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Category Archives: Private Islands

UFC chief Dana White plans to stay on Fight Island for a MONTH as Abu Dhabi is touted as mystery venue – The Sun

Posted: June 6, 2020 at 6:08 pm

ABU DHABI has reportedly been revealed as the mystery location of the UFC Fight Island.

Dana White has been determined not to let the coronavirus pandemic stop his promotion from airing, holding events in Florida and Las Vegas while much of the world was in lockdown.



But in a bid to fly in fighters who otherwise would not be able to travel due to the outbreak, White has worked to secure a private island to host fights.

And now Brazilian outlet Combate claim UFC will set up Fight Island in the United Arab Emirates capital city.

Abu Dhabi has over 200 islands, with the one due to be used by White expected to host events consecutively between June 27 and the end of July.

UFC president White is planning to live on the island for the whole of July.

The 50-year-old billionaire said ahead of tonights UFC 250: People are very intrigued by 'Fight Island,' and I'm excited for it.

Right now, we're looking at June, and we're literally gonna knock out three or four [events] in a month. And I'm gonna stay on the island for a month. I'll probably be there the whole month of July.

And even if he still has not confirmed the location, he has vowed to let fans see exactly what he has built very shortly.

He continued: I'll have pictures of the (Fight Island) infrastructure next week and have more details for everybody.

Fight Island could kick off its events on June 27 with a lightweight headline bout between Dustin Poirier taking on Dan Hooker.

However, White says UFC 251, slated for July 11, looks a more likely date.


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White added: Yeah, this is absolutely, positively happening. I've been saying June 27, but it's looking more like July 11.

That's the first date that we're actually bringing in all the different guys from other parts of the world.

Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Poirier at UFC 242 last September when UAE last staged an event.

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Dreaming of your next vacation? Check out these most remote getaways – CNBC

Posted: at 6:08 pm

With the summer months now upon us, and many countries moving to lift months-long lockdowns, dreams of a long-awaited getaway are inching closer to reality.

Portugal, Greece, Spain and Italy are among several European destinationsto announce plans to resume international travel from some countries this month, as the coronavirus-battered tourism industry embarks on its lengthy journey to recovery.

But with the risks of infection still high, many travelers will be opting to replace holiday hotspots with more remote retreats in a bid to avoid the crowds. CNBC's Global Traveler takes a look at some of the most exclusive escapes out there and the steps they're taking to ensure social distancing from lobby to lounger.

An overhead view of Kokomo Private Island, Fiji.

Kokomo Private Island Fiji

Kokomo Private Island, Fiji gives holidaymakers the chance to get away from it all with a stay at one of 26 luxury residences and beachfront villas decorating the 140-acreisland's white sand coastline. Each with their own private pool and direct beach access, the lodgings promise serious social distancing from other guests. However, full exclusivity is also an option with a full island buyout.

As one of 330 islands spanning the 18,274 square meter Fijian archipelago, Kokomo is isolated by nature. Guests can while away the days scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing in the South Pacific's crystal waters, or alternatively indulge at the spa before enjoying local cuisine caught and cooked on site.

Prices for a one-bedroom villa start from $2,790 per night.

The view from the suite at Lembombo Lodge in Kruger National Park, South Africa.


African ecotourism brand Singita is inviting holidaymakers to get back to nature with a secluded safari at one of 15 luxury lodges and camps spanning Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Guests can practice social distancing alongside some of the continent's most protected wildlife, while exploring the countries' vast reserves.

The conservation company recently reopened after implementing new virus guidelines including"health monitoring, stringent hygiene measures and a dedicated emergency evacuation plan." All guests will be asked to disclose their travel history prior to arrival and will undergo regular temperature checks.

Prices for a two-night minimum stay start from around $3,900.

The balcony view from the Romance Suite at Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, Florida Keys.

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa in the U.S.'s tropical Florida Keys is reopening this month, where guests can enjoy an exclusive private hire. The adults-only retreat, which accommodates up to 60 people, has taken measures to introduce social distancing in all communal areas and will provide personal protective equipment on request.

Located 47 kilometers (29 miles) from Key West, Florida's southernmost point, the 4-acre island is a nature-lover's paradise, with sailing, snorkeling, skydiving, dolphin watching and ecotours all on tap.

Guests can have the 4-acre Florida Keys island to themselves, with rates starting at $250,000 for a 3-night minimum stay.

The view from above of the garden and grounds of Family Coppola Hideaways' Blancaneaux Lodge in Belize.

Family Coppola Hideaways

The Family Coppola Hideaways, passion project of legendary Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola, wants travelers to hide out like the stars at one of four remote retreats spanning Central America. Tucked away in the forests of Belize and Guatemala and accessible by chartered flight, the resorts are "private by design," with extra measures newly introduced to enable privacy when relaxing and dining.

"It was Coppola's desire to have places of refuge to personally visit, places where one can distance and isolate have a private experience with private excursions, private dinners simply enjoying the natural beauty each hideaway provides," Christine Gaudenzi, director of sales and marketing for The Family Coppola Hideaways told CNBC.

Prices start from $140 per night.

The exterior view of Fogo Island Inn perched atop the rocky coastline of Fogo Island in Newfoundland, Canada.

Fogo Island Inn

Fogo Island Innis naturally remote, requiring a 45-minute boat ride or private chartered flight to reach the secluded island off Canada's east coast. Once there, travelers can unwind and take in panoramic views of the expansive North Atlantic Ocean from one of 29 luxury rooms. Alternatively, the entire site is available for buyout.

The award-winning accommodation has introduced strict health, sanitation and social distancing measures intended to cover "all aspects of the guest's journey from transportation to housekeeping procedures (and) dining to excursions," the company told CNBC in a statement.

Prices start from $1,440 per night.

The exterior of Deplar Farm hotel in northern Iceland.

Eleven Experience

Deplar Farm in northern Iceland's Troll peninsula is disguised from view under a grass-sodded roof deep withinthe Fljot Valley. When the country reopens to tourists later this month, guests will be invited to get off the beaten track with daily hikes, cycling trails and sea kayaking trips in the local area.

The 13-bed hotel and spa, which boasts two helipads and is available by the room or for full hire, has implemented a series of new health and safety precautions to reassure visitors, including optional private transfers, increased social distancing and virtual staff correspondence.

Prices start from $2,416 per night.

Exclusive Resorts' 'Owl in the Woods' residence located in Whistler's Kadenwood Estates, British Columbia, Canada.

Remote ski chalet in Whistler Canada

Members-only vacation club Exclusive Resorts boasts access to 400-plus private holiday resorts in 120 destinations, with each accommodation presented as a home away from home. Spend dayshiking the hidden trails of Whistler, British Columbia before hunkering down with a steam room at the secluded four-bedroom, five-bathroom "Owl in the Woods" mountain-top chalet; or chill out in the crystal Caribbean waters of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands at Rosewood Little Dix Bay.

A new mobile app also allows guests a more socially-distanced service, with a range of contactless options including virtual check-in and check-out, complimentary grocery delivery, tailor-made housekeeping and in-residence chefs for those wishing to avoid restaurant crowds.

"Homes will now come equipped with disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for members and their guests. We are also deep cleaning and sanitizing all high-touch areas; removing decorative pillows from beds; increasing cleaning time between stays and more," noted James Henderson, CEO of Exclusive Resorts.

Prices start from $1,395 per day, plus an initial registration fee of $150,000.

The exterior view of a Mahoe Bay two-bedroom villa at Rosewood Little Dix in Virgin Gorda, BVI.

Exclusive Resorts

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A taste of the Maldives: This fruity gin cocktail is a holiday for your tastebuds – Express

Posted: at 6:08 pm

Whether guests want a hearty Italian lunch or a spicy Thai dinner, there are plenty of cosines to choose from, and the resort prides itself on offering something for all palettes.

A spokesperson for Kurumba said: "Kurumba Maldives pioneered tourism in the Maldives as the first private island resort in the archipelago and has since remained one of the finest five-star resorts in this aspirational stretch of islands.

"Visitors can swim in the islands crystal-clear lagoon, wander the lush sultry gardens, discover unique marine life across the house reef, and indulge in some of the freshest flavours and delectable dishes from around the world at the eight restaurants on the island."

Visitors can also arrange more exclusive dining, such as a private, seaside experience dubbed "Sound of the Sea", ideal for nights of romance.

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A taste of the Maldives: This fruity gin cocktail is a holiday for your tastebuds - Express

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The Seychelles has reopened to tourists but only to those travelling by private jet – The National

Posted: at 6:08 pm

As more travel restrictions ease around the world, countries are making plans to reopen their borders to tourists.

The Seychelles, where tourism is one of the country's most important sectors, now allows visitors to its remote islands, but only if they're travelling by private jet.

"The destination will only consider visitors from low-risk countries travelling through private jets and chartered passenger direct flights," the Seychelles Tourism Board said.

As well as having to charter a plane to get there, travellers wanting to escape to the islands need to undergo a Covid-19 test before boarding any flight. Negative results have to be sent directly to the country's department of health and visitors must show the results upon landing along with confirmation from their local health authority that the test was taken less than 48 hours before they boarded their private plane.

"Visitors failing to present the required proof will be turned back on the same aircraft," the tourism board said.

The limited reopening is based on the advice of the country's health authority and is designed to limit risk of Covid-19 transmission to people living and working on the 115 islands that make up the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Upon landing in Mahe, all visitors must complete health formalities, have their temperature scanned and have a symptom check. Some travellers may also be selected for a rapid antigen test.

Travellers must have proof of the hotel or resort in which they're planing to stay. They also won't be allowed to leave their resort to travel between islands.

For elite travellers who prefer the ocean over the air, the Seychelles is in reach again as the waters of this corner of the western Indian Ocean have reopened to yachts and superyachts.

But entry is trickier for those sailing in than those on private jet. There are strict rules in place for seafaring travellers, and cruise ships remain banned until 2022.

All vessels must clear immigration at port Victoria and specific clearance is needed if travellers wish to disembark at any of the country's islands. Before this can happen, yachts must spend at least 14 days at sea, with passengers undergoing daily temperature checks.

Plans to reopen Seychelles International Airport to commercial flights are set for July, but visitor numbers will remain restricted for a period once this happens.

There's also set to be a $50 fee (Dh183) for tourists, which will go towards supporting local public health measures.

In May, the Seychelles declared itself Covid-19 free after nine weeks of battling the virus. The number of recorded cases was 11, all of which were found on the main island of Mahe. No cases were reported on Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette Island and the Outer Islands.

The Seychelles is not the only Indian Ocean destination to reopen exclusively to elite visitors.

The Maldives has also reopened to travellers with private jets or charter flights. Regular travellers should wait a bit longer as travel restrictions are expected to ease further in July.

Updated: June 3, 2020 03:55 PM

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The Seychelles has reopened to tourists but only to those travelling by private jet - The National

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Blancpain and Fregate Island Private help the ocean – High Horology Journal

Posted: at 6:07 pm

Fregate Island is the easternmost of the granitic Inner Islands of the Seychelles. It is home to the exclusive Fregate Island Private luxury resort, with just 17secluded villas amidst three square kilometres of pristine nature. Known as a mini Galapagos in the Seychelles, the island has a long conservation history for its terrestrial environment with notable achievements such as saving the Magpie Robin from extinction, and contributing to the development of the Aldabra tortoise colony, which has increased in size from a few dozen to nearly3,500 today. With great success on land, the conservation team of Fregate Island Private began their focus on the surrounding marine environment, especially in terms of the distribution of organisms within the fringe coral reef.

In2018, as part of its long-standing Ocean Commitment program, Blancpain initiated an experimental coral restoration project on Fregate Island in collaboration with Fregate Island Private and Eight hundred storm-derived coral fragments (corals of opportunity) were transplanted onto eight artificial structures situated at depths between 5 and 7m. Four of these structures use the Mineral Accretion Technology (MAT), a method that applies safe, low voltage electrical currents through seawater, causing dissolved minerals to crystallise on structures, growing into a white limestone similar to that which naturally makes up coral reefs and tropical white sand beaches. The second group of four structures is not electrified in order to act as control. The project provides valuable research data, offering a unique possibility to measure in the same area the efficiency of MAT compared to classical techniques.

To advance understanding of the marine life around Fregate Island, in2019 Blancpain,, and Fregate Island Private associated with, the Green Islands Foundation, the University of the Seychelles, and the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust to establish a coral reef biodiversity baseline. More than 700Hectares of seabed were scanned using state-of-the-art technology to document the health, rigidity, and benthic assemblage of the reef. Collected images were then mosaicked to produce a detailed 3D underwater habitat map of corals, sand, rocks, and rubble surrounding Fregate. The gathered data will serve as the basis for a long-term monitoring program of the marine area around the island to study trends in the structure of reef fish and coral communities through year-by-year comparison. Ultimately, the objective is to support discussions on the creation of a new marine protected area around the island.

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Your Island home – The West Australian

Posted: April 6, 2020 at 5:08 pm

Sweeping postcard views are made real in this two-bedroom, two-bathroom North Coogee home.

A private oceanfront sanctuary with an outlook to be envied, the apartment is one of just two on its floor in the sought-after The Islands complex.

Realmark North Coastal Projects Sales Associate Jason Kuriata believes prospective buyers will fall in love with the coastal sunsets and the ocean vistas.

Breathtaking panoramic ocean views are on offer from your very own balcony, with sliding louvres which capture all three of our famous islands Garden, Carnac and Rottnest in the very same picturesque snapshot, he said.

Tucked away off a secluded beachside slip road, this complex will leave you in absolute awe.

The Islands is a secure, gated community featuring immaculate gardens and a crystal-clear lap pool.

Inside, the airy open-plan living, dining and kitchen area seamlessly link to the balcony via bi-folding doors.

The kitchen is luminous with glistening stone benchtops, glass splashbacks and premium stainless steel appliances, with ample storage available in the understated white cabinetry.

Both bedrooms feature built-in robes and open to the outside.

The sumptuous master bedroom is neatly tiled and comprises of his and hers built-in wardrobes, balcony access with its own slice of the mesmerising sea view, and a fully tiled ensuite bathroom, Mr Kuriata said.

Twin vanities add personality and class to the master ensuite, which also includes a deep bathtub and frosted-glass screening.

The second bedroom is carpeted for comfort and connects to the generously sized courtyard area, which conveniently doubles as a laundry and drying space.

The beachside property comes with a host of desirable extras, including ducted reverse-cycle air-conditioning, an integrated Bose audio system, lighting controls, a CCTV security system and more.

Basement storage and dual parking is available, and the complex also includes a private lobby.

Mr Kuriata said the homes dream oceanfront location is just footsteps away from South Beach and all its amenities, including coastal cafes, playgrounds, retail precincts and a dog beach.

Contact: Realmark North Coastal, Jason Kuriata, 0438 990 690.

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Your Island home - The West Australian

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Seychelles extends protection to marine area twice the size of Great Britain –

Posted: at 5:07 pm

Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean famous for its turquoise waters, giant tortoises and wondrous birds, has extended protection to 400,000 square kilometers (154,000 square miles) of its seas, an area twice the size of Great Britain. The move fulfills the countrys long-standing pledge to safeguard 30% of its marine waters.

Seychelles marine ecosystem is the foundation that the economy is built upon, with fisheries and tourism being the primary pillars of our economy, President Danny Faure said on March 26 at the signing of a decree that created 13 new marine protected areas (MPAs). The people of Seychelles have a direct dependence on our ocean resources for food security and livelihoods.

The terrestrial area of the Seychelles 115 islands is only about 460 km2 (180 mi2), about three times the size of Staten Island in New York City, but the countrys exclusive economic zone (EEZ) spans 1.37 million km2 of ocean, twice the size of Texas. The challenge for the country is to prevent the unsustainable exploitation of its biodiversity, which it projects as its biggest selling point to the world.

The declaration of new MPAs was facilitated by a debt-for-nature deal proposed by the U.S.-based NGO The Nature Conservancy (TNC). The scheme came on the back of the 2008 financial crisis, when the Seychelles government was unable to pay back its foreign creditors, defaulting on its sovereign debt. Debt restructuring aims at avoiding default by changing the terms of repayment. The agreement with TNC allowed the country to free up $21.6 million in foreign debt, provided it ramped up protection of its marine resources and took climate adaptation measures.

While debt-for-nature schemes have been used before to protect terrestrial ecosystems, most notably in Latin America and the Caribbean, this is the first for marine areas. Nearly half of Seychelles new MPAs will be no-take zones, where economic activity such as fishing, mining or drilling will not be allowed. In the other half, called Zone 2, economic activities will be allowed, subject to regulation.

The island republics marine biodiversity is threatened by overexploitation, pollution generated inland, habitat degradation because of offshore oil exploration and extraction, as well as rising sea temperatures.

The hope is that the expansion will safeguard the habitats and nesting sites of endangered turtles, the last remaining population of dugongs in the Indian Ocean, preserve coral reefs, and also allow the country to invest in making the fisheries sector more sustainable.

Among the expected beneficiaries of these efforts are shark species. Shark fishing is an ancient practice in Seychelles, where till the 1940s, there were frequent sightings of hammerhead sharks (belonging to the family Sphyrnidae) and tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier)*.

Sharks have a strong cultural importance in Seychelles, and I think that marine protected areas are a critical tool for shark conservation locally, said James Lea, CEO of Save Our Seas Foundation, a Swiss group that works extensively in Seychelles. Lea added that there is indirect evidence to suggest that MPAs help shark species. Aldabra Atoll has been protected since the 1980s and has an abundance of marine life, including sharks. Blacktip reef sharks [Carcharhinus melanopterus] and sicklefin lemon sharks [Negaprion acutidens] in particular are thriving there, he said.

The Aldabra Atoll, the worlds second-largest coral atoll and a UNESCO world heritage site and special reserve, is arguably a success story in terms of conservation. It is home to the largest population of giant tortoises in the world, as well as more than 300 other species of animals and plants. The reserve extends into the sea, 1 km (0.6 mi) from the shore. Its remote location and long history of protection have combined to keep it safe.

A new MPA has now been designated around the atoll, whose boundaries extend to Tanzanias EEZ to the west and Madagascars EEZ to the south. It is one of five MPAs that are no-take zones.

Until 2012, only 0.04% of Seychelles marine territory was part of its MPA network. Under the debt-for-nature deal, reached in 2015, the government announced the first round of expansion in 2018, when 210,000 km2 (81,000 mi2) of marine areas were designated MPAs.

Convincing fishers and hoteliers

Expanding Seychelles MPA network is a very important and major first step in the conservation of Seychelles biodiversity, but it is only the first step, Rabia Somers and Vanessa Didon, from the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, said in a statement to Mongabay. The conservation of Seychelles biodiversity ultimately depends on multiple factors, such as enforcement, public-private partnerships, and innovative management models.

The announcement was finalized after consultations, more than 200 of them, over six years to decide which areas will be protected and to what extent. The main challenge for the government and conservation NGOs was to convince people who rely on marine resources that the new protections would benefit them. Buy-in from the fisheries sector, both small-scale and large-scale, and the tourism industry will be crucial for the MPAs to work, experts said.

With its many privately owned island resorts, Seychelles often hosts the rich and famous, and sometimes even royalty. Prince William and Kate Middleton honeymooned on one such retreat on North Island; George Clooney and Amal Clooney also vacationed in Seychelles after their wedding.

The environment is core to the tourism product they offer, Wilna Accouche from the local NGO Green Island Foundation told Mongabay. They have to make sure that that the tourism activities do not damage the environment.

The NGO helped to get the marine area off another private island, Denis Island, designated as a protected area. While convincing hoteliers that they should conserve the most attractive features of their resorts is easy, Accouche said that getting them to recognize that their inland activities affect marine ecosystems is more challenging. This includes the discharge of waste, construction activity, and reclamation projects to create artificial islands.

Fishing communities maintain they are not solely to blame for the loss of marine species. Recreational fishing is common and unregulated in Seychelles. Marine stocks are also affected by rising sea temperatures and water pollution.

According to Accouche, a big problem in the effective management of marine areas is the mistrust between fishing communities and the government. For years, fishers have grappled with restrictions being imposed from the top. The conservation objectives of the new MPAs will only be achieved if fishers believe it is in their best interests to comply with restrictions, she said.

To minimize the new protections impact on fishing communities, some NGOs like Marine Conservation Society Seychelles work with communities to create temporal protected areas (TPAs) that will permit some activity during parts of the year. Seychelles beaches serve as seasonal nesting sites for green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). TPAs restrict certain activities during certain critical time periods and also mitigate threats faced by sea turtles during the nesting and hatching season; poaching of nesting females and disturbance of nests and emerging hatchlings, Somers and Didon from the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles said.

Enforcing the new protections

Regulating activities in Zone 2 of the recently announced MPAs, where activities are allowed but subject to regulation, will be more difficult, experts said.

The National Information Sharing and Coordination Centre (NISCC) in Seychelles, together with other agencies, has been monitoring the countrys EEZ and surveilling MPAs. The agency will implement a five-year marine spatial plan that will be rolled out next year, covering not just the MPAs but the entire EEZ of Seychelles

The five-year plan would include using more innovative methods to monitor MPAs, such as satellites and drones, said Leslie Benoiton, who heads the NISCC. The plan will also focus on developing human resources and capacity for overseeing MPAs and educating and sensitizing communities, he said.

A technology-intensive approach, however, will come at a cost.

The funds secured through the debt-for-nature deal might not be enough to guarantee protection. To effectively manage such an extensive MPA network would require somewhere between $75 and $106 per square kilometer every year, according to an estimate from Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT), the entity created to channel the funds freed by the debt deal to the Seychelles government. At the top end of that range, the cost to effectively manage the massive swath of area now under protection would cost about $42 million a year.

Though the Seychelles government also sets aside funds for marine management, it is not nearly enough, so it is seeking grants and loans to secure the MPAs. To ensure effective coordination between the multiple agencies involved in overseeing the now-complete MPA network, the government is establishing a new body, the Seychelles Ocean Authority. It is also considering imposing an environmental levy of $10 on tourists a small price to pay for those seeking solace in a country where you can literally book your own slice of beach.

(Banner Image: One of the small rocky islands that make up the Seychelles archipelago. Image courtesy The Ocean Agency)

Malavika Vyawahare is a staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @MalavikaVy

FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.

[* Editors note: The article has been updated to clarify the kind of shark species that were sighted off the Seychelles coast.]

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Coronavirus Strands Spring Breaker Travelers in St. Barth and Anguilla –

Posted: March 24, 2020 at 7:49 pm

Although the two small islands are separated by only 27 miles of Caribbean sea and both are high-end, beach-ringed sanctuaries for East Coasters, Anguilla and St. Barth could not be more different. Anguilla is where billionaires go to get their beach bum on; St. Barth is where they go in high season to flaunt their mega yachts.

Each has its aficionados, who sometimes deign a day trip to their neighbor (about 40 minutes by boat), while remaining set in their affinity. But on the weekend of March 13start of college and private school spring break and high season par excellencethe most devoted among them, those who had not cancelled hotel and villa reservations despite intensifying Coronavirus uncertainties, found themselves in the same boat: desperately trying to figure out how to flee paradise and get back home.

Its eerie when something is so beautiful you think surely its the safest place to be, but then suddenly youre told its not, said New York-based jewelry designer and philanthropist Brooke Garber Neidich, who has been coming to St. Bart's for 35 years and arrived on March 14 to check on the progress on a house she and her husband are building on the islands Baie des Flamands, next to LVMHs newly expanded Cheval Blanc St. Bart's hotel. Neidich and her husband were among the fortunate.

We came by charter," she added. "We figured, well, [if things go south], we can always turn around and leaveand we did! she said.

Juan Camilo BernalGetty Images

But for others things would get rougher by the day. On March 12, before most spring breakers had arrived, St. Maarten banned flights and passengers from Germany from landing at its Princess Juliana International Airport. SXM, as its called for short, is a hub, along with San Juans Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU), for visitors to Anguilla and St. Barth. From there, they board connecting flights on smaller aircraft operated by the likes of Seabourne, Tradewinds Aviation, or Winair, or, if headed to Anguilla, they board a ferry from a dock near SXM.

By Saturday, March 14, St. Maarten announced it was banning all flights from the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States, effective Tuesday the 17. A day later, on March 15, France announced a lockdown. What ensued was pure chaos.

St. Maarten said the airport would remain open so people could get off, said a Westchester-based Anguilla homeowner whod arrived on the island on Friday the 13th on JetBlue and had a return flight booked with them. But airlines promptly cancelled all flights both ways, including mine. While the hotels are mostly empty, there are people in villas, and quite a few private jets. But many of us are stranded. There was to my knowledge no get yourselves home order from the State Department until most countries had closed their borders and all remaining flights were fullor wildly overbooked.

On Anguilla, the homeowner continued, tourists and expats with houses have sorted into two groups, those who are getting out via various meansDelta or United via SXM, charter to Puerto Ricos SJU, etceteraand those who decided its safer here.

"If the airlines want a $50 billion bailout, they will need to prove themselves competent to spend it.

There are no COVID-19 cases diagnosed on Anguilla as yet and everyone with symptoms is being assiduously quarantined. Everyone assumes its here nonetheless, another frequent visitor said, but it has been impressive to see how the island has coped. There have been regular, clear announcements from the health department, premier, and governor, all with consistent facts and advice. Locals are concerned but calmthey have been through so much, what with the destruction of Hurricane Irma [which struck in 2017]. They have set up a service to shop for seniors. And some take-out places give you an appointment time for your pick up, so there are never more than two people shopping at once. Restaurants are open but distancing table. Not everyone is observing protocols, but more do so every day.

SeanPavonePhotoGetty Images

However, SXM Airport, my friend from Westchester said, was bedlamshed made two ferry trips there from Anguilla to catch flights on which shed re-booked herself but about whose cancellations she had not been notified.

Delta and Winair reps kept trying to pawn me off on each other. And there were no signs of Seabourne or JetBlue staff in the terminal. I looked because I would have liked to strangle one. I realize this is an unprecedented situation, but none of the airlines has covered itself with glory," she said.

"I am fit, well-off, have a place to stay back on Anguilla, had just a carry on, and can speak up for myself. If any of those had been different, I would have been far worse off. If the airlines want a $50 billion bailout, they will need to prove themselves competent to spend it. And they must have an obligation of care toward passengers, as in the E.U.

On St. Barth, Olivia Junieres was not going anywhereshe lives there and owns a consultancy/concierge company on the island, the O Agency. When I spoke to her last week, she said she had seen from her office window one Tradewinds flight from Puerto Rico landing earlier in the day on St. Barth's notoriously perilous (and picturesque) tiny airstrip.

Its eerie when something is so beautiful you think surely its the safest place to be, but then suddenly youre told its not.

But otherwise, the island is almost completely shut down. Our Bucket Regatta, which marks the high season for us and happens this week, was cancelled. Its the source of much of the annual income for many local businesses. The hotels are now closed through April 1, as are the restaurants and all but essential services. But Im fairly certain that another 15- to 30-day quarantine will be announced soon. (St. Bart's to date has three confirmed coronavirus cases.)

Studio Borlenghi/ALeAGetty Images

Richard Mishaan, an interior designer based in New York, had rented a villa for his stay and arrived on St. Bart's via St. Maarten on March 14. At SXM, we saw an Air France plane that was sealed and grounded; there were five Germans aboard and they were being isolated, I was told. Once on St. Bart's, we had dinner with friends at Mayas (the popular see-and-be-seen spot on Gustavia harbor) and woke on Sunday to the news that the St. Maarten airport is closed to all incoming flights. That started to make us very uncomfortable. I was able to get flights to get back home the following day through Puerto Rico, but other friends had to wait until Wednesday, and some until Thursday. In San Juan, national guardsmen were taking peoples temperature at random. And the immigration officer told us that they had locked down the flights after ours.

Anguilla closed its port to passengers on midnight Friday, March 20, although cargo will continue coming in, if on a reduced schedule. French citizens on St. Barth and all other French Caribbean territories (there were still a few on Guadeloupe and Saint-Martin, Junieres told me) had to return home by last night, Sunday, March 22.


Neidich, back in New York, is self-quarantining from her two-year-old grandson. He doesnt understand social distancing, she said, laughing. But I was at dinner with nine people at Tamarind [another popular St. Bart's spot] on Sunday. We sat at a round table. We didnt hug or kiss, but we were not 6 feet apart.

There is wide concern about the local St. Barth economy. The major hotels make money here through Aprilthat is now largely ruined," Junieres said. "Normally, they stay open through the summer as well, to accommodate the mainly French clientele that arrives here between July 15 and August 15whoever is not going to St. Tropez, or Greece, or Ibiza that year. They are able to stay open then because of the money they made in the early spring and the real money they start making again in November. Their not opening in the summer will affect restaurants and other businesses here.

"And this, she sighed, was going to be our first normal winter and spring since 2016. [Irma wreaked devastation in 2017.] But I believe the owner crowd will be back as soon as soon as they can. They are having work done on their houses.

My friend from Anguilla returned home on the last flight out on Friday night from St. Maarten, on United to Newark, New Jersey. If one more person on the plane talked about the last choppers getting out of Saigon in 1975, I would have coughed on them," she said. "Everyone at the ferry or airport had a story about canceled flights, crazy itineraries (one family with a bunch of kids was flying to St. Kitts and just hoping for an onward flight), and lack of communication from airlines and the U.S. government.

As for the COVID-19 situation on Anguilla, still no positive diagnoses, she said. "But there are concerns about Anguillans who came home last week, including 24 students, who were told to self-isolate and are not. But as one local told me, everyone knows who they are and runs away from them.

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17 Stellar Female Chefs Share What Advice Theyd Give To Their Younger Selves – Forbes

Posted: at 7:49 pm

Though March has turned out to be a very difficult one for the restaurant and hospitality industry, that doesnt mean we cant honor the incredible female restaurateurs around the country transforming the culinary scenes around them! March is Womens History Month and in celebration, weve decided to gather the best advice 17 chefs would give to their younger selves and share this insight during a chaotic time when we could all use some positivity and motivation. After all, hind sight is 20/20, right?

From entrepreneurs, business owners and visionaries to former Chopped champions, James Beard Award finalists and so much more, these chefs have had a whole lot of experiences to get them to where they are today. Without further ado, heres what words of wisdom theyd share with their younger selves.

Chef and Co-Owner Kathy Fang, Fang Restaurant

Chef and Co-Owner Kathy Fang, Fang Restaurant

San Francisco native Kathy Fang grew up in the kitchen of her familys restaurant, House of Nanking, before opening Fang Restaurant with her father in 2009 as co-owner and chef. An up-and-coming culinary star, Kathy has competed on a number of Food Network shows including Cutthroat Kitchen, Guys Grocery Games, and is a two-time CHOPPED champion.

I would have told myyoungerself to go work at more restaurants and gain mentorship from variouschefsI admire. The guidance and exposure to other restaurants help you grow as a chef with a broader background. I would have told myself to invest more time in developing and expanding my network in the hospitality industry as your connections and network in this field can help you with opportunities you otherwisemay not come across.

Chef Susan Lassalette, Pine Ridge Vineyards

Chef Susan Lassalette, Pine Ridge Vineyards

Chef Susan Lassalette is the winery chef at Pine Ridge Vineyards in Napa Valleys renowned Stags Leap District, where she collaborates with the winemaking team to enhance the wines with each dish of her flavorful menus. After transitioning from the fashion world to a culinary career, Chef Lassalette served as head chef at several popular California restaurants such as chef de cuisine at Insalatas in San Anselmo.

When I began in the kitchen, I was in my late twenties and came from a career as a fashion stylist. I felt as though I had to make up for lost time and was determined to work my way up the ranks. In retrospect, I would tell myyoungerself to take my time. Looking back at my work life, I have found at times it is best to stop for a moment and reflect on where you are reevaluate what is important to you, and where you want to go. It may differ from the original path you set out on.

Flicka McGurrin, Pier 23 Cafe Restaurant & Bars Owner

Flicka McGurrin, Pier 23 Cafe Restaurant & Bars Owner

Flicka McGurrin, a 5th generation San Franciscan, has owned Pier 23 Cafe Restaurant & Bar on the Embarcadero in San Francisco for 35 years. Flicka McGurrin has paved the way forfemalebusiness owners in the restaurant industry, starting out as one of the only catering companies in San Francisco around the 70s, to now owning a San Francisco Legacy Business.

"Go for it! I think if you research it and try to understand what the business is all about you might get discouraged and you might chicken out.There are some mitigating factors. You have to make smart choices. You cant just open up in a dark alley and think somethings going to happen.Location is the most important thing.

Chef Eva de Gil, Telefric Barcelona

Chef Eva de Gil, Telefric Barcelona

Chef Eva de Gil is known for her roles on Top Chef Spain and The Real Master Chef China. She has worked her way from three Michelin starred Akelare, to the opening team of Cotton House Hotel, and now as restaurant chef of Palo Altos Telefric Barcelona sharing her love and passion for Spanish cuisine.

Having the knowledge I have now, the bestadviceI wouldgivemyyoungerself is to be more patient with myself and take things step by step instead of trying to do everything at once and be overwhelmed. I would tell myself to practice setting a goal, creating an action plan short term and long term. That way, you feel accomplished in the smell steps that are moving you toward your main goal.

Pastry Chef Tania Harris, The Lazy Goat

Pastry Chef Tania Harris, The Lazy Goat

A native of Mexico City, Chef Tania Harris is the Pastry Chef at The Lazy Goat, in Greenville, South Carolina. Tania was also a 2019 South Carolina Chef Ambassador.

"Work hard, stay true to yourself and trust your instincts. Throughout my career I feel like I've been challenged by different situations and sometimes because of fear I almost didn't take a chance and just go for it. Now I start to see the results of my hard work and I realize that the decisions I took were the correct ones and I shouldn't have second guessed myself."

Executive Chef Jenifer Rogers, Passerelle Bistro

Executive Chef Jenifer Rogers, Passerelle Bistro

Executive Chef Jenifer Rogers restaurant,Passerelle Bistro, was named one of the most romantic restaurants in the world (CNN Travel).

"Don't be a hot head, for the most part your coworkers and employees are doing their best to do everything correctly for you. Be confident in your knowledge but do not ever rest on what you currently know; always read, learn and grow, not only from books and articles, but from every person around you. Be a sponge and ask the questions. You are more powerful than you know; when you think you can't work another hour, breakdown another chicken or deal with another coworker, push through because there is a reward."

Chef and Co-owner Karin Feeny, Kitchen Sync

Chef and Co-owner Karin Feeny, Kitchen Sync

Karin Feeny is the Chef and Co-owner of Kitchen Sync the nations #1 Independently Owned Green Certified Restaurant; specializing in farm-fresh, scratch-made fare served with extraordinary hospitality.

Be true to yourself. My path to restaurant ownership would have been far easier to navigate had I gone to culinary school. Instead of pursuing my dream of going to culinary school after graduating high school, I applied to a traditional four-year university. It just seemed like that was what was expected of me. Of course, now I know that doing what is expected may not always be whats right and best. Follow your passion and dont worry about what everyone else is doing.

Executive Chef & Pastry Chef Mari Katsumura, Ygen

Executive Chef & Pastry Chef Mari Katsumura, Ygen

Executive Chef & Pastry Chef Mari Katsumurais the daughter of the beloved Chef Yoshi Katsumura and opened Ygen to much acclaim, earning a Michelin star before just one year in business.

Throughout my career, I know I havent been a perfect employee or leader it has taken many years of reflection and constant reevaluation of my behavior to be where I am today. I think as a younger cook, I allowed my emotions and sensitivity to scenarios to govern my professional responses by making more reactive and impulsive decisions.

I try to pause now and be more deliberate with my words and tone when it comes to most communication. Another thing that young cooks or young leaders do not necessarily practice is healthy boundaries with work/life balance. I try to be more aware of this in my older age, since working in the food world is incredibly demanding and stressful in a lot of ways.

Pastry Chef Danielle Marelli, Travelle at The Langham

Pastry Chef Danielle Marelli,Travelle at The Langham

Pastry Chef Danielle Marellitakes on her position with energy and passion to deliver superior desserts, producing all components for plated desserts including ice cream and sorbets, as well as creating wedding cakes and custom cakes for on-site weddings and functions.

Advice I would give my younger self is to always do whats best for yourself. Block out all the noise and doubts and focus on whats best for you and makes you happiest. Everyone around you will have an opinion and that will never change, but so long as youre true to yourself and listening to what you want, success will follow and it will be your own.

Co-Owner and Executive Chef Christine Cikowski, Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Co-Owner and Executive Chef Christine Cikowski, Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Co-owner and Executive Chef Christine Cikowskihas received two consecutive Jean Banchet nominations for Chef of the Year in 2018 and 2019. Christine has worked closely on activist and community initiatives with Pilot Light, RAISE, the James Beard Foundation, Chicagos Green City Market, The Mayors Task Force for Working Families, and Step Up Womens Network, where shes held the position of chef chair for four years.

Things I wish I had known then that I know now: Assume positive intent. Its possible that someone screwed up/wronged you/is being difficult, but lets not start there. Start from a place of assuming positive intent. Assume that everyone is just doing the best they can.

Owner and Executive Chef Ann Ahmed, Lat14

Owner and Executive Chef Ann Ahmed, Lat14

Owner and Executive Chef Ann Ahmedhas received numerous local accolades, including being namedStar TribunesMaverick of the Year in 2019, and Lat14 being namedMinneapolis/St. Paul MagazinesBest Restaurant of the Year in 2019 and one of Eater Twin Cities 38 Essential Restaurants Winter 2020. Ann is also a fellow in the James Beard Foundations Womens Entrepreneurial Leadership program.

Ask more questions! I always felt that I had to settle for whatever answer I was given.Give yourself creditI shouldve been my own cheerleader.No one will cheer as loud as you cheering for yourself.Be confidentmy business was everything to me, yet I wasnt confident in my brand and my story (a story that was my life, and it was real but I always thought no one was interested in a little refugee girl).

Trust your gutnot everyone that you encounter will have good intentions, but your intuition is better than you know. And know that if you did something out of the kindness of your heart, youve made the right choice.Dare to be differentits okay to stand out, just make sure you stand tall. If I wouldve had the confidence 15 years ago, I wouldve probably been the first to open up a Laotian restaurant, which is currently the strongest trend in 2020.

Chef de Cuisine Mariya Russell, Kumiko and Kikk

Chef de Cuisine Mariya Russell, KumikoandKikk

Chef de Cuisine Mariya Russell was named Rookie of the Year for 2019 in Chicago Tribunes Dining Awards; Best Chef de Cuisine at the 2020 Jean Banchet Awards; and is a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards 2020 in the category of Best Chef: Great Lakes. She was also awarded the Outstanding Culinary Achievement Award by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White during the 2020 African American Heritage Month Celebration. In September 2019, Kikk was awarded its first Michelin star less than five months after the space opened, making Russell the first black woman to earn a Michelin star in history.

I would tell my younger self not to be afraid, and that you are so much stronger than you think! And Id remind myself to spend time with my dad. And also to listen, love, and take care of yourself every day.

Owner and Chef Samantha Fore, Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites

Owner and Chef Samantha Fore,TukTuk Sri Lankan Bites

Lexington, KY-based Chef Samantha Fore has developed a cult following for her Sri Lankan pop-ups, TukTukSri Lankan Bites, marrying traditional Kentucky cuisine with Sri Lankan-inspired flavors and ingredients. Her work has been featured on the cover of Food & Wine, and she is a regular fixture at Brown in the South dinners, a roving dinner series that brings together South Asian chefs cooking in the southeastern United States.

Be patient. I spent time in a number of different vocations just trying to find the one that felt right. I finally was honest with myself about being miserable in one of my gigs, and that led me to my truly fulfilling job its the dream. Patience is often overlooked or ignored, but it tends to bring the most clarity.

Chef Naomi Kimani, TRIBAL

Chef Naomi Kimani, TRIBAL

Chef Naomi Kimani has been working at Niyama Private Islands Maldives as a Sous Chef at TRIBALthe only Afro Latin restaurant in Maldives since August 2017. She has over 15 years of work experience, having worked in Africa, Middle East and Asia and has had the opportunity to learn from the best in the industry.

Remain curious and trust in your abilities. Nothing is impossible if you focus on your end goal".

Chef Casey Thompson

Partner and Executive Chef Casey Thompson, Georgette

Chef Casey Thompson was a fan favorite and finalist on Top Chef and helped open and served as the executive chef at Brownstone Restaurant in Fort Worth, TX and later Aveline restaurant and The European Bar & Lounge in San Francisco. Georgette is a new Sonoma restaurant slated to open late summer/fall of 2020

"If I had a conversation with my younger chef self, I would tell myself to have gone abroad to cook. I waited until I was older, more concerned with having a 'vacation' with cooking involved. When you are young, you are so carefree, less prideful, and you don't care where you sleep. You are a sponge when you are young. It is so important to work with people from all over the world. You learn so much and it will take you a long way in your career..."

Chef Wiparat Pratumma, Nest

Chef Wiparat Pratumma, Nest

Chef Wiparat Pratumma, has been working at Niyama Private Islands Maldives as a Sous chef at Nest for 2 years and 6 months. She joined Natures Playground as Chef de parties and through her exemplary culinary and leadership skills she was promoted to a Sous chef in October 2018.

Follow your dream, believe in yourself and dontgiveup.

Manresa Bread. Avery Ruzicka

Partner and Head Baker Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread

Over the span of seven years, Avery has built Manresa Bread from an overnight baking project to a full-scale enterprise with two bakery locations, an all-day caf, 24-hour commissary, and nationwide shipping capabilities. Avery was also 2019 James Beard Award finalist in the Outstanding Baker category.

When I was a young I would always tell myself I was working hard to get to where I wanted to be. I was working for free to get into the best kitchens I could. I was working 7 days a week to gain experience. I was saying no to anything outside of work to stay focused.

If I could, I would tell myself that I was already there. I was in three-star kitchens, I was surrounded by talented and focused cooks. Id found a career I loved, and wish I had taken time to enjoy being in the moment more than worrying that I needed to be more experienced, or more committed, or more in any way. I was too busy thinking I was not enough to realize I was and that I had my dream job.

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17 Stellar Female Chefs Share What Advice Theyd Give To Their Younger Selves - Forbes

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How coronavirus is affecting the super-rich:billionaires search for country estates and islands to avoid Covid-19 – Homes and Property

Posted: at 6:07 am

Billionaires are in a class of their own when it comes to coronavirus avoidance tactics, according to Penny Mosgrove, chief executive of top peoples property services specialist, Quintessentially Estates.

She says her phone has been hot with requests from the super-rich searching for Scottish castles, mansions with bunkers, Cotswolds manor houses with moats, uninhabited Caribbean islands to buy, superyachts for a long charter and private jets to get clients home from abroad without their having to go near international airports.

Mosgrove says: Thoughtful billionaires are hitting a romantic note. Instead of sending his girlfriend flowers, one client has asked us todeliver a bouquet made up of hand sanitiser, face masks, wipes and, of course flowers.

But one of the more bemusing requests was a long-standing client who was returning from abroad. He has a 35 million mansion in Mayfair. He asked me if I could find him an apartment to rent. When I asked what was wrong with his house, he said he didnt want to return to it in case he infected the premises.

He is currently looking at a four-bedroom duplex in Grosvenor Square for a rent of 18,000 a month.

Another client wants a new home with a large spa for his wife who will be having beauty treatments at home in future.

Private islands have suddenly become popular, too. One client is taking a private jet to the Caribbean to view le de Caille four miles off the coast of Grenada. Location is everything its 15 miles from the airport.

The choice of islands for sale is vast. If Greece is your preference, Patroklos, an easy hop from Athens, would be perfect. It has 250 acres of fertile land, 150 sheep and 5,000 olive trees. Price on request but who cares?

There is also an Ionian island with 1,100 acres for 45 million. And if you are feeling particularly paranoid you could ask the sole occupant to leave. Hes a shepherd.

Mosgrove adds: As buying agents and advisers, we are used to unusual requests. But these are a bit extreme.

European favourites for billionaires are the Balearics. She is arranging for a client to view a 25 million house in Majorca.

Meanwhile, private tutors are in for a pay rise.

We are receiving requests from parents taking their children out of school for home tuition, says Mosgrove. And we have seen a big demand for places in UK boarding schools. Expat parents are locking up their daughters."


How coronavirus is affecting the super-rich:billionaires search for country estates and islands to avoid Covid-19 - Homes and Property

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