what you need to know about st. barth

August 29th, 2012

Alice Marshall Public Relations is pleased to announce Sibarth as our newest client.  Sibarth offers luxury villa rentals in St. Barth, French West Indies.

Did you know that…

…tucked away on Rue du General De Gaulle is an artisanal rhumerie that will offer tastings to visitors?

…Fostokjian in St. Jean is the coiffeur of choice for parties and events?

…only on Sunday afternoons, La Gloriette on the beach serves fabulous Conch Fricassee?

Sibarth knows, because it is the St. Barth authority. Owned by island “natives,” it is the key for travelers looking for insider knowledge and access; insider knowledge that can only come from those who call the island home, not a business venture.

In 1975, Brook and Roger Lacour established Sibarth as the first villa rental company on the island, virtually the foundation of tourism in St. Barth. They saw villas as the best way to preserve the charm and intimacy of the island, giving guests a genuine St. Barth experience and discouraging the development of large, impersonal hotels.

While imitators have attempted to capitalize on the Lacour legacy and success, Sibarth continues as the heirloom brand. With Ashley Lacour now at the helm, with a team of more than two dozen employees who live on the island and know it as their home, Sibarth ensures exceptional service and a personal touch. From an experienced, resident concierge team, the only on-site, full-time airport kiosk and arrivals specialists to reservationists and 24-hour response team, Sibarth services are never outsourced. The Lacour’s have built a reputation for providing in-the-know hospitality.

The Sibarth brand stands behind the quality of more than 150 exquisite St. Barth villas – ranging from charming one-bedroom hideaways to luxurious eight-bedroom estates.  Villas are available island wide, from the mountain tops of Lurin and Vitet to the streets above Gustavia to the beaches of St. Jean and Flamands.

Have a look:  www.sibarth.com Are you planning anything related to the Caribbean, St. Barth, holiday travel?  Would love to tell you more.

post-labor day reboot

August 27th, 2012

Summer is great. We spend our days sprawled out in the sun and our nights staying up past bedtimes to enjoy the good weather and al fresco parties. When September comes around, we have a sort of summer hangover. Skin may be a little burnt, sunscreen might still be lurking behind the ears, and we’re all exhausted from Labor Day parties. Here are some products to soothe the afflictions we face post-summer and get us ready to reboot for fall.

Exhausted before work?

Even if you’re waking up on the wrong side of the bed post-Labor Day, you’re still expected to show up bright and shiny at work Tuesday morning.

First thing, hop in the shower and scrub down with ESPA’s NEW Energizing Shower Gel. Made especially for morning use, the gentle and effective gel stimulates the body and awakens the mind with zesty aromas from peppermint and eucalyptus.

Then apply Guinot’s NEW Masque Dynamisant Anti-Fatigue Face Mask. This instant-radiance mask uses mint and eucalyptus oil to refresh the skin and restore sparkle and vitality while AHA complex eliminates dead skin cells and brings forward new cells to illuminate the complexion. After three minutes, no one will know how late you were out over the weekend!

Still look like you just stepped off the beach…not in a good way?

Maybe you’re not naturally olive. Instead, in September there are lingering red sunburns and sunscreen residue still hiding out all over. And that beachy hair may work for certain young Gossip Girl stars; your hair just looks frazzled. (more…)

ringing in julia’s 100th with a berry tart from oléron

August 23rd, 2012

At AMPR, we’re lucky to work a stone’s throw away from the Union Square Greenmarket. With August’s cornucopia of locally grown produce, it’s hard to shake that “so-many-recipes-so-little-time” feeling while meandering through the various stalls. But fruit-wise, delicate berries from the Hudson Valley – in our opinion – always steal the show.

Fruit tarts are a common sight in France, a country that’s home to a number of exciting properties represented by AMPR. Last week would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday, and we’re celebrating her legacy of French cooking with a classic tart native to windswept Oléron, a scenic island off France’s Atlantic coast. The recipe is featured in Ruth Reichl’s book Tender at the Bone (a joy to read, by the way!) preceded by a few descriptive lines that had us chomping at the bit to get our hands in the flour:

Danielle took her finger out of her mouth and took a bite. I watched her. She took another. And another. I took a bite myself.

It was magnificent. The fruit was intoxicatingly fragrant and each berry released its juice only in the mouth, where it met the sweet, crumbly crust. “Why is this so much better than other tarts?” I asked.

Madame Deveau looked at me with something like interest. “The American wakes up,” she commented. “It is that the products here are so good,” she said. “Good butter from fat cows and wild berries grown in the island air.”

While we can’t comment on how the Big Apple’s Greenmarket compares to the fat cows and island berries of Oléron, we can happily confirm that this tart is a welcome taste of summer – anywhere , anytime.  Now, be inspired!

Oléron Raspberry Tart

Serves 8-10



1½ c. sifted flour

¼ c. sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch squares

2 tbs. heavy cream

1 egg yolk


¾ c. blanched almonds, toasted

¾ c. sugar

3 tbs. unsalted butter, softened

3 egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 c. raspberries

2 tbs. currant jam and/or powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)


Place sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter squares to the flour mixture and blend using a pastry blender or forks until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Add cream to the egg yolk and pour into flour mixture. Mix lightly with a fork until the pastry holds together in a small ball. If it’s not moist enough, add a tablespoon or so of water.

Sprinkle some flour across a counter and push the dough with the heel of your palm until it has been worked through. Do not over-mix. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least three hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough and allow to warm on the countertop for ten minutes. On a floured surface, flatten the ball and roll it into an eleven-inch circle. Fit gently into an eight- or nine-inch tart pan with a fluted edge and removable bottom. Press into pan gently, being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim off the edges and freeze for ten minutes to firm.

Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with rice or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and filler and bake for five minutes more or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making the filling.

Blend the almonds and three tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor until it is a fine powder. In a separate bowl, cream butter with the remaining sugar, and then add the yolks. Fold in the almond-sugar mixture and vanilla to combine.

Spread the almond mixture into the pre-baked crust and top with two cups of the fresh berries. Sprinkle the tart with two tablespoons of sugar and bake for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool at least two hours.

Just before serving, cover the tart with the remaining two cups of raspberries. Garnish with powdered sugar or brush the top with a simple glaze made from two tablespoons currant jam heated with one tablespoon of water. Bon appétit!

Photo was taken by Ben from the AMPR team.

nantucket’s white elephant to host the nantucket project, october 5-8

August 22nd, 2012

The second annual Nantucket Project will take place at the White Elephant hotel on Nantucket Island October 5-8. The “ideas conference” brings together a select group of eminent and accomplished visionaries, thinkers, innovators, and performers across many disciplines, such as writer and businessman Jack Abramoff and CNN political analyst David Gergen. The Nantucket Project is a yearly event created in partnership with Big Think, a global knowledge forum that develops significant, relevant, and actionable content from its 3,000+ leading experts.

The theme of this year’s Nantucket Project is “Collective Intelligence: The Miracle of Human Progress.” Over the course of the weekend, 15-20 presentations will take place, and participants will engage in conversation on topics such as “Where are we, how did we get here, and where are we going? Are we facing impending doom, or is the next boom right around the corner?”

Innovative hospitality, entertainment, and creative performances will keep participants captivated and inspired. Weekend passes start at $3,400 per person and include access to all Nantucket Project sessions and event meals. Special nightly rates at the White Elephant start at $400 per night for Nantucket Project ticketholders (a three-night minimum stay is required).

Click here for a complete list of presenters. To book tickets to The Nantucket Project, visit www.nantucketproject.com, and to make reservations at the White Elephant, visit www.whiteelephanthotel.com or call 1.800.445.6574.

anantara golden triangle resort & spa named a world savers finalist

August 20th, 2012

We don’t often think about our impact on the environment – especially while we’re on vacation. But Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa makes the tourist-local interaction a positive one by incorporating environmental conservation practices into resort life. Conde Nast Traveler recently took notice and named Anantara Golden Triangle one of 15 winners of the World Savers Awards 2012 for its work with rescued elephants. The Elephant Camp at Anantara Golden Triangle has rescued more than 30 elephants and their mahouts (drivers) and seeks to further research in therapies for autism and elephant intelligence. They also provide a fun and informative experience for guests who get up close and personal with these gentle giants by learning how to drive and care for them.


‘lobsta’ love at topper’s

August 20th, 2012

It’s summer on Nantucket and peak season for the island’s most darling crustacean: the lobster. Lucky for seafood lovers, lobster is now cheaper than deli meat, which means less splurging and more lobster for all. On Nantucket, lobster is not just a fish-market staple; it’s tradition. For centuries the succulent, rosy-hued meat has graced seaside dinners and clambakes.

At TOPPER’S at The Wauwinet, Executive Chef Kyle Zachary prepares to-die-for dishes like butter-poached lobster, lobster-crab cake Benedict, and, of course, TOPPER’S legendary lobster roll. Chef Kyle knows what it’s like to crave Nantucket “island life” back on the mainland, so he’s forking over a mouthwatering classic lobster bisque recipe sure to be a crowd pleaser:

Classic Lobster Bisque

Serves 6-8


2 lobster heads, cleaned and split into four pieces

2 tbs. olive oil

¼ c. diced carrot

¼ c. diced celery

¼ c. diced onion

2 tbs. tomato paste

½ c. dry sherry

½ c. brandy

1 qt. lobster stock, preferably homemade

1 qt. heavy cream

1 sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

1 c. cooked lobster meat for garnish (optional)


  1. In a stockpot, brown the lobster heads in the olive oil over medium-high heat until fragrant and partially cooked, about five minutes.
  2. Add the carrot, celery, and onion and sauté until softened. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine for about two minutes.
  3. Add the sherry and brandy; reduce the liquid by half.
  4. Add the lobster stock, heavy cream, thyme, and bay leaf, and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer slowly for one hour.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and strain the liquid through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve.
  6. Serve immediately, garnishing each serving with lobster meat if desired.

To make a reservation at TOPPER’S, call (508) 228-8768. Current menus and additional information can be found at www.toppersrestaurant.com.

where do stars say “i do?” at ampr resorts of course

August 17th, 2012

Some celebs like to tie the knot in the limelight – others prefer the more intimate route choosing to say “I Do” at more remote destinations.  Can you guess which celebs married at One&Only Palmilla and COMO’s Parrot Cay?

Giants Quarterback Eli Manning married his high school sweetheart at the extravagant One&Only Palmilla.  This two-time Super Bowl MVP stuck to his off-season workout routine by hitting up the hotel’s fully equipped gym and infinity-edge pool just hours before his beach front ceremony.

America’s sweethearts Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner got hitched in Turks and Caicos at COMO’s Parrot Cay.  The power couple opted for a quiet ceremony on the private island with close family and friends, staying in Bruce Willis’ private villa.

One&Only Palmilla and COMO’s Parrot Cay are among the most extravagant resorts in the world, no wonder it appeals America’s favorite celebrities.

Check out some other resorts where celebs got hitched here


a hot deal for cooler weather

August 16th, 2012

It’s painful to say goodbye to summer.  Luckily, Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens offers travelers the opportunity to beat the blues and extend the summer feeling with one last warm-weather getaway this September and October.  With no threat of hurricanes, not a pesky mosquito in sight, and temperatures averaging in the upper 70s, the Costa Rican property offers its best rates during this time of year.

The property recently added 25 new casitas (bungalows) and renovated 25 guest rooms and public areas.  An alfresco spa with four new treatment rooms and two new dining options were  also added.  Guests can enjoy the unique vodka-dispensing machine at Sushi Amor or try the Nostalgia wine and tapas bar.

This is the perfect opportunity to explore the Arenal region of Costa Rica, which is most known for its volcano, the third most active in the world. At Nayara, it’s easy to arrange   volcano treks, zip-lining tours, horseback rides to the La Fortuna waterfall, and whitewater rafting on the Sarapiquí Class III River.

With the Nayara Suite Special guests will save 25% from September 1-October 31. Rates start at just $149 per person per night in a Nayara Suite (the property’s top accommodation) based on double occupancy.  Also included in the special is the following:

  • Welcoming tropical fruit-punch cocktail
  • Daily hot buffet breakfast
  • Daily three-course dinner


reggae, running, and relaxation at the caves: a jamaica-style marathon

August 16th, 2012

Runners, unite! Crisp weather and pretty foliage make fall the best time of year to train for a marathon. This year, get some real R&R (running & relaxation) by signing up for the Reggae Marathon in Negril, Jamaica, on Saturday, December 1, 2012.

Every marathoner deserves generous pampering, which is why The Caves has crafted a Reggae, Running & Relaxation package, an all-inclusive experience complete with a pasta dinner, race transfers, pre- and post-race sugar scrubs, and a congratulatory cocktail party.

More into speed than endurance? The Reggae Marathon also offers a half marathon and 10K. Registration is still open, so click here to sign up!

Here’s your race weekend itinerary:

Friday, November 30 – The Warm-Up

Fly into Montego Bay, head down Lighthouse Road, and arrive at The Caves. You’ll be greeted with a signature Cliffhanger cocktail to calm the nerves. (One cocktail can’t hurt before the big day, right?) That evening, The Caves will provide roundtrip transfers to the annual “World’s Best Pasta Party” at Couples Swept Away.

Saturday, December 1 – Up Hill…

Rise early, feel the adrenaline, and get in pre-race mode. Let The Caves worry about the logistics while you get centered for a breathtaking run that winds along the island’s north coast.

26.2 miles later, with endorphins flowing and legs wobbling, The Caves will meet you at the finish line for transfer back to the hotel.  That evening, let loose in the Blackwell Rum Bar – set in a candlelit cave – at a celebratory cocktail party.

Sunday, December 2 – …Down Dale

Experiencing that stiff I-didn’t-even-know-I-had-a-muscle-there feeling? Head to the resort’s spa for a Blue Mountain Coffee Scrub to help ease the tension. Recline in a chaise lounge in the sun, and if you have a little bit of energy left, leap from one of the property’s cliff-edge jumping points (the highest at 30 feet) into the impossibly blue waters, or stay limber with a leisurely snorkeling tour through the limestone grottos.

Monday, December 3 – The Finish Line

Reggae? Check! Running? Check! Rest and relaxation? Check, check! Now it’s time to check out… But for those who can’t tear themselves away from The Caves, extra nights can be booked with a special 10% discount.

For more information, visit www.islandoutpost.com/the_caves or call 1.800.Outpost

crushing on napa: what’s new in the valley for fall 2012

August 15th, 2012

High school may be over, but it’s still okay to have a “crush.” As far as grown-up crushes are concerned, the Napa Valley has it nailed. This season, Napa invites visitors to tap into the region’s newest cuisine, wine, arts, and wellness experiences. Think family-style farm dinners, edible gardens, a Tibetan pitstop, hot rides, a special somethin’ for the boys, and, of course, access access access to the people who craft the food and wines for which Napa is internationally acclaimed.

The Gourmet Crush

Farm Dinners with Beyond the Kitchen – Newly-formed Napa Valley organization Beyond the Kitchen will host a series of seven farm dinners in August and September. Guests will sip and sup their way through five-course family-style meals along with local farmers, ranchers, wine makers, and other local purveyors whose products and produce are showcased. Expect exclusive tours of the farms from which ingredients were harvested and specially selected wine pairings to accompany the menus, all served up in the shade of a walnut grove or perhaps in a vineyard or even beneath the roof of a rustic antique barn. Participation directly supports small family farms, local food artisans, and local small businesses. Tickets are available for $125 per person.

Garden to Table Experience at Robert Mondavi WineryRobert Mondavi Winery’s on-site kitchen garden is the first stop on a new tour offered by the winery that also brings guests behind the stove to prepare a dish with winery chef Jeff Mosher. Guests get to sample their culinary handiwork al fresco, with a view of the winery’s To Kalon vineyards and the Mayacamas Mountains. This all-inclusive program will take place every Thursday at 4:30 p.m., now through October 31, and is priced at $150 per person.

New Napa Valley White Wine Tours – Widely recognized for its Cabernet, the Napa Valley is also home to iconic producers of many white wine varietals. Platypus Wine Tours will pop the cork on this little-known aspect of America’s best-known wine region by offering its first Napa Valley White Wine Tours. Guests will experience tastings at three of the Valley’s renowned white wine producers, Castello di Amorosa, V. Sattui, and Beringer Vineyards. The program features transportation to and from many Napa Valley accommodations and provides information about the Valley’s rich history and expertise along the way. Tickets are available for $75 per person, plus $35 per person in tasting fees.

Tibetan Cuisine at Himalayan Sherpa Kitchen – Long praised for the global scale of its gastronomic offerings, the Napa Valley has expanded its culinary horizons even further, with a new eatery that specializes in Tibetan cuisine. The Himalayan Sherpa Kitchen is now open on Main Street in St. Helena and showcases the delicious North Indian-influenced dishes of the country, with a menu of Tibetan curries, tandoori, and more.

The Art Crush

Art & Wine With Kathryn Hall – This August and September, fans of HALL Rutherford may reserve a place on a private tour of the Hall residence and winery, guided personally by owner Kathryn Hall. Guests are invited to explore the winery’s 14,000 square feet of caves, built from handmade Austrian brick, and discover alcoves showcasing art from the Halls’ personal collection. Following the tour of her home and the caves, Kathryn will host an intimate lunch on the winery’s scenic terrace, featuring wine pairings that highlight Hall’s latest releases. The tour is available on August 15 and September 19 from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., for $125 per person.

The Man Crush

Hiho Silverado – The Napa Valley has always been known as a destination fit for wellness-seekers, and its reviving spa and relaxation experiences aren’t just for the ladies. This is a valley of ranches and mountains, where men are men and disappearing into the surrounding wilderness (or the golf course) for days at a time is not unheard of. The latest offers for guys’ getaways this fall include a Guys & Golf Getaway” package at Silverado Resort and Spa, which features accommodations for two in a one-bedroom Fireplace Suite or for four in a two-bedroom Fireplace Suite as well as unlimited golf, Callaway Razr X Rentals, a $100-per-person spa credit to be used toward any 50-minute men’s treatment and a $100-per-person dining credit. The package is available for $869 per night on weekdays and $919 per night on weekends for one-bedroom suites, and $1,559 per night on weekdays and $1,559 per night on weekends for two-bedroom suites, now through November 17.

The Convenient Crush

Car-Free and Carefree – As a leader in developing low-impact transportation options, à la the Vine Trail Napa Valley program, the Napa Valley offers everything from complimentary bicycles found at resorts throughout the Valley to electric car charging stations that are now available at several wineries and resorts. Further supporting the cause is a new program for guests in Calistoga, the complimentary Visitor Shuttle Program, offered to guests of the town. The shuttle is nicknamed “The Mud Runner” thanks to the region’s famous mud baths that use volcanic ash from nearby Mount St. Helena. The service is on-demand and is free to guests staying at one of the 43 lodgings within the city, with wait times targeted at only 20 minutes or less.

Post-Crush FestivalsNapa Valley Film Festival (Nov. 7 – 11) – For the first time, the Napa Valley Film Festival will kick off with premiere screenings of select feature films as well as sneak previews of highly anticipated upcoming studio releases. Having been hailed as one of the most exciting and ambitious American film festival launches since Tribeca, the Napa Valley Film Festival, now in its second year, will feature more than 75 new independent films, wine tastings, interactive panel discussions, and more.

Flavor! Napa Valley (Nov. 14 – 18) – The second-annual Flavor! Napa Valley is back with two extra days of food, wine, and fun. The now-weeklong event allows guests to gather with 50 celebrated chefs and more than 125 vintners. New to the festival is a series of intimate, hands-on experiences, such as the Terroir to Table™: Farm|Cellar|Kitchen workshops that will allow up to 16 guests to work side by side with Michelin-starred Chefs, or get paired with leading winemakers, such as La Toque’s Chef Ken Frank and Shari Staglin of Staglin Family Vineyard. At the festival’s signature Appellation Trail event, more than 100 Napa Valley wineries and over 20 restaurants will be showcased, offering pourings and culinary samplings. Tickets for the festival are now available, with net proceeds supporting student programs and scholarships at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone Campus in St. Helena.

For more information about travel to the Napa Valley, including special offers and a full calendar of Harvest season events, visit www.visitnapavalley.com.