Posts Tagged Caribbean Travel News

50 Best Travel Tips from 10 Years of Travel

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Tips for Planning Your Trip and Booking Accommodation

  1. Get the Best Deals on Hotel Rooms

In order to score a great deal on a hotel room, you may have to be patient, be flexible, and do your research. Travelers have many different strategies and tricks for getting the best hotel room for the lowest price. For example, booking 24-48 hours may get you a lower rate, as you’re booking during the hotel’s cancellation time frame. If you sign up ahead of time on websites that alert you of price drops, you will get an instant notification when the hotel is available at the best price. Checking in at the end of the day, and discreetly asking for a corner room, will also give you the best chance of getting an upgrade for the same price.

  1. Make Friends (And Save Money) By Staying in a Hostel

If you are a young solo traveler, staying in a hotel can get lonely. Meet fellow travelers at youth hostels, which offer cheap accommodation in private or dorm rooms. The quality of the rooms or amenities may not match a 5-star resort, but many hostels have communal areas or activities where travelers can mingle and enjoy a drink.

Hostels are (usually) not available for travelers over the age of 50, but solo travelers can meet people through a variety of websites or apps.

  1. Consider Housesitting for Free Accommodation

If you are flexible with travel dates and where you would like to stay, consider house sitting or pet sitting. There are a handful of websites that offer a subscription program in order to search and apply for house sitting jobs. Most of these jobs are in the suburbs, but if you own a car or do not mind taking public transportation, you can get a nice house or apartment with little to no cost.

  1. Check The Dates Of Your Trip For Public Holidays

Different countries have different religions and holidays that may affect your travel plans. In some cases, the rates for accommodation may be higher, or hotels will book up fast. Other holidays may affect the hours of popular tourist sites or local businesses. In some countries, religious holidays may affect the sale of alcohol. On the other hand, visiting a country or city while they celebrate a big holiday can be very enriching and make your trip more special. Plan your trip accordingly, and know what to expect when you arrive during a holiday season.

  1. Read Blogs or Visit Social Media For Inspiration

If you pop your destination into Google, you may find a handful of the same restaurants, sites, and hotels in the first page of results. Dig a little deeper and get recommendations from Bloglovin or other blogging platforms. Bloggers, especially bloggers with smaller followings, are more likely to give accurate and authentic information about what it is like to travel; if they are paid by a tour or company to promote their product, they should disclose that information throughout their blog posts.

You can also use social media to find local gems and hidden spots. Searching through Instagram by specific locations or hashtags will show you pretty sites and great restaurants that you might not find on big travel websites.


Apple Leisure Group appoints new vice president

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A harmonious opening for Ritz-Carlton Aruba

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The pool area at the Ritz-Carlton Aruba.As hotel debuts go, the recent opening at the Ritz-Carlton Aruba in Oranjestad was seamless.

The prime minister, tourism officials and hotel hierarchy, including Marriott International Chairman Bill Marriott and Ritz-Carlton President and COO Herve Humler, were there.

The lobby’s marble floors gleamed, the hotel staff beamed and the view of the ocean beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows was picture-perfect (it was Aruba, after all).

What stole the show was Pierewietje (a Papiamento word meaning “children’s chorus”), 10 youngsters dressed in bright yellow dresses who sang a potpourri of Aruban songs. After charming the audience, each of them bore a tray holding a large pair of silver scissors and paraded to the satin ribbon stretched across part of the lobby.

With the help of the front-row VIPs, the ribbon was cut, the Ritz was officially open and the first guests checked in.

The $200 million, 320-room Ritz-Carlton Aruba is the fifth Ritz resort in the Caribbean and the first for the company since the debut of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Dorado, Puerto Rico, in December 2012.

With the Ritz-Carlton opening, Marriott International now is the largest employer in Aruba, with four other hotels: the Renaissance Aruba Resort Casino, the Aruba Marriott Resort Stellaris Casino, the Marriott Aruba Ocean Club and the Marriott Aruba Surf Club.

More than 90% of the 450 staff members are Arubans, and they moved easily and gracefully into their new roles.

“Our training program was amazing,” Bibiana said as she took my lunch order at the Madero Argentinian Grill, one of four dining venues at the hotel. “I feel like I am very valuable to this company.”

Madero converts to a steakhouse restaurant by night, specializing in grilled meats.

Later, Karin Cofino, spa director, showed me around the 15,000-square-foot spa sanctuary with 13 treatment rooms offering a range of wraps, facials and massages, many of which incorporated oils from Aruba’s signature divi divi tree.

I dined at Les Crustaces, selected an appetizer of mussels and scallops from the Raw Bar, followed by snapper Aruban-style.

“It has chorizo, crusted scallion relish, small Japanese mushrooms called shimeji and sancacho, a spicy sauce — you will love it,” my waiter, Jean Carlo, told me. I did.

My room was spacious and serene, with neutral colors, a balcony that overlooked the two pools and beach, WiFi ($14.95 per day, although it is free in the business center) and an espresso machine that defeated me.

General Manager Roberto Grisi assured me that written instructions for the coffee machine would be placed in the room in the next few days.

My stay was all too brief, but I saw enough and sampled enough, from amenities to activities, to know that the luxury traveler can put this resort on his bucket list.


Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.  

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Seaborne Airlines moving headquarters to San Juan

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Seaborne Airlines plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from St. Croix to San Juan by March.

The move is part of an agreement in which the government of Puerto Rico will take an equity position in the airline and have two seats on the board of Seaborne’s parent company, Coastal International Airways.

Seaborne will create 400 jobs in Puerto Rico, and 150 of the 400 positions will be added in Puerto Rico in the first quarter of 2014. The carrier also will add new routes out of San Juan.

Service to La Romana in the Dominican Republic began Dec. 12; on Feb. 14, service will launch to Punta Cana; on March 1, San-St. Maarten flights will begin.

“There is little that is more important to economic development than global air access,” said Gary Foss, Seaborne’s president and CEO. “This agreement will strengthen Puerto Rico’s ties with the rest of the Caribbean.”

Seaborne operates as an American codeshare partner in select markets at San Juan and has interline agreements with JetBlue and soon with Delta.

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia-Padilla noted that the new partnership with Seaborne has “recuperated routes that were discontinued in the Caribbean, and now we are strengthening our position as the main hub in the region with connection to the mainland U.S.”

The governor was referring to the pullout by American Eagle from San Juan in March and American’s earlier move to relocate its Caribbean hub from San Juan to Miami.

Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.

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