2019 Virtuoso Travel Week Recap #2
Last week we shared our first of two Virtuoso Travel Week recaps featuring some of our favorite hotels we reconnected with, wonderful spots for family and group travel, our favorite hotel brands and some new-to-us discoveries. In our 2019 Virtuoso Travel Week Recap #2, we’ve broken down our favorites list into various themes, including beach/island destinations, wellness, hotels for the adventure-seekers, your next romantic getaway, and the best in food & wine.
Beach and Island Destinations
Royal Davui - Fiji is a destination we were very excited to delve deeper into so we were thrilled to discover Royal Davui. Each of the 16 villas have plunge pools; ten acres of private island are available to only 32 guests. Plus Royal Davui is also conveniently located to Fiji’s main island making the private island easily accessible.
Le Taha’a - If overwater bungalows are calling your name, we recommend Le Taha’a in French Polynesia. We like combining Le Taha’a with a second hotel in Bora Bora to create a full French Polynesia itinerary. As the only Relais & Chateaux property in Tahiti, the cuisine won’t disappoint - that is if you can peel yourself away from the crystal blue water!
Chablé Maroma - Chablé first hit the scene in the spring of 2017 as an exciting addition to Mexico’s hotel offerings. The first property is located inland on the Yucatan Peninsula. Their second hotel opening appeared on the coast of Mexico in Maroma, just 20 miles south of the Cancun Airport. But this refuge could not be further from Cancun’s nightlife scene. Chablé Maroma’s beach is one of the most gorgeous beaches in the area and the hotel focuses on wellbeing, spa, and cuisine.
Kurà Boutique Hotel - Kurà is such a unique property for Costa Rica. The owners are an architect and a biologist; they combined their unique skill sets to create an adults-only, all-suite retreat in southern Costa Rica. It’s hilltop location in the rain forrest overlooking the ocean allows for both land and sea exploration. It is also one of the closest mainland points to Caño Island, where some of the best diving and snorkeling in the country can be found.
Qualia - Qualia, located on Hamilton Island in Australia, is one of the best jumping off points for the Great Barrier Reef. Either via 2-hour boat ride or a short helicopter ride, Qualia’s guests can visit the largest barrier reef in the world. But we highly recommend visiting via helicopter where the heli lands on Qualia’s floating heli pad so you can snorkel, swim and dive around Heart Island. The best part: guests have Heart Island all to themselves.
Six Senses Yao Noi - Thailand’s islands are very seasonal; from November to May, we’ll guide you to the islands of the Andaman Sea, which includes Phuket, Krabi and Yao Noi. We love Yao Noi for those of you who want off-the-beaten path authenticity and seclusion. The best-of-the-best here is Six Sense Yao Noi. if you can pry yourselves away from your pool villa, enjoy island hopping, hiking, spa and more.
Equinox Hotel - We’ve all heard of the Equinox Club but this is the company’s first foray into hotels. Located at Hudson Yards in New York City, the Equinox Hotel provides sexy, minimalist design with access to the Equinox Club on site. The hotels proprietary sleep system ensures your best night’s sleep. The brand is expanding over the next few years with locations set to open in Seattle, Houston, LA and Chicago.
Six Senses Bhutan - Visiting Bhutan is like stepping back in time. Tourism is still growing in Bhutan so it’s relatively untouched. Come here for a digitial detox, hiking, connecting with your surroundings and learning about the Bhutanese way of life. It’s not known as being the Happiest Country on Earth for nothing. Two of five Six Senses hotels are currently open in Bhutan, with the last 3 opening in the coming year. A day in the Six Senses spa at the hotels is sure to be the cherry on top of your stay.
Miraval - Miraval won this year’s Virtuoso Best of the Best Wellness Award. Miraval Arizona is located in the mountains of Tucson. It’s a top-rated destination resort and spa dedicated to helping guests live life in the moment. There are over 120 complimentary wellness activities, lectures, and fitness classes weekly so you’re wellness vacay will be interactive and fun!
For the Adventure-seekers
Pacuare Lodge - Before guests arrive on Pacuare’s property, the lodge is already “wowing” with it’s arrival experience. The hotel is accessed via river raft! Once on property, the 20 suites are located along the river’s edge. Two complimentary activities are included each day including the Tropical Canyoning Tour, Pacuare Canopy Adventure, Bird-Watching Experience, Cabecar Indigenous Hike, Ancient Trail & Hidden Waterfall Hike, and Sustainability Tour. After an adventurous stay here, we recommend a stay at one of Costa Rica’s beaches!
Lions Sands Private Game Reserve - Lions Sands Game Reserve has been owned by the More family for four generations. The reserve has 4 luxury game lodges, two stand-alone villas and treehouses on the reserve. Being on a private reserve versus the Kruger National Park means more flexibility on your safari in terms of activities, and less “traffic” from other lodges. If a traditional safari lodge is too tame for you, book 1 night in a Treehouse under the stars.
Explora - Explora is a collection of Chilean-owned and operated hotels in Chile, with their most recent opening Peru’s Sacred Valley. Their Chile properties are in the Atacama Desert, Easter Island and Patagonia. The hotel brand focuses on exceptional guiding experiences in each of it’s destinations, all of which are included in the lodge rates.
One&Only Nyungwe House - Rwanda is one of the countries we are most excited about! Rwanda is famous for gorilla trekking but recent and upcoming hotel openings are enabling travelers to visit more of the country. One&Only Nyungwe House is set on the edge of Nyungwe Forest on a working tea plantation. It’s also one of the few places in the world where you can participate in chimpanzee tracking. The Rwandan government is offering 30% off gorillas trekking permits if you visit a second national park in Rwanda so book your stay soon. We’ll help you decide which gorilla trekking lodge to combine with O&O Nyungwe House!
Your Next Romantic Getaway
Nihi Sumba - When most people jet off to Indonesia, they tend to stay on Bali. Countless amazing hotels and beach towns abound on such a small island but for a truly magical stay, we love taking an hour flight to Sumba. The nearby island to home to Nihi Sumba, the Sumba horse and a few hundred locals. That’s it! Travel + Leisure voted Nihi Sumba the #1 hotel in the world in 2016 and 2017. Nihi Sumba is for those travelers who are looking for an activity-driven, cultural immersion while experiencing barefoot luxury. This would be such a magical honeymoon!
Hotel Royal Riviera - What’s more romantic than France?! Hotel Royal Riviera is located on Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat between Nice and Monaco. A highlight of your stay will be the hotel’s private sandy beach, a perk that is nearly impossible to find along the South of France.
Bill & Coo Hotels Mykonos - Bill & Coo has two locations on Mykonos. B&C Suites and Lounge is a sea view experience near town. It’s great for those travelers who want easy access to the buzz of town without being right in the activity. B&C Coast Suites is their adults-only beachfront property. The beach is said to be one of the most beautiful on the island with views to Delos Island!
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley - Being such a large country, Australia is impossible to conquer in one trip. The resort’s guides offer a variety of ways to explore the Wolgan Valley: hiking nature trails, horseback riding through the countryside, mountain biking and stargazing.
The Best in Food & Wine
Six Senses Douro Valley - If you’re looking for a wine-centric vacation, look no further than Six Senses Douro Valley. The Six Senses sits along the Douro River within the world’s oldest demarcated wine region. In addition to wine tasting, be sure to add kayaking, hiking, spa, and a sunset river boat to your itinerary.
The Fife Arms - The bar at Fife Arms, The Fly Stag, was just nominated for the Virtuoso Best Bar Award. We love that in addition to hotel guests visiting the bar each evening, you’ll find locals sitting next to the bar with you!
Le Quartier Français - While most travelers think of Cape Town and safari when they think of South Africa, we love including a stay in South Africa’s winelands. Le Quartier Français is a charming boutique hotel in the town of Franschhoek. After a full day wine tasting and enjoying the region’s best restaurants, we recommend riding bikes through town and relaxing in the hotel’s gardens.
La Reserve Paris - Restaurant Le Gabriel at La Reserve Paris just won Virtuoso’s Best of the Best Award for Dining. The restaurant has 2 Michelin stars and really is the cherry on top of a wonderful stay at this 19th century urban mansion just a short walk to the Champs-Elysées.
A big perk of working with Sea to City Travels to create your next trip is that we can add value to your hotel bookings at no extra cost to our clients. The added value comes in the form of complimentary breakfast, hotel or resort credit, early check-in and late check-out subject to availability, upgrades subject to availability and more. These amenities apply to all Virtuoso hotels (amenities may differ pending hotel choice).