New Los Cabos luxury resort, Grand Solmar Land’s End, celebrates grand opening


los cabos luxury resort

Located at the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula where the Sea of Cortes meets the Pacific Ocean, Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa Cabo San Lucas celebrates its official grand opening this weekend. The only new resort to open in Los Cabos this year, the resort was designed by the same architect who crafted the celebrity favorite Las Ventanas al Paraiso, HKS.

The most luxurious of the hotel chain’s five properties in Mexico, Land’s End resort is set on the site of the first Solmar Hotel built in the 1970s. 119 suites all offer views of the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez as well as amenities like two oceanfront restaurants, a full-service spa and beauty salon, a romance coordinator and more.

In celebration of the grand opening, stays of four nights or more are 50% for those traveling before July 31.
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Luxury resort offers guests daily submarine tours

A luxury resort in the Indian Ocean now offers submarine tours!While Richard Branson races to launch his own underwater adventures, one luxury resort in the Indian Ocean is making it possible for travelers today. The Conrad Maldives, located on Rangali Island, has announced the start of daily tours aboard their private, three-person submarine that will take visitors beneath the Indian Oean to experience a world unlike any they have ever seen before.

The new submarine, built in Germany by Nemo Tauchtouristik, is capable of diving to a depth of 98 feet, while keeping its passengers comfortably warm and dry on the inside. Painted bright orange with white stripes, the craft resembles a clown fish, and features three large glass pods that run the length of the top of the hull. Those pods afford passengers a 360-degree view of underwater action, ensuring they won’t miss any of the sights around them.

While out on the 30-minute long cruise, the small sub is operated by a professionally trained pilot, who will guide up to two passengers on an aquatic adventure along the South Ari Atoll, which is a popular destination for scuba divers and snorkelers as well. They’ll explore a living, thriving coral reef, while spotting colorful fish, mysterious sting rays, beautiful sea turtles, and wandering reef sharks. All without having to get their dive certification or even get wet at all for that matter.

The price for taking this underwater excursion is $280 for one person or $495 for two.

Controversy over development near Victoria Falls


Environmentalists are complaining that the tour company Shearwater Adventures has violated national and international law by expanding their luxury resort into the rainforest near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Shearwater has constructed a new restaurant, bar, kitchen, and information center next to the public entrance to the World Heritage Site. A lawyer for Shearwater insists the development is a legal replacement of earlier structures that had fallen into disrepair and that none of the new buildings go outside the area already reserved for facilities. Opponents to the construction contend that the buildings are on a much larger scale than the previous ones and are forbidden by a 2007 moratorium. This was put in place after UNESCO threaten to rescind Victoria Falls’ World Heritage status after a local businessman tried to build a hotel and golf course in the World Heritage zone.

Without being on the ground it’s hard to say if who’s telling the truth here. Last week The National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe ordered that no new construction take place. It is now running the site along with the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, which used to have sole authority. The government is currently trying to decide which body will run the Falls.

As this shakeup is going on, conservationists say Shearwater is planning a giant $6 million development next to the VIP entrance to the Falls. This will include a complex of buildings close enough to the Falls to threaten its World Heritage status. There’s also worry about the development’s location only a few yards from the Zambezi River.

[Photo courtesy user colmdc via Gadling’s flickr pool]

Professional honeymooners: dream job or nightmare?

Does a half-year working honeymoon sound like your idea of a dream job? If so, you might want to contact RunawayBrideandGroom.com, an Irish travel agency catering to destination weddings and honeymoons.

But wait- there’s more! You’ll also be paid 20,000 euros (about $27,000). “The Ultimate Job” is the latest in a series of promotions designed to capture the public imagination and serve as a “brilliant” marketing tool for people and places. The idea was inspired by last year’s blockbuster “Best Job in the World” campaign in Australia.

Winners will travel the globe for six months, and get paid to test out the most romantic wedding and honeymoon destinations around the world. More than 1,000 couples have already applied for the chance to be sent to resorts in Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States. You don’t have to be Irish to apply, but you do have to tout Ireland as part of the process.

Hopefuls have until April 7 to apply for the “horrendous assignment” — as the company teasingly calls it (hee.) — which starts mid-May. B.Y.O. Viagra and UTI medicine.

The winners will be asked to blog about their experiences a few times a week, “when they can get out of the hammock after sipping a glass of champagne,” says Rosemarie Meleady, managing director of RunawayBrideandGroom.com. Assuming they stay sober long enough, they must also write for The Irish Times once a month.

While 182.5 days of globetrotting is a dream job for many (mainly real travel writers), it would still test the limits of even the most solid of couples. Here’s hoping the company also throws in a good divorce lawyer.

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.