March 2018

Fitness and Fun on AmaWaterways

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Fitness is a lifestyle for some, so it’s important to keep up the workout routine even while on vacation.  AmaWaterways knows this, which is why it’s launching their Wellness Program on six ships this year.

AmaCerto, AmaPrima, AmaSonata, AmaLyra, AmaDante and AmaDolce will have new programs that have been put together by AmaWaterways’ certified Sports Scientist Selina.

The cruise line is trending up in 2018 and this is certainly one the ways it is setting itself apart from others.

The morning stretching sessions are among the most popular classes. Start the day feeling refreshed thanks to the workout on the sun deck the features breathtaking views.

Core strengthening classes in the late afternoon are also a terrific way to cap off a day of exploring new cities and villages.

Travelers can also bike and hike through these fun destinations to keep their exercise routine intact.

The program is designed to help guests stay active. It’s not about how intense the workout is, but rather the variety of fitness activities you do according to AmaWaterways’ certified Sports Scientist Selina.

Life on board AmaWaterways river cruise is about having fun though, so don’t be surprised if “Champagne Yoga” classes pop up as a surprise while you’re there.

Hard Rock Hotels Inspires Guests to Play Hard and Purify Harder Through Om Yoga Program

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Encouraging guests to play hard and purify harder, Hard Rock Hotels is expanding its Sound Body wellness program with the launch of Rock Om®, an in-room yoga experience, energizing the body and soul through the power of music. Working in collaboration with Manduka, the world’s most respected yoga equipment and apparel brand endorsed by 4,000 yoga studios, teachers and practitioners worldwide, Rock Om® provides guests with top-of-the-line yoga equipment to utilize during their stay. Rock Om® also offers guests a Hard Rock spin on in-room yoga classes, combining original tracks by DJ Drez fused with his wife, yogi Marti Nikko’s, dynamic instruction on the easily-accessible Video On-Demand television channel.

Rock Om® will raise the volume on guests’ fitness levels through DJ Drez, a renowned producer, musical director and sound ambassador, who has worked with top artists ranging from the Black Eyed Peas and Eminem, to Macy Gray and Project Blowed. The program will redefine the ordinary yoga session, providing a fresh take on a timeless tradition by fusing together the ancient serenity of yoga with the beat of music. Select Hard Rock Hotels will also offer live, on-site yoga classes for those seeking to practice in a group atmosphere.

“We are thrilled to team up with powerhouses like Manduka and DJ Drez to offer guests the highest quality of yoga experience,” said Dale Hipsh, senior vice president of Hard Rock Hotels. “Rock Om® is set to fan the flames for innovative hotel wellness experiences, and we couldn’t be more proud to launch the program to all of our brand fans.”

Available at all Hard Rock Hotels worldwide, as well as upcoming properties, the program is designed to deliver a customized yoga experience, allowing guests to refresh, rejuvenate and re-energize the mind, body and spirit through the power of music. Rock Om® consists of three individual in-room yoga videos that will play on Hard Rock’s television systems across the brand’s portfolio, in addition to the Rock Om® landing page where guests and non-guests can follow along and flow.

“Zenith” helps guests unwind through calming meditation and tranquil breathing exercises.
“Zeppelin” encourages guests to strike a pose and break a sweat to the beats and rhythm of high-energy Vinyasa flow.
“Zen” allows guests to recharge their bodies and minds with the traditional movements of classic flow.

“It’s so exciting to see Manduka translated through the eyes and ears of the Hard Rock brand,” said Cathy Quain, president of Manduka. “The Rock Om® program is the perfect blend of our trusted premium yoga equipment and the graphic, modern design aesthetic for which Hard Rock is known. This collaboration inspires Hard Rock guests to practice yoga – safely and stylishly – anywhere their travels take them.”

Additionally, as part of the program, guests can order an in-room yoga kit, which can be ordered either prior to arrival, at check-in or during stays. The yoga kits will include a regionally-inspired Yogitoes towel created by Manduka specifically for Hard Rock Hotels, a Manduka PROlite yoga mat and a Manduka Go Play carrier bag, all exclusive to the Rock Om® program and available for purchase in the Rock Shop.

“As a yoga practitioner who also travels for a living, I am thrilled to provide a new wellness option to our guests, especially those who might not be able to hit the hotel gym, but still want to get a workout before going about their day,” said Nora Swire, senior director of marketing for Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos. “We look forward to leveraging the brand’s connection to music, vibe and energy, creating a differentiated, one-of-a-kind fitness experience for travelers across the globe.”

Appealing to the modern business or leisure traveler, the elements of Rock Om® aim to create an unparalleled wellness experience for guests.

The Importance of Wellness on a Vacation

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It’s getting harder and harder to make time for wellness in daily life. Demanding jobs and busy schedules leave little time for self-care. So if your clients are planning a much-needed vacation, why not inspire them to fit in a little “me time”?

Another reason to motivate your clients to enjoy some relaxation time on their vacation is to avoid the dreaded “I need a vacation from my vacation!” feeling. Planning a vacation, traveling there and then actually being on vacation can feel a little crazy. And while it’s great to get out and do things like boat cruises and sight-seeing, recommend a spa day to your clients so they can actually wind down and relax while they’re away.

 


Hotels and resorts are making it easier than ever for travelers to incorporate wellness into their vacations and there’s no better example of this than Beloved Playa Mujeres by Excellence Group.

The Beloved Playa Mujeres was recently named “Best All-Inclusive Resort in Mexico” by TripAdvisor and it’s easy to see why. Set in an oasis on the mainland sheltered by Isla Mujeres, Playa Mujeres feels wonderfully remote yet is conveniently only 25 minutes from the Cancun International Airport. Its award-winning Beloved Spa is surrounded by water, making it an island of relaxation, wellbeing and inner peace. Guests will experience total renewal in the spa suites created especially for couples, where private luxury and relaxation come together with a dedicated spa menu for couples full of experiences to share, connect and remember.

From April 28 to May 1, you can experience Beloved’s “A Beloved Life” wellness week, a week of total wellness that includes complimentary activities for all guests to enjoy like early morning meditation, different types of yoga or fitness activities, to rituals and workshops, focusing on culture, wellness and wellbeing.  Learn more about The Beloved Hotel.

What is a Travel Designer?

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Everybody knows what a Travel Agent is, but when I say “Travel Designer” most people are left scratching their heads and giving me a weird look that says Technically I know what both of those words mean, but I have no idea what you’re talking about. Also, I am hungry.

If I have some food on me I’ll be sure and offer it up, but I’ve always got an answer for “What is a Travel Designer?” Simply put: a Travel Agent will get you where you’re going, but a Travel Designer will not only get you there but make sure you have the time of your life.

Travel is SWELL‘s purpose is to design customized travel and wellness experiences. This is a fancy way of saying, “Tell us what kind of vacation you want and we’ll make it happen.” Travel Designers talk with you, get to know you and your likes and dislikes, and then present to you packages or options that best fit your needs and wants. Because of our connections around the world with hotels, tours, excursion providers, resorts, and so much more, we can get you anywhere in the world you want to go and provide you with a variety of experiences once you get there… experiences you might turn up via research, or you might not. But who wants to do research? The great thing is: we’ve already done all the research for you. And, in the vast majority of cases, we won’t charge you a thing for our services.

I’ll be honest with you and tell you that the first time I found out what a Travel Designer is and does, I needed more explanation. I’m the kind of person who needs words spelled for me to pronounce them correctly, and I need to see examples to understand something as abstract as “make sure you have the time of your life.” Here’s what this all looks like, practically:

The first thing a Travel Designer will do is ask what things you liked and disliked about your past travel experiences, and what you’re thinking about doing now. Let’s use Eli and Rosa as an example. Eli and Rosa are a California couple in their 50’s. All the kids have moved out of the house and they’re finally ready to explore the world. They’ve been saving for a little while now and they, like a lot of us these days, value experiences over accumulating more stuff. They’re ready to invest in an experience they can remember forever. They’ve been talking about traveling to New York for years, but have never pulled the trigger. Why? They honestly hate trying to figure out flights and hotels and rental cars and where to go and what to do and where to eat. Especially in a big, crazy city like New York.

In other words, they’re our perfect clients.

One of our premiere Travel Designers, Erin, sat down with Eli and Rosa and used the Travel is SWELL questionnaire to determine that they’re the type of people who like the touristy stuff. They wanted to see the Empire State Building and Central Park and Ground Zero and all of it. They also wanted to take in a show on Broadway and eat at a good hole-in-the-wall place that other tourists might not know about. And they wanted at least an afternoon to just wander around the city, but they wanted the safety of not getting lost. Additionally, there were a few historical sites in Upstate New York they desperately wanted to see, but they weren’t sure they’d be able to fit them into their five-day schedule and stay on budget.

Erin took what they talked about together and was able to craft three different, fully customized travel packages for Eli and Rosa. They were able to get everything they wanted, including a trip upstate and a flight out of Rochester on instead of returning to the airport they’d be arriving at in New York City. Their itinerary will take them to the Empire State Building, Central Park, a show on Broadway, the Ground Zero Museum, and several restaurants. They also have an afternoon when they’ll wander around the city using a hop-on/hop-off bus to set their own pace and get them safely back to their hotel. Erin also let Eli and Rosa know that the historical sites they’d be visiting would put them within spitting distance of Niagra Falls. A little juggling of the schedule and they could absolutely check it out with time to spare. Eli and Rosa were all about that.

A week after they first met, Eli and Rosa approved the package Erin put together and Erin took care of the rest. She booked the flights, hotel, and rental car. She secured the tickets to the show and mapped out their travels so they knew exactly where to be and when. The relief Eli and Rosa felt at having it all taken care of for them was the best part of the whole process for Erin. It’s what gives her the most joy in her work as a Travel Designer.

Full disclosure: Erin is my wife. While she was confident this was absolutely the trip that was just right for Eli and Rosa, we reflected together afterwards about how their trip seems amazing, but is also quite different from what we’d do as couple. And that’s okay! If we were to take the trip, we’d seek more of the out out-of-the-way places and experiences that a typical New Yorker would have in their day-to-day. We’d probably also have turned it more into a food tour (at my insistence). But that’s what a Travel Designer does: it’s not just about getting there, it’s about having the time of YOUR life when you’re there. Not mine, and not Erin’s–yours.

As I said before, we don’t, in most cases, charge a thing for these services. I know that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you consider just how much a Travel Designer does for you, but it’s true.

If you think you’d like to talk to one of our Travel Designers, you should! An inquiry or a conversation costs nothing and you might be surprised just how much they can do for you.

 

This is Erin. She was able to help Eli and Rosa and she can help you. You can contact her via email at eheasley@travelisswell.com, or by phone at 559-906-0270.

 

This is Chris. He has almost three decades of experience in the travel industry and you’d be hard-pressed to find a place he hasn’t been. You can contact him at info@travelisswell.com, or by phone at 559-207-0545.

They sincerely hope to hear from you today.

Brock Heasley is a filmmaker and artist serving as Travel is SWELL‘s Creative Director. His favorite place in the world is Garmisch, Germany where he swears the color green was actually invented. 

Well Being is Not Just for Grown Ups at Six Senses

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Six Senses hotels and resorts have long been known for integrating wellness and sustainability into all of their efforts including the guest experience.

But now the renowned hotels are taking that focus to a new level.

The company recently announced a new program, Grow With Six Senses, a framework for children’s offerings that incorporates six dimensions of wellness into all activities for young guests.

The program is designed to encourage kids to learn more about what’s going on inside them and the world around them, the company said in a statement.

That learning will take place through a wide range of exciting and intriguing offerings and adventures, from outdoor activities to local experiences, language and cooking classes and more. As children journey from one activity to the next, they’ll earn a stamp in their personal Six Senses passport.

“Grow with Six Senses incorporates the six dimensions of wellness (social, environmental, physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual) and brings kids ‘back to basics’ in order to reconnect with nature and others around them,” said Six Senses Vice President of Spa and Wellness Anna Bjurstam. “This framework ensures a holistic offering for the minds of our little guests. We’re really proud of what each resort has created and we know families are going to love the experience too.”

The offerings that are part of the new program will vary from resort to resort but will generally include such things as yoga and mindfulness, local culture, sustainability and social experiences. There will even be a chance for kids to participate in tailor-made spa treatments.

“The focus is on offering something a little out of the ordinary to attract even the most reticent joiner,” the company said in a statement. “Forget algebra, how about being a little mixologist? Children learn how to make their own toothpaste, facial mask, body scrub, after sun lotion and edible water bubbles.”

For the kids who can’t sit still, there will be cookery, yoga, treasure hunts, ball games and fitness challenges.

Those interested in something more local will have plenty of options as well. For instance, at Six Senses Yao Noi, in Thailand, there’s roselle harvesting and flying yoga.

At Six Senses Fiji, slated to open in April, kids will be able to make their own snacks using a solar oven.

And not to be outdone, Six Senses Laamu will allow kids to forage in its beautiful garden for salad ingredients, and will also offer healthy cookie making and Zumba.

“It’s not all about doing, there are plenty of being options,” the company said. “For example simple meditation with Six Senses Samui and Six Senses Yao Noi incorporating the art of singing bowls.”

Children’s innate creativity will be encouraged through Vietnamese origami and painting at Evason Ana Mandara and Six Senses Ninh Van Bay in Vietnam, while Six Senses Con Dao (also in Vietnam) will feature small visits to the local school (parents are also invited.)

And still, there are more options.

At the Six Senses Douro Valley, in Portugal, children can participate tile painting and Turkey’s Six Senses Kaplankaya offers ceramic decorating. Those with an interest in learning multiple languages may want to check into Oman’s Six Senses Zighy Bay, where kids can take Arabic lessons.

There will also be plenty of programs focused on caring for the Earth via the Six Senses Earth Lab, where kids can learn about upcycling and recycling.

Playtime activities meanwhile will include joining gardeners in the resorts’ organic gardens for anything from seed planting to mushroom harvesting.

The myriad of activities designed for children doesn’t end with nightfall either. Grow With Six Senses will offer family activities in the evening such as coastal walks, movie evenings, sandcastle building, storytelling, mastermind puzzle challenges and at Six Senses Zil Pasyon, in Seychelles, Big Cook-Little Cook.

Each resort has developed its own comprehensive program. A full list of Grow With Six Senses activities can be viewed on the web page of each resort under the EXPERIENCES tab.

 

Courtesy of Mia Taylor

Unlimited Spa at Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos

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Situated on one of Mexico’s most spectacular white sand beaches, this luxury adults-only brand, Le Blanc Spa Resort, welcomes you to perfection. Your heavenly guest room offers an ocean or lagoon view and beckons with luxurious amenities like butler service. Soak up the sun by one of three shimmering pools, including two infinity pools. Dine on haute cuisine in five distinctive restaurants and complement your meal with our extraordinary collection of highly rated wines from around the world. Unwind at Blanc Spa and experience the sanctuary of tranquility and peace. And for a memorable wedding celebration or honeymoon, Le Blanc is the perfect start.

Experience a new frontier of opulence presented by the people who brought you the #1 rated all-inclusive Cancun resort on TripAdvisor. Meet Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos. Here, the all-inclusive experience only gets better with UNLIMITED SPA where you can use all of your Resort Credit toward Blanc Spa.  Learn more about Le Blanc Spa Resort in Los Cabos.

BOOK NOW

Booking Window: Now – April 30, 2018

Travel Window: Now – December 23, 2018

Terms & Conditions

Applicable for new reservations only. Reservations with overlapping dates qualify. Only dates within promotion can be considered for discount. Minimum night stay requirement per property must be met in order to qualify. Reservations of less than three (3) nights will not qualify for promotion. Applicable in all room categories except for Presidential Suites. Applicable to social, leisure, and wedding groups. Not applicable to reservations with employee rate, FAMS, complimentary, or compensatory stays. This promotion is not transferable to guests in other rooms. Promotion is subject to change without prior notice. We reserve the right to discontinue the promotion at any time. If Spa goes unused during stay, it can not be refunded, exchanged for other services or applied to a future stay and will be forfeited. 16% service taxes and fees will apply for Spa Services. These taxes and fees can be paid with cash, credit card or other authorized means.Other terms and conditions apply.

Emerald Waterways Announces First Ocean Cruise

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Emerald Waterways is heading into the world of ocean cruising with the announcement of a brand-new yacht sailing itinerary along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast.

Set to launch in 2019, the Islands of Dalmatia cruise will be Emerald Waterways’ first ocean cruise. The itinerary invites guests aboard the 18-cabin MV Adriatic Princess II, a newly commissioned yacht designed to navigate the small ports of the Dalmatian Coast. Highlights of the 8-day itinerary include visits to Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Sibenik, one of the oldest towns on the Adriatic Coast; and Krka National Park, known for its waterfalls and lavender fields.

The Islands of Dalmatia itinerary will sail April through October 2019, and Emerald Waterways is currently accepting pre-bookings with a refundable $250 deposit.

Karisma Hotel Experience

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The Karisma Experience begins the moment you arrive at one of our hotels or resorts. From the first hello, you will encounter a commitment to personal service and comfort that is unprecedented in hospitality. Whether you choose to stay in one of our Gourmet Inclusive® properties, an à la carte hotel, an all-inclusive resort or a private villa, your experience will be one that you’ll never forget. Because luxury is more than beautiful architecture and accommodations…it’s anticipating the needs of our guests without ever being intrusive.

Karisma offers a wide range of unique properties in a variety of world-class destinations; from adults-only and family-friendly to opulent villas and intimate urban retreats. At Karisma, we believe in sustainability and giving back to the community. The real secret behind the Karisma Experience is that when you treat your staff and your guests like family, you create positive feelings and cherished memories that last forever.

Karisma Hotel Brands include El Dorado Resorts, Azul Beach Resorts, Hidden Beach Resorts and Generations Resort. Learn more about Karisma Hotels in Mexico and Jamaica…

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Seabourn Debuts Culinary Options Aboard Seabourn Ovation

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Luxury cruise line Seabourn is readying a menu of dining options on its newest ship, Seabourn Ovation. Scheduled to launch in May 2018, the fifth ultra-luxury vessel in the Seabourn fleet will have five distinct restaurants, each serving gourmet dishes curated by expert chefs, including the Michelin-starred American Chef and restaurateur, Thomas Keller.

Here’s what’s on the menu for Seabourn Ovation:

New Artisan Gelato

The ship will offer the line’s new milk- and fruit-based gelato, which will be made fresh daily and served across the vessel. Guests can choose from flavors like Amarena Cherry, Amaretto, Dulce De Leche, and Cappuccino. The selection will also include fruit-based gelato flavors such as Blood Orange, Coconut, Wild Berry, Yuzu, Black Currant, and Black Cherry.

The gelato menu will also have a local ingredient gelato as a “daily special” on voyages where the culinary team can procure the ingredients in select ports such as lemon when visiting the Amalfi Coast. Flavors will also include “no sugar added” gelato. The new gelato program will launch in April on Seabourn Encore and be available fleet wide by early 2019.
The Grill by Thomas Keller

Created via partnership with Thomas Keller, The Grill serves a classic menu with updated versions of iconic dishes in an ambiance inspired by the classic ’50s and ’60s American restaurant. Options include classic Caesar Salad; Lobster Thermidor; Medallions of Elysian Fields Farm Lamb; And Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart. The wine list, personally curated by Chef Keller, has more than 90 domestic and old-world labels, including many rare offerings. Advanced reservations are required for The Grill.

Sushi

Sushi offers hot and cold items like Salmon Tataki; Black King Fish Sashimi; and Bbq Eel Maki. The sake menu offers a number of selections, many displayed against a lighted wall creating a work of art. Service is available through the day, including Bento boxes and select sushi features at lunch, with sushi chefs in action for all to see. This restaurant is only featured on Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation.

 

The Restaurant

A fine-dining and open-seating gourmet experience, The Restaurant’s menus offer a wide variety of choices and dishes prepared to order by the line’s culinary team. Choose an appetizer, an entrée (or vegetarian option), and a dessert with selections such as Black Truffle Risotto & Poached Egg; Char Broiled Iberico Pork Chop; Crisp Polenta and Mushroom Cake; and Hot Coconut Soufflé. On select nights, The Restaurant offers a selection of dishes by Thomas Keller as well as favorites from Seabourn’s menu. The Restaurant also features a premium wine selection showcased in a glass wall.

 

The Colonnade

This casual restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating is the spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared in an open-kitchen style and offered via table service or buffet. Guests can look on as Seabourn chefs create an ever-changing array of regionally themed, bistro-style experiences such as Dungeness Crab Cakes; Roast Prime Rib of Beef; Potato & Beaufort Cheese Torte; And Baked New York Cheese Cake. Special theme nights offer Chef Keller-influenced family-style dinners that pay homage to his American childhood.

 

The Patio

Relaxed, casual, and located by the pool, The Patio offers luncheon buffets and a full dinner menu with salads, pastas, soups, and grilled specialties, plus freshly baked gourmet pizza. Guests can order Chef Keller’s signature Napa Burger developed exclusively for Seabourn, or his artisanal Yountwurst hot-dog named for the hometown of The French Laundry and the original Bouchon.

In-Suite Dining

Seabourn Ovation offers a menu of gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner items around the clock, including course by course dinner from The Restaurant, to be enjoyed in suite or on the private veranda.

 

Cocktail Hour

Seabourn Ovation will have seven lounges and bars with an accessible open-bar policy. Select venues also offer craft cocktails created exclusively for Seabourn by mixologist Brian van Flandern. Every evening guests will find tapas served in the Observation Bar and a selection of canapes in The Club.

Seabourn Square

Seabourn Square offers freshly baked breakfast treats and afternoon snacks. The baristas onboard also roast coffee fresh each day and prepare a variety of coffee and tea selections.

Afternoon Tea

Served daily in The Observation Bar, Afternoon Tea is welcome ritual for many guests and includes light bites such as scones and fresh baked cookies.

Learn More About Seabourn…..