WHERE TO NEXT?

Dear Traveler,

Did you wake up at 6a ET (or 3a PT) to watch the championship game of the women’s World Cup? It was exciting! Congratulations to Spain for the win! The next women’s event will be in 2027 but the destination is still unknown. The men’s World Cup will begin in June 2026 – hosted between Canada, the USA and Mexico. Not only will that give us easy logistical access, but it also means the games will be on at respectable hours for us ūüôā Seeing a World Cup game in person is a bucket list experience that would create joy and smiles for your kids, spouse or friends who are soccer fans. Remember to plan ahead.

This month a new Virtuoso magazine is coming out. For those of you on my list, look out for it in your mailboxes. If you want a preview – click the magazine below. So many inspiring ideas and destinations – Buenos Aires, South Korea, Galloway, Colorado, Galapagos, Antarctica.

I’m in preparation mode for my upcoming trip to Switzerland. I’ve been getting in lots of local hikes, mountain biking and some peloton rides if the weather isn’t great. It doesn’t take much convincing to get me active outside, but I love that preparing for a trip gives me an extra purpose.

Although last weekend my hike was disrupted. I met a friend for a short, steep hike and about 2/3 of the way up I received a text from my son saying his golf clubs were in the back of my car and he had a lesson that same morning. So Tigger and I changed our uphill hike into a downhill run and sprinted home to get him the clubs on time. My quads have been paying the price the last few days.

Yesterday I hiked up Mt. Sunapee, a ski mountain near us. If you are in New England it’s a great choice. If you time it right you can also take a yoga class from the mountain top platform with beautiful views. And if you aren’t feeling the hike, then the chairlift is always an option.

I’m excited to share more with you about where I’m headed in Switzerland. I was last in Switzerland when we lived in Madrid and went there on the second half of our sun and ski spring break (the first half was the Canary Islands). That was my kids first time skiing in Europe and needless to say it was a big contrast to the icy New England snow they grew up skiing on.

This trip I’ll be going to entirely new places – an area called Graub√ľnden in the eastern part of Switzerland, near the borders of Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein (I’ve still never been to Liechtenstein).

What will we be doing? Many hotel site visits, luxuriating in mountain top spas, lunch on top of mountain peaks, midnight swimming, gondola rides, a helicopter ride, art galleries, horse drawn carriage rides, mountain railways, the longest toboggan run in Switzerland, visiting meat drying plants and local artisans and hopefully going on a mountain bike ride. This is my favorite type of adventure!

We’ll be in and around St. Moritz, the famous ski destination, and the area southwest of Davos (where the World Economic Forum holds its annual meeting). More to come.
I discovered this week’s Highlight as I was doing research on off the beaten path places in Chile that were known for their natural beauty.

This week’s Hot New Hotel Opening is a super stylish new hotel in Portugal.

Read the articles below for inspiration on lodge hopping through Bhutan, a new luxury cruise ship with a unique, innovative layout and the rise of luxury sports travel.

Below you will also find articles on how to take a good passport photo (including answering the question – are you allowed to smile?) and maximizing the quality of photos you take on your iPhone.

The Skift article, Virtuoso Luxury Sales Spike as Travelers Splurge on Private Experiences, gives a good perspective on the luxury hotel rate changes between 2022 and 2023 and a few ideas for where the rates have actually decreased.

credit: Virtuoso

Enjoy your week!
Warmly,

Below:

  • This week’s highlight – Marble Caves
  • Hot New Hotel Opening – Vermelho in Portugal
  • Inspiration + Information

MARBLE CAVES

‚ÄúSometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.‚Ä̬†~ Walt Whitman

Chile is a perfect destination for those wanting to live out Walt Whitman’s words.

The setting: a pure glacial lake

The activity: kayaking and drifting between smooth marble columns striated with natural colors

The sounds: silence

The beauty of nature is awe inspiring and Chile is full of natural beauty. Well known for the incredible vistas of Patagonia, but there are so many more places to experience if you want to get off the beaten path.

The marble caves are one of them. A natural wonder just a brief boat ride from Puerto Rio Tranquilo in Chile, on General Carrera Lake, which spans between Chile and Argentina.

6200+ years of erosion from waves created by powerful winds on General Carrera Lake carved out these rocks into spectacularly beautiful natural formations.

The mineral-rich water has worn down the rock, exposing beautiful patterns of grey, green, yellow and brown striations.

Hopping on a private kayak trip is an ideal way to explore them – going in and round the caves, through a tunnel where boats can’t access.

The water beneath the surface is pure glacial turquoise blue.

The Marble Caves are worth a visit, but as you are quite off the beaten path, enjoy other adventures while you are nearby – jet boating to the Los Leones Glacier, horseback riding, hiking, glacial ice hiking, fishing.

It is a great stop for those staying a few nights in Puerto Tranquilo or en route to one of my favorite lodges in this area, Explora Parque Nacional Patagonia. Here you will see guanacos running wild and if you are lucky, you might just spot a Puma on one of the many different hiking trails.

You also can visit the Patagonia National Park Museum, a legacy project of Douglas Tompkins, the founder of The North Face. This state-of-the-art museum gives you the inside information on Tompkins’ conservation efforts to preserve these lands and help arrest climate change.

?In March, Vermelho was opened in Portugal by shoe designer, Christian Louboutin. His first hotel is set in his beloved Melides, a small coastal village about 90 minutes from Lisbon. 

Why visit Vermelho?

  • The aesthetics! The 13 luxury rooms are uniquely designed with rare artwork and local Alentejo tiles, handpicked by Louboutin.
  • The hotel is recommended for adults only and perfect for a romantic getaway for couples, a relaxation trip for a group of friends or a solo traveler looking for inspiration.¬†
  • Stay active while exploring the charming village of Melides, hiking, horseback riding, and walking to lagoons and beaches. Bicycle tours and water sports are also available.¬†¬†
  • Relax in the gardens or by the heated pool. Visit the small spa and get a hot stone massage, cocoon detoxifier or salt fusion treatment.
  • Take a curated tour with local artisans or go wine tasting to learn about the different local Portuguese varietals.
  • Have a romantic beach picnic with local Portuguese food tailored to your individual tastes.¬†
  • Dine at Xtian, specializing in local cuisine. Try porco √† alentejana (pork with clams), octopus salad or bacalhau (cod stew).
  • The small hotel bar is tucked in a cozy hideaway and is a perfect spot for an early evening aperitif and petiscos (similar to Spanish tapas – a tasty little piece of food).

Read more about it in the Vogue article, Inside Christian Louboutin’s Glamorous First Hotel in a Hidden Corner of Portugal.

Of course it comes with the usual perks and VIP treatment when booking your stay through Truvay Travel.

? Hotel Vermelho

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