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HOT DEALS!

River Terrace Inn living room in Napa City, CA

I’ve written about the Napa Valley Wine Train throughout many years. I’ve had the pleasure to ride this turn-of-the-century train, munch on gourmet appetizers and sip on wines from local vineyards. I’ve also been fortunate enough to dine during a media tour at The River Terrace Inn in Napa City, an eclectically designed boutique hotel with gorgeous garden and a prime spot on the Napa River. These two very special places have combined their unique assets to offer stay-and-ride promotions. From stopping points along the train route at name vineyards such as Charles Krug, to dining riverside at The Read the rest of this entry »

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Northern Lights are visible during the Southern Iceland Tour, led by Big Chill Adventures

Northern Lights are visible during the Southern Iceland Tour, led by Big Chill Adventures

Some of the most interesting gigs I’ve had as my alter-ego personality, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, have come without forewarning. Don’t laugh. I know the irony of not predicting the phone calls. I may not have used my tea leaf reading or tarot card abilities to see into those future bookings, but I actually asked the Universe/higher power… whatever name is used when one puts out call for an exciting opportunity, for both of the situations that popped up within a few days of my “Hello, it’s me and I’d like…” call outs.

Natasha, The Psychic Lady when I was the dancer for the Eastern Gypsy Band, Tzighantzi, at EPCOT

Natasha, The Psychic Lady when I was the dancer for the Eastern Gypsy Band, Tzighantzi, at EPCOT

The first memorable time was me asking to be a featured performer in a Disney World spectacle. I particularly wanted to dance. Mind you, at that moment I was already working as a psychic for the Disney theme parks and corporate events and had been belly dancing for Morocco promotional events even before the Morocco pavilion was erected at EPCOT, but no dance or big show opportunities loomed in the horizon. Within a few days of my thoughts transmitted to the universe, I received a call asking if I’d like to be the dancer for a new Eastern gypsy band forming at EPCOT. Would I? For the months that followed, I was the dancer for Tzighantzi. Looking like and dancing like the embodiment of Esmerelda (at least all the girls holding their Esmerelda dolls and watching me thought so). I also was backup musician/singer/and co-emcee. Six shows a day, rain or hot summer sun. Loved it!

Most recently, I pondered that several of my entertainment friends had been getting TV and press coverage and it had been a while since that happened to me. I wasn’t jealous of their largesse. It just pointed out that my life had transitioned from a higher profile to one less noteworthy of media attention. Less than 24 hours later, I got a call asking if I was available to be on a TV program, analyzing handwriting of the news team’s anchors. Did I mention it would be early the next morning or that this would be live? I also needed to be available to work during the Pen & Inc Fair that the Channel 35 Good Day Orlando’s show was promoting for Sam Flax’ art store that Read the rest of this entry »

Battery Wharf Hotel lobby in Boston is offering great booking deals

Battery Wharf Hotel lobby in Boston is offering great booking deals

PUTTING ON A NEW FACE!
When’s the last time you chartered a boat for up to 45 of your closest friends or business guests? Never? Then now’s the time if you are bringing said-friends or guests to South Florida and want to introduce them to a slice of Florida’s natural heaven. The 80′ Solstice, a private yacht for up to 45 people, has been retrofitted with modern amenities and swank décor. The Solstice now has an iPad-controlled sound-system throughout. Guestrooms have been freshened, a full service bar sits on the refurnished Flybridge. Teak loungers on the top deck, an oversized sun bed and additional seating on the bow provide great views of dolphins frequently swimming alongside.
http://www.waterfantaseas.com; (305) 531-1480; info@waterfantaseas.com
Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront’s Oregon Ballroom got a new “face” and meeting and event Read the rest of this entry »

Relax in the new Serenity by the sea Spa atThe Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in South Walton, FL

Relax in the new Serenity by the sea Spa atThe Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in South Walton, FL

In this issue: Hot deals across the globe; Two cities party through the summer

HOT DEALS

Seventy-two percent of American business travelers extend their executive trips with a leisure component, which is why the AAA Four Diamond Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach, FL has created “Benefits of Bleisure*” for meeting travelers during select dates, beginning April 27 through September 10. The Shores Resort took the survey responses conducted by BridgeStreet Global Hospitality to heart, which also indicates that six out of 10 are more likely to take bleisure trips today than they did five years ago. With the Shores Resort program, rates will start at $109 and extend over weekend days for leisure stays. Bleisure benefits will include ocean view rooms, a $5.00 rebate per paid and consumed guest room, complimentary parking, waived resort fee, three upgrades to the property’s all-new Cabana Suites, one upgrade to a Presidential Suite, as well as complimentary use of the Ocean Terrace or Atlantic Room for meal functions.  The Bleisure Benefits are available for new groups with a minimum of 50 room nights. Contracts must be received by May 31. The beachside resort has more than 20,000 sf of indoor and outdoor function space, 212 guestrooms and suites offering water views of the Atlantic Ocean or Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway. It recently completed a property-wide renovation.

sales@shoresresort.com; www.ShoresResort.com; (386) 322-7262

Book three nights at Elbow Beach Bermuda and receive the fourth night free. Stay required by September 5. Use promotion code QUEST when booking.

www.elbowbeachbermuda.com; (800) 223-7435

Summer hasn’t officially landed in North America and already there are fall promotions for fall, Read the rest of this entry »

Sink your teeth into the delectable Tuna Tartar at Bistro CloClo. photo by Karen Kuzsel

Sink your teeth into the delectable Tuna Tartar at Bistro CloClo. photo by Karen Kuzsel

In This Issue: Visit Florida Grant Applications yours for the asking

CSR: What has your company done lately?

Hot Luxury Hotel Deals

I heard on one of those end-the-year news wrap up programs that the word “foodie” was as hot as a skiable mountain during the polar vortex. I am as deeply muddled by that pronouncement as I am worried that snow will bury my Florida home during the summer.

I am a foodie. I say that while aromas of warm cookies, spicy sauces, and savory meats ingested during the recent holidays still linger affectionately in my memory. I’m not snobby about being a foodie, nor would I ever want to challenge Andrew Zimmerman for “who can eat the nastiest morsel.” I simply enjoy well-prepared cuisine that’s sits prettily on the plate and is packed with flavour. I also enjoy sharing some of my favourite meals or restaurants with others, which is why I’m telling you about my husband and my latest go-to restaurant, Bistro CloClo in the Dr. Phillips area of Orlando.

You may surmise from the name, it is French in its exquisite renditions of duck a la orange or my hubby’s new fave, steak frites. I actually salivate just thinking about their tuna tartar appetizer, a hefty mound of minced fresh tuna Read the rest of this entry »

CSR—doing what comes naturally for Resorts with a heart

Meritage Vineyard Deck at Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa

Meritage Vineyard Deck at Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa Valley

Giving back to the Napa Valley community has become part of The Meritage Resort & Spa’s DNA. Their latest project is such an obvious “do” that it is a wonder more properties haven’t joined in as well. Instead of dumping the doors, desks, chairs, lamps, flat screen TVs, bedframes and sofas from the recent renovation of 157 of the 322 guestrooms located within the four-diamond Napa Valley luxury resort complex, The Meritage has donated them to Solano-Napa Habitat for Humanity and the St. John’s thrift store. The renovations and expansion began 18 months ago and were completed in March. www.TheMeritageResort.com

Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina and Pack for a Purpose have come up with a plan that will only cost travelers up to five pounds of space in their luggage but will provide so much more for the BVI (British Virgin Islands) Autism Centre, where the resort is also based. Scrub Island is the newest luxury private-island resort in the British Virgin Islands. Pack for a Purpose’s mission is to positively impact communities around the world by helping travelers make meaningful contributions to destinations they visit. The CSR project works like this: travelers are encouraged to save at least five pounds of their available luggage allowance for supplies requested by the Autism Centre, such as books, toys, art supplies, and other items.  Once guest unpack, the supplies are taken directly to the BVI Autism Centre. A full list of requested supplies can be found at http://www.packforapurpose.org/destinations/caribbean/british-virgin-islands/scrub-island-resort-spa-marina. “Many of our guests are very involved in philanthropies and charities at home, and this new program offers an easy and enormously rewarding way for them to extend Read the rest of this entry »

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