MARIGOT, St. Martin
St. Martin gets new $80 million resort
Carlson Hotels Worldwide has opened a new $80 million resort in the French Caribbean dependency of St. Martin.
The Minneapolis-based company’s VP for communications, Tom Polski, says the 252-room Radisson St. Martin Resort is the 1,000th hotel in Carlson’s worldwide portfolio.
Polski said that the financial meltdown is making times tough for the global hospitality industry. But he predicted that the new resort “will be serving customers for many years to come.”
The oceanfront resort, which features a spa and a marina, opened in December and is managed by Radisson Hotels & Resorts.
Guidebooks tell where locals eat
An updated look at Nashville’s restaurant scene is just out from “Where the Locals Eat,” a series of dining guides.
The second edition of the series’ Nashville guide is one of a dozen city dining books from “Where the Locals Eat,” published by Magellan Press, which is based in Brentwood, Tenn. The others are guidebooks to New York City; Memphis; Buffalo, N.Y.; Charlotte, S.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Louisville, Ky.; Pittsburgh; Minneapolis; and Raleigh/Durham, N.C.
You can also get recommendations for many other top U.S. metro areas at www.WhereTheLocalsEat.com or in the series’ national guide, published in 2007, “Where the Locals Eat: The 100 Best Restaurants in the Top 50 Cities.” An iPhone application is available as well, called LocalEats, for 99 cents.
The books look at restaurants by neighborhood, price range and category, which, depending on the city, ranges to everything from Asian Fusion to American Traditional to Brunch, Cafe, Diner, Dumplings, Steak House, Tex-Mex, Wine Bar and even Food Cart. The listings are based on ratings from readers the publisher calls “certified foodies,” and supplemented by input from the series’ writers and researchers.
Some of the recommendations include: Meals by Genet, 1053 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles (Ethiopian food); Jack’s Bar-B-Que, 416 Broadway in downtown Nashville; and for dessert in Manhattan, Payard Patisserie at 1032 Lexington Ave. between 73rd and 74th streets.
Magazine recommends best winter lodges
Time to go outside and play in the snow. Even if you’re a grown-up!
Outside magazine’s January issue lists lodges for winter adventures around the country. They include:
• Flagstaff Lake Hut in Maine’s Carrabassett Valley, with a frozen lake, miles of ski trails and a lodge that the magazine says is more like a “swanky retreat than a backwoods shack.”
• Norway Basin Camp, in Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains, which offers backcountry skiing, no crowds, a new double-decker yurt and good food.
• Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, with lake and mountain views, easily accessible by the three-hour Whistler Mountaineer train from Vancouver.
• Lumiere in Telluride, Colo., a new luxury hotel at 9,500 feet that offers ski valets to “carry your gear off the slopes at the end of the day for overnight tuning.”
• Sportsman’s Lodge on Minnesota’s Lake of the Woods, where you can go ice-fishing for walleye.
DES MOINES, Iowa
Magazine names top bookstores
Visiting a good bookstore is a great way to connect with local vibe and culture.
Midwest Living magazine’s February issue lists five independent bookstores around the region with cozy corners, author events and good selections.
They are Prairie Lights in Iowa City, Iowa, www.prairielights.com; Town House Books in St. Charles, Ill., www.townhousebooks.com; Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop in Milwaukee, www.schwartzbooks.com; Common Good Books in St. Paul, Minn., www.commongoodbooks.com; and Watermark Books and Cafe in Wichita, Kan., www.watermarkbooks.com.
Napa Valley Mustard Festival scheduled
When the wild mustard blooms in Napa Valley, it’s festival time.
The Napa Valley Mustard Festival, entering its 16th season, takes place Jan. 31-March 28 in the region about an hour north of San Francisco. Events celebrate Napa Valley’s culinary and agricultural bounties and range from art shows to tastings and demonstrations to high-end dinners and of course, mustard and mustard recipe contests.
The festival kicks off Jan. 31 with Mustard Magic at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. The evening will include a visual art competition, silent auction, teaching kitchen and performance art in which famous European paintings will come to life.
Later in the season, The Marketplace will be March 14-15 at the Robert Mondavi Winery. The schedule includes a juried art show, live music, radio broadcasts, and celebrity chef cooking demonstrations.
Details and ticket information for these and other events at www.mustardfestival.org.
Research now for summer trips to parks
If you’re thinking about a trip to a national park next summer, you may want to start researching your itinerary now. Campsites and cabins can be secured up to six months in advance at www.recreation.gov and the National Park Service has a wealth of free information online for individual parks.
If you’re looking for a guidebook, Fodor’s has just published its 13th edition of “The Official Guide to America’s National Parks” ($18.95), with listings for 391 national parks, including scenic trails, battlefields and other historic sites. The book is organized by state, but also includes sections on U.S. territories in American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, where the San Juan National Historic Site preserves Spanish colonial fortifications dating to the 16th century.
The book also includes listings by category to help you find parks related to special interests. For example, a list of black history sites includes the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Kansas, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Georgia, the George Washington Carver National Monument in Missouri, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park in West Virginia, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park in Louisiana, the Tuskeegee Institute National Historic Site in Alabama and the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, D.C.
New AdventureMaps for Baja released
Two new maps for the Baja region of Mexico are out from National Geographic, one on Baja North and one on Baja South, offering information for adventurous travelers who need details on terrain, local routes, ferry routes and even locations for gas and diesel stations.
They are part of National Geographic’s AdventureMaps series, which also includes maps on Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Panama. A new map for the Yucatan will be released in early 2009.
The Baja maps, which are printed on waterproof and tear-resistant material, together cover the entire Baja peninsula and include detailed insets of Mexicali, Ensenada, Tijuana, La Paz, San Jose Del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas and the Cabo Resort Corridor. They can be viewed online at www.natgeomaps.com/bajanorth.html and www.natgeomaps.com/