Where to Go: February 2024

December 18th, 2023

From riding a luxury train through Malaysia to cruising the Peruvian Amazon during high water season to relaxing in a villa in the Maldives, here are our top choices for places to travel in February:


Eastern & Oriental Express, A Belmond Train will make its much-anticipated return to the rails in February 2024 with restyled interiors and new journeys. Belmond will launch two new seasonal journeys departing from Singapore and traveling through Malaysia’s ever-changing landscapes and vibrant cities: the Essence of Malaysia (November to February) and Wild Malaysia (March to October). The Wild Malaysia journey was devised in collaboration with global tiger conservation organization, Save Wild Tigers, to bring Belmond guests to a new destination for the brand – the Taman Negara National Park. One of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world formed 130 million years ago, the Taman Negara National Park is home to hundreds of species such as tigers, leopards, and Sumathran rhinos. Travelers will embark on a variety of excursions including meeting with local volunteers in Merapoh about the safeguarding of the critically endangered Malayan Tiger to a foraging experience in the jungle.

Zurich, Switzerland

In February, Zurich emerges as a premier destination with its magical winter atmosphere. Snow-covered streets, glistening lakes, and breathtaking mountain views create a wonderland for visitors to enjoy. Whether it’s strolling through the charming Old Town, exploring the famous Bahnhofstrasse shopping street, or taking a boat ride on Lake Zurich, the city is transformed into a scene that is straight out of a fairytale. Zurich Carnival occurs from February 16-18 and allows locals and visitors to gather to celebrate with parades, colorful costumes, and lively music. Another highlight is the Sechseläuten, a traditional spring festival dating back to the Middle Ages, featuring the famous burning of the Böögg, a snowman effigy. For travelers looking to delve deeper into the city’s artistic and cultural offerings, La Reserve Eden au Lac Zurich, right on the shores of Lake Zurich, offers a variety of exclusive experiences for its guests including free admission to Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland’s largest art museum and home to one of Europe’s most extensive art collections, including masterpieces by renowned artists such as Monet and Van Gogh.


The Paramount Pictures film, Bob Marley: One Love, will hit theaters on February 14, 2024. Starring Kingsley Ben-Adir and produced by Ziggy Marley, the biopic will provide a look at the legendary musician’s rise to fame. A household name, Marley put Jamaica on the map. Today, the reggae superstar’s influence as the country’s greatest musician, spiritual icon and righteous revolutionary leader – is still present. Throughout Jamaica, music echoes from local jerk shacks and his portrait is splashed across storefronts. Travelers can retrace his life with a visit to his Kingston home, which has since been converted to a museum; partake in a tour through Trench Town, known for being the birthplace of reggae; and or attend an event at the location of Marley’s Historical 1978 Peace Concert – which is also the main focus of the film. Book a stay at Chris Blackwell’s Strawberry Hill in the Blue Mountains. Blackwell not only signed Marley to his Island Records label, but also brought him Strawberry Hill to recuperate after his 1976 attempted assassination. Today many artists and visionaries continue to return to mountaintop retreat for revitalization and renewal.

Peruvian Amazon

February is an ideal time of year to visit Peru, especially for travelers planning to visit Machu Picchu (best time to avoid the usual tourist rush) or those who want to experience notable festivals (including the Carnival of Cajamarca from February 10-14, 2024). For those who want the ultimate adventure in Peru, Aqua Expeditions announced additional seven-night Amazonia departures in February 2024 on the 20-suite Aqua Nera. There are also options for three- and four-night sailings. February is part of the high water season in the Amazon, meaning guests can get closer to the jungle tree canopy and explore the rainforest mainly on water, bringing monkeys, birds, and turtles closer to the naked eye. Since 2021, Aqua Nera, best described as a floating boutique hotel, has been taking guests to some of the most remote parts of the Amazon with their private military grade skiffs. Days are structured much like those of land-based safaris with naturalist-led twice-daily excursions ranging from jungle walks and piranha fishing to exploring hidden lakes and lagoons and spotting exotic wildlife. While on board, guests can expect world-class cuisine curated by acclaimed Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, SpaceX’s high-speed Starlink satellite internet, a river-facing gym, outdoor plunge pool, and more.


With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and powdery white sands, the Maldives offers a picturesque setting for a winter escape. The weather in February is at its best, with 10 hours of sunshine per day and minimal rainfall.  Underwater visibility is also at its prime – up to 130 feet in depth – ideal conditions for snorkeling and scuba diving among the kaleidoscope of colorful reef fish and moray eels. The Maldives is known for its year-round whale shark sightings, but February is a particularly good time to spot these gentle giants. This month is also nesting season for turtles, making it a great time to witness them laying eggs on the beaches or hatchlings making their way to the ocean. Many resorts in the Maldives actively engage in ocean conservation and education programs to protect these fragile ecosystems. At Gili Lankanfushi’s new marine biology center, guests can get involved in a myriad of ocean-focused initiatives, including the Coral Lines project. The program – the first of its kind in the Maldives – was founded nearly a decade ago to protect and replenish the island’s reefs while increasing biodiversity. Guests can make their own coral line or join a guided snorkeling tour with the in-house marine biologists.

island outpost properties earn tripadvisor certificate of excellence award

May 25th, 2012

All four Island Outpost properties in Jamaica – GoldenEye Hotel & Resort, The Caves, Geejam and Strawberry Hill Hotel, Spa & Gardens have received the 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award.

The highly applauded award honors hospitality excellence and is given only to establishments that maintain an overall rating of four stars or higher (out of a possible five) as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Approximately 10 percent of establishments listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

The accolade comes as no surprise as Island Outpost hotels have long been recognized by travelers worldwide as remarkable properties with exclusive accommodations, unsurpassed service and top-notch amenities.

Each Island Outpost property has its own singular sense of style – GoldenEye offers laid-back luxury on the north coast, The Caves in Negril feels like a secluded castle set above a vibrant town center, while Geejam in Port Antonio is a secret hideaway infused with a cosmopolitan vibe and the newly-renovated Strawberry Hill offers a cool refreshing escape 3,100 feet above sea level in the Blue Mountains.

For more information and summer offers visit, www.islandoutpost.com or call 1(800)-OUTPOST.

jamaica’s strawberry hill hotel & spa re-opens following extensive refurbishment

November 14th, 2011

Located in the heart of one of the world’s most famous coffee-producing mountain ranges, Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, Strawberry Hill Hotel & Spa opened on October 18 following an extensive refurbishment of the property. Listed in the New York Times #1 bestselling book, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die, Strawberry Hill is 3100 feet above sea level and features one of the most awe-inspiring views of the Blue Mountains in one direction as well as the city of Kingston in the other. On a clear day, one can see up to 40 miles from the property’s infinity-edge pool, and at night the city far below becomes a twinkling mirror of the night sky.

The refreshed accommodations feature the property’s original antique furnishings, fully-restored, including romantic canopied four-poster beds, solid mahogany desks, and ornate hand-carved fretwork. Brand new soft-finishes round out the update with exquisite, hand-dyed linens by Royal Hut.

The spa, a focal point of this high-up hideaway, specializes in stress-relief, body and soul rejuvenation, and wellness activities.  Whether it’s a nature-curious guest wishing to explore, or one looking to get the blood pumping with an outdoor workout, Strawberry Hill’s lush surrounds provide the ideal playground for both. On offer are hiking trails of varying intensity, grounds that are considered the most exotic tropical gardens on the island that include an organic coffee farm, and the opportunity to see most of Jamaica’s 26 beautiful endemic species of birds.

The exciting new menu at Strawberry Hill’s beloved restaurant features a fresh take on classic Jamaican culinary favorites, highlighting the influence of the island’s multi-ethnic heritage of East Indian, Spanish, British, African, Chinese, and Lebanese settlers who have called Jamaica home since the 15th century. The organic fruits, vegetables, meats, and poultry used in Strawberry Hill’s kitchens are sourced from the property’s own gardens and Chris Blackwell’s personal farm, Pantrepant. Chefs now also serve up delicious local dishes prepared with traditional pimento-infused techniques, using the new stone grill on the property’s main lawn.

Channeling the hotel’s rich music history, acclaimed DJ and Quango label founder, Bruno Guez, produced all new musical playlists for the public spaces that perfectly match the vibe of this cool high-altitude escape. iPods with pre-loaded Bruno Guez playlists are available for guests during their stay.

Nightly rates start at $235, plus tax and service. From now until December 15, guests who book three nights will receive a complimentary de-stress spa treatment per person. Valid for travel completed before December 19, 2011.

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

jamaica is for lovers

January 26th, 2011

Here are our picks for the best Valentine’s Day getaways…

Strawberry Hill

LOVEUP AT STRAWBERRY HILL ‐ Heavenly accommodation in a private Georgian‐style cottage with magnificent views ‐ Romantic room decor, including roses and candles ‐ An intimate couples massage in the Living Spa ‐ Bottle of champagne ‐ Romantic dinner on the restaurant terrace under the stars ‐ Breakfast with fresh Blue Mountain Coffee


Rates (One night): US $658.00/JM $55,930.00 per night based on double occupancy

LoveUp: OPTION 2 ‐ Heavenly accommodation in a private Georgian‐style cottage with magnificent views ‐ Bottle of champagne ‐ Romantic dinner on the restaurant terrace under the stars ‐ Breakfast with fresh Blue Mountain Coffee

Rates (One night): US $480.00/JM $40,800.00 per night based on double occupancy



Spend the day in heavenly bliss beginning with an intimate couples massage in the Aveda‐concept spa. Stroll through the lush tropical gardens or take a dip in the plunge pool and enjoy a delicious 3‐course lunch on the terrace of the Great House.

Price: US $300.00/JM $25,500.00 Available February 11th ‐14th.



A Romantic candle light 3‐course dinner on the terrace of the Great house. Gaze at magnificent views of the city skyline and Blue Mountain range with a canopy of stars shining overheard. While you dine on Strawberry Hill’s fabulous international‐Jamaican fusion cuisine, listen to the sensual and soulful sounds of Harold Davis.

Price: JM $5,900.00 + 10 % Service charge and a glass of wine per person.




                        Three Nights accommodation in our magical Deluxe Honeymoon suites

                        Two Brew Love bush bath satchels for use in your outdoor bathtub under the stars

                        Two Soothing Welcome Foot Ceremonies and 20% off on all couple’s treatments at Driftwood Spa

                        One bottle of our delicious house red wine


Price: USD$1290

Booking Code: BLOVE

Travel dates: February 1 ‐ 28, 2011


The Caves


Sneak away to sexy seclusion…

Book five nights, and get a special Romance offering of:

                        Two spa treatments ‐‐ either a couples massage, OR two blue mountain coffee scrub body polish treatments

                        A gourmet private cave dining under the stars

                        A breakfast in bed with mimosas

                        A private hot tub experience complete with Champagne and strawberries

                        An exciting snorkeling tour for two with a special tour of the caves and grottoes




Book a minimum of five nights, and receive a special Romance offering, consisting of the following: ‐ A romantic turndown, which includes petals, candles, wine and petit fours ‐ A two for one dinner either in your cabin or at the exclusive Bushbar ‐ with a champagne aperitif ‐ A moonlit rafting tour of the Blue Lagoon ‐ A bottle of wine ‐ Transfers to and from Kingston Airport, if required Terms and Conditions: Period of stay February 10th to 25th 2011. Book by February 14th.

where should the royal lovebirds honeymoon?

November 17th, 2010

These two got engaged on a Kenyan safari, so we’re sure the honeymoon will be equally as cool and unique. Here are our picks for the Royal Honeymoon.


 Parrot Cay

Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos

The private isle is the ultimate place to hide away from the cameras and unwind after all of the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding.

Royal Treatment: Rent out the COMO Shambhala Cottage for a night of Champagne, spa treatments, and candlelit dining.


Rosewood Mayakobá, Mexico 

Let loose after escaping to the beautiful Mexican Riviera hotel and test tequilas recommended by the resident tequila sommelier.

Royal Treatment: With Mayasutra, newlyweds can get intimate with a Moonlight Tantric Yoga class and a couples massage instruction session followed by 30 minutes of “alone time”.


Geejam, Jamaica 

No stranger to celebrities, the luxury property was originally a residential recording studio where the likes of No Doubt and Amy Winehouse laid down some tracks.

Royal Treatment: Stay at the amazing Sanwood villa designed by British architect Anthony Wade in the 60s and relax in the private pool or bask in the Jamaican sun and take in the views on the sun deck.

 Fleming Villa 

GoldenEye, Jamaica 

Next to the man in line for the throne, James Bond might be the most enviable Brit we know, so vacationing at this Jamaican hideaway where Fleming penned all the Bond books would be quite fitting.

Royal Treatment: Stay in the Fleming Villa for a private beach and the spirit of James Bond lingering in the air and compelling the swilling of shaken-not-stirred martinis.


The Caves, Jamaica 

Dodge the paparazzi at the romantic Caribbean resort where couple feeling like a dip can leap off a cliff for a private swim.

Royal Treatment: It doesn’t get much more private than a candlelit dinner for two in a hidden cave looking out on the water.


Strawberry Hill, Jamaica 

Following in his parents’ footsteps, William would love to vacation at this mountain resort where, besides Charles and Diana, the guests list boasts Mick Jagger and Bob Marley.

Royal Treatment: Get away from the photographers 3,100 feet above sea level and take in the sweeping views from the Blue Mountains.




Jakes, Jamaica

Kick off those shoes and lose the fancy cap; this charming seaside resort is the perfect antidote to structured courtly life.

Royal Treatment: Enjoy a private yoga session by starlight and listen to the waves.



White Elephant, Nantucket

What’s more fitting for English newlyweds than a trip to New England? This harborside Nantucket hotel is a classic (and classy) spot for postnuptial bonding.

Royal Treatment: Only on Nantucket (at Brant Point Grill) does a Bloody Mary come equipped with lobster.



Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa, Chiang Rai, Thailand

The luxurious Thai resort is tucked away in the beautiful Golden Triangle, away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

Royal Treatment: Take a romantic ride atop an elephant – sure beats a limo!


Anantara Phuket Villas, Phuket, Thailand

After the long awaited ‘I do,’ couples can celebrate the occasion with a wide selection of live entertainment – including a seven-piece band at this Thai property.

Royal Treatment: Hidden in the mangroves, the lavish villas have a 355 ft. sq. private pool, outdoor showers, and a terrazzo tub built to accommodate two (and only two).



 Anantara Veli

Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa and Anantara Veli Resort & Spa, Maldives

These romantic spots embody what a honeymoon should be – nothing but sun, water, sand, and a newlywed couple pampered and sunkissed.

Royal Treatment: Answer to only your whims on a private a romantic island getaway with Anantara Dhigu, Veli, Naladhu, and the soon-to-be, Anantara Kihavah Villas opening in early 2011. The best part about Anantara in the Maldives is that at whatever resort couples choose to stay, free transfer is available between islands to enjoy the benefits of all.


Cocoa Island, Maldives

The private island resort in the South Male Atoll is just over 1000 feet long and is surrounded by pristine, turquoise water.

Royal Treatment: Honeymooners get a complimentary sunset cruise with vino and an antipasti plate.



Uma Paro,

No tabloid photographers here; the remote mountain lodge is a great spot from which to explore Bhutan’s monasteries and temples and get spiritually in tune before returning to palace life.

Royal Treatment: After trekking through the country by bike or raft, couples can be pampered in the COMO Shambhala Retreat.



Uma Ubud, Bali
The luxurious retreat set in the tangled jungle is perfect for the couple that likes an exotic locale without giving up modern comforts.

Royal Treatment: The COMO Suite allows guests to have spa treatments in private in its private treatment area.


High Seas

Crystal Cruises

Couples can sail away on a luxurious cruise to spots around the globe – no need to pick just one. Romantic “must-sees” include Rome, Mykonos, and Casablanca, to name a few.

Royal Treatment: Enjoy a Couples Massage in the Feng-Shui inspired Crystal Spa or cozy up in the back row of the Hollywood Movie Theater and watch a first-run movie while sipping champagne.

tweet tweet, hear all about it

August 12th, 2010

AMPR ticker tape…AMPR ticker tape…AMPR ticker tape…AMPR ticker tape… AMPR ticker tape     

Hot off the press…

AUGUST  2010

Here is our monthly news in tweetable form.

New and Notable

Hotel Parq Central

  • Up up and away for #BalloonFestival!  #HotelParqCentral opens on 9/23/10. Rates starting at $179/night including breakfast and other treats.

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas

  • #AnantaraBophut in Koh Samui, #Thailand will be getting an upgrade! And we have the pics (http://bit.ly/cSwDte) to prove it!


not your average summer getaway

June 25th, 2010

Strawberry Hill/PHMendoza

Crowded beaches… Sun-burnt skin… Sand in inappropriate places… Sigh. Ditch the hand-held fan and take a detour from the average getaway this summer with an unexpected vacation. Bundle up in the southern hemisphere and experience Australia and Argentina’s winter season, discover the cool misty air in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, or take in the beauty of the snow-capped peaks in India.


garden party

May 20th, 2010


With the weather warming up, it’s time to head to the farmer’s market to indulge in the season’s finest locally grown produce. But what happens when we eat out? With the growing trend of on-site herb and vegetable gardens, restaurants and hotels are turning over a new leaf and guests are reaping the benefits with fresher food, straight from the garden.

North America

NoMi at Park Hyatt Chicago

In the middle of bustling Chicago, NoMi has created a garden sanctuary. Its lush landscaping sits on the seventh floor of the Park Hyatt, affording diners dramatic views of the city. At night, soft candlelight makes this urban oasis the perfect spot for sharing small plates and sipping carefully crafted cocktails. With summer coming up, NoMi has created a tomato-inspired menu with dishes like BLTs with vine ripened tomatoes and caprese salads with colorful heirlooms.

Chef’s pick: Composition of Heirloom Tomato with buffalo mozzarella, shallots, and Chianti vinaigrette.

TOPPER’S at The Wauwinet, Nantucket MA

Along with savoring the delectable cuisine of Chef David Daniels, guests at TOPPER’S get an extra fresh flavor note from the herbs gathered in the chef’s own garden. Chef Daniels keeps a plot of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme growing right outside The Wauwinet.  Diners who opt for the more casual TOPPER’S Deck get a primo view of Daniel’s little Eden, so they can be assured that the seasonings are fresh and those basil leaves resting atop the spaghetti pomodoro were just plucked from their stems moments before.

Chef’s pick: Simple Spaghetti Pomodoro, with chili flakes and fresh basil leaves.


Strawberry Hill, Blue Mountains, Jamaica

This 50-acre mountain top resort in Irish Town, Jamaica, originated as an 18th century coffee plantation.  Today, the resort still boasts extensive gardens and orchards yielding copious fresh produce daily. Aromatic varieties of mint are used at the Strawberry Hill Living Spa, and lemongrass and basil spice salad dressings and teas. Bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and other local fruit grow on the property, giving guests a variety of fresh produce.

Chef’s pick: Strawberry Hill Jerk Style Lamb Rack, with lamb reduction and a guava glaze.


Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken, Switzerland

Between the luxurious ESPA and the outdoor tennis courts lies a garden replete with all sorts of herbs. By mid-May, this chef’s garden supplies the hotel restaurants with coriander, lavender, basil, sage, and others, including edible blooms like fiery red nasturtiums. Torsten Goetz tends to the garden, making sure all of those delicious flavors flourish and make it to the kitchen to spice up the chef’s cuisine.

Chef’s pick: Saddle of Irish lamb with Indian spices, “Cama di rapa,” sweet and sour mango pearls, and lightly smoked lamb jus.


Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa, South Male Atoll, Maldives

Imagine eating dinner while the wafting aromas of lemongrass and hot peppers float in the air. Now imagine this garden in paradise. At Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa in the Maldives, guests can do just that with the addition of a new chef’s herb garden. A lone hut stands among Thai, Indian, and Maldivian chilies, wild rocket, Chinese cabbage, and other edible greenery, so locavores can rejoice in the fact that herbs and veggies are no more than a few feet away, bringing new meaning to “farm to table”.

Chef’s pick: Tom Yam Pho Teak, a spicy seafood soup with fresh lemongrass and hot basil. 

Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand

The organic vegetable garden at Anantara Golden Triangle supplies the restaurant and on-site cooking school with fresh produce year round. The resort also organically cultivates its own rice paddy, and the rice harvested is entirely consumed at the property. Showing its green thumb, Anantara Golden Triangle uses natural fertilizer on all its crops, courtesy of the resident elephants.

Chef’s pick: Thick, creamy chicken curry, filled with herbs and spices such as sweet basil and kaffir lime leaves. 

Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa, Changlang Beach, Trang Province, Thailand

At Anantara Si Kao, the herb garden holds a world of local flavors. Somewhat common names such as lemongrass, Thai basil, and chili grow next to the more exotic hot holy basil, galangal, and kaffir lime. No idea how to use them? Take a Thai cooking class – each class starts in the garden, gathering herbs for the recipes. Also check out the weekly Market Night when vendors from the local Trang Market set up stalls on the resort grounds and sell their wares, including local produce, vivid spices, and even the famous Thai street food (safely prepared in the resort’s kitchens so you don’t have to worry).

Chef’s pick: Pla Nueng Si Hio, steamed seabass fillet with ginger, garlic, chili, and light soy.