WHERE TO NEXT?

Hello Traveler,

There’s no avoiding it – travel and weather are intertwined. This week saw more devastation around the globe, including one of my favorite countries, Morocco. Last year at this time I was on my fourth trip to Morocco, on this occasion for a conference in Marrakesh. And although I wasn’t there this year, many colleagues and partners from around the world were. And of course so were the Moroccans who call this their home. Many conference attendees chose to leave, others chose to stay and participate in relief efforts.

I’ve read emails from my Moroccan partners and articles like this one from The NY Times, After the Earthquake in Morocco, Tourists Grapple With the Ethics of Travel. Understandably it is a complicated situation for travelers to know what to do when these events happen.

I’ve included a portion of my partner’s email below to give you a trusted, on the ground perspective. As with Maui, it will take them time to grieve, recover and rebuild. But also similarly, they will rely on the economic impact of tourism to help families and the rebuilding efforts.

The photo above was taken at Kasbah Tamadot last year, one of my favorite accommodations in Morocco, and the hotel that my partner references in his note below as close to the epicenter of the earthquake. I’ve received an update from their team, and thankfully all staff and guests are safe, however many of their staff have lost their homes. Despite that, their teams have been delivering donated water and food supplies to local villages and are already playing a critical role in a united clean-up operation.

If you would like to support any relief efforts when situations like this occur and want guidance on which are most directly impacting those affected, please let me know.


I mentioned to you in a previous newsletter that I stayed at the Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz earlier this month. I loved this hotel so much that I wanted to share more, and you can see that below.

This week’s inspiring articles include 10 must-visit European cities for art lovers, experiencing Paris up close and personal by plunging into a public pool (which made me reminisce about taking my kids to the public pool put up in the summer on the banks of the Seine at Paris Plage – photos below. Note – bathing caps are required!), favorite places to travel in November and 15 magical tree house hotels around the world.

The informational articles include an adults only zone on airplanes and 5 tips for making family travel more memorable.

Enjoy your week!

Warmly,

 

 

Below:

  • Message from Morocco
  • This week’s highlight – Cairngorms National Park
  • Where to Next? Kulm Hotel
  • Articles to Inspire+Inform

Message from Morocco

My deepest thanks to all of you who have reached out over the past couple of days to show your support and concern for our team and our families. I’m thankful to report that all of our colleagues, including our guides and drivers, as well as all of the clients who were traveling with us this week, are safe and sound after Friday night’s earthquake. 

The earthquake severely affected the Atlas Mountains and, to a much lesser extent, the area near Marrakech. We’ll cover both in more detail below, but please note that the rest of the country was spared any damage and is operating as normal. Specifically, the areas of Casablanca, Rabat, Fes, Tangier, Chefchaouen, the Sahara desert, and the Agafay desert, are all in normal working order and open for visitors exactly as before. This is important to understand and to communicate with clients who may be under the mistaken impression that the entire country has been seriously hit by the earthquake. 

The scale of the damage in parts of the Atlas Mountains is significant, and includes a strong impact on our partner property Kasbah Tamadot, which will be closed for at least a couple of months based on the latest available information. There’s better news for Olinto, another stellar partner property in the region which sustained far less damage and is open to guests. While the traditional routes for hiking days in the Atlas are blocked for the time being, we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to resume hikes (and the resulting help to the local economy) by October 1st.

The earthquake was felt in most parts of the country, but the most impacted region was the villages in the Atlas Mountains. We are devastated for the families in the regions most affected by this and are partnering with a number of relief organizations that are helping with the situation.

CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK

An explorer’s paradise, Cairngorms National Park is home to Scotland’s highest mountains and the royal family’s Balmoral Castle. It is the place to escape to if desiring rugged, breathtaking nature during your Scottish travels.

Outdoor adventures abound – hiking, mountain biking, fishing, wild swimming in Loch Caoldair or even a round of golf on the edge of the park.

Take an off-road Land Rover Safari, hike into the woods for a private yoga session amidst the pines or enjoy a private tour of Scotland’s most beautiful whisky distillery. Afterwards, on the top floor tasting lounge, gazing out at the spectacular views, taste three very special drams aged for 12, 18 and 25 years.

Take a bit of an excursion outside the park to tour Loch Ness and indulge in a gourmet BBQ overlooking the lake, and try spotting the famous monster.

Cairngorms NP has a variety of accommodations from lodges to farmhouses to 5* retreats. Where is the most luxurious place to stay when visiting the Cairngorms? The Fife Arms. It’s the place where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote his masterpiece, Treasure Island and one of the guest rooms pays tribute to him.

The Fife Arms is a boutique hotel that oozes history and charm. It is the social heart of the village of Braemar. They have a pub, bar and restaurant, all open to the public, so you’ll be dining and socializing with locals. Scottish comfort food and Scotch whiskey will keep you nourished.

More than 14,000 pieces of modern and contemporary art pervades the inn and the grounds. Around every corner, in every room and corridor you will encounter art.

Go clay pigeon shooting, sample one (or two) of 365 whiskeys, play tennis, horseback ride, forage, go on a pony picnic, gaze at the stars. In winter snuggle up in the fondue hut, warming yourself from the inside out. They’ll organize your transfers in a swanky, eco-conscious Tesla.

If wanting to plan your visit for a vibrant time, select the first Saturday of September when the Highland Games are held close by – the only ones Queen Elizabeth went to.

Described by the Financial Times as “Scotland’s Hottest Hotel,” The Fife Arms is a Victorian inn that has been restored to its original beauty in the magnificent landscape of the Cairngorms National Park and I highly recommend it on your next Scottish adventure!

? The Fife Arms

?  During my recent trip to Switzerland, I spent a few days at the lovely Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz.

Why is the Kulm Hotel so special?

  • The hotel is perched on a hill in town giving you stunning views of Lake St. Moritz. This location high in the Alps, means you are a 2 minute shuttle ride or 5 minute walk to hiking trails in the summer and ski slopes in the winter.
  • Rooms are cozy and contemporary with beautiful views. Each morning I woke and spent a few minutes on my terrace soaking it all in. In January you can watch snow polo from your terrace.
  • Super family friendly! The complimentary kids club is one of the most beautiful and welcoming I’ve seen – with games, activities and room to move for children aged 3-12.  The teen club is a separate hang out space with pinball, arcade games and foosball. Complimentary ski and snowboard lessons are provided for children in the winter and tennis lessons in the summer.

Do as much or as little as you like:

  • The spa is spectacular, also with beautiful views over the lake.  In addition to treatments, enjoy the indoor or outdoor pool, children’s pool, saltwater grotto and saunas.
  • Stay active in the summer mountain biking, standup paddling, mountaineering, playing golf and tennis. Ride the mountain railway and hike in the mountains with panoramic views of the Alps.
  • In the winter, go skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and tobogganing. Take a ride down the Olympic Bob Run St. Moritz for 75-second adrenaline surge!

‼️ Don’t miss…..a back of the house tour of the kitchen followed by light bites or dinner at the chef’s table overseeing the magical dishes that are created for the guests. The pastry chef has worked here for over 35 years, creating delicious chocolates and sweets.

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

? Kulm Hotel

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