In This Issue Header
Editor's Letter,
October 2017

Breaktime in our office!
We just returned from our annual trip to Chicago to see my parents and spend time in one of our favorite cities. We all have those sentimental places we keep returning to where we go to see our loved ones, enjoy traditions with our families and friends, and continue to build memories year after year. These places are sacred and necessary as touch stones where we can evaluate our lives as the years roll on and revel in the comfort and joy of the familiar.

Someone once said, however, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone". We all need to stretch ourselves a bit every once in a while as well. We are excited to help with all kinds of trips, but we love the far off jaunts like Sri Lanka, an up and coming destination, Australia, Chile, Peru, India, and Africa. Come to us and let us guide you gradually to explore the world. There's so much to see and experience and understand. Do it now. Why wait?

Here's our October newsletter. Read on to hear all about where is best to go in the Caribbean this winter while they rebuild after the devastating hurricanes, places we love to stay in Kauai, and read about our big raffle giveaway this fall, the Cliff House in Maine. We were really pleased with all the people who sent in their answers to our question to name three Maine artists. As promised, we are announcing who won our 2 night's stay at The Cliff House (plus dinner at the Tiller), so keep reading!

As always,

Happy travels!

Lisa & Steve
News from the Road: 
Caribbean Update

Arthur Frommer is still best known for his first book, "Europe on $5 a Day."  But I got to know his travel brilliance firsthand while working as contributing editor for his magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel.  I'd walk into his New York office with a list of story ideas and he'd shoot me down, giving me far superior angles.  "Enough of the big-name outfitters," he once stated, "Steve, I want you to tell me of the local guy in Machu Picchu who knows his backyard better than anyone."  That led to a series of stories on dealing directly with local tour operators around the world, people we still work with and trust to this day.
Affordability was his signature, but I also loved how Arthur sent people to areas of the world we wouldn't normally go during that time of the year.  One of my favorites was a story on islands you can venture to in the Caribbean during the summer that are rarely affected by hurricanes. The last major hurricane to slam the ABC islands, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, was 1877, he noted.
I thought of that article as I began this update on the Caribbean after the latest devastating round of hurricanes. While Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, St. Martin, St. Barts, Dominica, and Barbuda are on the long road to recovery, those same islands I discussed with Arthur Frommer in his office over two decades ago remained unscathed. If you have plans to visit the Caribbean this winter, these would be our top picks:
If you dream of a Caribbean getaway with blinding white sands and aquamarine waters, a destination that has year-round temps in the mid to upper 80s, less than 15 inches of rain a year, a steady breeze, then it's hard to top the Dutch island of Aruba. Only 16 miles long and 7 miles wide, this speck of land, just off the South American coast remains a popular escape year after year simply because you're guaranteed a week or two of a warm, therapeutic climate. This is an island of big hotels like the Marriott and Riu resorts that line Palm Beach, splashy casinos, and excellent dining.  The Marriott and Riu are great for families. For couples, we
suggest Bucuti & Tara. The premiere boutique resort on the island, this Eagle Beach adults-only property offers 104 guest rooms and suites, a freshwater infinity pool, and their Intermezzo Spa.
Families underestimate the size of Jamaica. Driving from one end to the other, it can take close to six hours. Yet, within its confines are some of the finest stretches of coastline in the Caribbean with the lush Blue Mountains rising from its core. Whichever side of the island you choose, make that extra effort to leave the premises of your resort. To fully experience a Jamaican vacation, you have to go outside the walls to dine on wonderful Jamaican specialties like jerk chicken, listen to live Reggae bands, and meet the people. The highlight of any trip to Ocho Rios is the hour climb up Dunn's River Falls. Standing 600 feet high, you hike up the rock steps as the waters come barreling down. Another favorite way to spend a morning or afternoon in the Ocho Rios region is inside large tubes, floating down the mountainous White River. Negril's claim to fame is its seven-mile stretch of soft sand that gently slopes into the translucent waters.
Tryall Club
 Favorite properties on island include Round Hill, Tryall Club, and Iberostar Rose Hall Beach in Montego Bay, Tensing Pen and the Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, and Goldeneye and Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios.
St. Lucia
With direct flights from New York, Boston, and Chicago, Saint Lucia is poised to be one of the top locales in the Caribbean this winter. Once you arrive, expect a lush volcanic island that's home to the dramatic twin peaks called the Pitons, miles of uncongested beaches, great water visibility and active reefs for scuba diving and snorkeling, a welcoming people, and some of the finest resorts in the Caribbean.
Active families will love the hiking, biking, swimming, and sea kayaking at BodyHoliday, couples will enjoy the exquisite vistas of the Pitons at Anse Chastanet and their sister property Jade Mountain .
Anse Chastanet
Nestled between the Pitons, Sugar Beach has one of the best locales on island. If you truly savor solitude, opt for Ti Kaye, a boutique resort nestled into a hillside above a glorious strip of secluded beachfront.
St. Kitts and Nevis
The first luxury beach resort in St. Kitts as well as the first Park Hyatt hotel in the Caribbean region is slated to debut on November 20th. All 78 rooms and 48 suites will overlook the golden beach of Banana Bay at the foot of the island's rolling hills. O n the neighboring island of Nevis, the Relais & Chateaux property, Montpelier Plantation and Beach, is not only known for its exceptional food but as the perfect place to escape the world on the leafy hillside, as Princess Diana once did with her two sons.
Grand Cayman Island
Venture about eight feet underwater in a protected area off Grand Cayman and you'll soon be wrapped in a wet suit made of dozens of tame stingrays. It's just another day at Grand Cayman, whose legendary underwater reputation stems from its countless diving and snorkeling sites, warm waters and crystal clear visibility. Spend your nights at the Ritz-Carlton, which evokes memories of the colonial Caribbean when gin and tonics on the veranda were a tourist's most strenuous activity. Other clients have raved about the new  Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa, their first in the Caribbean, at Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach. The 266-room resort is home to an 8,500 square-foot spa, oceanfront bungalows, mega-sized pool, and the restaurant, Avecita, which is already starting to garner attention on an island known for its restaurants.

Hotels We Love:
Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai Island is farther north and west than the other major Hawaiian Islands. It has dramatic craggy mountains, luxuriant valleys and many breezy beaches that have mostly managed to dodge excessive development. Yes, Kauai has many hotels, resort complexes and some of the state's best golf courses, but they're centralized in small pockets on the east, north and south sides of the island.   The landscape has been protected by height restrictions. This keeps buildings from towering over the coconut tree and the interior of the island remains predominantly rural. As a result, the natural scenery stands out and is incredibly beautiful.

Serious hikers should set aside an extra day or two just to hike Kauai's marvelous nature trails. Outdoor lovers will also find challenging golf, whale-watching (December- to mid-April) and boat trips along the spectacular Na Pali Coast. This island is well-suited to travelers who enjoy nature. The scenery and abundance of outdoor activities are the highlight here so for shopping and nightlife it's best to go to a different Hawaiian island.

Here's a few hotels that we love:

This is a wonderful family resort complete with all kinds of activities to keep kids and adults entertained and content. Lots of fun in the sun like a large pool with water slides, luaus onsite, several restaurants and bars, torch-lighting ceremonies, hula shows, and an exquisite mile long white sand beach. 

Definitely the most luxurious resort on the island, this St. Regis offers access to world-class golf, tennis, a wonderful spa and excellent dining. If you saw The Descendants with George Clooney, you may remember this hotel. If you go in summer, you can hang on the wide, sandy beach and go snorkeling in the shallows. Winter visitors will likely be at the pool unless they are world-class surfers as the swells can go as high as 40 feet.

This boutique hotel is elegant and understated and its oceanfront location right on Poipu Beach is ideal. You can borrow their outrigger canoes and bikes and enjoy their daily outdoor fitness classes. Its onsite restaurant, Red Salt, is known for it's delicious sushi offerings.

Call  ActiveTravels if you'd like us to help you plan a trip to Hawaii.
Tried & True Travel Tips:
Amazon Prime Now to the Rescue!

Here's a business travel tip for those who have Amazon Prime! Sometimes you forget to pack something and then you either overpay at the hotel store or you need to walk to the local CVS or Walgreens. What if you don't have time to go to the store because you have client appointments or meetings?! Download the Prime Now app on your phone, log in with your Amazon account, type in the zip code where you're located, and Amazon Prime Now will deliver your order to your hotel! There's a $20 min for the order and it will ship free. You don't have to wait for your order either. Your order will be at the front desk in a brown bag when you get back from your meetings. So convenient and another way to use Amazon Prime!

Quick Escape:
Cliff House, Cape Neddick, Maine
After closing for a year and spending upwards of $40 million, the newly revamped Cliff House has little in common with its predecessor. Now that Phase II of the rebuild is done, adding additional rooms and an adults-only infinity swimming pool, it deserves its rightful place as one of New England's finest resorts. To truly appreciate the resort's name, stroll on the hotel grounds down by the tidal pools and peer back at the wall of rock that houses the lodging atop a precarious cliff. Located in Cape Neddick, on the outskirts of Ogunquit, it's one of the most dramatic vistas of the Maine coastline. The 2-story lobby and all rooms have blue carpeting, a nautical theme, and premium oceanfront locale with mesmerizing views of the flat sea leading to the horizon. On premises, there's a 9,000 square-foot luxury spa, infinity pool and hot tub, indoor lap pool, casual lobster-in-the-rough restaurant called Nubb's, and the more upscale Tiller restaurant, where you can dine on freshly caught lobster overlooking the jagged shoreline. There's also the opportunity to play 18 holes of golf at the adjacent golf course or venture out on guided kayaking, horseback riding, mountain bike riding, and lobstering excursions.
We're grateful that the Cliff House has generously offered 2 nights and dinner at Tiller for one lucky ActiveTravels member. Thank you to everyone who participated in our annual fall giveaway. We especially liked the long list of Maine artists mentioned, from the well-known choices like Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper to the more obscure selections like Earl Cunningham and George Bush Sr. 

Drumroll, please.... And the winner is... 


Congratulations, Lauren!
©2017 Active Travels