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Thursday, 01 February 2024 00:33


Written by

Introduces New Luxury
Spa Experience in the
Heart of Tuscany

Casale I BIanchi

Castelfalfi, the five-star retreat nestled amongst the rolling hills of Tuscany, unveils the indulgent Castelfalfi Spa following extensive renovations across the 2,700-acre resort. This transformation marks a new era of wellness, relaxation, and unmatched luxury for guests seeking the ultimate escape in the heart of the Tuscan countryside featuring an exclusive wellness collaboration and luxury spa packages available.

The Castelfalfi Spa, a jewel nestled within the magnificent Castelfalfi, has undergone a complete overhaul combining centuries-old traditions with contemporary design to create a haven of tranquility and rejuvenation. Inspired by the natural beauty of Tuscany, the all-new Spa offers a seamless blend of timeless elegance, modern comfort, and rich cultural heritage. Featuring warm earthy tones and natural materials throughout, the Spa offers seven treatment rooms including a couple’s suite, two saunas, a steam room, a relaxation area, and an exceptional indoor/outdoor heated infinity pool with breathtaking views of the estate’s rolling hills. Guests will find themselves transported to a world of serenity as they step into this meticulously designed oasis. The Castelfalfi Spa menu can be found here.

Celebrating the Castelfalfi Spa opening, guests can enjoy an extensive treatment menu, ensuring a personalized wellness journey in complete harmony with the beautiful surroundings. In addition to anti-stress, revitalizing, toning, relaxing, and draining massages, treatments such as personalized facials, aromatherapy wraps, Himalayan salt-based massages, and exfoliation with Jojoba pearls are available.
Castelfalfi Spa introduces an exclusive collaboration with RAKxa Wellness Castelfalfi Spa introduces an exclusive collaboration with RAKxa Wellness Spa, to add a rebalancing element to the traditional Spa experience. Upholding RAKxa’s underlying principles of conserving, guarding, cherishing, and healing, the Spa aims to provide an experience beyond relaxation to rebalance. As the first European outpost for the renowned world-class integrative wellness retreat, guests will discover the incredible benefits of the famous brand, Castelfalfi exclusively. The Castelfalfi Spa menu includes three RAKxa Wellness Spa treatments: RAKxa Good Night Sleep, RAKxa Tension Release and Seven Chakra Hot Stone massage.

For longer physical and mental benefits, a selected choice among three all-rounded experiences allows guests to depart from their stay feeling completely refreshed and rejuvenated.


Day Retreat by RAKxa Wellness Spa
· One Wellness Cuisine Lunch
· One 90 Mins RAKxa Wellness Spa Treatment of Choice
· One Hydrotherapy Journey
· One Private Exercise Lesson

Calm and Restful by RAKxa Wellness Spa
· Two-night stay (based on two guests)
· Full board wellness meal
· Two RAKxa treatments (RAKxa Good Night Sleep; Seven Chakra
Hot Stone Massage)
· Complete access to the gym, sauna and Hydrotherapy pools
· Two private exercise lessons (choice of Gi Qong auto-massage;
Breathing experience; Meditation; Yoga; Stretching)
· One excursion on Castelfalfi Estate (Choice of: Olive Oil tour &
Honey Tasting; Guided Nature Walk & Breathing Exercise)

Active Recovery by RAKxa Wellness Spa
· Two-night stay (based on two guests)
· Full board wellness meal
· Two RAKxa treatments (RAKxa Tension Release; Seven Chakra
Hot Stone Massage)
· Complete access to the gym, sauna and Hydrotherapy pools
· Two private exercise lessons (Choice of: Mat/reformer Pilates; Yoga;
Personal Training; Stretching)
· One excursion on Castelfalfi Estate (Choice of: Mobility Exercise at
Castelfalfi Adventure Park; Guided Hike; Guided Biking Tour)

Le Piscine Tabaccaia Premium (3) Immagine1

“The Castelfalfi team is elated to unveil Castelfalfi Spa, the finest luxury wellness destination in Tuscany,” states General Manager Roberto Protezione. “The new Spa is the culmination of our renovation efforts which reflect our commitment to providing an exceptional experience for our guests that celebrates natural beauty and the cultural richness of Tuscany. We invite visitors from around the world to immerse themselves in the tranquillity of Castelfalfi Spa and discover the true essence of Italian relaxation.”

The property is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts prestigious Legend Collection. Discover the art of relaxation and rejuvenation at Castelfalfi, where time stands still, and well-being takes center stage. To learn more about Castelfalfi SPA and plan your visit, please visit www.castelfalfi.com or call +39 0571 892000. Rates for the luxury 5-star resort start at USD$670 per night for a deluxe room.

Castelfalfi - owned by the Lohia Family - has undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation to elevate its facilities for its clientele, unveiling new public spaces, guest rooms and suites, including brand new restaurant Olivina, with Executive Chef Davide De Simone at the helm. Located in the heart of the Tuscan hills between Florence and Pisa, the property offers 146 rooms and suites, plus 5 villas set amidst an incredible rolling landscape made up of vineyards and olive groves, famous cypresses and giant pine trees; and includes the medieval ‘borgo’ with its ancient castle. The newly renovated estate is situated in the heart of a medieval village including protected vineyards, olive groves, lakes, and a wildlife reserve.


Thursday, 01 February 2024 00:15

SUITES for my Sweet!

SUITES for my Sweet!

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun
All-Inclusive Spa Resort
by Karen Holly Berliner

GFACBAI Resort's view 2 (3)
Infinite Sun deck bajaGrand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun All-Inclusive Spa Resort
is in Cancun’s most popular Hotel Zona, featuring 602 fully appointed luxurious suites, all oceanfront view with private terraces to enjoy. The resort is scant steps away from Cancun’s vibrant entertainment and shopping, as well as the high-speed ferry to the beautiful Isla Mujeres, a worthy excursion. Three sparkling lagoon-like pools and a sugary white sandy beach running the entire length of the resort and hugging the azure Caribbean waters, add precious amenities. For those seeking the ultimate indulgence, there’s the Infinite Club. Stock full of decadent and upgraded experiences, guests of the Infinite Club enjoy exclusive privileges such as access to the Infinite Lounge, private dining experiences, priority dining reservations, upgraded beach activities, exclusive resort activities, an expanded selection of premium bar offerings and babysitting services. Visit the on property 40,000 square foot Four-Star Rated Gem Spa, the sprawling hi-tech Coral KidZ Club and now the 40,000 repurposed square feet on the lower level with three new dining options added to the existing fare, complementing the resorts already to-p notch cuisine. Debuting this past summer, this new dining space features a bar and three restaurants: an Argentinian steakhouse, an Asian fusion venue and an authentic Italian trattoria.

GFA Gem Spa Couple in Relaxation Area GFACB Master Suite LR

GFA Gem Spa Dinner

Enjoy authentic Tuscany fare such as traditional antipasto with cheeses, prosciutto and melon, bruschetta, fresh homemade pasta, al dente if you please, and a variety of risottos with fresh seafood selections. For dessert, guests can indulge in the restaurant’s special interpretation of tiramisu or perhaps a smooth gelato. Be entertained by the talented and charming live tenors, serenading you in the utmost ambiance.

Enter and take in the supper club vibe here, a true Argentinian-Mexican Steak House, which magically transforms into a night club after dark. Featuring nightly tango shows during dinner, Havanna serves the very best Argentinean cuts made to order and seared on a Basque-style grill. Enjoy other steakhouse classics such as Oysters Rockefeller, Kurobuta pork chops and rack of lamb cooked to your specifications. Shareable sides include roasted asparagus, creamed spinach, mac and cheese with aged cheddar and other delights. For a splurge worthy treat, enjoy the Tomahawk, Kansas City Strip steak, Porterhouse or perhaps a Caribbean Lobster. The hearty freshly baked bread with sweet creamy butter coaxes you to take second slices.

Perhaps host a seasonal white party here or dance and dine the night away with romantic abandon and joy. Relax—no one is watching.

A contemporary and immersive Asian fusion dining experience, this dining spot features a vast sushi bar and eight Teppanyaki tables. At the sushi bar, chefs prepare traditional favorites and innovative rolls while the Teppanyaki tables feature the Chef’s Omaskae menu. Traditional favorites such as nigiri and inventive sushi rolls, temaki, and fresh sashimi are hits. The chef omakase experience at the Teppanyaki tables boosts a menu that includes miso soup, fried rice, and a protein of your choice, including add-ons such as Wagyu, lobster and sea urchin. Nightly entertainment includes an ancient Japanese drum ceremony, a traditional Chinese lion dance and a time-honored sake ritual. Perhaps, engage in banter with the talented hibachi chefs!

Enjoy an inventive cocktail at the new bar also located downstairs, showcasing fine wines to pair with your meals and a carefully crafted mixology menu, with each restaurant featuring its own signature cocktail: Havanna’s Godfather and Torii’s Mojito to name a few!

Isla Contoy fagcb exterior night v2 (3)


Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach
Cancun-Gem Spa Experience

The Ten-Step Hydrotherapy Ritual
Talk about lived and gone to heaven! This is not just hydrotherapy, it’s a hydro-experience.Enter this spa and feel immersed in a total sanctuary, where all of your aches and pains—physically, spiritually and emotionally are literally rinsed away. This rejuvenating and unique ten-step hydrotherapy ritual, detoxifies skin via a yin- yang experience of opposing bath warm and refreshing cool temperatures, combined with high and low water pressures.

Submit to your own personal Hydrotherapy Butler and allow them to coax you gently through a 90-minute, hydrotherapy protocol that guests can enjoy before their services or just on its own. The hydrotherapy circuit includes scented steam rooms, an authentic ice room, hot and cold plunge pools and a water walkway lined with massaging pebbles. Enter heaven on earth and be wowed with water!

    1. 1. Open pores and luxuriate in a sea of soothing steam,
      enhanced by aromatic oil.
    2. 2. Invigorate your skin with the various pressures and
      temperatures of multiple massaging water jets.
    3. 3. Warm clay and steam combine to naturally detoxify
      and moisture your skin.
    4. 4. Gentle rainfall soothes and cleanses the skin.
    5. 5. Dry heat and scented wood naturally detox the body
      and boost its immunity.
    6. 6. Cool ice crystals close pores and activate the
      metabolism while increasing circulation.
    7. 7. A relaxing interlude in a pool filled with bubbling
      geysers relaxes body muscles and soul.
    8. 8. A contrasting cool plunge into the polar pool
      enlivens the skin and the senses.
    9. 9. A relaxing interlude in a pool filled with bubbling
      geysers relaxes body muscles and soul.
    10. 10. The natural massaging character of pebbles soothe feet
      as they walk through a maze enhanced by warm water jets.
      A “sensation” pool filled with bubbles and floor geysers,
      water cascades and cervical massaging neck jets completes
      the circuit seamlessly.

Complete your experience in the soothing relaxation area where fresh tropical fruit and a variety of herbal teas arserved.


Saturday, 11 November 2023 00:25

Sutton’s Dollhouse

doll1doll2Jenny and the City 

It was such a fun evening attending Sutton’s Dollhouse a wonderful curated reception “just in time with Barbie & Ken” theme. Sutton Stacke is one of my favorite Housewives, she is so sweet, fun and she looked like a Barbie herself, wearing a beautiful pink dress. I got a chance to meet Page and Eros the artists, while sipping on some rose wine at Sutton Boutique in West Hollywood. We talked about some of the inspiration of the photos, as I am a huge Barbie fan.  I glanced through the new cashmere collection. It was so exquisite, and one of the highlights of the boutique is that it always has an exclusive selection that is handpicked. Additionally, Sutton is a proud leader in the Sustainable fashion world. I was also introduced to a new make up line that was created by Kim Chi, called “ Kim Chi Chic”.  I love the gloss over gloss of course in hot pink. Kim Chi’s pink car was parked outside which added to the Barbie theme and had a pink ice cream cart that was not filled with ice cream but with make-up. That was so cool.

Thank you Sutton for such a wonderful time.

Check out @thesuttonconcept in West Hollywood, CA.






Jenny and the City 

For those seeking a taste of La Dolce Vita in Los Angeles because you couldn’t make it to Italy this summer no worries we got you covered. The Maybourne Hotel located in the Iconic City of Beverly Hills transitions into a European Oasis. As we entered the terrace there was a live band playing Italian music. We got greeted by handsome waiters tray passing Fresh Aperol spritz, Prosecco or white wine. I took a glass of wine and knew I was in for a total Dolce Vita Moment.

The weather was perfect, the view was spectacular, the décor breathtaking! I love lemons and there were lemons everywhere.

Let’s talk about the food because if we know something about Italians is that they know food and I would say it’s one of my favorites. So the choices were limitless, heaven on earth. There was an antipasto section, lots of salad options, next to it a charcuterie area with fresh cuts, baked breads and all kinds of cheese.

I was so impressed by the pasta area. I love pasta! They were making it right in front of all of us. What a treat! They had a bucattini di caccio pepe, fettuccini with shaved truffles and spaghetti with fresh tomatoes. The pasta was so delicious that I went for a round two and added caviar, since there was as well a caviar with vodka section.

They also had a seafood area with crab legs, shrimp and oysters. Everyone was having such a good time with the food and mingling, as the night progressed we all danced and of course lots of photo moments.  Honestly we need to have this on a regular basis. I would go back just for the food options, the Chef was on point. Of course there was an incredible table filled with all kinds of desserts, I took a piece of the olive oil cake with orange and it was so light and delicious. At this point even after dancing I was pretty full and beyond happy.

I wonder if the Maybourne will be creating different theme nights?

I certainly hope so.





First photo caption

Jenny Leeser with

Galina Sobolev

& Renee Strauss


These days, despite international itineraries remaining popular as always, it seems that folks are also eager to venture out domestically---leaving their passports at home and visiting their homeland, exploring their roots and keeping travel shorter and sweeter.

Enter American Cruise Lines.

High Note LoungeWith its trademark tagline Cruise Close To Home© with American Cruise Lines, this cruise line stands as a proud leader in U.S. River and Coastal cruising and is the largest domestic cruise line in the country. Offering a brand new fleet comprised of 19 riverboats and small cruise ships, each accommodating just 90 to 180 guests in allowing for a more intimate and refined experience, American is the only cruise line in the world with a fleet of 100% U.S. built and flagged riverboats and small cruise ships.

Because of this, American offers all-domestic cruises exclusively, that visit only U.S. ports of call along both U.S. Rivers and coasts. Featuring over 50 itineraries ranging from 5 to now 60 days in length, this allows for exploration in 35 U.S. states. American’s small ships cruise along protected U.S. waterways from Alaska to Florida and major U.S. rivers, including the Mississippi River; the Columbia and Snake Rivers, the Hudson River and the Florida Rivers. ACL has over 50 years of experience cruising the U.S.A., focusing on authenticity in American experiences, customized service and well-curated destination-focused cruises.

American continues to launch the newest U.S. built ships for Cruising Close to Home®. On all American’s cruises, guests discover the history, spirit, and culture of the United States, all while aboard a high end fleet. Year after year, the company continues to be the most awarded U.S. cruise line, winning accolades from: Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, U.S.A. Today, and beyond. The line boasts the largest and most comfortable staterooms in the industry, featuring all the amenities of a modern hotel, including full-size bathrooms with most staterooms having floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and private balconies.

faraway2American Cruise Lines has added a new class of “Go Anywhere” Coastal Cats, classic paddle wheelers, small cruise ships, and the only modern riverboats in the country with small ship itineraries offering an all-inclusive experience and featuring over 400 exciting shore excursions across the country. Its revolutionary American Riverboat Series is the first contemporary-style riverboats available in the U.S. These new riverboats are technically advanced and possess the newest safety and navigation equipment. They are also the most environmentally friendly small ships on U.S. Rivers, meeting the highest emissions standards, have tiny carbon footprints and feature cutting edge interior design. All American’s modern riverboats accommodate fewer than 180 guests and possess a unique (patent-pending) opening bow and retractable gangway which enables them to make bow landings wherever necessary. They feature soaring multi-story glass atriums, oversized standard cabins and suites, and spacious single cabins–all with private furnished balconies. They also offer relaxed lounges, sun decks, grand dining rooms and small casual cafés. Designed with 3 times the glass of other U.S. riverboats, American’s modern riverboats offer spectacular views from absolutely everywhere on the ship. American’s modern riverboats add a new dimension to U.S. River cruising–providing an exciting new alternative to the beautiful paddle wheelers and coastal cruise ships already in the company’s fleet.

American Cruises is also proud to welcome Coastal Cats, a new class of small ships as part of a series that “Go Anywhere” in furthering American Cruise Lines’ commitment to Cruise Close to Home. ®. A unique catamaran inspired design with a shallow draft allows for small ship stability and maneuverability. All cruises include complimentary onboard enrichment and entertainment, the finest cuisine, wine and beer at both lunch and dinner and a top notch cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres each and every evening; something special to look forward to at the end of each day. Ships also include complimentary alternative casual dining, Starlink Wi-Fi and private American cruise coaches for shore side transportation. All American’s Mississippi River, Columbia and Snake Rivers and Alaska cruises (from Juneau) include complimentary pre-cruise hotel stays in accommodating your travels to and from the ships. All the company’s river and coastal cruises also offer domestic flat-rate airfare and select dates may include complimentary airfare. Every cruise features an all-American menu prepared by fine chefs to accent the season and region served in an open-seated dining room where every table offers panoramic views of the scenery. Many ships also offer outdoor casual cafés for lighter bites and fare.

Theme cruises as well as many popular holiday cruises are offered including Music, Art Immersion, Lewis & Clark, Fall Foliage, Culinary, Mark Twain, Whale Watching and more, right up to New Year’s cruises.

After all, there really IS no place like home. Agreed?


American Cruise Lines travels Near and Wide!

What’s New?

American Cruise Lines has curated a 60-day package combining four major rivers and two coasts on three ships. The line is calling it the longest-ever domestic cruise itinerary. The Great United States itinerary departs August 2024 and touches 20 states and four time zones within the continental U.S and includes a national parks package visiting Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Guests will start on the Pacific Coast in Portland, Oregon and sail the Columbia and Snake rivers on the 180-passenger American Jazz; the Mississippi River on the 180-passenger American Symphony from New Orleans to St. Paul, Minnesota and from Maine to New York and up the Hudson River on the 90-passenger American Independence. The experience ends in New York Harbor on Oct 14 with a viewing of the Statue of Liberty from the ship on the last day of the cruise. Flights from Jackson, Wyoming to New Orleans and St. Paul to Portland, Maine are included in the package. The price per person ranges from $51,060 to $77,945 and includes a pre-cruise hotel stay, all flights and hotels between cruise segments, daily excursions, all meals and beverages, internet service, gratuities and port charges. Highlights of the package include private guided tours of the three national parks: a 10-state Mississippi River sailing and fall foliage along the Hudson River. 


Tuesday, 18 July 2023 06:40

MSC cruises!!

Truly Floats Your Boat!

by Karen Holly Berliner


No matter where I have lived, no matter what part of the country I’ve moved and adapted to, I remain a die-hard native New Yorker.

Despite my love and devotion to the “city that never sleeps”, every now and then I look to venture out on a luxury cruise ship in its entire splendor and explore this great big world.

Imagine my joy when I was introduced to the latest and the greatest in cruise experiences, resplendent with a NYC vibe and theme at every turn:

The MSC Seascape

With utter finesse and authenticity, the MSC Seascape not only pays tribute to New York City but it captures the very heart and soul of it via cultural experiences, its nods to NYC design and personality, which is expressed through its public areas and venue names- the very essence of my home town.

Expect to be awestruck by a grand replica of lady liberty herself- The Statue of Liberty at the center of its vibrant casino, also expect an expansive retail and entertainment promenade duly named Times Square and all things wonderful about the city that never sleeps.

And you might not sleep yourself. Here’s why:

Miniature skyscrapers featuring Times Square-like giant screens light up the stage inside the ship’s casino as well, accented by thousands upon thousands of sparkling Swarovski crystals within the staircases in the four deck atrium.

Just like New York City, the dining is global and spectacular. Featuring 11 restaurants including 5 specialty spots and 20 unique bars, ranging from signature seafood and Asian cuisine to Mexican street food and a New York old school steakhouse with new school culinary delights, there is something to satisfy all palates. MSC Seascape’s main restaurants, dedicated dining venues for Yacht Club guests and a sprawling buffet complete the options. 

 MSC Seascape Butcher's Cut 1

Butcher’s Cut

MSC Seascape features MSCs signature American-style steakhouse; Butcher’s Cut, with al fresco dining allowing sublime views while you indulge. The menu is accompanied by bold New World wines and modern cocktails.

Is there anything quite like a good steak cooked to perfection and a glass of Cabernet?

MSC Seascape Holà Tacos! 1

HOLA! Tacos & Cantina

Featuring select Mexican-inspired dishes with a twist, enjoy an impressive selection of tacos, tamales and an interactive guacamole station. Choose from a variety of signature frozen margaritas, fresh juices, horchata and a selection of homemade salsas and hot sauces.

Kaito Sushi Bar

This sushi bar has a conveyor belt that constantly moves fresh and varietal sushi, allowing guests to hand pick sushi creations.

Kaito Teppanyaki

Be seated and await the magic that comes from the very talented hibachi chefs, complete with comedic interactions and downright fabulous food prepared before your eyes.

The fried rice alone will have you eating seconds---and thirds.

Ocean Cay Restaurant

Offering a menu of fine fish dishes, guests can feast on fresh seafood complemented by an expansive wine list.

After dinner, visit Venchi 1878 for some gelato or perhaps sip and savor a chocolate martini. The Wine Cave showcases the Seascapes wine cellar where you can enjoy a tasting paired with a cheese selection. The elegant rooftop Sky Bar cocktail lounge offers live music complimented by ocean views while the Champagne Bar offers a variety of champagne, prosecco and other choice bubbly’s accompanied by an impressive array of caviar and chilled seafood.

MSC Seascape Kaito Sushi Bar


YC Sundeck and Pool 03 ALP05196

For something more casual than and truly as adored as old New York, the Sports Bar offers craft beers, a fully stocked bar, game time bites and individual TV booths to watch the action. The Sports Bar has walls adorned with boxing gloves, hockey helmets, baseball bats and other memorabilia. A billiards room beckons you to stay and play.

And if you do indeed intend to get some sleep---

The MSC Seascape features new cabins designed to accommodate all. Choose among several types of cabins and suites with balconies including the coveted aft suites, terraced suites with large balconies; even suites with outdoor private whirlpools. The 2 palatial Owner’s Suites are worth viewing if you have the opportunity, as they are the largest and most luxurious of the MSC Yacht Club suites.

Be prepared to be wowed!


The MSC Seascape Yacht Club

Head to the port curb and present your yacht club ID. From there let the ready and waiting staff take you away. Give yourself over to the yacht club experience as indeed you will be treated from there to the very last moments of your return, with the utmost in white glove service.

(Yes, with actual white gloves on hand.)

Yacht Club staff persons meet and greet you and whoosh you seamlessly through check in protocols, handing you champagne to sip as you proceed.  A butler then escorts you onto the ship and to your suite when you are ready. 

MSC Seascape Yacht Club Restaurant

And then, you have arrived.

The yacht club suites are resplendent with elegant design, complete with king-sized beds adorned with Egyptian cotton linens and a memory foam mattress. All of the accoutrements that you could ever want for from flat and still Italian bottled water, teas, nuts, wine glasses and a fully stocked mini-bar, await you. A generous sized and appointed bathroom allows for ease in living, while a large screen state of the art television provides for your viewing pleasure including the  Turner Classic Movies channel featuring 24 hour showings of old classic movies whenever you please.


-And then there is your faithful and diligent butler, who studies and prepares for your every want and need, from your favorite newspaper delivered to your cabin daily to your drink of choice, to the delicate pastries delivered to your cabin each afternoon.

In addition, MSC Yacht Club guests enjoy dedicated venues throughout the ship. The Top Sail Lounge is open from 6am to 1am as a fabulous gathering point and entrée spot to dinner just upstairs in the yacht club dining venue. The expansive rooftop deck allows guests the indulgence of day beds, loungers, a pool and hot tub, a dedicated bar and seating to dine. MSC provides Yacht Club guests a sprawling breakfast and lunch buffet, as well as special events like a white party complete with a DJ or a Seafood Buffet lunch complete with grilled seafood brimming with lobster tails to your hearts delight.

The premium drink package and complimentary Wi-Fi add convenience and amenities, along with the Thermal Spa where Yacht Club guests enjoy unlimited access.

The MSC Seascape Yacht Club provides the most decadent of experiences in the cruising arena.

YC Sundeck and Pool 04 ALP05203






MSC Seascape!

MSC Seascape

The MSC Seascape is a Caribbean and Bahamas destined cruise ship departs from Miami and offers stops to Miami, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, Cozumel, George Town, Ocho Rios, making the excursion possibilities endless...

Here are just a few of its many options to put you in the mood!

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve- The Bahamas

Explore Ocean Cay Marine Reserve via kayak on a team adventure to explore the crystal blue Bahamian waters.

Not a fan?

Stand-up paddle boarding , the latest craze allows you first hand viewing of these waters, teeming with marine wildlife while enjoying exercise at your own pace.

Exclusively offered to Yacht Club guests, enjoy a luxury beach front Yacht Club Cabana,   directly on this sprawling beach. You are immediately pampered and welcomed with fresh water and towels, a complimentary lunch and beverages, along with tasty fruit skewers. Four sets of snorkeling equipment and complimentary floating mats are provided to explore and relax in the calm Bahamian waters. The service is impeccable. Just put your flag up and you will be attended to in moments!

Getting restless?

Enjoy all of the beauty and wonder of Ocean Cay by catamaran while sipping a complimentary signature cocktail - the Ocean Cay Sway. After a short ride around Ocean Cay, the catamaran will anchor at one of the nearby natural shallow waters of the Bahama Banks where you can leisurely enjoy lively music and soak up the natural scenery.


The SCOOT COUPÉ Caribbean Island Drive offers a 2-person, 3-wheel scooter adorably coined the Scoot Coupé –Driving instructions and helmets are provided before you form a convoy and head out on the open road to explore the beautiful and history infused island of Cozumel. Enjoy photo stops to capture perfect moments to share and get ready to visit Cozumel’s vibrant hotel district, where a luxury beach club awaits you for some free time to relax, sunbathe or go for a refreshing swim!

If you would like to shop for a special trinket, time at a gift shop is allowed, where jewelry and other fanciful items are available.

Perhaps shiny tanzanite ring would suit your fancy?

REEF and WRECK on the Cayman Islands

Discover two of the Cayman Islands’ best snorkeling sites, the first of which will be at the wreck of the USS Kittiwake- a former US Navy submarine rescue vessel. In 2009 this submarine was deliberately sunk off Seven Mile Beach in order to provide an artificial reef for local marine wildlife.

Also, the Cheeseburger Reef-playfully named for a nearby outlet of a global fast-food brand, is a natural reef system at a depth of about 25 ft. /7.6. with visual pleasures and boundless treasures await you to explore.

Good fun!


Arrive at Puerto Seco Beach Club which proudly offers a white sandy beach, a swimming pool, and all of the comforts to enjoy it. Also make your way to the dining facilities and a hip beach bar and grill, where live entertainment is provided by their in house entertainment troupe, showcasing fabulous Jamaican dance and talent.

Picture to the right: The author Karen Holly Berliner on an Excursion.Cozumel The Scoot Coupe

Sunday, 16 July 2023 22:56


Written by


Relax and rejuvenate body and soul on an adults-only, life-enhancing wellness retreat at ACRO Suites on idyllic Crete.

Acro2 33London, UK: Life can be exhausting, and sometimes what you really need from a holiday is simply time away from the every day, some total rest and relaxation in a quiet place where your wellness is the priority. That place is ACRO Suites, in Crete, a luxurious, adults-only boutique retreat with an emphasis on helping guests feel better, body and soul.

It’s all about you here. The resort’s exceptional 49 suites and villas feature muted, earthy tones and organic elements throughout to create a peaceful, relaxed environment in which to unwind. Special touches include top-of-the-range mattresses that are hypoallergenic and aerated for a better night’s sleep and a special pillow menu so you can choose the exact kind you prefer, firm or snuggly. There’s even a turn-down service during which guests are offered a special pillow mist that contains a blend of calming essential oil.

Public areas echo the same chic look and calm and classy ambiance. A superb cliffside location with sea views galore in quiet Agia Pelagia comes courtesy of Mother Nature; manmade facilities all for your enjoyment include a spa inspired by Byzantine hammams, exceptional restaurants serving Cretan dishes with a fine-dining twist, poolside bars, and cosy lounges.

In addition, for the new 2023 season that has just opened, ACRO Suites introduces a brand-new restaurant and new deep relaxation yoga sessions.

Extraordinary Yoga
Why not get your relaxing holiday off to a great start by joining one of the new weekly yogic deep relaxation sessions, held on Sunday evenings? These extraordinary classes feature the practice of yoga nidra, a conscious yogic sleep induced by a special guided meditation. Sessions take place in the hotel’s Asana Yoga Shala, an exceptional space dedicated to wellness that is built entirely out of bamboo.

AcroFood 0254Sound Bath Sessions and Holistic Wellness Days
The resort is also offering intriguing sound bath sessions this summer, with the chance to try an unusual wellness therapy under Manolis Zografakis, a certified sound therapist and meditation practitioner. The sessions will be staged in the Asana Yoga Shala, with the aim of guiding guests through a spiritual journey of reconnection and discovery of the inner self, back into a natural state of balance and harmony, just what you need. The Bath House spa with its authentic Byzantine hammam, a tempting range of therapies, sauna, and outdoor pool is also ready and waiting to help you get the most out of your stay. Treatments can even be taken in your suite. From tension-melting massages to radiance-boosting facials and holistic wellness days, the spa’s extensive menu offers a plethora of relaxing experiences to choose from.


Food for Thought
The new restaurant, Elaionas, based on an exclusive, fine-dining experience, offers a variety of delicious, traditional Cretan dishes to try. Guests can also indulge in olive oil and wine-tasting experiences. To reflect the name, which means ‘olive grove’ in Greek, the restaurant’s setting is a pretty olive garden with panoramic sea views. Food lovers will also be interested in the gastronomy events planned for this summer. Hosted by two Michelin Star chefs, Bjorn Swanson, and Liam Rogers, with the resort’s exemplary chefs by their side, the events will feature stunning menus with seasonal Cretan produce, all expertly cooked and beautifully presented.

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About ACRO Suites
ACRO Suites is a 5* luxury boutique resort set on the rocky cliffside of Mononaftis Bay, in Crete, Greece. ‘ACRO’ originates from the ancient Greek word ‘Akros/Akron’ which means ‘on the edge’ – where the wellbeing retreat is built. The property has 49 suites, lofts, and villas with private pools. All suites and villas offer sea views. ACRO Suites is a 20-30 minutes’ drive from Heraklion International Airport. Mononaftis Bay, where the property stands, is in the picturesque area of Agia Pelagia, offering access to beaches, seaside cafes, and restaurants. Ready to embark on an unforgettable wellness journey? Book your stay today at acrosuites.com

Thursday, 20 April 2023 04:19

R Collection Hotels

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R COLLECTION HOTELS Grand Hotel Bristol Rapallo Esterno (2)

R Collection Hotels:

Lake Como &Portofino

R COLLECTION HOTELS Grand Hotel Bristol Rapallo Camere (3)Meet R-Collection Hotels, a luxury Italian hotel portfolio with four boutique properties in Lake Como and Portofino. Family-owned for three generations, R Collection prides themselves on preserving and enhancing Italian heritage with a modern twist. Each hotel immerses guests in the captivating history and culture of the surrounding area while providing superb luxury.


Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa: Set to reopen as a newly-five-star property, the hotel has undergone an impressive renovation. Features include wellness at the Erre Spa, the largest hotel spa in Liguria with multisensory areas and custom treatments, and rooftop dining with sweeping views of Portofino. A longstanding tradition to present the best in hospitality, the hotel was the first in the region to have elevators and private bathrooms in 1908.

Rooms: 80 including 11 suites

Dining: Le Cupole (traditional Ligurian and Piedmont cuisine - voted best Luxury Rooftop Restaurant, World Luxury Awards 2022); La Veranda (traditional Italian); poolside pizzeria

R COLLECTION HOTELS Grand Hotel Bristol Rapallo Piscina (5)LAKE COMO

Grand Hotel Victoria: Built on the architectural structure of an ancient convent, the newest five-star hotel in Lake Como has a unique lakefront location in Menaggio. Enriched by beautiful gardens and a 4,000 sq ft spa with personalized treatment programs, swimming pool, and signature scents handcrafted in-house, it’s surrounded by breathtaking views of the lake and its mountains.

Rooms - 81 including 4 suite options

Dining - Lago Restaurant (stunning lake views and local flavors); Erre Restaurant

(innovative, varying menu); two bars

Winery - Offers the finest Italian reds and international whites, the cellar is home to Lombardy’s local wine from Franciacorta, Valtellina and Lake Garda. Each tasting is carefully paired with specialty dishes for a full Como experience. 

R COLLECTION HOTELS Grand Hotel Victoria Menaggio esterni (11)Hotel Royal Victoria & Villa Cipressi:

Bridged by a stunning botanical garden where guests can walk in natural beauty and surprising biodiversity of these lakeside landscapes, these historic sister properties offer a fairytale experience overlooking the lake, nestled in a quiet medieval hamlet. Popular for weddings and conferences, the hotels offer both space and charm.

Royal Victoria is a renovated textile mill that, in 1838, hosted Queen Victoria of England, leaving her name as an indelible memory of her visit.

Rooms - 43 including 4 romantic suites that pay homage to the iconic work “The Betrothed” by Alessandro Manzoni

Dining - Royal Gourmet (newly renovated space serving traditional yet elevated dishes lakeside); Victoria Grill (international cuisine in the historical main square of Varenna)


Villa Cipressi is known for its magical gardens and breathtaking view of Bellagio. Completely renovated in 2018, Villa Cipressi offers elegance and magic as one of the most historic villas in the region.

Rooms - 31 including 5 suites

Dining - Veranda Bar and Royal Victoria dining options

R COLLECTION HOTELS Grand Hotel Victoria Menaggio esterni (3) R COLLECTION HOTELS Grand Hotel Victoria Menaggio hall R COLLECTION HOTELS Grand Hotel Victoria Menaggio spa ph.Giacomo Albo (1) R COLLECTION HOTELS Grand Hotel Victoria Menaggio bar (2)

Thursday, 20 April 2023 04:10

I Love Hortus NYC

I Love Hortus NYC in the Spring Time

Karen Holly Berliner

Being that the name of this restaurant is Hortus NYC which is Latin for garden; the atmosphere beckons all things freshness as the theme of a beautiful garden runs throughout the interior. Enter this treasure of a dining spot located in the NoMad section of New York City, and walk down the entry ramp, allowing the fragrance of the foods and the strains of jazzy music to guide and beckon you.

Divided into four separate spaces, the first floor hosts bar style dining, complete with an open kitchen and a Chef’s Table to emphasize the experience. Ascend to the second floor which has an adjoining outdoor dining room; a hidden garden space with propane heat lamps and glowing lights hanging from the ceiling, exuding a warm and intimate vibe. The main dining room features a full wall of windows allowing perfect glimpses of the city that never sleeps, as vibrant by night as it is by day.

And oh the cuisine---

Hortus NYC is a Michelin-recognized contemporary Asian restaurant where managing partner Suhum Jang (of Per Se, Daniel and Jungsik fame) and Executive Chef SangMin “Lenny” Moon (of Jungsik, Barn Joo and Pado fame) have collaborated on this creative menu, culminating into a true reflection of Chef Moon’s signature style.

Highlighting the distinct flavors of Japan, Korea, China and Southeast Asia, each dish is both delicious and esthetically pleasing, the cuisine at Hortus blending in a perfect fusion, flavors

which makes for fresh modern Asian fare. Executive Chef Lenny clearly accentuates unique spices from the Pacific Islands, China and some Italian influence and accents, also making sure to include vegan and vegetarian options.

The appetizers at Hortus NYC are so palate pleasing that the challenge becomes saving room for the main courses—also the delectable deserts. The Papaya Salad for example, served with a bounty of succulent shrimp, persimmon and a lemongrass dressing, is perfect for this season; any season actually. If seafood is your favorite, an addition to the raw bar is the Royal Platter: a perfectly chilled lobster tail, salmon crudo, shrimp cocktail with an option to include a dozen oysters, all presented in royal fashion thus living up to its name, complete with a hibiscus blossom atop, a vibrant nod to the season. The King Crab Noodle with onion jalapeno pesto, tomato, lemon oil and mala sauce is a no fail hit, an exotic spin on comfort food. The Crispy Rice dish topped with spicy tuna, quinoa, and sriracha truffles has become a signature dish for good reason; its flavors and textures merge to tantalize the senses.

Hortus NYC’s main courses satisfy all palates and include Confit Duck Leg with a smooth coconut puree and soy, Sea Urchin Donabe made of nori puree, cured egg yolk, ikura and black truffles and other choices. For the diehard carnivore, the Spicy Braised Short Rib is tender and flavorful.

Cocktails here are inventive and fresh such as the Oolong High with oolong tea, soju, lemon and cane sugar; and 5th Ave with Jinro 24, Hwayo 23, tonic, mint, and lime. Hortus NYC’s wine program offers select bottles of fine sparkling wines and champagne, red and white wines from France, Italy, New Zealand and the U.S. Japanese craft beer such as Pale Ale Kanazawa, Junmai ginjo and Junmai sake by the glass, unfiltered rice wine and other choice drinks offer perfect pairings.

Desserts include Monaka Ice Cream; an ice cream sandwich with chocolate mochi and choices of black sesame, matcha or vanilla ice cream or for a fruity and creamy treat, the Yuzu Panna Cotta with raspberry and a butter crumble satisfies.

Diners also have the option to order the Hortus Tasting Menu, which includes the Royal platter for two, as well as a choice of an appetizer, main course and dessert for each person, with an option for a wine pairing.


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Thursday, 20 April 2023 03:49

Grab a North Fork

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Springtime on the North Fork

Karen Holly Berliner

The North Fork of Long Island is one of the largest and best preserved agricultural regions in New York State and home of this region’s award-winning wine country. Nicknamed “NOFO,” the north fork features more than 60 vineyards and an array of breweries and craft distilleries. Travel here, and expect to find charming roadside cottages and B&Bs peppered throughout. Stop by the renowned Briermere Farms, famous for their scrumptious pies; perhaps enjoy a beer and a light bite at Greenport Harbor Brewery or sip a glass of wine or two at Lenz Winery.

While visiting, enjoy the fragrant springtime fields at Lavender by the Bay with 80,000 lavender plants and vibrant sunflowers at the sprawling farms across the region. Also, for your dining pleasure, expect seasonal treasures from the sea including Oysters, Peconic Bay Scallops and more. The North Fork is one of the main ‘foodie’ destinations in Long Island where local chefs at top-notch restaurants use locally grown produce and farm-raised livestock to create spectacular dishes and fare.

Make sure to travel to the furthest point east on the North Fork where you can book fishing charters or stroll through Orient Beach State Park via the waters of the Peconic Bay and the Long Island Sound.

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Not to be missed!

Rose Hill Vineyards

With a philosophy which states that “growing grapes for great wine is a blend of science, art, and folk wisdom”, you have to figure that a grand treat is in store and a treat it sure is.

Set in a 125-year-old barn, this winery space is filled with natural light and is constructed in a way that allows for proper fruit handling. The cellar, where the wines are aged, is in the barn, itself constructed from reclaimed, ancient heartwood pine. The cellar roof supports solar panels and wind turbine, so produces all of the energy used for the winery, cellar, vineyard and farmhouse inn.

Spend the night at their glorious and intimate B & B, located on 22 acres of pure vineyard. Carefully restored with great detail, this historic farmhouse offers 4 guest bedrooms, a full country breakfast, a complimentary wine tasting and tasty charcuterie to savor.

Welcome glass of wine 90 miles from NYC in the heart of the north fork.

Relax outside on the patio overlooking the vineyards, or sip and chat in their library. For a true indulgence, try a wine flight such as their Sparkling Flight and celebrate the spring; 2021 Croteaux Sparkling ‘Chloe’, 2021 Croteaux Sparkling Cuvée, 2021 Brut Rosé 2021 and  Croteaux Sparkling ‘Jolie’



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The Blue Duck Cafés

These family owned and operated bakery cafés offer the whole package, with a wholesale production facility that delivers their artisan breads and more from Montauk to NYC as well. The bakery component offers delicious pastries and cakes, as well as their own signature line of artisan breads, all products made by scratch using top notch ingredients. Enjoy a scrumptious danish, croissant or turnover or order a custom cake, expertly decorated by their in house talented cake designers or buy a seasonal pie or two.

Their artisan breads are created by hand in the centuries-old tradition of European bakers.

Stop into the bakery café offering meals throughout the day, including an assortment of sandwiches using their artisan bread, fresh salads, and delicious soups. Make it a memorable meal by adding dessert, coffee, tea, cappuccino, latte, tea and more.


The Harvest Inn

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This B & B is located right on the North Fork Wine Trail. The award-winning inn is surrounded by vineyards, fields, beaches, and eateries. Their 3 course breakfasts are prepared with organic and local ingredients when accessible, with an authentic farm-to-table menu.

Their meticulous and well-appointed guestrooms are spacious, with a beautiful décor and resplendent with luxury yet comfortable amenities.

The Harvest Inn B&B is suitable for single or double occupancy, with a comfortable queen size bed and a private en-suite bathroom.

All of the rooms offer luxurious linens, plush robes, and lavish Beekman 1802 bath amenities.


The North Fork Shack

Owners Samy Sabil and Ryan Flatley, formerly of the North Fork Table and Inn of Southold in the region, have been satisfying the most discerning of palates from the East End of Long Island to Manhattan, Miami, and Los Angeles offering Creative Courses Catering. With take out and catering menus ever changing seasonally, there is always something new to be tasted and relished. From luncheons, dinner parties al fresco, cocktail parties and local charity benefits to private events such as weddings overlooking the Long Island Sound, all bases are covered with finesse. Try their creative course experience, offering familiar dishes created with fresh and local ingredients, yet adding unexpected flavors to enhance and refresh.

As for the take out menu here, expect inventive spins on such staples as cod croquettes and pulled lamb, fragrant and melt in your mouth delicious. The Thai Coconut Curry Bowl here will guarantee your return.


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