Après Ski: Our Top 5 Places to Ski in the States

For many, ski season is the best time of year! From hitting the slopes to enjoying spa treatments and lovely meals, ski resorts offer their own brand of paradise. We find it is always best to plan ski trips in advance, as the most desirable properties book up quickly and for good reason! Team Ourisman has put together a list of our top five ski destinations in the United States, complete with our favorite hotels in each location!

First up on the list is Aspen, Colorado. Aspen has long had a reputation for being one of the best destinations in the US for skiers and those who enjoy “see and be seen” environments. With incredible skiing, fine dining, galleries, and boutiques, Aspen has something for everyone. Our favorite property in Aspen is easily The Little Nell. This boutique property has long been a favorite of guests seeking modern amenities with old-school service. Ourisman Travel can offer clients great perks at The Little Nell, including free breakfast and potential upgrades.

If Aspen feels a little too posh for your taste, a great alternative is Vail, Colorado. While Vail only has one resort as opposed to Aspen’s 4, you will find that reflected in the price point of the accommodations in Vail. Vail offers a fair number of luxury properties throughout the ski resort town, but among these options, we tend to favor the Four Seasons Vail and Sonnenalp. Sonnenalp is a quaint boutique hotel that brings the feeling of European hospitality stateside. We love its location in the heart of Vail Village! The Four Seasons Vail offers a wider range of room types and our strong relationship with the property means our clients enjoy extra special service at the Four Seasons. We are able to offer free breakfast and other amenities like early check-in and late check-out at both properties.

In Utah, look no further than Park City, Utah for great skiing and lively Main Street with quaint shops and restaurants. Known for hosting the Winter Olympics, Park City is great for winter recreation junkies. We absolutely love the Montage Deer Valley. Located in the Deer Valley ski resort and on top of Empire Pass, the Montage Deer Valley’s location cannot be beaten. This property offers guests ski-in and ski-out access and complimentary ski storage, among other thoughtful touches. The Montage closes annually during the off-season to address any damage from the past season and ensure that guests always have the best experience. We are proud to offer our clients added benefits like potential upgrades, resort credits, and more at Montage Deer Valley.

If you are looking to be more removed from reality without sacrificing luxury Jackson Hole, Wyoming might be a good fit for you. The now-famous elk antler arch in the town square greets guests in this remote ski paradise. With three ski areas to choose from, there are plenty of runs to keep even the most avid skier or boarder busy. Of course, we love the Four Seasons Jackson Hole and our clients enjoy an array of perks when they book their stays with us, including daily breakfast and potential upgrades. However, if you are looking for something really special we have to recommend Amangani. Amangani offers guests the type of experience only an Aman property can, and with its own ski concierge and private ski lounge, it is hard to beat. We offer our clients daily breakfast, early check-in, and late check-out, and much more when we arrange their stays at Amangani!

Of course, we would be remiss if we were to leave Big Sky, Montana off the list. While in the past Big Sky has been lacking in true high-end accommodations that will all come to an end with the opening of Montage Big Sky. With the same ski-in ski-out model offered at the Montage Deer Valley, the Montage Big Sky promises to, at long last, bring luxury to this spectacular ski destination. Opening its doors in late 2021, we are thrilled to add this property to our list of amazing ski destinations and will be able to offer clients the same perks they can expect to find at other Montage properties, including daily breakfast, resort credits, and more!

To learn more about how Ourisman Travel can assist in planning your next ski vacation and our relationships with the properties featured, please reach out to the team via email at team@ourismantravel.com or fill out a Travel Request Form.

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Hotel Spotlight: The Little Nell

For those ski and snowboard enthusiasts who wait out the summer months craving crisp mountain air and the thrill of being the first to cut across freshly groomed slopes, Aspen is at the top of the list. Even for those who prefer the lodge to the mountains, Aspen is still the place to be. And the place to be in Aspen, in our opinion, is The Little Nell. The Little Nell sets itself apart with its proximity to the slopes, attentive service, fresh design, and affiliation with Relais & Chateaux. We just can’t get enough of this incredible boutique hotel!

Steps from the Silver Queen Gondola, The Little Nell offers guests easy access to the slopes – a huge draw for seasoned skiers & snowboarders, and snow bunnies alike. The access is also a huge plus for families; in fact, The Little Nell is the only five-star property in Aspen offering ski-in ski-out access, giving it a huge leg up over the other luxury options in town. With this in mind, The Little Nell often offers ski packages, allowing for guests to bundle their hotel stay with lift tickets and rentals. This additional ease makes The Little Nell incredibly attractive for those who want to arrive with everything already taken care of.

Though the outside of The Little Nell represents a ski lodge as we imagine them and blends well with the exterior aesthetic of Aspen, you won’t find cheesy mountain-themed decor on the inside. The design is decidedly contemporary; with sumptuous upholstery in rich jewel tones and soft inviting neutrals, modern artwork intentionally selected to compliment the color palettes of the spaces and sleek furnishings. The rooms were given a refresh in 2017 and feature crisp white linens, opulent bathrooms and offer guests plenty of space with the smallest room coming in at a generous 600 square feet. The main public spaces, the lobby and living room, were renovated in 2020 with the goal of “creating a sense of place; a hospitality experience that evokes as a sense of elevated Aspen living”. The updates resulted in more areas for socializing and a more intimate feel for guests.

As a part of the Relais & Chateaux portfolio, The Little Nell puts a strong emphasis on the food and dining experience of the guest. Two restaurants on-site offer guests a choice of either fine dining at Element 47 or a more casual feel at Ajax Tavern. The patio of Ajax Tavern is steps away from the gondola, perfect for hungry skiers looking to dig into a well-deserved wagyu burger and truffle fries. Element 47 offers the elevated experience Aspen regulars have come to expect, with attentive service and creative cuisine worthy of its many awards. And though the experience at Element 47 is high touch, there is no need to dress for dinner – “Aspen casual” is completely appropriate. Element 47 also offers private dinners with wine tastings for those looking for something extra special.

While Aspen certainly gets a lot of attention in the winter months, that is certainly not the only time to visit The Little Nell. Summers in Aspen offer a wide range of outdoor activities and the galleries and boutiques in town are sure to keep visitors busy. The Silver Queen Gondola becomes pet-friendly in the summer months and The Little Nell welcomes four-legged guests with the same love and attention given to bipedal patrons. Take the gondola up and hike the trails with a picnic packed by Nourish by The Little Nell, complete with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. If hiking doesn’t sound appealing, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in the town of Aspen during the summer months, from Thursday night concerts open to the public to the farmers’ market Saturday mornings. All year round, Aspen has a little something for everyone.

As a proud partner of Virtuoso and Relais & Chateaux, Ourisman Travel clients are able to take advantage of great perks like free breakfast for two daily, early check-in and late check-out, potential upgrades, and more! To learn more about our great relationship with The Little Nell and how we can elevate your next trip to Aspen, please reach out to the team via email at team@ourismantravel.com or submit a Travel Request Form.

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Hotel Openings in 2021: Team Ourisman’s Top 10

As we close out 2020, Team Ourisman is looking ahead to 2021 with positivity and excitement for what the year will hold. Luckily, we already know there are some great things on the horizon for 2021 in the luxury travel world with some fantastic and long-awaited hotel openings! Take a look at the top 10 properties we are most excited about opening their doors in 2021!

Three luxury properties are slated to open in 2021 on the Fari Islands, an archipelago consisting of 4 islands in the North Male Atoll of the Maldives. This collective will feature brand new properties from Capella, Ritz Carlton, and Patina. The Capella Maldives will feature 64 villas and mansions with private infinity pools, a high-end spa, and an Omakase bar to the delight of foodie guests. The Ritz Carlton Maldives will feature accommodations that blend the indoors with the outdoors, all coming with an attentive personal butler. The Patina Maldives will focus on health and wellness in paradise with an emphasis on sustainable luxury. The Fari Islands will also feature a communal area where guests can enjoy high-end boutiques, exclusive restaurants, and beach-front bars. The Fari Islands is destined to become a bucket list destination within a bucket list destination!

For those looking for an ultra-exclusive and private experience in 2021, look no further than Armonia San Miquel de Allende. This expansive 7 bedroom villa, opening Spring 2021, offers guests an exquisite escape tucked away in the expansive vineyards outside of San Miquel de Allende. This colonial-style villa features a simple yet elegant rustic design with all of the amenities a modern traveler requires. Two kitchens service the property with menus thoughtfully designed around the guests’ dietary needs and preferences. Guests can enjoy dedicated 24-hour butler service, in-room wine tastings, a private gym and yoga studio, and a gorgeous pool. Look no further for your most exclusive stay in 2021.

Set to open in the Spring of 2021, Aman New York is the minimalist luxury brand’s first urban oasis in the United States. This unique property is on the precipice of staging a coup in the New York luxury hotel scene and we can’t wait to check it out! On the corner of Fifth and 57th in the prestigious art deco Crown Building, the Aman New York is a five-star stunner. Featuring a 2,300 square meter spa with a 20-meter indoor swimming pool and divine treatments geared towards wellness, guests will be free to indulge in ultimate luxury. Stay tuned for updates on this one of a kind property!

After years of anticipation, the Four Seasons New Orleans is finally set to open its doors in mid-2021. After a 530 million renovation of New Orleans’ World Trade Center, the opening of the Four Seasons New Orleans brings an elevated sense of luxury to the Big Easy. By revitalizing the World Trade Center, the Four Seasons brand has fostered a sense of goodwill with the New Orleans community and the excitement surrounding the long-awaited opening is palpable. Adjacent to the French Quarter and the Garden District, this property gives guests unparalleled access to the city. The accommodations are incredibly stylish and guests can trust they will find the Four Seasons patented service at this new gem in the heart of New Orleans.

Opening in time for holiday ski trips in 2021, Montage Big Sky brings the high service standards of the Montage brand to Montana. Commanding 5,800 acres of Montana’s best slopes, guests ski enthusiasts will be able to ski in and ski out without sacrificing luxury. In fact, they will be able to indulge in more than just prime access to the slopes. A year-round outdoor paradise, guests can enjoy some of the best fly fishing in the world, hikes leading to expansive mountain vista views and so much more. Where modern amenities meet mountain design, the Montage Big Sky is high on our list in 2021!

Le Guanahani St Barth originally opened in 1986 and quickly became one of the most prestigious resorts on this ultra-exclusive island. Rosewood acquired the property in the summer of 2020 and has closed the property for a massive renovation. Slated to open in late 2021, the Rosewood Le Guanahani will feature 66 accommodations all meticulously designed to reflect the luxurious lifestyle of St Barth. Located on two gorgeous beaches and adjacent to a reef-protected lagoon, La Guanahani revitalized under the Rosewood umbrella will be in high demand!

Located in Israel’s remote Negev Desert, Six Senses Shaharut is expected to open in the spring of 2021. This desert oasis features a striking modern design that blends seamlessly into the expansive landscape. Expansive sunsets give way to star-filled skies, reminding guests of their place in our world. Designed as a spiritual escape with wellness top of mind, Six Senses Shaharut delivers a sense of peace & serenity. Offering an array of activities, the jewel of which is overnight camel camping, guests will find plenty of opportunities to disconnect and reinvigorate their spirituality.

Opening in Spring 2021, Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel features incredible views of the Gulf of Palermo. Sicily, one of the last Italian destinations to escape the throngs of crowds, offers visitors an incredible blend of unique architecture, history and cuisine. Thoughtfully designed rooms masterfully blend a contemporary motif with antique furniture and luxurious fabrics. With only 100 accommodations, guests are guaranteed personal service and privacy while they enjoy this painstakingly restored Italian villa resort.

Coming to the Dubai skyline in 2021, One & Only Za’abeel is a truly one of a kind property that has the luxury travel industry waiting with bated breath. The property features unique architecture worthy of Dubai and offers guests a decadent experience in downtown Dubai. Promising unparalleled service devoted to accommodating guests’ every need and rooms so luxurious even the most discerning luxury enthusiast will be more than impressed, One & Only Za’abeel is sure to become a bucket list property.

Located in the heart of Paris and expected to open its doors in mid-2021, Cheval Blanc Paris will feature 72 sumptuously designed rooms providing guests with an intimate experience in the most romantic city in the world. The property will feature Majordome Service for each room, ensuring the attentive and unobtrusive service that Cheval Blanc is known for. For those looking to indulge in decadent relaxation, the Dior Spa Cheval Blanc will deliver a sublime experience. This high-end boutique property is sure to become a favorite amongst those who truly appreciate luxury.

Ourisman Travel is delighted to offer our clients exclusive amenities at all of these incredible properties; ranging from daily breakfast for two, room upgrades, resort credits, and more. To learn more about these properties opening dates & when you can make a reservation, feel free to email the team at team@ourismantravel.com or submit a Travel Request Form.

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Pro-Tip Blog: Wanderlist, Travel Inspiration By Virtuoso

Virtuoso created Wanderlist to act as a place for avid luxury travelers to browse and collect the experiences that stood out to them in neatly compiled lists based on destinations that inspire them. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this tool has become a great source of travel inspiration while travelers wait for the world to reopen. With the ability to share what inspires you with friends and family, Wanderlist has enabled the connection that motivates travel to stay alive. Check out our take on the Wanderlist tool and how you can use it to catalog your travel inspiration for future travel and connect with your loved ones in the process!

First things first, to get started you will need to create a Wanderlist account. This account is separate from the Virtuoso account you may use to book hotel stays or browse amenities on offer through the network. Once you create a log in, you will be prompted with the question
“What do you want to experience”.

The choices range from culture, food & wine, wellness etc and you may select as many as you want. From there you will reach your profile page, which will list your interests and David Ourisman as your travel advisor. This will link your Wanderlist to Ourisman Travel and allow for you to share your inspiration with us!

At the top right of the Profile home screen, you will find a red button “+New List”. To get started, simply click on this button. You will then be taken to a page asking you “Which country would you like to visit”. The world is your oyster!

The map on this screen is interactive and you will be able to move over the globe as you weigh your options for your first wanderlist. Once you land on a destination, you can either leave the list title as the country you are visiting or name it after the special occasion or reason you are traveling.

Once you name your list, you will be directed to a page highlighting the experiences that you can arrange in partnership with Virtuoso and Ourisman Travel in the country you chose. These experiences will be tailored to the interests you previously selected when you set up your profile. This page also highlights the hotels within the Virtuoso network that you can book for your trip. Even cruise itineraries are featured on this page!

As you browse through the various experiences, hotels, and cruises that interest you, tap the heart to save them to your wanderlist for browsing. A great feature of Wanderlist is the ability to invite friends and family to view and add their own interests to lists. This is great when planning all kinds of trips, from honeymoons to family vacations to girls’ trips! This allows for quick and easy collaboration, ensuring that there is something for everyone.

Our favorite thing about Wanderlist is the ability to dream about travel using an interactive tool that can be shared with your friends and family. Connection will always be a motivator behind travel and getting to establish that connection when a trip is merely in the dream stages only makes it that more special when you do travel. The tool’s collaborative element lends itself to conversations about travel that goes beyond what hotel you will stay at or what flights make the most sense. Wanderlist facilitates deep conversations about what you will do when you get there, what has always been on your bucket lists and why and, perhaps most importantly, how much fun you will have when you get there.

To learn more about how Wanderlist works, how Team Ourisman has used Wanderlist for our own travel inspiration, or how we can help turn your Wanderlists into a reality please reach out to us at team@ourismantravel.com or submit a Travel Request Form.

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Hotel Spotlight: Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

Located only 5 miles from downtown Dallas, the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek sits on 5 lush acres, making it hard to believe you are so close to the bustle of Texas’ third-largest city. The property, which was once a private residence, is of a distinctly Italian design and features an understated mix of European and Asian antiques in the lobby. The décor gives guests the feel of entering the home of an eclectically elegant grand dame, one who wanted something to set her apart from her Turtle Creek neighbors.

A part of the Rosewood collection, guests can expect unobtrusive yet attentive service from well-trained staff. The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek went through a complete room redesign in 2020, giving the accommodations a fresh & elegant contemporary refresh. Neutral tones, dark woods, and shelves laden with books and tasteful decor give each room a homey feel. It is easy to see that the renovation was done with intention, as the room product does not depart from the façade of the original 1920s building. The gem of the renovation is the Turtle Suite which features subtle touches of chartreuse, lovely natural light, and spacious living spaces.

The pool at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek provides guests with an oasis in an urban setting. Flanked by magnolia trees, guests are free to take a refreshing dip before setting up to lounge poolside with a podcast or a good book. Guests can expect the same Rosewood service poolside and can enjoy an array of craft cocktails to enjoy featuring libations local to Texas along with a menu of light bites ranging from shrimp ceviche to lemon sorbet. The property also features a fitness studio and a small spa where guests can enjoy a range of massage treatments and unwind with a steam or a sauna.

The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek has one restaurant on property, with plenty of other options within the vicinity of nearby Highland Park and downtown Dallas. The Mansion offers American cuisine with French influences; maintaining a very relaxed air while delivering cuisine that is sure to impress. For those looking for something a little more casual, the Mansion Bar provides appetizers and desserts alongside a great selection of wines, whiskeys, & cocktails. The menu changes seasonally and is heavily influenced by Texas cuisine.

The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek is the perfect destination for local Texans looking for a luxurious departure from their day to day and out of towners seeking a unique experience for their time in Dallas. As proud partners of Virtuoso and Rosewood Elite, Ourisman Travel can offer our clients exclusive amenities for their stays at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek including daily breakfast, room upgrades, and resort credits. To learn more about the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, other properties within the Rosewood portfolio, and how Ourisman Travel can elevate your stay, reach out to the team via our Travel Request Form or by email at team@ourismantravel.com.

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Hotel Spotlight: Ritz Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

Just an hour and a half outside of Atlanta in picturesque Greensboro, Georgia on the shores of Lake Oconee lies the luxury lakefront Ritz Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee Resort. The property was designed with family in mind and lends itself to the family getaways of days gone by. Offering a wide range of activities, high-end amenities, luxurious accommodations, and top-notch service that always comes with a Ritz Carlton experience, the Ritz Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee is the perfect place for a relaxing and rejuvenating family getaway. Team Ourisman sent our Sales Coordinator, Meg, to check out the recently renovated property and we are excited to share her takeaways!

The Ritz Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee’s location makes it ideal for clients based in Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas who are looking for a manageable drive. Its proximity to Atlanta also makes it an easy locale for those who have direct flight options to ATL, which eliminates strenuous flight itineraries. The resort itself is very isolated, providing guests with a truly secluded experience without cutting corners where luxury is concerned.

A multi-million dollar renovation, which was completed in early 2020, elevated the rooms from their former dark and dated look to a new, fresh design scheme featuring classic southern style and tying in the color palette of the natural surroundings. The renovation also focused on transforming the trademark Ritz Carlton Club Level experience, debuting an updated, multi-level Club Lounge and adding new Club Level rooms. Those familiar with the Ritz Carlton Club Level will be pleased to find the same attentive service they are used to in the reimagined Club Lounge, which features an area for families as well as an adults only area. Guests will find plenty of relaxing spaces to enjoy a peaceful family meal, snacks throughout the day and the ever so southern pre-dinner cocktail.

In addition to updated rooms and a revamped Club Lounge, the Ritz Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee placed a special emphasis on their youngest guests during this recent renovation. The property boasts a new Ritz Kids club with plenty of activities for guests ranging from 3 to 12, as well as a new Family Pool nearby where families are welcome to splash and play while enjoying poolside service and gorgeous lake views.

In addition to the standard perks for kids at the Ritz Kids club, Ritz Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee is now offering a unique Study Buddy program that blends education and fun for those little guests who still need to do their schoolwork, making it the perfect place for a schoolcation. Fully customizable for each child and placing top priority on completing assignments while ensuring that fun and play do not fall by the wayside the Study Buddy program is designed to allow parents to work from their rooms or enjoy some much-needed relaxation after assisting with digital learning for months on end. A dedicated counselor will connect with you prior to arrival to find out more about the digital learning schedule for your child and build a personal syllabus for their time on property. This program will ensure the virtual class schedule is followed with mentorship and assistance while enriching experiences are sprinkled in for a break from digital learning. In order to tackle the school day with their counselor kids will receive a personalized tackle-box upon arrival with various school supplies based on their age. The Study Buddy program is available Monday through Friday for students 5 to 12 years of age. Half-day and full-day programs with lunch are available, with the half-day costing $80 and the full-day costing $120. Tutoring will take place either in the Kids Club area or in the cottages, depending on the family’s accommodations.

Just because the property focuses on their little guests more than others does not mean that adult guests won’t find plenty to do. Golfers are very happy here with five courses to choose from. The courses were designed by the best names in golf course architecture, ranging from Reese Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio and Bob Cupp. In addition to the array of beautiful courses, The Kingdom at Lake Oconee provides golfers with access to master club fitters who analyze you swing to create a custom TaylorMade club or putter; a special treat for any golf enthusiast.

The property features a variety of room categories, some of which can be connected to create enough space for families, but what really caught our eye were the lakeside cottages on property. The Two and Three Bedroom Cottages offer either Lake or Golf Course views and are spacious while still feeling cozy. The quintessentially southern wrap-around porches and stone fireplaces in each cottage are the perfect homey touch and facilitate plenty of family bonding moments. The Lake House, the grandest of the cottages, has sweeping Lake and Pool views along with its own pool and game room along with four bedrooms and bathrooms, making it perfect for larger groups.

A proud partner of Ritz Carlton’s STARS amenity program, Ourisman Travel is proud to offer our clients incredible value-added amenities ranging from free breakfast daily, upgrades, early check-in, late check-out, resort credits, and more! To learn more about the Ritz Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, and how Ourisman Travel can elevate your stay please fill out a Travel Request Form or email us at team@ourismantravel.com

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Destination Spotlight: Alaska The Last Frontier

Alaska is a destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Aptly referred to as America’s Last Frontier, Alaska has such a wide variety of activities to offer that highlight the natural beauty of the state. Alaska is a destination where the true luxury lies within the experiences and we are here to help you get the most out of this incredible piece of the world.

There are several ways you can approach a trip to Alaska, the most popular of which has become an Alaskan cruise. Many cruises are operated during the season, ranging from late April to mid-September, with varying levels of luxury and adventure. When considering an Alaskan cruise, it is important to take into account the types of experience you want. Some are happy to enjoy the sweeping views from their private terrace while others want to focus on exciting and unique shore excursions. No matter what your driving force may be, we always advise our clients to invest in higher category cabins and include a few shore excursions when they book an Alaskan cruise. Being able to appreciate the views and enjoy privacy is well worth the investment and everyone should get a little out of their comfort zone in Alaska!

For those who want to really hone in on the great outdoors of the Alaskan wilderness, approaching the destination by air is the way to go. The top lodges are located very far apart to preserve the natural beauty of the state and driving between them can often take up the better part of a day. We have found that arranging a helicopter or seaplane transfer is not only a great timesaver for our clients who are eager to soak up as much adventure as possible but also a really incredible experience overall. Taking in the Alaskan landscape from an eagle’s eye view in a helicopter or a seaplane is breathtaking in more ways than one; perfect for adrenaline junkies and efficient travelers alike!

Whether you choose to tackle Alaska by land, by sea, or a blend of both, Ourisman Travel has the best resources to make sure you and your itinerary are properly outfitted for your adventures. Alaska is an ideal destination for our Tailored Luxury service, which will ensure you have experiences curated for you with attention to detail and incredible care.

Alaska is the ideal destination for family trips, especially for families with teens or adult children who are looking for a chance to disconnect from the real world & reconnect as a family. Alaska is the perfect place to bring a group and ensure that everyone is experiencing something new and special. The options are endless in Alaska when it comes to outdoor activities. Ranging from glacier trekking, salmon fishing in the rivers, halibut fishing on the open ocean, whale watching, bear safaris and so much more, there is something for everyone here.

Of course, we have a couple of favorite properties in Alaska that we can’t help but highlight. These are some of the best of the best in Alaska and we love working with these incredible properties to make sure our clients have a luxurious place to rest their heads after days of exploration.

Tutka Bay Lodge sits at the entrance to a splendidly rugged seven-mile fjord at the southern end of Kachemak Bay, near Homer, Alaska. Get the mix of seaside tranquility and high energy adventures at Tutka! Sign up for lodge-based activities like daily 50-minute cooking classes with one of the lodge chefs (often with freshly caught fish from the bay), complimentary massage, and yoga classes on the deck. The Lodge also offers daily wine and beer tastings featuring Alaskan micro-brewed beers and wines from the U.S. and beyond! As a Virtuoso property and partner of Ourisman Travel, we are happy to extend the following Virtuoso amenities for your stay at Tutka Bay Lodge:

  • Complimentary Breakfast daily (included in rate)
  • $100 gift card towards gift shop merchandise

Winterlake Lodge is a sister property to Tutka Bay Lodge. Here you are settled into wild and rugged mountains, glaciers, and the historic Iditarod trail. The property offers five individual guest cabins, a central main lodge, gardens, sled dog lot, and a sauna house. You will have access points to Mt. Denali and other various hiking trails. As a Virtuoso property and partner of Ourisman Travel, we are happy to extend the following Virtuoso amenities for your stay at Winterlake Lodge:

  • Complimentary Breakfast daily (included in rate)
  • $100 gift card towards gift shop merchandise

Stillpoint Lodge resides in the fairytale-like village of Halibut Cove. This secluded luxury Alaskan resort encourages guests to become one with nature and enjoy one of the cozy cabins or luxury suites on property. As a Virtuoso property and partner of Ourisman Travel, we are happy to extend the following Virtuoso amenities for your stay at Stillpoint Lodge:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Breakfast daily (already included in rates)
  • One complimentary massage per booking, per stay (guests also receive one massage per person, per stay inclusive in rates)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

In Alaska there is no shortage of wild mountain landscapes, beautiful glaciers, and abundant wildlife. Here, the experiences truly are luxury and of course, we are here to provide a meaningful Alaskan adventure. To find out more about how Ourisman Travel can help you plan a trip to Alaska, email us at team@ourismantravel.com or submit a Travel Request Form!

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Introducing Schoolcations: Remote Learning at Luxury Resorts

Happy first day of… virtual learning! With many businesses and schools remaining virtual this fall, refresh your approach to learning and working with a “schoolcation”. With so many both working and learning remotely, a unique opportunity to change your surroundings and boost productivity has presented itself. Remote work and learning allow us to be virtually anywhere while staying on top of our responsibilities; who says we have to stay put to do that!

Many consumers have recently been following this new “schoolcation” trend for a change of scenery and a must needed break from reality. With the help of Ourisman Travel, you can travel while still educating your children and getting that office work done – all from the luxury of your private room, residence, or villa! Check out some of our favorite options for a “schoolcation!

Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita recently announced its schoolcation experience and we couldn’t be more excited. Through a new Knowledge for All Seasons program (an extension of the resort’s Kids for All Seasons programming), the property will set up families with distance learning in your new home away from home with private tutoring, study buddy support, cultural classes, tech support, and study cabanas.

The villas and homes feature private pools, patios, grilling areas, and a dedicated host who will even do your grocery shopping, allowing for total seclusion away from guests. And everything else you could ever need is within touch with the latest Four Seasons Chat App.

Another Four Seasons property participating in the “schoolcation” program implemented by the Punta Mita property is the Four Seasons Orlando. A family favorite due to its location inside the Disney World Park and its devoted attention to young guests, the Four Seasons Disney is the perfect answer for those looking to blend a “schoolcation” with a day or two visiting one of the Disney Parks. The five-acre Explorer Island will act as a schoolhouse for kids as they work on their homework, enjoy snacks and even have a little recess before joining their parents at the family pool. While the kids are away, parents are free to enjoy the adults-only pool onsite, the only one within the Disney World Park Complex.

Through our partnership with Four Seasons, Ourisman Travel is pleased to offer our clients exclusive perks like daily breakfast for two or early check-in when they stay at the Four Seasons Punta Mita, the Four Seasons Orlando, or other Four Seasons properties around the world

The Four Seasons Punta Mita is not the only hotel in Mexico jumping on the “schoolcation” trend. The Hotel Esencia is also offering complimentary home school coordinators included with every September & October booking. These coordinators will help your children connect online with their teachers and supervise their school routine for up to five hours per day, while parents relax and unwind from the past 5 months. The only stir-crazy happening here is your margarita on the rocks!

As if that isn’t enough to convince you that The Hotel Esencia is the perfect fit for your “schoolcation”, Ourisman is able to extend Virtuoso amenities to our clients, including daily breakfast for two guests and a $100 spa credit, to name a few.

The Montage brand has launched its own version of the schoolcation at four of their properties, Montage Los Cabos, Montage Palmetto Bluff, Montage Laguna Beach, and Montage Deer Valley, with its newly unveiled Montage Academy. Montage Academy has been designed to meet the needs of students engaging in virtual learning, offering a range of supportive services for guests ages six to seventeen. These include a socially distanced study hall with tutors on hand to help with homework, answer questions, and assist with technology. These four Montage properties are also offering additional activities to act as a nice break from the day to day learning and preserve the sense of vacation that all guests deserve. Offering activities like youth yoga classes, guided hikes, cooking classes, and any others, kids are given an opportunity to have some fun and enjoy their surroundings. These additional activities are great for parents too, who may also be working and may need additional support to get their work done.

As proud partners of Montage and Virtuoso, we are please to offer our clients value added amenities when they book their schoolcations at a Montage with us, including free breakfast daily, early check-ins & late check-outs and others!

Not to be left out, the Rosewood brand has created a unique Family Time package to answer the unique needs of families. Available across thirteen Rosewood properties in the United States, Caribbean, Middle East, and Mexico, the Family Time package offers a selection of inspired activities and benefits, designed with children in mind.  Expect kid-friendly welcome amenities and experiences, as well as complimentary meals for children 12 and under. Book your Suite Sojourn for exclusive benefits offering an even more personalized experience in one of the collection’s incredible suites, villas, or residences; the perfect places for a virtual classroom or office!

Ourisman Travel is a proud partner of Rosewood Hotels and we are thrilled to offer our guests daily breakfast for two, upgrade opportunities and early check-in or late check-out to our clients.

Last but not least, turn remote learning up a notch with best-in-class tutors and nanny services at your Auberge Resorts Vacation Home. With the support of Auberge, we can arrange for in-person or virtual tutoring so your children can get help with their schoolwork while you get work done yourself (or lounge by the pool). Auberge offers an expansive collection of properties sure to wow those looking for luxury and high touch service. Ourisman Travel clients can take advantage of Virutoso amenities at most Auberge properties worldwide.

Ourisman Travel is aways poised to help our clients find the best-fit property for their needs, and “schoolcations” are no exception. Our partnerships allow us to stay ahead of the curve and provide our clients with exclusive access to incredible private villas, residences & homes – perfect for families looking to escape the monotony while keeping safety and functionality top of mind. To learn more about how Ourisman Travel can help you create a home away from home for your family, fill out a Travel Request Form or reach out to the team at team@ourismantravel.com. 

Posted in Beaches, Family Travel, Mexico, Travel Industry and Ourisman Travel, Trip Ideas, Uncategorized, USA destinations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Introducing Schoolcations: Remote Learning at Luxury Resorts

Hotel Spotlight: Salamander Resort & Spa

Salamander Resort & Spa is a can’t miss destination, located in the very historic town of Middleburg, Virginia. This small town has amazing history and traditions and is only one hour away from Washington, D.C. This Virtuoso resort is the epitome of luxury, offering incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, gourmet dining, nearby vineyards, and world-class horse farms.

Salamander Resort & Spa offers 168 guest rooms and suites, each with an outstanding view of the resort grounds. For the ultra-luxury experience, guests can enjoy the 23,000 square-foot spa, consisting of 14 treatment rooms. The spa also offers a heated outdoor infinity pool with poolside cabanas and courtyard. For the adventurer, guests can challenge themselves to any number of outdoor activities offered on-grounds, and for the equestrian, The Salamander offers one of the finest horse facilities in the country.

The Salamander offers three room categories and four suite options for your stay. The accommodations are bright and spacious with classical equestrian decor. The Terrace room is situated on the ground floor opening up to your private stone patio with a walkout to the resort lawn. The Terrace rooms are specifically perfect for those bringing pets with them. The ease of access to the lawn outside makes it a perfect fit when traveling with Fido. The en suite has its own oversized soaking tub and separate walk-in shower. Not to mention a TV in the bathroom, for bubble bath movie night!

Moving up in both categories and floors are your Estate rooms, with a similar layout to the Terrace rooms, but some Estate rooms offer a built-in fireplace and better views of the entire property. The four suite accommodations are wonderful for a quiet weekend escape or any special occasion, like a wedding or anniversary. For sweeping views of Virginia’s countryside, we recommend checking out the Blue Ribbon Corner Suite.

The Salamander offers two main dining facilities on site. Their signature restaurant is Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill which features local flavorful dishes. We would recommend having dinner here, however, Harriman’s Sunday brunch is said to be one of the best.

The Gold Cup Wine Bar is a more casual yet sophisticated dining experience that is perfect for any meal throughout the day. Gold Cup Wine Bar offers both indoor and outdoor seating options. Besides serving Virginia’s best wines and cocktails, they also offer a fantastic sushi menu Wednesday through Sunday.

When you feel like venturing off-property into the village of Middleburg, be sure to stop at Market Salamander. Envision a gourmet food market with an open kitchen, outdoor patio, and pop up’s like Back Porch BBQ & Seafood Feast. This boutique market is sure to cure any craving!

Salamander offers zip lining, tennis, nature hikes, archery, basketball courts, a putting green, tennis courts, and has built one of the finest equestrian facilities and programs in the country. And if sitting by the pool is more your speed, the hotel offers two options. For a relaxing experience check out the spa adults-only pool or take the whole family over to the resort pool.

What draws most tourists to this area is the wine. The resort is surrounded by some of the best vineyards in the state of Virginia. We recommend taking the resort’s complimentary Audi house car to both Chrysalis and Cana Vineyards. And, of course, no wine tasting day is complete without a stop at Greenhill Winery, which is the closest to the Salamander property and offers views of rolling hills in the surrounding countryside.

After a long day of exploring and outdoor activities, we recommend winding down at one of the resort’s fire pit areas. If you have a sweet tooth, the resort offers s’mores packages at the Gold Cup Restaurant and Wine Bar, to bring out to the fire pits. The lawn comes alive with fireflies as you lean back to take in the soft glow of the campfire under a quiet sky full of stars. 

With today’s new “normal,” COVID-19 policies are top of mind for all travelers. The Salamander is making its new health and safety policies fit within the luxury travel experience you are accustomed to, and we can say with confidence that they are following through on their commitment to your well being.

The Salamander Resort & Spa has always been a must-stay hotel, and that has never been truer than in today’s current travel climate. If you want to feel pampered and be reminded of what a true luxury travel experience feels like, look no further than this remote property.

As a Virtuoso partner, we can offer exclusive amenities to our clients staying at Salamander Resort & Spa, including breakfast daily, a complimentary room upgrade, 100 USD resort credit, and the VIP treatment you deserve. Contact us for rates and details!

Posted in Family Travel, Food, Hotel Reviews, Trip Ideas, Uncategorized, USA destinations | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Hotel Spotlight: Salamander Resort & Spa

Pro Tip Blog: The Ritz Carlton St. Thomas

This year, two of our team members were lucky enough to visit the newly reopened Ritz Carlton St. Thomas! They came back with a wealth of information about the property and how to make the most out of your stay. We have put together a list of tips for your next trip to the Ritz Carlton St Thomas. Be sure to elevate your stay even more by using our Hotel Plus concierge services.

Quick Facts:

  • Location: only 10-miles, a 40-minute drive, from STT
  • Dining: 4 on-site restaurants Alloro, Coconut Cove, Sails & Bleuwater
  • Highlights: infinity pool, cabanas, watersports, luxury spa & Ritz Kids activities

Pre-Arrival Tips:

Book a Club Level room. The Ritz Carlton Club Lounge is well known within the luxury travel industry, and for good reason. For those who want elevated service and exclusive access to additional perks, it’s well worth the slightly increased cost. Families find the amenities of the Club Lounge particularly beneficial, as they can pop in for quick snacks and special treats for the kids. The lounge at the Ritz Carlton St Thomas offers indoor and outdoor space to enjoy the complimentary food and beverage options presented throughout the day. Club level guests also have their own dedicated concierge to assist with last-minute requests on property.

Arrange transfers ahead of time. The hotel airport transfer service is seamless and speedy. With an arrivals lobby right outside the baggage claim, there is no need to maneuver your way through the masses to find your driver. Once you locate your driver, you and your luggage are whisked off to the resort. After a long flight, who wants to delay their vacation by negotiating with a cab driver?

Make dinner reservations before you arrive. This is a must if you are staying over the weekend! While there are many restaurants to choose from, the best options for sit-down dinners will book up fast and there will be long waits for any walk-ins. It is best to have a dining plan already set before you arrive. Let us introduce you to the concierge or make those reservations for you with our Hotel Plus service!

Resort Recommendations:

Get in the water! The Ritz Carlton St Thomas offers guests daily use of non-motorized watersports including windsurfing, hobbie cats, paddleboards, and kayaks. You can spend the day on the water, soaking up the sun and getting a sweeping view of the resort. If underwater sites are more your speed, the resort will outfit you with snorkel gear and point you towards the reef located nearby. Looking to just lounge? Floating lounges are available to grab on the beach, so you can get in the water and float in the waves. Be sure to apply extra sunscreen, the sun is strong but the ocean breeze keeps you cool so you don’t always feel the burn on your skin. The property also features its own fleet of catamarans for guests to rent for longer ocean excursions. The Lady Lynsey II is the star of their fleet; an ultra-luxe 60 foot catamaran perfect for a full day exploring the shoreline of St Thomas.

Keep up with your fitness! The onsite gym has a variety of cardio and weight equipment. Forgot your headphones? Disposable headphones are available along with cool towels, water bottles, and fresh fruit. Most importantly, take advantage of the daily fitness classes including Yoga (which is on the waterfront when the weather allows), Cardio Blast, Water Mai Chi, and guided property walks from 7-9 am.

Imbibe like the islanders do. The resort hosts daily rum tasting featuring locally produced rums infused with mango, pineapple, lemon-lime, passion fruit, and coconut. Between tastings, staff offer samples throughout the day as well on the beach and poolside so good rum is never hard to come by.

Rent a cabana for the day. The pool cabanas make for a special treat and are perfect when you just want to relax and enjoy the resorts main pool. The comfortable cabanas include a mini-fridge and ceiling fan, creating the perfect poolside oasis. Enjoy light snacks served throughout the day, cool lemongrass towels, aloe vera and sunscreen applications, and full menu service from Sails, the poolside restaurant.

The Ritz Carlton St Thomas is a great property with luxurious accommodations and a wealth of things to do onsite. From relaxing at the spa to lounging poolside to renting a cabana for the day, there are plenty of ways to spend your days at this beautiful resort. In addition to these recommendations, Ourisman Travel is happy to assist with transfers, dining reservations, spa appointments, and other activity arrangements through our Hotel Plus service. Clients of Ourisman Travel enjoy increased value for their stays at the Ritz Carlton St Thomas with our exclusive STARS amenities, including daily breakfast, early check-in & late check-out, resort credits & more. To learn more about how Ourisman Travel can help you plan your stay at the Ritz Carlton St Thomas fill out a Travel Request Form or reach out to the team at team@ourismantravel.com

Posted in Beaches, Caribbean, Family Travel, Trip Ideas, Your Travel Style Personified | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pro Tip Blog: The Ritz Carlton St. Thomas