In the Valley of the Kings

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain


In the Valley of the Kings, an epic adventure looms. My summer knee replacement limited me to only several hundred-mile radius escapes, finally, pharaohs beckon and I can’t resist!

Geography was my favorite grade school subject, ancient Egypt with images of Pyramids, and white robed Bedouins; golden King Tut regalia has traversed the world several times, featuring coins graced with the profile of Cleopatra, references abound if your eye is transfixed with this area. And I’m sure you haven’t forgotten the original Mummy movie – Egypt has been bundled up in years of enticing promises. The Great Sphinx summons, and I obey!

Along with the Grand Tour of Europe, a trip to Egypt was one of the most exciting Journeys available to the 19th Century traveler. Disembarking in Alexandria wealthy Americans and European tourists were transported to Cairo – in earlier days by boat, later by steam train. After several days visiting the treasures of Cairo, passengers would board a dahabiya (large sailboat) or steamer and set off for a trip up the NIle. At a languid pace, a steamer took three weeks to reach Aswan, while a sailing boat could take six to twelve weeks. Lazy days on deck alternated with desert treks to marvel at the newly discovered secrets of ancient Egyot. Expeditions were led by local guides, while servants trudged supplies consisting of food and drink for picnics amid the ruins.

Many of my long-time clients communed with the Sphinx, enjoyed private candlelit banquets in the shadow of the looming pyramids; one was certain the guards drew more attention than if they dined without the army nearby. This was pre-Arab spring uprising, tensions have subsided somewhat, but events can transpire in a moment. Friends have visited Egypt and Jordan in the last few years and marveled at the lack of crowds, the friendliness of the locals, it’s time to return to Pharoland.

The Great Sphinx summons, and I obey!

One aspect I love of travelling in a Muslim country is waking up in the middle of the night to the ethereal echo of the adhan (call to prayer). These days guides and drivers have a phone app of the prayer, they frequently move to quiet their phone, but I encourage them to relish the moment. We should all be quiet and reflect six times a day.

I will begin my adventure in Jordan and make my way to Cairo. Arriving to the capital city of Ammam, the Four Seasons will host my Journey of discovery. At the conclusion of my first day of touring, I will visit the Royal Auto Museum – it may be the kind of place that you are unlikely to have on your list of places to visit, who new Car Girl could find vintage classics in the middle of a desert kingdom? King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan ruled the country for more than 46 years, until 1999. He took four wives, not simultaneously, and changed his will in his dying days to make his eldest son Abdullah the heir apparent. The King was also apparently a car nut like me. His collection at the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman, Jordan is rivaled by few — the Sultan of Brunei, Ralph Lauren, and Jay Leno.


A brief listing of my activities as I make my way to Petra and onward to Cairo and the Nile. Day tours of the ancient Roman City of Jerash , Mount Nebo Drive to Madaba, visit St. George Church. This rather modest 19th-century Greek Orthodox church houses a treasure of early Christianity. Imagine the excitement in 1884 when Christian builders came across the remnants of a Byzantine church on their construction site. Among the rubble, having survived wilful destruction, fire and neglect, the flooring they discovered wasn’t just another mosaic but one with extraordinary significance: to this day, it represents the oldest map of Palestine in existence and provides many historical insights into the region. Crafted in AD 560, the map has 157 captions (in Greek) depicting all the major biblical sites of the Middle East, from Egypt to Palestine.


Lunch at Haret Jdoudna Restaurant
and a scenic drive to Petra via the high desert, I can’t wait to visit Petra, a pinnacle on my must go to Journey list.

Ancient Egypt is one of the founding civilizations of the world as we know it, over 5000 years with a mysterious complex belief structure involving the supernatural and science. Pyramids of Giza were built for some of the mightiest Pharaohs – Cheops, Chephren, Mycerinus. The Great Pyramid of Giza remained the tallest man-made structure in the world for 3,800 years.

A luxurious cruise on the Nile will deliver me to the ancient island of Aswan, noted evening event: a Nubian show. Sailing on to Luxor where we will explore Valley of the Kings including Tut Ankh Amun Tomb and Hatshepsut Temple.


On my horizon: site inspections of five-star hotels in Cairo, Aswan, Ammam, Petra, it’s work after all!


The remake of the thriller Death on the Nile is scheduled to be released in October 2020 by director Kenneth Branagh, with a cast of stellar actors.

Egyptian themed movies you should watch before visiting Egypt.

As-salam alaykom” – “Peace be upon you.”


Four Seasons Los Cabo Resort at Costa Palmas

Cabo San Lucas is a quick flight down the coast to sunny Baja, many of our clients love Cabo and we can now share an inside peek at the Four Seasons Hottest Luxe Resort. Located in undiscovered and undeveloped Costa Palmas. A hidden gem awaits at the East Cape in a spectacular desert landscape.

Sunset Four Seasons Los Cabo Resort at Costa Palmas

Just a bit over an hour drive from the airport, through a desolate desert, passing a few small villages, but mostly appreciate striking stands of stately cactus! In a quick map-quest, I located a small town enroute and asked my driver to make a brief detour through Santiago – an authentic sleepy village on a side road. This area feels like ancient México, pass through the blocks, the town consists of a small mission style church, a colorful library and a Zoo! I didn’t feel compelled to stroll, it was satisfying enough to pass through a quiet village.

Four Seasons Los Cabo Resort at Costa Palmas Casa de Brasa

The arrival is subtle, the meandering property is accessed by a sandy road noted by the iconic Four Seasons image on a rust colored sign, an enormous spread of cactus and tall trees are dotted thought the meandering dusty road to the resort. The edges of the 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II designed golf course appear before you reach the soaring roofline of the arrival pavilion. Reflecting pools of still and trickling water, broad expanses of shadowed walkways, the arrival foyer sets the stage with an extended view toward the sea over small pools and exquisite manicured cactus gardens. The landscaping is even more captivating at night as the buildings are terraced with architectural plantings and are brilliantly lit. It’s secluded and remote, it may not be for everyone, until the local community is built up, however I felt like I was on the edge of the world.

Four Seasons Los Cabo Resort, Suite Dreams

From my beach lounger under a massive white umbrella, the view of the Sea of Cortez was enhanced by the enveloping backdrop of the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range and a few small islands off in the distance. In the winter, a breeze blows most days, keeping you cool and creating a few waves in the sea. Spring and summer, the breeze dissipates, which might make the days feel a bit warmer. It was the perfect combination for endless days of chaise reading. I missed the Four Seasons Maldives beach butler buttons, but the beach butlers hustled to the chaise with menus, ice water, and of course the personal cabana guy who randomly passed by with sunscreen, chilled cocktails and baby corn on a stick! Notable interruptions to my hours of reading! Four pools, including an expansive kiddy pool, Jacuzzi pools, a lap pool behind the state of the art gym, tennis courts with pro, basketball court, kids club and golf! Small kiddy fountain is just outside the Kids Club.

Activities: water sports are 15-20 mins away where it is safer to loft in the wind away from the hotel buildings. The expansive desert will entertain with ATV adventures, biking and horseback riding, hiking to waterfalls, and dipping in hot springs – all within minutes of the resort.
The numbers: rooms, all 141 guest rooms, including 23 suites, all have views of the Sea of Cortez and private terraces, many ground floor rooms have plunge pools. The basic starter rooms are enormous with massive open bathrooms, a walk-through dressing room and a separate half bath. The spacious rooms provide a sense of place, a cool combination of light and shade, shelves dotted with books, and comfy furniture.

Four Seasons Los Cabo Resort at Costa Palmas

My plunge pool terrace also included an outdoor sitting area with a relaxing sofa and beach chair – which replicates the terraces on the second and third floor rooms. The third-floor rooms have views of the sea. Arranged in several horseshoe zones, the resort doesn’t feel huge. My personal fave rooms weren’t open yet, but I took a tour with the GM. Opening soon, the ocean front rooms on the jetty end of the resort, sit precisely where the dawn sun rises from the sea with a technicolor display of pinks and mauve hued clouds. These larger suites feel more secluded and just a few steps away, a small pool and a protected space of loungers and palm trees seem like a private enclave. Plus, you have unobstructed views of the sea and the arm of the rocky jetty extending into the horizon. On the exact opposite side of the resort sits the three-bedroom Presidential Suite – also with unobstructed ocean views, it was under construction, but we tiptoed through it. An L shaped plunge pool is off the master bedroom, living room windows encase a small cactus garden, a full kitchen and dining area make this a suite not to be left at all!

Señora, would you like a baby corn on a stick!? Si si! Four Seasons Los Cabo Resort at Costa Palmas

The Sea of Cortez is one of the richest and most diverse on the planet. The deep, protected marina, once fully constructed will accommodate sleek yachts up to 250 feet, and a promised marina village with cafes and boutiques. A UNESCO Marine World Heritage site, the nearby Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park is home to 695 species of aquatic plants and 891 species of fish. Jacques Cousteau called it “The Aquarium of the World.” Plan a boat trip from the marina for unforgettable diving and snorkeling. Take a short hike and go for swim beneath a waterfall pouring off granite cliffs. Or head to El Triunfo, a 19th-century mining town where several old buildings have been restored and converted to restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and a museum. Try your hand at Organic Gardening remarkably lush and green, the vast Costa Palmas community includes 18 acres of organic farms and orchards – providing truly locally sourced ingredients for the Four Seasons restaurants. Meet the farmers and get hands-on to learn the latest techniques in sustainable organic growing

Five dining options including world-renowned Estiatorio Milos on the beach. Recognized as one of the finest Mediterranean seafood restaurants in the world, Estiatorio Milos was founded by acclaimed chef Costas Spiliadis who has made it an unparalleled culinary destination in Montreal, New York, Athens, Las Vegas, Miami and London. International flair meets local ingredients at this chic beachside restaurant and bar.

Four Seasons Los Cabo Resort at Costa Palmas Casa de Brasa

Keep it casual at Casa de Brasa, the poolside Baja brasserie, serving fresh favorites such as grilled shrimp tacos, chopped salads and guacamole made to order. Choose from craft beers, classic margaritas and frozen cocktails. Lounge dining is delivered fresh from Casa de Brasa.

Ceviche Bar – Taste the freshest local ceviches, tossed with your choice of chili vinegars and herbs from our garden. Or try the tostadas, topped with sailfish, jicama and jalapeño.

Head to sea and cast a rod for the Catch Your Own Dinner program at Casa De Brasa. Board a fishing boat at the private marina and venture out onto the Sea of Cortez to catch your own sailfish, snapper or marlin. The chef will then custom-prepare your meal with your choice of our signature sauces and sides. Among the options is Pescado Sarandeado from Mexico’s Nayarit region, featuring snapper marinated in a spicy paste of ancho and guajillo chilis.

We are keeping an eye on soon to open Villas and beachside suites! Aren’t you feeling the urge to escape?

Four Seasons Los Cabo Resort at Costa Palmas
Four Seasons Los Cabo Resort at Costa Palmas