Monday, October 28, 2013

Conrad Miami Offers Upscale Promotions

Conrad Miami, a cosmopolitan oasis located in Miami’s trendy Brickell neighborhood, is asking guests, “Who will you be in Miami?” The luxury hotel is offering upscale promotions that cater to a variety of personalities and interests. From soothing spa treatments to adventurous bicycle excursions, each guest at the Conrad Miami is bound to discover “the luxury of being yourself.”
Conrad Miami, a cosmopolitan oasis located in Miami’s trendy Brickell neighborhood, is asking guests, “Who will you be in Miami?” The luxury hotel is offering upscale promotions that cater to a variety of personalities and interests. From soothing spa treatments to adventurous bicycle excursions, each guest at the Conrad Miami is bound to discover “the luxury of being yourself.”
The Relaxed Traveler
  • Two-night deluxe bedroom accommodations
  • Daily complimentary breakfast for two at Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room
  • Gourmet chocolates
  • In-room candle amenity
  • One Signature Brazilian Firming Body Treatment at The Spa
  • Complimentary yoga classes (available Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Starting Price: $508.
 The Miami Fashionista
  • Two-night deluxe bedroom accommodations
  • Daily complimentary breakfast for two at Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room
  • Four-hour VIP shopping experience in Miami’s Design District, including transportation
  • Two 15-minute foot massages
  • Starting Price: $715
 The Adventure Seeker
  • Two-night deluxe bedroom accommodations
  • Daily complimentary breakfast for two at Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room
  • Conrad electric bicycle rental for four hours, for two adults (upgrade to eight hours available for $15 per person)
  • Special admission to  the exclusive Bentley Beach Club in South Beach
  • Starting Price: $532
Packages are valid for travel between September 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014. Certain restrictions may apply. To book by phone, please call +1-800-CONRADS (266-7237). For full terms and conditions and to book online, please visit

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ecuador Set To Showcase At Imex in Las Vegas

October 15, 2013 (Las Vegas) – The Ecuador Ministry of Tourism will showcase the country’s world-class meetings and incentives offering this week at IMEX America – the distinguished industry forum and largest in North America – in Las Vegas, joined by six industry partners.
Ecuador will be promoting the sophisticated meetings infrastructure of Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, leading destinations offering cutting edge technological capabilities and the stunning backdrop of Ecuador’s natural wonders.  Due to expanding development in the sector, Ecuador has increased by two positions in the ICCA rankings for 2012. 

With five major convention and exhibition centers and more than 21,800 hotel rooms in more than twenty-five leading hotels, Ecuador offers the infrastructure to host international meetings and is rapidly gaining recognition as a unique destination for the sector in South America.
Located along the Equator in the “Middle of the World,” Ecuador offers an ideal location for meetings with convenient access and expanding connectivity from North America.  The Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, opened in February 2013, serves five million passengers per year, an increase in annual capacity of more than two million passengers.

The most megadiverse country per square kilometer in the world, the destination offers four distinct worlds including the Galapagos Islands, Pacific Coast, Andes, and Amazon.  Ecuador is easily traveled with only a 30-minute flight between the Amazon and Andes and the Andes and the coast, allowing visitors to experience the extraordinary diversity of the South American country.

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, has been recognized by National Geographic Traveler as “Best Destination in the World 2013.”  The UNESCO World Heritage city, famous for its well-preserved colonial center, was also named “Best Tourist Destination” at the World Travel Awards – Central and South America Edition. 

Ecuador is also home to the World Heritage city of Cuenca, a cultural capital boasting historical landmarks and festivals, as well as Natural Heritage sites including Galapagos National Park and Sangay National Park.
Ecuador will be highlighting recent successes in the sector, including the hosting of such major international events in 2013 as TravelMart Latin America at Bicentenario Convention Center in Quito, XIV Latin American Meeting on Digital Cities at Centro de Convenciones Eugenio Espejo in Quito, II Latin American Congress of Laboratory Medicine at Swissotel in Quito, and CXXVII Assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union at Quorum San Francisco in Quito, which attracted over 1,500 attendees.

Partners presenting their meetings and conventions offering include EQ Touring, Galapagos Walker, Klein Tours, Metropolitan Touring, and Quito Conventions.

Ecuador will be exhibiting at IMEX Booth 530.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Celebrity Cruises Bites Into The Big Apple

MIAMI, FL – October 10, 2013 – This October, Celebrity Cruises is taking its award-winning cuisine to New York City in a series of land-based events designed to give food and wine enthusiasts a glimpse into its modern luxury approach to culinary innovation. A health food trends panel at NYC’s Michelin-starred Rouge Tomate, dinner at the legendary James Beard House, and a sponsorship of the iconic Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE will give New Yorkers an opportunity to interact with Celebrity’s talented team of culinarians, and taste the modern luxury vacation brand’s artfully presented, leading-edge cuisine.

Today, Celebrity started its culinary tour through New York by assembling a culinary thought leadership panel comprised of chefs and nutritionists, to discuss health food trends in luxury dining today. Moderated by Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin, the panel discussion reached in-person attendees representing food influencers, such as bloggers, reporters, and other chefs and nutritionists. The event was shared with Celebrity’s social media followers. Celebrity’s onboard partnership with SPE Certified, a unique certification program that is defining a new way to eat by enhancing the nutritional quality of meals without sacrificing taste, inspired the discussion, along with growing culinary trends around vegetables and other healthful ingredients. Celebrity’s associate vice president of food and beverage operations, Chef John Suley, joined Marc Murphy, chef and owner of Benchmarc Restaurants and Benchmarc Events, Jeremy Bearman, corporate executive chef for SPE Certified and Rouge Tomate, and Natalia Hancock, R.D., SPE Certified’s senior culinary nutritionist, on the panel.

On October 12, Suley will headline Celebrity’s return to the legendary James Beard House, where his team will present “A Taste of Modern Luxury,” featuring recipes from onboard Celebrity’s ships as well as new creations, and wine pairings curated by Celebrity’s corporate sommelier, Chanelle Duarte, CSW. Joined by Celebrity’s team of corporate executive chefs, Suley will delight James Beard Foundation members and other guests with a delectable menu, as they did when Celebrity was the first cruise line to cook dinner at the James Beard House in 2012.

Wine is at the heart of Celebrity’s sponsorship of the 2013 Food Network New York City Wine and & Food Festival, where Celebrity Cruises will present Wine Seminars and Pairing Series Seminars hosted by FOOD & WINE. The series will feature the world’s top sommeliers, cellar masters, wine critics, authors, James Beard Award-winning chefs, and other culinary industry leaders. Tastings will cover a wide range of insights into topics such as tips and tasting into the “grape unknown” – unusual grape varieties, and learning the best way to taste and analyze champagne.

At the Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite, guests will enjoy the ultimate culinary showcase for any foodie, including all-day tastings provided by NYC’s top restaurants and chefs. Celebrity's culinary team – led by Suley – will feature the ship-inspired “Lawn Club Grill” experience, serving up their very own take on a classic dish, soup and grilled cheese: Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup, Iberico ham, toasted Hazelnut, Sourdough Croutons and Raclette & Leek Grilled Cheese.

The Food Network Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE is October 17-20, 2013. The Celebrity Cruises Wine Seminars and Pairing Series hosted by FOOD & WINE are October 19-20. The Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite is October 19-20.  All proceeds from the Festival benefit the hunger relief organizations Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign.

The James Beard House dinner and Food Network New York City Wine and & Food Festival are open to members of the public; tickets are for sale at and, respectively.

About Celebrity Cruises:
Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. Celebrity Cruises' 11 ships offer modern luxury vacations visiting all seven continents. Celebrity also presents immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity is one of five cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE, OSE: RCL). For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit, or call your travel agent.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Scottsdale, Arizona Travel News: October 2013

The JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa is undergoing a makeover that will spruce up not only the signature property's rooms, but also the all new golf course, Ambiente. With a focus on conserving water, maintaining a wildlife habitat and decreasing pesticide and fossil fuel use, the 18-hole, 150-acre Ambiente Golf Course lives up to its name; Ambiente means “environment” in Spanish. Ambiente, which premieres this month, was designed by renowned golf architect Jason Straka for the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa. Ambiente will surely draw leisure and avid golf players with it’s a one-of-a-kind challenging course. Replacing the Indian Bend golf course, Ambiente culminates the seven year, $70 million renewal project at the inn. This fall, the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa completed $9.5 million in refurbishments as well. Guest rooms have been updated with new bathroom vanities, countertops, walk-in showers and carpeting. Now, you can enjoy a few games of golf surrounded by desert flora and fauna, tuck in a hearty meal at BLT Steak and relax at the casita guestrooms in the restored 1930s adobe brick resort.  

Move over traffic copper, there’s a new kid in town. That’s right, Arizona Helicopter Adventures is now serving the greater Scottsdale area with tours of the metro area and the city’s greatest asset, the Sonoran Desert. Whether you wish to see the luxurious homes and prime golf courses in Scottsdale’s metro area or the rugged and majestic Sonoran Desert, Arizona Helicopter Adventures has you covered. Its three different tour options take you miles above Paradise Valley and Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, and the Superstition Mountains. Get a bird’s eye view of Fountain Hills’ world famous, man-made geyser or soar above the beloved Camelback Mountain. Prices range between $99 and $259, depending on the tour. 

The Sonoran Desert’s dramatic landscapes have drawn architects to the desert for thousands of years. From the Hohokam Indians to Frank Lloyd Wright, Scottsdale residents have explored how to not only exist, but thrive in an environment where wide-open spaces and saguaro cacti are practically trademarks. Explore the people behind Scottsdale’s greatest architectural achievements during visits to Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, Cosanti, and Taliesin West.

Upon descending into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, few people realize that less than a mile from the airport there are replica structures of the indigenous Hohokam people’s homes. Explore the hogans in which they resided between 450 and 1450 AD during a visit to the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park. See the museum’s collection of ancient petroglyphs and walk beside the vast irrigation canals that are still used in part today.

Don’t miss the renowned Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert masterpiece, Taliesin West. A National Historic Landmark built between 1937 and 1959, Taliesin West is located at the base of the McDowell Mountains. Amidst the Sonoran Desert, Wright’s design masterfully integrates indoor and outdoor spaces. Choose one of several tours, such as the 90-minute Insights tour, and walk through Wright’s personal winter home and studio, which is still in use today as a campus for the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours’ founder Ace Bailey for a customizable tour that highlights your favorite Scottsdale sites. From Taliesin West to Cosanti, the gallery, studio and residence of the late Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri, Bailey’s tours will provide you with insight into the people and places that have made Scottsdale such a recognizable architectural destination. Be sure to stop by one of her favorites, Hotel Valley Ho, a frequent hangout for celebrities such as Cary Grant and Zsa Zsa Gabor in the ’50s and ’60s.

It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year, and there’s no better way to celebrate with friends and family than partaking in plenty of festive events around Scottsdale.

Explore the breathtaking Sonoran Desert all by the glowing light of more than 8,000 hand-lit luminaries from Nov. 29 through Dec. 31 at the Desert Botanical Garden’s Las Noches de las Luminarias. Sip on hot chocolate from the Patio Café as you stroll the paths throughout the garden. Feel the holiday spirit as music from carolers, handbells, guitars and violins fills the air. With advanced reservations, you can even dine at Gertrude’s, which stays open late for the event. And a trip to the Desert Botanical Garden is not complete without stopping by the Chihuly in the Garden exhibit, which returns to the garden from November 2013 through May 2014. Only during Las Noches de las Luminarias can you witness artist Dale Chihuly’s colorful glasswork reflected by thousands of white twinkle lights against the night sky.

       Kids and kids at heart will be delighted as they wander through Zoo Lights at the Phoenix Zoo Nov. 28, 2013 through Jan. 12, 2014. As the sun begins to set and the furry and reptilian residents at the Phoenix Zoo start to snooze, the zoo transforms into a winter wonderland. Roam the complex beneath the shine of more than 3 million colorful twinkle lights and 500 custom-made animal and nature light sculptures. You’ll likely spot a sleepy orangutan, a wide-awake coyote and even Jengo the talking giraffe throughout the festivities.

Trim your Christmas tree this holiday season with hand-made ornaments from American Indian artists during Heard Museum's Ornament Marketplace from Nov. 28 through Dec. 1. Return to the museum Dec. 26-31 for Holidays at the Heard, an annual Southwestern tradition. This event takes museum visitors on a journey through American Indian culture with exciting performances and artist demonstrations.

Literally rock around the musical Christmas tree at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ annual winter celebration Christmas at the Princess. At the Princess tree-lighting ceremony on Nov. 21, see 65,000 lights shine brightly on a four-story tree that plays 10 holiday favorite songs. The event, which runs through Jan.5, 2014, features a 5,400-square-foot ice skating rink, visits from Santa and his elves, musical performances, the Silver Saguaro Holiday Shoppe, and lots of yummy snacks and beverages to keep you warm. And the Spectacular Lagoon Lights that shine throughout the resort are truly magical.

Take in the sights, sounds and tastes of Southwest American Indian culture during the 12th season of Native Trails, presented by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and produced by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Staged at the idyllic, grassy outdoor amphitheater at Scottsdale Civic Center Park, you’ll be invited to participate in audience-involved dances, dine on delectable indigenous snacks, and browse a wide array of artisan jewelry, beadwork and paintings during this free festival that occurs most Thursdays and Saturday Jan. 16 through April 5, 2014. Watch in awe as competitive dancers and youth performers from the Hopi, Diné (Navajo), Hualapai and San Carlos Apache tribes take the stage in traditional attire and showcase their culture’s ceremonial dances. Favorites include the hoop dance, in which performers intricately weave in and out of several hoops, and the Round Dance, an audience-participation event celebrating the connection of all people and cultures.