Where to GO – Japan, better book now for 2024, Cherry Blossom Journeys for this year sold out last summer. A combination of Covid rollover reservations and cherished Cherry Blossom Customs, this tradition has always been popular. It may be a secret, but spring in South Korea is just as magical as the country shrugs off winter and reemerges bearing the pop of Cherry Blossom shades and scents. The most popular place to see cherry blossoms in Korea is the Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival, which has attracted over 2,000,000 visitors per year in past years.
Sicily, led by the outrageous popularity of White Lotus, clients clamor to trek the trails and plop at super swanky Four Seasons San Domenico Palace in Taormina. Even if you just make the hotel your only seaside destination, the 14th-century Dominican convent turned luxury hotel in the coastal town of Taormina, has stunning views not just of the Ionian Sea, but also of Mt. Etna volcano and the Greek Theatre of Taormina, a historical landmark. Famous guests, including our chic clients, who have shared their praise include Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren, King Edward VIII and Oscar Wilde. History, art, and delicious food – everyone loves Italy, even if you are island based. Sicily’s luxury hotel scene has been enriched in the last few years, by the classic Belmond properties, Grand Hotel Timeo, and Villa Sant’Andrea, as well as newer hotels Il san Corrado di Noto and Rocco Forte Hotel Villa Igiea. Imagine two weeks crisscrossing the island – I once settled into a village for an inspiring week in summer to participate in a David Tanis cooking school.
Italian charisma, is that redundant?
Spring Summer or Autumn in Paris? – if you haven’t booked yet, get out your candle’s, rosary, and Bhutanese prayer beads. The Rugby World Cup train visits 51 cities in France during a 4-month Journey. Veuillez m’excuser” – please accept my apologies if you have not reserved Paris yet. One of our savviest sophisticated couples will spend a glorious month as Parisians at La Réserve Apartments. At home in Paris with the Eiffel Tower as your neighbor.
Sleekly neutral and lavishly roomy, the first-class serviced apartments facing the Eiffel Tower, are perfect for travelers wanting to blend as chic locals, invite the entourage. This is not Emily in Paris! Carry your cashmere and smart walking shoes.
Bhutan was one of my most glorious adventures ever. Slowly western culture will invade and diffuse the pureness of the Happiest Kingdom. Visit before the traditional values, beliefs are modified. Nothing prepared me for my Journey to this tiny Himalayan country, memories still wash over me in waves. Staying in five individual Amankora properties, meeting gentle and kind locals, hiking through mountain landscapes unlike any other, dining on local delicious delicacies, wandering through colorful ancient temples, and learning Bhutanese customs. With the recent opening of the Trans Bhutan Trail, a 250-mile sacred hiking trail for the first time in 60 years, more hikers will be drawn to this mountain Paradise!
Captivated by rich history and ancient culture? Egypt is overrun by Americans this year, plan now for next spring or fall. In sharing once in a lifetime adventures, it’s hard to ignore the allure of Africa and the Middle East, and in particular, Egypt – the pyramids are still magnificently standing, having withstood every imaginable world crisis. The history, the pyramids, the sphinx, and the ancient burial tombs all standing amid a hectic twenty first century life.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
Morocco – if you read my posts, you appreciate my obsession! Our clients are following my lead, as is most of America, Morocco is one of The Hottest travel destinations. Book in advance for the best five-star properties and stand by in fall, as I uncover the new luxury hotels in Tangier and visit a small riad in the Atlas Mountain’s – opened by well-known Marrakech hotelier, giving Kasbah Tamadot a little healthy hotel competition.
Also, on the hot list is Colombia. With world-class coffee plantations, amazing beaches to the north and west, remarkable dining, rich history, and friendly people, Colombia tourism is exploding. Colombia’s diversity runs from mountain peaks to tropical grasslands, from spectacular museums and private art collections to coffee plantations, from ancient history to natural wonders.
Ancient mysteries come to life in cities rife with culture and charm. Near the city of Agustin more than 500 life-sized carved volcanic stone figures and tombs litter the Forest of Statues, amid native trees and flowers.
Cartagena has become one of South America’s most vibrant cities – and the undoubted queen of Columbia’s northern coast. Offering old-world luxury, exquisite fine-dining options, and a hip nightlife. Having witnessed 500 years of piracy, wars and slavery, Cartagena’s Walled City is steeped in history. Every house and street here have meaning – right down to the intricate door handles used to signal your hierarchy in society.
Colombia’s capital of Bogota is rich with vitality, a blend of world-class restaurants, and sophisticated shopping. The energy and creativity of Colombia’s capital city are best experienced with a stay at Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá. In the buzzing Zona Rosa area, find yourself just steps away from the city’s best shopping, nightlife, and cafés, then come back to settle in at the intimate, modern Hotel, where contemporary elegance is found everywhere from the spacious suites to the perfectly poured Colombian espresso.
More than 99.5% of Colombians speak Spanish. Oh dear, un poquito Español!