Venture Resorts, the largest cabin rental agency in the Smoky Mountains, has announced a special September Half Price Weekend. During the weekend of September 12-14, guests can save 50% on cabins of four or more bedrooms.
“September is a great time to come to the Smokies,” says Billy Parris, general manager of Venture Resorts, “The crowds thin out after Labor Day, but the weather is still great.”
Venture Resorts features over 136 cabins of four or more bedrooms. With the half price special, guests can book a cabin like the company’s “Gaze of Our Lives” for as little as $102 per night, after discount.
“That discount is on top of our already-low September rates,” says Parris. “A cabin like Gaze of Our Lives typically rents for $335 per night during October.”
With features such as gourmet kitchens and outdoor fire pits, the company’s cabins are a long way from the rustic mountain cabins of the past. “Gaze of Our Lives” includes amenities such as a home theater with sofa seating, three separate Jacuzzi tubs, and a game room with a pool table and arcade games.
In addition to its large cabin deals, Venture Resorts is also offering discounts of 20% on cabins of one to three bedrooms during the September 12-14 weekend. That means guests can book a 1-bedroom cabin for as little as $68 per night, after discount.
Cabin prices vary by cabin based on size, amenities and cabin location. Guests can visit the company’s web sites to see current rates for all cabins, with the weekend discounts applied at the time of booking. This offer is not available for existing reservations.
About Venture Resorts
Venture Resorts is the largest luxury cabin rental agency in the Smoky Mountains, managing over 460 cabins within minutes of Great Smoky Mountain National Park and family-friendly attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Staying in a luxury resort surrounded by modern accommodations does not mean that travelers must spend their entire vacation in the city. Tripps Travel Network points out that State Parks are a great, and inexpensive, way to spend a day or two during a family vacation. As the chilly months approach, families should certainly keep these beautiful parks in mind while they plan their next family vacation.
Tripps Travel Network knows that one of the major highlights of autumn is the vibrant colors that spring up throughout the forests. Oak Mountain State Park in Alabama is an excellent choice for catching some fall colors. This State Park offers nearly ten-thousand acres for visitors to explore, and they will be amazed at what they find around each corner. The various types of foliage keep an abundance of color up through the final days of fall. The stunning Peavine Falls offer park guests a memorable view as a reward for hiking through the park. Guests can also enjoy fishing, camping, bird-watching, and boating.
Another great park that travelers will not want to pass by is Colorado’s Ridgeway State Park. Tripps Travel Network is certain that nature-lovers will enjoy the beautiful shades of gold that the aspen trees turn to starting in mid-September. This time of year happens to be ideal for bird-watching as a number of migratory species are making their way through the region. Ridgeway State Park is also in proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park, where visitors can go on day hikes, scenic drives, and where kids can become Junior Rangers. This park is also ideal for a variety of fishing spots as well. Both of these parks boast great attractions that will surely keep travelers busy for days.
From Alabama to Colorado and beyond, Tripps Travel Network knows that people will enjoy these outstanding national parks. Guests can experience the great outdoors while spending time with their friends and family. While staying in these areas, vacationers should also be sure to check out the surrounding attractions and features that are available. For more information on Tripps Travel Network and its services, please visit http://trippstravelnetwork.com/
Sometimes, you have to travel the distance to Experience Extraordinary…
What defines luxury? Palatial castles, dripping in gold? Custom-made Bentleys driven by your own, personal chauffeur? We’d like to think that luxury is defined by extraordinary experiences not meant for the masses, but for those willing to go the distance for something truly unique and spectacular. The diamonds of Western Australia are found under a billion sparkling stars that blanket an endless, midnight sky (although we have the priceless gem variety as well!) in the world’s southern hemisphere. The Bentleys are found in the form or private jets that take visitors to their luxurious accommodations, found in the middle of no fewer than 1 million acres of wilderness and along stretches of white, sandy beaches and extraordinary reefs. Priceless treasures grow right from the soil, from exotic black truffles to premium grapes made into world-class wines. Gold is found everywhere, from the mines in Kalgoorlie to the endless hours of gleaming, golden sunshine in the capital city of Perth. Western Australia’s definition of luxury is to have an experience like no other, in a place overflowing with natural riches unlike any other destination in the world.
Top Luxury Accommodations
From starry nights in one of the most remote regions on earth, to the barefoot luxury of a coastal enclave, WA offers world-class lodging for the upscale traveler
El Questro, The Kimberley
This Wilderness Park totals an incredible one million acres in size, and boasts some of the region’s most lavish accommodations. The location also grants easy access to some of the best attractions in The Kimberley such as the Bungle Bungles, Lake Argyle and Ord Valley River, which is teaming with Australian wildlife and boasts unforgettable landscapes. Guests staying in The Chamberlin Suite can gaze onto the magnificent sunset from their wrap-around veranda or from the luxury of a grand, claw-foot tub surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. Three Cliff Side Retreats offer uninterrupted views of the Chamberlin River and a garden rain shower, surrounded by stone walls that provide complete privacy.
The Berkeley River Lodge, The Kimberley
Experience the stunning landscape of the Kimberley’s true wilderness in ultimate luxury. Each of the 22 private villas offer sweeping, 180-degree views, while the main lodge is the perfect place to take a dip in the pool. Those looking for a more adventurous stay can opt to take a private helicopter for a day of fishing for Barramundi, ending their day with a secluded picnic of gourmet fare prepared by renowned chef Paul Seymour.
Cape Lodge, Margaret River
A favorite of celebrities, Cape Lodge is a five-star hotel located in the heart of Western Australia’s premium wine region, Margaret River. Guests can enjoy Executive Chef Michael Elfwing’s world-class, award winning cuisine – voted #4 on Conde Nast Traveler’s “Best of Food” Gold List – and sip premium wines at the source, all against the backdrop of acres of picturesque vineyards. While all of the rooms are beautifully appointed, The Vineyard Residence is the ultimate in luxury, with a Master Suite, two King bedrooms, a guest house, a private lake and putting green on three, gorgeous acres.
Sal Salis, Coral Coast
With luxury safari tents on a private beach just steps away from the Ningaloo Reef, Sal Salis is where the outback meets the reef in grand style. With the philosophy of ‘Wild Bush Luxury,’ Sal Salis is designed to expose guests to the abundance of the natural wonders found in the region. Swimming with Whale Sharks, guided gorge walks, snorkeling, fishing and kayaking further expose guests to the spectacular natural beauty of Ningaloo Reef and its surroundings. Sal Salis is Barefoot Luxury at its finest.
The Richardson Hotel, Perth
The indulgent, ESPA-designed treatments at The Spa at The Richardson and the elaborate tasting menus at Perth’s most glamorous dining destination, Opus One, are just two of the reasons why The Richardson Hotel is Perth’s leading, 5-star boutique hotel. Although located within a short drive to some of the city’s most alluring sites, The Richardson’s spacious accommodations, superb service and understated elegance may be too captivating to leave!
Faraway Bay, The Kimberley
Located at the edge of the Kimberley coastline is the unique Faraway Bay. A breathtaking 70-minute flight from Kununurra, Faraway Bay is only accessible by air and sea. Providing unrivalled luxury for a bush camp, Faraway Bay has eight spacious cabins which dot the natural bush landscape, offering privacy and 180-degree views of the spectacular cliff-lined bay. Guests can go bird watching, explore ancient Aboriginal Art, spend a day exploring the King George River, and explore the surrounding wilderness of the untouched environment. Visit Faraway Bay and book today!
Top Luxury Experiences/Tours
From private air tours to luxury outback experiences, Western Australia offers unforgettable experiences to travelers who are seeking adventure and luxury
Walk into Luxury, Cape to Cape Track, Margaret River
Walk into Luxury will offer visitors a new option to the Margaret River wine region offering an extraordinary experience on the Cape to Cape track with all the amenities. Walk into Luxury is more than just a walk-the all-inclusive packages are complete with post-walk massages, exclusive food and wine experiences, luxury accommodations at award-winning resorts, and a host of other upscale embellishments. Voted as one of Australia’s top ten tracks, the Cape to Cape track is a spectacular and varied section of coastline featuring pristine beaches, limestone cliffs, coastal bush land, wildlife and the famed Boranup Karri forest.
To book, contact Nikki King at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Peach Journeys, Western Australia & Beyond
The Great Southern AirCruise departs October 20, 2014 and is a fantastic 12 days of exploring the South West and Golden Outback. On this luxurious trip, visitors will travel via private aircraft to Kalgoorlie, Perth, Margaret River, Albany, Esperance, Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island. The itinerary highlights Australia’s many varied landscapes, from East to West, encompassing a wonderful combination of wildflowers and wildlife. Contact: email@example.com or call + 1-630-758-0108.
Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, The Kimberely
Discover how the rare Australian South Sea Pearl is produced at Cygnet Bay Farm, the oldest operating pearl farm in Western Australia. Go behind the scenes and learn how the family-owned and operated pearl farm forged a niche in the South Sea Pearling industry in Australia’s remote North West region. Cygnet Bay Pearl offers an extensive range of land, sea and air tours; to book, visit Cygnet Bay Pearls.
Cruise the Kimberley with North Star Cruises, The Kimberley
Australia’s North West is one of the world’s last true wilderness areas and home to The Kimberley, a region abundant with iconic outback landscapes and rugged wilderness areas. Embark on the 13-night “Kimberley Ultimate” cruise, during which guests can witness the mighty King George Falls, the ancient rock paintings in the caves of Jar Island before soaring in a helicopter to witness the stunning Eagle Falls. The Kimberley Ultimate offers a captivating blend of adventure, luxury and service for the elite traveler. To book, visit North Star Cruises.
Top Upscale Dining
Western Australia is a destination of culinary riches, boasting pristine, locally-sourced produce, seafood and world-class wines
Restaurant Amuse, Perth
Awarded Restaurant of the Year by the Australian Hotels Association, this fine dining establishment created innovative tasting menus dictated by what is freshest each season. Owners Hadleigh and Carolynn Troy’s strong ties with local growers ensures only the best, seasonal produce will be served in Restaurant Amuse’s elegant, serene setting.
Voyager Estate, Margaret River
The restaurant of this stunning estate winery is manned by Executive Chef Nigel Harvey, who creates menus highlighting the magical marriage between food and wine that is well-paired. MUST DO: The Discovery Menu invites diners to come on a journey that reveals the Voyager Estate story through six beautifully paired courses will inform and leave your palate singing. Alternatively, the Vintage Menu encourages guests to choose courses from a seasonal menu.
The Master of Japanese cuisine, Nobu Matsuhisa, brings his signature fusion cuisine to the Crown Perth Hotel. Several omakase menus can be savored along with views of Swan River and Perth’s majestic skyline in the main dining room or one of two, private rooms, complete with private balconies and restrooms.
The Club Restaurant, Broome
This award-winning restaurant is one of several fine dining offerings at the Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa features exquisite artwork, a Club Deck for pre-dinner aperitifs and an Italian-inspired menu of gourmet delights. The menu highlights local ingredients such as Broome Pearl Meat and Cone Bay Barramundi, while the extensive wine list offers diners top bottles from around the globe.
Vasse Felix, Margaret River
The restaurant of this celebrated winery offers modern, Australian cuisine in a stunning, viticultural setting. Executive Chef Aaron Carr’s travels to Europe and Asia has influenced his cuisine, which helped the restaurant wine multiple awards including “Top 100 Restaurant” in Australian Gourmet Traveller and “Hot 50 Australian Restaurants” from The Weekend Australian.
Top Luxurious Gift Ideas
Known as the “Treasure Chest of the West,” Western Australia’s abundance of natural treasures will please even the most discerning shopper
Argyle Pink Diamonds
The Kimberley is home to one of the world largest diamond mines which produces this exquisite and rare pink diamond. For the ultimate experience, charter a private jet to the mine and choose the perfect sparkler for that very special someone. Private charters available from Edwards Aviation Australia and Aviair.
There’s a reason why Broome is referred to as the “Pearl of the North” – it’s the pearling capital of Australia! Cruise to a local pearl farm to get a first-hand look at how South Sea pearls, among the worlds most coveted, are cultured or visit Paspaley’s luxurious boutique in Broome. Not traveling to Broome? See these stunning pearls in Perth at Kailis Australian Pearls.
Home to the “Golden Mile,” the richest square mile of gold-bearing earth in the world, the Kalgoorlie Goldfields is the largest gold-producing region in the country. Feel the spirit of the gold rush pioneers and explore the area via four-wheel drive, or visit the Super Pit, the biggest gold open pit mine in the country.
Manjimup, located in the Margaret River region, produces more of the world’s black truffles than the rest of Australia combined. Enjoy these sumptuous delicacies at many restaurants throughout the country, including The Truffle & Wine Co which specializes in tours featuring truffle hunts and exports truffles to some of the most prestigious restaurants around the world.
Indigenous Art Work and Artifacts
Collectable art from one of the world’s oldest cultures feature ancient dot painting to modern pieces of work. Artefacts include aboriginal tools and musical instruments, including the incredible didgeridoo which come in many striking designs. For authentic, cultural experiences, tours and artwork visit the Western Australia Indigenous Tourism Council website.
From the Outback to the Sea with COX & KINGS
10 DAYS & 9 NIGHTS / private journey; Perth, Ningaloo Reef & The Kimberley. Begin your travels in the sun-kissed, modern city of Perth where you’ll discover Kings Park botanical gardens and immerse yourself in the area’s maritime past in the charms of Fremantle. Head north to the remote Coral Coast where you’ll stay in barefoot luxury at Sal Salis beachside safari camp and experience the world’s largest fringing coral reef, Ningaloo – home to vibrant corals, manta rays, friendly whale sharks, dugongs, giant sea turtles and tropical fish. Next, you’ll head to The Kimberley, Australia’s last great wilderness where you’ll spend two days exploring its rugged ancient landscapes at El Questro. From the Outback to the Sea, this tour helps guests explore the best of Western Australia. To book, contact COX & KINGS at 1-800-999-1758, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special offer: Book before September 1 and a pair of UGG boots are yours for free!
Learn About Wine’s Meet Us in Australia
This is an epicurean tour for food and wine lovers! Explore Margaret River region, celebrated for premium wines, black truffles and other gourmet delights, guided by Sommelier and Wine Educator Ian Blackburn. Trip includes stays at top hotels, including the Cape Lodge, multiple winery visits, activities such as canoeing and a visit to the Australia Aborigine Museum and world-class dining at top restaurants in the region.
Anzac Albany, Oct 30-Nov2
This special, commemorative event marks 100 years since the Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force set sail from Albany in 1914 to fight in World War I. Events include a Ceremonial Sunset Commemorative Service, a free public concert by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and the Princess Royal Harbour Lights, a lighting and pyrotechnics show.
Staircase to the Moon, Mar-Oct:
Just a couple of months left to experience this natural phenomenon! When the full moon rises over the exposed mudflats of Roebuck Bay at extremely low tide, it creates the optical illusion of a staircase reaching for the moon.
Wildflower Season, Jul-Nov:
Western Australia is home to over 12,000 species of wildflowers, 60% of those cannot be found anywhere in the world! Take in the breathtaking beauty of these unique and beautiful specimens at events such as the Hidden Treasures Great Southern Bloom Festival, or book a tour: Perth’s Best Flower Tour via Australian Pinnacle Tours and the Wildflower Tour from Country Escapes WA Tours are great choices. For more information, download our 2014 Wildflower Guide.
Little Penguins, Sep-Jun:
Did you know WA has their very own Penguin Island? It’s less than one hour from the capital city of Perth, and is a great destination to meet little penguins, and swim with dolphins and sea lions. Click here to book a Rockingham Wild Adventures tour.
A Taste of Broome, Sep 12:
This monthly event showcases music, media, dance, food, arts and crafts, tradition and heritage of this multicultural community. Purchase tickets here.
Australasian Safari, Sep 19-27:
Competitors from all over the world compete in one of the toughest and most challenging motor events on earth.
Perth International, Oct 23-26:
The country’s premier golf event returns, with top international golfers, including Jason Dufner, Jin Jeong, Victor Dubuisson and Brett Rumford, battling for to lay claim to the AUD $2 million purse.
Castello di Monte was launched as a Tuscan 5-star guesthouse 10 years ago and has grown from strength to strength, establishing a sterling reputation for offering bespoke hospitality.
Elegantly nestled in the lush green hills of Waterkloof Ridge, the classic Italianate beauty overlooks the spectacular green belt bordering Eastern Pretoria as well as the famous Pretoria Country Club. The beautifully sculpted gardens, mature olive trees, lavender hedges and de-stressing water features complement the tranquil charm of Cestello, only minutes from the bustling city.
Favoured by diplomats, business and leisure travellers as well as locals savouring the fine-dining establishment’s romantic accommodation, Castello, as it is fondly known, also offers the added luxury of intimate special events and conferencing.
Originally created as a private home by the master builder Rudan Maritz, Castello’s owners of the past 10 years, Tilla and Pieter van Zyl fell in love with the property at first sight on completion in 2004 and purchased it to create an exclusive guesthouse. They added a further three en-suite rooms to the original six-bedroomed property, made some changes to befit a luxe establishment, with great attention to detail in the décor to complement the timeless elegance of the owner-run guesthouse.
Castello di Monte offers delectable private dining, which is subject to reservations 24-hours in advance to ensure dietary requirements for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, high teas and cocktail functions are planned in detail. From romantic dinners for two to intimate functions for up to 35 guests, Executive Chef Louis Vermaak has created culinary triumphs for guests time and again, resulting in Castello celebrating its 10th anniversary as a well-known special events establishment, whilst treated as a splendid private home-from-home by satisfied regular overnight visitors.
The comprehensive wine list includes popular wines such as La Motte Sauvignon Blanc, Rupert and Rothchild Classique and the ever-popular Buitenverwachting Meifort.
With the team’s focus on exceeding guests’ expectations, the most common feedback from regular visitors goes along the lines of: “Great service, beautiful property, what a view…,” says the General Manager Madeleen Jacobsz, who is also the owners’ daughter.
The 360-degree vistas from the generously designed terrace are famed for its all-year round panoramic beauty over the greenbelt of Pretoria, which includes those spectacular jacaranda avenues and glorious sunsets.
The owners and management’s dream for Castello di Monte is to continue striving for exceptional service, thereby creating unforgettable experiences for guests, who return regularly to create new and lasting memories.
In celebration of this milestone anniversary, Castello will offer special bed and breakfast packages until mid-December, ranging from R2050 per couple per night (normal rate R2850) in the Classic or Terrace Rooms to the Honeymoon Suite @ R2550 per couple per night (normally R3300). Current single rates for Classic or Terrace Rooms are R1485 per person per night including breakfast. Special rates are non-commissionable.
Call the guesthouse for further special packages available until 12 December 2014, subject to availability and 24-hour reservations in advance, comprising the Romanza as well as the Corporate Packages.
Castello offers guests free Wi Fi, secure parking, luxurious accommodation, fine-dining and scrumptious breakfast – dinner on request.
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Small Hotels in the World by the reader’s poll of the venerable Condé Nast Traveler.
This hotel is truly a paradise, where guests enjoy impeccable service, world-class facilities and exciting and informative tours. The opportunities to see cascading waterfalls, explore the steaming volcanoes immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture, and of course, learn about the production of organic coffee, ensure each visitor leaves not only with sun-kissed skin, but a deeper understanding of Costa Rica, the wonderful country that Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort calls home.
The boutique coffee plantation/eco-resort offers travelers an authentic experience, without making a single sacrifice in quality. With only 14 rooms, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort still delivers the amenities of a larger hotel, catering to business clientele with a private business centre and conference room, in addition to having a library, spa, chemical-free infinity pool, Jacuzzi, restaurant, bar, and lounge.
Beyond the aforementioned amenities, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort truly distinguishes itself with its organic greenhouse, 300 on-site fruit trees, recycling centre, vermiculture (worm beds) centre, chicken coop, and of course, its on-site coffee plantation!
The 30 acre coffee plantation attracts travellers from all over the world, and though they may come to taste the aromatic and delicious coffee, they leave understanding the positive social and environmental impact of this venture. Having planted more than 5,000 native trees on their certified organic plantation, to provide shade for the plants and beans, they have simultaneously created habitats for many creatures. Operating without use of any agrochemicals, pesticides, or anything damaging to the environment, their operations are authentic, clean and eco-friendly.
Condé Nast Traveler is recognized worldwide as a creative, trusted and credible voice in the tourism industry, guiding many in their destination and hotel choices. One might be impressed and excited that Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort was featured by this publication, but definitely not surprised.
About Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort is located just 20 minutes from the San José International Airport, set in the highlands of the beautiful Central Valley. At 4,000 feet above sea level, the lodge’s property offers acres of tropical gardens and paths and a thriving, 30-acre hard bean organic shade grown coffee plantation. From the beginning, the Jampol family envisioned the creation of an exclusive boutique inn, which would become one of the world’s leading hotels, combining luxurious accommodations and amenities, cultural authenticity, environmental respect and sustainable tourism. Today, they have fulfilled this dream and the resort is recognized as one of the globe’s top destinations, demonstrating that it is possible and necessary to combine luxury with sustainability.
This high-country organic farm will provide fresh meatand produce used to create haute mountain cuisine for dude ranch guests
CLARK, Colo. — After three years of hard work anddedication, Clyde’s Farm is now a reality for The Home Ranch, an all-inclusive,Relais & Chateaux dude ranch and culinary getaway just outside SteamboatSprings. The farm will raise livestock and grow produce that General Managerand Executive Chef Clyde Nelson and his kitchen staff will use to creategourmet cuisine for guests, making The Home Ranch the ultimate destination fora glorious Colorado culinary experience.
For many years, Chef Nelson imagined and planned an organicfarm that would produce local, sustainable, high-quality livestock andvegetables. Having grown up tending a big garden and selling homegrown produceat a roadside stand, Nelson’s love for fresh ingredients and passion forquality carried over into his career. After years of effort and getting theirhands dirty, that dream is now a reality.
The farm has several objectives: “One is to give our gueststhe experience of eating and dining with the freshest ingredients they’ve everhad. The second is to show guests how a high-country organic farm in Coloradocan thrive with hands-on care and attention to detail shown by our mastergardener Adele Carlson, her crew and the chefs,” explains Chef Nelson.
Each morning, Carlson offers a tour of the farm, walkingguests through the greenhouse, garden, orchard, chicken coups and potager,explaining the crops and why it’s so important for The Home Ranch to get backto the immediate farm to fork philosophy. Clyde’s Farm currently has 24 vegetablecrops, 20 herb varieties, 54 chickens and six pigs. Next year, they will addlambs, goats and turkeys, continuing to increase flora and fauna over time.
Clyde’s Farm grew out of founders Steve and Ann Stranahan’svision to support and sustain a local ranching and farming community with “anongoing commitment to the stewardship of the land” and the goal for the nextgeneration of the Stranahans to “nourish and foster the growth of ideas andsustainable businesses in the Clark valley, and to remain true to its founder’svision.”
The Home Ranch encourages guests to visit and stroll throughClyde’s Farm during their stay. Chef Nelson, Carlson and the whole staff hopeit will become an ideal classroom to demonstrate the farm-to-table movement fortheir whole community. They look forward to seeing the first harvest andsavoring the fresh flavors of the chefs’ epicurean fare.
About The Home Ranch:
The Home Ranch is an idyllic Rocky Mountain hideaway setamid the timeless beauty of the Elk River Valley. As the only Colorado duderanch with membership in the prestigious Relais & Chateaux, The Home Ranchis renowned for its singular charm, refined comfort, exquisite cuisine andgenuine hospitality. The Home Ranch offers all-inclusive vacations that includeall ranch activities, children’s programs, gourmet cuisine, local airporttransportation and much more. Visit www.homeranch.com for more information.
Sea to Sky Gondola: The much-anticipated Sea to Sky Gondola whisks visitors from the base of the highway to a soaring 850 metres (2,788 feet) above Howe Sound. Situated near Squamish, along a scenic stretch of highway from Vancouver to Whistler, the gondola offers unprecedented, year-round access to backcountry trails and routes from the mountaintop day lodge, ideal for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and more. But if it’s views you want, a 100-metre (328-foot) suspension bridge, along with various platforms, promises stunning panoramas of the surrounding landscape. www.seatoskygondola.com/
Salute to the Sockeye: 2014 marks the dominant year for the Adams River Sockeye Salmon Run, where these mighty fish move en masse from the Pacific Ocean upstream to the Adams River to lay their eggs. While this happens annually, it is only every fourth year that is a dominant run, where the number of spawning salmon increases by millions and turns the river into an impressive display of colour. To honour this year’s run, the Adams River Salmon Society will host the Salute to the Sockeye festival at Roderick Haig-Brown Park, a celebration of music, art and, of course, salmon viewing. www.salmonsociety.com/
This Adventure’s a Bear: Bears and camping don’t necessarily go together. But in the interior of British Columbia, southwest of Williams Lake, ROAM Adventures brings the two together for a different kind of camping experience. The outdoor company’s new luxury bear camp offers deluxe waterfront accommodation, with safari-style tents on wildlife-viewing platforms overlooking Chilko Lake and the headwaters of the Chilko River — a perch that promises the best vantage point for spotting these magnificent creatures. Guests can also catch a glimpse on the water, with kayaking and rafting, or opt instead for a day of yoga and soothing massage. www.iroamtheworld.com/
Ancient Voices, Modern Travels
With the highest diversity of distinct First Nations in Canada, British Columbia is rich in Aboriginal culture, from ancient village sites to sophisticated interpretive centres, museums and tours. Visitors are encouraged to unravel the culture of these people, whose presence and influence in the province — seen everywhere in their artwork, carvings and totem poles — is impossible to miss. Where to start? Dip your paddle for a Traditional West Coast Canoe Tour of Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm with Takaya Tours, explore the private beaches (and overnight in everything from rustic yurts to timber frame beach lodges) at Vancouver Island’s Wya Point & Resort or travel farther afield to view the new Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole in Northern BC, a 13-metre (42-foot) monumental pole that was the first to be raised in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in 130 years.
Sip and Sample in BC
It’s a Craft: A craft beer revolution is brewing in every corner of British Columbia, with microbreweries, brewpubs and small-batch producers hopping on the demand for creative, inspired ales, lagers and the like. In the past year alone, there have been nine new breweries that have opened across the province, from Wheelhouse Brewing Company as far north as Prince Rupert to The Heid Out Restaurant and Brewhouse as far east as Cranbrook, with the greatest concentration opening in Vancouver, including Brassneck Brewery, 33 Acres Brewing Company, Four Winds Brewing, Bridge Brewing Company and Green Leaf Brewing Company, among others. That’s just a small sampling though, with even more breweries scheduled to open in 2014.
The Spirit of Things: Not to be left out, spirits are also making their presence known, with Vancouver’s Odd Society Spirits, The Liberty Distillery and Long Table Distillery joining already established Victoria Spirits, Island Spirits Distillery, Shelter Point Distillery and Pemberton Distillery in the Vancouver Island and Vancouver, Coast & Mountains regions respectively. Expect to find everything from smooth, sipping vodka made with malted barley grown in Prince George to flavourful gin infused with juniper berries and blackcurrants picked in the Comox Valley.
To Market, To Market: Local markets are a regular fixture during the sunny summer months. What happens though when fair-weather markets close up shop? Not to worry, thanks to the new indoor, year-round Victoria Public Market on Vancouver Island. Housed in a former historic Hudson’s Bay Company store, this downtown draw promises fresh, local, seasonal fare from vendors that include Salt Spring Island Cheese, Silk Road Tea, Cowichan Bay Seafood and more. http://victoriapublicmarket.com/
Over in Richmond, not one — but two — summer markets cater to the throngs of visitors that come to stock up on trinkets, watch live musical performances, and above all, fill up on the delectable Asian food, from soft dumplings to crispy pork belly. The city’s remarkable dining scene features over 800 restaurants, 400 of which are Asian and clustered mainly in the Golden Village neighbourhood. With so many eateries to choose from, one could dine out at a different restaurant every day for a year without repeating themselves. In fact, that’s just what one blogger did: www.365daysdining.com
Urban Scapes, Outdoor Escapes
While British Columbia’s urban centres offer cosmopolitan experiences, cutting-edge food scenes and stellar nightlife, a defining feature of our cities is quite possibly their proximity to nature. On the doorstep of mountains, oceans, forests, beach, trails and more, cities here offer access to amazing outdoor adventure — most within a 30-minute drive of downtown cores. Outside of Kamloops, for example, you’ve got some of the finest golf anywhere. Victoria, on the other hand, is but a boat launch from the Orca pods that call Haro Strait home. And Vancouver, well, you can bike, golf, sail and ski (sometimes all in one day), just beyond the city lights. And that’s just for starters.
It’s little wonder then that BC offers a host of outdoor adventures sure to get the blood pumping. There’s singletrack for mountain bikers in Whistler, North Vancouver, Squamish, Williams Lake and Nelson. You can take to the sky with Whistler’s Superfly Ziplines, a thrilling mountaintop adventure with two ziplines that have the distinction of being Canada’s longest. Or, for a change of pace, trade mountains for the beach, and paddle big waves off Tofino or Masset.
Stay any 3 nights Sunday – Thursday and your 3rd night is only $99 at The White Lilac Inn in Spring Lake, NJ. Or, stretch your weekend to 3 nights Friday, Saturday and Sunday and save $50 off your 3rd night. Full breakfast daily /Wi-Fi / beach badges / bicycles / onsite parking are all included with your stay. (Rates based on double occupancy / tax & gratuity not included). (This special may not be combined with any other discount, gift certificates or previous reservations). The White Lilac Inn, circa 1880, is located in a peaceful corner of Spring Lake NJ, just a stones throw from Wreck Pond, and only a few blocks to the Atlantic Ocean. 732-449-0211, http://www.whitelilac.com/
Fall in Love – Romance for Two
Fall in love all over again at Cedars and Beeches Bed and Breakfast in Long Branch, NJ. Arrive at Cedars & Beeches and check into your spacious king size bedroom featuring French windows and private bath. Upon arrival in your room, our gift to you, your complimentary bottle of wine awaits you and your love.One of the highlights of your intimate getaway will be your “Just for two” massage, en suite. Our staff will set up your rooms, complete with spa robes, just before your appointed time. Once the therapist begins, you both will be transported to a world of relaxation.
Shopping and dining at West End Village or Pier Village is just a few blocks away. Entertainment? The NJ Repertory Company on nearby Broadway, offers a (wide) variety of theatrical performances throughout the year, both drama and comedy, and always interesting. Guests will receive a 25% discount on tickets booked through this package. The Pollack Theatre, the Lauren B. Woods, and the Count Basie also offer entertainment ranging from music to theatre. Package includes: King room accommodations, hotel taxes and gratuities, just for two massage, massage tax, bottle of wine upon arrival, sweet treat, delicious breakfast, 25% discount on performances at NJ Repertory Theatre (subject to theatre dates). Rates start at $425 per couple. Additional nights of stay are available or ask to create a package designed just for you. 732-571-6777; http://www.cedarsandbeeches.com.
Various Fall getaways at Minerva’s By the Sea Bed and Breakfast in Barnegat Light, NJ:
September 19-21 “Telling your Story—Writing your Life”
Back for a second year, the dynamic duo of editor Kim Nagy from Wild River Review
(www.wildriverreview.com) and award-winning family-story novelist Marina Gottlieb Sarles (www.marinagottliebsarles) invite you to create some tools for your children and grandchildren to help them remember and celebrate your family’s legacy. Wrapped around group sessions and private consultations with these accomplished writers, for the gentle price of $375 ($315 if you are sharing a room), this weekend calls out to all of us who are (or have) grandparents, parents, children, and/or grandchildren. Located at the northern tip of New Jersey’s Long Beach Island, in the shadow of Old Barney, one of New Jersey’s tallest lighthouses, Minerva’s By the Sea Bed and Breakfast is beautifully situated in the unspoiled, un-commercial, and often un-crowded Barnegat Light, NJ. Each weekend is limited to ten participants, and rates include lodging, all workshop sessions, and four healthful meals (two breakfasts, and two suppers). For any of the workshops, participants also have the option to extend your stay for up to two additional two nights for $60/night—including breakfast. Optional on-site massage by certified massage therapist is also available. (609) 494-1000; www.MinervasBandB.com.
September 26-28 Yogic & Taoist Arts Workshop led by Gabrielle de Burke (www.DragonSpiritArts.com ) and certified acupuncturist Adam Shriber (www.wellpointom.com/about.htm) . Interested in Restorative or Yang Flow Yoga, Qi-Gong, and acupuncture? This weekend–priced as low as $450/person for a shared room–could be for you! Located at the northern tip of New Jersey’s Long Beach Island, in the shadow of Old Barney, one of New Jersey’s tallest lighthouses, Minerva’s By the Sea Bed and Breakfast is beautifully situated in the unspoiled, un-commercial, and often un-crowded Barnegat Light, NJ. Each weekend is limited to ten participants, and rates include lodging, all workshop sessions, and four healthful meals (two breakfasts, and two suppers). For any of the workshops, participants also have the option to extend your stay for up to two additional two nights for $60/night—including breakfast. Optional on-site massage by certified massage therapist is also available. (609) 494-1000; www.MinervasBandB.com.
October 3-5 “Embracing the Coming Age(s):
A Weekend of Possibility: Are you (or is someone close to you) heading for age 55? 65? 75? 85 and beyond? Are you anticipating (or dreading) the possibilities that lie ahead? Led by an insightful octogenarian who has spent years thinking and publishing about this topic, perhaps this celebratory workshop–at $240/person–is for you. Located at the northern tip of New Jersey’s Long Beach Island, in the shadow of Old Barney, one of New Jersey’s tallest lighthouses, Minerva’s By the Sea Bed and Breakfast is beautifully situated in the unspoiled, un-commercial, and often un-crowded Barnegat Light, NJ. Each weekend is limited to ten participants, and rates include lodging, all workshop sessions, and four healthful meals (two breakfasts, and two suppers). For any of the workshops, participants also have the option to extend your stay for up to two additional two nights for $60/night—including breakfast. Optional on-site massage by certified massage therapist is also available. (609) 494-1000; www.MinervasBandB.com.
October 24-26 Minerva’s Fifth Annual Gourmet Weekend, eaturing Saturday supper prepared before your eyes by world-class chef Charles Ostergren, using locally-sourced seafood and produce. Is your head swimming from the ever-changing theories about what’s “good for us,” and about how researchers arrive at those theories? Want to explore the current controversies around nutrition, and how to choose and procure “good” food? Or perhaps you’d just like to enjoy the ocean, eat four great meals, and go home with some new recipes? At $240/person, this could be a healthful and intriguing weekend. Located at the northern tip of New Jersey’s Long Beach Island, in the shadow of Old Barney, one of New Jersey’s tallest lighthouses, Minerva’s By the Sea Bed and Breakfast is beautifully situated in the unspoiled, un-commercial, and often un-crowded Barnegat Light, NJ. Each weekend is limited to ten participants, and rates include lodging, all workshop sessions, and four healthful meals (two breakfasts, and two suppers). For any of the workshops, participants also have the option to extend your stay for up to two additional two nights for $60/night—including breakfast. Optional on-site massage by certified massage therapist is also available. (609) 494-1000; www.MinervasBandB.com
Travelling from Dakar to Fathala Wildlife Reserve is an adventure itself. Fathala is situated 5km from the Gambian border on the National Road.
Arriving at Fathala Wildlife Reserve, you are welcomed by an oasis of lush green grass surrounding the Day Visitors Centre. A lot of tourists from the Gambia visit Fathala on a daily basis, with the country bordering so close.
Nestled away under the huge canopies of the majestic African Mahogany surrounded by nature and all its essence lies the Fathala Lodge, exceeding all your expectations. With the opening in March 2014, the Fathala Lodge with 20 Luxurious Tented Suites, became the first of its kind in Senegal.
Fathala is a word borrowed from the Mandinka language, meaning ‘do not touch’, and seems to be a perfect fit for the lodge. Nothing can touch the beauty and tranquillity Fathala has to offer.
The air-conditioned tents are luxuriously decorated in a colonial African theme for ultimate comfort including a deep bath, an open-air shower, a delicious coffee-station and all the necessary amenities for your comfort.
About Fathala Lodge and Wildlife Reserve:
The Lodge is designed in an open plan setting to keep you close to nature, sitting at the Boabab Bar with a delicious cocktail or enjoying a delicious meal from the lodge restaurant, you can still enjoy the beautiful scenery the lodge has to offer.
There are lots of activities on offer for guests staying at the lodge including guided game drives, walking with lions, fishing in the mangroves, sun downer trips on the mangroves, Island tours and a visit to a local fishing village, tours to the local markets in the village to learn more about the culture, food and lifestyle of the local people and lastly a bushwalk and birding safari.
The Czech Society for African Wildlife together with the Czech University of Life Sciences started to work with the Director of National Parks in Senegal to try and protect these animals from extinction. In 2003 a few individuals were captured from the Niokolo-Koba National Park in the South East of Senegal, and transported to Fathala Wildlife Reserve and Bandia Reserve where they were kept for breeding.
Fathala Wildlife Reserve is the perfect place to fall back into a complete state of relaxation, to sit on the porch of your tent and listen to the chatter of the parrots and parakeets while monkeys jump playful from branch to branch or relax with a cocktail in the swimming pool and smell the dust settling down while the sun sets over the horizon of Africa in the distance.
Visit the website at: www.fathala.com
On 22 May 2014, Thanda Private Game Reserve commenced its yearlong celebrations to mark a most triumphant decade, one that has resulted in many commendable achievements. Over this period Thanda has evolved into a world-class game reserve and been awarded for its luxurious accommodation options. It has also accomplished 10 years of effective wildlife conservation that has led to the successful rehabilitation of some of Africa’s finest game as well as 10 years of valuable community philanthropy.
Meaning love in isiZulu, Thanda is offering their greatest supporters – their guests – 10 Random Acts of Love to mark the occasion. Lasting one year, these will include a gift from the staff – a song, a play or even a game; traditional Zulu poems or Love Letters with their evening turn-down; guests will enjoy a celebratory cocktail and dessert, both specially created using local flavours, as well as be offered a photo collage as a keepsake.
With 94% of its workforce coming from the local surrounds and the wider province of KwaZulu Natal, Thanda has played a prominent role in the socio-economic upliftment of the local Zulu people through job creation in tourism. Furthermore, Thanda have actively promoted the preservation of the Zulu cultural heritage, and these celebrations will see the staff share some of their traditions with guests around the boma (fire pit) on story telling evenings.
Continuing the celebrations, Thanda is also offering safari enthusiasts the opportunity to win ten 2-night stays for two. Anyone signing up to Thanda’s newsletter will automatically be entered into a prize draw, drawn at random 10 times during the year. Signing up also enables guests to be the first to hear about special offers and flash gifts such as a 10% off rack rate. In addition, guests will be able to share their own Random Acts of Love on Thanda’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Whether hosting wonderful guests, creating bonds with the local Zulus – including the reigning Zulu King, His Majesty Zwelithini Goodwill kaBhekuzulu, working with dedicated staff or being supported by loyal suppliers, it has been a memorable decade for forging lasting relationships.
Accommodation at Thanda Safari Lodge starts from RAND 6,250 (approx. GB£360, US$600, Euro 430) per person per night sharing and includes luxury accommodation, all meals & selected local beverages; 2 daily Game Drives, Guided Bush Walks, Bird Watching; 1% Tourism Levy & 14% VAT.
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