If you find yourself in Bangkok over New Year's (and really, it's a much warmer choice than icy Boston), the Tower Club at Lebua, one of the city's most luxurious hotels, is offering specialty menus at its restaurants, Mezzaluna, Sirocco, Breeze and Distil, all high up in the skyscraper hotel and carrying pretty sky-high prices.
Available for one night only, the menu features things like Japanese Kyushu beef, Petrossian Imperial caviar, red king crab from the Okhotsk Sea and New Caledonia Pacific Ocean blue shrimp. The experience starts with free champagne at Flute Bar on the 64th floor, with spectacular views of the Chao Phraya River and city skyline. Prices are $980 per person at Mezzaluna, $903 at Breeze, $829 at Sirocco and $678 at Distil
The reading and birthday party are free and open to the public. In lieu of gifts, guests are encouraged to bring towels, blankets, or toys for donation to the Animal Rescue League Boston Shelter. The event takes place at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, 138 St. James Ave., Boston.
Passengers were literally dancing in the aisles Thursday as JetBlue launched its new service from Fort Lauderdale to Haiti.
While the timing of the launch with Christopher Columbus's landing on Hispanola may have seemed significant to JetBlue marketeers, what matters to Haitian-Americans is the prospect of lower fares as a result of much-needed competition. In the past, fares to Port-au-Prince were often higher than to neighboring Santo Domingo, with little off-season variation because of the country's minimal dependence on tourism.
The Haiti route makes Fort Lauderdale the largest provider of air service to Haiti, according to an airport official.
The Frog Pond isn't the only skating show in town: in Cambridge celebrates its annual opening of The Rink at The Charles Hotel Dec. 15, offering free ice skating and skate rentals from noon to 6 p.m., with performances by the Harvard Figure Skating Club and free hot chocolate. Children can hit the activities room for cookie decorating from noon to 3 p.m. Adults are welcome to check out a new specialty, “Apres Skate” cocktails in the Noir lounge nightly from 4 p.m. To 2 a.m., created by the lounge's general manager, Archie Almodovar.
The 2,900-square-foot rink is open through March 16. For regular rates and packages, visit www.charleshotel.com
Photo from The Charles Hotel
Uncommon Journeys, a provider of unique North American rail and cruise travel, has teamed up with American Cruise Lines' Queen of the Mississippi to create the 2014 Riverboat and Train schedule, a series of three riverboat-and-train itineraries showcasing the first paddlewheel riverboat built for overnight travel in a decade. The packages include food and entertainment while aboard the riverboat Queen of the Mississippi.
The “American Legends” tour is an 11-day trip in July, with fares starting at $4,795 per person, that includes train travel to Chicago from any midwestern city, stays in Chicago and St. Louis and sightseeing trips, and a seven-night cruise from St. Louis to St. Paul aboard the Queen of the Mississippi, with stops in Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota.
The “Journey to the Great Smoky Mountains” runs in September, a 13-day trip starting at $4,895 per person that features train travel from any city in the United States to Atlanta, stays and sightseeing in Atlanta, North Carolina and Tennessee, and a seven-night voyage on the Cumberland, Ohio and Mississippi rivers on the riverboat, with stops in Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri, before finishing up in Memphis. At the end of September into early October, the “Fall Colors on the Mississippi runs, from $4,895 per person, with free train travel from any eastern or midwestern city to Chicago and two-nights stay in that city, train travel from Chicago to St. Louis and seven nights on the Mississippi aboard the riverboat, stopping in Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Each package includes a professional tour manager to handle details, from hotel reservations to sightseeing. For complete information, visit www.uncommonjourneys.com, or call 800-323-5893
By Alexa Dibenedetto
A 14-foot Gingerbread Macaron Nutcracker will soon welcome guests to the lobby of the Ritz Carlton on Boston Common. The festive, giant holiday decoration is the creation of executive chef Andrew Yeo and his pastry team. It’s flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, clove and almond, and is covered in more than 2,000 macarons.
So what does it take to build a 14-foot edible decoration?
- 20 pounds of almond flower
- 100 pounds of powdered sugar
- 20 pounds of granulated sugar
- 5 pounds of water
- 4,106 egg whites
Visit the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common at 10 Avery Street to pose for a picture with this the towering dessert and try your best not to take a bite.
Getting to Logan Airport is rarely fun and seldom easy. But before heading off on a trip to the Caribbean in early November, we found a little bit of both, and got a great meal in the bargain at a new, old restaurant.
Facing a ridiculously early flight, we opted to stay the night before at the Hyatt Place on Forbes Road in Braintree, a relatively new hotel opening in a complex of upscale places, including Joseph A. Bank and Starbucks. For less than $130, we got a decent room in the shiny new hotel, ample space with a king bed, giant HD TV, glassed-in shower, higher-end digs for a reasonable price. From there, we'd drive a quarter mile to Logan Express, to catch the 3:30 a.m. bus.
We walked over to the Legal Seafood in the same building as the Hyatt, and found out it had just opened four days earlier, the latest branch of the Boston-bred restaurant empire that started in 1968. It will replace the older Legal next door, which is still in use through the holidays, slated to close Jan. 31.
The new Legal is a smashing place, long, wide open, bright and airy, with huge rectangular stainless steel bar mercifully fronted with leather armrests so your forearms aren't assaulted by cold steel. There is also an oyster bar, and food bar, along the exposed kitchen. In summer, giant sliders will open to allow deck dining. In all, the place seats 220.
The staff was first rate, start to finish, and when our wait staffer, Erica, wasn't at our table tending to our needs, other servers stepped in. Legal Seafood fare is always good, and I was very pleased to find out, very friendly to people like me with celiac disease, with a pretty extensive gluten-free menu. Restaurant manager Emily Duranleau told me Legal was on the cutting edge of offering gluten-free options long before many other places were.
It is rare for a restaurant to offer gluten-free fried food, e.g. clams, chicken, fish, but here they do courtesy of using brown rice flour and cornmeal. Also rare is getting gluten-free bread in restaurants, but here they have pretty good dinner rolls, flavored by garlic and onion, that rival regular bread anywhere else. We didn't eat heavy, going with a chicken caesar salad, and the “vegetarian box,” with sesame soy stir-fried veggies, Thai red coconut curry sauce, cashews and shrimp. Dessert was a chocolate mouse, rich and grainy, with velvety chocolate at its core, which we feared would keep us up past our 2:30 a.m. wake-up call. Luckily, it did not.
So far, so good, and it got better. The Logan Express trip has gotten cheaper in recent years, including chopping the daily parking rate to $7 from $11, and offering a 10-pack of commuter tickets for $75, saving $35 off the regular price, a boon to frequent fliers like myself. At 3:30, the bus was jammed with mostly airport workers, looking like they'd rather be anywhere else. We tourists stuck out, by our casual attire and the smiles on our faces, heading into a day that would bring snow to Boston but us to a sunny place in the Caribbean.
Trips to the airport are rarely fun and seldom easy, but combining a stay at the Hyatt, dinner at the new Legal Seafood and a seamless ride on Logan Express, it sure came close.
Thinking about a safari in Kenya? Mahali Mzuri, the newest addition to Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Limited Edition collection of private retreats, is offering a free night with the purchase of at least four nights. Mahali Mzuri is located in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, a reserve in the Maasai Mara ecosystem. Guests gaze over a river valley that attracts elephants, hippos, wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, lions, elephants, and cape buffalo.
Each of the 12 luxury tents include a bedroom with stocked minibar, bathroom with soaking tub and separate shower, living area, and large deck. The tents are linked to the main lodge, dining areas, disappearing-edge pool, and spa via boardwalks and pathways.
The offer, available through Dec. 21, includes all meals and beverages, including top-shelf champagne, daily game drives, bush walks, WiFi, transfers from the Mara North air strip, and all taxes. Rates begin at $590 per person, per night.
The Wildcat Inn and Tavern’s “$50 and free” promotion is back for a third straight year, and it has to be one of the best dine-and-stay packages we’ve seen in all of New England.
Here’s the deal: Spend $50 or more in the tavern or dining room at the Jackson, N.H. inn, and you’ll receive a free room for two for the night. Other than calling in advance - at least 24 hours - and making your reservation, it really is that easy, and it’s also available on weekends.
Even better, should you only spend $30-40 on food and drinks, your room for the evening will be only $10-20 depending on how far you get to $50. The deal is good through Dec. 15, and reservations can be made for more than one night.
For more information, visit wildcattavern.com/50andfree.html, and to book, call 603-356-8700 or 603-383-4245.
The Upper Rhine Valley not only claims the first written references to the sale and lighting of Christmas trees, but also has a Christmas market history dating back hundreds of years. Held during Advent, the four weeks prior to Christmas, these seasonal street markets brighten the darkest days of the year. They’re the place to make merry, shop with friends, and share the holiday magic over steaming mugs of mulled wine.
Each market comprises dozens of vendors housed in wooden stalls trimmed with lights and garland and grouped along cobblestoned streets or clustered in village squares. Unlike shopping malls, with their blaring pseudo-carol Muzak tracks, Christmas markets are outdoors, and the usual background music blends squeals from children riding a carousel, live singers, and bleats from sheep in a living nativity scene. In many ways, they’re similar to farmers markets, but the available products include not only local cheeses and charcuterie, but also handcrafted wooden toys, turned bowls, blown glass, nutcrackers, ornaments, even hats and scarves.
Like any good holiday gathering, food and drink are the heart of every market. The aromas of onions and sausages sizzling in an open pan and wine simmering with anise, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon perfume the air. Vendors offer tastes of cheeses, meats, foie gras, potted duck, and smoked fish, and sell hot soups and stews and local dishes.
But if food is the heart, than sweets are the honey that binds the market together. Traditional breads and cookies, rooted in centuries-old recipes passed down through the generations, vary by town and country. The one universal is manala, a spiced brioche shaped like a little man given to children on Dec. 6, the feast day of St. Nicholas. Other temptations include: Alsatian bredele, the collective term for more than a dozen varieties of traditional Christmas spiced cookies; Christollen, an iced Christmas brioche made with candied fruits and cinnamon; berawecka, bread made with dried fruits marinated in kirsch; and leckerli, a hard, sugar-glazed biscuit made from honey, nuts, candied fruit, and kirsch, created in Basel in the 15th century.
With a train pass, it's easy to hopscotch the markets in Baden-Baden and Freiburg, Germany; Strasbourg, Obernai, and Colmar, France; and Basel, Switzerland, nibbling and sipping the delicacies offered at each, while simultaneously browsing, buying, and savoring the season. Add a sprinkle of snow, and the Upper Rhine Valley not only shines, it sparkles.
Most of us will likely spend more than we probably want to on other people this holiday season. But there are a bunch of travel deals this time of year where the money you spend will at least be on yourself. And OK, on those you love, if you take someone along.
Down in DC, The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel’s Edgar Bar & Kitchen celebrates its first Thanksgiving with a holiday menu conceptualized by Chef Andrew Morrison, formerly of the Fairmont Pittsburgh, and Maison Blanche and Le Mistral in our nation’s capital. Edgar opened last December, and the Thanksgiving menu features, naturally, turkey, and some more creative things like butternut squash and apple bisque, along with themed drinks such as “Pass the Turkey,” with Wild Turkey 101, cider, cranberry jelly, sage and thyme. Dinner is $45 per person, and the hotel (named after the historically famous ship that led to our nation’s very first thanksgiving), is running a “Stay for Breakfast” package as well for the weekend, rates starting at $139. For info, visit www.RenaissanceMayflower.com, and for info on Edgar check out www.edgarbarandkitchen.com
Up in New Hampshire, travelers can kick off the shopping season with deals at hotels and shopping centers throughout the state, including at the Centennial Hotel in Concord (Black Friday rate of $109 a night and free breakfast); Saco River Motor Lodge in Center Conway, rates from $69; the historic Wentworth by the Sea Hotel and Spa in New Castle, with rates from $209; and a shopping spree contest that will dole out three $500 sprees, including two-night lodging and dining. For all info, check out www.visitnh.gov.
Martha’s Vineyard off season is less crowded – and way cheaper. The historic Harbor View Hotel, sitting atop a picturesque bluff in Edgartown, is running a deal for those booking stays between Nov. 29 and Dec. 2. You can save 20 percent off room rates on one- or two-night stays and 30 percent on three-night stays for travel between Dec. 1 and July 10. The hotel is noted for Water Street, its signature restaurant with smashing water views, and Henry’s Hotel Bar. Visit www.harbor-view.com for information.
The Big Apple has seasonal deals, too, notably The Muse Hotel and 70 Park Avenue, with The Muse’s extended Cyber Monday package for travel throughout January and available for booking Dec. 2-15, offering 20 percent off the best-available room rate; and the “Power Shopper” program at 70 Park Avenue, which offers car service to shops, unlimited coffee from the hotel’s new Silverleaf Coffee and Tea Café, where you also get two wind-down cocktails after all that shopping, and a 30-minute stretching session. The package is available through the end of December and rates run from $629 a night. Visit www.themusehotel.com and www.70parkave.com for details.
If you’re thinking warmer, and this time of year, who isn’t, there are deals to be had in toastier climes including at Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina in the Bahamas, with its exclusive 24-hour offer from midnight Dec. 1 to Dec. 2, which nets you the resort’s new “Turtle Crawl” experience with a minimum four-night stay, a $500 value. The offer is valid for travel through March 31, 2014. For information, check out www.abacobeachresort.com
A deal can be had at Ocean Club Resorts in Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean, where if you book at www.oceanclubresorts.com and use promo code “CYBER,” you get 20 percent off all room categories and a $200 hotel credit for stays of five or more nights from Jan. 3-Feb. 7, or 25 percent off junior, one-, two- and three-bedroom rooms and $200 credit for five or more nights from May 1-Dec. 18. Ocean Club was named among Travel + Leisure’s Top 500 Best Hotels in the World, which also named it the top hotel for Caribbean locations. Ocean Club has two properties in Turks and Caicos, a mile apart from each other on Grace Bay Beach, where guests at one can use the services and amenities of the other as well.
Over in Bermuda, travelers get a third, fourth or fifth night free on stays booked through April 25, for stays Dec. 1 through the end of April. Third-night free hotels include Clearview Suites & Villas, Elbow Beach Bermuda, and Rosewood Tuckers Point Resort, among others. You can get a fourth-night free deal at Cambridge Beaches, Pompano Beach Club and The Reefs Resort & Club, and a fifth night at Mazarine by the Sea, Rosedon Hotel Bermuda, The Royal Palms and Coral Beach Club. For all info, visit www.gotobermuda.com
Also in the Bahamas, Nassau Paradise Island hosts the third annual Bahamas Speed Week Revival Dec. 4-8, a unique event showcasing some of the world’s most iconic race cars. This year, racing returns to Nassau for the first time in nearly 50 years with the running of a Formula Junior race, and Austin Healey race, a classic/vintage mini race and an “All-comers” race. In addition to racing other cars, enthusiasts can race the clock in the Fort Charlotte Hill Climb overlooking Nassau Harbor. When booking an air-inclusive minimum four-night stay at any of Nassau Paradise Island’s participating hotels, visitors get $250 in instant savings. Select properties also offer other promotions during speed week. Bookings must be made before Dec. 2. For information on racing stuff, visit www.bahamasspeedweek.com, and for lodging, www.nassauparadiseisland.com
Last year, I spent New Year’s at Panama City Beach in Florida, and joined the Panama City Beach Biggest Loser RunWalk. And I wasn’t alone: About 40,000 folks gathered for the New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop alone. This year, the run-walk happens Dec. 29, the ball drop, Dec. 31, and other events will include the 2013 Run for the Redfish Half Marathon and 5K on Dec. 7; the “Optimist Christmas Parade” Dec. 14; and New Year’s Sail Dec. 31 where you relax on a boat offshore watching fireworks. Hotel deals can be had at the Bay Point Wyndham Resort, with 20 percent off regular rates; Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, with rates running from $79 a night from Dec. 27-Jan. 2; and the Watercrest Resort with rates from $169 a night through Dec. 31. For all info, lodging and deals, visit www.visitpanamacitybeach.com
By Megan Lisagor and Mark Repasky
“Sauce 1,000 îles,” read the menu, followed by “mayonnaise and ketchup” in parentheses. Far from ordinary lunch fare, the ingredients on this strange sandwich required explanation.
Fast food in France generally means grabbing a jambon beurre—ham and butter on a baguette—at the local boulangerie. While tasty in its simplicity, it’s not exactly a dish that draws travelers to Paris, or inspires much local excitement. Which explains the crowds at two newcomers: Frenchie to Go and Freddie’s Deli. Backed by big-name chefs—Gregory Marchand and Kristin Frederick, respectively—the restaurants are introducing Parisians to American flavors, pastrami in particular.
Both spots offer takes on the reuben with house-smoked meat that gets the royal treatment. Frenchie’s ($16) Euro-version calls for an Agent Provocateur beer, while the deli ($11.50, small size) stays true to the original; homesick visitors can pair theirs with a Brooklyn lager, or an icy fountain soda (considered exotic here). “Quality fast food is a big trend right now,” observed Frederick, who started the craze with her hamburger truck. “There are chefs reinventing classics like fish and chips, kebabs” and more.
Also in on the act, Verjus sells sandwiches from its wine bar that channel the East Village, Oakland and Seattle. For their part, New England fans will find a lobster roll ($30) back at Frenchie. Thankfully, butter is the only thing it has in common with jambon beurre.
Frenchie to Go, 9 rue du Nil, 01-40-39-96-19, frenchie-restaurant.com
Freddie’s Deli, 22 rue Crespin du Gast, 01-84-16-33-75, freddiesdeli.com
Verjus Sandwich, 47 rue Montpensier, 01-42-97-54-40, verjusparis.com
Would you be willing to hurtle yourself down a 17-story waterslide?
That’s the goal of Kansas City water park, Schlitterbahn, which will debut the world’s tallest water slide of its kind in the spring. Named the Verrückt (insane in German), the slide features four-seat rafts that are lifted to the summit by a specially-made conveyor system.
According to a comment on a local Kansas City TV news web site, the project has been delayed due to funding, which is…well, concerning in a creation of this nature. But the water park also recently posted photos of the slide’s progress on its corporate site boasting about the strides that had been made.
Fox 4 News also reports, “the fact sheet notes that the tower is constructed out of railroad tanker cars that have been cut and welded into a single vertical tower.”
Sound like something you’d ride?
The Camden Harbour Inn, in Camden, Maine, is one of only five properties in North America added to the 2014 rolls of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux group of distinctive luxury properties. To celebrate, the inn is offering a flash sale on a two-night package for $429. The package includes a welcome glass of Prosecco, a four-course dinner at Natalie's, daily champagne breakfast, and turn-down with Belgian chocolates. A one-night, midweek package with dinner is $280. An additional night is $150. The offer is valid through March, excluding holidays, but must be booked by Nov. 30 by phone, call 207-236-4200.
To become a Relais & Chateaux property, hotels must have the equivalent of a 4-5 star rating, be focused on exceeding guest expectation, and have a high quality gourmet restaurant focused on local cuisine. The rigorous selection process properties go through aims to find those that best embody the spirit of Relais & Chateaux through hospitality, kindness, generosity, and passion for their region.
Dutch owners Raymond Brunyanszki and Oscar Verest purchased the inn in 2007 and then invested more than $2 million in renovations before reopening it along with its restaurant, Natalie's. In 2012, they added two luxury suites.
All guests at the Camden Harbour Inn are treated to a welcome glass of Prosecco upon arrival, complimentary a la carte breakfast with Prosecco each morning and nightly turndown service. Rooms are equipped with Molton Brown Spa products, plush robes and slippers, feather beds, and flat screen TVs. Visitors have access to concierge and butler services, and the in-house spa which offers a full menu of massages.
Natalie’s restaurant places an emphasis on Maine seafood and offers a four-course Lobster Tasting menu, a three-course prix fixe menu and a Chef’s Tasting menu. The Wine Spectator-honored wine list features more than 250 specialty wines.
The Camden Harbour Inn is one of two Relais & Châteaux properties in Maine; the other is the White Barn Inn, in Kennebunk. Regular value season rates begin at $230, premium season from $430.
Strapping on a jetpack to hover above the water doesn't sound like usually family vacation stuff. But they got that going on and a bunch more at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, with its new “Family Island Adventure” package, aimed at entertaining the whole clan.
The resort's adventure center staff recommends and books family oriented activities, including the island's first water-propelled jetpack experience, where guests get suspended in air 10 feet above water, giving them the experience of defying gravity. Water sports include stand-up paddle boarding lessons for the whole family; swimming with turtles at Buck Island; and taking a night kayaking tour in clear-bottom kayaks ringed with LED lights. And new for this season is night paddle boarding, with special boards lit from beneath.
There's also a shark encounter at Coral World Marine Park, where guests get up close and personal without cages or barriers. And if the kids just want to hang in the water, the resort has four pools, including a new splash pool for younger ones, and there's always the beach.
The package starts at $224 per night, per room, and includes a $200 activity credit at the adventure center. For information, and booking, visit www.frenchmansreefmarriott.com, or call 800-228-9290, and use promotion code ZJL. You've got plenty of time to decided: The package is good through Aug. 31, 2014.
Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, located in the savannah grasslands beneath Mount Kilimanjaro, is world renowned for its elephants. It's one of few places that’s remained relatively undisturbed by population growth and loss of wildlife habitat, thanks to tourism, researchers, and the Maasai people who live in this region. Here, it’s possible to see elephants from newborns to bull males in their 40s and 50s. The park and surrounding Maasai tribal lands double as a migration path for the elephants. Unfortunately poaching, both for meat and the ivory tusks, remains a problem.
The effort to keep the mammoth mammals safe from poachers is continued at Satao Elerai, a tented safari camp located on a private, 5,000-acre conservancy about 10 kilometers outside the park. The lands are on the critical Kitenden Corrider, which links the Kilimanjaro Forest Reserve in Tanzania with Amboseli National Park and beyond, says Wilfred Ngonze, who manages the Maasai-owned conservancy as well as a neighboring one. I’m chatting with him over tea in the main lodge, while more than a dozen elephants cavort in the watering hole outside the window.
“We have a protection team of 12 rangers, and we have a population of more than 100 elephants at any given time,” Ngonze says. “We have observation points and patrols, and when we catch a poacher, we prosecute.” Although currently penalties are lenient, there’s a current bill in parliament that, if passed, will stiffen them, he says. He's hopeful about that. Factors contributing to poaching, Ngonze says, are the instability in neighboring Somalia and southern Sudan coupled with sport hunting in adjacent Tanzania. “In Kenya, we only shoot with a camera,” he quips.
Poaching isn’t the only challenge to managing the conservancy, Ngonzo says. Watering holes are few, and the local Maasai, their livestock, and wildlife share them. Not so the mud bath outside the window. That one is reserved for elephants and other wildlife. Guests can cool off in the pool, sip cocktails, or dine while watching elephants belly up to the bar. Even better, rates help support the conservancy efforts.
On daily game drives, it's easy to see elephants of all ages up close, along with giraffes, baboons, hippos, zebras, wildebeests, ostriches, warthogs, and other critters. The sightings were far beyond my expectations, but my favorites were the ones seen from the lodge, especially the two elephants I saw from tent.
Fly-in packages for Satao Elerai, including airstrip transfers, all meals, two extended game drives daily, night game drive, guided walks, sundowner, house wine and beer, begin at $295 per person. Wilfred Ngonze will meet with guests upon request.
Pairings might include duck confit with snow peas and almonds, with Saint-Estèphe Château Le Crock 2008 Cru Bourgeois; ducking chestnuts and red currants, with Vallée du Rhône Vinsobres Les Cornuds 2010 Perrin et fils; or hake, honeyed carrots and verjuice, with Bourgogne Macon Lugny 2011 Domaine Joseph Drouhin. Ruggeri is the latest French gastronomy ambassador on Air France. Others have included Joël Robuchon, Guy Martin and Michel Roth.
In honor of Cyber Monday Dec. 2, Red Mountain Resort in St. George, Utah, is offering a savings deal. Guests booking the resort's most popular package, “The Essential Retreat,” on Dec. 2 get a free villa upgrade, good for travel through Feb. 20. Deluxe rooms will be upgraded to villa bedrooms, and villa bedrooms to villa suites. The deal features three meals, daily guided morning hikes, unlimited fitness classes, healthy life classes and events, personal discovery activities, cooking demos, and use of indoor and seasonal pools, bikes, walking trails, strength and cardio studios and other amenities.
To book, call 877-246-4453 and use promo code “upgrade.” To check out the resort, visit www.redmountainresort.com
It hasn't been a bad 10-year anniversary year for The Chanler at Cliff Walk in Newport, R.I., an AAA Four-Diamond winner for its hotel and restaurant. The historic mansion-turned-hotel was recognized by editors and readers at Conde Nast Traveler (top hotel in New England in latest Reader's Choice List which just came out); Travel + Leisure (one of three Rhode Island hotels named to its Top 500 Hotels in the World list last December); U.S. News and World Report (The Chanler finished 93rd in a list of 164 hotels, and was the highest ranked in the state); and Bon Appetit (which last spring ranked The Chanler among the 40 Best Hotels for Food Lovers, naming the hotel's eatery, the Spiced Pear).
The Chanler was built during the Civil War as a summer home for John Winthrop Chanler and his wife, Margaret Astor Ward, great-granddaughter of John Jacob Astor. Over its history, it has hosted the likes of President Theodore Roosevelt and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and in later years was used as a girl’s boarding school, an apartment building housing naval officers, and summer home to Bishop Francis Patrick Keough. The current owners bought it in the early 2000s, and renovated it into a hotel, opening in 2013. The Chanler is the only hotel in Newport to be located on historic Cliff Walk, and as a result, is a pretty pricey place in season. But during the colder months, cozy rooms with fireplaces to ward off the chill, can be had starting around $300 a night. For information, visit www.thechanler.com.
Hermitage Bay in Antigua is running a holiday special, where guests get a free stay on Christmas day when booking six nights around it. Book in any category of rooms, with a departure on or before Dec. 28, and get Dec. 25 free. Offer must be booked by Nov. 15, and is based on availability. It must be redeemed by calling 855-562-8080, using reference code “ChristmasSpec.” Rates this time of year run $1,450-$2,015 a night for two people, and includes meals, drinks and activities.
The hotel is on Antigua’s west coast, overlooking the Caribbean, a privately owned property of 25 freestanding cottage suites, all with ocean views. It was recently named one of the Top Small Hotels in the Caribbean, and one of the Top Luxury Hotels in the region, by TripAdvisors Traveler’s Choice Awards. To check it out, visit www.hermitagebay.com