Tag Archives: RETREAT

The latest… From Wedding Salon Chicago’s getaway winners, to The International Wedding Summit, passing by the Biz Bash blast had.

21 Oct

It’s Fun Friday times indeed for Erin Rohde & Sarah Dodds, from Roselle & Chicago respectively for they were announced today they are the so very lucky winners of the past WEDDING SALON that took place at the W Hotel Chicago a few weeks ago, where more than 700 brides gathered to enjoy, as the Chicago Wedding Planning Examiner, on October 5, says: for “Cookie-Cupcakes, Natural Accents, Colors of the Rainbow, Attention to Detail & Fashion Inspired Weddings, Amongst the Hottest Trends for 2012” showcased.

 

Erin Rohde, is taking a trip of her life with her beau to PUERTO VALLARTA in Mexico, staying at the BARCELO Puerto Vallarta, 4 days/3 nights all-inclusive, with transfers arranged by Tropical Incentives , round trip flights courtesy of the bet Mexican Airlines Aeromexico, an evening of guaranteed fun for “Rhythms of the night”  produced by Vallarta Adventures & to end the night with class and style, a dinner for two at renowned Cafe des Artistes. Oh la la!.

On the other hand who will be enjoying CANCUN at is best is Sarah Dodds, who along her fiancee will be staying for 3 nights at the Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort. 4 days/3nights all inclusive stay for two. courtesy of TROPICAL WEDDING EXPERTS.

It was a fun fun event the one in Chicago, and among the lines of the “The Hottest Bridal Trends for 2012 Unveiled at the Wedding Salon” they acknowledged the Mexico Tourism Board, for Puerto Vallarta & Cancun as the ultimate go-to destinations in 2012.

Make sure you follow “TAT’S TIPS” for more news on the upcoming shows & wedding trends, where of course we will be treating you with plenty of surprises.

For those of you who by any reason, don’t know who the author of TAT’S TIPS is, of course Tatiana Byron, celebrity event planner and founder of The Wedding Salon, which produces luxury and high-end bridal expos in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, by the way, know that she’s launching a new business-to-business event for wedding professionals called The International Wedding Summit, which will take place November 1 in New York City, presented itself through a series of ongoing discussions with industry professionals. “Those attending will be wedding vendors from all different categories,” says Byron. “It ranges from photographers and videographers to invitation companies and travel companies. They’re business owners or people in charge of marketing for their business.” she says.

The Summit will have a series of educational sessions that take a question and answer style format, with Byron asking industry professionals for their business insights. Some of the topics that will be explored include brand building, social media, blogging, how to start a business and the art of Web marketing. Professionals from Google Weddings, Vera Wang, Kleinfeld’s and The Knot will be in attendance. Other non-wedding related speakers will be weighing in on topics in attempt to offer insight into successful business strategies at large that can be implemented across a variety of platforms.

For those of you eager to learn bore about “It gets to the core of how successful people become successful,” Byron says. “We have Dylan Lauren, who is the founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar, the world’s largest candy store, and Rory Tahari, vice-chairman of Elie Tahari. They are not in the wedding business but we’re having them in because they’ve both executed successful business strategies. Rory Tahari transformed their brand to be a $500 million company. We’ll be addressing what the turning point was in her business, what were some of the key decisions you’ve made and what were some of the challenges you’ve faced within your business?”

Clients that have previously participated in roundtables and new companies will be invited to attend the International Wedding Summit, with a maximum of 100 attendees.

“Wedding marketers reach a new consumer base each year, which can lead to failure in so many start ups,” she says. “We have pulled together the best business minds behind the biggest brands in bridal, as well as renowned entrepreneurs to create the ultimate learning experience for business owners.”

Some of the BIG names that will be available to attendees of this Summit, and sharing their adventures are: David Berke, President of Colin Cowie Lifestyle, who we happened to say hi to during Colin Cowie’s master presentation on Biz Bash, Shawn Rabideau  (Celebrity Wedding Planner, Bethenny Getting Married), as well as Mark Ingram, Founder, Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier who we haven’t seen since he kindly hosted us for Wedding Salon’s Wedding Boothcamp along with marvelous Carley Roney, Founder of The Knot, bright, sexy, strong woman who we just saw at Las Vegas Wedding MBA, legendary Sylvia Weinstock, Founder of Sylvia Weinstock Cakes, Mara Urshel, Co-Owner of Kleinfeld Bridal, Michelle Rago, Michelle Rago Destinations & Google Weddings, Dylan Lauren, Founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar and Rory Tahari, Vice-Chairman of Elie Tahari.

Some of the personalities taking part of the summit were of course at the most recent BIZ BASH event in NYC, which main goal is to reach the meeting and event planners, marketers, strategists and which basically covers the top markets such as New York, Boston, South Florida, Los Angeles & Chicago, not only with conference & trade shows but with great print magazines & online page with very useful references.

Thanks David Adler, for braking your diet while we had lunch at delicious Mexican Restaurant “Toloache’ in NYC, but above all for the great job done putting together a great program for this year’s NY event at the Javits Center just this past Wednesday, where I was more than happy to see &  hear Colin Cowie, whose sexiness I love, but mostly appreciated was his master presentation and ongoing inspiration -who by the way happens to be having a photo shoot these days in Mexico for a campaign with Palace Resorts. He has been more busy now that he recently launched his superb and chic COLIN COWIE WEDDINGS site, which has a beautiful and friendly platform for any bride to enjoy and use for their wedding planning. Also in attendance of Biz Bash (the leading trade publication in the event industry) event, was nominated for Social Planner of the Year awards, Shawn Rabideau.

The event’s highlight was to met in person with MEETUP founder and smarty Scott Heiferman, who on a heartfelt and simple presentation reminded us importance of #connecting.

Along the dynamics of the conference and also in the hallways, we were seduced by an almost magic and truly electric presentation of a so very talented violinist playing amidst a background of current top hits, managed graciously by  super energetic Premier Talent Entertainment’s, President, Troy Curtis.

Two amazing planners’ friends of mine who where there on top of everything at the event, were Andrinique Davis from Andrinique Special Events based in US, but with offices even in Mexico, produce sophisticated local and destination affairs, she has a fun blog if you want to keep up.  The one that deserves the most recognition here is definitely Caty Gomez from Caty Gomez Events, top planner and venues owner -based in Mexico, with offices in Acapulco & Riviera Maya but producing events nationwide- who came all the way to NYC just to check out Biz Bash event and meet with some local vendors for updates on most current products and trends on the industry. She is by far one of the most relatives and entrepreneur women I’ve met, and I’m very very proud she managed to get to NYC, whatever the excuse was originally.

I unfortunately missed out on the magnificent THE KNOT GALA this year and again held at the New York Public Library (still can’t get over last year’s Preston Bailey’s floral sculptures of “Bride & poodles”) but NYC keeps promising amazing happenings on daily basis so know that I’m open for invites. On the meantime I’m ready and confirmed for the The International Wedding Summit on the 1st. November & “Dia de Muertos” Show Installation on the 2nd., in NYC, ABC’s 2011 Annual Business of Brides Conference November 6-8, in Baltimore, MD., and the Wedding Salon NY on the 14th.

Fun Friday to you all.

Be Happy, and Love always,

Carmen.

P.S. Quick reminder on the “Marry Me in the Riviera Maya” wedding contest that has already been opened to Facebook fans and will be held from October 1st-31st, 2011. (You got to check it out. Wish I could participate, if I only had a willing man whom I loved and was committed to, I’d be the first one for sure to share my story and our creative wedding proposal, so simple). Read on here

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A LUXURIOUS $25,000 WORTH DREAM WEDDING GIVEAWAY IN MEXICO?! Oh yeah!

27 Sep

When I was asked to”share the news” of course I was desperate, not because I couldn’t do so, but for I needed to spread this buzz right away, I mean who in the world gives away a $25,000 USD worth Dream Wedding in Riviera Maya?

I have to mention that I’m very proud and have been since I first met this Mexican owned hotel group called “VELAS” for not only are they’re previous employers of mine but for they are an amazing example of hospitality but above all the mastering of the little devil of detail and service reflected on anything they set eyes on, and I mean every single thing they do, has to be WOW!!!! They didn’t waited long after their Riviera Nayarit contest took place to overdo themselves in this promotion where the winning Couple receives All-Expenses Paid Luxury Wedding at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, indeed Beyond all-inclusive, beyond all compare”.

Pop the Question to Win $25,000 your dream wedding at this Velas resort and win a complete luxury all-inclusive beach wedding for up to 15 guests. The winning couple will enjoy a unique Mayan ceremony at Xel-Ha, known as the most beautiful natural aquarium in the world followed by a symbolic or legal ceremony Xcaret eco-archeological park complemented by at fresh flowers and music at, the best example of Mexico’s mystical natural wonders, biodiversity and cultural heritage. The prize package includes four days and three nights in a luxury ocean-front Ambassador Pool Suite, a beach-side cocktail hour, a three-course wedding reception, live music, hair and makeup for the bride, decorations, a wedding cake, a $250 gift certificate courtesy of Diamonds International, photographic coverage of the event by Humberto Castilla,” Trash the dress” photo session by Dream Art and a gift certificate courtesy by Ultrafemme. The couple and guests can also enjoy a welcome dinner at the resort’s exclusive Piaf restaurant, a chance to swim with dolphins courtesy of Delphinus, special shopping excursions to Luxury Avenue and nature tours courtesy of Rio Secreto.

From October 1st to October 31st, newly-engaged couples from USA, Canada, Mexico and Latin America are welcome to participate by submitting the story of their creative marriage proposal along with an optional photo of their best moment together on the Velas Weddings , Xcaret and Xel-Há facebook pages.

10 finalists will be chosen by Velas Resorts in a random drawing on November 1st. On November 2nd the 10 finalists will be notified, and public voting will take place from November 2nd – 19th on the Velas Weddings Facebook Page The winners will be notified on November 20th, 2011.

For more information, visit www.velasweddings.com, www.facebook.com/velasweddings, www.facebook.com/XcaretPark or www.facebook.com/XelHaPark
VELAS MEXICO WEDDING CONTEST

 About Grand Velas Riviera Maya:

The AAA Five Diamonds an all-suites and spa resort located five minutes from Playa del Carmen, is the latest and most sophisticated iteration of the ultra-luxury, all-inclusive resort experience.  This Leading Hotels of the World designated resort is the preeminent one of its class boasting 491 suites, each more than 1,000 square-feet, in three separate ambiances– premium ocean-front Grand Class Suites with terrace plunge pools for families with children 12 and up, family-friendly ocean-view Ambassador Suites and Zen Garden Suites embraced by the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula’s jungle.  The resort presents a gastronomic tour of the Yucatan, Europe and Asia offering seven restaurants with world-class chefs from France, Spain and Mexico; dedicated butler service for each guest, and the region’s largest spa sanctuary at over 89,000 square-feet.

grand velas riviera maya weddings

So what do Peter Greenberg & Criss Angel have in common?

21 Sep

Let’s start with what a hectic day it was yesterday, September the 20th. Not only the day went by magically as if only seconds have passed by, but was so full of news and exciting happenings!!

First of all I find out that my darling beau CRISS ANGEL the ‘Mindfreak’ illusionist just engaged to Sandra her 21 y.o. girlfriend for four years’ in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Was a bit disappointed at first, for on one of my few but wild dreams, is I’d meet him and eventually you know give place to a possibility of falling in love, hey as an illusionist he is, I imagine it would be the ultimate rush to fall in love for a man like him, and bring to the relationship all kinds of trickery and have it be filled with all sorts of surprises, but guess now we would never know the type of fun it would be to marry me… Oh well.

Anyways that who broke the news to us was Vegas DeLuxe journalist Robin Leach and he walked us trough the proposal soirée that actually took place at The One and Only Palmilla resort in Los Cabos, he writes “It started just as a romantic sunset dinner on the beach close to the crashing waves. They walked along rose petals that had been scattered on the sand to an intimate table for two with a guitarist playing a discreet distance away. They stayed barefoot when they got to the table he’d arranged surrounded by a circle of flaming torches… At the beginning, it just looked like a romantic holiday dinner, but at dessert there were two hearts made from chocolate and cookies, and that’s where he’d hidden the ring to surprise her.” Gee, as you can see true romance is not only for common people like you and I and celebrities or not we can all feel the love well deep inside our hearts, particularly while enjoying the nice warm breeze, watching the sunset, zipping some fine wine  on any of Mexican beaches, made with love perfect for romance. I know love is expressed easier while in Mexico .

About the love, a really sweet ‘thing’ they did as soon as the couple celebrate their engagement -and that which Sandra insisted on- was paying a visit to a local orphanage there, which looks after 30 children, so they did and with all the trimmings, that is, the recently engaged couple trekked to a store and they loaded up minivans and four flatbed trucks with food and toiletries to give to the Casa Hogar orphans in Baja, and that ladies & gentleman is what I call being happy, thankful and caring, a great way to kick start a new stage on their lives. Oh yeah!.

Anyways, back to our initial ‘thing’ here, who I did met about to be 4 years ago was Peter Greenberg at a travel & Tourism even t in Mexico City, where I participated representing the State of Yucatan, where I used t olive then. Well, Greenberg happens to be Travel Editor for CBS News, and appears on The Early Show, CBS Evening News, and across many CBS broadcast platforms

And after having run into each other a few times before, and particularly in the past year while at the Mexico Tourism Board, yesterday let me tell you was a very special occasion, not only we met we greet, but along came the president, oh yes, I did I mentioned Peter, sort of ‘joint-ad-ventured’ with Mexico President Felipe Calderon into Greenberg’s latest “Royal Tour”.  Yesterday begin a very special day a very VIP list was invited to New York’s Guggenheim Museum to attend the private launch of MEXICO: THE ROYAL TOUR.

This “Royal Tour” which is to air on PBS’s network on Thursday September 22nd, 2011, and which is intended to  have producer and host Peter Greenberg, showcasing Mexico in a way ‘no visitor has ever seen the country before’ and yes, that is correct, for this time the show will be hosted and guided by no less than the same President of Mexico, a tour that couldn’t have been more personal, the President even took Greenberg to meet his family –and we mean mom, brothers and sisters- at this hometown in Morelia, Michoacan, they sat down for coffee at their living room and chatted, nothing like this I’ve seen before when it comes to featuring a president’s life on this what’s like a sneak peek into a very special family vacation, so I guess he will eventually face a lot of criticism, but then again, that always happens, and since now is the time to focus on what it’s important, so they did, and the well portrayed some of the Mexico -my home country- really is, and in this case what a better example of hospitality, a heartfelt— through the eyes of its leader.

Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism Secretaria Gloria Guevara hosted along with COO of Mexico Tourism Board Rodolfo Lopez Negrete welcomed everyone to witness the truthfulness & quality of the show we had among the VIP guest list the first lady Margarita Zavala; Mexico’s Ambassador in USA, Consul General of Mexico in NY, Ambassador of Mexico and UN representative, Mexico’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, joined by State Governors of Chiapas & Quintana Roo, Mexico, among other public affairs & tourism personalities. Truly outstanding was the attendance of Emilio Azcarraga for example who’s President of Televisa Group (largest TV network in Mexico), Juan Beckham, Casa Cuervo’s President (Largest Tequila company in the world), Kirk Kinsell, Intercontinental Hotels Group President, Matthew Upchurch, Virtuoso, John De Nhysschen, President for AUDI, Edward Bastian, Delta Airlines President David Scowsill, President & CEO of  WTTC, Neal Shapiro PBS / WNET President, Catherine Greteman, CEO for NTA, Sam Gilliland CEO of Sabre Holdings, Terry Dale President USTOA, etc. Here the list’s has got to stop since there were almost 300 handpicked guests on this very impressive list to tough to name all. Amazing experience was to be surrounded by some of Mexico’s fan with most influence on the world of travel & tourism.

So, in this trip that PBS and Peter are taking us in, led by President Calderón we have access to extraordinary locations, landmarks and amazing cultural immersions. In one hour, we will see a 5 day packed experience starting in Los Pinos (the Mexican White House), then Morelia in Michoacán, with a  top at the “Santuario de las Mariposas” (butterflies’ sanctuary) regal home to Monarch butterflies, out again to explore the legendary ruins of lost civilizations, seek out their descendants and find the ancient mysteries these sites have hidden for generations in Palenque & magical Chiapas. From soaring across the skies in a hot air balloon for a bird’s-eye view of Teotihuacan, to whale watching in Baja California, to rappelling stories into a seemingly bottomless pit, the world’s foremost travel journalist uncovers the essence of this captivating and complex nation with the President as his guide. Did we mention also, the visit to great Chichen Itza? or Calakmul in Campeche? Better be prepared, this isn’t for the beach, book & lounge traveler, but the world traveler… They say it is “this is the real Mexico of The Royal Tour”. You want to find out for yourself what is this all buzz about?

Ah, so the question was: what do Peter Greenberg and Criss Angel have in have in common? Well, one response would be: one does magic and another one takes us into close to magical places, one an illusionist and another one as a travel journalist, but hey isn’t; it obvious!?… They all LOVE MEXICO! And they both made my day yesterday, September 21st. Oh yeah! 

 

There you go.

Until next, just love.

 

Carmen

 

Photos: by Robert Landau , SolCaboFotexMX/TVT & Carmen Laborin.

Honeymoon in Mexico – TravelAge West

5 Sep

Honeymoon in Mexico

TAW speaks with Carmen Laborin, director of romance for the Mexico Tourism Board

May 28, 2011

No one knows honeymoons in Mexico quite as well as Carmen Laborin, director of romance for the Mexico Tourism Board. TravelAge West had a chance to talk to Laborin and get the inside scoop on some of the country’s unique offerings when it comes to romance in the region.

“Mexico is a world-class destination offering many unique and distinct experiences for every type of traveler,” said Laborin.

In addition to having several of the top sun and beach destinations in the world, Mexico has 30,000 archeological sites, 110,000 monuments, 31 UNESCO World Heritage sites and is second only to the U.S. in its number of spas, said Laborin.

While she didn’t want to single out any one destination, Laborin said that her honeymoon favorites for a beach destination include Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Maya and Acapulco.

“[These destinations] are all diverse in terms of water, activities and feel,” she said. “Everyone should experience at least these four beach destinations in Mexico.”

When it comes to inland destinations, Laborin recommends Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende as her personal favorites.

Where to Stay
Mexico offers more AAA Five-Diamond award-winning properties than Canada, Hawaii and the Caribbean combined, said Laborin. But that doesn’t mean that a honeymoon in Mexico is too expensive for the average client.

“Mexico is absolutely affordable,” said Laborin, “particularly when a couple is on a budget. Mexico has always been perceived as a great value to U.S. tourists, so as the economy has made it challenging for many people to travel abroad, Mexico remains a popular and desirable travel destination. It’s close to home, yet far from ordinary; the exotic appeal is included.”

For those looking for an affordable experience, Laborin recommended a variety of destinations.

“Oaxaca is an amazing destination and a favorite for its gastronomy. Merida is filled with color, music and folklore, and Veracruz and Chiapas offer magnificent beaches and rivers,” she said. “These destinations are filled with adventure from river rafting and ziplining to bike tours or romantic horseback rides and bonfires on a luxury campsite. And, they are all affordable, with stylish hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Laborin also recommends cities such as Campeche, Acapulco, Ixtapa, San Carlos and La Paz.

For clients who really want to escape, Laborin recommends a few off-the-beaten-path hotels such as Hacienda de Los Santos in Alamos; El Tamarindo in Costa Alegre; Sitio Sagrado or Posada del Tepozteco in Tepozltan; Hacienda Lomajim in Jalisco; Nirvana in Atotonilco; Hacienda Xcanatun in the Yucatan; Hacienda Uayamon in Campeche; Hotelito Desconocido in Careyes; Capella in Ixtapa; Hacienda Santuario Centro or Casa de Sierra Nevada in San Miguel de Allende.

“I could go on and on with this list,” she said. “Once you get to any of these hotels, you don’t want to leave the property. There are so many wonderful places I could recommend, the kind of places that make you want to be in love every day of your life.”

Gettin’ Busy

One of the most popular activities for honeymooners is a trip to the spa to relax and unwind after the months of planning before the wedding. Mexico has more spas than most other countries in the world, apart from the U.S. Spas in Mexico have specialized in blending ancient techniques and local elements such as cocoa, coffee, spices and more resulting in a truly special experience.

Other activities for couples include, cooking classes, Latin dance lessons, golf lessons, photographic excursions, genuine market tours, golf, horseback-riding lessons, volunteering, sunbathing on one of the Mexican islands, moonlit dining and star gazing.

“Like the saying goes, ‘it takes two to tango’ and, in Mexico, its all about the love,” said Laborin. “Clients can learn to salsa or cumbia dance. In Mexico, people even dance closer than they do in many other places. It’s truly a romantic activity.”

Laborin recommends dancing lessons at Danzon in Veracruz. Clients can learn to salsa dance in Playa del Carmen at Solexico or at La Bodeguita de en Medio.

Another romantic suggestion Laborin has for a couple is a culinary experience.

“How about a cooking lesson for two or in a small group?” she said. “A visit to Mexico is about trying out new flavors and savoring many different palettes — just like in a couple’s life. Going to the local market together and, then, learning something new and enjoying the result of the experience, such as the lovely meal you cooked, is priceless.”

Some suggestions for culinary experiences include a cooking lesson in Merida with Los Dos or at Catherwood. Clients can also head to the Sazon Cooking School and Boutique by Casa Sierra Nevada in San Miguel de Allende. For a candlelit table for two by the beach or a river with a saxophone player, head to the River Cafe in Puerto Vallarta or enjoy dinner and a performance on Vallarta Adventures’ Rhythms of the Night tour, which transforms the island of Las Caletas into a mystical paradise.

When it comes to more adventurous activities, Laborin suggested the following: snorkeling in Riviera Maya with Phantom Divers, swimming at a fresh-water sinkhole arranged by Amigo Yucatan DMC, river rafting with Mexico Verde in Veracruz, horseback riding with Blue Mexico in Huatulco, learning to surf in Punta Mita with Tranquilo Surf and whale watching in La Paz with Journey Mexico.

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