Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saint Lucia Celebrates Chocolate Heritage Month This August with Sweet Deals for Travelers

The West Indies has a long, rich heritage in producing some of the world’s most sought-after chocolate, and the island destination of Saint Lucia is now sharing that experience with visitors during Chocolate Heritage Month this August. Throughout the month, visitors can celebrate chocolate and its roots in the cocoa bean through plantation tours, exclusive chocolate-inspired spa treatments, specialty menus and more. Island-wide hotel and resort offers for couples and families feature savings from 50 percent on room rates to chocolate tastings menus, indulgent spa treatments, and more.
Saint Lucia’s chocolate legacy dates back to the thriving cocoa industry of the 1700’s. The island’s chocolate making process has hardly changed since the original chocolate boom, solidifying Saint Lucia’s reputation as a top quality cocoa producer. Hotels and resorts are now tapping into Saint Lucia’s rich heritage to create inventive chocolate services and amenities as well as hands-on agritourism experiences for visitors.
Specialized plantation tours such as the Chocolate Decadence Tour by Island Routes Tours takes guests on a luxury catamaran from Castries port to Rabot Estate at Hotel Chocolat for an all-day tour that includes chocolate making from scratch, and a chocolate-infused gourmet meal followed by a leisurely afternoon at the Sulphur Springs’ mud bath. The Fond Doux Holiday Plantation tour leads guests through the cocoa fermentation house where visitors can participate in the traditional “cocoa- rina” dance to polish the cocoa beans.  Additional plantation tours are available at a variety of locations including the Marquis Estate, Anse Mamin Plantation, Emerald Estate, Morne Coubaril Estate and La Dauphine Estate.
“Travelers are in for a sweet treat when they visit Saint Lucia during Chocolate Heritage Month,” says Tracey Warner-Arnold, deputy director of tourism. “Saint Lucia’s cocoa culture begins with plantation tours where visitors can learn the process from bean to bar. Other island experiences include delicious local traditions like cocoa tea, creative cuisine, and chocolate-infused spa treatments.”
Chocolate Heritage Month promotions offered by island hotels and resorts this August include: 

Anse Chastanet - Soufrière

“Dan Dous - A celebration of Chocolate at AnseChastanet”
  • The Dan Dous package can be added to Anse Chastanet’s fourth and seventh night free promotion for a combined price starting at $1,163 per person or $2,326 per couple for four nights in standard accommodations
  • Available in standard, superior and beachside deluxe categories
  • Add the Dan Dous package to your reservation and receive a chocolate welcome culinary amenity and cocktail, a chocolate infused one hour spa treatment per person, a chocolate sensory tasting of the resort’s own organically grown and locally made chocolates and a visit to the resort’s organic farm Emerald in the Soufrière hills
  • Includes airport transfers, breakfast and dinner
  • Book by August 31, 2014 for travel from July 15 - October 31, 2014
  • Visit www.ansechastanet.com for more information and package details

Bay Gardens Beach Resort - Rodney Bay

“Sweet Relaxation”
  • Book five nights at $1,139 for a Deluxe Poolview Room package based on double occupancy
  • Book five nights at $1,399 for a One Bedroom Poolview Suite package based on double occupancy
  • Includes breakfast daily for two, a relaxing Tranquility Massage and Chocolate Express Facial from LaMer Spa, plus dinner off the Chocolate Menu for one night during stay
  • Savings total 35 percent; extra nights can be added at 40 percent off
  • Book by July 30, 2014 for travel from August 1 – 31, 2014
  • Visit www.baygardensresorts.com for more information and package details

Bay Gardens Hotel and Bay Gardens Inn - Rodney Bay

“Sweet Relaxation”
  • Book five nights at $829 for a Jr. Executive Suite package based on double occupancy(Bay Gardens Hotel)
  • Book five nights at $739 for a Superior Room package based on double occupancy(Bay Gardens Inn)
  • Includes breakfast daily for two, a relaxing Tranquillity Massage and Chocolate Express Facial from the LaMer Spa (at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort), plus dinner off the Chocolate Menu for one night during stay
  • Savings total 35 percent; extra nights can be added at 40 percent off
  • Book by July 30, 2014 for travel from August 1 – 31, 2014
  • Visit www.baygardensresorts.com for more information and package details

Blu Saint Lucia - Rodney Bay

“Blu Chocolate Escape”
  • Accommodations in a Standard Veranda or Courtyard Room for $130 per night
  • Includes chocolate drink on arrival, chocolate surprise, breakfast, and all taxes
  • Chocolate Mint Body Scrub available for $75; 60 minute Chocolate Mint Body Massage available for $75
  • Travel from August 1-31, 2014
  • Visit www.harlequinblu.com for more information and package details

Calabash Cove - Marisule, Gros Islet

“Sweet days in Paradise” 
  • Book five nights in a Sunset Oceanview Jr. Suite for $2,490, including service charges
  • Includes full breakfast, round trip airport transfers, one chocolate scrub, one manicure, private champagne dinner with a chocolate main course and dessert
  • Savings total $600
  • Book from May 15 – August 31, 2014
  • Visit www.calabashcove.com for more information and package details

Capella Marigot Bay - Marigot Bay

“Chocolate Spa Indulgence Package”
  • Rates starting from $399 per person, per day based on double occupancy
  • Includes one daily 50-minute chocolate spa treatment, one daily 25–minute treatment, full use of the resort’s Auriga spa and complimentary daily breakfast and a daily selection of “Spa” oriented chocolate food items for guests to sample while at the spa
  • Valid August 1 – October 31, 2014
  • Visit www.capellahotelgroup.com/capellahotels/stlucia for more information and package details

Capella Marigot Bay - Marigot Bay

“Chocolate Tasting Experience Package”
  • Rates for a Resort Room starting from $399 per person, per day based on double occupancy
  • Includes complimentary daily breakfast; nightly turn down with homemade chocolate goodies and freshly prepared hot chocolate; specially crafted chocolate themed plates included with each meal; one “Chef’s All Things Chocolate Culinary Menu” private dining experience; rum and chocolate pairing experience at the resort’s Rum Cave once during stay; and a private guided behind-the-scenes tour at The Rabot Estate’s Chocolate Plantation
  • Valid August 1 – October 31, 2014
  • Visit www.capellahotelgroup.com/capellahotels/stlucia for more information and package details

Cap Maison - Cap Estate

“Suite Romance”
  • Rates for a Villa Suite start at start at $472.50 per night, with private pool and Jacuzzi options available
  • Includes breakfast daily, champagne on arrival, champagne on Rock Maison complete with red rose and handmade chocolates, $100 resort credit for use in the restaurants or spa, and a sunset cruise with drinks on Cap Maison 1, the resort’s own luxury power yacht
  • Valid for stays August 1 – December 19, 2014 in any of the Villa Suites
  • Visit www.capmaison.com for more information and package details

Coconut Bay - Vieux Fort

“Chocolate Harmony”
  • All-inclusive rates start at $150 per person, per night in the adults-only Harmony wing
  • Savings total 50 percent
  • Includes daily meals; unlimited juices, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages; weekly manager’s cocktail party, champagne and cold towel check-in; CocoLand Kidz Klub and Waterpark; adults-only pool and bar; activities and entertainment, airport transfers and all hotel taxes and gratuities
  • Chocolate experiences include: chocolate desserts, late-night chocolate buffet, chocolate fountain and the resort’s Kei Mer Spa offers chocolate-inspired spa treatments
  • Book by May 31, 2014 for travel from July 1 – August 31, 2014
  • Offer valid for new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other sale or promotion. Space is limited.
  • Visit www.cbayresort.com for more information and package details

Coco Palm - Rodney Bay Village

“Chocolate Heritage Package”
  • Book a four night stay in a Garden View Room with a room upgrade for $750 per couple
  • Includes all-inclusive meal plan, chocolate mint massage for two
  • Savings total 40 percent
  • Book by June 11, 2014 for travel from August 1-31, 2014
  • Booking code: Chocolate promo
  • Rates are subject to 10 percent service charge and 10 percent VAT
  • Minimum four night stay required
  • Visit www.coco-resorts.com for more information and package details

Cotton Bay Village - Cap Estate

“Chocolate Madness”
  • Receive 25 percent off room rates
  • Room rates start at $306, plus taxes
  • Includes chocolate martini on arrival and melody of dark chocolate while dining at Piano
  • Book by July 15 for travel from August 1-31, 2014
  • Visit www.cottonbaystlucia.com for more information and package details

East Winds Inn - La Brelotte Bay, Gros Islet

  • Book seven nights and receive two nights free (Pay for five nights, stay for seven)
  • Savings total 30 percent off standard rates
  • Room rates starts at $650 per night for an all-inclusive plan
  • Chefs will create a chocolate surprise, chocolate fountain and more
  • Complimentary upgrades are available for honeymoon couples
  • Book by June 30 for travel from August 1-31, 2014
  • Visit http://www.eastwinds.com/ for more information and package details

Fond Doux Holiday Plantation - Soufrière

“Authentic Chocolate Experience”
  • Book five nights for $1,599
  • Includes “Choc-Tail” welcome upon arrival, round trip airport transfers, chocolate bag with welcome goodies, chocolate historical tour, “cocoa- rina” dance classes, chocolate history gift book, chocolate couples swoon massage, chocoholic’s romantic dinner under the stars, Chocó-Loco-romantic sunset cruise, breakfast daily with cocoa tea
  • Visit www.fonddouxestate.com for more information and package details

Harmony Suites - Rodney Bay

“Harmony Chocolate Heaven”
  • Book a luxury suite for a week for $160 per night
  • Includes a complimentary bottle champagne and chocolates, his and hers hot chocolate aphrodisiac dessert with any two course dinner at the Edge or Fire Grill restaurants
  • Book by July 30, 2014 for travel from August 1–31, 2014
  • Visit www.harmonysuites.com for more information and package details

Hotel Chocolat - Soufrière

  • Book four nights in Lodge Accommodations for two people for $1,900
  • Book four nights in Luxe Lodge Accommodations for two people for $2,600
  • Includes Tree to Bar experience for two, Cocoa Juvenate Massage for two and the West Coast riding party
  • Packages represent 35 percent savings off standard room rates
  • Book before June 30, 2014
  • Visit www.hotelchocolat.com for more information and package details

Jade Mountain - Soufrière

Chocolate Alchemy at Jade Mountain
  • The Chocolate Alchemy package can be added to Jade Mountain’s free night promotion for a combined price starting at $5,050 per couple for four nights
  • The add on package includes a chocolate welcome amenity and cocktail, Chocolate Lovers’ breakfast in bed celebration, a chocolate infused one hour spa treatment per person, a learning excursion to the resort’s Emerald Cocoa Estate, a Chocolate Sensory tasting followed by an interactive class in Jade Mountain’s chocolate laboratory to learn basic techniques of making chocolate, tempering chocolate, creating your own fudge and making a personalized chocolate bar. Also includes airport transfers and breakfast and dinner daily
  • Book by August 31, 2014 for travel from July 15 - October 15, 2014
  • Visit ww.jademountain.com for more information and package details

La Dauphine Estate - Soufrière

“Cocoa Adventure Package”
  • Book five nights or more and receive 25 percent off standard rates on all accommodations and vehicle rental
  • Standard rates start at $155 per person, per night
  • Includes accommodations at the La Dauphine Great House or Chateau Laffitte, complimentary cocoa plantation tour with the estate manager, free chocolate samples
  • Book now through November 30, 2014 for travel from August 1, 2014 through December 2014
  • Visit www.villabeachcottages.com for more information and package details

Ladera – Soufrière

  • In honor of Chocolate Heritage Month, Ladera is adding a chocolate decadence dessert to their dessert menu. This latest chocolate creation is a flourless chocolate cake and homemade cinnamon fudge ice cream, all made using local ingredients, for $12. The dessert can be enjoyed any time of the day in any area of the resort, all complete with views of the Pitons and Caribbean Sea.
  • Visit www.ladera.com for more information and package details

Royal by rex resorts - Rodney Bay

“Steamy Chocolate Affair”
  • Book four nights and receive up to 55 percent off standard rates in all room categories
  • Rates starting at $306 per night per couple inclusive of tax & service
  • Includes a 30 minute steam bath followed by a cocoa scrub, a warm chocolate oil massage (one per person per stay), chocolate treats at turndown daily
  • Book now through May 31, 2014, for travel August 1 – 31, 2014
  • Special is subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other offers
  • Mention Chocolate Heritage Month at time of booking to qualify
  • Visit www.rexresorts.com/st-lucia/resort-st-lucia-royal-by-rex-resorts.html for more information and package details

St. James’s Club Morgan Bay - Castries

“A Sweet Suite Deal at St. James’s Club Morgan Bay”
  • Receive 50 percent off all-inclusive accommodations, plus complimentary room category upgrade
  • The five-night, all-inclusive package is priced at $1,970 for two people in a one bedroom ocean view suite
  • Standard rates start at $888 per night in a one-bedroom ocean view suite
  • Includes an in-suite welcome chocolate tray upon arrival and a Chocolate Spa Package (normally $195), which includes a chocolate body scrub, a full-body chocolate massage and a chocolate manicure and pedicure
  • Book from May 1 – August 15, 2014 for travel from August 1 – 31, 2014
  • Visit www.morganbayresort.com for more information and package details

The BodyHoliday - Cap Estate, Gros Islet

“Chocolate Dream”
  • Purchase an add on supplement for $130 per person booking code: BHCHOC
  • Includes a chocolate wrap and scrub combo, cooking class with resident nutritionist to demonstrate the benefits of 100 percent raw cocoa, cooking classes by Executive Chef Didier showcasing chocolate treats
  • Visit www.thebodyholiday.com for more information and package details

Ti Kaye Resort & Spa - Anse Cochon

“Ti Kaye Cocoa Package”
  • Book a minimum five nights and receive 30 percent off any room category
  • Includes a chocolate fruit plate in room upon arrival and a complimentary 30 minute Kai Koko Spa chocolate refresherfacial treatment
  • Standard room rates start at $ 1,113 per couple for five nights in an ocean view room (including 10 percent VAT and 10 percent Service Charge)
  • Not combinable with other offers 50 percent non-refundable deposit required on booking
  • Book now through July 31, 2014 for travel through August 2014
  • Visit www.tikaye.com for more information and package details

Villa Capri - Cap Estate

“Sweet and Sunny”
  • Book four nights, receive one night free
  • Book five nights, receive two nights free
  • Includes first dinner with a chocolate craving menu and chocolate amenities
  • “Sweet and Sunny” special applies only to new bookings and cannot be combined with other specials
  • Visit www.capristlucia.com for more information and package details

Windjammer Landing - Labrelotte Bay

“Amazing Chocolate Package”
  • All-inclusive rates start at $1,779 per couple for four nights in a premium ocean view room
  • Includes couples chocolate spa wrap and a chocolate turn down gift
  • Savings total up to 50 percent
  • Book by August 15, 2014 for travel from August 1 – 31, 2014
  • Package rates are subject to a 10 percent service charge and 10 percent VAT
  • Visit www.windjammer-landing.com for more information and package details
For more information on the island of Saint Lucia visit www.saintlucianow.com or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SaintLuciaTouristBoard and Twitter via @SaintLuciaNow.  

Source: St. Lucia Tourist Board

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Holland America Line Returns to Bermuda in Summer 2015 with Seven-Day Roundtrip Boston Voyages

Holland America Line is returning to the pink sands and pastel-colored skyline of Bermuda on seven-day cruises aboard ms Veendam. Sailing roundtrip from Boston, Mass., six departures will sail in May, June and July, and feature three days and nights at Hamilton, the country’s capital known for its gorgeous beaches and abundance of golf courses.
Carrying just 1,350 guests, Veendam offers an ideal mid-size ship experience in Bermuda that enables the vessel to dock at Hamilton in the center of town. The seven-day voyages spend a day at sea after departing Boston and arrive at Hamilton mid-day with enough time for guests to go ashore and enjoy the town. The ship then spends three nights alongside, where guests can experience local nightlife and dine ashore, if desired.Veendam departs Bermuda in the afternoon of the final day in Hamilton, with a day at sea before arriving back at Boston.
“We know our guests will be excited to see us cruise again to Bermuda in 2015,” said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line’s executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest relations. “By extending the call to three nights, guests can have extensive time to experience the island while still enjoying the award-wining service and amenities that Holland America Line is known for.”
With three days in port, guests will have multiple opportunities to experience Hamilton’s British charm, cultural heritage sites and world-renowned beaches on a variety of shore excursions. From the ship, guests can take a short walk to Front Street and explore its array of colorful shops and restaurants. Hamilton also is home to a massive 19th-century neo-Gothic cathedral, and the Georgian-style Sessions House built in 1815.
The seven-day Bermuda itinerary can be combined with a seven-day Canada/New England cruise to create a 14-day Bermuda & Canada/New England Collectors’ Voyage. The full Collectors’ cruise calls at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston; and Hamilton, with scenic cruising in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The Bermuda cruise also can be combined with a 17-day Panama Canal transit to create a 24-day Panama Canal and Bermuda Collectors’ Voyage. The ship departs San Diego, Calif., April 15, and calls at ports in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Colombia, as well as Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Boston and Hamilton, including a full transit of the Panama Canal.
Veendam offers an onboard experience defined by spacious comfort and the latest features and amenities. Guests aboard the ship will not only enjoy elegant dining rooms, a $2 million art and antique collection, wide teak decks and spacious staterooms — many with private verandahs — but also new and exciting venues and along with the latest culinary and entertainment enhancements.
Cruise fares begin at $799 for the seven-day cruises; $1,499 for the 14-day Bermuda & Canada/New England Collectors’ Voyages; and $2,499 for the 24-day Panama Canal and Bermuda Collectors’ Voyage, all per person, double occupancy.
Visit Holland America Line’s website and browse the menu of Bermuda options, contact a travel professional or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425).

Source: Holland America




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