Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WATW: Riviera Nayarit

I'm back with another edition of Midwest Travel Service's 'Where Are They Wednesdays.' Can you believe it's already been a week since we talked about Reese and Jim's fabulous honeymoon in Belize? I sure can't! Anyways, the topic for this week is a little more broad (but of course, just as exciting!). Rather than highlighting one particular resort, I'd like to discuss a region on the Pacific side of Mexico called Riviera Nayarit.
Riviera Nayarit is made up of approximately 200 miles of pristine coastline located just north of Puerto Vallarta. It is often referred to as the 'newest vacation paradise' due to consistently gorgeous weather - the year round temperature is 80 degrees on average! Golden sand beach, warm tropical sun and blue Pacific ocean. What more could you ask for?

Now if you're a fan of our 'Where Are They Wednesdays' concept, you're probably wondering just who has been spotted in this charming region recently. This week it's a two-part answer, with part one being the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders!
Ignore the gals for a sec... Check out the gorgeous beach and blue waters of the Riviera Nayarit!

The DCC hanging out with a local after their calendar photoshoot :)

So now for part-two which combines our WATW postings with my personal favorite topic: destination weddings! Just a couple of weeks ago a very special MTS client got engaged in the Riviera Nayarit region at the Marival Grand Resort. And guess what? They loved the experience so much they've decided to have their destination wedding there in April of 2012. Here's a picture of the happy couple:
Who hooo! Congratulations Adam and Dana!

If you're curious to learn more about the Marival Resort you can check out their website here. It's a Mediterranean-style beachfront resort located about 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta and it's absolutely wonderful! One of the best aspects is that select tours are included in the all-inclusive plan. Examples include the dolphin encounter, sea lion encounter, sunset sail, zip-lining, and the catamaran ride + snorkel. If you've done some traveling before you know that this is an incredible inclusion! 

Well that's it for this Wednesday. Have a great evening everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Where Are They Wednesdays?

Do you ever wonder about celebrity travel hotspots? If you, (like Theresa and I), love all types of celeb-buzz you're going to love our new segment called 'Where Are They Wednesdays?' On multiple Wednesdays of each month we are going to share some of the latest travel gossip with our curious followers... Some weeks we'll highlight popular destinations more broadly (St. Bart's is a great example), while other weeks we'll feature particular properties recently visited by some of our favorite Hollywood A-listers.

Some of you may or may not have seen my facebook posting a few weeks ago about Reese + Jim's honeymoon in Belize. If you're not one that's typically 'up' on celebrity gossip, I'm referring to the actress Reese Witherspoon and her entertainment agent husband Jim Toth:


About a week before Reese's wedding I was working with a bride on exotic honeymoon ideas when I came across Francis Ford Coppola's resort in Belize called the Turtle Inn. I found it to be an enchanting place perfect for a couple in love and apparently, Reese and Jim think so too considering they chose it as their honeymoon destination!

The Turtle Inn features Balinese-style cabanas with artisan crafted furnishings, a luxury private Japanese bath and a broad-screened deck to welcome in the tropical sea air. One major perk to this property is the optional all-inclusive package which can help save a bundle. In case you were wondering they've got a great honeymoon package too which includes a full-day snorkel trip, a river boat tour, complimentary spa treatments and a chilled bottle of wine in the room upon arrival. What a welcome!


Another aspect I like about the Turtle Inn is the wide variety of room types. They have seafront cottages, gardenview villas, pool-side seaview suites, lagoon bungalows and family pavilions. Each are priced accordingly, so there truly is something for everyone.


If you tire of resting on the white sandy beach overlooking the clear water (if that's possible!) you could always sit by one of their two infinity pools. If you're not the type who enjoys vacations full of lounging and sunbathing, plenty of activities and experiences are offered through the resort as well: hikes to nearby caves and waterfalls, exploration of the ancient Mayan sites, beach & mountain biking to wildlife sanctuaries, snorkeling and more. Hmm, I wonder if Jim and Reese did any of that? Either way, I don't think we have to wonder if they enjoyed their stay at the Turtle Inn. Seems like it would be nearly impossible not to!

*Anyone who's ever watched the CW series 'Gossip Girl' will totally get my sign-off for this week ;-)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Where to stay for the Royal Wedding ~ Just 2 weeks away!

I've always been fascinated by royalty.  As a young girl growing up with 3 brothers I loved anything to do with Princesses.  From the moment 'Shy Di' was introduced to the world, I felt a kinship with her and the fascinating role she was taking on.  I followed her every move, purchased every magazine with her face on the cover and read every book written about her.  When she died so tragically I was devastated, as though I had just lost one of my closest friends.  How could this happen?  Who will take care of her precious boys?  How would they survive without the love and daily guidance of their beautiful, tender, kind-hearted Mummy?

With the wedding of her eldest son William (those of us close to him call him Wills) just  two weeks away, I feel a renewed sense of royal fever.   I can't help thinking of Diana and how proud she must be of her son.  I was so happy to hear William gave Kate his Mother's ring and the joy that surely brought her as she was watched from above.  I have visions of how she would have been such an instrumental part of the wedding planning and I can picture her and Kate, her future daughter-in-law, working together to plan a Royal Wedding the world has never seen before! Although I have not yet received my official invitation, I'm confident it's on it's way.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few options for those of you who like me, still need to book your 'Royal Vacation'.

Top of my list is 51 Buckingham Gate.  What Princess doesn't deserve a stay at a 5 star luxury resort.  51 Buckingham Gate is the where the diplomats and dignitaries of the world stay.  Considered London's most 'home from home' experience, I know we'll all fit right in!  Royal treatment packages start at just $710 per night.  Included in your package is complimentary breakfast, complimentary cocktails and even a horse and carriage ride where you can experience the Royal Route of the bride and groom to be! 
51 Buckingham Gate
If castle stays are more your style here are a few options.  Amberly Castle in West Sussex England is at the top of my list to go to get the King and Queen Royal treatment.  This 12th Century medieval castle is like stepping back in time but with all the modern luxuries.  During the Royal wedding, get 3 nights for the price of 4 with rates starting at $375 per night.

Amberley Castle

Beautiful accommodations with 4 poster beds

On a time crunch?  You don't even have to cross the pond.  Get the royal treatment at Castle on the Hudson.  Located just 30 minutes north of Manhattan, it sits majestically overlooking the Hudson River and with over 100 years of history you'll feel like you are living in the enchanted days of yesterday and are royalty yourself.  Experience firsthand why it is a favorite of dignitaries and celebrities alike.  Royal Wedding weekend rates begin at just $275 per night.

Castle on the Hudson

If Diana were alive, I don't think I would feel such a strong need to attend.  I'd be happy to watch the festivities from the comfort of my bed, in the middle of the night, as I did for her wedding 30 years ago.  That not being the case, I must now get to the task of booking my Royal Stay.  I just know that William and Kate need me...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

MTS Honeymooners: Tom + Janae

I received the cutest honeymoon snapshots in my e-mail this morning and just had to share them with all of you! They are from one of MTS' honeymoon couples who recently spent a week at The Royal, a gorgeous all-inclusive resort in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Here's what Tom and Janae had to say about their experience:

We have used Midwest Travel for booking all of our vacations over the last five years. This year we were celebrating our honeymoon and we knew that they would provide excellent service and recommendations. Christina helped us pick out the perfect resort out of one of the many destinations we were looking at visiting and even stayed within our budget. We were also able to have our wedding guests contact her to contribute to our very special trip and that was a smooth and easy process as well. Thanks so much, Christina! 
– The Olsons

Thank you to Tom and Janae for sharing these photos and their feedback with me today. You were so much fun to work with + plan for, and I'm so happy you had a great time!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Say 'Yes' to the Dress!

Our own Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist Christina, was recently asked to do a guest blog for The Wedding Shoppe. She shares with us her experience of finding the perfect dress for her special day. If you're not familiar with the Wedding Shoppe Inc., they are one of the largest individual bridal salons in the country. They attribute this to their superior customer service, reliability and competitive pricing. We know it's no accident Christina found her dress at a salon which has received numerous awards, including the highest lifetime achievement award in the bridal industry.

Christina gets it. She knows firsthand what it's like to be a bride having just been married in October 2010. She understands and believes in the importance of customer service. She knows what it's like to work with someone who is working for you to make every aspect of your wedding day/honeymoon exactly what you dream of.  Her passion for the industry, attention to detail and excitement over every aspect of wedding + honeymoon planning make her the perfect fit for our brides.  She experienced first-hand what it's like to work with someone who has your best interest at heart and wants to be that someone for you. At Midwest Travel Service, we know how lucky we are to have her on our team.  We love her and know you will too. You deserve the best and Christina is just that!

Check out her Wedding Shoppe guest blog here and see some stunning pictures from her wedding day and let her know what you think! Then it's time to give her a call, send her an email and get started planning your dream day! Happy planning!