Posted by: wingstravel | May 8, 2012

The Joy of Afternoon Tea

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Tea, Tray, Love: The Joy of Afternoon Tea with Silversea

If you’re a tea enthusiast, you don’t have to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love to find a way of balancing pleasure and devotion (though it is a wonderful book to curl up with on a lazy afternoon, with a nice cup of tea). And there’s no need to travel to Italy, India and Indonesia to follow in Gilbert’s footsteps (though that would be an amazing journey, right?). And there’s certainly no need to meditate at an ashram, as Gilbert did (though that could be rather enlightening).

No, if you are a devotee of tea, you may simply indulge your passion for the fragrant beverage in the hallowed tradition that is known as afternoon tea, finding balance in its daily regularity, and likely falling in love with the accompanying tray of delicacies.

At Silversea, our custom of serving afternoon tea at 4:00 pm offers guests the perfect respite from an active day usually spent ashore, exploring exotic lands and cultures. In the Panorama Lounge*, with its expansive views of the sea, guests gather to relax, share stories and enjoy the soothing sounds of a live piano performance.

White-gloved waitstaff circulate between tables adorned with crisp linens, fine china and three-tiered trays displaying an assortment of finger sandwiches, miniature pastries, cakes and cookies. They graciously serve pots of steaming hot water, selected teas, and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and a variety of jams. And it’s all complimentary.

Silversea’s elegant framed tea menu, containing actual tea samples and descriptions, features twelve tempting selections, including blacks, greens, oolongs and whites, all hand-picked teas produced by the famous Frankfurt-based Ronnefeldt tea company. A purveyor of tea since 1823, Ronnefeldt claims a Russian czar among its early customers. To truly appreciate their fine teas, have a look at this video, and learn why tea cultivation is truly an art.

On your next Silversea cruise, be sure to drop in for afternoon tea … and discover its enduring charm.

And if, like Elizabeth Gilbert, you’d like to do some soul-searching travel, we can help with that too. Silversea voyages offer the chance to eat, pray and love in Italy, India, Bali and dozens of other enchanting and romantic destinations.

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Posted by: wingstravel | March 7, 2012

Enjoy Wine?

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A Short Wine Guide

By: Globus

Historically, Germany’s wine has suffered with an “inferiority complex” fueled by the reputation of wine powerhouses France and Italy. And in modern times, they’ve tacked of “how to compete with a Bordeaux or a Chianti” by improving quality, while keep prices reasonable. Finally, German vintners are starting to reap the rewards.

The world famous Riesling region, centered on the Rhine and its tributaries and in eastern Germany near Dresden, is the biggest success story to come out of Germany’s 13 wine growing regions. White grapes form 80 percent of the harvest, but reds are on the rise, as well as the general reputation of German wines. Here’s an overview of the major grapes:

  • Riesling: Known and loved across the globe, the Riesling is an elegant white wine that sometimes has an aroma of peaches or apricots. The mid-priced varieties are good with almost any meal. The best come from the Moselle and Rheingau tributaries.
  • Müller-Thurgau: This white grape produces plain wines with less character than the Riesling. Grown everywhere, Müller-Thurgau generally has a nuttier, riper taste than the Riesling.
  • Spätburgunder: Germany’s Pinot Noir, this grape yields the best German red wines and may be the next German export to hit the world’s palette. Excellent examples grow on the steep slopes of the Ahr River and in Wurttemberg. Silvaner. This dry white wine is a specialty in the vineyards of Franconia around Würzburg. It has a sour apple taste that is good with meals or mixed with mineral water as a Weinschorle. 

Let Globus and Wings Travel help you build the perfect vacation to Germany’s wine regions!

Posted by: wingstravel | February 7, 2012

5 Unique Spring Events

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Queen’s Day
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

April 30th is the actual date of Queen’s Day which in Dutch is Koninginnedag, but the real festivities begin the night before on Queen’s Night. Starting the night of the 29th Amsterdam becomes a perfect celebration for all when all the clubs in the area prepare special festivities for anyone who would like to partake in them. Over 700,000 people flock to the streets of Amsterdam on Queen’s day for a day of partying and tradition. Queen’s Day is a city wide party which provides a unique, fun, and friendly environment for the locals and the visitors. Bring some change with you because one of the key aspects of the day is the Free Market. The Free Market encourages all of the locals to trade all in their house which is unnecessary with their neighbors and visitors. Be sure to bring comfortable shoes because you will be on your feet walking around all day.

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St. Patrick’s Festival
Location: Dublin, Ireland

The St. Patrick’s Festival is going to be held from March 17th to March 20th in Dublin. The St. Patrick’s Festival is a celebration for the patron saint of Ireland St. Patrick. There are events for the whole family including festivals, dances, comedy shows, and Irish music. Everyone knows though that Ireland is famous for its love of beer and there is no better time to celebrate that then during this wonderful festival. The greatest spectacle of the whole event is the St Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17th . Can we start planning now and help you truly celebrate the GREEN?

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Las Fallas
Location: Valencia, Spain

Las Fallas takes place from March 15th until March 19th in Valencia. During the preceding months Valencia is decorated with over 700 symbols and figures. The streets of Valencia are electrified by magnificent firework displays. One spectacle which takes place on the evenings of the 17th and the 18th is the “Ofrenda de Flores a la Virgen de los Desamparados” or “A floral offering to our Lady of the Forsaken.” This offering involves a large parade of Fallas members in decorative costumes offering flowers to the patron saint. The final and most extraordinary experience of Las Fallas is the closing on the 19th. The closing is a massive bonfire which brightens up the night and appears as if they are going to burn down the whole city.

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Kentucky Derby
Location: Churchill Downs, Kentucky

May 5th 2012 is the date for the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,” which is the Kentucky Derby. The first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown is located at Churchill Downs and has a long and glorious history dating all the way back to 1875. It is a great place to visit for any sports fan. Winning the Triple Crown is seen as one of the most difficult feats in sports and has not been completed since Affirmed won in 1978. This makes the Derby the best of the three races to attend because it always gives fans, jockeys, and owners the chance to believe that this could be the year where it all started and they were lucky enough to experience the start of something great. This place is not only famous for its great two minute race but also for the people who attend and the fashion statements its attendees attempt to make. A-list celebrities flock to the Kentucky Derby for this see or be seen event. Let us plan your trip and you can start working on your outfit, and try to be the best dressed there.

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St. Lucia Jazz Festival
Location: St. Lucia, Caribbean

For a week spanning from the end of April into the first week of May, St. Lucia holds its world famous Jazz Festival. In 2011 this Jazz festival hosted its 20th anniversary which is extremely uncommon for festivals in the local area which tend to start failing by their 7th year of operation. The festival provides formal concert styles along with intimate performances with acts from all over the world such as John Legend, Trey Songz, and the local reggae group 4th World. This festival is ranked among the best festivals the Caribbean has to offer and even one of the best festival experiences in the world.

Posted by: wingstravel | January 11, 2012

The Real Deadwood

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Thanks to HBO, no Western town is as well-known today as Deadwood in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The series has brought a flood of history-lovers to the real town of Deadwood – an outpost that still has a wild edge, since every saloon and bar has been turned into a lively casino. In the summer, motorbike enthusiasts cruise the streets like modern-day cowboys. But was the original Deadwood quite as raunchy and violent at the show depicts? As with so many dramatic recreations of the Old West, the answer is yes and no.

The basis of the series is absolutely true: In 1874, gold was discovered in the Lakota Indian Reserve, supposedly off-limits by treaty with the United States Congress, and white miners immediately made their way illegally into the area to found the rough-hewn town of Deadwood in its heart. The first sheriff of Deadwood was indeed named Seth Bullock, as in the series, and there was a Gem Saloon run by a certain Al Swearingen, of whom little is known.

But perhaps the most famous real-life character was the gunslinger Wild Bill Hickock, who arrived in 1876 to try his luck in Deadwood with the notorious Calamity Jane; not long afterwards, a cowardly poker player named Jack McCall walked up behind him in the so-called Number Ten Saloon and shot him in the head. Hickock usually sat with his back to the wall, but for reasons unknown changed his practice that day; his poker hand of aces and eights is still known as “the dead man’s hand.” Today, the event is recreated throughout the summer in Deadwood for enthusiastic tourists inside a saloon that has been rebuilt on the site; the original burned down.

While most other plot lines of the HBO series are fictional, the writer David Milch was trying to depict a broader historical truth about the Old West, where civilization was born from chaos. Now you can relive the historic bedlam of Deadwood and many other towns of Wild West fame. What legends could you create with Globus and Wings Travel?

Posted by: wingstravel | December 2, 2011

Unique Winter Events

Chinese New Year
Location: Hong Kong, China

On January 23rd 2012 the year of the dragon begins in accordance with the Chinese calendar. On this day the city of Hong Kong will be transformed in a sea of red and gold. There will be music playing, cultural activities, festivals all around, and finally the main attraction the parade. The parade reflects the Chinese culture, tradition, and also a revitalization. With hoards of floats, costumes, and fireworks, there is fun for all ages. The most exciting part of this whole experience is the one-hundred foot long dragon. The dragon is guided by young Chinese men who move the dragon in a dance and blow fire out of its mouth. It is a sight anyone would be impressed to see.

Mardi Gras
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

The weekend beginning February 18th and leading into Tuesday February 21st 2012 is the best time to visit the city of New Orleans. Let us make your travel plans now because finding a place to stay is not as simple as the “Big Easy” nickname would have you believe. Mardi Gras is a celebration which comes right before Lent and culminates on Fat Tuesday. It is one of the most fun events a person can attend because it includes floats, costumes, parades, and so much more. Be prepared while in the crowd and try and catch a “throw” which could be anything from beads to stuffed animals.

Carnival
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Although Carnival is celebrated throughout the world, the widely accepted Carnival Capital of the World is Rio. In the peak of the warm and gorgeous Rio summer, you can enjoy the celebration that is Carnival. The same time as Mardi Gras, running the weekend of February 18th and finishing up on Tuesday February 21st, Carnival provides a South American experience in the final days before Lent. Carnival attracts upwards of 500,000 foreigners alone to this spectacular event. The main attraction of the parade is the Samba Parade, also known as the Rio Central Parade, which is filled with wonderful costumes and put all together with the beautiful Brazilian Samba music.

Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival
Location: Miami, Florida

This four day wine and food showcase begins on February 23rd and ends on February 26th. The event is hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida and Florida International University (FIU). In 2011 there were over 55,000 guests and they were able to raise $2.4 million for FIU’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. This is the perfect place for any wine or food lover because not only is it located at beautiful South Beach but it also boasts some of the biggest names in the food industry such as Rachael Ray, Emeril Lagasse, and Bobby Flay.

Superbowl XLVI
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

February 5th 2012 is the date of the 2012 NFL Superbowl. Lucas Oil Stadium is the home of the Indianapolis Colts and one of the game’s greatest players, Peyton Manning. The Superbowl is the final game of the NFL season and one of the most, if not the most, important sporting event in the United States. However, this is not a vacation opportunity simply for one day or for the fans of the two teams playing. There will be events for the ten days leading up to the Superbowl in downtown Indianapolis for fans of all 32 teams. This is an event for the avid sports fan or a family looking for a fun week of sports and other great festivities.

New Year’s Eve in Times Square
Location: New York, New York

On December 31st there is no better place to be than Times Square. Over a million people come to Times Square to watch the ball drop and celebrate the end of one year and the start of the next one while billions of people nationwide watch their televisions closely to watch that exact moment when the ball drops and the clock strikes midnight. Filled with stars from all over the world this confetti filled event is a must visit at some point in a person’s life. People from all over the world flock to New York City and wait days in advance to get the best possible spot to watch the festivities take place. Hotels in NYC fill up early, so let’s start planning now.

Live Your Dreams….Leave the Details to Us! Contact Wings Travel and get going!

Posted by: wingstravel | October 25, 2011

Adventures By Disney

Quest for The West

Jack Sharp, District Sales Manager for Disney Destinations, LLC

I’ve lived and worked the travel business in the heart of Orlando for years. I’ve worked for Disney for the better part of decade.  I moved up to Pennsylvania so I could be close to family and stay with Disney.  I believe in every product we sell…..whole-heartedly….. and believe them to be the best in their respective class bar none.  After experiencing Adventures by Disney for this first time, I not only believe it….I know it.  Here are few highlights from my trip to Jackson Hole, WY and Yellowstone National Park.  I learned how to ride a horse and fly fish, I took on Class III white water in a raft with about 15 new friends (2 rafts), I saw Old Faithful and all the hot springs while being given a private tour by a National park ranger and I saw more wildlife and natural wonders to last a lifetime.  I never lifted a finger and everything…I mean everything… was taken care of.  The guides on these trips are your concierge, guest services, teachers, comedians and friends all rolled into one.  They literally know the destinations inside and out and take care of it all.  We are the #1 Family Luxury Tour and Safari Operator for 2011 (Travel + Leisure Magazine) for a reason…and that reason is quite simply…. Disney.  Whether it’s a customized DVD of my trip, full of pictures and set to music, that I received when I got home (included in every package), or the exclusive pins I received every night of my tour, the benchmark service I received from guides or just the mere fact that I didn’t have to make one decision for a week…I felt like royalty. If you are looking for that once in a lifetime trip, think Adventures by Disney. If you are looking to completely disconnect from the stresses of life and be immersed in a destination….think Adventures by Disney.  If you want to see our own National Treasure in a truly unique way….think Quest for The West.  If you need an expert to get  you there and button it up for you…..Contact Wings Travel today!  See y’all real soon now.  Cowpoke Jack

Posted by: wingstravel | October 11, 2011

Queen Elizabeth luxury at it’s best.

Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth

Carol Talcott 

When embarking Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth, you are immediately greeted with a warm and welcome feeling.  Exploring the ship showed that she is following the tradition of previous Cunard ocean liners with features of a modern ship. This 90,000 ton ship is regal and graceful. 

The Royal Arcade shopping area offers the opportunity for browsing the boutiques or to make a special purchase to remember your sailing.  There are many offerings, including fashion, cosmetics, jewelry, and Cunard merchandise. If you are looking to relax, the library with its leaded glass ceiling and spiral staircase might be the place for you.  There is access on Decks 2 and 3 with fiction on one deck and non-fiction on the other.  There is a vast selection of titles. The modern Fitness Center has up to date equipment and the Royal Spa features a host of treatments to experience. The Cunard Gallery features posters and pictures of famous guests while Cunard Place has special exhibits from past Cunard ocean liners.

 Of course, the highlight is the traditional afternoon British Tea served in the Queens Room with a string quarter playing.  High Tea is served with typical Cunard white glove service. The Daily Programme lists the activities offered from pub team trivia to ballroom dancing,  There are many relaxing events and activities to discover along with quiet places. The evening can bring many activities in the bars and lounges including the Commodore Club where you can select from 50 martinis and enjoy the view from the bow of the ship with live music in the background.  The Yacht club also offers great views and nautical atmosphere.

 In Churchills you will find great cigars and cognac, while the Golden Lion is a traditional English Pub offering ale and darts.

Dining on the Queen Elizabeth is an event. The Britannia Restaurant offers an elegant atmosphere  to enjoy gourmet meals. The Britannia Club is also found here and offers  a salon like dining experience for those sailing in Britannia and Britannia Club rooms. The Princess Grill offers single seating dining and a la carte menus in a sophisticated atmosphere. The Queens Grill is the very sophisticated dining experience offering a large a la carte menu for those sailing  in the Queens Suites. The Courtyard is located between the Queens Grill and the Princess Grill and offers al fresco dining with the same white glove service as the Grill Restaurants.The Grills Lounge is reserved for Grills guests to enjoy a cocktail before dinner or enjoy an afternoon tea ritual.

All cabins on the Queen Elizabeth were occupied and none were available to view. However, after seeing the entire ship with the light wood and beautiful patterns in soft colors, you just know that the accommodations are done in grand Cunard style. 

However the best of Cunard is the Formal Ball. Whether it be the Cunard Ball, or the Black and White Ball, you will have memories of Royal Nights in the Queens Room. Another outstanding venue is the Royal Court Theatre offering tiered seating or a private box.  All views are unobstructed so you can enjoy the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company.

 

Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth is truly one of the most beautiful ships afloat. Judy Bliss Cunard District Sales Manager and I had a wonderful experience aboard this extraordinary vessel. I look forward to working with clients to arrange an amazing cruise experience.

What are you waiting for? Contact Wings Travel today!

Posted by: wingstravel | September 21, 2011

City Of Lights

Jennifer L. Smith, CTA, DSS

Branch Manager, Wings Travel Group Allentown

There is no experience in the world quite like an escape to the hottest action around than in fabulous Las Vegas! There is nonstop action from the moment you get there. Las Vegas is a cruise on land you can do as little or as much as you want.

The easiest way to get around Las Vegas is using the Monorail to travel north and south on the Las Vegas Strip. Grab a day pass and check out some of the fun at every stop! After several visits I prefer a rental car to get around however traffic can be a challenge. The casinos do offer free parking decks. At the MGM Grand, check out the Lion Habitat, home to African lions and cubs, or solve a case at CSI The Experience. Hop off at Bally’s Las Vegas and take the Jubilee Walking tour, where you’ll get to see what it takes to bring the stage spectacular to life. Be sure to walk next door to Paris and check out the Eiffel Tower. Next up is my favorite the Flamingo, where you can visit the Wildlife Habitat and grab a bite at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville and see the soon to be Margaritaville Casino and Carlos’ n Charlie’s. Next door see older Las Vegas and vintage cars at the Imperial Palace. Turn the corner and shop at Carnaval court at Harrah’s. Explore more and visit the Venetian and take a gondola ride. Encore and The Palazzo next door are elegance at its best.  Across the walkway take in fun at Treasure Island’s, Gilley’s. The mechanical bull ride isn’t as easy as it looks! Next visit the Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage and as evening falls be sure to make time for the Bellagio Fountains evening water show in front of the Bellagio. Of course the new City Center on the strip including Aria, Cosmopolitan, Vdara, and the Mandarin Oriental is not to be missed! Keep going and visit New York New York and the new Tropicana. It’s endless!    

Looking for more of an adventure?  Did you ever want to sky dive? Try it at Vegas Indoor Skydiving next to the Convention Center. Thrill rides? New York New York roller coaster ride is a thrill! Still looking for more the Stratosphere Resort and Circus Circus is home to more of those adventuresome ride experiences. 

Next up is shopping. Where do I begin? You name it its available from Caesars  Forum Shops to The Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood to the Venetian, to the new City Center shops. Shop, shop, shop till you drop!   

Looking for some experiences not to be forgotten? One of my favorites was horseback riding at Red Rock Canyon at dusk. Absolutely spectacular and the sunsets were breathtaking. Popular are the helicopter tours of the strip at night with champagne. By day take in the Hoover Dam or enjoy a houseboat on Lake Mead.  Another attraction not to be missed is the Grand Canyon.  From walking to helicopter tours my favorite is the romantic tour including dinner and champagne at the bottom of the canyon. And certainly last but not least are you an Elvis fan? I am!  Visit the Las Vegas Hilton where he played his Las Vegas concerts and see memorabilia. You can find an Elvis act almost anywhere but one of  the best is Big Elvis at Bill’s Gamblin Hall. Free shows three times a day. Exhausted from your busy days in Las Vegas? It’s time for some relaxation. The pools at the casino resorts are spectacular. My favorite is Mandalay Bay beach and the Mirage. Another hot pool spot is the new Beach Cabanas at Encore where all the celebrities gather. Or spend the day at one of many spas throughout the resorts. I spent a day in Henderson, Nevada about 15 minutes from the strip at Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa. Amazing is all I can say. The resort was made up of stone throughout and the spa was spectacular. I felt like a new woman after spending the day there. All the resorts throughout Las Vegas offer amazing spa experiences.

Still going? Don’t forget the nonstop shows and  nightlife! Nightclub after nightclub. Looking for 70’s 80’s, hip hop and celebrity fun? You can find it all in Las Vegas. Remember this is the town that never sleeps!! 

Did I forget to mention indeed I did eat! The restaurants are spectacular. From quick bites to 5 course dining experiences. A few favorites is Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Encore Hotel & Casino (Italian seafood), CUT at The Palazzo (Wolfgang Puck, steak), Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand (French). There is a restaurant everywhere you turn in Vegas. I promise you will never go hungry! 

And all along you were thinking all there was to do in Las Vegas was gamble..right? Definitely not.I don’t know when there is time to gamble! Well..maybe along the way sometime! Next time you’re looking for some fun in the sun, rejuvenation, relaxation and some adventure think Las Vegas! 

Remember what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! Contact Wings Travel and get started!

Posted by: wingstravel | September 8, 2011

Why Oxford is Called the City of Dreaming Spires?

By: Globus
Oxfordhas long-served as an inspiring landscape to writers, artists and dreamers. In his poem, “Thyrsis,” written to commemorate his friend, Arthur Hugh Clough, who died in 1861, Matthew Arnold famously captured Oxford in the view from Hinksey Hill with the evocative expression, “that sweet city with her dreaming spires,” describing the elegance of the famous university buildings.Today, the view from Hinksey Hill is less dreamy, despite the greensward foreground of “Matthew Arnold’s Field,” which was purchased by the Oxford Preservation Trust in 1928. Now, those spires are best appreciated from atop St. Mary’s or Carfax Towers in town. Other literary treats lie in Oxford’s Christ Church College, where Charles Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll) was a mathematics tutor from 1855 to 1898. He created his stories Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass to entertain the daughters of Dean Henry Liddell. Much of his inspiration came from Christ Church, including the long-necked “firedogs” that hold the logs in the fireplace (Alice’s neck stretched long), the narrow spiral staircase down which the Dean would disappear after meals (down the rabbit hole) and the mulberry tree outside the library where a cat would perch (the Cheshire Cat).Today, a stained glass window in the Hall depicts scenes and characters from the stories. And, of course the Hall was used in the Harry Potter movies as the dining hall at Hogwarts. For the less lofty, a stained glass window in Christ Church Cathedral tells the story of St. Frideswide, Oxford’s patron saint, with her deathbed panel bowing to modern convention. The window was made in 1858 – a year after the aptly named Thomas Crapper invented the flush toilet. Thus, a flush toilet sits clearly in the background of the final dramatic panel of this famous stained window.

Destinations aren’t just places on a map. They’re the backdrop for some of the most fascinating stories in history. What story might you discover next with Globus and Wings Travel?

Posted by: wingstravel | August 25, 2011

Sheer Luxury and Opulence in the Riviera Maya, Mexico

By Vicki Bozarth

Director Corporate Services Wings Travel Group

The IBEROSTAR GRAND HOTEL PARAISO in the Riviera Maya Mexico by far, is one of the nicest resorts I have stayed at. The service was impeccable, the grounds were immaculate and the staff could not do enough for you.

On arrival, the private transfer set up with the resort was there and waiting with cold water and a sign with our name on it. Within 30 minutes of our transfer we arrived. We were greeted with cool hand towels and drinks. All of our questions were answered and within a half hour we were on our way to our room.

The rooms are incredible. Spacious room with a sunken living room with a ceiling fan, king bed, armoire with television and drawers, chaise lounge and desk with two chairs. There are two huge closets with plenty of hangers and shelves, a safe and a wet bar with coffee maker. The small refrigerator is stocked daily with anything your heart desires. The sliding glass door led to a spacious balcony with a floating teak floor, overlooking the tropical grounds as well as the indoor pool/spa.  Again there was a chaise with big comfortable pillows and a double wicker swing with the same big comfortable pillows and netting draping down from the ceiling that also had a giant ceiling fan. 

Back inside, the bathroom was just amazing as well.  Double doors opened up to this huge space, a full vanity sink at each end  and a huge jetted tub in the middle. A glass enclosed rainforest had a shower on one side of the tub and a glass enclosed water closet on the other side.

The entire hotel is concrete and stucco, incredibly strong and quiet, painted a teal color much like the color of the water outside. The ceilings in the hallways are domed glass that makes the hotel very bright and cheery. The floors are all highly polished marble with inlaid tile work everywhere. A beautiful dramatic marble staircase at the end of the building where the restaurants are located has an oriental rug at the bottom of it, only it’s not a rug at all, it’s all hand laid one inch tile squares creating this unbelievable “tile” rug. The chandeliers are brass works of art as well as the sconces on the walls inside and outside of the hotel.  There is also an extensive art collection of paintings on the walls and sculptures throughout the hotel.  Walking through this property, whether outside or inside is never boring there is always something to see.

There are four restaurants, Japanese, Surf and Turf, Gourmet and Italian.  There are also two buffets, one for breakfast and one for lunch.   You need to make reservation for dinner, but that can be done with the concierge, we had no problems on the afternoon that we arrived, to make reservations for our entire stay. The only one we did not eat in was the Gourmet.  The others were wonderful with our favorite being the Surf and Turf.  The filet and lobster tail are probably the best I have ever had anywhere. The buffets for breakfast and lunch were very good as well. There is a huge selection at both. 

The beach and the pools are all amazing, gorgeous and picturesque. The beach has individual palapas each with two lounge chairs. The main saltwater infinity pool is where all the action is throughout the day.  There is never a problem getting a chair, but if you want one that has shade arrive early! The tranquility pool is never crowded and sits on a side yard all by itself. There is plenty of chairs and plenty of shade if you so desire. The third pool is inside.  It looks as if it is in a greenhouse. Spa music is relaxing and there is also a sauna and a steam room in there.  

The hotel also has an 18 hole, par 72 Pete Dye designed golf course on property.  The golf is included in the stay and how many rounds depends on how many nights you are there. The fabulous part of this is that it is on property and the bell captain out front just calls for a golf cart and they pick you up and you are there in less than 3 minutes!!

The Grand is on a complex with 4 other Iberostar hotels.  The Paraiso Del Mar, Paraiso Beach, Paraiso Lindo and the Paraiso Maya. The Grand is adults only and the others are not. Staying at the Grand you can visit and use any of the facilities at any of the other properties. The other properties cannot partake in anything at the Grand. The complex is massive and in addition to the 5 hotels and golf course, there is a full convention center and a shopping mall and a spa. While staying in any of the resorts, there are golf carts and shuttle busses to take you anywhere you want to go.

This property offers you so much to do or you can do as little as you like. They offer all kinds of excursions that can be arranged by the concierge. It is incredibly convenient. 

This property is really fabulous.  It is definitely worth a stay. Please remember to tip the employees.  We tipped our maid everyday, and our room was clean before we came back from breakfast. We had fresh towels in the afternoon when they restocked the refrigerator and turn down service each night. 

What are you waiting for? Contact Wings Travel and plan your getaway today!

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