Category Archives: Food & Travel

Travel + Leisure’s 2018 World’s Best Awards: Frangipani Beach Resort Wins Best Caribbean Hotel

Luxury Boutique Resort Ranks #1 in the Caribbean and #3 Hotel in the World

Frangipani Beach Resort has received the top award from the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine, #1 Resort in the Top 25 Caribbean Resort Hotels,in the 2018 World’s Best Awards.  The luxury resort was also named among the top 100 hotels in the world, ranking #3 in the overall category.

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“We are incredibly grateful to have been chosen by the readers of Travel + Leisure for this prestigious award,” said Shannon Kircher, Director of Marketing & Communications at Frangipani Beach Resort.  “Our guests are like family to us, and our main focus is on creating unique memories and experiences for each of them. Knowing that guests cared enough to vote and share our story means the world to us. The resort wouldn’t be where it is today without our team and without community partners that help support our mission,” added Kircher.

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Offering a peaceful haven overlooking Meads Bay in Anguilla and its pristine white sands, Frangipani Beach Resort features 19 rooms and suites and an impressive 5,000 square foot beachfront villa,designed to host special beach escapes in a private sanctuary for families and groups. The resort provides an intimate setting with the luxury and amenities visitors have come to equate with the island.

“This award is especially meaningful knowing how hard we worked to get back up and running following Hurricane Irma. Our guests supported us so much through that challenging time and it really encouraged us to recover as quickly as we could,” continued Kircher.  Frangipani strives to continually augment the guest experience with annual property enhancements and will debut a new rooftop lounge space and Balinese spa which will open in November 2018.  The resort has continued to place a focus on sustainability and the use of renewable energy, and will be incorporating solar power into their design as part of their upcoming enhancements.

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The 2018 World’s Best Awards honors the top travel destinations around the globe.  The full awards list will appear in the August 2018 issue of Travel + Leisure, and online at https://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best.

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A Celebration of Sisterhood at the 2018 Essence Festival

The National Urban League hosted its first “Women in Harmony: A Celebration of Sisterhood” luncheon at the Essence Festival last week, providing attendees with a spirited and empowering experience. The event included an intimate conversation with twelve-time Grammy®-nominated artist Ledisi, moderated by NYC’s 107.5 WBLS radio personality Déjà Vu, an inspirational moment with five-time Grammy® award-winning gospel singer Erica Campbell, and a performance by R&B star Keke Wyatt.

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Actress Kim Fields, 107.5 WBLS radio personality Déjà Vu, r&b songstress Ledisi, and Roc Nation artist Victory Boyd pose for a photo on the red carpet at the National Urban League’s “Women In Harmony: A Celebration of Sisterhood” Luncheon at the 2018 Essence Festival on July 6, 2018.

The luncheon kicked off with NUL executive Rhonda Spears Bell, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, welcoming the excited crowd. Wanda Jackson, National Urban League SVP & Chief Talent Officer, then took the stage to introduce WBLS radio personality Déjà Vu and twelve time Grammy®-nominated vocal powerhouse Ledisi to a huge round of applause. Moderated by Déjà Vu, the luncheon attendees were then treated to an intimate conversation with Ledisi who talked about some of the prevalent issues professional African American women face today. Speaking to the importance of celebrating sisterhood, Ledisi offered the festivalgoers insight and advice through her own experience as a rising star in the entertainment industry. She then answered a more light-hearted round of personal questions about her day-to-day life, much to the delight of attending fans.

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Actress Kim Fields, 107.5 WBLS radio personality Déjà Vu, r&b songstress Ledisi, and Roc Nation artist Victory Boyd pose for a photo on the red carpet at the National Urban League’s “Women In Harmony: A Celebration of Sisterhood” Luncheon at the 2018 Essence Festival on July 6, 2018.

Photo Credit: Jennifer DeTiege/Red Carpet Images

Following Ledisi, five-time Grammy® award-winning gospel artist Erica Campbell delivered an impassioned speech to the audience about the inherent strength and power that comes through sisterhood. The enthralled crowd listened closely as she spoke about motivation, mentorship and the importance of helping one another succeed. The luncheon then capped off with National Urban League CEO and President Marc H. Morial speaking to the crowd before an exhilarating performance by popular R&B songstress Keke Wyatt, who performed three songs, “If Only You Knew;” “Nothing In The World;” and “Y.O.U.” Other attending celebrities and influencers included actress Kim Fields, BET co-founder and Nopsi Hotel owner Sheila Johnson, supermodel Beverly Johnson, Roc Nation artist Victory Boyd, actor and choreographer Darrin Henson, and fashion stylist Memsor Kamarake.

Stush In The Bush: Best Off The Beaten Path

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Written by Tricia Williamson | Photos courtesy of Stush In The Bush

Stush in the Bush at Zionites Farm, nestled in the hills of Free Hill, Bamboo St. Ann, Jamaica is a 15-acre organic farm. The brainchild of Lisa and Chris Binns, this farm-to-table tour reflects a true love with nature. Nature blends with stushness to give you a unique gourmet experience made from homegrown ingredients.

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Stush in the Bush is unapologetic in its authenticity and is all about the experience.

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Many traditional crops are grown on the farm in addition to exotic vegetables that are used to freshly create preserves, dressings and sauces that excite your taste buds. Beautiful farm to table lunches are the hallmark of the farm. So be sure to book your reservation early!

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Beyond the food, it’s a great farm tour that focuses on tasting as well- so you enjoy the tastes of pineapples, sugar cane, coconut water fresh from nature as you learn about the land, plants and their medicinal properties.

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Visit http://www.stushinthebush.com for more info

Make your #NextStopGrenada

Explore, relax and experience the best of Caribbean living while enjoying amazing savings in Pure Grenada for the summer. Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, the three-island destination best known as the Spice Island of the Caribbean has launched its Summer Campaign.

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#NextStopGrenada offering travellers true value for money and the chance to experience all the destination has to offer.

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From May 1 to October 31, Grenada’s extended Summer season will provide visitors with the opportunity to enjoy up to a 50% discount on hotel rates, take advantage of room upgrades, complimentary massages, children discounts, complimentary yoga classes, tour discounts and so much more. The value proposition for people booking in the summer period is tremendous and they get to enjoy quality accommodation offerings, and excellent customer service that brings visitors back year after year.

Increased air access to Grenada is an added bonus for Summer as airline partners announced a number of additional flights to the destination from John F. Kennedy International in New York, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International in the USA and Toronto Pearson International in Canada.

During the Summer, Pure Grenada offers unique and authentic festivals and cultural events to keep visitors entertained. One of these festivals is the Carriacou Regatta from August 3-6. Running unbroken since 1965, Carriacou Regatta is one of the longest running in the region. The event features boats from across the region, keen racing, entertaining shore side activities and much more. Carriacou, the sister isle of Grenada is well known for its deep boat building traditions and its skillfully built sloops will again be on display. More than 40 boats are registered this year.

Grenada Sailing Festival Westerhall White Jack Workboat Regatta

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On the heels of the Carriacou Regatta is Grenada’s ultimate sizzling summer experience, Spicemas Carnival. The Summer Festival offers an amazing mix of island music, food, culture and tradition with a host of activities leading up to the culmination on August 13-14. The festival boasts many authentic aspects which cannot be experienced anywhere else. Your Carnival Monday experience is not complete without seeing the spectacle of j’ouvert with Grenada’s signature ‘Jab Jab’ which are masqueraders covered in black oil who chant and dance in the street. Then it’s on to Monday Night Mas in which masqueraders wearing brightly coloured t-shirts and armed with glow sticks light up the night. The festival ends with the beauty and splendor of fancy mas which features revelers parading through the streets wearing beautifully made, colourful costumes.

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You can also join us from October 3-6 for our 2nd annual dive fest. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, the festival has something for everyone. Pure Grenada boasts a diverse range of wreck and reef dives that are located just minutes offshore. Our world famous Underwater Sculpture Park awaits with 14 installations which intrigue and tell a story.

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For a complete list of summer deals and participating hotels, guesthouses, villas and tour operators visit
http://www.puregrenada.com/summerdeals.

St. Lucia Jazz: Soleil Summer of Festivals

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Written by Tevyn Gill

Amidst the infinite Instagram posts, beautiful bouquets and other quintessential Mother’s Day celebrations, the Soleil Summer Festival’s St. Lucia Jazz event gave life to Pigeon Island National Heritage Park on May 13th. The first of four (4) feature events falling under the Soleil Summer of Festivals 2018, Saint Lucia Jazz (May 6th – 13th) kicked off an impressive line-up that also includes Saint Lucia Carnival (June to July), Roots & Soul Reggae concert (Aug. 31st to Sept. 2nd) and culminating with Arts & Heritage Month in October.

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Showcasing a combined display of local, regional and international acts, the final day of a week of diversely styled jazz events proved to be quite the climax to a jive weekend, while simultaneously ushering in the commencement of a crazy carnival season!

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Complete with designated parking areas and a convenient shuttle service upon arrival, the transition from your car to the entrance and finally into the colourfully decorated venue was impressively streamlined. The ambient aesthetic immediately prepared you for an elegant evening of jazz, with the music blaring gently from the grand half dome stage and the subtle buzz of casual conversation combining gracefully at the ear.

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It was almost natural to drift toward the bars as these alluringly decorated platforms that could be seen from anywhere in the venue beckoned all the way from the entrance. The Chairman’s deck was a connoisseur’s dream, with their list of delicious offerings of captivating rum creations. The Heineken deck was a haven for beer lovers at heart, with unbelievable deals on beer all day long.

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Excluding the VIP area, the promotional decks also serving as bars for their respective brands and a lightly covered sitting area near the food court- the layout remained very much park picnic styled.

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The lush lawn was littered with mats, blankets and portable chairs of every kind, with people sitting, laying, and some even standing, swaying to the smooth, soothing music that filled the open air.

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Though mainly patronized by a more mature crowd, the show attracted couples, families and groups of friends of various ages that all came out to enjoy the soulful sounds of The Frantz Laurac Quartet, Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson & Friends and R + R = NOW to name a few.

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The initially sparse crowd grew gradually throughout the day as people filed in slowly and steadily until the venue looked mostly filled- but not quite resembling the masses of previous festivals. Still, the audience provided a nice mixture, comprised of people from all over the island and even from all over the world that flew in for the festivities.

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Spaces on the green continued to dwindle as people visibly fell deeper and deeper into a vibe and claimed their own spaces to do so. At this point, conversations also became easier and introductions became effortless as everyone mixed and mingled to the magical melody of jazz.

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If you hadn’t already made at least one new friend from Martinique, the UK, the US or even right here in St. Lucia as a result of one random interaction or the other, were you even there? Chatty socialites dominated the outskirts and bar areas while the jazz enthusiasts could be seen lounging closer to the stage, lost in the balanced blend of bass, piano and sax. When cocktails finally kicked in, a visit to the food court became vital. There was a satisfactory selection of eats available, from snacks like popcorn, nuts and chips, to a variety of fine caribbean cuisine on sale by local vendors. In the VIP section, there were also finger foods available for those fortunate enough, and those who were not inclined to sit outside for a full meal. After sampling a few of the festival foods, it was time to settle into a, now limited, space of your own to enjoy the rest of the acts.

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As night began to fall, we were treated to the delightful talents of Robert Glasper, rapper Terrace Martin, Trumpeter, composer and producer Christian Scott, Derrick Hodge – Grammy Award-winning bassist, composer, music producer, keyboardist & beatboxer Taylor McFerrin, as well as Justin Tyson, drummer extraordinaire. However, it would be the headliner, Avery Sunshine, that would finally steal the show and cap it all off with her thunderous, gospel bred pipes and heart-to-heart content. Her powerful presence and heavenly vocals blew all of Pigeon Island away with graceful ease. Her performance ended with an eruption of applause that signified the unfortunate end to St. Lucia Jazz, but a welcomed beginning to St. Lucia Carnival.

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The Soleil Summer Festival also ingeniously held an after party following the Jazz event. It essentially turned the elegant evening into a full-on Carnival Concert, featuring the likes of local artistes Mata & Migos, Ezra D Fun Machine, Shemmy J and Imran Nerdy. Regional superstars Destra Garcia and Shal Marshall also graced the Soca Stage for the after party, creating an infectiously familiar atmosphere with some of their biggest carnival hits, new and old.

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Redbull Thre3style World Champion, DJ Puffy, also made an appearance that turned the vibe all the way up with help from DJ Hollywood HP to give the show a well-rounded and star-studded feel from start to finish. Undeniably a good product overall, the St. Lucia Jazz offering of the Soleil Summer of Festivals is an event that can be enjoyed by music and event enthusiasts alike. And with a seamless transition into the next installment of the Festivals calendar of events, St. Lucia Carnival 2018, we can only expect great things for the upcoming June-July season.

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Kristie, Kinisha & PANACHE… It’s A Celebration! #NewIssueAlert

Panache Mag June 2018PANACHE Issue 3 2018 

Kinisha, Kristie & PANACHE…We’re celebrating our win for Best Feature at this year’s CTO Travel Media Awards in New York!  If you didn’t know now you know…Story & Myth is More Than Just Beads…

In this issue, we island hop over to St. Lucia for their Jazz Festival and share with you a summer of super savings sure to entice you to make Grenada your next trip! After that you can join us at the American Black Film Festival in Miami for our exclusive interview with HBO Insecure’s Jay R. Ellis.

Other features include JMMB’s “Bold Step towards Financial Independence”; reviews of DodoCool, Shinola, ThinkSound and MIIEGO Headphones; Journeys of Fatherhood by three Jamaican Dads; Wedding Trends for 2018; Great Gifts for Him; and delight in a taste off the beaten path at Stush in the Bush… Plus so much more!

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA LAUNCHES VIP TREATMENT FOR COUPLES DURING JUNE

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Photo: Beach wedding at Curtain Bluff, Credit: Curtain Bluff

June 6, 2018 (St. John’s, Antigua) – Tourism officials in Antigua and Barbuda are gearing up for another exciting June – The Month of Romance.  Antigua and Barbuda, the “Most Romantic Caribbean Destination”, as voted by the World Travel Awards for three consecutive years, will launch this year’s activities with two social media contests. The first is a Facebook Sweepstakes, where one lucky couple will win a 3-night stay for two at the Sugar Ridge Resort. The second giveaway hosted on the destination’s official Instagram handle will also offer a lucky couple a 3-night stay at the nautically-inspired South Point Hotel. Both contests include roundtrip airfare for two and a romantic VIP experience.  Also added to the month-long celebration will be VIP processing for couples upon arrival and departure at the state-of-the-art V.C. Bird International Airport. Couples who have booked their wedding or honeymoon through a travel agent will be eligible for this service free of cost. The special promotion will also showcase the destination’s many romantic offerings available to both honeymooners and couples planning their weddings in the idyllic island paradise. Special packages are also being offered from some of the destination’s most romantic hotels with deals as much as 65% off weddings and honeymoon packages.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for couples to choose Antigua and Barbuda as the perfect location for their very special wedding or honeymoon,” said Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. “Our Romance Month offer makes it easy for couples to feel like the VIPs they deserve to be while enjoying our 365 pristine beaches, incredibly rich history and culture, delectable cuisine and more.”

To further promote the initiative, newly engaged models Afiya Bennett of Naomi Campbell’s The Face Reality TV Show and fiance Lloyd Dickenson will travel to Antigua and Barbuda to highlight the destination’s most romantic experiences and historical sites, while enjoying the beautiful Cocobay Resort, an All-Inclusive, Adult-Only getaway on the sunset side of Antigua, perfect for weddings and romantic honeymoons. Bennett and Dickenson will document their trip across social media which currently reaches more than 140,000 followers on Instagram alone. The couple is planning to tie the knot in June of 2019 on Antigua.

“We are so excited to be traveling to Antigua for the first time to celebrate  Romance Month,” said Bennett.

Added Dickenson, “It’s going to be so amazing to get away from the busy streets of New York City and enjoy the cool calm breeze of the island. We are looking forward to some alone time together, and experiencing all Antigua has to offer!”

Antigua and Barbuda will host a special Romance Month Twitter chat on June 20 facilitated by Travel Mindset. The chat will focus on engaging couples who are planning their wedding and seeking quality services, amenities and experiences for their special occasion.

ABOUT ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga) and Barbuda (Bar-byew’da) is located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Voted the World Travel Awards 2015, 2016 and 2017 Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination, the twin-island paradise offers visitors two uniquely distinct experiences, ideal temperatures year-round, a rich history, vibrant culture, exhilarating excursions, award-winning resorts, mouth-watering cuisine and 365 stunning pink and white-sand beaches – one for every day of the year. The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua comprises 108-square miles with rich history and spectacular topography that provides a variety of popular sightseeing opportunities. Nelson’s Dockyard, the only remaining example of a Georgian fort a listed UNESCO World Heritage site, is perhaps the most renowned landmark. Antigua’s tourism events calendar includes the prestigious Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, and the annual Antigua Carnival; known as the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival. Barbuda, Antigua’s smaller sister island, is the ultimate celebrity hideaway. The island lies 27 miles north-east of Antigua and is just a 15-minute plane ride away. Barbuda is known for its untouched 17 mile stretch of pink sand beach and as the home of the largest Frigate Bird Sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere.  Find information on Antigua & Barbuda at: www.visitantiguabarbuda.us  or follow us on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/antiguabarbuda