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Friday, December 13, 2019

5 Wellness Retreats, Vermont’s Woodstock Inn in ActiveTravels December Newsletter

In our November newsletter, we noted that our colleague, Rachel, has now become certified as a Wellness Travel Advisor. She can discuss with expertise a curated list of wellness properties that would be best suited for what you’re yearning for, from yoga to nature to nutrition to health to personal growth. Rachel can not only find the exact lodging that suits your needs, but can get complimentary amenities like room upgrades, free breakfasts, and $100 off spa treatments. In this month’s issue, we feature the resorts she likes best. Also in the December issue is a great package deal at the Woodstock Inn in Vermont and our favorite brews to try in the state, when savoring that apres-ski pint. Please have a look!

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/13/19 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Maine Winter Carnival Debuts in January

Based on the highly successful Carnaval de Quebec in Quebec City, Portland, Maine will be unveiling Carnaval Maine January 30-February 1. Most of the events will be taking place on the Eastern Promenade, including the requisite ice sculptures, light shows, and bonfires. There will also be a rail jam created by Sunday River resort. This being Portland, expect a fantastic selection of local food and brew, including beer by Bissell Brothers, Maine Beer Co., Rising Tide, and Allagash, and dining provided by Central Provisions and Scales, among others. ActiveTravels clients have been praising the Francis Hotel and Press Hotel in Portland. We’re happy to check availability and pricing. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/12/19 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Little Rhody Hotel Week

Nancy J. Friedman, the PR Maven that created Hotel Week NYC™ in 2010 to address the occupancy dip most Manhattan hotels experience after the holiday season, is at it again. This time in Rhode Island, where the state is launching its first-ever Hotel Week Rhode Island January 18-31. Stay at The Dean in Providence or Hotel Viking in Newport for a mere $100 a night or the charming 1661 Inn on Block Island for $200/night. Providence is known for its innovative dining, so you might want to check out Boston Globe food writer Devra First’s recent story on the best restaurants in town. One of those recommended restaurants, North, is located in The Dean, so you don’t have to venture far to get back to your room. Sounds like a perfect date night in late January.  

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/11/19 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Head to Italy Next July on a Yoga Retreat

July in Italy is at the height of tourism in the country. Instead of fighting crowds, we suggest a rejuvenating yoga retreat with our good friend, Checka Antifonario, a talented yoga instructor and owner of Yogaway Retreats. From July 6 to 12, you’ll be staying just east of Rome in the small coastal village of Molise, where you’ll participate in daily yoga and meditation on the grounds of a lovely working farm that doubles as a 20-room inn with views of the sea. When not doing yoga, you’ll enjoy their olive oil and wine tastings, tours of the farm, excursions into the historic seaside town of Termoli, and inland to the charming village of Sepino. Pricing is $1950-$2800 per person and includes 6 nights lodging, 9 yoga and meditation classes, all meals including local wine, two excursions, the olive oil tasting, and transfers to and from Rome’s international airport. ActiveTravels can check availability and happily design a pre- or post-tour of Italy that can include Rome and Florence or south to Naples and the Amalfi coast. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/10/19 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, December 09, 2019

Boston Ski and Sports Club Announces Winter 2019/2020 Schedule

If you missed the ski trip to Jay Peak this past Thanksgiving weekend, don’t sweat it. BSSC, New England’s largest recreation sports association, has many day trips coming up, including Killington, Sunday River, Cannon and Waterville Valley this winter. Weekend trips will venture out to Sugarloaf and Quebec City. After a day or two of carving that perfect turn on the slopes, leave the driving to someone else and meet new friends who share your passion. The BSSC will make stops in Boston, Newton, Woburn, and starting in January, Harvard Square, before hitting the peaks. Cost includes lift ticket and the bus ride. Have a look

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/09/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, December 06, 2019

Down on Broadway at the Chatwal

We recently spent a night in Manhattan at a client favorite, The Chatwal. Located on 44th Street, just off Times Square, the 76-room upscale boutique property is perfectly suited for a night or two of theater in the city. Designed in 1905 by iconic American architect Stanford White, who was killed by his mistress’s husband atop Madison Square Garden, The Chatwal was once home to the prestigious Lambs, America’s first professional theatrical club. A dedicated theater concierge can offer access to the most sought-after shows and guests can enjoy a pre-theater dinner at the retro-style Lambs Club at the hotel. We enjoyed our spacious room and the heated toilet seat was a nice bonus. Rates start at $595 per night based on double occupancy and Marriott Bonvoy points are accepted.

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/06/19 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, December 05, 2019

City Brew Tours Expands to MetroWest Boston

With the surge in popularity in craft brew this past decade, it’s no surprise that City Brew Tours has also grown substantially, now offering tours in 11 cities, including Boston. Their guided 5-hour ($99 per person) Original Boston Brew Tour makes 4 stops at some of the finest breweries in town, like Slum Brew, Dorchester Brewing, and Down the Road. But I’m a huge fan of what’s happening out here in the Boston burbs, especially those dreamy IPAs created down the road at the Trillium brewery in Canton, and, of course, the much-hyped Tree House, 45 minutes away in Charlton. Lately, however, I’ve been happily consuming Exhibit “A” beers, especially their IPA, Cat’s Meow, and their delicious German Kölsch-style beer, Goody Two Shoes. Glad to see that Exhibit “A” and their brewery in the original Jack’s Abby home in Framingham is one of the 4 breweries folks visit on the new MetroWest Boston tour offered by City Brew. You’ll also get a chance to try another local favorite, Cloud Candy IPA, created by the Waltham brewery, Mighty Squirrel. It’s a great way to spend the day, including lunch, letting someone else drive while you sample the wares. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/05/19 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Woodstock Inn Introduces Snowsports Packages

When former Dartmouth ski coach, Bunny Bertram, installed one of the first tow ropes on a Vermont slope in 1937, he played an integral role in establishing one of the state’s top winter locales. In 1961, that ski area, Suicide Six, was sold to Laurence Rockefeller, owner of the Woodstock Inn and Resort, and it became the primary ski resort for their guests. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Woodstock Inn Nordic Center provides 45 kilometers of groomed trails surrounding Mt. Peg. Guests can explore the trail network on x-c skis, fat tire bikes, or snowshoes. Another option for backcountry skiers and snowshoers is the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, where you can glide or walk under the old-growth forest and around a pond called the Pogue. The Woodstock Inn is now offering four different ski packages, depending on whether you downhill or cross-country ski and bring the family. From January 1 through March 15, the Unlimited Snowsports Package offers accommodations for two nights, breakfast daily, ski passes at Suicide Six Ski Area for two days (rentals not included), and Nordic Center ski passes for two days of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat tire biking (rentals are included). Package rates for two adults start at $475 midweek, $668 on weekends. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/04/19 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, December 03, 2019

New Flights from Boston

If Vienna, Paris, and the Florida Keys are on your wish list, and you fly in and out of Boston’s Logan Airport, you’re in luck. Beginning in February, American Airlines will launch a direct flight from Boston to Key West. Austria Airlines will begin Boston’s first-ever direct flight to Vienna beginning March 29. And bargain European airline Level, which we flew last April to Barcelona, will add flights between Boston and Paris in May, with fares beginning at $140. Love those direct flights! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/03/19 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, December 02, 2019

My Story on Cartagena in Global Traveler Magazine

Travel to Colombia has surged since the historic Peace Agreement was signed in November 2016, ending a half-century long conflict. 2018 saw a record 4.4 million visitors to the country, up a staggering 300 percent from a decade earlier, when reaching 1 million travelers was a lofty goal. This surge in demand has led to better international flight options, which should only continue to increase visitor numbers from abroad as long as the country remains stable. While Bogota remains the business and financial core of Colombia, it’s hard to resist the allure of Cartagena, a Spanish Colonial city that seems to be built with the traveler in mind. Behind the fortress walls are narrow streets, large plazas, 17th-century churches, and row after row of charming restaurants, boutique shops, and salsa dance clubs. Walking the pedestrian-only streets of the Old Walled City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is comparable to strolling the French Quarter of New Orleans. Bougainvillea flows from the terraces of the colorful homes, and under a historic clock tower, local merchants sell candy produced from tropical fruits such as guava, mango, papaya, and coconut. 

 
To read more of my story on Cartagena, please see the latest issue of Global Traveler
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/02/19 at 06:00 AM
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photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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