WHERE TO NEXT?

Hello Traveler,

“A strengthening April storm with staying power will deliver days of snow, rain and strong winds to the Northeast with significant travel disruptions and widespread power outage likely this week.” – Accuweather this morning

Storms, tornadoes, rain, wind, snow and ice are blanketing a large portion of the US right now. I’m scheduled to fly out tomorrow for two special events – dinner with my brother and sister in law and my 92 and 84 year old parents and my daughter’s sorority’s mom weekend.

Today Boston has a winter advisory and flights will be disrupted. Tomorrow’s flights likely will too, but as of yet they have not put out an alert.

I don’t want to miss these events, so I will be monitoring the situation closely throughout the day. As this was an “easy” flight I didn’t work with my flight experts on this one. Fingers crossed.

Weather. It’s tough to figure out! And it can have such a big impact on numerous aspects of travel.

We are in the midst of prime spring break season. For many people that means sun and sand in the Caribbean or Mexico, for others a shoulder season vacation to Europe and others are still seeking powder and fresh tracks on the slopes.

But sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate. In just the last week there’s been…

Bad weather can disrupt your flights, your outdoor adventures, your relaxing beach days, your chartered yacht or your helicopter flight.

I leverage my knowledge and experience to give you guidance on destinations and weather. For example I tend to discourage the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos for December vacations because of a higher possibility for colder/rainy weather (similar to Florida you never know what you will get).

I’ve always favored those destinations more for spring break. So last April break I followed my own advice and we went to Bahamar. We had 2 days of rain and wind. Despite the weather, my husband and son and his friends rallied to play golf and the kids went to the waterpark. They also have an indoor casino, that I’m sure gets more use during bad weather. So far this spring, it’s been great weather in the Bahamas. Clearly my weather prediction talents need further development.

But weather is becoming even more impossible to predict.

As I was lamenting the rain in Europe this week, a colleague sent me the below.

 

That is the location of a luxury resort where a room with no ocean view starts at $2650/night. 58 degrees and rainy every day?! I’m guessing that is not what travelers there were hoping for when they planned their Hawaiian spring break.

What goes on regardless of the weather?

Museum visits, professional soccer matches, cooking classes, watersports (if it’s just rain), wine tastings, artisan visits, spa and wellness activities, game drives (many animals like the rain), truffle hunts and many more experiences.

So what can you do to shield yourself from the impact of bad weather?

  1. Look at the forecast just before departure and pack accordingly (*see #4 below). As long as you bring a credit card, you’ll be prepared to buy any new items you need.
  2. Get travel insurance – this isn’t going to help you if it rains every day of your Hawaiian vacation, but it may help if weather cancels your flight, if a named hurricane disrupts your yacht charter or if a volcano eruption shuts down the airport.
  3. Have someone in your corner – work with a travel advisor who can troubleshoot last minute changes – seeking back up activities or swapping days if availability and your itinerary allows. Also properly plan ahead – if bear viewing in Alaska is your #1 priority – don’t plan only one day of it and leave it for your last day. Move it earlier in the trip just in case it cancels due to weather. That way if there is availability another day while you are there, you can reschedule. Or plan two bear viewing days to increase your chances – because viewing bears is so cool that you could easily do it twice!
  4. Remember the Swedish saying ‘Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder.’ In English: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Swedish parents often say it to convince their children to go out whatever the weather.
  5. Hope for the best, know that you’ve planned and prepared as well as you can, but make peace with the fact that anything can happen.

I will always be here for you to troubleshoot last minute adjustments due to weather if needed.


Last week’s most popular article was How to Enjoy a Trip With the Whole Family—Grandparents, Parents, Kids, and All. They list 16 tips including:

  • Rent a villa (more on this in the coming weeks)
  • Look for outdoor space, especially with kids
  • Consider half-day experience options vs. full day, to give everyone some freedom and flexibility – which relates to…
  • Don’t force people to do activities they’re not interested in
  • Don’t rush things or try to do too much

There are so many incredible inspiring articles below! Including T&C’s best new safari lodges, 2024’s 100 best restaurants in NYC, 5 reasons Bhutan needs to be your next vacation destination, Vogue’s list of the best places to visit in Spain, the outdoor enthusiast’s guide to Taylor Swift’s 2024 Eras Tour, Cancún, Cabo or Puerto Vallarta: which Mexico resort is best for you? (they left out a deep dive into Punta Mita which is next to Puerto Vallarta and very popular), Finland’s first 5* hotel and an expert’s guide to the finding the most delicious cheese in Paris.

A few of my favorite informational articles include a former airline employee’s flight hack (love this!!), Aurora tourism in Iceland: the challenges in seeing the Northern Lights, Tulum airport opens to U.S. flights, should you trust a hotel’s star rating? and major trends in luxury travel.

Please wish me luck on making it out on my flight tomorrow!
Have a terrific week!

Warmly,

 

Below:

  • This week’s highlight – Blue Kanu in Queenstown, NZ
  • Where to Next? Rosewood Villa Magna
  • Articles to Inspire+Inforn

BLUE KANU

Our clients are headed on a family trip to New Zealand over next Christmas and new years. As with all popular places at that time of year, to secure their preferred lodging, fly fishing and activities, we booked it last December.

As I’ve been assembling a list of restaurants to share with them, one in particular stuck out to me. Blue Kanu.

“Flavours that float your boat”

They call it Polynasia food – a combination of Asian cuisine with a Pacific influence. Healthy, fresh and exotic.

Enjoy tapas style plates at the Hula hut style bar with a perfect cocktail or sit in the restaurant soaking in the cool vibes. You’ll be surrounded by stunning pieces of artwork, including graffiti and Maori pieces by local artists. If you are lucky the staff will even sing and play guitar to you.

They have 2 “Koru” tables that can be reserved for a special evening with friends and family and deliver a VIP experience. I always love a good VIP experience.

The location is in central Queenstown and within a few blocks of Blue Kanu I have 6 more restaurants to recommend. So many amazing choices walking distance from their hotel. One of my favorite things to do after dinner is to take a walk, and from Blue Kanu a stroll to the Harbour View Walk jutting out on a peninsula in Lake Wakatipu is the perfect spot.

 

📷 Blue Kanu

? My trip to Spain last month finished at the Rosewood Villa Magna hotel in Madrid. It is a perfect blend of sophisticated, cosmopolitan and fun.

Why is Rosewood Villa Magna so special?

  • It is ideally located in the luxury shopping area of Salamanca, walking distance to great restaurants, including Carbón, where we ate our last dinner. A mere five steps out of the inner courtyard is El Corte Ingles, Spain’s #1 department store that carries a vast assortment of clothing, accessories and even has a food market.
  • The vibe is stylish, social and full of energy. You feel the international mix of the visitors that blend together with many of the well-heeled locals.
  • The service is warm and welcoming.
  • Your pillow comes monogrammed with your initials 🙂
  • The windows open if you desire (I love this feature on a beautiful day!).
  • Their inner courtyard Magnum Bar with a glass ceiling is full of natural light and comfy chairs for spending time with your friends and family.
  • They have pop ups – Tulum-like in the summer and a frozen ice rink in the winter.
  • They collaborated with my Spanish partner to give me the fun tile at the top of the newsletter above.

Do as much or as little as you like:

  • Enjoy cocktails in the chic bar Tarde.O. They specialize in Negronis, 7 versions customized with one of 35 gins. If you can’t decide which, order a Negroni tasting with three options to discover your favorite for next time.
  • Their Sense Spa offers a range of treatments including a luxurious foot massage (perfect for after a day walking around the city) and a unique offering of specially curated hair treatments.
  • Have a leisurely Sunday brunch on the outdoor terrace.
  • Walk down Paseo de Castellana directly to the iconic El Prado museum or walk west to my old neighborhood for tapas at Plaza Olavide and ice cream at Kalua.

‼️ Don’t miss…. The tortilla de patata at breakfast. It is by far the best one I’ve had in Madrid (and I’ve tasted a lot of them over the years!).

If you are looking to splurge, the Royal Anglada House, on the top floor, is the place.

  • 2 bedrooms with a private terrace looking out over the rooftops of Madrid
  • 2800 square feet
  • Includes a separate office just in case you’d like to get work done
  • It can combine with other rooms to make a 4+ bedroom penthouse

What’s included?

  • VIP box at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (so fun!)
  • Airport transfers

📷 Rosewood Villa Magna

Reach out to plan your trip to

INSPIRATION

I’ve Lived in a Mediterranean Country for 10 Years. Here’s What People Get Wrong About the Mediterranean Lifestyle, Inc.

5 Reasons Bhutan Needs To Be Your Next Vacation Destination, Forbes

The Pleasures of Sonoma County—Without the Wine, WSJ

How to Visit Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest and Its Resident Grizzlies, Virtuoso

The Best Places to Visit in Spain, Vogue

The Outdoor Enthusiast’s Guide to Taylor Swift’s 2024 Eras Tour, Outside

The 10 best places to visit in May, The Points Guy

Cancún, Cabo or Puerto Vallarta: Which Mexico resort is best for you?, The Washington Post

Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Will Finally Be Complete in 2026 After More Than 140 Years, Robb Report

Finland Just Got Its First True 5-Star Hotel. Here’s a Look Inside., Robb Report

How a $33,000-a-night private island inspired by the Kennedys became a beacon for sustainable tourism, CNN

2024 will be huge for astrotourism—here’s how to plan your trip,
National Geograpic

London’s most exclusive pub is hidden inside a 900-year-old fortress, CNN

An expert’s guide to the finding the best cheese in Paris, BBC

The 100 Best Restaurants in NYC in 2024, NYT

SAFARIS

T&C Hotel Awards 2024: The Best New Lodges in the Wild, Town & Country

INFORMATION

This Former Airline Employee’s Viral Flight Hack Is Blowing Our Minds, Huff Post

This Secret iPhone Feature Will Change the Way You Travel, Inc.
(same hack)

Where Millionaires Live — and Where They’re Flocking To, Inc.

Aurora Tourism in Iceland: You Can Seek, but You May Not Find, NYT

Spain’s siestas-and-late-nights lifestyle is making some people unhappy. Here’s why, CNN

Tulum airport opens to U.S. flights, helping tourists skip Cancún crowds, The Washington Post

Should You Trust a Hotel’s Star Rating? Depends Where You Look., WSJ

Ask Skift: What Are Major Trends in Luxury Travel?, Skift

(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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