Rocky Mountain Resort Towns

Typically viewed as a nuisance in the city, alpine villages view snow as the gift of all gifts from mother nature. For the big mountain resorts in the Colorado Rockies, significant snow storms represent cash falling from the skies.  If you count yourself among those wanting to hit the slopes and carve a few black diamonds before the warm weather arrives, there is no better time for a weekend getaway. Continue reading

ResortPass: We’ll Stay for the Day | GLR Opinion

Have you ever stayed at an impressive resort that, while teeming with the promise of pristine pools and soothing hot tubs, seems to be a bit lacking in any actual partakers? The offerings, sure, are plentiful, but the sauna and steam room in their world-class spa? Empty. This may sound problematic for their business, but in the efficiency-driven, “as-a-Service” economy we live in today, it also presents a smart opportunity for mutually beneficial partnership. Enter ResortPass, a service poised to connect locals and day trippers seeking relaxation with access to a partnering property’s all too available amenities.

 

Some might say the company has taken a page out of the Airbnb book by leveraging the under-utilized assets at resorts and selling them as an experience, for a fee. Well, the model is certainly working out for both parties. Launched in 2016—with Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and “The Point’s Guy,” Brian Kelly, as early investors—ResortPass is starting to hit their stride this year. Not only have they grown their network significantly, but they also closed a $26 million “B” round this past November. They now partner with over 900 hotels and resorts around the world, all allowing users to enjoy luxury experiences on a day pass basis.

 

The price, you might be musing, is surely where the catch lies. Not necessarily, as it is more so reflective of the level of service and amenities offered, as well as the brand. The Four Seasons, for example, will likely cost you more than a Hilton. The range might be from $25-100 per day for a standard pass—more for daybeds and cabanas. The cost for children is less, if not free, depending on age.

 

large pool overlooking valley
Carneros Resort—Napa Valley, CA

 

It’s early days yet and hard to forecast the level of overall demand there will be for ResortPass, but I do have one prediction. The “stickiness” of this service will ultimately reside more with travelers than locals. According to Michael Wolf, CEO of ResortPass, the early data disagrees. So far, the majority of ResortPass’s users are locals who want to experience the amenities of hotels in their own or nearby cities. A staycation, or even “day”cation, as they say.

 

“Our local users never had the opportunity to access the hospitality industry locally,” says Wolf. “They thought they had to get on a plane to enjoy those sorts of amenities.”

 

pool surrounded by canabas and chairs and palm trees
Miramar Resort—Santa Barabra, CA

 

infinity pool overlooking river valley
Miraval Resort—Austin, TX (Photo: James Baigrie)

 

To be fair, ResortPass does acknowledge all types of users, from locals to cruise ship passengers alike, and I’m sure they are targeting all sorts of people in various situations where the service would be compelling. Whether the local demographic remains their top revenue source is anyone’s guess, but I would wager that the true value of this service lies with a certain type of traveler staying at a certain type of place.

 

For example, guests staying at a boutique hotel—one that offers a terrific experience but without resort-level amenities—would seem to be likely customers. Vacationers staying with friends are another plausible group to appeal to, as they might still want a bit of pampering and that vacation vibe while they’re out of town. And then there is their ultimate customer, the ones where the value of ResortPass truly becomes apparent—and for me, it’s full circle back to Airbnb and its guests.

 

I love Airbnb. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate the service. They created a whole new segment of lodging at price-points that are generally more attractive than hotels, especially if you require multiple bedrooms. What Airbnb sorely lacks, however, is amenities. Sure, you can get a great pad with a pool, large kitchen and epic view of the ocean or mountains, but you cannot get the kind of facilities and social intangibles that luxury hotels and resorts offer. There is no way to spell a bustling hotel lobby, or expansive pools surrounded by chaises and cabanas, with dining and cocktail service at your fingertips.

 

hotel pool in city overlooking skyline
Williamsburg Hotel—Brooklyn, NY

 

hotel pool next to bay with palm trees and dining tables
Ritz Carlton Bal Harbor—Miami, FL

 

And therein lies the true value of ResortPass. The best products and services are the ones that fill a void. It’s fine to build a better mouse trap and plenty of companies have made a living doing this. Even the most innovative companies in the world owe a lot of their success to products and services that already existed which they simply improved upon. Apple didn’t invent the smart phone; they just made it better. A lot better. But filling a void is the ultimate goal for most entrepreneurs. See Uber, Venmo and yes, Airbnb.

 

I think Airbnb would be wise to partner with—or dare I say, even purchase—ResortPass. It may start out as just an incremental supplement to their service, as it’s only useful if there is a qualifying resort nearby. Nonetheless, it would be a natural fit that could yield larger, more impactful results in the future. The Batman and Robin of travel disruptors, if you will.

 

ResortPass gets the GLR stamp of approval as a rising star in the resort space. Mark my words, they’re going places—and not just for the day.

 

Yucatan Three Ways

As we dip our toes back into travel after a year of social distancing, it may feel hard to decide where to go and what to do first. Does a beach vacation sound most appealing or would you prefer an urban getaway focused on shopping, dining, and culture? Perhaps an escape to the country and days of waking to birdsong, dining on farm fresh meals, and exploring small towns is the trip you are dreaming of.

 

Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula makes the process of picking a destination easier, as you can choose from all three of these holiday options in one place. It also offers the convenience of flying into and out of Cancun, with flights from more than a dozen American hubs. After you land, you just have to decide whether to drive south, to the beaches along the Riviera Maya; west, to the lively and charming capital of the state of Yucatan, Mérida; or into the countryside, for a stay at a sprawling hacienda reborn as a luxury hotel.

 

Escape to the Seashore

With its dramatic Maya ruins sitting atop a bluff overlooking the Caribbean and its small resorts strung along the sea, it’s not surprising that Tulum has become a favorite of those travelers looking for beach time in the winter but who aren’t interested in the mega-resorts of Cancun.

 

God of Winds Temple, Tulum, Mexico (Shutterstock)

 

The plus of Tulum’s emergence as a destination has been the opening of new hotels and restaurants that have transformed what was once a sleepy backpacker destination into a decidedly stylish one.

 

Getting There: From Cancun it’s a straight shot south on a well-maintained highway. If you are driving, expect the journey to take between 90 minutes to two hours. There are also buses and shuttles, though renting a vehicle will give you the freedom to explore some nearby sites like the Sian Ka’an Biosphere and the Maya ruins at Coba, a much larger complex than the one in Tulum.

 

Where to Stay: Olas Tulum is a small B&B that has a very Tulum-like boho-chic atmosphere and attitude. A plus is that it is to the south of most of Tulum’s hotels—you can enjoy the quiet of the location for naps on the sand in the afternoon but when cocktail hour comes around it’s a short walk to Tulum’s other bars and restaurants.

 

Don’t Miss: Make sure to have at least one meal at Hartwood Tulum which helped lead Tulum’s transition from modest beach town to jet-setter destination. Chefs and owners Eric Werner and Mya Henry opened the restaurant in 2010 and it has made its way on to many “best-restaurant” lists thanks to dishes featuring farm-fresh produce from the Yucatan and seafood straight from the Caribbean in simple preparations that let the ingredients shine.

 

Country Living

Much of the Yucatan peninsula is dotted with haciendas that used to produce henequen (a fiber that is, in English, more commonly called sisal, after the port of Sisal where much of it was exported from). Sisal was essential to rope-making and huge fortunes were made growing the crop. The Mexican Revolution and, more importantly, the invention of nylon led to the bust of that boom though today many haciendas are enjoying second lives having been reborn as luxury hotels where you can spend days lounging by pools or visiting off-the-beaten path villages, convents, and Maya sites. You’ll fall asleep each night to the captivating sounds of the jungle wildlife at night.

Getting there: There are haciendas throughout the peninsula, though there tend to be more of them in the states of Yucatan and Campeche (on the northern and western sides of the peninsula—Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located, runs along its eastern side). You’ll want to rent a car if you intend to spend your days exploring the backroads, but most haciendas will happily arrange for transfers to their properties if you intend to spend your days relaxing on the grounds.

Chablé, Yucatan

 

Chablé Yucatan

Where to Stay: Chablé Yucatan is the most luxurious of the reborn haciendas, though most accommodations there are in newly built free-standing casitas while the historic buildings house common areas, lounges, and restaurants. Hacienda Petac is an appealing smaller hacienda that is rented exclusively to one group at a time and can accommodate up to 14 guests. Marriott’s Luxury Collection includes five beautifully restored haciendas.

 

Don’t Miss: The Maya sites of Chichen Itza and Coba are world-famous, and the crowds at them are evidence of that. An advantage of a stay at a hacienda, however, is that it’s easier to visit some of the less-popular Maya sites. Uxmal, which is just over an hour south of Mérida, is one of the most magical of them. It is built in the so-called Puuc style which is known for being more decorative than other Maya styles with intricate carved geometric patterns and designs.

 

Uxmal Pyramid

 

A City Escape

Mérida, the capital of the state of Yucatan (and the largest city on the Yucatan peninsula) has emerged in recent years as one of the most exciting cities in Mexico. It has long been known for its laidback pace and impressive collection of historic buildings spanning the 16th to 19th centuries (within Mexico, only Mexico City has a larger historic district). Now the city can also boast about its lively dining and shopping scene, supported by both a growing expat community and travelers who have discovered Mérida’s appeals.

 

Getting There: Mérida is roughly 3.5 hours from Cancun on a toll road. The colonial town of Valladolid and the Maya ruins at Chichen Itza are appealing stops en route. (It is also possible to fly to Mérida directly.)

Guilermina Restaurant, Merida

Where to Stay: Mérida has an abundance of rental properties in historic homes that have been lovingly restored and you will want to check out the options on AirBnB and VRBO. If you prefer a hotel, the recently opened Wayam has a cool, contemporary style and also one of Mérida’s best new restaurants, Cuna, which serves delicious updated takes on Yucatecan cooking.

Cuna Restaurant at Wayam (Photo: Orbitz)

Don’t Miss: Mérida is not only a state capital but a culinary one too. It’s a place to sample both street food like the simple tacos served at stands at the Santiago Market (a small neighborhood market that is less intimidating than the central one) to the innovative Mexican cuisine of Picheta which overlooks Mérida’s cathedral and central square.

—John Newton, Founder, Signal Custom Content. (John previously worked as an editor at AFAR, Condé Nast Traveler, and Travel+Leisure and has written travel stories for many other publications and websites.)

12 Essential Travel Tools for the Modern Adventurer

In today’s fast-paced world, traveling has become more accessible and exciting than ever before. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or embarking on a round-the-world adventure, having the right travel tools can make your journey smoother, more enjoyable, and stress-free. From reliable travel blogs and advisors to convenient booking platforms and smart devices, here are 12 essential travel tools that every modern adventurer should consider. These tools range from providing valuable information and recommendations to simplifying travel logistics and ensuring peace of mind throughout your journey.

 

The Points Guy TPG

The Points Guy is a popular online resource that caters to savvy travelers looking to maximize their travel rewards. This website offers insightful tips, tricks, and strategies to help you earn and redeem points effectively, allowing you to enjoy upgrades, free flights, hotel stays, and more. With comprehensive guides on loyalty programs, credit cards, and travel hacking, The Points Guy is an invaluable tool for those seeking to make the most of their travel experiences.

 

Travel Blogs

Travel blogs provide a wealth of information and inspiration for travelers worldwide. These online platforms are written by experienced globetrotters, offering personal anecdotes, destination guides, itineraries, and insider tips. From adventure travel to luxury escapes, there is a travel blog for every type of explorer. By following these blogs, you can discover hidden gems, learn about local customs, find budget-friendly options, and gain insights into off-the-beaten-path destinations. Popular travel blogs include Nomadic Matt, Adventurous Kate, and The Blonde Abroad, among many others.

 

Travel Advisors

While travel blogs offer a plethora of information, sometimes it’s beneficial to have a human touch. Travel advisors, also known as travel agents or consultants, are professionals who specialize in curating personalized travel experiences. These experts have extensive knowledge and industry connections to help you plan your dream vacation with ease. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, family vacation, or adventure tour, travel advisors can provide valuable insights, handle complex bookings, and offer recommendations tailored to your preferences. Their expertise ensures a seamless and unforgettable travel experience.

 

Booking.com

Booking.com is a widely recognized online platform that simplifies the process of finding and booking accommodation. With an extensive database of hotels, hostels, vacation rentals, and even alternative accommodations, such as treehouses and houseboats, Booking.com offers a vast selection to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. The platform provides user-friendly search filters, detailed descriptions, reviews, and competitive pricing, making it a go-to tool for travelers worldwide. Booking.com also offers flexible booking options and excellent customer service, ensuring a hassle-free experience from start to finish.

 

HotelsTonight

For spontaneous travelers or those seeking last-minute accommodation deals, HotelsTonight is a game-changer. This mobile app allows you to find discounted hotel rooms for the same day or up to a week in advance. HotelsTonight partners with various hotels to offer unsold inventory at reduced rates, allowing travelers to find affordable options on short notice. The app provides user-friendly filters, detailed hotel information, and real-time availability updates. HotelsTonight is perfect for those seeking to save money or find a comfortable place to stay when their plans change unexpectedly.

 

Airline Credit Card

An airline credit card can be a valuable tool for frequent travelers. These credit cards offer various benefits, such as airline miles or points, priority boarding, lounge access, and free checked bags. By using an airline credit card for your everyday purchases, you can accumulate rewards that can be redeemed for flights, upgrades, or other travel-related expenses. Additionally, some airline credit cards offer travel insurance, purchase protection, and other travel perks. Research different airline credit cards to find the one that aligns with your travel habits and preferences, and start earning rewards towards your next adventure. Chase Sapphire Preferred, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and American Express Platinum are just a few of our favorites. See our full review of Best Airline Credit Cards for 2023.

 

Apple iWatch

The iWatch is a versatile travel tool that can simplify your journey. From displaying flight itineraries and hotel reservations to tracking your fitness and monitoring your health, the iWatch and other high-end smartwatches offer convenience and functionality on the go. With built-in features like GPS, heart rate monitoring, and connectivity to your smartphone, you can navigate unfamiliar cities, stay active, receive notifications, and even make contactless payments. The iWatch’s compact design and multiple functionalities make it a practical companion for any traveler.

 

Travel and Lifestyle Websites

Travel and lifestyle websites, such as TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet, provide comprehensive travel information and recommendations beyond just accommodation. These platforms offer insights on local restaurants, attractions, shopping, and nightlife, ensuring you make the most of your destination. With user-generated reviews and ratings, lifestyle websites allow you to gather authentic feedback from fellow travelers, helping you make informed decisions about where to eat, what to do, and what to see. By exploring these websites, you can discover hidden gems, avoid tourist traps, and immerse yourself in the local culture.

 

Travel Magazines

Travel magazines, both in print and digital formats, offer a curated collection of inspiring travel stories, stunning photography, and expert recommendations. These magazines cover a wide range of destinations, cultures, and travel styles, providing a source of inspiration and wanderlust for travelers. Whether you’re flipping through the glossy pages on a long flight or exploring digital articles on your smartphone, travel magazines transport you to different corners of the globe and offer insights into unique experiences. Some popular travel magazines include National Geographic Traveler, Condé Nast Traveler, and Travel + Leisure.

 

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is an essential tool for any traveler. It provides financial protection against unexpected events, such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage. Travel insurance policies typically cover medical expenses, emergency evacuation, trip interruption, and personal liability, among other benefits. Before embarking on your journey, it’s crucial to research and purchase travel insurance that suits your needs and covers your destination. This ensures that you have peace of mind during your travels, knowing that you’re protected in case of unforeseen circumstances.

 

Cheap Flight Alerts

Cheap flight alerts services, such as Going.com (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) or Airfarewatchdog, help you find the best flight deals and save money on airfare. These services send you email notifications or app alerts when there are significant price drops or mistake fares, allowing you to book discounted flights before prices rise again. By subscribing to these services and being flexible with your travel dates and destinations, you can take advantage of incredible flight deals, explore new places, and stretch your travel budget further.

 

TripIt

TripIt is a travel organization app that consolidates all your travel information in one place. By forwarding your flight, hotel, and car rental confirmations to TripIt, the app creates a master itinerary that can be accessed offline. It provides essential details like departure times, gate information, and confirmation numbers, ensuring you have everything you need at your fingertips. TripIt also offers features like real-time flight updates, alternate flight suggestions, and syncing with your calendar. This app keeps your travel plans organized, simplifying your journey and minimizing stress.

Healthy Travel Means Business

In today’s high tech world—where even email threads seem archaic in comparison to a Google hangout—the continued merits of business travel are up for debate. Ask the salespeople and the dealmakers, and they’ll laugh in the face of the modern digital landscape. In their world, nothing beats an in-person meeting when a deal is on the line and you’re looking to close. But does that triumph outweigh the mental and physical strain of balancing on-the-go with on-the-job? Continue reading

American Splendor: New England’s Fall Foliage Trail

Now that the summer heat has given way to cooler temperatures, we can all enjoy the great outdoors without sweltering. Fall is the perfect time to spend an afternoon at the cider mill, go pumpkin picking for Halloween or hike up mountains. Peak foliage times in the Northeastern United States differ by state—Vermont peaks earlier than Connecticut—but generally the entire month of October is brilliant.  Continue reading

Beyond Pebble Beach

If you’re heading to the Monterey Peninsula to play golf (or watch the pros play), why not stick around after it’s over? Monterey County has a plethora of pleasures to offer from world-renowned golf courses to interesting restaurants to craggy terrain. Continue reading

Where to Stay, Play and Eat Gourmet in Bodrum Turkey

Nestled along the southwestern coast of Turkey, Bodrum is a picturesque paradise that effortlessly blends ancient history with contemporary charm. With its azure waters, sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, and historical sites, Bodrum offers a perfect balance of relaxation and exploration. Whether you’re a sun-seeker, history enthusiast, or foodie, this coastal gem has something to offer for everyone. Here are our picks for the best places to stay, eat, and go in Bodrum in this beautiful Turkish town.

 

Where to Stay

Bodrum boasts a wide array of accommodation options to cater to every budget and preference. From luxurious beachfront resorts to charming boutique hotels and cozy guesthouses, there’s something for everyone. Here are recommendations that include both luxury, boutique, and value-oriented accommodations.

Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum: If luxury is what you seek, look no further than the Mandarin Oriental. This breathtaking resort perched on the hills overlooking the Aegean Sea offers unparalleled views and world-class amenities. With elegantly designed rooms and suites, private beach access, a stunning infinity pool, and a serene spa, this is the epitome of indulgence.

Amanruya: Another opulent option is Amanruya, a secluded oasis nestled among olive groves and pine forests. This five-star resort boasts traditional Turkish architecture, stunning private pools, and impeccable service. Amanruya is the ideal retreat for those seeking tranquility and exclusivity.

Med-Inn Boutique Hotel: For a more intimate experience, consider the Med-Inn Boutique Hotel, situated along the Bodrum peninsula. This charming hotel offers panoramic views of the bay, cozy rooms, and a private beach. The attentive staff and serene ambiance make it a perfect spot for a romantic getaway.

Eskiçeşme Apartments: Travelers on a budget will find Eskiçeşme Apartments an excellent choice. Located in the heart of Bodrum, these self-catering apartments offer a comfortable stay without breaking the bank. They are within walking distance of Bodrum’s vibrant nightlife and historic attractions.

 

Where to Eat

Turkish cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors and diverse influences. Bodrum’s dining scene is a delightful fusion of traditional Turkish fare and international cuisine, catering to all tastes.

Limon Restaurant: Overlooking the dazzling Bodrum Castle, Limon Restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience. Serving a delectable array of seafood and Mediterranean dishes, the restaurant’s ambiance and breathtaking sunset views are equally enticing.

2. Kocadon Restaurant: Located in the heart of Bodrum’s old town, Kocadon is a local favorite that showcases the best of Turkish cuisine. From mouthwatering kebabs and mezes to delightful desserts, Kocadon’s traditional dishes are prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

3. Bodrum Mantı Evi: For a taste of the beloved Turkish dumplings, mantı, head to Bodrum Mantı Evi. This cozy restaurant specializes in mantı served with yogurt, garlic, and sumac—a delicious blend of flavors unique to Turkey.

4. Marina Yacht Club Restaurant: Enjoy a chic dining experience at the Marina Yacht Club Restaurant. With its upscale atmosphere and an extensive menu featuring international and Turkish dishes, it’s an excellent spot for a special evening out.

 

Things to do

Beyond its stunning coastline and luxury resorts, Bodrum has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. Explore the region’s historical sites, indulge in water sports, or simply relax on the sun-kissed beaches. Here are some top attractions and activities in Bodrum:

Bodrum Castle: Dominating the harbor, the Bodrum Castle is an iconic landmark that dates back to the 15th century. Also known as the Castle of St. Peter, it now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, displaying fascinating artifacts from ancient shipwrecks.

Ancient Theater of Halicarnassus: A trip to Bodrum wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Ancient Theater of Halicarnassus. This well-preserved theater dates back to the 4th century BC and offers captivating views of Bodrum and the sea.

Yalıkavak Marina: For a taste of luxury and glamour, head to Yalıkavak Marina. This upscale marina is lined with high-end boutiques, restaurants, and cafes, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.

Gulet Cruise: Embark on a gulet cruise to explore the turquoise waters surrounding Bodrum. These traditional wooden boats offer day trips and multi-day cruises, allowing you to swim in secluded coves and visit nearby islands.

Pamukkale Hot Springs: Take a day trip from Bodrum to Pamukkale, a unique natural wonder known for its terraces of calcium-rich mineral water. Relax in the thermal pools and enjoy the picturesque landscape.

Bodrum Bazaar: Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the Bodrum Bazaar. Here, you’ll find a colorful array of goods, including textiles, ceramics, spices, and souvenirs, all perfect for taking a piece of Bodrum home with you.

 

Ticket to Ride

Before the advent of the automobile, most travelers traversed the countryside via rail. Whether Stateside or overseas, tourists and locals ate in opulent dining cars, reclined in wood-paneled lounges and slept in lavish staterooms with all the comforts of home—if your home was a palatial estate. While cars have made rail travel almost obsolete in the United States, trains are still a great way to get around overseas. Continue reading

These Are The Best New Hotels Around The World

Christopher Parr—Editor and Chief of Pursuitist and contributing writer for USA Today and Business Insider—weighs in on the hottest new luxury hotels across the globe.
Ring in the new year at some of the newest and most exotic hotels around the world. Travel has rebounded to unprecedented levels.  People are eager to take advantage of credits they have been saving for the past few years. General managers, travel experts and travel agents/advisors are encouraging people to book early if they want to get the best deal for 2023 travel. These luxurious, high-end accommodations, opened in 2022 or coming soon in 2023, should be at the top of your bucket list. Where will you go first?

Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Panama

Exterior of white hotel with balconies at night in the tropics

Panama City is flush with luxury hotels, but few are located in the old town. Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Panama is within a historic building in the “casco viejo,” but still close to the city’s more modern tourist sights and dining options. Such guests as Queen Elizabeth II and Charles Lindbergh have stayed here. The property is also famous for its starring role in a James Bond movie. The guest rooms showcase old-fashioned glamor to fit in with this historic neighborhood.

NUMU, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

modern hotel with gardens in outdoor atrium

 

Numu, part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, is a new boutique option in San Miguel de Allende’s charming town center, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Come for the historic landmarks, world-famous Mexican cuisine and nearby Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel cathedral, but stay for the rooftop pool and craft cocktails. It’s the perfect treat after a day of exploring.

 

Waldorf Astoria Cancun

modern looking resort on beach in Mexico

If sprawling resorts are more your style, Cancun has a new high-end luxury property in the recently opened Waldorf Astoria Cancun. Only 15 minutes from the international airport, but a world away from the hubbub of the busiest attractions, this is the ideal weekend getaway. Beachfront pools, panoramic guest room balconies and a spa combining Mayan culture techniques with modern treatments prove to be the perfect siren call.

 

Four Seasons Nashville

modern metal and glass highrise hotel

In the SoBro neighborhood of downtown Nashville, this new luxury hotel is the latest entrant to The Music City’s hospitality scene. Within walking distance of the popular tourist areas, Four Seasons Nashvilleoffers beautiful guest rooms with subtle musical design touches and panoramic city views.

Nobu Atlanta

modern hotel building in city

Foodies visiting Atlanta should make a beeline for the new Nobu Atlanta, part of the celebrated global hotel chain. Not only are the guest rooms luxurious, but the hotel’s rooftop swimming pool is sure to be a winner in the warmer months. In the chic Buckhead area of town and part of Phipps Plaza, the hotel is a destination in itself.

The Ned Doha

modern white hotel with pool

Part members club, part luxury hotel, the new Ned Doha is within the city’s former Ministry of Interior close to the waterfront and popular tourist attractions. Designers took a 1970s luxury approach to the hotel to match the architecture. What they came up with is a strikingly chic and different resort for the Qatari capital. An outdoor swimming pool, comprehensive health club and spa are also part of the redesign of this historic building.

Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa, Maldives

beach resort with bungalows on water in Maldives

 

Part of The Leading Hotels of the World group, this luxury newcomer to the Maldives has 80 overwater and beach villas. The Raa Atoll resort, with more than 17 acres on a private island, is all-inclusive. With five restaurants and numerous bars, Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa has something for everyone including a lavish spa and one of the largest kids’ clubs in the Maldives.

The Anam Mui Ne

spanish hotel with pool and palm trees

It’s no secret that Vietnam has incredible luxury at prices half that of other parts of the world. Untouched beaches and amazing food add to the excitement, and The Anam Mui Ne’s arrival onto the scene is the perfect time to visit. The Indochine design of this southeastern Vietnam resort shows off local woodwork, handicrafts, statues and art. It’s more than just a resort. This is a total immersion in Vietnamese culture that will make you want to return over and over.

AYANA Segara Bali

two modern chaise lounge chairs on wood deck with infinty pool

Part of the larger AYANA Estate in Jimbaran, this new resort is an extension of AYANA with numerous swimming pools and spa amenities. Guest rooms at AYANA Segara Bali here have both indoor and outdoor spaces and beautiful views. The restaurant Mediterranean-themed menus and the newest rooftop bar use ingredients from the resort’s own organic garden.

Mandarin Oriental Palace Luzern

palace

 

Luzern now has a new top hotel within a historic Belle Époque landmark building. From the brand with world-famous Asian hospitality, Mandarin Oriental Palace Luzern has lake-view guest rooms, a holistic spa, palatial meeting areas, and best of all, convenience to the charming Swiss city’s famous bridge and surrounding shopping areas.

Anantara Palazzo Naiadi Hotel

palatial building

 

Fresh from a complete renovation, Anantara is bringing its southeast Asian resort name to Europe, most recently to the Italian capital. Anantara Palazzo Naiadi Hotel sits in the middle of the city on Piazza della Repubblica is a historic and palatial building. Inside, the glamorous accommodations and public areas create the perfect home base for a visit to Rome. But it’s the rooftop terrace and swimming pool that steals the show.

Thompson Madrid

hotel room

 

Part of Hyatt’s luxury and design focus, Thompson Hotels has made its Spanish debut in Madrid. Not far from Puerta del Sol and the city’s most famous art museums, Thompson Madrid wows with its modern design within a historic building. Many of the rooms have balconies with panoramic views of the city’s skyline. The rooftop bar has quickly catapulted to one of the see-and-be-seen evening terraces in town.

 

Six Senses Crans-Montana

ski lodge fireplace

Champagne skiing, relaxation in the Six Senses Spa and 300 days of Swiss Alps sunshine will be the big draw when Six Senses Crans-Montana opens in early 2023. Blending Swiss chalet design with modern and contemporary interiors will bring a new style of luxury to the mountaintops. Ski fans should book one of the Terrace rooms with balconies facing the final turn of the Chetzeron slope run.

Emerald Zanzibar Resort & Spa

beachfront pool

 

Along Matemwe’s Muyuni Beach, Emerald Zanzibar Resort & Spa is another of The Leading Hotels of the World’s new all-inclusive properties giving guests plenty of delicious food and drinks in paradise. Views of Mnemba Island are beautiful. Then, there’s the sparkling coastline providing plenty of opportunity for watersports or relaxation, your choice.

 

Nobu Hotel Marrakech

minaret and palm trees

 

Nobu Hotels has been on an opening spree choosing iconic locations for its foodie-favored properties. In the city’s Hivernage district and steps from the souk and famous city walls, Nobu Hotel Marrakech is one of the latest openings with 71 rooms and suites. Indoor and outdoor pools plus a lavish spa are in place for guests to relax after a day of shopping. Be sure to book early for a dinner reservation. This property is sure to make a big splash with its 2023 opening.

Rooms With a View

Hotels built around their natural environment are nothing new. The Explora Hotel Salto Chico in Patagonia is situated on the banks of a waterfall in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. The Tsala Treetop Lodge in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, allows guests to live out their childhood fantasy of sleeping in a tree house—albeit a luxurious one. And in the United States, you have the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California, built on the craggy cliffs of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Continue reading

San Sebastian—A Must Visit Destination on Spain’s Other Coast

Europe has always been a popular destination for American travelers in the summertime. While flights to France, Italy and the United Kingdom can be pricey this time of year, Spain tends to be a bit cheaper. But instead of heading to the overcrowded beaches of tony Marbella or touristy Barcelona, take a detour to the northwest Basque coast. Here are my top-three reasons to visit San Sebastian this summer.

You Gotta Have Art
Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa (Guggenheim.org)

San Sebastian is home to a thriving art and cultural scene, showcasing the region’s unique history—the Basques are an ancient culture and vehemently independent. Throughout the summer, the city hosts music and cultural festivals galore. The 54th Heinekin “Jazzaldia,” the city’s jazz festival, happens the last week of July and is the longest running festival of its kind in Europe. Classical music concerts are held throughout August at the Musika Hamabostaldia. Film lovers flock to the region in September for the world-renowned San Sebastian Film Festival. Basque culture is celebrated during Basque Week in early September. If you love art, head to one of the city’s many museums, but don’t forget to take a side trip to nearby Bilbao, home to the Guggenheim museum.

Dinner is Served
Arzak (Trip Advisor)

Most of us who have tried Spanish cuisine stateside have encountered regional fare from Sevilla and Madrid. Basque cuisine is entirely different. Fish and meat are grilled over large coals, and hearty stews and bean dishes are extremely popular. The area is home to a large proliferation of Michelin–starred restaurants—second only to Paris—including Arzak, Akelarre and Mugartiz. For less chichi dining, opt for a cider house, which can be found throughout the region.

The Great Outdoors
Surfers at Zurriola Beach (San Sebastian Tourism)

While most visitors to Spain don’t do anything more strenuous than climb a cobblestone street to visit a historic site, for more adventurous travelers, San Sebastian offers a wealth of great outdoor opportunities. You can hike to the top of Monte Urgull or one of the other peaks or bike the surrounding hills. Surfers head to Zurriola, Fuenterrabia and Hendaia beaches for their great waves and relative breathing room.

The Viginia Hotel—A Boutique Luxury On The Jersey Shore

Plush furniture, fine linens and access to not only beautiful beaches but some of the best farm-to-table cuisine on the East Coast. If this isn’t the Jersey Shore you’re acquainted with, then perhaps you’ve watched a bit too much television. When summer’s warmest weather arrives there is no better time to plan a weekend jaunt out of the sweltering city, and no better small resort to rest your head than The Virginia Hotel. Continue reading

English Escapes

Heading to London this summer? You may want to consider booking a few days at a countryside B & B or at one of the United Kingdom’s many luxury hotels located outside of London.

Continue reading

Over 100 Years Old, This Colorado Hotel is Still an Eye-Catching Marvel

A century ago, hotels were built to rival European estates, with hundreds of rooms, sweeping manicured lawns and spectacular vistas. Few of these grand estates remain. While tourists still flock to the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, Michigan; The Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina; The Breakers in Florida and The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, it’s The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that is the queen of the grande dames, and with good reason. Continue reading

Summertime Splurge in Aspen

Whether you seek outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or relaxation in a breathtaking mountain setting, Aspen has something to offer for everyone.

 

Go Hiking and Biking

Aspen is renowned for its picturesque trails and stunning mountain scenery. Explore the Maroon Bells, a pair of iconic peaks, and hike or bike through the surrounding trails like the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail or the Crater Lake Trail. Aspen has equally great mountain biking as it does road biking.

Hit the White Water

 

Experience the thrill of white water rafting on the nearby Roaring Fork, Colorado, or Arkansas rivers. Guided tours are available for all skill levels, offering a memorable adventure amidst beautiful landscapes.

Aspen Whitewater Rafting and Blazing Adventures are both solid outfitters with happy customers.

Visit Independence Pass

Take a scenic drive on the Independence Pass, which connects Aspen to Twin Lakes. Admire breathtaking views, visit ghost towns, and stop by the Grottos, a natural ice cave formation.

Kayak Maroon Lake

Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle across the serene Maroon Lake, enjoying panoramic views of the Maroon Bells. It’s a tranquil way to soak in the natural beauty of the area.

The aformetioned Aspen Whitewater, Blazing Adventures are solid choices as is Elk Mountain Expeditions. 

Visit the Aspen Art Museum

Explore the Aspen Art Museum, which features contemporary art exhibitions, installations, and educational programs. It’s a great place to appreciate artistic talent and engage with thought-provoking works.

Attend the Aspen Music Festival

If you’re a music enthusiast, don’t miss the world-renowned Aspen Music Festival. Enjoy classical concerts, recitals, and performances by talented musicians from around the globe.

Dine in Downtown

Indulge in exquisite sushi at Matsuhisa—Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s eponymous restaurant which offers a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine.

Cache Cache, a long-standing favorite among locals and visitors alike, serves up French-American cuisine in an upscale yet relaxed atmosphere.

If you really want to step it up, head to The Little Nell hotel’s “Element 47” which offers a refined dining experience with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Get a bird’s-eye view of the stunning Aspen landscape by taking a hot air balloon ride and experience the tranquility of floating above the mountains and valleys while enjoying panoramic vistas.

Above It All Balloon Company is a popular hot air balloon service in Aspen offering scenic balloon rides over the Roaring Fork Valley, with breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Aspen Hot Air Balloon Rides is another well-known provider with options that include sunrise and sunset flights, allowing you to experience the the scenery in dramtic light.

 

Go Horseback Riding

Enjoy a horseback ride through the scenic trails surrounding Aspen. Guided tours offer the chance to explore the area’s natural beauty while on horseback, providing a unique perspective.

Attend Aspen Ideas Festival

If timing permits, attend the Aspen Ideas Festival, a renowned gathering of influential thinkers, leaders, and innovators from various fields. Engage in discussions and presentations covering a wide range of topics.

Fly High with Rewards and Benefits—Our Top Airline Credit Cards for 2023

In today’s fast-paced world, airline credit cards have become a popular choice for frequent travelers and jet setters. These cards offer an array of rewards, perks, and benefits that can enhance your travel experience while helping you earn points towards future flights. As we enter 2023, let’s explore the best airline credit cards available, ensuring you make the most of your travels.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has consistently been a top contender in the airline credit card space. It offers a generous sign-up bonus, flexible redemption options, and the ability to transfer points to various airline partners. Cardholders can enjoy premium travel benefits, such as trip cancellation/interruption insurance and primary car rental coverage, making it an ideal choice for frequent flyers.

 

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

For those who prefer American Airlines, the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard is a stellar option. This card offers an impressive sign-up bonus, free checked bags, priority boarding, and preferred boarding privileges. Moreover, cardholders earn accelerated miles for American Airlines purchases, as well as various other everyday spending categories.

 

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

If Delta Airlines is your airline of choice, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card is an excellent option. Cardholders enjoy priority boarding, discounted Delta Sky Club access, and a free checked bag on Delta flights. Additionally, this card offers an annual companion certificate, allowing you to bring a companion along on a round-trip domestic flight at a reduced rate.

 

United Explorer Card

For loyal United Airlines customers, the United Explorer Card provides exceptional value. Cardholders can earn generous miles on United purchases and enjoy benefits such as priority boarding, free checked bags, and two one-time United Club℠ passes each year. The card also offers various travel and purchase protections, enhancing your peace of mind while traveling.

 

American Express Platinum Card

With its generous rewards program, Amex Platinum cardholders can earn Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent, which can be transferred to various airline partners for free flights and upgrades. The Platinum Card also provides exclusive airport lounge access, including access to the renowned Centurion Lounges, where travelers can relax and enjoy complimentary food, drinks, and amenities. Additionally, the card offers valuable travel credits, such as an annual airline fee credit and a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees. With its exceptional rewards program, extensive travel benefits, and superior customer service, the American Express Platinum Card stands out as one of the best airline credit cards for frequent flyers.

 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card stands out among airline credit cards with its flexibility and simplicity. With this card, you can earn unlimited miles on every purchase, redeemable on any airline without blackout dates or restrictions. Cardholders also benefit from a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit, making your airport experience even smoother.

 

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card

For travelers on the West Coast, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card is a fantastic choice. It offers a valuable companion fare each year, allowing a companion to fly for a reduced fee. Cardholders also enjoy perks like free checked bags and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™. Additionally, the card’s generous rewards program allows you to earn miles on Alaska Airlines and its partner airlines.

A Serene Sanctuary in the Heart of Maine

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Maine, Quisisana Resort stands as a timeless treasure, welcoming guests with its serene ambiance and unparalleled hospitality. With its rich history dating back to 1880, this exquisite resort has evolved into a premier destination for those seeking a harmonious blend of natural beauty, recreational activities, and relaxation.

 

Rich History

Quisisana Resort’s storied history is interwoven with the legacy of its founder, Dr. Ezekiel Holmes, a prominent physician who believed in the healing power of fresh air and the tranquility of nature. Established in 1880, the resort began as a health retreat, drawing guests seeking respite from the bustling city life. Over the years, it has retained its commitment to wellness, embracing the healing virtues of Maine’s pristine environment.

Enchanting Accommodations

Quisisana Resort offers an array of enchanting accommodations that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. From cozy cottages nestled in the woods to elegant suites with stunning lake views, each room is meticulously designed to provide utmost comfort and relaxation. The resort’s timeless charm is complemented by modern amenities, ensuring a seamless and memorable stay for guests.

 

The Ultimate Recreational Haven

Quisisana Resort is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an abundance of recreational activities for every season. In the warmer months, guests can explore the crystal-clear waters of Kezar Lake through kayaking, paddleboarding, or swimming. The resort’s private beach provides a serene spot for sunbathing or picnicking, while fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines in search of trout or bass. Hiking trails crisscross the surrounding landscape, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural splendor of Maine’s forests.

As the seasons change, Quisisana transforms into a winter wonderland. With its proximity to world-class ski resorts, guests can indulge in thrilling downhill skiing, snowboarding, or cross-country skiing. For a more leisurely experience, snowshoeing and ice fishing are popular options. After a day of adventure, guests can relax and warm up by the crackling fireplaces in the resort’s cozy lounges.

 

 

Wellness and Serenity

At Quisisana Resort, wellness is at the core of the guest experience. The resort boasts a fully equipped fitness center, where guests can maintain their exercise routines, and a heated indoor pool for relaxation and rejuvenation. The tranquil spa offers a range of treatments, including massages and facials, using natural and locally sourced ingredients.

Culinary Delights

The culinary offerings at Quisisana Resort are a gastronomic delight. The resort’s restaurant showcases a diverse menu that highlights fresh, locally sourced ingredients, including succulent seafood, farm-to-table vegetables, and delectable desserts. With a focus on seasonal flavors and expertly crafted dishes, guests are treated to an unforgettable dining experience that celebrates the essence of Maine’s culinary heritage.

 

 

Quisisana Resort captivates visitors with its timeless charm, rich history, and breathtaking natural surroundings. Whether indulging in outdoor adventures, unwinding in luxurious accommodations, or embracing wellness through spa treatments, this enchanting retreat offers a truly immersive experience. As the seasons unfold, Quisisana transforms, revealing new delights and opportunities for exploration.

A Timeless Treausure in London

In the bustling heart of Mayfair, London, stands a true testament to refined elegance and unparalleled luxury—The Connaught Hotel. With its rich heritage, impeccable service, and unrivaled attention to detail, The Connaught has become synonymous with sophistication and has captured the hearts of discerning travelers from around the world. This iconic establishment offers a haven of tranquility and indulgence, making it a destination unlike any other in the vibrant city of London.

An Enduring Legacy

The Connaught Hotel has a storied history that dates back to 1815 when it was originally built as a private residence. Over the years, it has evolved into a symbol of timeless grandeur, attracting an elite clientele that includes royalty, celebrities, and influential figures. The hotel’s reputation for excellence has been carefully cultivated, and it continues to set the standard for luxury hospitality in London.

 

Timeless Elegance

Stepping into The Connaught is like entering a world of refined beauty and understated opulence. The hotel’s interior design seamlessly blends traditional British charm with contemporary sophistication. The public areas feature plush furnishings, exquisite artwork, and tasteful décor, creating an atmosphere of warmth and serenity. Every corner of the hotel reflects meticulous attention to detail, from the elegant corridors adorned with fresh flowers to the discreetly attentive staff who anticipate guests’ every need.

 

Exquisite Accommodations

The Connaught offers a range of luxurious accommodations, each meticulously designed to provide an oasis of comfort and tranquility. The rooms and suites exude an air of timeless elegance, with sumptuous fabrics, bespoke furnishings, and modern amenities seamlessly integrated into the classic design. Guests can expect the utmost privacy and personalized service, ensuring a truly unforgettable stay in the heart of London.

 

Culinary Excellence

One of the highlights of The Connaught is its extraordinary dining experiences. The hotel boasts several acclaimed restaurants, each offering a unique culinary journey. At Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, guests can savor exquisite French cuisine created by Michelin-starred chef Hélène Darroze. The elegant surroundings and impeccable service complement the extraordinary flavors and artistic presentation of the dishes. For those seeking a more relaxed atmosphere, The Connaught Bar is a world-renowned destination for cocktail enthusiasts, where expert mixologists create innovative concoctions that push the boundaries of taste and presentation.

 

The Aman Spa

The Connaught Hotel takes pampering to new heights with its exclusive Aman Spa. Nestled within the hotel, this serene sanctuary offers a holistic approach to well-being, drawing inspiration from both Eastern and Western traditions. Guests can indulge in a range of luxurious treatments, including massages, facials, and rejuvenating therapies. The spa’s tranquil ambiance, coupled with the expertise of highly skilled therapists, ensures a blissful experience that rejuvenates the mind, body, and soul.

 

Unparalleled Service

What truly sets The Connaught apart is its legendary service. From the moment guests step foot inside, they are enveloped in an atmosphere of warmth and hospitality. The staff is dedicated to anticipating guests’ needs and providing personalized attention to ensure a flawless experience. Whether it’s arranging a private tour of London’s hidden gems, securing reservations at exclusive establishments, or simply delivering impeccable room service, the staff at The Connaught goes above and beyond to exceed expectations.

 

Mayfair’s Cultural Haven

Situated in Mayfair, one of London’s most prestigious neighborhoods, The Connaught offers easy access to a wealth of cultural attractions. Guests can explore the nearby art galleries, high-end boutiques, and world-class theaters, immersing themselves in the vibrant pulse of the city. The hotel’s prime

3 Hip Hotels in Palm Springs

Whether you’re headed to a festival or simply craving the warm desert comforts of Palm Springs, consider these 3 spots

Thanks to new hotels, restaurants and festivals, Palm Springs is experiencing a cyclical renaissances of sorts. Similar to swings in the stock market, Palm Springs has a way of falling out of grace for years at a time only to roar back into vogue.

Continue reading

Disney World’s Nicest Hotel Is Well Worth It

The newly renovated Four Seasons Orlando has 443 exceptionally designed guest rooms and suites plus a fitness center, golf course, outdoor pools and lazy river, luxurious spa and salon, six vibrant restaurants including Michelin-Star rated Capa Steakhouse. (Curated by renown luxury travel expert Christopher Parr.)

A family trip to Orlando Disney is one of the most memorable but chaotic experiences. Between arranging the meals, fast passes, and nap times for kids, it’s easy to forget that it’s parents’ vacation too. Visiting Florida’s Disney World could be more tranquil and orderly if you book your stay at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort.

 

 

The 101 on the Four Seasons Resort Orlando

The newly renovated Four Seasons Resort Orlando is in a private 26-acre lakeside setting with gardens, pools, tennis, and golf courses. It’s the only AAA Five Diamond rated resort in Central Florida that offers the ultimate luxury accommodation with a splash of Disney experience.

The hotel’s unique location and amenities allow you to have a balanced experience of active and relaxing activities. Spend some days enjoying the rides and attractions at Disney World, sleep at a pool when you feel like resting, or dedicate a couple of hours to outdoor sports.

 

 

Known as the best luxury hotel at Disney World, the Four Seasons Orlando is situated right in the middle of the magic. Here, you could experience all the top-notch amenities and services a luxury traveler could possibly expect from the five-star hotel and even more.

At Four Seasons Orlando, guests could book VIP-guided tours that allow skipping the lines or plan an exclusive event with private Disney character dining.

Thanks to the Disney Concierge services at the Four Seasons Orlando, you can effortlessly plan all the fun activities in the parks. The prime location of the resort ensures that you don’t spend too much time traveling and concentrate on relaxing and enjoying precious moments with your family.

 

SPA at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

 

In the Four Seasons traditions, the resort features a state-of-the-art SPA, a private 5-acre water park, three tennis courts, a free-of-charge kids club, and a Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course. Celebrate life with a champagne toast overlooking nightly Walt Disney World fireworks from a rooftop of a Michelin-Star-rated contemporary steakhouse, Capa.

 

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

 

What Seperates Four Seasons Orlando From the Crowd

At the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, there are plenty of top-notch amenities to create family memories and relax your body and soul in Florida’s finest hotels.

These are just some fantastic amenities to enjoy at the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort.

 

 

For adults:
  • A pristine and picturesque 18-hole Tom Fazio signature golf coursewith abundant wildlife (it’s a Certified Audubon Sanctuary) and professional gold instructors for hire.
  • Three Har-Tru tennis courts where you could take a private lesson from an on-site tennis expert Alain Labrecque or play with your friends and family at your leisure.
  • The SPA and salon are where you could indulge in body and facial therapies or get a haircut and blowout for your special occasion.
  • Adults-only pool if you need some time for yourself and family pools you could enjoy with the kids.
  • The luxury shopping experience at one of the boutiques where you can find apparel and accessories from the world’s renowned brands for the entire family. While at the resort, you could hire a personal stylist to assist you with picking the most flattering pieces and styling your outfits.
  • A state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center offers complimentary classes like aqua aerobics, group cycling, bodyweight boot camp, and personal training sessions (additional charges apply).

 

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

 

For kids:
  • A kids’ camp (ages 4-12) is complementary to the Four Seasons Orlando Disney guests.
  • Explorer Island family water activities include a pool, splash zone, water slide, and lazy river.
  • The Hideout game spot is where kids can enjoy their favorite video games.

 

 

Additional perks:
  • Late departure lounge where you could comfortably spend time while awaiting an airport pickup.
  • Personalized room decorations could be arranged for special occasions, including play tents for kids and glow-in-the-dark terrace amenities for the Disney nighttime spectaculars.
  • Free meals for kids are available for guests under 5 in all hotel restaurants.
  • Also, enjoy free entertainment, including live music, happy hours, and snacks.

 

Capa Steakhouse

 

Dining Options at the Four Seasons Orlando Disney

Whether it’s a casual get-together with a family, a quick midday snack, or a special celebration, the Four Seasons Orlando Disney dining experiences satisfy even the choosiest foodies. From in-room dining and Disney characters’ breakfasts for kids to a Michelin-star steakhouse and a gelato stand, get your taste buds ready to experience all four Seasons’ delicacies.

While visiting the Four Seasons Orlando Disney, check out the following dining options:

  • Capa Steakhouse is a Michelin-star rooftop restaurant that showcases Spanish-influenced cuisine. Pair fresh seafood and exquisite hors d’oeuvres with exclusive cocktails and an extensive wine selection. Book your dinner on Wednesday or Saturday night to catch a live Spanish guitarist performance.

 

Capa Steakhouse

 

  • Ravello Restaurant is the place to visit for a night of modern Italian cuisine with the “Four Seasons twist” by executive chef Fabrizio Schenardi. Everything at the restaurant is made out of imported Italian flour and other authentic ingredients. Every Thursday and Saturday, the restaurant hosts a breakfast with guest appearances by Goofy and his friends.
  • Plancha is a popular Sunday brunch spot that serves Caribbean-inspired dishes and elegant cocktails.

 

 

  • Lickety Split Coffee Shop is a perfect grab-and-go coffee spot where you can also find gourmet snacks and breakfast options.
  • Pool Bar & Grill serves delicious poolside snacks and meals, from tacos and burgers to oysters and various salads.

The Four Seasons Orlando guests could enjoy 24-hour room service with an extensive menu for adults and children.

 

 

SPA at rooms at Rooms at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando

 

The SPA at the Four Seasons Orlando Disney

Rejuvenate your body and soul at the Four Season’s world-renowned SPA. From facial treatments and massages to meditation sessions at a Somadome capsule, pick your favorite restorative ritual to look and feel your best.

  • Ayurvedic rituals are the SPA’s most unique beauty procedures that help to heal your body with the help of ancient Ayurvedic healing traditions.
  • Body treatments, from massage and body scrubs to detox wraps, will help smooth and tone your skin while relieving the stressing points.
  • Indulge in one of the Four Seasons’ facials that address your specific skin concerns. Whether it’s a quick hydrafacial or a remodeling treatment, you will nourish your skin, so it’s glowing from within.
  • Cryotherapy is a stylish and efficient way to rejuvenate skin with the help of extreme temperatures. Tone and slim your body using fat-destroying thermal procedures or age-defying facial treatments that nourish your skin so you can look and feel your best.

 

Rooms at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

 

Rooms and Suites at the Four Seasons Orlando Disney

Stay at one of the newly renovated suites and guest rooms for an indulging and serene vacation experience at the Four Seasons Orlando Resort.

From 500 square feet, each of the 443 guest rooms offers panoramic views from a furnished terrace. Take a break from the sun and soak in a full-marble bathtub or enjoy your in-room breakfast overlooking the golf court.

 

terrace at Rooms at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

 

Perfect for family vacations or romantic retreats, the Four Seasons Orlando suites offer a luxurious lodging experience with designer finishes and separate sleeping and living spaces. Each suite could also be configured as a two- or three-bedroom suite and includes two full-marble bathrooms.

The luxurious Royal Suite is the resort’s most significant floor-to-ceiling window accommodation with indoor and outdoor dining areas, a media room, and a wraparound terrace. The suite’s ability to expand to a 9-bedroom configuration makes it an ideal setting for family retreats and celebrations.

 

rooms at Rooms at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

 

Final Take:

Staying at the Four Seasons Orlando in the Walt Disney World Resort is a magical visit to the lap of luxury with Disney spark and Four Seasons amenities. There are so many delightful things to do, from shopping to dining and playing, and the Pursuitist family always has an amazing time when we visit this modern and beautiful luxurious oasis sprinkled with pixie dust. It is a relaxing and fun getaway to Walt Disney World, accompanied by gorgeous surroundings and staffed by wonderful Four Seasons bartenders, housekeepers, servers and team members that will look after your every need. If you’re looking for the best luxury resort experience in Orlando, with is in the heart of Walt Disney World, Four Seasons Orlando is our top pick.

 

Rustic Elegance in the Heart of the Rockies

I toured Eleven Experience’s flagship property, Scarp Ridge Lodge—in the heart of downtown Crested Butte, CO—this past summer and loved it! I can only imagine how comforting it must be to stay here after a long day of skiing in the winter. Perhaps even “snowcat skiing” via their partnership with Irwin Guides (more on that).

A former Croatian saloon, with its Western façade still in tac, this European ski chalet-meets-Rocky Mountain lodge makes for an ideal place to stay for private groups and families.

Eleven Experiences

You may be wondering, what is Eleven Experience? Eleven Experience is an exclusive accommodation and experiential travel brand which seeks out unique and authentic places and properties around the globe. They tend to be off the beaten track, and are mostly all-inclusive, full buy-out type properties. Think 5-star accommodations, but in the comfort of a private home. In addition to seeking out these special properties, Eleven Experience also provides customized experiences with private guides.

 

Scarp Ridge Lodge in Crested Butte, COPin this image on Pinterest

 

The bar at Scarp Ridge Lodge in Crested Butte ColoradoPin this image on Pinterest

Eleven Experience has a few properties in Crested Butte, Scarp Ridge Lodge being its lead property. I visited the lodge this summer, when I was in Crested Butte, and had a wonderful tour. The property is fabulous.

 

Scarp Ridge Lodge in Crested ButtePin this image on Pinterest

 

Scarp Ridge Lodge—The Flagship

Scarp Ridge Lodge, with its 5 King bedrooms and bunk room with 7 beds (including a nanny’s room), functions as a retreat for private groups during the winter, and as an upscale B&B during the summer. During winter, Crested Butte is known for its excellent skiing, as well as a plethora of other outdoor winter sports. Think Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, fat biking (extra fat tires to allow you to bike on the snow), and cat skiing.

 

Scarp Ridge Lodge living roomPin this image on Pinterest

The lodge has its own, custom snowcat that comes each morning and takes guests to exclusive ski terrain in nearby Irwin. This is part of the “experience” Eleven Experience offers its guests here. Along with a private snowcat, private guides, amazing terrain, and two mountain cabins for eating and apres skiing, guests of the lodge can enjoy a completely unique and plush experience.

 

Rooftop hot tub at Scarp Ridge LodgePin this image on Pinterest

 

Indoor pool at Scarp Ridge Lodge in Crested Butte, COPin this image on Pinterest
Relax and Unwind

After a long day on the mountain, Scarp Ridge Lodge itself is the perfect place to relax and unwind. With a rooftop hot tub, indoor hot tub, indoor salt water pool, sauna and steam room, gym, and media room, there’s not much the lodge doesn’t have. It even has its own oxygen-enriched air system for those who are having a hard time to adjusting to the high altitude. There is a bar for post-skiing drinks, and an open kitchen with fully stocked fridge accessible 24/7. And no worries about cooking – a private chef will do that all for you. Though I must say – the restaurants in Crested Butte are pretty great! You can dine out too.

 

Bedroom at Scarp Ridge Lodge in Crested Butte, ColoradoPin this image on Pinterest
Playing in the bunk room at Scarp Ridge Lodge in Crested ButtePin this image on Pinterest
Bedrooms

Each of the 5 bedrooms has its own en-suite bathroom and is uniquely decorated, with rustic touches in a contemporary setting. We were able to see a bunch of them, all cozy and inviting. The lodge really does feel like a home. The bunkroom, with its 7 beds, is awesome – it had my kids grinning from ear to ear. Based on the board game Chutes & Ladders, it’s adventurous and fun, and just plain cool. There is a loft you can climb up to, and if the kids are young and need some watching after, no worries – there is a nanny’s room right next to it. My kids have been begging to go back. I keep telling them, we will.

 

Hanging out in the media room at Scarp Ridge LodgePin this image on Pinterest
The kitchen at Scarp Ridge Lodge in Crested Butte Colorado

 

As I mentioned, we toured Scarp Ridge Lodge during the summer, when it is a B&B. Not only a ski town, Crested Butte is amazing to visit during the summer. Known for its mountain biking, hiking, flower festival, a happening downtown, and gorgeous scenery, Crested Butte is a special place to visit any time of the year. The lodge is conveniently located in downtown, making it a very easy and accessible home away from home.

—Corey Cook, Luxury Travel Advisor at Elli Travel Group and founder of Fifi+Hop Travel Blog

 

See also: Rocky Mountain Resort Towns

 

Why ResortPass is a Great Service and the Company They Should Partner with to Be Even Better

Have you ever stayed at an impressive resort that, while teeming with the promise of pristine pools and soothing hot tubs, seems to be a bit lacking in any actual partakers? The offerings, sure, are plentiful, but the sauna and steam room in their world-class spa? Empty. This may sound problematic for their business, but in the efficiency-driven, “as-a-Service” economy we live in today, it also presents a smart opportunity for mutually beneficial partnership. Enter ResortPass, a service poised to connect locals and day trippers seeking relaxation with access to a partnering property’s all too available amenities.

 

Some might say the company has taken a page out of the Airbnb book by leveraging the under-utilized assets at resorts and selling them as an experience, for a fee. Well, the model is certainly working out for both parties. Launched in 2016—with Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and “The Point’s Guy,” Brian Kelly, as early investors—ResortPass is starting to hit their stride this year. Not only have they grown their network significantly, but they also closed a $26 million “B” round this past November. They now partner with over 900 hotels and resorts around the world, all allowing users to enjoy luxury experiences on a day pass basis.

 

The price, you might be musing, is surely where the catch lies. Not necessarily, as it is more so reflective of the level of service and amenities offered, as well as the brand. The Four Seasons, for example, will likely cost you more than a Marriot. The range might be from $25-100 per day for a standard pass—more for daybeds and cabanas. The cost for children is less, if not free, depending on age.

 

Carneros Resort—Napa Valley, CA

 

It’s early days yet and hard to forecast the level of overall demand there will be for ResortPass, but I do have one prediction. The “stickiness” of this service will ultimately reside more with travelers than locals. According to Michael Wolf, CEO of ResortPass, the early data disagrees. So far, the majority of ResortPass’s users are locals who want to experience the amenities of hotels in their own or nearby cities. A staycation, or even “day”cation, as they say.

 

“Our local users never had the opportunity to access the hospitality industry locally,” says Wolf. “They thought they had to get on a plane to enjoy those sorts of amenities.”

 

Miramar Resort—Santa Barabra, CA

 

 

To be fair, ResortPass does acknowledge all types of users, from locals to cruise ship passengers alike, and I’m sure they are targeting all sorts of people in various situations where the service would be compelling. Whether the local demographic remains their top revenue source is anyone’s guess, but I would wager that the true value of this service lies with a certain type of traveler staying at a certain type of place.

 

For example, guests staying at a boutique hotel—one that offers a terrific experience but without resort-level amenities—would seem to be likely customers. Vacationers staying with friends are another plausible group to appeal to, as they might still want a bit of pampering and that vacation vibe while they’re out of town. And then there is their ultimate customer, the ones where the value of ResortPass truly becomes apparent—and for me, it’s full circle back to Airbnb and its guests.

 

I love Airbnb. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate the service. They created a whole new segment of lodging at price-points that are generally more attractive than hotels, especially if you require multiple bedrooms. What Airbnb sorely lacks, however, is amenities. Sure, you can get a great pad with a pool, large kitchen and epic view of the ocean or mountains, but you cannot get the kind of facilities and social intangibles that luxury hotels and resorts offer. There is no way to spell a bustling hotel lobby, or expansive pools surrounded by chaises and cabanas, with dining and cocktail service at your fingertips.

 

Williamsburg Hotel—Brooklyn, NY

 

Ritz Carlton Bal Harbor—Miami, FL

 

And therein lies the true value of ResortPass. The best products and services are the ones that fill a void. It’s fine to build a better mouse trap and plenty of companies have made a living doing this. Even the most innovative companies in the world owe a lot of their success to products and services that already existed which they simply improved upon. Apple didn’t invent the smart phone; they just made it better. A lot better. But filling a void is the ultimate goal for most entrepreneurs. See Uber, Venmo and yes, Airbnb.

 

I think Airbnb would be wise to partner with—or dare I say, even purchase—ResortPass. It may start out as just an incremental supplement to their service, as it’s only useful if there is a qualifying resort nearby. Nonetheless, it would be a natural fit that could yield larger, more impactful results in the future. The Batman and Robin of travel disruptors, if you will.

 

ResortPass gets the GLR stamp of approval as a rising star in the resort space. Mark my words, they’re going places—and not just for the day.

 

These are the Most “Googled” Travel Destinations in the World

Earlier this year TravelPulse parsed research from San Francisco-based luggage storage company “Bounce” to come up with an interesting take on the most googled cities for travel. In case you are wondering, Bounce enables consumers to book short-term luggage storage and package retrieval at local businesses throughout the world. It’s like Uber for luggage/parcel storage, complete with an app and easy lock/unlock access. While their core business may not seem entirely germane to travel data (like google searches) they have a research division and are in a unique position to provide granular insight into the travel space.

 

For their part, TravelPulse is a highly respected publisher of travel industry news, including in-depth editorial and key supplier and destination information that helps travel agents stay on top of their game. So we like the combined effort behind this research and the way in which it is featured.

 

So what is the most googled travel destination?

 

Note: While the data collected by Bounce was compiled earlier this year, we don’t think much has likely changed since then and thus is still worthy of your attention.

 

So what does the data reveal? It should not come as a huge surprise…Miami is the most popular destination for travelers! At least from one metric.

 

According to the research from Bounce, “Miami is the most popular city in the world when it comes to travel, ranking first for Google searches related to flights, hotels and vacations in as many as eight countries across the globe.”

 

 

While we like the angle Bounce has taken here—ranking popularity based on the number of countries who searched for this destination the most—it is a bit specialized and does not give the total, aggregate number of searches. When it comes to overall searches, regardless of where these people reside, “Las Vegas is easily the most popular city destination with 9,688,600 searches worldwide for flights, hotels and vacations” over the past year.

 

 

Interesting facts and findings:
  • Based on Bounce’s criteria for the most searched cities by specific countries, Miami finished 1st, Dubai 2nd, London and New York tied for 3rd place, while Las Vegas finished 5th.
  • The data that Bounce collected is not just Google searches on cities. It is specific to “airfare, hotels and vacations,” thus directly tied to travel to these cities and not just general information.
  • Dubai won the people of Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and Ireland in terms of most searches
  • London was the most popular search for people from Greece, Sweden and Iceland
  • New York won the people of France, Italy, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic

 

Our take away

It shouldn’t surprise anyone who travels frequently that Las Vegas and Miami received the most searches on google as both cities are uber popular right now and very popular for both vacationers and business travelers alike. Covid clearly slowed down the corporate outings in Las Vegas but that traffic is coming back in droves. And with a slew of new hotel casinos including the mega resort, “Resorts World”— the first integrated resort to be built on the Las Vegas Strip in over a decade—there are more options than ever for travelers to Sin City.

 

Meanwhile, Miami remains a favorite hot spot for both Americans and International travelers for obvious reasons. Beautiful beaches, great hotels and restaurants, a diverse international culture and great weather during the winter months—when most of the US is freezing—are just a few of the allures.

 

Our coverage of Miami and Las Vegas

 

Riding the Natural Vibes of 1 Hotel South Beach

 

The Miami Beach EDITION—Five Things I Loved and Two I Did Not

 

Best Hotel Bars in Miami

 

Turnberry Isle, Miami—Something for Everyone

 

Las Vegas Refresh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best of Las Vegas—Old and New

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Travel Means Business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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