travel like a rock star with crystal cruises

February 29th, 2012

Crystal Cruises’ guests can travel like rock stars with the new, 24/7 luxury amenity, “Crystal VIP Airport Service.” With door-to-gate porter and escort services, fast-track processes through security, immigration and customs, and access to VIP and Business Class Lounges, guests will be able to bypass the stress associated with flying and let the luxury begin before they even board the ship.

Bypass the lines and get to the luxury

Crystal VIP Airport Services may include:

-Greeting upon airport arrival (inbound, outbound, and connecting flights)

-Luggage porter service

-Flight tracking and handling, including assistance with delayed or cancelled flights and related lodging, transportation, meals, etc.

-Escorted and expedited check-in, security, customs, and immigration

-Entree to restricted-access airport lounges

-Preferred boarding

-Limousine/town car transfers between airport, home, day room, and/or ship

For more information and Crystal reservations call 888-799-4625 or visit


victoria-jungfrau to be featured in upcoming episode of abc’s the bachelor

February 27th, 2012

The Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, nestled in the heart of the Swiss resort town of Interlaken, will host the ninth episode of ABC’s The Bachelor. Bachelor Ben Flajnik and his three bachelorettes will be left completely enchanted by the region’s natural beauty. Tune in to watch Bachelor Ben as he sets out on his Swiss journey for true love on MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

First opened in 1865 as one of the first true luxury hotels, the Victoria-Jungfrau evokes all the splendor of the Belle Époque.  Located between two stunning Alpine lakes and at the foot of the majestic Jungfrau Mountain, the hotel is an ideal starting point for those wishing to ski, hike, bike, or sail through the lakes and nearby Alps.  The wellness wing, including an ESPA treatment center and the world’s only SENSAI SELECT SPA, provides a relaxing retreat, and the four restaurants offer a range of cuisine from Swiss specialties to haute French.

In a setting such as this, there will be no lack of romance. Ben’s date activities include a candlelit dinner in the hotel’s Salon Rouge, an intimate yet elegant room that dates back to the hotel’s opening, and a scenic picnic lunch prepared specially for Ben and his date by the hotel. The fabled Rose Ceremony will be held in the grand Salle de Versailles, a glittering ballroom adorned with stucco and gold walls, coffered ceilings, and crystal chandeliers. For those looking to follow in the footsteps of Bachelor Ben, the Victoria-Jungfrau will offer a special romance themed package starting March 12, 2012.

The new season of The Bachelor, from Warner Horizon Television, airs 8/7 Central on ABC.  For more information on The Bachelor visit  To learn more about the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa go to

In the hit primetime reality series The Bachelor, one lucky man is offered the chance to find true love.  A single and eligible Bachelor embarks on a romantic journey, getting to know a bevy of beautiful bachelorettes, gradually narrowing the field to the one woman to whom he may propose marriage in the dramatic season finale.  Hosted by Chris Harrison, The Bachelor is produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television.

First opened in 1865 as one of the first true luxury hotels, the Victoria-Jungfrau continues to be the standard-bearer of the legendary Swiss hospitality.  The stunningly modern renovations of the resort complement its original Belle Époque design.  With its location in resort town of Interlaken, the hotel is an ideal starting point for those wishing to ski, hike, bike, or sail through the lakes and nearby Alps.  A 60,000 square foot wellness wing, including an ESPA treatment center and SENSAI SELECT SPA, provides a relaxing wellness retreat, and the four restaurants offer a range of cuisine from Swiss specialties to haute French.


royal mansour marrakech hosts hicham benohoud’s “la salle de classe” exhibition

February 27th, 2012

Royal Mansour Marrakech will welcome local Moroccan artist Hicham Benohoud starting March 3. Born in Marrakech, Benohoud bases his work on the familial, religious, and hierarchical structures of his culture.

Benohoud’s exhibit, entitled La Salle de Classe, features striking black and white photos of local students during the school day. The images reflect the provocative sensibility that permeates much of his work. Despite their haunting quality, the images in La Salle de Classe are beautiful, otherworldly, and not to be missed.

This exhibit is part of the property’s ongoing commitment to showcasing top local artists. These temporary exhibits join the hotel’s permanent art collection of over 80 contemporary Moroccan artists. The artwork is dotted among the hotel’s public spaces and private riads, seamlessly blending with the stunning Moroccan décor.

For more information about Royal Mansour Marrakech, please visit their new website,

About Royal Mansour Marrakech

From the black marble road leading to the entrance to the 500 staff members, Royal Mansour is everything short of staying at a palace.  Built into the media wall, the expansive property covers over eight acres, comprising 53 individual riads, the product of exquisite handiwork.  Extravagantly luxe, each riad (ranging in size from 1,400 square feet to 19,375 square feet) showcases Moroccan splendor: hand-done tile work and mosaics cover courtyard floors and riad walls while interiors are furnished with handcrafted wood and antique furniture.  The top local craftsmen were recruited, and their level of skill and attention to detail literally make the property a work of art.  Royal Mansour Marrakech was carefully designed to represent traditional aesthetics. The 53 riads are true to the classic riad style, configured around a central, open-air courtyard with few openings to the outside. Around this is a bar, living area, and, in some cases, a dining room; first floors house bedrooms that overlook the private courtyard below; and roof terraces with sun beds and private pools provide stunning views of Marrakech or the Atlas mountains.  The estate’s landscape is dotted with imported ancient palm and olive trees ranging in age from three to seven centuries in addition to grenadine trees surrounding the entrance and orange trees outside the spa.  The spa is 27,000 square feet and has 13 treatment rooms, which include six rooms for a specific treatment, three spa suites and four multi-purpose cabins. The spa also contains a fitness center, a gymnastics area for Pilates and Yoga, a salon, and an indoor swimming pool.  Additionally there are two Hammams (ladies and gentlemen) each with three areas (hot, warm and cold in each).  One also has a water bath, and another has a balneotherapy tub and a yoga space.  Products lines include Maroc Maroc, Dr. Hauschka, and Sisley. The two main fine-dining restaurants represent the predominant cultures in Morocco: Moroccan, of course, and French. La Grande Table Marocaine is draped in honeyed tones, with low seats and benches and a soundtrack of local music. La Grande Table Française’s elegant white décor, accented with veils of silver thread and crystal chandeliers, showcases French glamour.

Rates for a full individual riad start from €1,650 per night.


la réserve ramatuelle re-opens with expanded boot camp programs

February 24th, 2012

April 1 marks the re-opening of St. Tropez’s La Réserve Ramatuelle with expanded Boot Camp offerings. The cliffside hotel has some of the best views of the Mediterranean; the entire sea-facing exterior is made up of floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize exposure and fill rooms with natural light (Goodbye darkness before 5 PM!). The star is the 13-room spa that offers an exclusive La Mer treatment (the renowned beauty company designed a series of treatments for the hotel).

Shed that winter weight with the hotel’s signature Boot Camp – a five-night personalized program encompassing yoga, Nordic walks, invigorating spa treatments, and healthy, low calorie cuisine – perfect for getting in shape for the summer months to come.

Sample itinerary

6:30 AM               One-hour yoga session

7:30 AM               Breakfast

8:30 AM               Departure on a 3-4 hour countryside walk

1:00 PM                Lunch at the hotel

2:30 PM                Balneotherapy session (bathing healing treatment involving minerals)

3:00 PM                Body wrap

3:30 PM                Jet shower

4:00 PM                La Réserve Better Aging body treatment

6:30 PM                Relaxation session

8:00 PM                Dinner

The Boot Camps are offered in *April, May and June with rates starting at 2700 euros per person including accommodations. Minimum four persons per program.

For more information visit To book, call +33 4 94 44 94 44 or email


April: 2-7; 9-14; 16-21; 23-28

May: 14-19; 28 – June 2

June: 11-16


marrakech biennale

February 22nd, 2012

This year will mark the 4th Marrakech Biennale, a trilingual festival (in English, Arabic, and French) dedicated to building cultural bridges through art, literature, and film. Consisting of performances, debates, talks, screenings, and exhibitions, the Biennale strives to advance the position of artists, film makers, and writers in North Africa.

Those interested in attending the festival should consider booking a stay at the luxurious Royal Mansour. The property’s dedication to the arts as well as its close proximity to the festival, located inside the Medina walls, makes it the perfect choice.

Run by the AiM Association, a non-profit organization based in Morocco, the Biennale is held every two years. This year, The Marrakech Biennale will take place from February 29 – March 4 and will mark the opening of the Main Visual Arts Exhibitions, which will be open through June 3. For art, film, and literature lovers, there couldn’t be a better time to visit the beautiful city of Marrakech and see a society truly embrace freedom of expression and address social issues through the arts.

check into chocolate at the inn on the alameda

February 17th, 2012

February is a month dedicated to those mouth-watering morsels that come in that beloved heart-shaped Russell Stover box. We know that a craving for chocolate can hit at any time, and that is why Santa Fe’s premier small hotel, Inn on the Alameda, is offering a new package for chocolate addicts to enjoy year-round.

Nestled in the heart of the city, situated between the historic Santa Fe Plaza and Canyon Road art galleries, the Inn is moments away from the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail – a delicious string of chocolatiers including Todos Santos, Kakawa Chocolate House, The Chocolatesmith, and C.G. Higgins. Hit the trail and taste the sweeter side of life with the Check into Chocolate package.

The Check into Chocolate package includes:

  • A two- night stay for two people in a Traditional Queen, Traditional King, or Deluxe King, including our lavish continental breakfast and daily afternoon wine reception.
  • Four $10 gift certificates, one each for four unique chocolate shops you can discover on the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail: Todos Santos, Kakawa Chocolate House, Chocolatesmith and C.G. Higgins.
  • Four signature chocolate bolitas from Senor Murphy, Santa Fe’s first dedicated chocolatier, will be in the guestroom on arrival.
  • One $30 gift certificate to enjoy high tea or dine at the Chocolate Maven, purveyor of some of the tasty items in the hotel’s breakfast buffet.

The Inn on the Alameda features classic Pueblo-style architecture, with Mexican tile, handmade furniture, hand-woven rugs, local artifacts, and Kiva fireplaces. While there, take advantage of the free parking, two outdoor hot tubs, fitness facility, guest laundry, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Seasonal rates for a two-night stay begin at $340. Package rates are based on double occupancy, are subject to availability, and do not include tax.  This package is not available online.  For reservations and information, contact the Inn on the Alameda at 1-888-984-2122 or 505-984-2121. For more information please visit

Note:  a trip around the Chocolate Trail requires a vehicle.  Although the Inn does not have a shuttle, Santa Fe does have taxi service.


royal mansour’s three michelin star chef, yannick alléno, hot dog fiend

February 15th, 2012

Voted “sexiest chef” by a poll on L’Internaute in 2008, Yannick Alléno is far from your typical chef. Despite his three Michelin Stars, Alléno considers himself a man of the people. In fact, Alléno hates over complicated dishes and much prefers the simple but beloved New York City style hot dog.

His new veau chaud dish, which will be the star of his new informal bistro, Terroir Parisien, opening in the Fifth Arrondissement in March, is inspired by the New York City hot dog. We can’t wait to discover whether the hot dog’s new cousin, Alléno’s veau chaud, will be making its way onto Royal Mansour’s La Grande Table Francaise’s menu.


crystal love stories facebook essay contest

February 15th, 2012

Crystal Cruises launched its “Crystal Love Stories” Facebook contest yesterday, offering Crystal Society members the chance to win a free cruise for two worth up to $15,000.

For two months, Crystal’s past and present guests can submit their 100–500 word personal stories about their most cherished moments with Crystal Cruises. Entrants have until noon PST on April 16 to submit their love story, whether it be a romantic evening onboard, a lovely moment of relaxation at one of Crystal’s onboard spas, or a beloved experience on a shore excursion.  If you loved something about your cruise, make sure to let Crystal know!

Contest Entry Instructions:
1. Like the Crystal Cruises Facebook page.
2. Fill out the brief entry form.
3. Submit your inspiring essay of 100-500 words.

After the two month submission period, Facebook users will read and vote on the loveliest story of all. The two top vote-getters will be guaranteed a spot in the “Final Five” – a panel of Crystal judges will choose the remaining three finalists and the Grand Prize Winner. All five finalists will receive $500 in shipboard credits.

For additional contest details, visit Crystal Cruises’ Facebook page: www.facebook/crystalcruises

jetblue’s cure for the winter blues

February 14th, 2012

JetBlue is launching daily service from Boston’s Logan International Airport to Nantucket Memorial Airport on May 17, meaning it has never been easier to reach the beautiful beaches and quaint shops of Nantucket!  To celebrate the launch, roundtrip flights are on sale today through March 12 on for just $98 for travel between May 17 and June 13, 2012. The flights will leave Boston daily at 4:50pm from May 17 through September 4.

Not a Bostonian? New Yorkers are in luck too as the airline also begins direct service from New York City to Nantucket on May 17.

The direct flight service coincides with the annual Nantucket Wine Festival, being held on island from May 16-20. For over 12 years, 100 wineries visit Nantucket for a weekend and host special events including dinners, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, seminars, and auctions.

With your transportation squared away, complete your spring getaway planning with a stay at one of Nantucket Island Resort’s five properties – The Wauwinet, the White Elephant, Jared Coffin House, White Elephant Hotel Residences, or the Cottages & Lofts at the Boat Basin.


from morocco to new york and back

February 14th, 2012

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Islamic galleries, which opened in November, have drawn staggering crowds that surpassed all expectations. The collection, dating back to the seventh century, reflects the incredible diversity of Islam and includes works of art from Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Iran, and Asia.

In the very heart of the new galleries, guests will find a medieval Maghrebi-Andalisian-style courtyard, a major feature of Moroccan and southern Spanish Islamic architecture that serves as a physical and spiritual center in the traditional riads and mosques of Marrakech.

The overwhelming attendance of the new Islamic galleries speaks to the elegance and stunning beauty of Islamic art. For enthusiasts, a trip to Royal Mansour Marrakech would not only give a sense of context to The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Islamic galleries, but would expand upon the profound beauty of this art. A tribute to Moroccan elegance, Royal Mansour Marrakech was carefully designed to represent traditional aesthetics with glamorous style. Royal Mansour’s 53 riads are true to the classic technique, configured around a central, open-air courtyards, and truly embody the Moroccan art de vivre.

Rates for a full individual riad start from €1,650 per night.

For more information about Royal Mansour Marrakech, please visit their new website,