoon you could hang glide over Leblon, or perhaps opt for a private city and historical tour to Rio’s museums, botanical gardens, the striking district of Lapa, the Corcovado and Sugar Loaf, and all led by one of excellent English-speaking guides. A superb way to finish your day is with a hike up Pedra Bonita rock for spectacular views of the sun setting over the city’s skyline. That evening, dine at one of Brazil’s best churrascarias and one of the country’s favorite ways of cooking their world-famous meats on the barbecue. They can then organise for one of our local guides to take you around the lively bars of glitzy Leblon and the glamorous Barra de Tijuca – also referred to as Little Miami. Always playing live music from Bossa Nova to Samba and a vibrant atmosphere, sometimes all you need is a local with the same interests to show you the best spots, especially with a city like Rio that lives for the night.
Begin the day with a spot of kitesurfing in the morning or a private art tour of Rio’s best galleries and exhibitions followed by lunch at Antiquarius, one of the city’s finest and most famous restaurants for authentic Portuguese gourmet cuisine. Given the Prince’s love of Polo, that afternoon play a chukka or two at the exclusive Barra de Tijuca’s polo playing fields with a club professional. Pre-dinner cocktails at the fabulous Copa bar at the Copacabana Palace Hotel, followed by dinner at the world-class Gero restaurant owned by the Fasano family and serving fine Italian cuisine (a top Fodor’s pick).
Day FOUR – JOURNEYING ON…?
Two or three hour drive south of Rio lies some of Brazil’s best and most soulful beachside towns such as Buzios (Brazil’s St Tropez) or the pretty colonial Costa Verde town of Paraty. Jacada Travel holds an exclusive portfolio of private villas available for hire from sleek, modernist beach houses to converted colonial mansions hidden on secluded shorelines so how about spending a few days relaxing on the beach, by the pool, entertaining family and friends and enjoying local life?
That’s what Harry might do.
Jacada Travel can plan an ultra-luxe Rio getaway like Prince Harry’s from $5,320 (per person, based on two sharing including, hotels, tours and flights from the USA)
A hand-tossed pizza crust is topped with strips of chicken and pork adobo that rest on a creamy layer of melted mozzarella and Laguna cheese (the latter named after the Philippine province where it originates, known for its carabao-milk soft cheese called “kesong puti” -white cheese). Yes, I’m talking about Resorts World Manila’s (RWM) signature dish, Chicken Pork Adobo Laguna Cheese Pizza or “CPA,” fast becoming a favorite among foreigners and locals alike for its unique taste. The pizza, a popular dish around the world, serves as a platform to introduce Filipino adobo to the world. The iconic Filipino comfort food —chicken or pork meat marinated and simmered in soy sauce, vinegar and spices—is known to take on many forms in different households, and is usually served with steaming white rice. But at RWM’s Pizzasta and Bar 360, it takes on a new and delicious twist as the CPA Laguna Cheese Pizza. The CPA Laguna Cheese Pizza is available in 12” and 16”.
A bit about Resorts World Manila (RWM): it’s the first integrated tourism destination in the Philippines home to three international lodging brands: Maxims Hotel, the first all-luxury suite hotel in the country; Marriott Hotel Manila, a five-star brand known all over the world; and Remington Hotel, for the budget-savvy traveler. RWM’s Newport Mall houses some of the top luxury retail brands, it’s Newport Cinemas claims stadium seating and state-of-the-art cinema technology, and The Newport Performing Arts Theater hosts plays, performances, concerts and events. And for gamers and gamblers… RWM is also home to the biggest gaming facility in the Philippines.
So, if you’re ever in the Philippines, gamble and get grub… Filipino-style.
Back in November, we had the chance to enjoy the glorious island chain of Turks & Caicos and, while walking along the beach, we came upon The Veranda. Perched on 11 acres, The Veranda Resort occupies approximately 800 feet of beachfront along the famed 12-mile-long sugar-white sand of Grace Bay, and its fully-inclusive concept is redefining the five star travel experience. A la carte dining is available at all on-site restaurants, as well as Grey Goose vodka and elite Kim Crawford Pinot Noir from New Zealand (Thank that magical man or woman in the sky… or some hardworking men and women in New Zealand).
Images Courtesy of Beaches
Added services including concierge and personal butler service, in-room chef, dining service, pre-arrival provisioning of groceries, shopping and delivery throughout stay, childcare services and daily housekeeping including dry-cleaning and laundry. All rooms also have in-room Espresso machines stocked with premium Illy coffee, Sony Playstation 3 Videogame consoles, Egyptian cotton linens, iPod Docking Stations and a selection of Elemis Spa Amenities further reinforce the resort’s five-star status. Guests are encouraged to experience complimentary on-site daily activities including yoga classes, movie nights and sailing, kayaking and beach volleyball. In addition, Jetblue introduced direct flights from NYC to Providenciales in Turks & Caicos – the first ever ‘low fare’ airline to offer a direct flight to Turks that gets you on the beach with rum punch in hand in just over 3 hours.
We say check it out… it’s worth the conch shells you’ll fork over.