COVID-19 Cocoon Bursting

In five to 21 days, a butterfly stays inside their chrysalis or cocoon and transform over time to become a moth or butterfly. The magic within the cocoon has not translated quite as well with our own cocoon or shelter in place process. We are just emerging from over 60 days of quarantine and the Pandemic Cocoon is bursting with clients craving travel or at least seeking a fresh horizon. After sheltering at home with work and family responsibilities, we mourn our long planned exotic summer Journeys, all cancelled and everyone in need of a protected escape.

Nantucket - Wikipedia
Nantucket

We spent two weeks in quest of an elusive coastal beach house, we felt it was a jester’s dream, the client gave up the idea of driving to the sea and we uncovered several sensational Right Coast compounds. In the hunt, we rounded up a secluded private ranch in Colorado, a buy out at a former Rockefeller Adirondack Great Camp on Saranac Lake, had options at an amazing western ranch in Santa Fe – if you are looking for isolated exclusives there isn’t much left for summer in the U.S. Yacht charters vary, as the sea borders off the east coast open up, call to discuss options!

Hotel Bel-Air Plunge Beverly Hills
Hotel Bel-Air Suite with Pool Beverly Hills

Hotels – a few of our VV Favorite are open now! Hotel Bel Air and The Beverly Hills Hotel, with numerous isolated bungalows and suites are safe steps back into civilization, the pool is open, restaurants are slowly opening with limited seating. Our Diamond Club Membership assures best of stay amenities! Spa service at all hotels may not open until end of summer. https://www.gwenbooks.com/2020/03/state-of-emergency-why-not-stay-awhile/https://www.gwenbooks.com/2018/05/hotel-bel-air-brief-break/

UPDATE ON opening The Beverly Hills Hotel
Wednesday, June 3: Soft Opening, Hotel Guests Only
Sunday, June 7: Full Re-Opening, All Guests Welcome
Hours of Operation:
Polo Lounge 8am-10pm
Cabana Café 10am-5pm
• Reservations are highly suggested due to our limited seating capacity with a max party size of 6 people
• There is no bar seating available and all guests are required to order food (no parties for “drinks only”)
• Guests are required to wear facial coverings at all times other than when they are seated at their tables
• Fountain Coffee Shop and Bar Nineteen12 will remain closed until further notice
• The swimming pool remains open and available to our guests 10am-5pm only so that social distancing guidelines can be enforced by our lifeguard and security team.
• Pool Cabanas will remain complimentary on a first come, first served basis until further notice.
• We are working on finalizing menus and will get them updated on the website ASAP.

Hotel Bel-Air
Currently with the existing restrictions we will not be opening the Bar and Lounge.
• June 3, Wednesday – Soft opening inviting hotel guests only at WP restaurant.
• June 7, Sunday- Full re-opening for WP restaurant and opening the “Garden/Fireplace Bar” which is a new estate dining area designed to extend the bar and lounge to our grounds – all guests welcome.
Hours of Operation:
WP restaurant 7:00 am – 11:00 am breakfast, 11:00-3:00 pm Lunch, 5:00 – 10:00 pm dinner
Garden Bar 2:00 pm- 10:00 pm
• As we are following social distancing protocols we have limited seating in the restaurant so reservations are highly recommended for all guests.
• Facial coverings are required for all guests entering and dining and can only be removed once they are seated at their tables.
• Max party size at our tables is currently 6 and under.
• The pool is open for swimming with food and beverage available from 9:00 am- 5:00 pm.


Malibu Beach Inn – while it doesn’t offer bungalows, the sea air, delicious farm to table dining and beach walks are guaranteed to provide a stress-free escape. I’ve stayed several times and absolutely adore this sweet property. The Northwest corner room has divine views, one-bedroom suite is a bit larger, but all rooms are simply scrumptious – take me to the beach! If you drive, make it a coastal drive from the bay area and stop in Santa Barbara and Montecito. https://www.gwenbooks.com/2019/10/malibu-beach-inn/

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Suite Malibu Beach Inn
Image result for malibu beach inn
Malibu Beach Inn, Beach lounging!

Montecito – Santa Barbara. Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, an enchanting escape, the divine combination of secluded garden casitas and the Coral Casino pool complex will surely suffice on a toasty sunny day. Oh, and the recently opened Ty Warner Villa – unique beachfront hideaway! Within the main building, we recently reserved the best ocean view rooms, 702 and 703. Our darling British clients raved about the comfort and the views, ‘brilliant and immensely happy’ was their actual description! Tucked between the Pacific and the Santa Ynez Mountains, a historic hideaway on the American Riviera. Set within 22 lush acres, woven with secluded courtyards, fountains and sun-dappled, red-brick pathways lit by gas lanterns, our Spanish Colonial villas and bungalows invoke the same casual glamour that first delighted Hollywood’s power players in the 1930. Particular suites include access to the famed Coral Casino Club. Think South of France setting, take a dip in one of the largest hotel swimming pools in the world – or just sunbathe beside it, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands from the second-story, peninsula sundeck. Sip a cocktail up in the Crow’s Nest, enjoy a soak in the oceanfront whirlpool, then walk down to Butterfly Beach through the Club’s private, gated stairway.
https://www.gwenbooks.com/2019/10/malibu-beach-inn/

Four Seasons Biltmore Resort, Ty Warner Villa

Further afield: Four Seasons Maldives Private Island – Voavah. A heavenly hideaway, a sublime sanctuary offering the utmost in privacy and iconic Four Seasons pampering at the world’s first exclusive-use UNESCO hideaway, Voavah. A seven-bedroom private island Maldives home, the sojourn includes a 62-foot luxury yacht: Voavah Summer and a marine territory that’s utterly your own! Voavah, private island is a welcome addition to the two luxurious Four Seasons Resorts in the Maldives.

Four Seasons Maldives

Our mantra on the art of the opening act, your arrival sets the stage: with a personal VIP Seaplane, alighting on the pristine pure white sand, your private beach! Tip toe over the scuttling white shelled hermit crabs and the delicious dilemma develops, what shall you do first: laps in the pool, a discovery afternoon of diving or casting, or snooze until sunset? Decisions, decisions!

Sneak peek: accommodating up to 22 guests in seven bedrooms, with its own chefs, staff, private spa, and a 65-foot-long PADI equipped motor yacht with a dedicated dive master. This extraordinary five-acre, island paradise is your private playground – retreat or indulge in the total privacy as a castaway!
https://www.gwenbooks.com/2018/02/four-seasons-maldives-private-island-voavah

Border status changes every day, our clients are not ready to leave for far flung out of country destinations yet, but if high-end properties and Villas for summer are sold out, we would advise you think of Festive Season asap… High on my list for December is Bhutan, time to trek!

Be well, we are ready to plan your dream Journeys!

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