Hotel Concierges To Cure Your Hangover And Fix Your Love Life

If you’re like many hotel guests, you probably just waltz right past the concierge desk without a second thought. After all, unless you need a hard-to-get restaurant reservation or last minute theater tickets, you can probably figure out whatever you want to know with a quick search of Google. But what if we told you your concierge might be able to help you quell that nasty hangover, or that they could put the spark back into your love life?

A growing number of high end hotels are bringing in specialty concierges whose job is to provide more personalized services to hotel guests. For example, Westin Hotels & Resorts has recently employed a running concierge who can share advice and help guests achieve their fitness goals. Meanwhile the Viceroy Riviera Maya has its own soap concierge for the traveler who just can’t bathe without some hand-shaved artisanal soap.

One specialty concierge we can imagine being in high demand is the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans’ “Recovery Concierge.” Guests who partied a little too hard can head to the concierge for hangover help, and might find themselves being prescribed a hair of the dog treatment, an in-room massage, or some fresh fruit to give them a healthy energy boost. And then there’s the “Romance Concierge” at the Rendezvous in St Lucia. Her job is to help romantically challenged individuals woo their partner by organizing private dates on the beach, musical serenades, and private sunset cruises, among other things.

What kind of fantasy concierge service would you like to see in a hotel?

Other Countries A US President Has Never Visited

President Barack Obama will land in Myanmar (aka Burma) this week, a first-time visit for any President of the United States. Never mind that Myanmar is best known as a brutal dictatorship, not exactly in line with U.S. foreign policy. Disregard any political or geographically strategic reasons for befriending Myanmar. Today, this is all about the President being the first to visit Myanmar and the trip begs the question: “So are there other countries that no sitting U.S. President has ever visited?”

Out of the 190+ countries in the world, just 113 of them have been visited by a President of the United States, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Historian.

Countries not visited include close-by neighbor the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, St Kitts, St Lucia and assorted tiny island-nations. Understandable, we would probably view a visit to the harmless Seychelles as a taxpayer-paid vacation anyway.

On the continent of Africa, more nations have not been visited than have been by a U.S. President. Again, probably not a lot of strategic reasons to stop by.But some big-name countries we might think that some President, somewhere along the way, might have visited; not one has.

  • Monaco, the second smallest country/monarchy in the world and the most densely populated country in the world boasts the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino.
  • Algeria, in northern Africa, famous for its vast Sahara in the south..
  • Nepal- famous for eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains. No visit.

Armenia is a country one might think worthy of a trip by any standards. Bordered by Turkey to the west, Azerbaijan to the east, Georgia to the north and Iran to the south, Armenia does seem to have a strategic location. Still, no visit.

Presidential travel takes any given sitting head of the free world to countries all over the planet on visits of good will. Meeting face to face with world leaders, attending meetings and spreading good old American spirit around when they can, Presidents are a big ticket when they come to town, along with Air Force One and more as we see in this video

Oh, and that trip to Myanmar? While President Obama is the first U.S. President to visit, he’s not the first Obama. The president’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was a cook in World War II for a British army captain stationed in what was then called Burma.

[Photo Credit: Flickr user 0ystercatcher]

Saint Lucia rich in history and breathtaking beaches

On the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, Rodney Bay is home to Reduit beach and Pigeon Island National Landmark, an important monument to St Lucia’s history. We had a chance to walk around the historic site recently and were torn between the hilltop ruins of Fort Rodney and a panoramic view of the ocean and coastline where breathtaking photo opportunities are abundant.

Pigeon Island is a 44-acre island reserve just off the north coast of Saint Lucia, connected to the mainland by the construction of a man-made causeway built in 1972. The French, who owned the island in 1778, declared war on the British who retaliated by attacking them in Saint Lucia and capturing the island.

The British then built a Naval Base, heavily fortifying Pigeon Island. From there they were able to monitor the French fleet in Martinique which resulted in the defeat of the French at the Battle of the Saints in 1782.

Today, visitors can tour the grounds that feature ruins of military buildings used during the battles between the French and the British, two beautiful beaches, a restaurant featuring trendy local cuisine with a pub popular with locals and another restaurant with a historical theme. A lookout point at the top of the Fort gives a panoramic view of the Northwest coastline.

%Gallery-142734%Looking in one direction, visitors see what is left of barracks built for soldiers in 1778, weathered by exposure to the elements. In another direction, the ocean beats against the shoreline and can be seen much as those soldiers saw it over 200 years ago.

A trip to Saint Lucia is easy with several major airlines flying directly to the island. Coming from the United States, American Airlines flies daily from Miami and Air Canada does twice-weekly flights from Toronto. Across the pond, British Airways has daily non-stop service between London Gatwick Airport (LGW) and Hewanorra International Airport (UVF).

A few cruise ships stop there too, offering a quick taste of the island, including Seabourn Quest, Carnival Victory, Emerald Princess and Holland America’s Maasdam.

Regardless of how travelers get there, Saint Lucia is a must-see Caribbean island with panoramic vistas and a rich heritage, both of which can be viewed side by side at Rodney Bay.

Photos by Whitney Owen

St. Lucia There & Back Part 7: Sunset Cruisin’ the Carib

Heading out on a sunset cruise filled with couples and hopeless romantics as a single lady has its pluses and minuses… First, I had the honor of being thrown an occasional glance or two by a cuddling couple probably wondering why I’m not cuddling with someone of my own. Second, I had the opportunity to make conversation with the crew members and locals about all the aggravating things tourists tend to ask practically everyday. Third, I got to laugh with the crew members once all the rum punch kicked in and people got wild and wacky on the dance floor, but the fourth part of going single or hitched is watching an incredible sunset while cruising along the bumpy Caribbean waters. In my case there wasn’t a totally awesome sunset to see – the clouds managed to hide quite a bit of the late afternoon rays and sun as a whole, but I knew I was far lucky than someone else out there who wasn’t sipping on Planter’s Punch just taking time for themselves.

I booked my sunset cruise through Solar Tours & Travel with a woman named Thecla Cockrell. It was scheduled in the late afternoon after my morning helicopter tour and she promised it would make for a pleasant ending to an adventuresome day. She couldn’t have been more right. The catamaran we took off on was named the “Spirit of Carnival” and I set up camp on the front left hand side so that whatever bit of sun was left would be in perfect view. I let everything on my mind drift somewhere far out to a distance I could no longer see or imagine what was actually beyond. I watched the waves bump up against the vessel and then I also had to watch for staggering individuals with beverages making their way back to their own post. And when the music changed from reggae to American favorites like Summer Lovin’ from Grease I was invited to dance with someone’s 60 year old husband and boy could he move!

By this point night had charged its way in and the clouds had transformed into the kind that let out showers of liquid sunshine in the daytime and rain in the night. As we pulled back into dock it started drizzling. It couldn’t have been better timing. I don’t think I fancy the idea of being out on a boat in the rain, but that’s just me.

To find out more on booking a Sunset Cruise or other island activities with Solar Tours & Travel they can be reached by phone at 758.452.5898 or by visiting their website, here. Ask for Thecla Cockrell. The two hour sunset cruise on Spirit of Carnival is $45 which includes drinks, small appetizers to feast on and good music with a dance floor to show off your best and worst moves.

St. Lucia There & Back Part 6: Sightseeing by Helicopter

After I took my first aerial tour in Oahu, Hawaii about two years ago I knew I’d want to take more by helicopter on future vacations, so before I departed to St. Lucia I did some research and found that there is one company offering helicopter tours in St. Lucia. Unsurprisingly, they go under the name St. Lucia Helicopters. They offer a number of tours depending on how much you wish to see and how much money you want to drop to see it. For the $155 I decided to spend I could have probably gone over to neighboring island, Martinique, but once more I wanted to see the island I was camping on at another angle. For $155 you get a 30 minute helicopter ride over the entire island. They also offer a quick 10 minute ride over the north side for $70 per person and a 20 minute tour of the south side for $120. If you’re serious about getting great photographs from the sky you should look into their photography tours which can be extremely expensive. Your best bet is what they call the North & South Tour or the one I joined in on.

For my second time in a helicopter the experience itself wasn’t that memorable. This helicopter was a six-seater which was much bigger than the tiny four-seater I had been on in the past, but it also much noisier once we really got started. I couldn’t hear the pilot well enough when he described some of the attractions on the island, but I was pretty aware of what was situated where for the most part. Also, I was riding with two happy vacationing couples and of course everyone wants a front seat. Well as my luck had it I got a window seat in the back as the couples divided up so one could take pictures in the front and the other could snap shots in the back. One of the girls, a slickster, tried tricking me into the middle passenger seat in the back so I wouldn’t be able to provide you with any decent photographs, but I shut her operation down by smiling and kindly stating that I would like a window seat. Move over toots!

With those two things being said I apologize for the lack of captions and also the lack of clarity in some of the photographs. I didn’t get the kind of weather I had hoped for on this adventure out and shooting through a thick helicopter window in the back won’t get you the kind of results you’d like. If you go, fight for a front window seat. Knock a few teeth out if you have to. I’m just kidding. Remember this is paradise or something close to it so sit back and enjoy the ride. Click continue reading to check out the photos from my view above.

St. Lucia Helicopters can be reached by email at or by phone at 758.453.6950.