Five Top Resorts to Takeover for Special Occasions

Enjoy the wedding, special occasion or multi-generational gathering of your dreams at one of these five properties. They are pros at creating special memories, where all you have to do is sit back and enjoy quality time with friends and family.

Musha Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas

To be included among a small club of notables that have gone before you, a buyout of magical Musha Cay will put your group among such names at Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin and even Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. They have all taken over Musha Cay for their weddings and special celebrations.

The private island resort in the Bahamas’ out island chain of the Exumas brings 150 acres, plus some eleven other deserted isles to explore. Guests reside among five exquisitely decorated private beach guesthouses and meander amid stunning effects and spectacular illusions found throughout the resort.

Groups can be as small as desired or as large as 24 to enjoy this rare event. And while every detail will be wowing – from banquets on the beach to movies by the waves, to treasure hunts and treasure dives and explorations in sea and sand, there is much more.

Guests enjoy a the three-mile sandbar that Copperfield calls Heaven on Earth – which makes for a perfect wedding venue. For resort takeovers, any number of creative twists and turns can be customized to fit the passions the guests: including private fireworks shows, contests, fitness programs, ocean explorations and dining experiences.

Musha Cay can be reached by flying into Exuma International Airport. From there guests are transported to the resort island by private air or boat charter.

Contact:

Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay
Exumas, Bahamas
mushacay@kurtzahlers.com
www.mushacay.com

 

Sweet Bocas, Bocas del Toro, Panama

This Panamanian luxury experience offers a little glamping and a lot of pampering within an exquisitely designed overwater manse located in the Bocas del Toro natural reserve in Panama.

Sweet Bocas is 20,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom villa makes a perfect venue for parties, family get-togethers, celebrations, and vacations with friends in takeovers that bring plenty of extras.

The villa on the water wraps guests in Panamanian teak, all connected to a 15-acre island compound accessed by a 430-foot dock. Each room is a suite with a king bed covered in handcrafted linens, and offers a private lounging space over the water with a day bed or hammock. Two luxury tents provide a special glamping-under-the-stars experience and a decked-out pontoon floats along the waters for sublime yoga sessions and candlelight cocktails at night.

Days are spent lounging in the sweet remoteness, where guests can swim and snorkel right off the villa’s expansive deck. While guests can swim, snorkel and float on oversized water mattresses just off the deck of the villa, a world of water and land adventures await off-site.  These include boating, fishing, scuba diving and outstanding surfing.  Sweet Bocas has partnered with famous surfing pro Terry Simms to offer special surfing packages to the villa.

Sweet Bocas is the only luxury property in the beautiful, 97-square mile Bocas del Toro Archipelago in the Caribbean waters of northwest Panama.  Reached exclusively by boat, just ten minutes from a local airport that feeds flights to and from Panama City. All prices include an award-winning Panamanian chef to prepare three meals a day from the area’s freshest, locally sourced ingredients plus snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, complimentary activities and transfers from different airports to the property.

Contact:

Sweet Bocas
Bocas del Toro, Panama
(516) 554-1415
info@sweetbocaspanama.com
www.sweetbocaspanama.com

 

Villa Manzu, Costa Rica

Guests who want to live like an A-List celebrity can have their moment in the sun at Villa Manzu, an eight-bedroom mansion on the edge of the Papagayo peninsula of Costa Rica near its northern Pacific border.

The villa combines the intimacy of a private estate with the hospitality of a five-star hotel that can be shared with up to 22 BFFs and relatives. That’s because Costa Rica’s Peninsula Papagayo is home to the Four Seasons Resort, the Papagayo Marina, a Golf & Tennis Clubhouse, an 18-hole Arnold Palmer-designed golf course and the Andaz Hotel by Hyatt. Adding to the convenience, the Peninsula Papagayo is only 40 minutes from the Liberia, Costa Rica International Airport (LIR).

Villa Manzu can only be booked as a buyout, given the layout of the accommodations. The all-inclusive stay means a dedicated chef and staff to look after guests – even at full capacity the staff-to-guest ration remains nearly one to one. The palatial bedroom suites sprawl amid the private lounge decks, game and entertainment rooms, onsite spa, living, dining and public spaces of this 30,000 square foot manse. Find a heated infinity swimming pool and splash pool, gym, yoga platform and then a private beach just steps away from the living quarters.

Everything is customized for each group of guests, usually as part of the nightly all-inclusive arrangement. That means luxury vehicles with private drivers are at the ready to take guests into nearby national parks or to legendary nearby zip line attractions, or great surfing beaches. Golf at the Arnold Palmer-designed course gets close to perfection with 14 holes against ocean backdrops.

There is something for everyone inside of a Villa Manzu buyout and dedicated staff and resources to make whatever anyone wants happen.

Contact:

Villa Manzu
Peninsula Papagayo
Costa Rica
(+011 949) 200 8086
reserve@villamanzu.com
www.VillaManzu.com

 

Magee Homestead, Saratoga, Wyoming

The Lodge at Brush Creek offers acres of run of the range fun, especially for those who enjoy the outdoors and the smell of gourmet vittles over an open fire. As a luxury-focused working ranch, guests get the adventures of riding, hiking and fishing along with the soft touches of pampering, yoga, plush accommodations and fine wining and dining.

So, what does that mean for resort buyouts? As a lodge within a ranch resort, the Magee Homestead offers all the benefits of being on the ranch with the privacy required for a celebration or meeting of the minds. Lodge Rooms, Cabin Suites, Cabin Residences and the Magee Homestead can accommodate a maximum of 150 guests. All facilities come furnished with western artwork and furnishings, premium 400 thread count linens, Egyptian cotton towels, plush robes, Brush Creek Ranch Signature Toiletries, and coffee stations. As a separate complex, the Homestead is a part of the Lodge at Brush Creek, but is located five miles from the lodge with dedicated service staff, activities and amenities.

That means never having to wait for a horse or a scheduled horse-focused activity. There is a separate stable and corral is onsite. That convenience also goes for the private swimming pool and spa available just for Homestead guests. Magee Homestead guests can arrange custom-crafted classes, such as yoga, meditation, fitness and art geared for solos and small groups. A dedicated cowboy concierge is on hand to arrange all activities, no matter how spontaneous or planned, and a staff manages all the extras, including packing and unpacking for guests.

Contact:

The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch
Saratoga, WY
(307) 327-5284
guestservices@brushcreekranch.com
www.mageehomestead.com

 

Mukan Resort, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Mukan Resort, a precious beachfront getaway located in a remote jungle preserve some 45 minutes from Tulum by boat in on Mexico’s southern Caribbean coast is just the thing for small intimate groups. The resort boasts casual luxury amid nine spacious accommodations: the main house, beach view and jungle view cottages, exclusive beachfront bungalows, and the premium garden villa.

Located on the Sian Ka’an biosphere coastline, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, the resort values sustainability but without forsaking luxury and adventure. Powered by solar and wind and supplied by subterranean freshwater cisterns and local fruits of the earth and sea, Mukan offers the best of all worlds, especially for groups that value privacy and want to play where only the trees, vines and sea life can hear them.

Fine dining with wine pairing, plus an array of watersports and innovative cocktail combos happen at the group’s pleasure, complemented by imported cigars and spa treatments that incorporate local herbs and traditions.

Two pools are at the ready for quick dips (guests of the Nojol premier bungalow have their own pool). Staff is available for forays into the biosphere, and can point out the best cenotes for magical soaks and dives. Ground and boat transportation from Cancun Airport can be arranged and is approximately 2.5 hours.
Contact:
Sian Ka’an Biosphere
Quintana Roo, Mexico
(+011-5) 2-998-800-914
info@mukan.com
www.mukan.com

 

Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

Sign up up for our Wellness Travel Updates and our monthy newsletter for the latest exclusive offers and news from around the globe, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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Mongolia, Bhutan: Adventurous Places for the Nomadic Heart

Mongolia … Bhutan … Tibet … Siberia – these are not places wandering souls usually go without some expertise clearing the way. Nomadic Expeditions is more often than not the expert source that makes such far flung journeys possible. After all, how much fun could it be to wander under the endless skies of the Gobi Desert alone?

The wild steppes of Mongolia, the magnificent cliff monasteries of Bhutan, the top of the world meditation retreats of Tibet and even the untamed frontiers of Siberia are best managed with a few knowing friends and guides. Nomadic Expeditions offers itineraries to these hard to reach spots and makes them comfortable, fun, bragworthy and adventurous.

In Mongolia, travelers stay in the decked-out luxury yurts of Three Camel Lodge. They can join a small group of aspiring photographers with tours lead by award-winning travel photographer Alison Wright. They can join the legendary Golden Eagle Festival held each autumn in the western province of Bayan-Ölgii, or head out on a horse trek across through the beautiful Khoridal Saridag Mountains to Lake Hovsgol, the alpine lake known as Mongolia’s “dark blue pearl”.  They can grab a two-humped camel and cross the haunting Gobi, finding hidden mountain springs, isolated forests of saxaul bushes, and canyons hiding ibex and prehistoric rock paintings along the way.

Into Bhutan

Bhutan can be equally as glorious and as remote as Mongolia. The landlocked mountain kingdom, located in the Eastern Himalayas, is bordered by Tibet in the north, Sikkim and Assam on its other frontiers. Now a Buddhist state lead by a constitutional monarchy, the land only opened to tourism in 1974 and as recently as 1999 welcomed television broadcasts from the West and the Internet. What travelers will find there is a land of peace and natural beauty packed into an area the size of Switzerland and with a population of less than 800,000.

Snow-capped peaks and deep valleys have kept invaders at bay. Bhutan has escaped colonization throughout its history. Such isolation has helped preserve the endangered snow leopard and the golden langur monkey, both still roaming free in the mountain forests. Nomadic Expeditions brings those fortunate enough to reach this sparsely-visited country through timeless villages and picturesque valleys, visiting fortress monasteries along high mountain passes, rare museums and awe-inspiring dzongs, and citadels featuring beautifully painted wooden architecture.

A 12-day departure timed to coincide with the Jambay Lhakhang Festival, one of Bhutan’s most colorful Buddhist celebrations held each October, celebrates the birthday of Guru Rimpoch, who is acknowledged as the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. The days are marked by the brilliance of teschu masks and sword dances. Nomadic Expeditions also wraps Bhutan into greater itineraries that include Tibet and Nepal.

Similarly, Siberia may not be a viable destination for novice travelers or adventure-seeking tourists unaccustomed to traveling off the grid, but it is a magnificent take-in for travelers willing to go the distance to a still undiscovered place with plenty of history. Nomadic Expeditions adds Siberia to a greater exploration of the Gobi as Siberia sits along Mongolia’s northern border of Russia.

Mongolia and Siberia harbor some of the world’s most incredible national parks and natural wonders, including Siberia’s magnificent Lake Baikal. It remains the deepest lake in the world and is home a rare species of freshwater seal, all at the heart of one of Russia’s most scenic regions. The visit includes an exploration of Irkutsk, considered the “Paris of Siberia,” as well as travel on the iconic Trans-Siberia Railway.

At the helm of Nomadic Expeditions is Jalsa Urubshurow, founder and CEO, an environmental conservation warrior whose parents left their ancestral homeland during Russia’s Stalin years. The land’s language and lore were not lost on Jalsa, and once Mongolia transitioned to a democracy his dream of visiting his father’s homeland became a reality. Jalsa was tabbed by the nation’s first prime minister to advise on opening up the country to westerners and creating a sustainable vision for tourism. Nomadic Expeditions was born and continues to lead the way with small group tours into some of the world’s most hidden places of treasure.

Among those treasures are the famed Gandan Monastery and a chance to meet Hamba Lama, the highest Buddhist lama as well as sightings of such animals as the Przewalski’s horse, the world’s last wild equine species that resides in Hustain Nuruu National Park, and lammergeiers or bearded vultures, which call the foothills of the Altai Mountains home.

Why Go to Mongolia?

·         Look to the land: It does not get more open than this: Mongolia is one of the most sparsely populated nations in the world, with only 4.3 people per square mile.

·         Look up: Mongolia is known as the “Land of Blue Sky” because it has 260 days of sun a year.

·         Look around: Mongolia counts 13 times more horses than humans. And when it comes to sheep? 35 to 1.

·         Look outside: Mongolia is home to one of the world’s last surviving nomadic people, and they still live in traditional tents known as gers or yurts. These often spacious and circular mobile shelters are protected with animal skins or felt to keep the warmth.

·         Look beyond: Mongolia is perhaps best known for its steppes. These are endless expanses of grasslands that go on forever with nary a tree.

·         Look for comfort: Dressing warm (or in layers that can be discarded in the heat of summer), wearing protection from the sun and wind – these caveats go without saying. But if woolen clothing is on your list for things to buy, Gobi cashmere is soft, warm, plentiful in the capital, relatively inexepensive and prized as a worthy souvenir.

As for dining, although Nomadic Expeditions offers gourmet meals under the sun and stars at Three Camel Lodge, the adventurous palette will seek out local flavors in the mostly sheep-focused delicacies presented in the villages.

Mongolia’s villagers live on sheep’s milk, sheep’s cheese, and mutton, especially a dish called buuz consisting of fried mutton and buttery dumplings. Camels, yaks, goats, and horses also figure into the Gobi diet, which is reliant on proteins and starchy carbs to sustain through winter’s wrath. Hearty mutton stews like tsuivan, or noodle dishes bring in some of the taste influence from neighboring China. Vegetables, especially fresh vegetables, are a delicacy when not traveling with an outfitted tour operator.

Travel to Mongolia or Bhutan and the remote lands that tuck into the foothills of Himalayas are at your fingertips through trusted travel companies like Nomadic Expeditions. Whether travelers are taking their chances and going it alone through the steppes and mountains, or prefer to travel with like-minded spirits in small groups that make these lonely lands a little less so, Nomadic Expeditions should be the first call to make and will offer the right advice to take.

Contact:

Nomadic Expeditions, Inc.
1095 Cranbury-South River Rd. Suite 20A
Monroe Twp., NJ 08831
(609) 860-9008; (800) 998-6634
info@nomadicexpeditions.com
www.nomadicexpeditions.com

Three Camel Lodge
Mt. Bulagtai Bulgan County
Umno-Gobi Province, Mongolia
(011) 976-11-325786
USA Toll-free: (800) 998-6634
info@threecamellodge.com
www.threecamellodge.com

 

Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

Sign up up for our Wellness Travel Updates and our monthy newsletter for the latest exclusive offers and news from around the globe, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.

www.kurtzahlers.com

By Royal Appointment – A fashionable tour of Mayfair

With a Royal Wedding planned for May and the last episode of ‘The Crown’ leaving all aficionados eagerly awaiting the new series, stay at The Beaumont this spring and enjoy a closer glimpse into this perennially intriguing world with a high-fashion tour of Mayfair. Join former fashion director of Tatler magazine, Hannah Teare, and learn all about the Royal Warrantholders and where the royals make their purchases.

Included within this rate at no extra charge:

An overnight stay for two people
A three-hour private tour of Mayfair for 2 people with ‘Insider’ Hannah Teare, coordinated by SideStory, the London-based provider of highly curated and cultural experiences
Full English breakfast for two in The Colony Grill Room
Your stay at The Beaumont also includes:
Fresh organic coffee, teas, soft drinks, still & sparkling water, & snacks from the private in-room bar
High Speed Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
In-room movies
Local & national landline calls
Use of the hotel’s vintage Daimler for local trips (subject to availability)
Use of the Spa and 24-hour Gymnasium throughout your stay.
Priority booking at The Colony Grill Room
Bill signing facility at any of the Corbin & King restaurants in London during stay
Exclusive treats from some of Mayfair’s independently owned British companies, including Private White V.C., The New Craftsmen, Gladstone LDN, Paul Smith, D. R Harris & Co Ltd

Available May 1-31 from £690 Per night per room, including taxes. The rate may be combined with further nights at the hotel.

More information and booking >>

KAA News Roundup

March is a wonderful time to visit India, and this article from Coveteur details “How a Luxury Travel Expert Does a Trip to India.”  Read up on the beautiful and secluded Sujan Jawai Leopard Camp, Rajasthan in Citizen Femme.  Ananda is one of the great destination spas of the world, yet a week spent padding around this temple to wellness in the Himalayan foothills showed me it’s so much more. Read more from The Times here.

Maldives overwater hideaway Gili Lankanfushi was voted best in the Maldives from Trip Advisor readers, #1 in the region and Top 5 in the world.

Fiji is a fabulous destination this time of year, and Six Senses Fiji is set to open April 14th.  Here is a first look from DestinAsian Mag.

Six Senses Fiji and a bevy of beach resorts are mentioned in this article from Martha Stewart Weddings, “50 Best Beach Honeymoons” including The Brando, Mukul, Vik Retreats, and Six Senses Zil Pasyon.

Jetsetter Mag included Mukul’s Ultimate Romance Package in their roundup of 11 Valentine’s Day Hotel Packages We’re Totally Booking This Year.

Learn about Chable Resort outside Merida, Mexico in this wonderful Forbes Article.  More on Chable in Home Front Magazine, Modern Curiosity Meets Ancient Mysticism.

Over in Cabo another Mexican gem, The Resort at Pedregal, was named #2 Hotel in Mexico by US News. 

Down to South America, where Casa San Agustin in Cartagena was voted #1 in Colombia by TripAdvisor in the Travellers Choice Awards. Pikaia Lodge and Quito, Ecuador are HOT. Read up on 5 Hot Winter Escapes from Furthermore by Equinox.

Indagare’s list of the World’s Most Romantic Hotels includes many of our favorites: The Brando, Twin Farms and Vik Retreats. More evidence can be found for these special resorts in Travel + Leisure, where The Brando and Twin Farms in a tie for 1st in “The World’s Most Romantic Hotels.”

Twin Farms was also featured in Forbes, “The World’s Best Romantic Hotels And Resorts” along with Botswana gem, Zarafa Camp by Great Plains Conservation.

More than romance can be found at Twin Farms, featured in She Knows as an Active Winter Wellness Retreats to Make the Most of the Snow.

20 of the world’s most seductive places to stay  as featured in The Telegraph include The Brando, Finca Cortesin, and Song Saa.

The buzz for the opening of the much anticipated Silversands Grenada this fall is hot, read up in The Telegraph.

The Bahamian private island Musha Cay was featured in Bloomberg Pursuits: You’ll never top these over-the-top, extravagant expressions of love.

 

Hamak Hotels Seeing Green — and Gold — in Mexico and Beyond

Hamak Hotels continues to make a statement in some of the Mexico’s most pristine and historic locations with 11 hotel and resort properties … and counting. The latest footprint in the portfolio opens this summer with Chablé Maroma on the Riviera Maya.

Each property commits to preservation, both to the culture of place and the natural landscape in place, in a concept commonly referred to as “cultural greening.” But the gold behind the green is a partnership of brains and hospitality experience that accounts for some 60 years combined in bringing successful hotel development and management to Mexico. In 2009, luxury hotelier veterans and developers Alberto Remirez, Nicolas Dominguez and Federico Carstens, formerly of Prohotels Management and Hotel Ikal del Mar (currently known as Tides Riviera Maya), launched their dream in creating and operating eco-conscious hotels throughout Mexico. They saw that guests too often walk away from the homogenized hotel experiences they have feeling unfulfilled. There was a gap there that needed to be addressed and the trio set out to create resorts that offer individualized experiences appealing to guests’ senses of taste, smell, touch, sight and sound with immersions in local traditions and customs, but without sacrificing luxury and pampering.

 

Chablé Resort, Mérida

 

For the past couple of years, Hamak has been receiving wide spread kudos with the 2016 opening of Chablé Resort near Mérida in the Yucatán.

The resort sits in a Mayan forest barely 30 minutes’ drive from the historic and celebrated city. As a five-star spa retreat it spreads across 750 acres with 38 spacious stand-alone pool villas and two palatial 3-bedroom presidential manors, all surrounded by lush gardens and anchored by a lavish 19th century restored Hacienda.

Another centerpiece of the resort is its world-class spa within a natural cenote or magical underground pond, where the resort’s spiritual shaman conducts traditional ceremonies and discusses Mayan philosophies with guests. Drawing from this ancient wisdom, the spa offers a wide range of Mayan-inspired treatments.

Cuisine at Chablé focuses on seasonal and organic ingredients, often accompanied by flights of rare tequilas from the resort’s collection, believed to be the largest in the world.

 

Hotel Cartesiano, Puebla

Hotel Cartesiano opened in 2017 as a luxury property in the heart of historic Puebla – an easy 90-munite drive from Mexico City.  With 78 guest rooms and suites, the hotel spreads across a restored and enhanced 16th century colonial mansion presenting guest rooms and public spaces that bring out the traditions of art and authentic architecture in Mexico through natural woods and local stones.

Guestroom amenities include rain showers, double sink, security box, 55” Smart TV, Nespresso Coffeemaker and Ortigia designer bath products.

A rooftop pool and deck provide relaxation for guests taking a break from touring the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Puebla. Also find a spirited lobby bar and lounge, a robust library and a convenient business center. The spa at Cartesiano offers four tranquil cabins and an array of rejuvenating treatments using Naturopathic brand products.

Dining venues and views throughout the property take in Puebla’s churches and historic quarters.

 

Mukan Resort, Sian Ka’an

For many travelers, far away is just not far enough and for those travelers, there is Mukan. Located on Mexico’s southern Caribbean coast in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mukan is protected by tropical forests, mangrove lagoons and the beauty of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

The precious resort opened in December with just four stand-alone beachfront bungalows and five guest suites in the main villa, all comfortably luxurious and managed with the least amount of pressure on the environment. That includes, solar electricity, water harvested from subterranean springs, indigenous building materials, furnishings crafted by locals, and dining ingredients from local gardens. The Sian Ka’an biosphere is one of Mexico’s largest protected areas and provides for plenty of adventure and discovery.

While incredibly remote, Mukan can be accessed by car, boat and helicopter. It’s an easy 45-minute boat journey through mesmerizing mangrove forests from Tulum. The resort is located 100 miles from Cancun International Airport. The resort offers personal meet and transfer van services for an added fee that, with the boat ride to the dock, takes about 2.5 hours total.

Dining at Mukan is highly personalized. That means there are no menus: the chef carefully creates each dish according to guest preferences. These are often regionally-inspired dishes using locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients.

Days of exploration are given to kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment, bicycles and yoga mats. Excursions can be arranged through the concierge, whether to canoe through meandering mangroves, dive into magical cenotes, fly fishing in lagoons or wandering through the biosphere with its extraordinary flora and fauna.

 

Casa San Agustin, Cartagena, Columbia

Farther afield in the heart of historic, UNESCO-protected Old Town Cartagena in Columbia, Casa San Augustin carries the Hamak banner with 24 rooms and six suites built into adjacent 17th century mansions. The hotel is a veritable museum in its own right filled with local period antiques, original wood-beamed ceilings, and wall frescoes. Slices of a 300-year-old aqueduct run through the hotel’s core.

 

Each guestroom is distinctive and unique with views of the street or garden. Some of the rooms and suites enjoy shared gardens, or private plunge pools. All accommodations are furnished with Frette linens. iPads are presented to guest upon request. Wi-Fi is freely available throughout and bicycles are at the ready for guests to ride through the medieval streets surrounding and onto the beach areas.

Guests gather around an ambient garden pool in the courtyard, framed by the former aqueduct. Dining is managed at Alma, specializing in seafood and known for locally-sourced ceviche, an amazing bouillabaisses and local specialties with international gourmet twists. Steps away is the historic charm and artsy bustle of Old Town Cartagena, a significant colonial port of trade that had its halcyon days in the 17th century.  Casa San Augustin is a member of Leading Hotels of the World.

 

Chablé Maroma, Riviera Maya

Soon to open this summer is Chablé Maroma on the Riviera Maya on popular Maroma Beach on the Riviera Maya. As a member of Leading Hotels of the World, Maroma will not be short on luxury, service or amenities with some 70 Villas with private pools and moon showers, and palatial Presidential Villas with three bedrooms each. Expect a generous beachfront expanse, a beach deck for yoga, and a signature spa offering eight treatment cabins and a creative menu of services. Fitness classes, cooking classes and local explorations will add to the list.

Chablé Maroma is located 35 minutes from the Cancun International Airport.

Contact

Mukan: info@mukan.com

Chablé Maroma: sbeltran@hamakhotels.com

Chablé Resort: info@chableresort.com

Hotel Cartesiano: reservations@hotelcartesiano.com

Casa San Agustin: info@hotelcasasanagustin.com

 

Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

Sign up up for our Wellness Travel Updates and our monthy newsletter for the latest exclusive offers and news from around the globe, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.

www.kurtzahlers.com

Announcing Great Plains Zimbabwe

This May and July, Great Plains Conservation invites you on an exciting journey into two diverse areas of the incredible Zimbabwe. The exciting Mpala Jena Camp and Suite within Zambezi National Park opens July 1st and Great Mana Expeditions, a 6 Night semi-mobile operation in the Sapi Concession opens in the Zambezi Valley bordering the famous Mana Pools Reserve on May 1, 2018 and will run May – November each year.

Learn more >>

 

Luxury Resorts in Grenada: Find New Gold at Silversands

Luxury resorts in Grenada may be few and far between, but for this Caribbean island, that is about to change. The super luxurious Silversands resort will become Grenada’s latest and most luxurious resort with 40 decked out suites and nine stunning residences when phase one of the new development opens this summer on Grand Anse beach.

The tiny island nation nearing the south end of the island arc is perhaps best known for its medical school that trains many of America’s doctors, as well as its sizable export of nutmeg, known as “black gold” in these parts and giving Grenada the moniker of “the spice island.”

But now it will be able to add a few more notables to its list. As the latest of luxury resorts in Grenada, Silversands is a unique undertaking and one that caught the eye of Leading Hotels of the World. It is the first luxury resort in Grenada to become part of the collection. Similarly, Silversands is the first luxury resort to be built along Grenada’s famed Great Anse beach in more than a quarter century.

The beach offers two miles of white, sugar sand and is considered the island’s best beach – never crowded and full of island character. Finally, this luxury resort in Grenada brings the longest infinity pool in the Caribbean. At over 300 feet, the pool unfolds as an invitation to the warm, blue sea beyond, flanked by design-intensive lounge furnishings and whimsical day beds.

Silversands shows the deft talent of Paris-based architects AW2, that lists Six Senses Con Dao, Phum Baitang in Siem Reap, the Amanjena in Marrakech and the Patek Philippe store on London’s Bond Street, among its noteworthy projects. That means a cool and pared-down approach using plenty of pale marble, blond woods and greyish neutral tones to put patterns of light on stage at Silversands.

The Grenada luxury resort’s open-plan suites range in size from 580 to 1,647 square feet in one- to three-bedroom configurations each offering a view of the beach or the hillside. The resort brings two restaurants, a destination-style spa providing island-inspired treatments, a soothing hammam, and a state-of-the-art gym. A rum and cigar bar offers evening relaxation before the later hours when the resort’s private beach club comes to life with a resident DJ.


Luxury Resorts in Grenada: The Resident Address

Complementing the action at Grenada’s latest luxury resort are the nine residences available for purchase. Silversands offers five seaside villas and four hillside villas ranging from 13,500 to 26,500 square feet with a sales price starting at $5.7 million in a gorgeous setting outside the hurricane belt.

These options come stacked with three bedrooms, four baths, sizable outdoor terraces and two private pools that overlook the resort and the sea. The three-level villas cascade down the hillside like waterfalls, for which Grenada is famous. Each level brings its own master bedroom suite overlooking the entertainment-ready patio and sparkling main pool.

Buyers may go with the resort’s design packages and they can rent their villas through the resort’s rental program as desired. For guests who want to book something in between, they should consider the 2,066-square-foot penthouse that Silversands offers.


Luxury Resorts in Grenada: Lures for Bespoke Travelers

A recent Bloomberg report citing, a study released by Resonance Consultancy, states that after Europe, the Caribbean is the second-most popular getaway for the wealthiest of travelers. The study found that nearly half of those surveyed were considering a vacation to the Caribbean in the next one to two years.

Many guests who visit Grenada want to stay, and Silversands maintains that double citizenship status on Grenada has its perks. Purchasing a resident villa at Silversands clears the way for this second citizenship opportunity and visa-free access to 125 countries (including the UK, European Schengen countries, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Ireland among others); 90-day sojourns in every six months in Europe and the UK; zero tax levies on gifts, inheritances, foreign income or capital gains, and special government incentive packages on duties, imports, business dealings and manufacturing. Only 21 miles long by 12 miles wide, Grenada, a country of 110,000 souls and it is also one of the safest islands.

Among other attractions, it offers the wander worthy capital city of St. George, possibly one of the most picturesque of Caribbean towns.


Luxury Resorts in Grenada: Exploring the Island

Recommended is the climb to Fort Frederick at the top of Richmond Hill to experience preserved relics of the island’s colonial past and sweeping views of the island and island capital. Visitors can walk the waterfront promenade at Carenage and stop for some crab soufflé or Baracuda la Port — pan-fried barracuda fish wrapped in bacon, with a sauce mixed from crab and lobster meats.

With its compact size, most places in Grenada are reachable within an hour by car, although hiking beyond may be required. For instance, inspired explorers will discover more than 10 waterfalls hidden in the island’s amazing rainforests. A hike along trails around Grand Etang Lake is recommended for this. Seven Sisters Waterfall or Mount Qua Qua bring guaranteed encounters with Mona monkeys that reside in the area.

Or they can head to the depths instead. The Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park debuted in 2006 as a riveting and haunting floorscape of some 110 statues created by British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. At 30 feet below the surface of the sea, the art pieces were strategically positioned to enhance the recovery of damaged coral reef. Several speedboat operators offer half-day trips to the sculpture park for snorkeling and sightseeing.

Other worthy island undertakings include options to sample nutmeg and cocoa right off the tree at Belmont Estate, a working 17th century plantation with a well-recommended farm-to-table restaurant. Nearby is the River Antoine Rum Distillery, believed to be the oldest such rum distillery in the Caribbean and still using a process unchanged from centuries past powered by a wooden water wheel and leaving the extracted cane sugars alone to ferment in natural conditions for a week. The resultant spirits boast a 90% ABV.

And like most Caribbean islands, Grenada has its festivals, often colorful and amusing and well worth the timing of visits. One of these moments would be Spicemas, a carnival party that culminates on the second Monday and Tuesday of August. Putting this carnival into a class of its own is the Jab Jab Mas, in which revelers cover themselves in black paint, mud and oil take to the streets in giddy celebration.

Other festivals include the Pure Grenada Music Festival in the spring, highlighting Grenadine cuisine and culture along with local, regional and international artists as they perform on the seaside lawn of the Port Louis district.


Luxury Resorts in Grenada: Getting there

Grenada is served by JetBlue from JFK and also American Airlines from Miami, Delta from New York and Atlanta and Caribbean Airlines from New York, Miami, and Toronto. Flights land in Maurice Bishop International Airport (Airport Code: GND) just five miles north of the capital. Silversands is an easy 10-minute drive from the airport.

Contact:
Silversands, Grenada
(1 473) 444-3999
info@silversandsgrenada.com
www.silversandsgrenada.com

 

Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

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KAA News Roundup

Looking for travel inspiration for 2018?  Check out our bucket list blog of must see destination this year.

We are excited to announce a new client on Mexico’s Yucatan, perfect for retreats and takeovers. The new, secluded 9 suite Mukan, in The Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Tulum makes the list of “New Hotels to Check Out in 2018.”

Another Yucatan gem, Chable Resort was featured in Travel + Leisure on the list of the Best Luxury Hotels That Opened Around the World This Year.

Nicaragua’s Mukul was featured in Marin Magazine as a “sustainably luxurious oasis offers carefree exploration of the region’s lush rain forest and uncrowded surf,” and also in The New York Post, “Forget Costa Rica — here’s Central America’s new star.” CNN Travel featured Nicaragua and Mukul in their feature, Move over Costa Rica: Nicaragua is emerging as the new eco-travel darling of Central America.

Mukul along with The Maldives Gili Lankanfushi made the list of The World’s Best Bohemian Surfing Retreats in Hero and Leader.

Down to Panama, where pro surfer Terry Simms has discovered Sweet Bocas and has teamed up with them for surf retreats. Read his blog, “It Doesn’t Get Any Sweeter.”

Congrats to The Resort at Pedregal in Cabo for being named #3 on USA Today 10Best resorts in Cabo.

Vik Chile, Six Senses Douro Valley and Six Senses Bhutan among those highlighted by agent Cari Gray: Creating Amazing Adventures for Billionaires.

Read more about Six Senses and five outstanding Six Senses resorts in southeast Asia, including brand new locations in Bali and Cambodia from A Luxury Travel Blog.

Read about Almanac Barcelona Hotel, a new boutique hotel in a perfect location, in Driftwood Journals, “Personalised Grand Luxury in the City Centre.” Land Lopers agrees after his recent visit, “just steps away from Barcelona’s famous Passeig de Gràcia, I couldn’t imagine a better location than the one enjoyed by the Almanac.”

In India, “Peek Inside Rajmahal Palace, a Hotel and Family Home of Indian Royalty” from Travel + Leisure.  Sister property, luxury tented camp Sher Bagh is featured in Bristish GQ, “How to tour Rajasthan like a king.”

From Africa, wonderful news comes from Rhinos Without Borders along with Great Plains Conservation. Another special initivate to benefit wildlife includes the Mountain Biking for Lions 4-day trip. Check it out here.

For a dose of wellness check out Fodor’s Best of 2017 where Editors Reveal Their Favorite Travel Moments including Lake Austin Spa, also featured in Vacations Mag and Goop this month.

Best Resort for Romance in the Seychelles: Romancing the Stone at Six Senses Zil Pasyon

It’s not hard to find romance in exotic resorts hiding in the jungle cliffs, dazzling stone outcroppings and smooth white sand beaches that characterize the Seychelle Islands. The 115-island archipelago in the clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean are more Jurassic than modern and offer all the steamy scented breezes and other-worldy ambiance one could wish for in an exotic vacation in Paradise. And while romance is what visitors will find in a retreat to Six Senses Zil Pasyon on precious Félicité Island, whether on retreat, honeymoon, or fantasy vacation guests will get something else: the unexpected.

Some 300 miles off the coast of Kenya, the French first settled these islands in 1768, followed by the British, who coveted these islands as a modern-day Garden of Eden.

Today, most visitors will head to La Digue, Coco Island, Praslin and the islands’ cultural and economic capital of Mahé. However, one island, Félicité, is an island that guests can have nearly all to themselves with a stay at Six Senses Zil Pasyon.

Barely more than a square mile in area, Félicité is an easy helicopter journey from the international airport in Mahé and has been the target destination of royalty and celebrity, including model and actress Elizabeth Hurley,  who targets the Six Senses resort as a destination for privacy, unspeakable beauty, discovery, and sensual quiet.

They find the 30 of this top Seychelles resort’s one- and two-bedroom villas and several of the capacious residences to be the perfect place to find peace, find themselves, find each other. Six Senses Zil Pasyon villas start at 1,880 square feet for a one-bedroom configuration, each with an inviting terrace overlooking the ocean with a private dipping pool and daybeds. A deep soaking tub as the centerpiece of the bathroom’s floor-to -ceiling window frame on the ocean’s horizon, and the bathroom’s whimsical swing seat on that view, add to the romance of these resort accommodations.

Couples find the king four-poster bed wrapped in gentle gossamer netting to be particularly evocative. The bed overlooks the blue waters beneath a wooden vaulted ceiling and is surrounded by handsomely-designed, locally-sourced wood furnishings. The island offers three white sand beaches, plenty of private coves, a main pool by the beach, a saltwater pool in the spa and the private pools attached to each villa for sybaritic refreshment.

Upon arrival, a villa butler, actually a Guest Experience Maker or GEM, goes over activities that are possible to make the visit a lifetime memory. Snorkeling? Some of the best in the world can be enjoyed a quick boat ride away at Île Cocos, where guests can swim with whale sharks, turtles, barracudas, and parrotfish. Hiking? Bien sûr! Guests may explore the heart of the island with a guided hike by the island’s ecologist or the resort’s sustainability manager, or a private day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallee de Mai on the island of Praslin can be drawn. Guests can go bird watching in lands that time forgot. They can bike ride around the island of La Digue, learn about the ecology of the islands and see efforts to regain original fauna and flora lost through centuries of human habitation — even learn to speak Creole.

Top Spa in the Seychelles

Some of the best of the Seychelles, however, can be found at the resort, especially after a day of discovery in this remote archipelago. The Spa, is one of the best on these islands, if not all Africa. Measuring just under 20,000 square feet, it sprawls amid private treatment suites, giant boulders and hammans with five rooms that open to the ocean, perfect for couples. The quarters are connected by a rope bridge suspended along a boulder pathway toward the ocean waters below, harnessing the sounds from the breaking waves. Treatments are “journeys” that fuse the island themes of granite, earth, sea and nature and work on the body’s seven chakras and can be followed by a soak in the saltwater infinity pool over the ocean. Beauty treatments and yoga are also on the menu.


Dining Delights in the Seychelles

Any romantic resort in the Seychelles would also have to have a special touch with food and Six Senses Zil Pasyon handles that focus with a fresh-from-the-sea approach and several venues where meals can be enjoyed: sland Café, Ocean Kitchen (loved by pescatarians!), The Wine Vault, Lakanbiz Rum Bar, and the poolside Koko Bar. And those who want to linger in the private spaces of their own pool and terrace can enjoy room service and sipping from their own in-villa wine cellar stocked with international and local options. The resort maintains a policy of not charging an additional fee for in-villa dining orders.

Those seeking nightlife will find it in the capital city of Victoria, on the island of Mahé. But those seeking the night sky will be happy to enjoy the resort, where the equatorial sky has a show every night while it is possible to sip fine wine or brandy and simply listen to the breeze. The resort offers complimentary cinema under the stars as well, two nights a week, or private screenings on-demand for a fee.


A Guide to the Seychelles

Six Senses Zil Pasyon is located 30 nautical miles northeast of Mahé (location of Seychelles International Airport – SEZ) and is accessed by a scenic, 20-minute helicopter flight.

Alternatively, domestic flights from Mahé Airport to Praslin airport can be booked through Air Seychelles. From there, or La Digue, Félicité Island is only a short private boat trip away.

Flights to SEZ are abundant enough, especially with connecting flights from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Nairobi and South Asia on major commercial airliners. Air France, Austrian, British Airways and Turkish Airlines also fly there. Location is east of Kenya and north of Madagascar. U.S. passport holders need only proof of lodging, sufficient funds and return ticket to be given entry. Travel between islands is best facilitated by helicopters, although there is scheduled ferry service between the main islands of Mahé, La Digue, and Praslin (operated by Seychellesbookings.com).

A visit to Victoria on Mahé tells it all: the town presents beautifully preserved French and British colonial architecture along its thoroughfares, and restaurants reflect the islands’ more than 500 years of foreign imprints (Seychelles gained its independence in 1976) in restaurants that run French to British to Portuguese to Chinese to Indian to island. Victoria is the place for cultural take-ins, museums, shopping and nightlife. Otherwise, visitors come for the beaches. As the islands are so far asunder, many remain uninhabited and nearly untouched by humans.

But there is more than beach to the Seychelles and on Praslin, the Vallée de Mai Nature Preserve offers amazing jungle walks and the chance to experience nature that has remained isolated since the beginning of time. That includes sightings of the Seychelles black parrot, which can only be found here.

Visitors will need to pack sturdy shoes along with their hats and bathing gear. Six Senses Resort Zil Pasyon may be a top resort for romance in the Seychelles, but it is also the top resort for guests who want to fall in love with the Seychelle Islands.

Contact

Six Senses Resort Zil Pasyon
Félicité Island
P.O. Box 696, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles
Telephone: (855) 695-6693 (toll-free)
E-mail: reservations-zilpasyon@sixsenses.com
Website: www.sixsenses.com/resorts/zilpasyon/

Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.

Sign up up for our Wellness Travel Updates and our monthy newsletter for the latest exclusive offers and news from around the globe, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.

www.kurtzahlers.com