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Maldives Hotels / Viceroy Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Excursions / Hotel Activities / → All Tags
You learn something new every day. And today, we're learning that Manta Ray Season has officially begun in the Maldives. And at The Viceroy Maldives you can spy on the Manta Rays as they get "cleaned up" on the coral reefs around the resort. Don't worry, you won't have to put on rubber gloves to get involved.
Manta Rays descend on the coral reefs in the Maldives to be cleaned by little "cleaner fish." Here's how the process works, according to Best Dives Maldives which operates the Viceroy's dive center:
A manta pulls up to the reef and either open its mouth wide or positions its body in a special way that signals it would like a cleaning. Then the fish get to work cleaning the plankton from the manta ray's gills and mouth and other parts of the body. #NowYouKnow
Rate at the Viceroy vary depending on the length of stay and how many people are in the room but you can budget at least $800 a night for a stay here. A single-person dive at the dive center is about $110 but there are snorkeling options available too.
[Photo: Best Dives Maldives]
Hotel Activities / Hotel Art / For the Sake of Hotel Art / Mexico Hotels / Hotel Rooftops / Hotel Amenities. Hotel Classes / → All Tags
Setting your sights on Mexico for your next far-flung adventure? Consider making your way down to Baja California Sur for a stay at Hotel Guaycura in Todos Santos.
Situated about an hour's drive from La Paz, the small village is surrounded by beauty, and the hotel itself offers quite a few appealing features—secluded beaches, a sky lounge, pool, spa, just to name a few—but one in particular that will appeal to those who like to get a little creative in their off time.
Guaycura is the first hotel in Latin America to feature a fully-equipped art studio, and local artists are on hand to teach their craft to guests staying at the hotel. Which is a great way to soak up some of the local culture, as well as feel like you've actually "done" something while on vacation.
Not to mention you'll have something (far) more interesting than a t-shirt to bring home to friends and relatives as a souvenir...
Travel is all about choice: do you splurge on a business class ticket, or settle in for a cozy ride in economy? Spend the morning on the beach or shopping in town? Or, better yet, go shopping first for a new bathing suit, which you can then wear on the beach?
Here's question for all you Caribbean jetsetters: on your next visit to Buccament Bay Spa & Resort, would you consider taking part in an all-inclusive boot camp program? Now, before you go diving under the covers picturing mean-faced drill sergeants screaming at you to do more push-ups than are humanly possible, just keep in mind this is actually a luxury boot camp. So while the goal is to work out, the parallel goal is also to pamper.
Hotel Fitness / Family Hotels / Kid Hotels / Loews Hotels / Santa Monica Hotels / Hotel Yoga / Hotel Gyms / Hotel Activities / → All Tags
Loews Santa Monica isn't about to let kids get away with saying "I'm booooored" during their stay. Through its brand new Fit For Fun wellness program, families wanting to get in a little exercise during their stay can choose from over a dozen outdoor activities offered at the iconic beachfront hotel.
Kids age five and up can try doing yoga on the beach, surfing in the Pacific Ocean, or hiking through the Santa Monica Mountains—they'll even get a taste for celebrity life in the "run from the paparazzi" jogging tour. Parents are of course encouraged to join in on the fun too, but the bulk of the activities are geared towards keeping kids fit and healthy.
As the hotel puts it, "Muscle Beach’s newest body builders are four-feet tall and weigh in at 46 lbs," which is probably true ever since word got out that one of the Jonas brothers likes to work out here too.
If you've been finding your recent hotel stays rather boring--check-in, order room service, sleep, repeat--then perhaps you need to stay at an Auberge Resort on your next vacation.
The luxury resort chain has just begun offering Auberge Adventures at several of their properties. These adventures are inspired by individual resort's local culture, natural environment and culinary traditions. And they are a thousand times better than a jogging map.
Take for instance, the adventure on offer at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff in the lowcountry of South Carolina---Alligator Tracking. For two hours, guests can tag along with researcher Kimberly Andrews as she uses radio telemetry to locate American Alligators. The adventure is actually part of on-going research at Palmetto Bluff, studying the uses of local habitat types and the influences of a changing landscape on alligator movement patterns.
Don't worry, the group will keep a safe distance from the alligators but it is recommended that you bring closed-toed walking shoes.
Trump Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Activities / Hotel Ice Skating / Hotel Deals / Twitter / → All Tags
We showed you yesterday how to click your way to an upgraded room view at Trump Soho. Now, here's a way to parlay your stay at Trump New York into a VIP ice skating session at the nearby Trump Wollman Rink in Central Park.
Guests of the hotel who call ahead will get whisked straight to the skate rental counter upon arrival, bypassing endless lines of whiny children, oblivious tourists and uninformed New Yorkers (we can say that because, as New Yorkers, we try to aim for more, um...time-efficient places to go ice skating). This makes a lot of sense to us. As long as it's in their power, why shouldn't Trump New York try to make things easier for parents attempting a family outing in below-freezing temperatures?
What's that, you say? You want the hotel to throw in free skate rentals too? Now, let's not get greedy...
New York has really cleaned up its act since the 80s, and the likelihood of getting mugged on the Upper East Side is pretty much slim to none. However! If you happen to be staying at The Mark New York, and are looking to beef up your self-defense skills, a good place to start might be the hotel's new martial arts and kickboxing studio, Punch Fitness Center.
The studio, which opened in November, and its owner, Adelino Da Costa, were profiled by the NY Times back in 2008 for introducing the world of boxing to the affluent Upper East Side neighborhood—and with great success. Now, Da Costa has set up on the hotel's second floor to offer his unique blend of Thai boxing, boxing, kickboxing and martial arts conditioning to guests whenever they want it.
Summer in the Caribbean. Every day's foreceast was the same: hot with a chance of thunderstorms. Of the four days we spent at Parrot Cay in Turks & Caicos, it rained just a little on three and a lot on the fourth.
We were lucky to enjoy gorgeous sunny mornings, and dramatic overcast skies that still let us swim at the beach and in the pool. Storms blew over quickly, and we were able to take cover under our beach umbrellas, at the poolside bar (bonus: rum punch and endless UB40!), or on our own balcony, where the view never got old.
Of course, at a resort as luxurious as this, there is always something to do while the tropics do their thing outside. Here are just some of the activities we dabbled during the daily downpours.
Clear skies above the Gran Meliá resort offer ideal conditions for stargazing
You say Ursa Major, I say Ursa Minor; let's call the whole thing off. Actually, don't, especially not if you're stargazing in Puerto Rico. The country's Gran Meliá resort is capitalizing on its remote location to push a vacation activity that Copernicus would have approved of: star spotting (and we're not talking the Hollywood variety) and astronomy lessons on the beach with an expert to point out everything from Cassiopeia to Orion, and everything in between.
Gran Meliá is a decidedly anti-urban resort that has largely built its reputation on being "green." Located a short drive away from San Juan, the hotel has banned motorized water sports, has trained staff to keep the beach pristine, and they have instituted a conservation program for said beaches. Without towering skyscrapers, apartment complexes, and city smog polluting (pun intended) sky views, spotting constellations is markedly easier than in San Juan proper.
This week, we’re venturing to the diving mecca of Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Located in the Southern Caribbean, it’s part of the ABC islands, the others being Aruba and Curaçao. We’re here for "Celebrate Our Planet" week, and so far, it’s been rife with underwater-related action. We were here to witness Karol Meyer break her free diving record attempt (she did at over 90 meters), took a spin through the Caribbean’s only super-high tech decompression chamber (very Star Trek-y), went on a fantastic snorkeling trip to Klein Bonaire via the Woodwind (saw Hawksbill turtles, green sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, squid and lots of parrot fish), and tomorrow, Dr. Sylvia Earle, world famous oceanographer, joins the mix.
Down on Tulum Beach in Mexico the La Zebra Beach Cantina & Cabanas are adding to their already established repertoire of having retro jungle vibes (and sometimes free tequila) by ramping up their onsite adventure activity sideline.
Combining transport, a workout and a lot of fun, La Zebra is offering guests the use of its special sand-bikes. The sand-bikes are specially geared and have extra fat tires so you can hit the beach in front of La Zebra and ride for miles (or until you want to turn back for more tequila).
And for more extreme adventurers, La Zebra has hooked up with a local kiteboarding school to offer lessons and equipment hire--apparently the wind situation makes this beach an ideal spot for kiteboarding year round.
And at the end of the day there are still plenty of chances to sample some local tequila (including regular Friday night tequila tasting parties) or to eat up a storm with Sunday's salsa fiesta pit roast grill meal. Must be something for everyone with all that mix.
· Retro Jungle Vibes and Free Tequila at La Zebra [HotelChatter]
· Hotels in Tulum [HotelChatter]
If lazing around by the pool or doing some casually calm snorkelling outside your water bungalow is not enough for you on a holiday in Fiji, the Sonaisali Island Resort reckon they have what it takes to keep you amused. With paintball, jetskiing and sports fishing already entrenched on their Adventure Sports activity list, they're now promoting their new dawn jetski "safari adventure".
Along with your Sonaisali Jet Ski Guide, you'll start of by motoring along to some of the best snorkelling places in Fiji; when you've been down below long enough, the guide will take you mountain climbing to get a view over all the islands. Or you can spend a half day surfing on some of the great waves of Fiji.
At the end of these kind of action-packed days then you definitely need a good bed to lay your head in. Air-con and ceiling fans turn up everywhere (definitely necessary), and the best relaxation comes in the beachfront spa bures, where you'll find a private spa on your balcony.
· Sonaisali Island Resort reviews [TripAdvisor]