Archives for March 2014

Papa’s Pilar Bitter’s & Blonde

Papa’s Pilar, the new super-premium rum inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s spirit of adventure. Both the Dark and Blond are award winners and we’ve recently had the pleasure of sampling both.

“Papa’s Pilar is the only rum supplier utilizing a solera that contains rums of various ages and sources of supply – each unique in their own right, ” said Jay Maltby, lead master blender, Papa’s Pilar. “This exclusive process creates a one of kind liquid that is singular in its creation and final product.

Although we enjoyed both the Dark and Blonde over just a piece of ice, we thought we’d give a couple of recipes a try. This is the first one we’ve tried – and thoroughly enjoyed!

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Bitter’s & Blonde
(makes one – we doubled the recipe below for the tall glass)

1.5 oz Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum
3 oz. Ginger beer
Angostura bitters
Lime Wheel garnish

Build over crushed ice. Top with a few drops of Angostura bitters. Garnish with lime wheel.

(Recipe by Bryan Dayton)

To find out more about Papa’s Pilar Dark & Blonde Rum,
Check out their website:
and Facebook page:
Papa’s Pilar

Vacation Anticipation

As I sit at my desk and try to craft an interesting post on something travel related, all I  can do is daydream about an upcoming tropical adventure. As these thoughts have pretty much taken over my brain today, I thought I’d write a little bit about – Vacation Anticipation…

Looking forward to vacation?

For me, a case of Vacation Anticipation usually sets in about a month before departure. At that point I start to think about the feel of the warm Caribbean sunshine on my pasty winter skin, jumping like a kid again into the clear turquoise water and letting the sound of the waves and the coqui frogs lull me to sleep.

The lists begin at that point.
Miniature toothpaste tube – check
Extra camera cards – check
unscreen – double check.

As the time gets a little closer, I accumulate a little pile of things to pack in the corner of my room. I start to think about the taste of a cold and fruity rum punch while sitting on a comfortable lounge chair in the sand with a perfect view of the water.

Music – check.

Sunglasses – check, check.

I can almost taste the Caribbean Lobster or conch.

Vacation Anticipation 4 - O
And I can certainly close my eyes and see a perfect Caribbean sunset…

Vacation Anticipation 5
So is Vacation Anticipation a blessing or unnecessary mental gymnastics?

Given the fact that the actual vacation comes and goes before you know it, I’ve grown a bit fond of my Vacation Anticipation. Why? It allows me to get in and enjoy that vacation state of mind for a longer period of time…

And, upon my return, I immediately do what anyone else with a Tropical Obsession does. (Find out if you have a Tropical Obsession here)
I begin planning my next vacation the day I get back from the last one!

Do you experience Vacation Anticipation too? Tell us about it!


Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2014
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Beaches Negril Resort & Spa, Jamaica

We are lucky enough to have spent many great years traveling with our two fun and adventurous kids, but now they’re grown and we travel as a couple – or with friends, most of whom have grown children of their own. So how did we end up at Beaches Negril Resort & Spa, chosen as the #1 Hotel for Families in the Caribbean for 2013?

Well, due to unforeseen circumstances during a trip last fall to Jamaica, we did – and loved it!

Beaches-9-O One of  2 pools at Beaches

We were a little skeptical at first, thinking it would not be a relaxing 5 days, listening to screaming kids and sitting amidst a Disney type of environment, but we didn’t find that to be the case at all. Perhaps because Beaches Negril sits on a lushly landscaped 20 acres right on Seven Mile Beach, it seemed as if there was room for kids to be kids and for adults to relax and enjoy the sunshine and scenery.

What did we enjoy about our stay at Beaches? We’ll show you!


Welcome rum punch (made with Appleton of course!) while checking in

Open air lobby

Waiting area just off of lobby

Well -appointed, comfortable room with mini bar, coffeemaker and deck

All-inclusive! Choose from a variety of delicious offerings at 7 specialty restaurants

Cafe de Paris offered specialty coffees and fresh pastries, desserts and ice cream

Plenty of room and not very crowded

Friendly bartenders at 6 bars (2 swim up bars)

Lounge chairs and lounge beds on the beach for total relaxation

Right on beautiful Seven-Mile Beach

Use of a variety of water toys

Rum with a view

And the thing we liked most about our time there…

Seeing families enjoy spending time together while enjoying the beautiful Caribbean.

Although we were traveling without kids, we enjoyed our stay at Beaches Negril Resort & Spa. Looking for an adult-only resort? Beaches Resorts are the family friendly properties of Sandals Resorts. Sandals Negril Beach Resort and Spa is also located on beautiful Seven-Mile Beach and offers an all-inclusive adult only experience.

Find Beaches Negril Resort & Spa on our Jamaica Map

To see more posts on Jamaica and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory


Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2014
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Are You a Vacation Reader?

Flying down to the tropics a couple of months ago, I sat next to a young woman anxious to get to her destination for the week to relax and unwind. I asked her what she liked to do to relax and unwind on vacation and she said she was most excited to find a quiet spot in the shade on the beach, curl up and read – non-stop she said, for the whole week.

She had chosen a book a day and started the first vacation read on the plane on the way down. She asked what books I had enjoyed lately and what books I brought down to read and I was a little embarrassed to say I just had a few trashy magazines that I’d purchased at the airport to thumb through. “Ahhh,” she said. “Not a reader, huh?”

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Ouch. Well, I actually am a reader. Really. It’s just that I’m not a huge vacation reader! Even though “reading material” is on my Tropical Vacation Packing List, I tend to leave the choosing and packing of it until all other essentials such as cameras, music, sunscreen, rum money, etc., are tucked safely in place.

To be honest with you, reading while on vacation is not my favorite thing to do. I love reading stories at home that help me escape to the tropics, like I’m Gonna Live My Life Like a Jimmy Buffett Song (Di Island Song Series, Volume 1) (actually the whole series by Anthony Bjorklund) and Leap of Faith: Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat by Ed Robinson and A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean – written by Melinda and Robert Blanchard, owner’s of Blanchard’s Beach Shack in Anguilla, but when I’m on a tropical vacation, I find it a little hard to keep my face buried in a book. Although… I’ve got to admit that escaping into a great story while lounging in a hammock under a coconut tree and sipping on a pina colada can at times be, well, relaxing….

So, as I pack for an upcoming adventure, I have a goal. I’m going to try and read one book this trip. Probably one short book, but nonetheless one book.

If that goes well, I may even begin shopping for an electronic reader. My voraciously reading friend on the plane said that’s the way to go. That way I wouldn’t have to choose a book based on size and whether it would fit in my luggage, right? She recommended the following three.  Any feedback based on experience?

Kindle paperwhite1. Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers

Nook Simple Touch Glowlight12.Barnes & Noble NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight, Wi-Fi, 2GB, Includes Power Adapter

kobo glo3. Kobo Glow Digital Text Reader

Are you a vacation reader?
If so, perhaps you can give me some thoughts on a great, easy, light, fun, short book I can get for our next trip! :)


Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2014
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Buccaneer Beach Bar, St. Maarten

The Buccaneer Beach Bar on the Dutch side of St. Maarten has a great location right on beautiful Kim Sha Beach in Simpson Bay.

With a big beautiful deck overlooking Simpson Bay and plenty of lounge chairs waiting for you in the soft, white sand, it’s a great place to spend the day. The grill is open from 5:00 – 10:00p.m. and serves up a variety of delicious fare from cheeseburgers to fresh seafood sandwiches. Fresh pizza is served in the evening.

View from the deck (photo: Buccaneer Beach Bar)

At night the bar gets busy and while sipping your favorite rum or other cold beverage, you can enjoy the sound of live music several times a week and the soft glow of the fireball on the beach on Friday and Sunday evenings.

Fireball on the beach

During the day, enjoy the sunshine, soft sand and beautiful blue water.

Ready to go enjoy a beverage at the Buccaneer Beach Bar?

Find out more on their website: Buccaneer Beach Bar, St. Maarten

Find Buccaneer Beach Bar on our St. Maarten/St. Martin Map

To see more posts on St. Maarten and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory


Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2014
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Which Island Should I Choose for My Vacation?

We love to talk tropical travel and we love that you ask our opinion! But, the hardest question for us to answer is actually the one we get asked the most, “Which Island Should I Choose For My Vacation?”

Why is that a tough question? Although we’ve yet to meet an island we don’t like for some reason or another, everyone has such different vacation tastes.  Some want the best beaches, others want shopping or luxurious accommodations or absolute solitude. The best fishing, snorkeling, rum, diving, sailing, hiking, historical sites, foliage….the list goes on and on. Now that we’re actually helping people find and book their tropical vacations through Rum Therapy Vacations, we’ve been trying to come up with a method to help people select destinations based on different criteria, but decided the best thing to do is what we already do –  show you the islands through our photos and let you know what we’ve enjoyed – then you can see what areas you might be interested in visiting!

Below we’ve listed many of the islands we’ve recently been to and just a few key words of what we’ve really enjoyed about that island. Some are links to articles we’ve written on that destination with additional pictures. There are many additional GREAT things about each of these islands, but here are a few tips to start with. 

Ready for a little tropiciation? Let’s go to the islands!

Some of the attractions/hotels/features on islands affected by Hurricanes Irma and Marie in the Fall of 2017 may have changed from when we initially wrote about them. If you have questions on their current condition, please contact us.

Shoal Bay, Anguilla

(see map)
Stunning, white sand beaches, Shoal Bay, Rendezvous Bay, Dune Preserve, excellent dining, great beach bars (see several in Sandy Ground), Gwen’s Reggae Grill, live music, luxurious accommodations, easy to explore on your own

Many (365 they say!) gorgeous beaches, Half Moon Bay, Dickenson Bay, Shirley Heights, Antiguan Smile Rum Drink, English Harbour Rum

Find a place to get “off the grid” in one of many out  islands, beautiful white and pink sand beaches, bonefishing and other fishing, snorkeling, peace and quiet, conch, variety of accommodations, swimming with the pigs, swimming with nurse sharks

Champer’s Restaurant

Excellent dining, Superb beaches, Crane Beach, Mount Gay & other Rum Factory Tours

White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands
(for individual maps of the British Virgin Islands, use the drop-down on the Island Map feature on our home page)

Fantastic sailing destination, secluded and beautiful beaches, Anegada Lobster Dinner on the beach, fantastic beach bars, Jost Van Dyke, White Bay, Willy T, Virgin Gorda, The Baths, Smuggler’s Cove, roti, easy to explore on your own, Sandy Spit, sunsets, Painkillers, Bubbly Pool, snorkeling, floating, Cane Garden Bay, full moon parties, crystal clear water, driving on Tortola, North Sound Virgin Gorda

Dominican-Repub-Golf-1---OCorales Golf Course

Dominican Republic
(see map)
Excellent golf, reasonably priced all-inclusive resorts,
Mamajuana, Coco Loco, long stretches of pretty beaches,
The 3 B’s – Bermudez, Brugal and Barcelo Rums


(see map)
All-Inclusive Resorts, Jerk Seasoning, 7 mile Beach, Floyd’s Pelican Bar, Blue Mountain Coffee, Waterfalls, Appleton Rum and Rum Factory Tour, Bob Marley Nine Mile Tour, Jamaican Smile, red snapper, Dirty Banana

Gustavia-Harbor-O Gustavia Harbour

St. Barthelemy
(see map)
Great place to yacht watch, high end shopping, excellent dining, beautiful beaches, homemade vanilla infused rhums, overlook of Gustavia Harbour, watching planes land on the very short runway!

Orient - Bikini Beach (600)Orient Beach, St. Martin

St. Maarten/St. Martin
(see map)
Gorgeous beaches on both the Dutch and French sides, clothing optional on some French side beaches, nightlife, great beach bars, watch planes land over your head at Sunset Beach Bar, Karakter Beach Bar, Marigot Market, Sarafina’s Bakery, street festivals in Grand Case, duty free shopping, we found it easy to explore on our own, wide range of accommodations, excellent dining options – especially in Grand Case, busy cruise ship stop – but because of that, there are many activities to choose from

Saltwhistle-1-(600)-OSaltwhistle Bay, Mayreau

St. Vincent and the Grenadines
(see map)
Excellent sailing destination, beautiful remote islands, gorgeous quiet beaches, filming location for some parts of the Pirates of the Caribbean,
Sunset Very Strong Rum, Tobago Cays, excellent snorkeling, turtles, clear turquoise blue water, Happy Island, Mopion, a few exquisite resorts, not busy, Petit Tabac

Pier-Pleasure-OPumpkin Bluff Beach, North Caicos

Turks and Caicos
(see map)
Spectacular white sand beaches, quiet and remote, great snorkeling, variety of accommodations, long beach walks, conch shells, sand dollars, cave exploring, Bambarra Rum, da Conch Shack, bonefishing, conch stew, fried conch, exploring secluded cays

Hawksnest-1-(600) Hawksnest Bay, St. John

US Virgin Islands
No passport needed for US citizens going to St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas – each island has it’s own personality and they’re easy to explore on your own

St. Croix
(see map)
Buck Island, Cruzan Rum Factory To
ur, Cruzan Rum,
Sandy Point Beach and Wildlife Preserve, Cruzan Confusion, Mt. Pellier Domino Club, seaplane from St. Croix to St. Thomas

St. John
(see map)
very beach on St. John, cheeseburgers at Skinny Legs, hiking, snorkeling, exploring the shops, restaurants and bars in Cruz Bay

 St. Thomas (see map)
Megans Bay, the view and banana daiquiris at Mountain Top
, Paradise Point Skyride, Bushwackers at the top, Duffy’s Love Shack, Lindquist Beach at Smith Bay, variety of accommodations, Bones Rum

Banana-Daiquiri.-OjpgView of Magens Bay (and a Banana Daiquiri) at Mountaintop, St. Thomas

So – any ideas on where YOU would like to go next?

For even more island posts, be sure to check out our Blog Directory by Island!


Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Francis Bay, St. John

Have you heard of Francis Bay, St. John? It may not be as well know as some of it’s other beach neighbors, but if you’re looking for a long beautiful beach that is usually not as crowded, it’s worth the drive.

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Overlook of Maho Bay (to the right) and Francis Bay (to the left)

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Francis Bay is just around a point from Maho Bay on St. John’s beautiful north shore. Park along the dirt road leading up to the beach.

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The beach at Francis Bay is a long stretch of light colored soft sand. It’s a gentle access into the water, and can be a bit pebbly in places where the water breaks on the shore.

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There are portable restrooms close to the parking lot, some bbq pits and a few picnic tables, but no other services, so be sure to pack in some food and drinks to enjoy during your stay there.

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The snorkeling can be very good at Francis – especially on the northernmost edge close to the rocks.

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Great swimming, great snorkeling, beautiful sunsets and a long, beautiful, quiet beach. We thought it was well worth the drive.

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Find Francis Bay on our St. John Map

To see more posts on St. John and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory


copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013, 2014
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC