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Friday, 01 November 2019 17:36

A Holiday Haven Haven Riviera Cancun

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By Karen Holly Berliner

This holiday season rather than saying yes to make your family and friends happy, why not run away from home and make yourself happy? ---And run away to riviera Cancun, if you do.

To Haven.
Picture this: You escape the usual holiday madness as you fly towards Cancun Mexico, your chosen tropical destination in paradise. You are truly longing for this; you can almost feel the sun on your back and hear the crunch of the sand between your toes like finely ground sugar. You daydream without inhibition, of dancing in the moonlight to salsa and Mariachi strains. You can just about taste the Mexican mixology drinks and tall fruity cocktails, generously laced with tequila if you please.

holiday02Before long, you will begin to make out the scenery below the clouds. Situated on the coast of Mexico, between Cancun and riviera Maya, an adults-only haven awaits you. Haven riviera Cancun is a mem- ber of Preferred Hotels and resorts L.V.X. Collection - a collection of high end properties featuring fine accommodations hosting with top notch personal service.

With 333 guestrooms, 88 swim-out suites, all with ocean views from private terraces, king-size beds, a personalized mini-bar, Nespresso machines, concierge services and 24-hour room and butler service, picture décor throughout the resort, rich in modern Mexican design, complimented with pops of vibrant color and fabric. to take it up a notch further, upgrade to Haven’s Serenity Club and enjoy an expedited check-in, exclusive lounge areas, an in-room aromatherapy menu, mini bar, premium pillow menu, sleep well kit, and daily alfresco à la carte breakfast options. Add complimentary access to the water journey experience at the on-site spa and pool circuit and one complimentary snorkel tour per person and you have it all at your disposal.

If you crave a little holiday pampering, MySenses Spa is their onsite sprawling sanctuary offering tranquility, wellness and the promotion of experiences with finely honed and custom therapies mindful of Ma- yan healing philosophies which all combine to create a unique experience of well being.

The water journey experience is a must, featuring a sauna, a high-density Hamman style steam room with a Herbarium Sensation shower, a luxurious ice fountain, a cold mist shower, a pressure shower for chromotherapy, a refreshing cold water plunge pool and a whirlpool Jacuzzi.

Spend the day at the pool and on the beach. Go for a refreshing swim in the infinity swimming pool, with ocean views and a swim up bar or the other large lake like pool, also with a swim up bar and loads of swimming and relax- ing space. Located at the resort’s expansive pools, both feature swim-up seat- ing as well as shaded outdoor seating and serves tall icy drinks, beer and wine.

Indulge at the on-site eateries and find everything from fine-dining overlook- ing ocean views to light bite casual fare. With a variety of international dining spots, restaurants ranging from fine dining experiences to a Beach Stand, the restaurants at Haven riviera Cancun pay homage to the Mexican Caribbean and the in international dining scene.
Acclaimed among the best golf courses in Latin America Cancun Country Club and its El tinto golf course, just ten minutes from Haven riviera Can- cun, tee times are subject to availability and must be arranged with the Golf Concierge at the hotel.

Feeling restless?
Venture to nearby destinations like Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres or Cozumel. Enjoy activities such as tennis, yoga, beach volleyball, ping- pong and water aerobics. Explore mangrove natural walkways, jogging and bike trails.

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Gladys Dines at Haven Riviera Cancun

FLAVOURS Enter this delightful indoor/outdoor dining spot and find an extravagant and tasty buffet in a casual, unique and comfortable setting. Enjoy stations overflowing with seafood, meat, poultry, vegetable dishes, fruits, cheeses and an authentic Tortillery to add Mexican spice. Pair with a wide selection of wines and decadent desserts. Make sure to sample the massive mountain of seafood on ice. Decadent!

AGUA BENDITA A contemporary blend of traditional Mexican cuisine with a classic steak house twist, showcasing steaks, chops and specialty cuts along with the bold flavors of Mexico, such as the signature hand- made tortillas. The Cowboy Ribeye makes for a feast!

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OLIOS A fine Mediterranean restaurant with an emphasis on the land and the sea, this restaurant offers special Chef’s Tables dishes, featuring a gourmet tasting menu, thanks to the mega talented chef at the helm.

VORA MAR As you enter this dining spot, you’ll be immediately awed by the Basque charcoal grill and a Baja Med Kitchen, offering a perfect fusion of Mediterranean and Baja California dishes. If you’re crav- ing something that isn’t from the grill, the cold kitchen is for you. Fresh fish and seafood is on display with clams, oysters, scallops, mussels and crab - all prepared to order. Dig in.

SATSU This Asian Fusion restaurant hosts from an open kitchen format, featuring, sushi and sashimi, its Robata Grill offering charcoal-grilled small plates, aromatic Thai dishes and a traditional Teppanyaki station showcasing of Japanese food.

VISTAS SNACK BAR Enjoy a casual poolside meal, featuring contemporary small plates.

MISTRAL Perfect for beach or poolside dining, Mistral is the casual spot to dine and take in the sights and sounds of the Mexican Carib- bean, an all sensory experience

MOCACCINO Mocaccino Deli offers casual snacks such as fresh handmade ice-cream, specialty coffee concoctions and sweet and savory pastries.

LIMES An American-style bar, choose from wide variety of international and local beers, wines and spirits and contemporary finger food. This bar features indoor and outdoor seating and is located next to the Agua Bendita Restaurant. While there, catch the perfect sunset, offered up by Mother Nature.

HAVENS LOUNGE The perfect place to start your evening or take a break from the midday sun, Havens Lounge serves refreshing beverages throughout the day and evening with a choice of comfortable indoor or outdoor seating.

MOONS This nightclub is a great night finale, offering cocktails and entertainment in a vibrant, neon-infused, cabaret comes, 5 nights a week with electrifying stage shows, live music and comedians to name a few. Stay after and dance to select music via the DJ. For special occasions Moons also features two fully private VIP areas with personalized service.

 

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TRAVEL & DINING

Plunked directly on Clearwater Beach, the best named beach in the country and joining forces with its beautiful sister prop­erty Sandpearl Resort, this contemporary IS-story curved structure offers panoramic views of the vibrant Gulf of Mexico from each of its 230 beachfront rooms, all adorned with private balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows for optimal views. Accommodations and common spaces offer a fresh, sleek atmosphere with a coastal­inspired color palette, wood accents and mixed textures expressed about the property. Add to this artwork, commissioned from talented Floridian artists displayed throughout the property, a refreshing ze­ro-entry pool, a full service pic2luxury spa, a state of the art fitness center, a refreshment nook on every floor and multiple dining options and you have an upscale beach getaway offering all that your heart de­sires. With a flat-screen TV and a pillow-top bed, expect comfort and easy living. Take in the view from your balcony as you breathe in the fresh natural scents of land and sea. Enjoy your wet bar and a variety of kitchen amenities like a mini-fridge, an electric cooking range, a dishwasher and a microwave. The well-appointed master bedroom connects to a grand master bath with a large shower and garden tub, along with a separate half-bath just off of the main guest room. Relax at the zero-entry pool, poolside cabanas and full-service Opal Spa. Enjoy a cocktail poolside or take a refreshing swim.

Getting restless?

The award-winning Clearwater Beach provides guests with a charm­ing beach town environment, home to local eateries and shops, Pier 60, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, water sports and boating, parks, art and cultural outposts.

RESORT DINING

Sea-Guini

Enjoy fresh seafood-centric dining with a delightful Italian influence. This restaurant invites with its soothing decor and charming servers who are geared to satisfying you from start to sweet tooth finish! The menu here offers choices for any discerning palette with delicious op­tions such as the Baked Artichoke Fonduta; baked artichokes slath­ered in creamy fontina and ricotta cheese and topped with melted tomatoes, fresh herbs and hearth flatbread or the Crab and Avocado; layered lump crab meat with creamy avocado mousse, cucumber, red onion, peppers and mango vinaigrette. Start with the decadent Lob­ster Bisque, loaded with sweet lobster chunks in a rich lobster and sherry cream soup. For something a bit heartier, choose the Rustica Pizza with roasted foraged mushrooms, asiago, mozzarella and ricot­ta cheeses and white truffle essence all topped with balsamic dressed baby arugula. The Linguine Vongole is a favorite, loaded with fresh clams steamed in fragrant pinot grigio, toasted garlic, chili flakes, sweet heirloom tomato, and fresh herbs, all tossed with house crafted linguine. The pan-seared hogfish showcases local hogfish roasted with Florida corn broth, sweet gulf shrimp, smokehouse bacon and po­tato hash with roasted fresh cauliflower. For dessert, the Bananas Foster Cheesecake features a vanilla bean sugar cookie and burnt banana, while the Key Lime Creme Bnllee is consistently scrumptious.

SANDBAR

In the mood for a casual bite to eat? Enjoy sandwiches, tacos and seafood specialties and wash it all down with a tropical cocktail at their beach­front tiki bar.

MARINA CANTINA

Take in the marina vibe while watching the boats cruise by at Marina Cantina and enjoy a fusion of Florida and Mexican cuisine.

OPAL Spa

Indulge and treat yourself to a luxurious spa treatment at OPAL Spa, where facials, massages, scrubs and medi-spa options, like derma-peels are all of­fered. Try their Signature Body Renewal Treatment; a ritual that starts with a dry skin brushing followed by a gentle exfoliation using a scrub enhanced with essential oils, then finished with an application of body serum, oil and cream in a full body massage or if you prefer, the Signature Facial Radiance, a facial using the latest anti-aging technologies for increased firmness, elas-

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EDITOR'S CHOICES:

The Detox- A detoxifying program that promotes the appearance of toned and firm skin while drawing out impurities. Expect a full body wrap, re-mineralizing thermal waters with active ingredients enveloped in a cocooning mask and The Scrub; a sensory focused fusion of tex­tures, beginning with a vigorous renewing scrub ritual and concluding with an application of creamy body butter. The Stone showcases smooth warm basalt stones, which bring increased circulation and relief to sore muscles. Careful stone placement combined with soothing massage and touch, uses these stones as therapeutic tools and encourages a sense of bliss and peace.

OPAL PAWS for your canine companion:

The Opal Sands Resort welcomes dogs who are 30 pounds or under. Upon arrival at the resort, expect a gift bag outfitted with waste bags and dental stick treats to ensure your furry friend has everything he needs for a chic stay. Guests bringing canine companions will also be outfitted with a plush Opal Paws dog mat and food and water bowls to ensure your dog's vacation is sublime!

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Thursday, 31 January 2019 15:03

Italian Love Affair

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Italian Love Affair

A Search for the Genesis of Love

by Scott Harris

The words love & Italy go hand in hand, like two lovers storing into each other's sensual depths, anticipating their first embrace. Italians will tell you love is not an emotion or a need; it's a fuel that powers their existence on a cellular level. I recently experienced the Italian umami SPARK as I first stepped foot on the same clay soil thrown to cast bricks that built their empire. Perhaps it was the combination of the Italian prosecco and espresso, but as you open your proclivities, you suddenly feel as if you triggered a sixth sense so deep, your soul is evolving.

 

Before my pilgrimage, I associated Italy with Gucci & Armani, spaghetti & meatballs, but what about the Italian geniuses such as Leonardo do Vinci & Michelangelo, and their romantic, passionate interludes with architecture and ort? I was naive in my understanding of how deeply a relatively small country's people defined and impacted our world's history and culture. Is LOVE the responsible party for what bred their early enlightenment?

 

As a master builder and an architectural designer, creating a romantic HOME is how I spell LOVE. While for many, fashion and design is a language to express their flavor of LOVE, for others, they ore simply just guided by LOVE. What occurred to me as I walked these chiseled cobblestone streets, perhaps there is an obvious common thread that connects all things. Is this thread LOVE, or as the Italian's call it, AMORE? I had to test this theory and paused to think of my most memorable and inspirational account of love.

 

Italian Love Affair pic2A FATHER'S LOVE created the Duomo

In Florence, resides an iconic and unforgettable brick structure rising high above all else, atop the Florence Cathedral, known as 'Brunelleschi's Dome.' Its history dating back to the year 1,296 AD., with the greatest builders gather­ing to construct a church so grand that they looked for god's divinity to deliver the knowledge needed to complete their dome.

Italian Love Affair pic1Fast-forward to 1,418 AD, a public competition was created to find their 'King Arthur' to guide them to complete the dome on their open-air church. A local civil servant had a young son trained as a master metal smith, named Filippo Brunelleschi. His father believed in, and loved Filippo so greatly that he con­vinced him to enter the competition; telling him he would WIN and forever change the world.

Pre-Brunelleschi, buildings were created from scaled models. He went on to change the world and created an order of drawings that we refer to now as modern architecture for which he is forever known as the 'Godfather of Archi­tecture.' He also developed the mechanics to create perspective drawings through the use of vanishing points that become a foundation for all modern ort. His other accomplishments ore too numerous to list, but through a father's LOVE, a young man had a "profound and unanticipated influence on the rise of our modern sciences."The town's wisest elders, along with Filippo, were given a single uncooked egg and block of marble. The winner would be able to stand their egg upright on the marble without the use of tools or props. While the most accomplished tried various technics of balancing the egg, Brunelleschi who grew up on a form, TAPPED the top of the egg where he knew the air pocket hid. It stood perfectly on end! The challengers said "Hey .. that's not fair. You can't do that!" Brunelleschi said proudly, "But I did it! And, while I was the first to think of this, I also will be the FIRST to guide this great city to build their dome." And so he did.

Italian Love Affair pic3So, perhaps love is their connective tissue, but then I recalled my visit to see the works of the great Italian architect Corio Scarpa and questioned if there was really any love in his work, or perhaps it was quite the opposite?

When I first saw Carlo's creations, it was mind-boggling; I couldn't tell if he was influenced by primitive Mayans, or an extraterrestrial life form. Every move is seductive, deliberate, but equally unexpected. There is no center. There is no explained rhythm, but the rhythms he uses, become mesmerizing. The only clue you ore given, what is expected, he will refrain from and taunt you with the beginning of something familiar. Just as you understand what he is doing, he will move away, and then back again, but left this time.

Italian Love Affair pic4When do we try to keep someone guessing and equally capture them? The answer was clear. When we are enmeshed in the pursuit of a passionate love affair. In the throes of the seduction, like the perfect kiss, locking eyes, feeling their breath stutter, knowing it's imminent, yet they pull back, lightly grazing the nape of your neck, gently brushing their lips across your forehead, and then pull away again. This is how I would describe Carlo Scarpa's architectural work.

Carlo was able to take LOVE and weave it through his creations to translating a perfect love affair into his structures. What a gift I had to start to understand that what LOVE in Italy is! It's playing with the unknowns, attempting what others have feared to try, believing in our family, but how far back does this practice date?

Italian Love Affair pic5CASTLES Cast by Love

Before traveling to Italy, I first experienced Prada and Versace, as I walked the Citadel, an outlet mall adjacent to Interstate 5. I was fortunate on this trip to be able to experience true history, live, as I breathed in, and touched the true castle appropriately called, 'Cittadella of Alessandria', one of the most well preserved castle walls throughout Europe where the first modern Italian flag was raised. Its city-founding dates back 5,000 years and just shy of 800 years prior, millions of handmade bricks created the walls I was now stand­ing on. To better understand the magnitude of these castle walls, you have toabsorb that it takes nearly one hour to walk the perimeter of this ancient city still flourishing today.

I thought castles only existed in Hollywood movies, but I realized a castle wasn't a castle as I've been shown; it was a wall, or a fortress to an inner city. The beautiful undulations at the wall tops that I've tried to emulate in my buildings were not created for architectural beauty; they were designed to allow the defenders to take cover, while simultaneously catapulting their most advanced weapons from the adjacent openings. For the first moment, halfway through my life, I understood where the term "evil" came from when referring to the "medieval" period.

Italian Love Affair pic6So maybe love did not exist during the genesis of this great country and it was built on the backs of brutal, ironclad warriors? But then, when you see inside the castle walls, the most amazing family homes, cafes, businesses and small outdoor theatres that have stood for close to a thousand years, you realize that what built these walls was a LOVE for community, a LOVE for its people and a LOVE for peace.

So while it may appear that they were striving for independence, just as if you are trying to win someone over in love, you discover that while they may have histori­cally mighty walls rising, they want nothing more than a safe connection with you.

Italian Love Affair pic7From the rise of Rome, as they illuminated the Dark Ages, from sculptors to weavers, from designers to chefs, from mathematicians to physicists; Italy has clearly had one of the most profoundly transformative effects on our modern world. Their artisans all share one philosophy. They weave love fearlessly and passionately through their fabric of what they create in a way others feared to try. I have concluded that perhaps Italy is the original Garden of Eden where LOVE originated from, and while we all come upon the same serpent in our lives, I now better understand how to neutralize the serpent's words. I have been taught that if you allow it, LOVE does truly fuel our existence on a cellular level.

Grazie ltolio per avermi mostroto amore!

 

 

Friday, 21 December 2018 19:54

SLS Baha Mar

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See. Feel. Hear. Smell. Taste. Heal.


 

When vou step through the threshold of SLS Boho Mor, toke o deep breath, now exhale completelv and prepare to experience vour stov with senses, heightened.

Start with your vision.

SLS patioTake in the exterior of this sprawling property, as pink as a pretty Fla­mingo or a perfect Caribbean sunset, appointed by grounds painted in bold and vibrant blues, yellows and more pinks still, accented with clear turquoise waters and sugary white on white sand. Situated within the $4.2 billion Boho Mar resort complex in Nassau, SLS Boho Mar sits on pristine Cable Beach, known For its natural gifts of land and sea. Notice the pink and blue Food trucks peppered by the beach and the colorful huts, serving light bites and beverages such as icy cold daiquiris, slushy rose wine and Fresh conch. Now enter the hotel interior, visit your guest room and plunk down your luggage; maybe even plunk down yourself For a bit. Each of the 299 rooms here offer Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors with Juliette or Full balconies, showcasing picturesque ocean and resort views. Notice the SLS signature bedding, the Fun Bahamian-in­spired Furniture, the wall-mounted HDlVs and customized Ciel Reserve bath amenities. Take it all in with your eyes. The rest of your senses will tag along shortly.

SLS clubNow listen. Just listen.

Close your eyes and let the sounds take over. Notice the sounds of na­ture, of laughter, of life. Hear the clinking of champagne glasses toast­ing, or the gentle and hypnotic lull of the sea. Allow For no distractions.

Next, let yourself feel and touch.

SLS Boho Mar Features two large pools: the Bungalow Pool Bar & Grill, a chic retreat with pool side cabanas, impeccable service and a restaurant and bar while Privilege the day beach club, has a DJ spinning good vibe music and beats on weekends. Guests can enjoy private cabanas and countless perks such as poolside bottle and personal concierge service. Encouraging more of an adult vibe, also Featured here are day beds For perhaps a guilt Free catnap, along with inflatables and private villas to rent For the day. Also known For its weekend pool parties with cham­pagne bottle service presentations, get into the social scene and take a plunge into the refreshing water apres sunbathing. Feel your body cool down to perfection.

Saving the best for last, take a whiff and have a taste.

KATSUYA BY STARCK

Teaming master sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi's contemporary take on Japa­nese cooking with Philippe Starch's smooth and sensual interior design, Katsuya's signature Miso-Marinated Black Cod and Waygu Tobanyaki are not to be missed. In addition, Katsuya's menu highlights include Yellowtail Sashimi with JalapeFio and an array of custom and inventive sushi delights. Katsuya's award-winning mixology program includes sig­nature cocktails like The Samurai with yuzu and ginger. Eat and drink to your senses content!

Fl'LIA BY MICHAEL SCHWARTZ

James Beard Award-Winning Chef Michael Schwartz offers authentic Ital­ian Food via hand-crafted artisanal baked goods and pasta. Start off with a crusty loaf presented with olive oil and Fresh snipped oregano. Next perhaps, the table-side tossed Caesar salad and the provincial pizza, aromatically baked in a wood-Fueled oven. After that, keep going. The Food is plentiful and absolutely no one is watching. Not a soul.

SLS banquetCLEO MEDITERRANEO

Award-winning Chef Danny Elmaleh showcases Eastern-Mediterranean cuisine with dishes brought From Greece, Turkey and Lebanon. The signature Falafel with Tahini Sauce is tasty, textural and savory. Cleo's shareable plates include mezzes, Flatbreads, kebabs, and Moroccan tagines, paired with handcrafted cocktails to please all palates.

CARNA

Coming in early 2019, this polished steakhouse will be a no-nonsense steak etc. dining spot with a carnivore-centric menu currently being de­veloped by celebrity butcher Dario Cecchini. Stay tuned and bring a rav­enous appetite.

SKYBAR

Coming soon SLS Boho Mar will debut Skybar, a sleek, 20th Floor rooftop lounge that's the first of its kind in the Caribbean. Skybar will offer DJ entertainment and Fresh craft cocktails. Imagine the sunsets.

MONKEY BAR

SLS Boho Mar's signature lobby bar is the resort's social center, offering an indoor whimsical piazza where guests can meet, greet and eat or simply sit and relax. Fun touches like gold chandeliers and candelabras, a recessed library alcove with a pool table and comfortable living room style seating makes For the perfect indoor spot. Monkey bar Features a menu of light bites along with the bar's selection of tasty craft cocktails or any concoction you dare them to conjure. Go on and take a chance.

BOND

Inspired by the most iconic nightclubs of Las Vegas, this l 0,000 square Foot venue Features a lush interior conceptualized by Lenny Kravitz's design house including a state-of-the-art sound system, LED ceilings, Full-service bars and VIP bottle service. Enjoy live jazz music, dance the night away or just enjoy till the wee hours.

Now, all of the senses in harmony. Spa offerings.

Overlooking the sparkling sea, ESPA offers spa services inspired by the Bahamas. Sense Spa by Rosewood Features an extensive menu of therapies and expert treatments in a luxurious and tran­quil environment.

Getting restless? From iconic international brands to one-of-a-kind island finds, shopping at Boho Mar is an experience that rivals all of the major cities worldwide. Shops such as BVLGARI, Tiffany & Co and Rolex open their doors and welcome you.

Golf and Tennis etc. etc.

Designed by legendary Jack Nicklaus, Royal Blue is the most ac­claimed golf course in Nassau, Featuring 18 holes set on a natu­rally evolving landscape. IF racquet sports are your passion, Boho Mar offers some of the most spectacular tennis courts in The Baha­mas, Featuring 9 surfaces. Pick up a game; attend a clinic or take in a private lesson.

IF lounging all day on the beach is not your thing, there are kay­aks, paddle boards, inflatables, and snorkel gear available.

On a natural Front, dedicated to the conservation and celebra­tion of nature, visit the on-site sanctuary which offers activities For nature lovers of every age-From unforgettable hands-on animal encounters to daily Feedings. This interactive area grants guests an unprecedented opportunity to behold the spectacle of wildlife in The Bahamas. Spend time with The Sanctuary's dedicated staff as they Feed sea turtles, nurse sharks, and more.

GET YOUR GAME ON

Here you will find the largest casino in the Caribbean with over 100,000 sq. ft. of gaming space Featuring over a thousand state­of-the-art slot machines, and 119 action-packed tables offering blackjack, baccarat, roulette, poker and more. Try your luck or live vicariously, grab a cocktail and just observe.

About Baha Mar

The beachfront destination includes three global brand operators - Grand Hyatt, SLS, and Rosewood - with over 2,300 rooms. Additional amenities include 40 restaurants and lounges, the largest casino in the Caribbean with over 100,000 sq. ft. of gaming space, 200,000 sq. ft., 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Golf Course and Golf Club, First ESPA Flagship spa in the Caribbean, and over 30 luxury retail outlets.

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