Category Archives: Places to Visit

Summer Sizzle VI: This Weekend in St. Thomas!


Sunset White Fashion Fete-Friday, July 22, 2011

Live Entertainment by famed VI drummer Dion Parson & Friends

VENUE : Oceana Restaurant, French Town, St. Thomas
TIME : 6:00PM – 11:00PM – COST : $60

Oceana’s breathtaking sunset views and island breeze creates a perfect evening for the Sunset White Fashion Fete, an elegant fashion party where guests are required to wear white. Guests will enjoy a sumptuous buffet of global cuisine by world renowned executive chef Patricia LaCorte along with a complimentary signature drink. Join the festive affair as guests revel among a bevy of supermodels, designers and fashionistas as they party into the night.

Fat Turtle Friday Party – Friday, July 22, 2001
VENUE : Yacht Haven Grande

TIME : 11:00PM

If you want to keep the party going, the world famous Fat Turtle in St. Thomas is the place to be on Friday nights with live music, DJ, dancers and more. With mega yachts in the back drop, Fat Turtle rocks until the morning hours.

 

 

Fashion Show-Saturday, July 23, 2011

VENUE : Mark C. Marin Center @ Antilles School
TIME : 8:00PM – COST : $40 for General Admission or $100 for VIP Admission

VIP Admission includes VIP Cocktail Reception from 6:30pm – 7:30pm, VIP Seating, VIP Gift Bag and Admission to VIP After Party

Glamour, glitz, fashion, and fun are the focus of this spectacular gala at the MCM Antilles School. The fashion show will feature collections from some of the world’s most dazzling designers such as Tracy Reese, New York designer Cesar Galindo and Dominique Pearl David from the hit reality show “The Fashion Show”, Andrew Buckler, top British menswear designer, Devon Scott menswear and two of the Virgin Islands top emerging designers Jamal Drummond and Andre Etienne. Bringing the runway to life is a multi-cultural cast of top international and regional models including the Virgin Islands.

VENUE : Mark C. Marin Center @ Antilles School

TIME : 10:30PM – COST : $30

After the spectacular fashion show, celebrities, models, designers and international jet-setters come together for the Official VIP After Party. Over 500 will party the night away while sipping on cocktails and enjoying great music.

 

 

Summer Sizzle Designers:

  • Kevan Hall
  • Korto Momolu
  • Cesar Galindo
  • Laquan Smith
  • Roger Gary
  • Johnny Vincent
  • Mill House
  • Kristin Frazer
  • Robert Young
Visit  www.summersizzlevi.com for more information.

Barbados: Food & Wine and Rum Festival


Barbados Food & Wine & Rum Festival

Photo: Barbados Tourism

Barbados Food & Wine & Rum Festival

Photo: Barbados Tourism

Barbados Food & Wine & Rum Festival

Photo: Barbados Tourism

Save the date! The 2nd Annual Food & Wine and Rum Festival is fast approaching. This year’s festivities will take place November 18-21, 2011.

View more photos from last year’s event here. Be sure to visit the official site www.foodwinerum.com for more information.

@JozBiz

Kids Stay & Eat Free in Grenada! -CaribbeanTravelNews.BlogSpot.com


Grenada’s Blue Horizons Garden Resort is offering families a Kid’s Stay & Eat Free plan offering free stays for children under age 16 plus free stays and meals for children 12 and under (maximum two kids per room). Off-season rates for a deluxe one-bedroom suite start at $165 per room, based on double occupancy.

For families seeking an adjoining suite, Blue Horizons is also offering a 50 percent discount off a second room for kids 16 years and under. The 32-room property also provides free babysitting for two hours per stay. The free stays and meals for children are valid for travel through Dec. 15, 2011. {As with all promos, restrictions apply.}

While Grenada might not have as many options for flights as other islands, there are still deals to be found on most major airlines, most importantly American Airlines.

Caribbean Travel Agents are standing by…waiting to help you plan your vacation to Grenada! Call 1- 866-236-1924 to get started today!

Source: CaribbeanTravelNews

CaribPics: 15th Annual Mango Melee and Tropical Fruit Festival-St. Croix, VI


Over the weekend (Sunday) I had the pleasure of attending the 15th Annual Mango Melee and Tropical Fruit Festival on  St. Croix. This was a new experience for me as I had never attended the event or been to the botanical gardens. As I walked through the pathways of the St. George Village Botanical Gardens, I took in not only the beautiful surroundings but also the aroma of fruits and cooked food alike. Vendors lined the paths with tropical drinks, fruits for sales, pastries, local delicacies, arts and crafts, and plants all for sale. I especially enjoyed a fruit-filled smoothie by the Country Snack Stand (their located on Mahogany Road in the Rain Forest).

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The event, which benefits the botanical garden, features food and craft vendors, educational workshops, culinary competitions, mango eating contests, mango and tropical fruit tastings, a mega-mini mango contest,  garden tours, and a silent fruit auction. Approximatley 4,000 attendees came out this year in support of the event.

This year’s “Mango Dis, Mango Dat”  Competition winners included:

Professional

Sweets – Sue Lakos, Mango Crunch

Stuff – Ralston and Eunice Ambrose, Mango Chicken Fiesta

Amateur

Sips –1st Martha Jean-Pierre- Martha’s Specialty 2nd-Zandra Petersen- Mango Liqueur

Salsa – 1st Don Bailey- Tarragon Mango Dip; 2nd Patasha Tracey- Spicy Mango Salsa

Sweets – 1st Sharon Grimes- Mangoes on Snow; 2nd Debi George- Mango Peach Crisp

Stuff – 1st Zandra Petersen- Mango Bread; 2nd Zandra Petersen- Mango Butter

Winners of the mango eating competition:

Junior Division-Adrian Pierce Encarnacion

Adult Division-Olubayo Kaza

The event concluded with a silent auction of fruits in the Great Hall and a crowd dancing to the Electric Slide on the front lawn.

Check out this video courtesy of CBS News 2 VI:

For more  information on the event and St. George Village Botanical Gardens visit: www.sgvbg.org

@JozBiz

A Vacation in Puerto Rico – Islands.com


This 7-day itinerary covers everything you need to create a memorable vacation in Puerto Rico. From exploring the deep culture of the island to enjoying its natural wonders—Puerto Rico has it all.

 

 

Puerto Rico is an island of many pleasures and treasures. At 110 miles long and 35 miles wide, it’s perfect for a weeklong exploration of its many regions. Its size makes it good for a hub-and- spoke type trip, staying at properties in and around San Juan, with a few overnights at other locales. Follow our journey, and you’ll see a little bit of everything, from the cultural sights of the cities to the natural wonders, with dining and great beach stops in between.

It is only a short transfer to a San Juan hotel from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, getting the trip off to a quick start. Day one is spent enjoying the ideal year-round weather by lounging on the beach and going for a sunset walk before heading out for dinner. In the San Juan area, El Condado is where you’ll find many fine dining choices, and we chose Budatai on Ashford Avenue.

Day two in Puerto Rico began early with a morning interactive tour of the Bacardi Factory. Tours average about one hour and give some history on the famed local rum, including the production process and “party spirit.” The rest of the day was dedicated to enjoying Old San Juan. The cobblestone streets of the seven-square-block area are over 500 years old. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The walking tour started at Plaza de Armas, the city’s original main square, before visiting La Fortaleza, a former fortress that is now the official residence of the governor of Puerto Rico. It was built in 1540, and is the oldest functional executive mansion in the U.S. Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, or “El Morro” Fortress, on the San Juan Bay is where soldiers fought off attacks by both the English and the Dutch. Museums abound in San Juan, and include the Museum of Art and History, transformed from a marketplace dating to 1855 into a showcase for traditional Puerto Rican art and audiovisual exhibits.

A lunch break came somewhere in the middle of the tour at Raíces restaurant on Recinto Sur Street, where waiters dress in traditional bomba dancer costumes.

The day was wrapped up with nighttime bar hopping. We followed the locals to their favorites along San Sebastián, Cristo and Fortaleza streets, such as El Batey, Patio de Sam and Parrot Club.

Day three was dedicated to exploring Puerto Rico’s natural wonders, starting with El Yunque National Rainforest in the town of Rio Grande. El Yunque is the only rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service and is currently a finalist in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. There are more than 240 species of tropical trees, exotic flowers and wildlife to encounter. There are lots of ways to best discover its beauty, including a hike through the forest or a swim in a river pool. We were enthralled with the history of the rainforest outlined at El Portal Tropical Forest Center. A lunch stop at Luquillo Beach kiosk area treated us to good food, views and ocean breezes. The rest of the afternoon was spent on the white powder sands before heading to El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo for a two-night stay. 888-543-1282; elconresort.com

Upon check-in, the concierge suggested the 8 p.m. kayak trip from Las Croabas into Laguna Grande bioluminescent bay, where tiny organisms in the water produce “glowing” waters. In the morning (Day four), we headed to José Aponte de la Torre Airport near Ceiba for an early 20 minute flight on Vieques Air Link to Culebra. The island, only seven by four miles, is 20 miles off the northeast coast of Puerto Rico and is pure beach bliss. The whole day was spent swimming, snorkeling and enjoying fun in the sun at Flamenco Beach before taking a flight back to Ceiba.

On Day five we woke up early to begin the scenic drive to the Rio Camuy Cave Park, home to one of the largest cave systems and underground rivers in the world. The tram into the 170-foot-high Cueva Clara, lined with dense tropical vegetation, and then up to a platform overlooking the 400-foot-deep Tres Pueblos Sinkhole was a thrill. Active types can walk up the 205 steps to the Spiral Sinkhole.

Near the Rio Camuy Caves is the Arecibo Radiotelescope, the largest radio/radar telescope in the world. The tour described how scientists use the observatory to monitor radio emissions. (Both open from Wednesday to Sunday only.)

The night was spent in nearby Aguadilla at the budget-friendly Parador El Faro. 787-882- 8000; ihphospitality.com/PARADORELFARO. The southern part of the island was the focus of our last full day (Day six) in Puerto Rico. The scenic drive from Aguadilla to Ponce took about 90 minutes. Ponce is the second-largest city on the island and very different from Old San Juan. Must-sees here include Plaza Las Delicias, home to old fountains and the Cathedral of Our Lady Guadalupe, dating from 1835. The Ponce Museum of Art, designed by Edward Durell Stone, who also designed New York’s Museum of Modern Art, recently completed a two-year remodel. It boasts more than 1,000 paintings and 400 sculptures. Right outside Ponce is Castillo Serrallés, a mansion built in 1930 for the Serrallés family, producers of Don Q rum. Today it is a museum showcasing the history of the sugar industry and the lavish lifestyle of a bygone era. Dinner was at Pito’s Seafood Café & Restaurant, right outside the city going west, before heading back to the San Juan area.

Before flying home, the morning was spent getting in our last sand time and rays at the beach.

Where to stay in San Juan The San Juan area is an excellent base for exploring the entire island. Hotel choices abound, and one good option five minutes from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport and along a two-mile beach in the Isla Verde district is El San Juan Resort & Casino. The 386-room property is a renowned landmark that combines tropical splendor and old-world elegance. It features lavishly designed rooms; an extensive selection of dining and entertainment venues; La Galeria, a European-style walking village of boutiques; a 16,500-square-foot casino; the Edouard de Paris Spa with a variety of unique massages, facials and body treatments; and the Encanto Beach Club.

El San Juan Resort & Casino is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and is offering two 25th anniversary-themed packages available through 2011. The two-night Anniversary Escape and four-night Anniversary Getaway feature a 25 percent discount off the room rate when booking a minimum of four nights; 25 percent off dining at La Terraza, Aquaire, Encanto Bar & Grill and Brother Jimmy’s; a $25 discount off paid consumptions of $100 or more at the hotel’s Blue, Gold and Silver lobby bars; a $25 casino match bet coupon; and a $25 discount off spa services of $125 or more at the spa. Guests booking the two-night Anniversary Escape should request rate code PESJ2N; and for the four-night Anniversary Getaway, rate code PESJ4N. 888-579-2632; elsanjuanhotel.com

Also located in San Juan, Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza overlooks both the Atlantic Ocean and Condado Lagoon, offering stunning panoramic views. It is five minutes from Old San Juan, and 15 minutes from the airport. The luxury hotel boasts 570 Leo Daly-designed guest rooms and suites, a 24-hour casino, water sports, tennis courts, a saltwater pool, a private outdoor massage area and a kids’ game room. The hotel also houses two of renowned chef Wilo Benet’s restaurants, Varita and Pikayo, among its group of dining venues. 866-317- 8934; ConradCondadoPlaza.com

A wonderful option outside San Juan, but close enough to all attractions for a great hub-and-spoke trip in a relaxing setting, is the tropical luxury of the 483-acre St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort. Just 25 minutes from San Juan, the property is set on a former coconut plantation between El Yunque rainforest and the tranquil waters of the Espiritu Santo River. The resort was built to make the most of its setting, with breathtaking views in all directions. Accommodations have been built in low-rise plantation-style buildings beneath the tree line to harmonize with the preserved natural environment. The resort offers opportunities for guests to get the most of its natural beauty, with nature walks, bird watching, hiking trails and kayaking among its activities.

A stay in one of the 139 guest rooms pampers guests with such amenities as St. Regis’ butler service, a private bird sanctuary, two miles of private beach, and an oceanfront golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. The hotel is also home to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first restaurant in the Caribbean, Fern. After a day of taking in Puerto Rico’s sights, the restaurant is the ideal spot to sit back and enjoy a menu of Jean-Georges’ distinctive dishes with traditional Puerto Rican ingredients such as papaya, mango and coconut. True pampering can come in the form of a morning or afternoon in the 10,000-square-foot Remède Spa. Locale-inspired treatments incorporate Puerto Rican traditions and rituals as well as ingredients indigenous to the area, such as coconut, sugarcane, native obsidian stones and vanilla oil extracts. Experience treatments that include the Taino Warm Native Stone Ritual, Cemi God Rejuvenating Facial or the Queen Loiza’s Royal Treatment, where guests are treated to a golden sugar scrub applied to the body, followed by a warm Vichy shower massage and a 24-karat gold shimmer oil massage. 866-716-8116; stregis.com

Source: Islands.com