Posted on

Dominica Post Hurricane Maria Update

Dominica Post Hurricane Maria Update

ROSEAU, DOMINICA (October 18, 2017) — Dominica was severely impacted by category 5 Hurricane Maria on September 18, 2017. Assessment of the country’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges and sites and attractions continues.  Updated information from daily press briefings are accessible at http://www.opm.gov.dm/. Following is an update on island services:

Current Status
Dominica has classified this new period post Maria as one of relief, recovery and rebuilding.  The positive news is that many areas, communities and families are now moving from the relief phase to recovery. Restoration and repair of some services has begun. The Government led rebuilding phase will focus on incorporating best practices that ensure Dominica will be better able to withstand future acts of nature.

– Main roadways have been cleared and damage is still being assessed.
– Over 275 tons of food and 45,000 gallons of water have been distributed to over 93 communities.
– All banks, some businesses and government offices are now open for business in the city.
– The Ministry of Education is working to have 23 schools reopened by October 17, 2017. Many schools will reopen in in their original buildings, while others will operate on a shift system or in an alternate location.

Travel
– Most roads are safe for driving and motorists are advised to proceed with caution in certain areas.
– LIAT Airlines and Seaborne have resumed commercial flights to Dominica and are operating at a limited capacity.
– Seaborne Airlines began commercial flights to/from Dominica on October 11, 2017. Flights depart San Juan, Puerto Rico at 12:45 pm and depart Dominica 3:00 pm daily. For additional details, visithttps://www.seaborneairlines.com/
– LIAT Airlines will operate commercial flights as follows:

  • Return flight to Antigua (LI624) will operate on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday departing Antigua  at 11:30am and  Dominica at 1:10pm;
  • Return flight to Barbados (LI601) will operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday departing Barbados at 10am and Dominica at noon.

This schedule will run until November 7th when the airline will update its schedule.

For additional details, visit http://www.liat.com/ or call the Call Centre at 1-888-844-5428

– L’Express des Iles ferry service is operating to Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Lucia from the Roseau Ferry Terminal.  The ferry travels the Martinique /St Lucia route on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays departing Dominica at 10:30 am and on Saturdays at 3 pm.  Service to Guadeloupe from Dominica is at 11:30 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and at 09:15 am on Saturdays.  For additional information, please visit http://www.express-des-iles.com/index.cfm?lng=en.

Accommodation
– Prior to Hurricane Maria, Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) had on record of seventy-three (73) properties / nine hundred and nine (909) guest rooms. As of October 17, 2017, sixty-four (64) of these properties have been reassessed for hurricane damage.  Assessments show that thirty-two (32) properties are moderately damaged and able to operate now or in the near future.
– Twenty seven (27) properties have been severely damaged or destroyed, with serious to total destruction of structures including roofs, electrical and plumbing. Wi-Fi  is not available in most cases.

  • The properties that suffered moderate damage account for fifty one percent (51.4%) of the total room stock or four hundred and sixty-seven (467) guestrooms.

Tourist Activity
– Most natural sites have been assessed.  Access roads to these sites have been damaged and consequently tourist sites and natural attractions are currently closed until repair work is complete.
– Overall 35% of reefs at dive sites were damaged, particularly  sponges and softer corals above 45 feet. Currently all nine dive operators are closed for business and most will not be operational before January 2018. Upon resumption the number of dives per day will be reduced to ease the strain on the fragile reefs.  Kindly check in with your dive shop for more details.

Utilities
– The Dominica Water and Sewage Company (DOWASCO) has restored drinking water supply to 55% of its network and work is ongoing to restore pipe borne water to other communities.
– The Dominica Electricity Services (DOMLEC) has restored electricity to parts of the capital city Roseau, Portsmouth and are continuing restoration of electricity to other communities.
– Mobile phone service providers FLOW and Digicel have restored access to their mobile networks to a number of communities.  FLOW has restored 21 of its 49 mobile sites and land line phone service has been restored to parts of Roseau, Canefield, St. Joseph, Portsmouth, Morne Daniel, Mahaut and Pond Cassee.  Digicel has restored mobile service to communities in the north, south and west as well as Roseau, Portsmouth and environs.

Relief Operations
– Relief efforts are being coordinated by the Office of the Prime Minister through the Emergency Organizing Committee.

Detailed information on relief operations can be found at www.opm.gov.dm.

While some of our accommodations and sites have been damaged by hurricane Maria, our welcoming spirit has not been deterred. Many within the hospitality sector have regrouped and welcome voluntourism visitors.  If you are interested in such a visit to Dominica kindly contact our office.

Posted on

Family trip to African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari first opened its doors to the visitors in 1969 and since then went through a lot expansions and animal additions… About 6,000 visitors come here daily to see the exotic animals that are roaming free in the fields or just enjoying the warm summer day in their artfully created habitats on land and water.

To start our visit we boarded the “African Queen” boat that took us around the island where we saw monkeys jumping in the ropes and multiple birds such as vultures and pelicans.  One of the spots was taken by two lemur families. The boat operators told us about animals routine and some funny life stories…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The boat came back to the pierce and we decided to take a bus that goes to African savanna . We had to enter through the specially designed gate system that allows buses and cars to safely go in and out of that area. “Keep your arms and heads inside, no windows opening”…. The bus tour goes through multiple enclosures  each housing different wild animals.  We are surrounded by lions,  then  we pass by cheetahs… We got to see many mountain goats as well as rhinos and many giraffes…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The best part of the bus tour was visiting the giraffes, they came up very closely so we had around four of them circling around the bus, one of them even licked the bus mirrors. It is quite a spectacular view  – one of them gracefully approaching our window, the other is in the front of the bus… oh, one more is in the front!

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

Following the bus tour we went on the ”Nature Boy” scenic railway, the tour lasts around fifteen minutes. On the way we got to see the elephants habitat, a donkey and many turtles that came out of the pond for summer sun. It was a nice way to give our feet some rest and enjoy the fresh air coming from the lake and trees…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

 

Elephants Bath time was now up, so we headed to the lake to see them coming gracefully – leading was a large male elephant and then smaller ones – females and young siblings. Elephants got in the water, it looked like they are walking on the bottom of the lake – but no, some places are deep and they do have to swim, sometimes we could only see the very top of the head and the trunk… they had some fun time splashing and spraying each other; later rangers came and started throwing apples to the elephants – which was a lot of fun for all!!

Elephant swim
A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada
A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

It was a hot day – we would not mind to go for a plunge too – and we could at the Safari’s water park area – however, we were quite hungry and went to the cafe to have lunch…. We had to say goodbye to all the animals big and small before heading of to our next destination.

By Jonathan K.

 

 

Posted on

"TRIP OF A LIFETIME" CRUISE SERIES 2018 SEASON

ONE OCEAN EXPEDITIONS’ 2018 SEASON INTRODUCES AN EXCLUSIVE “TRIP OF A LIFETIME” CRUISE SERIES

Vancouver, March 15th 2017: The spotlight shines on Canada’s North this year as the world is invited to discover epic locations in Canada celebrating 150 years of confederation. This event has inspired Canadian cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) to introduce more in-depth Canadian Arctic exploration…

 

The intimate and immersive nature of OOE’s small ship expedition cruises impacts travellers’ lives, while enhancing their appreciation for the Arctic and other Canadian destinations. Exploration of the Arctic is slowly becoming a journey of choice and a “Trip of a Lifetime” for Canadians and global travellers. OOE has been developing sustainable Arctic tourism for over a decade and are consistently innovative in creating itineraries taking visitors to some of the most unspoiled places on earth with programs that focus on education, science, history, arts & culture and exploration.  OOE’s small ship adventures take travellers further afield providing access to archeological sites, remote Inuit communities and wildlife viewing opportunities few often experience.

 

OOE’s 2018 cruise season continues to inspire, with the introduction of a ‘Circumpolar Art in the Arctic’ program that bridges the Norwegian High Arctic and the Canadian High Arctic through visual art. Internationally acclaimed visual artists include Cory Trepanier, David McEown, Bruce Pearson, Christopher Cran, wildlife documentary producer Karen Bass, internationally award winning photographer Daisy Gilardini, as well as polar scientists, historians and ambassadors of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

 

A new and exceptional voyage for 2018 is the inaugural Canada’s East Coast Golf Expedition.’ The seven-night expedition cruise invites guests to experience some of the best golf courses along Canada’s East Coast.  Passengers enjoy the luxury of waking up every morning to a new course and the ease of boarding an expedition zodiac to take them ashore for their next round of golf. With additional expedition stops to Sable Island and Iles de Madeleine, this program offers unbeatable golf and cruising memories for golfers and non-golfing partners alike.

 

From early July to the end of September, OOE operates several 12-night ‘Classic Northwest Passage voyages emphasizing early Arctic exploration. Along with an historical focus, guests travel to some of the last remaining great wilderness regions on the planet with sightings of polar bears, whales, and myriad bird species.

 

The 11-night ‘Baffin Island – Jewel of the Arctic trip that was introduced in 2016 has already become one of the top selling voyages. The stunning nine-night ‘High Arctic Explorer voyage commences in Resolute, Nunavut, one of the most northern outposts in the Canadian Arctic. This trip offers the perfect blend of wildlife, history, culture and scenery.

 

The 10-night ‘Labrador and Torngat Explorer cruise departs from the historic town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia and explores two iconic National Parks, Gros Morne and Torngat Mountains. Exploring the rugged Newfoundland & Labrador coast provides an abundance of wildlife experiences that can be seen all the way up to Nunavut’s capital, Iqaluit. This itinerary is special and a gem of new offerings launched for the 2017 summer travel season.

 

A number of early booking offers are in place for 2018 summer travel. On Canada’s East Coast Fins and Fiddles and Golf Expedition a complimentary pre-voyage hotel and US$100 shipboard bar credit is provided. For all other Arctic and Labrador voyages, early bookings benefit with a flight credit ranging from US$500 to US$1000. All offers expire May 31, 2017. ONE CLUB Loyalty Program members (past travellers with OOE) can apply their 10% loyalty savings to any current booking offers.

Posted on

PADI Open Water Certification in St.Lucia

Dive in Saint Lucia

Ah…beautiful St.Lucia…

Pitons from Anse Chastanet
Beautiful Saint Lucia. View from Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our son, after receiveing PADI  E-learning Diving Certificate wanted to get an Open Water Diver Licence.

Dive Saint Lucia
Dive Saint Lucia

We planned to visit St.Lucia in November, and found it will be a good option to combine vacation with 3 day practice diving course with DIVE SAINT LUCIA. We booked Bay Gardens Inn. It’s in walking distance to Dive St.Lucia facilities, where our son for three days was training to pass Deep Water Diver Licence. This state-of-the-art facilities with modern pool, and own moorings, offered good price for licencing. Actually it’s also fun for the day trip with divers..

YYZ_6703SLU DIVE-SLU www- YYZ_6810SLU www- YYZ_6922SLU DIVE-SLU www- YYZ_7447ASLU DIVE-SLU www- YYZ_7696SLU www-On the last day of practicing, we booked a diving trip for the whole family. This was a good treat for all. We enjoyed the speedboat trip down to Soufriere, snorkelled and suntanned while our son was diving. Actually I did one dive with my son and instructor at the foot of Petite Piton. Lots of coral reefs and fish. The other dive was at Anse Chastanet, and my son had a chance to encounter with two turtles. The views of Pitons from the boat as much spectacular as from nearby expensive resorts. YYZ_7705SLU DIVE-SLU www- YYZ_7733SLU DIVE-SLU www-

 

 

For the second half of our vacation we moved to South East, Praslin Area, where Mamiku Gardens and Piece-of-Paradise , to our family favourite Fox Grove Inn, our home-from-home. This time we got two bedroom apartment ( for the price of one room in Bay Gardens Inn). It was our special treat… We spent time in the pool (which is double size than in Bay Gardens Inn ) ,or playing ping pong, billiards, chess and puzzles , or hiked the road to beautiful vistas.

The owners, Esther and Franz as usual were sweet and helpful at any our request. If traveling as a couple , or alone, the best option will be to have a room with breakfast, and have optional lunch and dinners, but if traveling with children, especially for longer period, we prefer to book two-bedroom apartment, and have full independence, having equipped kitchen.

Fox Grove Inn
Fox Grove Inn

At Fox Grove Inn we usually enjoy hiking into tropical forest, while birdwatching, find and photograph some exotic flora.

 

 

Posted on

The Gobbins opens for dramatic cliff walks! Ireland News.

Gobbins(Toronto, ON – 04 Sept 2015) – Visitors to Northern Ireland’s famous Causeway Coastal Route now have the opportunity to experience an exhilarating walk to awaken the senses, above crashing waves on a spectacular cliff path over the Irish Sea. The Gobbins coastal walk experience, first enjoyed in 1902 by the Edwardians has now opened the doors to a modern cliff path to delight those who wish to experience the coast up close.

The magnificently restored Edwardian attraction features a series of tubular and suspension bridges, a staircase, caves and tunnels carved through the County Antrim basalt coast.

It offers a thrilling mix of rugged beauty, spectacular views, heritage, flora and fauna.

The route offers not just a walk along a cliff top but also includes metal bridges & water-splashed gantries installed along sheer cliff faces as well as below sea-level experiences of the caves and the bridges.
The Gobbins’ geologically diverse landscape is straight out of Game of Thrones and is actually in the vicinity of locations used in the filming of the hit TV show.

With access by guided tour, the journey begins at a state of the art visitor centre, from where walkers are transferred to the cliff path by minibus. Tours begin on the hour currently from 10am to 3pm daily. The full excursion including the visitor centre can take up to 3-4 hours. The walk is bracing and refreshing, and suitable for people of normal fitness levels.

Those not wishing to walk the path can still enjoy the stunning views and at the visitor centre learn about The Gobbins through an exhibition on the building of the path, its history from Edwardian times and the local geology and ecology. There is also a coffee shop and gift shop.

Only a 40 minute drive from Belfast, The Gobbins coastal path is in Islandmagee, a narrow peninsula just at the beginning of the world-famous Causeway Coastal Route and close to the famous Blackhead light house.

The area is an idyllic holiday spot and home to the Giant’s Causeway, the Glens of Antrim, Bushmills Distillery, Rathlin Island and miles of golden sand and loads of water-based activity. Walking the spectacular Gobbins Cliff path will now be a must for those touring Northern Ireland’s famous Causeway coastal route.

The Gobbins was originally designed by visionary engineer Berkeley Dean Wise and built in 1902. Its name comes from the Irish An Gobain, meaning ‘the points of rock’.

About Tourism Ireland:
Tourism Ireland is responsible for promoting the island of Ireland as a leading vacation destination for Canadians. In 2014, a record number of Canadians visited the island of Ireland. Ireland offers a wealth of experiences for travelers with scenic landscapes; vibrant cities; an abundance of culture and historical experiences; and world-class hospitality. For more about visiting Ireland go to www.ireland.com
www.gobbinscliffpath.com (http://ireland.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=107d4f82c3f67d157e09a3684&id=5534ba1d40&e=e11a1b6da8)

Posted on

News From St.Kitts . August 2015 issue

St. Kitts Tourism Updates 

What’s New and Noteworthy on Island

Basseterre, St. Kitts –– The St. Kitts Tourism Authority summarizes the most recent tourism-related news, events and developments from the island, as follows-

Visitor Arrivals:

A proactive approach to building and supporting airlift services from key source markets continues to produce positive results.  Full year 2014 year-to-date scheduled arrivals posted a 6.5% year-over-year gain as compared to full year 2013.  From North America, total arrivals also continue to register strong growth, posting a 7.1% year-over-year increase.  For the first six months of 2015, system-wide scheduled arrivals posted a 6.7% increase over the same period in 2014.  From North America, total arrivals posted a 6.4% year-over-year increase.  Contributing to the continued growth are the capacity increases from the second Miami weekend flights, Seaborne and the additional April operations of Air Canada and Delta.  Delta is once again operating non-stop flights to St. Kitts from ATL year-round, plus the flight will be returning early from its fall hiatus with operations resuming as of November 7, 2015; American Airlines provided double daily flights during the holiday period from December 18, 2014 through January 12, 2015.  American Airlines also added Sunday non-stop flights from JFK operating June 21 through August 16, 2015, which complement the carrier’s Saturday non-stop JFK-SKB flights. In May 2015, St. Kitts welcomed new 3x weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) non-stop flights from Barbados on Liat, complementing the carrier’s daily service to island from Antigua and St. Maarten. Further, Seaborne Airlines and JetBlue Airways, which is the largest carrier flying into San Juan, have finalized terms to begin a codeshare marketing relationship, expanding upon the carriers’ successful interline agreement in place since 2013, making St. Kitts will a JetBlue destination, with JetBlue flights from the US via San Juan to St. Kitts available for booking.  On August 10, it was announced that United Airlines is launching inaugural non-stop service from its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to St. Kitts. Starting December 19, 2015, the flights will operate weekly on Saturdays through April 30, 2016.

Private Jet Terminal:

Construction is complete on the new private jet terminal, which opened in June 2014. The private jet terminal is a world-class facility at St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport located west of the main airport parking apron.  It consists of world class YU Lounge arrival and departure lounges, a dedicated crew lounge, a business center and related offices and processing facilities, as well as an elegantly landscaped courtyard.  YU Lounge services include greeting on the runway and transportation in a luxury vehicle to the facility, baggage handling, seamless customs and immigration processing, mouth-watering finger foods and complimentary beverages. Available to guests arriving by private jet or commercial aircraft, amenities of the facility include Apple computers, plush seating areas, bathrooms including showers and an outdoor lounge area (in the departures lounge). Further, the facility features fully equipped meeting rooms with complimentary wi-fi, device charging facilities, gourmet catering services and dedicated secretarial services. For private aircraft the facility provides a diverse range of FBO and aircraft dispatch services, including specialized and tailored services to accommodate operators and executives. The total cost of the final project estimated at US $15 million. The terminal has been constructed by Veling Limited and operated by Leeward Flight Services with full ownership to be transferred to The St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) at the end of the concession contract period.  Veling Limited is a global aviation solution provider with offices in Mauritius and London.  The architect and interior decorator for the new terminal is internationally acclaimed Bobby Mukherji & Associates, one of India’s top ten design firms.

New Resort Developments:

Kittitian Hill – As of December 2014, the 84-unit cottage hotel plus with seven, four-bedroom Farmhouses named ‘Belle Mont Farm’ is open to welcome guests.  Kittitian Hill has also opened The Kitchen Restaurant and The Mill Bar, also making their formal debut in December 2014.   Belle Mont Farm on Kittitian Hill immerses guests in local culture and heritage, an organic farming community, and distinct farm-to-table culinary experiences. Wellness offerings elevate mind, body and spirit. Kittitian Hill’s organic farm offers a world-class collection of exotic fruits and vegetables, with accommodations thoughtfully sowed in the landscape. Designed by award-winning world-renowned architect Bill Bensley, the hotel features panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and neighbouring islands such as St Barths. Belle Mont Farm amenities include the Irie Fields Golf Course and The Workshop fitness centre. Set on a stunning 400-acre hillside site in the Northern part of St. Kitts, Kittitian Hill will upon completion consist of a cottage style hotel, creative arts centre, golf course and destination spa featuring indigenous treatments. Kittitian Hill is a contemporary Caribbean community for sustainable luxury living founded on the principles of holistic development based on environmental and community responsibility.  It is a member of the Preferred Residences® exchange network, a hospitality branded membership and exchange program for luxury shared ownership resorts offered by an operating business of Interval Leisure Group.

Park Hyatt – Groundbreaking on the Park Hyatt hotel at Banana Bay, Christophe Harbour, took place on June 3, 2013 and construction is underway on several buildings.  The final project will feature 200 hotel rooms and 50 branded residential condominiums. Phase One of construction has begun and will include the completion of 134 hotel guest rooms and related service facilities, conceptualized around a Caribbean village theme. Phase One of construction is scheduled for completion in late spring 2016.  The second phase of construction will include the completion of the remaining guest rooms and additional facilities. Development continues on the Christophe Harbour marina, with the naturally protected harbor to include 300 berths with the ability to accommodate the world’s largest superyachts, with the first yachts welcoming ceremony held at the end of 2014 and the official opening held on February 14, 2015marking completion of Phase One of the marina development. Christophe Harbour has also constructed an authentic, upscale beach club with a dock located around the old salt factory at WhiteHouse Bay, named SALT Plage, which opened in June 2014. The Christophe Harbour Development Company, Ltd (CHDC) is the master developer for Christophe Harbour, a luxury resort development currently underway.  Located on 2,500+ acres of the southeastern peninsula of St. Kitts, plans include a mega-yacht harbor, marina, Tom Fazio championship golf course and an impressive collection of restaurants, shops, boutiques, five-star hotels, oceanfront and hillside homesites and villas. Kier, a global construction company based in the UK and a publicly listed FTSE 250 company, is the main contractor for Phase One of the construction of Park Hyatt St. Kitts.  Kier’s plans for the development include providing employment in construction and maximizing the use of local materials and resources.  Approximately 350 construction jobs and additional training program jobs are expected to be created in Phase One.

Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Kitts – Announced on May 6, 2015 by Hilton Hotels following the signing of a franchise agreement with Caribbean-based developers Sterling Developments, the 226-suite hotel is currently in construction and scheduled to debut in the first quarter of 2017.  The condo hotel complex will include six towers, 3,847 square feet of meeting space, an infinity pool, a fitness center spa and kids’ club.  All Embassy Suites by Hilton signature spacious signature suites will have direct views of the Caribbean as well as a separate living area, private bedroom and wet bar fitted with a microwave, mini-fridge and coffee maker.  The new hotel will also offer the Embassy Suites brand’s signature features, such as an inviting atrium environment, where guests will have access to complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast and Evening Reception with complimentary appetizers and beverage. Restaurant facilities on the resort will include a three-meal restaurant, a specialty restaurant, and a pool and beach bar. The Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Kitts will be located in Pelican Bay, which is an exclusive private cove nestled on seven acres of gently sloping land, cascading down to a private beach on the Caribbean side of the island. Once complete, the hotel will offer easy access to the area’s main roads and downtown attractions, and is only 10 minutes away from Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport. The Embassy Suites will be Hilton’s first property in St. Kitts & Nevis.  Hilton Worldwide currently has 20 hotels open or in the pipeline throughout the Caribbean. Groundbreaking for the US $90 million development took place on March 11, 2013.

Koi Resort & Residences – First announced in February 2013, the first concrete pour took place in September 2014 and construction is underway on the US $180 million 298-unit Koi Resort & Residences in St. Kitts’ Half Moon Bay.  Piling has been completed and Phase One is scheduled for completion in December 2015 and will include the development’s first 80 rooms along with its beach bar, spa, conference room and fitness facility.  Situated on 16 acres of prime beachfront property adjacent to the Royal St. Kits Golf Club, it will feature 24 Half Moon Villas and 12 waterside villas with the rest being studio and one-bedroom units.  The mixed-use resort development will also include the renowned Koi Restaurant, beach club, and an exclusive ultra-lounge, all with a design that will combine colonial and modern architecture to capture the definition of rustic luxury.  An internationally-known brand with properties in the US, Thailand and Abu Dhabi, Koi Resort & Residences will blend the natural beauty of its beachfront location to create an architectural story of one living with nature.  All luxury villas and suites will have sweeping ocean views and guests will have access to a variety of state of the art resort features upon completion, including banquet and special event facilities, bars and restaurants, a destination spa, swimming pools and a wide variety of sports and leisure activities.

Imperial Bay Beach & Golf Residences – The US $10 million Imperial Bay Beach & Golf Residences broke ground on March 11, 2013 with construction, now well underway, having started at the end of May 2014.  The target date for completion of the project has been set for the second half of 2015.  Buildings 1 and 2, on which structures are completed and finishes have recently started, will house 12 units each on two levels. Buildings 3 and 4, which have started work on the second and third levels, will have three levels with each comprising 18 units and buildings 5 and 6, which are in the final stage of completing works on the first level, will also have three levels with a small basement with each building comprising 18 units, office and storage space. Set in St. Kitts’ Half Moon Bay adjacent to the Koi Resort & Residences, the project consists of six two- and three-story buildings housing 86 contemporary and traditionally-styled one bedroom condominium units with Atlantic Ocean views of Nevis as well as views of a lake and the Royal St. Kitts Golf Course.  It will also feature a common area with an office and leisure room, a swimming pool and manicured landscaping.

Silver Reef Resort – Phase One and Two of construction on this 90-room luxury residential development, which began in April 2011 and consisted of 36 one- and two-bedroom apartments each, is complete.  Groundbreaking for the Final Phase of construction took place on January 16, 2014.  Located at the front of the property, it will consist of two additional buildings comprised of three-bedroom apartments that are each 1,650 square feet.  These three-bedroom units will be the resort’s premium product and boast access to its three pools as well as views of the Royal St. Kitts golf course.   Set in the Frigate Bay area of St. Kitts adjacent to the Royal St. Kitts Golf Course and ten minutes outside Basseterre, this US $30 million development features villas and apartments in one- and two-bedroom configurations with spectacular views of both the Caribbean and Atlantic.  Silver Reef Resort also features landscaped gardens and freeform, infinity-edge swimming pools.  Built eco-sensitively, it employs a combination of common sense principles like orienting the buildings to optimize the breeze, recycling grey water, use of solar power and sourcing local materials to minimize the carbon footprint.

Pirate’s Nest Resort – Pirate’s Nest is a US $40 million, 246-room condominium hotel project in Frigate Bay being developed by T-Loft Property Development. Located on a 7.1-acre site, it will feature 41 condominium units in six independent buildings, each with three floors.  Groundbreaking took place in December 2013 and construction began in February 2015.

Existing Resort Developments:

Ocean Terrace Inn – Following an extensive renovation including rooms, restaurants and public spaces taking place in 2014 and early 2015, this iconic St. Kitts property reopened April 1, 2015.  The Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) will now be marketed as a four-star property and feature 50 rooms and suites, each with their own private patio or balcony and a bright new Caribbean look.  There will be free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and connections in guestrooms as well as a focus on hospitality and service to deliver a memorable experience.  The former Waterfalls restaurant has undergone a remodeling and will reopen as The Verandah, featuring Caribbean-Asian Fusion cuisines and sweeping views over the harbor and Basseterre.  The restaurant earns its name from its nine-foot wrap-around verandah, with seating either inside or outside. Located across the street and stretching out over the water, the property’s Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant was transformed in December 2013 with a contemporary modern decor and colorful accessories, open Display Kitchen, new Bar & Lounge and refreshed menus.

New Tourism Attractions:

St. Kitts Eco-Park – Tucked quietly into the hillside of the northern portion of St. Kitts, the 20-acre  St. Kitts Eco-Park is the island’s newest tourism attraction.  Created by the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan) working in collaboration, it opened its doors to the public in November 2014.  The Park boasts the Caribbean’s largest greenhouse and offers picturesque scenic views of Mount Liamuiga, Brimstone Hill and the neighboring islands of St. Eustasius, Saba and even St. Barts.  Visitors can explore the St. Kitts Tourist Center and the Taiwan Tourist Center to learn more about both cultures as well as how the Park integrates the ideas and practice of tourism, agriculture and green energy.  For example, solar panels provide a significant portion of the Farm’s energy and all buildings were constructed using GRC (glass-fiber reinforced concrete) material, which is three times lighter and five times harder than normal concrete.  Guests can stroll the expansive grounds and enjoy focal spots like the medicine herbs garden with plants from both countries, the open-air tea house, the rose garden, the butterfly orchard, the desert plants garden, and a wide range of tropical fruit trees and crops. A visual highlight of the Farm is the “Sugarcane Labyrinth” shaped to represent both St. Kitts & Nevis and Taiwan, commemorating the sugar industry that was once an economic driver in both nations.  Inside the greenhouse, discover a large central space filled with plants as well as a dedicated area for growing different varieties of orchid.  The entrance fee for visitors is just US $8 per adult and US $4 per child.

Upcoming Events:

20th Annual St. Kitts Music Festival – For those who like to plan ahead, the dates for the next year’s St. Kitts Music Festival have been set for Thursday, June 23 through Saturday, June 25, 2016. Particularly for lovers of music and travel, this event is an ideal opportunity to combine a Caribbean island getaway with a fantastic musical event.  Taking place over the course of three nights, the sounds of popular local and international performers can be heard throughout Warner Park Stadium, where the event is held each year.  Having become known for featuring a mix of musical styles on the market, including R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Reggae and more, there are sure to be songs for nearly everyone’s musical preference. Past artists have included such top acts as John Legend, Jason Derulo, Ciara, Trey Songz, T-Pain, Michael Bolton, KC & the Sunshine Band, Wyclef Jean, Air Supply, Billy Ocean, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Sean Paul, King Konris, Stephen Marley, Biggie Irie and Maxi Priest.  For the latest news and updates about this year’s event, follow the St. Kitts Music Festival on Facebook.  Videos of past Festivals can also be found on YouTube.

Recently Earned Awards & Recognitions 

With various new luxury developments making debuts in 2014 – including the openings of Belle Mont Farm at Kittitian HillSalt Plage beach bar and the super-yacht marina at Christophe Harbour, and the YU Lounge Private Jet Terminal, all taking place within the past year – a number of top publications have named the island among the hottest places to travel for 2015.  Here are just a few of the most recent-

 

About St. Kitts:

Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, St. Kitts offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history.  The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking or ziplining through the tropical rainforest, riding the Caribbean’s only scenic passenger which connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on a sandy beach.  Accommodations range from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels and resorts.

For more information about St. Kitts, please contact the St. Kitts Tourism Authority toll free from the US at 1-800-582-6208 or from Canada 1-888-395-4887, e-mail info@stkittstourism.kn, visit www.stkittstourism.kn, or connect on FacebookTwitter and/or YouTube.

Posted on

Traveling with Children to China. Part #3 Xi’an and Qingdao

We loved Mian Shan area so much that we decided to postpone our planned trip to Xi’an in few hours, and take a speed train afternoon. So..whole morning we explored new areas of Mian Shan with Beautiful Taoist temples and valleys. Our favorites are: Chess Cave in Qixuan Valley
Chess Cave in Qixuan ValleyZhujia Hollow Area
Zhujia Hollow Area

Lingbao God TempleLingbao God Temple
Lingbao God TempleLingbao God TempleLingbao God TempleLingbao God Temple

It takes almost an hour with taxi to drive from Mian Shan area to Jiexiu Speed Train Station. It’s a large modern facility, with wide road and large concrete empty space in front of the building.
Jiexiu Speed Train Station
Although, right next to the raised plaform , down below bordering farmer’s fields with greeneryFarmer's Fields next to Jiexiu Speed Train Station
We arrived to Xi’an by bullet train from Jiexiu. It was fun to look outside and to the screen of the tablo showing “250 km/hr” speed of the train.
After train we took a subway. It is very economical, comfortable and convenient way to travel in the city. Xi'anDowntown Xian
Downtown XianMuslim Quarters in Xian with rows of small shops and restaurants with food to taste is a must area to visit in the evening while in Xian.
Muslim Quarters in XianWe stayed in Downtown Hotel Xi’an, very convenient hotel for travellers.
Next morning we took a bus to enormous exhibition of Terracota Army. It’s gigantic place and unbelievable artifacts attracts billions of people from around the world as a “Must See in China” tourist attraction.
Next early morning we flew to relaxing and beautiful Qingdao city- “Oriental Switzerland”
Qingdao Airport Treminal 2Qingdao Airport Terminal 2
Next morning we decided to visit Laoshan. It is a well known area, and better to visit it early in the morning before the crowds. Also, when you take a shuttle bus to temples, first start with the farthest areas to explore..
Lao Shan area in QingdaoLaoshan
LaoShanLaoshanLaoshan

You need at least a day in Laoshan (better two, if you can arrange staying overnight in beautiful challets in this area.
Also, Qingdao is an interesting city as well. We visited Military museum, Bathing Beaches and downtown narrow streets..
Qingdao
Old Qigdao

 

Posted on

Traveling with Children to China. Part #3 Xi'an and Qingdao

We loved Mian Shan area so much that we decided to postpone our planned trip to Xi’an in few hours, and take a speed train afternoon. So..whole morning we explored new areas of Mian Shan with Beautiful Taoist temples and valleys. Our favorites are: Chess Cave in Qixuan Valley
Chess Cave in Qixuan ValleyZhujia Hollow Area
Zhujia Hollow Area

Lingbao God TempleLingbao God Temple
Lingbao God TempleLingbao God TempleLingbao God TempleLingbao God Temple

It takes almost an hour with taxi to drive from Mian Shan area to Jiexiu Speed Train Station. It’s a large modern facility, with wide road and large concrete empty space in front of the building.
Jiexiu Speed Train Station
Although, right next to the raised plaform , down below bordering farmer’s fields with greeneryFarmer's Fields next to Jiexiu Speed Train Station
We arrived to Xi’an by bullet train from Jiexiu. It was fun to look outside and to the screen of the tablo showing “250 km/hr” speed of the train.
After train we took a subway. It is very economical, comfortable and convenient way to travel in the city. Xi'anDowntown Xian
Downtown XianMuslim Quarters in Xian with rows of small shops and restaurants with food to taste is a must area to visit in the evening while in Xian.
Muslim Quarters in XianWe stayed in Downtown Hotel Xi’an, very convenient hotel for travellers.
Next morning we took a bus to enormous exhibition of Terracota Army. It’s gigantic place and unbelievable artifacts attracts billions of people from around the world as a “Must See in China” tourist attraction.
Next early morning we flew to relaxing and beautiful Qingdao city- “Oriental Switzerland”
Qingdao Airport Treminal 2Qingdao Airport Terminal 2
Next morning we decided to visit Laoshan. It is a well known area, and better to visit it early in the morning before the crowds. Also, when you take a shuttle bus to temples, first start with the farthest areas to explore..
Lao Shan area in QingdaoLaoshan
LaoShanLaoshanLaoshan

You need at least a day in Laoshan (better two, if you can arrange staying overnight in beautiful challets in this area.
Also, Qingdao is an interesting city as well. We visited Military museum, Bathing Beaches and downtown narrow streets..
Qingdao
Old Qigdao

 

Posted on

Traveling with children to China, Part#2 Pingyao and Mian Shan

Beijing Railway Station From Beijing Railway Station we took overnight train to Pingyao.

Beijing Railway Station
Interior of Beijing Railway Station
Beijing Railway Station at night
Beijing Raylway Station at night

Even we  booked our tickets well in advance, the softsleeper was sold out, and we had left with hard sleeper choice only. Before the trip I worried about safety, and personal belongings in the train, but after great experience with hard sleeper, all our family would love to experience this trip again. may be we were lucky, may be all tourists in hard sleeper cars are so nice, that we ended up with new friends, and lots of great memories just from overnight trip.

Beautiful Pingyao Cheng Jia hotel we booked well in advance in advance, so in the morning, on the railway station, the driver from hotel was waiting for us. After 5-10 minutes ride, we comfortably explored our room, and hotel grounds.   Pingyao Cheng Jia Hotel was decorated in national style, with mix of old and traditional, kang bed and carved furniture, and modern; heated floors and stylish showers.

Pingyao Ancient City
Pingyao Ancient City
Pingyao
View from the City Wall of Pingyao Ancient City
Pingyao West Road
West Road in Pingyao Ancient City
Ancient City Pingyao Temple area
Ancient City Pingyao Temple area
Pingyao City Temple
Pingyao City Temple
Pingyao
Pingyao
Pingyao
Pingyao
Pingyao, China
Pingyao City Wall
Pingyao Ancient City Wall, Shanxi, China
Pingyao Ancient City Wall, Shanxi, China
South East Gate, Pingyao
South East Gate of Pingyao Ancient City Wall
Pingyao Ancient City Wall, China
Pingyao Ancient City Wall, China
Pingyao Ancient City- UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pingyao Ancient City- UNESCO World Heritage Site.
View from Pingyao City Wall, UNESCO WORLD Heritage Site
View from Pingyao City Wall, UNESCO WORLD Heritage Site

Northern Gate in Pingyao Ancient City

Our stay in Pingyao Cheng Jia Hotel , probably is one of the finest experiences with hotels in China. After showers, and good breakfast we walked around the ancient city walls. Cause we were at the end of the touristic season, we were lucky to see only few tourists on our way, and had fun experience browsing and  participating in local activities with personal attention.

Pingyao Ancient City West Ring Road at night
Pingyao Ancient City West Ring Road at night
Beautiful Pingyao
Beautiful Pingyao
Pingyao Ancient City South Street at night.
Pingyao Ancient City South Street at night.
Pingyao Ancient City East Street. Evening view
Pingyao Ancient City East Street. Evening view

After overnigh in Pingyao, next morning we took a short 25 minutes train ride to Jiexiu, than another 20 minutes on taxi to Mian Shan Touristic Area.  Mian Shan met us with crispy clean mountain air and warm sunshine.

True! It was unbelievable experience, one-of-a-kind! We drop all our luggage in Yunfeng Hotel, and walked to one of the nearest Yunfeng Temple. From the Temple we took Cloud Road to the Heaven. The name said everything. Wow! No photos, or videos can descibe our feelings, and surrounding views..Tranquility, inviting warmth of bright sunshine, fresh air and panoramic breathtaking views were like a magic energy pouring into our bodies to give us enough to climb and walk for a day without any snacks and water stops. We were like hungry to see more and more of the surrounding beauty. All unique, and beautifully restored temples on high cliffs, untouched by centuries trees and rocks, peacefull smiles of locals, interactions with monks… all of these unforgettable experiences of joy we keep in our heads, and keep reminiscing often…

That day we explored also Rabbit Bridge area, Daluo Temple, Iron Chain Ridge and Universe Pagoda…

Dinner at Yunfeng Hotel was more delicious than expected, probably we were very hungry and tired…

Next morning after delicious buffet breakfast in Yunfeng Hotel, first we explored Qixian Valley Area with caves along the way. No any Wonderland-Disneyland or other amusement park can compete with natural beauty of the Valley and entertainment with climbing through the obstacles. This valley was the Highlight of the trip for our children. After the valley we took a shuttle bus to Zhujia Hollow Area visited Cave God Temple, Lingbao God temple and Sight Seeing Pavillion, then again shuttle bus, toFunnel Spring Area, visiting Daluo Temple & Beehive Spring, than magnificient Plank Road on Cliff… The Plank road on Cliff is another “Wow” experience of lifetime. Imagine CN Tower glass floor experience, when you walk on thick glass floor, which can withhold an elephant…so, like this, but without any glass, and thin planks offer you see-through-the-floor experience, while you walking above the clouds…Yes, it’s thrilling experience,..that’s why we came here to enjoy it…and tranquility..and crisp air..and sunshine…just made it to be perfect. If we ever happened to visit this Mian Shan Scenic Area again, we stay here at least a week, without rush, enjoying life together with local monks… Unfortunately our time in China was limited, and after lunch we rushed to shuttle bus, then to waiting us taxi to railway station, to take a speed train to Xi’an.

Cave God Temple view
Cave God Temple area
The Cave Gods Temple with above Plank Road on Cliff
The Cave Gods Temple with above Plank Road on Cliff
View of the Water Goddess Temple and Sky Bridge Are
View of the Water Goddess Temple and Sky Bridge Are
Marquis Pavillion at the entrance to Qixian Valley area
Marquis Pavillion at the entrance to Qixian Valley area
View of the Emperor Pavillion in Mianshan Dragon Head area
View of the Emperor Pavillion in Mianshan Dragon Head area
Cloud Road to The Heaven in Mianshan Scenic Area
Cloud Road to The Heaven in Mianshan Scenic Area
Daluo Temple
Daluo Temple in Mian Shan Scenic Area
Cloud Road to The Heaven
Thrilling Experience on Cloud Road to The Heaven
Breathtaking Cloud Road to the Heaven in Mian Shan Area
Breathtaking Cloud Road to the Heaven in Mian Shan Area
Five Dragon Temple
Five Dragon Temple in Mummy Temple Area
Universe Pagoda
Road to Universe Pagoda
Cave
Yuantong Cultivation Cave in Yunfeng Temple Area

PEK_8473w

Breathtaking views on the way to Universe Pagoda in Mianshan Scenic Area
Breathtaking views on the way to Universe Pagoda in Mianshan Scenic Area
Tassel Gate on the way to the Universe Pagoda in MianShan Scenic Area
Tassel Gate on the way to the Universe Pagoda in MianShan Scenic Area

Cave God Temple

Cloud Road to The Heaven in Mianshan Scenic Area
Cloud Road to The Heaven in Mianshan Scenic Area
Yunfeng Hotel, Cloud Rad to the Heaven and Yunfeng Tmple Area
Yunfeng Hotel, Cloud Rad to the Heaven and Yunfeng Tmple Area

Mianshan Dragon head Area

Mianshan experience is like a dream...dream of joy and happiness..
Mianshan experience is like a dream…dream of joy and happiness..

 

 

 

The Cave Gods Temple with above Plank Road on Cliff
The Cave Gods Temple with above Plank Road on Cliff
Mianshan experience is like a dream...dream of joy and happiness..
Mianshan experience is like a dream…dream of joy and happiness..
Zhujia Hollow Area Mian Shan
Zhujia Hollow Area in Mian Shan
Road to The Heaven in Mian Shan Scenic Area, Shanxi, China
Road to The Heaven in Mian Shan Scenic Area, Shanxi, China
Mian Shan road to The Heaven
Mian Shan road to The Heaven
Mian Shan
Road to The Heaven, Mian Shan Scenic Area
Luangong Cave
Luangong Cultivation Cave in Mian Shan