We are so lucky here in Florida. Finding a resort for a beach vacation is as easy as picking a beach and checking for the good reviews. We have the beauty of the Panhandle's beaches, the excitement of the Atlantic beaches, and the tranquil setting of the Gulf beaches. However, while it is easy to FIND resorts to visit, it is not easy to CHOOSE which resort would meet all of your needs and create lasting memories for your entire group. Luckily, I'm here with an amazing resort to put at the top of your list to please everyone you are traveling with. The Resort at Longboat Key Club has it all, and the staff puts your comfort and pleasure first in all areas of the resort.
FUN IN THE SUN
Like many gulf beach resorts, The Resort at Longboat Key Club recently faced the issue of a shrinking beach space due to erosion. I spoke with the general manager, Jeff Mayers, and learned that the resort chose to bring in sand from a Citrus County mine, rather than dredging in the Gulf, making it more environmentally friendly. The powdery white sand is the perfect setting for their queen cabanas and lounge chairs, along with any beach activities your heart desires!
GOLF AND TENNIS
The Resort at Longboat Key Club is set amidst their highly-rated golf courses and is a golfer's dream! Not an avid golfer but want to try it while on vacation? Build on your skills with their instructional golf programs!
Golf has never been one of my interests, but I was so excited to experience a tennis lesson while staying at the Resort! The Resort at Longboat Key Club has been named the #7 top tennis resort in the world by Tennis Resorts Online in its highly competitive annual listing. The lessons on the Har-Tru court were individualized for my skill-level (I haven't held a racket in about 15 years!) and a perfect way to get some exercise during the trip. I highly recommend spending time on the courts!
You will not have trouble finding delicious food - this AAA Four-Diamond resort boasts eight exceptional Sarasota restaurants featuring fresh ingredients for all tastes. I had the pleasure of dining at Portofino at the marina for amazing Italian food, Sands Pointe for a perfect filet, Tavern & Whiskey at the pro shop for a fresh lunch (order fries, you won't regret it!!), and room service for a relaxing breakfast in my room. I'll let the photos speak for themselves!
Bringing Innovative Style and a Vibrant Unique Social Scene to Peru’s Buzzing Capital
Peru’s most distinguished hotel group, Libertador Hotels, Resorts & Spas, is pleased to announce the opening of the 164-room Aloft Lima bringing innovation, modern style and a vibrant new social scene to the Miraflores district. This will be the first Aloft hotel in Peru and will feature bold and stylish design throughout as well as tech-forward features such as SPG Keyless entry.
Guest rooms are gracefully spread among 10 floors with a variety of intriguing social spaces located on the mezzanine and two relatively small stylish restaurants, Quinoa and Barrio, on the ground floor. The reception and lobby areas are seamlessly connected as a multifunctional open space that serves as a welcoming breakfast and lounge area or as an ideal co-working place during the day.
Designed to serve the increasing number of hyper-connected global business and leisure travelers visiting Peru’s buzzing capital, the hotel is located in the heart of Miraflores and is part of a new pedestrian friendly multi-use complex. Additional dining options include Re:fuelSM by Aloft, a café created for breakfast and lunch “on the go” and signature cocktails and light bites can be found at the WXYZ® Bar.
Other onsite amenities include Aloft’s signature Re:chargeSM fitness center and a splash pool to unwind and relax. Aloft Lima guests will be able to enjoy programming unique to the Aloft brand, including access to exciting emerging artists and musicians via Live At Aloft Hotels. There is also 278 square feet of meeting space.
“We are pleased to introduce the first Aloft in Peru, which will significantly change the hospitality scene in Miraflores in so many inspiring and vibrant ways,” said Libertador Hotels, Resorts & Spas CEO Jorge Melero. “The Aloft is in an unbeatable location and will serve as an excellent complement to the Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center in the city’s central business district of San Isidro.”
About Libertador Hotels, Resorts & Spas
With exceptional hotels in Peru´s most attractive destinations, such as Cusco, Paracas and Lima, Libertador Hotels, Resorts & Spas is preparing to add two more hotels to its already impressive portfolio consisting of The Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center; Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in the Sacred Valley of Urubamba; Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort south of Lima; Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Cusco, the new Aloft Lima Miraflores and the upcoming AC Hotel (opening in Lima in 2019). For more information, please visit www.libertador.com.pe.
About Aloft Hotels and Marriott International, Inc.
With more than 150 hotels now open in over 20 countries and territories around the world, Aloft Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the ‘always on’ next generation of traveler, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design. For more information, please visit www.alofthotels.com
Marriott International, Inc. is based in Bethesda, Maryland, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,700 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com; for consumer information, visit www.marriott.com.
Did you guys know that we have a Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Restaurant in Chicago at Navy Pier?! One of my favorite things from when I lived in Vegas was this place and we have one! It is located at navy pier, perfect for a beginning or end to the day strolling around the lake!
We sent our partner Ashley with Rare Affairs on a date this weekend to check it out and they had a blast! They tried the pear margarita and the wings and yum!!!!
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There is nothing better than getting away for the weekend to have some family time and relax. So this past weekend my family and I headed up to Gatlinburg, TN to enjoy the peacefulness of the mountains and spend the weekend at the brand new Margaritaville Resort in Gatlinburg.
The staff was great during our entire stay and genuinely eager to help with anything that we needed. The rooms were nice and spacious with fun, relaxing decor. We opted for a double queen room which is the perfect size for a family of 4.
For those of us that need a little extra help relaxing or just want to pamper themselves. Margaritaville St. Somewhere Spa provides just that. The aromatherapy as you walk in the door immediately relaxes you. Plus, they offer a variety of services for you to choose from, including: massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, waxing, spray tan, hair cut/color, make-up, and more.
We were in St. Louis for my 34th Birthday this week (it was the 13th)! I have not been down to the Gateway arch in nearly 10 years but I am loving what they have done with the National Park area! There is so much green space to enjoy a stroll!
Did you know that the Gateway Arch is only 4.5 hours from Chicago? It also is the tallest Arch in the world as well as the tallest man made monument in the United States!
Last time we visited SOBE Miami, we had the pleasure of experiencing Drinkhouse Fire & Ice, an awesome bar that indulges your senses with both a room made of ice and also a room with fire dancers. If you are looking for a unique date night we highly recommend giving this place a try, you will not be disappointed!
First you will bundle up with a fur coat and boots to visit the arctic bar where you can drink out of glasses made entirely of ice and sit on a throne fit for Jack Snow himself!
After you have the opportunity to warm yourself in the main bar area with a variety of exciting elixirs and entertainment.
Many of you Walt Disney fans may know that trains played a very big role in Walt Disney’s life, hence the trains in the parks. But did you know that Mickey Mouse was in fact created by Walt while he was on a train from New York to Hollywood after he lost the rights to his character, Oswald? Yep – it’s true! After finding out that he no longer owned the rights to Oswald, he sent a telegram to his brother, Roy Disney, letting him know he was headed back and all was OK (which wasn’t true, they were about to lose everything), and then came up with what is now one of the most famous characters of all Disney characters, Mickey Mouse! After this, Disney’s life changed forever, and it is now a household name most love and cherish. So, if you’ve ever heard the quote, “I hope that we never lose sight of one thing – it was all started by a mouse,” you now know what it means (if you didn’t before).
Anyway, I think I derailed on my story a bit – see what I did there? I’m so punny :-P
On our second full day in California, we left Los Angeles early in the morning and caught the Amtrak train to Anaheim. We went a little bit “fancy” and took business class, which I have to admit was really nice. This was my very first train experience, and I have no idea what coach is like, but we had free WiFi, coffee/water/OJ, and snacks. Our suitcases were checked (included) and we had lots of legroom; something you rarely see when traveling these days.
Taking the train was a very neat experience, one I hope to do again in the future, perhaps cross-country. It was a great way to see the beautiful mountains and the areas we passed, such as Glendale and Downtown Los Angeles.
I’m back from California and WOW what a trip it was! On the first day of John and my anniversary trip, we spent the day with John’s sister, exploring Los Angeles, CA. This was my first visit, so I was very excited to see all the sights and spots I always hear about in movies/TV – such as Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood sign, Santa Monica Pier, etc. I decided the best way to make sure I see everything in our one day in town was to take a Starline Tours Hop On Hop Off bus.
If you have never taken a Hop On Hop Off Tour bus, you are missing out! In the past, I took a similar bus tour in Vegas and San Francisco, and it really allowed us to see and learn SO much. They have multiple tickets, but a 24-hour ticket allows you on any of their bus routes in a 24-hour period (if you have more time, I suggest the 48-hour ticket so that you can see and do even more!). We did the red and yellow routes on our visit.
We started our day around 11am in Hollywood, first checking out Grauman’s Chinese Theater, taking pictures of some of the stars on the Walk of Fame, and getting a glimpse of the Hollywood sign from the Hollywood and Highland Center.
From there we grabbed our first Starline Tours bus. When you get on the bus (it’s a double decker!), you are given headphones and then you chose your seat. I suggest grabbing one of their maps, so you can plan out where you want to get off and sightsee. I always go for a seat up on top so that I don’t have any windows blocking my view. Once seated, I plug my headphones in so that I can listen to their audio tour guide and learn all about the area I am visiting.
On this tour, we got to see all sorts of places, including famous buildings, restaurants, streets, and beautiful views of the mountains. We saw the coveted “Beverly Hills” signs, Rodeo Drive, the hotel made famous by the movie “Pretty Woman”, the SAG building, the Tar Pits, LACMA, etc. We hopped off and on, grabbing some ice cream at Salt & Straw (delish!), exploring Melrose, and shopping at the famous Farmer’s Market, just to name a few.
Totally missing all of the fun in Jamaica today, ESPECIALLY the cliff diving at Ricks Cafe, Negril!
If you are heading to Jamaica anytime soon we defiantly recommend this as a day trip, good for young and old people alike! Insider tip: The sunset is where it's at with this hot spot, plan on coming with time to dive or swim but staying long enough to catch the beautiful sunset.
I was given the opportunity to attend a trip to explore Santa Rosa County for Housewives in the City, and I honestly had no idea what to really expect. I grew up in Florida and my family took yearly vacations around the state. We visited Daytona, Cocoa Beach, Ormond Beach, Palm Beach, the Keys, Sanibel Island, Cayo Costa (see a pattern here… we love the beach!), and many other destinations in Florida. However, I had never heard of Navarre Beach or Santa Rosa County. I’d heard of the amazing beaches along our Emerald Coast in the Panhandle, but the closest I ever came was a quick stop in Destin during college.
After the stress of the spring, I was secretly dreading the trip. I didn’t know anyone else who would be there, and I’d be leaving my family but bringing plenty of mom-guilt along with me. What I didn’t know was that Navarre Beach claims a status as the “Florida’s Most Relaxing Place,” and I’m here to tell you, it’s true. I spent two days reconnecting with nature and found myself completely relaxed and at peace.
THINGS TO DO
Visitor Center and Butterfly House
Navarre’s Panhandle Butterfly House is exactly the type of quaint attraction that forces you to slow down and look around. I’ve visited a number of butterfly gardens at museums or other attractions, but I’ve never seen as many butterflies as I did in Navarre’s Butterfly House. Admission is by donation, and in addition to the butterfly garden, the building has an amazing collection of gorgeous butterflies that are preserved and labeled.
Adjacent to the Butterfly House is the visitor’s center, complete with a playground and splash pad for the little ones. This would be a great place to take the kiddos in Navarre!
Address: 8581 Navarre Pkwy; Navarre, FL
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