On my horizon and should be on yours for next year! As I prepare to depart to bustling Bangkok, sightseeing and staying in several five-star hotels, and then onward to an amazing 12-day Aman Resort jaunt in Bhutan, I want to remind you to begin planning for next year!
New Zealand – a few new lodges, exclusive activities always exceptional golf, yachting, chills and thrills with a plethora of activities for couples or families. The perfect itinerary begins with three nights at the fabulous villa ‘The Boathouse’ at The Landing Residences, located in a beautiful private property in the northern Bay of Islands region. The Landing collection of residences are exquisitely built and The Boathouse sits in a prime waterfront position in the bay. It has two bedrooms but one bathroom so it is perfect for a couple. The following day we have included a private cruise on The Landing’s own boat Iti Rangi to explore the region from the water. A day at leisure allows guests to explore the property with its numerous hiking trails, mountain bikes, tennis court, water sports and kiwi on property to spot in the evenings.
Japan oh, so very popular …plan now for spring, early summer or fall.
Obscure island locations include amazing art, biking and hiking. Add vibrant cities for cultural experiences, fine dining, museums…the list is long and wildly interesting.
Maldives – There aren’t enough superlatives to fully and accurately describe the staggering natural beauty of the Maldives. From the air, nothing prepared me for the extraordinary glimpse of the turquoise seas, the oval halo of atolls and islands, in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean, crystal clear seas in a thousand shades of indigo, accented by white sugar sandy beaches…it was breathtaking! Two stunning Four Seasons two resorts on different islands, adore both – must stay! OR Four Seasons Private Island for extended family or a gathering of friends.
Greece – Tourists are flocking to Athens and the sunny beaches, a major uptick in streams of travelers. The Four Seasons promises spring opening so there are several must stay options in Athens and outside the city on the beach. My recent visit to Greece was overwhelmingly positive, so much so, that I hope to return in spring for a second visit. Aman junkies will be deliriously happy in the land of myths and legends, at Amanzoe, amid the rocky rolling Argolid hillsides of the Peloponnese. According to ancient Greek mythology the Peloponnese is where the gods walked the earth. The elegant breathtaking resort, like the Acropolis, is situated on a hilltop surrounded by olive groves, underplanted rows of fragrant lavender, and spectacular views of the deep blue Aegean Sea. Oh, did I mention the soundtrack of the cicada summer symphony?
Mexico – we love the Spanish Colonial City of Merida, stay at the newish Chablé Resort, which is situated amid sleepy authentic villages and the bustling historic colonial city of Mérida. One of my favorite GM’s, Rocco Bova, has taken the helm at Chablé, if anyone inspires magic, it is Rocco! Each white limestone Casita is privately situated off a short path, with a slightly deep plunge pool, comfy dining terrace, outdoor rain shower and acres of glass to view the untamed jungle. I never closed my massive shutters or drapes, preferring to peer out of my glass box to the swaying green trees filled with jabbering jungle birds! Woodpeckers, Chic Bul, Northern Cardinals, cooing Doves, and of course, the social fly catcher chatter all day while hummingbirds dart and dance. Chablé is located in a cultural area brimming with Mayan Ruins. We have access to sophisticated knowledgeable local guides for day trips to Uxmal, Chichen Itza, The Puuc Route Ruins, among other important sites; additionally, visits to private cenotes and biosphere reserves, as well as some of the region’s best museums, art galleries and thriving colorful markets. Just 25 minutes from the Merida International Airport.
Mongolia on your Travel List? We can offer cultural experiences ranging from 3-4 or 7 days traversing some of Mongolia’s most remote and beautiful terrain. From the capital of Ulaanbaatar to the arid Gobi Desert to the fertile fields of Khan Khentii, you’ll not only be immersed in nature, but in Mongolian culture. Much of rural Mongolia is undeveloped and the people here lead nomadic lifestyles, raising horses and other livestock, and living in ger camps. On this journey, you’ll have the chance to stay in a selection of different ger camps for a truly authentic Mongolian experience.
Camelback, your style? Imagine traditional camel passage through Zorgol Hairhan Mountains. Trace the 12-mile-long sand dune that makes up the North Gobi today, on the back of a camel. If camelback is not your preferred mode of transportation, you may also choose to trek or drive the same route. Here, you may spot wolves, who have made a home in the area. Get up close and personal with Mongolian culture on our tour of the Gobi Steppe, a treeless grassland inhabited by Mongolian nomads. Here, you’ll experience their traditional lifestyle, from the equestrian nature of their transportation, to their nomadic ger tents. Plod across a 12-mile-long sand dune on the back of a majestic camel. Make friends with local families, who will help you out along the way and allow you a window into their incredible culture.
Travel Tribe – Where is your Next Journey?
There are numerous posts on these locations at gwenbooks.com, just search!