Pepsi Unveils New Hospitality Venture with Launch of Kola House

The Experiential Lounge and Event Space will Offer Craft Cocktails and Artisanal Menu Inspired by the Exploration of the Kola Nut

Flagship Location to Open in Spring 2016 in New York City’s Meatpacking District

Pepsi announced its plans to launch Kola House, the first experimental kola bar, restaurant, lounge and event space to open in the U.S. market. This first-of-its-kind hospitality venture is set to open its doors in spring 2016, with its flagship location in New York City’s Meatpacking District.

To launch the Flagship location, Pepsi partnered with Lisle Richards and Eric Marx of well-known hospitality group The Metric (behind the Gilded Lily, The Wayfarer and more).

We wanted to create a modern hub for consumers to share social and immersive experiences that were anchored in the exploration of our cola’s artisanal craft and flavor,” shared Seth Kaufman, Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo North America Beverages. “The Kola House represents a new space for us to support our consumer-first approach to drive authenticity and innovation around our beverage offerings and ideals.”

PepsiCo Kola House

Rendering of Kola House space in New York City (PRNewsFoto/PepsiCo)

Kola House’s experimental and elemental themes honoring the kola nut will be brought to life through resident cocktail curator Alex Ott. Ott’s unrivaled background in flavor chemistry and his superior knowledge of food and beverage pairings and global palates make him the ideal mastermind behind the development of Kola House’s cocktails and elixirs. A full artisanal menu from a rising resident executive chef will also offer specialty plates inspired by the kola nut.

The flagship location will also serve as a transformative event space for pop culture moments in music, art, style, film, sports and more. Pepsi is leveraging its broad partnership with Live Nation to help build out a special music series, Live at the Kola House, which will serve as tent pole moments throughout its year-long programming. Each of the intimate, stripped down performances will bring fans up-close to the artists both visually and acoustically for the once-in-a-lifetime shows.

Through curating and producing the live music series for Pepsi, guests at Kola House will enjoy distinctive engagements by not-to-be-missed artists,” said Darin Wolf, Live Nation’s Executive Vice President, Media & Sponsorship.

To achieve the aesthetic, PepsiCo Design, led by Mauro Porcini, leveraged the creativity of an internal team and partnered with interior design firm, Kravitz Design Inc. “Kravitz Design worked closely with the Pepsi team to create a space that brings the Kola House vision to life as a multifaceted culinary and culturally exciting experience.” said Lenny Kravitz, President of Kravitz Design Inc.

Kola House will also include a modular series at key events in pop culture that will replicate the experience of the flagship location, with local themes and ties woven into the food, beverage and designs. The first of the modular locations opened as an exclusive VIP space in San Francisco during Super Bowl 50, at Pier 70 – a collaboration between Pepsi and DIRECTV.

For more information and updates about Kola House, please visit

Elizabeth Arden and Perfect Corp. Partner to Create a Cutting-Edge Digital Beauty Experience

Integration of a Comprehensive Selection of Elizabeth Arden Products into Popular YouCam Makeup App Reinvents the Cosmetic Shopping Experience

Perfect Corp. and Elizabeth Arden jointly announced an exclusive partnership that brings together the cosmetics pioneer and the world’s leading beauty app, YouCam Makeup. YouCam Makeup is the #1 makeover app in the world with over 100 million downloads and the #1 photo and video app ranking in over 39 countries’ App Stores and is available for free on theiTunes’ App Store and Google Play.

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Elizabeth Arden and Perfect Corp. partner to create a cutting-edge digital beauty experience. The integration of a comprehensive selection of Elizabeth Arden products into popular YouCam Makeup app reinvents the cosmetic shopping experience. (PRNewsFoto/Elizabeth Arden, Inc.)

The award-winning virtual makeup “super app” will exclusively feature a comprehensive assortment of Elizabeth Arden’s skincare-infused color cosmetics within its state-of-the-art virtual makeover interface, with the option for direct purchase from

Perfect Corp. and Elizabeth Arden will collaborate on co-branded content providing instant access to trends, application tips and seasonal looks. Elizabeth Arden will launch the first beauty brand Social Circle on YouCam Makeup‘s integrated social media platform and will create custom content with the brand’s experts and beauty ambassadors. The dynamic interface will also be integrated into marketing campaigns, eCommerce and a tablet version will be rolled out at select Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide. Additional joint promotions and activities will be announced in the following months.

ELizabeth-Arden-perfect  FINAL Logo

Perfect Corp. Logo (PRNewsFoto/Elizabeth Arden, Inc.)

Reinventing the traditional online cosmetic shopping experience, the joint venture marks Elizabeth Arden’s ongoing efforts to utilize the industry’s most advanced technology to expand the brand’s digital footprint and Perfect Corp.’s expansion into the prestige beauty sector.

By exclusively pairing our brand with the foremost technology in facial recognition software we will revolutionize the customer journey for experimentation and cosmetics purchases. The app simplifies product discovery and provides both an entirely new and existing customer base with unprecedented access to the Elizabeth Arden portfolio,” said JuE Wong, President, Elizabeth Arden Brand. “Additionally, it will provide the brand with millions of real-time consumer insights as we analyze product popularity and purchase funnel to cater to and customize the personal needs of our consumers.

Arden Centerstack Logo

Elizabeth Arden, Inc. Logo (PRNewsFoto/Elizabeth Arden, Inc.)

Utilizing patented facial recognition software and branded digital assets, the partnership creates a comprehensive new digital ecosystem for the beauty consumer encompassing everything from product exploration and trend-spotting to virtual trial, social networking and purchasing.

We are thrilled to partner with the iconic Elizabeth Arden brand, a household name that resonates with women worldwide, to illustrate how our highly customizable virtual makeover technology reinvents beauty,” said Alice H. Chang, CEO of Perfect Corp.This is an extraordinary opportunity to integrate a prestige brand into YouCam Makeup. Our millions of users will be able to interact with a versatile brand they know and trust at the click of a button. The addition of co-branded content will further empower our users to experiment with real product, hear from Elizabeth Arden’s expert panel, and have the ability to recreate their in-app looks offline.

Elizabeth Arden is a global prestige beauty products company with an extensive portfolio of prestige beauty brands sold in over 120 countries. The Company’s brand portfolio includes Elizabeth Arden skincare, color and fragrance products; its professional skincare line, Elizabeth Arden PRO; the celebrity fragrance brands of Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift; the designer fragrance brands of Juicy Couture, John Varvatos and Wildfox Couture; and the heritage fragrance brands of Alfred Sung, Britney Spears, Curve, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Elizabeth Taylor, Geoffrey Beene, Giorgio Beverly Hills, Halston, Ed Hardy, Jennifer Aniston, Lucky Brand, Rocawear, PS Fine Cologne and White Shoulders.

Crystal Cruises Announces Plans To Restore America’s Flagship, The SS United States, To A Modern Luxury Cruise Ship

Crystal Signs Exclusive Purchase Option Agreement To Begin Work On Returning The Historic Vessel To Service As The Fastest Cruise Vessel In The World

Already in the midst of the most significant expansion in the company’s celebrated history, Crystal Cruises’ next step in expanding its award-winning fleet is truly an historic endeavor. Together with the SS United States Conservancy, Crystal has announced it will save “America’s Flagship,” the SS United States (Steam Ship United States), and embark on the enormous undertaking of bringing the ship into compliance with the latest standards, and returning her to oceangoing service. During the announcement, made at a press conference at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City, Crystal also committed to covering all costs associated with preserving the ship while undertaking a technical feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.


SS United States on her sea trials, June 10, 1952. Here she reached her highest recorded speed ever, 38.32 knots (44.1 mph). This is the greatest speed ever achieved by an ocean liner before or since. Photo courtesy of Charles Anderson and the SS United States Conservancy.

The prospect of revitalizing the SS United States and reestablishing her as ‘America’s Flagship’ once again is a thrilling one. It will be a very challenging undertaking, but we are determined to apply the dedication and innovation that has always been the ship’s hallmark,” says Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. “We are honored to work with the SS United States Conservancy and government agencies in exploring the technical feasibility study so we can ultimately embark on the journey of transforming her into a sophisticated luxury cruise liner for the modern era.


The SS United States on a cruise to St. Thomas, 1966. The SS United States took 23 cruises during her service career, in addition to 400 round-trip transatlantic crossings.

The epitome of American post-war innovation and design, the SS United States was launched in 1952 and captured the transatlantic speed record on her maiden voyage – a record to this day that still stands. She remains the largest passenger ship ever designed and built in America. Before her retirement in 1969, the SS United States was the most glamorous and elegant ship in the world, having transported four U.S. presidents, international royalty, many of Hollywood’s “golden era” celebrities, as well as a million passengers. While the ship captivated travelers with its features and elegance, the ship’s origin was equally intriguing. She was designed as part of a top-secret Pentagon program during the Cold War, which stipulated it could be quickly converted from a luxury liner into a naval troopship in the event of a war, carrying 15,000 troops with a 240,000 shaft horsepower propulsion plant capable of traveling 10,000 nautical miles – almost half way around the globe – without refueling.


The SS United States Today: The SS United States’ mighty funnels as seen from her after decks. Courtesy of the SS United States Conservancy

Crystal’s ambitious vision for the SS United States will ensure our nation’s flagship is once again a global ambassador for the highest standards of American innovation, quality and design,” said Susan Gibbs, executive director of the SS United States Conservancy and granddaughter of the ship’s designer, William Francis Gibbs. “We are thrilled that the SS United States is now poised to make a triumphant return to sea and that the ship’s historical legacy will continue to intrigue and inspire a new generation.”

SS United States will be transformed into an 800-guest-capacity vessel, featuring 400 suites measuring about 350 square feet with dining, entertainment, spa and other luxury guest amenities.

Artist Rendering: SS United States will be transformed into an 800-guest-capacity vessel, featuring 400 suites measuring about 350 square feet with dining, entertainment, spa and other luxury guest amenities.

In order to meet modern demands and be in full regulatory compliance, the SS United States will have to be extensively re-built to meet over 60 years of new maritime rules and shipbuilding practices. The modern United States by Crystal Cruises will be transformed into an 800-guest-capacity vessel, featuring 400 luxurious suites measuring about 350 square feet with dining, entertainment, spa and other luxury guest amenities that are true to the ship’s storied history. Features of the original SS United States such as the Promenade and Navajo Lounge will be retained, while new engines and sophisticated marine technology will be installed to maintain her title as the fastest cruise vessel in the world.

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Artist Rendering: Crystal will examine new itineraries for the 60,000-gross-ton United States by Crystal Cruises including traditional transatlantic voyages from NYC and other key U.S. ports, plus international voyages.

Adds Rodriguez: “It is truly a privilege for the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line to be entrusted with the opportunity of restoring a ship that served as a symbol of patriotism and maritime supremacy and bring her into the modern day, while also giving guests a taste of a bygone era of luxury travel.” Continue reading

Pete Nowalk to Receive Prestigious LGBTQ Community Award at Point Foundation New York Gala

Creator and Executive Producer of ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” Will Receive Leadership Award at Point Honors Gala in New York April 11

The Point Foundation (Point) will honor producer, showrunner, and writer Pete Nowalk with the Point Leadership Award at the organization’s annual Point Honors gala in New York City, April 11. Point presents its Leadership Award to an individual who has achieved prominence in their professional career and unequivocally supports the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Some of Point’s 85 current scholars and 217 alumni will be present at the event to share with the audience their inspiring stories about how they have overcome challenges to get their higher education degrees.

Point Foundation Pete Nowalk

Pete Nowalk (PRNewsFoto/Point Foundation)

The Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society. More importantly, Point Foundation promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training. The Point Foundation has used the grand setting of the library in recent years to present awards to Lena Dunham, Neal Baer, Jonathan Groff and Jeffrey Tambor.


Nowalk, whose additional producer credits include “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” will receive the award April 11 at the Point Honors Gala at the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue.

I’m in awe of the support and scholarship the Point Foundation offers to LGBTQ students,” said Nowalk. “There’s no better way to empower our future leaders than by helping them get the education they deserve. I’m honored to receive this award and look forward to celebrating the scholars and mentors who have my deepest admiration.”

As a writer and producer, Pete Nowalk is responsible for some of the most intelligent and authentic portrayals of gay characters on TV,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “He is an example for LGBTQ young people that if you are confident in yourself, dedicate time to your education, and you find allies who believe in you, it is possible to realize your professional and personal dreams.

The Presenting Sponsor is Wells Fargo. Premier Sponsors are HSBC and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Principal Sponsor is Citi. The National Media Sponsors are The Advocate and Local Media Sponsor is Gay City News. Additional celebrity participation for the April 11 Point Honors event will be announced in the coming weeks. Information about attending or supporting Point Honors is at


TripAdvisor Recognizes The World’s Best Hotels With 2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards

Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India the Top Hotel in the World; New York City’s Sherry Netherland is #1 in the U.S.

World’s Largest Travel Site Names Top Accommodations Including Bargains, B&Bs and Inns, Luxury, Service and Small Hotels

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, announced the winners of its 2016 Travelers’ Choice™ Awards for Hotels. Travelers’ Choice award winners were determined based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travelers worldwide. Now in its 14th year, the Travelers’ Choice awards have recognized more than 7,000 properties around the world, with lists covering 97 countries and eight regions worldwide. The hallmarks ofCZOLq7uUAAAMSHK.jpg medium Travelers’ Choice winners are remarkable service, quality and value.

We congratulate the properties around the world that have won Travelers’ Choice Hotel awards,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Travelers considering their next trip can book confidently selecting from these award-winners that have already delighted millions of members of the TripAdvisor community.

The average nightly rate of Travelers’ Choice award-winning Top Hotels on TripAdvisor is $325; Bargain is $73; B&Bs and Inns is $126; Luxury is $452; Service is $300 and Small Hotels is $300.


Top 10 Travelers’ Choice Hotels in the U.S:

1. The Sherry-Netherland HotelNew York City – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate1 of $615 per night. Most affordable month2 to visit: February ($571)

Located on Fifth Avenue, this enchanting boutique hotel from the 1920s will impress travelers with its unparalleled service and ornate fixtures including hand-loomed French carpets, marble mosaic floors and custom crystal chandeliers. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “The hotel is amazing and gives you the ‘old New York’ feel, in an updated and modern way. The room was large and nicely decorated and we had a fantastic view of the city. The location couldn’t have been more perfect.”

Three reasons to book3 The Sherry-Netherland Hotel: Comfortable bed, furnishings, turn-down service

2. BardessonoYountville, California – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $754 per night. Most affordable month to visit: January ($601)

Powered by rooftop solar panels, this LEED certified hotel offers a peaceful setting for travelers to unwind. Each of the 62 guest rooms, described as “sanctuaries of timeless indulgence,” are designed for private in-room spa services and also boast organic cotton bed linens, hand-crafted bath products and spectacular vistas. “Bardessono impresses at every angle. The sleek modern architecture is beautiful, the rooms are tastefully decorated and extremely comfortable, and the service is spotless,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.

Three reasons to book the Bardessono: Hybrid Lexus vehicles, roof-top pool, outdoor showers

3. The Nantucket Hotel & ResortNantucket, Massachusetts – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $229 per night. Most affordable month to visit: January ($229)

Originally built in 1891, this pristine hotel was restored in 2012 to provide travelers with modern luxury in each of its 30 guest rooms. Further to the property’s convenient location, travelers can take advantage of the on-site wellness facility, two heated swimming pools and activities for children. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “Our recent stay was incredible. What really impressed us most was the staff. From the moment we stepped off the ferry, they were there to greet us with smiles and help with our luggage.”

Three reasons to book The Nantucket Hotel & Resort: Health club, hot tub, recently renovated

4. French Quarter InnCharleston, South Carolina – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $475 per night. Most affordable month to visit: January ($344)

Travelers visiting Charleston are invited to experience old world charm at this boutique hotel located in the city’s Historic District. Upon check-in guests will be greeted with champagne and will receive complimentary breakfast each day. One TripAdvisor reviewer noted, “What a wonderful experience! Everything from the beautiful room and comfortable bed, to the chocolates and turn-down service, was beyond our expectation.”

Three reasons to book the French Quarter Inn: Champagne upon arrival, warm cookies and milk, spacious rooms

5. The Oxford HotelBend, Oregon – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $339 per night. Most affordable month to visit: January ($252)

After exploring the nearby Cascade Mountain Range, travelers are invited to rejuvenate in one of 59 luxurious rooms at the eco-friendly Oxford Hotel. On-site amenities include a Jacuzzi spa, sauna and steam room and state-of-the-art fitness facility. “From the moment the valet opens your car door, you are treated like the most important people in the world. The hotel itself is beautiful and very well-appointed, but it is the service that made our experience over the top,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.

Three reasons to book The Oxford Hotel: Perfect location, spacious rooms, steam shower

6. Ponte Vineyard InnTemecula, California – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $311 per night. Most affordable month to visit: January ($281)

Overlooking the rolling hills of California’s wine region, this stunning property set on 300 acres serves as the perfect setting for a relaxing escape. The “Grand Suites” offer more than 1,300 square-feet of indoor and outdoor living space with two private patios boasting panoramic views of the vineyards. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “The setting is gorgeous, and the rooms are large, bright and comfortable. The service from the front desk to the wait staff could not have been more friendly or helpful. We loved eating breakfast outside, and the food was innovative and delicious.”

Three reasons to book the Ponte Vineyard Inn: Beautiful grounds, L’Occitane toiletries, on-site Bouquet restaurant

7. Icona Diamond BeachWildwood Crest, New Jersey – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $221 per night. Most affordable month to visit: November ($158)

This impressive seaside property was recently transformed by renowned interior designer Blanche Garcia, who carefully decorated each room with calming shades of blue. Further to the hotel’s close proximity to the beach, guests have access to a collection of features including a galley kitchen, plush living room and ocean views. “Our suite was absolutely lovely with all the comforts of home including a well-stocked kitchenette. The location is perfect; the soft sand beach is absolutely beautiful and groomed every day,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.

Three reasons to book the Icona Diamond Beach: Kid-friendly, on-site Blue restaurant, great view of the beach

8. The Talbott HotelChicago, Illinois – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $255 per night. Most affordable month to visit: January ($152)

Since the 1920s, the Talbott Hotel has welcomed travelers from around the world with its gracious hospitality. Guests will enjoy the property’s central location, continental breakfast and luxurious rooms that offer free Wi-Fi and deluxe beds with Italian linens. A TripAdvisor reviewer added, “A fabulous hotel on Chicago’s Gold Coast. Always warm and inviting; it has the feel of an old English Inn. The hotel is in a great location for shopping and walking along Lake Michigan, and the staff creates a wonderful personalized experience.”

Three reasons to book The Talbott Hotel: Ideal location, queen beds, in-room Apple Mac mini

9. Belamere SuitesPerrysburg, Ohio – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $242 per night. Most affordable month to visit: January ($242)

Located 10 miles south of Toledo, Belamere Suites is the perfect getaway for adults looking for rest and relaxation. Amenities include an in-room swimming pool, catered breakfast and a dedicated 24-hour concierge service. One TripAdvisor reviewer gushed, “Truly an amazing experience. The bed was by far the best I have ever slept in. Hospitality was second to none. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking to escape.”

Three reasons to book the Belamere Suites: Jacuzzi, private garage, swimming pool

10. Casablanca Hotel Times SquareNew York City – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $375 per night. Most affordable month to visit: January ($301)

Travelers to the Big Apple can experience a European-style hotel in the heart of bustling Times Square. Guests are invited to start the day with a complimentary breakfast and later indulge in hors d’oeuvres and fine wine served by the fireplace in “Rick’s Café”. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “If you like the feeling of being looked after as if you are a guest in someone’s home, you will appreciate the Casablanca. The friendly, warm, helpful service is a hallmark here.”

Three reasons to book the Casablanca Hotel Times Square: Complimentary coffee and breakfast, located near Times Square, complimentary bottle of wine Continue reading

Stitzel-Weller Discovery Comes to Life Through a Fortunate Mishap

Orphan Barrel™ Adds Newest Offering with Release of The Gifted Horse American Whiskey™

Some time ago at the historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, Ky., a batch of beautiful 17-year-old Kentucky bourbon was accidentally mixed with barrels of much younger whiskey. This error turned out better than anyone could have expected as the older bourbon wasn’t marred, but was transformed into something surprisingly special. Realizing this unique liquid deserved a home, The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co. today announced the seventh addition to its portfolio, The Gifted Horse American Whiskey.

The Gifted Horse American Whiskey - Diageo

Orphan Barrel(TM) Adds Newest Offering with Release of The Gifted Horse American Whiskey(TM) (PRNewsFoto/DIAGEO)

Beginning with a nose hinting at apple skin, almond, toffee, raisins and slight milk chocolate, The Gifted Horse has unique tasting notes of creamy caramel, Bosc pear and fruit cake. This unusual blend’s fruity notes become more apparent with a splash of water.

The Gifted Horse (115 proof/57.5% ABV) is comprised of 38.5% 17-year-old Kentucky straight bourbon, distilled at the Bernheim Distillery historically located at 17th and Breckinridge in Louisville, Ky., while operated by United Distillers. It also contains 51% four-year-old bourbon and 10.5% four-year-old corn whiskey, both produced at a high-quality distillery in Indiana. Initially, these individual whiskeys were stored at their original distilleries before being moved to Stitzel-Weller, where the mingling error occurred.

As one of my favorite Orphan Barrel releases to-date, The Gifted Horse is proof that not all great inventions are planned,” said Ewan Morgan, Master of Whiskey for DIAGEO. “A one-of-a-kind whiskey, The Gifted Horse will be right at home in the Orphan Barrel family as a delicious and complex sipping whiskey we’re excited to share with true aficionados.”

The Gifted Horse’s package design reflects the lucky fortune in discovering such a unique whiskey, featuring a lighthearted illustrative style, a horseshoe and the prominently featured Gifted Horse image. Hinting at what’s inside the bottle, the weathered red label entices those to discover a whiskey bold and flavorful.

The Gifted Horse was hand bottled in Tullahoma, Tenn. and highly allocated, with no future releases planned. The seventh release from Orphan Barrel is available nationwide at a suggested retail price of $50.

The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co. was started in 2014 with the goal to locate nearly forgotten barrels of whiskey from around the world and share them with discerning adult fans. The Gifted Horse follows six previous Orphan Barrel releases, all Kentucky bourbons: Barterhouse (20-Year-Old), Old Blowhard (26-Year-Old), Rhetoric (20-Year-Old and 21-Year-Old), Lost Prophet (22-Year-Old) and Forged Oak (15-Year-Old). Orphan Barrel reminds discerning adult fans lucky enough to get their hands on a bottle to sip slowly and responsibly.

TripAdvisor Names World’s Most Romantic Hotels With 2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards

Top Properties for Couples Revealed Based on Millions of Traveler Reviews and Opinions on TripAdvisor

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Palm-Eagle Beach, Aruba Tops in the World; Henderson Park Inn in Destin, Florida #1 in the U.S.

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, has announced the winners of its 2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards for Romantic Hotels. Unlike any other hotel honors, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travelers around the world.

Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and CZOLq7uUAAAMSHK.jpg mediumquality of reviews from travelers on TripAdvisor gathered over a 12-month period with emphasis placed on reviews marked as a couples stay. The average nightly rate of Travelers’ Choice award-winning Romantic Hotels on TripAdvisor is $316.

Travelers looking to enjoy a relaxing getaway with their special someone can confidently book these award-winning properties that consistently win over the hearts of their guests,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “From outstanding service, to lavish amenities and stunning surroundings, it’s easy to see why these hotels are beloved by travelers around the world.”


1. Henderson Park InnDestin, Florida – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate1 of $493 per night. Most affordable month2 to visit: November ($258)

Located along Florida’s emerald Gulf Coast, this magnificent New England-style hotel is ideal for travelers looking for a romantic respite. The adults-only property boasts Victorian-inspired furnishings, sweeping ocean views, as well as wine and flowers upon arrival. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “The Henderson Park Inn is one-of-a-kind. Beautiful location with a pristine beach, lovely low-key charm and elegance, and every accommodation you could want.”

2. Wentworth MansionCharleston, South Carolina – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $357 per night. Most affordable month to visit: April ($299)

Nestled in Charleston’s Historic District amid quaint cobblestone streets, Wentworth Mansion impresses guests with its opulent surroundings and commitment to service. Travelers will be treated to complimentary breakfast prepared by on-site restaurant Circa 1886, evening digestifs such as port or sherry, followed by nightly turn-down service with house made chocolate. “The hotel is a perfect combination of old and new, elegant but relaxed. The small touches such as wine and hors d’oeuvres added to the experience,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.

3. Koa Kea Hotel & ResortPoipu, Hawaii – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $488 per night. Most affordable month to visit: April ($480)

Travelers visiting Kauai are invited to experience the friendly “Aloha Spirit” at this luxury hotel located steps from Poipu Beach. Each of the 121 guest rooms and suites are designed to provide spectacular exterior views and come with a private lanai ideal for enjoying the natural splendor of the island. “The hotel is a little slice of heaven on Earth. The location is perfect, the rooms spacious and luxurious, and the staff were all incredibly helpful,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.

4. Post Ranch InnBig Sur, California – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $1,236 per night. Most affordable month to visit: November ($1,159)

Described as a “sanctuary for the soul,” this 39-room property seated on the cliffs of Big Sur offers complimentary yoga, guided nature walks and star gazing. Guests will also have access to a fitness center, hot tub and heated infinity swimming pool that seemingly blends into the coast. A TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, “For peace and tranquility in luxury surroundings, it would be difficult to find any place better than this. From the minute one arrives it is like entering another world away from the stress of everyday living.

5. San Giuliano HotelPalm Springs, California – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $289 per night. Most affordable month to visit: August ($179)

Conveniently located in downtown Palm Springs, this desert hideaway boasts eight well-appointed haciendas each with its own private patio and hot tub. Guests of the San Giuliano are encouraged to unwind by the pool or treat themselves to an in-room spa service. “The setting of this property is stunningly serene, like a tropical oasis with a view of the mountains, tasteful decor, and walking distance to restaurants. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway to spend quality time with someone you love, you will find no better spot,” raved a TripAdvisor reviewer.

6. Honor Mansion, A Wine Country ResortHealdsburg, California – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $357 per night. Most affordable month to visit: February ($339)

After spending the day exploring the nearby wineries, travelers can settle in at this gorgeous property that’s seated on four acres. Indoors, travelers will be delighted by the cozy guestrooms that feature oversized leather chairs and a fireplace, while outdoors they can take a dip in the 40-foot lap pool. “Our room was beautiful with the most comfortable bed and a private patio with our own hot tub. If you want romance, this is the place to go,” shared one TripAdvisor reviewer.

7. Olea HotelGlen Ellen, California – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $293 per night. Most affordable month to visit: March ($277)

Set on a sunny hillside in the Sonoma wine region, Olea Hotel offers a variety of rooms including the secluded Garden Cottages, which offer a spacious living area, soaking tub, and private outdoor patio. Guests will receive a complimentary two-course breakfast and have the option of a soothing massage for a fee. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “Exquisite rooms, gourmet breakfasts and impeccable service make this a real find. Romantic, convenient, magical are a few of the words I can think of to describe this place.” Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Dining and Winter Romance Getaways Warm Hearts at The Bernards Inn

Whether you’re planning the perfect proposal keeping the home fire’s burning or rekindling a romance, The Bernards Inn restaurant and boutique hotel is the ultimate East Coast destination for lovers this Valentine’s Day–and all winter long.BI_ColorRGB4

Established in 1907, The Bernards Inn (27 Mine Brook Rd, Bernardsville, NJ 07924) is located in the heart of downtown Bernardsville, New Jersey and offers fine dining, wedding and banquet services, conference rooms, as well as 20 well-appointed guestrooms. A Somerset Hills landmark, The Inn welcomes guests with the style and elegance of a small European luxury hotel, while preserving the charm of a historic American country inn.

The restaurant has garnered the hospitality industry’s top awards, including the AAA Four Diamond Award for both dining and accommodations for 18 consecutive years; Forbes Travel Guide Recommended status and Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence” for 17 consecutive years. Under the ownership of Hampshire Destination Properties, the property recently marked its 100 year anniversary with a multimillion dollar renovation and redesign.Home-banner-Valentines-Day-2016

Romance flutters through the Inn all weekend long beginning on Friday and Saturday evenings, February 12 – 13, with delectable dishes for two, prepared by Chef Corey Heyer, such as Chateaubriand, Stuffed Lobster and Rack of Lamb, in addition to the restaurant’s new seasonal winter menu.

On Valentine’s Day, Sunday February 14, celebrate with a savory Sunday Brunch from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., or indulge in a spectacular, Three-Course Prix Fixe Dinner from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. that includes the Inn’s romantic entrees for two, complimentary flowers and decadent chocolates, all amid the gracious surroundings of the redesigned, century-old Inn. Dinner is $118 per guest; tax and gratuities are additional. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 908-766-0002.

The Bernards Hill Restaurant

The Bernards Hill Restaurant

Aphrodisiac dishes and drinks like oysters on the half shell and a Pomegranate Martini—the fruit of fertility—will be offered, along with a wine and champagne list of 1,400 selections.

Turn Valentine’s Day Into An Overnight Getaway

For the ultimate in romance, stay the night during this three-day President’s Day Weekend and indulge in the sumptuous Valentine’s Getaway Package that includes luxury accommodations, three-course prix fixe dinner, one dozen long-stemmed roses, bottle of sparkling wine, decadent chocolates and breakfast the following morning. Packages start at $637 and reservations are required.

Valentine’s Day falls on a long weekend this year so we’re offering our guests so many options to celebrate with their loved ones,” says Harold Imperatore, proprietor of The Bernards Inn.

For more information about The Bernards Inn, call
908-766-0002 or visit

Colorfest Gel Pen Sets Back In Stock

The explosion in the popularity of adult coloring shows no signs of slowing down and several of the books listed amongst the Best Sellers on Amazon are consistently adult coloring books. As such, Colorfest Crafts announced that their popular set of 48 assorted gel pens is back in stock on Amazon. Unprecedented demand for this new product meant that all their stock was sold out in it’s very first month on the market.rainbow-pens-2000x2000 (a)

We were caught by surprise with the popularity of this new set which we only launched in December” said Alice Raven, Owner of Colorfest Crafts. “Many customer were buying multiple sets not only to give as presents but also to keep for themselves

So what is behind this current craze amongst adults? Several theories has gained recently ground.

  • In a stressful world it has been scientifically proven that coloring is a great way to fully unwind and “turn off”.
  • It is a perfect social hobby with coloring clubs emerging in local communities and family members of all ages enjoying creative times together.
  • Coloring is a wonderful pastime that can take you into the “zone” and you don’t need to be an artist to get incredible satisfaction from your creations.
  • The Medical Daily reports that art therapy has been helpful for many people suffering with dementia, depression, anxiety and PTSD.
  • Also trials have show it has reduced emotional distress in cancer patients receiving treatment.

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The New REBEL WILSON FOR TORRID Spring Collection Premieres This Weekend

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TORRID Teams Up With Actress Rebel Wilson For Their First Fashion Collaboration: REBEL FOR TORRID. (PRNewsFoto/TORRID)

TORRID, America’s fastest growing plus-size fashion brand,has announced the launch of its second, exclusive fashion collaboration with actress, writer and comedian Rebel Wilson. The limited edition REBEL WILSON FOR TORRID SPRING COLLECTION will be sold exclusively in Torrid stores in the U.S. and Canada, and online at starting today.

Rebel is well known for her roles in films such as Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect 1 & 2 and Night at the Museum 3. She will next star in How to be Single in theaters February 12 and will begin production on Pitch Perfect 3 in the spring. Following the success of her Holiday 2015 collection for Torrid, Rebel was inspired to do an encore.





Wilson’s spring collection intermixes playful prints, flirty silhouettes and lots of lace. The look is distinctively hers: casual with attitude and an “it girl” twist. Touches of whimsy in prints and graphics capture her brilliant sense of humor. Her personal touch is everywhere. These are pieces fans of Rebel and Torrid alike will love.





Rebel explains, “The reaction I’ve received from the first collection has been so overwhelmingly positive. I’m loving seeing the pictures of girls and women in my clothes on social media, feeling confident and loving themselves.” Wilson explains. “Just like I have different personalities in the roles I play, I mixed things up in the second collection to show a different side of my fashion tastes and I’m so thrilled with the results!

Lisa Harper, Torrid CEO, adds, “We love Rebel’s fresh design direction for her second Torrid collection. It’s softer, more feminine. Her girly side is definitely showing. She nailed it!

The 24-piece collection includes tops, jackets, dresses, skirts and jeans, as well accessories, ranging in price from $22.50-$98.50

Watch for Wilson wearing her new collection this month, as she promotes How to be Single worldwide.

Torrid designs and retails fashion apparel, accessories, swimwear and lingerie for young, stylish women who wear sizes 12 to 28. Torrid has over 360 stores across the U.S. and Canada, and online at