Resort Spotlight: Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club

Located on 22 acres with 223 rooms and suites in 12 categories, this favorite resort for singles, couples and families and caters to everyone’s needs

·         Four Swimming pools, one Scuba pool, Two Whirlpools

·         5 Restaurants and 5 Bars to enjoy at this resort

·         Refrigerator in all rooms.

·         Luxury Family Suites  enjoy the luxury of mammoth balconies and a  sunken living area where the kids can frolic with excitement.

·         Pirates Island Water Park offering eleven slides for all ages.

·         Adults can share time alone, while the kids are pampered by their certified nannies in their  Kids Camp, including a state-of-the-art XBOX 360® Game Garage featuring today’s hottest video games.

·         Kids of all ages can enjoy fun and games with Elmo & friends in their Sesame Street Caribbean Adventure

·         Kids can tee off after 12 noon while adults enjoy great hits at nearby Sandals Golf & Country Club

·         A  magnificent Red Lane ® Signature Spa is located at this resort (spa services are at an additional cost)

All rooms include:

Air conditioning, amenity kit, hair dryer, telephone, fan, private bath and shower, marble bathroom, CD/clock radio, cable TV, coffee & tea maker, safe deposit box, iron and iron board. All rooms contain mahogany furnishing and in-room refrigerators stocked with juices, water and sodas.

When you are ready to book your vacation to Beaches Boscobel, give us a call at 310-722-3099 or email us at Info@carterelitetravel.com

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Hermosa Beach House – Beachfront Bonanza just south of L.A

Hermosa Beach House Hotel

Barbie on the beach? You’ll find her jogging on the pedi-path or sun bathing on the sand in front of the Hermosa Beach House in Hermosa Beach, CA. This quiet surfers’ beach is a quintessential California experience without the crowds, the chaos and the come-ons of Venice and Santa Monica. Easily one of LA’s best-kept secrets, the scene is made all the sweeter through the top-shelf, yet value-minded accommodations to be found at the Hermosa Beach House.

The Beach House is one of the few hospitality properties in greater Los Angeles to sit right on the sand, and guests get to watch the Pacific Ocean from their private balcony, furnished with deck chairs. Because the Hermosa Beach House is also a condominium property, each guest room also comes with a gas fireplace, equipped kitchenette, pullout sofa, desk area/dining counter and large bathroom with deep-soaking oval tub.

Have your coffee in room or in the breakfast room attached to the lobby. A comely continental buffet breakfast comes with the tariff, which starts at $219 per night. Another surprise is the spa. The Beach House has one – actually a spa room with on-call masseuses that can deliver a massage or facial within hours of the call. At no charge, the massage treatments can be administered in the guest’s room upon request.

“It is all about choice,” says Kevin McCarthy, a hospitality veteran with Sheraton Corp. and now general manager of the Hermosa Beach House Hotel. “It used to be all about location and brand, but now it is about ‘unique.’ Independent or ‘boutique’ hotels are often very affordable and offer the most bang for the buck. You can still stay at a Sheraton or a Hilton but, for the same consideration, you can stay in a condo-style room at the beach. People who travel, whether for business or leisure, know this.”

The Hermosa Beach House, as an example, offers 96 suites on the sand of the Pacific, just 20 minutes south of Santa Monica. The sand is clean, volleyball nets stand at the ready, and a 22-mile biking, jogging and walking strand running from Redondo Beach to Malibu is right outside the door.

And the staff is ready to help with any request. For that special occasion take advantage of all the Hermosa Beach House has to offer. For an additional $95 to any guest room booking clients receive a bottle of Gloria Ferrer Brut Champagne, bubble bath, rose petals, complimentary valet parking and a late check out at 2:00 pm.

The property is just a block away from the heart of Hermosa: a pedestrian mall flanked by bars, shops, restaurants and boutiques all leading to the pier. Along that pedestrian promenade sits The Lighthouse, a legend in these parts. Once a beacon of sound for the beat generation with the hot names in jazz at the time and Blues icons such as Mose Allison, today it still brings in the names and the classic folk and jazz entertainment in a cavernous room of hard wood floors and exposed aged brick walls.

Also down the street is the Comedy & Magic Club where Jay Leno can be found on stage nearly every Sunday evening testing new material and engaging with audiences, who pay $30 for a reserved seat at the 7 pm stage show. Dinner menus are available but tickets need to be reserved early. (www.symfonee.com/comedymagic/home/Index.aspx).

Finally, dining in Hermosa runs the range: from burgers and beer, to tapas and wines, to Italian and martinis, to Mexican, and Japanese. But the big recommendation here is Chef Alba’s Bistro (www.chefmelbasbistro.com). The small, unassuming cozy corner spot two blocks from the beach is the best place for steamers in Southern California, and where you want to have your Seafood Cioppino and not be overwhelmed by the broth. The restaurant delivers white-gloved service and finely paired wines by knowledgeable waiters, all put together by a serious chef who is passionate about her ingredients.

Rooms with a View in Tahiti

Hilton Bora Bora Nui Presidential Suite

Even if you’re not getting married in Tahiti you can still invite the folks, the cousins, and what about the neighbors for a celebratory stay in French Polynesia’s latest resort manse: one of two Presidential Overwater Bungalows that opened recently at Hilton Bora Bora Nui. The mighty bungalows get their buzz strength from debuting as the first bi-level, overwater guest accommodations in the archipelago. And, indeed, there is room to spare in these spreads, far beyond the two bedrooms, three bathrooms, private pool, sundecks galore and personal Pacific Ocean to dive into.

The mini-mansions made their close-up in December as a counter-offer to the Royal Villas at the St. Regis and the luxury beachfront villas available at the new Four Seasons Bora Bora. They measure more than 3,000 square feet with all the conveniences of a modern Manhattan residence: mp3 players, assorted satellite TVs, Wifi, voicemail, cocktail bars, coffee service and, well, diving equipment.

Plus each villa comes with a couple of things most abodes do not: private check-in, welcome and farewell gifts, a bottle of Champagne and a fresh fruit platter waiting in the living room, complimentary in-villa massages in the “Well-Being” room (where there is a massage table, sofa, a sauna and a spacious bathroom), and twice-daily turndown service.

Hilton Hotels purchased the former Starwood property last year and the property’s 120 rooms, suites and villas underwent a general refurbishment. The resort extends along some 16 hillside acres providing views of the ocean and atolls from a variety of vantages, including the hilltop spa. It’s is an easy 15 minute “cruise” from the airport (which is a 45-minute flight from Papeete), and that said, anywhere you want to go in this remote Tahitian string of pearls requires the benefit of a motorboat rather than wheels. Getting out around Bora Bora – whether dining at Bloody Mary’s across the lagoon (a lively crowded seafood restaurant where patrons have their pick grilled, imbibe decorative alcoholic fruit drinks and walk on sand floors), feeding the mouths of friendly stingrays or tossing chum to the not so friendly sharks, can be arranged at the hotel at a moment’s notice.

But most of the time will be spent on the beach, on personal decks, dipping in the property’s stunning 1000 square meter infinity pool, or swimming with the fish in clear waters accessed right from the edge of your deck.

The two new overwater Presidential Villas run around $4,500 per night as a published rate.

La Mamounia: Still Magnificent

La Mamounia Hotel in Marrakech

 

If it looks like a movie set, that is because it is. Mamounia has played background to such classics as Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much and Morocco with Marlene Dietrich. And the stars continue to haunt the mosaic-tiled halls: Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Orlando Bloom and Salma Hayek are recent sightings.

But Mamounia’s history is much deeper than the fleeting flash of stardom. The circa-1923 hotel in the middle of Marrakech has seen its share of presidents as well: Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt retreated there following a strategic summit during WWII. Today, following a three-year $180 million makeover La Mamounia is again in the spotlight, having opened its intricately carved doors last fall to reveal new interiors of Art Deco and Arabesque by famed French designer Jacques Garcia.

The property is surrounded by sprawling gardens more than two centuries old. And while the curious can admire the hotel from these vantages, they cannot glimpse the cavernous marble corridors or antique-laden lobby unless they book a reservation – for dinner or the night in one of the hotel’s 136 rooms or 71 suites.

Once in, the 27,000-square-foot spa should be sought, if only for a gaze upon the indoor pool surrounded by white couches and golden columns. The hamam lies just below where guests purify from the inside out on heated marble platforms surrounded by mesmerizing plays of ancient zellij design while doting attendants scrub the body until any memory of dirt disappears.

La Mamounia has come up with three exclusive “Unique Experiences” celebrating the mystique of Marrakech all available through the end of June.  From private art lessons with local artists, a helicopter ride through the Atlas Mountains and shopping with the Souk’s savviest shopping experts, visitors can have a seamless Moroccan sojourn with a stay in the country’s legendary digs.

* Majorelle’s Footsteps Experience:

Beginning with a complimentary airport transfer in a ruby red Jaguar guests get a jet-lag massage upon arrival and over the next three days, experience a 90-minute Hamam ritual, private art lessons with a local artist, a guided visit of the famous Majorelle Gardens and a tour of the Marrakech with a professional photographer. In addition, guests have a breakfast each morning, plus a la carte dinners at L’Italien and at Le Marocain, two of Morocco’s top restaurants.  Expect to pay around $4,500 per room per couple for three nights.

 

* Shopping Experience:

Similarly, this option begins with a complimentary airport transfer and a relaxing massage upon arrival. Over the next three days, guests take in the traditional a 90-minute Hamam ritual and then run around the faded pink city in a guided shopping tour of Marrakech that includes a $1,000 credit at selected boutiques at La Mamounia. The Shopping Experience also includes a beauty package: hair brushing and make-up for her, and haircut and shaving for him. Each morning, it’s a buffet breakfast, and for dinner, consider cocktails and a la carte dinner at Le Marocain – plus dinner reservations one night at an upscale restaurant in Marrakech. Rates run $5,700 per room, per couple for three nights.

 

* Morocco by Air Experience:

As with the other experiences, this choice starts with Jaguar or Range Rovers airport transfers and massage upon arrival. Over the next three days, guests enjoy a helicopter ride around the Atlas Mountains and a balloon ride at dawn. The thrill of the heights are complemented by the down to earth pleasures of the 90-minute Hamam ritual – and an added 90-minute Shiseido massage. It’s buffet breakfast each morning, as well as a la carte dinner at Le Marocain and another dinner at Le Francais by Jean Pierre Vigato. Prices begin at $10,500 per room per couple based for the three nights.

Rack rates run $558 per room per night.

In Barbados, it’s the Water

The beautiful water of Barbados

Perhaps it’s something in the water – or in the rum. Barbados, a dot on the map between the Caribbean and the Atlantic just above Grenada, is known for more than sun, soak and sand. It’s known for its ability to make babies.

True, romance abounds in these parts and couples from other countries can legally tie the knot at a moment’s notice (or, rather, a day’s planning). But they can also try their luck at the Barbados Fertility Centre, fast becoming the epicenter for affordable and easy IVF treatments and other fertility therapies.

The JCI-accredited clinic runs the gamete, or rather the gamut, of medical procedures, from ovulation induction to donor programs, freezing, fertility therapies and vitrification with overall success rates ranging from 14 percent (invitro-fertilization for women over 42) to 67 percent, depending on treatment and age.

The clinic brings in a staff of islanders as well as surgical practitioners from Ireland and the UK and works out of a plantation-style facility in the south coast town of Christ Church.

Although treatments range between $400 and $8,500 a la carte, (IVF, including embryo cryonics averages around $5,000) full “holiday” packages can be arranged for rates starting at $5,500 per couple, including flights, hotel, transport, treatments and wellness activities through the center. And then there are medical travel middlemen options such as Surgical Escape that put packages together for individuals and couples that take care of all details, from pre-travel doctors visits to full itineraries and follow-ups for one set price.

For people who want manage their romantic ventures through more traditional mores, the rum on Barbados might be a good way to start. So strong is the sugar cane heritage here that a Canivale-style festival swings into action from July 3 to August 3 in celebration of the sugarcane harvest.

Crop Over Festival is Barbados’ biggest, loudest, brashest, boldest and best-loved fest for the party crowd. Hailing from the 1780s when the island was the world’s top sugar state, the last stalks of the harvest have meant the crowning of the king and queen of cane in a flurry of pure flamboyance that continues in an ever-burgeoning blast of glory. The island writhes in a heady mix of music, dancing, carnivals, markets and cultural exhibitions – all culminating on Kadooment Day, August 3, when the costumes come out and rum washes through the streets.

Romancing the rum continues year ‘round for those who manage to stumble onto the Rum Trail. The rum-making tradition here dates back to 1703 and can still be found in four island distilleries that open themselves up for tours. In St. Philip find the Foursquare Rum Factory and Heritage Park; In St. Michel it’s the Cockspur Beach Club and the Mount Gay Rum Distillery and Gift Shop to proffer a proper view of just what Barbadian Water (as it was once called in taverns lining British ports) is all about. And then there are the more than 1,200 rum shops and “tippling houses” that serve glasses and island chats in comfortable, homey quarters.

Mount Gay is the world’s oldest rum (although Cockspur’s Five Star rum is considered to be the finest and Foursquare Spiced Rum the tastiest) and has a “must-do” hourly tour that lasts about 45 minutes, costs about $7 and ends with a tasting. The Mount Gay Rum distillery is found 5 minutes north of Bridgetown, the island’s capital, and offers two expanded tours to serious rum lovers. The first includes lunch on the veranda after the basic tour, for $40; and the second includes a cocktail tour in the afternoon for $30.

While sugar cane thrives across the island’s 166 square miles the rum on Barbados is not a mass-produced commodity. The spirit requires careful crafting, sometimes multiple distillations, and Kentucky bourbon white oak barrels are often used for the aging. Rum can be a complex affair that renders the smoothness of a dexterous Scotch. Seek hints of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, banana and almond in a spectrum of colorful brands.

Whether you go for the beach, the babies or the Barbadian Water, check www.visitbarbados.org for the possibilities.

Saint Lucia Tourism Update on Hurricane Tomas

Pitons in St. Lucia

The following update was released Tuesday by the Saint Lucia Tourist Board:

 

Hurricane Tomas battered Saint Lucia from midday Saturday, Oct. 30 into the early hours of Sunday, Oct. 31.

The category one storm packed sustained winds and heavy rain, which resulted in fallen trees and infrastructural damage to buildings and major roads, restricting access to various areas and temporary loss of utility services across the island.

A comprehensive clean up exercise and restoration of critical infrastructure is underway and it is estimated that the country will be back to normal by Friday Nov. 5 and both Saint Lucia Airports are fully operational.

In collaboration with the private sector, every effort is being made to ensure the smooth departure of visitors who wish to leave by facilitating additional airlift at both airports as well as transfers between the airports.

Visitors wishing to remain on island will continue to be taken care of.

Additionally, cruise ships will resume calls to the island on Nov. 7.

Destination Wedding Spotlight: Aventura Spa Palace

Gazebo at Aventura Spa Palace

This romantic, adults-only resort offers both civil and symbolic ceremonies, as well as a complimentary wedding package and the six new packages from the “Precious Wedding Collection.”:

* Amber

* Sapphire

* Ruby

*Amethyst

* Rose

* Emerald

* Diamond

Wedding Reception set up at Aventura Spa Palace

Enjoy the assistance of your personal wedding planner, say “I Do” from a gazebo overlooking the sparkling sea, then sit down to a decadent dinner in any of the resort’s ballrooms.

Aventura Spa Palace, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Professional photography, a gourmet wedding cake, and horse-drawn carriage ride round out the perfect details.

When you are ready to book your destination wedding at Aventura Spa Palace, give us a call at 310-722-3099 or email us at Info@carterelitetravel.com