Romance Travel Around the World (13)
I had the opportunity to stay at Secrets St. James & Wild Orchid in Montego Bay Jamaica & was wowed. Just 20 minutes from the Montego Bay airport & close to downtown the resort is an adult’s only oasis. Beautiful suites, excellent food, top shelf liquor, water sports, good entertainment & that warm Jamaican hospitality & great service. The views at Secrets St. James & Wild Orchid are amazing because the resort sits on a peninsula in Montego Bay surrounded by water.
The upgrade to a Pref. Club OV suite did make a difference. It was grand. The perks of the St. James Pref. Club level are well worth the extra cost. A full breakfast daily, hors d'oeuvres though out the day & beverages right on the first floor along with the concierge. The Wild Orchid side is closer to the restaurants & the more lively side of the resort. The St. James Resort is more tranquil which I enjoyed.
This resort is great for honeymoons, anniversaries, destination weddings & adults who seek an upscale lively Caribbean Oasis with easy access.
Montego Bay has cleaned up its act very well. It is now a more safe, clean & tourist friendly place to be. I could not say that a few years back. I had a great time. 2 Thumbs up!!
Destination weddings are an ideal way to tie the knot. In addition to being a cost effective option compared to traditional nuptial expenses that can average around $30,000 excluding the honeymoon (2013 statistics from theknot.com), destination weddings are fabulously low maintenance. This allows the bride and groom to focus energy on what really matters most- each other! This monumental day should be celebrated in a joyful, carefree manner. Like the idea but not sure where to consider? Check out the following possibilities:
· The Royal Lahaina Resort, Maui, Hawaii- Get married ocean front with sea turtles as witnesses. Imagine reciting your vows while overlooking the sparkling waters. Finish with a toast of sparkling champagne, and then be carried off into the tropical setting sun…
· Sandals Royal Plantation, Ocho Rios, Jamaica- Enjoy minimal planning and all inclusive packages. (Go ahead and toast to your wedding vows as many times as you want.) Every wedding should be this relaxed!
· Winnetu Oceanside Resorts, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts- Elegant and quaint. East Coast sophistication. Ocean view with indoor/outdoor reception area.
· Sheraton Sand Key Resort, Clearwater Beach, Florida- Professional and gracious staff to meet your every need. Prompt communications every step of the planning process. Walk the aisle over an impressive stretch of sugar white sand beach.
· Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, California- According to TravelChannel.com, this hotel “has been an American icon since it opened in 1888.” Unlimited options abound for wedding photo backdrops, budget, and breathtaking beachscape. Guests will have a blast!
· Dreams Tulum Resort and Spa, Riviera Maya, Mexico- A most incredible perk includes “when 10 rooms or more are booked for a minimum of three nights each, the wedding couple stays free!” The date must be saved by October 31, 2014 to take advantage of this offer.
· The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, South Carolina- Channel your inner southern belle and be ushered into wedded bliss among ancient and majestic oaks, an exquisite labyrinth of rivers, islands, and natural beauty.
· Central Park, New York City, New York- 843 acres of manicured park greens surrounded by the vibrant city skyline. The hotel and reception options are limitless. Start spreading the news, you’re getting married today!
· Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada- This is not your ordinary Chapel of Love. The fountains are breathtaking, the rooms are luxurious, flights are easy, and entertainment options abound. The hotel offers 11 different wedding package options from as little as $1500 to as much as $25,000. Your guests will RSVP with Y.E.S.
· San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara, California- According to their website, wedding packages are customized for intimate events in one of the Ranch's romantic cottages or fragrant gardens. In fact, many bridal couples reserve all 41 accommodations for family and friends. Your fairy tale wedding should take place amid rustic elegance and a story book gorgeous setting.
Now that you’ve been inspired, what are you waiting for? Call the experts at Time Travels Inc today and explore the possibility of checking everything off your wedding planning to-do list at once!
Costa Rica is an amazing destination. Yes, certain areas have become touristy & I would avoid them during high season. Yet there are still many hidden gems. On my last trip I visited a few.
Just 1 hour from San Jose International airport is one in the Peace Lodge. Located on the grounds of the La Paz Waterfall Nature Park, the Peace Lodge celebrates the Poas Volcano, the rain forest & the creatures that thrive there.
The Peace Lodge was featured on the Travel Channel as a “honeymoon hot spot” but you need not be a newlywed to appreciate its elegant “rustic” type accommodations & amazing natural surroundings.
Hiking to the waters falls, visiting the butterfly gardens, bird watching, searching for the elusive jaguar & just being in awe of nature is what it’s all about.
If my client’s arrive early enough into San Jose, I transfer them to the Peace Lodge versus staying in San Jose’. Most say that they wished they had stayed longer.
For great Costa Rica travel options call Time Travels Inc. 651-771-5666
If you are the couple who dreams of a romantic Caribbean vacation where your friends have not ventured, think Grenada. Take advantage of the pre-opening sale at Sandal’s newest resort LaSource Grenada.
“Known as the Island of Spice”, Grenada is a mesmerizing island with incredible natural wonders.
Its stunning beaches, waterfalls, lush rainforest & pristine mountain lakes offer options for the laid back or the adventurous traveler.
An exotic unspoiled hideaway, Sandals LaSource Grenadaoffers romantic, authentic Caribbean vacations while providing the luxury inclusive amenities that Sandals is famous for.
* 225 rooms and suites
* 3 Villages: Pink Gin, South Seas, & Italian Village
* Just minutes from the airport
* 9 restaurants, including a Sandals first - a steakhouse
* 3 pools plus 2 river pools
* State-of-the-art fitness center and spa
* Meeting facilities
* A total of 75 professional butlers suites
* Ultra luxurious Millionaire, Rondoval and Skypool suites
* Soaking tubs in all South Seas & Italian Village rooms
Book your Caribbean honeymoon and the best destination wedding location at a discount.
Take advantage of the pre-opening sales by calling Time Travels Inc. today. 651-771-5666
Discounts apply to bookings made between Aug 6 & Oct 15 for travel Dec. 12, 2013 –Dec 26, 2014. Space is limited.
I full filled a childhood dream of traveling to Machu Picchu –the lost city of the Incas- in Peru this past month. Yes it is a phenomenal head rush & the pictures do not do justice. You must experience it.
I took the opportunity to travel with a Tropical – Adventures & Tours (Burbank CA,) FAM trip to Lima, Cuzco, the Scared Valley & Machu Picchu. Traveling with a small group of travel agents is always fun & educational. We take in the historical sites, critique hotels & excursions while deciding which hotels & tours are worthy of our clients.
Traveling in a small group 6 – 8 people is a great way to visit Peru. Group travel affords you the luxury of a private guide & driver. This is a huge asset. Our guides were very knowledgeable & traveling by van versus a large bus was convenient.
The city of Cuzco is steeped in history that precedes the Inca civilization. At 11,000 it is one of the highest cities in the world. . Coca tea which is served as a welcome drink as you enter many hotels gives the needed lift at the high elevation & also helps with digestion. I loved coca tea and will recommend drinking it to all my future clients traveling to Peru.
I was amazed by some of the luxury hotels available to those who can afford to splurge. The Hotel Monastero by the Orient Express is a gem off the main square in Cuzco. Character abounds in this 5 star hotel built from a 300 year old monastery. Tambo Del Inca Resort & Spa in the Scared Valley (the area between Cuzco & Machu Picchu) is the place to relax & acclimate.
The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel at Machu Picchu, is the place for the ultimate experience. My last client who stayed here told me the food was almost as good as the view.
For information & travel itineraries to Peru call Time Travels Inc. today – 651-771-5666
Andre’ Leavitt, Owner Time Travels Inc.
The downturn in the US economy has not affected the destination wedding & honeymoon market. In fact it appears to be immune to the swings. Getting married in Mexico, Jamaica & the Dominican Republic are the most popular wedding destinations. This is not surprising as these are the most affordable locations with the best all-inclusive resorts for a destination wedding.
Lately I have also noticed that although honey couples are concerned about price they are equally determined to find the perfect honeymoon resort with the most value. The honeymoon vacation is shorter but couples are spending more on room upgrades & amenities for their honeymoon getaway. For example they will splurge on a club level ocean front suite with concierge service rather than a mere ocean view room. Ahh that’s what love will do.
Andre` Time Travels Inc
Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and Puno
The City of Kings, the Archaeological Capital of America and
9 Days / 8 Nights
Day 1 - Lima
Arrival in Lima, reception at the airport and transfer to selected hotel. Overnight.
Day 2 Lima – Cuzco (breakfast)
Buffet breakfast. Transfer to the airport
Departure by plane to Cuzco; arrival in Cuzco after a one hour flight.
Reception at the airport and transfer to selected hotel. Rest of the morning at leisure.
Early afternoon visit to the nearby ruins including the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, overlooking the city of Cuzco, a pre-Inca architectural masterpiece; Qenqo, a rock sanctuary whose main attraction is a monolithic altar representing a puma; the red fortress of Puca-Pucara and Tambomachay, a beautiful fountain fed by a spring forming a series of basins. Continue the tour to the city of Cuzco: the Main Square, the Cathedral and the Santo Domingo Church or Temple of the Sun or Koricancha - 4 hour excursion. Late afternoon return to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 3 - Cuzco – Urubamba Valley – Cuzco (breakfast and lunch)
Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
Full day excursion to Pisac, a typical Andean village where a market takes place (only on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays for shared services), where peasants from around the area bring down their products, as well as handicrafts . On Sundays, Mayors from all the neighboring villages dressed in their traditional costumes, attend the Catholic Mass said in their native language (quechua). Buffet lunch at a country restaurant in the valley. After lunch visit to Ollantaytambo, the only Inca town which is still inhabited and explore the ruins which tower above it. Return to Cuzco. Overnight.
Day 4 - Cuzco - Machu-Picchu (breakfast and lunch)
Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
Early transfer to the train station and departure for a tour to Machu-Picchu. Arrival in Aguas Calientes Station and bus ride up to the ruins (approx. 3 ½ hrs). Guided visit of Machu Picchu which is totally built of stone blocks, fitted with masterful precision. This fabulous city has houses, temples, warehouses, a large central square, all connected by narrow roads and steps, and is surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side which were used for agriculture. Lunch included. Accommodation at selected hotel.
Day 5 - Machu Picchu – Cuzco (Breakfast)
Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
Morning at leisure. (Second bus and second entrance to the ruins not included).
In the afternoon return to Cuzco and transfer to selected hotel.
Day 6 - Cuzco – Puno (breakfast and lunch)
Trains only on Mon, Wed & Sat
Buffet breakfast. Transfer to the train station.
Depart from Cuzco to Puno by the new Andean Explorer Train under Orient Express Management, which features a deluxe train decorated in the 1920’s style. The train has a wagon with a bar and an observation deck from where one can enjoy the scenery as well as a restaurant. All wagons have Pullman style seats, wide aisles, catering service as well as oxygen available. The wagons are connected to each other by gangway bellows so passengers and crew can go from one another safely. The journey takes 10 hours. Upon arrival to Puno, transfer to selected hotel and accommodation. Overnight.
Departure by bus from Cuzco to Puno (7 to 8 hours), with a stop made at La Raya Pass, at 4,321 meters to visit the steaming pools of hot water nearby and visit to the ruins of Raqchi. The remains of the central high wall of the Viracocha Temple, probably the largest roofed building built by the Incas, are impressive. On either side of the high wall, great sloping roofs were supported by rows of unusual round pillars, also of masonry topped by adobe. Nearby are the remains of large living quarters and many round store-houses. The whole complex is surrounded by a large stone wall several miles long (entrances are not included). Lunch en route. Arrival in Puno in the early afternoon and transfer to selected hotel.
Day 7 - Puno (breakfast and lunch)
In the morning. departure from the hotel’s pier. A short distance by boat from Puno on Lake Titicaca, are the floating islands made of reeds, inhabited by the Uros. They live in huts built on platforms of reeds, not more than 30-40 cms/1foot thick. Short walk on the islands, then the boat trip continues as far as the island of Taquile. Members of their self supporting Aymara community receive visitors in their colorful national costume and show them around the island. Taquile is renowned for its fine, decorative weavings. Lunch included. In the afternoon return by boat to Puno and to selected hotel.
Day 8 - Puno – Juliaca – Lima (breakfast)
Transfer to the airport and on the way, guided visit to the Chullpas of Sillustani, these funerary towers date from the 13th century. The highest measures about 12 metres, superb landscapes and the view of the neighboring Umayo lake make this tour a very special experience.
Departure by plane for Lima,
Upon arrival after a 2h 30 min flight, with an intermediate stop in Arequipa, reception at the airport in Lima and transfer to selected hotel.
Day 9 - Lima – …… (breakfast)
Morning or afternoon guided visit to the Cathedral, Main Square, San Francisco Convent and its Catacombs and the residential areas of San Isidro, Miraflores, the new commercial area South of Lima, the ocean front to enjoy a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.
Transfer to the airport on time for your international departure flight.
I think Scott from easytravelpad.com is accurate with his review of Sandals White House Jamaica.
It is a great honeymoon resort but more specifically it’s meant for couples who want to get away from it all. Sandals White House is a luxury resort on Jamaica’s stunning south coast. The resort is elegant with gourmet food & drink & an atmosphere made for relaxing.
When I stayed at Sandals White House for a wedding familiarization trip last spring I had my own concierge walk out suite. I opened the sliding doors onto a quiet beach. It was heavenly. In the evening I had one swimming pool all to myself. For the honeymooners, however, who want access to nightlife & authentic markets this would not be a good fit.
For help choosing the best Sandals resort to fit your taste call Time Travels Inc. 651-771-5666
Are you looking for some Honeymoon tips?
Using a honeymoon travel agent can really make or break your search for the prefect honeymoon getaway. We know about specials & resorts that are prefect for honeymooners.
Most recently I booked a Jamaican honeymoon for a couple. Both of them enjoyed golf, beach & spa and were 30 years old. I suggested Couples Swept away in Negril Jamaica. The resort was offering free golf & with their budget they could afford the best room in the house. This resort has a real Jamaican feel & couples keep returning.
After spending weeks looking at others ideas for them they booked Couples Swept away.
They just return last week from their honeymoon and they loved!!
Andre, Time Travels Inc. 651-771-5666
A Fiji honeymoon might be with in your reach.
For the couple who longs for a romantic honeymoon vacation in the South Pacific but can not afford Tahiti prices Fiji will fit the bill.
If you can escape the main island and venture to one of the other 100 inhabited islands you will discover a visitor friendly culture, uncrowded beaches & affordable accommodations.
Fiji hosts the famous Rainbow reef that is a huge draw for divers & snorkelers. You can also hike, kayak & surf or visit historic sites. Outer islands are easily accessible by small plane or catamaran. And yes, you can honeymoon in an over the water bungalow if you wish.