Mexico: Swanky Deals to Spa For at Mexico Velas Resorts

Hotel Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo. Mexico

The Sultry Spa at Hotel Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo. Mexico

This just in! Mexico’s Velas Resorts are celebrating summer by showcasing a selection of special spa treatments for $99 each at their world-class destination spas, a savings up to 50%. Guests are invited to indulge in popular treatments ranging from a rejuvenating Radiance of Pearls Facial to an innovative Velas Fish Therapy Pedicure. The spa promotions are available from June through October at the four resorts, which include: Casa Velas, Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit and Velas Vallarta.

At Casa Velas, a highlight of the spa treatments offered is the Dead Sea Mud Wrap, which utilizes mud from the richest waters in the world, providing an ideal concentration of essential salts and minerals. A unique therapy at Grand Velas Riviera Maya is its Velas Fish Therapy, which incorporates the famous Gara Rufa fish, small fish from Asia that produce an enzyme in their mouths that eat dead skin cells and help repair minor skin lesions. The treatment is complete with a relaxing pedicure to polish the nails.

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Spatasticness

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Spatasticness

The Spa at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit will be showcasing three 25-minute spa specials: Back Massage, Tired Legs Massage, and a Face and Head Acupressure Treatment. At Velas Vallarta, guests are invited to enjoy its Seaweed Salt Scrub and Foot Massage, which uses seaweed salt to eliminate dead cells and improve circulation with a relaxing foot massage.

We’re already planning our trip now as The Spas at Velas Resorts have won numerous industry awards, including Most Excellent Spa Hotel by Condé Nast Johansens, Virtuoso’s Best Spa in the World, Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Award for Best Spa Hotel, a SpaFinder Readers’ Choice, and Travel + Leisure’s Best Spas, to name just a few.

Treatment options vary by location and month, but have a look and, who knows? Maybe you can get your feet properly cleaned and pampered by little fish too!

www.velasresorts.com

Aruba, Adults Only

Bucuti's Romantic Beachside Huts

Bucuti’s Romantic Beachside Huts

Normally, we don’t write about Adult’s Only properties because it always makes us think of nudist colonies, but, sometimes, when we go on vacation, we do want some peace and quiet. Enter: Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts, one of Aruba’s premier boutique resort for couples. The award winning, owner managed resort caters to adults only and has earned a number of awards and honors. Most recently, Bucuti was named number one in the top 25 hotels in the Caribbean by TripAdvisor and is the only resort in Aruba to be honored in this category. Additionally, Bucuti was named number two in the top 25 hotels for romance in the Caribbean, number four in the top 25 hotels for service in the Caribbean and was honored among the top hotels for romance in the world. Bucuti has also appeared on Condé Nast Traveler’s prestigious Gold List, recognizing the world’s best places to stay.

A chic standard room at Bucuti

A chic standard room at Bucuti

Located on the white-powder sands of Eagle Beach, designated as one of the “Dream Beaches of the World,” Bucuti’s 104 guest rooms and suites, freshwater infinity pool, and Day Spa, make it recognized as a Five Star Diamond Resort by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

We also like the property because it’s certified Green Globe 21, ISO 14001 and ISO 9001, and is a leader in sustainable tourism throughout the world, earning the Green Globe High Achievement Award. If vegging on the beach isn’t the only thing you’re after, Bucuti supports the local community with  monthly beach clean-ups, the Turtugaruba sea turtle protection group, and Donkey Sanctuary Aruba.

Eagle Beach, Aruba

Eagle Beach, Aruba

Did we mention that the resort is also TAG Approved® as a gay friendly hotel?

So, you can have an all around relaxing time on one of the best beaches in the world AND feel good about it.

From around $300/night

www.bucuti.com

Anguilla… Sweet Like Vanilla

CeBlue Villas and Beach Resort (courtesy of the hotel)

CeBlue Villas and Beach Resort (courtesy of the hotel)

Anguilla… rhymes with vanilla, but most likely takes its’ name from the word ‘eel’ in various European languages due to it’s unique shape. Although the island has gained popularity in recent years thanks to A-list visitors like Liam Neeson, Orlando Bloom, and Miranda Kerr, Anguilla has long enticed in-the-know travellers to experience any number of it’s 33 pristine beaches. A British overseas territory located in the north eastern region of the Caribbean, just five miles north of St. Maarten, and 150 miles east of Puerto Rico, the island is best known for its powder-white sand beaches, all with crystal-clear turquoise waters matched by few places in the world. Its warm, friendly people keep visitors coming back with an island culture infused with a love of the land and dependence on the sea, reflected in its history and cultural festivals that celebrate Anguillian traditions of fishing, boat racing, and cuisine.

Now, the re-opening of the famed Malliouhana Resort & Spa has placed Anguilla again at the forefront of the global conversation. Special offers and new dining options all create great reasons to choose Anguilla for that special winter getaway.

Upcoming Events

The 25th Annual Moonsplash Music Festival will take place March 27-29 under the full moon on gorgeous Rendezvous Bay. Hosted at The Dune Preserve, it is the longest running independent music festival in the Eastern Caribbean and highlights some of the biggest names in reggae and popular emerging talent.

The following weekend, Easter weekend, April 4-5, is the 7th Annual Festival del Mar. An epicurean celebration of all things from the sea, it is hosted in the picturesque fishing village of Island Harbour and features a multiplicity of seaside activities, including fishing competitions, culinary competitions, swimming races, crab races, and of course, Anguilla’s National Sport and beloved pastime, boat racing.

Malliouhana Hotel

Malliouhana Hotel

Accommodations

The renowned Malliouhana Hotel & Spa re-opened its doors in November 2014 after a three year closure and restoration by Auberge Resorts. Malliouhana has been considered one of the finest resorts in the Caribbean since its original opening in 1984. The resort features 55 rooms, two beaches, two restaurants and bars, an extensive array of sports and fitness facilities as well as a 15,000 square-foot spa all on 20 acres of elevated beachfront land.

Nightly rates start at $525 for a garden view deluxe room, inclusive of a continental breakfast buffet for two.

http://malliouhana.aubergeresorts.com/ or www.aubergeresorts.com

Ce Blue Beach Resort & Villas, Anguilla’s first and only luxury private residence club, has introduced a new concept for Caribbean vacations: the hybrid villa-resort. CéBlue encompasses just eight private villas, all with lush native landscaping, dramatic oceanfront vistas and configurations up to six bedrooms. Outside, each villa has a spacious 2,000 square foot covered deck plus 3,000 square feet of open terrace with a private pool, outdoor rain shower & bath. While privacy is paramount at CéBlue, guests who seek out a more traditional resort experience can take advantage of a clubhouse with luxury resort amenities and a variety of beachfront activities and entertainment options.

Beaches Edge West End Villa

Beaches Edge West End Villa

Beaches Edge has recently enhanced their two five-bedroom West End Villas with all new soft furnishings. Travelers will enjoy brand new luxury bedding and bath linens, updated accessories and expanded pool-side seating and umbrellas.

www.beachesedge.com

Frangipani Beach Resort acquired the villa formerly known as Seychelles in January 2015.  The five-bedroom/four-bathroom villa, scheduled to open in November 2015, is the only one of its kind directly on Meads Bay and features a private infinity pool, butler service and access to the amenities at Frangipani Beach Resort including the fitness facilities and complimentary water sports. Nightly rates will start at $3000.

www.frangipaniresort.com

Kishti Villa Collection will introduce not one but two new six-bedroom retreats to Anguilla’s amazing Meads Bay on March 18, 2015. Known as Kishti on Meads, the twin villas launch the brand-new Kishti Villa Collection, which also includes the five-room Kishti at Black Garden, a few miles east on Anguilla’s north shore. Each villa highlights capacious interiors featuring dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea (“kishti” is Urdu for canoe), with Cecconi Simone-designed interiors highlighting Eastern objets d’arts and Western artworks that create a distinctive environment of unusual refinement. The new six-bedroom villas offer: two kitchens per villa; patio and rooftop gardens; a home theater and home office; personal gym; and a staff of 11, including a butler and chef. The Kishti Villa Collection is exclusively represented by Ricketts Luxury Properties.

www.rickettsluxury.com

Altamer Russian - Amethyst Villa

Altamer Russian – Amethyst Villa

Altamer resort in Shoal Bay West recently renovated and transformed one of its three beachside villas, the Russian Amethyst, into an art villa. Curated by Jennie Lamensdorf, the villa boasts a variety of contemporary paintings from the personal collection of Francis Greenburger, Chairman and CEO of the resort’s New City-based developer, Time Equities Inc. (TEI).

http://www.altamer.com

Properties in Paradise, one of Anguilla’s premier real estate and consulting firms, has added the seven-bedroom estate Santosha Villa available for weekly rentals, and added the newly re-launched Elements Villas (Sea, Sand and Sky), formerly Temenos, to the firm’s portfolio. Lastly, Zenaida Beach & Tennis Estate is offering their summer rates for the whole winter season, a savings of nearly 50 percent.

http://www.propertiesinparadiseaxa.com/

Viceroy Anguilla (c) Viceroy

Viceroy Anguilla (c) Viceroy

The swanky Viceroy Anguilla is offering packages for Valentine’s Day for couples having large destination weddings or small, intimate gatherings to tie the knot. The Love & Legacy Package applies to groups of at least 100 adults staying for three nights and starts at US$500 per person, while Love in the Sky rewards couples who book six roundtrip seats on a Tradewind Aviation flight from San Juan to Anguilla with complimentary seats on the same flight. For those who prefer a couples-only ceremony, Love is Simple and The Elegance of a Vow include the wedding ceremony, a dedicated wedding specialist, a three-course dinner for two at the resort’s signature restaurant Coba and more. The packages are US$4,200 and $4,800 respectively, and also include personal assistance with the marriage license and certificate service. Of course, the fun doesn’t stop after the ceremony, as couples who host a wedding with more than 100 rooms will receive a complimentary five-night stay in a suite, a romantic dinner for two and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne for their first anniversary.

www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/en/anguilla 

Allamanda Beach Club is offering a Couples Spring Break Getaway. The four-day package includes daily continental breakfast, car rental for the four days, a one-hour glass bottom boat ride, a 40-minute massage for two and dinner for two on the final evening. The package is $1,640 and is valid April 15 through December 15, 2015.

Restaurants

French pastries - Cafe de Paris (courtesy of Cafe de Paris Facebook page)

French pastries – Cafe de Paris (courtesy of Cafe de Paris Facebook page)

Café de Paris offers a blend of French and Anguillian specialties. Led by the team that operated Big Spring restaurant in Island Harbour, Café de Paris is set among a lush garden in the West End of Anguilla.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-de-Paris/274341452725952.

Dad’s Restaurant on Sandy Ground is offering “You Catch It – We Cook It” for fresh seafood at its best. Patrons can bring in their freshly caught fish for the chef to prepare it to their liking with three side dishes. Dad’s also features live music and dancing in the evening.

https://www.facebook.com/DadsAnguilla.

Pizza at Daisy's

Pizza at Daisy’s (courtesy of Daisy’s Facebook page)

Daisy’s is another restaurant new to the Anguilla scene. Located in a traditional Anguillian home in George Hill, the restaurant serves Caribbean food as well as thin- and thick-crust pizzas. Daisy’s is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner.

https://www.facebook.com/DaisysAXA.

Ruthy’s Yum Yum is a new locally-owned restaurant featuring fusion-style menu options and international flair. Located in Little Dix, near Shoal Bay East, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

www.instagram.com/ruthysyumyum

Sarjai’s Restaurant opened in December 2014 by Chef Darren Connor, a member of the Anguilla National Culinary Team. Named for his daughter, the restaurant is located on Meads Bay and features a menu of local and regional dishes with an international flair. Sarjai is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarjais-Restaurant/359863227519292.

Romney’s is Anguilla’s newest restaurant, located in Lower South Hill. Serving tasty local cuisine and favorites such as oven-fresh pizza, succulent burgers, mouthwatering quesadillas and more, Romney’s is the place to dine this winter and is under the capable direction of Chef Kevin Paul.

For reservations or take-out orders please call 1-264-497-6810 or www.facebook.com/romneys

Anguilla is easily accessible via daily flights that connect directly to Anguilla from San Juan or St. Maarten. For those coming from St. Maarten, Anguilla is just a short seven-minute flight or 20 minute ferry boat ride away.

 www.iVisitAnguilla.com 

Glamping and Smokologists With Cakebread Cellars

Grilling in the Outdoors

Grilling in the Outdoors

Glamping and smokologists? Yes, you heard it here. Frontiers Travel has just announced the Montana Master Grillers Memorial Day Weekend at The Resort at Paws Up in Montana. Guests will join Cakebread Cellars, one of the most successful and respected wineries in America, May 23 – 26, 2014 for a weekend of glamping, wine, beer and bourbon tastings, fly fishing, grilling by professional Pit Masters and Smokologists, and luxury accommodations at one of Montana’s finest luxury guest ranches.

So saddle up and get your swig and squeal on!

Fancy Feeling Like a City Slicker?

Fancy Feeling Like a City Slicker?

Montana Master Grillers is a seamless blend of fine wines, spirits, beers, exquisite grilled cuisine, stunning outdoor-dining settings and unforgettable wilderness adventures experienced with an intimacy that affords one-on-one interaction with some of the finest chefs, smokologists, winemakers, brewers and distillers in America. The event will feature lunches and dinners prepared by world-class chefs who specialize in grilling and BBQ cooking. The finest wine, whiskey, bourbon and specialty beer providers will be pairing their offerings with the featured and guest chefs’ flame-kissed fare.

This Is What Upscale in the Outdoors Looks Like

This Is What Upscale in the Outdoors Looks Like

At the crossroads of incomparable luxury and unspoiled wilderness lies Paws Up, a 50-room, luxury ranch resort tucked into the Rocky Mountains. Guests can horseback ride, fly fish, and experience a world-class spa all under the Big Sky. Couple impeccable amenities with some of the world’s finest chefs, smokologists, winemakers, brewers and distillers, and guests will leave agreeing that Montana really is “the last best place”.

Paws Up Resort

Paws Up Resort, Montana

Frontiers Travel has in-depth knowledge of Missoula, MT and the surrounding areas. This weekend affords the perfect opportunity to explore neighboring ghost towns and Glacier National Park.

Starts @$2,778/person and includes luxury accommodations, daily meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages.

http://www.frontiersej.com/public/elegantJourneys/6/sitenews/441-Join_Cakebread_Cellars_at_the_Resort_at_Paws_Up

All photos (c) Paws Up

Looking for Om in 2014? Here are some Yoga Trips for You

Namaste

Namaste

We all know yoga based vacations are gaining popularity with travelers looking for a balance between wellness and exploring a new place and intriguing culture. Our readers love ’em! Rachel Quinn, Head of Group Sales for Holidays for Humanity, also states that over 35% of their enquiries now include requests for yoga, alongside some other vacation “must haves” like white sandy beaches, water sports, and tropical encounters.

So, we thought we’d share several new ideas of yoga trips to kick off the new year right!

Yoga Vacations for Sailors in Turkey

This sailing journey is an exclusive one-of-a-kind voyage that offers guests a chance to practice yoga among the enchanting blue waters of the Turkish Mediterranean coast. The striking coastline, with its pristine beaches, idyllic villages, picturesque coves and remote ancient civilizations is waiting to be explored. This is an excellent opportunity to experience a taste of traditional Turkey in the unhurried pace of staying aboard a sailing yacht. Sit back, relax and let their experienced captain, crew and chef take you on an unforgettable journey. Rates start at $1399 per person based on seven-nights shared accommodation.

Yoga Vacations for Surfers in Costa Rica

Founded in the spirit of adventure, Rip Jack Inn in Playa Grande, Costa Rica is known for tropical bliss and friendly ambiance. They are just steps away from Playa Grande’s main surf break, and offer daily yoga classes in their beautiful shala. If you love to surf, practice yoga, and love great food, you’ll feel right at home here. Rip Jack Inn is also a member of Pack for a Purpose, and supports local community outreach programs. Expect prices around $170 night/based on double occupancy.

Yoga Vacations for Purists in India

Shreyas is dedicated to promoting the authentic spiritual tradition of yoga in a holistic manner and is recognized as one of the finest yoga retreats in the world. What makes Shreyas unique is that, whilst yoga is taught in traditional ashram style (daily yoga, meditation sessions, chanting classes, a strict vegetarian, no alcohol policy and community service), their guests live in a luxurious environment normally associated with a star rated hotel. They enable their guests to integrate the ‘manifold facets’ and benefits of yoga into their daily lives without the austerity and rigor usually associated with ashrams. Expect prices around $550 night/based on double occupancy.

Yoga Vacations for Beginners in Mexico

With personalized yoga, pranayama and meditation classes the Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita is a great place for beginner wellness travellers. Set on 14 acres, including a picturesque sugar sand beach, the resort is perfectly positioned along Cancun’s famed Riviera Maya. Intimate in design, with only 90 luxury suites, they offer a completely new kind of vacation experience focused on wellness, serenity, and romance, balanced by a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Expect prices around $750 night/based on double occupancy.

Yoga Vacations for Nature Lovers in Nicaragua

Aqua’s explicit vision statement is to “lead luxury sustainable development in Nicaragua” and as such, they built, and operated their resort in close partnership with the local communities, and in complete concert with nature. Additionally, they are completely committed to sea turtle conservation, and encourage their guests to join along. They provide opportunities to work with trained staff in caring for the turtle eggs, protecting them in the nursery, and for those fortunate enough to be there during hatching, to help release them back to the ocean. Daily yoga takes place on their palm-thatched open air, ocean-side platform. Expect prices around $280 night/ based on double occupancy.

About Holidays for Humanity: www.holidaysforhumanity.com

Holidays for Humanity connects travellers with vacation options that appeal to their self, as well as their soul. By working with partners that promote sustainable and eco-friendly practices they offer a range of travel options including eco resorts and hotels, health and wellness, volunteering abroad, cultural and culinary and expeditions and tours.

San Luis Obispo County’s Restaurant Month

Dining in Cambria

Dining in Cambria

Greet the New Year with exceptional eats at a great price. San Luis Obispo County, CA is celebrating Restaurant Month, January 1-31, 2014 with more than 35 participating Central Coast restaurants from Cambria to Arroyo Grande will feature special menus, most offering a three-course, prix fixe meal, for just $30 per person, along with award-winning local wine pairings for an additional charge.

Cambria

In Vino Veritas!

For those en route to the quaint, picturesque village of Cambria, both Black Cat Bistro and Robin’s Restaurant will be participating. The perfect setting to ponder thoughtful New Year’s resolutions, Cambria offers a peaceful, off-the-grid getaway, complete with fantastic cuisine, boutique shopping and a host of outdoor adventures.

Travelers in town for Restaurant Month can follow up their fantastic meals with an equally indulgent ocean view vacation at the Cambria Inns collection, which offers comfortable oceanfront accommodations at a variety of price points. Situated along beautiful Moonstone Beach, the collection includes the economical and family-friendly Castle Inn; the luxurious Blue Dolphin Inn; the warm and welcoming Sand Pebbles Inn; and the private Moonstone Cottages.

Foodies will also enjoy the Cambria Inns complimentary breakfast offerings, which range, according to property, from the simple and satisfying Continental to a fresh waffle bar to a gourmet Picnic Breakfast to Go.  The hotels are situated off iconic California Highway 1 and offer convenient access to a bounty of area activities, from Hearst Castle to the acclaimed Paso Robles wine region.

www.visitsanluisobispocounty.com/restaurant-month

www.cambriainns.com

Just Opened! Como’s Point Yamu in Phuket, Thailand

Point Yamu by COMO

Point Yamu by COMO

One of our luxe favorites, COMO Hotels and Resorts’, has just opened another sweet property. Personalized luxury travel is what COMO is all about: Urban Hotels, Island Resorts, Adventure Retreats and Wellness Resorts all highlight wellness, cuisine, adventure and culture, service and design – while always upholding a sustainable approach towards the people and places where they operate. Founded by Christina Ong, COMO Hotels and Resorts develops and manages handpicked, individually curated properties like The Halkin by COMO in London, two Metropolitan by COMO hotels in London and Bangkok, Parrot Cay by COMO in the Turks and Caicos, Cocoa Island by COMO in the Maldives, and three Uma by COMO experience resorts in Bali and Bhutan.

A rendering of Point Yamu's Italian Restaurant, La Serena

A rendering of Point Yamu’s Italian Restaurant, La Sirena

Enter their 106-room resort, Point Yamu by COMO. The property, on the coast of the island of Phuket, Thailand, has COMO’s classic stunning interiors, this time by famed Italian designer and architect, Paola Navone. New to the hotel world, Ms. Navone designed Point Yamu with deep, bold colors, clean lines, and a myriad of textural elements to combine COMO’s signature style with indigenous designs. Point Yamu is also home to a COMO Shambhala Retreat, a 100-meter infinity swimming pool and infinite views of the turquoise waters of Phang Nga Bay. In addition, private residences with access to all Point Yamu’s facilities are also available to purchase for those who want to keep coming back to your own sexy digs.

The bathroom in a suite

The bathroom in a suite

LOCATION

Point Yamu by COMO is located on Cape Yamu, a peaceful peninsula on the east side of Phuket, Thailand. The resort overlooks the limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and the Andaman Sea.

CUSINE

Cuisine prepared in a wood-fired oven also plays a star role at Point Yamu. The resort offers everything from relaxed Italian cooking and locally caught seafood at La Sirena to spicy southern Thai cooking at Nahmyaa. Healthy COMO Shambhala Cuisine, designed to maximize energy and wellbeing, can be nibbled at The Central Bar while private dining such as beach picnics and romantic sunset meals can be arranged in-room and at a number of special locations in and near to the resort.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 330-foot swimming pool
  • COMO Shambhala Retreat with eight treatment rooms including one beauty treatment room and yoga studio
  • Pilates and Asian-inspired therapies
  • Italian and Thai restaurants
  • Child-friendly interactive learning area

GETTING THERE

The resort is a quick 25-minute drive from Phuket International Airport. So get thee to serenity.

Rates for a Bay Room begin @ $500/night

 www.comohotels.com/pointyamu