Sunday, December 27, 2009

30,000 feet

Had to post this one from the air! Delta now offers WiFi on most of its flights. It currently works only while flying over the continental U.S. You can stay connected with the office, surf the net, or chat with friends while traveling on the plane! Rates start at $9.95 for a single flight.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Florida fling

Spent a few chilly days in Florida last week, but I was happy to have the chance to visit the Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach. They have an incredible spa which opened this past March. At 42,000 square feet, it's the largest hotel spa in the Ritz-Carlton chain. Their treatment rooms can hardly be called rooms - most are spacious suites complete with private outdoor gardens, showers and daybeds. The experience is very personalized: you choose the color of lighting you prefer in the room, and you can choose your fragrance and type of scrub from the Scrub and Polish bar. I was also impressed with their kids program. They have all day activities for the little ones, but this is one of the few places I've seen that addresses the needs of that often forgotten group: the teenager. There is a dedicated space just for teens, with the latest in computers, video games and a DJ booth, where they can actually learn how to work the boards! Looked fun.
The hotel and rooms are beautiful. I like the fact that the lobby feels just like a living room, a warm and inviting place to relax or gather with friends.

Book your stay with us and receive VIP amenities: complimentary upgrade based on availability, daily breakfast, and a $100.00 resort credit!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Brazilian

It's not what you think! Earlier this month I spent some time traveling around Brazil and I will highlight two top destinations.

The Ponta dos Ganchos resort is a place you dream about. 28 individual bungalows perched on a hillside, the resort nestled between quaint fishing villages, overlooking the magnificent blue ocean. We were greeted by the congenial staff with a welcome glass of champagne. Ok, I admit, I can be easily won over by a glass of bubbly, but it just got better from there! We were ushered to our suite which literally took my breath away. Our 1400 square foot villa came complete with beautifully appointed living area, fireplace, huge flat screen TV, jacuzzi, sauna (in the room!), double shower, his/hers dressing areas and private garden with plunge pool. Did I mention the luxurious high thread count linens and wonderfully comfy beds? It was hard to drag myself away, but in the name of research, I headed down to the beach. The resort is inclusive with regards to meals and many activities. They offer fishing, sailing, tennis, kayaks, indoor heated swimming pool and a fitness center. The meals were deliciously prepared with many choices of fresh seafood and Brazilian specialties on the menu. The guests may dine whenever they like and aren't forced into set mealtimes, which makes for a very relaxed and personalized atmosphere. They even have a private island where one couple each night can dine alone for a very special romantic evening. The Ponta dos Ganchos is a perfect place for a honeymoon, anniversary or a well-deserved vacation. It is an adult-only resort and they do not accept children under age 18. The resort is located 50-minutes by car from the Florianopolis airport, which is an easy one hour flight from either Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.

Iguassu Falls is a stunning series of 275 waterfalls bordering the countries of Brazil and Argentina. A direct flight to Foz do Iguassu takes less than two hours from Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. The place to stay is the newly renovated Hotel das Cataratas by Orient-Express. It is a quick 20-minute drive from the airport and the only hotel located within the Iguassu National Park on the Brazilian side. This gives you unlimited access and allows you to have the falls all to yourself after hours, without the crowds of tourists. The guest rooms and public areas have been completely redone, using Brazilian hardwoods and Portuguese tiles to create a soothing atmosphere in harmony with the tropical rainforest surroundings. The pool area offers a nice respite after a morning of exploring, and the staff offering cold towels is a welcome amenity, which is the type of service I have come to expect from an Orient-Express hotel. There is a tour desk located right at the hotel from which you can book private guided tours of the falls, boat trips, helicopter rides, and a variety of more adventurous activities. Iguassu falls is a must-see destination for travelers to South America!

Tip: When in Brazil, you must try a caipirinha, a delicious cocktail of muddled fresh limes, sugar and cachaca, the local liquor. My favorite is the caipiroska, made with vodka!

A Visa is required for U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil. Call us for more information on either of these luxury hotels or destinations. Receive the best rates, special amenities and extra values only when booking through Bee Kalt Travel!