KAA News Roundup

Fogo Island Inn starts the roundup today with a big congratulations on turning two this month!  We are so proud to represent this Newfoundland gem off the beaten path.  Hurry to visit this June for Iceberg season! Click here for a beautiful slideshow from Luxpresso, and their article entitled, “Wanderlust: Fogo Island Inn—A Globetrotter’s Best Kept Secret.”

From one master of experiential travel to another, the award winning Micato Safaris was reviewed by USA Today Travel, stating, “Micato is the most detail-oriented travel company I’ve encountered.”

In Kenya there lies a ranch that is striving to help save the black Rhino as well as taking the lead to fight wildlife crimes.  Ol Jogi is a special place, and is listed by Men’s Journal, “Best African Safaris.” The luxe private Ol Jogi Ranch is available for just one group at a time.

Over to Asia where the recently opened Reverie Saigon has received two thorough reviews by The LA Times and The Australian. The Reverie Saigon can also be found on Singapore Tatler’s list of Three Best New Hotels in Asia.

Down to Cambodia where the private island resort of Song Saa is a ‘holiday with a heart’ according to Destinations of the World. Town & Country Magazine UK included the resort in their A List, and they are #1 on this list of the “8 Sexiest Island Getaways for Couples.” Learn more about Song Saa’s sustainable practices from co-founder Rory Hunter in this interview from Aspire.

Down to Bangkok where a recent visit by a detailed travel agent resulted in this blog. The Siam is also mentioned in this wonderful “Guide to 72 hours in Bangkok’s Old Town.”

One last island escape in Asia is the overwater villa enclave of Gili Lankanfushi, reviewed by Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

In the Bahamas, Musha Cay was featured in Town & Country, “7 Legendary Private Homes That You Can Rent For Your Wedding.”

Down to the South Pacific where new client The Brando in Tahiti is coined “The Godfather of all islands” by Conde Nast Traveller and The Telegraph writers a nice article here.

Continuing south, Queenstown New Zealand’s Matakauri Lodge “strikes a pitch-perfect balance between a comfortable lodge and a stylish showstopper,” from Indagare.  Amanda Jones article in The LA Times, “In New Zealand, taking the time for timeless natural beauty” is worth a read as is Becca Hensley’s journey of wine tasting on New Zealand’s South Island.

Mukul in Nicaragua is hot right now and has received a ton of press this month including this great piece from Australian Financial Review on Mukul “bringing luxury to Nicaragua.” The Holiday Place states that Mukul is the missing piece of Nicaragua’s tourism puzzle in their article here, and “Travel Like a Rockstar: Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa” is a great read by Wander and Lash.

Down to Uruguay’s Jose Ignacio, where Conde Nast Traveler asks, “Bahia Vik: The Coolest New Hotel in Uruguay?” Gwen Books review sister property Estancia Vik writing, “A delightful combination of urban chic interiors & rustic outdoor adventure.” Down in Chile’s Millahue Valley, Vina Vik is the newest addition to Vik Retreats. The property’s winery is an architectural marvel, as described in the LA Times article, “Winery by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic channels nature’s raw power.”

Wellness travel is always on our minds, and it is something that be enjoyed alone or with friends.  Check out this article from SpaFinder, “Why You Should Consider Going Solo When Planning Your Next Wellness Vacation,” featuring VeraVia and The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu.

Happy Birthday to The Armani Hotel Dubai, celebrating 5 years! A nice award was received this month as well – Leading Hotel in the UAE’ – from the World Travel Awards. Congratulations and may the great success continue.

Expo 2015 Milan Special Package with Armani

Catch this unique occasion to live an unforgettable lifestyle experience in the purest Armani style. Whether you will be in Milan for business or leisure, the Armani Hotel Milano will welcome you in a world of sophisticated beauty and comfort. Our Lifestyle Managers and attentive personnel will guarantee a home-away-from-home experience, ensuring you get the most out of your stay. Discover our Treatments at the Armani/SPA, featuring a different seasonal fruit each month, our gourmet Menus at the Armani/Ristorante, dedicated events at the Armani/Bamboo Bar, and all other exclusive services offered.

 Armani Hotel Milano_Exterior 2

Celebrate with us Expo 2015 Opening Ceremony: Giorgio Armani, named Special Ambassador for the occasion, will lead the opening event. After all…who better than him? For EXPO Milan 2015, Stay with Armani!


The package includes:

• Accommodation starting from Armani Deluxe Room with American breakfast at the Armani/Ristorante
• One aperitivo at the Armani/Lounge, per person per stay
• One Fruit Fantasy Treatment at the Armani/SPA, -50 minutes- per person/per stay
• One entry ticket to Expo Milan 2015 per person
• Welcome amenity upon arrival
• Complimentary room upgrade to the superior room category subject to availability
• Complimentary late check-out upon availability

Our Lifestyle Managers will be happy to help you buying additional tickets to Expo Milan 2015 or booking complementary services.

Starting from Euro €709.00 per stay, VAT included, city tax excluded.

For information and reservations, please contact: reservations.milan@armanihotels.com


Armani Hotel Milano_Armani Ristorante
Terms & Conditions:

• Upon request and availability
• Rates do not include Milan’s City Tax of € 5,00 per day per person (adults of 18 years or above)
• Based on single/double occupancy. For additional guests a supplement may apply
•Conditions for stays longer than 1 night are to be confirmed with the Best Available Rate
• You may cancel or modify your reservation for no charge until 16.00 hours local time a day prior to your arrival date. In the unfortunate event of non-arrival, cancellation after the time or an early departure, a fee of one night of your room charge plus tax and service charge would apply. Any additional services that were confirmed and guaranteed by your credit card will also be charged in case of cancellation, no show or if not utilized
• The package will be available from April 30th to November 1st 2015 (not valid on September 4th to 6th and September 23rd to 29th)
• Additional restrictions may apply





Twin Farms Spring Food + Wine Series

Head to Vermont this spring to join Twin Farms in welcoming different guest chefs and vintners for wine tastings, culinary seminars, delicious tasting menus and much more!

May 29-31st: Joe Schafer, Executive Chef from The Lodge at Glendorn

June 26-28th: Matthew Delisle, Chef de Cuisine of L’Espalier and Robert Haas, founder of Vineyard Brands Importers and owner of Tablas Creek Vineyards.

Contact: info@twinfarms.com


A Perfect Indian Summer Journey

Enjoy a unique journey through India, combining some time in Delhi, a 7 night journey to Ladakh and a Yoga & Ayurvedic break at Ananda in The Himalayas to complete your holiday. The 12 night itinerary begins in Delhi with a stay at The Lodhi Hotel - an art filled contemporary boutique hotel with private plunge pools en suite – which is the perfect base from which to discover the sights and sounds of this fascinating city. Our expert guides will transform the Delhi experience and focus on personal interests, sightseeing, shopping or cuisine related.

Lodhi Image-3After 2 nights in Delhi, fly one hour north to Ladakh for 7 nights with Shakti Himalaya for an off the beaten track village experience, into the heart of Ladakhi culture. Stay privately in beautifully refurbished, authentic and comfortable village houses and spend the days exploring lesser-visited monasteries & villages, journeying on foot, raft, motor vehicle or bicycle. Unforgettable picnics in beautiful locations and dining in cozy Ladakhi kitchens or, weather permitting, under the stars at night. The Shakti journeys are always private enabling every journey to be tailored to each individual – perfect for single travelers, families with children as young as 8 years or couples.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAComplete this Himalayan journey at Ananda Spa with 3 days of Yoga, Ayurvedic massage and relaxation. Banyan Tours has brought together The Lodhi, Shakti Ladakh and the Ananda to create this iconic Indian summer journey.

Contact Banyan Tours for more details on the itinerary, availability & prices – info@banyantours.com


Yoga, Ayurveda, Meditation & More in Bangkok at The Siam

Energize your mind, body and spirit at The Siam with a new range of programs tailored to guests specific needs by their new in-house, internationally renowned wellness trainer, Dr. Adrish Brahmadatta. Offering a refreshingly tranquil Bangkok setting, The Siam provides the perfect environment for a unique health and well being center focusing on Yoga, Ayurveda, Meditation and Reiki classes. With sessions available for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, classes will leave you with a renewed sense of spiritual health, help to improve your natural fitness, and impart new skills to continue your wellness journey at home.


Classes include Asana & Pranayama (to understand the postures of Hatha Yoga and the importance of breathing), Surya Namaskar (a morning ritual to energise your body), Asthanga Vinyasa (for advanced students looking for additional strength, stamina and flexibility), among many others.


Choose from four classes offering Yoga Nidra, Antar Mauna, Kyasthairayam and Trataka meditation to aid relaxation, prepare, purify and calm your mind, enhancing memory and concentration.


Dr Adrish is available for individual consultations, beginning with diagnosis to determine the appropriate Ayurvedic treatments required, including medicine, Panchakarma (detox), diet and lifestyle changes.


Enjoy the healing power of expert touch therapy to help reduce stress, bring balance and increase wellbeing.


With multiple degrees in Yoga and Ayurvedic medicine, Dr Adrish is a globally renowned wellness expert. In addition to being a Reiki practitioner and meditation teacher, he is also a qualified trainer for Yogic cooking, Marma massage and Mantra Chanting & Kirtans. Dr Adrish has conducted workshops, retreats and training courses across the world.


All programs are available for individuals, groups or wellness teachers wishing to attain a higher level of experience. To make a booking, please contact Opium Spa via spa@thesiamhotel.comor calling +66 (0) 2206-6999. More information>>







The Siam Information

Gili Lankanfushi’s Eight Nights of Wonder Special

Surrounded by beautiful sea, sky and space to breathe, you won’t want to leave the wondrous aquatic paradise of Gili Lankanfushi. So don’t, because a wonderfully calming journey of 8 nights with savings of up to 39% on Villa Rates. To complete the wonderful journey, guests receive a 45 minute treatment in the overwater Meera Spa. Valid November 1 – December 18, 2015, savings of 39% on Villa Rates, valid for stays of minimum 8 nights only. Also included:

  •  Sunset cocktail party (every Tuesdays)
  • Regular Yoga sessions
  • Steam and sauna at Meera Spa
  • Bottled Water during stay, still or sparkling
  • Non-motorized water sports activities
  • Wireless Internet access

More Information

Gili Lankanfushi Resort Maldives

Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Special

Book the Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Package at Ananda in the Himalayas by September 30th for seven nights or more and receive two additional nights complimentary. This is a personalized program that includes stimulating and purifying therapies, daily Yoga and Meditation and Dosha-specific Ayurvedic diet to help reduce stress, improve health and address common ailments or simply delay the aging process.

Contact rachna@anandaspa.com

Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Information



Kristin Duvall’s Elephant Encounter with Micato

10410951_10205585642629197_2120845496915080150_nKristin’s recent trip to Africa with Micato Safaris included a once in a lifetime treat for Kristin, Sales Consultant for Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates.

“Walking into The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, I could feel my heart beating with excitement. A dream I have had for many, many years was about to come true thanks to Micato Safaris. I entered the main gate and was greeted by the manager of the Trust who began his presentation of this amazing sanctuary that was created to foster orphaned elephants. Founded in 1977, the Trust has successfully raised over 150 infant elephants and reintegrated them back into the wild. Without their heroic efforts these young animals would have not survived.

My first question – where are they? There wasn’t one elephant anywhere! After a few minutes I was directed to a pathway that leads out to the state park in Nairobi and within seconds I saw movement at the far end of the path. Approaching were 33 of the most incredible animals ranging in age from one month to three years. All I could do was giggle. Once the “babies” were returned to their pens, I was invited to walk around to see each one. About half way through my journey I was standing in front of a pen marked “Mashariki”. As Mashariki was enjoying her afternoon snack of leaves and branches in her pen I called out her name. This beautiful two-year old elephant turned and walked toward me.

MasharikiAt first she seemed a bit shy, but I felt she could sense my happiness in being near her and that I meant her no harm. My happiness soon turned into one of the most joyful moments of my life when her trunk came through the bars of her pen and began to tap me on the head, shoulders and arm – she was getting to know me! This gesture empowered me to feel welcome, so I put my hands through the bars and began to rub her beautiful head. She obviously enjoyed the interaction because soon thereafter she was extending her ears to me, then her side, and soon our foreheads were pressed together. Have you ever seen an elephant smile? I have and it was magical because I knew that smile was for me. I wanted to stay in that spot forever, but sadly visiting hours were soon over and I had to leave. With one last rub of her forehead, I turned and walked out to head back to my hotel. Though the time spent at the Trust may be over, it will forever live in my heart and I anxiously wait for the opportunity to return.”


Experience China Differently with WildChina

China is a nation of people and their stories. Of joy and struggle, tradition and innovation. Of mighty rivers, vast wilderness, and sprawling mega cities. It’s a tale 5,000 years in the making, and we’re just getting to the most exciting chapter.  WildChina punches through the tourist bubble to get to the real stories.

11169542_10155563328975088_2359205679146121493_oVisit a Xian that was the gateway to the legendary Silk Road – the network of trade routes that opened up the exchange of goods and ideas between Asia and Europe, including the Roman Empire and China’s Han Dynasty at the close of the first century B.C. There are many legends about how the Silk Road began and most of these involve a princess who, in visiting the King of Khotan, smuggled silk worms in her hair and let loose the secret of this fine flax that had, until the 3rd century B.C., been China’s alone.

301600_10150787903010088_1226340976_nChina has many secrets and those who visit China can come to know them, one by one, story by story, place by place and taste by taste through the golden yarns spun by WildChina. WildChina founder Mei Zhang knows the importance of telling these legends and putting visitors into the stories to bring these histories to life. With WildChina she has allowed her imagination and passions to reign with a concept she introduced that was relatively novel when she launched WildChina in 2000: experiential tours of China.

313180_10150787902275088_285443757_nThe Harvard graduate with an MBA saw a lacuna in the tour product in China. Most tours revolved around cookie cutter visitor points: see the Great Wall, visit the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven; See the Terra Cotta Warriors and end it with a visit to Yu Garden in Shanghai.

11218586_10155563329900088_1059103574029157041_oMei launched WildChina and started giving visitors a different experience of China – not the China one sees from behind glass panes at a museum, but the China one feels when living the culture.

China for Adventurers

The timing for WildChina could not have been better. Americans were experiencing a new wealth – one that came from smart companies and a new zeal for innovation. Americans in their 30s and 40s were visiting China in large numbers but not interested in on-the-bus-off-the-bus numbing itineraries. Rather they were seeking out smaller, customized tours and WildChina satisfied the search. Instead of large-group packaged tours that, Mei told Fast Company, “overwhelm the destination rather than letting the traveler be overwhelmed by the destination,” her boutique agency takes small groups on highly customized adventures with knowledgeable guides. WildChina was listed in the top 25 in Fast Company’s ledger of the most innovative companies for 2014.

310895_10150787902940088_2056548_nWildChina allows travelers to retrace the trade routes on the Ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Road from Yunnan to Tibet, or hike through bamboo forests with experts to get close to giant panda habitats. It offers visitors to China a chance to taste exotic local food and sensations on a gastronomic tour of Yunnan. It allows private travel groups to trek through the meadows of Tibet and live among the nomads and monks or visit remote outposts to encounter villages frozen in time. Guests visit Hakka homes, disappearing hutongs, even Jewish quarters in Kaifeng, Tianjin and Harbin, and Shanghai where thousands of refugees during WW2 were saved.

316375_10150787902365088_1070702951_nThese life-changing experiences, Mei told Fast Company, are for independent-minded adventurers be they private individuals, small groups or even families. And these journeys may not be for everyone. Although WildChina does offer some classic itineraries that take in China’s important and infamous icons, the tours go well beyond the tourist circuit and offer depth in every encounter. Guests will dine in fine, imperial-style restaurants and they will sample notorious holes in the wall as well. City tours will seek out unusual art and architecture that tell the stories of change and evolution in Beijing and Shanghai. Sipping tea in a teahouse will bring to life the history of tea, the stories behind the varieties and the reasons tea is so treasured in China. Visitors looking for the stuffed bus load tour following guides with green or yellow flags will want to look elsewhere.

11187248_10155563330880088_7247482377270777060_oThe U.S. is China’s third largest source for international visitors, just behind Japan and South Korea. Some 1.6 million Americans are expected to visit China this year. The country and its wonders is among the top countries, along with France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Japan for American tourists to visit in 2016, according to forecasts sited in the New York Times.

11140107_10155563330670088_2984884479203105193_nWhen Not to Visit China

But knowing when to go – and when not to visit China – can make a big difference on how the trip goes. During certain times of the year travel in China can be hectic with trains, planes and roads crowded with Chinese nationals traveling far to get home to families. Travel is difficult, hotels and restaurants are crowded and prices are usually quite high. These times include Oct. 1-7, Golden Week. This week can run from September 29 – October 10, depending on adjacent weekends.

11164225_10155563329105088_269947867515967203_nMay 1–3 (April 28-May 5), the Labor Day Holiday, is the second busiest holiday to avoid in China. Throngs push into the areas around the Forbidden City in Beijing and crowded domestic and international flights are often costlier during this time.

January 23 to March 2 – the two weeks before and three weeks after the Chinese New Year — is simply transport chaos. Many of the tourist attractions will be quieter at this time but trying to get from one place to another via rail, bus or flight will be extremely difficult. China is on the move and the rush lasts 40 days. However, for the first five days of the New Year (February 8-12 in 2016), China is quiet as residents are at home with family. Transport is available and cheap and there are celebrations everywhere that offer fascinating glimpses into traditional Chinese culture.

11013097_10155563331580088_5006080179916891189_nThose heading to Tibet in February or March, the month or so following Losar, Tibetan New Year, may want to make sure that Tibet is open to foreign travelers at that time. It is forecast that Tibet may be closed to foreign tourism from February 8 to March 31 next year.

WildChina, however, celebrates an open Tibet in the summer months with hiking and horseback camping and “glamping” in the Gansu region of Tibet in meadows carpeted by wild flowers.


China Destination Specialist
1920 N St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (888) 902-8808
Website: www.wildchina.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

We are excited to report many new hotel openings this spring and summer. The Reverie Saigon in Vietnam is now open and receiving lavish praise from The LA Times article, “A look inside Ho Chi Minh City’s Lavish Reverie Saigon Hotel” and from CNN’s list of 11 hotels openings we can’t wait to check into.

London lovers can now make reservations at the renovated luxe Lanesborough Hotel in Hyde Park for stays starting July 1. Read more on Hotel Chatter.

Six Senses first resort in Europe, Six Senses Douro Valley in Portugal is readying to open.  Read about the UNESCO heritage site in it’s backyard and the resort itself in The New York Times.

Baccarat Hotel recently opened in midtown Manhattan and we are proud to have them in our UK portfolio. Read about the flagship opening for the brand in Forbes, in Conde Nast Traveler and in Business Insider.

Several of our properties made the Condé Nast Traveler Hot List, which is a list of 60 hot new hotels opening this year. Pikaia Lodge in the Galapagos was honored in the “Family Friendly” category. Two Vik Retreats made the list. Bahia Vik in Uruguay for the “Design Stars” category and Viña Vik in Chile for the “Good Food” category. Another Design Star was The Norman in Tel Aviv, and The Brando in French Polynesia was included for the “Remote and Wild” category. Congratulations!

More great accolades for Viña Vik this month.  Food & Wine Magazine recounts a glorious weekend on property, and Truffle Pig writes, “…imagine a vineyard that looks like it belongs in Norway.”

Viña Vik sister property Estancia Vik in Uruguay is written up in The Daily Mail’s article, “Why supermodels and Hollywood stars are flocking to a fishing village in Uruguay.” Departures Mag writes about things to do in Jose Ignacio, including a visit to Estancia Vik and restaurant La Susana.

Another new opening, Condado Vanderbilt in San Juan Puerto Rico, is highlighted in an article here from The Globe & Mail. And a New York Times article, “The Many Faces of Puerto Rico” is an informative read on this next new hotspot for travel.

Over to the Galapagos, where LA Times writer Amanda Jones writes on Pikaia Lodge and more in her article, “Galápagos Islands see an evolution in luxury with Pikaia Lodge.”

In Nicaragua, Mukul’s “Aura Architect” was featured on Yahoo Travel’s article, “Over the Top Hotel Amenities.” Find good advice from travel agents Cari Gray & Phyllis Stoller on selling South & Central America in Travel Agent Magazine. Another industry article from 4Hoteliers on why travelers are flocking to Nicaragua for authentic cultural interactions, biodiversity, and excellent luxe value.  Harper’s Bazaar included Mukul in their roundup of “The New Places to Honeymoon in 2015.”

Iceland was also featured as a new honeymoon spot, and our new client Nordic Luxury specializes in customized trips to the land of fire and ice.

Another new client this month, The Brando in French Polynesia, is thrilled to be nominated in Virtuoso’s 2015 Best of the Best Awards.  Great press on the new island in the LA Times article, “Marlon Brando’s island paradise in Tetiaroa, French Polynesia.” The Australian agrees in their article here, “The Brando hotel is your island haven in French Polynesia.”

Another favorite eco and luxe private experience can be found at Song Saa in Cambodia. Song Saa makes the list for “10 Secret Spots Where the Stars Go Off the Grid” from Pop Sugar. The Telegraph writes a wonderful piece singing Song Saa’s praises, writing “… what makes Song Saa stand out is its conscience.” Jane Mundy from The Vancouver Sun explores Cambodia and reports on her stay at Song Saa here, and a photographer’s wedding portfolio beautifully captures the spirit of a wedding at Song Saa.

Over in Bangkok, read the Wall Street Journal’s Q & A with globetrotting DJ David Guetta.  He names The Siam as his favorite hotel in the world. More exciting news from The Siam as they are now offering a new wellness lineup including Yoga, Ayurveda, Meditation and Reiki classes.

Looking for somewhere remote?  Read about Fogo Island Inn on Forbes, “Where to Get Lost: The World’s Most Remote Luxury Lodges.” Fogo Island Inn was also named as a top spot for a beach wedding by The Venue Report, and was shortlisted for the Azure Magazine Awards for Design Excellence. The Inn was also featured in The Independent’s roundup, “Luxury trekking lodges: From Australia’s Red Centre to the Himalayas.”

Need the perfect family vacation? Look no further than The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, recently nominated for 2015 Fly-Fishing Lodge of the Year by Orvis. It is the perfect place to find your inner cowboy, as detailed in this article by Luxury Travel Magazine. Don’t miss their annual “Cowgirl Up for the Cure,” benefiting the Susan G. Komen foundation, is in September.

The Norman in Tel Aviv is thrilled about an article in The Jewish News, “The Norman is Tel Aviv’s future of hotels.”

The Armani Hotel Dubai embodies beauty, elegance and grace in every aspect of its unique design. Congratulations to 5 years in the world’s tallest building.

Micato Safaris Coffee Connoisseur’s Safari named one of National Geographic Travel’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime” for 2015.

La Corte dei Papi is an idyllic Tuscan hideaway perfect for weddings.  The Venue Report agrees in their review here.

Our wellness portfolio inspires healthy living and each of our worldwide locales can provide a life changing experience. Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico was recently featured in Vogue Magazine’s article on “5 Body Holidays to Jump-Start Your Spring Fitness Routine,” and also in Town & Country’s “7 Detox Destinations You Need To Visit.” Read this insightful blog post on a real Mother Daughter Wellness Retreat to Rancho La Puerta.

Down to Bali, where Fivelements was featured in Life & Soul Magazine. If you are in Bali staying elsewhere, Fivelements welcomes you for their exclusive day experiences and special dinner events.

Learn more about Thailand’s pioneering destination spa, Chiva-Som, in The Bangkok Post’s Q & A with Chairman Khun Krip Rojanastien about the resort’s philosophy and 20 years of success.