SeaDream. Let the Surf be Your Soundtrack.

SeaDream Yachting. If you dream of broad expanses of open ocean, but the idea of pulsating discos, searching for your dining table amid hundreds /thousands of diners or following a crowd of travelers snaking beyond a guide with an elevated orange flag…dream no more.

Our clients are not cruisers, my usual retort: my peeps don’t mingle, we usually charter private yachts all over the world for our sea loving clients.

I’ve reserved the Lindblad National Geographic exploration ships and sailed from Papeete to the Marquesas, which was a marvelous adventure with a small group of like-minded travelers. One of my younger clients treats his parents to these explorations.

A random introduction by one of my respected travel colleagues led to a very fascinating connection to SeaDream yachting.

A small family-owned firm, SeaDream Yacht Club has a unique approach to cruising. Small is Small with their twin cruising yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II, offering style and refinement for a maximum guest list of 112 guests with a crew of 95!

Fully inclusive, passengers enjoy pampering by a polished crew, dine on locally inspired gastronomy served on deck or in an elegant dining salon; my friend who enjoyed an excursion, mentioned he dined al fresco the entire Journey! Also included-in-the-rate is wine, Champagne, and cocktails. Cheers!

Slow down, savor a slower pace and let the surf be your soundtrack.

Onboard attire suggestion, summer elegant casual. One of the most exciting extras that appeals to me is an option to sleep under a canopy of stars on a deck in a Balinese Dream Bed. Slumber Under the Stars, with full service, count me in!

Balinese Dream Bed

SeaDream cruises include these enticing areas: spring in the Caribbean, and summer in the Mediterranean and Baltic. One advantage of this style of cruising, the yachts are not massive sea ships who can only dock at major ports with other immense ships. These programs incorporate small, hidden-ports and crew-led activities, all included in the pricing. No gratuity expected, fully inclusive is fully inclusive!

My itinerary…when you read of my 70-day Journeys, this is how it originates and flourishes… I consulted with my amazing yacht broker to select my summer Yacht destination. A week of cruising includes a spin of the globe, if I’m here, where can else can I explore? Start in Dubrovnik translates to arrive several days early check into the best five-star hotel, Villa Dubrovnik, where our clients stay, explore with our guides and then board SeaDream.

My first port is near Montenegro, of course I will enjoy a day at One & Only Montenegro, a favorite brand in our repertoire – this is work, after all! 

An overnight crossing to the boot of Italy, docking in Otranto. I’ve visited the enchanting hill towns along this attractive coast. Lecce is 25 mins. away, car & driver to the luxurious five star La Fiermontina for lunch in their curated gardens. The owners also have a glammy apartment in Paris, on my list and a new Ocean property on the coast of Morocco, just north of Casablanca…do you see a pattern here? One week yacht adventure expands to discover remarkable properties.

Amalfi coast will be overrun with summer travelers, a private speed 38-foot sea craft to cruise to visit the Queen of Capri, the Blue Grotto and a divine lunch at a private beach club, my day ticket with our enchanting Italian team.

Another Capri day trip to the oh so very new Hotel La Palma, an Oetker Collection addition to their already loaded five-star roster!  Located mere steps from the famous Piazzetta, Hotel La Palma will offer a rooftop restaurant and bar, its own beach club, a pool deck,. Excited about the sneak peek!

Taormina, a trifecta excursion – Belmond has two luxurious hotels, clients love Grand Hotel Timeo, the first grand hotel to open in Taormina, celebrating its 150 year birthday!  And its sister property on the beach Villa Sant’ Andrea. At Grand Timeo, our favorite suites have terraces that overlook Mt Etna. Our clients flock to both iconic properties for the fabled Belmond luxury experiences. Sicilian Bliss on a romantic shoreline.

Late afternoon visit to the White Lotus film spot, the San Domenico Palace, Taormina, Four Seasons. A fourteenth century convent perched atop a rocky height for lunch and back on board SeaDream …#itswork

The Eternal city is my final port- I love to visit my friends at Hotel Eden & Hotel de Russie for a few nights. What is better than a personal Grazie for the recent VIP care of our Clients? La dolce vita!

Oh, add on Paris, perque no? Dear Christophe, whose real title is Le Meurice Deputy General Manager, but to me, he is the infamous Paris Black Book advisor, will always find a petite suite for me, do you recall my photos of the Madame Pompadour suite?  Several thousand feet of comfort to rest from my excursions! Once my clients see the photos, emails rain in, can we stay in that suite next visit? Oui!  Sadly, August restaurant closings means no Bistro Benoit or Jean Imbert at Plaza Athenee.

Yachting, not Cruising, Sea diary in summer! Or how to design a weeks Travel in Two Weeks!

Try Tantalizing Tangier This Year!

Morocco is a Hot Destination this year and next year is beginning to fill up as well! We’ve contributed to the Morocco Mix with clients exploring the mesmerizing medinas, Atlas Mountains, and Sahara camps.

On my radar for fall, Tangier which is hitting its stride again as a Destination. One of the most free-spirited beach cities, Tangier has enticed boho artists, expat writers Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Bowes, Tennessee Williams, and the Rolling Stones who called Tangier home for brief sojourns.  Anthony Bourdain dipped his toe into Tangier life as well.

The Fairmont Tazi Palace, Tangier

The gateway to Africa, perched on the Atlantic, Tangier is an intoxicating hotbed of culture and balmy Mediterranean weather.  Located about 8 miles across the Straits of Gibraltar from Spain.

Once known for its sordid reputation, from 1923 for thirty plus years, it was classified as an International Zone, which had been jointly administered by the European colonial powers and the U.S. since 1924.  People of all character flooded Tangier with a mix of brilliant writers, criminal’s, exiles, and eccentrics – a melting pot of civilization relishing a culture of no rules and permissiveness.

The Kingdom has noticed the influx of tourists as have luxury five-star hotels: the Fairmont Tazi Palace is contributing to the buzz. Tangier has lacked luxury hotels, there are a few small guest houses, La Tangeriana, where I’ve stayed – it’s a delightful riad property, with stunning views. Hotel Josephine, a bit out of town, is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is an old school traditional property.

The Fairmont Tazi Palace is a true luxury property in a magnificent location. Secluded high in the forested hills above the medina is Fairmont Tazi Palace Tangier, one of the finest 5-star hotels in Morocco. Built as the opulent residence of the king’s advisor, it has been meticulously restored to its 1920s splendor, lovingly recovering the original decorative elements, and enhancing them with the exquisite handwork of local artisans. This expanded sanctuary sits amid acres of a century-old eucalyptus forest and groves of palm, olive, citrus and fig trees, interspersed with Andalusian-style gardens.

A sea of tranquility amid a modern-day international city. The SPA extends over 27,000 square feet with 10 treatment rooms and outdoor spaces bathed in natural sunlight that leads to a vitality pool, private spa, solarium and hammam. Every treatment is personalized to your wishes, combining Moroccan-inspired techniques with products. Hammam will be on my schedule after I arrive!

The 133 rooms, suites and penthouses at Fairmont Tazi Palace are designed in homage to Moroccan high craftsmanship, with vibrant mosaics, rich fabrics and delicately handcrafted Arabic moucharabiehs showcasing the talent of skilled local artisans. Seamlessly integrated modern amenities ensure the utmost in comfort and convenience.

All the rooms offer balconies or terraces, some looking out over a hillside lushly carpeted in eucalyptus forest, while others afford uninterrupted views over the Old City to the mountains beyond.

Andalusian-style gardens and tranquil spaces are interspersed between the various parts of the hotel, turning the palace into a luxury home. I can’t wait to visit!

Villa Mabrouka

Also opening in June is the long-awaited hotelier Jasper Conran’s Villa Mabrouka, the ‘House of Luck. Set high above the Bay of Tangier, overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. It was once the ornate home of iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. The former private residence, a 1940’s estate, will offer twelve rooms, originally designed by Jacques Grange, it will be a superlative draw for fashionistas and followers. Gardens designed by Madison Cox overflow with bright bougainvillea and lush citrus trees. Famed British designer, Jasper Conran, is the ideal host of this fashion legacy property.

Always was Morocco. And recently the country’s leadership seems to have embraced it in all its ill-reputed glory. The days of predatory poets in search of literary inspiration and young flesh are probably over for good. Hippies can just as easily get their bong riffs in Portland or Peoria. But the good stuff, the real good stuff, the sounds and smells and the look of Tangier — what you see and hear when you lean out the window and take it all in — that’s here to stay. Anthony Bourdain.