CordeValle Escape – Update

This is a partial re posting of my previous CordeValle review. I enjoyed a serendipitous escape last week for 30 blissful hours to CordeValle. Again, it met all my expectations; well, someone forgot the frothy chocolate arrival drink, but that is a minor complaint!

One of the many advantages is the 45 min. drive from the Peninsula to the front gates of the resort, you can’t find a more superb location with practically guaranteed sunshine this close to home. If you need a brief energizing break, do let us know, and we will have you VIP’d!

A good friend, who is also a client, went with me; rave reviews from her as well. We played tennis several times, the professional courts were virtually ours. Benjy Robins, the resident tennis professional greeted us with chilled water and fresh tennis balls. Really, just arrive and be prepared for gracious hospitality. Benjy was an NCAA Academic All-American, and played on the professional tour for three years. He then spent 11 years with the men’s ATP Tour, where he held the positions of Tour Manager, Director of Player Services and Head Teaching Clinician. Of course, he had played at the Ojai Valley Tournament and knows Charlie Pasarell – two degrees of separation, pay attention when I advise that you must be good all the time! He raved about the Ojai Tournament orange juice – yes, those missed school days squeezing juice created memories for all!

We dined by the pool for lunch, food was terrific. Enjoyed fine dining in Il Vigneto, which was superb – service was exceptional as well.  Late dessert outside the bar fire pit,  S’mores are on the menu and staff is pleased to set up whenever you arrive! Sense spa didn’t disappoint.CordeValleGeographically, I know the town is a spot on the map off Hwy 101 near Gilroy. Eons ago, it was the original highway referred to as Blood Alley – a busy narrow four-lane road, which handled the abundant north south travelers prior to the freeway project.

Glossy magazine ads for CordeValle resort intrigued me; I finally meandered my way barely an hour south, to discover this charming gem. Following GPS instructions, I reached a gated guardhouse in the midst of a gorgeous valley; brilliant flower gardens edged the road toward CordeValle. Derived from the Spanish phrase, “el Corazon del valle,“ meaning heart of the valley, this Rosewood property is set amidst the rolling hills and wide-open meadowland.

Only 45 rooms, actually all rooms are suite size, have patios and indoor fireplace. Some of the Villa bungalows offer an outdoor Jacuzzi – all rooms enjoy sensational views over the golf course extending to the majestic golden hills. Stunning accommodations punctuated with the brilliant art collection cultivated by the owner, Dr. Hasso Plattner. Art is strategically placed throughout the property, including sculptures amid the beautiful rose gardens. Many sitting spaces are thoughtfully situated about the property; abundant attention to detail. I was very impressed with the level of exceptional service – high staff ratio per guest.

Wildlife is copious, jackrabbits hopping through the swaying high pastures, an array of wild birds, exotic black and white Nuttall’s woodpeckers, starlings and mourning doves coo outside your terrace. Hiking – check, tennis – check, outstanding golf – check, super spa- check, and fine dining – check. Tournament level golf including Championship events take place on the links, highly rated by professional Golf publications.

A Rosewood property situated in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, offering exceptional access, CordeValle is a superb location for a few days escape or a corporate offsite. Outstanding amenities including tennis, a luxury Sense spa, Tuscan inspired Clos La Chance winery and vineyard, and a 7,169-yard championship golf course by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the 45-room resort is a sanctuary. Forbes Four-Star Award.


Florence – Avoid the Summer Queue

Florence Travelers Museum Access with Firenze Card

The Firenze Card is a 72 hour card that gives you free admission to the major museums in Florence. You will have access not only to permanent collections, but also to exhibitions and all other activities held in that museum without further cost. You just show your card at the entrance to the museum.  The card can be used once only in each museum.

FirenzeActivating the Firenze Card The Firenze Card is activated on the first visit to a museum or the first use of public transport. After that you have 72 hours to visit the city and its historical and artistic heritage. The card’s validity is therefore independent of the purchase date. Remember to write your full name on the back of your card before using it. The Firenze Card is valid one month after the collection. To use the Firenze Card on the city public transport (buses and tram) you have only to validate the Firenze Card ticket, that you find inside the kit, the first time you take the bus.

Validity The Firenze Card is valid for 3 consecutive days from its first use. The card will expire at the end of the validity period and free access to museums and public transport will expire with it. The card is strictly for personal use and not transferable, and must be shown with proof of identity on request.

Museum Admission In addition to free admission, the Firenze Card allows you to avoid long queues at the ticket offices of main museums. Just look for the sign “Firenze Card” in your chosen museums and show your card to gain entrance.

Purchase online prior to departure.

Firenze Duomo