The Hotel Guide - Fall Edition 2021

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FALL 2021


the hotel guide


Visit Clarksville The perfect family getaway in Tennessee. Check out all that this quaint city has to offer this Fall.

Wellness Tourism

BIG Fall Editio n

What exactly is Wellness Tourism?

Tapatio Springs Resort, - Texas




The Good Ol’’Days Never Had It This Good T he c l a s s i c c ou r t i s a l i v e a nd w e l l – r e b or n w i t h v i nt a g e c h a r m a nd e v e r y mo de r n c om f or t . Fou r g r e at c i t ie s , f ou r me mor a b le e s c ap e s to e x p lor e!

IRVING 833.839.4226

AUSTIN 855.596.3398

COLLEGE STATION 844.313.7337

LUBBOCK 866.842.0100



table of contents UNITED STATES TRAVEL Visit Clarksville 8 Tapatio Springs Resort - Texas


Heber Valley, Utah 14 Rochester, NY Golf Courses


West Coast Wineries 18 Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando


WELLNESS TRAVEL 22 Wellness Tourism Association 24 Lake Austin Spa Resort 26 Intercontinental Houston - Medical Ctr.




Edward R. Leos Publisher Marie Hernandez Editor-in-Chief Amanda Spengler Managing Editor Anna Cash Anne Dimon Kristy Hernandez Nancy Leos Brittany Link Carla Pallares Sara Quiriconi Contributors Contact Information: The Hotel Guide Toll-free (877) HTL-GDE1 phone (210) 857-2003

North South Wales - Wineries 34



Hawaiian Adventure 38 CRUISES


Norwegian Cruise Line 41


Tapatio Springs Resort in beautiful Boerne, Texas

Special Thanks to: • Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority • Texas Department of Tourism • Texas Department of Transportation • Texas Travel Industry Association • Austin CVB • Tyler CVB •GalvestonCVB • Houston CVB • Corpus Christi CVB • New Braunfels CVB • El Paso CVB • Lubbock CVB • Granbury CVB • San Antonio CVB Copyright 2021 The Hotel Guide. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted in whole or without written permission from the publisher. The Hotel Guide does not assume any liability for errors in advertisements or editorial which may appear in this magazine.





Publisher’s Note EDWARD R. LEOS Welcome to our Fall edition. This one brings you some of the top golf courses and resorts in the United States and takes you into several wineries from around the world. As the seasons change, so does our travel expectations. Cooler weather, sweaters, burnt-orange leaves, all leave us embracing the moments. Tucked away in Boerne, Texas is an incredible resort owned by country-singing legend, George Strait. Tapatio Springs Resort combines, solitude, golf, spa and Texasstyle luxury for you to get lost in. Traveling the U.S,? You must check out Clarksville, Tennessee and this unique little community. If golf is your game, then check out Heber Valley, Utah, a myriad of great courses in Rochester, New York and you can’t

miss out on the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando. With this issue, we also created a partnership with the Wellness Toruism Association. Learn exactly what wellness travel is and how it’s impacting travel decisions. For great story ideas or to be a part of our “Experiences” section, send me a personal e-mail by clicking here. Looking for great hotel deals? Remember that you can book all of your travel from our website or by simply clicking here. Travel. Make Memories.





Book now!



Durango, Colorado 2,369 sq. ft. - Sleeps 12 - 4 Bedrooms - 3 Baths Minutes from Durango & Purgatory Ski Resort BOOK:




beyond downtown and full of life, Clarksville, Tennessee has B ustling something new to offer around every corner. And

while we love downtown, moving beyond the heart of the city means opening yourself up to rustic fun around every turn. Fall is the perfect time to ditch the crowds and slow things down for a full and rich autumn weekend. Pretty Parks Clarksville’s local and state account give visitors plenty of wide-open, scenic spaces for walking, jogging, hiking, biking and scenic views. These three less crowded gems will show more than recreation – you’ll also enjoy a beautiful rural drive enroute. Get the family out in the sun and having fun at RichEllen Park. Equipped with ball fields, paved walking trails with ADA accessibility, and playground areas, RichEllen Park has everything you need for outdoorsy excitement. Need to turn loose in the open air? Weakley Park has the greenspace to run, skip, or frolic. With 57 acres converted from a golf course, there’s plenty of room for pickup soccer, disc golf, hammocking, and more. After that, make a stop at Port Royal State Historic Park. This historic location was established in 1797 and has seen a lot of action in the shaping of the local area and the state.

Farm Fun No matter the season, the area’s agricultural offerings equal unforgettable experiences for the whole family. Pick the perfect pumpkin, solve the corn maze and take selfies in the sunflower fields at Boyd’s Farm. Closer to Christmastime, cut down your tree the old-fashioned way at Erin’s Farm. Or, learn a new skill and let your creative juices flow when you take a glassblowing class and make your own ornament. Put your grit to the test at Clarksville Zombie Hunters for the chance to shoot down zombies with paintballs on a hayride, shooting gallery, or on a Zombie Mission! This one-of-a-kind fright-fest even offers a Zombie Escape Room—accept the challenge if you dare! A History Lesson in Real-Time Humor your inner history buff with a trip to Historic Collinsville. A pioneer settlement, Collinsville takes you back to the past by preserving the life, times, and handcrafted methods of a bygone era. Across 40 scrawling acres 16 restored cabins await filled with artifacts and period furnishings. Take a tour around the grounds at your own pace and safely socially distanced with a self-guided audio on your phone. It’s the perfect place for a picnic or to lose yourself in learning and discovery for a little while.


Unplug and reconnect with nature with excellent golfing, hiking, biking, and our 650 miles of navigable waterways. Plan your trip today at



Treats And Eats And if you’ve got the urge for a shopping spree, be sure to head over to The Mill. With dozens of local vendors in a rustic setting, The Mill has something for every budget and every gift-giving need. Then again, if you want to spoil yourself, we won’t tell anyone! From sweet and savory treats to homemade craft items, clothing, candles, and more, you’ll find something absolutely indulge-worthy! The outskirts of Clarksville offer plenty of lip-smacking goodness to send you on your way. Craft beer lovers and coffee drinkers come together to find satisfaction at the Thirsty Goat. No matter if you like your drinks spiked, caffeine-charged, or just pleasantly bubbly, there’s a handcrafted beverage waiting for you. While you’re there, be


sure to order a pizza to accompany the perfect sip. Grab the Oh You Fancy with fresh mozz, sundried tomato, crushed red pepper, and fresh basil. Meanwhile, BBQ fans can duke it out over who has the best with places like South of the River BBQ, Shiloh BarB-Que, and Excel BBQ. If you need your soul food, Sweet P’s is the place you need to be. They serve up a HUGE breakfast every weekend featuring generous helpings of hearty, homestyle food. Just one forkful of their peach cobbler and you’ll never be the same again. The fun doesn’t stop in charming downtown Clarksville—as you can see, you’ll discover memorable moments all around our more pastoral points as well! For more awesome action in and around Clarksville, check out and explore what else awaits you here.








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a charming haven in the heart of texas

than an hour’s drive from bustling San AntoL ess nio lies the original Hill Country resort, Tapatio

Springs—an ode to all this region has to offer. Surrounded by rolling hills, rugged limestone bluffs, and crystal clear waters, the resort’s 220 acres combine natural beauty with the warmth of true Texas spirit. Boasting bighearted service, awe-inspiring views, and the opportunity to make lifelong memories with the ones who matter most, Tapatio Springs is ideal for both on-site relaxation and recreation, as well as exciting area day trips. Resort leisure amenities include tranquil adult-only pool and wellness options at Puresólspa, including an authentic salt cave, rejuvenating couple’s massages, and soothing bodyscrub treatments. The resort’s true crown jewel, however, is its award-winning 18-hole golf course. In 2015, a $2-million renovation led by renowned architect Tripp Davis transformed the already remarkable course into one of the best in the state. Surrounded by majestic oak trees, the green takes players on a journey through the stunning views of Hill Country, delivering an experience that is challenging but playable for golfers at all skill levels. The course is open daily to club members and all resort guests, but aficionados will want to book the special Stay and Play package, which includes one round of golf per night. Pro tip: reserve mid-week for the best rates! Between jaunts on the green, take a breather at La Cascada, a bright, modern restaurant proudly presenting Texas-forward flavors and a large, inviting patio, often

with live music. And don’t forget to check out their robust event schedule featuring fitness programming, a weekly singer-songwriter series, family game nights, and more. Your Gateway to Hill Country Adventure Historic and charming downtown Boerne is a quick drive from the expansive resort, with its quaint Main Street offering up classic Americana, boutique shopping, and an enticing assortment of pubs, and fine dining establishments. Northwest of town is Boerne Lake, perfect for kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding, and those keen on exploring Hill Country by horseback can head just up the road for an adventure with Stricker Trail Rides. The Ultimate Gathering Place Whether you come together for a golf outing or an annual fundraiser, the boutique resort’s 111 guest rooms and inspired event spaces offer a uniquely intimate setting for memorable gatherings. Large groups may even opt for a resort buyout, fantastic for multi-day tournaments and company retreats. The nation’s heroes and first responders may choose from special packages put together to honor their extraordinary commitment to our safety and security. Guests interested in supporting Feherty’ s Troops First Foundation can select the Heroes Supporter package when they make a reservation. No matter why you visit, Tapatio Springs promises a personable, attentive experience, incredible amenities, and a uniquely beautiful environment in Texas Hill Country. As George Strait, King of Country and owner of the resort, says, “Come for a good time. Stay for a long time.”



YOUR ULTIMATE HILL COUNTRY RETREAT THE ORIGINAL HILL COUNTRY RESORT BOASTING BIG-HEARTED SERVICE, AWE-INSPIRING VIEWS, AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE MEMORIES WITH THE ONES WHO MATTER MOST. Less than an hour drive from San Antonio, the resort’s 220 acres combine natural beauty with the warmth of true Texas spirit, making Tapatio Springs the ultimate gathering place for Hill Country adventure. Tee it up on our award-winning golf course, among the best in state, savor farm-to-fork dishes, listen to rotating weekly live music, lounge poolside, head to the spa, explore our property trails, or head out on an exciting day trip. No matter why you visit Tapatio Springs, take it from owner and King of Country George Strait, “Come for a good time. Stay for a long time.”

Experience the reimagined Tapatio Springs Resort. 800 571 8696





stunning golf year round S

ituated between the majestic Wasatch Mountains and the rugged Uinta Mountain range in Utah, the Heber Valley sits at about 5,600 feet in elevation and boasts 5 stunning public courses with over 90 holes of golf. Popular spring, summer, and fall, these courses draw avid golf enthusiasts who look to escape the heat and experience the serenity that surrounds them in this quaint mountain town. Fall is Calling Autumn is definitely the best time to plan a trip. With fewer visitors and fall foliage at its peak, golfers are presented with an incredible colorful backdrop as they meander through the courses. Each of the five courses is award-winning and offers breathtaking views rarely matched by any course elsewhere. Every course in Heber Valley has its own style and design, but all have beauty and quality in common. You’ll find top-notch golf opportunities in a picturesque setting with options for any type of golfer. Whether you’re part of a competitive foursome looking for a new, challenging course or a family looking to spend time together on the links, the Heber Valley offers a course for you—all while surrounded with postcard-worthy views. Lot’s to Do Over 30 local area restaurants, ample lodging options from luxury hotels to beautiful bed-and-breakfast

accommodations to nationally-recognized brands, excellent spas and therapists, and plenty of outdoor space to spread out, play, relax, and thoroughly enjoy yourself – all combine to make Heber Valley a golfer’s dream destination. Fantastic Location Located less than an hour from Salt Lake City International Airport, this mountain town offers easy and prime access to some of the best mountain golf in the world. Make Heber Valley, Utah’s premier mountain golf part of your fall travel plans. Play on all five, 18-hole championship golf courses: the Homestead Golf Club, Soldier Hollow’s Gold and Silver Courses, and Wasatch Mountain State Park’s Mountain and Lake Courses, and you can really elevate your game in Heber Valley. Visit: for more information.



The place to GO

Fine dining to family friendly – GO to The Heber Valley for a food scene second to none. 435.654.3666




a fun golfing destination anked as the #10 Best Golf City in the U.S. and #1 for Golf Affordability by Golf Magazine, Rochester’s ideal location in the Finger Lakes region of central New York is one of the most rewarding areas to golf, visit and stay in the Northeast – as evidenced by the more than 62 resort, semiprivate and public courses scattered throughout the region. The area is the perfect three-season destination with outstanding play options in spring, summer and most particularly autumn, when the courses come alive with stunning fall shades of orange, yellow and red. A trip to Rochester will satisfy every skill level thanks to the variety of courses visitors can choose from, and for fun off the course, Rochester makes a great home-base and gateway to the Finger Lakes Region’s eleven crystal blue lakes, 120+ wineries, dozens of breweries, farm-to-table restaurants and outdoor adventure (waterfalls, hiking and biking galore). Historic Golf Courses Overall, golf courses in Rochester are a part of a long and storied history dating back to the earliest days of golf in the United States – including several golf courses designed by legendary architect Donald Ross during the first half of the 20th century. Perhaps the most famous Ross-designed private club in Rochester is Oak Hill Country Club, which has famously hosted virtually every major


golf championship since 1949, and will now be the site of the 2023 PGA National Championships taking place in May 2023. Rochester Golf Trail Golf fanatics can get a head start on planning a trip to the destination and take a tour of Rochester’s renowned gold course trails, including Ravenhood Golf Club, The Links at Greystone, Blue Heron Hills and more, by customizing their own package with through the Rochester Golf Trail program, in partnership with the New York Golf Trail. Beyond the customized package program, travelers can also book a stay at the idyllic Woodcliff Hotel & Spa in Fairport, New York, which boasts an on-site USGArated 9-hole golf course, a full-service restaurant, pool complex and luxury spa where visitors can unwind after a long day on the links.






west coast delivers the goods n the United States, wine country is known to be the West Coast. This short list of wineries is sure not to disappoint. Seghesio Family Vineyards Sonoma County, CA Established in 1895 when Edoardo Seghesio planted his first Zinfandel vineyard in the Alexander Valley, Seghesio is now one of the oldest winemaking names in Sonoma— five generations of the Seghesio family have weathered earthquakes, Prohibition, the Great Depression, droughts and fires to establish themselves today as Sonoma’s preeminent Zinfandel specialists. Five generations later, Seghesio Family Vineyards continues to pioneer the highest quality Zinfandel along with a treasured collection of Italian varietal wines. In the cellar, Winemaker Andy Robinson takes an old-world approach, crafting every wine from small lots that are meticulously harvested, sorted, and fermented individually to ensure that each wine is true expression of the vintage, vineyard, and varietal. Chamisal Vineyards – San Luis Obispo, CA Known for its Central Coast Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, Chamisal Vineyards lies in the premier region of Edna Valley, one of the coolest appellations in California known for its east-west orientation so close to the Pacific Coast. Its long, temperate growing season gives the grapes plenty of time to ripen on the vine — typically several weeks longer than warmer growing regions. This extended hangtime allows cool-climate grapes like Chardonnay to develop deep, rich flavors and superior fruit intensity. Current happenings include the implementa-


tion of a Miyawaki Forest to aid in the winery’s mission of eventually becoming carbon negative, production of the winery’s first-ever sparkling wine officially launching this Fall and (UNDER EMBARGO) a soon to be official new AVA of “San Luis Obispo Coast” and the abbreviated “SLO Coast.” Malene – San Luis Obispo, CA A rosé only winery, Malene’s wines are made from a blend of traditionally Provençal grape varieties, including Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Rolle (Vermentino). There’s no better way to share Malene on tap with rosé-loving friends than in Malene’s insta-worthy ‘69 Airstream. Reflective of the wine itself, the mobile tasting room – known as the “Malene Scene” – is parked adjacent to Chamisal Vineyards’ winery in San Luis Obispo. Malene is produced in a SIP-certified (Sustainability in Practice) winery and sourced from renowned vineyards including Zaca Mesa & Camp 4 in Santa Ynez Valley. Pine Ridge Vineyards - Napa, CA


Located in the heart of the Stags Leap District, Pine Ridge Vineyards is a stunning Napa Valley winery tucked beneath a ridge of pines and boasting a full view of rugged palisades. Guests can explore the sprawling grounds via guided hikes and intimate cave tours before a delicious tasting in the estate gardens or on the outdoor patio, featuring current-release wines that represent the winery’s five distinct appellations: Stags Leap District, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford and Carneros. Archery Summit Winery Willamette Valley, OR Perched on a hilltop, Archery Summit Winery is surrounded by natural beauty and picturesque vineyards in the Willamette Valley, Oregon’s leading wine region. Known for elegant, vineyarddriven Pinot Noirs, guests can enjoy a signature tasting of five wines during a casual, outdoor experience on the patio, overlooking the lush Dundee Hills. Seven Hills Winery Walla Walla Valley Seven Hills Winery is a founding estate of the lush Walla Walla Valley, producing authentic varietal expressions. The winery’s downtown tasting room, housed in Walla Walla’s only historic, working winemaking facility, was built as a wood mill in 1904 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Guests can enjoy a private tasting with a selection of current


release and limited production wines before heading out to explore the city of Walla Walla, featuring a quaint main street with old-fashioned storefronts, gourmet restaurants, art galleries, live music, theaters and summer festivals, all surrounded by an exquisite backdrop of the Blue Mountains. Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens - Sonoma, CA Travelers visiting wine country can enjoy unique culinary and wine experiences at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens, home to America’s #1 selling Chardonnay for over 29 years and counting. Considered one of Sonoma County’s best kept secrets, Kendall-Jackson’s Farm-to-Table Dinner Series offers an al fresco feast hosted by their winemakers, chefs and Master Farmer Tucker Taylor. Guests are invited to explore the winery’s awardwinning 4-acre culinary gardens and seven sensory gardens before heading back to their private round table to enjoy live music performances and appetizers presented by local Sonoma purveyors. The family style, six-course dinner is fueled by the day’s harvest from its expansive culinary gardens, all paired with free  flowing  KendallJackson Estate wines  throughout the night. Launching in 2022, the winery will also unveil outdoor picnic tasting experiences, featuring plush seating around a communal table and a backdrop of stunning vineyard views. Guests can sit under the majestic walnut trees and sip on Kendall-Jackson Estate wines, while enjoying a hand-curated grazing board with local cheeses and foraged organic produce directly from the surrounding gardens.




grande lakes orlando amazes

he Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, part of the 500-acre Grande Lakes Orlando estate, guests will find a luxury 582-room RitzCarlton and deluxe 1,000-room JW Marriott as well as a 40,000 square foot spa and exceptional levels of service and cuisine at all the dining facilities. Grande Lakes Orlando is located just minutes from the major theme parks, Orlando International Airport and the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center. Great Location Set at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades, the championship Ritz-Carlton course offers two distinct golf settings in an 18-hole round. Several holes are routed through pristine areas


where preserved wetlands and natural woodlands dotted with pine, palmetto, and live oak trees dominate the experience. By contrast, the three dynamic finishing holes weave alongside the two towering hotels, the JW Marriott Orlando and The RitzCarlton Orlando, giving golfers an electrifying conclusion with a quasigallery of spectators in the massive pool and recreation amenity area. The antithesis of a typical short and tight resort layout, this course features open landing areas, multiple tee placements and fast and firm conditions maintained to PGA Tour type standards. The course is playable and challenging for all skill levels.





Sponsored By:






Layers! Climates change so fast with travel, I’m always prepared for hot or cold.


Portable external charger for my devices — I never rely on planes to have outlets.


Reading material, and my book, “Living Cancer Free” to remind me of the message to inspire.

headphones 4. Wireless (noise-cancelling preferred)

SARA QUIRICONI Travel & Wellness Expert

Founder and creator of the Live Free Manifesto, Unfck Your Body Series, the soon-to-be released online 28 Day Live Free Renew Program, and author of Living {Cancer} Free, Sara is a 16-year cancer survivor who is living proof that you can move through anything. A warrior, healer, creator, and determined soul, Sara is a regular contributing writer for The Hotel Guide, a member of the GBTA and Wellness Tourism Association, the Ambassador of Sanctifly Wellness Travel App, and the Face of Fitness and Well-Being for both Club Quarters Hotel and New York City’s stylish Park Terrace Hotel on Bryant Park.

“ Travel is my therapy.” Sara holds a High Honors BFA Degree in Advertising and Design with over 8 years of experience in the professional corporate marketing world. Sara produces content in the wellness, fitness and travel sectors, along with life coaching and motivational speaking, aiming to inspire others to live a life of choice, freedom, and intention.


A bag full of snacks! Apples, oranges, grapes, raw nuts, nutrition bars, oatmeal and reusable cup.

Let’s Connect: Instagram: @livefreewarrior Facebook: @livefreewarriortv YouTube: LiveFreeWarrior Web:




what is wellness travel?

by: Anne Dimon

f there is one good thing that has come out of the pandemic ,it is that our personal good health has become a priority. We are adopting new habits and practices to maintain our good health or are looking to learn about new ways to improve our health. More of us have adopted “wellness” as a lifestyle, and we feel safe and comfortable traveling again, we’ll want to take those new habits and practices on the road with us. As the demand for “wellness travel” continues to grow many are asking themselves: What is Wellness Travel?


What is Wellness Travel? If you are just a wee bit confused about the term, you’re not alone. Terms such as Wellness Vacations, Wellness Retreats, Wellness Traveler are also now part of the travel lexicon. So, what do they all mean? The Wellness

Tourism Association is here to set the record straight, and to help make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to these new terms that have entered our vocabulary over the last decade. In early 2018, just after the launch of the Wellness Tourism Association – a not-for-profit organization looking to bring clarity and standards to the growing wellness sector of the tourism industry - the glossary of definitions was introduced. Here are a few of the most commonly-used terms: Wellness Travel: Travel that allows the traveler to maintain, enhance or kick-start a healthy lifestyle, and support or increase one’s sense of wellbeing. Wellness Vacation/Holiday: Wellness Vacation / Holiday is Wellness Travel powered by a wellness-focused inten-


tion. Wellness Vacations/Holidays are typically self-directed with the traveler setting his or her own timetable and schedule. They may also include a Wellness Retreat. Wellness Retreat – In today’s world, this term actually has two definitions: #1 A guided, intention-driven, multi-day program with a set or semi-set schedule, and hosted by one or more facilitators. The program may include learning and lifestyle workshops such as meditation and healthy eating, as well as fitness activities such as yoga, nature walks and hiking. #2 A smaller facility with accommodations and hospitality services and where the primary purpose is to provide programs and experience for the Wellness Traveler. The facility may have fewer wellness activities, services and facilities than a Wellness Resort. Wellness Traveler: An individual who makes “wellness” the primary purpose of a trip.


Can anyone be a wellness traveler? If they make wellness the primary purpose of the trip – yes. For inspiration when planning your wellness travels, you’ll find a list of WTA Members listed here:

Anne Dimon is the President of the Wellness Tourism Association ( and Owner/ Editor of




a divine wellness escape


ake Austin Spa Resort is an award-winning destination spa nestled on 19 lakefront acres in Central Texas’ legendary Hill Country. Lake Austin Spa Resort is just 30 minutes from downtown Austin and Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Open year-round, the resort offers the luxury of a world-class spa and the warmth of a best friend’s lake house. The LakeHouse Spa: A multi-million dollar 25,000-square-foot expansion and renovation completed in 2004 features spacious men’s and women’s locker rooms, outdoor Palm Pool, hot tub and cabanas, 30 treatment areas, including garden tents and suites, indoor Junior Olympic-length lap pool in the Pool Barn, and two acres of terraced foliage and aquatic gardens. The Iris Salon offers a selection of luxurious hair, make-up and nail services. Special Features: Lake Austin Spa Resort soothes the soul in an intimate, relaxed atmosphere featuring comfortable public areas,

peaceful grounds and nature and wildlife trails at the foot of the cool, blue Lake Austin. Activities include extensive indoor and outdoor fitness and water activities and innovative wellness and discovery programs. Lake Austin Spa Resort has abundant organic gardens from which herbs and seasonal vegetables are picked daily to be used in the cuisine. The LakeHouse Spa at Lake Austin Spa Resort offers more than 100 spa and salon treatments and a variety of treatment location options. Activities and spa services are designed for men, women and teens age 14 years or older. Accommodations: The resort has 40 lakeside guest rooms with casually elegant décor and furnishings sourced from around the world by co-owner Mike McAdams and his team. Fourteen Luxury Lakeview rooms and ten Luxury Garden Rooms offer spectacular views of Lake Austin and the Texas Hill Country and the interiors evoke reflection and relaxation with every detail. All guest rooms include:


Egyptian cotton sheets and down comforters, Kohler steeping/soaking tubs, spacious writing desks, customdesigned furniture, signature lavender spa amenities, luxury cotton spa robes, high definition digital LCD TV with DVD, AM/FM clock radio and iPod docking station with remote control, complimentary high-speed Internet access and Wi-Fi, remote-controlled ceiling fan and in-room safe and refrigerator. The Lady Bird Suite honors Lady Bird Johnson and includes a sitting room, fireplace, private wildflower garden and hot tub. Conscientious Cuisine: Executive Chef Stéphane Beaucamp serves three delicious healthy meals daily which are thoughtful and intentional in the selection of ingredients to put flavor, balance and nutrition at the forefront of the palate. Ingredients are sourced locally and from the resort’s own organic gardens as available seasonally. Dining is offered in the resort Dining Room and in the Aster Café at the LakeHouse Spa. Cooking classes are scheduled throughout the week. Spa Services: The 25,000-square foot LakeHouse Spa offers more than 100 massage, body and skincare treatments and therapies. Thirty treatment areas are available, including outdoor garden cabanas, screened verandas and private tandem suites. Healing and indigenous treatments are based on ancient principles of aromatherapy, Ayurveda, hydrotherapy, Moortherapy and Thalassotherapy. Fitness Activities: More than 20 activities for all fitness levels are offered daily, ranging from BodyFlow® and Trek & Spin to Gentle Yoga and Nia Dance classes. Other offerings include canoeing, Hydro-biking™, kayaking, sculling, SUP, hiking, yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Spinning®, meditation and dance. Aquatic aerobics and swimming classes take place in the Pool Barn. The training center overlooks Lake Austin and the Balcones Canyonlands Nature Preserve and features state-of-the-art cardiovascular, circuit and free weight training equipment. Private sessions with certified fitness


professionals are available. Discovery Programs: Both the mind and the body are enriched through programs taught by staff and special guest instructors. Discovery classes in healthy cooking, nutrition, communication skills, body image, relationships and sexuality, journaling, crafts, gardening and others are offered regularly. Special weeks and seasonal topics include programs such as Just Breathe, Reboot Camps, Feng Shui Beauty, Mother/Daughter, the Culinary Experience™, For the Love of Books and Ripple Effects: Where Wellness Meets the Water. Special events are also planned around holiday seasons. Organic Gardens: More than 1,000 species of plants, herbs, vegetables, spices and wildflowers fill the abundant on-site organic gardens. Packages: Lake Austin Spa Resort offers a variety of three-night or longer packages for groups and individuals. Vacation packages include accommodations in one of 40 lakeside guest rooms, three gourmet meals daily, unlimited indoor and outdoor fitness activities and discovery classes, gratuities and a selection of spa treatments based on packages selected and length of stay. For more information, visit:




texas hospitality & covid protection evel in modern design paired with unrivaled hospitality in the heart of the Texas Medical Center at the InterContinental Houston - Medical Center. Adjacent to the world’s largest medical center, this AAA Four Diamond property ranks in the top five recommended hotels by TripAdvisor and provides easy access to the city’s top attractions such as NRG Stadium, the Houston Zoo, and Hermann Park with METRORail or rentable Bcycle bikes, within walking distance of the property. Discover Houston’s fine dining, renowned international arts, and famous Museum District. If rest and relaxation is your aim, take comfort in the hotel’s spacious luxury suite or discover the acclaimed Mediterranean flavors and beautiful décor of Safina or crafted cocktails at The Naturalist Café and Lounge that received high praise in regional publications such as Texas Monthly. “We are excited to welcome guests to an area that is so rich in amenities for the business and leisure traveler,” said Jorge Landa, General Manager of the InterContinental Hotel – Medical Center. In addition to its namesake, the InterContinental Houston – Medical Center is just moments from top attractions that include Hermann Park, the Houston Zoo, the Museum District, NRG Park convention and sports complex, Rice University and Rice Village to name a few.” The hotel features 18,000 square-feet of executivelevel meeting and event space, attracting large-scale


gatherings, weddings, and conferences, as well as high profile groups. The property is also the shooting location for popular television shows such as Married at First Sight on Lifetime. The catering menu, led by Executive Chef Harold Ortiz, draws from a “land-meetssea” Mediterranean cuisine that varies from healthy to indulgent. “Chef Ortiz has the expertise, creativity, and skill to execute the premier culinary experience guests have come to expect from the InterContinental Houston – Medical Center,” says Doug Kelly, the hotel’s Director of Sales & Marketing. “His experience at some of the best hotels on the IHG roster is proving this to be a seamless transition, and we we’re especially excited with his vision for Safina, which has become a dining destination unto itself.” The InterContinental Houston– Medical Center has created an environment where feedback is welcomed and has seen improved guest engagement through targeted, open communication between visitors and staff members.




Travel to be moved. Come experience the Medical Center’s AAA Four Diamond hotel and create memorable moments while indulging in our oasis of fine dining and personalized service Live the InterContinental Life 6750 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77030 | | tel: +1 713 422 2779 |


The property motivates its team take input to heart, and to let guests know that such participation assists them in making improvements. Encouraging honest guest reviews as part of an open dialog with their customers has led to more organic and helpful intel and has been a useful tool in driving exposure to potential business channels. At the height of the pandemic, the engaged communication between guests and staff members generated a wave of positive reviews on Tripadvisor, pushing the InterContinental Houston – Medical Center to the top 15 hotels recommended in the Greater Houston region in a matter of months – and ultimately the receipt of a Traveler’s Choice Award, bestowed to the top 10 percent of properties in the world for excellent service. In addition, the hotel has been named the best among InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in the U.S., Canada, and Caribbean in terms of guest satisfaction. As a hospitality hub of the Texas Medical Center, the hotel is a popular destination for visiting patients and their friends and families, providing top tier service to guests, but with a revised and refined protocol for cleanliness. This methodology, called the IHG Way of Clean, included deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants, face-covering requirements, minimizing or eliminating contact points in


areas like check-in, and implementing procedures based on local authorities’ guidance, such as social distancing in public spaces and dining areas. It also prescribes to the IHG Clean Promise and the Houston Venues & Events Task Force Houston Clean pledge, the former partnering with industry leading experts to use science-led protocols and service measures by enhancing the IHG Way of Clean with enhanced protocols The property became the first hotel in the world to install the COVID-killing Integrated Viral Protection (IVP) Biodefense Indoor Air Protection Filtration System, developed by hotel owner Monzer Hourani in conjunction with scientists and engineers from M.I.T., Texas A&M University, University of Houston, and University of Texas – Medical Branch. The cutting-edge technology that greatly reduces the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by cleaning the air every 15 minutes, eliminating 99.999 percent of all airborne coronavirus. Already a top stop for international clientele due to the strong pull of medical tourism, these actions further cemented the hotel as a premier destination in the Texas Medical Center for patients and medical staff alike. For more information, find them online at



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10 innovative winemakers O

rganic. Biodynamic. Vegan-friendly. Minimal intervention. For some of New South Wales’s most innovative winemakers, it’s not just about what you put into the wine, but what you leave out. From the North Coast Orange to the Southern Highlands to the Hunter Valley wine regions, meet the winemakers making waves with their natural wines. Sam Leyshon of Mallaluka, Yass Some winemakers like to leave their mark on the wines they produce – but Sam Leyshon takes the opposite approach. Now at the helm of his family winery, Mallaluka, in Yass, a three-hour drive southwest of Sydney or an hour north of Canberra, Leyshon (formerly of renowned Canberra District winery Clonakilla) aims to minimise the fingerprint on his wines, using lowimpact techniques such as open-vat fermentation, basket pressing and minimal additives. In addition to cool-climate favourites such as riesling and shiraz, his range includes lesser-known whites including fiano, vermentino and aligoté, a little-known Burgundy varietal. There is no cellar door, but you can buy Mallaluka wines directly online. Sam Renzaglia of Renzaglia Wines, O’Connell Valley You don’t often find a Rosenberg’s goanna on a wine label, but there’s a reason that Sam Renzaglia’s Di Renzo range of wines features wildlife on its labels. At Renzaglia Wines in the O’Connell Valley near Bathurst, a threehour drive west of Sydney the focus is on restoring the local ecosystem. That influences how Renzaglia treats not just his vines — minimising herbicides and pesticides and weeding by hand — but also how he treats the rest of the property, introducing nesting boxes and planting more trees to support native birds and koalas. Renzaglia’s award-winning wines, which are made without fining and filtering, include chardonnay, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Richie Harkham of Harkham Wines, Hunter Valley When Richie Harkham describes his wines as “pure grape juice”, he’s talking about what he leaves out of the winemaking process: there are no chemicals, no preservatives, no additives, fining or filtration. At this

boutique Hunter Valley winery, which makes a maximum of 20,000 bottles a year, workers hand-pick all the grapes used to make its acclaimed semillon, chardonnay, rosé and shiraz. That’s not the only thing that sets Harkham Wines apart: the winery operates according to kosher guidelines, and has an on-site restaurant and accommodation for those looking for a longer stay. Jared Dixon of Jilly Wine Co, Clunes A 40-minute drive inland from Byron Bay in the village of Clunes, winemaker Jared Dixon of Jilly Wine Co is hard at work. Jared sources his grapes from the cooler New England region, just a few hours away, where settlers first grew vines in the early 19th century. The crisp highland air suits varieties such as nebbiolo, gewurztraminer and chardonnay, and Dixon uses natural yeasts and avoids fining and additives, apart from a small amount of sulphur. The Clunes cellar door is open only by appointment, but you can pick up a bottle or two at the Clunes Store & Cellars on Main Street in town. Tony Zafirakos at Ari’s Natural Wine Co, Sutton Forest In the picturesque Southern Highlands, a two-hour drive southwest of Sydney, Ari’s Natural Wine Co is all about keeping it simple. Inspired by the techniques used in the Greek village where his father Ari grew up, winemaker Tony Zafirakos uses wild fermentation, and


harvests and processes his fruit by hand. His unfiltered, unfined, sulphur-free wines include unusual drops such as Pash & Pop, an orange wine that’s made with greco and zibibbo grapes fermented on skins, and Lucky No.5, a blend of the season’s varieties. James and Meagan Becker of M&J Becker Wines, Hunter Valley Located in Australia’s oldest wine growing region, relative newcomer M&J Becker Wines is all about shaking things up. Operated by a husband-and-wife team, James and Meagan Becker are passionate about making wine that captures its environment with as little intervention as possible – so no fining agents or additives. You’ll find pinot noir and chardonnay as well as syrah made with certified organic grapes. A visit to their cellar door, located at the beautiful Roche Estate, will not disappoint. Bryan Martin of Ravensworth, Murrumbateman Situated in Murrumbateman wine country in the Canberra District, Ravensworth is a winery with a master at its helm, making wine that is a mixture of scientific exactitude and experimental flair. This is a family affair, with Bryan Martin making wine with his wife Jocelyn and brother David. The wine is made at nearby Clonakilla winery, where Bryan has worked for over a decade, and are mostly aromatic and light-to-medium bodied, with sangiovese being the most popular red variety. Other varietals on offer include nebbiolo, riesling and gamay. Peta Kotz of Sabi Wabi, Hunter Valley Another newer winery doing things differently in the Hunter Valley, Sabi Wabi only launched in 2019. With its name taking inspiration for the Japanese term wabi sabi, this winery is all about embracing imperfection. Located


on the banks of the Hunter River, the wine is made in very small batches by Peta Kotz, who grew up in the area. Kotz’s debut wine, Bright Eyes, was a sunny blend of chardonnay and semillon. For 2021’s vintage, production increased and Kotz was able to make a white, red and rosé. Fruit for the semillon was sourced from Tranquil Vale Vineyard in Luskintyre, the shiraz from the rosé and red are from Lovedale, with a cooler year meaning more natural acidity. As always, the wines were made imperfectly, intentionally and with minimal intervention. Benson Brown and Joel Mucci of Benson & The Mooch, South Coast Protégées of Tony Zafirakos at Ari’s Wine, Benson and Joel of Benson & The Mooch started out making their wine out of Ari’s winery before setting up their own space down in the South Coast, near Wollongong. It was their debut pét-nat that put them on the map – called Disco Juice, like their others, it’s a good-times wine, made for drinking at sunny backyard barbecues. Grapes are sourced from the Central Ranges and left pretty well alone – with no additions, sulphur, filtering or fining, and everything produced by hand. Other wines in the range have equally as fun names and characters on the label: Purple Rain is a GSM blend with a slight spritz, and Gaucho is a nebbiolo and mourvèdre blend, out in late 2021. Charlie O’Brien and Simon Jones of Chateau Acid, Central Ranges Although their wine is, of course, based on principles of minimal intervention, you’ll find the winemakers’ personality splashed all over Chateau Acid. Old friends Charlie O’Brien and Simon Jones are both heavily involved in the music industry, inspiring the noughtiesstyle club poster vibe of the labels that Jones – also a graphic designer – created. It’s a fun brand but they are serious about their wine, sourcing grapes from the biodynamic and organic certified vineyards of Rosnay Organic Vineyard in Canowindra. The Bianco, vermentino with three weeks skin contact and 12 months in a terracotta amphorae, has been a hit. They’ve also produced a popular grenache, chardonnay and a rosato – a refreshing and tangy grenache syrah blend. For more information on NSW Wine Regions go to





experiences TRAVEL.






oahu, friendship, memories by: Kristy Hernandez


ne of my favorite destinations is Hawaii, and my most recent trip to Oahu was full of exciting adventures, thanks to my dear friend Shanna. She has become a connoisseur since moving to Hawaii a year ago and picked some great locations for us to enjoy. Some of our excursions included snorkeling, hiking, and attending a luau with amazing sunset views. Here are some hot spots that are on my personal “Hawaii Highlights” list. Waikiki is the island’s tourist district. It has massive hotels, designer stores, delicious restaurants, and beautiful photo ops with Waikiki Beach as the backdrop. Some restaurants to lookout for are Hula Grill, RumFire and Duke’s. These are all beachfront with incredible views, drinks, and food. A high point was taking beautiful waterfall pictures at Kuhio Beach Park. Another hidden gem near Waikiki is the Kaka’ako. It is a lively urban center in Honolulu with colorful street art, unique dining, and shopping experiences. While in Kaka’ako, we strolled the streets, took pics with unique art, and dined at Moku Kitchen – a hip restaurant that brings Hawaii’s rich upcountry farming and ranching heritage to downtown Honolulu’s urban lifestyle. It was excellent! Snorkeling in Waianae was amazing! Even if you are a beginner snorkeler, you will have a great time. The water is calm, making it easy to view the pods of dolphins, coral reef, tropical fish, and magnificent sea turtles! Just remember, no matter the situ-

ation, always respect the local wildlife. Doing so ensures your safety and the safety of the animals as well. The Lanikai Pillbox Hike was filled with adventure. This is a moderate hike that took about 1.5 hours, roundtrip. It is best to do this hike as early as possible,


because there is no shade, and it tends to get hot midmorning. This hike is well-worth the trip, as it is one of the most picturesque views of the island. Make sure to take some good hiking shoes – the terrain is rough and un-paved. You will also want to bring a bathing suit to enjoy Lanikai Beach afterwards! It is ranked as one of the best beaches in the world with white sand and aqua-blue waters. It is gorgeous and was a peak of my trip. Paradise Cove did not disappoint with their 5-star traditional Hawaiian Luau. We enjoyed a wonderful evening filled with delightful cuisine, exciting activities and phenomenal entertainment overlooking a spectacular Hawaiian sunset. This was an unforgettable experience and highly recommended. Hawaii is filled with beauty and endless adventures. When you visit, remember to step out of your comfort zone, pack the essentials, rent a car, wear sunblock, and explore with a friend!







new prima-class entertainment announced orwegian Cruise Line first revealed plans for its newest class of ships, Prima-class, last May. The class, which includes a debut ship also called Prima, the first of six in the class, will launch in August 2022, making the official countdown less than one year away. While Norwegian has shared some details of the ship-class, including the most expansive variety of suite categories at sea (13-suite categories total), Norwegian’s largest-ever inside, ocean, and balcony staterooms, and more outdoor space than any other new cruise. However, there is still more to reveal, some of which was announced this week. Norwegian showcased some of what guests can expect on the stages on Prima. Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, a production about “the story of Donna Summer’s meteoric rise from young starlet to the Queen of Disco,” will headline Prima’s first season. The 75-minute musical will transform the ship’s threestory theatre into a full disco, inviting guests to become a part of the show and dance to some of the most iconic Donna Summer songs. The venue, Norwegian’s first-ever


to be able to go from a Broadway-style theatre to a Vegasstyle nightclub, features a LED screen that lowers from the ceiling and is nearly half the size of the entire venue. Outside of Summer, Norwegian is also bringing a number of interactive game shows onboard Prima, all in partnership with Fremantle Media. That lineup includes The Price is Right Live, Supermarket Sweet Live, Press Your Luck Live, and Beat the Clock Live. All games take place in the ship’s main theatre. Onboard activities Prima will take some inspiration from past Norwegian debuts, along with a number of “firsts” for the cruise line. The ship will welcome guests to the first-ever threelevel racetrack, almost a quarter-mile in length and about 33% larger than Norwegian Encore’s. Prima’s track will include a new Speedway Bar located beneath the racetrack where guests can enjoy a drink after their race.


Prima will also take onboard thrills a step further with The Drop, a freefall dry slide that offers guests the opportunity to plunge 10-stories without ever leaving the ship. The Drop will be joined by The Rush, two other dueling dry slides where guests can race each other. The ship will also offer a virtual gaming complex, with Galaxy Pavilion, with 14 different attractions that include two different escape rooms, a Topgolf Swing Suite, and more. The Topgolf Swing Suites will also be joined by Tee Time, a nine-hole mini-golf course set among a Vegasstyle backdrop. On the pool deck, outside of Norwegian’s signature Aqua Park and Main Pool areas, Prima will offer the line’s first-ever Tidal Wave waterslide where guests can ride waves on inner tubes. Other spaces onboard include the adult-only area Vibe Beach Club, Syd Norman’s Pour House that debuted on


Norwegian Breakaway in 2018, and The Improve at Sea. Debut itineraries After an inaugural year sailing “bucket-list itineraries,” which will give guests and advisors around the world the opportunity to see the ship, Prima will homeport in Galveston, Texas. From there, the ship will sail 7-day voyages to the Western Caribbean visiting four ports—Costa Maya, Cozumel, Harvest Caye, and Roatan Island.