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Mitch’s Travel: Spring on Calabash Cove Resort & Spa’s limited-time “Friends Share” referral promotion

Calabash Cove Resort and Spa, Saint Lucia, West Indies
Calabash Cove Resort and Spa, Saint Lucia, West Indies

Nestled on a gently sloping tropical hillside that gives way to a secluded, pristine beachfront on the northwest coast of Saint Lucia, luxurious Calabash Cove Resort & Spa is one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets. For a limited time, when you tell a friend about this heavenly hidden oasis and when they book their stay, you’ll each save 50% off our best available rates on your spring or summer escapes with the resort’s “Friends Share” referral promotion! The “Friends Share” referral discount applies to the accommodation rates only with a stay of three or more nights in a Swim-Up or Sunset Oceanview Jr. Suite, or five nights in one of the resort’s Water’s Edge Cottages. All stays at Calabash Cove include a full island breakfast served in the resort’s scenic Windsong Restaurant or the privacy of your balcony or patio overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

“This is one of the best promotions we’ve ever offered,” said Calabash Cove managing director Konrad Wagner in a news release.  “We so often hear from guests that they can’t wait to come back, so we want to help them make that happen and allow them to invite their friends to experience a thoroughly relaxing getaway in our little slice of paradise.”

The boutique hotel’s charming, beautifully appointed accommodations each offer spacious luxury and unparalleled ocean views from the privacy of your porch or balcony. Choose from handcrafted teak and mahogany Water’s Edge Cottages right on the beach, unique Swim-Up Suites and luxurious Sunset Ocean View Junior Suites. All accommodations feature private Jacuzzis and many offer private plunge pools, hammocks and outdoor rain showers. In addition to its spectacular accommodations and service, Calabash Cove offers world-class amenities such as a secluded white sand beach with a custom-designed boardwalk – perfect for a romantic sunset stroll.

The resort’s Carefree All-Inclusive plan is available as an add-on to the discounted promotion rate and includes all meals and beverages, daily specials, premium drinks, over 20 wines from the wine list, an in-room bar, room service with no delivery charges To take advantage of the “Friends Share” referral promotion immediately, both guests must book their stays for travel by Sept. 30, 2015. The stays must be linked with the promo code FnF50, but the stays do not need to be at the same time. With rates starting at $227 per couple per night in high season, booking this incredible once-in-a-lifetime deal is easy. For more information, contact 800-917-COVE (2683), email, or visit

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Mitch’s Travel: Bally’s Las Vegas set to host the first-ever World Food Championships on Nov. 1-4, 2012

The World Food Championships (WFC) announced today a partnership with Bally’s Las Vegas as the official host of the four-day food festival and cooking competition. Additional events will take place at Paris Las Vegas and Caesars Palace, all at the heart of the famed Las Vegas Strip. Television’s Adam Richman will play host to the festivities Nov. 1 through Nov. 4.The alliance will transform the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Boulevard into a food epicenter with unrivaled competition and culinary experiences, when food champions from across the United States will compete for fame and fortune.

With a total prize pot of $300,000, the World Food Championships will feature seven categories: BBQ, Chili, Burger, Sandwich, Recipe Championship, Side Dish and Chef’s Challenge. Each of the seven category competitions will take place at Bally’s Las Vegas on Nov. 2 and 3. Throughout the competitions, several People’s Choice and VIP opportunities will occur near the Strip and at Paris Las Vegas. On Nov. 4, the ultimate food battle, where each of the champions from the seven categories will go head-to-head for the main prize purse, will occur at a Final Table in front of the iconic Caesars Palace. This showdown will be judged by a panel of seven celebrity/culinary judges, including WFC spokesman Adam Richman, star of the Travel Channel’s “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America” and “Man v. Food: Nation,” and author of “America the Edible” and the upcoming “Quest for the Best.”

“The World Food Championships is unlike any culinary event Las Vegas has ever seen and we feel that Bally’s Las Vegas is the ideal location,” said Mike McCloud, president of Trybe Targeting, the company producing the four-day event. “WFC is the ultimate food showdown, and in a city known for world-class food and entertainment, there is no better place to host this event. “

“Bally’s Las Vegas is the perfect home for the inaugural World Food Championships,” said Jeffrey Frederick, vice president of food and beverage for Bally’s Las Vegas. “Right in the center of the Strip, Bally’s partnership with the World Food Championships will give guests the opportunity to taste a wide variety of America’s favorite dishes from amateur and professional chefs. The competition will transform a section of Las Vegas Boulevard, with events spread across three resorts, creating one of the largest food competitions this city has ever seen.”

For more information about events, opportunities or competitions at The World Food Championships, visit

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Mitch’s Travel: Halekulani Corp. forges alliance with Japan airlines

Halekulani Corp., which includes globally-acclaimed luxury resort Halekulani and Waikiki Parc Hotel, is pleased to announce an inspiring partnership with Japan’s premier air travel provider, Japan Airlines (JAL).  From June 1 to August 31, 2012, the alliance will extend the hotel’s renowned gracious hospitality and iconic services to flyers on the Narita – Honolulu route. Offering JAL’s discerning clients a taste of Halekulani Living, a unique lifestyle that is distinctly Halekulani and founded upon the core principles of Connoisseur, Wellness, Masterworks, and Legacy, this collaboration marks a new phase in the airline’s focus to extend a cultured experience and deliver a personalized service. The alliance builds upon Halekulani and JAL’s existing relationships with Japan’s legendary hotel group, Imperial Hotel, LTD of Tokyo. 
“The partnerships of Halekulani, Imperial Hotel and JAL offer a powerful fusion of legacy-based world class services that provides the discerning Japanese traveler with a fluid, harmonious experience in either or both locales,” said Peter Shaindlin, chief operating officer of Halekulani Corp. in a news release. “It’s about offering the best of both worlds to every guest: two iconic, luxury independent hotels, east and west, at your personal service from door to door.”
Halekulani’s three most popular signature drinks will be offered throughout the evening in JAL’s First Class Lounge and Sakura Lounge at Narita Airport. Each beverage perfectly captures the essence of the world-class hotel. A tropical cocktail, the Halekulani Sunset features fresh guava, pineapple, rum and orchid flower. The Halekulani Iced Tea is the ideal summer infusion with a hint of lime for a refreshing finish, while the Passion Fruit Iced Tea offers a dash of sweetness from passion fruit that instantly brings a taste of Hawaii. In addition, Halekulani’s iconic Coconut Cake, featuring custard cream and a handcrafted raspberry sauce with a sprinkling of fresh coconut shavings, will be offered in JAL’s Executive Class onboard its three daily Narita-Honolulu flights.
Furthermore, as part of the alliance, all travelers who make reservations on a JAL flight to Honolulu during the Halekulani Fair taking place at Imperial Hotel Tokyo until June 30 will receive access to the JAL Sakura Lounge at Narita Airport through August 31, 2012.
Halekulani, meaning “House Befitting Heaven,” is an oasis of luxury, fine cuisine and personalized service for travelers worldwide. The property’s highly acclaimed original cocktails, refreshing iced teas and signature coconut cake, served every day at the hotel’s historical House Without A Key outdoor lounge and at award-winning Orchids restaurant represent one of the many unparalleled experiences of Halekulani.
For additional details on the collaboration, please visit For additional information on Halekulani, go to
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Mitch’s Travel: TripSketch launches mobile, green travel planning guides

TripSketch Corporation, (, a recognized leader in Green Travel mobile applications and web-based trip planning tools, proudly announces the launch of TripSketch Regional Green Travel Guides, a suite of nine new apps for use on the iPhone and Android ( Building on the success of its award-winning Global Green Book mobile application, TripSketch’s new suite of Regional Green Travel Guides are unparalleled in their comprehensive, in-depth, professionally written coverage of eco-friendly and sustainable attractions, tours, restaurants, hotels, travel services and community social enterprises. TripSketch’s Regional Green Travel Guides include Northern Europe, France and Southern Europe, Central Europe, Canada, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, U.S. Northeast, U.S. West, U.S. Midwest, U.S. South and U.S. Southwest.

Understanding that travelers need cost-effective, instant and on-the-go access-anywhere applications to get the most out of their trips, TripSketch designed its Regional Green Travel Guides to be stored automatically on travelers’ mobile devices after download ‒ eliminating the need for Internet and WiFi access ‒ saving travelers the cost of Internet connections and roaming fees. As an added bonus, TripSketch includes “don’t miss” trip options that enable travelers to check off the most popular attractions from their travelitineraries in addition to making environmentally and socially conscious traveldecisions that fit their interests and lifestyles.
“TripSketch is committed to providing travelers with a high-value, convenient, eco-friendly travel experience,” says Lalitha Swart, TripSketch founder and CEO. “With our new suite of in-depth Regional Green Travel Guides, we have added robust features that make trip planning, mapping and calendaring even more convenient and useful for travelers who want to plan and enjoy enriching travelexperiences.”
Each of the nine TripSketch Regional Green Travel Guides features detailed coverage of six to twelve major cities yet cost less than most single-destination print guidebooks or city mobile applications. With the aim of providing travelers with more value-added features than standard print and mobile travel guides, TripSketch Regional Green Travel Guides include cost-saving anywhere access, helpful planning, mapping, scheduling tools and free updates as new activities and cities are added to the guides. 

TripSketch’s Regional Green Travel Guides are available for purchase for $1.99 or less for each mobile application at

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Vocalist Carol Welsman finds inspiration from world travels for album “Journey”

On her 10th recording, vocalist Carol Welsman invites her followers to tag along on a spirited yet intimate adventure. The vocalist explores 14 classic songs on Journey (Justin Time Records), all inspired by her lifelong love of traveling.
While jaunting from city to city can be somewhat draining for most people, Welsman enjoys the same sense of happy wanderlust that she had the first time she flew to Boston from her hometown of Toronto to attend the Berklee College of Music as a piano performance major. Since then, she has jazzed thousands of fans everywhere from Tokyo and New York to Italy and Brazil; lived for years in France, Italy and Los Angeles; and continues to be an iconic figure in her home country of Canada, where she has received five Juno nominations over the course of her 15-year recording career.
While her rich discography includes numerous acclaimed recordings showcasing her powerful skills as a songwriter, Journey follows in the tradition of Welsman’s previous thematic excursions, including Swing Ladies Swing! A Tribute to Singers of the Swing Era (1999), What’cha Got Cookin’, a set of jazzed up country standards produced by Pierre and Mary Cossette (2005), the Japan-released Benny Goodman tribute Memories of You (2008) and Welsman’s the tour de force I Like Men, Reflections of Miss Peggy Lee, which earned the singer her fifth Juno nod for Best Jazz Vocal Album of the Year in Canada and was named one of USA Today’s Top 5 albums of the year (alongside Barbra Streisand and Mark Knopfler) and #3 album of the year in Jazz Times.
Produced by Welsman’s longtime band members, guitarist Pierre Coté and drummer/percussionist Jimmy Branly, Journey also features Marc Rogers on bass and a guest spot by trumpeter Ron Di Lauroon “You Came a Long Way from St. Louis.”  Though most songs are sung in her native English, she draws on her fluency in French for “Volons Vers La Lune” (an exuberant, coolly swinging adaptation of “Fly Me to the Moon”) and the hauntingly eloquent “Si J’étais Un Homme,” and sings Portuguese throughout the first part of a spirited romp through Jobim’s “Samba De Avião.”

Beyond the compelling song list and Welsman’s unique interpretations, another fascinating element of this Journey is the fact that every tune was recorded in one or two takes, with the band recording 16 tracks in four days. Welsman prepared for the sessions with pre-production demos and, embodying the true essence of jazz, was open to changing course and improvising when the spirit of the song led the band in a different direction during the rehearsal session before recording. Her idea to drop the drums from “Route 66,” for instance, happened during the first run through the song in the recording studio.

“That’s the great thing about jazz, being open to making last-minute changes to make every song and arrangement flow just right,” says Welsman in a news release. “I wanted to play with the intimacy of the music, which means there could be a sudden change of attitude, as in ‘Never Make Your Move too Soon,’ which started out as a straight blues but seemed too forced that way. The result was that we were able to have a nice palette of colors with which to present this special array of songs. One of the key things was vibe. I didn’t want to be too over the top, but more on the quiet side so that you could put it on during dinner and then later it would lend itself to more detailed listening. Because we were drawing from so many sources and influences, I was amazed at the end that everything had an organic feel and was totally cohesive. All the themes connected as if we had somehow planned it that way. Dropping an instrument here and there definitely was part of the balanced approach we took.”

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Mitch’s Travel: TripAdvisor lists Namale Resort & Spa among best hotels in world

Namale Resort and Spa

For the second year in a row, Namale Resort & Spa has been named among the best hotels in the world in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards, reinforcing its place as a leader in overall hotel experience and spas in the Oceania Region. This year, Namale was named a Top 25 Hotel in the South Pacific and was included in the Top 5 for Relaxation & Spa Hotels in the South Pacific. The South Pacific line up for both awards was inclusive of properties in Australia and New Zealand.
Namale, the holiday getaway for celebrities such as Russell Crowe, Donna Karan and Meg Ryan (to name a few) is located on the edge of the Koro Sea in Savusavu, Fiji. The resort’s multi-award winning spa is set on a volcanic cliff near an opaque rain forest and offers each guest world-class treatments, ancient aromas, ocean views and a variety of luxurious reflexology techniques to relax and soothe.
TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards are based on the reviews and opinions of millions of travelers, and are awarded only to a very select and distinguished group of hotels. Last year, Namale was named the Best Hotel for Romance by TripAdvisor in their 2011 awards. Namale was also named one of the Top 50 Most Romantic Places on Earth by Luxury Magazine and received a mention in Spa Magazine’s 2011 Silver Sage Reader’s Choice Awards.
This year’s 10th annual Travelers’ Choice Awards honored properties around the world in 30 counties and 8 regions, including properties across Australia and New Zealand. This year’s list examined 3,943 properties in the following categories: best luxury and bargain; best service, best B&Bs and inns; best all-inclusive; best spa; and trendiest.
Offering 19 bures and villas of award-winning accommodations, along with 120 on-call staff members, Namale caters to anything their guests could ever need or want.  The five-star resort and spa sprawls over 525 acres of land that offers the idyllic backdrop for romance, unparalleled luxury, privacy and splendor that only begins to describe the way of life at this all inclusive resort.
Namale is also offering guests seven nights for the price of six if guests book to stay now through May 31, with additional perks starting April 1, 2012.
For more information on Namale, please visit
For the complete 2012 Travelers’ Choice list, go to

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Mitch’s Travel: DWTS champion Karina Smirnoff to headline ‘Cruising with the Stars’ in June

Karina Smirnoff

Karina Smirnoff, “Dancing with the Stars” celebrity dance pro and Season 13 champion, will join Cruising with the Stars, a new dance-focused fan cruise that launches June 3-10, 2012, from Los Angeles for a 7-day excursion to the Mexican Riviera, aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s ship The Splendor.  Ports of call are Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.
It’s truly a red carpet affair for this inaugural cruise from Cruising with the Stars, which headlines Smirnoff, who will be offering all levels of dance and fitness classes on board the ship and inviting both dancers and fans to join her for a full week of celebration following the upcoming DWTS Season 14 – including nightly CWTS cocktail and dance parties, personal Q&A and celeb photo sessions, excursions on shore, all culminating with a spectacular professional dance show.
On Cruising with the Stars, Smirnoff joins six of America’s champion professional dance instructors and performers such as Sharon Savoy and Mike Tuttle, Jamie Bayard and Bonnie Marie, and Enio Cordoba and Terryl Jones.

“Cruising with the Stars will set a new standard in dance cruise excursions.  Add the rare opportunity to join one of America’s hottest dance celebrities – DWTS’s Karina Smirnoff – for a full week of unmatched dance instruction and exhilarating performances, and it’s a formula for success,” said event organizer and hosts Sharon Savoy and Mike Tuttle in a news release.     
Smirnoff is especially looking forward to the time off to meet fans personally and work with dancers. In addition to the unprecedented nearly 60 hours of dance instruction offered on board ship, there will be a limited opportunity to take private lessons with Smirnoff, as well as the other master level instructors.
Cruising with the Stars is open to the general public, but cruisers should make reservations right away since the block of cabins are expected to book quickly.  Both dancer and non-dancer rates are available. To participate in the CWTS program and activities, all cabin reservations must be made through official travel agent Travel Themes And Dreams of Hallandale, Fla., at toll-free (800) 706-0049, at (786) 393-5854 for those outside of the USA, or online at
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Mitch’s Travel: LXR Resorts & Hotels in Florida offer kid-friendly winter escape

As the chilly weather sets in amid early predictions of a wet and slushy fall/winter season, warm and inviting temperatures await travelers in Florida – where sun-kissed beaches and value-added vacation packages make a winter escape accessible and affordable for everyone.
This year, LXR properties in Florida are giving travelers a reason to ditch their overcoats and enjoy the cold-weather season where the temperature is warm and the sun shines bright with their annual Winter Escape offer, which combines reasonable rates with family-friendly perks from the shores of Miami Beach to the sugary-white sands of Sanibel Island.
Offered at LXR’s Florida properties for travel from Nov. 1, 2011, through April 27, 2012, the Winter Escape offer requires a three-night minimum stay and includes a welcome gift upon check-in as well as a $75 resort credit per room. Travelers who stay four nights or more can enjoy a $100 resort credit. Resort credits can be used towards a variety of resort amenities and activities such as golf, dining, spa treatments, tennis and more. The best part of the offer? Kids 12 years and younger can “stuff their face” with free meals from restaurant children’s menus and buffets, all day, every day during their stay.
Participating LXR Florida properties include:
         Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa in the Walt DisneWorld Resort (Orlando) from $99 per night
         Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six (Fort Lauderdale) from $99 per night
         Miami Beach Resort (Miami Beach) from $89 per night
         South Seas Island Resort (Captiva) from $179 per night
         Sundial Beach & Golf Resort (Sanibel Island) from $149 per night
         Sanibel Inn (Sanibel Island) from $149 per night
         Sanibel Sunset Beach Resort (Sanibel Island) from $149 per night
         Seaside Inn (Sanibel Island) from $149 per night
         Song of the Sea (Sanibel Island) from $179 per night
For more information and reservations, call (888) 886-5111 or visit
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Condé Nast Traveler names Long Beach Lodge one of Canada’s Best Resorts

Long Beach Lodge Resort

With more than 270,000 votes tallied and 10,000 resorts, destinations, airlines and cruises reviewed, the results for the 24th annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are finally in. And named in the top three for Canada’s Best Resort is Vancouver Island’s own Long Beach Lodge Resort.

The awards, held last night, Oct. 10, in New York City, gave the highest achievement to King Pacific Lodge, a resort located on Princess Royal Island, British Columbia, that starts about $1,583 per night, with Emerald Lake Lodge, also located in BC, earning second place.  In fact, it was a great night for British Columbia, whose resorts filled the top five positions.
“There are great quality resorts in this part of the world so it is very exciting to us that the Readers have acknowledged Long Beach Lodge Resort in the top three,” said Perry Schmunk, general manager, Long Beach Lodge Resort in a news release. “We pride ourselves to be in this top three grouping delivering a great resort experience and, at the same time, offering it with great value with rates starting from $169 per night.”
Long Beach Lodge Resort is located in Cox Bay, located just 7 km south of Tofino in an area known for world-class surfing and storm watching. The property includes eight-acres of beachfront property, 41 lodge rooms and 20 cottages, a full-service dining room and lounge called The Great Room, a fitness facility called the Riptide Centre, a Surf Club Centre (new in April 2012) and an outdoor, covered barbeque area.
For more information about Long Beach Lodge Resort, visit To learn more about the annual Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, visit

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Mitch’s Travel: Patrons can book two nights and get a third night free at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa

Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa

Just in time for one last summer getaway, the AAA Four Diamond Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point, Calif., is offering all two-night reservations that book and actualize between now and August 31, 2011, a complimentary third night stay.
The epitome of oceanside elegance, the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa features the award-winning VUE restaurant, OverVue outdoor lounge and deck, and family-friendly activities including movie nights, the Kahuna Laguna Kids Club activity center and onsite Splash Zone.
This summer getaway package is valid for mid-week and weekend stays, with no blackout periods. For more information, or to book an oceanside getaway, those interested may visit or call (949) 661-5000 and use promotional code “BGS.”