Monday, July 30, 2012

The Sands at Grace Bay on Turks & Caicos Unveils Property-Wide Enhancements In 2012

The Sands at Grace Bay resort situated on Providenciales' world-famous Grace Bay Beach has made several property-wide enhancements that will be completed before the busy winter travel season. The resort's award-winning Hemingway's Beachfront Restaurant has added an expansive retractable awning that offers guests additional shade from the sun and an even more enjoyable open-air dining experience just steps away from the beach. A newly installed heater in the resort's main swimming pool will keep guests comfortably warm during the cooler months. Additionally, the resort has undertaken a green initiative by installing an environmentally friendly Bionest wastewater treatment system to irrigate the lush resort grounds and gardens.

Photo courtesy of The Sands at Grace Bay

Scheduled for completion by December 2012, all 114 luxurious studio and suite accommodations are receiving the following bathroom enhancements: Travertine stone shower, bathtub, flooring and baseboards; Kohler fixtures; curved shower curtain rods; cast iron slip resistant bathtubs; and a fresh coat of paint. And finally, The Sands at Grace Bay has added stand-up paddleboards to their wide array of complimentary guest offerings, which include free use of kayaks, Hobie Cats, snorkeling and windsurfing gear, and bicycles.

 "We are continuously trying to improve upon our luxurious resort accommodations and maximize our guest experiences during their stay with us," said Mona Beeson, General Manager of The Sands at Grace Bay. "We are delighted with our growing number of repeat guests who continue to call our property their "home away from home," as well as the increasing number of new guests who are choosing to stay at our resort. We are excited to bring even greater value to return guests and new travelers who will be staying with us this fall and winter."

For more information, visit www.thesandstc.com

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Crystal Cruises Focuses on the "New" in New England/Canada


Crystal Cruises’ fall voyages through America and Canada’s “East Coast” roots offer dozens of new boutique adventures ashore; new chic spaces on board; and a brand new, exotic Québécois itinerary with three off-the-beaten-path maiden calls.  Beginning September 19 aboard Crystal Symphony – freshly redesigned during a $15 million extreme makeover – five seven- to 11-day cruises will sail between Boston, Manhattan and Montréal.  The season’s centerpiece, Crystal’s first-ever round-trip from Montréal, is an easy, seven-day intimate exploration of European-flavored French Canada, including a maiden call to France itself.

Twenty-nine new Crystal Adventures offer novel ways for foodies, adventurers, and culture-hounds to experience the historic region’s most iconic and less-expected areas, like: 
  • Saint-Pierre & Miquelon: Visit North America’s last vestige of the French Republic and see Al Capone’s “home-away-from-home” during the island’s golden era of Prohibition profiteering.
  • Québec City: Join Huron natives in a Friendship Dance and sacred ceremonies following a traditional feast of bison, wapiti meat and Indian bannock bread.
  • New York: Sail past the Statue of Liberty to the newly-completed 9/11 Memorial or enjoy an exclusive, private visit to the American Museum of Natural History while closed to the public.
  • Havre-Aubert Island (from Magdalen Is.): Listen to a Madelinot fisherman’s tales of maritime life of yore.
  • Halifax: Look for the majestic North American bald eagle during a Shubenacadie River Zodiac ride.
  • Bar Harbor: Glide over Acadia National Park’s treetops in an open-cockpit biplane.
  • Magdalen Islands (maiden call): Learn about the distinct Acadian culture and taste local specialties like porto-style fortified wine, Pied-de-Vent cheese and bagosse “island beer.”
  • Montréal: Jet boat away from the Old Port, down the Lachine Rapids.
  • Sept-Îles (maiden call): Train-ride to a marshland Innu camp for immersion into traditional First Nations life, from chanting and smoked salmon secrets to moccasin and medicine-making.
  • St. John: Heli-fish in the footsteps of Prince Charles on the Miramichi River or have “Tea with Eleanor” Roosevelt at her and Franklin’s former summer residence.
  • Boston: See what some call New England’s most well-preserved (and picturesque) Colonial town during a half-day in Marblehead and witch trial-famed Salem.
Aspiring photographers can also learn pro tips to capture the “perfect shot” of Halifax or St. John during photo excursions there, and bike-riders can work off their sea legs through NY’s Central Park, or Montréal’s 236 miles of bike paths.  Additionally, Crystal’s You Care, We Care voluntourism program offers complimentary opportunities to assist with local Canadian food banks or help low-income and homeless Bostonian children.

“New England/Canada is one of the most storied and stunning regions in North America and offers so much to explore and discover.  Each year, we strive to not only expand our offerings with new ports, but also re-invent the journey with new experiences in traditionally popular destinations,” says John Stoll, vice president, land and port operations.

Until August 31, all-inclusive, “Book Now,” cruise-only fares start at $2,355/person, double-occupancy with attractive air add-ons from more than 90 North American gateways, and savings for family/friend groups of six or more.

The renowned Crystal Experience was recently voted the “World’s Best” by Travel + Leisure magazine readers for the seventeenth year in a row, more than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lark Hotels Connects the Dots between Coastal New England Spots with New ‘Wanderlark’ Program

Lark Hotels, a boutique hospitality company with four stylish coastal New England properties, will roll out its new “Wanderlark” program late this summer. Available September 1 through June 15 annually, Wanderlark will offer six- and nine-night getaways to Nantucket, Newport and Kennebunkport with rejuvenating layovers at a Lark hotel in each destination. Rates start from $715 for two based on time oftravel and represent a discount of 20%.
Wanderlark was created to inspire travelers to explore coastal New England during the quiet off-season, a sublime time when fireplaces are ablaze, hot toddies are mulling and reservations at coveted restaurants are plentiful. In addition to spectacular low season rates at each hotel, Lark guests will have access to pre-trip concierge services from Lark Hotels’ CEO Rob Blood who will personally help plan the perfect, tailored itinerary for each guest. Wanderlarkers will also receive complimentary locally brewed beer (or a bottle of wine) upon check in at each hotel.
Wanderlarking to all three destinations is available September through November and May 15- June 15. Wanderlarking to Kennebunkport and Newport is available September 1 through June 15.

Lark Hotels’ properties include The Veranda House and the Chapman House on Nantucket, The Attwater in Newport and the Captain Fairfield Inn in Kennebunkport. Behind the design aesthetics of each hotel is Boston-based Rachel Reider Interiors who created the nautical meets retro-chic look at each property.

To learn more about the properties, visit www.larkhotels.com


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Monday, July 23, 2012

JetBlue Takes Loyalty to New Heights with Introduction of TrueBlue Mosaic(TM)

JetBlue Airways today introduced TrueBlue Mosaic, an enhancement to the carrier's existing customer loyalty program that will add even more value for its most frequent flyers. Officially launching this fall 2012, TrueBlue Mosaic members will automatically receive:
  • Free second checked bag for everyone flying on the member's reservation (b)
  • Free Even More(TM) Speed, providing expedited security at 36 airports for everyone flying on the member's reservation
  • Early boarding with early access to overhead bin space for everyone flying on the member's reservation
  • Ability to use TrueBlue points to purchase Even More(TM) Space seats for extra legroom
  • Access to a dedicated 24/7 customer service line
  • Three Bonus TrueBlue points per dollar spent for a total of nine points per dollar when booking on jetblue.com (c)
Existing members of TrueBlue, JetBlue's loyalty program, will be automatically upgraded to TrueBlue Mosaic if they have earned 15,000 base flight points or completed 30 flight segments and have earned at least 12,000 base flight points in a calendar year. Current TrueBlue members eligible for TrueBlue Mosaic will be notified and automatically enrolled in the program this fall. To learn more, visit: www.jetblue.com/mosaic

To celebrate the launch of Mosaic and show appreciation for its most frequent longstanding customers, JetBlue is rolling out a special introductory gift of six free Even More(TM) Space seats for TrueBlue members earning the Mosaic badge in 2012. Even More(TM) Space gives customers additional room to stretch out and relax, plus early boarding and early access to overhead bins. 

"We've applied a fresh approach to member recognition with the introduction of TrueBlue Mosaic, offering those who fly with us the most increased ease of travel, while still maintaining excellence in product and service for all," said Dave Canty, JetBlue's director of loyalty marketing. "Whether traveling for business, pleasure, or anything in between, our new Mosaic members will receive more value, more services and even more extras; our way of saying 'thank you' for choosing to fly with us time and again." 

Mosaic, named after one of JetBlue's acclaimed tailfin designs, is an apt choice for the new loyalty nomenclature and a departure from the existing, traditional tiered loyalty programs. Mosaic describes the way in which the airline views its diverse customer base, as people from all different walks of life and traveling for different reasons - business, vacation, visiting friends and family - with the opportunity for all to benefit in the same way when they book JetBlue as their airline of choice. TrueBlue Mosaic customers will receive all the great benefits that already come with flying JetBlue, including plenty of room to stretch out, free snacks, 140 channels of free entertainment programming, and the best service in class. 

"The ability to skip the security line, check a second bag for free, earn extra bonus points on every dollar spent, or reach a dedicated customer service line, will save time for business travelers with tight schedules, reduce hassle for parents flying with kids, and put money back in everyone's wallets," Canty added.

TrueBlue, JetBlue's loyalty program, is free to join and includes the ability to use points for any seat on any JetBlue operated flight, no blackout dates (d). One way Award Flights are available starting at just 5,000 points and $2.50 taxes/fees (e). Additional information about TrueBlue and how to register can be found at https://trueblue.jetblue.com


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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

American Airlines, BookIt.com Connect Directly

American Airlines and BookIt.com®, a leading online travel provider, announced that the online travel company has become part of a growing number of agencies adopting American's direct connect link to access the airline's personalized fares, schedules, custom travel products and services.

"American Airlines is the premier airline that offers the best flight options into the Caribbean and Mexico – two of BookIt.com's primary destinations," said Tom DiBacco, BookIt.com's Vice President of Business and Finance. "This is a great deal for our guests who get to choose from the most current American Airlines flights and lower fares when booking certain vacation packages."

BookIt.com is a rapidly growing, award-winning online travel agency that offers bundled vacation packages to many destinations served by American, including the United States, Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America. The direct connect agreement allows BookIt.com to offer lower package prices for many popular destinations and ensures that its travelers will have greater access to American services and benefits.

"American's direct connect link with BookIt.com showcases how American's unique set of products can be displayed in innovative ways that increase leisure-oriented travel options available to consumers," said Cory Garner, American's Managing Director – Sales Operations and Distribution.

Additional details were not disclosed.

Source: www.aa.com


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Monday, July 16, 2012

JetBlue Airways Announces 23rd Caribbean Destination: Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands

JetBlue Airways has announced its intent to serve Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, the largest destination in the British Overseas Territory's archipelago. Beginning Nov. 15, 2012, the airline will serve Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) with three times weekly service on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Saturday service from Boston's Logan International Airport (BOS) beginning on Nov. 17, 2012. Flights are expected to go on sale later this month at www.jetblue.com.

Destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean now make up almost one-third of the carrier's route network. Grand Cayman will be JetBlue's 74th destination and the 23rd destination in the Caribbean. Earlier this month, JetBlue also announced intent to serve two other new Caribbean destinations: Cartagena, Colombia beginning Nov. 2, 2012 and Samana, Dominican Republic starting Nov. 14, 2012, both from New York's JFK.

"Our Latin America and Caribbean destinations continue to flourish and based on this support that we continue to receive from our customers, we are excited to add the beautiful Cayman Islands to our growing network," said John Checketts, director of route planning for JetBlue. "Whether travellers are seeking relaxation or adventure, attractions like Seven Mile Beach, swimming with stingrays, snorkelling or scuba diving are just a few options to explore in this tropical, aquatic playground." 

With this new addition, by the end of 2012 JetBlue will serve the following Latin American and Caribbean destinations: Aruba; The Bahamas (Nassau); Barbados; Bermuda; Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman); Colombia (Bogota and Cartagena); Costa Rica (Liberia and San Jose); Dominican Republic (La Romana, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samana, Santiago and Santo Domingo); Jamaica (Kingston and Montego Bay); Mexico (Cancun); Puerto Rico (Aguadilla, Ponce and San Juan); St. Croix; St. Lucia; St. Maarten; St. Thomas; and, Turks and Caicos (Providenciales). 

JetBlue's schedule between New York and Grand Cayman:
JFK to GCM:
GCM to JFK:
Depart - Arrive
Depart - Arrive
7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
12:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.
- Flights operate three times weekly on Mon., Thurs., Sat.
beginning Thurs., Nov. 15 , 2012 -
- All times local -
JetBlue's schedule between Boston and Grand Cayman:
BOS to GCM:
GCM to BOS:
Depart - Arrive
Depart - Arrive
10:25 a.m. - 2:35 p.m.
3:30 p.m. - 7:25 p.m.
- Flights operate on Saturdays beginning Sat. Nov. 17, 2012 -
- All times local -

JetBlue's flights to Grand Cayman from Boston and New York will be operated with its comfortable Airbus A320 fleet and award-winning service featuring convenient, assigned seating; a first-checked bag free; complimentary and unlimited name brand snacks and drinks; comfy leather seats; and more legroom than any other carrier in coach. 

Source: JetBlue.com

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Boston Park Plaza Hotel – a Historical Boston Hotel and the Official Hotel of the Boston Red Sox Proudly Announces the Launch of Their New Mobile Website

Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers announces the launch of their Boston Hotel Mobile Website for convenient access from any web-enabled mobile phone, tablet or I-Pad, giving prospective and repeat Hotel Guests a fast, informative look-and-book solution while they’re on the move.

Mobile Phone and Tablet users will enjoy many of the same functions as the full Boston Hotel Website with streamlined information and quick links to check rates, see photos, Special Offers, view a map, contact the Hotel, connect to the property’s social media and, most importantly, book a room – all with a few simple taps of the screen. 

“With the launch of the mobile site we intend to penetrate the burgeoning mobile market,” says Director of Revenue Management Gopakumar Menon. “With the simple layout and precise information, we are making it even easier for people to book their favorite Boston Hotel.”

This historic Boston Hotel is having a big year committed to improving the Guest experience. Having completed a $5 million renovation, this Boston Hotel was named the Official Hotel of the Boston Red Sox during the team’s 100-year anniversary at Fenway Park, and has invested in its online presence with a new Hotel Website, a new Hotel Blog and the new Boston Hotel Mobile Website. 

The mobile-friendly version of the Hotel’s Website was created with speed and performance for the end-user in mind, while also reflecting the prestigious Boston Hotel brand.

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Wealth TV - "Behind the Name" Sandals



Video Courtesy of Sandals Resorts on YouTube


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Monday, July 9, 2012

Stowe Mountain Lodge Partners with The Cellars at Jasper Hill Cheese

Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont has partnered with The Cellars at Jasper Hill Cheese for the Second installment in the “From the Kitchen” video series as newly launched menu continues to receive praise.

As a loyal advocate of the farm-to-table dining concept and a cheese expert himself (after spending time at the beginning of his career in Luzerne, Switzerland) Chef Berry is honored to work with one of the most respected cheese makers currently in the industry, and with the largest and most extensive cheese caves in the country.

“It’s a great honor to be able to cook with Andy and Mateo Kehler’s cheeses, who founded Jasper Hill Farm nine years ago and are now aging some of the best cheeses in the country,” says Chef Berry. “They had a vision and have stuck to it, and now, not only Vermont, but the rest of the world are able to enjoy their creations. The fact that they are Stowe Mountain Lodge’s neighbors makes it that much better”

The Cellars at Jasper Hill is a piece of infrastructure designed to help local farms reach and succeed in a national marketplace: a bridge between small-scale production and large scale markets. The building itself is a network of seven underground vaults - a total of 22,000 square feet nestled beneath the pastures where Jasper Hill's forty Ayrshire cows graze. Each cave rests at distinct temperature and humidity levels, calibrated for different cheese styles. Developing wheels undergo a customized testing and tasting schedule before getting wrapped-up at their target age profile. By offering a collection of professionally aged and marketed cheeses, the Cellars at Jasper Hill allow its producers to focus on the most important aspects of their trade - quality milk production and cheese making technique.

On the recently launched menu, Stowe Mountain Lodge features some of the finest cheeses from Jasper Hill, along with other new dishes such as the signature summer menu item, the Lobster “Pot Pie.”

Solstice, Stowe Mountain Lodge’s award-winning restaurant, features innovative artisan cuisine in a relaxed yet elegant environment. Boasting floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Spruce Peak, with décor by coveted design and craft makers, Shackleton Thomas, based in Bridgewater, Vermont, Solstice reflects the natural elements of the luxurious alpine lodge. Strong relationships with neighboring food purveyors and farmers allows Stowe Mountain Lodge to offer the farm-to-table dining concept as an entirely unique and authentic experience for guests and larger meeting groups alike.

To learn more, visit www.stowemountainlodge.com



Source: Stowe Mountain Lodge 

 

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Fond Doux Adds Cottages and Comfort in St. Lucia

Waiting for a room or suite at one of St. Lucia's most alluring properties is about to become easier.

Fond Doux Holiday Plantation resort is increasing its capacity by adding five new cottages, which general manager, Eroline Lamontagne pledged would "retain the same unique architecture as the other 11 cottages on the plantation."

Mrs. Lamontagne, who owns the unique accommodations along with her husband Lyton, concurs the recent TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence recognition received by Fond Doux is motivation for the expansion. "Our recognition as a favorite destination last month is sparking interest in the property as well as enthusiasm to add the new accommodations."

The new additions will feature three deluxe one-bedroom cottages and two honeymoon cottages with private plunge pools.

To retain the old French colonial charm, Lyton Lamontagne painstakingly moves authentic cottages from throughout the island and lovingly restores them at Fond Doux in Soufrière, St. Lucia's former capital.

However, Mrs. Lamontagne reports the additions will be a little different: "All new cottages are going to be more spacious with outdoor living day beds and hammocks in the patios."

Additional enhancements will be evident in the bathrooms which will feature outdoor rain forest showers with luxurious fittings.

Scheduled to be unveiled by the start of the winter season in December, the room additions will be accompanied by added touches to the common areas. "We are creating a larger and more comfortable lobby and reception area in the Great Estate house to include a library and Wi-Fi area for our guests. We are also refurbishing and upgrading our restaurants and kitchen to accommodate these changes."

For more information, visit www.fonddouxestate.com.



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Fond Doux Adds Cottages and Comfort in St. Lucia

Waiting for a room or suite at one of St. Lucia's most alluring properties is about to become easier.

Fond Doux Holiday Plantation resort is increasing its capacity by adding five new cottages, which general manager, Eroline Lamontagne pledged would "retain the same unique architecture as the other 11 cottages on the plantation."

Mrs. Lamontagne, who owns the unique accommodations along with her husband Lyton, concurs the recent TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence recognition received by Fond Doux is motivation for the expansion. "Our recognition as a favorite destination last month is sparking interest in the property as well as enthusiasm to add the new accommodations."

The new additions will feature three deluxe one-bedroom cottages and two honeymoon cottages with private plunge pools.

To retain the old French colonial charm, Lyton Lamontagne painstakingly moves authentic cottages from throughout the island and lovingly restores them at Fond Doux in Soufrière, St. Lucia's former capital.

However, Mrs. Lamontagne reports the additions will be a little different: "All new cottages are going to be more spacious with outdoor living day beds and hammocks in the patios."

Additional enhancements will be evident in the bathrooms which will feature outdoor rain forest showers with luxurious fittings.

Scheduled to be unveiled by the start of the winter season in December, the room additions will be accompanied by added touches to the common areas. "We are creating a larger and more comfortable lobby and reception area in the Great Estate house to include a library and Wi-Fi area for our guests. We are also refurbishing and upgrading our restaurants and kitchen to accommodate these changes."

For further information, visit www.fonddouxestate.com.



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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cape Air Expands Its Caribbean Presence

Cape Air has expanded its Caribbean presence with the start of daily service between St. Croix, USVI and Vieques, Puerto Rico. Fares for flights start at $70 each way.

Schedule Effective July 1, 2012:

Dep. STX 9:40am Arr. VQS 10:03am Frequency: Daily
Dep. VQS 10:25am Arr. STX 10:48am Frequency: Daily

Originally, the service, which ran from December 11, 2011 through May 7, 2012, was slated to be seasonal only. The decision to connect these two islands with daily flight service on a year-round basis was made after consideration of customer feedback, as well as requests from government and tourism leaders on St. Croix and Vieques. Cape Air's Vice President of Planning, Andrew Bonney, said, "As both Vieques and St. Croix continue to grow as not only tourist destinations, but also commerce centers, we realized that providing inter-island service would benefit travelers and locals alike. It is important for us to be able to listen to the suggestions of our passengers, and respond quickly to meet those needs."

Reservations for travel between St. Croix and Vieques can be made by calling: 
866-CAPE-AIR or by booking online at www.capeair.com


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CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort Boston Set to Rebrand as a DoubleTree by Hilton

The CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort Boston-North Shore, located on 50 Ferncroft Road in Danvers, celebrated the beginning of a $10+ million renovation which will convert the hotel into a DoubleTree by Hilton in Fall 2012. The hotel held a demolition kick-off event on June 12, 2012, marking the start of the construction within the hotel.

Improvements to the hotel include upgrades to the meeting space and the addition of new technological amenities that address the needs of the business traveler, such as 50 mb fiber optic high speed internet and an executive lounge. Leisure travelers will enjoy the new contemporary look as well as the fun-filled North Shore location of the hotel. This 365 room hotel offers more than 30,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, an oversized fitness center, pool with a 65,000 square foot water park activity center, and on-site spa.

“The hotel will be Boston North Shore’s address of choice for all social and business events,” said Matt Doucette, General Manager of the CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort. “This renovation and rebranding to DoubleTree by Hilton paired with the hotel’s superior service offerings creates a strong draw for both locals and travelers alike.”

After renovation is complete the hotel will be branded as the DoubleTree by Hilton Boston-North Shore and will offer all of the perks of a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel along with oversized leisure amenities.


To learn more about the CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort Boston-North Shore, visit http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/massachusetts/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-boston-north-shore-BOSNSDT/index.html




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