ampr fyi: mento, the freshmaker

August 27th, 2010

This week’s installment of AMPR’s FYI comes from Lauren Wintemberg. Originally from outside Philadelphia (go Phillies!), Lauren joined the AMPR team just this spring. In addition to being an avid traveler, she has a passion for running, cooking (well, learning to cook) and cupcakes.

Lauren & Jolly Boys


operation mincemeat

August 27th, 2010

Ian Fleming, GoldenEye

Ian Fleming’s creativity was thriving long before he created the iconic James Bond. As an officer in the British Army, Fleming was an integral part in several top-secret military campaigns. One of his campaigns – Operation Goldeneye – inspired the name of his Jamaica home, and another lives in history as a major coup for the Allies. (more…)

my mangroves

August 25th, 2010

There’s the good news, and then there’s the bad news. We’ll get the bad over with first — recent satellite images have shown that the world’s mangroves are disappearing at a faster rate than what was once believed.  Approximately 53,190 square miles is all that remains of these precious ecosystems. While that number may seem big, it’s about 12 percent smaller than original estimates, according to a recent report from The Christian Science Monitor.  These ecosystems protect both the coastland from storms and young sea life from predators during development. They are sometimes referred to as the ‘nurseries of the ocean’.Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara Kayaking


a toast to art

August 24th, 2010

 Hua Hin Moonsoon Valley Wine

Photo from:


Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa, located along the idyllic coast of the Gulf of Siam in Thailand, has teamed up with local Siam Winery and internationally renowned artist Christopher Hogan in a collaboration everyone can raise a glass to – and the first of its kind in Thailand.

At a tasting of Moonsoon Valley Wine at the resort last year, guests (Mr. Hogan was among them) at Hua Hin were so enamored with the local flavors from just down to road that he became inspired to create a label reflecting the wine’s natural surroundings and the beauty of Thailand.

Launching a little more than a year after his first sip, Mr. Hogans’s three limited editions bottles embody the lush tropical gardens of the resort and Thailand’s stunning marine life.  The series is made from white shiraz, red shiraz, and colombard. In keeping with the local flavor, all three have been specially designed to pair well with the cuisine of Thailand and are best tasted alongside a traditional meal. We’ll drink (and eat) to that!

ampr fyi: we’ll always have paris

August 20th, 2010

This week’s AMPR FYI comes from Alice Marshall, intrepid traveler and this company’s eponymous leader.

Just returned from a whirlwind trip to the City of Lights, Ms. Marshall shares with us her Top Ten Reasons to Love Paris. Dust off your beret, switch on the soundtrack to Amélie and prepare for a refreshing dose of je ne sais quoi…

Alice - Paris

1. Bread tastes like bread.

2. Fruit smells like fruit.

3. NO ONE is on a Blackberry or cell phone on the streets or in restaurants. No one is speaking or typing on them, they are not sitting out on the table, and they are not even hidden in laps for “discreetly” answering emails under napkins or tablecloths. 

4. Pretty courtyards are everywhere and perfect for peeking into as you stroll by (while not typing on your Blackberry!)

5. You hear the chiming of church bells and the cooing of pigeons (pigeons are okay in Paris) not the honking of taxi cabs or the obnoxious sirens of fire trucks.

6. Water is sold in biodegradable cardboard cartons instead of plastic bottles, very smart! (Okay, you can still get it in a bottle but the boxes are more fun.)Aquapax Carton

7. Honor bars DO still exist in big cities. The gorgeous hotel, Pavillon de la Reine, has a particularly lovely one.

8. Where else can you stumble upon a piano performance in a 12th Century church? I listened to a magical recital of Chopin and Liszt at St. Julien le Pauvre – the oldest and smallest church in Paris.

9. Window shopping along Rue Charlot, which is lined with a cool mix of stores. You’ll find fine French lace underwear next door to sumptuous three-piece leather suits.

10. And the best thing about a trip to Paris is that there are no calories in a French croissant – mais bien sûr!

castles made of sand

August 17th, 2010

I’m sure everyone can make a pretty standard sand castle.  Fill the pail with moist sand, flip, and voila!  However, have you ever tried to build massive sand flip flips, or perhaps a VW bug made completely of sand?  All have been done during The Annual Nantucket Sandcastle & Sculpture Day, which will take place on this Saturday, August 21 at Jetties Beach on Nantucket.

Starting at noon, teams must use their creativity and whatever tools possible (biodegradable items suggested!) to build an impressive sand masterpiece.  The judges, professional artists from the faculty of the Nantucket Island School of Design, will review all creations based on creativity, concept and design and award ribbons to those that excelled.

How much for this amazing day on the beach?  Just $10/person to participate, and free for all spectators!  For more information, call the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce at 508 228 1700.Sandcastle-Page.crowded-bea

Photo courtesy of NICC website.

ampr fyi: abu dhabi state of mind

August 17th, 2010

This week’s rendition of AMPR FYI comes from Dena DiOrio.  Hailing from the great state of Ohio, Dena has been with AMPR for two years.

Abu Dhabi State of Mind

Waiting for my flight to board at the Etihad gate at JFK felt like waiting for any other flight, although it was most definitely not.  I was on my way to Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab Emirates, in the Middle East.  First time for me to the region, so I was extra psyched.  The 13-hour flight was long, but bearable, with all the on-demand movies, music and games one could possibly want while cruising at 36,000 feet above cities like Trabzon, Erzurum, and Shiraz. (more…)

ramadan detox

August 17th, 2010

Ramadan officially started August 11th and marks the month-long period where Muhammad is believed to have composed the Quran. In honor of this holy month, Muslims around the world will focus on inner peace and cleansing from now until September 9th through daily fasts during sunlight hours and abstain from any harmful habits that introduce toxins to the body (like drinking or smoking).

Ananatara resident spa guru and unofficial Ramadan expert, Liz Smailes, shared her advice with us on incorporating the relevant messages behind the holy celebration into daily life. (more…)

getting away

August 17th, 2010

In today’s busy jetsetter world, arriving to your hotel on vacation can sometimes seem like just another business trip. Instead, why not ease yourself into the mindset of relaxation and the realization that you are away. Put down the iPhone and forget about email, you have arrived. And while arriving… why not do it in style.

Palace Luzern Steamboat


summer showers

August 16th, 2010

When packing for Santa Fe in the summer most travelers think of sunscreen and sundresses, but this time of year an umbrella is just as important! The summer season is referred to by locals as the “monsoon” season for its daily – albeit normally brief – showers.

Inn on the Alameda’s resident naturalist and concierge shares a little history on these summer storms.

Santa Fe Southern Sky