Live like “The Bachelor” in Anguilla at CuisinArt Resort with a special package offering


The Bachelor Anguilla CuisinArt

Those of us who watch The Bachelor know the deal – by the time the field narrows to just a few lucky ladies or gents, the bachelor or bachelorette of choice whisks them off to a “magical” and “romantic” locale. Past seasons have seen cast members travel to Istanbul, New Zealand and Tahiti, but this season brings us slightly closer to home, to the romantic island of Anguilla.

We, as viewers, are always skeptical of these “most romantic” locations, but when we heard the setting for this season’s Valentine’s Day episode was none other than CuisinArt Resort, we were more excited than anything else. As such, we’re excited to see that we can be guaranteed to get the “final rose” when booking their new “The Bachelor’s Journey” package, offering us regular folk the chance to live like reality stars at the five-star resort.

The special package mimics the activities that will appear on tonight’s episode – only in a more private setting (no TV cameras allowed)! Amenities include:

· Five nights, six days accommodations in a beachfront suite
· VIP airport and semi-private boat transfer from St. Maarten
· Roundtrip private car transfer for two
· Welcome drink upon arrival
· Welcome Bottle of Champagne and long stemmed rose en suite
· Daily breakfast at the resort’s acclaimed restaurant Café Mediterraneo, or continental breakfast en suite
· One intimate Torchlit Beach Dining Experience with private waiter and a specially selected bottle of wine from the Resort’s cellar
· One Dinner at Santorini, Anguilla’s only AAA Four Diamond Award Winning Restaurant
· A choice of either a World Delicacies or Caribbean theme dinner
· One Dinner at the Beach Grill with a lively ambiance and light casual fair
· “Couples Rendezvous”, a luxurious spa escape including an Anguillan Coconut Pineapple Scrub, Couples Swiss Duet Rain Shower, Rose Scented Aroma Therapy Couples Massage, Floral Escape Soothing Bath Soak, and Champagne and Strawberries offered in the privacy of a Couples Suite
· One-day car rental to explore the beauty of Anguilla as a couple

Even better? Chances are if you’re traveling with your sweetheart on this package, there’s no chance of being sent home alone. Rates for this package start at $3,580, non inclusive of tax and service fees.

Paradores: the historic luxury hotels of Spain

Spain, spain, extremadura, Extremadura
Spain is known for its rich history, fine art, and excellent cuisine. By staying at a government-owned Parador, you can get all three right in your hotel.

Just look at this shot by Michael Stallbaum . This castle in Zafra, Extremadura, dates to 1437 and was once home to a duke. It’s the sort of place where you’d expect to pay a few euros, get your ticket stamped, and line up for the guided tour. Actually it’s a hotel with luxurious rooms, a restaurant, a garden, and a pool! It stands in the center of a beautiful and old town and right next to a sumptuous Renaissance church.

The Paradores of Spain offer luxury accommodation in some of Spain’s most historic and popular cities, many of which, like Cáceres and Mérida, are World Heritage Sites. In Extremadura, Spain’s historic southwest, there are seven. Besides Zafra, there are Paradores in Guadalupe (in a 15th century hospital), Jarandilla (15th century castle), Plasencia (15th century convent), and Trujillo (16th century convent), Mérida and Cáceres.

When I visited Mérida with my family, we stayed at a Parador housed in an 18th century convent. A lofty chapel is now a lounge and activities room, and an interior courtyard has columns from Roman times. I’m not sure what conditions were like for the nuns two hundred years ago, but our room had comfortable beds and all the usual amenities. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Don’t worry if your Spanish isn’t up to snuff; Paradores always have people on staff who can speak English and other languages.

The popular destination Cáceres has one of Spain’s older Paradores, a 14th century palace built atop Arab foundations. Much of the interior is original, including the grand mantelpiece in the lounge. It’s currently being refurbished and will reopen April 15.

While I’ve concentrated on the Paradores of Extremadura here, you can find more all over the country. Probably the best and certainly the most popular is the one in Granada, housed in a 15th century convent on the site of the famous Alhambra. This Moorish palace is one of the architectural wonders of the world with its quiet gardens, burbling fountains, and intricately carved marble. The best time to go is on the full moon, when the marble glows with an ethereal light. Book WAY in advance for this one.

Another plus with staying in a Parador is that most have excellent restaurants. There’s usually a formal restaurant and a bar that serves light meals and tapas. They tend to attract a lot of the local population, which is always a good sign.

Guys, a word of warning. My girlfriend took me to the Parador in Sigüenza. Now anybody who follows my work knows I’m a sucker for castles, and the combination of staying in a 12th century castle and a bottle of fine Spanish wine made me pop the question. I think it was a plot.

Don’t miss the rest of my series: Exploring Extremadura, Spain’s historic southwest

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Daily Pampering: Curtain Bluff Resort’s honeymoon packages from $4200

curtain bluffThis luxury Caribbean resort is kicking things off in 2011 with a package for the lovers.

Curtain Bluff, one of the Caribbean’s favorite luxury all-inclusive beach resorts and a Condé Nast reader’s choice pick for the past three years, is offering honeymoon packages through May 14, 2011. This daily pampering comes with a lot of pampering! The 4-night package includes:

  • 3 meals a day
  • bar drinks
  • most water sports including motorized and non motorized water sports
  • use of the gym including aerobic, pilates, yoga and aquatic classes
  • use of tennis courts and squash court
  • round trip town car pick up
  • bottle of champagne in room upon arrival
  • private dinner in romantic garden gazebo
  • couples Destressor massage in our spa
  • sunset sail on 49 foot sailboat

You’ll spend time along the resort’s two stunning beaches, enjoy nightly entertainment, and take a peek at the resort’s 25,000 bottle wine cellar.

The cost of this romantic getaway starts at $4200 for a deluxe room; $5052 for a junior suite; or $7220 for the Grace/Morris Bay suite. Extra nights are available if you find yourself lost in paradise.

Want more? Get your daily dose of pampering right here.

Daily Pampering: Spend Valentine’s Day at Turtle Island in Fiji

There’s only one way to go to Fiji: Turtle Island. The Valentine’s Day deal from this luxury resort is nothing short of incredible. Book five nights in paradise, and you’ll get two more nights free … in beachfront accommodations in a two-room “bure.” And, all meals are covered, including any romantic lunches you want to enjoy on the beach — they’ll be packed to order! The other activities are covered, as well, including sport fishing and SCUBA diving, and once you’re finished exerting yourself, you can relax with two one-hour lomi-lomi (that’s four-handed) massages.

The Turtle Island resort has 14 private beaches, five-star gourmet dining … and those lomi-lomi massages, along with other spa treatments. Personal “bure mamas” will attend to all your needs as you sip top-shelf liquors and champagnes. Only 14 couples are allowed in Turtle Island at a time … one for each private beach!

Here’s where it gets really interesting: if you book by March 31, 2010, you can travel any time by Valentine’s Day in 2011.

Get your daily dose of pampering right here.

Five new Los Cabos hotels: some open, some coming soon

Last year was a busy one for the tourism business in Los Cabos, Mexico. Despite the unmistakable impact of the H1N1 swine flu virus on the region’s action in the spring and summer, there were plenty of exciting developments, including the opening of five new hotels. You now have plenty of choices when you head out to Los Cabos, which just happens to be a great place to unwind.

1. Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe
The Barcelo’s doors opened in December 2009, and San Jose del Cabo will never be the same. The resort has 626 luxurious suites, ranging in size from 1,125 square feet to 2,168 square feet … but this just doesn’t compare to the 34 swim-up suites. There are three pools on the property, covering more than 50,000 square feet, and a water park specifically for children. The spa has 16 private treatment cabins and a hydrotherapy room. So, the all-inclusive, all-suite resort is designed to impress.

2. Zoëtry Casa del Mar
There are only 42 suites at the hacienda-style beachfront boutique … and the hotel is designed to make sure the spectacular Pacific sunset is in full view from across the resort. The resort has been open since the first day of December, and it’s main draw might have something to do with the exceptionally large suites with Jacuzzis, Rivolta bedding and private balconies. Access to the Cabo Real Golf Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., probably doesn’t hurt.

3. Capella Pedregal
Open since July, the Capella Pedregal has 66 rooms and residences in its Cabo San Lucas Marina location. Enjoy amazing views of the Sea of Cortes and the Pacific Ocean from this resort, which occupies 24 acres of mountainside and oceanfront property. If there’s a view you want, chances are you’ll find it at the Capella.

4. Sirena del Mar (coming in 2010)
This Welk Resort property consists of seven acres of luxury, high on the cliffs above Cabo San Lucas. Every villa has an oceanfront view, and you’ll be able to see whales from December through March. Located in the middle of downtown Cabo San Lucas, you’ll have easy access to the city and nightlife, but it won’t be hard to beat a retreat back to unparalleled comfort and seclusion.

5. Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa (coming in 2011)
The latest venture from Solmar Hotels & Resorts, the Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa is planning to fuse old world architecture with modern style.