Travel + Food

Opera In The Garden

THE MERRION IN DUBLIN PRESENTS ‘OPERA IN THE GARDEN’ WITH THE WEXFORD FESTIVAL OPERA

This summer, the 5-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin will once again partner with the Wexford Festival Opera for two exclusive performances on June 5 and 6, 2019 to present “Opera in the Garden” in The Merrion’s own private gardens in the heart of Dublin.
During the event, guests will have a preview of one of the Wexford Festival Opera‘s 2019 ShortWork opera productions. Georges Bizet’s one-act comic operette, Le Docteur Miracle, centered around a young man’s attempt to win the hand of the mayor’s daughter, will be specially staged to complement the elegant backdrop of The Merrion’s gardens.

Peter MacCann, General Manager of The Merrion Hotel, said: “We are delighted to welcome the world-renowned Wexford Opera Company to perform one of their ShortWork operas against the backdrop of The Merrion’s tranquil terrace gardens. Last year’s event was a huge success and we were thrilled with how it was received by all those in attendance.”

The black-tie event begins with a Champagne reception on the terrace, followed by the performance, and concludes with a private dinner prepared by Executive Head Chef Ed Cooney and served in the Georgian salons of The Merrion.
Tickets for this event are limited to 100 per night, and are priced at €295 (approx. US$332) per person, including the Champagne reception, performance and dinner with wines.

For more information click here. For more information on Opera in the Garden click here.

ABOUT THE MERRION

The union of four restored Georgian townhouses, joined with a contemporary Garden Wing, The Merrion’s 123 guestrooms and 19 suites include a two-floor Penthouse Suite and private rooftop terrace. The Tethra Spa offers a range of treatments and an in-house pool. In addition to the Garden Room restaurant the Merrion is home to Ireland’s only two-star Michelin restaurant, Patrick Guilbaud. The Merrion houses the largest collection of private art in Ireland outside of the National Gallery. The Merrion is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.

Scarpetta Opens International Restaurant

Scarpetta Opens First International Restaurant In London

Scarpetta’s newest restaurant “Sette,” is named for the lucky number seven, opening in London in June 2019. To create a parallel social experience to Scarpetta and Seville in the New York flagship, a cocktail lounge called Nolita Social will complement Sette, and be located beneath the restaurant where guests can continue their evening after dinner.

“Scarpetta has always been comfortable yet aspirational, and modern yet grounded with a passion for old world hospitality. Sette will follow this core ethos of our Scarpetta identity, capturing a quintessential New York balance of high energy and effortless elegance. We are delighted to bring our passion to guests in London.” said by John Meadow, Founder of LDV Hospitality. Learn more

In true La Dolce Vita form, Nolita Social will bring the energy of ‘the New York night’ to London. Beginning with early evening cocktails and lite bites, and transitioning to a feel good after hours hangout, offering a heady mix of elevated cocktails, live music and DJ’s playing 60’s rock, 70’s soul, and 909’s hip-hop for a stylish, yet carefree crowd. Learn more

Located on the ground floor of Bvlgari Hotel London, Sette will bring authentic but modern Italian food from the heart of Manhattan with its own inimitable flair.

Folllow @LDVLIFE

For media inquiries and more information, please contact pr@ldvhospitality.com

Le Dîner in Blanc de Paris

On Thursday 6 June 2019, the 31st edition of Le Dîner in Blanc de Paris will take place in one of the most prestigious locations of the French capital.

Last year, several thousand international guests attended this wonderful event where the elegance of everyone’s white outfits gave the evening a magical and universal character. Watch the 2018 video here.
Again, this year, guests are invited from every continent, 30 countries and 90 cities around the world to share this beautiful dinner party infused with elegance, joy and friendship.

Along with American, Canadian, English and Australian guests, whose grand-parents landed 75 years ago exactly on June 6, 1944: D-Day, attendees will participate in the remembrance of this great moment of sacrifice and fraternity. Some of the world’s most important dignitaries will also come to Normandy and to Paris to commemorate this historic anniversary.

Le Dîner en Blanc brings a lot of happiness to everyone. Indeed, for a few hours, it’s a kind of magic that envelops the event, making guests more stunning, cities more beautiful and the future much brighter…. In their best attire and their most joyous mood, guests are reminded of the delight it is to share this amazing evening with strangers that can become friends in an instant.

Close your eyes and immerse yourself in the feeling brought by thousands of dazzling and sparkling lights, making your heart sing… once again.

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Air Italy launches direct San Francisco-Milan service

SFO becomes 4th US destination served and 2nd in California. New San Francisco-Milan service comes one week after inauguration of direct flights from LAX. LAX and SFO to be joined by first direct service from Canada when Toronto- Milan is launched on May 6th

Air Italy’s first non-stop flight from San Francisco to Milan was inaugurated today, taking off from San Francisco at 7.10 pm, adding a fourth direct service from the United States, following last week’s launch of Los Angeles-Milan and the launch last year of New York JFK-Milan and Miami-Milan. The new San Francisco-Milan IG938 service, which will operate four times weekly was inaugurated by Air Italy’s Accountable Manager and Chief Flight and Ground Operations Officer, Captain Konstantinos Iliakis, who was greeted by Jeff Littlefield Chief Operating Officer, San Francisco International Airport, and Lorenzo Ortona, Italian Consul General of San Francisco, and Mark Chandler, Director of International Trade, San Francisco Major’s Office. In celebration of this new service, there was a traditional cake and ribbon cutting ceremony as the departure of the A330 aircraft was marked with a celebratory water cannon.

Air Italy Chief Operating Officer, Rossen Dimitrov, said: “We are proud to launching a new flight to California for the second time in just eight days, this being our fourth new direct route from the United States and our second from California. It is a great pleasure to add San Francisco to our network as it is sure to be a success with both our leisure and business travellers. “San Francisco is undoubtedly one of the world’s great cities. Famous as being the gateway to Silicon Valley and the Napa wine region, the city has undoubtedly always been a catalyst for many social, cultural and economic developments since its foundation. “Our home Italy similarly needs little introduction – and we are extremely excited to open this new direct gateway to all that Milan and the beautiful Italy have to offer. “From the fashion capital of Milan to the amazing beaches and islands in the south, Italy has an endless range of options for our many tourists, always accompanied of course by the great Italian food.” The new flights San Francisco-Milan service operates four times weekly (Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday) with Air Italy’s new Airbus 330-200 offering 24 seats in Business and 228 in Economy class. The service benefits from seamless domestic connections between Milan and central and southern Italy, namely Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Lamezia Terme, Cagliari and Olbia.

For the San Francisco service, Business Class passengers will benefit from Air Italy’s completely new on-board business product that was revealed just last week on the first Milan-Los Angeles flight. Featuring an entirely new tableware, in-flight dining menus, cutlery and chinaware that have all been specially crafted to meet travellers’ expectations, Air Italy’s Business Class passengers will enjoy an even more elevated experience. “Complementing this is our new dine-on-demand service, meaning our Business Class customers can select from our extensive à la carte menu at any time, and in any order, to create their own unique dining experience – all of which delivers yet again on our brand promise as we help our customers to – Imagine The World Differently,” added Mr. Dimitrov.

To find out further details and to take advantage of promotional fares on the new San Francisco-Milan service, simply visit www.airitaly.com, use the Air Italy App, or contact the Call Center +39 0789 52682 or your travel agent.

Beyond The Beach In Belize

Water Adventures in the Jungle

The San Ignacio Resort Hotel provides travelers an experience in Western Belize beyond the beach where your vacation days can be filled with adrenaline and heart pumping adventures. The property’s expert guides will take you through all of the Cayo District’s hidden gems inside the infamous cave systems and the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. At the end of each day guests can enjoy an in suite massage, fine dining at the Running W Steakhouse and live music as you sip purple parrot cocktails on the patio overlooking 17 acres of jungle.

Top Adventures in Western Belize include

Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

This forest reserve is a 300-square mile area where you will find a scenic combination of cool pine forest, tumbling waterfalls, lush river valleys, and numerous cave formations. During this tour you will visit a variety of places including the Rio Frio Cave, Rio on Pools, Big Rock Falls, and the breathtaking 1,000 Foot Falls.

Waterfall Caves Expedition at Caves Branch

Begin your journey with a 45-minute hike where you will enjoy the sights and sounds of the jungle before arriving at Caves Branch. Once inside, you’ll pass through a maze of tiny and tight spaces and arrive at the foot of the waterfalls. Climb and conquer these natural formations using a rappel rope and dive right into these invigorating cascades.

Barton Creek Cave

Flowing from a giant crack in a mountain, this cave offers an adventure into the ancient Maya past. Glide through the darkness in a canoe in crystal clear waters into a mystifying world of marvelous natural formations. Here you will witness burial grounds, ceremonial pottery, and hear the stories of ancient people that remain as an eternal testimonial.

Jaguar Paw Cave Tubing

Learn about flora and fauna as your guide leads you on a 30-40 minute hike along a nature trail on your way to the Underworld— known by the Maya as ‘Xibalba.’ Strap on your headlamp, sit on your inner tube, and have a refreshing ride down this wonderful cave system where you’ll be mesmerized by natural wonders including stalactites, stalagmites and other rock formations. This tour is amazing fun for adults and kids alike!

St. Herman’s Cave and Blue Hole National Park

St. Herman’s Cave showcases huge caverns and ceremonial chambers containing artifacts. After this “Underworld” experience, cool off at the Blue Hole and enjoy the bliss of the Belizean surroundings.

About San Ignacio Resort Hotel                                          

The San Ignacio Resort Hotel is a premier full-service Belize resort, located in the Cayo district. The hotel boasts resort-class amenities and accommodations for those seeking to relax and enjoy a beautiful tropical escape, yet offers nearby adventures for those wanting to explore inland Belize. The luxurious San Ignacio Resort Hotel is centrally located for adventure tours to nearby archaeological parks, caves and nature reserves and boasts views of rainforest and wildlife. For more information and reservation inquiries visit www.sanignaciobelize.com.                                     

Aqua Expeditions Cruise Line

AQUA EXPEDITIONS SET TO ENTER COASTAL CRUISE MARKET IN LATE 2019

Boutique luxury cruise line to launch three new destinations and double its fleet by mid-2020

The world’s most respected boutique luxury cruise line – Aqua Expeditions – is set to enter the coastal cruise market in the fall of 2019, after operating as an Amazon and Mekong River cruise line for the past twelve years. A month ago, Aqua Expeditions finalized the purchase of a long-range 200-foot explorer yacht originally built for Britain’s Royal Navy; the vessel is now undergoing a complete refurbishment designed to transform it into an ultra-modern luxury expedition cruise ship catering to affluent explorers.

Scheduled to begin full operations in November 2019, the explorer class vessel will serve three new destinations with year-round departures. The full announcement on vessel name, facts, destinations and itinerary details will be released globally on May 8, 2019.

The May 8th announcement will also unveil a brand-new, state-of-the-art, luxury river cruise vessel to consolidate Aqua Expeditions’ position as one of the leaders in the river-cruise market. Once this and the recently purchased expedition vessel are in operation, Aqua Expeditions will have doubled its fleet from two to four vessels by mid-2020.

“Even as we grow, as an owner, I remain deeply involved in every aspect of the new vessels – from the minutiae of the design details to the intricacies of the itineraries — just as we did when we started out in 2007,” says CEO Francesco Galli Zugaro, “and, as with all Aqua Expeditions vessels, we are partnering both with renowned designers and critically acclaimed chefs to provide a world-class experience.”

The fleet expansion and geographic diversification underscore Aqua Expeditions’ long-time dedication to providing:

  • highly personalized luxury travel experiences
  • immersive excursions into the wildlife and culture of each region
  • world-class cuisine and dining experiences by renowned chefs
  • highly tailored guest services and itineraries
  • designer ships with elegant and contemporary aesthetics
  • a commitment to community, sustainability and preservation

“The new ships and destinations we will reveal next month are certain to intrigue the sophisticated traveler,” added Galli Zugaro.

ABOUT AQUA EXPEDITIONS

A recognized global leader in luxury small-ship cruises, Aqua Expeditions explores the world’s most wildlife- and culture-rich destinations aboard best-in-class vessels of stylish contemporary design. On board, Aqua Expeditions offers tailored five-star itineraries, a highly-exclusive 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio with personalized service, a cuisine experience crafted by acclaimed chefs, and expert-guided activities and excursions. Aqua Expeditions currently operates river cruise ships Aria Amazon on the Peruvian Amazon and Aqua Mekong on the Mekong river in Cambodia and Vietnam. For more information, please visit www.aquaexpeditions.com.

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Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa

by Tara McDonough

Looking to stay, play and vacay in Palm Springs?

Agua Caliente, Coachella Valley’s one and only lavish hotel and casino, is a sumptuous spaced resort consisting of luxury hotel rooms and various realms of entertainment and personal indulgence. Located in Rancho Mirage, California, the luxury resort has held outstanding recognition with the AAA Four Diamond for 11 consecutive years. My colleagues and I got the privilege to spend a weekend and experience the remarkable property for ourselves.

There are four room types that the resort consists of. The first is the deluxe room, which is the standard stay for the resort and stretches out to 550 sq ft. The three other room types include the 1,100 sq ft executive suite, the 1,640 sq ft presidential suite with a separate dining and living room space, and the PURE allergy friendly rooms.

Agua Caliente Resort includes 340 vastly upscale rooms accented with finely crafted spa-styled ROAM body-care amenities. The 16-story resort provides a player’s paradise with the casino offering 71,000 square feet of the Coachella Valley and greater Palm Springs area’s best gaming with table games, video poker and gaming slots. They also boast the area’s only private live poker room and high-limit gaming in an upscale, private atmosphere.

If you’re not much of a gambler, the entertainment venue, The Show, host performances and events like standup comedy, concerts and charity boxing shows. By signing up for the entertainment newsletter, you are granted access to being one of the first to be informed about upcoming events.

For those who enjoy cigars, the resort includes the Pívat Cigar Lounge, a domain of exceptional taste and comfort. The bar and lounge beckon the cigar aficionado—and those who aspire to become one—with friendly, knowledgeable cigar servers ready to recommend the perfect pairing of premium cigars with single malt Scotch and other top shelf drinks.

For serenity and relaxation, Agua Caliente houses the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Award winning Sunstone Spa. Reminiscent of the sun, the Sunstone is believed to bring life, positive energy, and abundance to those fortunate enough to carry it. Sunstone is your place to unwind, reconnect, and renew.The Sunstone Spa features a nail salon, fitness room, whirlpool, luxury spa cabanas and a lot more.

The resort offers several amazing restaurants such as Java Caliente, Waters Cafe and The Steakhouse. A favorite at the Agua Caliente is 360 Sports where guests can view sporting events on state-of-the-art wraparound digital displays for larger-than-life action. The restaurant includes over 1,200 square feet of live sports action, real time scores on giant LED sports ticker, a full service bar with 16 bar top games, draft beers on tap, plus local craft brews, and a twist on bar food favorites. They also offer the Grand Palm buffet, which serves distinctive genres of worldly cuisines. Last but not least, Agua Caliente also houses an exclusive Swarovski shop.

To reserve a space at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa, you have the option to visit the website and book online or call to reserve a room.

The Fall of The Wall 30th Anniversary

THE ORANIA.BERLIN CELEBRATES THE FALL OF THE WALL, THE BAUHAUS CENTENARY AND MORE

2019 is a big year for the city of Berlin as it marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. And the hip Orania. Berlin in Kreuzburg is celebrating with numerous new packages in honor of the major happenings and anniversaries taking place this year.

EASTER IN KREUZBERG: April 14-28, 2019:

For Easter this year, the Orania.Berlin is offering a special Easter surprise for kids, tickets to concerts at the hotel, and a one-hour boat trip during which guests can discover a whole new side of Berlin.

100 YEARS OF BAUHAUS: April 26-October 31,2019

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the Bauhaus movement, which inspired much of Berlin’s unique and modern architecture. Hotel guests will receive a guide to discover the movement’s history before hitting the streets to see its lasting effects on the city’s landscape, as well as check out local exhibits such as “Original Bauhaus” at Berlinische Galerie in Kreuzburg, just steps from the hotel.

30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FALL OF THE WALL: April 26-October 31, 2019

To mark 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Orania.Berlin, which is located in the former Western part of the city right near the border, is offering a two-hour walking tour of the Berlin Wall for guests to learn about the history of the city’s division, the struggle for freedom and the process of reunification.

XJAZZ FESTIVAL: May 8-12, 2019

In May, Berlin’s biggest annual jazz festival takes place in and around the Orania.Berlin. The festival features more than 50 musical acts from around the world, as well as a variety of jazz workshops. Tickets for the concerts and events held at the Orania.Berlin are included in the room rates. Find more information here.

Make Earth Day Every Day

Make Earth Day, Every Day when you Travel

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to be surrounded by Mother Nature’s gifts while simultaneously helping her grow? The following companies offer travelers unique and fun ways to give back to the communities they visit and places they travel to, not just on Earth Day but all year round.

Offer a Student Their First Wilderness Experience with Discover Outdoors

Explore our parks and mountains with Discover Outdoors and provide a student the same opportunity. For every hike and trip taken, a portion of each payment funds a student’s very own trip to experience the best of the outdoors. The Discover Outdoors Foundation has provided hundreds of deserving youth with the opportunity to explore the intricacies of our world for the first time. The core of Discover Outdoors is a commitment to making the natural world available and accessible to all people while positively impacting learning.

Tag a Hammerhead Shark and prevent extinction with PELORUS travel specialists

Experience a Yacht Expedition to the Galapagos with PELORUS and not only will you dive around the island of Mosquera, observing hammerhead sharks; you can also help tag these sharks and monitor their whereabouts upon your return home. As the sharks become increasingly endangered, scientists are searching for ways to help their population rebound. Thanks to tracking data generated from tags, scientists have some of the first evidence showing pregnant hammerheads from those Galapagos islands may be migrating to mainland South American countries like Ecuador to give birth. If they can further confirm these findings, it may help governments better protect the species before it slides closer toward extinction.

Restore Coral and Support Communities at Bawah Reserve, Indonesia

This Earth Day at Bawah Reserve, a secluded luxury private archipelago off the coast of Singapore, guests can take part in a conservation dive and participate by developing coral tree nurseries or monitoring and protecting sea turtles.The Bawah Anambas  Foundation (BAF) aims to improve the overall ecosystem in the Anambas, both underwater and terrestrial, as well as sustainably lifting the community’s welfare.

Adopt an Iguana at San Ignacio Resort Hotel in Belize

Recognized as the #1 thing to do in San Ignacio by Trip Advisor, spend the day at the Green Iguana Conservation Project at San Ignacio Resort Hotel. The project is an interactive exhibit that offers a close look at green iguanas while conserving and looking after this endangered species. Through educational efforts in the community, the public is informed about the green iguana’s role in the Belizean ecosystem. When you donate through the “Adopt an Iguana Program,” you help this endangered species story be told and impact the length of their survival while simultaneously funding student scholarships.

Experience the Biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest with Delfin Amazon Cruises

As part of your Amazon riverboat expedition with Delfin Amazon Cruises, you will visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA). Here you will have the chance to feed manatees and learn why they are on the endangered species list. Amazon South America river manatees are unique and docile creatures, which is why so many people have taken to adopting them illegally as pets. The ACOBIA foundation is dedicated to saving and rehabilitating rescued manatees from various communities and markets of Amazon South America. On your Amazon riverboat expedition, you will learn about these amazing creatures also meet other animals rescued from captures, such as monkeys, river otters, and caimans.

Norwegian’s Giving Joy U.S. Debut

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE DOUBLES CRUISE GIVEAWAYS AND ADDS TO GRAND PRIZING FOR ‘GIVING JOY’ TEACHER RECOGNITION INITIATIVE

-In Advance of Teacher Appreciation Week, Cruise Line Offers Chance at 30 Free Cruises and Grand Prizes of $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000-

-Campaign Launched to Coincide with Norwegian Joy’s Debut in the U.S.-

With just one week remaining for Norwegian Cruise Line’s highly successful ‘Giving Joy’ campaign, an effort developed to recognize and reward deserving teachers, the brand has upped the ante by doubling the cruise prize giveaway to 30 and increasing the grand prize giveaways to $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 for the top three teachers’ schools.

“This campaign has clearly resonated with the public, with nearly 45,000 nominations and 1.4 million votes in just three weeks,” said Andy Stuart, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We set out to gift 15 cruises in honor of our 15th ship, Norwegian Joy, but given the engagement and appreciation of this effort, we have decided to double the joy and award 30 educators who make an impact in children’s lives in a positive and meaningful way.”

Norwegian Cruise Line’s ‘Giving Joy’ campaign, which celebrates the intersection of travel and education, runs through April 12, 2019. The company is asking for nominations of certified or accredited teachers in the U.S. and Canada who are inspiring joy in the classroom. The 30 teachers with the most votes will win a seven-day cruise for two.  They will also be provided airfare and accommodations for an award ceremony taking place in Seattle on May 3, 2019, where they will have the chance to win $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 for their schools.

“I encourage everyone to continue to nominate the teachers in their lives that have made a difference, and take the opportunity to recognize the outstanding work they do every day,” said Stuart. “We are excited to see all the final submissions for the campaign and to celebrate the winners as we welcome Norwegian Joy to Seattle.”

To nominate a favorite teacher, to vote and for terms and conditions, please visit nclgivingjoy.com.

For more information about Norwegian Cruise Line and to book a cruise, please contact a travel professional, call 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784) or visit www.ncl.com.

About Norwegian Cruise Line

As the innovator in global cruise travel, Norwegian Cruise Line has been breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising for over 52 years. Most notably, the cruise line revolutionized the industry by offering guests the freedom and flexibility to design their ideal vacation on their preferred schedule with no assigned dining and entertainment times and no formal dress codes. Today, its fleet of 16 contemporary ships sail to nearly 300 of some of the world’s most desirable destinations, including Great Stirrup Cay, the company’s private island in the Bahamas and its resort destination Harvest Caye in Belize.  Norwegian Cruise Line not only provides superior guest service from land to sea, but also offers a wide variety of award-winning entertainment and dining options as well as a range of accommodations across the fleet, including solo-traveler staterooms, mini-suites, spa-suites and The Haven by Norwegian®, the company’s ship-within-a-ship concept. For additional information or to book a cruise, contact a travel professional, call 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784) or visit www.ncl.com.

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