As you may have heard, starting Jan. 26 all travelers flying into the U.S. will need to present proof of a negative PCR, NAT or antigen COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your flight’s departure. Or, if you have tested positive for COVID in the previous three months, you can submit a note from a health provider or public health official authorizing you to travel. You can read about the requirements in detail here: https://largaytravel.com/cdc-to-require-negative-covid-test-from-all-inbound-passengers/
Naturally, your first question might be, “How am I going to get results back in time to board my flight?” Fortunately, airlines and many of our preferred resort and tour partners are making strides to ensure travelers are able to comply with the CDC order.
American Airlines is making its VeriFLY app available to all passengers starting Jan. 23. Passengers can upload the documentation they need, including proof of a negative test, in the app. Where will you be able to get tested so you can get those results promptly?
Several Caribbean destinations and resorts are already putting testing sites in place to make things easy and convenient for their guests. Aruba has expanded testing centers near resort areas that offer appointments so visitors can meet the requirements without spending too much of their vacation working. Average turnaround time for test results is 24 hours.
The Bahamas already requires visitors to take a test on the fifth day of their stay, so guests staying between five and eight days will already meet the CDC’s requirements, and testing centers are already set up if you don’t fit in that category.
Most resorts on St. Lucia already have testing facilities, and others are setting them up to make sure their guests can get test results within the 72-hour time frame. Jamaica is working to expand its testing infrastructure to meet the rising demand, as are Belize and Costa Rica.
Sandals Resorts will make on-site complimentary tests available to guests through March 31. Karisma Hotels & Resorts will do the same for guests at its Riviera Maya, Dominican and Jamaica properties. AMResorts has the same offer at most locations. Palace Resorts in Mexico and Jamaica will have complimentary tests for up to two guests per room, with a charge of $19 per test for additional guests. The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar offers appointments for RT-PCR tests ($134.40 per person, results within 6 hours) or rapid antigen tests ($16.80 per person, result within an hour). Playa Resorts will offer complimentary on-site testing through April 30 in Mexico and the Dominican Republic ($49 per person in Jamaica).
Grace Bay Resorts in Turks & Caicos will make RT-PCR testing available to guests for $150 per person. Testing will be at Grace Bay Club, with complimentary transportation for guests at West Bay Club, Point Grace and the private villa collection. Appointments will be scheduled based on departure date. Case de Campo in the Dominican will offer PCR testing on-site for $150 per person with same-day results and a VIP testing lounge.
We will keep you updated on further developments as travel rules continue to change by the week and even day. Make sure to consult with your travel advisor about requirements for your trip. If you need help with your trip planning, contact Stefany at: (917) 653-9346 and or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope you are well.
Lake Como will be our first stop on the Lakes to Lagoon and Wine Italy trip we are hosting June 15th-23rd 2022.
Here are some fun facts about Lake Como. Enjoy!
Click here to see a day-by-day itinerary of our Italy trip
There’s nothing better than visiting Italy with a native Italian! Space is filling up. Contact Stefany with any questions at: email@example.com and or firstname.lastname@example.org.
With passion and adventure,
Daniele and Stefany
When the calendar turns, our phones usually start ringing. January is normally a very busy time in the travel industry. People gather over the holidays, finish out the old year and turn their attention to what adventures the new year will bring. Some of them want to get away as soon as they can to get away from the cold weather (and maybe delete any unpleasant experiences with unruly relatives over the holidays from their memories). Others want to get away for spring break or plan a summer vacation.
It’s also the time of year when cruise lines, tour operators and hotels launch specials to attract business while travelers are in the mood to get their plans set. The January wave season is typically the heaviest booking time all year. In conjunction with what’s likely to be a theme of 2021, things are kind of the same and kind of different this year. With vaccines rolling out and optimism abounding, people are feeling more confident about scheduling events in the future. The deals are there, too, with all sorts of travel suppliers running specials for future travel.
What’s different about this wave season is our travelers have a year’s worth of untaken trips taking up space in their heads and hearts. That makes space even more at a premium than in years past, especially if destinations continue to limit capacity well into the year. Populations will be getting vaccinated at different times, so certain countries will still put limitations on how many travelers are allowed and how full hotels and resorts can be.
What hasn’t changed is peoples’ love of travel. If anything, it’s become even more precious since we’ve been deprived of so many of our favorite places. That makes this January busier than ever. Each month you go later into 2021, we’re seeing more and more bookings already. Before you know it, we’ll be moving about the world again. Rules will still be different than they were before March. Some places might require proof of vaccination from travelers. Others will still require negative PCR tests in a certain time frame. More people will be traveling, which will make navigating the protocols more complicated.
As ever, we’re here to make your life — and especially your travels — easier. Our first piece of advice is to get your trip scheduled as soon as you have a set of dates you think will work. Cancelation policies are still flexible, so in most instances you’ll be able to change your dates if need be. But space is filling up fast, even for 2022. Everybody missed travel in 2020 and very few people got to do it, so it’s in demand. We’ll help you navigate the rules in your destination. We’ll also help set up the behind-the-scenes tours that will keep you out of the crowds and find the unique experiences the returning crowds don’t even know are possible.
Safety and personal space are still part of the new luxury in 2021, along with all the other amenities and personalized service we deliver. Wave season is here, and it’s time to plan.
If you or a loved one had a wedding scheduled in 2020, odds are it didn’t go exactly according to plan. You might have rescheduled at least once. You might have gone ahead with the ceremony, but with a lot fewer attendees than you planned. Maybe you just made it legal and will stage the main event when it’s safe to do so. No matter what, you still have your eyes on that honeymoon.
Again, things might have changed in this department. Perhaps your preferred honeymoon destination isn’t open to Americans and you need to switch gears or just get away for a few days on a mini-moon. There are several islands in the Caribbean welcoming visitors that are great for short stays or full-length honeymoons. Looking for fun in the sun but want to stay in the Lower 48? The Florida Keys offer a touch of the Caribbean without a passport, as does the Virtuoso-preferred Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, just minutes from Miami but in a world of its own.
Not everybody wants a beach getaway, of course, and there are plenty of other options out there. Skiers can hit the slopes at any number of resorts in the Rockies of Colorado and Utah, or keep things closer to home with runs at Jay Peak and Killington in Vermont or New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain and Bretton Woods. The national parks make for excellent romantic destinations throughout the country, showing off their natural beauty and featuring some great glamping and cabin options for just the two of you.
If you’re looking to do the big trip now, there are few trips more romantic than a safari, which you can do in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is a possibility, and you can cap off your African or Middle Eastern trip (the UAE are open) with a stop in the Maldives. North of the Sahara, the wonders of Egypt and the oases of Morocco are welcoming Americans.
Most of Europe is closed to Americans or requires a long quarantine, but Croatia—a fabulous honeymoon destination—is not. Visitors are also allowed in Turkey, from the history of Istanbul to the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and the seaside resorts of Bodrum.
Across the Pacific, French Polynesia is welcoming travelers to the gems of Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea, some of the most romantic islands on Earth. Closer to home, several countries in Central America are open, as well as Peru, Colombia, Chile and Brazil.
Whenever and wherever you’re planning to go, consult with your travel advisor on COVID-19 entry requirements, travel insurance and potential quarantines in your destination. If you’re waiting until your favorite destination is back open, we’re thrilled to help you get some plans in place now. With flexible cancelation and airline change policies, there are fewer and fewer penalties for changing your plans these days.
Do you like picturesque lake resort towns? Do you want to explore the Veneto region with a Venetian? If so, this trip is a perfect fit for you as Daniele (from Mirano, outside of Venice) and I will be hosting this Italy trip June 2022.
We will cruise around Lake Como, explore enchanting villages along the way with a lunch stop in Bellagio, indulge in wine tastings in the Franciacorta and Valpolicella wine regions, stay in a Palladian villa in the medieval castle town of Sirmione overlooking Lake Garda, visit Juliet’s balcony in Verona, watch a glass blowing demonstration by our family friend in Murano, island hop to the colorful village of Burano, “get lost” in the fairytale dream state of Venice and enjoy a private dinner with a Chef and gorgeous view of the island.
Click here to see the itinerary:
We already have a few spots filled (16 people MAX). Contact Stefany with any questions at: email@example.com and or firstname.lastname@example.org.
With passion and adventure,
Daniele and Stefany
“It sounds so simple I just got to go,” James Taylor sang of Mexico. He was spot-on at any time, but particularly now when it’s one of the few places Americans can travel without taking a COVID-19 test first or quarantining on arrival. That’s not to say safety isn’t a priority, as enhanced airport protocols have masks, sanitizer and social distancing ubiquitous. Visitors do fill out a health questionnaire on arrival and temperatures are taken. It’s that Mexico is just a quick flight away for most of us, and our neighbor to the south has been a favorite destination for decades.
There are so many layers to Mexico, you can go time and again and never have the same journey twice. Even the familiar areas are always adapting with the times, with new resorts that blend in with natural surroundings and emphasize quality, service and wellness. Though entry is simple, hotels and resorts are at reduced capacity and have safeguards everywhere. Fortunately, there are so many Virtuoso-preferred accommodations in Mexico that you can travel throughout the country in style and safety.
Cancun/Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos tend to see the most visitors and are probably the areas you’re most familiar with. What you may not realize is the sheer variety of the resorts there means there’s a lot more to them than the cookie-cutter all-inclusives swarmed by college-aged spring breakers you might imagine.
Just minutes away from the Cancun airport is NIZUC Resort & Spa on grounds that once served as a getaway for Mexico’s president. Given the tranquility you’ll find there, you’d scarcely believe how close you are to the busy hotel zone. Down the coast, resorts such as Chable Maroma, which offers a Mayan rebirth ceremony, and Rosewood Mayakoba, which preserves the mangrove ecosystem around the resort, deliver authenticity as well as a great beach. Overwater bungalows along the Riviera Maya can satisfy your desire for the lagoon experience without venturing all the way to the South Pacifc. Just inland in the Yucatan, Merida is a base for exploring a land of cenotes and Mayan ruins.
Just outside Puerto Vallarta, resorts such as Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, Four Seasons Punta Mita and One&Only Mandarina are oases of exclusivity with secluded settings, culinary delights and endless activities for families and couples. There are resorts aplenty in Los Cabos at the end of Baja California. Given the area’s geography, there aren’t swimmable beaches aplenty. One of the few can be found at One&Only Palmilla, where every room has a view of the dazzling Sea of Cortez.
From Costalegre to Zihuatanejo, Mexico’s Pacific coast is dotted with secluded coves and pristine beaches. All along that stretch, you’ll find Virtuoso-preferred boutique hotels and resorts to put your feet up and take a load off. Be it the 16-suite Las Alamandas spread out over 1,500 acres of tropical paradise, the Cuixmala private estate on 32,000 acres of biosphere reserve or the romantic retreat of 59-room Cala del Mar, you’ll be far away from cares and crowds. The 56-room Thompson Zihuatanejo is close enough to town for day exploration before you retire to your private beachfront oasis. No wonder Red and Andy were so eager to get down there after they left Shawshank.
We love the beach as much as anyone. We’d be remiss to leave out the wonderful cultural experiences in Mexico’s colonial interior, however. Mexico City is one of the culinary capitals of the world, and three Virtuoso-preferred hotels there put you in the heart of the restaurant scene and the posh neighborhoods of Roma, Condesa and Polanco. The magnificent ruins of Tenochtitlan are just outside the city, and the centro contains the city’s well-preserved Spanish architecture.
Puebla’s entire downtown is an open-air UNESCO World Heritage site, as is Oaxaca, which preserves key components of pre-Spanish cultures, passed down today in artisan villages where time-honored traditions produce handmade textiles from natural materials. San Miguel de Allende, another World Heritage site, is about as close to heaven as you can get on Earth and an artist’s dream. The service and accommodations at Rosewood San Miguel de Allende and Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada keep that heavenly feeling instilled all through the night.
If you want to eat, drink and be merry in 2020, there may be no better place than colonial Mexico. Just like James Taylor, you might forget to go home.