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Capture the holiday with a Belvedere Pomegranate Royale at Conrad Miami's Jack Frost Happy Hour

Capture the holiday with a Belvedere Pomegranate Royale at Conrad Miami’s Jack Frost Happy Hour

IT’S ALL ABOUT A NEW EXPERIENCE

With the holidays approaching as rapidly as I could pop the cork on a bottle of champagne (and if you know how badly I open any bottle of alcohol you’d be laughing at this vision), may I be the first to toast you the happiest of days ahead? If I was enjoying a corporate reception at the Conrad Miami (FL) during its Jack Frost Happy Hour, I’d likely be raising one of their special drink options—the Belvedere Pomegranate Royale to my lips. For an extra treat, the resident mixologist offers an exclusive group mixology class. After happy hour, smaller groups can reserve the intimate Wine Room at Atrio restaurant next door for one of Executive Chef Virgile Brandel’s Mediterranean-inspired gourmet meals. Throughout December, the Conrad Miami’s sky high Bar at LvL 25 also opens its Jack Frost Happy Hour December 1-30 to hotel guests and locals. Experience “snowfalls” over the bar every 30 minutes. Sample the menu, Read the rest of this entry »

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Halloween approaches and the call came for Natasha, The Psychic Lady to get her spook on!

Halloween approaches and the call came for Natasha, The Psychic Lady to get her spook on!

You know how Christmas trees, wrapping, and twinkling lights crash land in stores these days by August, bypassing all the other approaching holiday celebrations? That’s how I’ve looked at Halloween parties that have already been in full swing in September. For you readers who live in countries that don’t celebrate Halloween, you won’t understand the frenzy of costume parties that has increasingly attracted adults to attire themselves as characters from favorite books, TV or movies, or to parody trending political figures. Halloween used to be about youths dressing up as pirates, princesses, and super heroes one night a year to amass all the candy they could carry from neighbors doling out sweet treats. Halloween has morphed into one of the biggest expensed holidays in the world.
I mention Halloween because many of you who don’t know me personally have asked about the part of my bio that says I am also Natasha, The Psychic Lady. Yes, this is not a joke or just an act. Come October, I am put to the sleep-deprived test of having more work entertaining at corporate and social parties than I can possibly do. I constantly have wished some of this work would spread out to other months, and this year, it appears that wish has been granted. By the end of September, I have already worked several Halloween-flavored parties. At this rate, it won’t be long before I’ll be dressing for an assortment of themed Halloween events in August. Here’s just one of my looks for the “darker, witchier” themes that seem to be trending.
Now, on to the reason you regularly read this column: what exotic destinations are offering discounted deals, events to amuse or educate, and where you can travel either leisurely or with a group.
HOT DEALS FOR INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS
Design Hotels offers exceptional international destinations with unique venues and great promotional discounts. Here are just a few of current offerings. Save up to 20% for a stay til December 31 at the 101-room Avalon Hotel (Gothenburg, Sweden). The deal includes Read the rest of this entry »

BOG Hotel in Bogota, Columbia... just one of the deals offered by Design Hotels

BOG Hotel in Bogota, Columbia… just one of the deals offered by Design Hotels

In this issue: meeting package deals you will want to book

Florida Culinary Students win French education trip

NEW ONE-STOP MEETING WEBSITE FOR LOS ANGELES

meetLA.com is the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board’s new website designed for meeting professionals seeking to book business in that famed city. Critical tools include:

Find a Venue – Users can discover L.A.’s robust portfolio of venues Read the rest of this entry »

hotel sezz paris, in the Design Hotels collection

hotel sezz paris, in the Design Hotels collection

In this issue: New shows at Disneyland ignite meetings

Emeril Lagasse highlights Florida’s culinary scene

Design Hotels discounts 15% on luxury hotels

DISNEYLAND PAINTS THE SKY WITH FIREWORKS, COLOR AND MEMORIES

New technology and immersive special effects are adding more pomp to the circumstance of meetings held at Disneyland Resort. The three nighttime sky spectacles—“Paint the Night” and “Disneyland Forever” at the Disneyland Park and “World of Color” at Disney California Adventure Park begin May 22 as part of Disneyland’s (60th) Diamond Celebration. Walt Disney opened Disneyland July 17, 1955. More than 1.5 million individually controlled lights illuminate the new “Paint the Night” parade, the first all-LED parade at the resort. “Disneyland Forever” sets a new standard for theme park fireworks. An oversized projection mapping technology will create vivid story scenes onto park icons, such as the Matterhorn. Mickey Mouse narrates “World of Color,” which tells the story of Walt Disney and the Happiest Place on Earth through fountains, film, animation, and a stirring musical score. Private viewing locations for “World of Color” make the show ideal for receptions and dessert parties of up to 9,000 people. The show is available for buy-outs and can be customized 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 »

My idea of luxury camping. Loimugi House at Serara Camp, Kenya.

My idea of luxury camping. Loimugi House at Serara Camp, Kenya.

In this issue: Hot Deals Will Warm Up Your Winter Chill

Team Building Activities in Montréal Can Run Hot & Cold

HOT DEALS

When you want to save up to £2,000 per day * and are willing to travel to the UK to do it, who are you going to call? Brocket Hall, a 5-star standard Regency stately home that can be your group’s exclusively if you book any time before the end of January 2015 and fulfill the commitment anytime between January and April. The savings include an array of amenities that may make this an offer too good to refuse. Check this out. Traditional English Butler service, complimentary WiFi, meeting capacity for 150 (theater style). The luxurious property boasts 46 en-suite rooms and there are two championship standard golf courses and Palmerston Golf Academy set amongst 543 acres of private land, located just 22 miles Read the rest of this entry »

Historic. Arty. Modern. It's the H15 Boutique Hotel in Warsaw, Poland

Historic. Arty. Modern. It’s the H15 Boutique Hotel in Warsaw, Poland

IN THIS ISSUE: Richard Petty Driving Experience races you to the finish line.

The London Symphony Orchestra rings in Christmas Holidays with music, dancing and dance.

Hot Deals If I had unlimited funds, I’d travel, travel, travel. At each location, I’d take cooking classes, shop farmer markets (the ones with more than produce), drink lots of locally-produced wines, and luxuriate in all the sensational hotels I see advertised. I get that urge to check out hotels every time I browse the DesignHotels.Com site. The photos of these hotels are meant to entice and intrigue. They’re categorized by country, but also by their individual niche appeal. Is it perfect for a romantic getaway or is the attraction the historical heritage of its architecture and décor? Is the hotel serene or colourfully vibrant? Is it perched atop a mountain or lazily kissing the endless sea? In all cases, it seems that what initially perks my interest are the enticements of incentives. Take for instance, the H15 Boutique in Warsaw, Poland. The 19th century building, originally constructed as a private residence, is located in central Warsaw. Descriptions of the 46-room hotel include that it once hosted secret meetings for Polish independence prior to WWI, was home to a Soviet embassy, and once held the headquarters for the Nazi party. Of course, that’s before the completion of its down-to-the-studs five year renovation that now marries its past through art works with its contemporary image. Best of all, book Read the rest of this entry »

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