📷 Llao Llao

WHERE TO NEXT?

Dear Traveler,

Have you ever dreamt of taking a full month off of work? What would it be like to…

  • decide each day what you want to do without the confines of work?
  • rediscover the many things you love but have not had time for?
  • read for pleasure all afternoon, improve your golf game, take up a new sport or hobby, spend more quality time with your kids, visit friends and family?
  • explore your creative side by engaging in artistic activities such as painting, writing, photography or music?
  • go on a wellness retreat focusing solely on your personal wellbeing?
  • take the opportunity for reflection on your life and intentionally plan your next few years?

Have you ever taken that much time off at once?

Studies show extended time off is key for your mental and physical health and wellbeing, leading to renewed energy and enthusiasm.

I am doing it!

For one month this summer I will officially be off. *

*the fine print…
For my clients who are traveling, of course I will be here to support you.
And I will write this newsletter because I love to write.

But no new trips will be started. No progress will be made on trips that are in the midst of being planned. Which is why I am letting you know this early.

The exact dates are a bit TBD, but there are two months between now and July 1. Enough time to get your fall, winter break or spring break 2025 planned. And you know what happens when you plan early – you get exactly what you want – the best accommodations, guides, experiences and logistics for your trip! And you then get to enjoy the lull – the time between confirming your trip and eagerly awaiting your departure.

Planning travel ahead is always a good idea! If you’ve been thinking about starting to plan a new trip, now is a great time to get on my calendar.


The newest edition of the Virtuoso magazine is out. The main theme of this edition is adventure travel – near and dear to my heart.

Adventure travel brings to mind different things for different people. For me at its most basic level it is about being outdoors in the fresh air and (hopefully) sunshine, being active, exploring new places and meeting new people. I combine that with other loves of mine (and yours) – great food, unique culinary experiences, learning about history, art and culture and meeting fascinating locals.

Some people mistakenly believe adventure and luxury can not coexist. They think back to backpacking while camping in tents and eating tasteless food. We’ll leave those experiences for our teens and 20-somethings hiking the AT (and having a blast doing it).

For those of us who have moved on from the basics, there is a world waiting for you…

  • Sailing away on an historic sailing yacht to the most remote corners of the Indonesian archipelago – scuba diving with manta rays in Raja Ampat and hiking among Komodo dragons – complimented by complete relaxation on a secluded beaches and dining on tasting menus by candlelight under the stars at night.
  • Getting dropped off by helicopter then hiking 5* hotel to 5* hotel in the Dolomites, while having your luggage moved for you, eating incredible Italian food at refugios and having massages as desired.
  • Boarding an expedition cruise to Antarctica, the Galapagos or New Zealand. Your butler will unpack your bags so you can concentrate on soaking up knowledge from your experienced guides, kayaking among glaciers, doing the polar plunge, observing the wildlife, eating Michelin inspired meals and luxuriating in the spa each afternoon.
  • Hiking the Inca Trail in comfort, with delicious meals made for you, luxury glamping accommodations, a local guide by your side to retell the history of the Incan people (tip: read Last Days of the Incas before you go) and an entrance through the Sungate – in my opinion the only way to arrive at Machu Picchu. Followed by a stay in the one and only lodge at the top and departing by luxury train where the live music is playing, the bar is open and the festive atmosphere will perfectly cap off your Peruvian adventure.
  • Taking a river cruise on the Mekong, visiting floating markets, viewing spectacular scenery, taking tuk-tuk tours and eating the freshest Cambodian and Vietnamese foods and then returning to your silky linens on the comfy bed in your suite.
  • Staying in a remote glass pod in the mountains of the South Island of New Zealand. Mountain biking on the Roxburgh Gorge Trail and hiking on the Hollyford Track, followed by meeting with a local winery owner to taste her hyper local wines, dining on the most tender lamb and soaking in your hot tub under the twinkling stars of the Southern Cross and the Milky Way.

Above are just a few of my ideas – experiences I’ve had or that are on my personal bucket list. What are yours?

Read the Virtuoso magazine edition below for more adventures including visits to Guadalajara, Dubai, NYC, Delhi, French Polynesia, Oman, British Isles, Papua New Guinea, Costa Rica, Panama and Australia.


Last week’s most popular article was AFAR’s Where to Travel with Kids in the US.

There are so many incredible articles below! Including Michelin’s list of top hotels in the US, luxury resorts in Costa Rica, the ranked list of the 50 best bars in North America for 2024, the best charming inns and majestic hilltop estates in Provence, off-roading in Baja California, an intro to mezcal and the ultimate destination for a luxury safari in South Africa.

A few of the informational articles include a genius packing list, how to train for a marathon on vacation, what fliers need to know about new refund rules for airlines and are your flights going to take off on time this summer?

I’m off to the Kentucky Derby! The weather forecast looks a bit iffy, but we are staying positive and excited to experience the high energy of this big event!

Have a wonderful week!

Warmly,

 

Below:

  • This week’s highlight – Grana
  • Where to Next? Llao Llao 
  • Articles to Inspire+Inforn

GRANA

I’ve had Australia on my mind lately because I will be heading there on a scouting trip in September. Last fall I highlighted an island resort where our clients who recently went on their honeymoon stayed.

Today we are returning to Australia, but this time to a restaurant in Sydney. You must go to Sydney when you go to Australia – it’s a city with so much to offer!

Grana

Walking distance to Sydney Harbor and the Opera House, set on the ground floor of an historic building (a wool store in the 1800s), stylishly restored – the sandstone and exposed brick walls and wooden ceiling beams are complimented by sprigs of wheat and crusty fresh bread exuding warmth the moment you walk in.

Their on-site production is in full view for you – to educate and entertain, so you can witness the origin of your meal.

The food – a delicious combination of Australian-Italian cuisine with seafood, seasonal vegetables, steaks, pork and slow-cooked lamb shoulder. 

Some highlights:

  • Glazed king prawns from Skull Island served with charred piadinas and green tomato salsa (aka “shrimp on the barbie”)
  • Grilled freshly caught John Dory on the bone, smoked mussel & finger lime butter
  • Jerusalem artichoke ravioli, brown butter and truffle pecorino
  • Burrata with charred squash, heirloom zucchini and green salsa
  • Stracchino cheese folded through olive oil bread

And delicious cocktails!

Pictured below:

  • The Pepino – a fresh and zesty non-alcoholic spritz
  • Cattivo Cattivo – taking everything they love about the Pornstar Martini and building on it – vodka, passionfruit, prosecco, mint and lime

Want another reason to go?

On Sundays Grana offers Pasta Club. For $99AUD per person (~$65USD) guests enjoy three pasta courses plus salad and tiramisu cannoli for dessert, and matching alcoholic drinks. 

My suggestion – plan to be in Sydney on a Sunday, dine at Grana and then take a stroll around the harbor seeing the lit up Opera House twinkle at night.

📷 Grana

🌟 Our clients, four couples, recently spent two weeks golfing and exploring their way through Argentina. While there they spent a few nights at the famous Llao Llao Resort

Last year I also experienced this resort first hand on my travels through northern Patagonia. I like to set expectations that the property itself is stunning, the hotel – historic (read about its history here) but it also reminds me of many US National Park lodges. That is to say keep your expectations moderate 🙂

Why is Llao Llao so special?

  • Llao Llao is surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Andes Mountains and the extraordinary views of Lake Nahuel Huapi and Lake Moreno.
  • So many amenities on property – an 18 hole golf course, marina, beach, solarium, indoor and outdoor infinity edge swimming pools, a spa and fitness center.
  • The restaurants range from Restaurante Argentino offering grilled meats and seafood to the Moreno Lake Lounge where you can enjoy sushi and local beer. Another favorite is the Llao Llao High Tea, served with views of the hotel gardens and lake.

Do as much or as little as you like:

  • Stay active by hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and fishing. There are also fun adventures designed specifically for kids aged 4-10.
  • The spa has an extensive menu and specializes in facials, cellular regeneration, detoxification and hydrotherapy.
  • During the winter season, ski or snowboard with easy access to some of the best slopes in the region.

‼️ Don’t miss….golfing during your stay at Llao Llao.  The course is located in Nahuel Huapi National Park and is surrounded by Nahuel Huapi Lake.  The challenging course offers views of the stunning snow capped Andes mountains and crystal water lakes. 

 

 

📷 Llao Llao 

Reach out to plan your trip to

INSPIRATION

Michelin Reveals Its List of Top Hotels in the USA, AFAR
“Price ranges and hotel styles run the gamut, but true to the Michelin way of ranking, set criteria for determining what establishments merit a coveted key are as follows: The hotel must be a destination unto itself; the hotel must contribute to the local experience; it must display excellence in architecture and interior design; quality and regularity of service, comfort, and maintenance are needed; the hotel must reflect the personality of the establishment and its unique character; and there needs to be consistency between the quality of the experience and the price paid.”

A Bevy of Luxury Resorts Is About to Transform This Quiet Costa Rica Province, Robb Report

The 50 Best Bars in North America for 2024, Ranked, Robb Report

9 Destinations in France to Enjoy the Olympics Outside of Paris, NYT

The Best Hotels In Provence, From Charming Inns To Majestic Hilltop Estates, Vogue UK

T&C Hotel Awards 2024: The Best New Minimalist Hotels, Town & Country

T&C Hotel Awards 2024: The Best New Hotels on the Planet, Town & Country

This Is the Reason to Travel All the Way to French Polynesia, Virtuoso

“Rocky, wild and unpredictable” — why Baja California is ideal offroading country, National Geographic

An intro to mezcal, the centuries-old Mexican spirit that’s having a moment, National Geographic

8 Famous Pilgrimages Around the World That You Can Walk or Cycle, AFAR

7 of Europe’s most amazing tree house stays for families, Lonely Planet

SAFARIS

Tswalu, South Africa: the ultimate destination for a luxury safari, NZ Herald

INFORMATION

This Genius Packing List Template Will Instantly Turn You Into an Ultra-Organized Traveler, Inc.

What’s New, U.S. Department of Transportation

What Happens If You Miss Your Connecting Flight?, Condé Nast

How to train for a marathon on vacation, The Washington Post

What fliers need to know about new refund rules for airlines, The Washington Post

Are Your Flights Going to Take Off on Time This Summer?, AFAR

(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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Thank you!

Extraordinary Experiences for
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