Thai resort Outrigger Laguna Phuket offers rate deals

Master bedroom in 2BR villa at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort PHUKET, THAILAND, April 29, 2010 -- Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas will have great value Summer rates from US$125 for guests staying in May or June 2010.

The 68-villa Outrigger property is part of the Laguna Destination Resort Phuket at Bang Tao beach, a 20-minute drive from Phuket international airport.

The two-bedroom villa is THB 4,000 (US$125) per night. The three-bedroom pool villa is THB 7,000 (US$219). The four-bedroom pool villa is THB 11,000 (US$344).

All rates include in-room daily continental breakfast. The Summer Special rates are subject to 18.7% tax and service charges.

At the resort, Outrigger guests have signing privileges at 30 food and beverage outlets and spa facilities across Laguna Destination Resort Phuket, and at the nearby Laguna Phuket Golf Course. Outrigger guests also receive a free five-minute transfer to the resort's own beach club at secluded Layan beach.

Also announced are enhanced services including an upgraded kids' club, the addition of barbecue facilities and children's trampolines in the gardens. The Bites Café in the Park menu now offers a wide range of lunch, dinner and kids' options. New and classic Thai dishes and international favorites have been added to the in-villa dining menus.

For more information

Visit Call (+66) 76 336 900. Or email: [email protected].

St Simons Island resort offers great Spring getaway rates

Ocean Front Tower Room St. Simons Island , GA  Celebrating the 75th Diamond Anniversary of The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons Island is offering a $129/nt* SPRING TO THE COAST GETAWAY for an Ocean Front/Ocean View Guest Room,  April 11 – April 15, 2010.

Try $75 60-minute massage treatments at The Royal Treatment Cottage with 3 massage treatment rooms – Custom Cottage massage, Swedish massage and Sport-Specific massage - or golf at the newly-restored award winning King and Prince Golf Course with $40 greens fee and cart.

DRIVE 75 MILES OR MORE TO KING AND PRINCE RESORT and stay 2 nights for a Bonus ‘Getaway’ giveaway: receive $75 Resort Credit for dining, massage therapy or golf 

*Rate is based on Hotel availability

PAMA Lava Lamp heats up Valentine's Day

Pama Lava Lamp So you're looking to heat things up this Valentine's Day.

Pick up a bottle of bubbly and PAMA Pomengranate Liqueur, then add this terrific recipe from Maria Hunt's The Bubbly Bar.

PAMA (which makes a great cupcake ingredient too) is made with all-natural pomegranate juice, premium vodka and a touch of imported tequila. Bottled at just 34 proof, PAMA is highly mixable and makes mixing up a love potion pretty easy.

Love potion number nine is The Lava Lamp. It's explosive.

The Lava Lamp

1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

5 oz. Brut Sparkling Wine

3 pomegranate seeds

Add PAMA to a champagne flute.

Fill the glass with sparkling wine.

Drop in the pomegranate seeds

A Crystal Springs Resort Christmas & New Year's

Crystal Springs Resort's winter wonderland

Light the Yule log and drink up the nog with Christmas at Crystal Springs Resort.

The Grand Cascades Lodge, 3 Wild Turkey Way , Hardyston, has three options for Christmas Eve and Day. Dine at Restaurant Latour, which will serve its regular menu as well as holiday additions. The Crystal Tavern will have its regular and a special prix-fixe menus And the Springs Bistro will feature its regular menu plus holiday additions.

Kites Restaurant, located at Minerals Resort & Spa, 2 Chamonix Dr, Vernon, will be open both Christmas Eve & Day and serving a special Christmas menu on Christmas Day.

For more information and reservations call 973-827-1587 ext 3 or visit  their website.

Out with the old and in with the new - year that is.

Crystal Springs Resort offers 9 different options for New Year’s Eve ranging from romantic dinners to family buffets to a one-of-a-kind tropical party in the Biosphere Pool Complex.

Celebrate with dinner at Restaurant Latour, Crystal Tavern, Springs Bistro or party all night at the amazing tropical Biosphere Party and/or an overnight stay at the Grand Cascades Lodge.  For a family focus, with a little for Mom & Dad in the mix, try Minerals Resort & Spa. The family-focused resort offers a family party, dinner at Kites restaurant, late night parties and tons of children’s events.

A New Year’s Day brunch will be available at both hotels.

For information visit the website or call 973-827-5996 ext 3. 

Reflections revives the spirit with luxe spa experience

Stone massage

Reflections Spa is not a tree-hugging, granola-crunching spa experience. It's purely decadent.

Deep red panes of glass, pieced together in the pattern of prisms glow warmly. Water gurgles peacefully from the stacked glass waterfalls embedded in the walls of this restful warren of massage and treatment rooms, saunas and lounges. 

From the ceiling hundreds of small crystal quartz gem stones - noted for their regenerative and healing therapeutic properties - dangle. The fiery red décor and the more than 8,000 quartz gems create an atmosphere both soothing and energizing.

Beautiful young women glide from the lounge to the foot salt scrub and soaking room carrying trays of chocolate truffle-garnished glasses of Moet Chandon rosé champagne or herb-infused ice water.  

Cotton terry-robed guests sip their champagne or ice water while relaxing with their feet in a warm water soak amidst floating rose petals. 

In the steam room, where each woman has her own tiled seat, equipped with a cooling water spigot for individual temperature adjustments, women are given slivers of cucumber to reduce eye puffiness while they purify and detoxify their skin.

Women enter the spa a little too briskly, with faces week-weary from life's pressures - perhaps a little tense, maybe irritable or over-tired; they leave reluctantly with skin glowing, attitudes re-adjusted and balance restored.

Spa products are themed to reflect the many facets of Crystal Springs Resorts from a Champagne, Caviar & Truffles facial (organic anti-aging) to the Pinot Noir Signature Body Glow (vinotherapy body exfoliation and hydration) to the Warm Gemstone Massage (Chakra balancing and mineral-infusing massage).

The three-month-old spa is more Dolce Gabbana than Laura Ashley. Sleek and modern with nothing that even hints of a spartan experience, Reflections redefines the luxury spa experience with up-to-the minute treatments, minute attention to detail, and hand-holding, constant pampering.   

For more information:

Grand Cascades Lodge

3 Wild Turkey Way

Hardyston, NJ


KeysCaribbean offers up to 50 percent off through Summer 2009

Sunset cruise in Key West 

The Florida Keys most celebrated local was an angler. Writer Ernest Hemingway lived, wrote, drank, and fished in Key West.

 No doubt he would have hoisted a glass and cast a line during the month of May with its wealth of events for anglers.

KeysCaribbean Luxury Resort Villas & Marinas is offering visitors to the Keys an opportunity to take advantage of the resort's elegant accommodations with a May Spectacular Savings Offer of up to 50 percent off at all KeysCaribbean resorts through Summer 2009 (subject to availability).

Events Information

In Key West, the Yamaha Dolphin Masters Invitational on May 23 features experienced offshore captains leading the chase for the colorful and acrobatic dolphin fish and a hefty first prize. First class resort accommodations in Key West and the up to 50 percent off discount is available at Coral Hammock Resort and King's Pointe Oceanside Condominiums.

During the 23rd Annual Coconuts Dolphin Tournament May 14-17 in Key Largo, top anglers compete for more than $50,000 in prizes. Mariner's Resort Villas & Marina in Key Largo offers luxury accommodations, free Wi-Fi Internet, free unlimited local and long distance calls, and the up to 50 percent off special discount.

On May 9, the high-action Battle in the Bay Dragon Boat Festival comes to Marathon with boats racing along a 400-meter course parallel to Sombrero Beach in the only beach-launch boat race of its kind. Nearby, the Village at Hawks Cay Villas & Marina offers luxury accommodations with free Wi-Fi Internet and free unlimited local and long distance calls, as well as the up to 50 percent off special discount.

For reservations, book direct at or call 305.853.5000.

NJ Food & Wine Festival excuse for self-indulgence

In the details, no stone unturned at Grand Cascades Lodge

Escaping the city for a quick weekend getaway is a bit like playing Mystery Date. Will you score dreamy or dud?

If the notion of a country getaway conjures happy images of roughing it, then the Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs in Hardyston, NJ, should not be on on your must-visit list. 

However, if an indulgent weekend retreat from the hustle and flow of city living sounds perfect, then this 250-room Adirondack-style lodge delivers a decidedly dreamy experience.

Road weary and ready to relax, I could have spent the entire weekend in my room, making my way from a jacuzzi tub full of lavender-scented bubbles to the king-size bed that molded to my body and back again.  Never have I slept on a more comfortable bed. I was reluctant to leave it.

But a higher purpose beckoned, the NJ Food & Wine Festival.

To prepare  for some fabulous foods and spectacular wines - among them Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 1998 and Chateau La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée des Cadettes 2003 - we fortified ourselves with a dip in the warm pool waters at the Lodge's Biosphere.Tropical fish swim in the Biosphere's aquarium

The Biosphere, a 10,000-square-foot glass-enclosed complex, features free form, heated pools and a water slide, hot tubs, dry and steam saunas and a therapy-jet spa cove. At our request, the resort arranged an experienced babysitter, Brittany Carr, who took the boys swimming while we reluctantly left the warm waters and lush tropical heat to dress for the Grand Tasting.  

Nothing is more seductive than good food and wine shared with good company.  After our swim, we were hungry and thirsty (yes, we know we are supposed to sniff, swish and spit, but really)

The Grand Tasting presented a delightful excuse to tipple some superb vintages and nibble delicacies prepared and presented by the resort's four-star Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning dining room.  Restaurant Latour rendered bite-sized small plates of seared tuna over beds of soba noodles to introduce guests to the creations of Executive Chef Michael Weisshaupt  Also on hand were gourmet food purveyors such as D'Artagnan (the mousse of foie gras was exquisite) and Must Chocolates (extra dark chocolate makes a perfect pairing with wine).

I particularly enjoyed tasting a flight of Italian red wines.  We started with a bright, ruby red Conti Contini Sangiovese, a varietal common to the entire country. This Sangiovese has a rich violet and cherry nose, underlying layers of slightly spicy berry and finishes fresh and clean.

Next we tried the 2000 Villa di Capezzana Carmignano, an 80% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon blend, fermented in stainless steel followed by 16 months in French oak and a year in the bottle. The Carmignano region has been producing wines in Tuscany since Etruscan times, more than 3000 years ago. Darkly, rich and plummy, I was happy the Italian reds were thoughtfully located next to the carving station.  The chalky,thick reds needed tempering by the richly marbled beef.   

Grand Vin Chateau Latour From Capezzana also, we sampled Ghiaie Della Furba, a Super Tuscan blended from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 20% Syrah. Designated IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica), this wine was complex, well structured and intensely spicy.  Aged in oak for 14 months and two months in the bottle, this garnet-colored wine is subtly tannic.

While the 17-piece David Aaron band played big band classics, we ended our evening with a decadent flourless chocolate cake, mixed berry tarts and champagne. Veuve Clicuot's  La Grande Dame 1998 did not disappoint. Sixty-four percent Pinot Noir and 36% Chardonnay, the wine is made exclusively from the eight Grands Crus vineyards purchased by Madame Clicquot in the 19th century.  Pale gold in color, with delicate bubbles, La Grande Dame is spirited with a floral and mineral nose which gives way to more subtle flavors like candied fruit.

For more information or reservations: