WHERE TO NEXT?

Dear Traveler,

The weather has been on a rollercoaster! Last week, I left home in the middle of an April snowstorm. And when I came back just four days later, it was sunshine and 60-degree weather. I’m soaking up every bit of that spectacular spring sun while it lasts.

Let me tell you a little more about the most fun weekend I just had. I went to visit my daughter at college for her sorority mom’s weekend. We spent our time making flower bouquets, dancing our hearts out where the DJ nailed it with a mix of pop and 80’s tunes (he knew his crowd), had permanent bracelets made and simply hung out with her friends and their moms. We even snuck in a visit to a speakeasy—a hidden gem! Read more about it in this week’s Highlight below.

As the weekend ended, I had to leave early to beat the rush of over 300,000 people flooding into town because it was perfectly positioned in the path of totality. Did you watch the eclipse? Do you have any fun stories to share? I’d love to hear them!

In case you missed the total eclipse or if you loved it so much you want to see another one – check out the articles below for details on where and when the next ones will happen. It’s all the inspiration you need for your next epic adventure to some stunning places!


Last week’s most popular article was This Former Airline Employee’s Viral Flight Hack Is Blowing Our Minds.

This week’s inspirational articles include a few northern European destinations that are ideal for summer travel away from the crowds and the heat, where to go over Memorial Day weekend, La Paz Mexico (where we went swimming with whale sharks), traveling to Italy in the off season and a solution for golf enthusiasts who want to play a wider variety of courses.

The informational articles include how to pack light in a carry-on (I’m a fan!), billionaire buyouts, the unexpected pleasure of boredom when traveling solo and how wealthy travelers are fueling a surge in luxury hotel prices.

Have a great week!

Warmly,

Below:

  • This week’s highlight – hidden speakeasy
  • Hot New Hotel Opening – Lana Dubai
  • Inspiration + Information

HIDDEN SPEAKEASY

📷 Jack’s Library 

Last year I dropped off my daughter at college and met a fellow mom who told me about a hidden speakeasy in Bloomington. We finally made it there last weekend, and it was everything we hoped for!

Picture this: No flashy sign, no obvious entrance, just an air of secrecy. It took us a bit of detective work to find it—going up stairs, squeezing through a bustling bar, until we stumbled upon a discreet host who led us to our clandestine corner.

The thrill of discovering hidden gems like this never gets old. While Bloomington might not be your typical hotspot, it has its own little secrets tucked away (as do most places in the world!).

I’ve been hearing whispers about speakeasies popping up all over, even in the heart of Madrid. Two friends separately told me about two different ones in just the last few weeks. I’m returning to Madrid next month and I will be going to one or maybe even both.

One of them, Jack’s Library, nestled in the Salesas neighborhood (a favorite area of mine for shopping), has me eager to book a table ASAP. Like all proper speakeasys, there is no sign and a puzzle of an entrance.

How do you find it?

Follow their directions…

Seek Bonsai Florist, where leaves entwine,
Concealing tales beneath a verdant sign.
To the unfamiliar, doors remain shut,
Forbidden entry, a mystery to cut.

​Whisper softly at the portal’s embrace,
An ever-changing password in secret grace.
Commit it not to memory, let it flow,
A dance of secrets that only insiders know.

Once you’ve found the spot and entered a secret code, a hidden door swings open to reveal a dimly-lit, 16th-century British library bar.

“Drinks are named after artists and writers, like the floral and smoky Juan Rulfo (mezcal, jasmine essence, passion fruit, fresh lime zest) or the refreshing George Orwell (gin, elderflower liquor, fresh ginger, lime juice, and ginger beer).”

The cocktail above is the Fitzgerald made with Four Roses small batch bourbon, cherry liquor, rose infused syrup, lemon juice and clove.

Photos are prohibited.

Speakeasys range from super secretive with no published information available to having their own instagram page. Some take reservations and others don’t. So finding out about them can range from easy to extremely difficult. What they often have in common is unique cocktails made by highly experienced bartenders and a very cool vibe.

If you want to include one in your next trip – let me know. If I don’t already know of one in your destination, I’ll ask the people who do.

📷 Jack’s Library 

🌟 The Lana Dubai opened February 1 on Marasi Bay Marina. This is the newest hotel from the Dorchester Collection, which is one of my favorite hotel brands.

Why visit the Lana Dubai?

  • First off, it’s a paradise for foodies! They have not one, not two, but eight dining experiences waiting to tantalize your taste buds. Think French and Italian delights at Chef Jean Imbert’s Rivera, Basque cuisine served up by the legendary Michelin-starred chef Martin Berasategui at Jara, and Parisian patisseries crafted by World Pastry Champion Angelo Musa at Bonbon Café.
  • Imagine soaking in a 30th-floor infinity pool with breathtaking 180-degree views of Dubai. There’s no better spot to catch a Dubai sunset than right there, poolside, with a cocktail in hand and some delectable small plates from High Society.
  • The Lana Dubai has a secret speakeasy called Bitter Honey. Picture yourself sipping on expertly crafted cocktails made right before your eyes by a tableside trolley service. It’s like something straight out of a James Bond movie!
  • Mark your calendar for September because they’re adding a 007-style yacht to whisk guests away to their private beach club at One at Palm Jumeirah.

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

 

📷 Lana Dubai

Reach out to plan your trip to

INSPIRATION

The Latest Family Travel Trend? Ditching the Parents and Hitting the Road with Grandma, WSJ

Why You Should Go to Iceland in the Off-Season, Outside

How This Remote Norwegian Archipelago Became a New Travel Hot Spot, Robb Report

Finland Is Expanding Its Luxury Appeal, NYT

Why People in Sweden Do Nature Right, Outside
“In Sweden, nature is more of a home, part of everyday life.”
“My parents’ need to be outside was embedded in their DNA.”

Fjords, Pharaohs or Koalas? Time to Plan for Your Next Eclipse., NYT

When is the next total solar eclipse? It depends on how far you’re willing to travel, Condé Nast

8 of the Best Destinations to Travel to This Memorial Day Weekend, Vogue
including the French Riviera, Hamptons, St Barths, Antigua, Napa Valley, Capri

Desert Drives and Sea Lion Dives: The Enduring Draws of La Paz, Mexico, NYT

The 25 Best Restaurants in Chicago Right Now, NYT

Off Season Italy: How Style Editor Gianluca Longo Spends Fall in Puglia, Condé Nast

Hate Being Stuck Playing at One Golf Course? Some Clubs Have a Solution, WSJ

INFORMATION

What to know about Schengen zone, Europe’s ‘border-free’ travel system, The Washington Post

Traveling Light: How to Pack a Carry-on, NYT

The Billionaire Buyout: Publicity Stunt or Ultimate Luxury Travel Triumph?, Robb Report

Help! Japan Airlines Downgraded Us From First Class and Skimped on the Refund., NYT

The Four Most Divisive Words on a Flight: Will You Swap Seats?, WSJ

The Unexpected Pleasure of Boredom When Traveling Solo, Vogue

Wealthy Travelers Are Fueling a Surge in Luxury Hotel Prices, Robb Report

(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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