by Sue C Travel
Rosalie Bay Resort Reopens on Dominica
I was delighted to hear of the reopening of this wonderful eco-resort on Dominica as the island fully bounces back from damage caused by Hurricane Maria two years ago. The Nature Island is looking lush and lovely again now, and this is one of my favourite spots to stay there. I find it more South Pacific style than Caribbean, with its soft black volcanic sand that sparkles in the sunlight cresting a cobalt sea flanked with emerald peaks of rainforest. I love their elegant country cottage style abodes, and it’s an ideal retreat for health and wellness with locally sourced nutritious meal choices, yoga and meditation classes, and an exceptional spa located on the bank of the Rosalie River. Hiking opportunities abound for all skill levels on this island, and superb snorkeling and first-rate diving are also great activity options. Rosalie Bay Beach is also a very popular spot for many species of sea turtles to nest upon each summer, in fact, the owner is known as the sea turtle saviour of Dominica.
Virgin Voyages to Set Sail Soon
Dubbed as “the cruise for people who don’t like cruising”, the seaborne vision of famous entrepreneur Richard Branson soon sets sail from the Port of Miami aboard the Scarlet Lady. Itineraries beginning in April 2020 will include short jaunts to Key West, and longer cruises to the Dominican Republic’s Puerto Plata, and Mexico’s Costa Maya and Riviera Maya, with every voyage stopping at their highly anticipated new private island oasis in the Bahamas called The Beach Club at Bimini. All cruises are adult-only, and uber high-tech modern cabins sport modular furniture so you can adjust your living space as desired. Of course, being a Richard Branson project, you never know what epic entertainment and theme parties might happen on board. And you can meet the man in person if you book his “Birthday Bash” cruise in July as he’ll be celebrating on board.
A Spooky Cancun Week
I just happened to be in Cancun and Riviera Maya last fall during both Halloween and the Day of the Dead week, and though I’d like to plan to return to Mexico at this time of year to explore local traditions like small town cemetery festivals and the ancient Mayan Hanal Pixán ceremony ( I hear Alltournative Lifetime Experiences does a wonderful outing to an underground cenote for this,) I was still treated to some spooky stuff at the two different hotels I stayed at. I was at the new Now Emerald Cancun for Halloween ─ a two-tower family-friendly all-inclusive resort right on Cancun’s best beach. And though I thoroughly enjoyed the multi-level water circuit cresting the sea, I’m not a big fan of being surrounded by children while trying to relax. So, I was glad they also have an epic adult-only pool as well, and that’s where you’ll find their most epic bartender, too. He is really a star! But come Halloween, it wouldn’t have been the same without the screams of the kids! They pulled out all the stops for a great show by bedecking the sports bar with such a well-done haunted house that the adults were often as terrified as the children! (I know I was.) And the food and drink were done up in all manner of creepy styles, too. Lots of fun.
Next, I was at Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa for the Day of the Dead. This is an adult-only upscale all-inclusive which I absolutely adored (see review page 55). This spot also outdid themselves with spooky décor and unique food and drinks and a skeleton party and neon party at their trendy outdoor Wink Bar. I was uber impressed with the giant two-person skeletons, stacked on top of each other that actually managed to dance with the each other and the guests! Very cool.
Nikki Beach Saint Barth Goes More Gourmet
A legendary St Barth’s landmark kicked off the new season by bringing in Chef Taku Sekine to represent the luxury beach club in the 6th annual Saint Barth Gourmet Festival last fall, taking their offerings up to whole new level of culinary excellence. Chef Taku was Head Chef at Dersou and Cheval d’Or in Paris and brought his own unique fusion Asian/French vision to the event in keeping with the high level of sophistication one expects to enjoy on the Caribbean’s most chic and cosmopolitan island.
Star Clippers Wins Prestigious Green Cruise Award
It pays to sail the old-fashioned way it seems, using wind power to cruise around the seas in the most environmentally- friendly way possible has seen the Star Clippers line win World’s Leading Green Cruise at the prestigious 2019 World Travel Awards. Again! This is the seventh time they have won it. And they also garnered two more stellar accolades as World’s Leading Specialist Cruise Line and World’s Leading Luxury Sailing Company at the awards. I’ve had the pleasure to sail aboard the Star Flyer this year, and I will certainly attest to the fact that all of these awards are very well-deserved. Mirell Reyes, President of Star Clippers America, says, “We are thrilled to be recognized by the World Travel Awards year after year for our commitment to environmentally responsible sailing practices and a truly unique cruise experience. Star Clippers cruises marry the authenticity of a true sailing vessels with the luxury amenities of a private yacht, giving guests the best of both worlds.”