Friday Feature: Malta

Malta

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Malta is a picturesque Mediterranean island located south of Italy between Sicily and the North African coast. This island nation is composed of three islands - Malta (the main island), Gozo and Comino! Despite being a relatively small island, there is PLENTY to explore across the country. Flying to Malta is easy. How do you get to this adorable little island? Luckily, flights into Malta take under three hours from a wide range of UK airports. All arrive at Malta's one international airport, which is no more than 45 minutes by car or taxi from anywhere on the main island! You could also take a quick ferry ride from Sicily, making it an easy stop before/after if you would like to extend your trip.

Best Times to Visit: Malta’s shoulder season lasts from September to November, making early fall the best time to visit for a relaxing holiday. Tourist crowds are gone and the weather is still very nice!

Things to do:

Explore Valletta. The country’s capital city is a great spot to explore and teeming with interesting history of the country. Malta is a mixed bag of various cultures - British, French, Romans, and more - and this eclectic mix of cultures is evident all through this city! Getting lost strolling these narrow, colorful streets is easy in such a beautiful location.

Take a ferry to Gozo for the day. Gozo is the second largest island that makes up the archipelago of Malta. It was once the home of the Azure Window, which unfortunately fell down in 2017 after some stormy weather. However, there is still so much beauty along the island coast. Spend a full day exploring the coast, visiting the Ta’Pinu Church, and marvel at the Cittadella.

Visit the island of Comino. This incredible island is home to the picturesque Blue Lagoon. Take a cheap ferry in the morning from Sliema or Bugibba and spend a good part of the day enjoying the crystal clear water around the Blue Lagoon - one of Malta’s most photographed landscapes.

Spend a day at the beach in Mellieha Bay or Golden Bay. No trip to Malta is complete without some time in the sunshine! Mellieha Bay or Golden Bay are great spots to waste a time working on your sun tan, taking a ride on a jet ski, or experiencing the beautiful coast while parasailing.

Sample some delicious Maltese wine. Take a tour through one of Marsovin’s (one of the major producers of Maltese wine) wine cellars. Located on the main island of Malta, this is a great pit stop for any wine lovers wanting to sample the local fare.

Feature Hotel: InterContinental Malta, The Westin Dragonara Resort Malta, The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux

Things to know before you go…

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  • This is a safe island nation. The Maltenese are a very friendly, helpful crowd and the whole island is relatively safe!

  • Don’t be afraid to haggle. If you decide to take a taxi, always agree upon a fare beforehand and don’t be afraid to shop around at taxi stands.

  • Check the flags at the beach. If you want to go swimming at a nearby beach outside of the high season (July-September), always be informed of the safety systems in place at the beaches. If there’s no flag to indicate that the water is safe for swimming, always check with the locals!

  • Arrange for a transfer vs. driving. Malta is one of the countries that drive on the left hand side of the road. Drivers tend to be temperamental and not particularly interested in abiding by the law of the road - so be warned it is best to hire a driver.

    For more information, click HERE.

Our Recent Visit: Secrets Cap Cana

Our travel designer, Robin, and CEO, Jennifer, visited the beautiful property of Secrets Cap Cana while exploring over 14 various properties in the Punta Cana area for clients! Needless to say, they fell in love and we think you will to!

Continue reading to see some of their favorite parts of this luxurious resort!


What we loved:

Secrets Cap Cana is a true luxury resort in the Dominican Republic with clean, modern-designed grounds that are still true to this island’s native roots! This resort is adults only so it has a much more quiet and relaxed vibe. It is a great romantic option for our upcoming honeymoooners, anniversary trips, or simply adults looking to getaway and relax in the Dominican sunshine. While this resort is large, its friendly staff and artfully designed property makes it feel like more of a boutique hotel!

Where to eat:

At Secrets Cap Cana you can indulge in an expansive array of international cuisine. Choose from 7 á la carte gourmet restaurants, a buffet venue, a grill and a café. The best part? Reservations are never required. Or if you would like to add some romance to your stay, sneak away for a romantic meal in your suite or on the beach.

There is also 24-hour dining options that allow guests to enjoy late night bites at the Coco Café or room service. It’s all available at any hour day or night.

Room details:

All the suites at Secrets Cap Cana are smoke free and offer sophisticated Caribbean décor with a furnished balcony or terrace so that you can easily access the stunning views. If you would like to really escape, they have additional elegant options such as bungalow suites, swim out suites and the highest level of luxury – the Preferred Club.

The Preferred Club offer guests with the following perks:

  • Personalize check-in and check-out

  • Special concierge service

  • Preferred status and amenities 

    • Preferred Club suites in premium locations 

    • Upgraded mini-bar 

    • Upgraded room service menu

    • Upgraded bath amenities

    • Pillow menu

    • Complimentary newspaper in-suite every day (English or Spanish) by request

  • Private Preferred Club Lounge with daily continental breakfast service, afternoon hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, and various deserts and fine liquors

  • Exclusive dining access including daily continental breakfast at Rosewater restaurant, daily à la carte breakfast at Oceana restaurant, and daily à la carte lunch at Rosewater restaurant

  • Private Preferred Club pool 

  • Private Preferred Club beach area

What you get with your stay:

At Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa, these amenities include:

Our favorite part? There are no gaudy wristbands required during your stay!

Why we would recommend this property to our clients:

Overall, this property is truly an amazing option for anyone looking to escape the spring break crowds or children when on vacation! The well designed grounds, attentive staff, luxurious spa, various dining options, and multiple infinity pools make this resort a stand out amongst the other all inclusive resort options on the island.

Our Recent Visit: Four Seasons Palm Beach

Our travel designer, Robin, visited the beautiful property of Four Seasons Palm Beach… and y’all it is a real treasure amongst the Treasure Coast! It recently went through a great renovation project so the facilities are nicer than ever.

She is dishing out all the insider information you need to know to book your next stay at this luxury resort.


What I loved:

The Four Seasons collection of hotels does an absolutely amazing job with the overall design and decor of each location. The Palm Beach property has recently undergone a large renovation to update the already amazing decor. They did an amazing job of bringing the style and colors of quintessential Palm Beach into all corners of this property.

The staff is also super kind and attentive! If you are laying by the pool or beach, the staff comes by hourly with various treats - sunscreen, chocolates, refreshments, etc. It almost feels like they are anticipating your needs to make sure your stay is nothing short of spectacular.

Where to eat:

The resort has two dining options on property that are both to die for! Seaway is a trendy oceanfront restaurant that highlights fresh Florida seafood with a Latin twist. The new renovation brought the kitchen outside so you can be assured that all of your food is prepped fresh right by the water.

If you are wanting a more fancy dining option, you have to check out Florie’s! Three-Michelin-starred Chef Mauro Colagreco has created a delicious menu that marries Florida and French Riviera flavors in the best ways. My favorite part is the open kitchen that is beautifully designed to showcase the amazing local fare. If you would rather grab a simple cocktail, Florie’s bar is not to be overlooked with their innovative drink menu!

Room details:

Rooms have even more of the Florida charm wrapped around them! Classic wicker, shades of pink and turquoise, and high end finishes make the rooms cozy and warm while staying true to Palm Beach. All rooms now come with a balcony and walk in shower following the reservation.

What you get with your stay:

Staying at this luxury resort comes with:

  • 2 tennis courts

  • Yoga and fitnesses classes

  • Poolside cabanas and beachside chairs with food & drink service

  • House car to local attractions

  • Cabana and daybed rentals

  • Luxury swell shopping boutique

  • Multilingual concierge

  • Kid’s programming and children under 5 eat free

  • Snorkeling equipment and beach volleyball

  • Complimentary sunglass cleaning

Why I would recommend considering for your next beach vacation:

This property is truly a gem on the Treasure Coast. It sits on the perfect beach property with crystal clear, warm waters. Four Seasons Palm Beach is also located right down the street from the iconic shopping strip - Worth Ave. It’s convenient location and fresh decor make this property the perfect spot for family vacations, beach getaways with friends, luxurious couple retreats, and oceanfront weddings & events.

Friday Feature: Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

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As the largest and capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires is known as the “Paris of Latin America” because of its lush green spaces, romantic architecture, and vibrant city life! It is located on the eastern coast of Argentina, just below the country of Uruguay. If you are looking to experience this beautiful city for yourself most international flights come in through the main airport of Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini (EZE). From there a 26 mile taxi ride will take you straight to the city center!

Best Times to Visit: The seasons in Argentina are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere. The weather in Buenos Aires is ideal in fall (March - May) and spring (September - November). The best travel deals are between April and June, but in October and November the jacaranda trees are in bloom, making it a beautiful time to see this city!

Things to do:

Enjoy an authentic “asado”. Asado, or barbecue, is a very important part of Argentinian culture as they highly value the gathering of friends and family. Enjoy a dinner of their high quality meats and local red wine. Some of the great steak places in the city include Don Julio and La Cabrera. If you are wanting a little more of a splurge meal, there’s the ever-popular Cabana Las Lilas.

Tango the night away! Buenos Aires is the birthplace of tango and the perfect place to learn the moves… or watch the professionals! A "milonga” is a place where locals go to dance tango, and there are plenty of authentic spots around the city!

Stroll through the San Telmo Market. This colorful street market draws over 12,000 visitors every Sunday! You can spend hours perusing the various antiques, knick knacks, and local artwork all while getting a true taste for the local culture of this thriving city!

Walk through Corrientes Avenue. The bustling Avenida Corrientes, or “city that never sleeps”, passes through Microcentro, the financial district, across the pedestrian shopping street, Calle Florida, and by the Obelisco. There are countless bookshops, cafés, pubs, theatres, and shops along its edges - giving you plenty to explore during your stay!

For more ideas, click HERE.

Feature Hotel: Exe Hotel Colon, Hotel NH Buenos Aires, Hotel Panamericano Buenos Aires

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Things to know before you go…

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  • The locals are night owls. If you are an early to bed kind of person, this city might not be for you. It is not uncommon for locals to head out to dinner at 9:00pm and most clubs don’t start getting busy until 2:00am.

  • Not a place for vegetarians. Argentina is the second overall consumer of meat and beef. It is a staple in most of their meals, so vegetarians be warned.

  • Transportation is cheap. Buses will take you just about everywhere you need to go in the city. Make sure to purchase a SUBE card beforehand at a kiosk as you can not purchase them directly on the bus.

  • Don’t think your normal Spanish will cut it.Castellano” is the Argentine version of Spanish but it is very different!

    For more information, click HERE.

Friday Feature: London

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London

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London’s calling and we are here for it! While typical Europe destinations like Italy and France will instantly sweep you off your feet with its beautiful language and vibrant culture, London isn’t quite the same. This European city is a great starter spot for international travelers wanting to dip their toes into Europe travel because it has many similarities to American - language, large city transportation, times of operations, etc. But don’t get us wrong, despite it’s similarities to American culture this destination is sure to wow all kinds of kinds! London is also an easy city to travel to from America with multiple airlines offering direct routes from America!

Best Times to Visit: London is pretty busy year round because of it’s beautiful summer weather and amazing seasonal decor for the holidays. However, high season is considered May to mid-September and December and low season is in January and February. If you would rather travel in low season to avoid the crowds, be sure to expect cool temperatures and plenty of rain.

Things to do:

Take a ride on the London Eye. The London Eye was originally constructed to celebrate the millennium and is a giant ferris wheel offering gorgeous panoramic views across the city. You can opt to share a pod with other travelers or splurge on a private pod for you and someone special.

Picnic in Hyde Park. This beautiful green park is the most famous in London and also the largest. It is home to several memorial features, as well as two bodies of water, the most famous being the Serpentine, where you can go paddle-boating, feed the swans, or just simply enjoy an afternoon lunch with friends!

Spend the afternoon at Westminster Abbey. Westminster is considered the political hub of London and is home to the Houses of Parliament and the world-famous Big Ben, which chimes every house. Westminster Abbey is open to the pubic most days so after a day of exploring the sites be sure to take time to rest your feet in Parliament Square.

Stroll the markets at Borough Market. This is the oldest market in all of London and most of the stallholders are the producers themselves! Meaning that you get the freshest, most authentic food from all over Europe! Warning: they have a limited market Monday-Tuesday so we recommend going Wednesday-Sunday for the full experience.

Feature Hotel: The Milestone Hotel, Andaz London Liverpool Street, COMO Metropolitan London

Restaurants we love…

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Best Places to Visit in April

Spring has officially sprung and traveling planning is still in full swing for the Explorateur Travel team!

With so many amazing client’s heading out on incredibly designed vacations, we are rounding up some of the best places to visit in April!


Botswana

If an African safari is on your travel bucket list, Botswana is the spot for you! April is one of the best times to visit this beautiful country because April-October is the dry season which means that game viewing is at it’s very best! The Moremi Game Reserve is in northern Botswana and a great place to spot the big five.

Porto, Portugal

Looking to escape the summer crowds that flock to Portugal for it’s amazing seafood, wine and rooftop bars? April is the best time to do it! Porto is a coastal town in northwest Portugal best known for it’s local production of port wine… hence the name! Spend your spring afternoons strolling the narrow, cobblestone streets and exploring the local boutiques and cafes.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico was hit hard by the latest blast of hurricanes that devastated the Caribbean. And while not all of the country has bounced back from the storms, things in San Juan are back up and running. Spend the day sun tanning at one of the pristine beaches or stroll the gorgeous, pastel colored streets of San Juan. Locals are waiting with open arms because the country could use a tourism boost more than ever!

Savannah, Georgia

Sleepy Savannah is teeming with history, friendly locals, and delicious foods! Savannh is also home to the largest music festival in Georgia - The Savannah Music Festival. Spend the day listening to over 100 artists and soaking in that spring sunshine! Another perk of this southern hot spot? It is only a quick road trip from most southeastern cities like Orlando, Atlanta, and Charleston!

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech is a popular destination in April because it’s mild temperature and pre-summer dip in tourism. Morocco is known for it’s beautiful ceramic design details and ultimate desert vibes! Tour this beautiful city from the seat of a vintage sidecar or see the seemingly untouched desert from the back of a camel - but leave your bulky winter coats at home.

Friday Feature: Budapest

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Budapest

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As the capital city of Hungary, Budapest is divided in half by the Danube River separating the hilly "Buda" district on the west side of the river and a flat "Pest" side on the east. From it’s dramatic history, beautiful architecture, healing thermal springs, and vibrant nightlife, there isn’t much that this beautiful capital city doesn’t offers to travelers near and far. British Airways and other low cost budget airlines offer direct flights to Budapest Ferihegy Airport from London.

Best Times to Visit: The best times to visit Budapest are from March to May and September through November. These shoulder seasons are when the weather is idyllic and the city isn't overcrowded with tourists. However, the climate is always relatively mild.

Things to do:

Soak in the Széchenyi Baths. One of the last remnants of the Turkish influence in Hungary, is the beautiful thermal bathes - a quintessential Budapest experience! While there are many baths through Budapest, the grandious Széchenyi Baths are a fan favorite. No matter which bath house you choose, a visit to the baths is truly one of the best things to do in Budapest! We suggest going in early morning or just before sunset for a more private soak in the thermal, healing waters of the outdoor pools.

Cruise along the Danube River. The beautiful Danube River is the second longest European river that touches 10 different countries! It also perfectly highlights the beautiful city of Budapest. Whether you cruise this river during the day or night, it is an absolute must during your time in this city. There are cruise options that offer everything from history tours to dinner cruise options!

Sample some authentic Hungarian wine. The Hungarian wine scene is great for our fellow wine lovers and we totally recommend sampling some local wines during your trip! There are plenty of cellars located throughout Budapest itself (Faust Wine Cellar is a great option located underground in the labyrinth system beneath Buda Castle) or take a trip out to the Etyek region.

Take a walking tour of Budapest. Just looking at pictures of Budapest it is easy to see that the architecture is so alluring to travelers from around the world! There are plenty of tour options - walking, riding, or cruising - that will give you a better picture of the history and uniqueness the city offers.

Feature Hotel: New York Palace, Budapest Marriott Hotel, Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest 

Things to know before you go…

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  • Be sure to validate your metro ticket. There are ticket inspections done frequently on the metro and fines are issued on the spot for invalidated tickets!

  • Book in advance. Most buses and drivers will allow you to buy directly from the driver, but it is more expensive! So plan ahead and book those tickets in advance - we can help you with that!

  • Pedestrians have the right of way. Especially on crosswalks so be aware if you are driving in the city!

  • Pay in Forints, not Euro. Some stores will list pricing in Euro but the conversion is not in your favor so make sure to always pay in Forints and save your money!

    For more information, click HERE.

Friday Feature: Palm Springs, CA

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Palm Springs

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Palm Springs, CA is truly a place like no where else! People come to experience it’s renown mid century style and retro, desert vibes but stay for the beautiful weather and amazing food scene. If you are looking for a great option for a friends trip, bachelor/bachelorette retreat, or couples getaway, Palm Springs should definitely be on your radar! You can get here by flying into the local airport - Palm Springs International Airport. While some guests opt to rent a car during their stay, if you are looking for an authentic stay we recommend using the bikes that most resorts offer to their guests! There is no better way to experience this adorable town then cruising the streets on a colorful bicycle.

Best Times to Visit: The best time to visit Palm Springs is between January and April when the weather is the most hospitable. Fall's temperatures are almost as nice, but unless you love the heat, we wouldn't recommend visiting in the summertime when daily highs regularly reach the triple digits.

Things to do:

Take in the sites of The Valley from the Aerial Tramway. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway—the world’s largest rotating tram car—travels over 2.5 miles along the cliffs of Chino Canyon, transporting visitors to the pristine wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area. During this ten-minute journey, tram cars rotate slowly, offering spectacular vistas of the valley below.

Tour the mid century houses of Palm Springs. The Mod Squad has perfectly curated an amazing “Essential Palm Springs” tour for visitors looking to see the iconic design of the city. In just 90 minutes, discover what makes Palm Springs the mecca for mid-century modern architecture and still have time to relax by the pool! With a maximum of five individuals per tour,  Palm Springs Mod Squad tours are intimate, personalized experiences.

Relax! While the food and downtown scene is vibrant and fun to explore, there is no better way to spend your time in Palm Springs than simply relaxing at one of the amazingly designed pools or famous spa’s! No one does relaxing weekend retreat quite like Palm Springs so make sure to leave time to recharge your battery during your stay.

Leave some extra room in your carry on… because the shopping here is no joke! Whether you stroll the boutiques along downtown or shop the Desert Hills Premium Outlets, you are sure to find some necessary keepsake to celebrate your amazing stay!

Click HERE to learn more!

Feature Hotel: The Parker, Saguaro Palm Springs, JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa

Our favorite restuarants…

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  • Cheekys - This is thee. best. brunch spot! Possibly in all of Palm Springs. Make sure to grab a bacon flight during your stay!

  • Purple Palm Restaurant - nestled in the Colony Palms Hotel, this spot has an imaginative menu of globally-influenced American cuisine

  • Great Shakes - this ice cream shop is taking your traditional cone to a whole new level… i.e. milkshakes with a donut on the straw

  • Norma’s - Located in The Parker hotel, this five star diner is anything but ordinary

  • Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge - This American eatery is a great addition to the vibrant downtown Palm Springs scene. And the interior decor gives us all the design inspo.

Check out more great options HERE!

Our Recent Stay: Unico 20 87

Our travel designer, Robin, just got back from a relaxing couple’s vacation at Unico 20 87 in Riviera Maya, Mexico! You have probably heard us mention this amazing property before but it’s truly something you need to experience for yourself.

She is dishing out all the insider information you need to know to book your next stay at this all inclusive resort.


Why I went:

My fiance and I wanted a tropical getaway that was both convenient to get to from south Florida and a luxury all inclusive resort… Unico 20 87 checked all the boxes! This resort is located 1 hour south of the Cancun airport, which has tons of direct flight options from cities like Ft. Lauderdale, Dallas, Miami, and more!

What I loved:

I have stayed at all inclusive resorts before but Unico does such a good job at capturing the boutique luxury vibe. The best part is the all inclusive package is truly all inclusive… like tours, spa, golf tee times, scuba diving excursions, and salon services for only a 25% service fee!

Upon check in we were greeted with a refreshing welcome drink and welcoming, attentive staff. They even had us select the scent of our room amenities… such an amazing touch! Our local host, Mario, gave us a quick tour of the resort, took our luggage to the room while letting us enjoy some delicious tacos for lunch near the ocean! Local hosts are assigned to every guest and can help you with all dinner reservations, booking tours for you, etc. We felt so important and well taken care of by the staff the entire trip!

What I ate:

The best food ever… EVER! We tried a different restaurant for dinner every night and never left a meal unimpressed. They have a great selection of dining experiences ranging from casual beachside to fine dining under the stars!

During the day, they have a great selection of breakfast and lunch options which you can enjoy at a restaurant overlooking the ocean, by the pool, in your room, or wherever you want. You can even order poolside drinks or snacks through an app on your phone… Game changer!

How I slept:

The rooms were clean, spacious, and artfully designed! Our king size bed was like sleeping on a cloud and the pillow menu selections only helped make our stay even more comfortable. They also have a nightly turndown service and I am pretty positive there is nothing better than coming home from a delicious dinner to a freshly made bed and Godiva chocolates!

What I got with my stay:

All. The. Things. And that is not an exaggeration y’all! This all inclusive resort truly took the term all inclusive to heart. With you stay, you get:

  • 5-star adults-only accommodations

  • In-room minibar stocked according to preference

  • Custom-scented amenities

  • Four unique restaurants, including Cueva Siete under celebrity chef Xavier Perez Stone

  • Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and free calls to the Continental US & Canada

  • 24-hr room service

  • Three bars with a devoted mixology program and a lounge featuring live entertainment

  • Poolside and beachside service including snacks and beverages

  • Land and water sports

  • Fitness Center with a visiting instructor program

  • Daily and nightly events

Why I would recommend considering for your next trip to Mexico:

Mexico is teeming with amazing resorts! But Unico has completely changed the all inclusive, boutique resort game! From the food, decorations, pool and beach, and friendly staff, this place is a new favorite of mine. It is perfect for a romantic weekend, group celebration, honeymoon, or business incentives trip!

Friday Feature: Barbados

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Barbados

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It’s hard not to instantly picture bright white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters when you hear the word Barbados. But this beautiful Caribbean island offers guests a rich history and culinary scene as well! It’s location in the southern Caribbean also means it is not at risk for hurricanes during that time of season - making it a great spot to consider if you are looking to travel between June - November! How do you get to this sunny paradise? All flights to Barbados land at Grantley Adams Intl. Airport (BGI), which is located in the parish of Christ Church.

Best Times to Visit: The best time to visit Barbados is between July and November. Though these months fall within the Caribbean's hurricane season, hurricanes rarely hit the island!

Things to do:

Taste the local flavors. Barbeque is the preferred cooking method of Bajans and you will smell the delicious aromas throughout the island. This is also a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and locals! Just follow your nose to one of the many roadside or beachside barbecues and taste some of the nation’s best food.

Go on a rum tour. Mount Gay Rum is the country’s pride and joy! Mount Gay Distillery puts on excellent rum tours where you can learn about the history of rum production in Barbados, while trying a few samples along the way.

Visit Harrison’s Cave. Located in the central uplands, Harrison’s Cave showcases breathtaking limestone that drips water into impossibly clear pools. Pictures hardly do it justice. The cave itself is located far away from most tourist hotels, however there are plenty of tour options that will take you straight to this natural wonder.

Stroll St. Nicholas Abbey. St. Nicholas Abbey is an old plantation home set on a beautiful property of tranquil gardens, gullies and orchards with the adjacent Cherry Tree Hill. The home itself has some beautiful antique furniture and decorations transporting you back to the 350+ years of history that this wonderfully preserved plantation home offers visitors.

Soak in the sunshine on Carlisle Bay Beach. While there are plenty of beautiful, white sandy beaches along the coast of Barbados, Carlisle Bay is one of the best! The waters are always calm with plenty of places to pick up food and alcohol to sit back and enjoy the day with!

Check out more ideas HERE.

Feature Hotel: St Peters Bay, Sandy Lane Hotel, Sandpiper

Things to know before you go…

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  • Leave the camo at home. While it has become pretty mainstream in today’s fashion, camo is illegal to wear in Barbados. The print is exclusively reserved for use by the defense force in Barbados.

  • English is the primary language. It may be a little hard to understand at first, but Barbadians speak a form of broken English know as Bajan. It consists mostly of words which have been shortened or joined together, excluding “r” sounds and replacing “th” sounds with “d”.

  • Look but don’t touch the turtles. Barbados has an amazing population of hawksbill and leatherback turtles, which were once endangered and are now protected and monitored throughout the island.

    For more information, click HERE.

Friday Feature: Brussels, Belgium

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Brussels

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While it boasts many great options for junk foodies (i.e. chocolate, fries, waffles, and beer), Brussels is so much more than just a food lovers paradise. As the “unofficial” capital of Europe, Brussels is one of the best connected cities in Europe because of its importance in the EU and its geographic location. It is a quick day trip or additional stop from most cities in Northern Germany or France. How do you get to this beautiful city? There are numerous direct flights from various cities in the United States to Brussels Airport. Direct flights leave from the following cities: New York (JFK), Chicago, Newark, Atlanta, Washington and Philadelphia.

Best Times to Visit: The best time to visit Brussels is between March and May and September and October, the shoulder seasons; this is when room rates are cheaper and fewer crowds clog the top attractions. This city also experiences all four seasons, and rain is a possibility year-round.

Things to do:

People watch in Grand-Palace. One of the best ways to start your trip around Brussels is to visit the Grand-Place, one of Europe’s most beautiful squares and best places to just watch the world go by. The heart of Brussels began as a thriving market, soon spreading out into the surrounding maze of little streets: the butter street, butchers street, the chicken market, herb market, and cheese Markets.

Eat. All. The. Things. We are serious about this one you guys… Brussels is known for it’s chocolate, beer, and waffles so it would be almost a waste of a trip without indulging in what makes this spot so great! So pack some stretchy pants and live your foodie life to the fullest during your trip! If you would like to add some education to your trip, stop by the Choco-Story museum to learn all about how this delicacy is made!

Take in the greenery of Bois de la Cambre. Although the sprawling cityscape of Brussels may make you think it's entirely covered by industry, Brussels is actually one of the greenest cities in Europe. It's also located on the northern edge of the huge Forêt de Soignes, which means you don't have to travel too far outside the city to be immersed in nature either.

Explore Trendy Sainte-Catherine. The Sainte-Catherine district, located just opposite the old Bourse (stock exchange), is a trendy, modern destination for shopping and dining at some of the city's best new restaurants and shops. Also, if you're interested in sightseeing, don’t miss the delightful Notre-Dame-aux-Riches-Claires, a Flemish baroque church that is well worth going into if it’s open. For more information, click HERE.

Feature Hotel: Hotel Sofitel Brussels Le Louise, Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo, Hotel Navarra Brugge

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Things to know before you go…

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  • The weather isn’t always perfect. It can easily go from sunny and gorgeous to a 30 minute spell of rain, and then back to sunshine. So make sure to pack accordingly!

  • Save your pennies. Brussels has exceptional shopping so make sure to spend some time strolling the beautiful streets and checking out the local shops and markets.

  • Check the schedule for seasonal festivals. Brussels is a great city that always has a lot of things going on from chocolate festivals, music festivals, or various film festivals.

  • You don’t need to talk the talk to love this city. Most people speak French, while people within the Flanders region tend to speak Dutch. Visitors are able to get by with English, as it tends to be fairly common and accepted in Belgium.

    Check out more information HERE.

Friday Feature: Quebec City

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Quebec City

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This week we are throwing some well deserved love to our neighbors of the north - Canada. Quebec City is located on the Saint Lawrence River in Canada's mostly French-speaking Québec province. The city’s deep French roots are immediately display at it’s dozens of boulangeries, creperies, bistros and wine bars in the middle of town. The buildings architecture almost instantly transports you to France with stone buildings and narrow streets. Air Canada, which flies from the U.S. through Montréal or Toronto, is the most popular airline that takes you to this beautiful destination. However, WestJet, Alaska, and United are other good options. All flights arrive at Québec City’s main airport Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB), a quick cab ride into downtown.

Best Times to Visit: The best times to visit Quebec City are June - September and December - February. During the summer and winter months, the city's social calendar is booked solid with festivals.

Things to do:

Spend the afternoon strolling Old Quebec. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is so well preserved from its 17th-century construction, you’ll feel as though you stumbled into France, minus the transatlantic flight. With narrow cobblestoned streets and twinkling lights, the area has the exaggeratedly romantic appearance of a real life winter wonderland. The area is home to the most prominent feature of Québec City’s skyline, the Château Frontenac. Spend some time at the local cafes or boutique along the old street.

Take a ferry ride to Lévis. To get the best view of Quebec City, you need to see the beautiful city scape by water! There’s a ferry service between the capital and its adjacent neighbor, Lévis, which means that for a handful of change you can cross the St. Lawrence River, sit back, and enjoy the view that unfolds before your eyes.

Taste the local cuisine through a food tour. Arguably the best way to experience a new place and culture is by sampling its authentic fare. This three hour Old Quebec Food Tour walk you through the city’s vibrant, and diverse foodie scene. You will visit a variety of notable establishments and enjoy enough delicious bites and sips to make up a hearty and satisfying lunch!

Pour yourself a tall brew-sky. The citizens of Quebec take their beer very seriously… which is why there are micro breweries everywhere! Some local favorites are Griendel, La Souche, La Barberie, La Korrigane, and Noctem.

Feature Hotel: Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Auberge Saint Antoine by Relais and Chateaux, Fairmont Tremblant

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Things to know before you go…

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  • This is a French speaking province… and they take it seriously. French must be the predominant language on signs, retail or food service employees always greet customers in French, and there are even laws dictating whether parents can send their children to English or French school.

  • They have their own national holiday. Canada Day is on July 1, and while Quebecers still get that day off, those celebrations are muted compared to those of St. Jean Baptiste Day, known as Fête Nationale, held a week earlier on June 24.

  • The best of this city is experienced in winter. If you want a true Canadian experience, we recommend braving the cold to enjoy some local favorites - ice fishing, snowshoeing, etc.

    Check out more information HERE.

Our Recent Stay: Parrot Key Hotel

Our travel designer, Jennifer, just got back from a relaxing girl’s weekend at Parrot Key Hotel in Key West, FL and if you have an upcoming group trip - this spot is for you!

She is dishing out all the insider information you need to know to book your next stay at this Florida paradise.


Why I went:

This property was perfect for a group, without requiring the uncertainty of an airbnb or rental house. We had 8 women and needed a multi-bedroom property, and this was perfect! We rented a 3 bedroom villa, which suited everyone!

What I loved:

  1. The pools- there are 4! There is a noise level option for everyone, and allowing guests to spread out means families can choose to not be seated next to cackling bachelorette groups (...which was absolutely us!). 

  2. The service! Everyone we met was incredibly welcoming and hospitable. 

  3. The pool bar was perfect for cool beverage outside the villa, and without having to travel far. We had a light lunch and then were off and running!

  4. This was the most modern and clean spot! I was absolutely wow'ed by the decor and how up to date this property was. Definitely a great choice for travelers of all styles!

What I ate:

In Key West, you have to wander out to enjoy the local fare. The hotel (while perfect for us) was not on the main strip, so we wandered into town on their complimentary shuttle for our meals. Conch fritters, chowder, and crab legs...OH MY!

How I slept:

The rooms were impeccably clean, the beds were cozy and there was no noise pollution. Being off the main drag definitely has its advantages! Who knew you could actually get an amazing nights sleep at a bachelorette weekend…

What I got with my stay:

We were given waters, L'Occitane products (NICE TOUCH!) and all the space that a group could ask for. There is valet available, for those who needed parking. They also offer a quick and complimentary shuttle ride downtown so you can easily experience the quintessential Key West.

If you are looking for a thrill, the hotel also offers water sport packages that include parasailing, paddle boarding, jet skiing, kayaking, bike rentals, boat rentals, cruises, dolphin watching, snorkeling, and so much more, there are truly options for everyone in your party!

Why I would recommend considering for your next trip to the Florida Keys:

If you are looking for a family or group getaway, this is it! I can't stress how seamless our stay was here. With the pool bar and restaurant, multiple places to soak up the sun, the amount of room we had in our villa, and the shuttle into town- this makes it incredibly convenient for anyone looking to enjoy Key West!

Uniquely Italy: Redefining your “villa” stay

Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Umbria, Grosseto, Lazio….shall we continue? While most travelers think purely of Tuscany when considering the countryside of central Italy, there is so much more to see! Italy isn’t “one size fits all” and we recently went in search of finding those properties that offer a twist on the quintessential Tuscan vacation.

We have rounded up our top 10 most unique accommodations in central Italy:


 

1. Lupaia

Lupaia, an agritouristic resort in the heart of Tuscany, stands on ancient foundations of over a thousand years on which the main house and its annexes date back to 1622. Lying on the soft hills of Tuscany, in the Sienese countryside between Pienza and Montepulciano, the ancient estate of Lupaia is suspended at the crossroads between history and nature. 

 

2. Eremito

Eremito is a unique place, a lay hermitage located in an isolated spot, where one can spend a relaxing and reinvigorating time, away from the daily hustle and bustle of daily life. The place is majestically located within Umbrian valleys, this amplifies the sense of spirituality enchanting the eyes and the soul.

 

3. Casa Iris

Casa Iris is nestled in the five hundred year old Palazzo Raveggi, just inside the historic center of Orbetello. This haven in the Grosseto region has created a playful mix of modern design and ancient beauty. We offer luxury amenities, inviting and spacious rooms, and fresh breakfast including local organic produce each morning. Special care has been taken at the end of the week, quality bedding and beautiful upholstery.

 

4. Villa Fontelunga

The Villa is set within an estate of 200 olive trees. The terrace to the rear of the main building allows clients to enjoy the Villa's spectacular view across the Val di Chiana, where breakfast (included) and lunch are served daily. Twice a week the Villa organizes a private 3 course dinner party for guests, an event that has become synonymous with life here at Villa Fontelunga. The property includes a spacious living area, 9 double bedrooms, an outside gazebo with fireplace, landscaped gardens, large pool, Jacuzzi, tennis court, mountain bikes and yoga / pilates gazebo.

 

5. Castello di Monterone

The Castle of Monterone is located in the countryside, three kilometers from the historic center of Perugia. 
Eighteen rooms equipped with all comforts, in an ancient castle transformed into a period residence and furnished respecting its history. At Castello di Monterone it will be possible to live an experience of deep relaxation: welcomed in the refined spaces of the ancient residence or walking among the rose garden, it will be easy to immerse yourself in a timeless peace, finding serenity and balance with yourself at the sheltered from the daily stress of big cities.

 

6. Borgo Santo Pietro

Situated in the heart of Tuscany near Siena, Borgo Santo Pietro is a 5-star luxury boutique hotel with a holistic spa, cooking school, Michelin-starred restaurant, 230-acre organic farm, vineyards and 13-acre beautifully manicured gardens. Experience the ultimate luxury Tuscan vacation at Borgo Santo Pietro, your home away from home in Tuscany. Each of the 20 rooms and suites are individually styled, inspired by the villa's rich history, with bespoke details executed by local craftsmen and in-house artisans using traditional techniques. Rooms and suites combine contemporary luxury with the romantic charm of the Tuscan countryside.

 

7. Hotel Il Pellicano

This luxury boutique hotel in Porto Ercole is a familiar romantic getaway for discerning guests all over the world and those seeking exclusive weekend breaks from Rome, on the Tuscan Coast. Each day the Tuscan sunlight illuminates our pristine blue bay, infusing us all with a sense of delicious wonder, no surprise that Il Pellicano is famed for is sprezzatura, stylish, effortless ambiance. “Sprezzatura” is an Italian term originating from Baldassare Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier, which represents “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.”

 

8. Villa Mangiacane

Nestled in the heart of the winemaking region of Chianti Classico, Villa Mangiacane is a magnificent 15th century property built by the Machiavelli family, bearing the unmistakable hand of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo. Located just 12km south of Florence, Mangiacane is set within 600 acres of flourishing vineyards and olive groves. Luxurious facilities compliment the Palazzo Machiavelli: an outdoor swimming pool, SPA with indoor heated pool, sauna and steam bath, unique sculpture garden and breathtaking views of the Brunelleschi Duomo in Florence from the terrace balcony.

 

9. Adler Spa Resort

Where gentle hills dot the landscape, the scent of cypresses fills the air and steaming thermal water relieves all tension, coming to rest is easy. Nestling in a unique location in the hilly Tuscan landscape, the ADLER Spa Resort THERMAE is not just a place for personal relaxation, it is also the ideal starting point for truly getting to know the region. Immerse yourself in our soothing spa and an environment of enchanting beauty.  

 

10. La Corte Dei Papi

Situated just a few kilometres from Cortona in Tuscany, in a small valley surrounded by rolling hills, la Corte Relais is an oasis of peace and tranquillity and is perfect for those seeking both culture and tradition. You will be seduced by the traditional fine food and comforted by the elegance of this authentic Tuscan villa. La Corte Relais is a country residence dating back to the 1700’s where long-standing tradition and luxury are brought together to offer our guests the wonderful experience of wellness and relaxation. Beautiful suites enhance the feeling of wellbeing. With an excellent restaurant and warm and genuine Tuscan hospitality, your stay will be completely unforgettable.

Friday Feature: Fiji

Fiji

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Known for its luxurious private-islands, all-inclusive resorts, top spas, culinary destinations and outdoor adventures, Fiji is most widely celebrated for its culture, which uniquely welcomes visitors home to it’s 333 lush islands. Fiji's white sand beaches and pristine, crystal-clear ocean waters offer an ideal vacation destination for divers, honeymooners and families- or simply, those looking to relax and get away from it all. Fiji is easily accessible through convenient, non-stop flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco or Honolulu by Fiji Airways.

Best Times to Visit: Fiji weather is typically either hot and humid (Nov-April) or dry and mild (May-Oct). Generally, the best time to visit these islands is between mid-October to mid-November as prices are reasonable, there are fewer crowds, and weather conditions are dry and pleasantly warm.

Things to do:

See Fire-Walking on Beqa. Located just off Vitu Levu’s southern coast is Beqa Island and the surrounding lagoon, are home to more than 100 dives sites. However there is far more to this island than just it’s rich underwater life… The beautiful Beqa Island is home to the Sawau tribe who created the traditional art of fire-walking. You can experience members of the tribe participating in a fire-walking ceremony where warriors tread over burning embers from a lovo (earth oven) shouting “O-vulo-vulo!” at the Lalati Resort and Spa.

Drink Kava on Vanua Levu. Fiji’s second-largest island, Vanua Levu, sits to the north. It is accessible via a short flight from Nadi. This is a great place to experience the traditional island life and culture first hand. Take a tour of Nukubaluvu Village, where you’ll take part in a sevu-sevu (gift giving) ceremony, kava drinking (an absolute must-do in Fiji!) and a wild traditional dance with grass-skirted warriors.

Hike the Falls of Taveuni. Taveuni Island is located just off Vanua Levu’s east coast and known as Fiji’s Garden of Eden. It is overflowing with beautiful rare orchids, prehistoric tree ferns, tumbling waterfalls and natural water slides. Don’t miss the Tavoro waterfalls, a 60-foot waterfall that cascades into an emerald pool! It is easily accessible via a flat, grassy trail and a great way to spend a day!

Shop for pearls in Savusavu. Justin Hunter has spent the past decade cultivating some of world’s most unique pearls in Savusavu Bay. While you can find these beautiful, locally sourced pearls at a variety of stores and resorts, they are best found right at the source - Hunter’s flagship store off Savusavu’s main street. There is truly no better Fiji souvenir!

Information courtesy of Islands.

Feature Hotel: Vomo Island Resort, Kokomo Private Island, Castaway Island Fiji

Things to know before you go…

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  • Know the Meaning of Bula and Vinaka. Although most Fijians speak English these local words will make their way into each conversation so definitely brush up before arriving. 

    • Bula means “hello” and is the Fijian greeting

    • Vinaka means “thank you”

  • Pack some conservative outfits. If you plan to visit local villages, schools or attend a local church service it is important that you respect the conservative culture and cover up a bit more than you might at the resort.

  • Understand how tipping works. Most hotels and resorts will tell you that tipping is not necessary, and on paper Fiji is a non-tipping country. However, we suggest to bring or set aside some extra cash for tipping staff members that go above and beyond. 

  • Sunday is a church day for the islanders. Almost all of the locals go to church on Sundays and that many restaurants and shops are closed. If you are planning activities in town over the weekend to take this into consideration.

For more information, click HERE.

Our Recent Visit: Hermosa Inn

Our Travel Designer, Robin, just back from a great weekend checking out a bunch of different properties in Scottsdale. One of her favorites? The Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley!

She is dishing out all the insider information you need to know to book your next stay at what Conde Nast says is the “Best Hotel in Arizona”!


What I loved:

The Hermosa Inn is the definition of romance! This resort is small and intimate with only 43 rooms available. Famed artist Lon Megargee created The Hermosa Inn in the 1930s as his private escape before opening up to guests. All these years later, the luxury boutique inn retains that original intimate feel, complete with homey touches: Lon’s original artwork hanging on the walls, a flourishing garden, and upscale furnishings throughout. Top it off with the best service of any resort I have ever stayed at, and you have the perfect weekend getaway with your significant other or friends!

Where to eat:

The Hermosa Inn is home to two great dining options: Lon’s and Lon’s Last Drop. If you are in the mood for true farm to table Arizona fare that is sure to “Wow”, Lon’s is the best spot for not only guests, but any foodies visiting the Paradise Valley.

Lon’s Last Drop is connected to the acclaimed restaurant and serves up handcrafted cocktails, local beers and delicious small plates. Enjoy these dished inside amongst the authentic Arizona artwork or outside amongst the beautiful trees and garden - an unlikely sanctuary in the middle of the desert.

Room details:

Each room at Lon’s is it’s own private oasis. You will not find the traditional hotel room keys here - Hermosa Inn still uses an actual key to open up its rooms in an effort to remain true to Lon’s original vision! Each guestroom and casita is individually decorated in warm, Southwestern style. Fireplaces, secluded patios and vaulted ceilings add to the relaxed appeal. Enjoy your coffee in the shadows on Camelback while admiring the lush gardens around the property.

What you get with a stay:

  • Complimentary self-guided art walk of the property

  • Fully equipped fitness center

  • Access to the Blue Door Spa Suite

  • Bike rentals to explore the surrounding area

  • A full calendar of events - from brunch with well known artists to dinners with acclaimed pianists

  • Close proximity to nearby hiking and jogging trails

Why I would recommend considering for your next trip to Phoenix:

Clearly, I am a huge fan of this boutique inn as an adults only, wellness focused escape. While I would not recommend it for a lively crowd looking for the nightlife of Scottsdale or large families traveling with small children, I do think this is the perfect stay for anyone needing some much needed R+R!

Friday Feature: Seychelles

Seychelles

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Scattered across the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles are an archipelago of 115 islands located off the eastern coast of Africa. While picturesque beaches of the islands main attraction, these beauties draw in guests from around the world for diving, world-class resorts, and fishing! How do you get to this tropical paradise? Direct flights connect the Seychelles with China, France, Germany, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. From the US, you'll need to take a connecting flight from South Africa, Europe or the Middle East. The Seychelles International Airport, outside of Victoria, is the only international airport in the Seychelles.

Best Times to Visit: The best times to visit Seychelles are April, May, October and November. These months during shoulder season allow for fewer tourists and warm temperatures. These are also the best months for diving visibility.

Things to do:

Spend the day exploring the beautiful water. The Seychelles are known to be the premiere diving and/or snorkeling destination in the Indian Ocean. There is excellent diving off Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, the three main islands, as well as off the other inner and outer islands. Don’t worry if you aren’t a great swimmer - there are places to go for every level or expertise. Disclaimer: Diving in the Seychelles heavily hinges on the weather conditions, currents and direction of the wind. However, diving can be sampled during all seasons as there are always sheltered conditions. The seas are calmest from April to May and October to November.

Toss a line. It only makes sense that water this beautiful is teeming with fish! Just about any resort, tour operator, or dive centre will be able to set you up with a fabulous charter to the open waters. Job-fish, groupers and red snappers are most commonly caught, but you're also a good chance of reeling in a tuna, sailfish, or marlin.

Parasailing along the coast. If you are wanting truly picture perfect views of this beautiful place, consider taking a parasailing ride! You can fly solo or tandem with a partner. Beau Vallon Beach is a great spot for this - be sure to check out the Beau Vallon Aquatic Sports Center. They'll strap you into your harness and you'll be airborne in no time, wind conditions permitting.

Take a sunset sail. Since this destination is best experienced by water, it is only right to end your night sailing those same beautiful waters while watching the sunset over the horizon. If you want a longer expedition, there are day to week long cruise options available through certain hosts. The best months for cruising are April and October; the worst are January, July and August. 

Feature Hotel: Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Banyan Tree Seychelles

Things to know before you go…

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  • Be sure to enjoy the ride. Time in the Seychelles move slower than in America, so do not get in a rush.

  • Ask before snapping pictures with the locals. Always respect the wish of locals. Ask permission to photograph and don't insist or snap a picture if permission is denied.

  • Keep you clothes on. Although beachwear is fine for the beaches, you will cause offense and may experience pestering if you dress in skimpy clothing elsewhere. Nude bathing is forbidden.

For more information, click HERE.

Friday Feature: Philippines

Philippines

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From lush rainforests to world class beaches, the landscape of the Philippines is one of the most diverse and drawing more and more visitors from around the world! With over 7,000 islands, you really have to choose your Philippines travel itinerary carefully if you want to take in all of this incredible country! There are five different airports to choose from, making it easily accessible from various parts of the world.

Best Times to Visit: The Philippines are most popular during the dry season, between November and April. Temperatures are high during March and April, so it's best to travel during the cooler months of December to February.

Places to see:

Twin Lagoon and Banol Beach, Coron Island. Surrounded by towering cliffs, and filled with crystal clear water, the lagoons are a must see. You won't be alone. Large tour groups come and go all day, but if you stick around for long enough you can find a little piece of paradise for yourself. Banol Beach is everything you would imagine the Philippines to be - crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, and surrounding mountains-cape. The cliffs are scattered with old fisherman’s huts, which have the effect of transporting you back in time.

El Nido, Palawan. Do yourself a favor and give this beautiful place a Google… yeah, crazy right?! Aside from it’s beauty and friendly locals, this town has an abundance of tours that will take you island hopping with a great local host who can point out the various island and beaches!

Binalayan Hidden Waterfalls, Cebu. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, the cliff diving in Binalayan Falls is magical. This hidden gem is in the middle of the jungle with three distinct streams and ledges of varying heights for the those willing to take the plunge! There is a short walk required to the falls so wear good shoes - you won’t regret it!

Feature Hotel: Amanpulo

Things to know before you go…

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  • Don’t get in a hurry. There is no thing as fast travel in the Philippines, as most travel is done from island to island on boats! So kick your feet up and take your time with this country.

  • Skip the car rental. While some travelers gravitate to the flexibility that a car offers them, it is best to skip it in the Philippines. Aside from being both stressful and dangerous, it is also best to see the sights and beauty of the country.

  • Brace yourself for the heat… because the heat and humidity of the country is no joke.

  • Tip your servers! The Philippines is a country that provides cheap service so tipping is common practice. At restaurants, it’s customary to leave 10-15% of your final bill, unless service charge is included, in which case, less is fine.

For more helpful tips, click HERE.

Friday Feature: Napa Valley, California

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Napa Valley

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Nothing says relaxing getaway quite like Napa Valley and Sonoma, California. Besides the obvious reasons to go (i.e., world renown, locally-owned wines galore), this area of the United States is truly beautiful! From rolling hills to vines galore, there is no better place to sip on a glass of white outdoors while admiring the picturesque scenery.
We suggest flying into San Francisco, renting a car and driving the winding country roads all the way to wine country - the drive is absolutely spectacular and bonus… take a drive over the Golden Gate bridge before heading out of town.
Pro tip: Add a couple days to the front or back end of your vacation to explore San Francisco!

Best Times to Visit: If you want fewer crowds, cheaper hotel rates, and perfect weather, the absolute best month to visit this area is October!

Things to do:

Take a morning hot air balloon ride. This is the best way to see and learn about the beautiful vineyards and unique agriculture in the valley. Plus, there is no better start to a day full of wine tasting than by watching the sun rise over the surrounding hills. If you are afraid of heights, you can watch the dozens of balloons bounce around the sky early in the mornings while enjoying a warm cup of coffee. Our favorite tour is Napa Valley Aloft!

Pamper yourself at one of the luxury spas in town. Napa Valley knows luxury. The hotels and resorts all have the most amazing spas on property, making carving out a little '“me time” easy! If you are not staying at a property with a spa, make sure to reserve your service in advance!

Spend your day vineyard hopping! This is the most obvious of our list but we have included some of our favorite vineyards below. Make sure to reserve your space ahead of time as most vineyards require a reservation for tastings.

  • St. Supery - amazing Sauvinon Blanc & friendly staff with excellent recommendations

  • Domaine Carneros - best for bubbles and beautiful views

  • Domaine Chandon - very popular sparkling wine, and a great place for a picnic

  • V. Sattui - organically farmed vineyard in St. Helena with 60 different highly rated wines

  • Sterling Vineyards - great wines but the tram to the top of the vineyard is truly beautiful. Great views to enjoy lunch and a glass of white.

Feature Hotels: Meadowood Napa Valley, Carneros Resort & Spa, Bardessono

Our favorite restaurants are…

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  • Bouchon - authentic French bistro fare from world renown chef, Thomas Keller

  • Bouchon Bakery - best macaroons and pastries in the valley

  • Grace’s Table - charming eatery with globally inspired menu

  • Boon Fly Cafe - Fresh and casual California fare , great for lunch!

  • Bottega Napa Valley - Rustic Italian food served in an indoor/outdoor, lively atmosphere

  • The French Laundry - famous farmhouse, world class restaurant to splurge on an amazing meal

Our Recent Stay: Four Seasons Bora Bora

Our fearless leader & CEO, Jennifer, just got back from an amazing stay at the Four Seasons Bora Bora… and it was next level luxury to say the least!

She is dishing out all the insider information you need to know to book your next stay at this Tahiti paradise.


Why I went:

The Four Seasons isn't just a hotel - it's an iconic brand representing quality and the epitome of high end experience. The location of the Four Seasons Bora Bora is hard to beat. Boasting views of Mount Otumanu and bungalows hovering over crystalline waters, this resort rivals it's next door neighbors with vengeance. 

What I loved:

I have to admit that I teared up a bit when I got off the plane...not only was I ushered onto a luxury boat that seamlessly transferred me to my hotel, but I couldn't stop saying..." I'm in BORA BORA...I never thought I would be in BORA BORA." From the moment you walk onto the property, you are engulfed in the lush surroundings of the grounds. The walkways are nestled into nature and essentially hug you while you explore the property. The rooms are out of this world- you walk into a living space, through a bathroom featuring an ocean view bathtub, and into the bedroom. The amount of space justifies any length of stay, allowing you to settle in and feel at home. In fact, I felt so "at home" that I used the self-service laundry at the end of each bungalow section...saving me from smelling like a sailor fresh off the boat (y'all....Tahiti is HOT!). 

What I ate:

Ok, ok...don't hate me, but the first thing I did when I heard that the pool bar offered two-for-one drinks in the afternoon was saddle up poolside, order a cool glass of French rose and hover over a heaping plate of truffle fries. Authentic? Maybe not...but I have no regrets. With all indulgences aside, the breakfast is one to remember. A juice bar, fresh made crepes, eggs to order, and authentic Polynesian fare made this buffet a satisfying spot to start the day. 

How I slept:

Like angels kissed my face and sang me a lullaby. You think I'm joking....but, may I remind you that I was in a cool room over the ocean, in the fluffiest king bed that the islands can offer, and facing a star sprinkled sky...I would not joke about this level of sleep. In fact, I can only dream about this level of sleep for the rest of my days. 

What I got with my stay:

The service offered at the Four Seasons can simply not be rivaled. I asked for ONE safety pin (due to a minor wardrobe malfunction) and came back to find a bag chock-o-block full of safety pins, next to a sewing kit. Need a ride to the restaurant? Simply call the front desk (don't judge...heels on a dock is no small feat). From simple asks to big requests, the resort was willing to offer support.

Why I would recommend considering for your next trip to Nashville:

In the event that you didn't read the previous responses, I'll sum it up for you...do yourself a favor and book the ticket, make the reservation, and pack the sunblock (my souvenir was a gnarly sunburn). The Four Seasons is plenty large to enjoy a long stay, and the views will beg you to stay even longer than you originally planned. If you love being near the water, having your breath taken away by nature, and incredible gastronomy - look no further than Four Seasons Bora Bora!