Friday Feature: Korcula, Croatia

Korcula

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Korcula is sometimes described as one of Croatia’s most romantic and best kept secrets! It is known to the locals as “Little Dubrovnik” because similar to it’s “big brother”, Korcula is home to charming medieval squares, beautifully restored cathedrals and enchanting Renaissance-style buildings. However, due to it’s more remote location on Korcula island this little seaside town stays far less busy than other popular Croatia destinations. How do you get to this little slice of Croatian paradise? Hop a flight into Dubrovnik or Split then take a few hour long ferry ride to the beautiful island of Korcula!

Best Times to Visit: If you are looking to enjoy the Croatian sunshine, we recommend visiting Korcula during the months of June or September. During these months it’s warm enough to swim and plenty of sunshine but the heat is not as hot as other summer months!

Things to do:

Visit Old Town. This charming area of town is what gets Korcula it’s nickname as “Little Dubrovnik”. Old Town juts out onto a picturesque peninsula and has the medieval walls and beautiful Venetian-style buildings with the iconic red roofs. Wander the narrow streets and be sure to stop by the Korcula Town Museum to learn more about it’s history.

Visit the home of Marko Polo. Many believe that the ever famous world traveler and explorer, Marko Polo, was born on the island of Korcula. A portion of the old home is open for visitors to explore, but fees do apply! The home is open from April to October.

Get your heart pumping. Whether you prefer land or sea, there is something here for every active traveler. Because of the island’s position, Korcula is the perfect spot for avid windsurfers to catch the afternoon Maestral, or summer wind. If land is more your speed, cyclists flock from all over to cruise this island. Bike rentals are available just about everywhere and guided tours are also available.

Enjoy incredible wine and seafood! This seaside town to two of Croatia’s gastronomical specialities: seafood and wine! The southern Dalmation region is known for it’s award-winning white wines - Posip and Grk. These varieties are available at just about every restaurant on the island and is the perfect, refreshing flavor after a day in the sunshine.

For more information or ideas, click HERE.

Feature Hotels: Hotel Liburna, Hotel Korsal, Hotel Marko Polo

Things to know before you go…

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  • The town is easily walkable. So make sure to pack some comfy shoes for exploring!

  • Be aware of the season you visit. Croatia like most island’s in Europe become less appealing in the winter months because of cold, rainy weather and more stores and hotels shut down for the season.

  • Book early! If you are planning to travel during peak season it is important to plan ahead to reserve your hotels and ferry tickets before availability goes down!

  • It is a great homebase. Korcula may be a little smaller than other Croatian towns, but it is a great spot to call home during your time as it is located to some great nearby islands begging to be explored.

For more tips, click HERE.

Friday Feature: Slovenia

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Slovenia

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Slovenia is a lesser known country in Central Europe but just as beautiful as all of it’s better known neighbors! For Europeans, it is a great place to spend a holiday with it’s beautiful mountains, lakes, ski resorts, and quaint coastal towns. While this town offers travelers more than just the great outdoors, Slovenia is especially great for adventure seekers and outdoor lovers. How do you get to this small country? The only international airport is located in it’s capital city of Ljubljana - Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport. However, due to it’s small size only two carriers fly into this airport, Easy Jet and Wizzair, making a layover in a larger European city necessary.

Best Times to Visit: The best time to visit Slovenia is different for everyone depending on what you want to do! The alpine northwest sees abundant snow Decemeber - March, while warm, dry conditions May - September are ideal for climbing, hiking, cycling and adventure sports.

Things to do:

Spend time in the capital city of Ljubljana. Since most of the country consists of countryside and mountains, this is a great first stop to get a “city fix” before exploring the more remote areas. This capital city is still rather small so exploring by foot is easy. Make sure that you don’t leave before exploring the Ljubljana Castle!

Explore Lake Bled. This is the most second most visited place after Slovenia.. which is easy to understand why. Lake Bled is home to crystal clear waters, dense pine forests, and the beautiful island church iconic in so many pictures. One of the most popular excursions for visitors is to take a trip in traditional wooden boats to the island, climb the 99 steps up to the church, and then ring the church bell. Legend says that anyone who rings the bell will have their dreams come true.

Go river rafting on the Soča River. The Soča River has beautiful emerald green waters, breathtaking mountain views, and some serious white water rafting along it’s path. The best waters are in the far northwest part of the country, in and around Žaga. If you are brave enough to take on the river, there are several companies offering organized trips down the river by raft.

Hit the beach. When you research this country, it’s hard not to find dozens of pictures of the beautiful rivers, mountains, and country… But this country truly has something for everyone, including a beach! The town of Piran rests on the Adriatic Sea and is home to the country’s most prestigious seaside resort of Portoroz. The elegant town is a great stop for some rest and relaxation!

For more information or ideas, click HERE.

Feature Hotel: Intercontinental Ljubljana, Vila Bled, Grand Hotel Sava Rogaska

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Things to know before you go…

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  • It is a melting pot. Slovenian is highly influenced by nearby countries of Italy and Austria, so you'll find plenty of restaurants serving Wiener schnitzel or pizza!

  • It is relatively cheap to travel. Due to it’s smaller size, getting around the country is easy. But it is also generally less expensive than it’s nearby neighbors of Switzerland, Austria, or Italy.

  • Most speak English. The national language of Slovenia is quite simply Slovenian, but most locals speak English as well.

For more tips, click HERE.

Friday Feature: Sardinia, Italy

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Sardinia

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If you have “been there, done that” in Italy and are looking for something new, consider Sardinia for your next getaway! Famous for it’s pristine beaches and incredible water, this large Mediterranean island offers a perfect escape for romance travelers or adventure seekers. How do you get to this little slice of paradise? To get to Sardinia, most travelers fly from Italian or European cities into one of Sardinia's three main airports, located on the outskirts of Cagliari, Olbia and Alghero.

Best Times to Visit: Unless you're a fan of scorching temperatures and vacation crowds, the best time to visit Sardinia is the shoulder months of April to May and September to October. It's still warm enough to swim in the sea and infinitely better for taking to the country's biking and hiking trails.

Things to do:

Explore the Costa Smeralda. Sardinia’s “emerald coast” is on a similar level of the French Riviera or Lake Como. It is common to see the wealthy or famous Europeans retreating to this escape on holiday! Spend time marveling at the expansive waterfront villas, suntan among it’s incredible beaches, or get a sense for the party scene at an all night disco!

Cruise the grottoes of Golfo di Orosei. This is where all the incredible cliffside beach pictures of Sardinia originate from, and rightfully so as this area on the island’s central-east coast is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Mediterranean! Bring your camera and cruise through these grottoes, beaches, and coves aboard a gommone, or zodiac raft.

Sample Cannanou, Bottarga and Carasau. There is not a region of Italy you can travel to that isn’t proud of it’s traditional food and wine - Sardinia is no exception. While you are there, be sure to sample it’s traditional dishes: Cannanou - a hearty red made from Grenache grapes, Bottarga - a spaghetti dish made with mullet roe, Carasau - a thin, crispy bread served on just about every table you eat at!

Visit the ruins of Nora or Tharros. These seaside ruins date back to 1,000 BCE and were inhabited over time by Nuragic peoples, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Romans. All of these inhabitants left their marks making the sites especially interesting to history buffs.

For more information and ideas, click HERE.

Feature Hotel: Paradise Resort and Spa, Villa Las Tronas Hotel & Spa, Costa dei Fiori

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Things to Know Before You Go…

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  • This island is tiny. Sardinia is a region of Italy with one of the lowest population densities! So if crowds aren’t your thing, this is a great option!

  • The Sardinian’s know how to party. There is almost always something going on on the island because every village has its own religious festivals, with some going on for days.

  • When driving country roads, animals have the right of way. Always.

    Click HERE for more great options!

Our Recent Visit: Chileno Bay

Our travel designer, Robin, just got back from a conference week in Los Cabos where she had the opportunity to visit the fabulous Chileno Bay! This resort is so baja chic and luxurious that it scream quintessential Cabo!

Continue reading to see some of her favorite parts of the property:


Why I went:

I had a conference in Cabo but wanted to make sure I explored nearby properties during my time… At the top of my list: Chileno Bay!! Just a quick social media search will show you why. This resort is fabulous for just about all kinds of travelers - families, couples, multi generation, the list goes on. But one of my favorite parts? It is one of the few Cabo resorts located on a swimmable beach!!

What I loved:

Every single aspect on this property is perfectly curated and manicured to give you this awesome baja California vibe! I can honestly say there isn’t much I didn’t completely fall in love with during my time on the property… so narrowing it down to the main facts will be extremely hard.

The infinity pools pouring out to this crystal clear ocean waves makes you want to immediately dive in upon arrival. But if that isn’t enough to make you relax, there spa is almost exclusively outdoors and truly immerses you in the Mexican culture through tailored services based them. They also have an awesome schedule of group fitness classes so that you don’t have to feel guilty on vacation - sunrise beach yoga anyone?!

Another huge perk of this resort is the swimmable beach! They have access to the beach club which rents out water-sports equipment to guests (paddleboards, kayaks, etc.) so that you can experience and explore the beautiful Sea of Cortez. This is also great for guests traveling with the kiddos!

How I slept:

The rooms and villas are so clean and welcoming they invite you to get comfortable, which I love about hotel rooms! I want the hotel designer to come to my house! The bathroom features beautifully handcrafted tile that starts on the floor and travels up the walls in the showers and stand alone tubs… Amazing! Want something even more romantic? Most of the rooms feature an outdoor shower that has all the privacy you need while experiencing the freedom of the great outdoors!

Depending on how many guests are in your party, they have a room category that perfectly fits everyone. The villas (for larger groups) feature a beautiful and expansive open kitchen that can make the property feel more like home. Not into cooking on vacation? Great, the private chef is happy to spend the evening cooking for you or doing a fun meal prep night with kids! Also, the plunge pools are enough to make you want to move in for good!

What you get with your stay:

  • 92 air-conditioned suites

  • Three different swimming pools all facing the incredible blue ocean

  • 24 hour room service

  • Access to a great selection on fitness classes

  • Beachfront taco restaurant

  • Complimentary babysitting and childcare

  • Concierge staff who can help you organize transportation, tours, dinner reservations, etc.

  • Nightly turndown service

Why I would recommend this property to our clients:

This property comes with a steeper price tag, however they do a great job of offsetting that price with plenty of seasonal deals, added amenities, and the friendliest staff I have ever met! If you are traveling to Cabo in search of a great “home base” to explore the area from, Chileno Bay is a perfect fit for you! It’s swimmable beach, great location, and beautiful property is sure to make your next trip to Cabo pure luxury!

Friday Feature: Los Cabos

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Los Cabos

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Situated on the southern coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, Los Cabos is a real escape! This funky resort town is known for it’s incredible food scene, exciting nightlife, and awesome beaches. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or a group getaway that accommodates everyone - Cabo is for you! Being so close to the US, there are plenty of non-stop flights from various major airports around the country.

Best Times to Visit: The best time to visit Cabo is from May to June, when the wintertime crowds have gone home and the summertime storms have yet to hit. October and November are also nice months for a vacation, but you'll need to begin your hotel search early if you want to save money.

Things to do:

Cruise to the Cabo Arch. “El Archo” is the most notable rock formation in Cabo. The Arch is a popular tourist attraction popular in most Cabo vacation photos. Take a sunset sail to the tip of the Baja Peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez.

Stroll through San José del Cabo. Discover the charm of this magical town and its activities, like the Art Walk, a fun event where you will walk around all of its art galleries while enjoying music and street shows. This is a popular shopping stop among tourists and a great place to walk around and explore.

Take a trip to Marina Cabo San Lucas. This marina is home to some of the most popular restaurants, boutiques, and bars in the area - this is also a very popular nightlife destination if you are looking for a more hip scene. Whether you visit by day or by night, this is a must see stop on your vacation.

Relax! Cabo is home to some world class golf courses and spas in Mexico! So whether you unwind with a round of golf with your friends or would prefer to spend your days pampered by the spa staff, there are no shortage of options in Cabo!

For more information, click HERE.

Feature Hotel: Grand Velas Los Cabos, Montage Los Cabos, Chileno Bay Resort

Restaurants we love…

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  • Acre Restaurant & Cocktail Bar - picturesque farm-to-table restaurant

  • Toro Latin Kitchen - blend of Latin fare and fresh local seafood with South American, Japanese and Chinese influences

  • Flora’s Field Kitchen - farm-to-table dining scene that is popular among locals and tourists

  • Manta - rotating menu focuses on Pacific Rim cuisine and fresh local seafood

  • Nick-San - one of the most popular local sushi spots in town

  • Click HERE for more great options!

Our Recent Stay: Grand Velas Los Cabos

Our travel designer, Robin, just got back from a conference week in Los Cabos where she had the opportunity to stay at Grand Velas Los Cabos… and it was next level luxury!

Continue reading to see some of her favorite parts of the property:


Why I went:

I had a conference in Cabo last week but wanted to go a couple days early to do some hotel research for my clients. I stayed at Grand Velas Los Cabos for one night and I can’t think of anything that could have made my stay better. Everything from the property to the incredible food (aka poolside baja fish tacos) to the luxurious spa made me wish I could have spent a week not just a night!

What I loved:

I knew I was in for a treat before I even arrived on property at Grand Velas… a quick social media check showed me that. But when I was greeted with a chilled glass of champagne and complimentary neck and head massage, well the bar was raised even higher!

The Grand Velas has three amazing infinity pools ranging from child friendly to adults only, which I personally love! The swim up bars and attentive poolside staff took care of me from the moment I sat down and the baja fish tacos changed my life for the better!

Of course, after a 10 hour travel day from Wisconsin to Cabo, my next logical step was spending sometime in their world class spa. I booked a 80 minute massage that came with access to their hydrotherapy pools - definitely something to make time for! I walked away from my treatment relaxed and invigorated! I recommend this to everyone who calls this beautiful hotel home during their stay in Cabo.

How I slept:

The rooms are clean, modern, and spacious.. but the real highlight is the incredible views. Every single room is an ocean view room with an amazing balcony where you can simply watch the world go by! While it is hard to top, the balcony wasn’t even my favorite feature. The beds in each room are like pillows sent straight from the heavens! I have never had a better, more sound sleep during a work trip in my 6 years traveling for business consistently!

What I ate:

Again, I was only there for a night, which was a real shame because the food on property is incredible! Normally when clients request Cabo for a trip, I steer them away from the all-inclusive route because the food scene and restaurants across Cabo are too good to not venture off the resort for! However… the Grand Velas might be the exception to my rule! The property is home to SEVEN gourmet restaurants that offer guests fresh, local, and diverse culinary experiences so that you never get bored! Everything from room service to pool side snacks to their top restaurant was of the highest quality!

What you get with your stay:

  • 5-star elegance in Los Cabos

  • Breakfast, lunch or buffet at restaurant Azul

  • Coffee, pastries salads and sandwiches at Amat Café

  • Ceviche and seafood specialities at Cabrilla

  • Dinner à la carte at 5 signature restaurants: Frida (gourmet Mexican cuisine), Piaf (traditional French cuisine), Lucca (Italian-Mediterranean cuisine), Cocina de Autor (creative-evolutionary cuisine) and Velas 10 (fine seafood and steaks)

  • Wi-Fi

  • Premium-brand domestic and international beverages at the Sky Sports Bar, Koi Bar, Miramar Bar and throughout the resort

  • 24-Hour Personal Concierge & Suite Service

  • Pool & Beach Concierge

  • Daily-stocked premium minibar

  • Fitness Center

  • Teens' Club & Kids' Club, Baby concierge

  • Recreational activities for all ages

  • Three-level infinity pool with ocean view: two for all ages and one for adults only

Why I would recommend this property to our clients:

Again, I had very high expectations of this property going into my stay and every single one was matched/exceeded by a lot! While this is a 5-star stay with the price tag to prove it, I can’t recommend this property enough during your trip to Cabo. Whether you are honeymooning, traveling with family, planning a destination wedding, or simply needing a getaway to a beautiful sunny destination, Grand Velas is sure to wow every type of traveler!

Friday Feature: Tanzania

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Tanzania

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This East African country includes everything from the beautiful plains of the Serengeti National Park to the hiking Mecca of Mount Kilimanjaron to the relaxing beaches of Zanzibar! Whether you are looking to spot the big five or looking for some much needed R&R, Tanzania offers something for everyone! How do you get to this beautiful country? There are direct and one-stop flights from overseas to Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro (near Arusha) and Zanzibar Island. Arusha town is the starting point for Tanzania's most popular Northern Safari Circuit.

Best Times to Visit: June and July are the best months for seeing the migration, and February is the best month for the wildebeest calving. The dry months offer good wildlife viewing throughout Tanzania which runs from June to October!

Things to do:

Go on a wildlife safari in Serengeti National Park. The Serengeti is Africa’s most popular wildlife destination - and rightfully so! Every year over a million wildebeest migrate over its great plains along side thousands of the other animals like the gazelle and zebra. Even outside of migration season, visiting the Serengeti offers amazing wildlife viewing year round where you can see lions, cheetahs, elephants and leopards living in their natural habitats on the vast African plains.

Soak up the Zanzibar sunshine. The beaches of Zanzibar are truly as unique as they are beautiful. However, this spice island is not only beautiful above it’s turquoise water with its sandy white beaches, but it is also as beautiful below. It is considered to have the best diving on the entire east coast of Africa!

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro. This is truly a trek of a lifetime and a perfect must do for any adventure seeker traveling to Tanzania! To climb to the roof of Africa and look out over the Furtwängler Glacier is an awe inspiring sight. You can also climb the Machame Route which gives you an extra day to acclimate to the elevation and it is considered the most scenic route.

See the chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park. This national park was made famous by Jane Goodall. This protected area is located on the north shore of Lake Tanganyika. Hire a guide to take you to trek and see the famous chimpanzees of the area. You are almost guaranteed a sighting!

Visit the Iraqw Village. If you travel to Africa, it is hard to leave without immersing yourself in their beautiful culture and native customs. The Iraqw Village is located near the town of Karatu, not far from the Ngorongoro crater, and a perfect pit stop as they are very welcoming to tourists!

Feature Hotel: Four Seasons Serengeti, Tulia Zanzibar Beach Resort, Zuri Zanzibar

Things to know before you go…

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  • The people are great! The country has over 100 ethnic groups and plenty of culture and traditional foods to partake in.

  • The roads are very bumpy. If you’re prone to getting car sick on long rides, this is where you might want to take a motion sickness pill. If you’re renting a car, make sure to get it insured!

  • Travel can be affordable. The TAZARA train takes travelers 1,160 miles from Dar es Salaam to central Zambia. Just be prepared to book in advance as it’s often full for weeks at a time.

  • Beware of their time system. The day starts at 0 hours (6 a.m./sunrise) and ends at 12 (6.p.m./sunset). If you are on a safari resort, you may not run into this but if you travel to other cities it gets very confusing.

    Click HERE for more information!

Friday Feature: Patagonia

Patagonia

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This enchanting place encompasses the vast southernmost tip of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile, with the Andes Mountains as its dividing line. From grasslands and deserts on the Argentine side to the glacial fjords and temperate rainforests on the Chilean side, this place is truly an outdoor enthusiasts dream. How do you get to this incredible destination? To reach Patagonia, you'll want to fly through Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) and then take a hopper flight to your desired Patagonian city. You could also fly into Punta Arenas Airport (PUQ), and cross the border into El Calafate in Southern Patagonia.

Best Times to Visit: The best time to visit Chilean Patagonia is November to early March, which is summertime in the southern hemisphere. Although you'll compete with heavy crowds during this peak season, the weather is ideal for exploring Torres del Paine National Park and Tierra del Fuego.

Things to do:

Take a glacier cruise on Lago Argentina. This is sure to be a highlight of any Patagonia trip! The boat takes you past breathtakingly beautiful icebergs and glaciers in Lago Argentina! This boat even passes through Upsala Glacier, the largest glacier in all of South America.

Explore Los Alerces National Park. This is one of the most beautiful and underrated parks in all of Patagonia. Located in Argentina’s Province of Chubut, this park is home to numerous lakes, self guided hiking trails, and the “EL Abuelo” - a 2,600 year old tree!

Go whale watching around Peninsula Valdés. Peninsula Valdes is on the Atlantic side of Argentinian Patagonia, and truly a must-see for wildlife lovers. From May to November, this coastal area is a breeding home to Southern Right Whales, an endangered species native to this area.

Take in the views of Ruta 40 or Carretera Austral. This route isn’t the fastest way to travel through the region, but if you are wanting stunning views of this beautiful landscape - this road will take you there! The road streches 3,000 miles through the Argentina side of Patagonia and stops through places like Bariloche, El Bolson, and the Perito Moreno.

There is so much to see and do in this awesome region, click HERE for more ideas!

Feature Hotel: The Singular, Tierra Patagonia Hotel and Spa, Llao Llao Hotel & Resort Golf-Spa, Awasi Patagonia

Things to know before you go…

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  • Don’t forget your hiking boots. Great sneakers won’t cut it here. The trails in Patagonia are often super muddy, rocky, or wet.

  • Bring the right kinds of clothes with you. You can experience all kinds of different weather within the span of a few hours in Patagonia - waterproof clothing is definitely recommended!

  • The accommodations are luxury. While some might opt to rough it by hiking and camping in the wilderness, those who prefer a hotel should be prepared for the luxurious accommodations.

  • Get in shape before the trip. There are all types of trails for all types of fitness levels, but in order to truly experience this region you will want to be prepared!

    Click HERE for more information!

Friday Feature: The Bahamas

The Bahamas

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Just a short 50 miles off the coast of Florida, the Bahamas has become especially popular with travelers because, despite it’s close proximity, these islands completely transform you to a Caribbean paradise! The Bahamas are made up of 700 small islands, however only 30 of them are actually inhabited. Spend your days relaxing beach side, swimming with the local animals, tasting the local fare, or golfing on the world reknown courses! How do you get to this tropical paradise? The Bahamas is a popular cruise stop among most major brands but you can also book a non-stop flight from most major US cities.

Best Times to Visit: The best time to visit the Bahamas is from mid-December to mid-April. Though temperatures on the islands are great year-round, they do fall within the hurricane belt, so hurricanes may be a factor between June 1 - Nov 30.

Things to do:

Swim with the pigs! Pig Island is located on the outer Exuma Islands, and one of the biggest tourist destinations in the Bahamas. Arrive by boat and spend the afternoon swimming, feeding, and even holding the baby pigs! Don’t forget to bring your camera. To get to the island, you need to take a boat which can typically be arranged by your resort.

Stroll Pink Sands Beach. Pink Sands Beach is a great spot to get away from the hustle and bustles of the crowded resort area. This little slice of heaven is on the eastern side of Harbour Island and a little less crowded than some of the other beaches.

Snorkel the Andros Great Barrier Reef. The Andros Barrier Reef is 190 miles long, making it the third largest reef in the world. It is located only 1 - 1.5 miles off the coast of the eastern side of the island and home to a large variety of fish and marine life. If you have a GoPro, this is definitely a shot you won’t want to miss.

Check out some of the world class golf courses. If you are a golf lover, the Bahamas is the spot for you! Most courses are located along the cliffs and ocean front, making them as beautiful as they are challenging.

Feature Hotel: Rosewood Baha Mar, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, The Cove Eleuthera

Things to know before you go…

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  • Make sure your passport is valid for 6 months after your travel. If your passport expires before the 6 month timeframe, make sure to give yourself enough time to request an updated one.

  • Don’t hop a taxi without negotiating a rate. Taxi drivers on the islands don’t use meters so make sure to agree on a price before they start driving or you will likely spend a pretty penny.

  • Stick to the left side of the road. This might seem odd but if you find yourself driving in the Bahamas, make sure to stick to the opposite side of the island.

    Click HERE for more information!

“What’s luck got to do, got to do with it?!”

Yes- I am actually bopping to my personal remake of Tina Turner’s famous love ballad. But real talk, I hear it all the time- “you are so lucky to travel so much.” Lucky. Ya know, that one word really frosts my cupcakes. Fortunate? Abso-freakin-lutely. But lucky…I can’t fully get on-board with that.

First instagram picture!

First instagram picture!

I know that the actual person saying this has no ill intent, but for any hard working individual, this can be a bit of a trigger. Luck is defined as “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.” I’m throwing up virtual high fives to all those that may have happened upon success without any actual effort, but I have a feeling that my hands may be whiffing and coming up empty.

Travel, by nature, requires effort. If you have ever coordinated a family vacation, LAWD…you know it requires the patience of Job and organization that could rival Marie Kondo.

A travel agent comes into your travel plans as an outsider, not knowing your style or financial situation. We inquire candidly about personal preferences, while chatting about budgets (all while trying to make such a hot topic as comfortable as possible- let’s be real, people are funny about money). Then we translate all these hypothetical concepts into life changing realities. We do our best to salvage flight plans derailed by weather, to sort out hotel bookings before clients even know there was a blunder, rearrange transportation to perfectly align with updated schedules, and deliver it to our clients in (metaphorical, and sometimes literal) shiny package. We are like the Mysti Copelands of travel. It’s hella hard…but we do our best to cover the broken toenails with beautiful pointe shoes and twirl our way through pirouettes with smiles on our faces. Y’all…the show must go on!

All this to say that it is HEAVY to bear the burden of someone else’s hard earned vacation days and checks that have been saved for months (maybe years) to make this magical experience come to fruition. BUT we do it. Not because we have to (do you know any travel agent that hates their job and truly feels trapped? I actually don’t), but because WE LOVE IT.

THe

Yes. We get to travel. We travel during off-seasons, when client traffic is low (and weather can be a bit iffy). We travel for on-site visits where we walk 10 miles a day to check out properties for future clients (and make it look damn glamorous on Insta-stories). We will fly across the world to look at hotels, because we GEEK out on it. Lest - my friends, none of that is a vacation.  Our vacations turn into work REAL fast. I have found myself trying to find ways that I can have drinks at hotel bars on my own honeymoon (sorry, JR), as to camouflage my intention to scout the next hot spot for future travelers. I do realize that I’m seriously ill.

Where I do feel confident that luck comes into play, is that I was born to a family that has supported my endeavors and taught me hard work. I quit a lucrative and very stable job to live with strangers in Italy, in hopes of creating content and a travel blog. I went through a divorce, where I had to charge the court fees on my credit card (I didn’t even have $400, because I had quit said lucrative job). I moved in with my parents for 6 months. My parents provided groceries, housing and support through something that many could never afford to get through without having to go back to a traditional job. SO many people would be trapped by circumstance- and I am not naïve to this.

What many don’t know, is that I did all of this while working for my family’s business. YEP. I built a million dollar business while working another job for my dad, so that I could get on my feet while learning about our family’s 96 year old air conditioning company. I picked up condenser units from warehouses, sold filters, ran permits, and scheduled client meetings during lunches, evenings, and weekends. Working 100 hours a week was a norm. Take-out was the standard meal, my house was a disaster, and my appearance matched (still sorting that one out). I am truly lucky to have a dad that built a small business that supports my entrepreneurial spirit, and allows me to pursue my dreams to grace the cover of Forbes. That part- I will give you- complete luck that I am not worthy of.

Our group for Eating Italy

Our group for Eating Italy

I began my travel business with no clue. Truly NO ever-loving clue about the business of travel- I just knew I loved it. A word to those searching for the secret sauce- passion and resilience can take you places that luck never could. I have failed. And failed. And failed again. I have booked flights on the wrong dates and paid out of pocket to correct an error. I have paid 12k on a credit card in hopes of earning it back through booking a group trip. I have been yelled at by customers because their seat assignment was changed on a plane (note: agents are not in control of this), and they threatened to sue. I was audited by the IRS where I had to prove that I have sold each location that I have ever written off as an expense (and won). I was told that my concept wouldn’t work- that maintaining a business with such in depth detail to personal itineraries was not sustainable. I listened. I tweaked a bit- and held strong on the points that mattered to me. I bent, but didn’t break. I found the most amazing humans that I could, and asked them to join my dream. They accepted and adopted it as their own. Robin has been by my side through the beginning, and held steadfast as I fell off the face of the earth during what I call my “survive not thrive” phase. I joke (but am very much not joking) that she kept my business alive when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

If you’re still reading, YOUR vision doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else but you. YOU WILL FAIL….but I am a firm believer that the surest path to failure is the one that you take when you are trying to please everyone.

Thomas Jefferson said it best – “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” That, my friends, is one hell of a “declaration” (see what I did there?)!

Friday Feature: Vienna

Vienna

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Vienna is home to peaceful parks, beautifully intricate palaces, exceptional coffeehouses, and a rich history and culture. This capital city gives visitors from all over the world so many great reasons to come and stay a while, and we have outlined some of our favorites about this city below. Vienna’s central location in Europe makes it an easy hub for international travelers. The Vienna International Airport services over 205 destinations and 71 countries with direct flights from the US on Austrian Airlines!

Best Times to Visit: The best time to visit Vienna is from April - May or September - October. The mild weather in spring and fall brings mild crowds. Most visitors aim to enjoy the warm, sunny weather that Vienna experiences in the summer months. Between June and August, you can expect the city to fill up and room rates to skyrocket.

Things to do:

Visit a traditional Würstelstand. A late-night snack of sausage with bread and mustard is a tradition in Vienna. There are dozens of sausage stands (i.e. Würstelstand) that dot the city. The two most popular sausages are the Frankfurter and Käsekrainer, but you can see the full list HERE.

Pay a visit to Old Town & Hofburg Palace. This is the historic center of Vienna and a great place to walk around soaking in the atmosphere and architecture. Be sure to visit the Hofburg Palace (home of the Habsburgs), the Spanish riding school where you could see the Lipizzaner train & perform, the Stephansdom Cathedral, or the Imperial Crypt that houses the tombs of dozens of emperors and empresses.

Stop by Schönbrunn Palace. This palace is the most famous tourist destination in Vienna. While you are there, be sure to check out the Maze, the Vienna Zoo, and beautiful palace gardens.

Drink a cup of coffee. UNESCO recognizes the coffee culture in Vienna as a deep part of Austria’s culture. There are incredible coffeehouses all over the city that range from fancy to very casual. If you are looking for some of the best, click HERE for a list of recommended cafes.

Feature Hotel: Grand Hotel Wien, Hotel Imperial, Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof Wien

Things to know before you go…

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  • Public transportation is not free. This is especially confusing because there is not typically someone there collecting money or tickets, but not having a transportation ticket will result in a 103 Euro fine.

  • Give up your seat. It is customary, not to mention polite, to give up your seat for elder, mothers, or the blind/handicap while riding public transportation.

  • All water is safe. The Austrians are very proud of their quality tap water so make sure you hydrate!

  • If you plan to do any shopping, make sure you bring a bag. Otherwise you will be left having to purchase one at the store.

  • There is no open container policy. Feel free to enjoy your drink or spiked coffee while on the go!

    Click HERE for more information!

Friday Feature: Iceland

Iceland

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Iceland is known as the “Land of Fire and Ice” and is easily one of the most diverse landscapes of any country in the world! For outdoor enthusiasts, spend your days exploring the numerous mountains, glaciers, rivers, caves, and lakes. But if the exploring the outdoors isn’t your cup of tea, there are still numerous seaside towns to explore and luxury spas to relax in - including the infamous Blue Lagoon! How do you get to this magical place? The main airport international travelers fly into is Keflavík International Airport in Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland. This also makes an excellent home base!

Best Times to Visit: In summer, there's midnight sun and the temperature gets a little more warm! July and August are the best months for hiking. If you are wanting to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, February, March, September and October are typically best.

Things to do:

Soak in the Blue Lagoon. There are over 100 naturally occuring hot springs and spas across Iceland, but arguably the most famous of all is the Blue Lagoon in the Reykjanes Peninsula. Enjoy the full experience by staying on property at one of the two nearby hotels. They also offer day passes (for about $56 per day) to visitors to explore and relax in the Blue Lagoon.

See the Northern Lights. The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are created when particles emitted by the sun interact with the atmosphere in the Earth's magnetic field. While it is never guaranteed that you will see the lights during your stay, you are more likely to see them outside of populated areas where there is less light pollution.

Go whale watching. The cool waters off the coast of Iceland is the perfect place to go whale watching and experience more diverse marine life! The most prolific time for whale watching in Iceland is during the summer months, from April through September, when over 20 species of whales can be seen on either side of the island.

Drive the Golden Circle. This is a 190 mile loop from the capital of Reykjavik. It includes Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Geysir and Strokkur. You can also loop in the Kerið volcanic crater and the town of Hveragerði the hot springs capital of Iceland.

Take a helicopter tour. What is a better way to see this incredible landscape than through a bird’s eye view? Flying allows you to reach hard-to-access places and gives you an opportunity to experience the country’s beauty from a new perspective. For a list of sightseeing helicopter tours, click HERE.

For more travel information, click HERE.

Feature Hotel: Retreat Hotel, Hotel Reykjavik Centrum, CenterHotel Thingholt, Hotel Odinsve

Things to know before you go…

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  • Credit Cards are king. Credit cards are accepted everywhere so we don’t recommend converting too much cash.

  • Know your public pool etiquette. You must shower before entering a public pool in Iceland.

  • Tourists outnumber the locals. Iceland has over 2 million visitors a year and is home to only about 300,000 natives.

  • Fuel is expensive. If you choose to rent a car to explore, be aware that gas prices are very steep - roughly $8/galloon. It is best to carefully plan your routes ahead of time to not waste any fuel.

    For more rules and traditions, click HERE.

Friday Feature: Dubai

Dubai

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It is easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour and modern, futuristic vibes of Dubai! But this United Arab Emirates city has so much more to offer than just luxury shopping and incredible architecture. If the city isn’t your scene, there are plenty of safari camps outside the city and beaches along the Dubai Creek shoreline! It is also incredibly easy to get to this incredible city. Dubai International Airport offers over 7,000 weekly flights operated by 125 airlines from 260 destinations on every continent!

Best Times to Visit: Dubai experiences a desert climate with largely year-round sunshine and hot temperatures, and very little rain. To avoid the worst of the heat, the best months to visit are between November and March.

Things to do:

Visit the tallest building of the world. Dubai is a proud home to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the whole world with 163 floors! You can book tickets for “At the Top” which are the two observation decks located on the very top floor… if you have the nerves for it!

Lounge on Jumeirah Beach. This stretch of beach that sits underneath Dubai’s impressive skyline and is home to multiple luxurious hotels and restaurants. However despite all the luxury hotels, Jumeirah Beach also has a section that is open to the public and everyone can hang out here and jump into the waves!

Take an Arab Water Boat ride. This traditional road is made of wood and used to ferry people across the Dubai Creek. They travel between the water station at Shindagha/Al Ghubaiba on the Bur Dubai side, and the water station at Al Sabkha on the Deira side. This is a great way to catch a breeze and see the expansive city!

Go on a desert safari. While the city is all about modernity, glass, and entertainment, the desert offers guests a nice change of pace. Desert safaris are fairly inexpensive and usually include the jeep ride, a local meal, and some entertainment at one of the big camps!

Go to the Miracle Garden. This is a beautifully designed botanical garden in the city! We recommend going early in the morning to beat the crowds and get the best pictures!

Feature Hotel: One & Only Royal Mirage, Taj Dubai, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Four Seasons Resort at Jumeirah Beach

Things to know before you go…

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  • No PDA! If you are traveling with your significant other, public displays of affection are considered rude. Kissing and cuddling in public is not allowed, but married couples are allowed to hold hands.

  • Beware of where you point your camera. When taking pictures make sure that you ask Middle Eastern people if you can take photos of them first, especially women. There are some old superstitions in this region, including the belief that a camera can suck out your soul.

  • Experience the nightlife but know the laws. If you are having a night on the town and plan on bar hopping, always get in a taxi and don’t walk. It is illegal to be drunk in public.

  • Watch your potty mouth. Do not swear in public or talk badly about an organization or you might end up with a fine for slander.

    For more rules and traditions, click HERE.

Our Recent Stay: Palazzo Naiadi

Our travel designer, Robin, just got back from a wonderful trip to Rome and had an incredible stay at Palazzo Naiadi! Needless to say, it was truly incredible and she is dishing out all of her favorite elements below.

Continue reading to see some of her favorite parts of the property:


Why we went:

Rome is personally one of my favorite cities in Italy because of how much there is to see and do! We choose to stay at the Palazzo Naiadi becuase of it’s great location to the train station (aka great spot for day trips out of the city center) and it’s fresh update!

What we loved:

There is so much to love about this 5-star hotel! It’s spacious rooms, attentive staff, and central location make it the perfect spot to call home for a longer stay in the Eternal City. The luxury and amenities that come with it are such a great addition to any European vacation.

How we slept:

Often times in Europe, the beds are small and a little less comfortable than we are used to in America. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth for Palazzo Naiadi! The beds and rooms were spacious and comfortable which meant a great nights sleep for everyone in our room… aka more energy for sightseeing, eating, and walking through the Eternal City!!!

What we ate:

After a long travel day, the first thing we did was grab a refreshing Aperol Spritz on the rooftop pool restaurant! There is no better way to start an Italian vacation than a rooftop spritz and apertif… that’s almost an Explorateur Travel rule! For dinner, they have the incredible Ristorante Tazio that serves traditional Italian fare. Another great option is the Tazio Champagnerie and Lobby - great for sipping champagne while people watching!

What you get with your stay:

  • 5-star elegance in the heart of Italy's capital city

  • Chic hotel rooms and suites and an outstanding location in Rome's city center

  • Pet-friendly hotel

  • Plush bedding, marble bathrooms, mini-refrigerators, desks, free Wi-Fi and stunning views

  • World class fitness center

  • Outdoor pool

  • Wellness spa

  • Great restaurants and lounges both indoors, on the expansive terrace, or pool-side

  • Wedding and meeting space

  • Convenient location close to the city's cultural and historical landmarks, including the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, the Opera House, the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.

Why we would recommend this property to our clients:

If you are calling Rome home for an extended length of time and using it as your “home base” to travel out of on day trips, this hotel is perfect for you! The amenities alone had me wanting to move in but combine that with the convenient location and proximity to the train station, you truly can’t go wrong!

Friday Feature: Paris

Paris

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Paris has captivated the hearts of travelers for a lifetime. The hype was intense… but honestly after walking the beautiful streets of this city, it is easy to see why this place calls so many visitors back time and time again. Spend your days soaking in some culture at the many incredible museums, sipping rosé while people watching in one of the numerous quaint cafes, basking in the Parisian sunshine under the Eiffel Tower, or simply get lost in the fabulous architecture. This city is also incredibly easy to get to with two main international airports - Charles De Gaulle or Orly Airport. Both of which are about 45 minutes from the center of Paris!

Best Times to Visit: The best time to visit Paris is from April to June and October to early November when the weather is mild and enjoyable and the tourist crowds are smaller than summer. The cheapest time to visit Paris is early December, January, and February.

Things to do:

Take in the Paris skyline. Most people think that the best view of Paris is from the Eiffel Tower, but what is a Paris skyline without that beauty in the back? That is why we recommend climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe during your stay! This gives you a great vantage point of the city while still getting the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Go for a picnic. Arguably the best place to experience this romantic city is from the park bench or blanket in one of it’s numerous gardens! The lawn of the Eiffel Tower is an obvious choice for first timers. Pro Tip: check out Zia near the Eiffel Tower for incredible picnics to go! Another great spot to enjoy rosé, brie, and people watch is Luxembourg Gardens! For those traveling with kiddos, Luxembourg also has toy boats in it’s fountain for easy entertainment.

Cruise the River Seine. This iconic river takes you past multiple notable sightseeing spots in the city making it a great addition to your Paris itinerary! They also offer cruise tours that include champagne tasting with a sommelier… because what is more romantic than a glass of bubbles on the Seine?!

Get your fill of culture. Paris is full of incredible museums that you will not want to miss! The best option to capitalize on your time? Get a Paris Museum Pass and spend your time museum hopping around the city.

Pick up a souvenir! There is no shortage of fabulous shopping in this city so definitely leave time to explore the various boutiques and department stores. Le Bon Marchè is a great spot to spend a day… and your money. It is also the oldest department store in the world!

Feature Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris, Pavillon de la Reine, Hôtel San Régis

Restaurants we love…

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  • Chez Georges - charming bistro in the 2 Arr.

  • Les Ombres - amazing French restaurant with arguably the best view of the Eiffel Tower, especially at night

  • Cafe de Flore - long-running coffeehouse & celebrity hot spot serving French fare in a charming corner cafe

  • Cafe Central - charming French cafe located on Rue Cler, close to the Eiffel Tower

  • L’Avenue - cozy French restaurant located in the 8 Arr.

  • La Fontaine de Mars - casual local French spot serving an amazing crème brûlée à la vanille

  • Pierre Hermé - great spot for authentic macaroons

  • L'Éclair - cozy cocktail spot in the 7 Arr.

  • Les Papilles - great French restaurant right by the Luxembourg Gardens

  • Artisan Boulanger - great morning spot for a warm croissant and peak of the Eiffel Tower

Friday Feature: Ischia, Italy

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Ischia

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For a long time Ischia was kept a secret amongst Europeans as a non-touristy Italian getaway. Well, the cat is out of the bag and this adorable little island is on it’s way to becoming Italy’s next hot holiday spot. Ischia is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Naples and best known for its mineral-rich thermal waters. Hot springs bubble up at Maronti Beach in the south, and Roman remains lie beneath the sea floor at Cartaromana Beach. Fly into Naples airport or take the train from Rome to Garibaldi train station. From there, you can take the Alibus or taxi to the main port in Naples. SNAV and Alilauro ferries leave from Naples, Sorrento and Pozzuoli. There are several docks in Ischia (Forio, Casamicciola and the main Ischia ferry terminal) so be sure to look up which one is nearest to your hotel.

Best Times to Visit: The best time for the traveler to visit Ischia is from April to October, however, the weather in Ischia is always changing and visitors should expect both sunshine and rain — whatever the season. Summer, the main tourist season, combines long, hot days with lengthy evenings.

Things to do:

Visit Castello Aragonese. You can visit the iconic Castello Aragonese for €10 euros a person. It’s open 365 days a year which is a rarity in Italy. You can read all about this castle’s fascinating history by clicking HERE.

Take a dip in the healing thermal springs. Ischia is best known for it’s abundant thermal hot springs so make sure to schedule some R&R time. Take advantage of their healing properties at either Negombo or Poseidon. The water from the natural hot springs, heated by volcanic action, is believed to be good for a variety of health treatments.

Hike Mt. Epomeo. This is the highest mountain an Ischia and a great hiking option for those of you looking for some active, outdoor time! However, bring lots of water and wear good shoes because this hike is no joke! This hike starts in Fontana and typically lasts about 3 hours.

Stroll and explore the many charming boutiques. For those of you not looking to burn off those pasta calories with a rigorous hike, spend your day strolling the charming streets and window shopping in the locally owned boutiques. Pick up some hand crafted sandals and other awesome souvenirs!

The obvious - relax on the beach. It seems almost criminal to not include some beach time when talking about this gorgeous island. Beach clubs or “lidos” with beach chairs and sun decks are a favorite of this region. But be prepared for the additional cost (typically between €10- €20 for the day).

Feature Hotel: Terme Manzi Hotel & Spa, Punta Molino Hotel Beach Resort and Spa, Mezzatorre Hotel & Thermal Spa

Things to know before you go…

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  • Tourism is a relatively new thing for the island. Unlike the Amalfi Coast, tourism to this region is fairly new. This is sure to change as the destination grows!

  • The ferry’s are very regular. Like I mentioned, there is a ferry ride involved with getting to this island. However, this logistical component shouldn’t be a reason not to visit as the connections are fast, frequent easy to use.

  • Seafood and wine are a staple. Wine in Italy is a no brainer but being on the coast offers visitors a great taste of fresh Italian seafood!

    For more tips, click HERE.

Our Recent Stay: The Hoxton, Amsterdam

Our travel designer, Robin, spent three awesome nights exploring Amsterdam and was lucky enough to call The Hoxton Hotel home for her travels! Needless to say, it was truly incredible and she is dishing out all of her favorite elements below.

Continue reading to see some of her favorite parts of the property:


Why we went:

Amsterdam is probably one of the coolest and trendiest spots in Europe right now and The Hoxton fits right in! This hotel is modern, updated, and so freaking chic I wanted to hire the interior decorator to come to my own home. We chose this specific hotel during our stay because of it’s perfect location and awesome canal views!

What we loved:

Aside from being situated on a great canal and close to just about everything, The Hoxton is so cozy and inviting. The staff was all warm and friendly when checking in and during the duration of our stay. Also, they have an incredible restaurant downstairs that serves trendy, remixes of traditional comfort food meals. They also have a great bar and happy hour menu! The Hoxton Bar was featured on World’s Best Bars during our stay… so you know it’s an Amsterdam hot spot amongst travelers and locals.

How we slept:

The beds were the most comfortable of any bed I slept on during my 5 week Europe trip! That is a HUGE compliment, especially from me who is very particular about hotel beds. But the other perk? Waking up to the warm Amsterdam sunrise over the charming little canals.

What we ate:

Amsterdam has a very eclectic and diverse food scene so we were anxious to check out as many bars and restaurants as possible… Until we had a welcome cocktail and truffle fries from Lotti’s! We came back to this incredible spot just about every day whether it was for a simple drink, light appetizer, morning brunch, or dinner! It was so stinking good… and you could see plenty of locals dining alongside you which means you know it is good!

What you get with your stay:

  • Fabulous location

  • Lotti’s Cafe, Bar, and Grill

  • Fun Photo Booth in the lobby

  • 24 hour room service

  • High ceilings (a rarity in Europe)

  • A free light breakfast bag delivered to your room at your desired time

  • Hox Shop with rip-off free pricing

  • Free Wifi and international calls

  • Late checkout available

Why we would recommend this property to our clients:

This hotel honest has it all: comfortable beds, warm and inviting staff, mouthwatering food, convenient location to all major attractions, and impeccable design! I would recommend The Hoxton to anyone and everyone traveling to Amsterdam over the next couple of months.

Friday Feature: Nice, France

Nice

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Nice may not have the same glitz and glamour that it’s neighbors (Monte Carlo and St. Tropez) has, but it is one of the liveliest coastal towns you can find. It also makes for an ideal reprieve from Paris and a great spot to explore the beautiful waters of the French Riviera. How do you get to this iconic French town? If you are not hitting up Paris during this France trip, we recommend flying into the Nice Cote d’Azur Airport is located southwest of Nice and actually serves as the tourist platform of the entire French Riviera, Monaco included.

Best Times to Visit: To avoid crowds the May-June and September periods are the best times to go. But since Nice is a beach town, most people like to travel in the summer when temperatures peak and the Mediterranean beaches are most compelling.

Things to do:

Take a walk down Old Town (Vieille Ville). As local and tourist favorite this spot is boasting with plenty of awesome French restaurants and shops to explore during your time in Nice!

Get your steps in climbing Castle Hill. Really more a hill than a castle, the original Colline du Chateau crumbled away over the years. But if you want a panoramic view of the city, this is your spot! The park is free to visit and if you don't want to climb, there is also a free lift that will carry you about 75 percent of the way up!

Check out English Walk. The Promenade des Anglais (English Walk) runs parallel to the pebbly shore of Nice's beachfront, stretching for more than 2 miles the coastline. This is also where most of the city’s main attractions stem off of so this is a great spot to kick off your trip!

Soak in the sunshine. It is obvious that the beaches are a major draw for most travelers when going to the French Riviera. There are a mix of public and private beaches so if you are looking for an umbrella, towel, and chair beachside be ready to spend a couple Euro. However, there are still plenty of free places to spend an afternoon as well.

For more ideas, click HERE.

Feature Hotel: Hotel Nice Riviera, Westminster Hotel & Spa, Hotel Le Negresco

Things to know before you go…

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  • Brush up on your French. Often times the French get a bad reputation as being “rude” when really they just prefer you to try your best to speak their language. Don’t just blindly assume everyone will speak English back to you.

  • These are not sandy beaches. Unlike America, the beaches in this part of France are pebbly not sandy so plan accordingly!

  • Pack comfy shoes. The whole country of Europe is very walking-friendly and Nice is no exception. Traffic in the city center can be busy at all hours of the day so make sure to pack comfy walking shoes - plus this is truly the best way to see the city!

Friday Feature: Marlborough, New Zealand

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Marlborough

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The region of Malborough is best known for world class Sauvignon Blanc but this gorgeous spot isn’t just for our white wine lovers! New Zealand’s largest wine growing region is also home to delicious seafood and diverse landscapes that offer a little something different for every traveler’s style. How do you get to this beautiful spot? It is best to look for a flight into Christchurch then renting a car to drive the 4.5 hour drive to Marlborough. There are a number of direct flights offered daily by Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia to Christchurch!

Best Times to Visit: The best time to visit Marlborough is between October through April when temperatures are warm as New Zealand is in summer time during these months!

Things to do:

Sample the local Sauvignon Blanc. This may seem like the most obvious answer but truly no trip to this region of New Zealand is complete without a taste of the local speciality! We recommend spending one afternoon taking a winery tour. There is a variety of local wine trail operators providing a popular way to see and sample what Marlborough has to offer, be it by car, coach, or bicycle.

Take a scenic walk through Wither Hills Farm Park. This beautiful trail offers incredible views of Marlborough and the Wairau Plains. Or take your stroll along the Taylor River reserve, finishing with coffee and cake at a riverside cafe.

Kayak through the Wairau Lagoon. This lagoon is perfect for all of our outdoor lovers, particularly if you love bird watching! It is home to over 90 species of birds and also the first human habitation of New Zealand.

Hit the beach. If you would like some sun and sand during your travels, make sure to head to Whites Bay or Robin Hodd Bay for some great beach action! If you are into surfing these are two popular local spots to hang ten along the coast of New Zealand.

For more ideas, click HERE.

Feature Hotel: The Marlborough Lodge, Bay of Many Coves, The Sounds Retreat

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Things to know before you go…

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  • There is an accent but locals will tell you it is extremely different than Australian… but not by much haha!

  • They speak English, but that doesn’t mean using the same words we do. It never hurts to pick up a phrasebook so you are able to determine “ketchup” vs. “tomato sauce”.

  • Locals have a lot of pride in their country. Don’t be shocked if they ask you repeatedly about how much you are loving New Zealand!

For more suggestions, click HERE.

Our Recent Stay: Hotel Poseidon

Our travel designer, Robin, just got back from an incredible stay at Hotel Poseidon in Positano. We have so many honeymoon client’s call this boutique property home for their travels and it absolutely stands up to the hype!

Continue reading to see some of her favorite parts of the property:


Why we went:

After it’s social media frenzy, Positano has become a hot destination for travelers and I couldn’t wait to check it out with my mom and sister! We choose Hotel Poseidon for it’s convenient location, awesome reviews, and inspiring views across the Amalfi Coast! This boutique property has 48 rooms and all the exceptional services of a 4 star hotel.

What we loved:

Location, location, location! Hotel Poseidon sits up on the hills and offers it’s guests incredible views of the beautiful coastal town of Positano. The hotel also had a fabulous pool, delicious restaurant and bar, and beauty centre. The rooms are adorable and authentic with almost all room categories boasting a private terrace.

How we slept:

After a full day boat tour to Capri, we were EXHAUSTED! The beds couldn’t have felt better and our room has spacious enough for all three of us to spread out without stepping on each other. The property has numerous room categories to choose from, which means there is a little something for everyone! Another perk: air conditioning! This is not a luxury at every hotel on the Amalfi Coast so this is a big one y’all - especially for our summer travelers!

What we ate:

The hotel is home to the incredible bar and restaurant Il Tridente which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinners! Chef Antonio Sorrentino and his team love to honor the Neapolitan culinary tradition; they created a menu with special dishes that have been passed on for generations! But aside from the incredible food and friendly staff, this place is the perfect spot to catch a Positano sunset while enjoying a refreshing aperitivo with good company!

What you get with your stay:

  • 4 star luxury

  • Rooftop hotel pool and bar

  • Incredible restaurant on property

  • Ideal location in Positano

  • Beauty Centre offering guests massages, body treatments, and more!

  • Concierge to help organize excursions during your vacation

  • 1970’s Beetle rental free of charge to drive the scenic Amalfi Coast roads

  • High speed Wifi

  • Air conditioning

  • Friendly and helpful staff who are ready to make your stay truly incredible!

Why we would recommend this property to our clients:

Positano can get quite expensive, particularly in high season. The Hotel Poseidon is a great 4 star hotel that is a little more budget friendly than some of it’s 5 star competitors! This is the best hotel to come home to after spending the day out on the water, strolling the charming streets, or exploring the other seaside towns along the coast! Hotel Poseidon is authentic and a perfect addition to your Positano vacation!