Thursday, December 30, 2010

LDPR in the News!

























How important
is celebrity influence in the cruise industry? Read Laura Davidson's take in The Miami Herald's "Showtime for big ships."

Friday, December 17, 2010

The New Rules of Luxury

When it comes to luxury in 2011, what's in? What's out?

No need to wonder anymore thanks to Wendy Perrin's special report in the December issue of Condé Nast Traveler.

Luxury's New Rules
OUT: Conspicuous consumption / IN: Smarter spending
OUT: Conformity / IN: Customization
OUT: Loyalty/ IN: Loyalty programs
OUT: Artifice / IN: Authenticity
OUT: Formal and formulaic / IN: Casual and intuitive
OUT: Hotels curating your in-room experience / IN: Hotels curating your destination experience
OUT: The advertised deal / IN: The invisible deal

....and the list goes on...

To view the full article, click here: http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/articles/503330

Thursday, December 2, 2010

VILLA GROUP RESORTS TO UNVEIL FIRST HOTEL IN CANCUN

























**VILLA DEL PALMAR CANCUN OPENS PHASE ONE IN DECEMBER 2010**

The ocean is the star at the new Villa del Palmar Cancun, where every room features a balcony and a view of the sparkling indigo waters. This luxury beach hotel, the most recent addition to The Villa Group Resorts collection, will open Phase One on December 24, 2010 with 150 rooms and suites, just in time for the holidays. All rooms will feature private terraces with ocean views, kitchenettes, spa tubs and modern conveniences including flat-screen TVs, and high-speed internet access. One and two-bedroom suites will offer distinct living rooms, separate bathtubs and showers, fully-equipped kitchens and a washer/dryer. Three ultra-luxurious 1,600-square-foot two-bedroom penthouses will be outfitted with oversized terraces with patio whirlpools overlooking the ocean. Guests will have access to two gourmet full-service restaurants on property; an outdoor lounge serving sushi in the evenings; a Tiki beach bar opening in February 2011; two outdoor pools–one for adults only, with a pool butler to cater to their every whim; four Jacuzzis and an activities center. For spa-lovers, two massage huts will be located in the pool area.

When the multi-phase project is complete in December 2011, the oceanfront resort, part of the Playa Mujeres complex eight miles north of Cancun’s hotel zone, will feature a total of 415 rooms, three pools, as well as four outdoor Jacuzzis, fitness room, world-class spa, and full-service water activities center.

Introductory rates start at $186 per person, per night all-inclusive, based on double occupancy (December 24, 2010-January 2, 2011), and $142 per person, per night all-inclusive, based on double occupancy (January 3-April 15, 2011). These rates represent a 60% discount! An added 30% off winter rates (starting January 3) will be offered to travel agents who become Villa Group experts - $99 per person, per night all-inclusive, based on double occupancy. For more information about The Villa Group Resorts, including reservations, please visit www.villagroupresorts.com or call 888-844-8169.

About The Villa Group

The Villa Group was founded in 1984 and is one of Mexico’s leading privately owned hotel, resort and real estate development companies. Their portfolio includes beachfront destination resorts, exclusive fractional and full ownership luxury real estate developments, and a secluded mountaintop boutique retreat. The collection includes: Cabo San Lucas – Villa La Estancia, Villa del Arco, Villa del Palmar and Hotel Santa Fe; Puerto Vallarta – Villa del Palmar, Garza Blanca Preserve and Villa del Mar; Nuevo Vallarta – Villa del Palmar Flamingos and Villa La Estancia; Sierra Madre Mountain Range – Sierra Lago Resort & Spa. Additionally, Villa del Palmar and Villa La Estancia multi-property developments are scheduled to open in Loreto in 2011. For more information visit www.VillaGroupResorts.com. Follow Villa Group Resorts on www.facebook.com/villagroup and www.twitter.com/villagroup.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Urge to splurge? Perhaps travel...

Interesting article in Nov. 29 issue of Newsweek about Americans spending again... This is a good trend to keep on the radar, as it could positively affect the travel industry in 2011.
  • There’s a rising class divide between savers and spenders. Upper-income confidence is rising fast. Luxury sales have jumped far above their crisis lows, if not yet to their pre-recession levels.
  • "People are job hunting, and they want to look and feel better. I think that after such a long time of cutting back, many people are tired of depriving themselves." - Michael Fiorillo, Park Avenue doctor
  • “I am sure that if I wanted to save I could, but I feel like I am making more money, so let’s have some fun.” - Hope Good, consumer
To view the full article, click here: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/11/29/the-urge-to-splurge-is-creeping-back.html

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Celebrate Grand Opening of One Ski Hill Place with 60% Savings!


































The anticipation is rising as fast as the snow on the mountains! On November 12, the party meets the powder as One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort in Breckenridge, Colorado celebrates its Grand Opening. The resort is inviting guests to “Breck Like Never Before” with a savings of 60 percent off the room rate for a special limited time during opening week at Breckenridge Mountain Resort. From November 11 – 17, One Ski Hill Place will offer studio condominiums starting at $113 per night.

Kick-off ski season and join the fun at Breckenridge’s premier luxury resort. One Ski Hill Place is a ski-in/ski-out resort with hands-down the best access to four of the mountain’s peaks. In addition to the One Ski Hill Place grand opening rate, the first 1,000 skiers and riders will enjoy complimentary breakfast at the resort’s slope side dining venue, Ski Hill Grill, sponsored by Breckenridge Mountain Resort . Chairlifts begin running at 9:00am, leaving enough time for a few runs before the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Gold Runner, Breckenridge’s new Alpine Coaster located right outside One Ski Hill Place. Then keep the action going at the resort with the Kickoff Après Ski Party at T-Bar later that afternoon.

With savings like this and a party to match, One Ski Hill Place is the ultimate “welcome to winter” destination. For more information, including reservations, please visit www.oneskihill.com or call 1-888-906-6303. One Ski Hill Place is also on Twitter.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

HOT OFF THE WAFFLE PRESS: RESIDENCE INN BY MARRIOTT PARTNERS WITH COOKING LIGHT AND REAL SIMPLE TO DISH ABOUT AMERICA’S MORNING MUNCHES

























More travelers are saying “show me healthy choices” as a way to start their day, according to a Residence Inn by Marriott survey of more than 1,00
0 consumers of Cooking Light and Real Simple.

In keeping with this trend, over 600 Residence Inn by Marriott hotels throughout North America now offer even more variety on their free hot breakfast buffet, including lighter options like oatmeal with nuts, raisins and nutty granola, all rich in heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Seasonal fresh fruit, an important source of fiber and complex carbohydrates, is also available, along with whole grain bread and turkey bacon and sausage, providing a leaner alternative to the usual breakfast meats. There are also heartier options including signature hot items such as a breakfast burrito made with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, sausage, peppers and potatoes. Additionally, the new breakfast does not forget to include more indulgent options, offering guests the chance to make their own waffles with a variety of fresh toppings.

According to the survey, consumers are looking for energizing breakfast foods that are light and filled with protein. When asked about favorite items on a breakfast buffet, 52% said fresh fruit, followed by 43% choosing eggs and 37% going for a caffeine jolt with coffee. When traveling, respondents also want food that can be easily transported like fruit, coffee and bagels.

Kids still crave traditional items, according to the survey results, with pancakes, bacon and waffles at the top of their list of favorites. The number one item that parents wish their kids would eat - but they won’t - is oatmeal, followed by low or no-sugar cereals.

As a postscript, when asked which celebrity consumers would want to most have breakfast with, President Obama (49%) and Julia Roberts (42%) topped the list, with Lady Gaga (5%) and Lebron James (3%) trailing the pack.

The survey, conducted in September 2010, polled more than 1,000 women ages 35-54, a key target market for Residence Inn by Marriott.

For complete survey results visit www.marriott.com/residence-inn/travel.mi#/free_breakfast

Residence Inn by Marriott offers free breakfast, free Internet, spacious suites (with studio, one-and two-bedroom options), a swimming pool and welcome pet policy, all at a moderate price.

For more information or to book, visit www.residenceinn.com or call 1-800-MARRIOTT.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

5 more days of great Marriott deals!


Over 1,600 Marriott Hotels Offer Incredible Weekend Deals

Act now! You must book by October 11
Reclaim your weekends this fall with great rates and added value at more than 1600 participating hotels across five Marriott brands –JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard and Residence Inn throughout the Continental U.S. and Canada. Two separate offers will be available for booking September 24 through October 11 for stays from October 14, 2010 to January 2, 2011.

Offer #1: Free Breakfast & $100 Bonus Bucks® Coupon at JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels and Marriott Hotels & Resorts
From September 24 through October 11, book a weekend stay at participating JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels and Marriott Hotels & Resorts in the Continental U.S. and Canada and get free breakfast for two adults plus $100 Bonus Bucks® coupon that can redeemed for a future two-night weekend stay at participating JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels and Marriott Hotels & Resorts. The offer is available on stays Thursday through Sunday with a Friday or Saturday night (or overnight). To learn more or book, visit www.marriott.com/freebreakfast or call 877-MARRIOTT where you can check availability with promotional code R6M.

Offer #2: 25 Percent Off Your Weekend Stay at Courtyard & Residence Inn
From September 24 through October 11, book a weekend stay at participating Courtyard and Residence Inn hotels in the U.S. and Canada and you’ll receive 25 percent off your weekend stay. The offer is available for a limited time. You must book your relaxing weekend stay with family, friends or special someone by October 11, 2010 to get 25 percent off your room rate. The offer is available when you stay two consecutive weekend nights (Thursday – Sunday) between October 14, 2010 and January 2, 2011. To learn more or book, visit www.marriott.com/Save25percent or call 877-MARRIOTT where you can check availability with promotional code NF2.

FACEBOOK OR WEBSITE...OR BOTH?

Great article on www.socialmediatoday.com by Keredy Stott about why big brands are starting to promote Facebook pages instead of websites - click here to view

Friday, October 1, 2010

New for 2011: Travel “From Flamenco to Fado” with Abercrombie & Kent



























Reaching the heart and soul of your destination can be as simple as sampling its cuisine and enjoying the nuances of its music. On this Discovery journey, experience Spain's riveting flamenco music and sample its renowned sherry. While in Portugal, discover how the unique coastal location became a point of convergence for many cultures, and Moorish, African and other influences to meet in fado, Portugal's unique, plaintive folk music. Plus, learn the secrets of producing port wine at a traditional quinta in the Douro Valley. This journey features an expert Tour Director with no more than 24 guests, standard rooms at five-star or the best available hotels, with escorted sightseeing for an introduction to each destination. Eleven days from $5,945. For more information visit abercrombiekent.com

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

10/10/10 Shake it up thanks to Fairfield Inn by Marriott NYC

Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Times Square declares October 10, 2010 to be the day of sweet and tasty treats! The hotel will offer a $10 gift card (one per room) for guests to use at the recently opened Shake Shack on 44th Street and Eighth Avenue, located only a few blocks from the hotel.

In addition to enjoying free breakfast daily at Fairfield Inn & Suites Times Square, this is a great way for guests to “shake up” their visit to NYC and get a taste of the local burger buzz at Shake Shack, an iconic NYC hotspot!

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New York Times Square, located on West 40th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenue, features 244 spacious rooms and suites. Only steps from Broadway’s best theaters, restaurants and the city’s most renowned attractions, guests enjoy the benefits of a convenient location with Marriott service and amenities including free internet and free breakfast.

For reservations and more information about Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New York Times Square call 212-967-9494 or visit: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/nycfi-fairfield-inn-and-suites-new-york-manhattan-times-square/

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Elks are Bugling at Grand Teton Lodge Company!
















Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park is the perfect last-chance vacation getaway. The Lodge offers not only a front row seat to beautiful fall foliage, but the sounds of the annual elk rutting season! Take a seat on the deck overlooking the Grand Teton Mountains and listen as the bull elk’s bugle starts as a low whistling sound that builds and culminates into he high-pitched sound of a flute. The bugle lets the other elk know that the bull has staked claim to a territory and harem. In preparation for the winter season, elk herds can be found in abundance migrating through Grand Teton National Park toward their winter home near the town of Jackson.

From September 26 – October 3, Jackson Lake Lodge is offering a special rate of $179/night when you call 800-628-9988 and mention the Elk Lovers sale.

If you are looking for last-minute luxury in a National Park, Jenny Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park is offering a rate of $299/night when you call 307-543-3352 and mention the Elk Lovers sale. This rate includes lodging, daily gourmet breakfast and daily bike usage. Book now before Grand Teton Lodge Company closes for the season on October 3!

Photo Credit: Wyoming Tourism Board

Preferred Hotel Group Welcomes 25 New Hotels This September
















Preferred Hotel Group announced the addition of 25 hotels worldwide this September. The hotels include:
About Preferred Hotel Group™: Celebrating over 40 years of excellence, Preferred Hotel Group™ is a leading provider of business solutions for independently owned and operated hotels and resorts around the world. Services include sales, marketing, technology, distribution, and quality assurance. Comprised of more than 800 best-in-class hotels in over 70 countries, Preferred Hotel Group encompasses five distinct brands: Preferred Hotels® & Resorts , Preferred Boutique™ , Summit Hotels & Resorts™, Sterling Hotels™ ( and Historic Hotels of Americas® . Preferred Hotel Group also offers I Prefer , an exclusive global guest benefits program, as well as Preferred Golf™, a membership program with entrée to the world’s most spectacular luxury golf resorts . For more information, visit www.PreferredHotelGroup.com . In Fall 2007, the company entered the luxury real estate market with the launch of Preferred Residences™ – a membership and exchange program for luxury shared ownership resorts that provide an exceptional level of service and amenities. Preferred Residences are held to exacting standards derived from the same Preferred Global Standards of Excellence™ on which the company has built its 41-year heritage in the hospitality industry. For more information, please visit http://www.preferredresidences.com/ . For high-resolution imagery of our properties, please visit the Preferred Hotel Group Image Library.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mexico Boasts “Ultra-Inclusive” Savings This Season















Forget all-inclusive, this season take an “Ultra-Inclusive” escape to Mexico and enjoy unbeatable savings at Villa La Estancia Nuevo Vallarta Beach Resort and Spa, a five-star luxury resort in one of Mexico’s hottest destinations, just 20 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta airport. Rates for this “Ultra-Inclusive” package (not just your typical all-inclusive!) start at just $488 per night with minimum three-night stay, and represent a savings of up to 50 percent! The “Ultra-Inclusive” package includes:

      • Accommodations in a luxury one-bedroom ocean view villa
      • Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, with an array of dining options and specialty menus featuring regional cuisine, theme dinners, chef’s table and wellness options
      • Unlimited premium cocktails and specialty beverages at resort bars and restaurants
      • Complimentary specialty services at Tatewari Spa along with exclusive access to spa facilities and complimentary private training services
      • Complimentary greens fees at Vallarta’s Jack Nicklaus-designed La Vista Vallarta Golf Course and Marina Vallarta Golf Course
      • Unlimited use of recreation facilities and entertainment; water sports; afternoon tea daily; discounts on market and boutique purchases – and much more!

Package is available now through December 20, 2010. Based on double occupancy. Minimum stay of three consecutive nights. To book visit http://www.villagroupresorts.com/resorts/villa-la-estancia-vallarta and speak with a live agent, or call 888-844-8169.

Friday, September 17, 2010

New "Relation-Trips" Retreat Hosted at Villa La Estancia Nuevo Vallarta!















Villa Group Resorts, one of Mexico’s leading privately owned hotel, resort and real estate development companies, announces the first-ever “Relation-Trip” retreat in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, from October 20-24, 2010. Couples are invited to attend the romantic escape at the five star/four diamond Villa La Estancia Nuevo Vallarta and Villa del Palmar Flamingos, hosted by nationally-recognized relationship experts, Matt Titus and Tamsen Fadal. This retreat will be the first in a series that will be planned for 2011.
The “Relation-Trip” retreat is a three- or four-night ultra-inclusive getaway for couples, which includes essential ingredients for the ultimate romantic vacation, such as:
      • Accommodations in a deluxe room
      • A pre-vacation Love Consultation - Matt and Tamsen will contact couples to personalize their itinerary
      • Food & Beverages included - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at resort restaurants. Includes: Welcome dinner with “Relation-Trip” hosts, Matt and Tamsen, and Romantically Themed Dinners (i.e. First Date Menu, Anniversary Celebration, Passion Plan Tastings)
      • “Recipe for Love” cooking classes: Matt and the executive chef will team up with all of the men and prepare dinner for their “special ladies”
      • Unlimited cocktails and specialty beverages from a variety of domestic and international premium brands by the glass, as well as specially-prepared “love potion” beverages
      • One Complimentary Spa Treatment per person, per stay. Options include: A Passion Fruit Cell Remover (30 minutes), a Mango & Pineapple Sherbet Exfoliant (30 minutes); or a Tired Legs Rejuvenating Massage (30 minutes)
      • The list of additional inclusions is endless, ranging: from a welcome bottle of wine or tequila; an aromatherapy experience; use of all non-motorized equipment and/or water sports; daily afternoon tea time; all resort fitness and recreation facilities; Matt and Tamsen’s special daily turn down service and wake–up calls; a personalized romantic couples Jacuzzi bubble bath, etc.
Villa La Estancia rates for the three-night retreat (Oct 21-24, 2010) is $996.07 per couple. A four-night package (October 20-24) is available at $1294.76 per couple. **Gratuities and taxes included. Couples can opt to stay at neighboring Villa del Palmar Flamingos, with rates for the three-night retreat at just $694.80 per couple. Airfare is not included. Matt Titus and Tamsen Fadal are a dynamic married duo who are the authors of the relationship book series "Why Hasn't He?" Matt was recently featured as one of the country's leading matchmakers on NBC's reality hit, "The Match Off." The pair host Meredith Corporation's nationally syndicated weekly segment “Ask Matt & Tamsen,” which is seen in over 75 television markets across the U.S. Matt can also be seen on a weekly basis as the host of his very own CBS-TV segment, "Matt-ers of The Heart." The Emmy-Award winning Tamsen can be viewed daily as she anchors the morning show at WPIX-TV.

“Top Chefs” Takeover Montana!















It’s almost time to “pack your knives and go” to the annual Montana Master Chefs event September 30–October 3, 2010! Cooked up at The Resort at Paws Up, a luxury wilderness resort in Montana, this three-day foodie filled weekend has guests eating and drinking with a menu of renowned chefs and world-class vitners from around the world. This year’s roster includes former Bravo TV “Top Chef” competitors Mark Peel, Dave Levitski and Lee Anne Wong, Brian Bistrong of the acclaimed NYC-based Braeburn Restaurant and of course The Resort at Paws Up’s very own Wes Coffel who oversees the resort’s five-star restaurant, Pomp. By day, the chefs and vintners will participate in the exhilarating outdoor adventures alongside the guests (think horseback riding, fly-fishing, clay shooting and more). By night, the chefs will prepare a tasting dinner menu complete with wine pairing provided by three world-class winemakers (Trefethen Family Vineyards, Grgich Hills Estate and Merry Edwards Winery–2010 James Beard Foundation Awards Nominee). After a day full of food, wine, and wilderness, a luxurious private home – complete with 300-thread-count sheets and hot tubs – will await. For more information please visit www.montanamasterchefs.com.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Lodge at Vail Welcomes New Executive Chef Paul Wade!


Vail, Colo. – Paul Wade has been appointed executive chef at The Lodge at Vail, A RockResort in Vail, Colo. In his new position, Chef Wade will be overseeing all dining operations at the property, including Cucina Rustica restaurant and the AAA Four Diamond, award-winning Wildflower.


Chef Wade joins The Lodge at Vail with more than 20 years of professional culinary experience. Paul (a California wine country native) has held a national reputation for his creative, unpretentious approach to Americana style cuisine. Beginning his culinary career with a seven-year apprenticeship in Northern California, Paul has worked alongside some of the most celebrated chefs in wine country. At 25, Paul became the head chef at Chanterelle Restaurant in Napa, CA, where he developed his strong passion for sustainable, farm-to-table cuisine. After three years there, Wade joined the Four Seasons Wailea in Maui, HI, where he was voted one of the Top 10 chefs in Hawaii and received both a Mobil Travel Guide Five Star and Zagat ratings.


To read more about Paul and his new position, please click to read the full press release. For more information on The Lodge at Vail, please visit lodgeatvail.rockresorts.com.


Friday, August 27, 2010

ROCKRESORTS AND VAIL RESORTS INTRODUCE ICONIC WEDDINGS














“SOMETHING NEW” FOR BRIDAL COUPLES - ROCKRESORTS AND VAIL RESORTS INTRODUCE ICONIC WEDDINGS


Broomfield, Colo. – August 26, 2010 – Weddings are personal, so shouldn’t the planning be personalized? RockResorts and Vail Resorts , announce the launch of Iconic Weddings. This new program and online resource is the newest wedding planning program and tool for bridal couples, wedding planners, friends and family to find everything in just one stop – and a few clicks. As one of the first hospitality companies to collectively create a wedding planning program with a comprehensive site that offers destination comparison information, tools and contacts in one space, Vail Resorts and RockResorts, are making it easy for couples to plan a personalized destination wedding – from the Caribbean to Colorado to Lake Tahoe and Santa Fe.


Iconic Weddings features a dedicated Iconic Weddings Specialist and online tools to help couples and their loved ones assist in wedding day details, bachelor/ette parties, honeymoons, anniversary trips and scheduling area activities, by doing the research and fine tuning options based on the personal preferences chosen. Couples can select from various categories online including Geography, Scenery, Wedding Options/Types, venues options and Itinerary Activities. The results from the selections in these categories and guidance from the Iconic Weddings specialist allows couples to determine what is available in their price range and their wedding wishes – everything from guest transportation, accommodations, skiing to scuba diving and details of the wedding day reception.

After viewing any and all event options on the site and gathering ideas from the real-life wedding stories in the “Get Inspired” section, couples can speak to or meet with the Iconic Weddings specialist who has a wide breadth of knowledge about all the Vail Resorts destinations. From a grand mountaintop wedding in Vail for 400 people to an intimate ceremony on the beach in St. Lucia, the Iconic Weddings specialist will work with the couple to assess their needs and come up with a venue for the ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner, spa services and more to make the couple feel that the ceremony is “so them.” Once the destination and venues are chosen, the specialist hands the couple over to the destination manager who will take care of the details and finishing touches.


With RockResorts and other Vail Resorts Hospitality choices in iconic locations from Santa Fe to St. Lucia and five Vail Resorts mountain destinations in Colorado and California, the company is a natural choice for destination weddings, bridal party events, rehearsal dinners, honeymoons and more. From choosing the awe-inspiring venue and customized details to organic cuisine and activities, groups booked through Iconic Weddings can better plan and enjoy the wedding festivities.

Paul Toner, Sr. Vice President/COO of RockResorts and Vail Resorts Hospitality stated, “Our goal for launching our Iconic Weddings program is simple: We want our guests to focus on creating memories that will last a lifetime instead of spending all of their time and energy on the actual planning of their celebratory event. We understand how important a wedding or honeymoon or bridal party event is - It’s a milestone. We feel as if our new Iconic Weddings program and web site gives the couples and their families the help, tools and resources to conveniently plan an event that fits them – that fits their budget, their personality and even their dreams.”

In addition to the customization tools on IconicWeddings.com, couples have the opportunity to explore various package offers across the RockResorts / Vail Resorts collection.

For example, couples who book an Iconic Wedding* receive the “Honeymoon On Us” offer which is a complimentary four-night/five-day honeymoon at any other RockResorts or Vail Resorts property of their choice (*the cost of the wedding must reach a catering minimum of $25,000).

RockResorts and Vail Resorts also offer the opportunity to arrange weddings and events that will incorporate sustainable practices in every facet of a group’s experience. These elements include sustainable/organic food and beverage options, environmentally friendly sustainable decor, recycling, providing access to community-based volunteer projects in the surrounding region for family and guests and transportation options to minimize travel impacts. The venues will work with bridal parties to integrate more personal sustainability practices in their special occasion without sacrificing their original vision.

In addition, there will be an array of Wedding Experience packages including bachelor/bachelorette, bridal shower, honeymoon, anniversary and more.

Visit www.IconicWeddings.com or call 877-318-SoUs (7687) for more information.

###


About RockResorts®
RockResorts®, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vail Resorts, owns and operates luxury resorts that offer casually elegant accommodations, lavish RockResorts Spas®, renowned golf courses all certified within the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program, award-winning dining and a variety of exciting outdoor adventures. The RockResorts collection includes The Arrabelle at Vail Square and The Lodge at Vail in Vail, Colo.; Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colo.; The Osprey at Beaver Creek and The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek, Colo.; La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa in Santa Fe, N.M.; Snake River Lodge & Spa™ in Jackson Hole, Wyo.; and The Landings St. Lucia, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. RockResorts grand openings include: One Ski Hill Place in Breckenridge, Colo. (June, 2010); Tempo Miami in Miami, Fla. (2010); Balcones del Atlántico, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic (2010); and future RockResorts include: The Mansfield Inn at Stowe in Stowe, Vt., Rum Cay Resort Marina, The Bahamas; and the Third Turtle Club & Spa, Turks and Caicos.


About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, the Heavenly Ski Resort in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties across the United States and in the Caribbean. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com .

Spend Thanksgiving in Tuscany with Abercrombie & Kent Villas















More and more families are avoiding the stress of the holidays and taking off on vacation. Why not spend this Thanksgiving in a Tuscan villa relaxing with your family and friends? Book a holiday escape with Abercrombie & Kent Villas and let one of their private villas chefs worry about the cooking (and the dishes!), while you enjoy quality time with your loved ones.

November is still low season in Europe, so pocket-friendly values are abound, especially with the weakening Euro! Abercrombie & Kent Villas has nearly 50 villas in Tuscany and their chefs can tailor a Thanksgiving Day meal and even give you personal culinary lessons. For example, Chef Leonardo Grazzi can prepare his signature Salvia Fritta (deep-fried sage), leek lasagna and Torta di Ricotta.

We suggest Borgo Bernadini, a 12-bedroom Tuscan retreat (sleeps 24 of your closest friends and family!) just a ten-minute walk from the ancient walled city of Lucca, or the eight-bedroom Campo Al Sole, a converted farmhouse with a large chef kitchen.

Visit A&K villas for more information.

Spa-fari with Sanctuary Retreats!
















Where better can you travel to rest, relax and find peace than Africa? Combining the classic “Big Five” safari experience with spa treatments to awaken the five senses, Sanctuary Retreats is offering a brand new “spa-fari” package. Experience the wonders of this enchanting continent with a stay at three of Sanctuary Retreats’ luxurious lodges and camps – where you can not only feed your soul with unbounded nature but also recharge your mind and body with this pampering seven-night retreat.

SANCTUARY SPA-FARI (Botswana & Zambia)
Indulge in Sanctuary Retreats’ invigorating range of spa treatments and rituals to relax, restore and revitalize while soaking up the beauty and diversity of the Okavango Delta, the incredible views over the calm Chobe River and inspiring sunsets over the untamed Zambezi, offering complete wellbeing while experiencing Mother Nature up-close. Rates for the luxurious seven-night Sanctuary Spa-fari Package start at $5,411 per person (double occupancy) and includes:

  • Two nights at Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana
  • Three nights at Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, Chobe National Park, Botswana
  • Two nights in at tree-house at Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma, Livingstone, Zambia
  • A selection of invigorating treatments using Africology (organic and ethical) and Thalgo (prestigious French marine-based range) products, including a FREE two hour treatment from the Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero spa for two

Package is valid for travel now through December 31, 2011.
Visit www.sanctuaryretreats.com for more information.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Montreal's "Queer of the Year" Announced!

The votes have been counted and Montreal has announced a winner in the “Queer of the Year” contest. Sean Horlor of Vancouver, British Columbia won the ultimate title after a week of fierce competition amongst four other competitors.

Throughout Montreal’s Pride festivities last week, the contestants showed the world how they can heat it up in the kitchen, behind the camera, on stage and through the streets of Montreal (keeping it clean, of course, during a fund-raiser car wash). All of the excitement was captured on film and posted at
www.queeroftheyearcontest.com where viewers were able to keep up with the action and vote for their favorite contestants. At the end of the competition, Sean Horlor was the finalist with the most public votes combined with the most points from the judges, winning the ultimate title of QUEER OF THE YEAR. After taking part in the parade on Sunday, August 15, which marked the end of Montreal’s Pride Week celebrations, Sean enjoyed the Montreal VIP treatment (a designer shopping spree with a personal stylist, spa pampering package and a Montreal gourmet dining experience).

And the winner is... Sean Horlor - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – age 29 Although he placed second in many of the challenges, Sean's charm made him a big hit with viewers and even cast mates who were not shy about flirting with him from day one! His calendar shots (taken during the “Sex Appeal” challenge) were as colorful as his impersonation of “Scary Spice” (as seen during the “Dream Academy Drag Makeover”). Sean’s love for Montreal might make it difficult to return to Vancouver where he is a social columnist and co-host of the OUTtv original series “Don’t Quit Your Gay Job.”

Wish you were here...
For more information and to plan your visit, click here.


Photo: Adam Lambert (right) spotted with "Queer of the Year" contest winner Sean Horlor Sunday night in Montreal!






Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2010 Trends for the "New American Traveler"


LDPR would like to share some great industry intelligence on "2010 Consumer Trends" in the July 26 issue of Travel Weekly where Y Partnership provides us with a comprehensive profile of the the "New American Traveler."

Highlights from the Y Partnership/Harrison Group survey of active leisure travelers include:



1. From Peter Yesawich/Y Partnership:
  • U.S. leisure travel market has finally stabilized and, in fact, portend a modest increase in demand for the year ahead
  • Today's consumers are perhaps best described as newly resourceful...focusing on family and friends rather than consumption and acquisitions
2. Is Frugality the New Normal?
  • According to Google, consumers visit an average of 20 websites before making a travel purchase
  • According to Susan Black of the Black & Wright group, it is not just price that's determining consumers choices. Travel needs to parallel their values. Whereas last year and the year before were about discounting, now it's "What type of authentic value can I offer?"
3. How important is being green?
  • 81% of leisure travelers consider themselves environmentally conscious, yet only 9% have actually made a travel-related purchase on the basis of environmental concerns
4. Celebration Travel: Marking Life's Milestones
  • Two-thirds of leisure travelers based a trip on a life event such as a wedding, birthday or anniversary celebration during the last year
  • Nearly half of those trips (45%) were for milestone birthdays, which outnumber every other category, including anniversaries, weddings and family reunions
To view the full article, visit: http://travelweekly.com/article3_ektid218076.aspx

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Sizzles with Savings in Mustique








Looking for a last-minute luxury vacation? The private, ultra-exclusive island of Mustique is offering a “Summer Sizzler” package you won’t want to miss! Only available now through September 4, 2010, you can book a room at the Cotton House (the island’s only hotel), and receive 2 nights free, plus up to a $500 hotel credit to be used on luxe amenities like a spa treatment or dinner at Veranda Restaurant. The “Summer Sizzler” package includes:
  • Stay 7-nights, only pay for 5-nights – get 2 nights for free!
  • $500 hotel credit for double-occupancy or $250 resort credit for single-occupancy
  • Daily breakfast
  • Airport transfers to/from hotel
  • Welcome cocktail
The starting rates for this offer are $520 per night for a cottage at single or double-occupancy. Rates are exclusive of a 10% service tax, subject to availability and require a seven-day cancellation policy for full refund.

About Mustique
This renowned 1,400-acre private island in the Grenadines has long been a favorite hideaway for the world's most discriminating travelers. Scattered around the island are 72 extraordinary designer villas, each with its own distinctive architecture and atmosphere. Available for weekly rentals, these villas range in size from two to nine bedrooms, and in price from $4,250 to $150,000 a week, including a full staff and vehicle. The only hotel on the island, the Cotton House is an elegant West Indian-style plantation estate with 17 luxurious guest rooms, cottages and suites, 11 of which feature private plunge pools. www.mustique-island.com; www.cottonhouse.net

Friday, July 23, 2010

Soak Up Last-Minute Summer Savings!
















It’s not too late to soak up the summer sun (and savings) in Bal Harbour, Florida–a beach side village located at the northern tip of Miami Beach. Now through September 30, the historic Sea View Hotel is offering a fourth night free when you take advantage of the “Book Three, The Fourth is Free” package. Details include:
  • Four (4) nights accommodations in a standard room
  • Savings of 25% from the rack rate
  • Rates start at $537 (based on double occupancy)
  • Offer cannot be combined with any other offers, subject to availability and blackout dates
And the hotel stay is just the first stop in summer savings! Mom and Dad can enjoy quiet time lounging at the Sea View’s Olympic-sized outdoor pool while the kids let loose in the Bal Harbour Kids Beach Camp–the only Miami Children’s Museum-designed Kids Camp and its first satellite program in the city. The Camp, which is located in the Sea View Hotel, offers an array of themed workshops (like “Absolute Artists” where kids can create their own masterpieces) that are only $25 per child, per day from 9 AM-12 PM, Monday through Friday. Families should also take advantage of the complimentary yoga classes (like “Mermaids and Minnows” for toddlers) taught by Nomi Pilates on the beach every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning, now through September 30–AND the daily dining specials at any number of restaurants located in Bal Harbour Shops, directly across from the hotel. For reservations or more information please visit www.balharbourflorida.com.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Montréal's search for the brightest star under the rainbow!

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy...been there, Queer as Folk...done that. Now it’s time to tell your story. In celebration of the diversity, individuality and pride within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, Tourism Montreal has launched a global contest in search of “Queer of the Year” and the deadline to enter has been EXTENDED until July 22nd.

How can you stand out from the crowd?

Whether you’re a do-gooder, a diva, the average guy next door, a girl just out of the closet or anywhere in between, Montreal wants you to visit www.queeroftheyearcontest.com and show the world that you have what it takes! Participants are required to enter a one-minute video and submit applications explaining why they would be a perfect contestant. People will be judged on the following 5 criteria: personality, community involvement, sex appeal, healthy lifestyle and yes, even talent! The competition will be strong, so participants should rally Facebook friends, Twitter followers and family to vote for them.

All cheer for “Queer of the Year!”

At the end of Pride Week in August (9th - 15th), the finalist with the most public votes, combined with most points from the judges, will win the ultimate title of QUEER OF THE YEAR, a chance to take part in the Pride parade on Sunday, August 15th, and enjoy the Montreal VIP treatment on Monday, August 16th. Valued at approximately $4,000 CAD, the Montreal VIP treatment includes:
• Designer shopping spree with a personal stylist
• Spa pampering package
• Montreal gourmet dining experience

For more information, prize info, rules or the latest Montreal LGBT news…
• Visit Tourism Montreal "Queer of the Year" website: www.queeroftheyearcontest.com

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Escape this Summer with Concorde Hotels & Resorts…Savings of up to 30%!
















What better way to enjoy the summer season than with a dream getaway at a great price--especially with the plight of the Euro (now at four-year low of $1.24)! With locations in Europe, Japan and Africa, Concorde Hotels & Resorts’ “Summer Offer” is perfect for travelers seeking a warm weather escape with special rates. With this offer, friends, families and couples can choose from any of the 20 participating properties worldwide, including the legendary Hotel Lutetia in Paris (celebrating its 100th anniversary this year) and the luxurious Hotel de la Paix along the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

Available from June 1 to August 31, 2010 and with savings of up to 30%, rates start at $165, per room per night based on double occupancy and include:
  • Accommodation in a double room
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • A special amenity per person, per night for a stay of two to four nights

Rates based on two-night minimum stay. Offer subject to availability.

For more information or to book the “Summer Offer” call reservations at 1-800-888-4747 or visit www.concorde-hotels.com/summer2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort Opening in Breckenridge, Colorado on June 1!





















One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort will set a new standard for luxury and service in Breckenridge, Colorado when it opens this summer at the base of Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 8. The ski-in/ski-out resort has access to four lifts taking guests to Peaks 7, 8, 9 and 10 in the winter and to hiking and biking trails in the summer, plus the Peak 8 Fun Park. In addition, the resort is conveniently located just steps away from the new seasonally operated BreckConnect Gondola that connects One Ski Hill Place with the historic mountain Town of Breckenridge.

Follow the Melbourne Cup On Tour!















Victoria’s famous 18-carat gold Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy has begun an ambitious 220-day world tour, travelling to 42 destinations as part of the Victoria Racing Club’s celebration of the 150th running of the Melbourne Cup event in November. The tour will see the Emirates Melbourne Cup travel to 10 international destinations – Tokyo, Los Angeles, Dublin, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Dubai and Auckland – and 32 Australasian cities and towns, making it the biggest tour in the Cup’s history. Joining the Cup on its seven-month journey will be some of Australia’s leading racing, fashion and cultural identities, who will help promote the Melbourne Cup Carnival and Melbourne as an exciting business and tourism destination to a global audience.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Is Social Media a Fad? Or...










The Biggest Shift Since the Industrial Revolution?


Social Media's explosive growth has brought up this question, and once again, Mashable.com has posted some great statistics supporting the debate. Amongst many, here are a few that LDPR found most interesting:
  • If facebook were a country, it'd be the THIRD LARGEST in the WORLD!
  • 50% of The UK's mobile internet traffic is on facebook.
  • 1 out of 8 couples married in the US met via social media.
  • YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world.
  • 80% of companies use social media for recruitment.
  • If you were paid $1.00 for every article you posted on Wikipedia, you'd earn $1,712.32 per hour!
Erik Qualman, writer of SocialNomics, produced the Social Media Revolution video that was the backbone to this wonderful post. In his words, "We don't have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it."

Well said, Mr. Qualman...we couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

One-Day Luxury Travel Sale – Tomorrow, May 6
















Looking to save on your summer vacation? Or maybe you’re seeking a wow gift for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Abercrombie & Kent is holding a one-day travel sale on Thursday, May 6. Save up to 60 percent on independent journeys with a private guide in Europe, Jordan, Chile, East Africa and South Africa for travel between June and September.

For first time ever, Abercrombie & Kent is allowing their Facebook fans to save 25 percent during a private pre-sale! A&K Facebook fans will have first pick of 18 itineraries from 8:00am – 9:00am Central Time on May 6. Visit their Facebook page and click “Like” to become a fan. Once a fan, you’ll be able to use the link on the page for the private pre-sale. The countdown sale will begin for the general public at 9:00am Central time, with a savings of 5 percent, accessed via www.abercrombiekent.com. Prices will be reduced by 5 percent every 30 minutes, to a maximum of 60 percent off the retail price when the auction ends at 3:00pm Central time.

Full itineraries, details, terms and conditions of the sale may be found at www.abercrombiekent.com.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Golfers at Grande Lakes Orlando Have an Edge




















Grande Lakes Orlando now offers PGA TOUR Academy golf instruction, welcoming new golfers or devoted enthusiasts eager to step up their game. Enjoy Professional-level training based on instructional techniques and state-of-the-art technology that, until recently, were only available to TOUR professionals.

Private Lessons
  • Private one-hour lessons start at $100 for the first student and $35 for the second student.
  • A series of three one-hour lessons starts at $270 per student.

Playing Lessons
  • Nine holes (cart fees additional) start at $200 each
  • Eighteen holes (cart fees additional) start at $350 each
Group Lessons
  • Group lessons of three or more students are also available.

TOUR Academy Get Golf Ready Programs
A comprehensive two-level approach to golf instruction allows students to learn the basics, achieve a deeper connection with the game and progress according to individual abilities. Each level consists of five, 90-minute sessions.
  • Level 1 – New Golfer, priced at $99 per golfer
  • Level 2 – Beginner to Avid Golfer, priced at $99 per golfer

Golf School Programs
The TOUR Academy offers one-, two-, three- and five-day schools throughout the year. Each Core golf school features a maximum 4-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio to allow for plenty of personalized instruction designed to deliver maximum results within the available time.
  • 2-day Schools – Starting at $735 per golfer
  • 3-day Schools – Starting at $1,095 per golfer
  • 5-day Schools – Starting at $1,695 per golfer

TOUR Academy Daily Golf Clinics are also available year-round from 4:00pm – 5:00pm for guests staying at Grande Lakes Orlando. Covering topics such as putting, chipping, pitching, and full swing, the clinic is a presentation and demonstration format on one topic each day. No golf clubs necessary and space is limited. PGA TOUR Academy Golf Instruction at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Grande Lakes, is available to guests at both The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels, as well as to all outside visitors.

Availability is limited and advance reservations are required. Prices do not include taxes or gratuities. Please call 407-393-4900 for reservations

Thursday, April 29, 2010

CMO's Social Media Landscape






















Can't keep up with every ounce of social media news that's coming your way? PR agencies know the feeling all too well. Thankfully, CMO.com posted this wonderful "Social Media Landscape" guide, which helps professionals better understand which sites are most important. From great tips to brief descriptions, CMO.com gives us the "goods" when it comes to social media:

  • Twitter
  • facebook
  • flickr
  • Linkedin
  • YouTube
  • digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Y!b
  • reddit
  • del.icio.us
The list goes on and on... Want to know which one of these sites should remain on your radar? Visit CMO.com to read the full article.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Roses are red, violets are blue and Residence Inn is thinking of you!






















This Mother’s Day, Residence Inn by Marriott will make Moms feel even more special by handing out 50 red roses for moms at all 588 hotels in the U.S. – that's 29,400 roses that dads don't have to buy! All guests of the hotels (dads and kids too) can enjoy daily free hot breakfast, free Internet, a swimming pool, a welcome pet policy and spacious suite accommodations at a value price. www.residenceinn.com

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Resort at Paws Up Opens Six New Luxury Tents This July


















If you haven’t heard of “glamping” (glamorous camping) yet, perhaps you’ve taken one too many “staycations.” Camping with all the comforts of home and then some is the summer trend for families that keeps on expanding – with Paws Up leading the way. In 2005, Paws Up served ‘nature on a silver platter’ with the introduction of Tent City. In 2008, River Camp gave guests the Blackfoot in their bedroom. In July 2010, Paws Up’s silver platter goes platinum with the opening of Creekside Camp, the third and largest luxury tented accommodation. Creekside Camp will be situated along Elk Creek and boasts six-new tented suites unlike any ‘glamping’ accommodations guests have seen before. Four of the accommodations will be 530-square foot tent suites for a family of four with attached private ‘kids quarters.’ The safari-style accommodations are outfitted with electricity, feather beds, western chic furniture, and private decks. Upgrades within each tent include en-suite bathrooms with an operable ventilated skylight offering an option of an open air shower and seating areas with individual fireplaces. Within steps from each tent, Creekside Camp guests have access to a dining pavilion complete with a massive fireplace with lounge and game area on one side and “creek-front” seating on the other, a stone fire pit and even their own personal “camping butler.” Creekside Camp is slated to open July 2010 and is available seasonally through late-September. Rates in 2010 start at $1,015 per night for the two-bedroom tented suites and $925 per night for the one-bedroom tented suites, double occupancy. Rates include three-meals daily (children three and under eat for free) and airport transfers from Missoula (MSO). Click here, or call 800-473-0601 for more information or reservations.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Take the bunch on a Familymoon to Atlantis Resort!

















In 2010, there are almost as many stepfamilies in America as any other type of family, and it is predicted that this number will only increase. According to the Stepfamily Association of America, 65 percent of all remarriages involve children, creating the familymoon trend, in which marrying couples bring their children on the honeymoon. The Reef at Atlantis is the ideal familymoon spot for a number of reasons:

There are plenty of bonding activities the family can do together, such as:
  • Dolphin and sea lion interactions
  • Snorkeling with thousands of fish and sea creatures in The Ruins Lagoon
  • Riding in inner tubes along “The Current” river ride
  • Enjoying endless dining options, including Nobu, Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, Jean-Georges’ Café Martinique, and several casual dining options and pool-side restaurants
Suites at The Reef at Atlantis are ideal for the familymoon experience. The property offers one- and two-bedroom suites located directly on Paradise Beach. Guests can enjoy the private balconies with water views. The Reef’s accommodations offer all the comforts of home, including a living space and kitchen, and private balcony.

For more information on familymoons at Atlantis, please call 1-800-ATLANTIS (285-2684) or visit www.atlantis.com.

LDPR

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For over 20 years LDPR has guided some of the world’s most prestigious travel brands through an evolving media landscape with creativity, professionalism and enthusiasm. We are a highly driven and innovative travel and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City with a global roster of clients from destinations and tour companies to exclusive private islands, hotels and resorts. Our unique culture is defined by our collaborative and strategic approach to working with clients, media and our staff, leading to a strong partnership with measurable results.

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