Not every trip can — or has to — be an epic round-the-world jaunt. Sometimes you just need a quick getaway to get out of the house and recharge the batteries. Maybe it’s an action-packed weekend in the city, or maybe it’s curling up in front of a fire and staring out the window in the height of hygge. These hotels have what you’re looking for, and thanks to our affiliation with Virtuoso, you’ll get complimentary perks to make your stay even cozier.
Just a short drive from our Waterbury headquarters, Winvian Farm and Mayflower Inn & Spa provide quiet New England charm. Set on 113 acres, Winvian Farm offers cottages set against a backdrop of woods and lakes to lull you into relaxation. You might not want to leave the room, but the lure of five-diamond dining is too powerful to resist. Mayflower Inn’s grounds take up 58 acres of woodland and gardens. The idyllic Litchfield Fields and soothing spa treatments will melt your cares away.
Not to be outdone, Twin Farms occupies more than 300 acres of forest, meadows and ponds. Feel free to explore on your own or take a guided tour. In any season, there’s no end to the activities. Winter is particularly good for skiing — cross-country or downhill — and sledding. The sister property to Winvian Farm, Pitcher Inn s a boutique property just minutes from some of the best ski slopes in the Northeast. Each room is beautifully and dutifully appointed to fit its unique theme.
Rhode Island’s Ocean House in Watch Hill is famed for its beach, and rightfully so, as the wide stretch of sand is a fixture of many happy memories. When winter’s chill sets in, it’s a great place to sit by the fire and watch the waves roll in. Cape Elizabeth, Maine’s, Cliff House has a more rugged setting, as the Atlantic crashes against the rocks surrounding the resort. The great outdoors are at your fingertips, whether you’re kayaking, snowshoeing or lobstering.
Canyon Ranch is practically synonymous with wellness, and its Lenox resort lives up to the reputation. Energizing activities combine with healthful cuisine and spa treatments to transform your body and mind. Programs can be as intense or laid-back as you like. Just a couple miles down the road, Blantyre covers 110 acres of lush Berkshires greenery with a lavish Tudor-style mansion anchoring the estate. The mansion shines in all seasons, decorated for festivities to mark the big occasions throughout the year.
The Boston Harbor Hotel’s 60-foot stone archway welcomes guests to the mix of history and modernity that symbolizes New England’s largest city. Use it as a jumping off point for the Freedom Trail, a night at the Pops or taking in sporting event. At Hudson Yards, New York’s newest landmark, is Equinox Hotel, New York’s newest luxury lodging. Take in all the sights and sounds the city has on display before retreating to your home away from home on the New West Side.
Perhaps August in the desert might not be your cup of tea, although there are few things more refreshing than jumping into a (climate controlled) pool when the mercury hits 110 degrees. But Southern California’s Coachella Valley is only that hot in the summer. All year long, it’s an oasis, not just of green at the foot of mountains, but of arts and culture.
Palm Springs has been a haven for Hollywood stars since the ’30s, and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, founded in 1999, comes to Indio in the spring. Outside summertime, when temperatures drop and cold weather sets in, the desert sees average highs in the 70s and 80s half the year.
In addition to being ringed by mountains with the Salton Sea to the south, the Coachella Valley is also the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park at the confluence of the Mojave and Colorado deserts. Aside from the boundless hiking opportunities, Joshua Tree is a perfect place to gaze at the night sky thanks to its elevation and dark sky conditions.
The area is dotted with canyons offering adventure to the rock climbers in the family, with The Living Desert in Palm Desert providing family fun with a zoo and botanical garden. El Paseo shopping center and the Palm Springs Art Museum are a respite when things do get too hot. With March comes the BNP Paribas Open, a pro tennis tournament in Indian Wells. Any time of year, a Jeep tour or hot air balloon ride taking in the whole valley show off the area’s stark beauty.
Arts, food and wine festivals come to the valley throughout the year, with the Desert Circuit Horse Show taking place January through March at the Polo Grounds. About the only thing missing is the carrot festival Bugs Bunny came looking for in a 1953 cartoon. No matter your interests or the time of year, the Coachella Valley remains an oasis in the desert. Even if all you want to do is jump in the pool on a hot day.
Where you should stay:
La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
The Original Desert Hideaway, La Quinta Resort & Club—a member of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts—has been a haven to Hollywood stars since 1926. Set on 45 acres of vibrant gardens, the resort features hacienda-style casitas, suites and villas clustered around 41 pools. Together with PGA WEST, the resort offers five unique golf courses designed by legends Nicklaus, Dye and Norman. Also available: Spa La Quinta, 23 tennis courts, seven restaurants and seasonal, live outdoor music. A multimillion-dollar restoration has furnished the resort with a modern look in line with the property’s history and serene desert surroundings.
Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa
Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa offers unrivaled hospitality in the Palm Springs area. This award-winning resort boasts 530 newly renovated guest rooms, including 26 luxury Penthouse Suites and 43 extravagant villas with the area’s only personalized butler service. It is a premier golf and tennis destination, home to two PGA championship courses and world-class tennis facilities. Agua Serena, the 30,000-square-foot spa, is annually recognized as one of the nation’s best. Other highlights include seven outdoor pools, one of which is adults-only; private, poolside cabanas; and four tantalizing dining venues.
The Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage
The Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage offers a desert-chic ambience that embraces its beautiful natural setting. You’ll especially find this in your accommodations’ décor, which reflects the desert surroundings with locally sourced stone and wood. Admire the views from your private balcony or patio. Club Level rooms offer a private, well-stocked lounge with a dedicated concierge. The Ritz Kids program keeps children and teens occupied so you can indulge in the spa’s indoor-outdoor Spirit of the Mountains renewal treatment. Close proximity to Palm Springs brings golfers within range of more than 100 fine courses.
Taking the whole family on a beach vacation this summer? Want an apartment in the big city for a long weekend? Why, you’ll need to book an Airbnb rental for that, right? Sure, if you want to run the risk of being secretly filmed by your host, as a woman in China discovered this month. Or if you’re OK with the possibility that your host might cancel your booking at the last minute for no reason or because of your race, as occurred with a Big Bear, Calif., rental. Or if you don’t mind that the place you’re renting might not have the proper insurance, safety measures or even be legally available for short-term rentals.
Or, you could utilize the vast resources of the Virtuoso network and stay at a place that has been properly vetted, offers services such as housekeeping and lets you enjoy your experience instead of worrying about what’s actually waiting for you when you arrive and potentially dealing with issues that turn your vacation into a big hassle.
Virtuoso-preferred partners offer a vast array of accommodations around the world. In addition to many Virtuoso-preferred hotels having private villas and apartments, there are several companies who specialize in just this sort of thing.
Villas of Distinction features properties all throughout the Caribbean, in several European countries, Hawaii, Colorado, Florida and so much more. You can filter the number of bedrooms you need, the type of experience and level of service you’re looking for, and special features such as beachfront or fully staffed until you’ve found the villa that is perfect for you and your crew.
Abercrombie & Kent doesn’t just do great tours, from magnificently crafted group and family journeys to completely customized private itineraries, the company also has alpine chalets and luxury villas from Andalucia to Umbria at the best addresses in Europe. So after you return from a day of breathtaking touring with your driver and guide, you can sit down to a gourmet meal prepared by a private chef. Sure beats rummaging through the fridge at an Airbnb.
It’s never too early to think about next ski season. You might need help finding a place that checks off all the items on your wish list. Ski-in/ski-out, hot tub, whatever the request, Alpine Adventures has the rental for you, from Vail to Verbier, Crested Butte to Courchevel and just about anywhere else skis and snowboards tear lines.
There are so many more choices, from the villa collections of Virtuoso-preferred wholesalers Travel Impressions and Classic Vacations to the beautiful villas along Lake Como available through the all-everything Italy specialists at IC Bellagio. Luxury retreats has 4,500 in 100 highly sought-after locations. Now aren’t you glad you don’t have to worry about an Airbnb host dropping by without
notice during your romantic dinner?
South Africa is the perfect blend of wild and sophisticated. A few days in Cape Town and the Cape Winelands reveal a magnificent culture, while a safari shows off the spectacular wildlife you expect on a trip to Africa.
Stefany got to see the beauty firsthand on a recent study tour with African Travel. The journey began in Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands with a night at the boutique Le Quartier Francais. The hotel has the feel of a bed and breakfast with stunning mountain views from the pool area. Among the other properties in the Leeu Collection, Leeu Estates has magnificent views of vineyards and mountains, really providing a wow factor, while the 12-room Leeu House has a charming homey ambiance.
Each property is conveniently located near the wineries at La Bourgogne Farm and Haute Cabriere. The charming La Bourgogne offers tastings at a picnic out back with pleasant views, while the larger Haute Cabriere has grand views and allows guests down into the wine cellar for some hands-on learning.
About an hour from the Winelands, Cape Grace Hotel across from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a revelation. Views from the rooms are either of the harbor or Table Mountain. Each floor has different decor while maintaining an overall nautical theme. Tastings with a whisky expert can be arranged, and the wonderful Pinotage served is South Africa’s signature red wine. Virtuoso guests can have their own lockers to store wine or liquor. The service is excellent, and it’s possible to reserve a BMW car service with advance planning. Michael, the Cape Town guide, even managed to get them to the top of Table Mountain despite inclement weather that threatened to shut down the cable cars.
A day exploring the Cape Peninsula is a must, but be sure to dress in layers so you can enjoy the seaside views in comfort. A stop at Boulders Bay gave a preview of the amazing wildlife South Africa boasts, as a colony of African penguins calls the beach home. There are now 3,000 of the penguins thanks to a conservation effort that started with a single pair of breeding birds in 1982. Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa on the peninsula offers panoramic views.
From the Cape, the group headed out on safari. The first stops were Lion Sands River Lodge and Kapama Karula in the country’s northeast. They also saw the Tree House at Lion Sands, a great escape for honeymooners, and the upscale Lions Sands Ivory Lodge. Morne, the safari guide at Lion Sands River Lodge, was fabulous. His passion for the animals and sharing them with guests was on full display. He really got into the game drives, cutting his way through trees to make sure the group saw lions. He has a deep knowledge of the wildlife and their habits, helping to maximize the game-viewing experience. They even came across a leopard that got up close to Stefany’s feet! Every day was a new adventure!
Kapama Karula was breathtaking. The service, the food, and the decor all had a wow factor that made the stay so memorable. The guide here, Elmero, was just as passionate and knowledgeable as Morne. He made sure to explain the animals’ behaviors, which added a great deal to the game drives. They even pursued a leopard through the bush at night! All in all, it was a wonderful experience, and one DMC Travel Tailor is happy to specially arrange with valued clients.
Click here to watch the highlights of Stefany’s South Africa adventure:
Is Africa on your Bucket List? If so, reach out to Stefany at firstname.lastname@example.org to start planning your African adventure.
One of the great pleasures of travel is leaving your diet at home and sampling the culinary delights your destination is famous for. Paella in Valencia, new Nordic in Copenhagen, street food everywhere: What you eat is a big part of the experience. A few of our Virtuoso partners have put together some fabulous journeys that will ensure your trip is excellent to the last bite.
At the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Sicily has absorbed a lot of different cultures into its culinary history. Influences from Greeks, Spaniards, Normans and Arabs blend to form a rich cuisine. Sailing June 26, 2019, Ponant is offering a nine-day Sicilian Food & Wine Experience highlighting the arancini of Agrigento, Palermo’s revered street food and the pasta, sardines and eggplant of the islands east. The volcanic soil around Mt. Etna produces spectacular wines to wash it all down.
Bespoke Journeys by Sportstour takes you into the mystical heart of Chiloe Island, whose culture is based on a unique mythology of witchcraft, ghost ships and forest spirits. The culinary tradition features curanto stew, which is made from meat, seafood and potatoes cooked in a hole in the ground. You’ll eat in the home of a local family which has been preparing the dish for generations and sample fresh oysters in between following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin in Chiloe National Park and marveling at the 16 island churches that have UNESCO World Heritage status.
Treetops Lodge & Estate showcases local produce including herbs traditionally used in Maori cooking. Karengo (sea vegetable) makes an appearance in plenty of seafood dishes on the menu, while a rub made from the leaves of the kawakawa tree is used to spice meat. Led by a local expert, guests can head out into the forest in search of such ingredients at their source, learning about the nutritional and medicinal properties that played a large role in the traditional Maori diet.
Beyond Times Square wants visitors to get to know the Big Apple through its food scene. Get a taste of the different cultures that have made New York home with Norwegian smoked salmon, Sicilian cannoli and much more on the Eating Your Way Through Manhattan tour, or just focus on Italian food with The Real Little Italy tour along Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Throw in artisanal chocolate and a perfect slice of pizza on the Brooklyn Biking & Food Adventure, and you can stuff your face in three boroughs.
As part of Belmond’s worldwide Art of Gastronomy program, the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel aims to educate visitors about the dangers of food waste while showing them just how good the food we often throw away can be. In a five-course chef’s table menu, Rudi Liebenberg showcases items such as beef tendons, trout collar and other overlooked products to demonstrate how to make the most of what the earth yields. The “fashionably rejected” parts of fruits, vegetables, meats and fish become the stars of the show.
Traveling, going on vacation, work trips, or anything where you are experiencing a new environment is exciting. The excitement and fun can easily be ruined by the stress and confusion of planning a trip. Using a travel agency can be a better route but finding one that would take all of your personal, individualized needs into consideration can be harder than you would think. DMC Travel Tailor plans customized trips for you and takes away the hassle that comes with organizing a trip. Their main goal is to expand your world, rejuvenate you, and make you feel alive. They want to set fire to your soul with memories from your travel experiences.
Stefany Di Manno Ceccato and Daniele Ceccato are the founders of DMC Travel Tailor and the creative minds that work with you to plan your dream trip. Your initial contact with Stefany is over the phone (unless you meet in person) where she asks you questions to help her understand exactly what you are wanting from your travel experience so she knows the best way to serve you. She then takes the information given to work on an itinerary customized for you.
DMC Travel Tailor works with several different companies to ensure you get the best experience and the perks that come along with it. These companies include:
- Largay Travel
- Tzell Travel Group
Working with Virtuoso, which is the leading luxury network in the world, allows DMC Travel Tailor to give their clients exclusive benefits and excursions that they cannot find on their own. They contribute five percent of their profit to a charity, Camp Happy Days, which is an organization that helps kids with cancer in hopes of making the world a better place. DMC Travel Tailor wants to turn your dreams into memories one trip at a time. Where would you like to go next?