Travel Experiences That Make a Difference in Hawaii

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PHOTO: The scenic Waihee Ridge on Maui. (photo by Will McGough)

 

These days, many hotels encourage their guests to give back to the destination by holding small beach cleanups as part of their daily activities. It’s a painless way of chipping in for an hour, and hanging out on the beach isn’t all that bad.

The same goes during turtle hatching season. Many hotels block off the nests and even allow guests to help release the baby turtles into the sea. It’s a great idea, and as long as the activities are interesting enough, guests are excited to take part.

In Hawaii, a new website called Travel2Change aims to take that voluntourism concept to a new level.

The idea is to expand outside of hotels and into the local communities on Oahu and Maui, to partner with local nonprofits and eco-friendly companies for an active, engaging volunteer activity.

It goes beyond the meandering beach cleanup (although they do offer some of them) to fun, adventurous outings that pair restoration, education and preservation, making them feel like an organized tour—one in which you take full part. In this way, you are set up to do good, but you’re also guaranteed a good time and to feel like you’re traveling and exploring while meeting the locals.

 

Travel2Change has listings for both free and pay-for experiences; some are of the “clean-up” variety (beaches, invasive plants, etc.) while some focus on teaching tradition and culture. Here are five more examples that give you an idea of what Travel2Change is trying to do. Consider checking one out on your next trip:

 

Island: Maui

Outing Description: This scenic hike through Honokowai Valley showcases an intact example of a native Hawaiian village. Along the way, help clear alien overgrowth from the rock walls and see the layout of the village while your guide shares stories to help you feel the presence of its former inhabitants.

Top Perks: Learn the history of the place that once included a native Hawaiian Village and its artifacts; Visit a site on private land that few get to see; and enjoy a sweeping view of west Maui’s from the Pali Hills in the coffee plantations above Kaanapali.

Cost: Free/Donation

 

Island: Oahu

Outing Description: Run by nonprofit Lokahi Canoe Club, this program aims to educate travelers about the Hawaiian paddling culture with respect to the traditional practice. On this tour, you will paddle an outrigger down the Ala Wai Canal to the ocean in view of Waikiki, Magic Island, Ala Moana Beach Park and Diamond Head.

Top Perks: Learn to paddle an outrigger canoe; incredible views of Waikiki and Diamond Head.

Cost: Free/Donation

 

Island: Maui

Outing Description: Guava is tasty, but it’s also one of the most invasive plants in the Hawaiian Islands. Take a hike up the scenic Waihee Ridge Trail to help control their spread (i.e. cut some of them down), while learning about the threats they impose on Hawaii’s native rainforests.

Top Perks: Safely hike the Waihee Ridge with a guide; Check out the Makamakaole Waterfall; Pick and eat fresh strawberry guava.

Cost: Free/Donation

 

Island: Maui

Outing Description: If you’re obsessed with sea turtles and have participated in previous activities—such as releasing baby turtles back to the sea, or observing their nests on the beach—this will be a good next step for you. Run by the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, this outing allows you to link up with local researchers and help them record data as the Honu (sea turtles) come ashore at Hookipa Beach, a famous windsurfing spot.

Top Perks: Learn what kind of data the Hawaii Wildlife Fund collects on sea turtles; help prevent other tourists from harassing the turtles; hang out with the honu.

Cost: Free/Donation

 

Island: Oahu

Outing Description: If you’ve never heard of an ancient Hawaiian Fishpond, it’s time to get caught up. Hawaiians masterfully used these man-made ponds to ensure the health and sustainability of the fish population.

Unfortunately, invasive plant species have found their way into them—as well as the rivers, valleys and estuaries—encroaching on natural irrigation routes. This outing takes you to Heeia State Park where you will learn about the fishponds and remove invasive fauna (which will be chipped, composted and repurposed on site).

Top Perks: Learn about a traditional Hawaiian fishpond and work in the beauty Kaneohe Bay.

Cost: Free/Donation

Courtesy of Will McGough.

Eating Your Way Across Kauai’s South Shore

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Kauai Cuisine

PHOTO: Fish dish at Keoki’s Paradise in Kauai. (photo by Paul Heney)

 

Mention the lush island of Kauai to some, and they’ll think: green mountain ridges, beautiful beaches or helicopter rides.

Me? I think food.

Sure, I think of those other things, too. But after a handful of visits to the oldest of the major Hawaiian Islands, I’ve discovered there are a lot of good meals to be had in this little corner of paradise. My family recently ate our way across Kauai’s sunny southern strip, anchored by the Poipu area:

 

Eating House 1849 by the award-winning Chef Roy Yamaguchi is in the catbird’s seat at the upscale Shops at Kukuiula. With a lovely view out toward the ocean from the second floor, this restaurant specializes in plantation-style cuisine, with a focus on fresh, local ingredients from the island.

You’ll start out with a complimentary bowl of edamame while you peruse the drink menu. The Hawaiian Martini and Clark’s Poipu Sunset shine while the crispy fried calamari is an excellent choice for an appetizer.

We had a little of everything here, from the burger (fantastic) to the marlin special, which was firm and steak-like. Our teenaged son ordered the whole snapper and didn’t realize he’d get the WHOLE snapper—head, tail, bones and all. (I wish the wait staff had warned him about that, but they were otherwise flawless.)

Josh managed to pick it apart nicely, and it was tasty. The restaurant’s specialty dessert is a chocolate soufflé, which takes 20 minutes to prepare—so your waiter will ask you ahead of time if you’d like to order it. Take it from our family, it’s worthwhile, as were the Deconstructed Smores and the Warm Apple Volcano.

I’ve long felt that The Beach House is one of the best restaurants anywhere. Situated right on the water, the view of the waves, ocean and sunsets is without equal. And while the prices are very high, the food has always been top notch.

So, we were a little disappointed that a couple of our dishes didn’t hold up to some past experiences.

That said, there was a lot to be happy about: The wine list is excellent, and the warm ciabatta bread was so good, I think we could have subsisted entirely on that. The crab cake appetizer was nice, with virtually no filler and a tasty mini salad accompanying it.

 

While we waited for our entrees, we witnessed a beautiful sunset, followed by warm twilight colors while kids frolicked in the waves in the distance. People took turns stepping out of the restaurant to take photos. Tiki torches were lit around sunset; The atmosphere here is absolutely romantic, but it’s a great experience for families, too.

The Beach House has several standard variations on the daily catch—from crab-crusted to wasabi-buttered to grilled. Your server will explain what the day’s featured catches are, and which ones will be served which way.

We all had different fish and, while they were good, they lacked a bit of flavor. On the other end of the spectrum, our youngest, Matthew, said his pasta was “probably the best I’ve ever had.” (I sampled it after that comment, and he was right on the mark.)

Dessert was mixed as well; the sweetness of the banana cream pie was slightly off, although the chocolate cream pie was delightful.

Located in Poipu Shopping Village, Keoki’s Paradise features steaks, ribs and seafood in a unique setting with streams, plants and waterfalls inside the restaurant. Combined with the huge open windows on one side, it almost feels like eating in a south seas pavilion.

Live music and a hula dancer were performing the night we stopped by, making for a lovely evening even before the food came.

Everything here met or exceeded our expectations. Carrot muffins with a delightful cinnamon honey vanilla butter disappeared quickly. Our youngest son’s Volcano mocktail was a hit, too.

There are four fresh fish catches of the day, and you can mix and match any with several standard preparations. Our favorite? The Panko & Mac Nut Crusted red snapper was light but tasty and prepared perfectly. Our only complaint was that we’d stuffed ourselves so much that we didn’t have room for dessert.

We all agreed that all in all, this was the best and most memorable meal of our vacation.

 

Our other favorites include:

La Spezia is a charming little restaurant and wine bar in Koloa town that offers some twists on Italian fare. It’s only open for breakfast and dinner. Or try their weekly brunch on Sundays, which features a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar and an incredible French toast dish stuffed with bacon, brie and strawberry jam.

Stop by the simple Puka Dog stand, also in the Poipu Shopping Village. While I admit I’m not particularly a huge fan of hot dogs, the toppings at Puka Dog and the unique bread they use (instead of a traditional bun) won all of us over. Definitely get the Auntie Lilikoi’s Hawaiian Mustard; We even bought a jar to take home from a nearby shop.

And if you’re in the mood for shave ice, venture west to Waimea, where JoJo’s Shave Ice has to be the best on the planet. Make sure to order yours with macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom. If you’re heading to Waimea Canyon, this is a great stop on the way back to Poipu.

Courtesy of Paul Heney

 

 

One&Only Emirates Wolgan Valley, Australia

Travel&Leisure Awards for One&Only Resorts

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ONE&ONLY Resorts Celebrated in Travel+Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2017

  • One&Only Resorts #6, Top 15 Hotel Brands
  • One&Only Royal Mirage #3: Best Resorts in North Africa and the Middle East
  • One&Only The Palm #5: Best Resorts in North Africa and the Middle East
  • One&OnlyCape Town #5:Top City Hotels in Africa

 

One&Only Resorts is honoured to once again be recognised in the annual Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. Selected by travellers from around the world through a reader’s survey, Travel + Leisure has released the 2017 World’s Best Awards, celebrating the best of the best in hotels, destination spas, airlines, cruise lines, islands, cities, tour operators, and more. One&Only Resorts has been celebrated as #6 in the Top 15 Hotel Brands; One&Only Royal Mirage and One&Only The Palm are recognised as #3 and #5 of Best Resorts in North Africa and the Middle East respectively, as well as One&Only Cape Town ranked in the top five City Hotels in Africa. The 22nd annual World’s Best Awards are featured in Travel + Leisure’s August 2017 issue, on newsstands 28 July, and the list is also included on the magazine’s website.

Created exclusively for the ultra-luxury market, One&Only Resorts are conceived as hallmarks of excellence and set amongst some of the most beautiful locales in the world. The award-winning collection continues to evolve with the recent announcement of One&Only Nature Resorts (One&Only Nyungwe House and One&Only Gorilla’s Nest in Rwanda, building on the success of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in Australia), One&Only Urban Resorts, and One&Only Private Homes.

“To be celebrated as a brand, and have three of our resorts, on this prestigious list is quite an honour,” says Philippe Zuber, President and Chief Operating Officer, One&Only Resorts. “As a global collection of ultra-luxury resorts, we always strive to provide our guests with memorable experiences in incredible locations with distinctive style, unparalleled service, and genuine hospitality. For One&Only to continue to be revered by our esteemed guests is a testament to the incredible work of our colleagues across the globe.”

One&Only Royal Mirage, situated on a kilometer of private beachfront in Dubai, provides guests with an authentic expression of timeless Arabian hospitality. The resort, celebrated by Travel + Leisure as #3 on the “Best Resorts in North Africa and the Middle East” list, is conjured of three distinct environments — The Palace, a regal domain with a private entrance; Arabian Court, crafted in the spirit of the Orient; and Residence & Spa, an intimate atmosphere with exclusive culinary offerings and a Beach Garden Villa — all overlooking Palm Island Bay. The resort also features eight dining venues, offering an array of local and international cuisine, including Jetty Lounge and Eauzone, a majestic restaurant featuring floating majilis and overlooking the Arabian Gulf and transparent pool. For spa goers, the One&Only Spa features a traditional Hamman, offering a unique Moroccan experience.

On the shores of Palm Island, lies Dubai’s most intimate beachfront resort — One&Only The Palm. An elegant, secluded beachfront oasis, One&Only The Palm has been recognised by Travel + Leisure readers as one of the “Best Resorts in North Africa and the Middle East” (#5). Commanding an enviable spot on the private peninsula and offering one-of-a-kind views of the New Dubai skyline, One&Only The Palm offers guests the first Guerlain Spa in the United Arab Emirates, complete with treatments designed exclusively for the resort; a private marina; four fashionable beachfront villas; culinary experiences including ZEST, 101 Dining Lounge and Marina, as well STAY by Yannick Alléno, a three-Michelin star chef; and much more.

One&Only Cape Town, the premier One&Only Urban Resort providing panoramic views of Table Mountain, is situated at the centre of Cape Town’s fashionable Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The iconic resort has been honoured as a “Top Five City Hotels in Africa” by Travel + Leisure readers, and recently unveiled the Champagne Suite by Dom Pérignon at One&Only Cape Town — the first in Africa. The resort is also an epicurean haven with two stellar restaurants — the first Nobu in Africa, serving guests traditional Japanese with a Peruvian twist, and Reuben’s, the urban restaurant of South African Celebrity Chef Reuben Riffel. Featuring one of the best spas in the city, the One&Only Spa located on its own private island amongst the lush waterways of the marina is perfect for indulgent, pampering days. Learn More about One&Only Resorts…..

One&Only Nyungwe House

One & Only Evolves

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One&Only Hotels & Resorts Announces Plans For Brand Evolution

One&Only, created exclusively for the ultra-luxury market, and conceived as a hallmark of excellence, is evolving their portfolio beyond award-winning Beach Resorts with One&Only Nature Resorts, One&Only Urban Resorts and One&Only Private Homes. These new experiences will complement the existing award-winning resort collection, set in some of the most beautiful locations in the world, offering guests a distinctive style and personality borne of its local culture, a genuine hospitality and a lively energy that is unparalleled.

“I am thrilled we are able to continue to evolve the One&Only experience, providing the once-in-a-lifetime experiences in which our guests seek,” says Philippe Zuber, President and Chief Operating Officer, One&Only Resorts. “Building on the legacy and success of One&Only, it is an exciting time for the brand as we continue to combine completely distinctive experiences with ultra-luxury. We look forward to sharing additional locations for our resorts, whether it be in the ultimate address in a prime city or an authentically wild undiscovered location soon.”

All One&Only Nature Resorts will offer incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences and provide pure celebration of each dramatic location, offering access to nature’s best kept secrets, in an inspired itinerary, curated for the most discerning global travellers. Intimate in size, the architectural design of each resort will respect the surroundings and cleverly frame the best aspects of the natural beauty. Minimal impact will be made to the location, from development through to operations and guests will have an opportunity to ‘give back’ with hands-on, interactive, immersive experiences with the local community, each perfectly curated to the destination.

Following the success of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in Australia as the first hotel in the world to achieve internationally accredited carbon-neutral certification by CarbonZero, all One&Only Nature Resorts will aim for this distinction. In addition, our culinary philosophy will be based on the very best seasonal, regional and, where possible, organic produce from local boutique farms, private growers and vintners. A wide variety of spectacular accommodation will place an emphasis on privacy and beautiful vistas. One&Only Nature Resorts will provide luxury of the rarest kind. Like all properties within the One&Only collection, One&Only Nature Resorts will celebrate its location, showcasing the country’s rich history and reflecting the local culture with a design appeal to attract the contemporary traveller seeking ultimate luxury.

Joining Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, two spectacular resorts will be introduced under One&Only Nature Resorts, One&Only Nyungwe House and One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, both located in Rwanda. One&Only Nyungwe House is designed to fit harmoniously within its natural surroundings and is situ ted in Gisakura, a working tea plantation, on the edge of the Nyungwe National Park. The Nyungwe Forest is thought to be one of the oldest forests in Africa, with incredible diversity including over 13 different species of primates, representing 20% of all the apes in Africa and 75 different species of mammals.

Luxury suites and villas will be modern in design, yet with traditional African touches, each overlooking the vast African terrain with private decks and fire places. Guests can explore the National Park including exploratory treks to discover chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, grey – cheeked mangabeys and the Kamiranzovu Swamps and Waterfalls. Bird watching should not be missed with over 275 species of birds in the lush surroundings, including giant hornbills, great blue turacos and red-breasted sparrow hawks being amongst the bird-watcher’s favourites. Cultural walks can also be enjoyed. One&Only Nyungwe House will begin welcoming guests in 2017.

“We are proud and excited to continue to innovate at One&Only and introduce new experiences for our guests. One&Only Nature Resorts will provide our guests illuminating and immersive experiences full of adventure that will allow for exploration and discovery,” continued Philippe Zuber. “Rwanda is such an incredible destination with truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We look forward to immersing our guests in the country and culture and providing that ultimate connection with nature in the ultimate locations.”

One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, located near the village of Kingi, will be incredibly positioned on the foothills of the Virunga Volcano range. This beautiful resort, nestled amongst a forest of eucalyptus trees will provide breath-taking views of Rwandan hills and the slopes of the Volcanoes National Park. Guests will be able to discover the magical habitat of Mountain Gorillas, a rare adventure. Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world where the critically endangered mountain gorillas live. Experts estimate that there are only 780 mountain gorillas still in existence – and one third of these are in Rwanda. Conservation efforts are funded by a very limited amount of permits and funds are allocated to anti-poaching efforts and local communities businesses. However, after over 40 years of conservation and habitat restoration efforts have helped steadily increase the population of mountain gorillas, with a 14% increase in the past 12 years. In addition to the Gorilla Trek, guests will also be able to discover Golden Monkeys, as well as visit Dian Fossey’s Karisoke Camp.

Bespoke accommodation will honour the location and natural elements will be woven throughout the resort, to inform the design of both the public and private spaces of the resort. Local African cuisine will surround a traditional Boma, providing the perfect location to share adventures from the day and enjoy fruit and vegetables from the resort’s garden. The resort will also offer an indulgent One&Only Spa and Fitness Centre, honouring the inspired surrounds with treatments using traditional African elements, as well as the latest state-of-the-art technology.

TRS Hotels – The Perfect Hideaway for Adults Only!

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Because maturity comes with the certainty of knowing what we deserve. And there is nothing more fulfilling than being loyal to ourselves and growing into our full potential. That is why The Royal Suites by Palladium has evolved with a new look and more exclusive services. What are your vacation dreams? What truly makes you feel good? Get ready to live a genuine and enriching experience at the most beautiful destinations in Mexico & the Caribbean, where you decide: when, where and how.

Welcome to the new The Royal Suites – TRS Hotels

 

TRS Hotels is an all-inclusive concept offering personalized treatment for adults only. The guest can savor an intimate ambiance and wind down in any of our exclusive luxury resorts. TRS HOTELS is an all-inclusive resort, an increasingly popular vacation center concept, where the fixed price includes absolutely all the additional expenditure that would be incurred if the guest were only booking a room including food, drinks and most of the entertainment and activities on offer.

From a luxurious room, right into the swim-up pool in one elegant jump. From a sparkling toast with your partner or friends – inspired by the stunning Caribbean Sea views of our private beach club – to the flavors of the world at our exclusive international ‘à la carte’ restaurants and bars. Anything else in mind?

The butler and 24-hour room service will give you the personal attention you deserve. Come to enjoy new life enriching experiences, within a cool and relaxed adults-only setting. Your inner child is the only kid you will hear.

 

Choose your own paradise:

 

Whether you prefer beautiful Punta Cana, Dominican Republic’s top destination famous for having some of the best tropical beaches in the world, or the fascinating Riviera Maya, a unique district on the Mexican Caribbean coastline known for its landscapes and archaeological sites of ancient civilization. Or even the coral reefs found in the depths of the sea, our hotels are located in the heart of each destination.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection to Launch in 2019

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(Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Hotels)

A new ultra-luxury, small-ship venture is on the horizon. In late 2019, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, a new luxury yachting and cruising brand, will launch with the first of three 298-passenger ultra-luxury yachts. A second yacht will set sail in the first quarter of 2021, a third in early 2022.

The Ritz-Carlton will provide luxury hospitality service under a long-term operating agreement. General reservations will open in May 2018.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality and the vessels are sure to be true stand outs in some of the most glamorous ports around the world.  This unique combination of yachting and cruising will usher in a new way of luxury travel for guests seeking to discover the world in a relaxed, casually elegant and comfortable atmosphere with the highest level of personalized service.

Look for itineraries that combine the lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton’s luxury resorts and the casual freedom of a yachting vacation. The first ship’s itineraries are expected to be seven- to 10-day voyages and mostly point-to-point.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection 623-foot-long vessels will be able to call at ports that larger ships can’t. The first ship, depending on the season, is expected to cruise the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Whether the yacht is calling at Capri or Portofino in Italy, St. Barths in the Caribbean or the old town of Cartagena, the new brand says its guests will enjoy a relaxed pace that includes both overnight and day-time ports of call and a uniquely curated destination experience.

A Little Taste of Bolivia

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We’d like to offers a small insight of the breathtaking country BOLIVIA.

Impressive icebound peaks and high-altitude deserts of the Andes, rainforests and savannahs of the Amazon basin, Bolivia offers travelers stunning scenery, legendary landmarks and a indigenous heritage.

Where to Go:

Spend a few days in the fascinating city of La Paz, which combines a high-altitude setting with a blend of traditional indigenous and modern urban cultures. La Paz is also close to Lago Titicaca, the massive azure lake close to the Peruvian border. The best start for your adventurous Amazon visit is the town of Rurrenabaque, close to the rainforests of Parque Nacional Madidi and the wildlife-rich Río Yacuma.  And of course do not miss Uyuni! A region of high-altitude deserts and half-frozen, mineral-stained lakes, populated by wild flamingos. And this is just the beginning.

Bolivia surprises with unique and barely-visited landscapes and cultures.
This country offers their travelers everything that is considered most exotic and mysterious about South America.

A country of great beauty, stunning landscapes, and unique attractions. A country with the highest capital city in the world, the largest salt flats in the world, mountains, jungles, lakes, and everything else in between.

Stretching from the majestic icebound peaks and bleak high-altitude deserts of the Andes to the exuberant rainforests and vast savannahs of the Amazon basin, Bolivia embraces an astonishing range of landscapes and climates. This mystical terrain boasts scores of breathtaking attractions including stark otherworldly salt pans, ancient Inca trails and towering volcanic peaks. Landlocked at the remote heart of South America, Bolivia rewards the adventurous travelers and encompasses everything that outsiders find most exotic and mysterious about the continent.

Go on an Adventure – Visit Bolivia!

What is Travel is S.W.E.L.L.?

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Travel is S.W.E.L.L.com – Travel is S.W.E.L.L., (Shaping Travel through Wellness, Enlightenment, Love and Luxury) is a provider of experiential travel, wellness and luxury tours and vacations. Our Luxury Collection includes romantic getaways, sumptuous culinary tours, experiential tours, spa vacations, luxury all-inclusive vacations, wellness retreats, safari holidays and luxury tented camp resort experiences. We can also assist you with destination weddings, meetings and incentive programs.   With Travel is S.W.E.L.L.com, you can create inspiring, one-of-a-kind travel experiences in more than 60 countries on six continents. Wherever you choose to travel, we offer special inclusions and behind-the-scenes access that allows you to discover your destination in unmatched authenticity and style.  All-in-all, Travel is S.W.E.L.L is everything stylish, elegant and fashionably designed for your personal travel needs.  Call Travel is S.W.E.L.L..com at 1-888-898-3628 for immediate assistance.

Welcome to Travel is S.W.E.L.L.com

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Travel Is S.W.E.L.L.com is all things stylish, elegant and fashionably designed for your travel experience. Travel is Swell is a proud member of Elite Travel Consulting, Inc. Elite Travel Consulting provides travel consulting services and complete travel planning, meetings and incentives, and unique travel experiences to include all-inclusive vacations, family vacations, adults-only vacations, luxury beach resorts, exotic resorts, our very own luxury tours, safaris, private jet vacations and romance getaways to most major destinations worldwide.