WHERE TO NEXT?

Dear Traveler,

I returned late last night from my midwest trip and loved being back in my hometown of Chicago! The best part – seeing some of my favorite people and bumping into random people who I went to middle school, high school, college and business school with.

I had debated between staying in a downtown hotel (favorite – the Peninsula!) or at a relatively new place, the Hotel Zachary, in Wrigleyville, and more centrally located to where I would be. I opted for Hotel Zachary and am so happy I did. I loved it!

To start with it just feels like Chicago to me. Partly because it overlooks iconic Wrigley Field, but also the decor feels warm and inviting. A mix of copper, iron, leather, comfy fabrics and walls lined with architecture plans and drawings of Wrigley Field (the hotel was named after Wrigley’s architect, Zachary Taylor Davis).

It was low season, so I was in an absolutely sumptuous suite with floor to ceiling rounded windows overlooking Wrigley Field and in the distance downtown Chicago (video walkthrough here). I did not ask what this suite goes for during a Cubs game or a concert, but I imagine it is $$$.

My sunrise view…

They have Pelotons in their gym and a huge terrace, which in winter has heated snow globes with cozy blankets, a retro record player and table service and in summer is the place to hang out overlooking Addison Avenue game day excitement.

Their bartenders serve up locally inspired cocktails, which you can drink while watching a game on one of the many TVs or in the living room playing pool in front of the fire. It’s stylish, comfortable and so authentically Chicago.

My work spot…

I looked up the Wrigley Field concert schedule – because seeing a concert of a band – popular now or even better, from when you were young, in an iconic venue on a beautiful summer night is just one of the most fun ways to spend an evening. For your information here’s the schedule…

July 15 – Def Leppard, Journey and Steve Miller Band
August 13 – Green Day
August 25 – Luke Bryan
August 29 & 31, Pearl Jam

See more details here.

At the moment, I have no tickets for those concerts, but we are taking our daughter and friends to see Noah Kahan in Fenway Park this summer and it is going to be so fun!

I had such a great time seeing friends and walking around my old neighborhoods that I’ve already made plans to meet back there with my daughter for her fall break from college later this year. I had the bonus of seeing both her and my parents after my visit to Chicago, so it was a perfect weekend!

Did you notice something different about this week?

February 29th is on the calendar because it’s leap year. Given it only happens every 4 years, it feels a bit special. A friend took advantage of this special date as an excuse to have a group of us over for a fun evening. After reading the book The Power of Moments, I’ve been inspired to inject more special moments into life (concerts and other live music are at the top of the list).

Of course waiting for a big birthday, anniversary or graduation is a great excuse for a celebration, party or a trip! There are so many other reasons you can come up with to create memorable moments.

What are some other easy ways to create memorable moments, for just adults or with your teenagers or college kids?

  • NCAA basketball tournament games or any other major sporting event
  • Nostalgic Journey tour? U2 in Las Vegas?
  • Take a lesson or clinic in something new – pickleball, golf, guitar, Latin dance, cooking
  • Pick an obscure, out of the way place for dinner – one you’ve never been to
  • Get out in nature mountain biking (bikes are easily rentable), hiking or kayaking
  • Invite friends over for an around the world meal and cook it all together
  • Get yourself to a place to see the Northern Lights! (read about options below)

Yes, yes and yes!

Enjoy thinking of your own ideas. Grab a copy of the book above for inspiration.


The latest Virtuoso magazine is out!

It includes articles on Mykonos, BVIs, Zurich, Juneau Alaska, Val d’Orcia Italy, Los Cabos and Maui. Also expedition cruises to the Galapagos, (luxury) farm stays. and picnics in Paris, Costa Rica and England. Click the magazine below to enjoy the electronic edition or let me know if you’d like to be on the list for the print edition. I add a handful of new subscribers each quarter.

This week’s inspirational articles include a stunning spot in Norway, an Italian airport with a vineyard on its roof, why more parents are taking trips with one child at a time, favorite places to visit for spring break (a bit late for this year – but plan ahead for next) and Michelin Guide’s favorite safari lodges.

The informational articles include Taylor Swift’s comment that “jet lag is a choice,” moving pets abroad and how to pack for a 2 week trip abroad with one small suitcase (love this one!).

Warmly,

Below:

  • This week’s highlight – searching for the Northern Lights
  • Hot New Hotel Opening – Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island
  • Inspiration + Information

THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

? 50DN

Breathtaking. Spectacular. Awe inspiring. Magical.

Just a few words that people use to describe seeing the Northern Lights.

They are also known as the Aurora Borealis and one of nature’s greatest wonders. The lights are a result of electrical charges colliding up to 200 miles above the earth’s surface. They are best viewed near the Arctic Circle on long nights between September and March.

Why plan your visit for 2024?

Because the lights are supposed to be extra intense and more frequent this year! Check out Travel & Leisure’s article The Northern Lights Could Be Extra Intense and Appear More This Year — Here’s Why, to learn more.

One of the native legends explains the lights as… “these ethereal displays are fascinating; one tale holds that the firefox ran so quickly across the night sky that it sparked flames from the stars.”

Where do you have the best chance to see them?

  • Sweden
  • Iceland
  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Canada
  • Alaska

To maximize the chance of seeing the lights, guides continually consult the forecast on hunts, because even the most spectacular light show can’t be seen through thick clouds. Even more of a reason to stay at a cozy luxury lodge.

One of my favorites…Deplar Farm in Iceland.

Their Aurora Borealis suites (the Gallery Suite, Spa Suite, or Grettir) are perfect for late night viewings thanks to outdoor balconies with never-ending private views.

Upon request, their team will alert you up until 2am if the Northern Lights appear, offering you a specialty cocktail that is made exclusively for magical nights like these.

At Deplar, outdoor excursions, like whale watching or snowshoeing, can be polished off with outdoor après under the evening sky. They’ll prepare hot toddies and cocoa while you bundle up in your winter-proof onesies that’ll keep you toasty as you witness the start of the Northern Lights display.

Or if you want to stay on property, as evening sets in, order your favorite drink from the swim-up bar and settle into the built-in lounges within their geothermally heated outdoor pool. There’s no better place to fully soak in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the planet’s most remarkable spectacle. They even created ergonomically designed benches to ensure your head is at the most comfortable angle for viewing.

Other adventures to have while on this type of adventure…

  • snowshoeing
  • ice-fishing
  • horseback-riding
  • dogsled races across frozen lakes and rivers
  • hot-air balloon rides above the clouds
  • snowmobiling

PRO TIPS

  • Long nights near New Moons between December and February offer the best opportunity to experience a fully illuminated light show up.
  • 2024 is the next “Solar Maximum,” the peak of the sun’s eleven year cycle that produces the climactic solar activity which enhances the Northern Lights. Read more here.

Which location is the best fit for you? I will help you figure it out. With my knowledge of the luxury lodges to cozy retreats in the best locations, we’ll find the perfect place!

Reach out to plan your visit to

 

?On January 31, 2024, Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island opened.  The Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar.

Why visit Waldorf Astoria Seychelles?

  • Villas are freestanding and you’ll have your own private pool, terrace, outdoor shower, separate living room and personal concierge.
  • Enjoy yoga, spa treatments, cooking classes, saltwater fly fishing, catamaran cruises, deep sea fishing, and kayaking. Their dive center is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to dive.
  • There are 6 restaurants on the property! Try La Perle, a lively Mediterranean brasserie with fresh, sustainably sourced seafood. The open kitchen and cooking stations give you a peek into the magic that happens to create what is on your plate. Enjoy sunset at Lalin, a champagne bar with views of the ocean.
  • It’s the perfect place to end an African safari honeymoon or romantic getaway!

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

? Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island

Reach out to plan your trip to

INSPIRATION

This Stunning Destination in Norway Is All Over Instagram. But What’s It Really Like to Visit?, WSJ

What’s New in London for 2024, Luxury Travel Advisor

Four Seasons New Orleans Unveils New Culinary Experience, Luxury Travel Advisor

This Italian Airport Will Have A Vineyard On Its Roof, Forbes

Need Some Inspiration For Your Next Holiday? These Are 3 Of The Top Luxury Adventure Travel Getaways For 2024,
Luxury Lifestyle Magazine

36 Hours in Mérida, Mexico, NYT

A ‘family vacation’ for two: Why more parents are taking trips with one child at a time, CNBC

The Ultimate Product Placement: Thailand on ‘The White Lotus’, NYT

13 Unforgettable Hotel Pools Around the World, Condé Nast

Sicily’s 7 loveliest beaches: swim surrounded by stunning scenery, Lonely Planet

‘Glamorous and Chic’: Snow Polo Is a Hit With the World’s Elite Winter Travelers, Robb Report

Montolieu: The French village dedicated to books, BBC

Finding the Heart of Malama on Maui after the Wildfires, Virtuoso

These Are Our Favorite Places to Visit for Spring Break, AFAR

SAFARIS

Women making their mark on safaris, Travel Weekly

South African safaris are an unrivalled experience, Belfast Telegraph

The Safari Hotels of South Africa, Michelin Guide

INFORMATION

Taylor Swift Says ‘Jet Lag Is a Choice.’ Neuroscience Says She’s (Kind of) Right, Inc.

The All-Out Fight for Your Airport-Lounge Loyalty, WSJ

Moving Pets Abroad Has Always Been Expensive. It’s About to Get Worse., NYT

What to do if you lose your passport while traveling internationally, The Points Guy

Facial Recognition: Coming Soon to an Airport Near You, NYT

What to Wear to Quit Your Job—and Ace 3 Other Tense Situations, WSJ

Renting a Car Abroad: Don’t Get Taken for a Ride, NYT

How to Pack for a Two-Week Trip With One Small Suitcase, NYT

(If you aren’t able to access an NYT or Washington Post article, send me a note and I’ll send it to you in a PDF.)

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