Enchantment Abounds at Puerto Vallarta’s ‘Rhythms of the Night’ Dinner Show

Written and Contributed By Merilee Kern, ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor

RITMOS DE LA NOCHE.  Photography courtesy of Vallarta Adventures.

RITMOS DE LA NOCHE. Photography courtesy of Vallarta Adventures.

Rhythms of the Night is an immersive dinner show experience like none other, transforming your night into an enchanted evening on a mystical land. The experience begins with a relaxing cruise across the Banderas Bay where complimentary snacks and cocktails are served. As the sun sets across the sky, you will be rewarded with a stunning light display along the coastline, as the sun sets and the moon starts to rise. This picture-perfect setting is a primer for the experience ahead. As your cruise ship ports at the secluded Las Caletas cove, you will be greeted with a beautiful starry night, a torch–lit pathway, and mysterious islanders coaxing you to your initial destination.

RITMOS DE LA NOCHE.  Photography courtesy of Vallarta Adventures.

RITMOS DE LA NOCHE. Photography courtesy of Vallarta Adventures.

As if the nautical journey to this tranquil cove was not enough, your evening will only get exponentially better. The fire-lit path will guide you to an exceptionally romantic outdoor dining area right along the coast. Nature provides the perfect setting for this outdoor dining experience, as a light wind from the Pacific Ocean blows in the air and through the decorative palm trees. Light from the torches and litany of candles scattered about flickers on the water. The sounds of nature are intertwined with table-side serenades from talented musicians wandering through the dining area. The atmosphere alone transforms dinner into a mesmerizing experience.

Guests are then treated to a full-service buffet that includes thoughtfully prepared food selections to accommodate any dietary preference. The buffet includes grilled chicken, fish and steak, along with a delicious display of vegetables, salads, and, of course, tortillas that are hand-made exhibition style. The dessert buffet is equally tantalizing, with cakes, pies, flan and brownies among the many offerings.

After dinner, you will be beckoned to the outdoor amphitheater where talented local artists will perform a spectacular theatrical performance amid the backdrop of a pyramid adorned with candlelight. Through fire, acrobatics, dance, song, music, comedy and magnificent costuming, the performance proudly reenacts some of the ancient customs that highlights the rich history of this region.

RITMOS DE LA NOCHE.  Photography courtesy of Vallarta Adventures.

RITMOS DE LA NOCHE. Photography courtesy of Vallarta Adventures.

At the conclusion of this perfect enchanted evening, you will receive a final toast as you dance the night away as the cruise ship transports you back to the port with music bumping and cocktails flowing. As with the ride to the cove, the return trip also provides scenic views unique to this part of the world.

Overall, this enthralling evening offers the opportunity to have a relaxing, peaceful and exciting night filled with sights, sounds, smells and tastes you will not soon forget. Whether you are looking for the quintessential romantic dinner experience, a fun-filled family adventure, or are planning a group event, an evening with Rhythms of the Night is a magical journey sure to impress. This mesmerizing experience will captivate your heart and leave you spellbound.

~~~

As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern is an internationally-regarded consumer product trends expert and hospitality industry voice of authority–a travel, dining, leisure and lifestyle expert who spotlights noteworthy marketplace innovations, change makers, movers and shakers. She identifies and reports on exemplary travel destinations and experiences, extraordinary events and newsworthy products and services across all categories. Reach her online at
www.TheLuxeList.com, on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList and on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/LuxeListReviews.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

Featuring Katy Johnson: Actress, Model, Show Host, and World Traveler

Photography courtesy of Eduardo Cellabos.

We’re thrilled to feature Katy Johnson as one of our esteemed contributing writers for our May / June 2017 Issue of InFluential Magazine.  She contributed the intriguing article titled A Southeast Asia Experience to Remember which we invite you to read.  Trust us, after you do, you’ll be anxious to book your trip to Southeast Asia!

Who is Katy Johnson?

As an actress, Katy has worked on a number of film and TV series.  She starred in the South African unscripted drama series, “Clifton Shores,” as well as having appeared in USA Network’s “Monk,” and ABC’s “Greek.”  As model, she has been featured in a variety of national magazines and has modeled for clothing and swimwear brands.

Inspired by her own personal struggles with body image and the demands for ‘ideal perfection’ in the entertainment industry, she is beginning work on her documentary “One Model Mission,” in which she intends to visit 196 countries and document 196 definitions of beauty as defined by each culture.

Her passion for animal rights is why Katy is a member of PETA and the National Humane Society.

You can follow Katy on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  For the latest on Katy’s documentary, you can follow her Facebook page One Model Mission.

ARRIVE Hotels & Restaurants Breaks Ground on Second Location in Austin

83-room boutique hotel expected to debut in East Austin early 2019

ARRIVE Hotels & Restaurants is expanding with the boutique hotel brand’s second location in Austin, Texas. Construction recently began on the 83-room property at the corner of East 6th and Chicon streets, located in the emerging East Austin community. The hotel is expected to welcome its first guests early spring 2019.

“East Austin’s energy is magnetic. It is one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the country and one we are proud to join and to celebrate. And we look forward to embracing and supporting the local community of East Austin,” said Ezra Callahan, co-founder of ARRIVE Hotels & Restaurants.

Each ARRIVE hotel is built for its neighborhood, serving as a crossroads for locals and travelers that celebrates the surrounding style and culture. Embracing the creative spirit of Austin, ARRIVE has assembled a talented team of local designers and developers to partner on the project, including co-developers Alexa Management, project consultants Burton Baldridge Architects, Big Red Dog engineering, dwg. landscape architects and EyeLikeDesign creative design. ARRIVE is also proud to be among the first to build under the Worker’s Defense Project’s Better Builder Program, which ensures that construction staff are paid a living wage and are protected by stringent health and safety guidelines.

The 58,600-square-foot space will integrate a 100-year-old warehouse on the site, utilizing an adaptive approach with traditional industrial materials in its modern design. Consistent with ARRIVE’s standards, all 83 rooms and suites will emphasize comfort and functionality as part of their clean, modern design, with a singular focus on the hotel’s role as a temporary home for its guests.

Immersing guests in local design and tastes, ARRIVE will serve as a lively social hub featuring two neighborhood restaurants and bars, retail and a coffee shop. The hotel’s interiors by Chris Pardo Design will celebrate East Austin’s community of craftsmen, artists and entrepreneurs, while the restaurants will complement the neighborhood’s emergence as home to some of the city’s most loved dining destinations.

In addition to dining and retail, the hotel will feature 3,500 sq. ft. of event and meeting space, including an outdoor courtyard. With a flexible, connected layout, the space can accommodate intimate business meetings and a range of special events or private parties. The hotel is also conveniently located less than 2 miles away from the Austin Convention Center.

ARRIVE East Austin will deliver the streamlined and straightforward service the brand has come to be known for, replacing traditional hotel formalities to appeal to social, savvy visitors seeking a comfortable escape from everyday life. Like other ARRIVE hotels, there will be no front desk, and guests will check in and access all hotel and concierge services and amenities via text message or at the bar. Room rates are expected to start at $199 nightly.

In 2016, the ARRIVE brand launched the first property to much fanfare in the Uptown Design District of Palm Springs. In addition to the forthcoming Austin location, the brand has plans for continued expansion in the coming years.

For more information about ARRIVE, visits arrivehotels.com.

The New Urban Destination That has the Web Buzzing

There was a time when cities like Paris, Berlin, New York or Tokyo were at the top of many travelers’ lists. The glamour, the glitz and the history of these cities lured many, but times have changed and more people are eager to discover some of the lesser known gems. Cities that, though smaller and less renowned, are just as stunning and full of surprises.

One of these treasures is Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Also known as Mill City, the Mini-Apple, or the City of Lakes, Minneapolis is home to a vibrant music scene, miles of bike trails, a community of creative entrepreneurs and an energy that you just can’t find anywhere else. It’s true that a lot of people shy away from the winters, which can be fierce, but those who go during the summer usually leave with plans to return. Here are five reasons why.

  1. The amazing music scene. With large venues such as Target Field and the U.S. Bank Stadium, big-name superstars regularly visit the city. But locals will tell you it’s the numerous smaller venues that make a night out in Minneapolis such an unforgettable experience. From the legendary First Avenue, where Prince began his career, to smaller settings like the Fine Line Music Café or Dakota Jazz Club, there’s live music for everyone.
  2. A new sports stadium. When the U.S. Bank Stadium opened last year, Minneapolis had a new home for the Minnesota Vikings and could brag about having one of the most state-of-the-art football stadiums in the country. But football is only part of the story. In this sports-crazed town you’re only ever a few miles away from world-class hockey, basketball, baseball, soccer and lacrosse.
  3. An innovative culture. With dozens of theater companies, art museums, galleries and creative agencies, Minneapolis has earned a reputation as a city oozing with creative energy. And it happens on all levels. Take the new Radisson Red Minneapolis. Located right in the heart of downtown, Radisson Red was designed to revolutionize the travel experience and enhances the stay experience through art, music and fashion. In addition to the stunning mural in the lobby by local artist Adam Turman, the re-energized rooms feature inspired designs. If guests get hungry, the OUIBar + KTCHN features freshly prepared local fare and an expert staff that can tell you all you need to know about the city.
  4. Food and brews. An epicenter of dining, Minneapolis has kept pace with the coastal dining scene and in many respects, has outpaced other cities due to the availability of local food from the surrounding area. And if you’re a beer lover, be sure to block off an afternoon or three to tour the many nationally recognized tap houses in town, including the funky Dangerous Man Brewing Co. and Young Joni, where the head chef Ann Kim was recently honored by the James Beard Foundation.
  5. A city that caters to the outdoor adventurer. Visitors are usually surprised by how many people they see biking around Minneapolis, and can enjoy the hundreds of miles of bike lanes and trails by renting a bike from one of the many kiosks around the city. If you want to mix things up a bit, numerous outfitters offer kayak tours of the Mississippi, or you can rent a stand-up paddle board at one of the many city lakes.

We could go on, but it might be more fun to make your own list of favorites by visiting Minneapolis yourself. Summer is here, so book a room at the new Radisson Red Minneapolis, stay in the heart of downtown, and discover one of America’s great cities. (BPT)

Where to Celebrate National Wine Day on May 25

Need ideas on where, around the globe, to celebrate National Wine Day on May 25? We have a few thrilling ideas!

Ama Vida Alfresco Dining

Ama Vida Alfresco Dining

AmaWaterways

In celebration of National Wine Day on May 25, AmaWaterways is inviting travelers to toast to the holiday with a special offer available on its wine-themed cruises – showcasing the acclaimed wine regions along Europe’s Danube, Douro, Mosel, Rhine, Rhone and Seine Rivers. Travelers who book an AmaWaterways wine-themed sailing can now save up to $1,500 per stateroom, with dates available throughout 2017, and will have the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich heritage of the world’s most famed wine regions. AmaWaterways’ wine cruises are hosted by top wine experts and feature complimentary lectures, wine tastings, exquisite cuisine with paired wines and exclusive shore excursions to historic vineyards and wineries, as well as private wine cellar tours. In addition, AmaWaterways’ co-owners – Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst – collaborated with winemaker, Jim Clendenen, to make AmaWaterways’ very-own Concerto Wine. The partnership has resulted in a red Pinot with flavor notes of dark red fruit, wild strawberries, earth, spice and cocoa.

Lodge Seating Area

Lodge Seating Area

Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa / Young Harris, GA

Situated amongst the Blue Ridge Mountains and just two hours outside of Atlanta, Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa is the perfect destination to celebrate National Wine Day.  With North Georgia’s wineries continuing to earn praise from critics and wine-lovers alike, the resort offers ease of access to the regions most acclaimed vineyards and tasting rooms.  Guests may book a stay at this luxurious resort to experience this new wine destination and tantilize their taste buds, while enjoying spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

Sonesta Coconut Grove Miami

Sonesta Coconut Grove Miami

Sonesta Coconut Grove Miami / Miami, FL

Recently unveiling its new happy hour menu, Sonesta Coconut Grove’s widely recognized restaurant, Panorama Restaurant & Sky Lounge, provides for the ultimate spot with great deals to celebrate National Wine Day. Guests can relax and unwind with an appealing range of wine options by the glass for $5, as well as light bites ranging from sweet chili glazed wings to roasted garlic hummus and pita chips, while overlooking breathtaking views of beautiful Biscayne Bay.

Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach

Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach

Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach / Fort Lauderdale, FL

Celebrate National Wine Day at the laid-back, sophisticated Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach, where wine enthusiasts seeking great wine, cuisine and unobstructed views can look no farther. Providing spectacular views and innovative cuisine at the hotel, Bistro Restaurant, is offering half price wine bottles with the purchase of any entrée during National Wine Day only. While there, guests can overlook the sugar-sand beach and taste dishes and appetizers ranging from lamb rack short rib ravioli while sipping on a favorite choice of wine.

How to Find a Hotel That can Cater to Your Technology Demands

8 questions that ensure technology needs are met while at a hotel

You arrive at your hotel and pull out your smartphone. After an incredibly long sign-in process, you connect to the Internet. It works fine in the hallway but not in your room, so you go to the business center to check email and print tickets to tonight’s show. The center is packed, so you head back to your room to wait. Meanwhile, your kids are trying to stream a movie and the Internet connection is slow.

Both business and leisure travelers rely on technology to stay connected and streamline to-do’s. However, poor Wi-Fi and minimal tech-focused amenities leave many travelers disappointed. That’s why before booking a hotel, you should always ask questions to ensure you get as much out of your technology while travelling as you do while at home.

Ask these eight questions to make sure your technology needs are met while staying at any hotel, no matter how many devices you plan to use.

Is the room suited for technology?

Whether new or remodeled, modern hotels should feature room designs that support technology. For example, ask about easy access to outlets and charging stations while you’re in the room to ensure you can plug in your phone, charge your tablet and use your computer all at the same time.

How reliable is the Internet?

Fast, reliable Internet is critical for anyone traveling for business or pleasure. When you stay at IHG hotels, you can feel confident you get superior Internet service. IHG Connect provides advanced Wi-Fi technology with increased bandwidth to meet the demand and volume needs of guests.

What is the login process?

Lengthy login processes are a hassle, especially if you’re connecting multiple devices. Some hotels offer streamlined methods which is a big time-saver. Want to log in just once? IHG Rewards Club members log in and then they’ll be recognized and automatically connected at every IHG Connect-enabled hotel.

How secure is the Wi-Fi network?

Most hotels today offer Wi-Fi to guests, but it might not be a secure network. To ensure private information stays private, only stay at hotels with a private and secure Internet connection for guests.

Is there an extra cost for Wi-Fi?

Some hotels charge extra for fast Internet access. Ask about costs and look into membership perks that wave these fees. For example, IHG Rewards Club members receive free Wi-Fi at all IHG properties.

What is available at the business center?

A good hotel will have a business center available to all guests. Inquire as to what is included at the center to ensure your needs are met. Printers, fax machines, computers and a variety of outlets should be available.

What are the hours of the business center?

Ask about the hours of the business center so you know you’re covered, whether you need to book a last-minute reservation to the city’s hottest attraction or print out that big report for tomorrow’s presentation.

Are meeting spaces available?

For business travelers, impromptu meeting spaces are great for quick meetups or when you want to get out of your room for a change of scenery. For more formal gatherings, ask the hotel about the availability of meeting planners who can assist in organizing the technology needs of large groups of people and corporate events.

Keep your technology moving as fast as you do by asking these questions now. That way your hotel stay will be that much more enjoyable, comfortable and productive. (BPT)

5 Amazing West Mexico Vacation Destinations

Dinner theater al fresco, adrenaline-pumping activities and luxe accommodations to-die-for

By Merilee Kern, ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor

Photography courtesy Hotel Coral and Marina.

Photography courtesy Hotel Coral and Marina.

For the throngs of people pondering where to go on vacation this year, Mexico may be a strong contender in your cache of options. If so, you’re certainly not alone. According to the U.S. National Travel & Tourism Office, in 2016 approximately 30 million U.S. citizens chose Mexico as their travel destination. And understandably so, given there are innumerable reasons to vacation in the region. The weather is warm, people are friendly, the culture is rich, the immersive culinary scene is phenomenal, the beaches are beautiful, and dreamy destinations abound. In fact, below are five of my tried-and-true personal favorite places and activities on the west side.

Ensenada’s Hotel Coral & Marina an All-Encompassing Escape
A mere 80 miles from San Diego lies the port city of Ensenada, a charming Mexican enclave that runs along 700 miles of Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortéz coastline. The city, which is Mexico’s largest municipality in the area, offers endless possibilities for vacationers. The region is replete with culture, adventure, inspired cuisine, fine wine and gracious hospitality that’s all tempered with a relaxed beach and marine mindset. This certainly holds true for the Hotel Coral & Marina—a luxury Mexican resort that truly has it all for families, couples, groups or any well-heeled traveler seeking an easily accessible, all-encompassing escape south of the border.

A glistening getaway on the shores of Todos Santos Bay, Hotel Coral & Marina boasts the area’s only world-class marina with 353 slips that offer shared access to the property’s impressive array of amenities. But, for those seeking accommodations on land, the property offers a comprehensive set of conveniences and creature comforts that start with the 147 rooms and suites with each featuring flat-screen TVs, high-speed Wi-Fi and a coffee maker. Upgrade to a specialty suite for an added refrigerator, dining area, double bathtub, Jacuzzi, wine cooler or fully equipped kitchen. While standard rooms start at 635 square feet, the luxury suites start at 721 square feet (the “Deluxe” suite in which I stayed at 1,022 square feet) and top out at over three times that with the Presidential Triple Suite, which provides a whopping 2,034 square feet of vacation space. In speaking with Lizette Sanchez, Director of Public Relations at Hotel Coral & Marina, she cited many elevated amenities available with the opulent top-tier suites, such as a wraparound ocean-view balcony, chic bar, modern living area, Jacuzzi, hydro-massage shower, dining table and wine fridge.

However fabulous your room may be, don’t stay in it too long as there’s so much more to do and see at Hotel Coral & Marina. Whether your idea of a good time includes indulging in “Baja-Med” style cuisine at the on-site Bistro & Cava indoor/outdoor restaurant or more casual fare at the Marina Grill indoor/outdoor restaurant; cocktailing at the patio bar; taking a dip in the indoor or outdoor pool or in the large outdoor Jacuzzi; pampering with a service at the fully-equipped “C Spa”; sweating out the stress in the state-of-the-art fitness center; or playing an exhilarating game of tennis, the property offers all of this and more to keep you and your companions duly engaged and entertained. Guests can also enjoy various water activities like water bikes, paddle boarding and kayaking all throughout the marina.  With these enjoyable exploits as well as an on-site playground and professionally staffed Kid’s Club, the Hotel Coral & Marina is decidedly family friendly.

There are also on-site eateries. Bistro & Cava is the hotel’s award-winning signature gourmet restaurant featuring a blend of traditional Mexican entrees and locally-sourced Mediterranean cuisine.  But the food isn’t the only notable aspect of the bistro, as it also happens to house the largest local wine cellar in Baja California. From this locale, patrons can enjoy more than 150 labels. Those seeking a more casual atmosphere will enjoy eating at the waterfront Marina Grill restaurant or at the Pool Bar, where I highly recommend ordering the ceviche and a margarita. If this doesn’t put you in a vacation state-of-mind, probably nothing will. The Arrecife Lobby Bar is another communal space offering sports on the flat-screen and a two-for-one drink Happy Hour.

Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a romantic respite or a group getaway, Ensenada’s Hotel Coral & Marina enchants as a one-stop oasis where leisure, recreation and gastronomic pursuits await.

Beyond All-Inclusive Innovation Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort & Spa
The newest property in Grand Velas Resorts’ esteemed portfolio is Grand Velas Los Cabos—an all-inclusive spa resort with stunning ocean views and a wide variety of amenities and activities for guests of all ages. No ordinary destination, Grand Velas Los Cabos has pulled out all the stops in its readily apparent quest to provide an unrivaled luxury vacation experience for guests at every touch point.

Having stayed on-site to see for myself what all of the buzz was about, I can convey with full conviction that this resort proffers what would surely be one of the most impressive and memorable retreats of your life. Not only elevating industry standards for any luxe locale, Grand Velas Los Cabos has certainly raised the bar within the all-inclusive category world-wide. Its level of haute hospitality and impeccable service standards go well above making each guest feel pampered—but also genuinely cared for. Then, of course, the overarching offerings—the grounds, the accommodations, the amenities and more—are each standouts unto themselves.

As with all Grand Velas Resort properties, guests here enjoy spacious and sumptuously-appointed accommodations, numerous gourmet fine dining experiences, 24-hour in-suite service, substantial spa facilitates, fully-equipped and staffed fitness centers, pool decks to-die-for, noteworthy family programs, personal concierge service and much more. The resort features 304 suites, each over 1,180 square feet and every single one with private terraces with cushioned lounge seating and breathtaking ocean views. Some of the suites also have personal plunge pools on the terrace as well. The stylish suites at Grand Velas Los Cabos range in size from 1,180 to a whopping 3,412 square feet. Every one of them features wide open ocean views and a fully furnished private terrace.

The variety of gourmet dining options at Grand Velas Los Cabos is impressive, giving guests the opportunity to delight in dishes from around of the world without ever having to leave the resort. Ever. Choose from several fine-dining restaurants with both indoor and open air seating. This includes Cocina de Autor, the resort’s premier signature restaurant, which shines above all as there’s a two star Michelin chef at the helm. Clearly this resort is making its mark on the gastro-travel front, but its spectacular SE Spa is giving the food and beverage program here a run for its money. The two-level, 35,000-square-foot facility with a multisensory pool “water journey” is a not-to-be-missed experience.

Foodie-Forward Private Villa ‘Victual Vacations’ at Puerto Vallarta’s Casa Dos Cisnes
Whether for adventure travel or more relaxing vacations, travelers are increasingly seeking regionally-authentic itineraries that offer an intimate view of local life. The trend of being “connoisseurs of local culture” so to speak is booming. So indigenous tourism and cultural immersion experiences—especially those with culinary components—are extremely popular right now—and that demand is only growing. Various hospitality sectors have been the beneficiary of the foodie-driven travel movement, and even helping drive it to a certain extent. One of which is the private villa vacation category, specifically. Today’s breed of luxury private villa rentals are becoming an ultimate gourmet indulgence for leisure and business travelers, alike.

One private villa rental exemplifying this experience is named Casa Dos Cisnes, which is a premierprivate oceanfront villa in Puerto Vallarta. This 10,000 square foot, five-bedroom colonial style home has breathtaking views of the Pacific, and really goes over-and-above to ensure each guest’s needs, desires and expectations for an extraordinary, foodie-forward private villa vacation are fulfilled.  This includes custom gourmet meals prepared on-site by a dedicated 5-star private chef specializing in Mexican-contemporary cuisine, served in an elegant separate dining room that seats up to 12. You can either specify what dishes you would like the chef to prepare, or you can give “free reign” and allow the chef to conceive a fully authentic Mexican menu on your behalf. Your choice if you want to go full classic/indigenous or with a more contemporary fare. Here, guests have full culinary control. The ingredients (meat, produce, spices, starches) are usually entirely locavore, meaning very locally sourced, and the recipes, preparation, presentation and such are authentic to the region and culture—all allowing visitors to experience what it’s like to “eat like a local.” You tell the chef what you want to eat that day or you can plan in advance and, either way, the chef shops at the local markets the day of and prepares the meals on-site, which are served in the privacy of your own dining space, either indoors or out. It gives a whole new meaning to a home-cooked meal, for sure.

For some enhanced group or family fun, this private gourmet chef also prepares what this villa calls a “Magical Mexican Fiesta”, which is a lively evening of regional food, cocktails and Mexican musicians entertaining at the property. And all of this is available to guests in addition to three full meals a day plus snack and happy hour service, which can be served in the dining room or the separate dining terraces at both the main and pool levels.

Enchanting Evenings Al Fresco at Puerto Vallarta’s Rhythms of the Night Dinner Show
Rhythms of the Night is an immersive dinner show experience like none other in Puerto Vallarta, transforming your night into an enchanted evening on a mystical land. The experience begins with a relaxing cruise across the Banderas Bay where complimentary snacks and cocktails are served. As the sun sets and dusk sets in as the moon begins to rise, you will be rewarded with a stunning light display along the coastline. This picture-perfect setting is a primer for the experience ahead. As your cruise ship ports at the secluded Las Caletas cove, you will be greeted by a beautiful starry night, a torch–lit pathway, and mysterious islanders coaxing you to your initial destination. As if the journey to this tranquil cove was not enough, your evening will only get exponentially better. The fire-lit path will guide you to an exceptionally romantic outdoor dining area right along the coast. Nature provides the perfect setting for this outdoor dining experience, as a light wind from the Pacific Ocean blows through the decorative palm trees. Light from the torches and a litany of candles scattered about flickers on the water. The sounds of nature are intertwined with table-side serenades from talented musicians wandering through the dining area. The atmosphere alone transforms dinner into a mesmerizing experience.

Guests are then treated to a full-service buffet that includes thoughtfully prepared food selections to accommodate any dietary preference. The buffet includes grilled chicken, fish and steak, along with a delicious display of vegetables, salads, and, of course, tortillas that are hand-made exhibition style. The dessert buffet is equally tantalizing, with pies, rice pudding and brownies among the many offerings. After dinner, you will be beckoned to the outdoor amphitheater where talented local artists perform a spectacular theatrical performance amid the backdrop of a pyramid adorned with candlelight.

Through fire, acrobatics, dance, song, music, comedy and magnificent costuming, the performance proudly reenacts some of the ancient customs that highlights the rich history of this region.  At the conclusion of this perfect enchanted evening, you will receive a final toast as you dance the night away as the cruise ship transports you back to the port with music bumping and cocktails flowing. As with the ride to the cove, the return trip also provides scenic views unique to this part of the world.

Overall, this enthralling evening offers the opportunity to have a relaxing, peaceful and exciting night filled with sights, sounds, smells and tastes you will not soon forget. Whether you are looking for the quintessential romantic dinner experience, a fun-filled family adventure, or are planning a group event, an evening with Rhythms of the Night is a magical journey sure to impress.

Adrenaline-Laced Activities at Canopy River Puerto Vallarta
Relative to activities, Puerto Vallarta certainly has all of its bases covered—in large part thanks to Canopy River adventure tours, which is perfect for pure adrenaline experiences by day. Indeed, if you are an action seeker looking for excitement and a way to see the beauty of Puerto Vallarta up close and personal, Canopy River tours are for you. This company offers everything from a fast-paced zip line boasting no less than 12 heart-pounding sections, to thrilling ATV tours, which include diving and dipping at a gorgeous hidden river and waterfall basin, to exciting expeditions through the rainforest. You can complement any of these adventures by dining at the breathtaking on-site Los Coapinoles Restaurant where guests can also participate in one of the greatest tequila tastings in the area.

Your zip line adventure begins with a brief safety training provided by experienced, talented and affable zip line professionals. You will then be safely hooked up to a full-body harness and provided with a security helmet, as you and your tour guides head off for the experience of a lifetime. You will zip through 12 different lines that fly directly above the amazing rainforest located in the Sierra Madre Mountains to heights as high as 709 feet. Each zip line ends on a large platform that gives you the opportunity to stop for a moment, enjoy the surroundings and take memorable photos. Adding to the adventure, at the end of the line, you will travel by mule back up the mountain to the point of origination.

The river expedition is definitely designed for both nature lovers and adrenaline seekers. These expeditions start on the coastline of Rio Cuale and take a six-hour journey through the remarkable rainforest of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Among other notables, you will travel across two bridges that reach heights of up to 88 feet. This journey is only meant for true thrill seekers looking for unforgettable adventure. If you want a fun experience, but may not have the daredevil aptitude for zip lining or a full-blown expedition, an ATV tour can provide an amazing experience. These tours are crafted for those with even little or no ATV experience, so even if you have never ridden an ATV before, this tour is for you. This 60-minute thrill ride will take you on a journey through the Sierra Madre Mountains. You will be given the opportunity to stop at several prime locations to view the ample beauty this area has to offer, from stunning flora to incredible wildlife to mountainous vistas beyond. As mentioned, halfway through the trip, the experienced tour guide will take you to one of the most beautiful hidden treasures in the mountains: Piletas. This location will reward you with the opportunity to see a breathtaking waterfall and even take a swim in the pristine waters beneath the falls before hopping back on your ATV and heading back.

With weather to-die-for, gorgeous waters, robust customs and traditions and diverse terrains, it is no wonder that west Mexico attracts huge tourism dollars. Travelers flock to the area year after year to enjoy the amazing and unique dishes that are specific to the region, tour historical sites, experience thrilling adventure and entertainment, and just spend some time relaxing and taking it all in. And, if you have a penchant for luxury accommodations, fine dining and spa treatments, opportunity is plentiful. As you plan your getaways up ahead this year and beyond, a visit to one or all five of these venues should be at the top of your list. Rest assured the time spent would be vacation experience not soon forgotten.

Merilee Kern

Merilee Kern

As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern is an internationally-regarded consumer trends expert, travel industry voice of authority and TV personality who spotlights noteworthy marketplace change makers, movers and shakers. She scours the marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Reach her online at www.TheLuxeList.com, on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided and/or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

Source:  http://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2016-O-001/index.html.

Spring Thaw Travel Deals at Beachfront Florida Resorts

How about a few Spring Thaw Travel Deals!

 

On Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast, travelers snag 20% savings at the renovated Lido Beach Resort and The Resort at Longboat Key Club, both located on barrier islands off the coast of Sarasota… or 30% savings at Sandpearl Resort and the new Opal Sands Resort, both in Clearwater Beach. On the Atlantic coast, the renovated Stanton South Beach and Jupiter Beach Resort are both offering 20% savings this spring.
Copyright:  Jeff Herron Photography, Inc. 561.902.7797 Marriott Stanton South Beach, Miami Beach, FL Shoot date: 3.2016

Copyright: Jeff Herron Photography, Inc.
Marriott Stanton South Beach, Miami Beach, FL

Marriott Stanton South Beach  | Miami Beach, Fla.  

What’s The Deal? Spring thaw travelers visiting South Beach save 20% when booking a four-night stay at the recently renovated Marriott Stanton South Beach, one of the only hotels along Ocean Drive with direct beach access. The boutique-style hotel features 224 revamped rooms, two pools, a chic sun deck, and a new Mexican restaurant named Lolo’s Surf Cantina by the Chef/Partner Richard Ampudia from Mexico City and known as the “Godfather of Mexican Street Food.” Plus, the hotel offers tip cards listing favorite local hot spots — “Mingle in Miami” cards list top spots for meeting and mingling with new friends (great for solo travelers), while the “Simply Smitten”cards feature romantic places for couples to sneak away to.

How to Book: Booking window is open now through May 31, 2017 for stays through June 30, 2017. Visit www.stantonsobe.com and use promo code D3Q.

Sunset at the Resort at Longboat Key Club

Sunset at the Resort at Longboat Key Club

The Resort at Longboat Key Club | Longboat Key, Fla.

What’s the Deal? Located on a barrier island off the Gulf of Mexico coast of Sarasota, Fla., The Resort at Longboat Key Club is a beachfront slice of paradise offering spring travelers 20% off with the “Spring Bling Savings” deal, plus breakfast for two each morning. The Resort at Longboat Key Club is the only AAA Four-Diamond resort in Sarasota known for 223 oversized rooms and suites featuring private balconies and kitchenettes, plus sports/wellness amenities including 45 holes of PGA-approved championship golf courses, 20 Har-Tru tennis courts, a deep-water marina, and the Mind & Motion Studio with 50+ weekly classes including Sunrise Beach Yoga and Moonlight Meditation. Guests also enjoy the spa, beach, pool, Camp Loggerhead Kids Club, and eight restaurants on property.

How to Book: Visitwww.longboatkeyclub.com for more info and to book. “Spring Bling Savings” booking window is open now through April 30 for travel through May 31. Use code OPALSAVE.

The Pool at Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa

The Pool at Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa

Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa  | Jupiter, Fla.

What’s the deal? A tropical oasis located on a stretch of secluded beachfront dotted with natural dunes and mangroves, Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa is the ideal getaway for spring-breakers looking to soak up some rays and unwind without breaking the bank. The resort features a private beach and swimming pool, beachfront fire pit, adults-only hammock garden, spacious oceanfront suites, decadent waterfront dining and an indulgent spa.  With the resort’s “Here Comes the Sun” offer, guests can take advantage of the sunshine and special rates and receive 20% off rates and daily breakfast for two.

How to Book: For more information visit www.jupiterbeachresort.com with promo code SUN. Rates starting at $280/night.

Opal Sands Resort - Aerial shot with Pool

Opal Sands Resort – Aerial shot with Pool

Opal Sands Resort| Clearwater Beach, Fla.

What’s the Deal? Save up to 30% on Sunday – Thursday stays through April 27, 2017 when you book at least 14 days prior to arrival. Book early and save when visiting the charming, home-away-from-home town of Clearwater Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. At the newly-opened Opal Sands Resort, you’re guaranteed to enjoy sugar-sand beaches, turquoise waters, vibrant sunsets, and entertainment the entire winter season. The property offers upscale accommodations, beach-chic decor, creative cuisine, luxury spas, zero-entry pools, personalized service, and arguably the best beach views and access.

How to Book: This offer is available online through April 27, 2017 atwww.opalsands.com with rate code ADVPURCH.

7 Ways Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort Ups the Luxe All-Inclusive Ante

By Merilee Kern, ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor

Photography courtesy of Velas Resorts.

The newest property in Grand Velas Resorts’ esteemed portfolio is Grand Velas Los Cabos—an all-inclusive spa resort with stunning ocean views and a wide variety of amenities and activities for guests of all ages. No ordinary destination, Grand Velas Los Cabos has pulled out all the stops in its readily apparent quest to provide an unrivaled luxury vacation experience for guests at every touch point.

Having stayed on-site to see for myself what all of the buzz was about, I can convey with full conviction that this resort proffers what would surely be one of the most impressive and memorable retreats of your life. Few, if any, other luxury property experiences I’ve enjoyed have made me declare “Wow” as often as this one, with one impressive interlude after another unfolding with unmitigated abandon throughout my stay.

Not only elevating industry standards for any luxe locale, Grand Velas Los Cabos has certainly raised the bar within the all-inclusive category world-wide. Its level of haute hospitality and impeccable service standards go well above making each guest feel pampered—but also genuinely cared for. Then, of course, the overarching offerings—the grounds, the accommodations, the amenities and more—are each standouts unto themselves.

Here are just seven of the many ways this righteous resort is upping the luxe all-inclusive ante.

1. A Prestigious Heritage
Since opening its doors on December 20, 2016, this $150 million resort is proudly carrying on the tradition of high-end hospitality that all Grand Velas Resorts are revered for. In fact, Velas Resorts in Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and Los Cabos combined have incredibly earned more than 43 AAA Diamonds, including the prestigious Five Diamond Award. For its part, Grand Velas Los Cabos is making an indelible mark on its own. Located on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, well off the beaten path as far as typical Cabo visits are concerned (read: nowhere near “Cabo Wabo” and other such tourist attractions), this resort is perched on a pristine stretch of private beach between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo and is just about a 30-minute drive from the Los Cabos International Airport.  The resort can, of course, arrange airport transports as needed.

As with all Grand Velas Resort properties, guests here enjoy spacious and sumptuously-appointed accommodations, numerous gourmet fine dining experiences, 24-hour in-suite service, substantial spa facilitates, fully-equipped and staffed fitness centers, pool decks to-die-for, noteworthy family programs, personal concierge service and much more.

2. Contemporary Mexican Design
The resort features 304 suites, each over 1,180 square feet and every single one with private terraces with cushioned lounge seating and breathtaking ocean views. Some of the suites also have personal plunge pools on the terrace as well. The half-moon design of the hotel is eye-catching and functional, maintaining the ocean vista as the prime focal point, with the three-story high open-air grand entrance having that same effect—drawing your eye right to the royal blue ocean ebbing and flowing in the not-so-far distance. The beachfront property sits over 300 feet above sea level and, with its natural hues and materials used throughout the regionally symbiotic architecture and the décor, alike, the resort exists in harmony with its rugged surroundings—an oasis unto itself.


3. Sophisticated Suites
The stylish suites at Grand Velas Los Cabos range in size from 1,180 to a whopping 3,412 square feet. Every one of them features wide open ocean views and a fully furnished private terrace in close earshot to the rumbling shoreline and jetties on which Pelicans are indelibly perched. Each of the rooms also boasts an extremely large high-definition flat screen TV with digital cable, premium mini bar with snacks and refreshments stocked daily, wine from Ensenada, Nespresso coffee maker, L’Occitane bath amenities and goose down comforters and pillows. Each of the expansive bathrooms include a Jacuzzi tub and steam shower with rain showerhead.

Other available in-suite services include personal concierge and butler service, daily turndown and a pillow menu. Guests in Grand Class Suites, Presidential and Governor Suites, and the Imperial Suite also enjoy their own private terrace plunge pools, offering an unforgettable way to gaze at the moon and stars amid fragrant sea breezes and the melodic surf. There are also six Wellness Suite options that feature an array of fitness amenities including recline bikes, Vitamin C sprinkler, spa concierge, healthy crudité mini bar, in-suite massage and an aromatherapy kit, among other health-minded enhancements.


4. Abundant Epicurean Adventure
The variety of gourmet dining options at Grand Velas Los Cabos is impressive, giving guests the opportunity to delight in dishes from around of the world without ever having to leave the resort. Ever. Choose from several fine-dining restaurants with both indoor and open air seating, including Frida—an authentic Mexican fine dining eatery that celebrates the legacy of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and where each dish reflects the rich culinary heritage of the region. There’s also the French restaurant Piaf, an Italian eatery called Lucca, and the Velas 10 steak and seafood house—all highly authentic and with an elevated approach to cuisine.

But it’s Cocina de Autor, the resort’s premier signature restaurant, which shines above all as there’s a two star Michelin chef at the helm. This would be a ground-breaking achievement for any resort, and is nothing short of remarkable within the all-inclusive realm. Ingenuity is fundamental to keeping cuisine “interesting” and this property duly delivers.  For example, Cocina de Autor offers what’s called a “sensorial dining experience.” Here there are no menu choices. Instead, all guests are “taken” on a singular gastro-journey: an 8-12 course tasting menu showcasing the finest fresh produce and local meats from the region, reflecting the culture and life that surrounds, while also exemplifying a tremendous amount of culinary creativity and skill. My own holistic dining experience here was one of the most extraordinary and impressive I’ve ever had—a magnificent mélange of fresh ingredients, technique, texture and visual appeal. It’s epicurean ingenuity at its finest.

Oenophiles also fare well while fine dining at this property with multiple sommeliers, under the guise of Master Sommelier Don Pedro Poncelis Brambila, executed a painstakingly curated wine program boasting varietals from the very best and most prestigious domains from around the globe.

There are other, more casual dinner options on-site as well. For breakfast lunch or dinner you can enjoy an open-air eating experience and panoramic views of the beach at Azul. This is a more casual eatery where local fare can be had, in bottomless buffet form or off the menu, sometimes while listening to mariachis and ogling local artisan wares on display as was the case the evening I dined there. I should also mention that during my visit in the February timeframe, while I was eating breakfast each morning at Azul’s patio with glistening ocean vistas, I could see breaching whales in the distance in all of their glory.  Do bring the binoculars that are provided in each guest suite to breakfast so you don’t miss the action! For a quick pick-me-up any time of day, grab a specialty coffee drink at Amat Café.  Of course, at your preference, you may opt to remain room side and relax with in-suite dining.

When you’re in the mood for a cocktail, there are various venues to suit your mood amid four bars: Sky Bar, Miramar Bar, Koi, and the bar at Cocina de Autor. All bars and restaurants offer stunning views from indoor and outdoor seating. During my own post-dinner visit to Sky Bar for a nightcap, there was an energetic live band playing some great American classics, urging folks to get on the dance floor. Then, to my surprise and delight, a fireworks display commenced just adjacent to the Sky Bar terrace sometime around 10pm. It was a magical end to what was already a perfect evening.


During the daytime, I can’t recommend enough eating some Chocolate Clams poolside. The Cabrilla café on the pool deck has a tank filled with the gorgeous, large-scale living clams known as Baja’s “candy-of-the-sea,” which have a brown shell—hence the name. At this all-inclusive, order as many as you want—sky’s the limit relative to supply, at least. They will fresh shuck the clam and serve the sliced meat in the shell, itself, accompanied by lemons and finely diced tomato, onion, cilantro. Eat them with just these ceviche-esque elements to truly appreciate the sweet flavor of this fabulous clam, or add ponzu or hot/picante sauce to vary the flavor profile. Pair with a side of their addicting spice-dusted tortilla chips, chunky guacamole and a crisp white wine to perfect the meal.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that Grand Velas Los Cabos’s Mexican eatery, Frida, also debuted a $25K taco for two, which is yet another example of how they’re innovating and breaking barriers in the food space and is not part of the all-inclusive package, of course. It’s the world’s most expensive taco, and this culinary masterpiece for two includes such premium ingredients as langoustine, Kobe beef, Almas Beluga caviar and black truffle brie cheese. An exotic salsa comprised of dried Morita chili peppers, Ley.925 ultra-premium añejo tequila and civet coffee tops the taco which is served on a gold flake-infused corn tortilla. For a beverage to complement, a hand-crafted white gold and pure platinum bottle of Ley.925 Pasión Azteca Ultra Premium Añejo can accompany the tacos for an additional $150K.


5. Astonishing Spa Facilities
Clearly this resort is making its mark on the gastro-travel front, but its spectacular SE Spa is giving the food and beverage program here a run for its money. The two-level, 35,000-square-foot facility is a not-to-be-missed experience. There are 16 treatment rooms–some with water views–in which all guests enjoy creative, authentic treatments that combine products of the earth with the latest technology and methodologies. Following the changing pattern of the seasons, this indigenous culture-driven spa follows a wellness path represented by a unique totem, in honor of ancient Mayan and Aztec traditions.

Signature treatments, like the one I had, make use of Mexico’s native Blue Agave plant and its ancestral healing benefits. All treatments of 50 minutes or more include a fabulous seven-step water journey like none other. This features a eucalyptus-scented steam room, sauna, polar pool, Jacuzzi and, the pièce de résistance, the multi-sensory pool. Here you can recline in the central, temperate climate pool and enjoy its range of massaging faucets for your neck, upper and lower back and even your feet. Once the kinks are worked out, be sure to relax in one of the pool’s whole body bubble beds. After your water journey, you’ll rest on a heated lounger with a warm neck pillow, scented towels, and cucumbers on your eyes to ensure that you are fully relaxed and ready for your treatment.

The spa center features three pools as well as an ocean-overlook Life Fitness Center with exercise programs such as yoga and pilates, meditation and personal trainers. There are also separate and quite impressive kids’ and teens’ club facilities and activities programs. Men, women and children can also all take advantage of haircuts, nails and other salon services as well as in-suite (or terrace) massages.


6. Laudable Leisure
When you stay at Grand Velas Los Cabos, you’ll enjoy leisurely, effortless days spent soaking up the sun, walking on the private beach (where you’re not being approached by vendors selling this and that), or lounging at one of several infinity pools or in a beach bed overlooking the Sea of Cortes. Be sure to take advantage of a foot or head massage while you’re sunning for a greater indulgence.

If you’re traveling with children, they’ll have plenty to do at the Grand Velas Kids’ Club, which provides a fun, safe environment for kids to explore various activities such as treasure hunting, soccer and cooking classes. A kids’ pool and splash pad are other options. The Teens’ Club is designed to entertain older kids ages thirteen and above with a huge variety of games including a pool table, ping pong, air hockey, foosball, an X-Box Kinect, and a karaoke set. There’s a dance floor, several video game “pods” and a bar where kids can sidle up to order smoothies, burgers and any other all-inclusive delights they desire on-demand.

For something fun for the whole family—or certainly perfect for couples—do some stargazing. Grand Velas Los Cabos’ Night Sky is a unique astronomy experience that takes place during each month’s new moon. Discover the stars, constellations, and planets amid an oceanfront bonfire and signature cocktails. The three-hour experience includes guided use of the largest telescopes in Los Cabos. If you’re lucky, you might even get to take in a meteor shower, which is common in the Los Cabos sky.  Yet another great way to make lasting memories.


7. Eco-Friendly Practices
This resort is designed to exist in harmony with the surrounding fragile environment and, in many ways, goes above and beyond to sustain the planet’s natural resources. For example, to clear the land for the resort, hundreds of cacti and trees were dug up and, rather than being disposed of, were instead transplanted to protect the region’s native flora and fauna. Part of the potable water the resort uses is repurposed either for general use or to return to the subsoil. The laundry facilities also filter soapy water for rinsing reuse in a dedicated water treatment plant, and the residual water treatment facility processes all of the resort’s H2O so that it can be used to irrigate the exterior gardens, mangroves and jungle.


With the above points as proof, Grand Velas Los Cabos extends a truly unparalleled all-inclusive vacation experience. Dramatic ocean views, next-generation amenities, oversized designer suites, a world-class spa, a three-to-one staff-to-guest ratio and a demonstrated commitment to the environment are just some of the things making this an enviable escape—whether you seek to make memories with your family, a special someone, a girl’s weekend, a guy golf trip, or even for some alone “you time” where you can truly relax and recharge. In any scenario, you’ll be enthusiastically spoiled throughout.

Merilee Kern

Merilee Kern

As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern is an internationally-regarded consumer product trends expert and hospitality industry voice of authority—a travel, dining, leisure and lifestyle expert who spotlights noteworthy marketplace innovations, change makers, movers and shakers. She reports on exemplary travel destinations and experiences, extraordinary events and newsworthy products and services across all categories. Reach her online at www.TheLuxeList.com, on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList and on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/LuxeListReviews.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

Ultimate V-Day Experiences for Over-The-Top Couples

Sparking romance wouldn’t be too difficult with the one you love complemented by a captivating location. Here are a few of our favorites when there are very few limits.

Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa

Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa

The Ultimate Nature’s Playground for Couples

Destination: La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Where to Stay: Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa

This Valentine’s day, couples can have an off-the-grid getaway at Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa — a tropical paradise spread across 900 acres of lush rainforest near the base of Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano, with hot springs and cascading waterfalls naturally heated by the volcano’s magma. At Tabacon, couples can soak to the sounds of local wildlife, relax with spa treatments rendered in open-air bungalows tucked away among the trees, and enjoy decadent meals amid layers of bright green vegetation and exotic, tropical flora. To rev up the romance even further, couples can get their adrenaline-pumping with daring outdoor activities such as zip-lining, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting. Couples can book the Rainforest Bliss package, which includes three nights of accommodations, a romantic welcome amenity and fresh tropical flowers upon check-in, two buffet breakfasts, one in-room breakfast, 105-minute couples spa treatment complete with traditional love chant in Maleku (indigenous language), choice of adventure tour per person, candle-lit chef’s dinner for two in a private rainforest bungalow, private lunch at the resort’s adults-only Shangri-La Gardens, and unlimited access to the resort’s natural thermal mineral springs. Package rates start at $650/night. To book, call 1-855-TABACON.

The House - Barbados

The House – Barbados

For the Couple Who Spares No Expense

Destination: Barbados

Where to Stay: The House

For couples who can tear themselves away from The House’s stunning west coast views, champagne breakfast and jet-lag revival massage, explore Barbados like the celebs! This Valentine’s Day, the LX by The House package is perfect for couples seeking an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience like private polo lessons at the championship Apes Hill Golf & Polo Club and a Mount Gay Rum tasting and tour. Let us not forget the VIP shopping experience (complete with a personal shopper, of course), luxury airport transfers, a private three-hour sunset catamaran sail and the option to island hop! Fly to the neighboring islands of Mustique or the Grenadines and jet back in time for dinner. Package rates start at $4,500/person. To book visit https://eleganthotels.com/the-house. For an added luxe touch, travelers can arrive by seaplane, luxury car or yacht.

JW Marriott El Convento Cusc - Lobby

JW Marriott El Convento Cusc – Lobby

For the Couple Who Wanders Together

Destination: Cusco, Peru

Where to Stay: JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

Cross a major adventure off your bucket lists when you book the“Feed YourWonder-Lust” package. In addition to experiencing the world-renowned sanctuary of Machu Picchu together, you’ll explore the scenic Sacred Valley of the Inca on horseback and indulge in one of the world’s best destinations for gastronomy…all while lodging at a 16th century convent turned five-star hotel. To book, visit www.jwmarriottcusco.com with promo code ES7. Package starts at $2725 USD for a three-night stay, and includes full day excursion to Machu Picchu (including roundtrip train tickets via Peru Rail Expedition), lunch at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (and entrance tickets), full day excursion to Maras & Moray (including horseback riding & snacks) and 6-Course Chef’s Tasting Dinner for Two at Pirqa Restaurant.

Barnsley Resort Ruins and Gardens

Barnsley Resort Ruins and Gardens

Couples Who Clay Together

Destination: Adairsville, Georgia

Where to Stay: Barnsley Resort

Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains north of Atlanta, Barnsley Resort is a charming, luxury getaway set in an English-inspired pedestrian village. For an remote, romantic and unforgettable Valentine’s Day, book the Ultimate Romance Package, which includes two nights accommodations in a luxurious Arbor Cottage — free-standing for optimum privacy. Other package highlights include a private dinner in your cottage or outdoor location, breakfast for two, romantic turndown service (oh la la), and a $300 activity credit toward outdoor activities such as shooting clays, hunting at SpringBank Plantation, and horseback riding — plus golf, miles of trails for hiking, an intimate spa and gorgeous gardens, all complementing the historic manor house ruins.

Nightly rates start at $1260 per night. To book, visit www.barnsleyresort.com.

Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel

Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel

Under the Mayan Moon Romance in Guatemala

Destination: Peten, Guatemala

Where to Stay:Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel

Minutes away from the magnificent ruins of Tikal, Uaxactún and Yaxhá (a major bucket list for many), Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel sits on more than 300 acres of lush, private reserve in the Jungle of Peten. The 19-bungalow suites property is the perfect escape for couples seeking a romantic retreat in the heat of the jungle. With the “Under the Mayan Moon” package, couples looking for a romantic winter escape can enjoy a two night stay, with available upgrade to a master suite, in-room breakfast at Shultún restaurant, a special a la carte dinner for two, a tour to Monkey Island to visit the monkeys, and a Moon & Wine boat ride sailing toward a gorgeous view of the Mayan moon for an enchanting night to remember.Valid through March 1, 2017 (blackout days apply), package starts at $974 USD. Guests can book via email at reservations@laslagunashotel.com or call (502) 7790 – 0300.

Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa

Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa

For Couples Who Like to Wine & Dine

Destination: Barga, Italy

Where to Stay: Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa

Tucked away in the Serchio Valley overlooking the Apuan Alps, about an hour outside of Florence and Pisa,  Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, provides ideal respite for couples in one of the most undiscovered and authentic areas in Italy. The hotel features 180 luxurious rooms, a fitness center, two restaurants, a spa where couples can enjoy personalized treatments together like a candlelit bath or deep sea mud treatments, and a heated swimming pool offering breathtaking panoramic views of the valley. Within close proximity, lovers can wander through the Tuscan countryside in and out of tiny, medieval Italian Villages, visit a local winery or relax in nearby thermal spas. To create an even more an unforgettable experience, couples can book the resort’s Tuscan Wine & Culinary Experience Package, complete with daily breakfast, wine tasting, and a cooking class where couples will learn to cook a tuscan meal with one of the resort’s chefs and visit a local food market beforehand to hand-pick their ingredients. Rates start at $515 USD a night based on double occupancy. For more information visit, renaissancetuscany.com.

Miramonte

Miramonte

For the Couple That Wants to Speed it Up Then Slow it Down

Destination: Indian Wells, CA

Where to stay: Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa

This Valentine’s Day, couples can escape to the height of luxury at Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa: a romantic, desert oasis in the heart of Coachella Valley, which offers both adventure and rejuvenation. Surrounded by picturesque California palms and grandiose desert mountains, Miramonte is the perfect place for couples to embark on an extraordinary journey to experience the San Andreas Fault by Jeep, or jaunt to Joshua Tree National Park to revel in the abundance of its natural wonders. After a day out in the elements, couples can unwind on the balcony of their Presidential Suite with sweeping views of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Then, it’s time to slow it down further and get pampered among the Well Spa’s luxurious amenities including two saltwater pools, eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, and a meditation room. The spa’s Pittura Festa Treatment ($395) invites couples to a paint each other with a palette of colorful, healing muds while sipping champagne before receiving a tailor-made couples massage. Afterward, they can cozy up to sunset cocktails at one of Miramonte’s outdoor fire pits then close the day with a candle-lit, farm-to-table style dinner at the Grove Artisan Kitchen. Rates for Presidential Suites start at $599 a night. For more information, please visit www.Miramonteresort.com.

Suncadia

Suncadia Resort

For The Couple Who Wants to Go Off The Grid

Destination: Cle Elum, Washington

Where to Stay: Suncadia Resort

Tucked away in the storybook town of Cle Elum, Suncadia Resort sets the ideal romantic backdrop for couples that need a luxury Valentine’s Day retreat. Just 80 miles east of Seattle, couples can stay at one of four lodging options including the 1-bedroom penthouse at The Lodge that includes a cozy fireplace and gourmet kitchen or one of the magnificent multi-room rental homes starting at $409 and $549 per night respectively. Suncadia provides couples premier rest and recreation nestled amongst the Cascade Mountains with indoor and outdoor activities like guided snowmobile tours and artisan dining that are sure to spark a little more than romance. This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself to the resort’s indulgentChocolate Lovers (Re)treat spa package and enjoy an 80 minute massage featuring organic chocolate massage oil, ended by a decadent cup of hot chocolate and sample of body oil to take home. Package starts at $400 p/couple. Enjoy your weekend of love further and participate in the resort’s unique Sweetheart Saturday’s during the month of February, which include a Vino & Vinyasa yoga session and Latin Nights dancing. For rates and more information go tohttps://www.destinationhotels.com/suncadia-resort.