Just as inextricably linked to St. Lucia as the emerald twin peaks of The Pitons are sugarcane and chocolate — both factor into the most delectable drinks you’ll encounter on this lushest of tropical islands.
Walking into the production area of Saint Lucia Distillers, you can’t help but notice the bubbly fermenting tanks emitting that unmistakably earthy-sweet aroma of molasses. After the yeast does its job on the yellow liquid, it’s transferred to the adjacent still and destined for rum greatness … perhaps shaken into a potent daiquiri or mai tai back at your resort’s swim-up bar.
The distillery, located on the west coast in the Roseau Valley, dates back to the late 1950s; today, the company produces more than 25 white, aged and flavored rums, liqueurs and other potables. Among them is the award- winning line-up of Chairman’s Reserve Rum, first blended in 1999 using continuous and pot stills. (Worth snagging is a bottle or two of that line’s The Forgotten Casks, a sipping spirit crafted to mimic that of barrels preserved during a devastating fire in 2007; three additional years maturing in former bourbon barrels produces a smooth, vanilla-tinged stunner.) Saint Lucia Distillers welcomes guests daily for the hour-long Rhythm of Rum experience, starting with a short film and tour of the facility and concluding with an invitation from your guide/bartender to belly up to the tasting bar for a sampling of as many iterations of the sugarcane spirit as you care to try.
Afterward, you’ll definitely spot some familiar bottles when you head to The Cacao Bar at Rabot Hotel, the only accommodation owned and operated by U.K.-based confectioner Hotel Chocolat. The hotel, open-air restaurant, spa and cocktail lounge all pay homage to St. Lucia’s cacao industry, dating back to the 1700s. Settle into a seat at a table overlooking Petit Piton to peruse the menu; chocolate in one form or another touches many of the drinks and dishes. Order a cacao martini with vodka, estate-pressed cacao pulp, lemon verbena and soursop juice, or opt for a rum old-fashioned with a dash of chocolate bitters. What might be most unexpected is its cacao gin, whose hit of juniper is joined by a finish of bitter-dusted cocoa; it works unbelievably well in a negroni spritzed with the citrus oil from an orange peel.
If you stay for lunch or dinner (and you should, if only for the seared scallops with crushed cacao nibs and the most luxuriously decadent mousse au chocolat on the planet), be sure to pick up a bottle of Velvetised Chocolate Cream liqueur on the way out. Long after the mist has faded from those iconic mountains, you can relive the sweet memory of your island sojourn with every luscious sip.
One thing surprising about the Prince Edward Island capital is its abundance of shops specializing in affordable, fashion-forward jewelry rendered in sterling silver, vermeil, 14K gold and semi-precious stones. Whether you prefer delicate pieces or bold wearable art, you can be assured the pieces for sale are inspired by the maritime island setting and, therefore, specific to the place where they are created. Here are a few shining, woman-owned examples:
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Norway, a haven for visionary artists, architects and designers, showcases an exceptionally diverse array of cultural attractions. This year, the country commemorates exciting milestones and unveilings captivating enthusiasts of the arts, from iconic scenic routes to new museums to gallery openings. Up Norway features these new offerings in personalized itineraries catered to aesthetes.
As a peripatetic traveler, I am always trying to balance the pleasures of dining well with a life-long challenge to control my weight. It’s not always easy, because I consider tasting typical, authentic regional dishes among the highlights of most journeys, and those foods are rarely known for “healthful” rankings! So, I started staying at spas way back in the 1980s — before they were ubiquitous — because meals were assured to be pure, clean and wholesome.
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Flying to the paradise of Turks & Caicos has never been easier thanks to many new, non-stop flights across three airlines to the destination. Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways all announced new flights, allowing travelers to visit this dreamy destination.
Many Americans head across the pond year-round for trips to Ireland, particularly the capital city of Dublin. However, several countries’ governments have issued warnings to travelers to Dublin in the near future in the wake of some recent knife attacks and riots.
The Islands of Tahiti offer a range of captivating activities for travelers with diverse interests, from hiking to breathtaking waterfalls, riding horses on secluded beaches; swimming with sharks; or immersing in Polynesian culture through traditional dance, music and art. For watersports enthusiasts, the crystal-clear lagoons offer exhilarating experiences like surfing, kiteboarding and paddleboarding. And if you’re looking to relax, the pristine beaches, overwater bungalows and tropical sun offer the perfect setting. With 118 islands and atolls to explore, island hopping is an excellent way to experience the full diversity of The Islands of Tahiti. With its blend of adventure, culture and relaxation, The Islands of Tahiti offer a truly unique travel experience.
With the rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday over, many of us still wrack our brains on what to buy friends and family this holiday season. For the traveler in your life, finding the perfect gift can go a long way. Here are some top-quality products sure to impress loved ones this season: