Tag Archives: Caribbean

The Amazing Amanyea

By Marshelle Haseley

Amanyea released “Aye aye,” her debut single and video in mid- September, sending waves through Jamaica, the region and even farther. The movement inducing tune was an absolutely fantastic start to a new chapter in her journey that appears to have so much magic ahead.

photo_2018-10-24_03-54-33
All Photos courtesy of Amanyea

It is said that names are powerful, and the names that are given impact us greatly as we walk through life. Amanyea says her name has a number of meanings in various cultures. “I love my name because of the different derivatives it has in many different languages and cultures,” she explained.

Amanyea said, “I was named after a dancer, Artistic Director in Chicago Amaniyea Payne. The meaning she chose to use for her name is “Amani” means “peace” in Swahili and  ‘Yea’ is a light force, a call ‘to you’—so combined it means ‘peace to you’.”

She said her mother chose to use “Aman” which means “peace” in Hindi, and the same “Yea” as a light force— combined, her name means the same— “peace to you”.  She said, “It is something you acquire, but it’s also something you always extend ( like reciprocity with mutual respect ).”

unnamed

The artistic talent embodied by Amanyea would have been shining brightly for years leading up to the start of this new chapter in her journey. She said at this point, her mantra is  “Dawg wid too much massa sleep widout suppa.”  She explained her mantra to mean, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good for the great. And while doing so, don’t lose focus because of the opinions of too many people (masters).”

The outstanding young Jamaican dancer said she did not get time to realise she could dance. “Mommy being Dr. L’Antoinette Stines, Artistic Director of L’Acadco, I started dancing at an extremely young age,” she said. In a funny tone, she said she has yet to realise she received the gift of dance.

Singing, however, was a different process. Finding a tone which best suited her soul was a process— digging deeper to discover who she was as a musician— both as a vocalist, and a songwriter. “I realized I wanted to do it when I was 11— then I realized that I ‘needed’ do this at 18. The only thing that was stopping me was fear and opinions— hence, the mantra.”

unnamed (2)

“I received many, many years of formal training in dance. I trained with Dr. Stines at L’Acadco, Ballet Training with Elizabeth Samuda and Cathy-Ann Gibbon for Royal Academy of Dance, Cuban Moderna with Arsenio Andrade, and many more,” she said. As soon as she was inspired to begin her journey as a recording artiste she did a number of vocal training sessions, “ but not enough to say I am vocally trained,” she added. Amanyea said her vocal training sessions are important and is continuous.

Her style is unlike anything one would see walking through the city of Kingston. Her eclectic style stands out in any crowd, though she is not a physically tall person—her style and the energy she wears around it makes her seem ten feet tall. Asked about her style she said, “Travel and my background. I grew up around artistic, cultured, ‘MAD’people.” She said fortunately, she has been traveling before she could walk or talk.

“I love different cultures, I love traveling and I unconsciously grab from these different experiences and cultures I’ve encountered,” she said warmly. Amanyea’s mother and brothers are all lovers of music. She said they would listen to Bach, Nina Simone, Erykah Badu, Beyonce’, and then Jay Z. “It was a vibrant, colourful home that I grew up in.  I was exposed to a wide range of music from a very young age,” she said.

photo_2018-10-24_03-54-33 (4)

The uncontainable creative life force within her may be responsible for how she experiences the process of creating. She said what she enjoys most about creating is freedom. She said, “I enjoy the freedom of my mind. I get to express in so many different ways, freely, uncensored and comfortably.  I get to freely be myself.”

Many artists say they experience a depth which seems almost like an out-of-body experience when immersed in their craft, but she said she views the concept a little differently. “For me, it’s the other way around. Being immersed in my craft is a ‘reality’ for me. I don’t feel lost, I actually feel like I have found ‘Om’— ultimate consciousness” she explained.  She said her experience is as though everything else she focused on made her lost, while her craft remains the only stable thing in her life. “I finally told myself that  4 years ago— and ever since then, I have been the most focused and ‘found’ I have ever been.”

photo_2018-10-24_03-54-33 (2)

Amanyea was asked how she maintained a powerful energy amidst challenges such as a recent injury. She said, “After going to four different specialists in the past year I finally got an MRI done. I had a flap of cartilage that needed to be shaved down. I went in for what may seem like an hour surgery tops and came out 4 hours later. Turns out I had Grade 4 Chondromalacia of the patella and the femoral sulcus.” This means Amanyea had a condition where the cartilage on the under surface of her kneecap deteriorated and softened—a condition common among young athletes.

She was also diagnosed with Osteoarthritis and Synovitis, which is the medical term for a condition where the body tissues lining the joints possess cavities—causing pain and swelling when the joint moves. For any dancer, this would feel like a nightmare.

On April 5, 2018, she said,  “I had arthroscopy surgery done, debridement and microfracture of the femoral sulcus and patella. I lost 17lbs post-surgery and after 8 weeks I started my physiotherapy journey.”

unnamed (3)

“I am going to be honest with you— I had fear, emotional pain, and I felt discouraged. I am still pushing and this is still very emotional for me. But I must say – I used my support system as much as possible. I tend to be a loner— but during this whole process I realized how much I need my friends and family,” she explained.

She said she also wanted people to get to know her on social media, “Me— not the pretty side but, me. But social Media only saw the semi-hard parts of my journey. I went through a lot more than I chose to share. I was bedridden for 6 weeks, sent to the hospital because of bad reactions to the pain medicines.

Did more than half of my painful journey without pain meds because I was afraid of the side effects.”

photo_2018-10-24_03-54-33 (3)

She said, “ If I didn’t have my friends, and my family around— I wouldn’t have made it this far. I am lucky to also have a physiotherapist who is also a friend— and especially my Mother, Dr. L’Antoinette Stines. She did everything for me, lol “bade me, feed me, everything me” – when I couldn’t myself. It’s okay to need help. I told myself I will be able to do what I love. I am lucky to have 2 loves, Music and Dance and the people around me definitely told me the same. Don’t worry, we got this.”

In wrapping up we asked Amanyea three final questions:

P: What can we look forward to from you?

A: Music. This is only the beginning of my career. I can’t wait for people to hear more of my music and see more of my art, blossom. My aim is to blend all my talents together in one. I released my single September 7th, and the feedback had made me so excited. I am grateful, that so far, people love what they hear and see. Shocking of course, because I am being vulnerable, putting my art out there for people to either love, ridicule, scorn, hate etc. But so far I am humbled at how well received it has been. So, look forward to more music and dance, but not separated anymore. 

P: Where do you visualise seeing yourself one year from now?

A: Can I tell you one year from now? lol I see myself being an artiste, just more potent.

P: What message would you give to Amanyea at 15 years old?

A: Do not be afraid. Cliché? Yes. But I was so afraid to do all the things I wanted to do, I was afraid of opinions, of being laughed at. Dancing was my comfort zone. I wish I was confident enough to sing, and write. Join clubs just for that. But I was afraid.  Fear is a hell of a thing. 

unnamed (1)

Advertisements

Dive Into Pure Grenada’s Underwater Festival

The Pure Grenada Dive Festival is an opportunity for divers of all abilities to immerse themselves in the Caribbean destination’s fascinating underwater world.  The second annual Festival took place from October 3-6 and it showcased the destination’s rich and diverse eco-system as well as the bountiful and vibrant marine life that can be found off the islands’ shores.

deep-blue
Photo source: puredivinggrenada.com

With Grenada being the home of the World’s first Underwater Sculpture Park and the Caribbean’s largest wreck dive the Bianca C, the festival is a must add to your list of travel goals. Everyday of the festival was given a specific theme based on Grenada and Carriacou’s dive offerings. Day 1 was designated Reef Diving in Grenada and Carriacou, which is literally translated to mean ‘the Isle of Reefs’.  The destination’s reef systems are healthy and support diverse marine life including seahorses, turtles, sharks and rays.

sandy-lighthouse
Photo source: puredivinggrenada.com

Underwater photo enthusiasts were also challenged with a fun-filled photography competition with the chance to win prizes for categories such as the most creative selfie, best reef photo and best wreck photo. Day two, themed Wreck Diving, catered to all divers offering a beginner’s pool diving course and the opportunity for certified divers to explore some of the islands’ 14 wreck dives including the newest, M/V Anina.

Underwater Sculpture Park
Photo source: puredivinggrenada.com

The second half of the festival presented a robust schedule of sustainable activities for participants to make a positive impact on Grenada’s underwater ecosystem. October 5, or Project Aware Dive Against Debris day, included scheduled clean-up dives off the shores of all three islands in the destination and local school outreach presentations aimed at educating Grenada’s next generation on best practices in dive marine conservation.

Credit Orlando K. Romain -Dive Grenada - Ring of Children_UNDERWATER SCULPTURE PARK
Photo Credit: Orlando K. Romain -Dive Grenada – Ring of Children_UNDERWATER SCULPTURE PARK

The final day of the festival, Invasive Lionfish Eradication Diving day, started at the picturesque Morne Rouge Bay/BBC Beach with the boats sent off to predetermined dive locations and reconvening with their catches at Coconut Beach Restaurant on Grand Anse Beach. The Lionfish were skilfully prepared and served at the evening social event in which they were a hit with participants.

Credit True Blue Bay Boutique Resort bianca c diving (1)
Photo Credit: True Blue Bay Boutique Resort

Grenada’s coast is a haven for diverse marine life due to the warm waters and healthy coral reef systems and sponges and divers and underwater photographers are spoilt for choice in discovering them all. Dive enthusiasts are encouraged to book early for the third annual Pure Grenada Dive Fest, which is planned for October 2-5, 2019. Make your bookings at www.puredivinggrenada.com.

 

Grand Palladium Jamaica: A Great Experience Awaits

By Courtney Nicholas

The drive from Kingston took about 2 hours & 40 minutes, check in was no longer than 5 minutes. I was shuttled to the room, which was located on the Lady Hamilton Block, the bellboy was very helpful & knowledgeable, giving me a quick overview on the hotel & answering my questions adequately.

Grand Palladium Jamaica Complex Resort & Spa8
Photos courtesy of Grand Palladium Jamaica

The room I was given was on the ground floor, it had a King Size Bed, Balcony, a Mini Bar which was fully stocked, a couch, safe, & I must say the bed was extremely comfortable.
The food options were better than I expected, I went to the main buffet, for breakfast & lunch, which at all times the wait staff was always checking if I needed anything.
The beach was a bit disappointing for me, as I mostly spent my time during the day at the main pool, which was massive but not crowded, it had a great swim up bar & the Johnnie Walker was always flowing. There was also a water slide which I saw the kids enjoying.

photo_2018-09-05_19-13-39

The dining options were very good, I went to Poseidon (Mediterranean), Bhogali (Indian), Arte E Cuccina (Italian) Bubbas (Steak House), Lotus House (Asian), they all were excellent.

photo_2018-10-24_03-25-45
Photography by PANACHE

 

GPLH BUNGALOW #3113 IMG_2711

The property is also well laid out, with easy directions as well as the covered area from the lobby to your room, in the event of rain and room service is also available.
The resort is very family friendly & also has access for the disabled. For the parents, the play area is really good & the nanny is very experienced.

Grand Palladium Jamaica Complejo - Spa
The interaction I had with the staff during my stay was excellent, they always had a friendly smile & happy greeting.

photo_2018-10-24_03-25-44 (4)
Overall it was a great experience, and I’m definitely looking forward to going back.

The Allure of Owia Salt Pond in St. Vincent & the Grenadines

By Melony Mejias

During one of my summer vacations, my family and I travelled to the wonderful island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This was my second trip to the island, and it left an everlasting impact on my life, and my photography.

owia salt pond
The first time I visited Saint Vincent, I was only a child and had a vague memory of my experience— evidently I knew one day I had to visit the island again. I had to regain and enrich my memory of this wonderful island. Fortunately, for me, my aunt and uncle currently live in Saint Vincent, so I am at liberty to visit the island at my leisure. On the third day of our trip, my aunt suggested that we visit some unique places. One of those places mentioned was the salt pond located in Owia.
Immediately, I Googled the location to see where we were about to embark upon, and I was truly amazed at the natural phenomenon in pictures. Upon seeing the pond, I was ecstatic to take many pictures but before I express my experience and thoughts about the pond, let me elaborate on some facts about the Owia salt pond.

owia-salt-pond-melony-mejias
The Owia Salt Pond is located on the North Eastern Coast of St. Vincent in the village of Owia which is home to some of the indigenous people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines— the Black Caribs. The salt pond was formed when larva from the volcano erupted and met the sea. The salt pond forms a vital buffer zone between terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
The volcanic rock formations magically formed itself into a pool which is continuously refreshed by waves splashing in from the sea. Reef fish and coral formation gives the pond a unique colour which looks a tropical pool. I stayed at the pond for approximately two hours. My experience at the Owia salt pond was one filled with amazement, joy, laughter and fun. Bathing in the pond felt therapeutic. The reef fish lightly nibbling at my feet in the water felt relaxing and unlike anything I have experienced thus far. The salt water in the pond felt warm and calming and I felt like never leaving. Although I was engrossed enjoying my time bathing in the pond, I was able to photograph this natural phenomenon.

owia pond
It was truly a delightful site to see and experience first-hand and I recommend it to anyone who is planning to visit Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is said that The Owia Salt Pond has been used for therapeutic purposes in the past, I concur to this as I have experienced bathing in the pond myself. It will be an experience unlike any other.
The rocks depicted in the photograph are the volcanic rock formations that surround the pool. The pond consists of reef fish and coral formations that give pond its colour. It is truly a wonderful natural phenomenon that visitors should see and photograph while visiting the beautiful Island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Editor’s Choice: Loews Miami Beach Hotel

Miami Beach’s Oasis for Luxury Comfort & Style

By Tricia Williamson |Photos courtesy of Loews Miami

Panache Mag August 201820
Photography by Loews Miami Beach Hotel

Nestled on Miami Beach and just minutes away from the vibrant Art Deco District, the Loews Miami Beach Hotel is truly your hotel to call home. The excellence in customer service starts even before you arrive at the hotel. I personally received an email days before my arrival which not only welcomed me to the hotel but also took the notation of any food allergies and special requirements I or my guests may have had.

The first thing that really sets Loews Miami apart from the rest is their commitment to excellent customer service. Everyone truly makes you feel like a VIP and always willing to assist you. One such example was at the check-in desk, I had arrived hours before the usual afternoon check-in time and surprisingly the room was ready and I was allowed to go up and rest. For a traveller, who has been up flying from 2 a.m. in the morning to arrive in Miami at 12noon- I can’t share enough how much that meant to be able to do that upon arrival.

photo_2018-08-15_15-10-26

photo_2018-08-15_15-10-31
Photography by Tricia Williamson

Loews offers you a wonderful service called “Chat Your Service” where you can also text message whatever you need and it is handled. The turndown service was excellent and it really left you feeling welcomed home, especially after long days out in the heat of this beautiful sun-kissed city.

LM_drink_1451c_cocktail2

This renowned oceanfront resort is truly Miami Beach’s oasis for luxury comfort perfectly blended with sophisticated style, exceptional service, and great value for money. Be sure to immerse your taste buds in the culinary creations offered in the food and beverage experience known as the “Flavor Miami”.

I also enjoyed early morning swims in the oceanfront poolscape as well as relaxing in the St. Tropez-inspired SOAK Cabanas and Daybeds. Loews Miami Beach Hotel is one of the most “instagrammable” hotels I have ever enjoyed (Find them on Instagram @LoewsMiami). From the from the hip strip side to the oceanfront you’ll love sharing your experiences with the world from this hotel. The private beach access was also great for long walks in the evenings along the boardwalk and just quick access to the sun and sand of the beach front.

SOAK Cabanas & Daybeds

As a Travel Editor, I have stayed at several hotels in Miami and Loews was a truly unforgettable experience and now my favourite places to stay. It’s the little things they do to truly make your stay great. From the ice cool flavoured waters of cucumbers to watermelon all around the resort. After walking the strip or coming from the beach, there is no greater refreshment that a tall cool drink from Lowes in the Miami sun. It’s the beautiful platter of fruits, chocolates, mojito cocktails (featuring a bottle of locally distilled rum) and chips that greeted you in your room after a long hard day’s work. It’s the genuine warmth and care of the staff as they tend to all your needs. It’s the beautifully designed room with an ocean front view that you just love coming home to each day.

LOEWS_Miami_cabana_main

Whether it’s to stay on the renowned Miami Beach or be able to take a 20 minute Uber ride from the airport to the hotel or the rich plethora of shops and restaurants in the Art Deco District… if you are looking for a great place to stay- make it Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

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.

0Hu9TZEQ
Photos courtesy of the Frangipani Beach Resort

“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.

h6NmCa8g

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.

VClTEqVw

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.

Facebook.com/FrangipaniAXA |Instagram: @FrangipaniAXA |Twitter: @FrangipaniAXA

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.

free_to_wonder_-69
Photos courtesy the Grenada Tourism Authority

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

FREE TO WONDER

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
Photos courtesy the Grenada Tourism Authority

REGATTA

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.

Spicemas 2017 Arthur Daniel Pretty Mas 32 (1)

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.

DCIM100GOPRO
Photos courtesy the Grenada Tourism Authority

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