Onsite & Onboard Reviews

Onsite & Onboard Reviews

What’s in a name? When that prestigious appellation is Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay, Don Pablo Collection, you know you’re in for a treat.
Recommend's Latin America contributing writer, Carla Hunt, joined Journese’s top-producing travel advisors on what proved to be a pure adventure in Panama.
As we concluded our cruise from Dublin to Lisbon sailing on the 10-day Cuisines and Cultures of Spain, France and Portugal aboard the 106 all-suite Star Legend, our thoughts focused on all of the amazing, authentic and educational onboard and onshore experiences we’d had.
I recently ran into three beauties while visiting Cancun. Let me introduce you to them: Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun, Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun, and Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun.
A jewel-box in the heart of Cancun’s hotel zone, the 213-room Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort offers an all-inclusive experience tailored for those who want a luxurious getaway with plenty of action.
“Serenity is a place where there is no ‘no,’” says CEO Mark Adams Good, because this boutique property is likely to be hosting a lot of honeymooners.
Adams & Butler, a luxury destination management specialist with itineraries in Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England (as well as Africa), shines the spotlight on those unique experiences travelers are seeking out.
Sipping coconut water straight from the source while wading around an infinity pool overlooking the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea, I thought to myself, “this is the life.”
Although hurricanes Irma and Maria did enormous damage in several Leeward Islands, including St. Croix, The Buccaneer came through in unusually good shape.
With its own Viking Heritage Museum and decor that intertwines ancient Viking lore with sleek Scandinavian design, Viking Sky felt like the perfect ship for exploring the Baltic and Scandinavia.
Introduced this spring, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s newest Super Ship is as French as the Seine River it sails, from the Pierre Frey Braquenie fabrics and plush velvet dining room ceiling to the local wines the sommelier selects to complement regional culinary choices featured at each meal.
Like virtually all species before us, we are carried to the Galapagos Islands by the wind and the sea.
No, the Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Don Pablo Collection is not your everyday all-inclusive.
Within minutes of stepping onto the Disney Fantasy for a 3-night Bahamian cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida, my 5-year-old daughter insisted that we check out the swimming pools on deck 11.
“Now is where the journey really starts,” announced our guide, Bruce Nobela, as we switched from his van into a 4x4.
Key West’s latest property opening, The Perry Hotel Key West, brings a chic vibe to Stock Island, an area known for its fishing and artist community.
From rainforests and wildlife-rich national parks to beautiful beaches, Costa Rica’s cup runneth over with natural wonders.
I barely recognized the expanded, re-branded, and re-imagined all-inclusive resort with a bigger beachfront and an island vibe.
For the start of summer 2017, two of Central Florida’s theme parks—Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Universal Orlando Resort—enticed crowds with new fun-filled offerings: Disney opened the enchanting Pandora—The World of Avatar, and at Universal, the high-adrenaline Volcano Bay water theme park made its debut.
Minutes within arriving at UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya, I sent a text to family and friends saying, “I might not return home; I found heaven.”
Last year, those in our industry selling travel to South America celebrated the 40th anniversary of Inkaterra, whose award-winning luxury lodgings set new standards for Peru’s travel industry, and whose founder, Jose Koechlin, is honored industry-wide as a pioneer in ecotourism and a major force in hotel development focused on conserving the environment and enriching local communities—all financed by sustainable tourism revenues.
For Hammock Beach Resort—a Salamander Resorts property and member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts hugging the Atlantic shoreline in Palm Coast, Florida—damage caused by Hurricane Matthew last October presented the opportunity for the team to “redefine the Hammock Beach experience,” says Jason Kern, the resort’s director of sales and marketing.
It’s our first full day in Amsterdam after embarking on Avalon Visionary and we are standing at easels in Westerdok, the very same neighborhood where Van Gogh created his only two paintings during his 8-year stint in the city.
A Culinary Feast from Countryside to Bustling Cities
Once Sleepy, Santiago’s Now Wide Awake
The reaction to my Facebook photo of a waiter at Grand Case Beach Club’s Sunset Cafe surprised me—all those “likes” by people I’d never even heard of. But I shouldn’t have been surprised. The likers were regulars at this St. Martin resort, a small hotel with an outsize repeat rate.
Last November, the Washington metropolitan area stood on the precipice of a monumental new beginning…and I’m not talking about the election.
For John Delaney, president of Windstar Cruises, the company’s “180-degrees from ordinary” slogan means guests “are not going to have the same experience that they would have on a larger ship. It means that we are literally striving to deliver the extraordinary.”
The flavors of the Dominican Republic took center stage when Recommend recently visited the Barcelo Bavaro Grand Resort in Punta Cana during its annual culinary week.
Recommend took a few days recently to play tourist in our own backyard, checking out EAST, Miami, a Swire Hotels and a Preferred Hotels and Resorts property, and its surrounding area, including the neighborhood of Wynwood, the Perez Art Museum in Downtown Miami, and the recently opened and Brickell City Centre, which is connected to the hotel.
“Unique” and “extraordinary” are common and oft-misused terms when describing a spa resort, but not in the case of Costa Rica’s award-winning Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa.
Taking a live class with Black Widow at the Marvel Super Hero Academy and feeling the snow during a Broadway-style adaptation of the animated hit “Frozen” are just two of the ground-breaking experiences I sampled on the inaugural post-dry dock sailing of the renovated Disney Wonder.
We, and more than 1,100 delegates from 45 countries, were in Saxony-Anhalt’s capital city of Magdeburg for the 42nd Germany Travel Mart (GTM), the largest incoming workshop for Destination Germany hosted by the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) and the Magdeburg Marketing Kongress und Tourismus GmbH.
The entire dreamlike scenery seems plucked from the pages of an enchanted tale, so it makes perfect sense that tour operator Adventures by Disney (ABD) has started offering a 7-day family-friendly sailing on this charming river from Vilshofen, Germany to Budapest, Hungary.
England remains one of the world’s greatest destinations for families. Indeed, there are so many family-friendly attractions in the country that you need to separate it all into regions to fully appreciate what it has to offer.
Prepare to be slimed…with fun at the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana.
A weekend in paradise...I mean, a weekend at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne, was tasty, fabulous, swanky and purely blissful.
The word on everyone’s lips and travel bucket lists this year is Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province’s capital city where jaw-dropping natural scenery and well-preserved cultural sites are inspiring North American travelers to explore outside of Beijing and Shanghai and into this timeless Chinese retreat.
The remastering of Cunard’s 2,961-passenger Queen Mary 2.
It’s only been about a month since its opening date and already the RIU Republica is booked at about 90 percent occupancy. In fact, it’s been at about 90 percent since the first week.
onfession: I don’t have an athletic bone in my body. My idea of a workout is my occasional Bar Method class or biking through the neighborhood. And even that, I can’t commit to with much accountability. But during my stay at Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St. Lucie, Florida, I transformed into a pseudo-athlete. A
It was a chilly December night when I settled into my seat at St. George’s Church (Georgenkirche) in Eisenach, Germany for the sold-out Johann Sebastian Bach Weihnachts Oratorium. By this time, my press trip through the central German state of Thuringia had ended, but my affable guide Cornelia insisted I take part in this cherished holiday tradition she and her husband attend annually.
Fine, sustainable lodgings mixed with authentic experiences are in the DNA of Costa Rica, and Rico Tours president Leigh Ann Cloutier is excited about the country’s newest: Chayote Lodge.
Sea turtles, blooming gardens & a dash of English china... It’s the scent that lures you in, and then it’s the lively ambiance and tasty fish that keep you hanging out for hours. For clients who want to immerse themselves in the local culture and experience a colorful hangout, with authentic Barbadian music and food, Oistins Fish Fry is a top experience in Barbados.
Watching fellow passengers gracefully samba and cha-cha to a live band as white-gloved waiters served a formal high tea in the elegant Queen’s Lounge, stopping by the sidewalk bistro-style Grand Dutch Cafe for a sandwich and brew, watching movies under the stars, and savoring our artistically presented gourmet dinner in the new Sel de Mer French restaurant were just a few of the highlights for my husband and me during a recent sailing on the ms Koningsdam.
How can two adults-only, all-inclusive honeymoon havens in the same corner of the same Caribbean island be so successful and yet so different? Guests I met at Royalton Resorts’ CHIC Punta Cana in late April would have felt out of place at Club Med Punta Cana’s Zen Oasis, and vice versa
Florida’s Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa in the north end of the Palm Beaches delivers...whether your clients are looking for an idyllic destination wedding spot or seeking out some romantic time together.
Two questions guided my recent stay at Palace Resorts’ first foothold in Jamaica, the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande: 1. How was Mexican-owned Palace Resorts adapting to the land of alright? 2. How could it stand out on an island that already has dozens of all-inclusive brands?
This Mexican destination on the Pacific side isn’t just overflowing with vibrantly colorful bougainvillea, it’s also bursting at the seams with new hotel openings and revamps, ranging from all-inclusives to ultra-luxe and eco options. During my visit to the destination for Gala Vallarta-Nayarit, I learned that there are at least 11 properties in the area that either recently opened or underwent a revamping, giving you plenty of new booking options.
It’s a gorgeous day in Riviera Nayarit. The sun isn’t being shy about how luminous it can get, and nature in general—from the beach to the lush mountains—is having one of its finest days. I’m at the Iberostar Playa Mita property in Riviera Nayarit, and although I’ve been to this area of Mexico a few times, I’m always blown away by how utterly gorgeous it is—nature really outdoes itself here. That striking scenery takes center stage at the 452-room Iberostar Playa Mita, which pays homage to the natural surroundings, creating a lovely, laid-back ambiance throughout the property.
More than four decades ago, the Grand Hotel d’Angkor, which was opened by the French in 1932, was almost the only and certainly the most colonial place to stay in the sleepy town of Siem Reap. The property was once an important trading center and always the gateway to the magnificent temple complexes of Angkor, as well as the capital of the Khmer Empire from 800 to 1200 A.D.
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