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February 2019 Issue

Dear Friends,

February, our shortest month, is also one of the most sparkly. Offset by red hearts and valentines. Romantic dinners for two. And love, of course.

In this heartwarming issue, we asked our hoteliers - from Europe to Africa, the South Pacific to Asia, the Caribbean and Canada to the Americas - to share some of their favorite guest - and love - stories. And they didn't disappoint. Enjoy!

Warm Regards,
Jaj and Anthony

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Massages and picnic lunches on the beach are just a few of the complimentary hotel amenities you will receive when you mention the JCR Reward.

Please remember to mention the JCR Reward at the time of booking. Or send us an email at sales@janinecifelli.com

Contact Janine

jc@janinecifelli.com
(732) 473-9982
www.janinecifelli.com

GOLDEN DOOR'S HUMAN AGAIN CAMPAIGN BY ANNIE LEIBOVITZ

Golden Door

So many remarkable stories of transformation occur at Golden Door. And now - through the lens of renowned photographer, Annie Leibovitz - a few have been documented. Among them: culinary power couple, Chef Ludo and Krissy Lefebvre. "My wife, Krissy, said, 'Ludo, you need to go here. I thought, I'm a man, no way, no way. But it really changed me," the chef recalls. "Nothing is more precious than to be peaceful and not be spinning in your life. I went for the men's week. I was very tired, exhausted. Life is very stressful, it's fast, you work 24 hours, seven days a week. You never really have time to yourself. I don't know if I ever spent a week just by myself. After two or three days there, I started to change. To just be with myself. You have lots of people around you, of course, but at night you are alone in your room. It was almost magical, the peacefulness. It was calm."

Golden Door
San Marcos, CA
Reservations: (866) 420-6414
reservations@goldendoor.com

BALLYFIN LOVES TO SURPRISE

Ballyfin

The Ballyfin team loves to surprise. One of its favorite engagement surprises - a woman told by her partner he needed to drop off paperwork at Ballyfin for a colleague staying there. "Upon arrival we told the couple the colleague had not yet arrived and, as a special treat, had arranged a horse and carriage tour for them," says Ballyfin's Damien Bastiat. "The couple was taken to the Grotto, candlelit, where the gentleman proposed and champagne was waiting. Upon their return, we offered them a house tour, ending in their room. Where the woman was (finally) informed she was staying the weekend." Fun.

Ballyfin
Co. Laois, Ireland
Reservations: +353 57 875 5866
info@ballyfin.com

HOTEL LE TOINY CELEBRATES BLOOD MOON

Hotel Le Toiny

One of Hotel Le Toiny's most special moments came recently. During the January super blood wolf moon. The hotel celebrated the night with a special dinner at its beach restaurant - open usually only for lunch. Guests were driven to the beach, in the dark, in Land Rovers, where they were met with torches and candles. At 9:30 p.m., as if on cue, the moon appeared. Guests, barefoot and with jazz playing, enjoyed a gourmet dinner. Magical.

Hotel Le Toiny
St. Barthelemy
Reservations: (800) 680-0832
reservations@letoiny.com

PROPOSAL PERFECT AT SHEEN FALLS LODGE

Sheen Falls

Sheen Falls Lodge lends itself to romantic proposals - be it on a quiet bench overlooking the waterfalls or in a thatched cottage on the grounds. But the hotel's perfect proposal vibe doesn't end there. When one guest 'said yes,' then subsequently lost her engagement ring on the same day, the team went into action. "Clodagh, our wedding planner, who had assisted with making the proposal romantic and memorable, rallied the team," recalls Sheen Falls' Sheila King. "After a mammoth search, a child (guest), found the ring and handed it to our reception team. The couple has booked their wedding at Sheen Falls for next year.

Sheen Falls Lodge
Co. Kerry, Ireland
Reservations: +353 64 6641600
info@sheenfallslodge.ie

SAVING RHINO AT CLAYOQUOT WILDERNESS RESORT

Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge

After returning home to Switzerland, one young guest, a little girl, discovered she'd left one of her favorite stuffed animals. Rhino. Her father emailed to see if anyone had seen the toy. And the Clayoquot Wild Team was immediately on mission: 'Save Rhino.' "We located Rhino, then decided to have some fun with it to bring a smile to the young guest's face," says Clayoquot's Rosalyn Young. "We sent an email back saying Rhino had been found and in fact, had decided to make the most of his extended stay. And then included a series of photos of Rhino fishing, kayaking, enjoying the Ivanhoe Lounge, playing pool, lounging in the hot tub and sauna, playing ping pong. The family loved it and once Rhino was returned safely home to Switzerland, responded with their own series of funny photos." So fun.

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
Vancouver Island, Canada
Reservations: (888) 333-5405
info@wildretreat.com

HOTEL ESPRIT SAINT GERMAIN CREATES SPECIAL MOMENTS

Esprit Germain

Hotel Esprit Saint Germain's Djenane Poidatz recalls one of her favorite hotel love stories. "A young man pretended to book a stay (with his girlfriend) to celebrate his own birthday. But he actually wanted to surprise her - with a marriage proposal. We ordered rose petals; the young man's sisters came with balloons. And organized an 'afternoon tea' near the fireplace. The young man arrived with his girlfriend and proposed. She said yes. The magic of our job is contributing to those 'special moments' in our guests' lives."

Hotel Esprit Saint Germain
Paris, France
Reservations: +33 1 5310 5555
contact@espritsaintgermain.com

KATIKIES SANTORINI PLAYS MATCHMAKER

Katikies Santorini

This Greek love story began with a simple question. When solo traveler, Brooke, a guest of Katikies Santorini, requested a boat tour of the island, she asked if anyone else may be interested," recalls hotel manager Alex Garagounis (now at Kirini Santorini). "I immediately thought of Kevin, who'd checked in just days before. The two hit it off and after the tour, Kevin made a reservation (for two) in the private dining area, complete with decorations to impress Brooke. In 2013, the couple returned to Katikies (same date, same table) where Kevin proposed. And a year later married at the resort. They now return every year on the same date." Love.

Katikies Santorini
Santorini, Greece
Reservations: +30 21089 94822
reservations@katikies.com

WHAREKAUHAU SUNSETS AND STAR GAZING

Wharekauhau

Watching the sun set over the cliffs and the stars come out is always a highlight at Wharekauhau. But one particular nightscape stands out for Wharekauhau's Richard Rooney. "Recently one of our guests was here with her 89-year-old mother to celebrate her birthday," says Richard. "On the night of her birthday, we loaded up outdoor blankets, hot chocolate, and a golf cart, and ventured out to the lookout - high on the cliffs - where we gazed across the darkening ocean as the Pacific sky lit up with pink and yellow tones from the late sunset. The stars came out. And, for about three hours, we looked at constellations, explained why stars are important to our Maori culture, laughed and shared life stories. As a GM, moments like this resonate deeply as it becomes our strong personal bond with our guests."

Wharekauhau Country Estate
Wellington, New Zealand
Reservations: +64 6 307 7581
reservations@wharekauhau.co.nz

VELAA PRIVATE ISLAND LIKE NO OTHER

Velaa Private Island

"Wow," is the word one guest used to describe her private Velaa Island experience. "The island is yours, it's like no other. I want to live here permanently. It's my happy place." Ours too.

Velaa Private Island
Maldives
Reservations: +960 6565 000
reservations@velaaisland.com

MIXOLOGY MAGIC AT 1898 THE POST

Zannier Hotels: Omaanda

Not long ago, the team at 1898 The Post was approached by a young gentleman who asked if a special cocktail could be created for his girlfriend - based on a physical description. Of course, the bartender agreed to the challenge, and created a made-to-measure cocktail. The gentleman wanted to propose to his girlfriend at The Cobbler with a special cocktail made for her. The recipe has been kept secret and shared only with the happy couple. And yes, she said yes.

1898 The Post
Ghent, Belgium
Reservations: +32 9 391 53 79
contact@zannier.com

CHILDREN LOVE THE GREENWICH HOTEL TOO

Greenwich Hotel

Young guests are very special to The Greenwich Hotel. Which welcomes families with children of all ages. In-room welcome amenities for the younger set include soft plush toys and interactive projects such as coloring books and origami sets. The gesture is much appreciated, as evidenced in this endearing thank you note, from Josie, that warmed the hearts of the entire Greenwich staff. So cute.

The Greenwich Hotel
New York City, NY
Reservations: (212) 941-8900
reservations@thegreenwichhotel.com

TIERRA PATAGONIA DAZZLES WITH RAINBOWS

Tierra Atacama Hotel and Spa

Tierra Patagonia gives guests the moon, the stars. Even double rainbows. "One morning, a guest, a woman traveling solo, was amazed to see - outside the lodge - two full rainbows," says Nicholas Russ, general manager of Tierra Patagonia. "It was an exhilarating and memorable experience for her, and incredibly moving for all of us at the hotel to have been part of such a unique and very personal experience."

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa
Torres del Paine, Chile
Reservations: (800) 829-5325
info@tierrapatagonia.com

SAFARI COLLECTION GUESTS REBUILD SCHOOL

The Safari Collection: Giraffe Manor

Three years ago, during a stay at Solio Lodge, guests Charles and Mary Wickham visited a local primary school which was in complete disrepair, with leaking roofs, broken furniture, and environment not conducive for learning. The Wickhams decided to rebuild the school entirely - new kitchen and dining room, staff room, as well as nine modern classrooms. A few months ago, the Wickhams returned to Solio. In a colorful school-opening ceremony, the couple received a heart-warming welcome and thank you from the children and teachers of Honi. So generous.

The Safari Collection: Solio Lodge
Near Mount Kenya
Reservations: +254 731 914 732
info@thesafaricollection.com

EUSTATIA ISLAND A MODEL OF SUSTAINABILITY

Eustatia Island

There's no question Eustatia Island is committed to and shows love for the earth. And sea. The island is 100 percent solar powered, collects the rainwater, composts its food (easy-to-use compost bins are available in every kitchen) and was an early adopter and supporter in local recycling efforts.

Eustatia Island
British Virgin Islands
Reservations: (646) 760-4340
stay@eustatia.com

LAYAN'S MAJOR AFFAIR

Layan Residences by Anantara

One experience that guests of Layan Residences by Anantara often recall: a day aboard the resort's super yacht exploring Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island. The yacht, called "A Major Affair," accommodates up to eight guests, and comes complete with gourmet dining and bubbly champagne. Definitely five star.

Layan Residences by Anantara
Phuket, Thailand
Reservations: +66 76 317 250
phuketlayan@anantara.com

BODYHOLIDAY FRESH

Body Holiday

Guests return to BodyHoliday time and time again. And for good reason. They speak of the classes, the sea, the accommodations, the yoga. And always of the food. Healthy and fresh. And this year, the freshest ever with BodyHoliday's new farm-to-table experience, I-Tal. So yum.

The BodyHoliday
St. Lucia
Reservations: (800) 544-2883
u.s.reservations@sunsweptresorts.com

LAUCALA ISLAND'S CREATIVE USE OF COCONUTS

Laucala Island

For one guest, it was all about the coconuts. Laucala Island is home to gorgeous coconut groves - so the indigenous fruit is used in cocktails, smoothies, cooking and as a skin-soothing ingredient in the spa. But the three brightly painted coconuts at the couple's front villa gate ultimately won her heart. Each used to indicate a specific instruction: "come in," "stay away," or "clean me please."

Laucala Island
Fiji
Reservations: +679 888 0077
reservations@laucala.com

TOUCHING HISTORY AT LAKE KORA

Lake Kora

Lake Kora, one of the last remaining Adirondack Great Camps, is all about history. Of a bygone era. And of the people who once frequented - and owned it. "I love being around the books, especially knowing that Theodore Roosevelt held them in his hands," says Lake Kora's Jill McKenty, showing guests around the main lodge, home to a massive stone fireplace and rows of centuries-old taxidermy (elk, deer, bear, birds. "It's like touching history."

Lake Kora
Adirondacks, New York
Reservations: +64 27 566 8776
reservations@lakekora.com

DINING REDEFINED AT ANNANDALE

Annandale

Yes, guests can arrange for a chef to show up at dinner time and cook onsite in one of Annandale's four private villas. Or they can opt for the resort's signature "we create, you serve" dining program. Which means they always have their next two meals ready to go in the fridge - designed and pre-cooked by the resident chef. So easy.

Annandale
Akaroa, New Zealand
Reservations: +64 27 566 8776
reservations@annandale.com

MONTEVERDI LOVE ON NEW YEAR'S EVE

Monteverdi Tuscany

As the clock struck midnight, and 2018 became 2019, a spectacle of fireworks danced over the Monteverdi Terrace Bar. The crowd of party-goers became a series of personal, romantic vignettes. The newly-engaged couple saw the future in each other's eyes. The mother and father of two whispered words of love and gratitude in Brazilian Portuguese. Old friends from the town below shared warm hugs, and well wishes for the year ahead.

Monteverdi Tuscany
Castiglioncello del Trinoro, Italy
Reservations: (866) 644-0787
travel@monteverdituscany.com

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