April 1, 2013
By Denise Canon
Travel Concepts, Inc.
TI & Palace & Le Blanc Spa Resorts Ambassador
Palace Resorts not only provide guests with unmatched all-inclusive luxury amenities and service, their included resort credit* provides added value with access to numerous tours and excursions! Eliminate the hassles and stress of which tours to consider and how to book them–the vacation experts at each of the seven Palace Resorts will be sure to provide a seamless, quality and fun experience for you.
Here are my TOP 6 attractions to make all of your dreams and vacation fantasies come true at Palace Resorts:
1. Chichen-Itza (means ‘at the mouth of the well of the Itza’): This Sacred City of the Mayans is a ‘must see’ for anyone who visits Cancun. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, explore the magic and mystery of the cultural center of the ancient Maya, see the Kukulcan Pyramid, the Temple of a Thousand Columns among other amazing buildings and sites. The spiritual energy at this site is more than I can express; you can just ‘feel’ that something magical happened there!
2. Tulum: This ‘walled city,’ a mystical place founded by the Mayans, is the only pyramid in the world that is located on the top of a cliff, with an amazing view of the Mexican Caribbean. The ruins are situated on 39-foot-tall cliffs, along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo. It was one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Mayans – amazing!
3. Swim with the Dolphins: Who doesn’t fantasize about swimming and interacting with a dolphin! Get close and personal with bottlenose dolphins as you interact with them and share a thrilling swim around the pool. You’ll learn more than you ever thought you might with the trainers who care for them daily. And best of all, a dolphin hug and kiss is a unique, memorable experience!
4. Scuba Diving: Did you know that Cancun and the Mayan Riviera are well known for being located just off the coast from the world’s second largest coral reef? What a fabulous experience for experienced and beginning divers alike! All you need to do is bring your diver’s certification ID, and you’re all set to enjoy this magical underwater world!
5. Isla Mujeres: This small Caribbean island is just eight miles from Cancun, and offers a variety of activities to all who visit its shores! Isla Mujeres, which means ‘Island of the Women,’ is accessed by motorized catamaran from Cancun. Once there, you have the option of renting a scooter or golf cart to get around this island paradise, or simply take a taxi to the downtown area and enjoy strolling through the cobblestone streets. It reminded me of the Old World charm of Mexico and Europe. Once on the island you also have the opportunity to rent a bike, enjoy snorkeling off one of the pristine beaches, visit the turtle farm or simply lay back and work on your tan!
6. Coba: This is another mystical experience of the Mayan World. Surrounded by two large lagoons, Coba boasts archaeological wonders and is home to the tallest of the Mayan pyramids in the Yucatan region: the Nohoch Mul Pyramid, which rises an impressive 140 feet above the rain forest floor. This is one of the only remaining pyramids where you can actually climb all of the way to the top and be awe-struck by the amazing panoramic views of the miles of jungle that surround this site!
WHEW! Amazing choices – you bet! The term ‘all-inclusive’ has been taken to a totally different level with Palace Resorts!
Please note that the tours listed above are only valid at specific Palace Resorts and limitations may apply.
March 27, 2013
By Rocio Napolitano
TI & Aruba Ambassador
Women today are so busy with careers, family, and household responsibilities–we need the perfect “girl getaway” and Aruba has it all. From beautiful beaches to spa treatments and exceptional dining experiences, Aruba is the place for some quality friend time! Check out my top 8 “girl getaway” activities in Aruba:
1.The SUNSHINE is always available…Aruba is so easy to get to with non-stop flights from the Northeast. One flight and you and your girlfriends are on vacation!
2. Girls just want to have FUN…A Jeep safari is a great half-day tour where you can see crystal-clear waters of the Natural Pool and explore other key historic sights.
3. DINE around…World-class chefs and casual, elegant and creative ambiances are available all over Aruba.
4. We work hard and need to…BE PAMPERED! Visit the many spas in Aruba to escape the rigors of daily stress and replenish the body and soul.
5. DANCE the night away…Aruba has many trendy venues and after-hours haunts, from karaoke to hot night-spots, or you can even let loose on a wild and wacky party bus!
6. SHOP, SHOP, SHOP…There are excellent areas for shopping – Palm Beach Plaza, the NEW South Beach Mall, Renaissance Mall, Alhambra Shopping Bazaar, Royal Plaza, and Paseo Herencia Mall, to name a few. Did I mention duty free?
7. RELAX and snorkel…The only sound you’ll hear is your steady breathing as you move smoothly through the deliciously warm water. Below you, gorgeously colored fish stream by in a water ballet.
8. REST on any of the BEAUTIFUL beaches in ARUBA…that’s where best friends reconnect and enjoy!
March 27, 2013
By Melissa Edwards
Academy Travel & Tours
TI & Atlantis, Paradise Island Ambassador
Everyone loves to play in the sun, but even in paradise a few rain drops may fall. Here are some magnificent ideas for when the sun is taking a break! Atlantis has thought of everything…even the weather!
1. Come and enjoy the Atlantis Theater located in the Convention Center Rotunda. Grab some movie snacks and relax to catch up on one of your favorite Hollywood movies. All admissions are complimentary for guests.
2. Feeling blue about the rain showers falling? Come turn that frown upside down at the Joker’s Wild Comedy Club! Located between the Beach and Coral Towers, you will be sure to leave with a huge grin just in time to see the sun come out again!
3. Did the rain conjure your crafty side? Step into the Earth and Fire Pottery Studio and try your hand at making a vase to remind you of your amazing trip for years to come. The studio is located next to Seagrapes in the Beach Tower lobby.
4. Need a little relaxation after a gloomy day? Unwind in the 30,000 square-foot spa facility which features Balinese-inspired therapies blended with European techniques. Pamper away your worries and emerge rejuvenated just in time for the sun to come out again!
March 25, 2013
By Kathy Brancifort
First Class Travel
TI & AMResorts Ambassador
Let’s get you on the BEACH before LUNCH TIME!
My top 3 itineraries for a long weekend vacation would be trips to one of the Secrets Resorts & Spas! Secrets Resorts & Spas offer exquisite luxury settings for adults. Immerse yourself in the luxury of the ultimate concierge services, elegant rooms and suites, 24-hour room service, gourmet restaurants and fabulous accommodations and lounges! Here are my top 3 itineraries for a long weekend:
1. Jamaica: Secrets St. James Montego Bay or Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay
- Non-stop flights from Philadelphia
- Just 20 minutes from the Montego Bay Airport (you’ll be on the beach by 11:00 AM!)
- Must be 18 or older (no children)
- Fantastic accommodations, beverages, pools and beaches
2. Mexico: Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun, Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun, Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun
- Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun gives you a quieter feel and the all Preferred Club!
- Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun is just 20 minutes from the airport and is tucked away on one of the most famous beaches in all of Mexico!
- Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun is 20 minutes from the airport for the pool lovers!
3. Dominican Republic: Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
- Non-Stop flights from Philadelphia
- Shares facilities of the Now Larimar Punta Cana
- Must be 18 and older
- White sandy beautiful beaches!
Secrets Resorts & Spas feature sophistication and distinction with Unlimited-Luxury® at each property, offering clients a getaway that will make them want to come back and stay longer the next time!
Top 5 Photos to Share on Facebook when Vacationing at an All-Inclusive Hard Rock Hotel (guaranteed to make ‘em jealous!)
March 19, 2013
By Linda Murfin
Above The Crowds Travel & Meeting Planning
TI & All-Inclusive Hard Rock Hotels Ambassador
1. In Cancun you’ll certainly want to start with the beach. Cancun’s beaches are among the most beautiful in the world – soft, white and easily accessible. You get the best of all worlds at the Hard Rock Cancun beach because you can grab a lounge chair and camp right there on the beach for the entire day while the congenial wait staff keeps you supplied with drinks and food. If you decide you want to join in on the beach volleyball or the stretching class (or just watch them), you’ll be just steps away.
2. Want to make all those golf buddies back home envious? Take some shots with your camera as well as your clubs. All-inclusive doesn’t end when you head to the links at the Hard Rock Golf Club at Cana Bay. You can have all the food and beverages that you like while you’re out on the course. Oh, yes. And with current promotions, unlimited golf is included for the duration of your stay. Makes you almost not even care about your score – almost…
3. If you have friends who are heavy into Rock ‘n Roll, either current or vintage, send them photos of the memorabilia from the Hard Rock Hotels. It will make them green, for sure. Everything from costumes of performers to an original Beatles’ contract really make for interesting viewing. Maybe those same friends love a live show. Send them pics from the “Elvis” show to get their hearts pumping with some burning, burning love.
4. The food is a hit at any All-Inclusive Hard Rock Resort. Not only is it never-ending, you’ll find choices such as a Brazilian Steakhouse, Asian Tepanyaki, gourmet Italian, authentic Mexican or Dominican, beach-side buffets, romantic steak and lobster dinners served beachside with champagne, not to mention a poolside pizza oven!
5. What really makes the All-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels special is the staff. They treat you like you are a part of their own family from the time you arrive until the time you head off to the airport to go home. Twice while visiting the resorts we have encountered Employee Recognition Days where they are thanked and rewarded for the outstanding service they provide to every guest.
March 12, 2013
By Jennifer Byrne
The Tropical Travelers
TI & Excellence Group Luxury Hotels & Resorts Ambassador
There are so many great reasons to travel to Excellence Group Luxury Hotels and Resorts during the off season. Here are my top 4:
1. Great pricing. One of the best benefits of traveling during the off season is price. In the Caribbean and Mexico, the off season primarily includes June through the beginning of December. You are likely to find great pricing and values at Excellence Resorts during this season as they are trying to fill their rooms. Long known as “hurricane season,” hotels do have a tough time bringing guests down during the summer months due to fear of bad weather, which is definitely not something to be concerned with. Historically, travelers to Mexico and the Caribbean only have a 2-3 percent chance of being affected by a hurricane, so, go! Enjoy the great prices at Excellence Resorts during this time.
2. Smaller Crowds. Another great reason for traveling to Excellence Resorts during the off season is that there are smaller crowds. Typically December through April is considered “high season” in the tropics, when flocks of freezing cold people want to warm their bones on a tropical island. You may fight for a chair at the pool or stand in long lines at the airport, and chances of an upgrade at hotels like Excellence are nil due to high occupancy. Traveling in the off season will give you more room to breathe while enjoying the beach at Excellence Playa Mujeres, will whisk you away to Excellence Punta Cana much more promptly from the airport, and your chances of getting that ocean view at Excellence Riviera Cancun will certainly increase.
3. Weather. Speaking of weather, did you know that the temperatures really only change about 10 degrees in Mexico and the Caribbean year round? That means it won’t be much more sweltering in August than in May at the Excellence Resorts. Depending on your choice of Excellence Resort of course, you can expect it to be hot! But, for the most part you should have sunny days where you can enjoy their activities and beautiful pool areas. Generally you can expect a little rain here or there, but how do you think those flowers stay so beautiful?!
4. Peace and Quiet. Finally, you can expect peace and quiet, for the most part, during the off season at Excellence Resorts. It’s not Christmas, it’s not Spring Break. There aren’t masses of people, which generally means service is top notch since the staff is available to serve you in a more relaxed atmosphere. I always find traveling in the off season to be a more relaxed experience overall. And Excellence just knows how to do it right when it comes to exceeding expectations.
The off season certainly holds much appeal for myself and my clients when traveling to Excellence Resorts. It’s certainly something to consider for your next trip!
March 8, 2013
By Lauren Charlop
About Going Places
TI & Sandals & Beaches Resorts Ambassador
I am a big fan of multi-generational travel because everyone in my family loves traveling. I have three very small children so it is always helpful to have more hands available while vacationing. Selecting the perfect resort is also very helpful in making the trip successful. Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages & Spa is my favorite family resort that offers plenty of activities and amenities for all age groups. Here are the reasons why I love the property so much:
Super-fast transfers. There is nothing harder than traveling with three small children! Arriving to a foreign airport, making your way through customs and finding all your luggage can take awhile. It is so wonderful having your Beaches Representative waiting for you in the ground transportation area, grabbing your luggage, and arriving to your resort in less than 20 minutes.
Room categories to fit any family size. For our family of five, the two-bedroom suite is fantastic–a bedroom for the parents, and one for the kids to share. My brother’s family fits perfectly in the family suite with the separate kids room that offers bunk beds. This was perfect for my nephew, and if my niece wanted to have a slumber party with him one night they could. My parents loved the water’s edge family suite to sit and relax in privacy away from all the kids.
Guest Services is a huge help for pre-arranging group dinners. We were able to get a large party of 10 all seated together at Kimonos, the Tepenyaki Restaurant. The chefs were so animated and allowed the kids to help slice and dice for dinner.
Pre-arranged spa treatments. This was super helpful for the adults to get in some down time away from the little kids. We were also able to squeeze in some great workouts during nap time. The gym has plenty of equipment to provide a number of guests the ability to work out simultaneously.
The children’s program. This program is fantastic for all age groups and services are included with your stay. With many activities offered daily, you can even make cookies with Cookie Monster! It was so much fun to watch my niece participate in a talent show and perform on stage for everyone at the resort.
You can never go hungry on this property. I feel like we lived over by the pizzeria and having a personal butler allowed us to have food delivered daily to our cabana. Our biggest decision each day was figuring out which of the many restaurants to dine at that night. The butler was super helpful making sure our table was available with enough seating for our group each night. He would walk us over to the restaurant to make sure we were seated and got our drinks and meals ordered with us. This is such a huge help when with traveling with small children!
After dinner fun. We all loved strolling through the resort towards the ice cream parlor after a long meal. Our favorite part of the day was getting our ice cream and going over to the X-Box Game Garage for my nephew to play a few games, and then over to Cafe De Paris for the Grandparents to get their after dinner coffees.
We love this resort so much and are trying to find new date for us all to go back again. Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages & Spa will ensure great repeat visits time and time again.
March 4, 2013
By Gary Lee Martinez
The Traveling Traveler
TI & AMResorts Ambassador
At Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana, you will get to experience the luxury and privacy of oceanfront seclusion while enjoying some truly Endless Privileges®!
These 7 Endless Privileges® at the Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic are just a few of the exclusive privileges you get with your stay. Here are my favorite 7:
#1. Eat organic for breakfast, lunch and dinner with gourmet dining options.
#2. Relax in the afternoon during daily afternoon tea time featuring tea infusions made from real live plants.
#3. Enjoy the view from your private terrace as you are surrounded by luxurious accommodations.
#4. Experience the privacy of in-room dining, 24-hours a day.
#5. Horseback riding is complimentary!
#6. Pamper yourself with a relaxing 20 minute spa treatment per stay.
#7. No need to rush- there’s no check-in or check-out time!
These are just a few of the amazing Endless Privileges® inclusions you’ll receive at the Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana. To learn the full list of Endless Privileges®, contact your travel agent!
March 1, 2013
Your clients will experience the pinnacle of luxury on a romantic Sandals Resorts Caribbean Vacation. More than just an all-inclusive, Sandals Resorts offers the Luxury Included ® Vacation experience designed exclusively for people in love. Sandals Resorts delights couples with incredibly luxurious accommodations among romantic tropical settings, world-class dining experiences, thrilling land and water sports, and some of the most gorgeous beaches in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia and the Bahamas. At Sandals Resorts your clients will leave their worries behind, because love is all they need.
February 25, 2013
By Tom Bukaty
All-Inclusive Resort Travel
TI & Excellence Group Luxury Hotels and Resorts Ambassador
When you and your significant other are on a spa vacation together, there are lots of different ways you can enjoy yourselves. You may want to have couples massages, couples mud baths, manicures or other treatments at the same time. Maybe you would enjoy going to the spa while your significant other enjoys other activities. My wife enjoys a spa vacation doing almost every service available, while I enjoy a massage after playing golf or deep sea fishing.
Either way, you can both enjoy your “spa vacation” sharing every minute together, or each can have some special “alone time” to sit back and enjoy the level of pampering you seek. Here are my top five tips for booking a spa vacation at an Excellence Resort:
Tip #1: If possible, read and become familiar with the spa services available long before you go. Read the spa services menu online for the resort you are going to, and discuss what each of you would enjoy. Weeks before our travel date, my wife and I print out the various menus and services available. We each read them separately, and then have a dinner date night where we go to a quiet restaurant for a nice meal, and as a special topic of discussion we talk about which spa services we would like to do. It’s a vacation night before our vacation!
Tip #2: Pre-book the services you want before your vacation begins. There is a lot of information and some great deals if you book a package. Sometimes there is an additional discount for pre-booking online. Excellence Resorts has an online email request for reservations in the “Spa Services” section on their website. You are guaranteed that the reservation you have fits your schedule.
Tip #3: Choose the time for your spa services and spa activities so that you can enjoy other resort or destination activities the same day, for a fully-packed vacation. Alternately, you can start spa services early in the day and ”lounge-out” the rest of the day. My wife chooses a day for total “spa-indulgence” (usually the first day) while I go play the nearby golf course and enjoy a then-needed massage after returning in the afternoon. It’s your vacation and your choice. I book late afternoon, she starts after breakfast and we enjoy the rest of the evening relaxed and happy.
Tip #4: At the spa, allow enough time to relax before and/or after the service using the Hydrotherapy Pools, Sensation Showers, Saunas, or more at the active Fitness Facility.
Tip #5: Try something you have never experienced before! Excellence Resorts Miile’ Spas have an enormous variety of services and activities that will delight the uninitiated and the experienced spa vacation enthusiast alike. You might also note that and each and every restaurant has additional healthy, delicious or indulgent choices to fit your desires. Try it all!
I remember a time when I was uncomfortable with someone I didn’t know rubbing me with oil. Now I have dreams of my next vacation enjoying the relaxation and comfort in the beautiful spas at all the Excellence Resorts. You will enjoy yourself too!