Thanksgiving in St. Barths

St. Barts - Boutique HotelsAs the warm weather of summer fades into the cool breezes of autumn, planning has already begun for the Thanksgiving holidays.

So, in case you haven’t already figured something out and want to take off for the succulent beaches of the Caribbean, we salute you!

Hotel Carl Gustaf, located in St. Barths, French West Indies, rests atop a hill overlooking the glittering lights of the picturesque town of Gustavia and the brilliant blue waters of the city’s harbor. This charming little boutique hotel has 14 amazing one and two bedroom suites and one junior spa suite. For a truly indulgent experience, we say, book the four-bedroom, 2,600 square foot Royale Suite, artfully decorated to create an air of grace and sophistication. All suites offer panoramic views of the city and harbor, private terraces and plunge pools, marble flooring, tiled bathrooms and convenient kitchenettes. In addition to chic amenities, Hotel Carl Gustaf has the Boutique Spa by Carita, a 1,600-square-foot sanctuary of tranquility; the Carl Gustaf Lounge,  one of the world’s best spots for sunset cocktails; and Victoria’s Restaurant, the resort’s signature dining outlet that garners global acclaim. Last year, the hotel also completed an extensive, multimillion dollar refurbishment.

St. Barths - Luxury Boutique HotelsCurrently running a Thanksgiving Holiday Escape where you’ll finally be able to let go of all that annoying holiday stress, you’ll get your own suite with a private plunge pool, spacious living room, separate bedroom, fully-equipped kitchenette and a marble-floor bathroom with a multi-jet shower. Yippee! Stroll to the best beach in town, Shell Beach, just a few minutes walk or sink into the high-thread-count linen sheets on your king-sized bed as you curl up under a plush blanket and listen to soothing music on the i-Pod player. Need we say more? It’s all right there, spelled out for you.

In addition to a six-day, five-night stay in the one-bedroom suite, the Thanksgiving Holiday Escape includes:

  • Chilled bottle of wine served in your suite upon arrival
  • Daily continental breakfast served in your suite
  • 5-day car rental (excluding insurance and fuel)
  • Dinner for two at the Carl Gustaf Lounge (excluding beverages and caviar)
  • One-hour massage ‘tete-a-tete” in the Boutique Spa by Carita
  • Round-trip airport transfers
  • Free access to the fitness center and hydrozone “Blue Spa”
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access in your suite

The Thanksgiving Holiday Escape starts at 2,525 Euros about $3,641.40 US.

www.hotelcarlgustaf.com

Exotic Valentine’s Day Getaways!

We’re so unbelievably romantic… if you saw us you’d say, “Get a room.” So, little angels, it’s time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day.  I know, I know… it’s one of those semi-dreaded holidays. If it makes you feel any better, even when you have a mate you still feel a little uneasy about what to do. Well, stop stressing, we have some ideas for you.  For those who don’t have a lover, next week we have some ideas for you too. Life is a collection of experiences and, as we always like to say, “You can’t take ’em with you, so you might as well live it up now!” (by throwing in a few yacht excursions, a tryst with some guy named Filippo, and hell, go scuba diving while you’re at it, too)

What? It’s only money.

Naladhu, The Maldives

Run away to: The Maldives

Stay at: Naladhu

What:  The romance begins when you step out of the airport and onto the speedboat that will take you directly to this Maldivian island resort. A House Master will lead you to your private house, where Champagne cocktails and fruit are waiting. Spend the day by the pool or snorkeling in the reef then relax with a complimentary coconut milk bath for two.

As if that wasn’t enough: Chocolate cake to share is included!

How much: The “Island Romance” package starts at start at $1474 for an Ocean House.

Visit http://naladhu.anantara.com/Island-Romance/default.aspx for more information.

Rosewood Mayakoba, Riviera Maya

Run away to: The Mayan Riviera

Stay at: Rosewood Mayakobá

What:  The five-night “Mayan Romance” package is all about relaxation. Take a Tantric Yoga class and enjoy a Moonlight Massage for two on your suite terrace. Then soothe your muscles in an Aroma Bath with champagne and chocolate and you’ll be on your way to rekindling that fire all day, and night, long. 

As if that wasn’t enough: You’ll also get a Couple’s Massage instruction session with 30 minutes of “alone time.”

How much: Package rates start at $810 per day, minimum 5-nights. Visit http://www.rosewoodmayakoba.com/en/specialoffers.cfm for details.

Run away to: Moscow

Stay at: Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

What:  For the lovebirds who are itching to get out of the nest, this city was made for you to explore together.  Visit Lenin’s Mausoleum in Red Squareand the Kremlin in the old city center. For a classically romantic evening go ice skating on Gorky Park ponds, transformed into rinks for the winter.

As if that wasn’t enough: The “Romance at the Park” package allows a 4PM checkout, so spend the afternoon in bed!

How much: Check http://moscow.park.hyatt.com for best available rates.

Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos

Run away to: Turks and Caicos

Stay at: Parrot Cay

What: Leave your boots behind and grab your swimsuits! After an afternoon of white sand beaches and turquoise waters, rent out the COMO Shambhala Cottage for your Valentine’s Day dinner. This screened-in cottage overlooks the nearby wetlands and is decorated with candles and tropical flowers.

As if that wasn’t enough: The resort lets you set the mood with your own music!

How much: Rental cost including service is $400 (excluding food and beverage) and rates start at $775 per night for a Garden View Room. Visit http://www.parrotcay.como.bz/rates for booking details.

Run away to: Geneva

Stay at: La Réserve Genève Hotel and Spa

What:  Fashioned along the lines of an African Lodge by renowned designer Jacques Garcia, La Réserve Genève is sophisticated yet playful. Withten acres of private gardens and beaches on the shores of Lake Geneva, you’ll find everything you need including two excellent restaurants, a stylish bar with live DJ, a full-service spa, and even its own vineyard.  For added romance, arrive to the hotel by Venetian motorboat – a complimentary service that whisks guests to and from Geneva.

As if that wasn’t enough: Reluctant to leave the little ones behind? Bring the kids to La Petite Réserve, where they can play in an open-air playground, a magical tree house, or the indoor childcare center.

How much: Rates start at $450.

Visit http://www.lareserve.ch/english/ for more details.

St. Croix, Virgin Islands: Fall Travel Deal!

Virgin Islands Truck Bay

This just in from the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism for travelers interested in an affordable Fall vacation in St. Croix (home of one of Jaunt Magazine’s closest cohorts, the illustrious Mundi Morning Male).

“St. Croix Fantastic Flight” Promotion

Perk: $150 per-person airfare credit and a fourth night free at participating hotels

Booking deadline: October 5, 2009

Travel deadline: November 15, 2009

Participating hotels: The Buccaneer, Carambola Beach Resort & Spa, Chenay Bay Beach Resort, Club St. Croix Beach & Tennis Resort, Colony Cove Beach Resort, Company House Hotel, Divi Carina Bay Resort, Hibiscus Beach Resort, Hotel Caravelle, King Christian Hotel, The Palms at Pelican Cove and Sand Castle on the Beach

How to book: Promotion must be booked through one of the participating tour operators – AA Vacations, CheapCaribbean.com, Delta Vacations, Expedia, GoGo Worldwide Vacations and Travelocity

About St. Croix – St. Croix is a unique island with a rich culture and colorful past, as evidenced by its Danish architecture, historic landmarks, vibrant botanical attractions, diverse culinary landscape, music and traditions. Visitors may choose to explore Frederiksted – a town replete with historical significance, embark on a culinary tour of Christiansted ’s outstanding restaurants, visit the island’s museums and public gardens, or sail to Buck Island, rated one of the world’s best snorkeling spots. The island also boasts the region’s only certified organic farm – The Creque Dam Farm – which hosts an array of fun culinary and sustainable-agriculture programs for visitors and popular “slow down” BYOB dinners.

For more information visit:

www.VisitUSVI.com

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


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.

Bali, Turks & Caicos, & Bhutan: Exotic Yoga Retreats

Yoga meet COMO. COMO meet Yoga. Creating some of the finest, most exclusive (and exotic) life-changing yoga retreats in the world, we got a hold of COMO’s 2009 list of yoga retreats taught by some of the top yogis in the world. Returning gurus this year include Australian yoga expert Judy Krupp. With over 20 years of experience as a teacher and founder of The Yoga Room based on Sydney’s North Shore, Krupps’ likable humor reflect a relaxed style from original training in the Iyengar system and work as a myotherapy body therapist.

Newcomers joining the A-list roster include Elena Brower and Sarah Powers. Brower is a certified Anusara teacher who opened Virayoga in New York seven years ago. She approaches her students with refreshing levity and caring attentiveness. Her celeb client list includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts, and Rebecca Romijn. The California-based Powers has been teaching yoga since 1987. Her style is a combination of a Yin sequence of long-held poses to enhance the meridian and organ systems, combined with a flow or Yang practice, influenced by Viniyoga, Ashtanga, and Iyengar teachings.
Uma Paro – Bhutan

These intimate workshops provide nearly five hours of daily practice with the masters and are held at COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali, Parrot Cay in Turks & Caicos, and Uma Paro in Bhutan. Students at all levels have unparalleled access to these yoga rock stars, as well as to the renowned COMO Shambhala Retreat spas. The weeklong programs include six nights accommodation, most meals, and airport transfer. Single occupancy rates start at $5,681 at Parrot Cay, $3,515 at The Estate, $4,668 at Uma Paro; and double occupancy rates begin at $8,669 at Parrot Cay, and $7,056 at Uma Paro.

Yoga Pavillion Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos

2009 Retreats:

July 12-18
Uma Paro
On Top of the World Yoga and Meditation
Judy Krupp

October 25-31
Parrot Cay
Heal & Fortify: Body and Soul
Elena Brower

December 10-16
COMO Shambhala Estate
Insight Yoga in Beautiful Bali
Sarah Powers

We think the chic COMO spaces are optimal for tuning out the rest of the world. At Parrot Cay, the amenities are endless on the remote 1,000-acre island of white sand. Students can take advantage of COMO Shambhala’s Dr. Perricone anti-aging facials, Ayurvedic therapies, Pilates, a gym, tennis, a variety of watersports, and off-island excursions.

In Bali, unlike the conventional destination spa that usually focuses on pampering, The Estate provides a total, 360-degree experience closely tailored to each individual’s needs. Offering comprehensive wellness programs to mend mind, body, and spirit, they employ leading specialists in contemporary holistic health and feature hands-on healing ranging from massage to Ayurvedic and water-based therapies. The Estate also works closely with a Board of Advisors, which includes Rodney Yee and others such as Dr. Robert Thurman and Donna Karan.

The Uma properties under the COMO name represent simplicity and relaxation within a culturally rich and stirring environment. Uma Paro, located in the rolling hills of Bhutan, has a COMO Shambhala Retreat that offers Asian-inspired therapies, Ayurveda, and immersion into the rich Bhutanese culture through expertly guided cultural activities. We always recommend getting on target with a bit of archery. All properties also include healthy, flavorful organic cuisine.

For more information, visit:

http://www.parrotcay.como.bz
http://www.cse.comoshambhala.bz
http://www.uma.como.bz/paro
http://www.comoshambhala.bz