Are We There Yet? – Cool Vacation Destinations

Some new vacation hotspots to check out.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

I receive slews of press releases every single day about new resorts, new destinations, new restaurants, and other trendy-travel topics. There are a lot of people who are gearing up for summer and planning a getaway, so I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the cooler travel news I've received the last few weeks. Here are some highlights:


Acqualina Resort, Miami, Florida

Located on 4.5 beachfront acres with 400 feet of Florida's stunning Atlantic Ocean coastline, this Miami Beach luxury resort features 188 residences, 97 impeccable hotel rooms and suites and world-class luxury hotel amenities, including two oceanfront restaurants, three oceanfront swimming pools and an innovative marine biology-based children’s program. The luxurious 20,000-square-foot ESPA oceanfront spa features 16 treatment rooms including a private hotel spa suite for two, a private spa pool and heated jet pool with a Roman waterfall, Finnish Saunas, Crystal Steam Rooms, Ice Fountains, Experience Showers, and Relaxation Rooms.


Ravella, Las Vegas, Nevada

Ravella at Lake Las Vegas opened its doors in February and welcomed guests to an unexpected Las Vegas destination where the desert gives way to a radiant lake, white sandy beach and lush grounds in a romantic, Italian-inspired oasis. Basking in year-round sunshine, Ravella is a sprawling 349-room-and-suite resort situated on the shores of the largest privately owned man-made lake in the country. Located just 17 miles from the Las Vegas Strip on the site of the former Ritz-Carlton at Lake Las Vegas, Ravella offers an escape from the city’s frenetic energy with its relaxing beach, kayaking, boating and fly-fishing, nearby Jack Nicklaus golf course, and hiking and jogging trails. Ravella features a 30,000-square-foot Mediterranean-inspired spa, salon and fitness center, multiple lounge and dining experiences, and more. Working in concert with the picturesque Lake Las Vegas community, Ravella guests enjoy stunning vistas, miles of green, two marinas, and a neighbouring Village reminiscent of Europe’s colourful waterside communities with scenic walking streets of boutiques and restaurants.


Ceiba del Mar Beach & Spa Resort, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Ceiba del Mar Beach & Spa Resort is a luxurious, award-winning boutique resort ideally situated on a half-mile of private, white-sand beach in the Riviera Maya district of Mexico that combines beautiful Mexican and Mayan architecture and warm hospitality with vibrant blue Caribbean waters and a stunning tropical landscape. Ceiba offers 88 spacious suites and guest residences, seven of which are penthouses, each with a breathtaking ocean view.


Massachusetts music festivals

From well-known festivals like Tanglewood and the Lowell Folk Festival, to newer options like Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival, the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) has compiled a list of popular and unique music events that are taking place throughout 2011. The Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival has become a leading celebration of jazz, Latin, blues, and groove acts – more than 80,000 visitors enjoy exceptional jazz and cultural food in Boston's historic and hip South End, and over 100 vendors will take part in 2011, securing Boston as a prominent influence on the jazz scene. Low-key events include the Blues ‘n’ Brews festival in Westford that pairs regional craft breweries with top blues bands. Great eats like Oktoberfest food and a homebrew competition make this a quality day for locals and out-of-towners – raffles and games take place throughout day while craft and vendor booths are also stationed at the festival selling local creations. If you're looking for more musical festivals taking place in Massachusetts, go to to check out events, festivals and nightclubs, as well as hotel packages, jazz brunches, classes and other resources.

Bon Voyage,



Jenn Cox is a Montreal-based freelance journalist. Visit her website or email her at