May 2016

Recommend May 2016

Mountain Vacations

In this Issue:

  • Mountain Vacations
  • All-Inclusives in the Caribbean & Mexico
  • Asia: New Properties Beckon
  • Onsite Review: Rail Europe
  • What’s New in Orlando
  • Innovation on the High Seas
  • Onsite Review: Escape to Discovery Cove
  • Latin America: New Frontiers in Travel
Villa accommodations at Amanemu, a hot springs resort in Japan.
New Properties Beckon
The hotel scene is hot across the myriad destinations that make up Asia. Properties are popping up like wildflowers, with every country from China to Malaysia welcoming outstanding new properties and brands.
Tara Tours offers trips to Guatemala, with excursions to Tikal.
New Frontiers in Travel
It’s always interesting to learn what new discoveries specialists in travel to Latin America have made on recent journeys. It’s even better to find these discoveries in new client-pleasing vacations. We asked an adventurous quartet of U.S. tour operators the following: “What is the one corner of Latin America that you think might be the next new-frontier/new-attraction for North American travelers?”
The resort’s Awe-Spa offers a 1-hour Water Journey.
Onsite Review: Moon Palace Jamaica Grande
Two questions guided my recent stay at Palace Resorts’ first foothold in Jamaica, the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande: 1. How was Mexican-owned Palace Resorts adapting to the land of alright? 2. How could it stand out on an island that already has dozens of all-inclusive brands?
Susan Farewell
Hotel and Experience Pairings
Dad and the boys want to go to Iceland. Mom will agree as long as they also visit the Basque region of Spain, where her family originally hails from. Sound like a request your agency might get?
The Sunscape Puerto Vallarta opened in December.
Onsite Review: Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Scene
This Mexican destination on the Pacific side isn’t just overflowing with vibrantly colorful bougainvillea, it’s also bursting at the seams with new hotel openings and revamps, ranging from all-inclusives to ultra-luxe and eco options. During my visit to the destination for Gala Vallarta-Nayarit, I learned that there are at least 11 properties in the area that either recently opened or underwent a revamping, giving you plenty of new booking options.
The Hangar restaurant at Disney Springs.
What’s New? Lots in Orlando
Did you hear that? No? Listen, it’s getting closer. I think we need to make a run for it…King Kong is on our heels....
Bird’s-eye view of the Iberostar Playa Mita.
Onsite Review: Iberostar Playa Mita
It’s a gorgeous day in Riviera Nayarit. The sun isn’t being shy about how luminous it can get, and nature in general—from the beach to the lush mountains—is having one of its finest days. I’m at the Iberostar Playa Mita property in Riviera Nayarit, and although I’ve been to this area of Mexico a few times, I’m always blown away by how utterly gorgeous it is—nature really outdoes itself here. That striking scenery takes center stage at the 452-room Iberostar Playa Mita, which pays homage to the natural surroundings, creating a lovely, laid-back ambiance throughout the property.
CW Safaris takes clients to Botswana, said to have the highest elephant population in Africa.
Southern Africa’s New Enticements
We’ve got a sprinkling of new tours and lodges in Southern Africa for a range of clients, whether they’re looking for a dream safari vacation, a budget-friendly travel experience, or tours made specifically for those with a disability.
Carved in stone, warriors and devils, nymphs and gods stand guard over Angkor Wat. (Carla Hunt)
Onsite Review: Angkor Wat + Siem Reap = A Longer Stay
More than four decades ago, the Grand Hotel d’Angkor, which was opened by the French in 1932, was almost the only and certainly the most colonial place to stay in the sleepy town of Siem Reap. The property was once an important trading center and always the gateway to the magnificent temple complexes of Angkor, as well as the capital of the Khmer Empire from 800 to 1200 A.D.
DuVine offers a bike tour in Zion National Park.
Tour Talk: A Peek at Our Peaks
This trio of tours offer a bird’s-eye view of the U.S.’s varied terrain.
The terrace at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort’s St. Somewhere Spa.
Hotel Desk: On the Waterfront
We’re putting the spotlight on waterfront properties that make for idyllic vacations.
Bali beds on the Heaven side offer stunning views of the surroundings.
Onsite Review: Rock Royalty Only
Experience a taste of the rock star lifestyle at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, no Grammy necessary.
Discovery Cove offers a relaxing environment.
Escape to Discovery Cove
While visiting the Discovery Cove all-inclusive day resort on a recent press trip in Orlando, I underwent a digital detox as a result of a depleted phone battery and MIA portable solar charger.
Rendering of the Vista Suite on board Oceania Cruises’ Sirena.
Innovation on the High Seas
24 million. That’s how many people are expected to cruise this year. That’s 1 million more than last year. Ships? There are plenty of them to accommodate that number of passengers and many more—in fact, there are 52 new ocean-going CLIA ships on order between 2016 and 2022. And, according to CLIA’s 2016 Cruise Industry Outlook, eight out of 10 CLIA-member travel agents stated they are expecting an increase in sales in 2016 over last year