Coming Back, Cabo!

On September 14, 2014, Hurricane Odile hit Los Cabos like a bull, injuring hundreds, flattening homes, and wreaking havoc on the coastline with winds up to 125 mph. Over 30,000 tourists were stranded to weather out the storm without electricity, phone service, and drinkable water. The vicious hurricane tore off the roof of the Terminal 1 in the Los Cabos International Airport, making it difficult for the Mexican authorities and U.S. State Department to airlift tourists out of the ruined city.

Although it seemed as if Los Cabos has reached one of the most destructive points in its history, most of the destination has been repaired and improved, and is now looking better than ever. Only 17 days after the hurricane, Los Cabos was already back in the game. The airport, streets, marina, beaches, and even the power, were are all back in business in no time.

Many hotels endured major damage to their properties, but they seized the opportunity to take on all-new repair and renovation projects and come back better than ever. Three of our favorite hotels have undergone major improvements to their resorts:

One&Only Palmilla

One&Only reopened with a new steakhouse called ‘SEARED by Jean-Georges Vongerichten’, completely refurbished rooms and suites, new adult outdoor lounging areas, and a brand new spa and fitness center. With the added enhancements, along with the warm and genuine service that they are known for, The One&Only Palmilla is better than ever.

Esperanza, An Auberge Resort

Esperanza’s extensive re-design was led by acclaimed interior designer Mary Alice Palmer of HKS Architects and landscape architect George Girvin. The 57-room beachfront resort features completely transformed guest rooms, a refreshed Cocina del Mar restaurant and Lounge Bar, an enhanced pool along with a terrace with new cozy lounge spaces and cabanas, and a revitalized spa. The resort is even offering a travel package and special spa promotion titled, “Rediscover Esperanza”.

Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort

Las Ventanas reopens its legendary Five-Diamond resort and resets the bar for luxury. Several unbelievable guest experiences and comforts have been added to the personalized service that Las Ventanas is known for. The highlights of the enhancements include the all-new team of Villa Hosts, who make it their job to deliver the most luxurious experience to guests staying in the resort’s Signature Villas, along with the brand new Las Ventanas 2015 Rio GT56 luxury Yacht, which offers guests the opportunity to explore the seas of Los Cabos. Many new winter experiences have launched, including a unique Whale Safari to discover the magnificent whale species that migrate to Baja California each winter, and the all-new Bulgari Tea Bath, which includes Mexico’s first and only Tea Sommelier to curate a special tea to compliment the guest’s chosen fragrance. New summer experiences include an authentic cooking class in the pre-Hispanic technique of “barbacoa,” a personal tequila tasting and consultation with an expert Tequila Master, a thrilling treasure hunt through scenic Baja, a unique opportunity to create a pearl at Baja’s only pearl farm, and new “Dog Butlers” to care for the resort’s four-legged guests.

Posted on August 5, 2015 .

10 Hottest Places of 2015

1. Jose Ignacio, Uruguay

This small village on the southern coast of Uruguay is currently one of the chicest spots in South America. During our New York winter, the sun is shining in full force in Jose Ignacio. The scene is glamorous but laid back with sunbathers enjoying late lunches at superb restaurants.

Top pick: Vik Retreats Bahia, Playa and Estancia Vik

2. Puglia, Italy

The “boot” of Italy is one of the best places in Italy. From authentic dining, to wineries to sandy beach clubs – Puglia is a great mix of culture and relaxation for travelers of all ages. Biking is the ideal way to explore the region because of the flat landscape.

Top pick: Borgo Egnazia

3. Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos has been gaining popularity, and is back and better than ever. With hot beach clubs like Nammos Beach, with guests partying into the evening and restaurants serving fresh caught fish, Mykonos is for party people and sophisticated travelers alike.

Top pick: Santa Marina Mykonos

4. Montenegro

Montenegro’s rocky coastline is one of the most beautiful in the world. With no lack of history nor luxury hotels, Montenegro is one of this summer’s up and coming destinations.

Top pick: Aman Sveti Stefan

5. Kyoto:

Voted one of the top destinations by Travel and Leisure, Kyoto is both beautiful, exotic and serene at the same time.

Top pick: Ritz Carlton Kyoto

6. Ibiza

Ibiza is about so much more than nightclubs and famous DJ’s. The beauty of Formentera beach, the quality of restaurants and incredible villas on the island are cementing its place in the luxury travel market.

Top pick: Private Island Tagomago off the coast of Ibiza, complete with yacht.

7. Nicaragua

Rustic in all the right ways, Nicaragua provides adventure (biking through the rainforest), culture (visiting Grenada) and relaxation (beach) all in one.

Top pick: Mukul Resort and Spa

8. St Barth

Nothing new to the scene, St. Barth is still one of 2015’s top destinations. Providing the perfect mix of a European island with a laidback beach feel – It is the only island that has a reliable nightlife scene.

Top pick: Cheval Blanc Isle de France

9. Fiji

Known for its blue lagoons and pristine beaches, Fiji’s provides some of the best diving in the South pacific. With the opening of Laucala, Fiji has joined the ranks as one of the most exclusive places to visit.

Top pick: Laucala Island

10. Milan

With the world expo in Milan and new hotel openings, Milan is not only the center of Italian fashion but also an underrated cultural center.

Top pick: The Mandarin Oriental Milan

Posted on July 16, 2015 .

Just Back From...

Back in December, I had the chance to explore one of the most exotic and foreign countries I’ve traveled to; Thailand. A visit to Thailand is a once in a lifetime opportunity that should not be overseen or missed out on by anyone. It is the perfect place for all travelers. Whether you’re a beach bum, adventurist, or culture junky, Thailand has it all and is the place for you!

I was fortunate enough to visit four different places in Thailand and experience a little bit of everything it has to offer. My journey started off in Bangkok, the capital and bread-and-butter of Thailand. If you think Manhattan is the city that never sleeps, you obviously have not been to Bangkok! We stayed at The Banyan Tree Bangkok which has one of the best rooftop bars in the city! The hustle and bustle never ends and the music never stops! The highly populated city not only has great nightlife and restaurants, but there is also a ton to learn and see. The Grand Palace and Wat Pho are just two “must-see” highlights in Bangkok. The climax of my visit was when we took a Long Tail speedboat through the residential neighborhoods of the city which was an eye opener and culture shock!

Next, we went to Khao Sok which is a national park in Southern Thailand. This is where I scratched my adventure itch. We stayed 3 nights in at Elephant Hills in a luxury tented camp; one night in the jungle and two nights in a floating tent over the Cheow Larn Lake. At these camps you can do just about anything! We went from bathing and feeding elephants to canoeing and hiking through bat caves!

The third stop on my journey was Phuket, a completely different experience than the previous two. After a full week of adventure and touring, Phuket was the perfect beach spot to settle down, relax, and take it all in. The beaches of Phuket are beautiful and the tranquil sunsets cannot be captured in a photo. It is THE perfect place for honeymooners or families who are looking to visit an exotic beach destination. Phuket is even known for its amazing surf conditions so if you’re an avid surfer, Phuket should definitely be on your list! A highlight for me was taking out a boat for the day and visiting the surrounding islands with a quick snorkel in the Andaman Sea! It was also cool to visit Phi Phi Island where the movie The Beach, as well as many others, was filmed. We stayed at The Banyan Tree Phuket which truly captured the Asian sense of place.

Our last and final stop was the city of Chiang Mai. I loved Chiang Mai because it is a city mixed with culture and adventure. You can choose to stay in the heart of the city where you will have the Night Bazaar and the city center just outside your door, or you can stay just outside the city where you’ll have one foot in the action and one foot in a muddy rice field planting some rice! You will be able to go on some cool adventures like zip-lining through the jungle and hiking over suspension bridges. We stayed at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai which is a resort outside of the city. It offers a ton of activities on property (such as rice planting, authentic Thai cooking classes, etc) as well as off property. When visiting Thailand, Chiang Mai is definitely a stop you want to take. A visit to the Night Bazaar will not send you home empty handed!

Sadly, after an amazing 12 nights in Thailand, my journey came to an end but the memories and adventures I experienced will always make Thailand one of my favorite places in the world. Despite the long 18 hour flight, I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Posted on May 18, 2015 and filed under JUST BACK FROM.

March Staff Picks

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Julie Danziger, Director of Luxury Travel Services

 Ajax tavern is everything those that have never been to Aspen dream it is, and those that have been to Aspen look forward to returning to. It is one of those places you can literally spend the entire day at! Located at the foot of Aspen Mountain, part of the Little Nell Hotel, this spot may as well have invented the word chic.   Image via  The Little Nell

Ajax tavern is everything those that have never been to Aspen dream it is, and those that have been to Aspen look forward to returning to. It is one of those places you can literally spend the entire day at! Located at the foot of Aspen Mountain, part of the Little Nell Hotel, this spot may as well have invented the word chic. 

Image via The Little Nell

Ajax Tavern at the Little Nell
Aspen, Colorado


 
 

Renee Fallack, Luxury Travel Concierge

 There’s nowhere in the world like Paris. Visit the Eiffel tower after sundown, go up to the 2nd floor and just take it all in.  It’s pure magic!  Image via  Pinterest

There’s nowhere in the world like Paris. Visit the Eiffel tower after sundown, go up to the 2nd floor and just take it all in.  It’s pure magic!

Image via Pinterest

Eiffel Tower
Paris, France


 
 

Estee Salem, Luxury Travel Concierge

 Fresh casual dining, great boutique shopping, the Bondi Iceberg pool and of course the beach. Nothing I want to do more than dive into that pool and nowhere I want to visit more the Australia.  

Fresh casual dining, great boutique shopping, the Bondi Iceberg pool and of course the beach. Nothing I want to do more than dive into that pool and nowhere I want to visit more the Australia.  

Bondi Beach
Sydney, Australia


 
 

Brit Healey, Luxury Travel Concierge

 Where Rio de Janeiro's young and beautiful hang out. Perfect for watching local surfers catch waves. There are people playing music and tons of independent artisans selling art, jewelry, etc. Amazing views of BOTH Copacabana & Ipanema Beach.    Image Source

Where Rio de Janeiro's young and beautiful hang out. Perfect for watching local surfers catch waves. There are people playing music and tons of independent artisans selling art, jewelry, etc. Amazing views of BOTH Copacabana & Ipanema Beach. 

Image Source

Arpoador
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


 
 

Sylvia Betesh, Luxury Travel Consultant

 Come early for a quiet meal right on the beach, stay late for when the dj starts and everyone is up dancing. Great music, great  people, and most importantly, incredible food. The menu includes fresh caught fish and vegetables from local gardens.  Nammos reopens for the season in April!  Image via  Nammos

Come early for a quiet meal right on the beach, stay late for when the dj starts and everyone is up dancing. Great music, great  people, and most importantly, incredible food. The menu includes fresh caught fish and vegetables from local gardens.  Nammos reopens for the season in April!

Image via Nammos

Nammos Beach Club, Psarou Beach
Mykonos


 
 

Jack Ezon, President

 An invigorating hike, followed by a refreshingly cold dip in the pristine sound and back home with a thrilling helicopter ride!

An invigorating hike, followed by a refreshingly cold dip in the pristine sound and back home with a thrilling helicopter ride!

Milford Sound, 
New Zealand


 
 

Joey Levy, Luxury Travel Consultant

 I would love to be in touch with nature.  I cherish the opportunity to observe and experience a destination where the natural environment is not affected by the human hand.

I would love to be in touch with nature.  I cherish the opportunity to observe and experience a destination where the natural environment is not affected by the human hand.

Pikaia Lodge
Galapagos, Ecuador


 
 

Allison Bishop, Luxury Travel Consultant

 Las Ramblas is one of Barcelona’s most famous streets & a great place for enjoying the most delicious sangria and lively street performers.

Las Ramblas is one of Barcelona’s most famous streets & a great place for enjoying the most delicious sangria and lively street performers.

Posted on March 11, 2015 .