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Thursday, May 02, 2019

Raft the Chilko River with ROAM

It was 1997 when I first met Brian McCutcheon, owner of Rivers, Oceans, and Mountains (ROAM). I had been hired by Men’s Journal magazine to write about the first descent of the Klinaklini River in British Columbia. It was a spectacular journey down a rip-roaring river dwarfed by snowcapped peaks and glaciers. I was accompanying Johnny Morris, the owner of Bass Pro Shops, who came to the Northwest with his entourage to hook salmon on the fly. The fish weren’t biting but the scenery and excitement of riding the Klinaklini more than made up for the lack of salmon. McCutcheon now offers multisport trips around the globe, including a fantastic itinerary to Bhutan later this year. But it’s his native BC that he knows best. For starters, try one of the most exciting whitewater rafting runs in North America, a weeklong jaunt down the Chilko River in southwestern BC. Take an hour seaplane flight from Vancouver to 4,000-foot high Chilko Lake where he unveiled a $10 million lodge.  Then let the rollercoaster ride begin. You’ll cruise 130 miles, dropping 3,000 feet through a tumultuous blur of lava gorges and narrow chutes. Looming overhead are sloping carpets of forest and jagged peaks. And, on those rare moments when you slow down, you might find yourself staring at an eagle or grizzly. BC also stands for serious Bear Country, home to 12,000-plus grizzlies.

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/02/19 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Think Big! A Tiny House Resort Offers New Activities This Summer in the Catskills

Last summer, Bob Malkin, owner of the SoHo retail store, Think Big!, unveiled a resort in South Cairo, New York, that features 9 Tiny Houses. Inspired by the Prairie-style cottages found at Canoe Bay in northwestern Wisconsin, each Tiny House offers a panorama of windows, queen size bed, full-size appliances and luxury bathrooms, as well as a private patio complete with outdoor dining table and seating, Weber grill and fire pit. Think Big! A Tiny House Resort is situated on 28 acres with over half a mile of water frontage and perched on a cliff overlooking the Catskill Creek, a year-round wonder of waterfalls and pristine swimming holes. Saturday morning yoga and kayaking are offered as well as the services of a personal chef who can prepare meals for guests using produce from the resort garden. New this year is a Wellness Tent, featuring massage services and a private cedar soaking tub; an Arts and Crafts Studio in an Airstream travel trailer, where kids and adults can work with an instructor to create one-of-a-kind vacation souvenirs; and an inground pool, heated to 92 degrees. The resort is also dog-friendly and features a dog park. Think Tiny! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/01/19 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Ritz Carlton Yachts to Debut February 2020

If you like the comfort and service of staying at one of the Ritz-Carlton properties around the world, you’ll want to know that the company is unveiling the first of three Ritz Carlton yachts next February in the Caribbean. Each yacht will feature 149 suites, each with its own private terrace, and all cruises will include shore excursions, food and wine. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection shore excursions will have five distinct categories: Iconic Sights; Stirring the Senses; Cultural Connections; Active Explorations; and Epicurean Experiences. Itineraries will head to Barbados, Bequia, and Curacao in the winter months. Then on the finest Mediterranean ports come spring and summer, including Majorca, Monte Carlo, Venice, and the Greek Islands. Please contact ActiveTravels for availability, pricing, and shipboard credit for spa treatments we receive through Virtuoso

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/30/19 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, April 29, 2019

The Only Way to See a Red Sox Game

Located in the heart of Kenmore Square, within easy walking distance of Fenway Park, it’s no surprise that Hotel Commonwealth is the official hotel of the Boston Red Sox. This summer, the property is celebrating last year’s World Series win with a celebratory Championship Package. Starting at $599 a night, you’ll receive an overnight stay in the Fenway Park Suite overlooking the iconic ballpark, two grandstand tickets to see the Red Sox at Fenway Park, a personalized scoreboard message shown on the Fenway Park scoreboard, $50 Red Sox team store gift card for official gear, replica 2018 World Series ring, Duck Boat ride for 2 people, customized Boston Red Sox ski goggles by Optic Nerve, a bottle of champagne, and cupcakes. Please contact ActiveTravels to check availability. 

 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/29/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, April 26, 2019

St. Lucia’s BodyHoliday Offers Three Yoga Retreats

St. Lucia wellness resort BodyHoliday, one of my favorite properties in the Caribbean, has unveiled the year’s lineup of Yoga Retreats. The weeklong programs, all led by the property’s wellness advisor Hollie Bailey, will include a range of yoga and meditation workshops, as well as spa treatments, and a hands-on cooking class. Participants will meet with Bailey at the beginning of their stay, or talk with a BodyHoliday specialist beforehand if they want to maximize their time at the resort, to plan the retreat and tailor it to the them. During the week, guests can attend a yoga workshop or nutrition talk every day, with classes covering areas like hatha yoga, anapana meditation, vinyasa and more. Outside of these central classes, the Yoga Retreats provide sunrise and sunset yoga sessions and a daily spa treatment (yes, one massage a day). After the program ends, the resort will also provide post-retreat support. Dates for the Yoga Retreats are October 5-12, October 12-19, and December 14-21. The all-inclusive cost is $4,830 per person. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/26/19 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Bikers and Farmers Unite at Farm to Fork Fondos

When former professional cyclist Tyler Wren wanted to create an event that combines his love of biking with farming and exquisite scenery, he was inspired by the Italian “fondos,” celebratory rides where locals and farmers bike first, feast afterwards. He pulled it off first the summer of 2016 in Vermont to great success. Every year since, the popularity of these rides has grown. This summer, Wren is offering a full slate of Farm to Fork Fondos, including stops in the Hudson River Valley, Vermont’s Champlain Islands, Finger Lakes, the Berkshires, Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Louisville, and Asheville. These one-day rambles are geared to the public, not professional bikers. Wren creates loops of 8-10, 25-35, 45-50, and 75-100 miles based on your abilities, with police presence to cut off road traffic. Simply choose your ride and get ready to stop at local farms along the way for a feast of fresh food. Most of the proceeds go to local charities. You can even sign up for dinners the night before where farmers talk about the satisfaction and challenges of their livelihood. But sign up soon because I expect these rides to sell out quickly. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/25/19 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Join the Festivities this Summer in Switzerland

Yesterday I talked about the slate of trips now being offered by Run the Alps. While we’re discussing that part of the world, I want to fill you in on what’s happening this summer in Switzerland from a recent luncheon I had in Boston with old friends from Swiss Tourism. The big news is that Fête des Vignerons or the Winegrower’s Festival returns to the glorious Lake Geneva seaside town of Vevey from July 26 to August 11, 2019. This event only occurs once every 20 years! Join singers, dancers, wine experts, and loads of other performers for the extravaganza. Elton John, Sting, Quincy Jones, Slash, and Chick Corea are a just a handful of renowned performers appearing at the Montreux Jazz Festival June 28 to July 13. And from September 20-22, Roger Federer will get to compete in front of the home crowd along with Rafael Nadal, when the Laver Cup comes to Geneva. The Swiss know how to have a good time! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/24/19 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Run the Alps Offers New Slate of Trips This Summer

Doug Mayer, founder of Run the Alps, one of the premier running outfitters in the world, sent me his list of 2019 trips this week. These sell out quickly, with many returning guests, so if there’s a trip you like, don’t wait too long to book. In Chamonix, France, even the Mayor is an ultrarunner. The famed alpine town at the base of Mont Blanc is also the world epicenter of trail running. Join Run the Alps for a week of running here (June 24-31), which includes a stop at breathtaking Courmayeur, Italy, and the chance to take part in the Cross du Mont Blanc, one of the oldest trail races in the Alps. Their itinerary running the iconic Berner Oberland route still has openings July 21-27. In Zermatt and Grindelwald, Run the Alps has revised their itineraries to fit a variety of trail running abilities. They’ve also secured entries into the Eiger and Ultraks trail race series, with races including distances of 10, 30, 50 and 101 km, if you’d like to take part in an Alps trail race. Who wouldn’t want to run with the Matterhorn as your backdrop? 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/23/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, April 19, 2019

Seven Trips to Try, Quick Escape to Porto in ActiveTravels April Newsletter

Every March or early April, Lisa and I go to an annual 4-day travel conference arranged by our fantastic host agency, Largay Travel, the gateway to all those Virtuoso amenities clients receive including complimentary hotel room upgrades and breakfasts, shipboard credit on cruises, spa treatment freebies, meals, and much more. Largay celebrated 50 years in the industry at the latest bash, so all the finest hoteliers and suppliers came out to introduce themselves in 15-minute meetings throughout the event. In this month’s ActiveTravels newsletter, we present the trips that left us most excited from the event, including seeing the monarch butterfly migration with Natural Habitat Adventures, a South African safari on a budget, and active yoga trips with Backroads. April is also a wonderful time to visit Portugal, especially Porto, with its excellent restaurants and port wine tastings on the banks of the Douro River. Please have a look! 

 
Have a Happy Easter and Happy Passover! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/19/19 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Fiesta Time in San Antonio

In 1891, the city of San Antonio held a single parade to honor Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and the other heroes of the Alamo and the battle of San Jacinto. Fiesta has since grown into a 10-day event starting today that features live music, art fairs, and a slew of parades including The Texas Cavaliers River Parade. I had the good fortune of going to Fiesta in 2012. As soon as my flight landed, I took a taxi to Market Square, the largest mercado north of Mexico to take in the festivities with the crowds. There were bands playing, churros cooking, and a frenzied crowd dancing and drinking margaritas under the hot sun. I made my way to Mi Tierra, a beloved Mexican restaurant on the square since 1941, found a seat next to the mariachi band and ordered enchiladas with a sweet and spicy mole sauce. One bite and I was happy to be back in town. Stay in my favorite neighborhood in the city, The Pearl. Home to the San Antonio branch of the Culinary Institute of America, James Beard award-winning restaurants, and a chic boutique hotel built from the remnants of the Pearl Brewery called Hotel Emma. The hotel is featuring a Viva Fiesta package that includes a half bottle of Moët & Chandon, smoked salmon toast with avocado and caviar, and two Hotel Emma Fiesta medals upon arrival. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/18/19 at 06:00 AM
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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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