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Eurail Provides Comfortable Train Travel Options
By Bonnie Carroll

I recently had the opportunity to travel through Europe on the Eurail and connecting Destination map in Widowtrains in Italy, Switzerland and France. The Eurail Pass is so easy and convenient to use for traveling by train from country to country, and presents a unique and individually planned travel experience. Eurail has a selection of travel passes, and I enjoyed my First Class 15-Day Eurail FlexiPass. SwitzerlandThis pass offered me flexibility for unlimited rail travel on numerous daily departures throughout Europe.

What an amazing travel adventure, not only was I passing through the most beautiful countryside and seascapes known to man, but also I enjoyed a special remembrance of traveling on trains with my parents as a child on visits to see our family in other parts of the United States. The trains in Europe are always on time, Coffee Servicevary in design and style, offer refreshments, and are operated by employees who aim to please and are happy to assist you in getting on and off at the correct station. Some of the first class cars are exceptional in design, with lush Train to Florencecompartments and inviting dining cars.

My first ride took me from Rome to Florence on a Trenatalia, which was not a luxury train, but more like a city commuter train. It was a long ride, but, fortunately a young American couple gave me lots of tips on train travel; they had been seeing the world on the international train system, and were very experienced. Hours later we arrived at The Florence station,Florence which is just minutes from all the best hotels, and a taxi ride is a few euros. After a memorable dinner at the Westin Excelsior, a good nights sleep, and quick shopping trip near the Ponte Vecchio I departed for Cinquale, near Forte de Marme, for a stay at a wonderful local spa and wellness hotel. The villages along this First Class Cabintrain route are picture perfect. The Forte de Marme station is simply charming. The next day I boarded a beautiful ICPlus {express} train from Viareggio to Lake Como, with a stop in Milan. The ride on this train was in a first class cabin, which is done in pleasant tones of blue. The food service cart included delicious Food Cartsandwiches, wine, cheese, coffee and sweets. I enjoyed the view of the ocean going toward Milan. This ride offers a gorgeous view of the ocean and some of the most beautiful villa’s in the area.

On arrival in Como, I took a taxi to my favorite hotel destination on Lake Como, Villa d’Este. The taxi ride is about fifteen euros, depending on time of day, and the people in this area are delightful. After an amazing rest on the lake I took the train from San Giovanni Station in Como to Lugano and bLake Comoegan my four stop train tour of Switzerland. I visited the Hotel Villa Sassa on the Lake in Lugano, and enjoyed the peaceful beauty of this healthful and historic area. From Lugano I caught a train at the Torricella station and had a short ride to Lucarno on the shore of Lake Maggiore, where I experienced the opulence of the Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona. Departing Ascona, I had a relaxing and Lake Comovery scenic ride to Geneva, and the view of the villages and the Alps were spectacular. The train station in Geneva is convenient to all the hotels and tourists attractions. The train through the valley to Geneva served hot coffees, and had a map next to the window to show the various towns it passes through in the valley. This area is filled with farms and wineries. The Eurail train from Geneva to Paris was the most sophisticated travel experience. The first class cars are all done in a very sexy color combination of red, silver and black. There are art deco tables with writing laLugano Switzerlandmps on them in the rear section of the train, and the dining car is also quite smart. Travelers on this train look like Paris; all very well dressed, and carrying matching designer luggage.

The Paris train station is hectic, and it took some time to get to the taxi line up. For your information, a taxi to a hotel on the Champs Ellysis should not be more than fifteen euros. I found that if you asked the concierge at the hotel you were in to get you the cost of a taxi fare from the airport or train station in advance of your trip to the next city it helps a great deal. Unfortunately, if you do not know the general cost you Train To Parismight find yourself riding with a pirate, and it won’t be Johnny Depp! I really would recommend this kind of inquiry from the concierge or front desk each time you are leaving a hotel for your next destination; it could save your sanity, and believe it or not, the staff will be delighted to assist you.

All in all, this Eurail train adventure was simply wonderful, and I recommend it as an exceptional way to travel, especially for families who want to savor the true lifestyle of the people who live in the countries they are visiting. Every train I boarded was always on time . . . Bon Voyage! For information visit: www.Eurail.com or call 1-866-9-EURAIL.

Enchanting Artists Canton of Geneva Switzerland
By Bonnie Carroll

Old Carouge was a part of the grand development implemented by the ambitious royal architects serving the kingdom of Sardinia between 1772-1783, creatCarouge coat of armsing a chessboard effect of new commercial and religious ventures during the second half of the 18th century, It was a town based on tolerance and openness, with no barriers, and no religious discrimination. It was a Catholic territory where Calvinists and Jews were welcome. The Ville de Carouge coat of arms dates back to 1786 and is a simple design depicting a royal and powerful lion sitting at the foot of the carob tree in colors that are primarily green and red.

Carouge foodCarouge, just a short ride by car from Geneva, is an amazing art community rich with history, and a community of proud residents that are happy to share their food, art and historic style with visitors. It is a town vibrant with culture and is home to a beautiful museum, two theatres, a cinema and countless art galleries. With a population of 19,000 it has a well established industrial zone, and also prides itself on the historic craftsmen who reside there. The Musee de Carouge Farmers MarketCarouge is in a former residence in Louis 16th style and is surrounded by a lively garden. Initially it housed fifty donated paintings by Emile Chambon (1905-1993). In 1984, the museum was relocated to Montaqnouge House, built in 1789 for a Carouge master watchmaker, and is now the seat of the museum. The museum holds four exhibitions a year

Craftsmen in Carouge include watchmakers, glass blowers, bookbinders and restorers, designers, milliners, Carouge Historic Loomjewelers, wood crafts, and so many more. There are many fine wine bars, chocolateirs, cigar lounges, brasseries and fine restaurants to visit here, but my favorite time spent was at the Farmer’s Market. This wonderful home to the best in fruits, vegetables, flowers, olives, cheeses, wines and more is open every Wednesday and Saturday morning from 8:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m. The vendors from throughout the canton are friendly and helpful and all the products are fresh and delicious. Carouge Soap and Bath ShopIt’s fun to just stand and watch the families shopping, and enjoy the charming tastes of Switzerland.

My visit included a fast walk through the craftsman shops, and I enjoyed the hat maker, viewing an historic loom that is used by the owner to design and make chic capes and clothing for women, a delightful soap and bath shop that allows visitors to view them making soaps, one of the oldest watchmakers in Switzerland, as well as a variety of lovely gift shops and art gCarouge Shopalleries. There are numerous inviting café’s that serve wonderful pastries, and secret gardens that have been created by local painters that are quite lovely to photograph. The prices here are reasonable, and the treasures are often one of kind items. We traveled by car, and parking is plentiful, but there is also a very cheerful and artistically decorated train that runs through Carouge, and it will take tourists to various destinations near Geneva at a fair price.

Mairie de Carouge
Place du Marche 14
1227 Carouge
+41 22 307 89 97


Play VideoClick here to watch the video clip of Bonnie Carroll in Italy


British Airways
Due to a planned strike by British Airways’ UK-based cabin crew, the airline has announced a reduced flying schedule for next week between the USA/Canada and London.

British Airways’ schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 30 - all flights to London Heathrow operate normally; all inbound flights from London Heathrow are cancelled.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 31 – most flights between North America and London Heathrow are cancelled.
  • Thursday, Feb. 1 – all flights to North America from Heathrow will operate; most flights from North America to London Heathrow are cancelled.
  • Friday, Feb. 2 – most flights to London from North America will operate with a few selected exceptions due to crew or aircraft being out of position.

Flights between the USA and London Gatwick Airport – Orlando, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Atlanta and Houston - will not be affected and will operate normally; the daily flights between JFK and Manchester will also operate normally.

All domestic UK and shorthaul European flights to and from London Heathrow and Gatwick Airports will be cancelled Tuesday, Jan. 30 and Wednesday, Jan. 31.

Robin Hayes, Executive Vice President Americas said today: “Everyone at British Airways in the Americas is working diligently to ensure our customers are looked after and are given sufficient notification to make alternative travel arrangements.

“We will permit any customer due to travel on a British Airways flight cancelled by the strike to claim a full refund, rebook their flight for a later date or be rebooked by British Airways with another airline.”

Customers are urged to check the airline’s website (www.ba.com) regularly and use the ‘Manage My Booking’ link to obtain information about their individual reservation, to rebook or to refund.

Customers also may rebook their flights by contacting British Airways on its toll-free number 1 800 AIRWAYS (1 800 247 9297).

Travelers are advised to check ba.com to see if their flight is still operating before departing for the airport. If their flight has been cancelled they should contact British Airways or their local travel agent.

Service Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
by Bonnie Carroll

American AirlinesAmerican Airlines was presented with the “Best International Flight 2006” by Life Bites News this year, not only because their flight attendants on the Los Angeles to London flight were charming, accommodating and extremely hospitable, but they also got the top nod because on this particular journey I was struggling to get around on a badly sprained foot, and while I was checking in at the AA counter in Los Angeles something quite amazing happened that is in my opinion the ultimate example of outstanding customer service.

During my LAX check-in I failed to mention that when I departed my AA flight at Heathrow I would be taking a connecting AIitalia flight to Rome. My bag had already been placed on the carousel. When Agent Annabella Cortez at the ticket counter realized my bag had not been tagged to go to the Italian carrier she said “I will be right back, I am going to put this transfer to Rome information on your bag”. After fifteen minutes she returned looking a bit flushed, and explained that on her way back from ticketing my bag she had gotten stuck in an elevator. Frankly, I have never had anyone in an airport go so far beyond the call of duty to assist me, and certainly not while trying to navigate through the airport in a wheelchair. If she had not done this transfer on the bag I would never have made my flight to Rome on time, and I will never forget her kindness.

This was an unexpected great beginning to a ‘business class’ trip that ultimately was perfect. The menu items, and presentation of all the food and beverages was excellent, and the service was just amazing. Entrees of meat, fish or pasta with salads and sweet desserts will surprise you in quality and presentation. You can request your meals, beverages, or what ever you may need to be comfortable when you need it. There is no set time for any service. The airline staff seems to understand that people go to sleep on these long flights; sometimes at the departure and sometimes nearer to the arrival time. What amazed me was how quiet the stewards were in serving and taking away items, without ever disturbing travelers. Earphone noise busters are available, and current movies are also an option.

Thanks to the great customer service and outstanding positive attitude of the AA staff, on the ground and in the air, my trip was simply wonderful, despite a badly sprained foot. For information visit: www.AA.com.

G’Day LA
Shrimp on the ‘Barbie’ and a Bevy of Aussie Food and Wine
By Bonnie Carroll
Photos by Johanna Jacobson

The Australian made food & wine trade day in Los Angeles, held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, proved to be a wonderful opportunity tAustralia Dayo meet all the Australian vintners, food producers and more. Retailers, food brokers, restaurateurs and media swarmed the ballroom for samples of the outstanding wine, liquors, beer, waters, food products, and outstanding samples of Australian lamb and shrimp, which was cooked on the ‘barbie’ in an adjoining patio area by a renowned team of restaurateurs.

The event was presented by Australian Made, The Australian Government, The Australian Trade Commission, and Wine Australia. Representatives from the finest wineries offered samples, as did several companies who produced delicious meat pies. Butter cookies were a favorite, and an abundance of Macadamia nut oil producers shared their wares. Australian Consulate-General-Los Angeles Innes Wilcox attended, as did government officials from Queensland.

G'Day LA and NYIt’s easy to like these fun loving, hard working people from ‘the land down under’ and the week long list of activities of G’Day LA included and introduction and exchange between Aussie’s and American’s in many areas, including art, film, food, music, history and mostly fun.

The wine and food event provided a glimpse of the variety of products being produced in their country, and it was fun to learn about their cheese, lamb, nut dishes, and so many wines and beer products, including Tasmanian Rain water that is captured from the purest skies on earth. Leasingham, Clare Austrailian WineValley wines, Princess Royal Station, Yellow Tail, Tapestry, and Hardy’s were just a few of the vintners present. Pink and Yellow from Yellowglen were the preferred ‘girl’ wines. James Boag’s Premium, Herbal Liquers from The Australian Vodka Company, and Australian Gold Premium Lager, owned by Patrick Conroy, were also getting raves.

Chris Beard demonstrated Gelati Italia Bambino Jelly Cups, an all natural dessert product for kids. Also hot on the scene were Redback Chili, makers of award winning sauces & chutneys, Amelia’s, Yarra Valley Snack Foods, Marie Clare Food products, Herbies Spices, Tassie Naturals, OceanWinds Traders, Outback Spirit, Mac Nut Oil, Four’N Twenty, Oze Pie, Consuming Passions, Green Bags. All were jammed by guests wishing to sAmbiantimageample the great new products. Many of these items I had never seen before, and I was delighted with the fine quality and beautiful packaging that was available. For additional information visit: www.foodaustralia.com.

Brookfarm, makers of Australia’s finest gourmet macadamia products brought some of my favorite items for sampling. Martin and Pam Brook have created a new muesli breakfast cereal that is simply outstanding, and they also offer the finest Macadamia Nut Oil and smartly packaged macadamia nut snacks that travel easily and are covered with a variety of sea salt and herb options.

I hope this wonderful group of Aussie’s enjoyed being in LA as much as we enjoyed meeting them, and learning more about their great food and wine. G’Day Mates, and thank you for sharing your world with us. www.australia-week.com


“Tie the Knot on the Beach” at Popular Turks and Caicos Resort

If you got engaged over New Year’s – one of the two most popular days of the year to do so – you’re probably starting to think about your wedding. And those brides- and grooms-to-be who prefer something a bit simpler than the recent TomKat wedding in an Italian castle, but still want their special day to be memorable, should opt for getting married at the Reef Residences on Grace Bay in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Sitting right on the quiet stretch of a 12-mile-long beach, this intimate all-suite resort – no higher than a palm tree and overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean – is offering a special wedding package. For couples booking a minimum of ten suites for seven nights, the Reef Residences “Tie the Knot on the Beach” package provides the following $2,840 value completely free of charge:

  • Minister/Justice of the Peace (documents, fees and officiating)
  • Official wedding license
  • Wedding reception for 20 persons
  • Caribbean wedding cake
  • Champagne for toasts during reception
  • Romantic beachfront setting for ceremony
  • Two half-hour massages
  • Bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere
  • Photographer (photo of bridal couple)
  • Wedding coordinator
  • Special airport transfers in limousine with complimentary island punch
  • “Explore the Island” trip for two
  • Tide Affair dinner on the beach for bridal couple
  • Dinner for bridal couple at Epicurean, the resort’s signature restaurant

One-bedroom oceanfront suites at the Reef Residences on Grace Bay are $400 per night between April 8 and December 21, 2007 including the most popular months for weddings, June through September. In high season, January 1 to April 7, the suites are $550 per night. Rates include full American breakfast daily, free airport transfers, two complimentary half-hour massages, welcome cocktails and free snorkeling equipment, beach towels and chairs.

Everyone knows weddings are big business – and the growing popularity of destination weddings – a 77 percent increase in the last year – has changed the face of the traditional American wedding, according to a recent survey by the publishers of Bride’s, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride.* These days, 16 percent of all couples choose to have their wedding away from home and they spend an average of $25,806. About 45 percent of destination weddings – 368,000 of them – are held outside the continental U.S. and 40 percent of those take place in the Caribbean.

“We have one of the most romantic settings that a bride and groom could wish for,” explains veteran Caribbean hotelier and managing director Andre Niederhauser. “When you’re getting married in our island paradise, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars for the perfect wedding venue. We provide the setting and nature does the rest. And because we are small, we make a point of organizing only one wedding a week.”

Getting ready for the wedding at the Reef Residences is completely stress-free. The bride and groom can be pampered in the Ayurveda Spa, chill out in the waters of Grace Bay or opt for a dip in the resort’s two swimming pools. The more adventurous can go diving after picking up their scuba gear at the Dive Shop. They can have delicious meals at the casual Beach Café and for a special treat, dine at Epicurean Restaurant on contemporary Caribbean cuisine with lots of fresh fish and seafood.

It’s easy to tie the knot in the Turks and Caicos. Couples must stay on Provo for 48 hours prior to applying for their marriage license. The bride and groom must be over 21 (or bring notarized written parental consent) and provide a passport for identification.

For further information or reservations contact your travel agent or call: 1-800-950-2862 (CUNA). Visit the website www.cunadevida.com.

Cruise Ship Departs Guam for Legends of the Pacific Tour

GuamThe Spirit of Oceanus, the largest and most extravagant vessel in the Cruise West fleet, left Guam on Wednesday, December 20, for an eighteen-day cruise of the Pacific islands. The cruise, called Legends of the Pacific, will venture to several islands in Yap and Chuuk, and also visit Pohnpei, the Solomons, and Vanuatu before making its final stop in Fiji.

The tour is the cruise line’s second excursion through the Pacific. The first voyage took place in March of this year and visited the same islands in reverse order, finishing in Guam. The Legends of the Pacific tour happens twice a year with the next trip scheduled for March 2007.

According to Ana Marie Franquez of PacTours, who are the local coordinators for Cruise West, the passengers flew in to Guam from all over the United States and many stayed a few days at the Hyatt Regency Guam before boarding the Spirit of Oceanus for the rest of their Pacific adventure. During the few days the passengers are on Guam, they took tours of historic and scenic sites, including the Plaza de España and many cultural locations.

To find out more about the Legends of the Pacific tour, visit Cruise Line’s website at www.cruisewest.com To find out more about Guam and the Pacific, visit our website at www.visitguam.org


Newly Renovated and Centrally Located Resort Offers Indulgent Accommodations,
Gracious Service and Upscale Amenities on Kauai’s Scenic “Coconut Coast”

Located on 25 lushly landscaped acres of Kauai’s “Coconut Coast,” the Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort officially became the Hilton Kauai Beach Resort today after the completion of an $18 million renovation. The resort features 350 plush condominium hotel units, cascading waterfalls and dramatic rockscapes surrounding four swimming pools, an on-site spa, upscale dining options and complete meeting facilities. Just five minutes from Lihue Airport, the Hilton Kauai Beach Resort is the ideal central starting point for adventures around the island, including Kauai’s sun-drenched white sand beaches and renowned golf courses, the spectacular Waimea Canyon to the west, shopping and art galleries in charming Koloa and Hanapepe to the south, and the magnificent, rugged Na Pali coast on the north shore of the island.

The Hilton Kauai Beach Resort is operated by Anekona Management LLC under a franchise license agreement with Hilton Inns, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilton Hotels Corporation. The property is managed by Anekona Management.

“Hilton believes that travel should be relaxing and invigorating, and few places in the world are better suited to achieving these aims than the island of Kauai, with its laid-back charm, gracious hospitality, and untouched natural beauty,” said Jeff Diskin, senior vice president of Hilton Brand Management. “As the newest addition to the collection of Hilton resorts in Hawaii, the Hilton Kauai Beach Resort will extend the Hilton experience on the islands with indulgent amenities, a hospitable service culture and local flair.”

The five-story property has undergone an extensive renovation of its guestrooms, lobby, dining facilities and meeting space. The bright, plantation-style décor creates an open and airy atmosphere while reflecting Kauai’s agricultural heritage. The resort’s pool complex features three pools and two whirlpool spas surrounded by tropical landscaping, lush grottoes and numerous waterfalls, including a 12-foot cascade into the main pool. A fourth beachfront sand-bottom pool features a 90-foot flume and lava tube waterslide. A nightly sunset cocktail* hour for hotel guests is followed by a traditional torch-lighting ceremony and Polynesian dance show. A complimentary hotel shuttle transfers guests to and from the airport and nearby shopping and golf courses. For fitness and rejuvenation, guests can enjoy the Alolani Spa and Fitness Center.

Each guestroom has a private lanai and features the Hilton Serenity Collection® of in-room amenities, including the Hilton Serenity Bath Collection of exclusive Crabtree & Evelyn La Source® bath amenities and the Hilton Serenity Bed, which consists of a Serta Suite Dreams® mattress and box springs, Pacific Coast® down duvet, Super Topper mattress pad, and high-quality linens and pillows. Other in-room offerings include coffeemakers that feature a local Hawaiian coffee blend, the Hilton Family alarm clock with MP3 player input, and large work desk with ergonomic chair.

The hotel’s signature restaurant, Naupaka Terrace, serves breakfast and dinner and features indoor as well as outdoor seating near torch-lit waterfalls and koi ponds. The extensive menu includes hand-cut choice aged beef, fresh island fish and local Kauai specialties. The Driftwood Bar & Grille is open daily for lunch, light dinners and tropical drinks in a casual poolside setting. Shutters Lounge features specialty drinks and tasty appetizers as well as nightly entertainment by local musicians. The Island Marketplace serves up specialty coffees, pastries, snacks and desserts.

For meetings and banquets, the resort offers over 13,000 square feet of flexible indoor meeting space, including a ballroom that can accommodate up to 590 guests and is equipped to handle sophisticated audio/visual productions. Travelers looking to work from paradise can also take advantage of the 24-hour self-service business center. Travelers staying at this hotel can participate in the Hilton HHonors® guest reward program, allowing guests to earn both hotel points and airline miles for the same stay at more than 2,800 hotels worldwide.

Getting There
The Hilton Kauai Beach Resort is located on a three-mile stretch of beach north of Lihue on the island of Kauai at 4331 Kauai Beach Drive, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii 96766. Phone: 808-245-1955. For more information or to make reservations, contact Hilton Reservations Worldwide at 1-800-445-8667 or visit www.hilton.com.

Hilton Kauai

About Hilton Hotels
Hilton Hotels has been and continues to be a pioneering innovator in the full-service hospitality segment, operating under the belief that Travel is more than just A to B…. Travel Should Take You Places®. With a name that is synonymous with excellence in hospitality and respected throughout the world, Hilton celebrates the accomplishment, enlightenment, renewal and celebration that travel enables. This commitment to personal guest achievement influences all decisions about products, programs and amenities, and is underscored by the belief that travel can and should be transformative. Each unique Hilton Hotel was specially built to reflect the sense of place of its location and each team member chosen to reflect a commitment and support of the local culture and community. For more information, please visit our website at www.hilton.com and to learn more about our innovations for your own personal journey, please www.hiltonjourneys.com.

About Hilton Hotels Corporation
Hilton Hotels is part of Hilton Hotels Corporation (NYSE:HLT) the leading global hospitality company, with more than 2,800 hotels and 490,000 rooms in more than 80 countries, including 150,000 team members worldwide.

The More than 2,300 hotels are owned, managed or franchised in North America withcompany owns, manages or franchises a hotel portfolio of some of the best known and highly regarded brands, including Hilton®, Conrad®, Coral by Hilton®, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton®, Scandic and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection™.

The Hilton Family of Hotels adheres to founder Conrad Hilton’s philosophy that, “It has been, and continues to be, our responsibility to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.” The company put a name to its unique brand of service that has made it the best known and most highly regarded hotel company: be hospitable®. The philosophy is shared by all 10 brands in the Hilton Family of Hotels, and is the inspiration for its overarching message of kindness and generosity.

Hilton Hotels Corporation’s sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Team will extend through the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing, China, and includes the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team(s) and the 2007 U.S. Pan-Am Team.

For more information about our company, please visit www.hiltonworldwide.com, and to learn more about our be hospitable philosophy, please visit www.behospitable.com.


Terme Di SaturniaFor a memorable and romantic Valentine’s Day gift idea escape to Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort, located just below the medieval Tuscan village of Saturnia. This exquisite property, which features 140 guestrooms, including 65 junior suites and eight suites, state-of-the-art spa with 60 treatment rooms, two restaurants, a conference center with meeting room for up to 250 people, six outdoor and two indoor pools, a traditional Roman bath house, fitness center, tennis court, practice green, boutique and art gallery, is surrounded by picturesque hills and valleys.

The spa and resort is offering the Saturnia Extravagance Package for lovers desiring an exclusive respite with world-class spa treatments, exclusive use of the 3,000 year old thermal pools and a unique trip in a hot air balloon over the rolling hills of the Tuscan Maremma region of Italy. To book the Saturnia Extravagance Package, or for more information on the resort, please visit www.termedisaturnia.com or call +39 0564 600111.

The three night package includes:

Saturnia Extravagance Package:

  • Three nights accommodation in a Junior Suite
  • Breakfast served in the restaurant daily
  • Fruit and Champagne in room upon arrival
  • One Specific Face Treatment, Full Body Massage, Four-Hand Massage Shower
  • Complimentary use of thermal pools, Roman Bath, tennis court, golf-driving range, guided morning hikes, bikes, gym equipment
  • Exclusive hot air balloon trip for two*
Cost Savings**
Saturnia Extravagance Package € 1,159 $ 1,499 $ 235 or 13 percent
  • Rates are per person based on double occupancy with a minimum and maximum stay requirement of three nights
  • Rates are valid January 8, 2007 to December 25, 2007
  • Blackout dates include April 5-11, 2007 and August 10-19, 2007
  • Conversion rate to American Dollars as of January 22, 2007 is subject to changes.

* The flight is subject to change based on inclement weather and will be determined based on the pilot’s discretion. In the event of a cancellation, an alternative activity of the same value will be arranged. ** Cost savings are calculated based on standard rates and package contents

To book the Saturnia Extravagance Package, or for more information on the resort, visit www.termedisaturnia.com or call +39 0564 600111.

For additional information regarding this package and/or Terme di Saturnia, please do not hesitate to contact me at carly@tricapr.com or (212) 941-3985.


Jet Blue LogoJetBlue Airways Corporation begins nonstop service to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and LA/Long Beach Airport (LGB). Chicago is the low-fare, low-cost airline's 50th destination, and JetBlue's first new destination for 2007. The airline is currently offering a special winter sale fare of $39(a) each way between Chicago and New York/JFK and a $99(a) sale fare between LA/Long Beach. Regular one-way fares to New York/JFK will range between $89(a) and $249(a), and between $109(a) and $349(a) to LA/Long Beach.

In addition, to celebrate its new Chicago service, JetBlue has teamed up with First Book(r), an award-winning international nonprofit organization that provides new books to children in need. The airline will donate $1 to First Book for every ticket purchased for travel to or from O'Hare through Feb, 4, 2007. The books will be distributed to children from low-income families in the Chicago area later that month. Visit www.FirstBook.org/blue for more information.

"Chicago consistently ranked #1 on our customer's wish list of destinations, and we are happy to ring in the New Year honoring this request with up to five daily flights to New York's JFK, and up to two daily flights to LA's Long Beach Airport from the Second City," said JetBlue CEO and Founder David Neeleman. "As our 50th JetBlue destination and our first new Blue City of the year, Chicagoans and visitors to this great city will love our signature 36 channels of DIRECTV programming. JetBlue makes flying fun again, and we look forward to offering the JetBlue Experience to our Chicago customers."

"I'm very happy that JetBlue has decided to be more than just another airline," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "It also intends to be a fine corporate citizen. One of the most important things we can do for our children is to instill a life-long love of reading, and this gift from JetBlue will help us achieve that goal."

JetBlue is an industry leader in in-flight comfort and entertainment, customer service and affordable air travel, known to frequent fliers as the "JetBlue Experience." The low-fare carrier is the only airline to offer 36 channels of free DIRECTV(r) programming on every flight to/from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. JetBlue's EMBRAER 190 aircraft also offer more than 100 channels of free XM Satellite Radio, and the low-cost carrier's flights to LA/Long Beach include a selection of first-run movies and bonus features for a small additional fee from FOX InFlight(tm).

To enhance the experience even further, JetBlue also recently announced it will remove a row of seats from its Airbus 320 fleet and reconfigure the cabin with at least 36-inch pitch in rows 1-11, and at least 34-inch pitch in rows 12-25. The new configuration, expected to be complete by March of this year, will give customers extra legroom up to four inches more than the industry standard, making the travel as good
as the destination. For flight information visit: jetblue.com.

New Group Dining Department Provides One-Stop Service

Mandalay BayKnown for its outstanding convention and meeting facilities, Mandalay Bay now offers a new option for meeting planners or anyone planning a group dining event. The AAA Four Diamond resort recently added a department solely dedicated to large parties and functions. For guests who wish to host an event at any of the resort’s 17 restaurants, Mandalay Bay’s Group Dining department offers convenient one-stop planning and booking.

Private dining space for small groups or entire restaurant buyouts for larger receptions are available at each of the resort’s restaurants including celebrity chef venues such as Michael Mina’s StripSteak, Charlie Palmer’s Aureole, Alain Ducasse’s MIX in Las Vegas, Hubert Keller’s Fleur de Lys and Burger Bar, Rick Moonen’s rm seafood and Wolfgang Puck’s Trattoria del Lupo.

From prime steaks and seafood to Mexican, Italian and Asian specialties, Mandalay Bay offers a variety of flavors to make every event a success.

  • StripSteak – The first steakhouse by acclaimed Chef Michael Mina, this restaurant features new variations on the genre’s traditional offerings through the use of unique wood-burning grills. Semi-private dining spaces are available.
  • Aureole – Charlie Palmer’s renowned restaurant enjoys a reputation as one of the finest in the United States. The AAA Four Diamond restaurant features private and semi-private dining spaces available to accommodate groups of 12 to 100 guests. Reception locations also are available for parties of up to 200.
  • MIX in Las Vegas – Soaring high atop THEhotel at Mandalay Bay is MIX in Las Vegas. MIX is a perfect combination of culinary art from famed chef Alain Ducasse and cutting-edge interior design with astounding vistas of the Las Vegas Strip. The restaurant and lounge are available to accommodate groups of 10 to 100 guests.
  • Fleur de Lys – Preeminent Chef Hubert Keller brings his talent and finesse for contemporary French cuisine to Mandalay Bay with Fleur de Lys, an outpost of his popular San Francisco restaurant. Private and semi-private dining spaces are available to accommodate groups of 10 to 30 guests. Reception locations also are available for groups of up to 40.
  • Burger Bar – Chef Hubert Keller’s take on the traditional American burger joint offers patrons the chance to build their own high-end burger with such top-grade ingredients as Kobe beef, Colorado lamb and king salmon. Appetizing toppings range from the traditional offerings of cheese, peppered bacon and guacamole to the unexpected, including grilled shrimp, marinated anchovies and pan-seared foie gras. Dinner for up to 120 guests can be arranged.
  • rm seafood – Chef Rick Moonen’s two Las Vegas restaurants feature the very best seafood from around the world. Restaurant rm, his fine dining venue, can accommodate groups of 12 to 50 guests. Reception locations also are available for groups of up to 70. r.bar.café, the more casual eatery, can accommodate groups of 12 to 90 guests with reception space available for groups of up to 125.
  • Trattoria del Lupo – Wolfgang Puck’s bistro features Italian classics with traditional and contemporary influences, served in an airy, café-like setting. Private and semi-private dining spaces can accommodate groups of 20 to 75 guests. Reception locations also are available for groups of up to 125.
  • Giorgio Caffè and Ristorante – Famed restaurateur Piero Selvaggio offers authentic Italian fare at this eatery located within Mandalay Place. A private dining room can accommodate groups of 10 to 200 guests. Reception space also is available for groups of up to 300.
  • Border Grill – This vibrant, modern Mexican restaurant overlooking Mandalay Beach is run by famed Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. This creative cooking duo spice up the menu through such innovative dishes as Plantain Empanadas to Chicken Chilaquiles, a Mexican-style casserole. The restaurant offers private and semi-private dining spaces to accommodate groups of 20 to 80 guests with reception locations available for groups of up to 400.
  • China Grill – Inspired by flavors and cooking techniques from around the world, the generous portion sizes of this highly acclaimed restaurant are designed for sharing. Semi-private dining space can accommodate 70 to 150 guests. A private room can accommodate intimate gatherings of 25 to 35 guests.
  • Shanghai Lilly – Chefs from the top kitchens in Hong Kong have gathered the freshest ingredients from around the world to create classical Cantonese Cuisine with Szechwan specialties at Shanghai Lilly. The restaurant features four private dining rooms each capable of accommodating groups of 10 to 20 guests.
  • rumjungle – Designed to take the art of food and entertainment to new levels, dancing firewalls, spirited music and tropically inspired entrees combine to create a feast for the senses inside this creative dining venue. Semi-private dining space can accommodate cocktail receptions for up to 125 and dinners for up to 92.
  • Red Square – Famous for its private vodka locker and frozen ice bar, this Russian-inspired restaurant and bar offers more than 170 varieties of vodka and a critically acclaimed menu of Russian cuisine. Semi-private dining space is available for cocktail receptions and dinners for up to 75.
  • Red White and Blue – Perfectly patriotic, this distinct dining experience is a deli, bakery and American bistro in one. Patio seating can accommodate groups of 68 to 100 while semi-private dining space can accommodate larger receptions and dinners of up to 120.
  • the café – Embracing the modern architecture, contemporary design and comfortable surroundings found throughout THEhotel, this restaurant’s offerings are more like a fine dining establishment than a café. Semi-private dining locations are available for groups up to 20 guests.
  • Raffles Café – This 24-hour café offers a wide range of dishes from fluffy Spanish omelets and Prime Rib to delectably decadent desserts. Raffles has private and semi-private dining space to accommodate groups of 12 to 30 guests with reception locations available for groups of up to 50.
  • Bayside Buffet – With sweeping views of Mandalay Bay’s 11-acre tropical lagoon, the extraordinary Bayside Buffet features live-action stations and a wide variety of delightful cuisine from around the world. Semi-private dining space is available to accommodate groups of 20 to 110 guests.

For more information or to book a large party reservation, please contact Mandalay Bay Group Dining at (702) 632-7447 or e-mail mbhgroupdining@mrgmail.com.

Europe by Air Expansion Welcomes
New Paris Airline Partner to Flight pass Program

Europebyair LogoAigle Azur Airlines based in Paris, France has joined the EuropebyAir FlightPass program. Bill Wolf, President of EuropebyAir stated, "Continuing forward with our expansion plans to add new and exciting destination options for our passengers, EuropebyAir is delighted to welcome Aigle Azur Airlines LogoAigle Azur (ZI) to its network of airline partners. Aigle Azur celebrates 60 years of airline service between France and other countries. The Aigle Azur routes between Paris-Lisbon and Paris-Porto are now available to FlightPass customers. "

Wolf further stated, "In addition to the Paris-Portugal flights, many often-requested destinations have also been added including new Italy - Moscow and Italy – Prague routes. Moscow is joined to the network by direct services to Venice & Bari, as well as Prague to Venice & Naples." More network expansions include routes to and from Vilnius-Munich, Vilnius-Shannon, Naples-Europebyair PlaneVenice, Innsbruck-Rotterdam, Palanga-Amsterdam, Palanga-Oslo and Innsbruck-Antwerp.

By combining the additional new routes of Aigle Azure Airlines with our other 21 participating airlines, the EuropebyAir FlightPass program provides a simple way for travelers to fly one-way, round trip, or hopscotch across the Continent to over 190 cities for only $99 one way, (taxes/fees not included)." Reservations can be made in advance or on the go. FlightPasses are valid for 120 days, are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. FlightPasses are valid for flights solely within Europe and are sold in countries outside of Europe to non-European residents only. Further information and a Route Map are available at www.EuropebyAir.com, via travel agents or direct-no-menu phone calls to 888-321-4737.

The well-established EuropebyAir FlightPass program was founded in 1998, and is a unique product that combines the route structures of geographically dispersed airlines into a vast, pan European network of over 190 destinations.


Hotel guests have VIP access to Casa Casuarina,
the private club and mansion on South Beach

Mandarun OrientalSituated on exclusive Brickell Key, Mandarin Oriental, Miami is delighted to introduce a new oasis of luxury in another famed Miami locale - South Beach. Hotel guests can now enjoy Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service at the hotel’s private beach cabanas on the glittering sands of South Beach and delight in personalized amenities and services at the extraordinary setting of Casa Casuarina, formerly the Mansion of Gianni Versace located on South Beach’s iconic Ocean Drive.

“We are delighted to partner with Casa Casuarina to provide our guests with luxury beach services on South Beach,” said Jorge Gonzalez, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental, Miami. “Our guests can relax at Oasis Beach Club located at our hotel or spend a day in South Beach at our beach retreat and enjoy the facilities of Casa Casuarina.”

Guests will be granted exclusive access for the duration of their daytime beach experience to Casa Casuarina’s outdoor pool facilities and restaurants where they can unwind and socialize in magnificent surroundings. Guests can swim in the mosaic swimming pool, utilize the relaxation and recreation area and dine at the club’s all-day dining restaurant with cuisine from international Chef Wolfgang Birk. For convenience, guests will be given signing privileges for a seamless experience.

While guests relax at the beach retreat, located within steps from Casa Casuarina, Mandarin Oriental’s Beach Butlers will graciously offer special touches from chilled towels, sun care products to Evian misters and reading materials. Guests will be provided custom-programmed iPods to listen to their favorite songs while lounging in comfortable beach cabanas and chaise lounges.

Additionally, a hotel shuttle, with seating capacity for 6 guests, will be available with departures daily from the hotel.

For luxury transportation to South Beach, guests can opt to board a sleek 41’ Sea Ray Yacht from the hotel with seating capacity for 6 passengers. This luxury 45-minute trip gives guests the opportunity to cruise the blue waters of Biscayne Bay to South Beach with a tour of the Miami waterfront and magnificent homes. Upon arrival, guests will be greeted by a Beach Butler and escorted to the beach retreat.

Guests can choose from the following beach and yacht options:

The Ultimate Beach Experience

  • Private beach retreat and Mandarin Oriental service on South Beach
  • Use of Casa Casuarina’s outdoor pool facilities, relaxation area and restaurants
  • Should guests choose to enjoy a night out in South Beach, the Beach Butler can deliver beach bags and apparel back to the hotel with delivery to respective guest rooms
  • SUV Shuttle service from the hotel to South Beach (30-minute trip with departures from the hotel at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., Mon.-Thurs. and 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., Fri. and Sat.)
  • Available seven days a week, year round
  • Cost: USD 150 per person

Yacht Experience

For guests who choose to take the yacht trip to South Beach, the additional fee is as follows:

  • Luxury yacht transportation from the hotel to Miami Beach Marina (45-minute trip with departures from the hotel at noon and 2 p.m.; refreshments provided)
  • Available Fridays and Saturdays only from 5 January 2007 through 14 April 2007
  • Cost: USD 100 per person for a one-way trip

About Mandarin Oriental, Miami – Contemporary in design and with a prominent waterfront location, the luxurious Mandarin Oriental, Miami features 326 elegant guest rooms and suites – offering dramatic views of the bay and ocean. Amenities include two high-energy restaurants, the Lobby Lounge, M-Bar – a dynamic cocktail lounge and martini bar, a stunning tri-level spa, Oasis Beach Club and extensive meeting and business facilities.

About Casa Casuarina – A landmark of beauty inside and out, Casa Casuarina sets a world standard for what a private invitation-only membership club can be. Drawing on her storied past while embracing the best of today, the Casa delivers a completely unique experience to a select and privileged few.

For reservations, please contact the hotel directly on +1 (305) 913-8288, toll free +1 (866) 888-6780; or Mandarin Oriental’s direct on-line reservations service at www.mandarinoriental.com.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world’s most prestigious hotels and resorts, currently operating 20 luxury hotels with a further 11 under development in Riviera Maya-Mexico and Hainan Island-China (2007), Barcelona, Boston and Grand Cayman (2008), Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, Macau, Marrakech and Turks and Caicos (2009). In total, Mandarin Oriental now operates, or has under development, almost 9,000 rooms in 18 countries with 13 hotels in Asia, 12 in the Americas and six in Europe and North Africa.

Photography of Mandarin Oriental is available to download, in high and low resolution, in the Photo Library of our Media section, at www.mandarinoriental.com.

Romance Just Went Trans-Atlantic

Millennium LogoNEW YORK, NY – Cupid soars to some of the world’s most fascinating cities this Valentine’s Day with Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ “Whirlwind Romance” package, available from February 10, 2007, through February 18, 2007. The luxury tour features the best of Los Angeles, London and New York City.

The “Whirlwind Romance” begins with a first class flight the morning of February 10th from the couple’s city of origin to Los Angeles. The lucky couple will be chauffeured Millennium Roomto the Millennium Biltmore for a two night stay in the hotel’s lavish Presidential Suite, where over nine American presidents have stayed. The couple will also receive VIP tickets to the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, a private shopping tour on Rodeo Drive, daily breakfast and a 4-course dinner for two with unlimited flow of champagne at either the hotel’s Sai Sai restaurant, serving Japanese cuisine, or Smeraldi’s which offers contemporary Italian cuisine.

On February 12th, the couple will be whisked off to London, England, on a first class flight. Upon arrival, the lucky couple will begin a quintessential romantic British experience with a chauffeured Rolls-Royce taking them to the Millennium Hotel London Knightsbridge, located on trendy Sloane Street which is home to iconic establishments such as Harrods and Harvey Nichols. At the Millennium Knightsbridge, couples will lodge in the Presidential Suite for three nights with breakfast served daily and be treated to a romantic dinner for two at the award-winning U.K. celebrity chef Brian Turner’s Mayfair Restaurant in Grosvenor Square. They will also enjoy a scenic balloon ride. During the duration of the stay, couples will have access to a chauffeured Rolls-Royce to transport them around London.

After a three night stay in London, guests will depart for New York City on February 15th with first class tickets. A limousine will bring the couple to the Millennium Broadway in the heart of the theater district where they will stay in the Penthouse Suite for three nights. As part of their New York City stay, the couple will enjoy VIP tickets to a hot Broadway play, VIP tickets to visit the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), a helicopter flight over Manhattan with champagne toast, breakfast daily and luxury limo transfers. A highlight of their stay will be a private dinner and dancing on the stage of the 103-year old Hudson Theatre. Recent restoration of this spectacular Theatre revealed magnificent Tiffany glass mosaics. Guests will then wave goodbye to New York City on February 18th on a first class flight back to their city of origin.

The package is priced at $150,000 per couple and they must reside in North America to reserve the package. Bookings for the package must be made before February 7, 2007, and proof of valid passports and other travel documents must be produced to booking agent. For reservations and enquiries please call 212-789-7582.

About Millennium Hotels and Resorts
Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR), established in the United States in 2000, is the North American arm of London-based Millennium and Copthorne Hotels plc (MLC). The MHR portfolio includes 20 holdings in The Americas, and the company operates properties including: Millennium Broadway Hotel, New York City; Millennium UN Plaza Hotel, New York City; Millennium Airport Hotel, Buffalo, New York; Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles; Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, Chicago; Millennium Bostonian Hotel, Boston; Millennium Hotel, Minneapolis; Millennium Hotel, St. Louis; Millennium Hotel, Cincinnati; Millennium Harvest House, Boulder; Millennium Hotel, Durham; Millennium Alaskan Hotel, Anchorage; Millennium Resort, Scottsdale, McCormick Ranch; and the Millennium Maxwell House, Nashville. MLC holdings outside of the Millennium brand include the Millenium Hilton in New York City. For further information on Millennium Hotels and Resorts, call 866-866-8086 or visit www.millenniumhotels.com.

Millennium and Copthorne Hotels comprises over 100 four and five star hotels with 24,681 rooms worldwide in 16 countries. Our World of Hospitality marketing alliance partner Maritim Hotels has 45 hotels with 13,069 rooms in 9 countries. For more information please visit www.millenniumhotels.com or www.maritim.com.


Nestled in the pristine forest heights above Whistler Creekside, the exclusive and prestigious neighbourhood of Kadenwood offers magnificent estate home-sites that represent the peak of luxury living in North America's number one ski resort.

With Whistler's growing reputation and selection as co-host of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, discerning local and international buyers are recognizing Kadenwood as a rare purchase opportunity. Now, this sophisticated ski-in-ski-out location at Whistler prepares to become the first resort neighbourhood in Canada to have its own gondola service.

The new gondola will connect the Kadenwood neighbourhood with the recently rejuvenated Whistler Creekside Village. The gondola will whisk Kadenwood homeowners and their guests between the Creekside base and the Kadenwood station in approximately six minutes. Covering a vertical rise of 217 metres (711 feet), the gondola will comfortably accommodate eight people with skis carried inside. During the summer months, bikes and strollers can also be transported for easy access to Whistler's valley trails and all the amenities that Creekside has to offer.

Intrawest and the Kadenwood Community Strata are partnering to build the gondola as part of the overall Kadenwood development plan, and Whistler Blackcomb will take care of the daily operations. Construction is slated to commence in the summer of 2008, with the lift fully operational for the 2008/09 ski season.

"This new gondola will offer unprecedented, year-round access, and provide Kadenwood homeowners and guests with a swift and convenient connection to the numerous amenities of the Creekside Village while maintaining the neighbourhood's exclusivity and privacy," said John Morley, VP of Development for Intrawest Placemaking.

As the resort's original base area, "the Creek" has undergone a $215-million facelift over the past few years and has emerged as a family-friendly alternative to the main Whistler Village. Complete with hotels, restaurants, a bank, grocery and liquor stores, retail outlets, rental locations, plenty of free parking and Whistler's first and favourite aprés ski hangout - Dusty's Bar and Grill, Creekside is intimate yet lively.

Kadenwood - Whistler's Finest Ski-in Ski-out Neighbourhood The Kadenwood properties are located high above Whistler Creek and offer the highest elevation on which to build a dream home at Whistler.

A tranquil, tree-lined alpine road winds its way up Whistler Mountain and into the quiet serenity of Kadenwood's breathtaking natural setting. This majestic hideaway features 60 private home-sites, offering ultimate privacy and luxury with the most glorious views of the mountains and valley.

Every element in Kadenwood has been carefully considered with meticulous attention to detail. Home-sites are generous in size, ranging from half an acre up to one and a half acres, and have been carefully surveyed and planned to accommodate the most spectacular home with the most breathtaking views.

At the core of building your dream home in Kadenwood is the freedom of choice. Those who prefer a hands-on approach can choose their own team to design and construct their home. Intrawest can share its expertise to ensure the best utilization of each home-site to capture prime views and sun exposure. Alternatively, one can choose to work with Intrawest's talented and dedicated experts to build a custom home. This provides a turn-key design and construction solution that ensures your vision and ideas are matched by the talents and expertise of leading architects, designers and builders.

The addition of the gondola and the recent acquisition of a dedicated ski trail grooming machine will now solidify Kadenwood's position as the ideal location to build your family's dream home in Whistler.

For more information about Kadenwood ownership opportunities, please visit kadenwoodhomes.com or call 604-935-4517 / 1-877-771-6767.

The Caribbean's Classic Private-Island Resort Didn't
Get To Be A Classic By Cluttering Its Cottages
With Gizmos And Doodads

After 40 years, Petit St .Vincent Resort in the Grenadines still beckons vacationers who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life but still hanker after fine dining, fine wines, pampering service -- and sublime serenity.

St.Vincent-Grenadines, January, 2007...Petit St. Vincent Resort or PSV, as it's called, is the quintessential Caribbean escape – quiet, secluded, totally relaxing. Just 44 privileged guests share 113 unspoiled tropical acres. The water is a dazzling palate of blues and greens. Two miles of white, soft sand are dotted with thatched bohios for shade and hammocks for canoodling.

In the cottages, ceiling fans and hardwood louvers keep the trade winds flowing (there's always a cooling breeze in these parts). You can't believe how peaceful and relaxing life can be until you've sampled Petit St. Vincent.

Each of the large stone-and-timber cottages, either directly on the beach or on a rise with fabulous views, features a living room, bedroom, bathroom with native-stone shower and a spacious wood deck patio. Frills include teak loungers with pullout ledges for drinks or paperbacks (heaven forbid that guests should have to stretch!) and well-stocked rolling bar carts. No jangling telephones or blaring TVs distract from the sublime serenity of this private island in the Grenadines. At PSV, life is geared totally to pampered relaxation.

"What we promise above all is privacy," says owner Richardson. "Hoist the red flag on the bamboo pole outside your gate and you won't see a soul all day -- a lot of our guests, in fact, never appear until dinner."

Hoist the yellow flag, on the other hand, and you get room service.

Or hammock service.

Or beach service.

Or "wherever you happen to be" service.

Almost half of the guests arriving at the island dock are no strangers to PSV. This year, a fresh surprise awaits them: a new luncheon venue featuring a brick oven built by the PSV Artisans. The open-to-the-breezes pavilion has a panoramic view of the harbor and islands beyond and Executive Chef Trevor Douglas has designed a new menu using his brick oven as a centerpiece. Guests, old and new, are sure to be thrilled.

All meals and most sporting activities are included in the PSV rates -- $770 for two, from January 6 through 27, 2007, and $940 from January 28 through March 16. For reservations, go to www.psvresort.com or call 800/654-9326.

Petit St. Vincent is a member of Leading Small Hotels of the World.


– Offbeat Treks and Inspiration Points for the Cultured Traveler –

MONTEREY COUNTY, CA. — From the seductive shores of Big Sur to the seamless sea of row crops stitching the Salinas Valley, Monterey County is rich in rewards for the cultured traveler, offering a wealth of sites that have inspired award-winning literature and film. The region’s world-class beauty – captured by Ansel Adams, romanticized by Robinson Jeffers and chronicled by John Steinbeck – sets the stage for an unparalleled adventure for travelers interested in setting their own scene, be it via pen or palette. The free new SCENES FOR YOUR SENSES Literary & Film Map, produced by Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau, combines the region’s 50+ points of inspiration with a riveting list of “Hot Stops” for recharging, calendar of film/literary events and variety of insider jaunts to stretch one’s legs and mind. The free four-color map and guide is available via www.montereyinfo.org or by calling 888.221.1010.


From East of Eden to Treasure Island, tracing the stomping grounds of literary giants is an enriching experience, especially given the diversity of landscapes involved. Power walk up Point Sur (Women at Point Sur, 1927, Robinson Jeffers), relish Old California with a leisurely drive through the verdant Laureles Grade enroute to Carmel Valley (Pastures of Heaven, 1932, John Steinbeck) or pack a picnic and hike Cypress Grove Trail at Point Lobos Sate Reserve (Treasure Island, 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson). The magnificent walk delivers a brush with the wild, wind-gnarled trees native only to the Monterey coast.

For the leisure set, SCENES FOR YOUR SENSES chronicles more civilized pursuits including a visit to the historic Pine Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea where author Upton Sinclair stopped for his daily juice fix, Ed “Doc” Ricketts’ lab at #800 Cannery Row or Big Sur’s famed Bixby Bridge and its environs - an architectural feat built in 1937 - where Jack Kerouac stayed in Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s cabin while writing Big Sur (1961). A full day can be enjoyed in Oldtown Salinas on a Steinbeck stint, from Banker’s Corner (East of Eden, 1952) to the National Steinbeck Center, the Steinbeck House – the author’s birthplace and boyhood home - and Garden of Memories Cemetery, where the authors’ ashes are interred.

A day of tracking America’s literary greats is an exploration worth writing home about. Monterey County lays claim to the homes of many famous authors; a visit delivers both insight into the writers’ lifestyle and a lifeline to the local culture today. Top picks include The Stevenson House in Monterey, Robinson Jeffers’ Tor House and Hawk Tower, a hand-built English manor crafted by the poet overlooking Carmel Beach, and the Lara Soto Adobe in Monterey (Steinbeck’s digs in 1944). The Henry Miller Memorial Library – near the author’s Partington Ridge home during his tenure in Big Sur – is also a favorite local haunt.


Clint Eastwood, Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor… stars of unparalleled magnitude have trod Monterey’s beaches and streets leaving a legacy of film sites ideal for exploration. Since 1897, filmmakers from Cecil B. DeMille to Alfred Hitchcock have found this region’s backdrops irresistible. Today, nearly 200 films carry Monterey County credits from the scenic 17-Mile Drive to the lunar-scaped dunes of Marina and pristine Point Lobos, which has been featured in 40 films to date.

Titles like Vertigo, The Candidate, Play Misty for Me, National Velvet, Junior and Bandits run credits on this county. Versatile Monterey has doubled for Marin County (Basic Instinct), Sausalito (Star Trek IV), Maine (A Summer Place), Russia (Anna Karenina), a Norwegian fishing village (Edge of Darkness) and England: Sussex (National Velvet), Sherwood Forest (The Adventures of Robin Hood), and the coast of Cornwall (Rebecca). Whether searching for scenes from Hayley Mills’ The Parent Trap at Pebble Beach Golf Links or Clint Eastwood’s Play Misty for Me on Cannery Row, scouting classic film sets is a fun way to delve into a destination.


From wine tasting to musing missions, SCENES FOR YOUR SENSES features a sidebar on “Hot Stops” for recharging mind and body. Key picks include the Henry Miller Hike via Big Sur Hiking Guides, an insider’s trek traversing the region’s rugged wilderness, outback streams and canopy of California redwoods. Another refreshing break – where Jack London set the abalone picnic of Valley of the Moon (1913) – is Carmel River State Beach, just a stone’s throw from town where picnics are plentiful. Nepenthe in Big Sur is the ultimate stop for local pinot noir punctuated with prime Pacific views or visit Monterey’s famed Sardine Factory for a nosh of local Monterey Bay sardines, the region’s signature dish during the Cannery Row era, now marking a comeback.


Tie a visit to a film, literature or arts event…

…or one of more than 300 events held throughout the year in Monterey County…


Monterey County is located 120 miles/192 km south of San Francisco and 345 miles/552 km north of Los Angeles along the classic California corridor. The region boasts 99 miles of prime Pacific Coastline, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, three historic missions, 45,000 acres of premium vineyards, 25 golf courses and 250+ accommodations. Monterey County includes the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur, North County and the Salinas Valley. The Monterey Peninsula Airport, just three miles from historic downtown Monterey and minutes from the area’s major attractions, is served by non-stop flights to and from Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco. www.montereyinfo.org.

You should know before you travel who can help you and where to find them.

American FlagIf you lose your passport go the embassy, and provide them with a photocopy of your passport. Always take a photocopy with you and keep it safe in your luggage; also leave a copy with a relative at home. The same holds true if you wish to a longer stay in a country. Embassy or consulate personnel will give you the required information for a legally extended stay and provide necessary paperwork.

If you are traveling during elections, embassies and consulates can help you cast an absentee ballot. If you forgot to file your taxes, they can give you tax forms. If you have a baby on foreign soil, they can issue a birth certificate, if both parents are naturalized citizens of their home country.

If you need medical assistance when you’re ill or become injured they can help, and if you should need additional funds they can assist with a wire transfer.

If You're In Serious Trouble While Traveling

An embassy cannot get you out of jail. When you’re traveling, you are subject to the laws of the land, and if you break them, you’re essentially on your own. A consulate or embassy can offer minimal help.If you are arrested, contact the nearest consulate immediately. A consular agent will tell you how to deal with the local legal system and may help you get a lawyers, as well as notify your friends and family at home that you need help.

They can also assist in a disapperance. If you do not show up at the airport, friends and family can contact them to try to find you. Consular agents do inquiries in the city (and country), checking with local authorities, hospitals, hotels, and guest houses.

Packing to Perfection
Helpful Tips
from Hartmann Luggage

Select clothing and accessories day by day.
Keep in mind your destinations and planned activities and lay out all of your selected clothing on a flat surface. If you are in doubt of certain articles, leave them out.

Pack clothes in dry cleaning bags.
Fasten all zippers, hooks and buttons, then roll or fold items and place them in plastic dry cleaning bags. This will keep the garments separate and help prevent wrinkling.

Distribute weight evenly.
This prevents shifting of the contents and makes your bag easier to carry.

Place heavier clothing on the bottom.
Layer heavier items, such as suits and jackets face down, folded to the size of the suitcase. If you are taking a sport coat, wear it on the plane to avoid wrinkling and taking up too much room in your suitcase. Sweaters and lightweight jackets should be layered next. Lightweight items, such as shirts or blouses, should be placed on the very top.

Place socks in shoes.
Socks can be rolled and placed inside your shoes. Ties can also be rolled and placed in shoe heels. Shoes should be packed toe to heel in a nylon or flannel shoe bag to keep dirt from coming into contact with your clothing. Place shoes along the sides of the suitcase.

Pack tightly.
Use soft clothing you can roll up to fill in the gaps and corners.

Prepare for laundry.
Re-use the plastic dry cleaning bags for laundry and damp swimsuits.

Pack a carry-on.
A carry-on bag should include medications, toiletries, passports and other items that you do not want to lose. For toiletries, carry small amounts and use plastic bottles. Also make sure that tops are on securely.

Secrets to a Wrinkle-Free Jacket.
Turn the body inside out and keep the sleeves right-side out. Lift up the collar. Shoulders should be straight. (The suit will make a rectangle, naturally.) Lay flat and fold into half or thirds, depending on the size of the suitcase. Tuck tissue paper into the folds, as well as the sleeves, for a ready-to-wear jacket.

Watching Your Weight

Checked Baggage.
Most airlines allow passengers to check two bags free of charge. Some airlines may allow up to three bags free of charge. Each checked bag must weigh no more than 50 pounds and measure up to 62 linear inches (height plus length plus depth). If your bag exceeds this limit, you will be charged a fee. This fee varies by airline.

Carry-on Bag.
The maximum size carry-on bag for most airlines is 45 linear inches (height plus length plus depth). Anything larger should be checked.

Call Security

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends the following tips to help you reduce your wait time at the security checkpoint.

Before the Airport

  • Do not pack or bring Prohibited Items to the airport.
  • Place valuables such as jewelry, cash and laptop computers in carry-on baggage only. Tape your business card to the bottom of your laptop.
  • Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry and accessories that contain metal. Metal items may set off the alarm on the metal detector.
  • Avoid wearing shoes that contain metal or have thick soles or heels. Many types of footwear will require additional screening even if the metal detector does not alarm.
  • Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on baggage. Checked baggage screening equipment will damage undeveloped film.
  • Declare firearms & ammunition to your airline and place them in your checked baggage.
  • If you wish to lock your baggage, use a TSA-recognized lock.
  • Do not bring lighters or prohibited matches to the airport.
  • Do not pack wrapped gifts and do not bring wrapped gifts to the checkpoint. Wrap on arrival or ship your gifts prior to your departure. TSA may have to unwrap packages for security reasons.

At the Airport

Each adult traveler needs to keep available his/her airline boarding pass and government-issued photo ID until exiting the security checkpoint. Due to different airport configurations, at many airports you will be required to display these documents more than once.

  • Place the following items IN your carry-on baggage or in a plastic bag prior to entering the screening checkpoint:
    - Mobile phones
    - Keys
    - Loose change
    - Money clips
    - PDA's (personal data assistants)
    - Large amounts of jewelry
    - Metal hair decorations
    - Large belt buckles
  • Take your laptop and video cameras with cassettes OUT of their cases and place them in a bin provided at the checkpoint.
  • Take OFF all outer coats, suit coats, jackets and blazers.

by Bonnie Carroll

Mexico Holiday CelebrationA good time was had by all at the Mexico Tourism Board Holiday celebration at the Luxe Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. The Mexican inspired appetizers, entrees, desserts, and endless Tequila specialties were an enormous hit with attendees, representing the creme de la creme in the tourism industry, friends of Mexico, including the Consul General, and a bevy of journalists and publishers who enjoy spreading the word about the wonders of Mexico. Veronica, public relations representative from the Mexico Tourism office, shared the fun with travel writer Dick Carroll (no relation), and myself during the live entertainment segment.

Speaking of Tequila, you might want to read a wonderful book on the history, and varieties of this favorite Mexican beverage. For tourism information on Mexico visit: www.mexicotourism.com.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida


  • January 17, 2007: GalleryOne Fort Lauderdale, a Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel, “artistry in hospitality”
  • January 18, 2007: Sheraton Yankee Trader, new 6,500 sq ft Pavilion
  • January 20, 2007: Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort,
    “the spirit of elegance…personalized”
    Renovated and fresh out of the gate: Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino, and Mardi Gras Race Track & Gaming Center, both in Hallandale Beach, are open with Vegas-style slot machines, new dining and event space.

© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved