Posts tagged with "Travel + Leisure"

Japan Named Travel And Leisure’s 2018 Destination Of The Year

Travel + Leisure announced today that Japan is its 2018 Destination of the Year, celebrating the country’s rich history, incredible number of diverse tourism attractions, unique cuisine and the continued increase of international visitors.

“We are honored that such a prestigious publication has recognized Japan as its Destination of the Year for 2018,” stated Naohito Ise, Executive Director of the New York Office of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). “Tourism to Japan among US travelers continues to grow, and we expect an even greater increase in the coming years as Japan continues to be in the spotlight as a top travel destination.”

Travel + Leisure will present a comprehensive guide to the best of Japan – from the changing foliage of Kyoto to the southern island of Kyushu and more – in the cover story of the December issue, available on newsstands December 1, with an expanded array of Japan content at travelandleisure.com.

“Japan is one of the world’s fastest growing destinations for travelers, who are now pushing beyond the major cities of Tokyo and Kyoto into all corners of the country,” said Jacqueline Gifford, Editor in Chief of Travel + Leisure. “Our audience is passionate about Japan because it offers such a rich, well-rounded travel experience: you can learn about centuries-old culture and tradition while taking in cutting-edge architecture and exquisite food. And it is the people, of course, who make a destination: the graciousness and hospitality of the locals are something that truly resonates with our readers.”

Even more, this week, Travel + Leisure will release a new monthly series, called “Locals,” to offer an inside look at destinations around the world. The first episode, titled, “Eat Ramen Like a Local,” will be available on Instagram TV and at TravelandLeisure.com, offering a unique perspective on the life of a ramen expert, who helps visitors navigate Tokyo’s ramen scene.

Eau Claire–Inspired Culture

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer explores Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a city of 68,000 that has rapidly evolved to become a trend-setting cultural mecca.

EAU CLAIRE abounds with classic architecture melded with cutting-edge street art  Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The driver behind the city’s renaissance has everything to do with the passionately engaged locals, including a 39-year-old tech executive who’s invested millions of his own money revitalizing his hometown’s anchor hotel-conference center, and millions more in Eau Claire’s new performing arts center, the Pablo Center at the Confluence in the heart of town.

The cutting-edge facility’s inaugural season includes dance productions, literary and film events, along with a series of musical events performed in the 1,200-seat main theater. Mack John, Public Relations Manager at Visit Eau Claire, notes, “there are multiple art galleries featuring regional and national visual art displays representing an array of mediums. And in keeping with Eau Claire’s emphasis on community engagement, the galleries are free and open to the public.”

Workers installing finishing touches at the Pablo Center in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin in preparation for opening day festivities September 22nd 2018    Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

John added that there are also multipurpose spaces on the third floor that offer dramatic vistas of the Chippewa River and the city’s lighted Phoenix Park Bridge.

A line up of the 2018-2029 live performances includes: Cloud Cult, Ganavya Doraiswamy, Tony Jackson, Ailey II, Kate Lindsey/Baptiste Trotignon, The Oak Ridge Boys, Blind Boys of Alabama, Kodo Taiko, Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure, La Caverne (torch Sisters), Aaron Diehl, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and Farewell Angelina.

 

Mack John at the Eau Claire Farmers Market   Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Kristin Dexter, co-owner of Forage EC Community kitchen in Eau Claire is a prime example of why the town is thriving. Listen to her conversation in the NPR.ORG Podcast   Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Eau Claire’s proud multi-ethnic pride is exemplified by the Hmong seller at Farmers Market in the heart of town. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Trend-setting Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s hip and happening Shift–it’s a combination coffee house and bicycle repair place Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

tranquility is mere feet away from the heart of downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE NPR.ORG PODCAST–CONVERSATIONS WITH PASSIONATELY INVOLVED LOCALS

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning podcast travel show,  Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast Directory,  Apple Podcast, the NPR One App & Stitcher.com. Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer

 

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

(Photo credit: Live Science) 


New Insider Microadventures of Mexico’s Cultural Heritage Sites Now Offered from Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Day Trips to Chichén Itzá, Uxmal and Merida Via Private Plane

 
The “Beyond-All Inclusive, Beyond All Compare” Grand Velas Riviera Maya now offers new Insider Microadventures for guests to experience some of the best culture highlights in the destination. Two experiences are now offered, one to Chichén Itzá and the other to Uxmal and the colonial city of Merida, with transportation in private plane included.
 
The resort’s micro-adventure to Chichen Itza, undoubtedly the most famous Mayan ruins, features a private tour guide to explore the complex, the largest pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people which was first developed between 750 and 900 AD. Also at the site, guests will be treated to a 3-course lunch menu of regional favorites and swimming in a cenote (a large, natural sink hole).
 
As a second option, guests can explore the ruins of Uxmal and Merida, the largest city on the Yucatan peninsula. Representing the pinnacle of late Mayan art and architecture in its design, layout and ornamentation, Uxmal is one of the most important archaeological sites of Mayan culture. A private guide will show guests around the UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the towering Pyramid of the Magician and the Governor’s Palace, which is over 12,000 sq. ft. in total. After visiting Uxmal, the experience features private transportation to Merida for a lunch and city tour complete with carriage ride down the Paseo de Montejo (Montejo Avenue) for a glimpse at the elaborate homes that still line the main street.
 
Private round trip transportation to both locations is provided in a CESSNA 206 single-engine plane.
 

The three-night Insider Microadventure to Chichen Itza starts at $3,960 USD and the Insider Microadventure for Uxmal & Merida begins at $4,545 USD. Rates are per person based on double occupancy and include luxury suite accommodations, à la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, fitness center, taxes, gratuity and more. For more reservations or more information on Grand Velas Riviera Maya, please email reservationsrm@velasresorts.com, call 1-888-407-4869, or visit http://rivieramaya.grandvelas.com/.
 
About Grand Velas Riviera Maya:
Set on 206 acres of pristine jungle and mangroves and with the finest white sand beach in the Riviera Maya, the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya is an ultra-luxury all-inclusive resort. Guests can choose among three separate ambiances in this Leading Hotel of the World, including adults-only oceanfront, family-friendly ocean view and a Zen-like tropical setting, embraced by the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula’s jungle. All 539 designer-like suites are exceptionally spacious, more than 1,100 square feet each, all with balconies, and some with private plunge pools. All feature fully stocked mini bars, plasma TVs, Wi-Fi, L’Occitane amenities, artisanal tequila, and Nespresso coffee machines. Bathrooms deserve special mention with walk in glass shower, deep soaking Jacuzzi tubs and marble interior. Eight restaurants, including five gourmet offerings, present a tour through Mexico, Europe and Asia. Cocina de Autor, at the hands of world renowned celebrity chefs Bruno Oteiza, Mikel Alonso and Xavier Pérez Stone, holds the AAA Five Diamond Award, the first all-inclusive restaurant in the world to win this prestigious distinction. Se Spa, a Leading Spa of the World, is the region’s largest spa sanctuary at more than 90,000 square feet, known for its authentic Mexican treatments, offerings from around world and signature seven-step water journey. Other features include 24-hour Personal Concierge; 24/7 in-suite service; three swimming pools; two fitness centers; water sports; innovative Kids Clubs and Teen’s Club; Karaoke Bar; Koi Bar; Piano Bar, and business center. The resort offers more than 91,000 square feet of meeting space and outdoor areas for events inclusive of a 31,000-square-foot Convention Center, able to accommodate up to 2,700 guests. The resort has won numerous awards from Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, USA Today and several other magazines and major companies worldwide, including World Luxury Spa Awards and TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame. Grand Velas Riviera Maya was built and is operated by Eduardo Vela Ruiz, founder and President of Velas Resorts, with his brother Juan Vela, Vice President of Velas Resorts.