Shelter in Place – Isolate in Five-Star Luxury Soon!

Every day feeling like Sunday? Vital Social Distancing, seems more like a recipe for Stir Crazy Stew. During this stressful period, online postings have revealed distinct personalities; it’s abundantly clear that some are devoted and very well read news junkies, others need daily doses of humor, others or all are rabid Netflix bingers.

Continuing from last week’s list of luxury properties with private bungalows and villas – for the eventual first toe back in the water. Read on, we hope to transport you to a world of escapism and brighter times ahead.

Inn at Five Graces, Santa Fe, NM, a charmer! I’ve been a frequent visitor to this picturesque city, the oldest capital in the United States, the charming city is set at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and possesses a unique Southwestern charm all its own. A few miles south, these mountains diminish down from a height of 13,000 feet to a flattened level plain, marking the end of the North American Rockies. A desert jewel, The Inn of the Five Graces in Santa Fe wows with exotic decor, raw silks and rich color that seamlessly blends the Southwest with the Far East. Step through its doors, and a feast of color and texture awakens the imagination. Each distinctive room showcases handcrafted artisan pieces and eclectic treasures from the historic Silk Road that once linked Europe and Asia. Echoes of rustic Spain, lingering in New Mexico’s Hispanic heritage, are reflected in the diverse style, a trademark synthesis of East and West. The richness will evoke memories of your Journeys to Istanbul and India. The Seret family who own the Inn have roamed the world to bring together Persian, Indian, Tibetan, Uzbek and other Eastern architectural elements and antiques with classic Santa Fe adobe construction. https://www.gwenbooks.com/2018/05/inn-of-the-five-graces-santa-fe-new-mexico/

Inn at Five Graces,Santa Fe New Mexico

Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana – Ultimate Dude Ranch. Our favorite adult & kiddy Relais & Châteaux Ranch in Montana books up fast in summer – time to plan for your lavish Western Glamping escape. Adventure and glamping make for a superb visit to Ranch at Rock Creek, just a short distance from Missoula. Our multi-generation families stay for a week, sometimes two weeks. The Forbes Five Star guest ranch has more activities than one can actually enjoy in a week, something for everyone and whenever you feel like moseying out from your rustically elegant and very comfy lodge room, private home or an over the top Glamping Tent, set on the banks of the gurgling Rock Creek. Camping in the most elegant style, bug free, full indoor bath and a roaring stove to ward off the cool night chill. Consisting of 29 private homes, lodge rooms and elegant Glamping Tents, some easily accommodate a large family gathering. https://www.gwenbooks.com/2018/10/summer-at-the-ranch-at-rock-creek/

Ranch at Rock Creek Home

Triple Creek Ranch, Montana, Adult Dude Ranch–Triple Creek Ranch is an award-winning Montana Luxury Ranch Resort hidden away in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. The valley was the ancestral home of the Salish tribe of the Flathead nation. The luxury Ranch caters to families with children16 and older, but the majority of the clientele is adults. Cowboy chic décor abounds, the architecture provides the first hint, charming log cabin homes and cottages dotted amid the towering fragrant Ponderosa Pines. The air is fresh, the skies robin egg blue, all this punctuated by the gurgling creek running through the property; my comfortable cabin was enhanced by the sound of the rushing creek, guaranteeing deep sleep. The owners are serious Western fine art collectors and generously share their collection in each cabin and in all the public spaces, truly an added perk.

There is an annual Stave Puzzle Weekend, if you aren’t a puzzle expert by now, a weekend here will enhance your skills- imagine warm fire, a fine Cabernet and a Stave puzzle weekend! https://www.gwenbooks.com/2017/09/triple-creek-ranch-montana-luxury/
https://www.gwenbooks.com/2018/04/triple-creek-ranch-activities/

Triple Creek Ranch

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.

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 PADIequipped 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

Four Seasons Maldives Private Island – Voavah
Four Seasons Maldives Private Island – Voavah

We haven’t stayed yet, but Twin Farms Resort and Spa, in Vermont is represented by one of our very reliable discerning firms. A Relais & Chateaux and Forbes Five Star Resort, double blessings! Located about one-and-a-half hours from the nearest commercial airport in Burlington, the journey into the bucolic landscape surrounding Barnard, Vermont begins the Twin Farms experience. Once on the property’s vast 300 acres, seclusion and privacy come first. And there is a ‘story’ – which I always adore, who can resist an authentic history, or a property built around a smart or in this case, a romantic tale?

When Nobel prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis proposed to journalist Dorothy Thompson, she promised to marry him if he bought her a farm in Vermont with sweeping lawns, orchards, and “delicious air.” They found their idyll in a 1795-era farmhouse on 300 acres – all of which they purchased in 1928 for $10,000. In various seasons, they created and entertained at Twin Farms. Their guest list included political and literary figures who lingered for provocative discussions, outdoor activities, and the opportunity to attend the couple’s legendary parties. Dorothy kept Twin Farms until she was no longer physically able to live here. As she grew frail, her family sold off parcels of the land, completing the final transaction in 1958. Subsequently, Twin Farms changed hands several times. It operated as Sonnenberg Haus, an inn with a reputation for fine dining, when Thurston Twigg-Smith acquired the property as a second home for his family in 1974. By the late 1980s, the Twigg-Smiths found themselves able to visit Barnard only a few weeks a year, so they decided to launch a Bed and Breakfast to share this special place – a quaint notion that soon escalated to the number one small hotel in North America.

Open all year, the resort offers specific activities related to the seasons. Sinclair Lewis described his favorite hideaway in Fall at Twin Farms: Our legacy revolves around Fall foliage, bringing unparalleled beauty in shades of red and gold bathed in crisp air, with the promise of warmth and intimacy at the end of the day. “There will be apple trees and flaming lilies, and the moon over the low mountains and you and me, after dinner, sitting….on the terrace, and inside, when it becomes chilly, the fireplace and lamplight and lots of books,”

Twin Farms Resort and Spa

Freestanding cottages, lodge rooms and Farmhouse rooms provide multiple stay options. The cottages are secluded amid 300 wooded acres, ten freestanding cottages comfort and inspire with fireplaces and screened porches – each a unique setting for reflection, romance and serenity./https://www.twinfarms.com/

Twin Farms Resort and Spa
Twin Farms Resort and Spa, a to die for tub!

A unique plethora of somewhat secluded options for your first foray back to civilization. We also have a list of very isolated private homes available, so private we can’t broadcast the locations, but if you have an interest, ping me for a proposal!

Be Well and be Safe, we look forward to curating your dream escapes!

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
 
— T.S. Eliot

Safe Travel – State of Emergency Isolate in Five-Star Luxury Soon!

Suitcase at the front door has always been my mantra. Written before our current Shelter in Place Order in the Bay Area. We still have quite a few trips in a state of hold for summer – the airlines are never friendly about cancels, i.e. they will provide vouchers, but never refunds, hotels have lenient cancel policies, we are watching day by day. I’m the eternal, hopeful, flute glass overfilled optimist, always have been!

Hotel Bel Air, Beverly Hills

This is the time of year when our clients are jetting off to Sakura – Cherry Blossom Season in Japan. Maybe a few last runs on wintery slopes and flying south to the enticing sun and surf in Punta Mita or Cabo for spring break. In a matter of ten weeks our Journey has been completely disrupted, the world as we know it has been upended. The climate changes every minute; however, we hope that once we get to the other side, travelers may be comfortable thinking about a fling at small resorts with private Cabanas and Villas – baby steps to isolate in luxury. Day by day.

You might consider this path. Two weeks ago, before the travel edict, I embarked at the Top – Hotel Bel Air and the Beverly Hills Hotel, with numerous isolated bungalows and suites. Our Diamond Club Membership assures best of stay amenities ! https://www.gwenbooks.com/2020/03/state-of-emergency-why-not-stay-awhile/

Malibu Beach Inn

Moving north up the California coast from Beverly Hills.
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 Ojai and Montecito.
https://www.gwenbooks.com/2019/10/malibu-beach-inn/

Ojai Valley Inn – Bound to be warm in April/May, I recall 85-degree days at the annual Tennis Tournament during my childhood, the oldest Tennis Tournament in the U.S. We were released from Catholic girls school if we volunteered to squeeze and serve orange juice – this will reveal my birthdate, but, I believe age is in the mind…we watched the awesome Arthur Ashe, swooned over the VV good-looking and excellent player, Charlie Passarelle and envied Billie Jean Moffitt King’s splendid shots and basked in 80-degree weather. The Ojai Valley Inn has numerous cottages, a private villa and great golf and an innovative Farmhouse program. https://www.gwenbooks.com/2019/05/ojai-valley-inn-classes/

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.

Four Seasons Biltmore Resort Room 702

Coastal escape just south of Carmel, Post Ranch Inn. Extraordinary setting, small and intimate – clients stayed last week: We had a wonderful weekend at Post Ranch. Thank you for your help in organizing a perfect escape. We called it our “Ocean House West,” since it reminded of us our annual summer stay at Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI.

Four Seasons Biltmore Resort, Ty Warner Villa

South of Los Angeles in Rancho Santa Fe, we absolutely adore Rancho Valencia. Perfectly isolated casitas with outdoor fireplace, private patios, a blissful oasis in usually warm weather! Who knew such an indulgence existed, just an hour flight away and a few miles from the surf and sandy beach?  But why leave when you have the amenities of a Forbes Five Star Resort? Clients have raved about Rancho Valencia Resort, I needed to mosey down the sunny coast and see for myself. In the cozy hamlet of Rancho Santa Fe, exactly 32 minutes from the San Diego airport, Rancho Valencia is tucked into a canyon on 40 manicured acres of gentle undulating hills, citrus trees and tropical jungle landscaping. I loved my visit, an oasis! .https://www.gwenbooks.com/2019/06/staycation-rancho-valencia-resort-for-serious-consideration/

Rancho Valencia – a private oasis

Moving to Utah – Our absolute favorite, Amangiri. In the desert, fly private or drive and revel in the never ending vistas of the desert expanse surrounding one of the most gorgeous properties in the universe! Amangiri is a remote hideaway tucked within the luminous canyons of the American Southwest. Located in a protected valley with sweeping views, the resort offers both adrenaline-fueled adventure and a peaceful retreat. Set in the heart of the Grand Circle, the largest concentration of national parks in the United States, Amangiri is well located for explorations of the region’s rugged beauty. Panoramas stretch across the 810-acre estate. Amangiri’s geometric planes are hued with ocher, yellow and pink to blend with the cliff curve it sits within. Each Suite features a large living area that opens onto a terrace offering views that change color by the hour. Aman will add luxury tent accommodations to its Amangiri resort in Utah this April. Camp Sarika will have 10 ‘tented pavilions’ fully contained in 135 acres of wilderness. Located a five-minute drive from the resort in Canyon Point. The Camp Sarika accommodations will include five one-bedroom units and five two-bedroom units, with each tent outfitted with a living area, dining area, bar, terrace, fire pit and private heated plunge pool. One-bedroom tented pavilions will span 1,883 square feet, while two-bedroom tented pavilions will cover 2,820 square feet.  Camp Sarika’s main pavilion will house a restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seating. The venue’s culinary offerings will change daily, with the menu showcasing local produce and both vegan and vegetarian options. Restaurant access will be reserved for camp guests during the day, though guests staying at Amangiri will be able to opt for dinner at Camp Sarika with advance booking.
https://www.gwenbooks.com/2017/02/desert-sojourns-amangiri/

Views of undulating dunes and plateaus with private swimming pool and large terraces.

Mexico – multiple options for private Villas on the beach.
Rosewood Las Ventanas has many private villas on the beach, some of the finest in Cabo – however, no ocean swimming here. https://www.gwenbooks.com/2016/10/las-ventanas-al-paraiso-rosewood-resort/

Las Ventanas Private beach front Villa

One & Only Palmilla has two splendid private Villas – we frequently reserve Villa Cortez and it can sleep about 8 + guests. Cocoon here with private pool and beach – never see another soul! https://www.gwenbooks.com/2016/10/one-only-palmilla-san-jose-del-cabo/

Auberge Las Ventas has many Bungalow private options, and delicious fresh dining. And one of the most congenial dedicated GM’s in the industry, Marc Rodriguez – he kept us alive during hurricane Newton! Set at the very tip of the Baja Peninsula, between two massive bluffs, and only a few miles from Cabo San Lucas, Esperanza provides stunning views of both the Sea of Cortez and Punta Ballena – Whale Point – lounge in winter and tally the humpback’s passing and breaching. https://www.gwenbooks.com/2016/11/esperanza-an-auberge-resort/https://www.gwenbooks.com/2013/04/welcome-esperanza-resort-cabo-san-lucas/

Four Seasons Los Cabos Resort at Costa Palmas
– Villas aren’t finished yet, however the beach front rooms are very private. 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.  Clients who recently returned enjoyed the golf course and loved dining at Limon.

https://www.gwenbooks.com/2020/01/four-seasons-los-cabo-resort-at-costa-palmas-2/

Punta Mita – Four Seasons Resort at Punta Mita has many private suite and villa options – our clients love it here and we reserve frequently. Another amazing GM, I can confirm some GM’s don’t have the hospitality gene – but John O’Sullivan who has opened many Four Seasons properties and steers the tiller in Punta Mita and other resorts – oozes hospitality! With a superb team, paradise is achieved in Punta Mita! The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita is a luxurious family-friendly resort hotel with excellent facilities on a 1,500-acre nature reserve on the northern tip of Bahia de Banderas, one of the world’s largest natural bays. Fringed by palms, sandy beaches and a backdrop of jungle clad mountains. Paradise Indeed! 
https://www.gwenbooks.com/2018/10/four-seasons-paradise-in-punta-mita/
https://www.gwenbooks.com/2016/03/four-seasons-punta-mita/

Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita Presidential Suite pool
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita

Next week on our radar:
Inn at Five Graces, Santa Fe, NM, a charmer! https://www.gwenbooks.com/2018/05/inn-of-the-five-graces-santa-fe-new-mexico/Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana – Ultimate Dude Ranch https://www.gwenbooks.com/2018/10/summer-at-the-ranch-at-rock-creek/

Triple Creek Ranch, Montana, Adult Dude Ranch–
https://www.gwenbooks.com/2017/09/triple-creek-ranch-montana-luxury/ https://www.gwenbooks.com/2018/04/triple-creek-ranch-activities/

AND – for the definitive sanctuary, we have multiple VV private self-contained villas in Aspen, and a few other high-touch properties in relatively remote locations at Santa Fe, Jackson Hole, Telluride, Big Sky and The Bahamas, etc. as safe havens. Truly remote and isolated.

I am still the evangelist for Egypt & Jordan, my enchanting Journey will pick up again soon, when it’s safe to fly across the world in comfort!.

Stay well, there is an enormous world to discover and we are here to help you plot and curate the ultimate Journey! I still believe if you introduce your children to other cultures, we may achieve world peace. Travel broadens the horizons, nourishes the soul and truly provides a magical global mosaic.

There’s hope! Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita

Useful sites for staying tuned in to Corona Virus:

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/quarantineisolation.html

https://www.npr.org/

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

https://twitter.com/TravelGov