Travel Tribe Journeys – Summer Enticements

The days lengthen and warm and we begin to dream of escape. Where to go – spring break to fall – our Clients are plotting & planning – some have already left footprints on sandy beaches and scoured the souks in Marrakech.

Morocco – it is hot, hot, hot! Spring break found many of the five-star hotels sold out, we prevailed for a last-minute request.  We also have May travelers headed to Morocco. We love La Sultana in Marakech and Kasbah Tamadot in the scenic Atlas Mountains, activities include mule trekking to Berber villages. Side car excursions, hot air balloon escapades, Tagine cooking classes, private visits to Yves Saint Laurent home at the Majorelle Garden.

Mustique – Indigo seas and the year around perfect weather combined with an embarrassment of stunning Villas, make this a superb crowd free destination One advantage, our Villa team can offer many properties for 5 nights minimum- some don’t require a full 14 day stay- 5- 8, 10 days – many owners are flexible.

The Maldives, recent booking for two weeks at The Four Seasons Landaa & Kuda Huraa – my faves! Swim with manta rays hovering above and below you, floating in the gentle turquoise seas. Sail away to the spa across the bay, nothing prepares you for the sapphire seas and sugar white sandy beaches. I’m pining to return!

Four Seasons Maldives Kudaa Hura Resort, the Maldives
Four Seasons Maldives Kudaa Hura Resort, the Maldives

Japan – oh my, take a number – you are certain to run into friends at the sacred temples! A plethora of new offerings, innovative exclusive luxurious experiences; gardening with a master designer, with a long lineage of acclaimed gardeners who is currently entrusted with palace and temple gardens. Visit little known private Kyoto gardens. VIP experiences await fans of traditional theatrical performances. A master of Noh, an ancient performing art known for its fantastical masks and flowing robes has created a contemporary and well-designed space dedicated to the craft in a private theatre in the masters own home.  Long list of unique offerings.

Japan Journey

New York, spring fling at The Whitby, in midtown. Kit Kemp’s most recent addition to the city vibrant color and pattern abound!

France, in particular, the iridescent Cote d’ Azure. You may bump into friends at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc or the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel, summer sizzlers! Days spent bobbing on yachts in private coves, followed by exceptional French cuisine.

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel, Cote d’ Azure.
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cote d’ Azure.

Paris in June- doesn’t it sound dreamy? Le Meurice return guests love their VIP attention.

Le Meurice, Paris Luxury Suite

Oh, a multi generational family of 12 is headed back to The Ranch at Rock Creek – they’ve visited multiple times and can’t get enough of Ranch and Rodeo life, Giddy Up !

The Ranch at Rock Creek
The Ranch at Rock Creek

Peru – Machu Picchu adventure for Spring break- the world-renowned complex, a sublime jewel of Incan civilization, built on a towering ridge of granite and tropical forest. As you enter the Sanctuary see the iconic Sun Gate you will be awed by the imposing and skillful architecture of the Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca residences. Adventure awaits. Another smashing stay at Belmond Hotels!

Machu Picchu Belmond Hotels

One lucky dad is cruising with his son, on a Linblad National Geographic Alaska Journey to the Bering Straits wilderness touching coast of Russia Journey. Visit Provideniya, Russian Federation, at the western limit of the rich transboundary area known as Beringia, Provideniya is often called “The Gateway to the Arctic”- no Russia visa required!

One of our VV sophisticated art collectors swooned at the latest gallery collections at the recent New York Art Fairs while luxuriating at The Lowell this week!

The Lowell Hotel New York

Big Five – African Safari for eight friends at the VV best lodges with our private safari team. Our fourth African safari and gorilla trek this year.

Rwanda Gorilla Trek mom & baby & toddler
Kenya Safari endless horizons

The eternal city of Rome will enchant a family of summer travelers, ask about our exclusive activities. Practice The Art of Doing Nothing Italian Style: L’arte di non fare nulla.

Hotel de Russie Roma

Tuscany a romantic Journey of exploration and staying at all three Belmond retreats. These foodies are checking off the top trattorias! A romantic honeymoon encompassing Five Luxury Belmond properties throughout Italy and Sicily – The Ultimate Grand Tour!

Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo Sicily
Belmond Villa San Michele Florence

Amsterdam – always a great add on following Italy, Anne Frank, Van Gogh – private boats to cruise the canals.

We are plotting a fall Munich, Paris, London and Paris Journey for a group of eight friends – in memory of a dear friend and family member, an intrepid traveler who passed away this year. A Toast to a Well Lived Life and Enchanting Travel.


Last but not least, Punta Mita Four Seasons was chock a block full of our spring break clients!

Four Seasons Punta Mita

The globe is whirling with exotic options – days are lengthening, plan a Journey!

Discovering Puglia

Because we have the VV Best hand selected Italian experts in place, I sometimes don’t go back and visit some of my favorite destinations, as I am always on the search for new locations and new experiences. I know my experts are constantly evaluating hotels and guides, but my serendipitous cooking class in Sicily led me to add Puglia to my travel schedule. This visit was a reminder of how much I adore Italy – picturesque landscapes, excellent food, warm and welcoming locals – Italy is definitely a repeat destination!

Meandering the chic heel of Italy through Puglia, an enchanting region of undiscovered towns, white sandy beaches, fields and fields of ancient olive trees, important ruins, and delicious food and wine. This is also an excellent area for bicycling.

Spend three or four nights in Lecce, Puglia’s cultural capital and one of Italy’s most enchanting towns. Our preferred Hotel La Fiermontina Urban Resort is charmingly attached to the ancient city wall and the refreshing and essential pool is situated amid a small grove of ancient olive trees. So many options besides touring, take a private cooking class in a former palace and learn the secrets of typical Puglian specialties. Tour with your expert private guide and wander through Lecce’s atmospheric narrow streets and visit prominent landmarks such as a Roman amphitheater, the Basilica di Santa Croce, and Baroque churches and palaces built of ornately carved Lecce stone, a distinctive colored limestone. Also visit Museo Faggiano, a unique archaeological museum featuring unearthed antiquities found under a private home.

From Lecce, enjoy day trips to the stunning white city of Ostuni, a genuine and charming example of whitewashed Mediterranean architecture. The town is a series of various levels, staircases, alleys and winding narrow roads, all very easy to navigate by foot. Reach the top of town for an impressive view of the sea, obligatory stop for a gelato near the rose window church.

Take a day trip to the seaside community of Otranto, where the azure Adriatic Sea meets the Ionian Sea; it is the eastern tip of Italy. Otranto occupies the site of the ancient Hydrus, a town of Greek origin, which, in the wars of Pyrrus, Hannibal sided against Rome. Walk the hilly streets to discover the Castello Aragonese and the Cathedral with a rose window. Do enjoy a traditional coffee in one of the many cafes. Fine handcrafts can be found in the small shops, take a lunch break for fresh fish at Laltro Baffo Ristorante, just steps from the Castle. Remember they enjoy a siesta here every day!

Spend a delightful afternoon at a vineyard and taste wine with the enthusiastic owners. Puglian wine in an ancient Masseria – the family has over 40 years of wine growing in Tuscany and in 1999 they began their adventure in Puglian wine. Masseria Li Veli has been selected among the 100 Italian Finest Wine Producers by Wine Spectator.

Move north on the coast to the small charming beach communities just south of Monopoli. There are several properties we like here – Borgo Egnazio is a bit larger property resembling an authentic village. This is a very kiddo centric property where you will see kiddy carts and bikes parked out side each villa, a great place for kids to safely roam. With three pools, there is room for adults and families – also several large villas on property. Looking for a smaller property, we would suggest Masseria Torre Coccaro – the small Puglia properties are rustic chic. Beach clubs to the properties are minutes away.

From here we will organize day trips to several appealing locations. Take a yacht excursion to the seaside town of Polignano a Mare where the massive white limestone cliffs host diving competitions. Take the skiff into the cobblestone streets of the tiny old town, cross through the Porta Vecchia gate to shop and enjoy lunch. If inclined, you can swim in the crystal clear Adriatic Sea on your transport back to the yacht. If you are of a certain age, you may fondly remember the old summer melody by Domenico Modugno, who wrote and sang the massive international hit, Volare (originally entitled Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu. His enormous bronze statute is proudly displayed near the sea wall. Volare, oh,oh… Cantare, oh,oh,oh,oh… Nel blu dipinto di blu… felice di stare lassù…”.

Imagine a typical Puglian feast and olive oil tasting at a renowned Olive Oil Masseria, which is home to many of the most ancient olive trees in Puglia, planted during Roman times. There is also a small underground museum here with original tools dating back centuries. Lunch under the massive Stone Pine tree with the summer symphony of cicadas serenading you while enjoying a traditional multi-course meal.

A visit to small hill town of Alberobello, where the streets are narrow and hilly – but again the charm lays in the gleaming whitewashed houses. Tour the alleyways and small streets lined with conical roofs crowning hundreds of limestone trulli—the traditional stone dwellings for which the town is known.

Visit Locorotondo and Cisternino, two of Puglia’s most historic and picturesque hilltop towns. We suggest exploring in the morning, stop for a fresh seafood lunch and return to your hotel for the afternoon siesta and swimming in the brilliant blue seas.

There will also be time to enjoy your luxury resort and its extensive facilities including a beach club, pool, spa and many fine dining options.

Visit Puglia and and add on Milan, Florence, the Amalfi coast, Tuscany or Rome. Italy has unlimited luxurious options – five star Villas and hotels. Staffing, guiding, drivers, biking!  Perché, No?