Aruba, Jamaica…Ooohh I wanna take you!

Aruba, Jamaica…Ooohh I wanna take you!

A few years ago we were lucky enough to visit Aruba while sailing on the Disney Fantasy. The island was simply beautiful and we really enjoyed the short amount of time we spent there. We definitely have plans to return someday to explore more of the island!

As the most vibrant island in the Caribbean, Aruba is more than meets the eye. With untouched beaches and a ton of adventures awaiting, there’s an endless amount of fun to be had. But what about the island’s food? Well, that’s just as good, maybe even better, especially after a long day of exploration. So, to help you prepare and plan for your trip to the island, here are ten dishes you must indulge in.

Green Palm Tree Under Blue Sky
  1. Seafood 

Perhaps the most apparent food to try while on the island is the fish and seafood. In the Caribbean Sea, some of the most amazingly fresh seafood can be found. Take your pick between mahi-mahi, grouper, lionfish, prawn, or red snapper if you’re looking for a simple dish to try. However, the options go on forever. 

  1. Pan Bati

This bread is usually on the side of every main dish served on the island, and with good reason. Pan Bati is a sweet flatbread that dissolves in your mouth. Although it is prepared with simple ingredients, it is far from being dull in flavor. 

  1. Stews and Soups

Many of the local eateries and restaurants serve traditional Aruban stews and soups. Usually, the stews are full of chicken, fish, or goat meat, although you can still find soups and stews made with beef or lamb as we make it here in the states. 

  1. Ayaca

Dried fruit and cashews adorn this delectable dish of steamed beef wrapped in a banana leaf. That’s not all you get, though. There are a ton of ingredients used to create this unique, mouthwatering Venezuelan dish. 

  1. Keshi Yena

This authentic Aruban meal is a must-try! It includes a ball of cheese stuffed with meat or poultry that is spiced to perfection. Anywhere you go on the tropical island, you will find a unique and off-beat version of this dish. 

  1. Funchi and Banana Hash

This combo is certainly one that packs a lot of tasty flavors! Funchi is fried cornmeal mush, often served with gouda and a side of fried plantains. 

  1. Authentic Aruban Desserts

Pudding is a big deal in Aruba. You must order a helping of Pan Bollo (bread pudding with Ponche cream or rum, and ice cream) or Bolo di Banana (plantain pudding). 

  1. Hot Papaya Sauce

Often served on the side of meals, hot papaya sauce is the perfect addition to a meal if you can stand the sweet heat of papaya fruit mashed with hot peppers. 

  1. Aruba Ariba and a Local Beer

Although it isn’t food, the local beer is worth a shot. Balashi is the most popular beer on the island, but there are a ton of delicious choices. 

Beer and Sunglasses on the Sand
  1. Pastechi

Pastechi is a portion of famous Aruban street food. You can find it offered by most street food vendors, and all of them claim to make it best. No matter where you get it, you don’t want to miss out on this gouda filled pastry. 

It doesn’t matter what restaurants or cafes you choose to visit while in Aruba, but make sure you don’t leave without indulging in some of the foods mentioned on this list! They are by far some of the greatest, tastiest options on the island. If you would like more information on the most popular restaurants and places to go, please don’t hesitate to send over an email with your inquiries. 

If you are interested in planning a trip to Aruba, or anywhere else, please contact our team and we’ll reach right out to assist you!

East Coast Resorts with a Tropical Vibe

East Coast Resorts with a Tropical Vibe

East Coast Resorts with a Tropical Vibe

Life has been looking pretty different for nearly a year now. While everyone is ready for life to get back to normal, we understand that everyone has a different comfort level as they start to think ahead to planning their next vacation. Not quite ready to jet set to the Caribbean right now, but still want to get away on a tropical vacation? We can help you find that perfect destination.

We’ve been hard at work looking for some of the best beach resorts that the east coast has to offer so that you feel as though you could very well be on a Caribbean vacation. So, without further ado, here they are… 18 of our favorite east coast resorts with a tropical vibe!

FLORIDA

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort

Inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and author Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is a destination resort and entertainment complex on the legendary Hollywood Beach Broadwalk.

With an extensive array of amenities and a high level of hospitality, service and attention to detail, the 369-room 18-story destination resort is the perfect setting for guests to escape the everyday and just chill. Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort brings an entirely different resort perspective to South Florida with its unique, authentic, “no worries,” tropical vibe and the feeling of escape that is experienced immediately upon arrival.

What’s your paradise? It could be as simple as a day relaxing under a beach umbrella or hanging out at the Lone Palm Beach Bar followed by a great steak and a bottle of wine for dinner at JWB Prime Steak and Seafood. Or maybe you prefer active adventure with body surfing, paddle boarding and surfing on the FlowRider. For some, paradise is a lavish menu of indulgent spa treatments to nourish the body and soul and escape the everyday. With eight casual and upscale dining and entertainment venues including Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, LandShark Bar & Grill and the 5 o’ Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill – there is a place at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort where you can raise a glass and take a bite out of paradise. And we won’t forget to tell you about the adults-only 11th-floor rooftop pool and License to Chill Bar… this is a mini destination within the hotel with a seagull’s view of the Atlantic Ocean. This area is a relaxing oasis where you can work on your suntan, chill out with a frozen concoction or sneak in a nap under an umbrella. 

Whether you’re looking for an exciting place to discover new adventures, celebrate with friends and family or indulge in a relaxing getaway, one thing is for sure, you will return home from your visit to Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort with unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

JW Marriott Marco Island

Immerse yourself in sophisticated luxury at JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. Situated along three miles of pristine private beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, this resort balances relaxation with elevated fun and entertainment on Marco Island. 

Sample cuisine from around the globe at this Florida resort’s 12 restaurants. Tee off from one of two championship golf courses, take a fitness class or simply enjoy their family activities. This exquisite hotel spa offers luxury services and massages to help you recharge and rejuvenate. 

Unwind in this resort’s rooms and suites, each with a private balcony, or experience Paradise by Sirene, an escape curated exclusively for adult guests. Perched high above the Gulf of Mexico at JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, Sirene, your hostess, and muse, beckons you to her tranquil Florida haven. Her thoughtfully crafted enclave with just 94 guest rooms and suites, tailored to anticipate the predilections of guests ages 21 and over.

 

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Guests at Paradise by Sirene will enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast for two daily and can soak up the sun on Sirene’s private section of beach or relax at her rooftop pool. You can use your convenient access bracelet to unlock the doors to your Balinese-inspired guest room, complete with upgraded amenities and sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico from your bed or glass balcony.

But the true beauty of Sirene is her ability to make you feel like her only guest in this intimate setting. Is there anything that would make your stay with Sirene even more enjoyable? Simply text Sirene through the dedicated number she will provide to you upon arrival and her personal concierge will happily assist with arrangements or requests. Paradise by Sirene brings to life a private enclave and exclusive services with full access to all of the amenities JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort has to offer. 

If you’re bringing the family along, they’ve got the Tiki Tribe Discovery Day Camp if you want to take a little adult time to relax, recharge, and rejuvenate. And kids need time on their own to have fun, make new friends, and explore. The JW Marriott Marco Island’s Tiki Tribe Discovery Day Camp offers peace of mind for parents and tons of fun for kids.

The Tiki Tribe Discovery Day Camp invites kids to become wildlife explorers in a small, nurturing day camp setting. Campers are led by Marriott-trained activity coordinators while participating in a wide range or resort activities. This Day Camp is for children ages 5-12 years old and hours of operation are 10am-3pm. The daily fee for Tiki Tribe is $70 per child and includes lunch.

Looking for fun for the whole family to experience together? There are plenty of fun-filled, kid-approved resort activities, such as beach volleyball, Marco Island Scenic Cycling Tour, dive-in movies, Calusa Dolphin Watch, sailing & shelling excursions, hair braiding, and arts & crafts. 

Playa Largo Resort & Spa

Nestled amidst dense foliage edged by the ocean, Playa Largo Resort & Spa in Key Largo is the perfect place to kick back and relax in nature’s lap. Perfectly situated on 14.5 acres of secluded shoreline, across the Overseas Highway, the luxury hotel offers sweeping views of the Florida Bay. From the popular John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to the historic Overseas Heritage Trail, our Key Largo neighborhood offers plenty of adventures by land and sea. Deep Breaths. Deep Dive. You are on island time. 

Command your own piece of paradise as you stay in luxurious hotel rooms and suites overlooking the Atlantic and a tropical pristine white sand beach. Home to a beach shack restaurant, ceviche bar, a full-service diner and a sand bar, the best dining destinations are right where you are. Rediscover bliss at the resort spa lounge or bid adieu to your inhibitions with onsite watersports. Set the scene for an epic celebration at their intricately designed indoor and outdoor event venues. Slow down and reconnect with nature and each other at this sun-drenched, tropical oasis in the heart of Key Largo, Florida – it’s nothing like anything else.

Margaritaville Orlando Resort

OK so this one isn’t actually at the beach, but they do a great job of fooling you, so we had to include it as an honorable mention.

Make a list of must-haves for your dream getaway, and chances are you’ll be describing Margaritaville Resort Orlando. This island-inspired escape offers high-end accommodations, world-class dining and entertainment, and the most relaxing facilities and amenities around. If that’s not enough, the resort is located just minutes away from the attractions of Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and all the other Central Florida fun.

Margaritaville Orlando Resort is designed so that you can relax your way. Choose between modern guest rooms, spacious suites, and private cottages. Once you’re settled, their soothing spa, beach club, and kids club provide something for everyone. Afterward, head to Sunset Walk for some of the area’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment at the Promenade or dive into adventure at the water park, Island H2O Live! Explore all their offerings and start picturing yourself in paradise.

Each of the 186 guest rooms at the Margaritaville Resort Orlando Hotel is its own private paradise. Modern amenities and high-end furnishings provide the comfort, while floor-to-ceiling windows — showing off the lush surroundings and expansive lagoon pools — create a Caribbean vibe. You’ll be greeted with a welcome cocktail on arrival, and you’ll even have your own private balcony for soaking up that Florida sunshine.

(Photos above of a 6-Bedroom Elite Cottage)

If you enjoy a little more peace and privacy on your getaway, choose a premium cottage. These relaxing retreats offer the seclusion of a beachfront bungalow with modern comforts and access to all the resort amenities. Full kitchens, dining and living areas, separate bedrooms and spa-style bathrooms ensure the dreamiest of getaways, and configurations are available ranging from one to eight bedrooms, providing plenty of room for groups of any size. Accessible and pet-friendly units are available, as well as units with private pools and spas.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

Relax on warm sand and play in the sparkling blue waters of Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Just 2 hours southeast of Walt Disney World Resort, this elegant old-fashioned hideaway is located on Florida’s scenic Atlantic Treasure Coast near the charming community of Vero Beach. Get away from it all in spacious lodgings that provide the comforts of home with an idyllic beach practically at your doorstep.

Brave the 163-foot Pirate’s Plunge waterslide or shiver your timbers in a pirate-themed wet play area! Soak up the sun on tranquil beaches or grab a boogie board to body surf Florida’s Treasure Coast waters. Challenge your friends and family to a round on our pirate-themed 9-hole miniature-golf course. Take part in 2-on-2 basketball, volleyball, bocce ball, scavenger hunts, bingo, archery and so much more. Stop by Eb & Flo’s Rentals to rent bicycles! Enjoy a leisurely game or a professional tennis lesson at our full tennis courts. Learn the basics of fresh water catch-and-release fishing in our private lake. Enjoy the thrills of the Atlantic shore by renting wave runners, boogie boards, kayaks and other water sports gear. Umbrella sets and other beach rental equipment are also available upon request. Unwind with a visit to their soothing spa, and treat yourself to a full menu of rejuvenating massages and eco-friendly treatments.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort shares space with the nesting grounds of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle. The Florida coast is their primary nesting area in the northern hemisphere. In keeping with founder Walt Disney’s conservation legacy, this beachfront resort was specifically designed to create minimal impact on the turtles’ nesting patterns. Each year, moonlight acts as a beacon to guide the hatchlings safely to the ocean, so the resort’s east-facing windows are tinted to diminish the impact of interior lighting, and no exterior lights face the ocean.

Children ages 4 to 12 can discover, create and explore in Disney Discovery Club. This 3-hour supervised evening program includes imaginative arts and crafts, exciting sports activities, games, movies and even dinner.

Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach

Warm and inviting with a splash of excitement, Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach is the newest AAA 4 Diamond hotel lining the scenic Gulf shore. We have everything you need to make each moment of your Clearwater escape memorable.

From the moment you arrive, our goal is to take your mind and spirit to where it needs to be. Forget everything and allow yourself to experience all that this brand-new world-class resort has to offer. Your stay includes drifting away on the spacious sundeck along the sparkling outdoor pool, keeping up your exercise routine in the third-floor fitness center overlooking the beach and Gulf, and indulging in soothing treatments at our relaxing Pallavi Spa.

Inspired by the sugar-white sand beaches and azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico, their 343 guest rooms combine modern new décor, thoughtful amenities, and spectacular waterfront or marina views. For families in particular, this resort also offers king bedded rooms with a twin-over-twin bunk bed – no more queen beds for that vacation with your significant other, and each child can have their own bed too! 

Whether you’re seizing the day or unplugging from everything, you’ll find all the comfort and conveniences you need to enjoy life on one of “America’s Best Beaches.”

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point*

Note: This is another resort that isn’t beachfront, however, this resort is too incredible not to mention, and your stay includes a ferry ride to their private island!!

Create memories that will last a lifetime at this award-winning tropical resort near Naples, Florida. Play all day at this coastal Florida resort with the largest pool area south of Orlando. Encompassing three sprawling acres, there’s fun for every member of the family including five waterslides, a lazy river, four swimming pools, a hot tub and waterfall. For adventure lovers, you’ll be amazed with the Lazy River complex, featuring three exciting waterslides including dueling speed slides and an inner-tube slide for 900 feet of winding thrills. Float the day away on a tube in the lazy river through the tropical scenery. Families with little ones can enjoy the walk-in lagoon-style pool with tot slide and 140-foot corkscrew slide. Adults seeking tranquility can enjoy the adults-only pool area with hot tub. Multiple cabanas are available by reservation and poolside cocktails and lunch are served right to your chase lounge from Corkscrew Pool Bar & Grill.

(Photos above show a birds eyeview of the resort, as well as a view of the resort’s private beach)

Walk the nature trail or ride the trolley to the resort’s marina and board the ferry for a 15-minute crossing of Estero Bay. Along the way, spot pods of wild dolphins, see the American Bald Eagle, brown pelicans, and other migratory birds. Upon arriving at Big Hickory Island, spend the day at the area’s most pristine beach with spectacular shelling, beach chairs & umbrellas, covered picnic pavilion, and boardwalk. As this is part of the protected Estero Bay Ecological Preserve, towels, food and beverages must be carried on to the island. Book passage in advance with All Water Excursions.

Embrace the vibrant Naples area dining scene and the fresh food culture of the Florida Gulf Coast at our 5 distinctive restaurants and bars. Get your day started with a Starbucks coffee drink at Cool Beans. Watch the sun set at dinner on the screened porch, lakeside at Tarpon Bay. Sip artisan cocktails and enjoy live music in the bar on weekends, or enjoy a local craft beer outside by the fire. Savor coastal comfort food with an international twist in the tranquil atmosphere of Tanglewood. And soak up the sunshine during lunch with a frozen drink at Corkscrew Pool Bar & Grill. 

*dogs are welcome at this resort for small fee

SOUTH CAROLINA

Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa*

Located on the white sands of the Atlantic Ocean, The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa boasts a vitalizing wellness experience in a beachfront setting. This remarkable seaside hotel features modern design and coastal elements accompanied by the most luxurious and comfortable amenities. Your hotel experience begins with our spacious, thoughtfully designed guestrooms, which are designed to reflect their coastal Carolina setting. All feature the Westin Heavenly Bed and double-vanity Heavenly Bath, as well as a private balcony; many balconies boast stunning ocean views.



Enjoy the array of inspired amenities available at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa, including private beach access, three beautiful swimming pools and four on-site restaurants. You will get to encounter an unforgettable dining experience at the resort’s signature on-site restaurants, and enjoy a refreshing cocktail at our poolside bar & grill. Take a dip in their three outdoor pools with stunning views of the ocean or treat yourself to a revitalizing treatment at our Heavenly Spa. No matter your reason for traveling to Hilton Head, the goal is to ensure you leave feeling better than when you arrive.

Children will love spending time at the Westin Family Kids Club, while adults can escape to the Heavenly Spa by Westin™ for a rejuvenating massage. We also offer our hotel guests exclusive access to the adjacent Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club for championship golf and tennis. 

*dogs are welcome at this resort for small fee

Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort*

If you are looking for the best hotels in Hilton Head, you won’t want to miss this stunning resort. Located on sugar sand beaches off the coast of South Carolina on the #1 island in the Continental United States, as ranked by Travel + Leisure, and the #1 island in the US by Condé Nast Traveler. As part of the prestigious Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort community, Omni offers access to an 11-mile lagoon system with bike trails, tennis courts and three championship golf courses. Paired with sparkling pools and delicious dining, you will be captivated by this perfect getaway.

Embrace the island lifestyle at Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort, boasting the largest resort accommodations on Hilton Head. In each of their studio suites, you’ll enjoy elegant décor, mini kitchens with microwaves and mini refrigerators, granite countertops and separate dining areas as well as private balconies with beautiful views.

Dive in and explore the casual and fine dining restaurants at Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort. From gourmet meals to casual poolside fare, they offer a mouthwatering array of always fresh culinary creations at our island resort. Whether you want to relax and unwind or stay busy with activities and sports, Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort has something to suit your needs. Whatever you choose to do, one thing is for sure – you will have a memorable stay at this beautiful oceanfront resort! 

*dogs are welcome at this resort for small fee

Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort

Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort is located on the picturesque coast of South Carolina, only 5 hours from Walt Disney World Resort. This elegant, relaxing home-away-from-home—fashioned after a 1940s hunting and fishing lodge—combines local charm and simple pleasures with outdoor fun for the entire family. The resort features multi-roomed vacation villas and many recreational activities, including 12 miles of heavenly beaches. You can zip down the wraparound Water Tower Slide at the Big Dipper 72,000-gallon heated pool and spa. Smaller “tadpole” swimmers can frolic with the water-spitting frogs and whimsical features at the Little Dipper Pool. 

Head to the Hilton Head Island beach for an assortment of activities that your whole family will love. Disney’s Beach House is nestled on 3.5 acres of scenic Atlantic Ocean beachfront, about one mile from the resort. When you want to take a break from the surf, the H-shaped pool at Disney’s Beach House is the perfect place to make a splash. At the maritime-themed clubhouse, you’ll find Surfmen’s Station, an air-conditioned lounge outfitted with a large-screen TV, fireplace, indoor game tables and comfy furniture. The Beach House is accessible by regular shuttle service or a 1.25-mile bike path (bikes are available for rent for the whole family, including tandem bicycles!) Interested in an umbrella and chairs? You can easily rent this gear from an outside vendor located along the beach.

Kids and teens can enjoy a variety of crafts, games and nature programs—and a chance to make new friends! Plus, an assortment of family activities are offered daily. Golfers can tee off at nearby golf courses and take advantage of special discounted rates and packages. Explore the Atlantic coast and meet some friendly dolphins or discover the other natural delights of this scenic area. Cruise on open waters and meet dolphins that guides know by name on this fun-filled 1.5-hour boat ride on Broad Creek.

Explore the natural wonders of Hilton Head Island and the Atlantic coast. The resort offers Beach Nature Walks where you can learn about the beach environment while taking in its beauty. When the walk ends, you’ll be familiar with the various animals of the beach and the ocean. What types of animals are on the island? Which are endangered and what can we do to help them? How much do you know about our native bottlenose dolphins and birds of prey? Join a resort naturalist for informal chats to learn the answers to these questions and anything else you’d like to know a little bit more about! Take a stroll around Longview Island for insights into the Native American occupation, the flora and fauna of this remarkable Resort property, and some of the ways Disney tries to preserve the natural beauty of the island. Or take a trip to Pinckney Island, a beautiful national wildlife refuge, where you’ll see a variety of birds and maybe a gator or two. There are even naturalist programs available for kids!

North Beach Plantation, North Myrtle Beach

North Beach Resort & Villas is the newest and most luxurious resort in the Myrtle Beach area. There are three unique types of accommodations at this resort: Oceanfront Towers, Private Villas, and The Bridge.

The Oceanfront Towers at North Beach Resort & Villas offer condos ranging in size from 1-5 bedrooms. All of the tower condos have a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean as well as a vast pool deck that North Beach boasts. The Private Villas make for a true home away from home experience. From private pools, backyards, and elevators, these villas offer luxurious comforts for your next vacation. Finally, The Bridge is an oceanfront Seven Bedroom Luxury Penthouse at North Beach Resort & Villas. Located between both oceanfront towers, this accommodation offers a view that just cannot be beaten.

North Beach Resort & Villas offers a unique Caribbean themed pool complex that is the envy of Myrtle Beach. From swim-up pool bars, to relaxing lounging pools, you’ll find yourself relaxing in clear cool water and forget that the beautiful Atlantic Ocean is just steps away.

Myrtle Beach is also the golf capital of the world and in Myrtle Beach there is no better place to stay than the exclusive North Beach Resort & Villas. From spacious four- and five-bedroom villas to condos with breathtaking ocean views, the lodging options at North Beach Resort & Villas are tailormade for golfers. 

Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes

Discover an oceanfront oasis at Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes. This AAA-rated Four Diamond resort is optimally situated on the north end of Myrtle Beach. When you’re ready to venture out, you’ll find championship courses at Grande Dunes, nearby entertainment at Barefoot Landing and Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. 

Enjoy all-day dining and delicious International cuisine while you admire ocean views at the on-site restaurants and bars. Bask in the sun, play in the surf or take a dip in the indoor and outdoor pools. At Hibiscus Spa, find a full menu of wellness services and maintain your gym routine at the complimentary health club. This family resort showcases spacious hotel rooms and suites with luxury amenities. Relax in rooms that offer private balconies and scenic views of the beach and ocean. 

VIRGINIA

Ocean Beach Club, Virginia Beach

Embrace true luxury at Ocean Beach Club – a stylish oceanfront resort located at the north end of the iconic Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Graced with calming Caribbean design and a relaxed aura, Ocean Beach Club stands out among other hotels in Virginia Beach by offering the elegant extras you’d expect at a four-star resort. 

The stunning Atlantic Ocean serves as the centerpiece of the Ocean Beach Club experience. Spacious suites open up to breathtaking ocean sunrise or city sunset views, four pools sit just steps from the sandy beach, and the state-of-the-art 17th-floor fitness center overlooks the ocean. Dine poolside for breakfast, lunch or dinner at Tortugas Café and Tiki Bar, relax in your suite, or walk over to the Ocean Beach Club Shops for the boardwalk’s top shopping. Plan the beach escape of your dreams at Ocean Beach Club, the premier choice in oceanfront Virginia Beach Hotels.

Turtle Cay Resort, Virginia Beach

This resort isn’t ocean front, but it’s one block from the beach so it felt like a great mention still. Settle into spacious suites and comfortable surroundings at Turtle Cay Resort – a Diamond Resort, a Key West-inspired resort in the heart of Virginia Beach. Whether you are visiting for work, rest or play, Turtle Cay’s sprawling accommodations, inviting common area and family-friendly courtyard offer space to kick back and relax in a convenient location on Atlantic Avenue.

Recently renovated and updated with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and sleek cabinets, Turtle Cay’s spacious rooms and suites go beyond the ordinary to provide ideal accommodations for extended stays and year-round visits. Each suite features an inviting gas fireplace, washer and dryer in suites, a sleeper sofa and a full kitchen – ideal for family and group travel to the quiet south end of the boardwalk. ​

MARYLAND

Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites

Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites is Ocean City, Maryland’s premiere luxury, all-suite hotel. Located at 33rd St. and Oceanfront, it is convenient to numerous restaurants, nightclubs, amusement parks and golf courses. Ocean City’s world famous three-mile long boardwalk is five short blocks to the South. 

From the oceanfront pools, Ocean City’s 10-miles of pure white sand beach is just a stone’s throw away. For adult guests, the North pool deck features a sundeck, large swimming pool and pool bar and grill with swim-up seating. For families, the South deck features an elaborate zero depth entry swimming pool with fountains, waterslides and a lazy river. 

The Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites’ dining options include 32Palm, an award-winning restaurant serving an eclectic mix of Eastern Shore classics and Western Caribbean dishes. Rumbas Lounge is the perfect spot for an after-dinner drink or a casual meal. They also offer room service. Other amenities include a large game room and fitness room with state-of-the-art equipment. Adjacent to the fitness room is an indoor pool that is housed inside a three-story glass atrium. 

The property boasts 225 oceanfront suites, each with a separate living room and bedroom. All units have an oversized, private, oceanfront balcony with table and chairs. The living room and bedroom both contain a flat-screen television. Every room has a fully equipped kitchen with residential sized appliances including a stove, refrigerator, dish washer, microwave and coffee maker. Suites also feature large two-person whirlpool tubs. 

Doubletree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront

DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront offers guests spacious and chic lodgings in one of Maryland’s most popular seaside resort towns. Its location, services, and rooms make this hotel a wonderful option for business travelers, couples, families, and groups alike.

Located on the beachfront in Ocean City, this hotel is close to many of the area’s thrilling attractions. Here, guests can enjoy easy access to such sites as Ocean City Beach and Boardwalk, Old Pro Golf, Jolly Roger at the Pier, and Casino at Ocean Downs.

Accommodations are designed to meet the needs of different types of travelers as there is a variety of guest room types offered. The hotel features several on-site dining options, including Made Market’s, a café perfect for breakfast and light meals, and Marlin Moon Restaurant, the spot for classic American eats with an emphasis on seafood.

Guests of DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront can take advantage of free on-site parking at this smoke-free hotel. There are multiple pools, including a rooftop pool, as well as a fitness center and Jacuzzi to enjoy. Laundry facilities, a business center, and concierge services round out the perks here.

NEW JERSEY

ICONA Diamond Beach, Wildwood Crest, NJ

Overlooking beautiful Diamond Beach on the quiet side of town, ICONA Diamond Beach resort offers the perfect NJ vacation location: directly on one of the only private beaches in New Jersey. It is also one of only a few hotels in the Wildwood Crest area open year-round, this upscale Jersey Shore resort delights with sparkling clean, “feel-the-ocean-air” interiors by celebrity designer Blanche Garcia, spacious suites with galley kitchens, and beach attendants who set up chairs and umbrellas and serve fresh cocktails and delicious bites right on the beach.

(Pictures above of main resort area as well as their “The Star Beach Bar” which located between the main resort area and their private beach, which is pictured below)

A sundeck, heated outdoor pool and tropically inspired beach bar right on the sand create sun-soaked gathering spots for fun at the Shore. Whether sampling the special of the day at Coastal Blue, sipping late afternoon cocktails at The Star Beach Bar or sharpening their surfing skills, ICONA guests savor life’s simple and sophisticated pleasures.

Despite our many perks, it’s their friendly, personalized, “above-and-beyond” service that sets ICONA apart from other Wildwood Crest hotels. Every phone call is answered with “It’s a great day at ICONA!” because, at one of the prettiest spots on the Jersey Shore, how could it not be? And each guest’s arrival is greeted with the aloha spirit of warmth, welcome and love, hoping to turn all who visit into part of the ICONA family who return year after year to make new vacation memories.

Ocean Club Hotel, Cape May

The Ocean Club Hotel redefines the luxury Cape May hotel experience. Designed by Tyler Duncan of Duncan Design Group, this boutique hotel provides the perfect blend of style and comfort. Indulge in the hotel’s breezy elegance, modern sophistication, lush bedding and chic custom designed furnishings. 

Leisurely pass the day sipping a cocktail poolside, on our spacious sundeck offering spectacular views of the ocean or bask in the sunshine on the beach with our complimentary beach service. Stroll along the Cape May Promenade, just steps away, and enjoy all the attractions Victorian Cape May has to offer. Finish off the day with stunning floor-to-ceiling panoramic ocean views from your private balcony. 

The Ocean Club Hotel’s greatest amenity is its location and accessibility to everything Cape May has to offer, but the grounds and guest rooms also come with an abundance of amenities and guest services to make your stay even more relaxing.

Did we miss a resort that you think gives off a tropical vibe? Let us know so we can check it out!!

Aly Hirst

Alyh@livingwiththemagic.com

Black Friday and End of Year Travel Deals

Black Friday and End of Year Travel Deals

We’ve been working hard to round up some of the Black Friday/Cyber Week deals that have been released, as well as deals that will make you look like a hero when you surprise your family with their next vacation as their holiday gift!! Here are some of the amazing travel deals you can find in the coming days and weeks. One of our skilled travel agents would be happy to help you choose the best vacation for you and your loved ones.

Walt Disney World Resort

Save Up to 35% on Rooms at Select Disney Resort Hotels in Early 2021
Available to book now through March 15, 2021 for most nights January 3-April 17, 2021

Disney Visa Cardmembers: Special Rates on Select Rooms at Select Disney Resort Hotels
Available to book through February 28, 2021 for most stays through February 28, 2021.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai’i

Save up to 30% on select rooms at Aulani Resort for stays of 5 consecutive nights—valid from January 4, 2021 through March 11, 2021. Book through March 7, 2021. Book by December 1 to enjoy a $250 Resort Credit for stays of 5 consecutive nights, or a $150 Resort Credit for stays of 4 consecutive nights.

Disney Cruise Line

25% off prevailing rates as quoted by Disney Cruise Line by booking Verandah Category with Restrictions (Category VGT):

3-Night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral (Disney Dream)
March 26, 2021 | April 30, 2021 | May 7, 2021 | May 14, 2021 

4-Night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral
Disney Dream: March 22, 2021 | May 10, 2021
Disney Fantasy: May 29, 2021 

7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral (Disney Fantasy)
March 20, 2021 | April 17, 2021 

7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral (Disney Fantasy): April 10, 2021 


25% off prevailing rates as quoted by Disney Cruise Line by booking Oceanview Category with Restrictions (Category OGT):

4-Night Baja Cruise from San Diego (Disney Wonder): April 7, 2021


25% off prevailing rates as quoted by Disney Cruise Line by booking Inside Category with Restrictions (Category IGT):

4-Night Baja Cruise from San Diego (Disney Wonder): April 26, 2021 

5-Night Baja Cruise from San Diego (Disney Wonder): April 2, 2021 

Universal Orlando Resort

Ticket Promo: Buy 2 Days, Get 3 Days Free – available for 2 park base tickets as well as park-to-park tickets. Book by 1/6/21 | Travel by 8/31/21

Save up to $800 Package
4-night minimum stay at any of the on-site resorts at Universal Orlando; 2-park, 2-day park-to-park and get 3 days free. Book by 1/6/21 | Travel by 8/31/21

Black Friday Sale – Save up to 40%!!
4-night minimum stay at Cabana Bay Resort – Deposit due upon booking (no courtesy holds). Available Sunday-Thursday (Friday and Saturday night will not be discounted); 2-park, 2-day park-to-park and get 3 days free

Available for booking 11/27/20 *will be very limited and likely to sell out quickly*
Travel Windows: 11/29/20-12/25/20 ** 1/1/21-3/25/21 ** 4/11/21-4/30/21

Sandals and Beaches 

Thanksgiving Sale
Book any qualifying Sandals or Beaches Resort vacation of 6 or more paid nights and receive a pair of Waterford Elegance Collection Wine Glasses when you book by November 26, 2020. Travel through December 26, 2021. Blackout dates may apply. Trip must be registered within 72 hours of booking to qualify. Combinable with other Sandals and Beaches promotions (such as 7-7-7). 

Karisma Hotels & Resorts

Cyber Sale
The Cyber Sale is here, meaning the best rates of the year are available for a limited time. Treat yourself to the getaway you deserve — it’s been quite a year — and enjoy beachfront bliss, soothing spa treatments, Gourmet Exclusive® dining, unique experiences, and more. It doesn’t get any better than our Cyber Sale rates, and they certainly won’t last. So secure your tropical getaway and give yourself something to look forward to. Rates as low as $99 per person, per night. Up to 80% off. Some resorts and/or room types offering up to $1000 in resort credit, as well as $1 swim-up upgrades. Discounts and availability may vary by resort.

Riu

Black Friday Sale
Take advantage of riu.com’s Black Friday sale to book your next beach or city vacation. Enjoy up to an extra 15% OFF in all-inclusive beach resorts, or up to 20% OFF* in your favorite city hotel. Book by December 4, 2020 for through Dec 23, 2021. Changes made to reservations after December 4, 2020 will null the promotion. Rates and discounts vary per hotel and travel period according to availability.

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort

Black Friday – Cyber Monday Sale
Dive into the clear turquoise waters of South Florida and go where the weather’s always warm with our largest annual flash sale of the year! Enjoy up to 30% off guest rooms and suites for stays November 27, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Don’t wait too long – flash sale ends November 30 at midnight!

No minimum length of stay required. Offer subject to availability and blackout dates apply. Full pre-payment is required at time of booking. Payment is refundable without fees if cancelled or rescheduled prior to 72 hours of arrival. Offer cannot be combined with other 3rd party bookings, rate discounts, packages, promotional or group offers.

Margaritaville Orlando Resort

Black Friday-Cyber Monday Sale
You can receive up to 30% off of the retail rate at Margaritaville Resort Orlando and a one-time $50 resort credit when you book on Black Friday (November 27) and Cyber Monday (November 30, 2020)! Plus, for this deal, we will have a flexible cancellation policy. 30% off of the retail rate will also be available to book December 1-4, 2020 (no resort credit offered when booked these dates). Available for travel through 12/30/2021.

Hotel Blackout Dates: 12/26/2020 – 12/31/2020, 2/5/2021, 5/11/2021 – 5/12/2021, 6/4/2021 – 6/6/2021. Cottage Blackout Dates: 6/4/2021 – 6/6/2021. Additional restrictions may apply.

Encore Resort at Reunion 

Black Friday/Cyber Week Flash Sale
You can receive up to 30% off of the retail rate at Encore Resort at Reunion, as well as a one-time $100 resort credit when you book on Black Friday (November 27) and Cyber Monday (November 30, 2020)! Plus we will have a flexible cancellation policy. 30% off of the retail rate will also be available to book December 1-4, 2020 (no resort credit offered when booked these dates). Available for travel through 12/30/2021.

Encore Resort at Reunion is right in the heart of all of Central Florida’s world-class attractions. When you stay at Encore, you get more time to relax and have fun, with free transportation to and from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld Orlando, which are all just minutes away!

Available through 12/31/2021. Blackout dates: 3/23/2021 – 4/4/2021. Additional restrictions apply.

Royal Caribbean

Cyber Week Sale!!!
Save up to $550 when you book now.  60% off the second guest. Children 12 and under sail free all year long. And “Cruise with Confidence” (for sailings through April 30, 2022): Guests can cancel their reservation up to 48 hours before they sail and receive a Future Cruise Credit. And you’ll get our Best Price Guarantee.

Available for booking from November 24, 2020-December 1, 2020 for sailings starting January 1, 2021 and beyond.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Black Friday Sale 
30% off all ships and all destinations + 5 FREE offers, including FREE Open Bar, FREE Specialty Dining, FREE Excursions, FREE WiFi, and FREE Kids – a total of $2,900 in value! Feel free to Break Free with Norwegian! Must book by November 27, 2020 for sailings starting January 1, 2021 and beyond. 

Carnival Cruise Line

Cyber Blowout Early Saver Sale
Cruises from $65 per person/per day; Reduced deposits as low as $50 per person (deposit may vary by ship); FREE room upgrades!! Must book by November 29, 2020 for sailings through April 2023.

Azamara

Thank You Sale
In the spirit of giving, we have extended our Double Upgrade offer and added a little something more to ignite your wanderlust. With our new Thank You Sale, enjoy up to $1,000 in onboard credit, plus a complimentary two-category stateroom upgrade on select sailings when you book by December 5, 2020 for select 2021 sailings.

Palace Resorts

Gather Everyone for the Holidays

BOOK 1 ROOM, GET 1 ROOM FREE
Give the best holiday gift t—exclusive 2-for-1 savings for stays December 22 through January 3. Set the scene: You and those you love celebrating the season wrapped in all-inclusive luxury, enjoying fine cuisine, premium beverages, amazing entertainment every night, and a resort specially decorated for the holidays.

  • Kids & Teens Stay Free at Select Resorts
  • Free Airport Transfer at Select Resorts
  • 250+ Preventive Health Measures at Every Resort


You can use both rooms at the same time, or you can enjoy your free room to try out one of our other fabulous resorts on a separate vacation. What’s more, you can even gift their second room to someone they love. And don’t forget about Purely Palace, our comprehensive sanitation program with more measures in place to assure everyone’s health and safety.
Book by December 4, 2020/Stay Through January 3, 2021.

Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas
Atlantis, Paradise Island, | Atlantis Resorts | The Bahamas

Cyber Week Sale
2021 Rooms for $202.10 – plus Book Now, Pay Later! No deposit due at time of booking!! Pay just $202.10 per night for stays at The Royal at Atlantis for stays of 2 nights or more. Offer available for select room types and is based on availability. Book by December 1, 2020. Available for travel December 10, 2020-November 30, 2021. 

Trafalgar
festive street Locorotondo Christmas markets in Italy
It’s here! Enjoy BIG savings of up to $650* pp across our “Best of” trips on all 2021 departures. Now is the time to book your 2021 trip with us, with our risk-free, flexible booking conditions and the added assurance of knowing your wellbeing is our priority.


Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that the availability and terms of any of the above deals are subject to change at any time. Please check with one of our travel agents for the most up to date availability.

 

A big shout out to Aly Hirst for rounding up the best deals!!
Top 10 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

Now, more than ever, travelers are seeking assistance from travel professionals with planning their future vacations. With so much uncertainty in the world, having an expert in your corner helping you every step of the way not only helps to give you peace of mind when planning your trip, but it also ensures that you will be able to rest easy knowing that  your Travel Agent has thought of everything for you.

So, why should you use a Travel Agent?

  1. You won’t pay anything additional for your vacation package when you book with a Travel Agent versus booking your vacation directly through the destination. Utilizing an expert that can personalize your entire vacation is truly invaluable; the expertise and knowledge you’ll gain from using an agent will help ensure your vacation is as relaxing and worry-free as possible!
  2. Using a Travel Agent is a huge time-saver! There are way more important things you could be doing than wasting time comparing prices on countless confusing travel websites.
  3. Travel Agents have access to quickly find deals and special offers that may not be clearly visible for you to find in your searches.
  4. You can’t beat the customer service when you book with a Travel Agent. You’ll never get an automated answering service when you call your Travel Agent. Need suggestions or help sorting something out? You’ll get through to your agent a lot quicker than you would if you booked through some of those websites you search through. And your agent will do everything they can to help you get what you need, stat!
  5. Your Travel Agent will be your main point of contact from the time you start planning until after you return from your trip. They can also be as much (or as little) involved in the planning process as you’d like them to be.
  6. Not sure where you want to travel? Your Travel Agent will help you come up with some great ideas for destinations, while also keeping your budget in mind.
  7. Your Travel Agent will follow up and follow through to see that all of your special needs and requests are met whenever possible, as well as make sure you are aware about any deals that you may be entitled to.
  8. When you use a Travel Agent, you can rest assured that in the event something goes wrong on your trip or you have an emergency requiring last minute changes, your Travel Agent will be there to do the legwork for you so you don’t need to worry about any of that.
  9. Most online travel booking sites require you to pay your entire trip cost up front, regardless of when you book. When you book with a Travel Agent, you may be able to set up a payment plan to make smaller payments over time.
  10. Travel Agents love what they do and truly value your business!

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Self Care and Travel

Self Care and Travel

With back to school upon us, self-care for moms is a ubiquitous topic on social media and even the news. We are told everyday in the media we should be taking care of ourselves. Sounds simple enough, right? But what does self-care look like, and how can we really do it? Sometimes seeing past the stress to even know what we want to do is hard. Like any other task, breaking down possibilities into smaller segments is a fantastic approach.

Start small: how can I rest today? This week?

This month? In the next six months?

For today, try taking a walk. Unplug the phone. If you have small kids, even just a lap around the block with the stroller or putting on some dance music in the house can do wonders. If you are working, maybe a quick walk outside at lunch or an outdoor spot for an afternoon coffee break will help. Be sure you take those lunches and coffee breaks! The daytime downtime is important. A few times a month try to schedule a date with a friend or your significant other. Not everything has to cost money – simply going to a park, the beach, or a walk around the neighborhood will give you a chance to talk and reconnect.

Happy Coffee

My neighbor and I walk in the mornings after she drops her kids at the bus
– it gives us an hour or so to exercise and chat, before she’s off to start her workday. My husband and I try to go out to dinner a few times a month. We talk about the mundane but we always try to add in a “hopes and dreams” section in our conversations. It’s fun and helps us stay focused on each other. It’s so easy to get caught up the day-to-day demands of work, kids, house, stress.

Photo of Woman Wearing Pink Sports Shoes Walking

One of my favorite self-care opportunities is taking experiences with the family. My husband and I try to get away once a year overnight just the two of us. We are fortunate to have parents who are able to stay with our kids. We don’t always do something big – sometimes it’s a hotel in our city, sometimes a neighboring city, sometimes it’s a big bucket list trip like a cruise. If family isn’t available, see if you can swap childcare with a friend. It takes a little planning and coordination, especially if you have special
needs kids, but it’s worth the time and effort.

Two Person Holding Hands While Sitting on Grey Cushion

The last planning point for self-care is to dream big! What’s your bucket list item? Maybe a family trip to Europe. Or Disney World. A beautiful beach somewhere. The mountains in the fall.

Travel has a way to refocus our priorities and connect the family. My very favorite thing about travel destinations is seeing families (multigenerational, teens, toddlers, parents) connect. They are walking
through the theme parks laughing, talking, and enjoying their time together. In more exotic travel locales, many phone plans don’t work so there is an absolute disconnect from daily life.

Here are a few ideas for long-term planning:
– Take a trip to Beaches (with family or friends) or Sandals with your significant other. Everything is included but your airfare, leaving with you nothing to worry or think about.

– Cruises – something for everyone. Activities for kids, a spa, deck sports, shows, and amazing food. Unpack once, visit many locations!

Girl Enjoying on Beach


– Disney/Universal/Sea World – perfect for families, multigenerational trips, and even adults. My husband and I enjoyed a 24 hour date at a Disney Resort before grandma brought the kids down. It was amazing.

– Living With the Magic is hosting a Girls Getaway Weekend in April 2020. I went last year with my college sorority sisters – we celebrated 20 years of friendship! There is something special about spending time with your village.

This weekend, set a short term goal to look at the calendar and see what’s open. Make a plan for short and long term self-care. Together we can strengthen our human connections, relax and refresh!

Let’s get excited, plan a trip, and I’ll See Ya Real Soon!

Contact Andrea