We have watched the invasion of Ukraine and felt sorrow, sympathy, and anger. Ukrainians’ lives are upended. Many have died. Children are orphaned. Businesses fail. We know all that because we can see it in news reports or vignettes shot and posted by shocked citizens on social media. The war may be “there”, but ill ripple effects still reverberate across the globe. Every day is still a question of “What next?” Without turning this into a political column, I will (when notified) inform you of cancellations that may directly impact you. In this edition, please see the cancellation of Poseidon Expedition cruises. If you have events or promotions impacted by the War on Ukraine, please send details.
NEWLY OPENED AND COMING SOON
Bourbon is making more than a splash at the Beacon Social Drinkery, the rooftop bar sitting atop the 243-room Luminary Hotel & Co. in downtown Fort Myers, FL. The new Bourbon Reserve list includes 18 fine hand-selected, barrel-aged spirits, such as WhistlePig 18 Year Double Malt Aged Rye, bottle No. 2 of 156 and the brand’s oldest rye; Buffalo Trace Wheat and Kosher Rye, made in partnership with the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc) using the same high-quality grains as W.L. Weller Bourbon Whiskey, and aged in designated Kosher barrels; and the Woodford Reserve Five-Malt Stouted, the 17th release of the famous distillery’s Master’s Collection.
Newly crowned Entertainer of the Year Miranda Lambert begins a Las Vegas, NV residency at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on September 23. Designed exclusively for Zappos Theater, “Miranda Lambert: Velvet Rodeo The Las Vegas Residency” is promoted by Live Nation and Caesars Entertainment for a 24-show run. Her shows will include songs from her new album, Palomino, set for release April 29.
Ooh la la! Where else would restaurateur, TV reality star, and philanthropist Lisa Vanderpump and husband Ken Todd open their French restaurant than at Paris Las Vegas? The Las Vegas, NV restaurant, Vanderpump à Paris, takes its Parisian influence into the food, cocktails, and eclectic design details. The retro Parisian courtyard themed décor designed by Vanderpump and her design partner, Nick Alain, features approximately 200 seats with multiple seating areas, decorated with plush velvet art nouveau banquettes, and adorned with oversized, ornately embellished pillows. A long, white marble bar is embedded with crystal chandeliers in wrought iron cages; unique bronze umbrellas sit atop the marble, and the back of the bar features massive windows overlooking the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River, flooded with rain. Water streams down the glass with a magical and insanely realistic effect, as if stepping from the casino floor in Las Vegas to Paris in a storm. Like Vanderpump’s other locations, the cocktail menu features unique and never-before-seen offerings, such as the Tickle Your Fancy, a lightly spiced white peach and pink peppercorn margarita, and the Riviera Rules, a play on a traditional cucumber martini but with basil, mint, and a subtle lavender water rinse. Romance is in the air with the signature LoveLocked cocktail (for two); one glass of which features a padlock and the other glass a key. Couples can write their initials on the back of their padlock and lock it onto a gorgeous wall in the restaurant, leaving their memory at Vanderpump à Paris forever. Reimagined menu dishes include Ratatouille Frites, a colorful mix of spiralized and fried vegetables; Trio of Tartares, featuring three seafood tartares artfully prepared as roses; and a wickedly decadent French Onion Mac & Cheese. End or begin the night with a decadent dessert cocktail, such as the Pain au Chocolat Martini. “The opening of Vanderpump à Paris marks the beginning of a new chapter for Paris Las Vegas,” said Jason Gregorec, SVP and General Manager of Paris Las Vegas. “Lisa Vanderpump has created a one-of-a-kind destination, featuring decadent cocktails, Parisian-inspired bites and intentional design details for our guests to enjoy.”
I wrote about margaritas being the featured cocktail in Los Cabos, Mexico Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa Resorts’ five properties for National Margarita Day back in the late February issue. The featured signature version at each property is also offered as part of the “Margarita Mile” package promotion. Though the original margarita was reportedly created during Prohibition in Tijuana, Mexico and contained only tequila, orange liqueur, and fresh lime juice (salt on the rim of the glass optional). The signature margaritas, made with high-quality 100% blue agave tequila, are: Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos – Cadillac Margarita at Cilantros Restaurant; Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach – Super Margarita Golden at LaFrida Restaurant; Pueblo Bonito Pacifica – Serrano Margarita at Peninsula Bar; Quivira Clubhouse – Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita at Quivira Steakhouse; and Montecristo Estates – Piña del Barrio Margarita at Cibola Restaurant. The “Margarita Mile” package includes a three-night, all-inclusive stay for two in a deluxe oceanview room at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica or in a deluxe oceanview suite at The Towers at Pacifica. Staying at The Towers also includes a massage on a beach bed, complete with a lime salt scrub and heated towels; and a special pre-dinner appetizer-and-tequila pairing.
www.pueblobonito.com; (800) 990-8250.
If you have a group of 10-25, you can rent out the entirety of EMBRACE Resort on Staniel Cay in the Bahamas. There are 11 rooms in seven villas. As an Embrace guest, you also would qualify for a 30% discount to the Swimming with Pigs Tour. There are many promotions available on all the islands. Check them all out. Wide ranging booking and stay-by dates, depending on which country from which you are coming.
This is a deal you won’t want to miss out on if you have thought about capturing the fun of your next event by renting a photo booth. Use my PSYCHICLADY promo code and you will receive a discount valued at up to $100 on an upgraded camera (18MP instead of the standard 8MP). Photo quality will be 5x better. Go to pixilated.com/shop/photo-booth-rental, select camera (18MP) and add to cart. At checkout, enter PSYCHICLADY when prompted. There are lots of design options, including standard, “add your log” which allows you to put your logo in the photo booth screens and in bottom right of pictures, and “custom” which enables you to create custom screens and photo overlay frames that match the branding of your event. The rental is for a 24-hour time frame and comes with everything you need, including instructions for easy set-up and round-trip label. And while you are at it, check out the offer of a free printable wedding props set that comes with a photo booth rental.
CANCELLED DUE TO RUSSIA’S INVASION OF UKRAINE
Poseidon Expeditions (Limassol, Cyprus) cancels this summer’s polar programs in Russian territorial waters. Seven voyages are cancelled: three aboard the Russian icebreaker that Poseidon has chartered and marketed since 2001, and another four aboard the 114-passenger expedition ship Sea Spirit. The rest of the Sea Spirit’s summer cruises are unchanged.
Angelica Vorea, chief executive officer and owner of Poseidon Arctic Voyages, Ltd., the parent company of Poseidon Expeditions, said: “The terrible situation in the Ukraine makes planned operations in Russian waters untenable and we cannot support promoting these trips in any way for the 2022 season.” She added that, “We also have re-designed itineraries on four upcoming Arctic programs aboard the Sea Spirit. These 14-day voyages will continue to operate roundtrip out of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, on the same dates in July and August, but will not venture into the Russian territorial waters of Franz Josef Land. Instead, the program will provide guests with an in-depth exploration and circumnavigation of the Svalbard Archipelago or a voyage to the Northeast Greenland National Park, depending on the departure date.” Poseidon Expeditions is a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO). Guests booked on any of the affected Summer 2022 programs can request a cruise credit for any future cruise with Poseidon Expeditions or a full refund.
North America: SalesUSA@poseidonexpeditions.com or (347) 801-2610. Germany, Austria and Switzerland: Anfrage@poseidonexpeditions.com or telephone +49-40-7566-8555. UK and elsewhere on the globe: Sales@poseidonexpeditions.com or telephone +44-870-068-9142.
PUEBLO BONITO GIVES ITS HEART TO EARTH DAY, EVERY DAY!
Ernesto Coppel, founder of the Pueblo Bonito family of resorts in Los Cabos, Mexico gave his heart to environmental responsibility before it became a cause célèbre, which is maybe why its recycling efforts with water in the Baja desert has spawned an art project that aids the cause. Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa resorts and the Quivira Los Cabos resorts guests drain and recycle bottles by the ton. Israel Battista, a third-generation artisan who runs the nearby San Miguel Blown Glass Factory, collects up to two tons of those empties each month. Once cleaned, crushed, and melted, he shapes them into the fish, vases, and hearts that have become iconic symbols in Los Cabos and throughout Mexico. Pueblo Bonito then buys back the art pieces to display around its hotels and communities and sells them in the resorts’ gift shops. This unique recycling initiative sends a special message to travelers who prize sustainability efforts and want local communities to benefit from their visits. “When we started to develop in Los Cabos (in the late 1980s), with every new development we enhanced our commitment to the environment,” Coppel explained. “For example, we have our own water treatment plant at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach. We also have our own power plants at the resorts. Back in 1997, when power and water were impacted by storms, Sunset Beach resort provided the city of Cabo San Lucas with these precious resources. Sustainability is a core value at Pueblo Bonito Resorts and Quivira Los Cabos,” Coppel stated. “We believe it is critical to nurture the local environment, reinvest in the community, and reduce the impact of development.” The hospitality company participates in beach and river clean-ups in coordination with the Los Cabos Hotel Association and other companies to reduce waste, improve habitats, and prevent harm to wildlife and humans. Similarly, Pueblo Bonito Resorts’ “Save the Seas—Skip the Straw” campaign helps reduce plastic pollution in oceans and on beaches. Another project is a turtle protection and release program viable for the past 20 years. From mid-July through mid-December, guests and residents can engage in active conservation by releasing turtle hatchlings from their protected nests.
Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries. She is an active member of International Live Events Association, Meeting Professionals International and the Society of Professional Journalists. She is now serving on the 20121-2022 MPI Independent and Small Business Owners Advisory Board. Karen writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, she has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. Karen@KarenKuzsel.com; www.karenkuzsel.com; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady.