Thursday, November 06, 2014

Travel Headlines News


AMResorts welcomed the 447-suite Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rico on Monday in the country's Guanacaste region. The all-inclusive property sits 90 minutes from the airport in Liberia and close to two major national parks. It offers eight restaurants, five bars, several pools, kids and teen clubs, and other guest services.

AMResorts also opened the 35-suite Zoetry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres Cancun this past weekend. The former Villa Rolandi property offers a Thalasso spa with a natural saltwater pool, a private marina, and other features.

The famed 44-suite Malliouhana luxury resort in Anguilla is now open again, after being closed for three years for a complete overhaul. It's now an Auberge Resorts property. (In other news, the island's Cap Juluca resort re-opened last weekend for the winter season after repairing slight damage from a recent tropical storm, and the resort says there was no erosion on the nearby beach.)

The airport in Punta Cana (D.R.) opened Terminal B (its second terminal) this past weekend. The new facility features 50 check-in counters, a food court, a Champagne bar, a designated smoking area, and other services.

The owners of the 98-room Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, took over the property Monday, expelling the Capella Hotel Group managers on site. The property has been closed to fix damage from Hurricane Odile in mid-September. It's been renamed the Resort at Pedregal, but Capella Hotel Group plans to mount a legal fight to regain control of the hotel.

Princess Cruises christened the 3,560-passenger ship "Regal Princess" in a ceremony that featured the six original cast members of the TV show "Love Boat" as the vessel's godparents and a record-breaking 51 Champagne bottles being smashed against its hull for good luck (50 bottles for the line's 50th anniversary, plus one more for the future).

Carnival Corp. says it will introduce a new long-range broadband wireless Internet network on all of the ships across its nine brands that's 10 times faster than the current system. The rollout should be done by the end of 2016.

The Linq Hotel & Casino opened last week in Las Vegas. Formerly the Quad Resort & Casino, the property underwent a complete overhaul to appeal to "the under 40 crowd."

Signature Vacations reintroduced its Los Cabos packages from nine Canadian gateways, as more hotels there have reopened and repaired recent hurricane damage.

For more information, please contact your honeymoon and destination wedding specialists at www.romanticplanet.ca 


Monday, November 03, 2014

Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica Debutes

On November 1st, first guests Maximo Rodriguez and Yaniriam Campos joined in celebrating the resort's official opening.

Located on the beautiful Playa El Jobo, Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica is set on a shimmering white sand beach amidst a lush, tropical jungle. Built to achieve the highly coveted LEED certification, this 447-suite eco-friendly resort features a contemporary design, inviting couples and couples with children to enjoy all the benefits of the brand’s Unlimited-Luxury® experience, including: elegant suites featuring 24-hour room service, daily refreshed mini-bars and Jacuzzi tubs in every room; 24-hour concierge services; eight gourmet restaurants, with five á la carte dining options, a buffet, a grill and a café; five bars and lounges serving international fare and top-shelf spirits; complete day and evening activities program and adventures for every age and interest; and access to the Explorer’s Club for kids with supervised fun and a Core Zone Teens Club with activities and social events.

Resort amenities also include the largest pool (44,000 sq. ft.) in the Guanacaste resort region, “La Cascada” water slide, kids pool and steaming whirlpool; non-motorized water sports; a state-of-the-art fitness center; and a daily activities center. The Dreams Spa by Pevonia offers a sublime atmosphere offering 10 therapy cabins for a variety of treatments, and a hydrotherapy circuit. The resort boasts a beautiful wedding gazebo and numerous reception spaces, making this an idyllic resort for destination weddings.
 
In addition, Dreams Las Mareas offers Unlimited Connectivity which allows guests free app-to-app calling, access to event/activity schedules, local destination information, and the ability to create a user profile to schedule spa treatments, excursions and directly contact resort staff.

Dreams Las Mareas is located on the northern coast of Guanacaste, approximately 1.5 hours from Liberia International Airport. This sanctuary for couples, families and singles is close to both Guanacaste and Santa Rosa National Parks, offering guests access to a variety of outdoor and nature activities that Costa Rica is known for.

As a part of AMResorts’ commitment to maintaining sustainability, Dreams Las Mareas was built to achieve the highly coveted LEED certification. The resort is being built with recycled resources, and upon opening ecological practices such as water and light-saving techniques will be utilized on a daily basis. The LEED organization will evaluate the resort six months after opening.

For your honeymoon or destination wedding quote, please contact the experts at Romantic Planet Vacations;  1-866-247-8123 or inquiries@romanticplanet.ca

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why Use A Travel Agent

Why Use a Travel Agent?

It’s a really good and valid question, and to be honest, sometimes the answer might actually be that you don’t need one! But we’ll come back to that.

Most travel agents now prefer the title travel consultant or similar. Why? It has a lot to do with the advantages they offer today. Still, with all the websites, deal finders, mobile travel apps, and online services, a lot of people ask: why use a travel consultant?

It’s not hard to do it yourself. It might even be fun! Or, it could turn into a huge disaster. Below are a few points to consider before clicking the BUY button or tapping yourself into a nonrefundable corner.

1. Experience. Think about what you do for a living. For nearly every profession, you can find a website, video, or app that gives potential customers a way to do it themselves. With a little help from the Internet you can fix your car, build cabinets, replace plumbing, write wills, draft contracts, cut hair, make clothes, buy shoes, do accounting, buy stock, cook, bake, and let’s not forget edit videos and touch-up photos.

Finding instructions or tools is not the problem. Doing it RIGHT is the issue. If you put the wrong screw in the wall, it’s no big deal. If you put your family in the wrong resort, it’s a much bigger deal. It becomes even bigger if something goes wrong.

Most people deal with planning a vacation once or twice a year. Travel consultants deal with it all day, every day and many have been doing it for years. Their livelihood fully depends on using their knowledge and experience to craft a vacation you’ll love so much that you’ll keep coming back for more.

Websites and apps with advertising-driven, biased offerings are counting on your own lack of experience to push you to options that will earn them the most profit. Your satisfaction is not part of the display algorithm.

2. Real Deals. Have you ever wondered why some cruises, resorts, or hotels seem to have cheaper deals on some websites? There’s always a reason. Sometimes, it’s a good reason. Sometimes, it’s a very bad reason that you won’t know about until you arrive and it’s too late. There’s always a reason, and a great price is not always a good deal.

For example, every hotel has “undesirable” rooms they have trouble filling. Smaller rooms in noisy areas, rooms that haven’t been renovated lately, or those that overlook the dumpsters are always cheaper than nice ones in quiet areas with good views.

Websites are perfect for liquidating those rooms at bargain rates. Unfortunately, these so-called deals rarely mention things like smelly carpet or noise. It’s also no coincidence that many require full payment upon booking and are nonrefundable.

Even the most beautiful cruise ship has cabins they have trouble selling. The ones directly under the dance floor of the all-night disco, or the ones near the anchor chain that bangs against the side of the ship are just two examples. There are plenty of hard-to-sell cabins that are perfect for online deals.

To be fair, sometimes you can get lucky online! Sometimes the deals are real and worth the risk. Sometimes.

Travel consultants know the legitimate deals from the come-ons. They’ve been trained to uncover the reason behind the bargain. They understand travel lingo, know what to look for and most importantly: they know what to avoid.

3. Transparency. With websites and apps, you may not know what you’ll actually be paying! Many hotels add nightly “resort fees” of $25 to $50 on top of the discounted rate apps and websites display. Of course, you won’t know about them until you check out. Even rental cars can end up costing double the online rate once extra charges like airport fees, taxes, surcharges and such have been added.

Travel consultants know these little details. They make sure you are never unpleasantly surprised. You’ll always know exactly what you’ll be paying and what you’ll get for it.

4. Options. When you buy a cruise or vacation package online, you’ll almost always be required to pay for the entire trip up-front. Did you know that travel consultants offer another option? Usually they can hold the space for you for a small deposit of around $150 to $200. Final payment is not due until between 30 to 60 days prior to departure. In many cases, you can change your plans or cancel entirely prior to final payment!

In addition to the payment options, travel consultants can research and suggest alternatives to what you may have requested. While “Resort A” may be wonderful, its website will never tell you that “Resort B” has a nicer beach or better rates, or that that its own casino is closed for loud and dusty renovations.

5. Advice and Connections. Travel consultants offer something you’ll never find online or in an app: professional advice. Online, every resort or cruise is made to look beautiful and appealing. But, it’s no bargain if you end up regretting the trip. The main reason to use a travel consultant is to make sure you never waste a penny on a vacation you won’t truly enjoy.

There’s one more thing you’ll only get from a travel consultant: relationships. They have real one-to-one personal relationships with travel suppliers that can fix things should something happen to go wrong.

If a travel app messes up your reservations, you’re on your own. But with a travel consultant – you’ll have an advocate on your side with connections. In other words: a human who cares. To the machines, you’re nothing but their data.

Also, you might have heard that some travel consultants charge fees for their professional service. Like other skilled advisors, the best often do. But fees don’t mean you’ll always pay more. In fact, they’re likely to save you more than you ever imagined.

When You Don’t Need a Travel Consultant

It’s true. Sometimes you might not need a travel consultant. If you’re willing to take some risks, and not be concerned if something goes wrong, you might get lucky with the apps and websites. Many people do. Travel consultants just prefer not to gamble.

by Nolan Burris, Chief Visioneer, Future Proof Travel Solutions

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Transat offers The Distinctive Collection

Romantic Planet Vacations and Transat Holidays is proud to offer the Distinction Collection, an outstanding line of renowned resorts providing even more inclusions, so you can escape the ordinary and enjoy the honeymoon, vacation or destination wedding that you've ever dreamed of.

Located on the finest beaches in Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, these resorts welcome guests with a refreshing cocktail and a cold towel as soon as they get to the hotel, as well as a bottle of wine, rum or tequila in the room for an earlier start to their vacation celebration. Accommodations are equipped with a mini-bar restocked daily with water, soft drinks and more, as well as a complimentary safe and beach towels, bathrobes and slippers. Roundtrip transfers between the airport and the resort, golf or spa discounts, the services of concierge, unlimited select international drinks, additional a la carte dinners at a selection of gourmet restaurants, turn down service & nightly entertainment.

Experience all this and more when staying at the following resorts:

• Bahia Principe Royal Golden Ocean Sapphire Club
• Iberostar Star Class Palace Crystal Club
• Marival Grand Section Palladium Imperial Club
• Melia Elegance Club Paradisus Emerald Club
• Occidental Preference Club Sirenis Le Mirage

If you book your stay with any of these resorts through Romantic Planet Vacations by September 30, 2014, you will also receive these additional benefits:

• Complimentary Option Plus
• $100 per person deposit
• A travel voucher of $50 per person for your next vacation

Contact your Certified Specialist today!

Inquiries@romanticplanet.ca or

1-866-247-8123
Romantic Planet Vacations

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Destination Wedding Planning Process #Infographic

Friday, June 27, 2014

New and Noteworthy in the world of #Destinationwedding and #Honeymoons

Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, St. Thomas
AMResorts will take over the 294-room Sugar Bay Resort & Spa in St. Thomas next Tuesday, rebranding it as the Dreams Sugar Bay St. Thomas Resort & Spa in November after several months of renovations that will include guestroom upgrades.


Riu Hotels & Resorts unveiled new menu options at its themed restaurants at the Riu Palace locations in Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, the Riviera Maya, and the Riviera Nayarit. The changes include almost 100 new dishes, giving guests six main course choices (up from four).

The One&Only Hayman Island private island resort in Australia's Great Barrier Reef region will open after a huge makeover, including a redesigned "pool wing" that's now all suite.

Air Canada Vacations will roll out new nonstop flights on January 1st, 2015 between Montreal and Curacao, with introductory package prices on the route when you book by July 31, 2014.

The Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort in Jamaica will add a beachfront water park in December with water slides, raft rides, a "lazy river," a dining plaza with a bar, and other amenities.

The 1,600-room SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino will open ahead of schedule (Aug 23) rather than Labor Day). It will be the first brand-new Strip resort to open in almost five years.

The 124-room Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina in St. Lucia will re-open officially on August 15th, (after a "soft opening" next month) with new suites, restaurants, health and wellness facilities, a cigar bar, and a "rum cave." (It's the former Discovery at Marigot Bay property.)

Investors announced plans to resurrect the Moulin Rouge Casino and Resort in Las Vegas on a 15-acre site in the city's downtown district. The former Moulin Rouge property was known for being one of America's first racially integrated casinos.

Azul Fives Resort, Mayan Riviera
Transat Holidays rolled out a groups promotion at the Azul Fives Hotels in Mexico's Riviera Maya region, with $300 discounts per couple and lower minimum deposits ($100, not $250), plus agent benefits, when you book by June 30th for travel Nov 1 - April 30, 2015. (Starting Nov 1st, Azul Fives will only be bookable in Canada through Transat Holidays.)

Air Transat began its new Prague packages this week, with Tuesday flights from both Montreal and Toronto set to run through Oct 7th.

For more information and to request your free Destination Wedding or Honeymoon Quote, please contact the experts at Romantic Planet Vacations www.romanticplanet.ca 1-866-247-8123 or inquiries@romanticplanet.ca







Friday, June 20, 2014

Moon Palace to open in Jamaica

Palace Resorts acquires Sunset Jamaica Grande

By Gay Nagle Myers, Travel Weekly

Palace Resorts will assume ownership of the 730-room Sunset Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on July 7, and will close it on Sept. 1 for renovations.

The resort will reopen as the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in early 2015.

"When we designed our strategic five-year growth plan, we listed several destinations as priorities, and Jamaica was at the top of that list," said Gibran Chapur, executive vice president for Palace Resorts.

"We believe Jamaica is the most important tourism destination in the Caribbean, and we found the Sunset Jamaica Grande to be the perfect opportunity for us to enter this market."

Palace Resorts currently owns and operates seven properties in Mexico, including the Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, Cancun.

Sunset Resorts has three other properties in Jamaica: two in Montego Bay and one in Negril.