Travel Tuesday: Amazing St. Barts: Isle De France Resort

What’s on the top of your travel bucket list? One of mine is St. Barts, and summer is a great time to go with many specials as well as great healthy and cultural events. The amazing resort, Isle de France, has quite a special offering a special friends and family summer holiday packages which includes accommodations with 2 garden rooms or bungalows; round trip airport transfers by hotel chauffeur; daily continental breakfast; welcome complimentary mini bar (soft drinks and canapés), Friday night wine tasting at the bar of the Isle de France; one cocktail every evening by the pool to enjoy the sunset; one dinner at the beach restaurant on the day of arrival (excluding drinks); access to all facilities: pool, fitness center, boutique; access to the beach, the beach bar & restaurant, the beach chairs, snorkeling equipment, shower on the beach, towels; and car rental. This package is effective from April 9th to August 31st and from October 15th to October 31st.  Need I say more? Who is ready to go? ME! Okay, so here’s a little tour of the resort:  To start, here’s a view from the pool (below) Can you say heaven?

Beach Suite Living Room View (below)

Spa Reception area (below) I could hang out here for a very long time…

Thai Massage (below) I need one of these!

Other great summer events include:

  • Diana Bourel’s signature yoga summer camp challenge will be held from July 1 to August 5. You can channel your inner yogi, get strong and lean, make new friends and find out just how magnificent you are in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. This 5-week yoga and fitness program will challenge you to discover your personal best.
  • St. Barts also has a strong artistic and cultural heritage, which is celebrated in the island’s many festivals. Tourists can experience 10 days of live music with St. Barts Summer Sessions from August 5 to 16; and concerts of Caribbean music with St. Barts JAM Music Festival from August 15 to 18.
  • For those of you in need of some retail therapy, the stores in the port of Gustavia offer a wide selection of leading international brands and creations by local designers. Summer sales on the island are from August 6 to 18th, during the St. Barts Shopping Festival where promotions, sales and fairs are held in various shops on the island.

Travel Tuesday Vacation Destination: Sandestin A to Z

Welcome to my new weekly column “Tuesday Travel”. I am so thrilled to be doing a great deal of “freelance traveling writing” for various media outlets this year, and I am looking forward to also sharing my travel experiences as well on Ingredients, Inc. every other Tuesday.

I am so lucky to live only 4 hours from the beautiful beaches of South Walton in Northwest Florida and the stunningly amazing golf and beach resort, Sandestin.  My family and I had an incredible opportunity to visit Sandestin this Spring Break, and when my youngest son called it, “a mini Disney World” at the beach, I could truly see why. I had so much to say about this comprehensive resort experience that when I sat down to write about it, I wondered how I could say it all. I am hoping this post on “Sandestin A to Z” will give you a short tour of why you should come to Sandestin for a visit.

A: Acme Oyster House-You will get a taste of New Orleans walking around The Village of Baytowne Wharf, especially this view of the streets and the famous New Orleans restaurant, Acme Oyster House.

B: Beach-It is no surprise that Destin has been named by Good Morning America as one of “Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in America.”

C: Cantina LaredoThe Mexican restaurant, Cantina Laredo, is located in Sandestin’s Grand Boulevard shops. My kids loved it, and their favorite part was having guacamole made table side.

D: Daiquiris-Sandestin has nearly two dozen venues in The Village of Baytowne Wharf, including pub sports bars, seasonal tiki bars, restaurants, shops, and even the famous New Orleans Daiquiri and frozen drink bar, Fat Tuesday. Love this evening view of Baytowne Wharf.

E: Another Broken Egg-This is one of our favorite breakfast restaurants. There are two Another Broken Egg restaurants on Sandestin’s Property.

F: Fishing-This was my backyard for the weekend, but every lake has a “catch and release” policy which is so fun for the kids (and adults.)

G: Golf-Sandestin has four incredible championship golf courses, and it is not surprising that Sandestin has been named one of the “Top 12 Golf Communities” by Forbes.

H: Happiness-Say no more.

I: Ice Skating– In the wintertime, Sandestin adds a synthetic ice skating rink in the heart of Baytown Wharf.

J: Jet Ski-If you like an exciting or casual ride on the water, wave runners are available to rent at the Baytowne Marina. 

K: Kayaking-Kayaking is one of our family’s favorite activities at the beach. Head to the Baytowne Marina for a fun afternoon kayaking in the bay.

L: Lakes-72 lakes exist on Sandestin’s 2400 acres. They are all beautifully landscaped and very picturesque.

M: Marina-Sandestin has an 113-Slip Marina with so many fun activities, including sailing charters and lessons, sailboat rentals, pontoon boat rentals, wave runner rentals, sunset cruises, Yolo stand-up paddle boarding and more.

N: Nature TrailJolee Island Nature Park is 5 acres and the perfect place for a walk, bike ride, picnic or cookout with family or friends. During the fall, I hear that there is a great Halloween pirate themed island trail with hayrides and more.  They call it, “Get Spooked on Jolee Island.”

O: Outdoors-Where else can you get hiking, biking, beach, running, golf, tennis, beach volleyball, basketball, canoeing, paddle boarding, boogie boards and water sports all in one destination?

P: Putting CourseThe Dunes adventurous Putting Course is located beachside. This 51-par course had 18 incredibly landscaped holes of fun. It’s a great thing to do when the kids want a break from the ocean.

Q: Quintessential Vacation-The beauty in Sandestin is almost surreal. This is truly a quintessential vacation destination.

R: Ropes CourseThe Sky Trail Ropes Course is a fun challenge for kids of all ages.

S: San Gelato Cafe-Located in Baytown Wharf, we visited San Gelato Cafe every day. Owners, Guido and Simona, moved from Italy to the Emerald coast. You can find two locations in Destin which serve incredible gelato, sorbets, sandwiches, salads, coffee and desserts. Their gelato is also distributed in stores throughout the country.

T: Tennis-Sandestin is equipped with 15 tennis courts, 12 clay and 3 hard courts. This state of the art facility is built around lakes on one side and the marina on the other.

U: Umbrellas-Enjoy the view sitting or walking the seven miles of beaches and pristine bay front in Sandestin.

V: Vacation-Sandestin has 19 swimming pools. Yes, 19! This picture of my son, Zachary, by the pool, is the definition of vacation. Just chillin…

W: Water-Do I need to say more?

 

X: Xcellent Accommodations: From beach to bay, there are nearly 1,400 accommodations ranging from deluxe studios to four bedroom villas.

 

Y: Yolo boardingYolo Boards, which are stand-up paddle boards, are made in Santa rosa beach, just down the road. The combination of surfing, kayaking and canoeing is a blast for kids and adults and also an incredible core workout. Lessons and rentals are offered daily at the Sandestin Marina.

Z: Zipline-Conquer your fears in Baytown Wharf on the zipline. Anchored by two 60-feet towers, this zipline crosses 650 feet across from tower to tower. And, yes, that is me in the photo.