Travelscope's Blog

Hit the Holiday Weekend with this Travel-Inspired, Rum-Infused Salad Recipe from Antigua and Barbuda
It’s officially summer, and the big holiday weekend of the season spells festive get-togethers and celebrations in the sun and the heat. Well, you can take a cue from a year-round hot-weather destination and spice up your summer salad with a salad recipe from Antigua and Barbuda that hits the spot this hot holiday weekend.

This distinctly tropical salad is simple yet oh so delicious and refreshing – and adults only! It features a large watermelon and is infused with Antigua’s signature Cavalier Rum; yes, rum! The secret is letting the sliced watermelon marinate in the rum for up to two days, ensuring the ultimate sweet flavour that will amp up your festivities and set a high note for the holiday weekend.

This twist on a watermelon recipe comes courtesy of Rodrick Beazer, the Executive Sous Chef of Curtain Bluff Resort in Antigua and Barbuda, the twin-island nation in the heart of the Caribbean Sea.

Antigua and Barbuda offer upscale island travelers not one, but two uniquely distinct experiences. Both islands enjoy ideal temperatures year-round, a rich history, vibrant culture, exhilarating excursions, award-winning resorts, mouth-watering cuisine and 365 stunning pink and white-sand beaches - one for everyday of the year!

The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua, comprises 108-square miles with rich history and spectacular topography that provides a variety of popular sightseeing opportunities. Nelson’s Dockyard, the only remaining example of a Georgian fort, a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, is perhaps the most renowned landmark. Antigua’s tourism events calendar includes the prestigious Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, and the annual Antigua Carnival; dubbed the ‘Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival.’

Barbuda, Antigua’s smaller sister island, is an off-the-radar celebrity hideaway. The island lies 27 miles north-east of Antigua and is just a 15-minute plane ride away. Barbuda is known for its untouched 17-mile stretch of pink sand beach and as the home of the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere. 

 

Antigua and Barbuda’s Cavalier Rum-Infused Local Watermelon Salad

INGREDIENTS:
Start with a large watermelon; seedless watermelon is best for this recipe
1 cup Cavalier rum 
½ cup toasted sliced almonds 
1 bowl of fresh island greens
½ cup local goat cheese
2 sprigs kale 
 
MAKE-AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS:
To infuse the watermelon: 
1. Cut the watermelon in half, horizontally. Place half side down on a clean, dry surface. Then slice a portion off the round top and then each side, making it a square or rectangle. Slice into approximately 1-inch slices.
2. Place sliced (and seeded, if you aren't using seedless) watermelon into vacuum / sealable plastic bag(s). Pour in the Cavalier Rum. 
3. Place vacuum bag into chamber vacuum sealer and pull a full, 100% vacuum on the fruit. You can also do this carefully without a vacuum sealer carefully by hand pressing out all the air.
4. The fruit can marinate in the rum in the refrigerator for up to two days. (After two days, juices will start to expel from the fruit, surrounding the fruit in the vacuum pouch. The fruit is usable, but the texture isn’t as perfect.)
 
To Serve:
1. Remove watermelon from the pouch. Top with goat cheese, almond slices, and kale. Garnish with greens and serve!
 
Chef Beazer says that the rum-infused salad is a perfect side dish for barbequed fish - especially salmon - or chicken. He suggests pairing it with a light rosé or pinot noir wine to accentuate the sweetness of the watermelon.
Until you can make your next – or first! – trip to Antigua and Barbuda, we know this salad recipe will be your travel-inspired star of your sizzling summer entertainment!
 

Start your Tropical Trip!

 
Salad image and recipe courtesy of Antigua and Barbuda.

Australia's Latest Luxe Stays: New Hotels to Inspire a Trip Down Under
Koalas and kangaroos, beaches and beer and ‘bugs’ (lobster-like shellfish), deserts and mountains and rivers iconic in the Southern hemisphere, and that famous Aussie lifestyle and hospitality! There are so many reasons to put a trip to Australia on your travel list – including these new, luxury hotels that make a trip anywhere in Australia just a little more exciting with anticipation.
 
From the first-ever Ace Hotel in the southern hemisphere, to the biggest W Hotel in the world, Australia’s tallest hotel, a nature lodge with indigenous guides, the first Marriott Luxury Collection in Australia, to historic re-imaginations, every style of traveler who appreciates the good life – and the best of Australia - will find a new hotel to love.
 
Ask us to design the trip Down Under of your dreams including one or more of these new hotels.
 

SYDNEY

 
Ace Hotel
Opened in May 2022, the Ace Hotel Sydney marks Ace’s very first home in the Southern Hemisphere. Nestled in Surry Hills, Ace Hotel Sydney is a sweeping re-imagination of a historical location. With 257 incredible guest rooms and a variety of suites, there is a room for every type of holiday. The hotel also offers a range of dining options, including ground-floor restaurant, LOAM; craft cocktails, wine and beers at Lobby Bar; day-to-night cafe and bar, Good Chemistry; and the acclaimed, genre-bending restaurant Kiln, located 18 stories above Ace and helmed by Chef-Partner Mitch Orr.
 
W Sydney (opening late 2022)
Set to be the biggest W Hotel in its catalogue of more than 60 across the globe, W Sydney will be a must-visit for travelers to the harbor city. W Sydney’s undulating ribbon form rises through two elevated roadways on Sydney’s Darling Harbour, creating a spectacular waterfront experience, sightlines over the Harbour and pedestrian links across Cockle Bay and from the Harbour through to Darling Quarter and Sydney's International Convention Centre.


The hotel is within walking distance of the buzzing dining and shopping district as well as the surrounding area. The gleaming glass building will boast 593 guest rooms and an assortment of larger serviced apartments, along with a restaurant, two bars, spa and an infinity pool overlooking the harbor.

 Ⓒ QT Newcastle
QT Newcastle (opening June 2022) - Newcastle, 90-minutes drive north of Sydney
Newcastle may be known for its laid-back beach culture, but it will soon also house its own luxury accommodation offering. The popular boutique QT Hotel brand will be making its debut in Newcastle in June 2022, marking the fourth QT property to open in Australia. Set to take over the former 111-year-old David Jones department store building, QT Newcastle will be conveniently located on Hunter Mall right in the centre of the growing beach-side city. The design-led hotel's luxurious, quirky flair and distinctive service will feature across the 106-rooms, rooftop bar and its signature QT dining concept.
 

GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND

 
The Langham Gold Coast (opening June 2022)

Located on the sands of Surfers Paradise, The Langham Gold Coast will feature 169 rooms and suites and an additional 170 serviced apartments as part of the new Jewel Residences by The Langham. Visible throughout the Gold Coast, the hotel will be located inside the tallest of three waterside skyscrapers.


It is the first and largest development with direct beach access to be built in the coastal city within the last 30 years, offering uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean or the Hinterland. Surrounded by the buzzing dining district and nightlife of the Gold Coast, the hotel offers guests the perfect base to explore the region. The hotel will also offer a Cantonese restaurant T’ang Cou, an afternoon tea experience similar to the world-famous version at sister property The Langham in London, England, and several wellness offerings built around traditional Chinese medicine.
 

MELBOURNE


Ⓒ Ritz Carlton Melbourne
Ritz Carlton (opening late 2022)
Australia’s culture capital is getting set to ‘put on the Ritz,’ with the arrival of The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Melbourne in late 2022. Located in bustling Spencer Street within walking distance of some of the city’s top dining and shopping destinations, the hotel will be housed in the $2.6 billion West Side Place. The precinct will include four striking towers accommodating more than 2,600 one, two and three bedroom residences, many with expansive views across the city and the bay, and exceptional lifestyle facilities. The Ritz Carlton hotel itself will also set a record as Australia’s tallest hotel, complete with a “sky check-in”, a restaurant on level 79 and 263 hotel suites.
 
 

FARTHER AFIELD


Ⓒ Finniss River Lodge
 
Finniss River Lodge - near Darwin, Northern Territory
Perched on the edge of a vast floodplain, the newly opened Finniss River Lodge is located just a 90-minute drive or 20- minute private charter flight south west of Darwin. Boasting one of Australia’s most exciting chefs, Travis Crane, guests will experience dining that celebrates the highest quality and most seasonal produce native to the region.

Ⓒ Finniss River Lodge

Guests will find a relaxing escape, luxurious suites and amenities, along with an inviting wet-edge pool, all offering expansive views out over the surrounding floodplain and fiery sunsets. For those wanting to explore the region, there are a range of immersive experiences led by highly trained guides, including air boating, on-property four-wheel drive or open buggy tours, heli-fishing and cultural learning with an Indigenous guide.
 
The Tasman - Hobart, Tasmania

The Tasman Hotel in Hobart’s city centre is the Marriott Luxury Collection brand’s first in Australia. Located in Parliament Square just a six-minute walk from Hobart’s city centre, the hotel features 152 rooms and suites with carefully restored features and Georgian and Art-Deco design elements throughout.


The hotel also houses a range of premium dining options, including a lobby lounge, whisky bar and signature Italian restaurant in partnership with Chef Massimo Mele. With a range of stylish rooms available, there is something for every kind of traveler looking for a truly memorable experience.
 
Sequoia at Mount Lofty House - Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Located within an hour of Adelaide’s International Airport in the ambient Adelaide Hills, Sequoia houses 14 sustainably designed suites each with unrivalled panoramic views of the city and picturesque surrounding region.


The state-of-the-art lodge, situated on the sprawling Mount Lofty Estate, features spring-fed stone hot pools, an infinity pool, day spa and valley rim campfire amphitheater. Sequoia has an on-site team of local Experience Hosts who guide guests through activities themed around the lodge’s key experience pillars of Food and Wine, Wellness, Nature and History.
 
The Westin Margaret River (opening 2023) - Margaret River, Western Australia
Located on the southern headland of Gnarabup Beach in Margaret River, 2.5 hours’ drive south of Perth, the Westin Margaret River Resort & Spa (below and top images) is slated to open in 2023. The resort will be home to 120 guestrooms, including 45 spacious suites, featuring uninterrupted views of the vivid coastline.


Seeking to offer guests an opportunity to rest and recuperate, the resort will feature a range of spa packages from the iconic Heavenly brand as well as a signature Westin fitness studio and a resort-style outdoor swimming pool. Drawing heavily on local produce, there will be a diverse range of culinary offerings on site including an all-day dining restaurant, lobby lounge and pool bar.
 

Start Your Australia Trip!

 
Images copyright of their respective properties unless otherwise states, all courtesy of Australia.com

Top Souvenirs from a Trip to England
2022 is a great year to be an anglophile! Queen Elizabeth II’s history-making Platinum Jubilee, marking her remarkable 70 years of service, plus a new Downton Abbey film, have brought all things British to the forefront of popular culture.

Interest in travel to Britain is at an all-time high to experience Britain’s storied pomp and circumstance, English culture and quirk, and immerse yourself in one of the world’s most adored and copied lifestyles, from cricket to rowing, afternoon tea to a round at the pub, stately homes and quaint cottages, gardens to skyscrapers, exquisite tailoring to hand-written invitations: the good life, British-style.

You’ll want to bring some of it home to re-live your vacation and share your love of all things English.

Lynn Elmhirst, producer and host of BestTrip TV, just returned from a transatlantic crossing on the British luxury line Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, with a few days post-cruise in London during the Queen’s Jubilee year. Here are the souvenirs that made it into her bag:
 

Books

English authors have made their mark on the world, from Shakespeare up to the present day, and London remains one of the publishing centers of the planet. And even most modest homes today still retain that very British tradition of having a library to be proud of.


Indulge in some time in an English bookstore. “High street” or mainstream bookstores have so many books you’ll never see at home – even though they’re both written in English! That includes books by experts sharing tips and information about traveling around London or Britain through the lens of their special interests that can help inform and shape your travels.

Then there are still treasure troves of independent, specialty bookstores – if you love books, you could get lost forever and love it!

Tea Service

If someone visits England and doesn't have afternoon tea, have they actually been to England at all?

That very civilized tradition of taking a load off one’s feet in the middle of the afternoon and partaking in a restorative cup of your favorite tea, along with light finger sandwiches, a perfect scone, clotted cream and jam and a sweet delicacy or two… simply makes your day. And tides you over til a late dinner after taking in a performance in one of London’s West End theaters, for example.

You may find you can’t live without afternoon tea, in which case, you’ll need a tea service. From impossibly elegant versions made by top names in British fine bone china, including patterns available in England only, to quirky versions that speak to your own personal sense of style, a tea service will allow you to reminisce about your time in England for years to come.


Start with just a tea pot you can mix and match with your own china at home, or go all the way with tea pot, milk and sugar, teacups and saucers, even sandwich plates! Many fine stores even arrange shipping.

Consumables

When it comes to family, friends and colleagues, I’ve found the most-appreciated souvenirs are the ones that disappear – down your throat!

And England does consumables up right. From teas to biscuits (or as we’d call them: cookies) jams to chutneys, sweets to chocolates and more – all in high-designed tins and packages and parcels and baskets that are essential English style.


There’s no end of shops to stock up on edible souvenirs, but you won’t want to miss the grand-daddies of them all: Harrod’s and Fortnum and Mason.

Anything from Liberty’s

The luxury department store in the unmistakeable historic building – erected in Tudor style using ship timbers symbolic of the exotic emporium of its vision - in the heart of London’s Regent Street shopping area, has become synonymous with the truly unique designs of late 19th century creator, William Morris.


A keen anglophile can always spot a Liberty pattern, whether it’s on a shirt, scarf, man’s tie, or woman’s bag.
Those would be for you. To share with loved ones back home: edibles packaged in those unmistakeable Liberty designs.


Gin

While its earliest origins stem from the Netherlands just a short sail across the Channel, hundreds of years ago the English made gin very much their own. Today, a gin and tonic – or G&T, remains the essential English cocktail.

Forget everything about gins you’ve tasted at home, and start sipping unfamiliar, small-batch gins on your trip to Britain. There’s a lot more to gin today than distilled juniper berries! Combinations of botanicals, florals, and herbal ingredients have resulted in intriguing new flavors of gin, that are just as delicious sipped straight up as they are mixed with a high-quality tonic.
Image Courtesy Royal Collection Trust

Buckingham Palace now has its own gin that you can buy at its gift shop in support of the Royal Collection Trust that maintains one of the largest art collections in the world.


So does British cruise line Cunard. In fact, Cunard partnered with the well-known distillery Pickering's to create three gins with different flavor profiles: one for each of its ‘Three Queens’ ships.
 

Umbrella

If you were asked to draw an Englishman, chances are, he’d be sporting a tailcoat, a hat… and an umbrella. The quintessential dapper Englishman flourishes his umbrella, which isn’t just an affectation, but protects him or the lady accompanying him, from the English weather.


If quality apparel and accessories mean something to you, England is the place to acquire an umbrella with character. Check out the fine department stores, some specialty stores, and find yourself the perfect bespoke umbrella that will be a conversation-starter back at home – like this one above, kindly provided for the use of guests at our hotel, The Londoner (below), a stunning new luxury hotel in Leicester Square in the heart of the capital's theater district.

 

Globe

In addition to books, of course, every stately home’s library comes equipped with a splendid globe. Every world traveller should have one, too. Flat maps or – the horror! Apps! – fail to evoke the sense of scale of our planet, the distances between destinations, across seas and oceans… or the magic of travel in the way a globe does. Tactile by its very nature, a globe engages our wonder with travel.

And there’s one person in England making bespoke globes by hand in a studio in London. My camera team and I visited the studios of Bellerby & Co. to learn the secrets of putting a map on a sphere you can touch.


The studio isn’t open to the public, but you can order a globe online – even personalized in any way you can imagine! To have a little piece of bespoke English artisanship - and keep your travel dreams alive as you spin it at home.

 

Start your England Trip!


All images copyright BestTrip TV / Lynn Elmhirst unless otherwise stated.


























First-Ever, Statewide Waterfall Trail in the U.S. Opens Just in Time for Summer
Kick off summer on a quest. For the very first time, a statewide trail helps active travelers get off the beaten path, connecting them to over two dozen waterfalls across the most scenic parts of West Viriginia.

The 29 waterfalls of the official West Virginia Waterfall Trail are just a ‘drop in the bucket’ of the more than 200 waterfalls found in picturesque places around the state.

Chasing Waterfalls in America’s Newest National Park

Included on the trail are six waterfalls in America's 63rd – and newest - national park, the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve. These breathtaking cascades can be found within secluded coves, such as Turkey Creek Falls, or can be enjoyed at the end of a scenic trail, such as Glade Creek Falls, or hidden gems like Finn's falls. As travelers continue to flock to the national park, the falls along the West Virginia Waterfall Trail highlight must-visit spots to add to an East Coast summer nature trip.
 
The novelty of the new park and its falls is in addition to well-known cascades along the West Virginia Waterfall Tails like Blackwater (pictured) and Sandstone, as well as lesser-known waterfalls like Drawdy in Boone County. Some, like Cathedral, tower above the valley floor, while others span wide rivers.

As more and more of us show an interest in spending our leisure and travel time outdoors, the launch of the first-ever waterfall trail couldn’t come at a better time – in addition to its debut at the beginning of the summer and along with the state’s landmark new national park and nature preserve.

'Breathtaking waterfalls are everywhere in our 1.5 million acres of parks and public lands, making this trail a must-experience activity for adventure-seekers this summer,' said West Virginia’s Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby on the occasion of the waterfall trail inauguration in June, 2022.

The state dubs itself ‘an outdoor oasis in the heart of the East Coast,’ and just in 2022, the state has been recognized by a number of prestigious publications for its magnificent scenic beauty and outdoor recreation. Among its natural wonders, the rushing waterfalls found across the state create the perfect backdrop for soft adventure that’s accessible to almost everyone, young and young at heart, and at multiple levels of fitness.

West Virginia’s connecting its natural wonders via new technology. Travelers on a waterfall quest in the state can go to WVtourism.com/waterfalls and register to have the West Virginia Waterfall Trail passport delivered straight to your smartphone. As travelers explore each of the more than two dozen waterfalls featured on the trail, they can stamp their passports by checking in at each location.

The state’s Department of Tourism is even rewarding waterfall chasers with exclusive gear along the way in the trail’s inaugural season:
  • Check in at three or more waterfalls and receive a custom sticker.
  • Check in at 10 or more waterfalls and receive an aluminum water bottle.
  • Check in at 20 or more waterfalls and receive a waterfall wanderer t-shirt.
 
'From simple boardwalks to hilly treks, we want to make your efforts to experience our falls worth every mile,' said Ruby. 'While out and about on the West Virginia Waterfall Trail, be sure to post photos of your explorations on social media using #AlmostHeaven.'
 
Go for the falls, stay for West Virginia’s other stunning attractions. In addition to its majestic mountains and rolling hills, West Virginia is full of rich historic sites, enchanting art galleries, charming towns and what state officials call “an immense sense of belonging found only in these heaven-like landscapes.”

 

Start Your Nature Trip!

 


The ‘Mega-Moon’ and More Romance Travel Trends Every Couple Needs to Know
With so many celebrations put on ‘hold’ over the last couple of years, we knew when people started getting together to mark life’s great milestones again, it was going to be big.

How big?

Well, according to a new survey conducted by an online travel company, destination weddings and honeymoons are going ‘mega.’

The survey of American couples found that a whopping 97% - nearly all – honeymoon plans over the last two-plus years were affected by the pandemic.  Plans were either downsized, or canceled altogether.

And those couples are having a celebration comeback!  Almost 5 million weddings are expected to be celebrated in 2022 -2023, and happy couples are revisiting their plans  - upwards.
You may be surprised at some of the latest destination wedding / honeymoon trends shaped by two years without travel!   And it’s not just newlyweds. Some of these trends spill over to couples who are already together, and looking to rekindle that spark on a romantic trip together.

Trips, Not Toasters

More than ever before, couples are prizing experiences over an excess of stuff.  Now, a big majority – 65% - of couples are adding a honeymoon fund to their wedding registries. Instead of a complete table service at home, they want to dine in exotic locales together. 

‘Double-Moons’

Why stop at one honeymoon? An incredible 83% of couples now say they are planning multiple honeymoons. That could mean a mini-escape immediately after saying ‘I do,’ followed by a longer, more lavish trip later.

‘Redo-Moons’

Then there’s the clear pandemic trend – the do-over. Over half of couples revealed they were not completely satisfied by a honeymoon they did take during the pandemic.  A lot of couples took shorter trips, closer to home, rather than their dream, celebratory trips, and now they want the chance to make their honeymoon travel dreams come true.

‘Mega-Moons’

Go big, or stay home. Well, most couples did the ‘staying home’ part during the pandemic. Now they’re going big. Over half  - 53% - of couples say they’re going to splash out on their honeymoons, spending more than they had originally budgeted. That’s because now, almost two-thirds say they now want their honeymoon to be a bucket-list trip in luxurious surroundings.

The epic honeymoon today can take different shapes for different couples. Beach and tropical destinations are no longer the first choice of today’s couples.  About the same amount of couples are also interested in multi-destination trips, urban escapes or even national park trips.   Less than half say they’re interested in an all-inclusive resort – but the majority are looking for ‘pampering’ and romantic activities together like hot air balloon rides, sunset boat trips, and soft adventures.

Top Ten Honeymoon Destinations for 2022 - 2023

Move over, traditional island beach destinations! Today’s couples are all over the map when it comes to planning the ultimate honeymoon. 

Only one Caribbean island and one exotic tropical island destination made the top ten list of honeymoon destinations this year. St. Lucia and its twin Pitons are number 7 on the list, and the legendary coral islands of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean made the list at number 10.

Two hot-weather U.S. destinations made the list, including the tropical appeal of Florida, and the mystique of Los Angeles, at numbers 4 and 5 respectively.

The exotic, high-end urban destination of Dubai was the surprising second-most popular honeymoon destination this year.

Europe is made for romance, and honeymooning couples still favor the City of Love, Paris, the number 3 most popular honeymooning destination in the first post-pandemic travel year, as well as the Mediterranean pleasures of Spain (6) and Italy (7).  But the Nordic island of Iceland, with its surreal volcanoes, glaciers, and hotsprings, is an unexpected number 9 on the top ten list.

And the English-speaking U.K. – coming off the Queen’s history-making Platinum Jubilee celebrations, full of fun pubs, castles and stately homes, picturesque tiny villages and familiar cultural appeal, tops the list of 2022-23 honeymoon destinations.

Start Your Romantic Trip!


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Top Trends for a New Era of Wellness Travel
Global Wellness Day this year is June 11th, just as we are getting back into travel. Wellness travel has been a growing trend for several years, and the pandemic has given a whole new perspective to what we think about wellness, self-care, and good living.

Travel plays a big part in a balanced lifestyle. As the Wellness Tourism Association explains, small changes and good new habits can have an impact on our health. And that’s where wellness travel can come in. More than 100 countries mark Global Wellness Day, and many have their own cultural contributions to self-care practices. Travellers looking for new inspiration can combine the spiritual lift of travel with new mental, physical, and spiritual practices at their sources.

Gone are the days when ‘wellness’ travel meant just a massage and yoga at your resort. Travel can be the first step towards an overall – and long term – healthier and overall improved life.
In the decade since the origins of Global Wellness Day, the World Tourism Association says new wellness travel have taken root. Here are some to think about when you’re planning your next trip – and want to include elements that will ensure you return home better than when you left.

The Return to Travel Prioritizes Wellness
Wellness and self-care are among the top interests of people as we get back into travel.  The pandemic has reminded us of how important it is to take care of ourselves and to be well enough to face physical and mental challenges.

Wellness experiences are in high demand as travelers begin planning trips again.

You Can Skip the Spa
Some people live for a day – or longer – at the spa. But others may have avoided so-called ‘Wellness’ retreats because spas are not their thing.

Fear not. While spa treatments and established wellness center practices like yoga and massages remain popular and standard offerings, the wellness experience is expanding rapidly.
In particular, authentically-local practices drawn from historical, natural, or spiritual roots are ever-more in demand.

Embracing Nature
Increasingly, spending time in the natural world is being recognized as a major contributor to overall wellness. From international interest in the Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ to simply the tremendous growth in interest in hiking nature trails, the world is returning to its natural roots in pursuit of physical and spiritual wellness.

The World Tourism Association says spending time in nature is the practice most cited by wellness travelers in its surveys.

Small is Big
People have been getting more pro-active about their health, educating themselves about the science behind living well and staying well. According to the Wellness Tourism Association, that means they’re leaning into the learning’s that show how making small changes – and sticking with them- can lead to better health over the long term.

Those people are creating a demand for more wellness options, practices and training they can continue at home, and wellness-for-a-lifetime experiences they can begin on holiday and continue in their daily routines in real life.

Wellness is not a Luxury
In the past, wellness travel options have had the gloss of luxury – and luxury wellness isn’t going anywhere.

But if you thought of wellness travel as something for ‘ladies who lunch,’ you may be happy to learn that’s changing fast.

Many of today’s wellness travelers are looking for experiences and options that are inclusive and accessible to all fitness, and body types and budget levels. 

That’s great news for everyone who wants to look towards a future where your travel dreams come true – and you’re exploring the world as your very best self.

Start Your Wellness Trip!


All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this material from this page, but it may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

By: Lynn Elmhirst, Producer and Host, BestTrip TV


How to Travel Like ‘Emily in Paris’
The breakout TV series is the stuff of travel fantasy, but you don’t have to be a fictional character to have a dream trip to France.

The good life, Parisian-style, eye-catching fashion center-stage and a thread of romance against a backdrop of one stunning City of Lights setting after another, Emily in Paris on Netflix follows the French adventures of a young American woman living the dream when her luxury marketing job is relocated to Paris.

The pure escapism of the streaming series, as well as the heroic secondary character – Paris itself! – has captivated and inspired audiences.

If Emily in Paris has made you imagine yourself in Paris, read on!  Here are just a few locations in the City of Love where Emily’s adventures took place – and your own adventures in France, can too!

Jardin du Palais Royal
Emily first meets her friend Mindy, a nanny living in Paris, in the elegantly landscaped gardens just steps from the Louvre in the heart of Paris. 

The Jardin surrounds the 17th century Palais Royal – once, as the name suggests, a palace, but now, government buildings.  It’s a little green haven in this busy part of the city, where locals take five to recharge, and visitors can rest their feet and regroup surrounded by classically French gardens.
 
Café de Flore
In the late 1800’s and first part of the 20th century, Saint-Germain-des-Pres was perhaps the most artistic neighborhood in the world, drawing giants and change-makers who transformed their fields and defined an era. Artists, novelists, and philosophers turned Saint-Germain-des-Pres into an incubator for some of the most profound works from the period that we still know and love today.
 
And many met, exchanged ideas and inspired each other at the picturesque sidewalk tables of the Café de Flore, one of the oldest in the city.  It’s still a must-see destination in Paris today, fantastic for people-watching. Of course producers of Emily in Paris had to include this iconic and easily-identifiable setting for the scene where our heroine meets Thomas, a professor.
 
Opéra National de Paris - Palais Garnier
Emily in Paris is not the first work of fiction to be set in this famous Paris location. Perhaps you’ve heard of “The Phantom of the Opera?”
 
The setting that inspired one of the most successful musicals of all time, Paris’ magnificent opera house dates from the 19th century. As impressive as the architectural masterpiece is on the outside, it’s truly breathtaking on the inside, so like Emily visited to see Swan Lake, we recommend you book tickets for one of the operas, orchestral, or ballet performances scheduled.
 
For her visit to the Palais Garnier, Emily even dresses in a nod to Audrey Hepburn, perhaps the Hollywood actress most associated with her string of classic films set in the City of Light, and as the muse of iconic couturier Hubert de Givenchy.



Pont Alexandre III
 
Gardens, cafés, architectural marvels… and bridges. Any story located in the city built up from the Seine must include at least one of its famous bridges, and Emily in Paris is no exception.
 
Emily’s marketing company uses the Alexander III bridge as the set for a commercial shoot for a client’s perfume, and the shoot-within-a-shoot location couldn’t be more ideal.
 
While the ironically-named Pont Neuf (‘New Bridge’) is the oldest structure spanning the Seine, Pont Alexandre III may have the distinction of being the most beautiful.  Not only is it stunning to behold, a walk across it reveals iconic scenes of the city, including the Eiffel Tower.



EMILY BEYOND PARIS

Like many savvy visitors to France, Emily travels beyond the City of Light’s famous Boulevard Périphérique ring-road, to savor the best of French beach life on the famous Cote d’Azur.

In the series, Emily takes a girls’ getaway to the real-life, iconic Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, an institution on the glamorous French Riviera since the Art Deco era of the 1930’s. On acres of grounds punctuated with local, Mediterranean trees and vegetation with the sea lapping at its secluded pebble beach, this Four Seasons Hotel is the perfect setting for a fictional – or a real life! – escape to the indulgence of one of the world’s most famous seaside lifestyles.

In fact, the hotel has even created an experience, inspired by its starring role in Emily in Paris, for any guest.  Its ‘Girls’ Trip on the French Riviera’ experience echoes Emily’s fictional trip: transfers from the airport in a Bentley; a stay in a Sea-View suite with elegant French windows opening up onto a patio with an infinity pool or, on higher floors, with views high over the sea; bespoke cocktails; Mediterranean-based spa treatments; and private cabanas at the hotel’s famous pool-side Club Dauphin where the hotel also arranges for a photo shoot to memorialize your own, Emily in Paris-inspired dream vacation.

Start your Trip!



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Top Image: courtesy Netflix
Middle Image: Getty
Bottom Image: courtesy Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel




North America to Get its 6th MICHELIN Destination Guide to Star-Rated Restaurants
Or… why will foodies flock to Toronto this fall? That’s when Canada’s largest city becomes only the sixth destination in North America – and the first Canadian city – to be ranked among the crème de la crème of the world’s gastronomic locations.

That’s when the first MICHELIN guide for Toronto will be published. It joins just a rarefied handful of destinations on the continent in getting the seal of approval from the ‘high church’ of culinary credentials.

And those of us who already know and love Toronto’s food scene aren’t surprised.

The city on the north shore of Lake Ontario is surrounded by food producers who collaborate with world-class chefs and restaurateurs, providing farm-fresh ingredients and boutique food products to the appreciative and discriminating palates of city dwellers and visitors. 

As one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities on the continent – and even the world – Toronto also delivers some of the finest international cuisine and chefs who marry their cultural culinary roots with daring new ingredients, preparations, and treatments.

Not to mention Toronto’s just over an hour away from the country’s award-winning Niagara wine region.
Apparently, MICHELIN representatives have been casing the city incognito, evaluating the prospects of awarding coveted stars to restaurants in high profile and tucked-away neighborhoods around the city. Recently, it decided to add Toronto to the ranks of MICHELIN-evaluated destinations.

According to MICHELIN, “A new chapter begins in Toronto, which features global eats and charming cafes as well as high-end dining experiences. It’s a city where top chefs want to establish a presence and where emerging chefs nurture their culinary talent – both drawing on locally produced ingredients unique to Ontario.
 
“This selection will reflect the local flavors and international influences of this gastronomic scene.”
 
“Toronto’s culinary scene is as diverse as the city itself, and MICHELIN Guide Toronto is the perfect way to celebrate our culinary community,” said Scott Beck, President & CEO of Destination Toronto.
 
“It will be a powerful way to share our culinary capabilities with new audiences from around the world.”
 
Anonymous gastronomic inspectors are now investigating Toronto’s culinary scene in earnest and writing their reviews. The City of Toronto notes the coveted ratings in the upcoming guide will involve “complete autonomy regarding the restaurants assessed and the outcome of those assessments.”
 
MICHELIN guides began in France over a century ago as a way for the tire company – yes! the same company as the rotund, MICHELIN man made out of tires! - to encourage early car-owners to travel on road trips throughout the country and beyond (and buy tires!) Its lists, reviews and famously-starred ratings of dining, accommodation, destinations and attractions set a standard for all guide books that followed.
 
Just as they expect celebrated restaurants to re-earn their stars, the famous French guide books haven’t rested on their laurels, either.

In some ways, their culinary evaluations have come full circle.

The earliest MICHELIN guides noted not just justifiably famous restaurants along motoring routes that French travellers followed en route to their vacations in the countryside and beaches of France. They also advised which secret jewels of small, mom-and-pop – or should we say, mere-et-pere? eateries in small, off-the-beaten track villages were worth the drive or diverting from your route.

Today, MICHELIN guides award not only stratospherically-pricey fine dining restaurants in France with priceless stars, but also famously, street food in Singapore.

So travellers to Toronto can look forward to a MICHELIN guide to a full range of culinary adventures at different budgets. 

In fact, you might not want to wait for the word to get out and all the restaurants to fill up, and instead, beat the crowds to your own gastronomic pilgrimage to the world’s latest MICHELIN destination. Toronto’s favorite foodie festival, Summerlicious, returns this summer in August.  

START YOUR CULINARY TRIP!

 
 

New Ways to Celebrate the Start of Summer at the "World's Most Photogenic Beach"
A recent survey of the most popular hashtags in travel photo posts in social media wasn’t a scientific study. But it did generate a clear winner of the title “World’s Most Photogenic Beach.”

That honor went to the seven miles of shorelines and sparkling waters of South Florida’s legendary Miami Beach. If it’s been a while since you indulged in the surfside views and epic lifestyle of one of America’s most famous beaches and beach towns, here are some experiences that can give you new ways to enjoy Miami Beach.

And just in time for the unofficial start of the summer season – with family-friendly ideas, too. 

Seaside

Air & Sea Show: Late May’s unique annual event, dubbed “the Greatest Show Above the Earth,” showcases the men, women, technology and equipment in motion from all five branches of the U.S. military, as well as police and emergency responders. Over two days, you’ll get a rush of adrenaline watching offshore powerboat racing exhibitions, extreme water sports, and more – all with sweeping ocean views from the shores of Miami Beach.

Fishing Charters: Find a little adventure of your own through some of Miami Beach’s world-class offshore, deep sea or wreck fishing just off its shores. Experienced anglers and novice fishers just starting to get a taste for man vs. fish challenges will find an active, educational, and customized day – or half-day – at sea.

Luxury Yacht Charters: Maybe you don’t need your day on the water to have a goal like a big catch. Singles, couples, friends and families can all enjoy a day on the water ‘living the life’ on a luxury yacht. Custom charter itineraries can include a tour of the shore’s gorgeous architecture and celebrity home views, an afternoon learning the ropes on how to operate a water vessel, culinary experiences catered by local private chefs and active water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding and jet skiing.
 
Salt Float Bath Therapy: You can even get the benefits of salt water while on land. The Carillon Miami Wellness Resort lets you float your stress away in a weightless saltwater bath that incorporates 800 pounds of healthy bath salts. The experience helps release natural endorphins, relieve muscle pain, calm anxieties and stimulate blood flow. Who doesn’t need some of that? Plus the stellar ocean views poolside while you relax following your salt water spa experience.

 

Open-Air Design 'Museum'


You may already know about Miami Beach’s globally-recognized collection of design genres including art deco, Mediterranean revival, MiMo and the Miami Beach school of architecture. The city keeps adding to its unique design history in its tropical vacation lifestyle.

Signature Lifeguard Stands:
Recently, the reinvented Miami Beach’s signature lifeguard stands by William Lane (pictured, top) have been newly-recognized as iconic landmarks and symbols of the design-centric, urban beach destination.
 
After Hurricane Andrew destroyed several of the lifeguard stands dotting Miami Beach in the 1990’s, the city called upon designer William Lane to create replacements. Almost immediately, the five lifeguard stands, which the designer said were “influenced not only by Miami’s midcentury and art deco architecture but also by its Caribbean culture and the use of vibrant colors derived from the natural beauty of the tropics” became symbols of the community’s renaissance. Decades later, he was asked to revitalize more of Miami Beach’s seven-miles of sand and sea with new, eye-catching lifeguard towers. You won’t want to miss even one.
 
Get more of a design fix at some new or newly-renovated Miami Beach hotel properties, and design tours, too.
 
The Shelbourne South Beach dates back to the 1940's, exuding timeless luxury, elegance and original Art Deco design. As a stylish playground, guests can expect a dose of oceanside glamour with pops of color and interesting angles to enjoy, even from the hotel’s pool and diving platform. 
 
While Miami Beach is known for incredible Art Deco style, Mediterranean Revival is not to be missed. From superstar couture designer Gianni Versace's masterpiece on Ocean Drive to restaurants and storefronts featuring handmade tile and metal intricacies, travelers can get a taste of another of the city’s distinct design flavors during a walking tour curated by The Miami Design Preservation League. It showcases the architecture made popular on Miami Beach in the 1920's and 1930's. 
 
And, no day is complete on Miami Beach without a classic cocktail in stylish surroundings. Design-lovers can check out the new Lapidus Bar at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach. The beachside hotel was built in the 50’s by iconic architect Morris Lapidus, known as the pioneer of Miami Modern style. Evoking the glamorous, Rat-Pack feel of the era, the bar is located in the hotel's lobby and is part of a spectacular $90 million renovation, bringing the design elements of the past together with iconic, Ritz-Carlton five-star service.
 

Start Your Miami Beach Trip!







New USPS Stamp Collection Salutes Mississippi River Cruising
They don’t call it the “Mighty Mississippi” for nothing. From Lake Itasca’s trickling overspill in Minnesota, the Mississippi travels the length of the continental U.S., growing as it flows for 2,300 miles until it empties into the Gulf of Mexico with waters added from tributaries in 31 U.S. states.

The Mississippi is at the core of American heritage, and is often also referred to as “America’s backbone.” It’s also the country’s heart and soul, and one of the most epic river routes in the world. No wonder the popularity of Mississippi river cruises continues to grow.
 
In the spring of 2022, the United States Postal Service recognized the continuing allure of America’s greatest waterway and “quintessential highway” in a new stamp collection called the Mighty Mississippi. Each of the 10 photographic stamps in the portfolio represents a state along the course of the river.
 
And one of them – the Iowa stamp - features American Queen Voyages' American Queen steamboat near the city of Bettendorf. The honor also marks American Queen Voyages' 10th anniversary of sailing the Mississippi River.
At the ceremony dedicating the new stamp collection, the master of ceremonies was the cruise director of American Queen voyages, and John Waggoner, founder and chairman of American Queen Voyages joined USPS chief postal inspector, local mayors from along the river, historians and pastors, were also on hand to inaugurate the collection and note its significance.

“Travelers have been captivated by the Mississippi River — romanticizing the steamboats transporting them from Minnesota to Louisiana — throughout history,” said Waggoner. “Our flagship American Queen is an iconic symbol of those mighty paddle-wheelers, and we are honored to have her grace the collection.” 
 
The American Queen may be the perfect existing river cruise ship to symbolize Mississippi river cruising. At 400 feet long and nearly 90 feet wide, it’s the largest paddlewheel steamboat ever built. Her ornate, historic design, complete with bright red paddlewheel, fluted stacks and curlicue woodwork harkens back to the “romanticized” early days of Mississippi riverboat travel. That’s no accident.
 
“What we try to do as philosophy is keep things like it was in the 1900s. This is just how it was when Mark Twain was onboard,” Waggoner has said.
 
“We want you to experience the thump-thump-thump-thump-thump of the paddlewheel. We want you to stand on the stern. We want you to get muddy Mississippi water spraying your face, and we want you to sit in a rocking chair, and watch the river go by and relax.'
 
Other stamps in the collection highlight top destinations – and incredible diversity of travel experiences – along the length of the Mississippi.
River cruises tend to break the immense river into sections. Guests can choose northern, middle or southern itineraries – or even full length cruises of the Mighty Mississippi. From the unmistakeable, mid-century ‘gateway to the West’ skyline of St. Louis in the north, through the rich lands, horse, music and bourbon cultures in Kentucky and Tennessee, to the bayous of the South and the magic of the bright lights in birthplace of jazz and Creole culture, New Orleans, a river cruise on the Mississippi can bring travelers closer to the heart of America than they may have ever imagined.