THE WORLD’S MOST LUXURIOUS HOTELS

Here’s a bundle of exclusive luxury with links included Hotel Les Mars – Healdsburg, California, USA Hotel Les Mars Evokes Romantic French Charm in Sonoma Wine Country, California Hotel Les Mars is the finest destination for travelers who want to experience California wine country in lavish comfort. Resting among the hills of the Russian River […]

A Taste of Panama With a Barcelona Accent:

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Dining at Trump Ocean Club® International Hotel & Tower® Panama

Executive Chef Daniel Bausà Peris brings the flavors of his native Barcelona to the dining experiences at Trump Ocean Club® International Hotel & Tower® Panama,

opening July 6, 2011. trump panama 1 Iberian-inspired dishes will mingle with local Panamanian and international specialties on menus at the hotel’s signature Tejas Restaurant & Bar, casual BARcelona Tapas Restaurant & Bar and al fresco Azul Pool Bar & Grill. Complementing these exceptional dining venues will be the fine wines and small plates of Cava 15 Wine Bar.

True to Trump Ocean Club’s waterfront setting, seafood will take center stage during dinner at Tejas Restaurant & Bar. Here, Chef Bausà concentrates on beautifully plated, deceptively simple dishes that allow the true flavors of the seafood to shine through. In the same spirit of “transparency,” a window from the dining room to the kitchen will allow guests to watch the chef and his team at work.

Chef Bausà has infused the cuisine of Tejas with a Mediterranean accent cultivated through his years of experience in the top kitchens of Spain and Italy. Asian, Latin American and other European flavors will also be highlighted in a true fusion menu. Enticing appetizers will range from a watermelon and feta cheese salad with Greek olives and lemon almond oil to an octopus terrine with ñame root purée, arugula and light, spicy chorizo oil. The freshest catch of the day will be served in a choice of preparations: crusted in sea salt, roasted Mediterranean, Caribbean or local Tikin-xic style. Each of these preparations can be paired with the patron’s choice of sauce, from a garlic mojo to a fresh herb pistou. Meat lovers will enjoy inspired choices such as beef tenderloin with onion compote and gorgonzola ravioli, and a grilled pork chop with smoked cheese and red cabbage strudel. Key lime pie, warm apple tart, and a traditional Latin American three-milk cake are among the tempting dessert selections. Tejas will also feature a lively outdoor raw bar, where Mexican and Panamanian ceviches share the menu with the traditional shellfish.

For small bites in an inviting, casual setting, BARcelona Tapas Restaurant & Bar will draw heavily on Chef Bausà’s Barcelona roots, and several time-honored family recipes are showcased on the menu. The lunch and dinner menus at this restaurant, which promises to be a favorite of locals and hotel guests alike, are designed around a small-plate concept in the tapas tradition, to encourage sharing and plenty of socializing. Panamanian fare is also featured, including a local Sancocho soup that shares the menu with the traditional Salmorejo gazpacho topped with quail egg and Spanish ham. Newcomers to the tapas concept will appreciate Chef Bausà’s “Tapas Walk Through,” a four-course tasting menu hand-selected by the chef and served family-style. Each course will include multiple plates for plenty of culinary variety. Among them are oven-roasted vegetables with pickled anchovies “Montadito,” spicy crispy “Brava’s” potatoes (a BARcelona signature), baby lamb chops with sundried tomato marmalade and aioli, and a coconut rice pudding Panamanian style.

At breakfast, cooking stations outside BARcelona’s doors will draw diners in with the tantalizing aroma of waffles, pancakes and French toast prepared before their eyes. A counter display including pastries, fresh fruits, cold cuts and cheeses will also be stationed outside, while within the restaurant, guests can choose from a wide array of omelettes and other inspired egg and meat dishes.

For poolside guests, the al fresco Azul Pool Bar & Grill will deliver refreshing treats against a spectacular Pacific Ocean backdrop. Among trump panama 2 the light delights on the menu are Caesar salad, guacamole served with totopos and salsa, a selection of quesadillas and a shrimp, coconut, banana and avocado ceviche. Angus beef burgers come with a choice of five toppings, from mozzarella basil pesto to sundried tomato and goat cheese. Sandwiches and market-fresh grilled items, from lamb chops to shrimp, will also be featured, topped off by a selection of desserts that include a tropical fruit salad, country bread served with chocolate and sea salt, and a choice of three ice cream cups: Caribbean (tropical sorbets with red fruit sauce and blackberry whipped cream), Panamanian (chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon roll ice cream with caramel sauce, whipped cream and banana) and Azul’s own signature (coffee, chocolate and vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, Bailey’s and Oreo cookie).

About Trump® Ocean Club® International Hotel & Tower® Panama

Opening July 6, 2011, Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower Panama, perched above Panama Bay in Punta Pacifica, will be the first international venture for Trump Hotel Collection. It is destined to be the largest hotel in Latin America, designed by architect Arias Serna Saravia and developed by Newland International Properties Corp. Its 369 handsomely appointed hotel rooms, including 47 suites, will be a home-away-from-home for travelers, and amenities will include a floor of elite boutiques and shops, multiple restaurants reflective of the region’s best fare, a phenomenal pool deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean, 10,000 square feet devoted to wellness at The Spa at Trump, over 46,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, a casino and a private beach club on nearby Isla Viveros. Signature services of the Trump Hotel Collection, including The Trump Attaché, will also be a part of the Trump Ocean Club experience. For more information, please visit www.TrumpPanamaHotel.com. Reservations can be made by calling (877)898-7867. Connect with Trump Ocean Club on Facebook and Twitter.

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Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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Amankora Paro lodge Offers Yoga and Beauty

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From March 14 through May 1, 2011, guests at Amanresorts’ extraordinary circuit of five luxury lodges in the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan can experience the ultimate escape with private yoga lessons with internationally renowned yoga teacher, Jonas Westring (pictured, below).

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Based at the Amankora Paro lodge (pictured, above right) for eight weeks this spring, Westring will be available for one-on-one and private group yoga sessions at any of Amanresorts’ five lodges in Bhutan (Paro, Thimpu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang), upon guest request.  Nestled in high mountain valleys between China and northern India, Bhutan is one of the most isolated and serene locales on earth–the ideal blissed-out yoga destination.

Guests at Amankora can now spend days exploring the region’s many sacred temples and mountaintop monasteries and hiking through remote villages, followed by a private yoga class with Westring, who can tailor classes to all skill levels from beginners to advanced practitioners to guests seeking the therapeutic benefits of yoga.

A certified yoga instructor for the past 30 years, Jonas Westring is also a yoga therapist, therapeutic bodyworker and certified teacher of Anusara Yoga, a system of Hatha Yoga that blends the ancient art of yoga with the science of biomechanics.  Westring is also a licensed physiotherapist in Sweden and the US, and currently directs the Shantaya Yoga & Bodywork School in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Private 60-minute yoga sessions are priced from $130 per person (or $190 for two people) and 90-minute sessions from $160 per person (or $240 for two people).  Suites at Amankora are priced from $1,400 per night, based on double occupancy.  For more information, please visit: www.amanresorts.com/amankora/home.aspx.

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Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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St. Lucia’s Calabash Cove Resort & Spa


Relax and Renew Body and Soul at St. Lucia’s Calabash Cove Resort & Spa
After the hectic holiday season, start the new year relaxed and fresh at a tranquil, beachfront boutique resort on the idyllic island of St. Lucia.



St. Lucia, West Indies — Recharge after the hectic holidays with a rejuvenating escape to peaceful, picturesque Calabash Cove Resort & Spa. At this beachfront boutique resort on the stunning Caribbean island of St. Lucia, where temperatures this winter will average a balmy 80 degrees with soothing trade breezes and the Pitons World Heritage Site provides a stunning backdrop, relaxation and renewal rises to a new heights.
Luxurious accommodations include the 1,000-square-foot Water’s Edge Cottages with secluded plunge pools, outdoor rain showers and private hammocks, as well as unique Swim-Up, Sunset and Oceanview Jr. Suites. All of the resort’s accommodations offer unparalleled views from the luxury of your balcony and are beautifully appointed, making use of natural materials such as Balinese mahogany wherever possible. Relax in Whispers, the resort’s music and reading library overlooking the ocean, or roam the quiet walkways of Cove Gardens, an enchanting labyrinth of groves, ponds and terraces alive with fragrant local flora and fauna and the soothing sounds of birds and wind chimes.
Nourish and indulge the senses while rejuvenating body and mind at Calabash Cove’s own Ti Spa, Fitness Centre and Beauty Parlour, located next to Sweetwaters, the resort’s 100-foot, infinity-edge designer pool. The spa features private treatment rooms, staffed by knowledgeable and skilled associates, and an array of offerings designed to relieve the body of stress, including:
Island Romance A candlelit aromatherapy massage for two using specially blended essential oils. Rekindle your fire at the boardwalk or the gazebo, as the waves caress your soul.
Mineral Mud Body Mask A nutrient-rich body mask gently but effectively cleanses, tightens and purifies, leaving your whole body refreshed and radiant. Step into the Caribbean Sea to allow the ripples of the waves rinse you before enjoying a soothing massage.
Sea Salt Scrub The water’s edge of this serene resort is the perfect setting for this exhilarating scrub. As you savor the sounds of the sea, your body will be exfoliated using natural sea salts with a blend of ginger, lime, cucumber and almond oil. A dip in the ocean followed by a light massage will relax your mind and body.
Island Fruit Body Scrub A blend of island fruit, natural oils and sugar is used to create this tropical fruit scrub, uniquely formulated to enhance skin tone, detoxify the body and to help restore skin’s youthfulness.
Seaweed Body Wrap Seaweed captures the richness of the sea with its potent antioxidants and cell-regeneration properties that help rejuvenate skin. This body wrap will gently purify and detoxify while improving circulation and toning.
Continue the feast of the senses at the onsite Windsong Restaurant, which offers unobstructed views across the Caribbean Sea and seasonally inspired dishes made from the freshest local ingredients—so fresh that you might just see fishermen dropping their catch for our chefs right on our beach as they return from sea! Complementing Windsong’s elegant milieu is the convivial C-bar, which serves international cocktails and fine wines from the Calabash Cove Cellars amid lively island music. Choose from the European Plan (EP), featuring a daily island breakfast buffet, or the Luxury Gourmet Plan (LGP), a convenient, all-inclusive option that includes all meals and beverages throughout your stay.
Soak up the island’s beauty at the resort or choose from a plethora of land and sea excursions offered. Glide through a rainforest canopy on a zip line, for example, try your hand at deep-sea fishing or enjoy a romantic champagne sunset cruise while glimpsing the green flash at the most magical hour of the day. Kick off your New Year’s resolutions by dusting off your wintertime exercise routine and taking it outdoors in the sultry island tropics—snorkel or dive in the Caribbean’s translucent blue waters, hike to the summit of a breathtaking Piton, or jog barefoot on a powder-white sand beach. Then cool off under a waterfall. Calabash Cove’s concierge service will help you assemble a perfect lineup of active fun.
Room rates at Calabash Cove Resort & Spa begin at $425 per night from Jan. 3 to April 10, 2011, based on double occupancy. To make reservations, contact your preferred travel agent or e-mail reservations@calabashcove.com or Tammy@LMPInternational.com. Calabash Cove can also be booked through leading tour operators, including Travel Impressions, Vacation Express and the Mark Travel Company. For more information, visit www.CalabashCove.com

About Calabash Cove

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LUXURY WALKING SAFARI CAMP IN SOUTH LUANGWA, ZAMBIA

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SANCTUARY ZEBRA PLAINS

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OPENING 1 JUNE 2011

Sanctuary Retreats presents a walking safari like no other. Now you can explore the pristine wilderness of the South Luangwa – the home of the walking safari – with one of Zambia’s most experienced expert guides, whilst enjoying luxurious tent accommodation and fine dining. This is the ultimate bush adventure by foot, without forsaking personalised service or comfort.

Imagine standing in the giant footsteps of an elephant or touching the bark of a tree where only minutes earlier a leopard had scratched it. Imagine cocktails and canapés as the sun sets over the Luangwa River, hundreds of snorting hippos providing the background music before sitting down to a three course candlelit dinner served under the stars, with white linen, the finest silverware and the surrounding area filled with lanterns. Imagine experiencing all of this before returning to your luxury tent for a night under canvas.

Now, with the launch of our first luxury walking safari camp, all of this becomes reality!

The concentration of wildlife around camp is simply awe-inspiring. On the plains zebra, antelope, buffalo and puku congregate in vast numbers alongside endemic species such as the Thornicroft’s giraffe, Crawshay’s zebra and Cookson’s wildebeest. Predators such as lion, leopard and the elusive wild dog are often seen tracking their quarry and the rivers and tributaries are teeming with hippo, elephant and crocodile. A safari by foot also ensures that one can see many of the 400 species of birds found in the area as well as the rarely seen but fascinating “Little Five” (rhino beetle, buffalo weaver, elephant shrew, leopard tortoise and ant lion).

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Hotel Casanova Tempts Guests With “Barcelona Nights” Promotion

Travelers from all around the world visit Barcelona for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, dramatic architecture, sunny beaches, trendy nightlife and buzzing arts scene, making it one of the most popular destinations for gay travelers in 2010. In fact, the city comes in at #6 on About.com’s list of “The World’s 20 Best Gay Beach Cities,” compiled by gay travel expert Andrew Collins.

Visitors to this gay travel hotspot have discovered a popular home base for their Barcelona adventures at the Hotel Casanova (www.casanovabcnhotel.com), which crowns the trendy Eixample District, affectionately called “Gayxample” by the city’s gay scene insiders. To solidify its position as Barcelona’s top gay-friendly hotel, the Casanova is offering a “Barcelona Nights” promotion valid for stays through the end of 2010.

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SOLEÁ BRINGS MEDITERRANEAN-INSPIRED CUISINE AND RELAXED STYLE TO THE NEW W SOUTH BEACH

Soleá, the latest venture from noted Miami-based restaurant group KNR Food Concepts, opens today in the highly-anticipated W South Beach.  Soleá’s inspired menu of fresh Mediterranean flavors and casual ambiance is the perfect mix of W style and South Beach’s social attitude.  The menu is influenced by a variety of cuisines that touch the Mediterranean Sea with a focus on Spanish and Greek flavors.  Local Miami talents Executive Chef Michael Gilligan and Chef de Cuisine Arturo Artiles have collaborated on the menus. 

“Following our local and national success with Quattro and Sosta on Lincoln Road, KNR is excited to bring our unique European style of cuisine and service to the beach," said Partner Karim Masri of KNR Food Concepts.  “W South Beach will raise the bar for hospitality in Miami Beach; we are extremely proud and honored to be involved in such a fantastic project.”

“Chef Artiles and I are both excited by the simple preparations and clean but bold flavors of the Mediterranean," said Gilligan.  “Soleá’s small plates are meant for sharing – ideal to taste a variety of dishes and linger over a convivial meal with friends.” 

Signature hot and cold appetizers and salads include crispy salt-cod Croquettes served with garlic-saffron aioli; traditional Greek Salad of cucumber, tomatoes, feta, red onions and Kalamata olives; warm Foie Gras & Goat Cheese Empanadas with house-made cilantro potato chips and salsa verde; and Garlic Shrimp á la Plancha with spicy fume and garlic chips.  Crudo selections like Lobster with tomato, roasted peppers and lemon zest is the perfect counterpoint to crisp warm flatbreads with toppings like Olives, Piquillo Peppers, Rosemary and Goat Cheese or Chorizo, Mushrooms and Fried Egg from the restaurant’s brick oven.

In addition to a small selection of pastas and a signature Paella for Two, Soleá serves the best local seafood and Mediterranean fresh fish flown in daily.  Whole fish are prepared simply with sea salt, olive oil, garlic and lemon, and cooked a la plancha.  The chefs also use the dining room’s handsome brick oven to cook meat and poultry such as the Brick Oven Roasted Veal Chop and Roasted Colorado Rack of Lamb.  Sauces and vegetable sides are available to accompany any dish or share with the table.

Desserts by Pastry Chef Antonio Bachour are not to be missed.  Offerings like Frozen Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse with banana beignets, roasted banana sorbet and gianduja sauce; Traditional Spanish Flan with cava “gelee” and strawberries and cream capture; and Pistachio Semifreddo with amaretto cake, citrus salad and extra virgin olive oil ice cream capture the flavors of the Mediterranean.  Cool Coconut Panna Cotta with guava soup, caramelized pineapple and coconut sorbet incorporates local tropical flavors, and a tangy Goat Cheese Cheesecake is accompanied by seasonal summer fruits like roasted peaches, cherry compote and white peach sorbet.

The modern yet relaxed design by Anna Busta of Studio B Design integrates the restaurant with the W Living Room (W’s twist on the traditional hotel lobby) and Grove, a whimsical outdoor space landscaped by Paula Hayes.  The 180-seat restaurant features indoor and al fresco seating in a warm color palette of cream, black and brown.  Walnut floors, two extravagant wine walls, and glowing glass light fixtures create an intimate dining atmosphere, enhanced by inviting chocolate brown leather seating. The restaurant also features a semi-private dining area for 12 and communal tables crafted from single slabs of fallen maple trees perfect for sharing, socializing and large groups. Shaded patio seating is adjacent to Grove. 

KNR Food Concepts is also involved in the development and operation of food and beverage for the W Living Room and WET pool service at W South Beach as well as the property’s nightlife destination Wall. The menu in the Living Room and at WET will include light bites featuring the flavors of Soleá as well as a number of inventive and refreshing hand-crafted cocktails.

Soleá is located in the W South Beach (2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139).  For reservations, please call 305-938-3111.  Soleá serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and is open from 6:30 AM – 11:30 PM Wednesday – Sunday, and 6:30 AM – 12 AM Thursday – Saturday. 

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