Destination Spotlight: Florida Keys

A Luxury Escape with No Passport Required

The Florida Keys, a tropical paradise stretching along the Southern tip of Florida, offers a Caribbean- style luxury vacation experience without having to travel outside of the United States. Imagine pristine turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and a vibrant coral reef system teeming with marine life. Indulge in the tap of luxury at exclusive resorts and boutique hotels nestled amidst lush tropical gardens, where personalized service and opulent amenities cater to your every desire. Embark on a private yacht charter, exploring the crystalline waters and secluded coves, or immerse yourself in world-class diving and snorkeling adventures. Pamper yourself with rejuvenating spa treatments, savor exquisite cuisine prepared by renowned chefs, and unwind with sunset cocktails overlooking breathtaking ocean views. Whether basking in the sun on your own private beachfront villa or venturing out to discover the Keys’ unique culture and vibrant nightlife, a luxury vacation in the Florida Keys promises an unforgettable escape into pure indulgence and relaxation.

While the Florida Keys offers a beautiful coastal retreat, we agree that it lacks the same level of luxury found in the Caribbean. The Caribbean islands boast an unparalleled level of exclusivity, untouched natural landscapes, and Michelin-starred dining experiences. However, if you’re seeking a family vacation, deepsea excursion, or relaxing retreat without having to leave the U.S., we believe there are a few hotels in the Keys that almost live up to your Caribbean expectations.

Little Palm Island

Little Palm Island is our top recommendation for accommodation in the Florida Keys. America’s only private island resort is an adults-only paradise reminiscent of a Balinese getaway. Accessible only by boat or by seaplane, this private hideaway is a chance to escape and unwind without traveling too far from home. Guests can relax in their private verandas sans any TVs or other electronic distractions, and enjoy panoramic ocean views with a gentle breeze. The island’s white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters provide the perfect backdrop for indulging in water sports, such as snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, sailing, scuba diving, and paddle boarding. The resort boasts luxurious thatched-roof bungalows, each thoughtfully designed with elegant furnishings and modern amenities. The resort’s world-class dining experiences feature delectable cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients, paired with an extensive collection of fine wines. Whether lounging by the lagoon-inspired pool, unwinding at the spa, or strolling along the pristine shores, Little Palm Island promises a unique escape into pure luxury and serenity.

Pro Tip: Little Palm Island advertises itself as the perfect romantic getaway. Offering romantic turndown, private dining, and hot tubs in luxury bungalows, this resort is our top choice for couples celebrating a relationship milestone.

Book with Ourisman travel for:

  • A $100 resort credit
  • Daily $100 breakfast credit for two people
  • Complimentary room upgrade at check-in (STA)
  • Welcome amenity
  • Complimentary Wifi
  • No walk policy
  • VIP status, and more!

Isla Bella Beach Resort

Isla Bella Beach Resort is a coastal haven spreading over 24 oceanfront acres in the Florida Keys. The spacious and elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites provide a tranquil retreat, complete with plush furnishings, modern amenities, and private balconies or terraces overlooking the beach (that’s right, every room and suite has an ocean view). Guests can indulge in a range of activities, from lounging by any of the five oceanfront pools with their signature Frosé, to beach yoga, world-class fishing, and kayak rentals. For those seeking wellness and rejuvenation, the resort’s spa provides a sanctuary of serenity with a variety of treatments. Whether you dine at their newest restaurant, Mahina, for a Polynesian-inspired meal or order fresh seafood poolside, dining at Isla Bella is a culinary delight.

For those seeking a quick pick-me-up, the resort also has an onsite Marketplace serving up specialty coffee and lighter grab-and-go items such as pastries, sandwiches, salads and gelato!

Pro Tip: Isla Bella goes above and beyond in promoting itself as a family-friendly resort. Offering kid-friendly activities, such as hermit crab racing, candy happy hour, game nights, and much more, Isla Bella believes that “kids should have just as much fun as adults”. Their two bedroom accommodations are also very well suited for traveling with kids.

Beach: The resort endorses a swimmable “beach” on property, however, it’s important to note that the beach at this resort is less desirable as it is quite small with gravel-like sand and murky waters. There is a beautiful swimmable beach about a 10 minute drive away, but we’ve learned this resort is better suited for those avid poolside loungers!

Book your stay with Ourisman Travel to receive exclusive amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily breakfast credit of up to $25 per adult ($15 per child), for up to two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during your stay
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • VIP status, and more!

Plus, Virtuoso has a special offer: 4th night free in the Florida Keys

Valid for Travel Now Through 17 Nov 2023. Book By 13 Nov 2023.

For other kid-friendly resort inspiration, check out our vacation ideas for kids.

Bungalows Key Largo

Bungalows Key Largo revolutionizes the concept of all-inclusive retreats by offering a secluded haven where you can unwind and detach from the outside world. Nestled in a lush botanical garden, this exclusive resort caters exclusively to adults and boasts 1,000 feet of pristine oceanfront along the Gulf Stream. With meticulous attention to every aspect, Bungalows Key Largo ensures that your every need is met, allowing you to cherish the priceless luxury of quality time spent together.

All-inclusive amenities and activities include:

  • All meals including small bites and fine dining
  • Welcome drinks and refreshments
  • Unlimited dining at 5 restaurants
  • Choice of a zen or sunset pool and jacuzzi
  • Kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, snorkel gear, and water trikes
  • Group yoga classes
  • Premium alcoholic beverages and fine wines
  • Luxurious accommodations with private outdoor verandas

In terms of accommodation, guests can choose between a waterfront or garden bungalow. Immerse yourself in the blend of opulent amenities and modern coastal design found within the sophisticated waterfront retreats or choose a bungalow nestled in the blooms of the resort’s lavish botanical gardens. Each bungalow accommodates up to four guests, enveloping the space with organic textures and captivating finishes that exude a cozy and romantic atmosphere. Unwind on your secluded private veranda, indulge in the outdoor soaking tub or outdoor shower, and escape from the demands of daily life in the sun-drenched paradise of the Florida Keys.

And for foodies, we recommend extending your stay to at least four nights to unlock complimentary access to Bogie & Bacall, an elegant steakhouse-style restaurant option that requires a $300 fee to access for those staying less than four nights.

Pro Tip: The resort’s amenities, such as the spa, yoga sessions, and waterfront activities are tailored to appeal to those who prioritize wellness, leisure, and a refined vacation experience. And while Little Palm Island is our top recommendation for a romantic destination, Bungalows Key Largo is a close second. The contemporary design and romantic ambiance make it an attractive choice for couples seeking a romantic retreat.

Book with Ourisman Travel for an extra layer of VIP treatment.

Islands of Islamorada

The Islands of Islamorada is a thoughtfully crafted resort, blending the enchantment of tropical splendor with the comforts of luxury, resulting in a captivating experience suitable for the entire family. Create meaningful memories with friends and family in this idyllic haven in the Florida Keys that celebrates a rich and active lifestyle.

Choose to stay at a waterfront villa or suite. The luxury villas boast four bedrooms, complete kitchens, spacious living and dining areas, and three outdoor waterfront lounge areas. The Islands offers eight, one-bedroom suites with ocean views. The suite contains a lounge area, one king bed, and one queen pull-out sofa.

Indulge in the Islands multitude of water activities, including scuba diving, snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing, flats fishing, kiteboarding, and more, all conveniently accessible from the resort. For those seeking even greater thrills, the resort’s dedicated on-site concierge is ready to arrange unforgettable off-shore fishing trips, diving expeditions, sailing adventures, boating excursions, jet skiing, and an array of other exhilarating activities that the Florida Keys has to offer. Positioned within the islands, Islamorada is a haven for diverse fisheries, where avid anglers can test their skills and reel in sailfish, blue marlin, and white marlin in offshore waters, while also discovering bonefish, permit, tarpon, and redfish in the serene shallow mangroves and flats of inshore waters.

Pro Tip: The Islands of Islamorada is another great family vacation destination. With various activities and amenities suitable for children and adults alike, families can create cherished memories together.

Exclusive summer 2023 promotion: Book 3 nights and get a total of 5 nights in paradise. Available for a limited time.

Plus, book with Ourisman Travel for an extra layer of VIP treatment.

Discover a Slice of American Paradise at the Florida Keys

If you are interested in traveling to any of the above destinations, book your stay with Ourisman Travel for added amenities and benefits. If you love Florida but prefer to explore other hotels, check out a map of our preferred hotels here. You can also fill out a travel request form to customize any request.

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Four Seasons Spotlight: Hawaii Edition

Hawaiian Indulgence: Embrace Unmatched Luxury at one of Four Seasons Five Hawaiian Resorts

It’s that time of the year and what better way to kick off summer than with a well-deserved vacation to our business’ most popular destination: Four Seasons in Hawaii. 

Hawaii provides an opulent escape that seamlessly blends natural beauty, upscale accommodations, fine dining, exclusive activities, and rich cultural experiences. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or a combination of both, Hawaii caters to the most discerning travelers, ensuring a luxurious and unforgettable vacation.

Over the past several years, Team O has made many information-gathering trips to Hawaii to get deep destination immersion, develop expertise in luxury hotel options, and establish valuable relationships with our partners. One of those partners, Four Seasons, offers a lavish and remarkable escape that captures the essence of the Aloha spirit at any of their 5 Hawaiian properties. Whether you’re looking for a dreamy honeymoon destination, a family-friendly resort with an abundance of activities, or to experience the ultimate wellness escape, we believe the Four Seasons Hotels in Hawaii is the pinnacle of luxury and can deliver the perfect Hawaiian getaway.

Here is a rundown of each Four Seasons hotel in Hawaii and our professional recommendations on which property to book your stay at based on your personal travel goals.

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Often our highest-selling hotel in the world, the Four Seasons Maui has a strong following of loyal fans, and our clients often return year after year. But, we’ve learned that it’s not for everyone. While most people are hard-pressed to find a complaint about the hotel’s staff and high level of service, some people don’t like the resort layout or “see and be seen” ambiance.

The Four Seasons Maui is our most popular destination for couples, especially honeymooners. Guests celebrating a special occasion should indulge in everything the property has to offer especially the adults-only sanctuary pool and the spa. And, for a little adventure, be sure to give the outrigger canoeing a whirl!

The rooms themselves are spacious and nicely furnished. We particularly enjoyed the punch of personality in the bathroom carpets and the breezy balconies perfect for a morning coffee. Pro tip: for the most desirable views of the Pacific Ocean, we recommend the Deluxe Ocean-View rooms.

Top-notch luxury service is the real highlight here. The Four Seasons Maui does not charge a resort fee and you will never feel “nickel and dimed.” In fact, Maui is the only Four Seasons in North America to offer exclusive Club Level accommodations. For a more secluded pool experience, check out the adults-only Serenity pool, but book a cabana in advance; this area fills up fast! If you are traveling with kids, we recommend taking advantage of the Kids For All Seasons program (also complimentary).

Pro tip: If your trip only allows for time on one island, Maui is a great choice because it offers a little bit of everything. The activity selection is broad, and visitors can enjoy beautiful beaches, quality snorkeling, great hikes and drives, good shopping, and excellent dining!

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Along with its sister property on Maui, Four Seasons Hualalai is one of our top-selling hotels in the world. This is a spacious resort whose guest rooms and suites are arranged in four oceanside crescents and a fifth group of rooms alongside the 18th green of the resort’s golf course… five resorts within the resort. We recommend the Palm Grove Crescent for honeymooners and romantic getaways, more secluded with its own adults-only Tranquility Pool. We loved our room on the second floor overlooking Palm Grove. Ground floors feature outdoor showers, however, the second floor has more serene views and an additional level of privacy.

For activities at the resort, families love Sea Shell Crescent which features a pool meant for active play. We also recommend King’s Pond, which is a new infinity-edge elevated pool that sits on lava rock and is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Hualalai has an incredible spa with your choice of indoor or outdoor treatment areas, a choice of wonderful restaurants, and once again, complimentary Kids for All Seasons programs for children. We also suggest shopping at The Trade Company Shop for some ice cream, smoothies, coffee, and some beer and wine and charging your items straight to your room!

Four Seasons Hualalai recently went through some renovations. All suites and rooms have been elevated while maintaining their authenticity. There is a new oceanfront Bungalow Zero near King’s Pond, which houses the new Kekaha Suite on the second floor and the new Kahuwai Suite on the ground floor. There are also incredible newly renovated multi-bedroom residential villas: the Makaloa Villa, Ho`onanea Villa, and Hawaii Loa Presidential Villa. These bungalows offer walking access to the beach and provide an opportunity for families to experience a high-end house rental without compromising any of the benefits and amenities of a Four Seasons.

Visitors to the Big Island can think BIG for their activities! See a live volcano with a hot lava flow, take a helicopter ride for skiing and surfing on the same day, spend the night snorkeling in the dark with Manta Rays, join the locals, and go cliff jumping… this island is everything except boring!

Pro tip: Hualalai was our personal favorite of the Four Seasons hotels in Hawaii for families. They have a large kids club with indoor and outdoor space and plenty of scheduled activities to keep the kids happy throughout the day.

Current Promotion: $200 USD credit per night on guest rooms or $400 USD credit per night for Superior Suite or Deluxe Suite categories. Four-night minimum stay is required. Valid now through December 14, 2023.

Four Seasons Resort Lana’i

This Four Seasons hotel is a must-see in Hawaii; it is a game changer for luxury hotels worldwide, and we would be hard-pressed to pick any one thing that makes this resort so special; it is the complete package. The rooms are spacious, comfortable, and very well-appointed (the bathrooms alone could sell this hotel). We particularly love the Ohana Prime Oceanfront Suite; it is spacious and perfect for families with children. The completely rebuilt pool complex offers perfect separation between the main family-friendly pool and the serene adults-only grotto complete with relaxing waterfalls.

While we do think that Lanai is best enjoyed when coupled with a stay on Maui, there’s still plenty to do on the island.

Pro tip: We recommend Four Seasons Lana’i for the outdoor adventurer. Even though this is a relatively small island compared to the others, it boasts some of the most diverse and unique landscapes. You’ll want to carve out time to explore the island’s famous shipwrecks, take a whale and dolphin watching excursion, hike to Sweetheart Rock, try your hand at archery, play a round of golf, go horseback riding, tuck into a big plate of the freshest sushi, visit the island’s history museum, and relax poolside after a spa treatment. If you are traveling without kids, we advocate pairing your stay with Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort.

Current Promotion: Lanai Air round-trip flights between Honolulu and Lanai are included with stays booked by August 31. 2023, for arrivals taking place by December 31, 2023. Your luxury escape begins the moment you land at HNL. From baggage claim at HNL, you are escorted to a Cadillac Escalade and then transferred to the private aviation wing of HNL to the Lanai Air private lounge before you embark on the last leg of your journey to Four Seasons Lana’i.

Additional Promotion: Discover Lanai – receive a daily credit of up to USD 400 and choose from a variety of resort experiences. Valid for selected dates between May 18, 2023, and December 18, 2023.

Sensei Lana’i, A Four Seasons Resort

The adults-only luxury wellness enclave is located on the secluded island of Lanai. Guests experience a personalized wellness escape ’The Sensei Way’; an evidence-led approach to well-being.

Indulge in the ultimate wellness retreat at Sensei, where you can enjoy custom wellness consultations, experience world-renowned spa treatments in a private hale, participate in a blend of fitness and well-being classes, savor exquisite dining by Nobu, or relax in light-filled, indoor-outdoor spacious rooms with views of the lush grounds. Sensei guests also have full access and signing privileges to all of the Four Seasons Lanai beach resort amenities, except for the use of the pool and lounge chairs.

Pro tip: We recommend Sensei for adults seeking a true immersion in Hawaii’s beautiful landscape. You will instantly feel more relaxed the second you enter the property grounds and it is obvious that wellness was top of mind every step of the design process. Of the two resorts in Lanai, Sensei is much quieter and more centered around promoting health and well-being. We suggest pairing your stay with Four Seasons Lana’i for the perfect balance between beach and relaxation.

Current Promotion: Lana’i Air round-trip flights between Honolulu and Lanai are included with stays booked by August 31. 2023, for arrivals taking place by December 31, 2023. Lanai Air is the preferred VIP experience. From baggage claim at HNL, you are escorted to a Cadillac Escalade and then transferred to the private aviation wing of HNL to the Lanai Air private lounge before you embark on the last leg of your journey to Sensei Lana’i, a Four Seasons Resort.

Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina

Often overlooked for a luxury vacation, we think of Oahu as the hidden gem amongst the islands. Oahu is much different than the other Four Seasons Resort. Think Miami high rise. However, guest rooms offer breathtaking ocean views, creating a personal sanctuary within this all-encompassing luxury resort. You can dive into the invigorating pools and lagoons, with an array of water sports available at the resort’s beach. Engage in activities like tennis and golf, unwind at the spa, start your day with sunrise yoga, or embark on a deep-sea fishing adventure at the marina.

Pro tip: While Four Seasons Oahu may be our last resort amongst all of the hotels listed, we can’t deny that it is another great family-friendly destination, offering plenty of exhilarating water activities for all ages. It shares a beach with Disney Aulani, so if you’re looking for a secluded vacation, we recommend staying at a different Four Seasons. In our opinion, Four Seasons Oahu provides the quintessential Hawaiian vacation experience, embracing the island’s rich traditions and culture. If your air travel flies you in or out of HNL, it may make sense to prioritize Oahu as an option, however, we highly recommend pairing your stay with another Four Seasons property to get a well-rounded experience.

Discover Paradise at Four Seasons in Hawaii

The islands of Hawaii boast pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, lush tropical rainforests, and majestic volcanic landscapes. The combination of these natural wonders creates a picturesque backdrop for a truly luxurious escape.

Four Seasons offers guests a truly unique experience and world-class luxury at all 5 of their exquisite Hawaiian properties. If this is your first time visiting Hawaii, it is a good idea to design an itinerary that involves at least 2 islands, especially if you are coming from anything farther away than California.

Your Luxury Island Getaway Starts Now

As our valued client, you have the exclusive opportunity to enjoy the privileges of the Four Seasons Preferred Partner Program at any of the 127 Four Seasons Resorts and Hotels across the globe. Through our strong connections with on-site staff, we have priority access (over Amex FHR and Centurion) for reservations and special requests, ensuring that your stay exceeds expectations. By booking with Ourisman Travel, you will become an esteemed guest, indulging in the utmost level of luxury and exclusivity available.

Plus, as our client, you will receive exclusive amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily continental breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD Resort or Hotel credit utilized during your stay
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • VIP Status

For more information on any of the Four Seasons resorts in Hawaii, reach out to our team at or submit a travel request form.

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Destination Spotlight: Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona is a vibrant city known for its warm, sunny weather, thriving arts and culture scene, and abundance of outdoor activities. It attracts tourists from around the world with its world-class resorts, golf courses, shopping, and dining options.

Team Ourisman’s Allie Weachter recently stayed at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain and toured The Phoenician and Andaz Scottsdale Resorts & Bungalows and is thrilled to share highlights from her trip. Each of the three properties she visited integrates Arizona-inspired architecture and design in its own unique way. Scottsdale famously celebrates modern art and each property pays homage to that by sharing local artwork in their rooms and throughout the property.

Showcased Lodging Options

Depending on your trip goals, each of the three properties Allie visited offers its own collection of outdoor activities, wellness and spa treatments, and fine dining.

Andaz Scottsdale boasts 185 unique bungalows and suites that blend an indigenous style with eclectic and modern furnishings. Each bungalow features a private entrance and patio that face sprawling lawns. The rooms are spacious with luxurious oversized bathrooms adorned with soaking tubs and expansive windows, and some with outdoor showers. The perfect place to relax, read a book and connect with nature without the infamous heat. 

Pro Tip: Andaz Scottsdale is our recommended destination for large groups, bachelor and bachelorette parties, weddings, and events.

The Phoenician has reimagined itself through recent renovations to all guest rooms (including Canyon Suites), pools, lobby, spa, athletic club, golf course, and more. While this is a large resort with 450+ rooms, each area, including the guest rooms, is spacious and personalized. 

Pro Tip: The Phoenician is the largest of the three resorts and our top recommendation in Scottsdale for families and golf enthusiasts looking to utilize the property’s amenities such as the kid’s area at the main pool, Phoenician Golf Club, and athletic club complete with a movement studio, game room, tennis, pickle ball, and basketball courts, and more. 

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, A Gurney’s Resort & Spa is a luxury, boutique resort and is one of the top destination spas in the country. The resort is set on the northern slope of Camelback Mountain, overlooking Paradise Valley. With only 109 rooms, each guest is promised a personalized and unique experience.

Pro Tip: We highly recommend Sanctuary Camelback Mountain for guests seeking a romantic, secluded getaway in the heart of Scottsdale.

Things To Do in Scottsdale

Scottsdale is a popular vacation destination for a multitude of reasons:

Beautiful weather: Scottsdale is known for its warm, sunny weather, with an average of 330 days of sunshine per year. Just be weary of traveling in the middle of summer as temperatures can reach over 100 degrees.

Outdoor activities: Scottsdale is home to numerous parks and natural reserves, such as McDowell Sonoran Preserve and Camelback Mountain, which offer travelers opportunities for hiking and rock climbing. Scottsdale also notoriously boasts world-class golf courses and resorts. Other activities we highly recommend:

  • Biking
  • Private jeep tours
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Horse-back riding
  • Butterfly Wonderland
  • Desert Botanical Garden
  • Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Arts and culture: Scottsdale has a thriving arts and culture scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. You can experience art-driven events such as the free weekly ArtWalk, Canal Convergence, and Scottsdale Contemporary Month.

Shopping and dining: Scottsdale offers a range of shopping and dining options, from upscale boutiques and luxury malls to casual eateries and fine dining restaurants. Allie ate dinner at The Mission and enjoyed their modern twist on guacamole and grilled street corn.

Explore Old Town Scottsdale: The unique charm of Old Town Scottsdale is immediately apparent. This effortless fusion of old-west charm and urban sophistication gives the city’s downtown its distinct character, making it an essential destination for any itinerary in Scottsdale. As a bonus, all 3 hotels are minutes from Old Town making it an easy half or full-day trip.

Best Time to Visit

The best time of the year to visit Scottsdale is from late September to early May. While visiting during their off-peak season can be very hot, it would allow you to take advantage of lower rates, dining reservation availabilities, and sunny poolside weather.

We recommend staying at least 3 full days. Use one day to explore Old Town, schedule a day for outdoor activities, and pick one day for some R&R by the pool and spa.

Plan Your Desert Vacation with Ourisman Travel

After our trip, we are confident each hotel will provide a unique stay filled with luxury experiences depending on your travel goals. Whether you take your kids to the family-friendly Phoenician or plan a zen escape to Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, you can’t go wrong with staying at any of the three hotels.

You can also read our full review of each hotel here:

By choosing us as your travel advisor, you can rest assured that our team is working behind the scenes to ensure a seamless stay. We highly value our relationships with our preferred vendors who share our commitment to delivering exceptional experiences for our clients.

Plus, when you book your trip with us, you can enjoy value-added amenities such as complimentary breakfast daily, resort credits, and more.

  • Mornings that start with complimentary breakfast for two
  • A complimentary room upgrade, based on availability
  • A 100+ USD resort credit towards incidentals such as food and beverage or the spa
  • Early check-in/ late check-out based on availability

For more information on Scottsdale properties, reach out to our team at or submit a travel request form. Your desert oasis awaits.

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HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO is a traditional Japanese-style hotel that blends modern luxury with traditional tranquility. It has a spacious indoor-outdoor lobby design that opens up to a serene courtyard with a zen garden and a reflecting pool. HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO is the perfect hotel for guests looking for a tranquil escape in the heart of Kyoto, Japan. It’s famously known for its Thermal Spring Spa which was awarded four stars in the spa category in Forbes Travel Guide 2023. A modern reimagining of the traditional Japanese tearoom, the 161 guest rooms and 22 suites feature carefully chosen natural materials elevated using artisanal skills. Some suites also include private onsen, hot springs, and baths.

A Zen Welcome

As I checked in at the lobby area, which offers a charming view of the garden, I was greeted with refreshing welcome tea.

The tranquility and storied history of the location are reflected in each of the guest rooms. I stayed in a Premier Garden Room with unparalleled views overlooking the garden. The spacious room includes a sofa lounger situated by the window where guests can take in the scenery, a large bathtub, a rain shower, and original bathroom amenities prepared by a Japanese master perfumer.

I highly recommend booking one of the (2) Onsen Suites — complete with an exclusive outdoor onsen bath using natural spring water sourced on-site, spacious separate living room and bedroom areas, as well as an indoor shower and soaking bathtub. However, if even more space is a top priority, HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO boasts one of the largest suites in the city with its Presidential Suite.

Ready, Set, Relax

The THERMAL SPRING SPA facilities at HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO offer a peaceful retreat for relaxation, using natural spring water from an on-site source. The core concept of the spa is to provide an “Oasis of Serenity”, inviting guests to take a break from their daily routines and immerse themselves in the calming atmosphere of the spring water. Guests can indulge in deep relaxation while being cocooned in a space created through the interplay of time, sound, light, fragrance, and water. This harmonious blend of sensory experiences enriches all five senses, resulting in enhanced tranquility. By surrendering to this serene environment, you can expect to discover a new version of yourself- a calmer, refreshed version. An added luxury is the two private onsen thermal springs, where guests can order food service directly to the springs.

To allow guests to experience Japanese traditions firsthand, HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO provides a private Kyoto kimono experience in partnership with HOSOO, an exclusive early morning visit to Taizo-in temple, afternoon tea at the registered Important Cultural Asset (the former Shimogamo Villa of the Mitsui Family), the morning of zen at Myoshinji Temple complex, and more.

HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO also provides a variety of other cultural adventures for guests, such as calligraphy, flower arrangement classes, and other traditional arts.

Fine Dining

With its rich food culture, Kyoto is a city famous for its culinary delights. At HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO, the Michelin-star culinary team goes above and beyond to deliver the ultimate gastronomic experiences to guests’ tables, selecting only the finest ingredients from around the world and across Japan, including the famed local Kyoto produce. The hotel boasts five distinct restaurants and bars, each with a unique menu and style: TOKI, FORNI, THE GARDEN BAR, and SHIKI-NO-MA, all of which offer stunning views of the beautifully curated garden. Diners can immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of the seasons while indulging in the hotel’s exceptional cuisine. If you’re traveling with a large group, you have the option to rent a private dining room for unparalleled privacy.

SHIKI-NO-MA pays homage to its heritage. The faithful yet modern reconstruction of a section of the former Mitsui family residence is constructed entirely of Japanese cypress. SHIKI-NO-MA serves multiple functions, including hosting exclusive dining events and tea ceremony gatherings.

Rooted in History

HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO is located in the heart of Kyoto – adjacent to Nijo-jo Castle on the site of the Kyoto home of the Kitake, the executive branch of the famous Mitsui Family – a property the family maintained for over 250 years until World War 2. In 1603, the Tokugawa Shogunate constructed Nijo-jo Castle in order to safeguard the Imperial Court located in Kyoto.

There are a number of other relics that remain from the Mitsui residence to this day including the main gate dating back to 1703, landscape features, stone lanterns, and more. The development has breathed new life into the heritage and legacy of the site.

The hotel uses all local architects, interior designers, landscape designers, and artists for property updates. For centuries, the Japanese have been captivated by the incomparable beauty of nature and the four seasons. Their profound sense and appreciation of such beauty have served to bring the Japanese together as a people and culture. The hotel’s slogan “Embracing Japan’s Beauty”, reflects its mission to ensure that guests have a joyful stay by immersing them in the magnificence of Japan’s natural beauty, traditions, architecture, cuisine, and arts.

Ready to Book?

If your travel dates are flexible, I recommend visiting in May to see the gardens at a beautiful time of the year with fewer crowds.

Book your stay with Team O to enjoy exclusive perks including complimentary daily breakfast for 2 guests daily per room, early check-in and late checkout (subject to availability upon arrival), a room upgrade (subject to availability upon arrival), a 100 USD Amenity Credit that can be used towards dining, spa services, and hotel recreational activities, VIP status, and more!

We also recently reviewed the Hoshinoya Hotel in Tokyo if you are planning a multi-route trip!

For more information on HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO or other destinations, reach out to our team at or submit a Travel Request Form.

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Your Ocean Journey Begins Now With Explora Journeys

See The Sea From A New Lens And Dive Into Rediscovery

Explora Journeys is set to transform ocean travel through a synergy of the chicest ships and the most immersive itineraries that allow guests to discover further, travel deeper, and linger a little longer at each destination. These are enriching holidays for the curious, cosmopolitan traveler who wants to create connections that last long beyond the journey itself.

Explora promises exclusive access far beyond the classic luxury cruise experience; whether that’s treading the cobbled streets of Europe’s hallowed capitals and exploring the ancient Acropolis; navigating the crystalline cool of the Norwegian fjords and sailing in the shadows of Svalbard’s soaring cliffs; or savoring French chic in Saint Barths, lolling beneath Hawaiian waterfalls or soaking up the sun-kissed shores of Brazil’s buzzing Buzios.

Explora is not just another cruise line– “this new luxury endeavor should be called an ocean journey” explains Michael Ungerer, Explora’s CEO. The ocean and its influence sit at the heart of the Explora Journeys brand.

Dive Into An Ocean State Of Mind

The ocean connects you with yourself, people, and the places around you. It relaxes you and creates energy in you that inspires inner and outer discovery, broadens horizons, and triggers new connections. All of this creates an emotional connection that is powerful, transformative, yet universal.

For the adventurous ocean thrill-seekers and beyond, there is an abundance of one-in-a-lifetime experiences such as flying in a fighter jet, scuba diving in some of the sought-after diving locations, or going on an adventure with one of the world’s leading explorers.

What Sets Explora Apart From Other Luxury Cruise Lines?

Chris Austin, Explora’s Chief Sales Officer shared some insights with Travel Weekly on consumer research and found that “there was a very common theme amongst the consumers we interviewed which was not to design yet another classic, traditional luxury cruise ship. They asked for space, choice, privacy, relaxed comfort and elegance”. And Explora listened. Explora was designed by some of the world’s foremost superyacht and luxury hospitality maritime architects and designers. “The ships will deliver one of the highest host-to-guest and guest-to-space ratios in the luxury category, the largest lead-in suites, the largest terraces, residences offering up to 3,014 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, a variety of indoor and outdoor lounges and redefined entertainment”.

EXPLORA I Sets Sail July 2023

EXPLORA I, the first of four luxury best-in-class ships in the Explora Journeys fleet, offers generous outdoor decks – with more than 2,500 sqm (26,909 sq ft) of spectacular sea views – combined with numerous indoor and outdoor pools and whirlpools on the ship’s promenade deck for an experience inspired by seas and oceans. The superyacht sets sail in July with a Mediterranean visit to Spain, France, Italy and Greece.

With unrivaled space and privacy – and service that means everything is taken care of – Explora Journeys guests can relax into their comfortable homes at sea with their luggage delivered and a chilled bottle of champagne waiting as they undertake their Ocean Journey.

Choose Your Best Home At Sea

Each of the ocean-front suites, penthouses, and residences on board EXPLORA I are all designed with a refined, European elegance, created to get you closer to the ocean itself, with floor-to-ceiling windows and private sun terraces.

The iconic Owner’s Residence on EXPLORA I creates the largest accommodation onboard, with multiple harmonious spaces in which to relax, entertain and unwind. Stand in awe of the panoramic ocean views from your private outdoor terrace – featuring a spacious whirlpool – and enjoy intuitive, intelligent service with a dedicated private butler.

Awaken your sense of adventure without compromising wellness. From treatment rooms to state-of-the-art fitness equipment, group workout classes to personal training appointments, tailor-made programs make keeping well while on holiday effortless and enjoyable.

Nine culinary experiences (as well as in-suite dining) to discover onboard EXPLORA I – each distinct but every one created to celebrate global cooking talents, provenance and wholesome ingredients sourced by local partners.

An All-Inclusive Experience

Prices vary depending on the itinerary, but Explora I’s 16-day maiden voyage starts at $18,500 for an Ocean Terrace Suite, based on double occupancy. The fare includes food, beverages such as wine and specialty coffees, gratuities, and Wi-Fi, according to the line’s website.

Everything is all-inclusive except for spa treatments, one concept restaurant (which will have local authentic Michelin-starred chefs from destinations along the journey for an experience meal with wine pairing – a revolving experience) and onshore experiences.

What’s more? Book your “ocean journey” with Ourisman Travel to unlock the exclusive Virtuoso Voyages benefit of 300 EUR shipboard credit, per suite.

All Aboard Your Next Journey

All luxury cruise lines are gearing up for another strong year as the industry continues its rebound—don’t wait to book your bucket-list cruise vacation with us!

We hand-selected six of our favorites (including Explora Journeys) to help you choose the best fit for you and your travel needs. 

There are limited spots available on Explora’s inaugural sailing in July. If you’re interested in learning more about EXPLORA I or other cruise experiences, fill out a traveler request form or email us at

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The Reluctant Traveler: A Luxury Hotel Guide

Eugene Levy proves even the most reluctant travelers can get an experience of a lifetime.

The Reluctant Traveler, streaming on Apple TV+, is not your typical travel show. For starters, its host, award-winning actor and comedian Eugene Levy candidly dislikes traveling. However, that doesn’t stop him from staying at some of the most stunning hotels worldwide. The series follows Eugene “reluctantly” stepping out of his comfort zone, trying new adventures and culinary flavors, and learning a little bit about himself along the way.

From exploring a private island in the Maldives to venturing the canals of Venice, Eugene gains a newfound appreciation for each destination he visits. Through his travels, he learns about history, nature, art, food, and more from the local guides he is paired with — and the phenomenal resorts are just an added bonus.

Here is our guide to the eight luxurious hotels featured in The Reluctant Traveler, and how you can experience them yourself with our help.

Arctic TreeHouse Hotel - Rovaniemi, Finland, IHG, The Reluctant Traveler

Arctic TreeHouse Hotel – Rovaniemi, Finland

The Arctic TreeHouse Hotel offers a luxury once-in-a-lifetime experience nestled in the Arctic Circle. Guests stay in a sleek GlassHouse with a modern Scandinavian design and private saunas. Cozy up and enjoy panoramic views of the northern lights and midnight sun from the comfort of your own bed.

For a true Finnish experience, try floating on wintery waters under the arctic skies. Levy agreed to this activity only after a vodka tasting which provided some liquid courage.

Book with Ourisman Travel for:

  • A complimentary bottle of wine by a private outdoor fire pit
  • VIP status
Nayara Tented Camp - La Fortuna, Costa Rica, Virtuoso

Nayara Tented Camp – La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Nayara Tented Camp is in the center of Costa Rica’s most popular destination infamous for its abundance of wildlife – over 500,000 species to be exact. Each tent is on stilts to maximize the stunning volcanic views and rainforest views. Every suite is designed to invite relaxation and mindfulness to your stay. Enjoy a personal infinity pool and outdoor shower while surrounded by the Costa Rican wilderness.

Nayara is proof that you can build an extraordinarily unique and luxurious hotel that compliments its natural surroundings and beautifully coexists with nature.

If you want to live ‘Pura Vida’, book your stay with Ourisman Travel for Virtuoso Amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD equivalent in local currency Food & Beverage credit utilized during stay
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel - Venice, Italy, Virtuoso, Marriott, STARS

The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel – Venice, Italy

The Gritti Palace’s stunning artistic interior design is noticeably inspired by Venice’s regular ranking as the most beautiful city on Earth. The historic 5-star hotel dates back to 1475 and overlooks the Grand Canal in the heart of the lagoon city. Each suite offers parallels between historic elegance and renewed Venetian style. Levy is captivated by the furniture and art in his room dating back to the 17th century.

Book your stay with Ourisman Travel for STARS Amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary daily breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during the stay (applicable in Club Del Doge restaurant only)
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
Amangiri - Canyon Point, Utah, Aman, Virtuoso

Amangiri – Canyon Point, Utah

Located in the heart of the red-rock country and the 900-acre desert near Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, Amangiri is one of the most secluded desert resorts in the world. Named “peaceful mountain” for a reason, Amangiri invites guests to soak in the surrounding landscape through the spacious indoor-outdoor patios of all 34 suites. Marwan, one of the hotel’s leading architects, describes the design decisions as “making simplicity luxurious”.

Whether you want to challenge your fear of heights and walk across the “stair across the sky”, take a private plane, helicopter, or balloon tour through the vast canyon landscape, or simply unwind with yoga on the rocks or grounding rituals, Amangiri ensures every guest, even reluctant travelers, are able to experience the desert oasis in its entirety.

Book your stay with Ourisman Travel for Virtuoso Amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily continental breakfast for two guests per bedroom, served in the restaurant
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during the stay
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
Kudadoo Maldives Private Island - Maldives, The Reluctant Traveler

Kudadoo Maldives Private Island – Maldives

Known for its unique concept of providing guests with “anything, anytime, anywhere”, Kudadoo Maldives resort is your chance to escape to a truly all-inclusive private island with exceptional client service. Resort hosts go above and beyond for even the most discerning travelers and Kudadoo sets a new standard for hotel luxury. To begin your journey, the only way to arrive at the island of Kudadoo is via seaplane which will be waiting for you upon your arrival at Maldives International Airport.

Although surrounded by some of the most beautiful waters in the world, Levy made it apparent he would not partake in water activities. Therefore, his personal butler, assigned to each guest at Kudadoo throughout their stay, sent him to the world-famous underwater restaurant 5.8, an underwater sound bath, and even went as far as to deliver golf clubs with biodegradable golf balls on the beach after Levy mentioned a love for the sport.

Kudadoo is a great honeymoon, family destination, and beyond. Take advantage of the truly unlimited all-inclusive benefits, such as elite culinary experiences, snorkeling, and diving at one of the most vibrant coral reefs in the world, various water sports, spa treatments with crystal clear views, yacht excursions, and more.

For even more added benefits, book with Ourisman Travel for:

  • One complimentary lunch for two at 5.8 Undersea Restaurant
  • VIP status
Kruger Shalati, The Train on the Bridge - Skukuza, South Africa, The Reluctant Traveler

Kruger Shalati, The Train on the Bridge – Skukuza, South Africa

When you think of an African safari, lodges and camps most likely come to mind which is why Kruger Shalati, an all-inclusive train carriage sanctuary, is a particularly rare opportunity to experience South African wildlife.

Situated on one of Africa’s largest nature preserves, Kruger National Park hosts all of the big five species– healthy populations of elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards, and rhinos. If you want to observe and celebrate the enthralling wildlife South Africa has to offer, doing so from a 1,000-foot bridge gives you views no lodge on ground level can compete with.

There are only 24 carriage suites ensuring each guest gets to discover nature’s finest creations uninterrupted. Although car excursions are an exhilarating way to see wildlife up close, nothing beats watching them from an overhanging pool on your own private deck.

Book with Ourisman Travel for VIP status during your stay. 

Verride Palácio de Santa Catarina - Lisbon, Portugal, Small Luxury Hotels, The Reluctant Traveler

Verride Palácio de Santa Catarina – Lisbon, Portugal

Perched on top of one of the 7 famous hills in Lisbon, Verride Palacio de Santa Catarina is a historic palace turned hotel. Its maximalist design was intentional – to preserve as much of the old palace as possible. Have a gastronomic experience dining at the Suba restaurant, rooftop bar, or winter garden. Before heading out into the bustling town, the hotel recommends guests practice a moment of mindfulness from their private balcony while soaking up the Portuguese sun.

Book with Ourisman Travel for:

  • Complimentary daily breakfast for up to two guests
  • VIP status 
Hoshinoya Tokyo - Tokyo, Japan, Virtuoso

Hoshinoya Tokyo – Tokyo, Japan

Levy describes Hoshinoya Hotel as “a mix of luxury, high tech, and traditional Japanese simplicity”. Even though the hotel is in the heart of the action of Tokyo’s city center, as soon as you step inside Hoshinoya’s doors, you are transported to a tranquil escape. Each of its 17 floors functions as a 6-room ryokan, an exclusive estate accessible only to the guests staying on that floor. To encourage some R&R after a busy day in the city, Hoshinoya offers two bath halls fed by natural hot springs directly below the hotel’s surface. The hotel also offers a surplus of traditional Japanese activities such as morning Kenjutsu practice, a Japanese tea ceremony, a Tokyo cruise ride, and more.

Book with Ourisman Travel for Virtuoso Amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Full Breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom, served via Room Service
  • Complimentary Tea Ceremony Experience for up to two guests (must have a minimum value of $100 USD equivalent)
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Whether you’re a reluctant traveler or an expert globe trotter, there is an overabundance of beautiful hotels and resorts around the world eager to be explored. If you are interested in traveling to any of the above destinations, book your stay with Ourisman Travel for added amenities and benefits. If you love the location but prefer to explore other nearby hotels, check out a map of our preferred hotels here. You can also fill out a travel request form to customize any request.

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Pro Tip: How to Choose the Best Hotel Room

Do you ever wonder what it takes to choose the best hotel room? Well, as luxury hotel specialists, we have traveled far and wide visiting various hotels and have collected our own internal library of notes and knowledge over the years. While we don’t always know everything about every room at every hotel, we have a few pro tips that could help you plan your next trip and make sure you have a top-notch hotel experience.

Know Thyself… 

Let your decisions be made by the drive of your priorities! The room that is the best fit for your needs may not be the best conventional room at the hotel. Sometimes, a smaller room with a balcony is more valuable than a larger room that lacks privacy- we see this often with parents traveling with a new baby. That balcony can be your sanity saver during bedtime when you want to stay up later, but don’t want to risk making noise and risk waking the baby! 

Determine your priorities! If you stay in a big city, you may just be using the room to shower and sleep, so the view, while nice, isn’t that important. But if you are staying at a resort and spending most of your time at the property, you may want that beautiful view. And sometimes, booking a higher room category isn’t necessarily about a larger space and better view. Every hotel is different, however, some accommodation features worth investing in are independent units that exude privacy, with full size private pools and dedicated butlers. By investing in premium accommodations, you’re paying for a noticeable difference — like that standalone Casita positioned at the end of the property. One less neighbor and direct beach access is a wise investment!

Pro tip: At COMO Parrot Cay, invest in the houses or villas. Besides a better view, here you are paying for direct beach access, exclusivity (privacy), full size pools, dedicated butler service and close proximity to the resort’s restaurants and amenities. When booking the Two Bedroom Beach House, request the last unit on the end of the beach for the most private location for this accommodation!

Make a personal connection with a travel advisor!

Consult with (and book through) a travel advisor who has a relationship with the hotel, who has done a site inspection, and who can access a network of insider information from other colleagues. This will not only ensure you receive the best room location, but you’ll also receive the best in terms of prioritized VIP service and experience… which sometimes even includes a complimentary room upgrade at check in!

Don’t be afraid to let your advisor get to know you! Instead of just asking for the best hotel or room in the destination, ask which specific hotel/room will work best for you based on your requests and interests for that specific trip. Establishing a relationship with your travel advisor helps guarantee a more personalized and valuable stay. 

Pro tip: At Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, the most popular accommodation among our clients is the Oceanfront Room With Plunge Pool. For this specific accommodation, ask your trusty travel advisor to request building 2500, as this room location is closest to and faces directly towards the beach!

Think about price vs. value 

Sometimes paying a little extra for a room will pack a huge punch-adding value to the experience. Four Seasons Hotels is a great example of this—they never charge resort fees, their kids club is complimentary and many of their resorts supply complimentary sunscreen by the pool – all of these little perks add up to huge value. 

Another example, paying that little bit extra for Club Level access makes all the difference! Think complimentary breakfast, lunch, appetizers, and drinks all throughout the day! As well as a luxurious space to relax that isn’t your room. 

Avoid booking through Online Travel Agencies (OTAs like Expedia,, Amex FHR, etc.) 

Sure, you’ll get instant gratification, but that won’t make up for the lack of customer service or quality attention to your questions. With a dedicated travel advisor, not only do you get prioritized, top-notch communication, we also aim to add personal touches to your reservation based on your overall preferences.

Pro-tip: If an OTA is ever offering an amenity or inclusion that we aren’t, that doesn’t mean we can’t access it for you! For example, if an OTA is offering a guaranteed late check-out and that’s what you require… tell us! Not only do we have a dedicated contact at every affiliated hotel, we have a relationship with our partner, and together, we want the best for YOU as our mutual client. And sometimes this means securing that guaranteed late check-out for you!

Don’t get lost in the crowd 

Find ways to make your reservation stand out from the rest. Try booking with a consortia like Virtuoso where your reservation will get an automatic VIP designation with the hotel managers. With Virtuoso, you can even book online now to get the best of both worlds: instant gratification when you want a fast response time and a VIP experience during your stay. You’ll also get some pretty sweet complimentary amenities, which can make a slightly more expensive hotel completely worth it in the end! To learn more about the Virtuoso booking tool, you can read our blog post on its benefits and easy use!

All about that space

If space is important to you, research room size and pay attention to square footage on the hotel websites – when comparing different hotels or deciding if it is worth a splurge on a higher room category, it sometimes helps to think in cost per square foot just like you would in real estate. Know the conversion to square meters before researching international hotels so you have a good feel of the space you’re buying. 

Bathrooms are a key component of a great hotel stay

Do you want a bathtub, a separate shower, or both? Would it help your significant other or family if you had a separate water closet? If having extra towels will make your morning go smoother, ask for them in advance to avoid disappointment.

You get what you pay for

Luxury brands will have more comfortable mattresses and bedding; thicker and fluffier towels; and nicer bathroom amenities. 

Also, consider the view and what you’re willing to pay for – know when it matters to you if you have an ocean view or a parking lot view. In many cases, the footprint of a room will be exactly the same and the only thing you’re paying for with the higher room categories is the view… is it worth it for you?

While we know a lot, we don’t know EVERYTHING. So, we also do a little researching ourselves every now and then. We also make sure we experience the amenities the hotels have to offer, inspect different hotel brands and get to know the hotel so we can give you a clear idea of what you will get! Clearly, we’re passionate about this topic! We hope you find this information helpful and use these pro tips next time you’re in search of the best hotel room for your travels.

To help you choose the best hotel room for you at your next destination, reach out to our team at or submit a travel request form

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Meet the Voyager – Alex Woche

The Voyager is a “go big or go home” type of traveler.

As a voyager, Alex’s vacations led to her spontaneously moving to the locations she fell in love with more than once. A Christmas vacation to Sydney, Australia turned into one year there as an au pair and a study abroad trip to London led to her moving back to earn her Master’s degree a year later. When she travels, Alex tries to stay as long as possible so that she can foster genuine connections and make the most of the local scenery and experiences.

Interlaken, Switzerland

“Growing up, I often received advice from my mentors to take advantage of the freedom being younger gives you. Because of that advice, I started this ongoing joke with myself that my 20s are for me. I intentionally made decisions that allowed me to live in foreign places and generate lasting international friendships.”

Alex sees travel as a way to reset. Although she keeps a busy schedule when she travels, she feels more relaxed simply by being in a new environment. She loves switching between downtime and epic excursions such as ziplining, kayaking, or gondola rides. “I have an irrational fear of heights but I don’t let it come between me and seeing the best view of the town I’m staying in.”

View from her lodging in Santorini, Greece

It’s all about making the most out of vacations for Alex. “I would much rather travel less and take full advantage of what a city has to offer than go on smaller trips every weekend.” 

“Being able to see new parts of the world is the most grounded I’ve ever felt. Traveling offers me a calm reminder that I am connected to something so much bigger than I feel at home”.

A morning routine on vacation looks like a cup of coffee with a view, a list of gratitudes, and quiet meditation in nature. Then, she loves to fill the rest of the day by seeing as many sights as possible.

A gloomy bus ride in London

To prepare for a trip, Alex selects the top 3 things she wants to see and leaves her itinerary open for the rest of the trip. “My day-to-day life is very structured and I use travel as a way to unwind and let each day unfold spontaneously. For me, this ensures I stay in the present moment and can say yes to new opportunities.” Some packing travel essentials include soundproof headphones, Netflix movies downloaded for the plane ride, workout clothes, and a few books.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Her favorite travel memories all incorporate nature. From visiting the Wolf and Wildlife Sanctuary in Colorado to whale watching in Northern California, Alex always prioritizes an opportunity to observe native wildlife. “I grew up surrounded by rescue dogs and my love for animals has only expanded since traveling.” 

Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Sanctuary

Words of wisdom from a voyager: make the most of each day! Don’t return from a trip with any regrets about what you didn’t do or who you didn’t meet. 

Next on the bucket list for Alex is the Maldives, a safari trip in Africa and the coast of Italy.

To see if you’re a fellow voyager, take the personality quiz here!

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Hotel Spotlight: Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows

Experience Scottsdale’s One-of-a-Kind Desert Retreat at Andaz

Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows, located in the heart of Scottsdale on 23 shaded acres, is designed with mid-century modern flair, artisan furnishings, and local artwork; the perfect setting for travelers searching for a unique and inspiring getaway in Arizona’s desert oasis. 


Andaz Scottsdale boasts 185 unique bungalows and suites that blend an indigenous style with eclectic and modern furnishings. Its design creatively pays homage to Arizona’s natural elements which provide a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors. Each bungalow features a private entrance and patio that face sprawling lawns. The rooms are spacious with luxurious oversized bathrooms adorned with soaking tubs and expansive windows, and some with outdoor showers. The perfect place to relax, read a book and connect with nature without the infamous heat.  

The Retreat

The Retreat is an exclusive area of the resort that features its own pool with added personalized benefits. This private enclave of 20 bungalows includes the Albers House residential villa, three Sonoran Suites, eight Eames king rooms, and eight Eames double queen rooms. This space offers the perfect setting for hosting events such as weddings, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and work gatherings. Each guest is able to enjoy the privacy of their own room while remaining closely connected to everyone in the group. 

Food and Drink 

Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant with a Southwestern influence. Its name derives from weaving and pays homage to the diverse artists, farmers, and purveyors who helped cultivate Arizona’s culture. Featuring living-room-style dining rooms with exceptional views of Camelback Mountain and an expansive patio dining area, Weft & Warp offers a full-flavored menu that will satisfy any palate. It is also a popular spot for brunch—a favorite on the menu is the eggs benedict with a local twist of chipotle hollandaise sauce.

Pro tip: up to 10 diners can enjoy the immersive chef’s table experience inside the restaurant’s glass-box kitchen!

Facilities and Activities 

Whether guests decide to embark on the 3-day self-guided mindfulness journey or experience one of its elite spa services,  Andaz promotes the benefits of wellness throughout the resort. The world-renowned Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary offers full-service treatments, private steam rooms, a relaxation lounge, and its own adults-only pool with panoramic views of Camelback Mountain. Each service is inspired by native plants and Earth’s natural resources. All guests receive a bespoke experience custom to their well-being goals and needs. 

Guests are also encouraged to spend a full day at Turquoise Pool, which has private cabana rentals and a bar with beverages and delicious eats. The cabanas include comfortable furnishings, warm Mangaris wood accents, privacy curtains, and flat-screen TVs. 

Andaz Scottsdale’s amenities and services include: 

  • Twilight yoga and sunset stretches 
  • Stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking
  • Guided meditation and sound healing 
  • Half-day guided hike through the expansive lush desert and mountains 
  • Complimentary shuttle service within a three-mile radius
  • Live entertainment Thursday- Saturday 
  • Personal bar service to one of the 16 fire pits around the property
  • Exclusive pasta-making class with a world-renowned chef 
  • Resort bicycles and guided mountain biking excursions
  • Seasonal mixology classes for private parties 
  • Crystal-infused perfume creation with the resort’s aromatherapy consultant

Book Your Stay with Ourisman Travel 

Overall, if you’re looking for a relaxing reset with twilight yoga, a plethora of outdoor activities, alluring pools, distinct interior design, and a world-class spa, Andaz Scottsdale should be top of the list! Book your stay with Ourisman Travel for the following Hyatt Privé amenities: 

  • Room category upgrade at booking within 24 hours, based on availability
  • Daily Full Breakfast for 2 guests
  • $100 resort credit to be used during your stay
  • Early Check-In/Late Check-out, based on availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Current Promotions 

Pets Stay Free: Your furry friends are welcome to enjoy the resort’s open outdoor spaces—let their team know at least 3 days prior to arrival and enjoy a dog bed delivered to your room.
Valid for Travel Now Through 31 Dec 2023

Enjoy a Complimentary 5th Night Free with Hyatt Privé amenities included with your stay at Andaz Scottsdale!
Valid for Travel Now Through 15 May 2023

Check out these other Virtuoso properties we have throughout Scottsdale: 

For more information on Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows, reach out to our team at or submit a travel request form

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Where Nature and Luxury Collide: A Hotel Spotlight of Naviva by Four Seasons in Punta Mita, Mexico

Four Seasons Naviva Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico is an exquisite blend of nature and luxury. The resort’s design honors Mexican heritage and perfectly compliments its natural exterior elements. It is a truly remarkable escape for anyone who desires innovative privacy, serene views of the Pacific Ocean and extraordinary all-inclusive amenities. Just 15 luxury tents spread across the 48 acre property ensures exclusivity in a calm, meditative hideaway in the Mexican jungle.

The best way to get to Naviva is by flying into Puerto Vallarta (PVR). As one of the busiest airports in Mexico, I recommend upgrading your arrival experience by utilizing our premium Hotel Plus concierge assistance service. We can assist with pre-arranging your roundtrip transfers to the hotel and also add VIP Fast Track to expedite you through customs and immigration. This package also includes:

  • Meet and Greet at the gate
  • Assistance with luggage collection
  • Porter service
  • Personal escort to your resort vehicle
  • Complimentary roundtrip transfers for two from PVR (exclusively through our Preferred Partner affiliation)

Punta Mita is a private gated resort community located about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. And, Naviva is a property within the Four Seasons Punta Mita. It is the first Four Seasons all-inclusive tented camp in the Americas and only the second in the world, promising a rare and timeless experience for adults only.

Naviva guests also enjoy full access to the adjacent Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita. However, guests of Four Seasons Punta Mita do not have access to Naviva making it ultra exclusive. With limited guests, the resort’s intimate scale allows for greater personal interactions with a 3:1 employee to guest ratio.

After a few nights at Four Seasons Punta Mita, I could already tell it would be a unique experience when our Naviva guide, Cristian, personally picked us up in a Ford Bronco — not your typical hotel transfer car, but an intriguing and exciting way to begin our stay. In the backseat — a cooler filled with an assortment of refreshments. I helped myself to a Corona for the short 5-minute drive to Naviva.

Naviva Bronco House Car

Here’s the cool thing — what makes this experience even more unique, is Naviva leaning into an authentic, eco-friendly interaction with nature by offering “the real thing” and unapologetically going against the more classic Four Seasons resort model. They offer an all-encompassing approach to pricing to simplify every experience and eliminate distraction:

  • Ahead of arrival, each Four Seasons Naviva guest is matched with a personal guide, who creates a customized itinerary for your stay based on your preferences.
  • Upon arrival, I was personally greeted by Ronny, the Resort Manager.
  • While there’s a tray displaying their signature cocktails, you can have whatever you prefer. Rather than being given an ordinary welcome drink, I was asked my drink of preference.
  • The “room keys” are waterproof wristbands you keep on throughout your stay. Gone are the days you lose your room key or have to reactivate plastic.
  • Left as a welcome amenity was a kit on the living room table for making my own sophisticated smoked & spicy cocktail. You could even scan a QR code to get exact instructions on the best way to make it – drawing inspiration from the rich history and culture of Mexico.
  • Extensive hiking trails – an opportunity to experience unfiltered, tranquil views that invite you to disconnect from the world around you, in the best way possible.
  • Mediation and sound healing activity at the yoga pavilion overlooking the ocean at sunset – the perfect way to refresh my mind and body before dinner.
  • House of Heat – a traditional temazcal designed specifically for Naviva with ceremonies that explore gratitude, devotion and rebirth which tested my strength and vulnerability.
  • Chef Sofia took us on a behind the scenes tour of the kitchen and back of the house which included the fresh vegetables, herbs and spices that are grown on property – a true farm to table experience.
Naviva Grand Tent

I was assigned tent number 2, named Mobula, which was a Grand Tent (there are only 5 Grand Tents on property). The Grand Tents are 1,700 sqft and have a two-tier deck, which offers captivating 360 degree views of the jungle and Pacific Ocean. Each tent is exclusively designed to serve as a “refuge” for its guests. With an outdoor shower, private pool, sun deck, multiple lounging areas, for some a fire pit and an indoor free-standing tub with an ocean view, it is a truly over-the-top “refuge” — one that feels both wild and comforting.

An open-air living room and separate bedroom open onto a private plunge pool and expansive outdoor living area, where a hammock, fire pit and outdoor shower are available. Inside, oversized bathrooms have deep soaking tubs and skylit showers. Each room is a quiet and subtle invitation to unwind, relax and recharge. As “disconnecting” is a goal at the resort, private rooms do not offer televisions — although I’ve been told, it can be accommodated.

Naviva Grand Tent Bathroom

Off the bedroom is the screened indoor/outdoor living room where I enjoyed my morning coffee which doubled as a creative workspace. You can also open the door between the bedroom and living room for a larger indoor/outdoor living concept. If you’re like most people and don’t enjoy bugs and insects sharing your room, rest assured this is not an issue inside the air-conditioned tents.

Naviva Grand Tent Screened Indoor/Outdoor Living Room

Naviva’s main pool area — Selva, has three-tiered pools. Rather than a resort pool on the water, they thoughtfully placed the pool in the middle of the jungle, though there are still Pacific Ocean views to admire. The contrast between the tall trees and ocean-blue water creates a beautiful, relaxing view which is embedded in my mind. However, trust me, the highlight here will be your private pool at your own luxury tent.

To make use of my complimentary spa treatment, I made my way to the Ocaso and Alba air-conditioned “spa pods” which offered another private refuge. The cocoon-like pod included a daybed and barrel hot tub designed to rebalance my mind, body and spirit.

Spa Pod

With the simplified experience in mind, each meal at Naviva pays homage to the local cuisine and is prepared fresh daily. Choose to dine at Copal Cocina, the Risco Terrace or on the deck of your private tent. The main “restaurant” — Copal Cocina, is at the heart of the resort and is an open concept kitchen where you can watch everything as it’s prepared. For each meal, a dish is proposed, and I personally loved how pleasant it was not to have to make any decisions and instead let someone else make the hard choices for me. Every meal was as delicious as it was beautifully presented.

Copal Cocina

So, is Four Seasons Naviva worth the cost?

Entry level “tents” start at $3,950 – $4,250+ per night for most of the year, with the larger tents costing an extra $1,000 per night. Naviva has a minimum stay of two nights, which means the minimum (pre-tax / fees) cost to enter is around $7,900. Plus, “Stay Longer” and book our Third Night Free offer (mentioned at the end of our blog) and spend more time experiencing this unspoiled nature retreat – it’s on us.

The price includes all meals, snacks and drinks, one 60-minute spa treatment per guest, daily practices and rituals and Unscripted Naviva experiences. As a Preferred Partner guest, you also receive complimentary roundtrip airport transfers for two (USD 330 value), complimentary upgrade to a Large Tent (STA) and early check-in / late check-out (STA).

Let’s first address the elephant in the tent – the price is steep. And, after experiencing the property first-hand, to my mind, the pricing is quite appropriate.

  • Your stay includes all meals, snacks and drinks – including many premium wines and spirits – all day long. The rate also includes daily community activities, mind and body practices and one complimentary spa treatment per person, per stay. Similarly, at the end of the day, it’s quite possible to spend a similar figure for a premium suite at a standard resort after tallying up all the food, drinks, activities and spa treatments that are a la carte.
  • If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury tented camping experience with close proximity to the United States or you want a weekend escape to nature with all the luxuries a Four Seasons offers, Naviva is a practical option.
  • No one else is currently offering what the Four Seasons has created specifically for Naviva, making it extremely exclusive and rare, which comes at a higher cost.

Not only do I recommend Naviva for the seasoned luxury traveler, but I also recommend Naviva for those that have experienced Four Seasons Punta Mita previously. If you are considering a return trip to the Four Seasons, and you have an adults-only opportunity for at least a portion of your trip, I suggest spending a few nights at Four Seasons Punta Mita and ending your stay at the Four Seasons Naviva so you can enjoy and experience the exquisite features of both resorts.

Cost aside, is this property for everyone? Definitely not. This property is for those that appreciate an intimate, quiet, personalized experience and prefer to feel like a guest on a private estate, on an exceptional intimate getaway, on the Pacific Ocean.

Leisure travel aside, this resort is also the perfect option for corporate or high-end executive retreats and small weddings or milestone buyouts.

All to say, value has always been highly subjective to the individual. If you feel what this property has to offer appeals to your own travel desires and fits your budget, it goes without saying that Four Seasons Naviva is a terrific option.

Naviva Grand Tent Two Tier Deck

Four Seasons Preferred Partner can generally be combined with any rates you’ll find directly with Four Seasons. The upgrades through Preferred Partner are also prioritized over upgrades through other programs, so you’ll want to use Preferred Partner over a program like Virtuoso or Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. As a Preferred Partner agency, we can make Preferred Partner bookings on your behalf.

For this specific Naviva property, the Preferred Partner amenities are a bit limited since the property is all-inclusive. However, as a client of Ourisman Travel, you can enjoy VIP status and these premium value-added amenities exclusively through our Preferred Partner affiliation:

  • Complimentary roundtrip airport transfers for two guests from Puerto Vallarta Airport (USD 330 value)
  • First priority for the best luxury tent inventory and complimentary upgrade to a Large Tent (STA)
  • First priority for early check-in / late check-out (STA)

At Naviva, every detail honors our human desire to connect with nature. The spontaneous activities, world-class farm-to-table meals, artisan interior design, and 30-guest capacity limit work in harmony to create a truly revolutionary luxury getaway. With limited guests, I had an incredible, personalized private getaway. And, for a place like this, I loved having it nearly to ourselves.

Current Promotions:

Preferred Partner – Stay Longer – Third Night Free: Book this offer to receive a complimentary third night, all food and beverages, one spa treatment per person, Unscripted Naviva experiences and more.

Valid between May 10, 2023 – Dec 16, 2024. Offers are subject to availability at time of booking. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

I suggest being among the first to experience the all-inclusive stay before there’s a waitlist and premium rates. For more information on Four Seasons Naviva and Preferred Partner bookings, reach out to our team at or submit a Travel Request Form.

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