Shermans Travel » Blog » Romance
Hot summer nights inspire a desire for ice-cold libations served in romantic surroundings – and several of New York City’s top hotels are offering cocktail programs that couples can sip and savor. From aged and distilled spirits to distinctive microbrews to honey-inspired creations, these four very distinct venues are serving up an intoxicating taste of summer.
Artful Sips at The Palace: Inspired by the summer-long installation of Dorit Levinstein’s vibrant “Studying the Masters” sculpture in its courtyard, the Palace Gate outdoor lounge at The New York Palace has created “Renoir’s Dancers,” a cool libation of Bulldog Gin, St. Germain, lemon juice, white cranberry and spoonfuls of red, blue and green basil seeds (shown above at left, $20), which is designed to capture the color and energy of Levinstein’s work. If the weather is not cooperating, you can also be dazzled by the 14-karat decadence of the hotel’s Gilt Bar (formerly the Villard Mansion Music Room featuring ornate circa-1884 walls and doors). Read more
Yes, there are balconies at Palazzo Victoria, the recently opened 71-room luxury hotel in Verona, Italy, the city famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s enduringly romantic Romeo & Juliet. Located in northern Italy’s Veneto region, about halfway between Venice and Milan, Verona is a wonderful spot to spend a night or two absorbing the literary legacy of the Capulets and Montagues (said to be inspired by actual families and a real young couple – read on for details) as well as a revolving calendar of operas and concerts in the striking Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheater that dates to the 1st century.
Couples headed to the Big Island of Hawaii have an intimate new accommodation option to consider: Lava Lava Beach Club. The property, which opened its doors in early June, features just four beachfront cottages located along Anaeho’omalu Bay near Waikoloa Beach Resort on the sunny Kohala Coast, making it a smaller and more laidback alternative to some of the island’s well-established resorts. Set on 10 acres, the 576-square-foot cottages are designed and decorated in a contemporary Hawaiian style – with vibrant yet sophisticated fabrics and sliding glass doors opening onto a private lanai with teak furniture.
Developed by the team that owns Huggo’s restaurant and On the Rocks beach bar in Kailua-Kona, Lava Lava Beach Club mixes the four cottages – named Kahakai (Hawaiian for beach or seashore), Moana (ocean), Nalu (wave or surf) and Wa’a (canoe) – with a restaurant and private event lawn. Waikoloa Beach Resort features two golf courses as well as two shopping centers with grocery stores and restaurants.
Don’t tell my scale. A little over two weeks ago, I was enthusiastically taste testing my way through the 10 restaurants onboard Oceania Riviera (one of our Top 10 Cruises in 2012), the brand new 1,250-passenger upper premium ship that was christened in Barcelona, a foodie-friendly city if ever there was one! Also a perfect match: the ship’s fit and elegant godmother, Iron Chef Cat Cora (shown at left), who took time from promoting her new Bravo series Around the World in 80 Plates to help break a bottle of bubbly against Riviera’s sparkling white hull just before we set sail for molto magnifico Venice. As I sipped and savored my way around the ship, sampling everything from foie gras with artichoke puree to lobster pad Thai – not to mention whipping up my own flaky scones and fluffy zucchini-and-mint frittata in the Bon Appétit Culinary Center – I began to question whether I love cruising more for the alluring and ever changing ports of call or for the indulgent, food-centric focus of many new ships. Read on to find out whether culture or cuisine won out.
Venice is one of my favorite places (I just returned from my 8th visit), but trying to figure out where to stay in this romantic maze of 117 islands and 409 bridges can be frustrating. There are so many options – this small city of 60,000 residents has several hundred hotels to cater to its estimated 15 million-plus annual visitors – it can make your head spin. Over the years, I have sampled about a dozen properties and here are five of my top picks that offer a terrific mix of location, service, and amenities – and range in price from about $150/night to $579/night.
I’m getting married in less than three weeks [hold for applause]. It’s a destination wedding, which probably merits its own blog post at some point. However, since wedding planning has rendered me unable to put together a string of coherent thoughts, it’s best if I focus on the honeymoon in this post since, well, that’s way less stressful.
Selecting a honeymoon destination requires looking at the trip from several different angles. As you begin to discuss where to decompress after months spent selecting tablecloths and entrée choices, you want to make sure you reach the decision that makes both of you happy. Ultimately, there are only three types of honeymoons. Once you pick which is right for you, the decisions get a lot easier. Read more
There’s nothing like 3,500-year-old frescoes and 1,000-year-old cathedrals to put 50 years of life or 30 years of marriage into perspective – both are a mere heartbeat in the history of humanity. If you’re the kind of traveler who lives your life forever looking forward, but are entranced by the past, you may want to consider a cruise with Voyages to Antiquity. This two-year-old company offers a variety of 14- to 33-day itineraries in the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Aegean (through late October) and Asia (November to March and featuring nine new itineraries). What differentiates VTA from other cruise lines is its laser-like focus on ancient cultures explored via extended voyages with lyrical names like “The Light of Greece” and “Those Who Seek Paradise.”
If you’re looking for a break on a luxury getaway over the next several months, here are three great spending credit offers – from a $1,500 air credit to a $200-a-day spa credit – in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Florida:
Four Seasons Resort Nevis: If you’re in the mood for a Caribbean escape, consider a stay at the 196-room Four Seasons Resort Nevis (shown at left), which is fresh from a December 2010 renovation and features a world-class golf course, four restaurants, and a serene spa. Book five nights in a Deluxe Oceanside or Deluxe Oceanview Room or a Plantation Suite, Ocean Suite, or Luxury Suite and you’ll get a $1,000 air credit (applied to your bill at check out). Book a Villa and the credit is $1,500. Rates start at $545/night.
A day trip to Oia certainly inspires oohs and ahs. But only by sleeping here, in the Greek Islands’ most iconic locale, can you really understand the true psyche of the Cycladic islands – the brilliant sunlight, the sensual sunsets, the braying donkeys, the mellifluous church bells, the hushed laughter, the tipsy footsteps, and the silence. Once the cruise ships are gone, this gravity-defying hodgepodge of whitewashed traditional houses, clinging to steep cliffs that tumble down to an ancient caldera filled with the deep blue Aegean, truly becomes one of the most mesmerizing spots on the planet. As a result, it’s chock full of luxury resorts commanding upwards of $700 per night in season. On a recent visit, I opted to think small and stay in an intimate and affordable three-room inn set on one of the town’s most enviable perches: 1864 The Sea Captain’s House.
Mother’s Day will be here on May 13 (you’re welcome, mark your calendar), which means that restaurants will be jammed to the rafters that Sunday with moms being dined by kids and spouses trying to compensate for 364 days of bad behavior.
My harshness is tongue in cheek, of course, but there really is a better way to celebrate mom and have a less stressful meal, too. If you’re mulling a last-minute escape with that special mother in your life, there are few good packages worth your attention.
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