Puglia and Sicily: Italy’s Trending Destinations

While summer just ended and you may be focused on upcoming holiday festivities and family traditions, it’s also time to think ahead! Italy, including the beautiful regions of Puglia and Sicily, is a travel hotspot right now, and this summer a record number of travelers visited: an estimated 3 million more compared to 2019 to be exact. Besides the obvious (stunning architecture, delicious food, dreamy seaside resorts, and historical sightseeing), why is Italy seeing an unprecedented influx in tourism? Experts agree that a lot has to do with the continued pent-up demand in a post-pandemic world. We are also seeing firsthand the massive impact pop culture has on consumer buying decisions. Some call it the “White Lotus effect” and credit one of HBO’s most popular shows with the increase in interest to spend their spring and summer holidays in Italy. Fashion powerhouses also creatively partnered with some of the most stunning cliff and seaside 5-star hotels this summer to create a dreamy poolside setup, which caught the attention of luxury travelers who love the perfect photo op.

Whatever the reason may be, we are not seeing any signs of travel in Italy slowing down. While the top destinations in Italy remain the most popular, there are two towns in particular that everyone is flocking to: Sicily (hello, White Lotus effect) and Puglia (pronounced POOL-ia). We have hand-picked our favorite hotels and private villas in these two trending destinations and are happy to provide our expert guidance on how each town compares to each other and how they may fit your individual travel preferences.

Puglia Vs. Sicily: What’s the Difference?

Puglia, situated at the southern tip of the Italian boot, boasts an extensive coastline adorned with numerous exquisite beaches. Renowned for its transparent waters, distinctive trulli cone houses, picturesque villages, and delectable cuisine, this region is a favored choice for beach getaways. Its sandy shores draw in visitors seeking idyllic seaside vacations. Puglia offers beaches conveniently located near amenities, a vibrant nightlife scene, and the advantage of being on the mainland, allowing for effortless day trips to major Italian cities.

Sicily, Italy’s largest island, offers equally impressive beaches, captivating towns, picturesque wineries, and a wealth of ancient ruins and archaeological sites. Throughout its history, Sicily has served as a meeting point for diverse cultures and culinary traditions. Sicily features more secluded, tranquil beaches and is an ideal destination for hiking and exploration, making it particularly appealing to solo travelers. We recommend hiking Mount Etna or, if you have physical restrictions, taking a helicopter tour of one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

Puglia: Italy’s Hidden Gem on the Heel

Puglia, situated in the southernmost reaches of Italy, is embraced by an extensive 800-kilometer coastline adorned with limestone cliffs, sprawling olive groves, and untamed forests. Its pristine sandy beaches have garnered praise from travel experts, and it’s only recently that international tourists have begun to explore the region, captivated by the allure of distinctive round trulli houses in the local real estate.

The southern part of Italy bears a profound maritime influence that echoes through its historical narratives, culinary traditions, and cultural tapestry. Italy’s heel serves as the convergence point where the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea come together, leaving an indelible mark on the region’s identity. The best way to get here is by driving from a nearby town or flying to Puglia (Bari or Brindisi airports). Our team is happy to assist with transportation details.

Activity Recommendations

Our Top Restaurant Suggestions:

  • Masseria Eccellenza
  • Grotta Palazzese
  • Osteria del Tempo Perso
  • Pasticceria Ascalone (custard-filled pastry is as much a symbol to this part of Italy as the croissant is to France)

Our Top Activity Suggestions:

  • Lido Bambu (popular beach club)
  • Roman amphitheater
  • Baroque churches and palaces
  • Olive oil tasting class

Our Hotel Plus team is happy to help you secure any reservations you may have for the duration of your stay in Puglia.

The Perfect Accommodations

When it comes to where to stay in Puglia, we have quite a few favorites that give you that all-encompassing Italian villa feel. And if you want to stay in a true Italian villa, we highly recommend Villa Dagea. Escape to this rustic Italian countryside, surrounded by olive trees, where the pace of life slows down, offering a rejuvenating escape from the demands of everyday existence.

The villa has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, sits on 12 acres of private land, and has its own secluded heated swimming pool. This home can sleep up to 8 people and is perfect for families with younger children. These remarkable amenities, coupled with attentive service, including a driver and private chef (optional, but yes please), combine to transform this intimate villa into the ultimate haven for your vacation. Contact our team to learn more about pricing and availability during your desired dates.

If you prefer the luxuries of staying at a hotel, with onsite restaurants, activities, and poolside service, we highly recommend checking out Masseria San Domenico, Borgo Egnazia, and Masseria Torre Maizza, a Rocco Forte hotel.

Use our complimentary booking tool to receive exclusive benefits at no extra cost, including:

  • Daily breakfast for two people per bedroom
  • $100 equivalent Hotel/Resort credit
  • Room upgrade, based on availability at the time of check-in
  • Early check-in/late check-out, based on availability

Sicily: A Tapestry of Mediterranean Marvels

Sicily, positioned just off the toe of the Italian mainland, presents a distinct character that sets it apart from the rest of Italy. It’s also the largest and the most diverse island in the Mediterranean. Its capital city, Palermo, is a magnificent blend of chaos and treasures. When you visit, be ready to immerse yourself in the exploration of palaces, castles, and churches that showcase a harmonious fusion of Arab, Norman, Baroque, and Renaissance architectural marvels.

Life in Palermo is an energetic and vibrant experience. The city exudes warmth and noise, and its people have an unbridled passion for food. Whether they’re out shopping or heading home from work, Sicilians are constantly savoring delectable snacks from street stalls. These treats include famous delights such as chickpea fritters, custard-filled croissants, potato croquettes, and oily pizzas topped with onions and caciocavallo cheese. The culinary scene in Palermo and throughout Sicily possesses a distinctive Mediterranean essence, reminiscent of both Greece and North Africa. The best way to get there is by flying to Sicily (Palermo, Catania, Trapani, or Comiso airports). If Sicily or Puglia are a stop on a longer trip through Italy, our team can assist with finding the best transportation arrangements for you as a car or boat ride may be the best way to get there depending on where you’re traveling from.

Activity Recommendations

Our Top Restaurant Suggestions:

  • Il Barcaiolo – Enjoy typical Sicilian cuisine at this family-owned romantic trattoria and enjoy views of the Mazzarò Bay from the terrace!
  • La Gallizza
  • Il Brigantino 
  • Don Camillo – Elegant and refined, this restaurant is famous for seafood dishes and a rich wine list – try seafood risotto and the ricotta dessert.

Our Top Activity Suggestions:

  • Cooking class at Benanti Winery
  • Mount Etna helicopter tour
  • Archaeological site tour
  • Mount Etna wine tour

Hello White Lotus Fans!

Perhaps the hotel that has seen the highest influx in reservations is none other than San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel. After hosting HBO’s famous show, room reservations skyrocketed, and we believe it’s well-deserved.

Imagine waking up to serene views of the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna in the charming Italian town of Taormina. Explore Sicily’s famous landmarks, dine at Principe Cerami, run by celebrated chef Massimo Mantarro, or read a book by the clifftop infinity pool overlooking Taormina Bay. In our opinion, this hotel perfectly encapsulates the Italian summer dream.

By booking your stay through us, you will enjoy exclusive amenities:

• Daily full breakfast for two guests per bedroom
• Hotel/Resort Credit up to 200 USD
• Upgrade of one category, based on availability at the time of check-in
• Welcome note and amenity
• VIP status and more!

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. We also carry a Top 30 advisory status for every Four Seasons hotel so we know that our clients are in the best hands wherever they stay.

A Belmond Escape

If you’re looking for other accommodation options, Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, and Villa Sant’Andrea, A Belmond Hotel, are two luxurious and iconic properties located in Sicily.

Grand Hotel Timeo

Nestled on the picturesque cliffs of Taormina, overlooking the majestic Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea, Grand Hotel Timeo holds one of the most breathtaking settings in all of Italy. This historic hotel has been hosting elite guests since 1873 and has a rich heritage of welcoming royalty, celebrities, and artists. It was also the first hotel to be built in Taormina. The hotel offers a range of 70 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, each exuding classic Sicilian style and modern comforts. Many rooms offer panoramic views of the sea or Mount Etna.

Villa Sant’Andrea

Situated on the enchanting Bay of Mazzarò, just a short distance from Taormina, Villa Sant’Andrea offers a serene and secluded escape by the sea. The hotel is a historic villa dating back to the late 19th century and showcases the elegant architecture and ambiance of a bygone era. Some of the hotel’s 69 rooms and suites come with private terraces and direct access to the beach. The decor is a blend of classic Italian style and modern amenities.

By booking your stay at Grand Hotel Timeo or Villa Sant’Andrea through us, you will enjoy exclusive Bellini Club amenities:

  • Buffet or full breakfast for 2 daily
  • Complimentary upgrade based on availability at the time of check-in 
  • 90 USD credit and select suites have a 200 USD credit per stay
  • A unique 500 USD gift voucher loyalty program when you book a 5,000 USD stay or more
  • Welcome letter from the General Manager recognizing your agency 
  • VIP welcome treats with a local taste    

If you prefer the privacy of a private home, we’ve gathered our top three choices: Cornelia, Dom Mimi, and Villa Dione. Each offers unique sea views and hosts up to 24 people, perfect for multi-generational family gatherings or long-awaited reunions with close friends. Contact our team to learn more about pricing and availability during your desired dates.

The Benefit of a Private Villa

Choosing between staying in a villa or a hotel can significantly shape your travel experience, each offering a distinct charm and set of advantages. The benefits of a luxury hotel are obvious, but the rise of interest in private villas needed some digging. We have worked hard exploring what luxury villa and private home partners we have available to our clients and are proud to say that just like our hotel network, our networks for villas and private homes are expansive, with a strong global presence and representing the best of the best! Better yet, our partners are thoroughly vetted by our host agency, ensuring that their product is luxurious, their service is high-end, and that you will indeed get what you pay for. Our team has spent time over the past year learning how to work with these partners and we are excited to bring our clients a wealth of villa and private home options for future trips! Feel free to check out our blog for more information.

We approach villa and private home requests through our consultative Hotel Plus service. Oftentimes, because villa and private home requests involve more detail than a straightforward hotel booking, we will schedule a phone call with you to discuss your trip and get a sense of what your needs are for the villa and what type of villa or private home would best suit those needs. We will talk through your budget, destinations you are considering, the size of your group or family, and get a sense of your “must-haves” in addition to your “wish list” items for the villa or private homes.

Through our Hotel Plus service for villas and private homes, we are able to assist with some concierge requests such as airport transfers, private chef arrangements, and other onsite touches. If you are looking for a more detailed approach to your itinerary, we can elevate your trip through our Tailored Luxury service and arrange for activities like private yacht rentals, exclusive private tours, and much more. The beauty of a private villa or home rental lies in the possibility of complete customization!

The Time to Book Puglia and Sicily is Now!

Booking your trip to Italy in the spring and summer now is a smart move to secure the best accommodations, experiences, and prices, as these seasons offer optimal weather conditions for exploring Italy’s rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes, all while avoiding last-minute rush and potential availability issues. For more tips on how to best prepare for your trip, you can also check out our blog post on how to travel like a pro.

To get started, fill out a Travel Request Form or email our team at team@ourismantravel.com today. Your Italian escape to Puglia and Sicily starts now!

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Four Seasons Lanai & Sensei Lāna’i, a Four Seasons Resort

Welcome to the beautiful island of Lanai, an unspoiled tropical paradise that feels like a well-kept secret. With just 3,100 residents and 88,000 acres of untouched beauty, this island is 98% owned by billionaire Larry Ellison. Here, you won’t find traffic lights or busy streets; instead, you’ll step into a world of serenity and natural splendor that’s waiting to be explored. What’s even better? Two of our favorite resorts in the world are here: Four Seasons Resort Lanai and Sensei Lāna’i, a Four Seasons Resort. As a Top 30 advisor globally for Four Seasons, Angela from Team O recently stayed here for part of her honeymoon and can vouch for these incredible properties firsthand!

Four Seasons Lanai: A Game Changer in Luxury Hotels

Four Seasons Lanai is more than just a hotel; it’s a game-changer in the world of luxury travel. It’s hard to pinpoint one thing that makes this resort special because it’s the complete package. 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. Upon our arrival at LNY, the aircraft taxied to a Tesla Model X positioned on the tarmac, ready and waiting for us. In a matter of minutes, we were en route to the resort.

The rooms at Lanai are spacious, comfortable, and very well-appointed (the bathrooms alone could sell this hotel). There are 213 rooms and 26 room types, catering to a variety of preferences. 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.

Amenities in Paradise

Four Seasons Lanai offers an array of dining options, from authentic Hawaiian flavors to international influences. Hawanawana Spa at the resort provides tailored treatments inspired by the healing powers of the sea, using locally sourced ingredients and techniques. Plus, when was the last occasion you dined at Nobu without the need for a reservation? Four Seasons Lanai is among the few resorts we’ve visited where dining reservations are never a concern. Simply arrive when you’re ready to dine, and you’ll relish exceptional cuisine, top-notch service, and breathtaking views.

Don’t miss the opportunity to play at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Manele Golf Course, where every hole offers majestic ocean views. Complimentary golf club rentals are available for resort guests playing 9- and 18-hole rounds after 12:00 noon.

Every activity provided is under the direct ownership and operation of the resort, ensuring a consistently exceptional five-star experience across the board. The resort boasts an impressive fleet of boats, ready to take guests on snorkeling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, and enchanting sunset sails. In addition to these aquatic adventures, the resort offers an array of other popular activities, including horseback riding, UTV tours, archery, shooting range, tennis, and access to a comprehensive spa. The diverse and high-quality selection of activities at Four Seasons Lanai is unparalleled, making it a truly unique destination.

Lanai is Perfect For…

We recommend Four Seasons Lana’i for the outdoor adventurer and families. 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. Parents can take advantage of Four Seasons complimentary Kids For All Seasons, one of Four Seasons’ best offers in our opinion. If you are traveling without kids, we advocate pairing your stay with Sensei.

Sensei Lāna’i, a Four Seasons Resort: Ultimate R&R

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.

Throughout the property, visitors can discover incredible artworks that encompass pieces by acclaimed contemporary artists and art specifically commissioned for the site. These art installations are thoughtfully curated to inspire contemplation and introspection.

Beautiful Accommodations

With only 96 rooms, you won’t have to worry about bumping into other guests. The spacious accommodations are categorized into guest rooms and suites. We recommend the Kaiholena Suite, where you can cozy up and read a captivating book next to your indoor fireplace.

Wellness From the Inside Out

At Sensei, guests are empowered to nurture their passions and align with their intentions for personal growth and well-being. The offerings at Sensei include a range of enriching classes, opportunities for new adventures, rejuvenating treatments, private wellness consultations, and wholesome cuisine. The philosophy, guided by co-founder and author Dr. David Agus, centers on three fundamental practices – move, nourish, and rest – all designed to facilitate a profound connection with the body and mind. Movement facilitates interaction with the environment, nourishment provides essential fuel, and rest serves as the essential foundation for recovery and growth. Choose from guided lakeside yoga, onsen soaking tubs, an 18-hole putting green, and plenty of complimentary wellness classes to keep you busy yet mindful throughout your stay.

With a deep commitment to locally sourced ingredients and sustainable methods, Sensei demonstrates its dedication to nourishing the body. Guests on their journey can savor delectable cuisine crafted in collaboration with the Nobu culinary team and adhering to the nutritional standards of Sensei co-founder, Dr. Agus. Additionally, guests have the convenience of signing privileges at Four Seasons Resort Lanai dining venues.

Sensei is Perfect For…

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.

Exclusive Benefits

Current Promotion for Lanai and Sensei: Lanai Air round-trip flights between Honolulu and Lanai are included with stays booked by December 31, 2023, and stay by July 31, 2024. Contact us to learn more.

Additional Promotion for Four Seasons Lanai: Spend more time experiencing the very best of Lanai. Enjoy a complimentary fifth night on Hawaii’s last unspoiled island. Valid for Selected Dates Between Sep 6, 2023 –Dec 22, 2023 and Jan 2, 2024 –Dec 18, 2024. Contact us to learn more.

As a Preferred Partner at Four Seasons, we are able to offer our clients exclusive benefits when they book their stay through our complimentary Virtuoso booking tool for Lanai or Sensei, or directly through a team member:

  • Daily full American breakfast for two in the hotel restaurant or in-room dining
  • Hotel/Resort Credit (based on room category booked):
    • Guest Rooms: USD 100 credit per stay
    • Suites and Specialty Suites: USD 200 credit per stay
    • Private Retreats: USD 200 credit per bedroom per stay
  • Upgrade of one category, based on availability at the time of check-in

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.

Additionally, for $200, you can work with our Hotel Plus team to assist with any reservations, activity scheduling, concierge assistance, and more.

Paradise Awaits

While Lanai pairs perfectly with a stay on Maui, there’s so much to do on this island. We love that the island is small and easy to navigate, less densely populated than the other islands, and offers an extremely diverse environment. In one day, you can hike the mountains surrounded by evergreens and then snorkel in the ocean surrounded by beautiful coral; the vast array of activity options can’t be beaten! For a beachfront family-friendly resort setting, Four Seasons Lanai is one of the best options in Hawaii and for adults seeking a tranquil escape from busy lives, Sensei is carefully designed to promote relaxation and wellness for the ultimate R&R vacation.

We understand that there are a plethora of luxury resorts to choose from in Hawaii. For a full list of our expert recommendations, you can visit our Preferred Hotels Map. If you are loyal to Four Seasons (and we understand why), we also have a blog recapping every Four Seasons resort in Hawaii to help you decide which hotel best meets your travel needs. For a deeper dive, check out our individual reviews of Four Seasons Maui, Four Seasons Oahu, and Four Seasons Hualalai. You can also read our destination spotlight on Hawaii to narrow down which activities are on your bucket list.

Ready to plan your trip? To get started, email us at team@ourismantravel.com or submit a Travel Request Form on our website.

Posted in Beaches, Family Travel, Hawaii, Hotel Reviews, Promotional Specials, Romantic Getaways, Trip Ideas, USA destinations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Four Seasons Lanai & Sensei Lāna’i, a Four Seasons Resort

Hotel Spotlight: Four Seasons 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.

As a Top 30 advisor globally for Four Seasons, we visited Oahu right before its grand opening in 2017 and have had plenty of happy clients visit since. We are happy to share a review of our stay to better understand everything this resort has to offer.

Check-in Experience

The resort is 45 minutes by car northwest of Waikiki in Honolulu and 30 minutes northwest of Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL). The best way to get to the hotel is by renting a car or booking private transportation directly from the hotel. Our team can also assist with securing your transportation.

Upon arrival, prepare to be welcomed by complimentary refreshers and a cold towel. The lobby is next-level beautiful. The centerpiece of the lobby is the A`a, a racing canoe built in 1902 for Prince Kūhiō. The lobby is modern, yet the small details creatively pay respect to Hawaiian history.

A Room With a View

There are 371 rooms, including oceanfront and mountain view rooms. The rooms are large and comfortable and the design is soothing and tasteful. Nearly all of the rooms at the Four Seasons Oahu have ocean views and they make full use of the large balconies, each furnished with nice outdoor furniture. These balconies make every room feel like a suite with an outdoor living room.

If you want to go all out, we recommend checking out the Penthouse Suite. Forbes hailed it as “the most breathtaking hotel suite across all Hawaiian Islands,” and we have to agree. This exquisite two-bedroom pied-à-terre is perched on our 17th floor, boasting an expansive private terrace for uninterrupted day-long ocean vistas, and generously appointed interiors providing ample space for your family or friends (6 adults and 4 children to be exact). Our team can check for pricing availability during your desired dates.

Dining & Activities

The Four Seasons Oahu sits on a small peninsula and takes advantage of the waterfront on both sides. The hotel shares a beach with Disney Aulani, and the main beach cove hosts a family-friendly beach, providing easy access to the resort’s family pool and dining facilities right from the beach. The opposite side of the peninsula is home to the adults-only infinity pool with easy access to a different beach, which is more exclusive and quiet due to its “hidden” location.

For activities offered by the resort, guests can engage in sunrise yoga, explore stand-up paddleboarding, and secure coveted tee times at the Ko Olina Golf Club. For those seeking more adventurous pursuits, deep-sea fishing and mesmerizing whale-watching await at the Ko Olina marina. For some R&R, the spa opens up to lush green gardens, providing a calming backdrop for your treatments. Opt for an outdoor massage in one of the well-appointed private hales or cabanas.

Pro Tip: If you’re traveling with kids between the ages of 5 and 12, we highly recommend taking advantage of one of Four Season’s best benefits, the complimentary Kids For All Seasons. Arts and crafts, outdoor sports, swimming, and much more are part of the program.

There are four restaurants at Four Seasons Oahu. Dining options range from tasty fresh seafood at Mina’s Fish House to savoring Italian favorites at Noe. Breakfast is served daily in La Hiki Kitchen. For a lighter breakfast on the go, you can check out Hokulea located in the hotel’s lobby. If you don’t want to leave the pool to get a cocktail, simply swim up to Dr. Mai Tai’s bar located right at the edge of the infinity pool. Dr. Mai Tai’s is home to Dr. Mai Tai, the Resort’s ‘on-call’ cocktail doctor who makes his poolside rounds with signature rum-infused prescription elixirs.

For a full list of the best things to see and do on the island, check out our destination report of Oahu.

The Benefits of a Travel Advisor

As a Preferred Partner at Four Seasons, we are able to offer our clients exclusive benefits when they book their stay through our complimentary Virtuoso booking tool or directly through a team member:

  • Complimentary room upgrade of one category (STA)
  • Daily breakfast credit for up to two guests per bedroom, in the hotel restaurant or through in-room dining
  • Hotel/Resort Credit (based on room category booked):
    • Guest Rooms: USD 100 credit per stay
    • Suites and Specialty Suites: USD 200 credit per stay
    • Private Retreats: USD 200 credit per bedroom per stay
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out (STA)

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.

Additionally, for $200, you can work with our Hotel Plus team to assist with any reservations, activity scheduling, concierge assistance, and more.

Exclusive Promotion: Receive a guaranteed room upgrade exclusively through Ourisman Travel or other Four Seasons Preferred Partners. Offer is available for new reservations for travel from May 29, 2023, to May 31, 2024. Offer is based on the availability of the upgrade category at the time of booking and does not include Specialty Suites and Villas. Blackout dates include December 17, 2023, to January 3, 2024. We recommend booking ahead given that this offer provides considerable savings and will be subject to availability. This promotion also still combines with all of the other amenities we can offer. Contact us to learn more.

Other Exclusive Promotion: Stay longer- 4th night free. Enjoy a complimentary fourth night with every three consecutive paid nights. Valid for Selected Dates Between Sep 5, 2023 –Dec 25, 2023 and Jan 2, 2024 –Dec 23, 2024. Contact us to learn more.

Discover Paradise

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.

We understand that there are many luxury resorts to choose from in Hawaii. For a full list of our expert recommendations, you can visit our Preferred Hotels Map. If you are loyal to Four Seasons (and we understand why), we also have a blog recapping every Four Seasons resort in Hawaii to help you decide which hotel best meets your travel needs. For a deeper dive, check out our individual reviews of Four Seasons Maui and Four Seasons Lanai. You can also read our destination spotlight on Hawaii to narrow down which activities are on your bucket list.

Ready to plan your trip? To get started, email us at team@ourismantravel.com or submit a Travel Request Form on our website.

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Our Review of Four Seasons Hualalai on the Big Island

Our clients who love the Four Seasons Hualalai, LOVE it in a big way and we can see why! 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.

If Maui is where you go to be seen and Lanai is where you go to be with nature, then Hualalai is the happy point right in the middle. This resort truly has something for everyone! As a Top 30 advisor globally for Four Seasons, Angela from Team O recently stayed here after its multi-million dollar 2019 renovation project and can vouch for this incredible property firsthand.

Arrival Process

Upon arrival at Kona International Airport, guests are greeted by a Four Seasons Resort Hualalai representative who will assist you with your luggage and direct you to your prearranged transportation to the resort. The hotel also provides complimentary parking for guests who rent a car.

At check-in, guests are offered delicious mini mango Mai Tais and can enjoy the breeze of the open-air reception and take in the breathtaking views of the lawn, Beach Tree pool, and ocean; the first of many views at this expansive resort.

Bungalow Accommodations

The rooms are spread out in low-lying crescent-shaped buildings, which gives the feeling that you are staying in one of four boutique hotels rather than one large resort. Each crescent has its own personality that will appeal to different types of travelers. You’ll definitely want to consider the options and know what you want to request when you are ready to book:

  • King’s Pond: The oceanfront rooms here are the closest to the beach and have the best views of the entire hotel. At the center of this crescent is King’s Pond a natural spring-fed pond filled with thousands of fish and a perfect opportunity for some snorkeling.
  • Sea Shell: Closest to the kids’ pool and surrounding a lush lawn, the Sea Shell crescent is most popular among families.
  • Beach Tree: Surrounding the quiet pool, Beach Tree is a great option if you are looking for serenity and relaxation during your trip. This crescent also has the best sunset views.
  • Palm Grove: Featuring the new adults-only pool and the hotel’s only swim-up bar, Palm Grove is most popular with couples and honeymooners.

Four Seasons Hualalai recently went through some renovations in 2019. Besides all Superior Suites getting a second bathroom, 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 allow families to experience a high-end house rental without compromising any of the benefits and amenities of a Four Seasons. Guests staying in any of the specialty suites or villas can also take advantage of personal concierge services, customized inclusions, and in-suite culinary and wellness experiences. Contact our team to learn more about rates and availability for these accommodations.

Pro Tip: We recommend the Palm Grove Crescent for honeymooners and romantic getaways, more secluded with its own adults-only Tranquility Pool. Angela loved her 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.

Activities, Activities, Activities

Part of the beauty of Four Seasons Hualalai is that there are so many activities within the resort that you don’t have to leave if you don’t want to and you’ll never get bored! However, 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!

For activities at the resort, families love Sea Shell Crescent which features a pool meant for active play. We also recommend King’s Pond, the 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! Or, you can just forgo the active vacation and rest on the beach and watch the napping turtles all day.

The spa is also a major highlight of this resort. We specifically loved the rock stream water experience and jetlag treatment. The men’s and women’s locker rooms have separate wet areas with a sauna, steam room, hot tub, and cold plunge. There is also an additional co-ed relaxation area with a great bubbling stream and the smooth rocks have a  built-in foot massage effect. The fitness area is also quite large with plenty of equipment, a lap pool, a half basketball court, tennis courts, and a separate room for group classes. They offer yoga, pilates, spinning, etc. There are also incredible walking and jogging trails and, of course, golf!

For dining options, select from a trio of restaurants and a pair of ocean-side lounges. The restaurants offer inventive menus that capture the essence of Hawaii’s farms and coasts as the seasons transition. Indulge in a variety of options all week long, ranging from Tuscan cucina rustica and beachfront barbecues to Asian-Pacific dishes and Polynesian appetizers.

Pro Tip: In our opinion, four nights is the ideal minimum that anyone should stay here in order to have enough time to fully experience everything that the hotel has to offer.

Hualalai is 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.

Complimentary Perks

As a Preferred Partner at Four Seasons, we are able to offer our clients exclusive benefits when they book their stay through our complimentary Virtuoso booking tool or directly through a team member:

  • Complimentary room upgrade of one category (STA)
  • Daily breakfast credit for up to two guests per bedroom, in Ulu Ocean Grill or through in-room dining
  • Hotel/Resort Credit (based on room category booked):
    • Guest Rooms: USD 100 credit per stay
    • Suites and Specialty Suites: USD 200 credit per stay
    • Private Retreats: USD 200 credit per bedroom per stay
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out (STA)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

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.

Additionally, for $200, you can work with our Hotel Plus team to assist with any reservations, activity scheduling, concierge assistance, and more.

Exclusive Promotion: Receive a guaranteed room upgrade exclusively through Ourisman Travel or other Four Seasons Preferred Partner clients. Offer is available for new reservations for travel from May 29, 2023, to May 31, 2024. Offer is based on the availability of the upgrade category at the time of booking and does not include Specialty Suites and Villas. Blackout dates include December 17, 2023, to January 3, 2024. We recommend booking ahead given that this offer provides considerable savings and will be subject to availability. This promotion also still combines with all of the other amenities we can offer. Contact us to learn more.

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

Your Tropical Escape Begins Now

We understand that there are a plethora of luxury resorts to choose from in Hawaii. For a full list of our expert recommendations, you can visit our Preferred Hotels Map. If you are loyal to Four Seasons (and we understand why), we also have a blog recapping every Four Seasons resort in Hawaii to help you decide which hotel best meets your travel needs. For a deeper dive, check out our individual reviews of Four Seasons Maui and Four Seasons Lanai. You can also read our destination spotlight on Hawaii to narrow down which activities are on your bucket list.

Ready to plan your trip? To get started, email us at team@ourismantravel.com or submit a Travel Request Form on our website.

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An Urban Sanctuary at Aman Tokyo

In the heart of Tokyo’s bustling metropolis, where skyscrapers and neon lights paint the sky, lies a hidden oasis. Meg from Team O recently stayed at Aman Tokyo, and from the moment the elevator opened up to the 33rd floor of Otemachi Tower, it was clear that her experience here would be one of luxury and serenity and I am happy to share a detailed review of her stay!

Discovering Zen Amidst the City Pulse

Aman Tokyo occupies the uppermost six floors of the Otemachi Tower. Unlike other Aman properties, this location is nestled within the city’s bustling business district rather than offering guests its infamous resort atmosphere. However, masterful execution of design transforms the unexpected location into a serene escape that perfectly marries urban energy with a quiet retreat. The hotel’s public areas incorporate a Japanese aesthetic with a minimalist design that is all too familiar to Aman regulars.

A Perfect Location

Our clients love the location because of its close connection to several modes of public transit and the famous Imperial Gardens. Connected to the five-line Otemachi subway station, Aman Tokyo ensures convenient exploration of the city. Also close to Tokyo Station, it offers easy access to Japan’s bullet train network. Haneda Airport, a 40-minute drive away, caters to domestic and international travelers, while Narita Airport, a 60-minute drive, handles international flights. One-way transportation (via taxi or rickshaw) from Tokyo Station to the hotel is complimentary. Our Hotel Plus team can help arrange any further transportation needs.

Stepping into the ground-floor reception, Meg was cordially welcomed before being escorted to the 33rd-floor lobby where she was greeted with welcome drinks and a cold towel. The 33rd floor is home to most of the hotel’s common areas, including the restaurants, cigar lounge, and bar. Arguably one of the most stunning hotel lobbies we’ve seen, this space, with its soaring ceilings and vast windows, painted an awe-inspiring panoramic portrait of the city. On particularly clear days, Mount Fuji graced Meg with its distant presence. Amidst this urban tableau, an interior garden of traditional trees and flowers harmonized the ambiance, drawing the outside world in. Japanese art fills the hotel walls and it’s easy to become mesmerized by it. There is also a hotel library reserved exclusively for guests and features a cigar lounge that sells exclusive cigars from around the world. While the hotel lobby is open to the public, it never became busy enough to interfere with any part of Meg’s stay.

The City’s Most Spacious Accommodations

With a total of 84 rooms and suites, Aman Tokyo boasts an exclusive atmosphere spread across floors 35 to 38 and starting at 764 square feet, offers the largest entry-level rooms out of all accommodations in Tokyo. This high vantage point provides an elevated sense of privacy and the hotel’s tucked-away location offers a refuge in the heart of a bustling city.

Each room showcases sunken living and sleeping spaces, expertly designed to ensure that the breathtaking views outside the windows can be enjoyed from any angle within the room. Deluxe rooms can vary in their views with the best options facing the Imperial Palace and Gardens.

The bath area, partitioned by sliding shoji screen panels, features a large vanity, a rejuvenating shower, and a traditional ofuro bath (complete with bathing salts and a wooden bucket and stool for cleansing before you soak). Heated floors, aromatherapy toiletries, and yukata robes provided an added layer of comfort, while privacy shades offered seclusion when desired.

Pro Tip: The rooms are categorized into 3 types of Suites and 4 types of Signature Suites. Corner Suites have great dual views and come with separate living and dining areas. Aman Suites are the largest accommodation option and also come with larger baths.

An Urban Oasis for Wellness Enthusiasts

Aman Tokyo’s dedication to wellness is showcased through its expansive facilities. The hotel’s spa, spanning a remarkable 2,500 square meters over two floors, is the largest and most comprehensive hotel spa in Tokyo. It also earned a spot in Virtuoso’s article, “Five Urban Spas Taking Things Up a Notch”. Eight treatment rooms, adorned with dressing areas, treatment zones, bathrooms, steam showers, and relaxation corners, offer a variety of therapies that harmonize with Japan’s natural cycles. Throughout the year, treatments and herbal formulas are catered to meet the needs of the season. The 30-meter heated indoor pool, yoga and pilates studio, large indoor gym, and traditional Japanese bath further emphasize the hotel’s wellness-focused philosophy.

Culinary Delights

With four extraordinary dining venues on-site, Aman Tokyo becomes a culinary mecca. From immersive dining adventures to indulgent afternoon teas, visitors journey through a diverse array of flavors that beautifully complement the hotel’s serene ambiance.

A Testament to Aman’s Legacy

Aman Tokyo lives up to the brand’s legacy of minimalism, nature, seclusion, and luxury. The hotel offers a unique blend of Japanese aesthetics and minimalist design. The public areas seamlessly incorporate traditional Japanese elements while maintaining the sleek and modern atmosphere that Aman is known for.

While many Aman properties are found in secluded settings, Aman Tokyo breaks the mold with its central location in the city’s business district. Despite this, the hotel’s meticulous design ensures an atmosphere of serenity.

Exclusive Perks

As an Aman Virtuoso partner, book your stay using our complimentary booking tool to receive exclusive perks including:

  • Upgrade on arrival (STA)
  • Daily Breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD hotel credit
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out (STA)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Current Promotion: Enjoy an additional $150 Hotel Credit per stay by booking 3 nights or more. You must book your stay and travel before September 15, 2023, in order to redeem this offer. Contact our team for more details.

A 5-Star Stay

In the heart of Tokyo’s busy streets, Aman Tokyo is a wellness retreat that harmonizes luxury and tranquility. It’s an escape where minimalist design meets Japanese aesthetics, inviting guests to discover serenity amidst the city’s vibrancy. For those seeking a peaceful sanctuary in the heart of Tokyo, Aman Tokyo promises an unforgettable experience of Zen-inspired luxury.

In our expert opinion, this Aman, the largest to date, is a renowned and special place that is best left to leisure travelers. Business travelers may find the layout and in-room setup to be less conducive to productivity.

During the same trip, Meg also had the privilege of staying at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo At Marunouchi and HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO.

Aman Residences in Tokyo are also set to open sometime in 2023.

If you want to peek at the rest of our top hotel recommendations in Tokyo, you can refer to our Preferred Hotels Map. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, email us at team@ourismantravel.com or submit a Travel Request Form on our website.

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Luxury Destination Pairings in Mexico

As luxury travel advisors with insatiable wanderlust and an affinity for crafting extraordinary experiences for our clients, we’re delighted to present an innovative concept that will redefine your perception of luxury travel. Imagine immersing yourself in not just one, but two exquisite destinations in Mexico, seamlessly woven together to create an opulent tapestry of adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion. Welcome to the world of destination pairings, where Cabo and Todos Santos, as well as Punta Mita and Mandarina or Tamarindo, await to sweep you off your feet.

The Allure of Destination Pairings

The trend of destination pairings goes beyond the conventional approach of exploring a single location and delves into the realm of multi-faceted experiences. By pairing two distinct destinations, you can unlock unique experiences and get two types of vacations in one.

With its diverse landscapes, rich history, and luxury resorts, Mexico is, in our opinion, one of the best destinations to stay longer. It also just so happens to be a hotspot for some of the best 5-star hotels in the world, which we will dive into with each destination pairing.

Pairing One: Cabo and Todos Santos – A Coastal Haven of Contrasts

Los Cabos

Our first destination pairing starts at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, in Los Cabos. Boasting a harmonious blend of exquisite weather, captivating landscapes, thrilling adventures, and five-star comfort, this destination sets the stage for a dreamy vacation.

We all know Cabo is notorious for being easy to get to via nonstop flights for West Coasters. But for our East Coast folks, Cabo is also quite easy to get to with a short connecting flight.

While they are many luxury resorts we love in Cabo (including Las Ventanas), our top hotel recommendation for the seasoned luxury traveler is Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas. Located between the desert, mountains, and sea on the East Cape of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas feels remote, yet, is just 45 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport. Situated on two miles of pristine shoreline, guests enjoy breathtaking views of the Sea of Cortez and the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains.

The hotel’s contemporary architecture mixed with native landscaping creates a sanctuary for guests to recharge. The exclusive Three-Bedroom Beachfront Presidential Villa, complete with a kitchen and three plunge pools, is the ideal setting for a luxurious group or family stay. The expansive Residences, Suites, and guest rooms combine a modern, Indigenous-inspired design and panoramic ocean views to highlight the natural beauty of Baja. Of the 141 rooms on the property, the most popular accommodation among our clients is the Oceanfront Room With Plunge Pool.

Pro tip: for this specific accommodation, ask your trusty travel advisor to request building 2500, as this room location is closest to and faces directly toward the beach!

Book your stay through us to receive exclusive, complimentary benefits, including:

  • Daily American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in Estiatorio Milos restaurant (USD 120 value)
  • Hotel/Resort Credit (based on room category booked):
    • Guest Rooms: USD 100 credit per stay
    • Suites and Specialty Suites: USD 200 credit per stay
    • Private Retreats: USD 200 credit per bedroom per stay
  • Complimentary round-trip airport transfers (USD 495 value)
  • Room upgrade, based on availability at the time of check-in

If you’re traveling with a larger group, we have also compiled a list of our favorite luxury villas in Cabo. For more activity ideas, read our blog, “3 Ways to Rethink Your Cabo Vacation“.

Todos Santos

Located just an hour North of Cabo lies the enchanting town of Todos Santos, a mecca for art, culture, and culinary treats. This bohemian enclave exudes a unique charm, captivating guests with its galleries, artisanal shops, and farm-to-table dining experiences.

We highly recommend pairing your stay in Cabo with Paradero Todos Santos. This exceptional destination caters to the discerning traveler who values minimalism, craves active engagement, enjoys the beauty of Instagram-worthy moments, and seeks a haven tailored for youthful couples.

The rooms at Paradero Todos Santos embody an exquisite blend of tranquility and style. A seamless marriage of clean lines and natural textures with handcrafted Mexican furnishings creates an atmosphere of serenity. The resort offers 16 Garden Suites and 18 Rooftop Suites, depending on your preferences. Every room is equipped with a daybed and indoor-outdoor rain shower, hammocks or heated soaking tubs in the Garden Suites or outdoor “Star Nets” in every Rooftop Suite.

Tailored Experiences for Active Souls

For the spirited traveler who thrives on activity, Paradero Todos Santos offers a plethora of experiences. From surfing sessions to guided hikes through the mesmerizing landscapes, every moment becomes an opportunity to connect with the essence of Baja Sur. Embark on a private beach setup, indulge in guided mountain biking, learn the art of farming and gardening, or immerse yourself in the culinary delights of a Baja Taco Tour. The possibilities are as vast as the surrounding terrain.

Beyond the abundance of activities offered, the hotel has a world-class spa, an infinity-edge pool, a botanical garden, an organic farm, and a restaurant with an open kitchen.

Through our Hotel Plus service, we can book your transportation from Cabo to Todos Santos. Contact our team to learn more. You can also contact us to learn more about room availability during your desired dates. We recommend staying 3-4 nights at each destination for a total vacation time of 6-8 nights.

Pairing Two: Punta Mita and Mandarina or Tamarindo – A Symphony of Seclusion and Splendor

Our second dynamic destination pairing invites you to explore the luxurious destinations of Punta Mita, Mandarina, and Tamarindo.

Punta Mita

The best way to get to Punta Mita is by flying into Puerto Vallarta (PVR). As one of the busiest airports in Mexico, we 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.

Punta Mita boasts some of our favorite luxury resorts, and we couldn’t just pick one to recommend, so, we picked three! Whether you seek a family-friendly escape, an adults-only tented camp experience, or an intimate wellness retreat, here are our top hotel recommendations.

Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita

Experience the epitome of luxury and family-friendly hospitality at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita. Nestled between the Sierra Madre Mountains and the Pacific’s pristine coral shores, this Mexican haven offers an unmatched level of elegance, personalized service, and natural beauty.

With 173 ocean-view guest rooms, including 30 suites boasting private plunge pools, the resort offers a variety of accommodations. The resort’s “mi casa, su casa” philosophy leaves guests feeling part of a family away from home.

Families are well-catered to with the “Kids for All Seasons” program, ensuring that children have a memorable stay. They also have a teens only club called “the Container” for ages 13-19. The resort’s extensive facilities include an advanced fitness center, full spa, infinity-edge pool, lazy river pool, and an adult pool with private cabanas.

Pro Tip: We recommend chartering the resort’s private yacht to explore secluded snorkeling and diving spots.

As an exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner, we can offer you the following complimentary benefits by booking your stay with us:

  • Daily full breakfast for two people per bedroom served in a hotel restaurant or through In-Room Dining
  • Hotel/Resort Credit (based on room category booked):
    • Guest Rooms: USD 100 credit per stay
    • Suites and Specialty Suites: USD 200 credit per stay
    • Private Retreats: USD 200 credit per bedroom per stay
  • Room upgrade, based on availability at the time of check-in

Naviva, a Four Seasons Resort

Naviva, a Four Seasons Resort, in Punta Mita, Mexico is an exquisite blend of nature and luxury. The resort’s design honors Mexican heritage and perfectly complements 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 which ensures exclusivity in a calm, meditative hideaway in the Mexican jungle.

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.

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.

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.

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)

Read our hotel spotlight to learn more about Team O’s entire stay.

Susurros del Corazón, Auberge Resorts Collection

Susurros del Corazón offers an intimate and tranquil escape, emphasizing local immersion and wellness. Situated on a pristine swimmable beach in Punta De Mita, this luxurious surf retreat invites you to reconnect with nature and your inner self. The accommodations blend indoor-outdoor living, with private terraces and nature-framing windows. Contemporary design infused with Mexican craft culture adds a unique touch.

Enjoy a seamless experience with personalized butler service, allowing you to communicate your needs via text. The resort’s current promotion offers a complimentary fourth night, enhancing your stay. Embrace the relaxed seaside lifestyle, whether you’re exploring the ocean, indulging in sea-to-table cuisine, or watching Humpback whales.

Susurros del Corazón boasts indoor and outdoor event spaces, perfect for weddings, celebrations, and corporate retreats. Casamilpa, the rustic Mexican farmhouse on-site, serves sustainably sourced seafood and farm-fresh vegetables. Whether you’re drawn to nature, luxury, or legendary waves, this retreat embodies the essence of Riviera Nayarit, offering a blend of relaxation and adventure that captures the heart.

As a Virtuoso partner, we can offer our clients exclusive benefits:

  • Upgrade on arrival (STA)
  • Daily breakfast credit of $35 per person, for up to two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during the stay
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out (STA)

Book your stay using our complimentary Hotel Only service and these benefits will be automatically applied to your reservation.


Travel time to Mandarina from Punta Mita is just a little over 50 minutes by car. For a luxury, expansive resort nestled in the jungle and along the coastline, One&Only Mandarina stands out as one of our favorite resorts in Mexico. One&Only is part of an impressively expansive compound with the world-class Mandarina Polo & Equestrian Club and soon-to-be Rosewood Mandarina, opening in 2024.

Accommodations are divided between Treehouses and Cliff Villas. Each offers a distinct experience, with the Treehouses elevated for adults and the Cliff Villas catering to families. Buggy transportation is essential due to the resort’s hilly terrain and with a simple text letting the staff know where you’d like to go, you will be promptly picked up and dropped off at your next location.

Thrill-seekers can enjoy onsite adventures, including surfing, horseback riding, ziplining, and even world-class polo matches. The spa is a haven of relaxation and offers exclusive treatments rooted in indigenous culture. Culinary experiences are a highlight, with sustainably sourced seafood and seasonal vegetables showcased at Casamilpa, the resort’s rustic Mexican farmhouse.

One&Only Mandarina is a paradise for families, couples, and wellness seekers alike. Families can indulge in the Kids Only club and nature-focused activities, while couples can enjoy romantic experiences such as horseback rides on the beach. For those seeking rejuvenation, the spa provides exclusive treatments, yoga classes, and traditional rituals like the Temazcal.

Embrace the tranquility of this remote gem and immerse yourself in the beauty of the coastal rainforest at One&Only Mandarina.

When you book your stay with us, you will be a VIP guest and receive exclusive amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival (STA)
  • Daily full breakfast for two guests per bedroom served in the hotel’s own Alma Restaurant
  • 100 USD resort credit
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out (STA)

Read our hotel spotlight to learn more!


The allure of a remarkable travel destination is often defined by its hotel views, and Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo in Jalisco, Mexico, stands as a testament to this notion. Boasting some of the world’s most captivating vistas, set against the backdrop of over 3,000 acres of pristine jungle, this resort offers an unparalleled experience where nature and luxury coalesce.

The best way to reach Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo is through a quick, 25-minute flight. You can choose between a semi-private flight or embark on the luxury express: the property’s six-seater daily shuttle. Our team can help you choose the best path for you and your guests.

The resort’s strategic design ensures that many units provide lap pools and multiple terraces of pools, creating an oasis of relaxation. Whether you opt for a beachfront view or a cliffside sanctuary, each unit promises breathtaking panoramas. The resort stands as a true destination in its own right, leaving no need to venture off the property.

Pro Tip: If you visit during whale season, there’s a high probability you can whale watch from your own private pool.

Navigating the expansive grounds is made effortless by relying on golf carts expertly driven by the staff. While the roads may wind through the long and steep terrain, the attentive service ensures quick and efficient transportation. For guests with mobility concerns, the family area buildings offer convenience, making exploration more accessible.

The resort has its own private beach, offering non-motorized water sports. You can also choose to play at the El Tamarindo Golf Course, dine at any of the three restaurants on property, take advantage of babysitting services, indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments, play tennis at the resort’s tennis courts, or sweat off the delicious Mexican food at the large indoor gym.

Pro Tip: Discover how the local flora and fauna are being protected during a morning hike with the resort’s resident biologists and researchers.

As a Four Seasons Preferred Partner, we can offer our clients exclusive amenities:

  • Daily full breakfast for two people per bedroom served in a hotel restaurant or through In-Room Dining
  • Hotel/Resort Credit (based on room category booked):
    • Guest Rooms: USD 100 credit per stay
    • Suites and Specialty Suites: USD 200 credit per stay
    • Private Retreats: USD 200 credit per bedroom per stay
  • Room upgrade of one category, based on availability at the time of check-in

Destination Pairings are a Win-Win

In a world where travel is a canvas waiting to be painted with memories, the concept of destination pairings adds new dimensions to the art of exploration. Mexico, with its diverse landscapes, rich culture, and luxury resorts, stands as a testament to the possibilities of crafting an unforgettable odyssey that transcends the ordinary.

By blending either the coastal allure of Cabo and Todos Santos with the seclusion and splendor of Punta Mita and Mandarina or Tamarindo, travelers unlock a realm of contrasts and harmonies that will forever linger in their hearts. This is your invitation to embark on an extraordinary journey, where luxury, adventure, and cultural immersion converge to create a symphony of unforgettable experiences.

The world is your oyster, and Mexico’s finest destinations await – it’s time to explore, indulge, and create lasting memories.

To get started, fill out a Travel Request Form or email our team at team@ourismantravel.com today.

Posted in Adventure Travel, Beaches, Family Travel, Hotel Reviews, Mexico, Romantic Getaways, Trip Ideas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Luxury Destination Pairings in Mexico

Your Ultimate Winter Travel Guide

Unlock the Magic of Winter in These Captivating Destinations

Your ultimate winter travel guide for 2023 is here! If you’re like us, this summer heat may have you daydreaming about cooler weather, nostalgic holiday traditions, and snowy escapes. Thanks to globally renowned Christmas markets, world-class ski destinations, and tropical destinations with perfect year-round weather, it’s no wonder December and January are one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Imagine skiing directly from your cozy lodge, wandering through the dazzling streets of New York, savoring the festive markets of Vienna and Prague, embracing the tranquility of the Swiss Alps, basking in the tropical paradise of Hawaii, or indulging in the vibrant culture of Mexico. We’ve compiled a list of 6 top-notch destinations designed to make your festive season getaway an unforgettable one.

The festive season, informally spanning from December 20th to January 4th, comes with its own set of rules during those two weeks, making it more regulated compared to other times of the year. Expect limitations such as blackout dates, minimum stay mandates, and extended cancellation policies, which might add a bit of complexity to your holiday travel plans. To ease some of the added stressors surrounding holiday travel, refer to our Festive Travel Planning blog.

Ski-In/Ski-Out Resorts

For snow enthusiasts, the call of the slopes is irresistible, and ski-in/ski-out resorts offer the perfect gateway to a winter wonderland. Picture yourself gliding down powdery trails, surrounded by towering mountains and crisp, invigorating air. Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Whistler, Canada, are just a glimpse into the world of Alpine adventure, offering not only thrilling skiing experiences but also luxurious amenities and a host of winter sports activities.

Pro Tip: If you plan on skiing in the States this winter, check out our top 5 places to ski. Of the resorts mentioned, The Little Nell, Montage Deer Valley, Four Seasons Jackson Hole, Amangani, and Montage Big Sky all offer ski-in/ski-out access. Goldener Hirsch, Auberge Resorts Collection in Deer Valley, Utah also offers ski-in/ski-out access, and Allie from Team O recapped her stay last year. The same goes for Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection in Telluride, Colorado! Contact our team for availability during your desired dates.

A Symphony of Lights and Delights: Christmas Markets in Vienna and Prague

Step into a world of twinkling lights and festive cheer as Vienna and Prague transform into magical wonderlands during the holiday season. Lose yourself in Prague’s Old Town Square, where Gothic architecture sets the stage for handcrafted treasures and mulled wine. Vienna’s Rathausplatz is adorned with stalls offering a sensory delight of handmade crafts and tantalizing aromas. These markets are a gateway to the warmth of tradition, providing an intimate experience of European winter festivities.

Pro Tip: Our top hotel recommendations in Vienna and Prague are Park Hyatt Vienna, Four Seasons Hotel Prague, and Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Prague. Book your stay using our complimentary Virtuoso Booking Tool and you will automatically receive exclusive benefits, including resort credits, free breakfast, a room upgrade (subject to availability), and more.

Escape to Paradise in Hawaii

When winter’s chill sets in, Hawaii beckons with its tropical embrace and endless summer. Feel the soft sands beneath your feet, swim in crystal-clear waters, and explore the vibrant culture and natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. 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.

The five most visited islands of Hawaii feature a number of luxury hotels and unique sights and activities. Each island offers something a little different in terms of activities and hotels, so you’ll want to pick the right island depending on what you want to get out of your trip. Visit our destination spotlight to view a list of activities and accommodations on each island.

Luxury Accommodations: While there are plenty of 5-star hotels and resorts in Hawaii to choose from, we recently recapped every Four Seasons property in Hawaii on our blog. If you have a specific island or resort in mind and are interested in getting some insight on availability during your desired dates, contact our team and we’re happy to help!

Mexico: Fiesta and Relaxation

If a mix of culture, history, and relaxation is on your winter wishlist, Mexico is the ideal destination. Our blog, “Unexpected Mexico: Ten Surprises From This Beautiful Country“, explores the lesser-known aspects of Mexico as a travel destination, shedding light on its diverse and captivating offerings beyond the conventional tourist spots. It delves into Mexico’s hidden gems, cultural treasures, and unique experiences that extend far beyond the well-trodden path. From vibrant local markets and indigenous traditions to stunning natural landscapes and boutique accommodations, the article highlights Mexico’s rich tapestry of culture, history, and adventure, inviting travelers to discover the unexpected and embark on a journey of authentic exploration in this captivating country.

Pro Tip: Some of our team’s favorite hotels are in Mexico, including Naviva, a Four Seasons Resort, Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, and One&Only Mandarina. Contact our team for availability information.

Snowflakes and Skylines in New York

New York City transforms into a dazzling playground during the winter months, with iconic landmarks aglow and streets buzzing with holiday cheer. Witness the majestic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, glide across the ice in Central Park, and be a part of the world-famous Times Square ball drop. Experiencing New York’s vibrancy and festive spirit is a check off the bucket list.

Pro Tip: During the winter, our top hotel recommendations in New York City are The Plaza (any Home Alone fans besides us?), Park Hyatt New York, The Greenwich Hotel, and Four Seasons New York Downtown. You can upgrade your booking to Hotel Plus for assistance with reservations, transportation, and any other activities.

A Winter Wonderland in the Swiss Alps

Enter a realm of tranquility and awe in the Swiss Alps, where snow-draped peaks and charming villages beckon. There’s a reason so many Europeans flock here every ski season. From the elegance of Zermatt to the luxury of St. Moritz, the Swiss Alps offer an enchanting escape for winter aficionados. Delve into alpine culture, savor Swiss delicacies, and explore the pristine wilderness that surrounds you.

Pro Tip: While the scenery speaks for itself and already provides a beautiful stay, there are some luxury hotels that will make your trip even more picture-perfect. We recommend the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof in Zermatt and the Carlton Hotel in St. Moritz.

Unforgettable Memories Await in These Enchanting Destinations

From heart-pounding adventures to serene respites, these top winter destinations promise a symphony of enchantment, relaxation, and joy. Whether you’re skiing at one of the top resorts in the U.S. or Switzerland, wandering through the famous festive markets in Vienna or Prague, or enjoying the vibrant city lights of New York City, there are plenty of destinations to spend your holidays. So, bundle up, pack a swimsuit or winter coat, read our blog on how to plan your trip like a pro, and book your festive holiday to one of these captivating corners of the world.

We have a wealth of inventory of places to stay and things to do in the listed destinations above, ultimately using our Hotel Plus consultative services will help us best tailor your vacation to your preferences. From providing you with consultation resulting in options personalized to your needs to assisting in making arrangements for spa appointments, dining reservations, and transfers, Hotel Plus is designed to elevate the Hotel Only experience.

Already have a trip booked? Worry not! Through a process called a Hotel Reservation Takeover, our team can – you guessed it – take over the hotel reservation and apply our amenities and support your booking from that point on!

  • Complimentary breakfast daily for two
  • Complimentary room upgrade (STA)
  • 100 USD resort credit
  • Early check-in / late check-out (STA)

To get started, email us at team@ourismantravel.com or submit a Travel Request Form on our website.

Posted in Beaches, City Destinations, Europe, Family Travel, Food, Hawaii, Mexico, Trip Ideas, USA destinations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Your Ultimate Winter Travel Guide

Planning a Trip? Travel Tips From The Pros

Do you want to travel like an expert? No problem, we’ve got you covered! We’ve compiled a list of our 20 travel tips from the pros.

Many of us can probably share some not-so-perfect travel stories from our past. Although we can (hopefully) laugh about it now, there often remains a vivid memory of the discomfort and unease that accompanies unexpected mishaps.

When it comes to travel, the anticipation can be thrilling, yet the intricate web of details has the power to either elevate or jeopardize an entire trip. As seasoned Travel Advisors, we’ve accumulated a wealth of wisdom and are eager to share the valuable insights we have gathered over the last 17 years.

Planning Travel Tips:

Get Excited!

Dive in and dream big; you deserve to experience everything you desire in your travels! Utilize books, movies, magazines, and your Travel Advisor’s advice set in the destination you’ll be visiting to learn from an abundance of resources. Leading up to your trip is part of your vacation, too. Allowing your excitement to come alive long before you even depart will keep your wanderlust bright.

Plan Ahead

For the best rates, we recommend planning your trips around a year prior. Hotels publish rates about 11 months in advance, though sometimes we can get rates before they are published publically.

And while we recommend booking ahead at any point during the year, this is especially true for festive travel. The festive season is unofficially identified as December 20th to January 4th and within those two weeks, there are more restrictions in place compared to other times of the year. From blacked-out dates to minimum night stay requirements and extended cancelation windows, festive travel can feel daunting. As always, Team Ourisman is here to assist; we have outlined a few of our travel tips for successfully navigating your festive travel plans.

Purchase Travel Insurance

You never know what may arise right before a big trip! Travel Insurance is optional but highly recommended because it helps protect your travel investment against the unexpected. Depending on the level of coverage you choose to invest in, it can include protection against trip cancellation, interruption or delay, baggage delay, emergency medical expenses, and more. Click here to get a quote from Travelex for your next trip.

Choose the Best Hotel Room

When choosing which hotel room to book, we suggest asking yourself a few questions to determine your priorities.

How much time will you be spending in the hotel room? 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.

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. 

How important is space to you? 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.

Read our blog post for the full list of travel tips on how to secure the best hotel room.

Save the Best for Last

Who doesn’t love having something to look forward to the entire trip? It keeps your energy and excitement alive until the very end! When possible, leave the last day in your destination wide open and free of plans. You can use this day to revisit a place you loved, fit something in you may have missed, shop for souvenirs, or spend the day living like a local! This way, you’ll never leave a destination feeling like you missed out on a desired experience or memory.

Double-Check Your Documents

Ensure you have all the appropriate documentation needed for your specific destination before traveling and that they are valid. Make photocopies of important documents, including your passport, and keep them in your carry-on in the event your luggage gets lost, your credit card gets stolen, you cannot access wifi, or any other inconveniences arise in transit. To be extra careful, we recommend giving an extra copy to a loved one who is staying home, too. If the worst comes to worst, a trustworthy person in your life can save the day with a quick email or fax.

Check the expiration date on your passport. Even if it expires a month after you return, you still may not be able to visit certain countries. If necessary, make sure you have a Visa. Review your flight and hotel dates and triple check you have all documents and forms of I.D. before jetting off to the airport!

We also recommend calling your credit card companies to let them know you’ll be traveling internationally so that your charges don’t get declined and flagged as fraudulent.

Packing Travel Tips:

No Wrinkles Necessary

If you have clothes you send to the dry cleaners and want to bring them with you on your trip; leave them in the bags and on the hangers and gently fold them once over in your suitcase. When you arrive at the hotel, promptly hang them up. If you are extra particular about wrinkles, there are fabulous travel-size steamers you can purchase and easily store in your luggage, such as the Electrolux Compact Travel Steamer from West Elm.

Packing Cubes are Pure Gold

They are the secret to carry-on-only travel. If you’ve never tried them, you don’t know what you’re missing! The difference between those who travel with a carry-on only and those who have to check a bag (or two) is not necessarily what they pack but how they pack.  

It’s like a game of Tetris; rearrange your cubes and other items until they fit perfectly into your bag. Then, stick with your system! You’ll feel less stressed when packing when you know everything will fit. Some organizers are water-resistant and all offer protection from dirt. They can also protect your clothes in dusty hotel drawers when you arrive and unload. We also suggest packing an empty large packing cube; they take up barely any space and are great for dirty clothes. We love the BÉIS packing cubes.

Walk it Like You Talk It!

If you say you “want to see it all” on a trip, you better prepare your feet for some action! Pack shoes you can rely on for those long days of sightseeing and exploration. We recommend doing a test run before packing a pair of shoes. The worst is buying a new pair of shoes thinking they are going to be comfortable and then it turns out the only thing they guaranteed were blisters.

Depending on the climate of your destination and the itinerary of your trip, a few of our favorite brands include AllbirdsChacoSorelTeva, and VivoBarefoot. Your feet will thank you!

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Suitcase

If you are traveling with someone, pack half of your things in each other’s suitcase. In the event of one suitcase getting lost, each person will still have clothes to get them through a few days without the other suitcase. And of course, put anything essential in your carry-on! This includes all your technology, passports, flight and travel documents, money, medications, jewelry, and gifts.

In-Flight Travel Tips:

Register for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check

You’ve more than likely come across these signs in the airport security lines, but maybe you aren’t quite sure what the programs offer. This is one of the easiest actions you can take to drastically improve your airport experience.

Global Entry is a US Customs and Border Protection program granting low-risk, pre-approved travelers faster clearance through airport security and customs checkpoints. You get to skip the line and skip the hassle of security and getting back into the country only requires your fingerprints at customs. If you don’t travel internationally as often but still want to skip the security line at the airport, TSA Pre-check is also a great resource.

Applying for these programs is easy: fill out an information form online, consent to a background check, pay a one-time $100 processing fee (some credit cards will credit you back!), and schedule an appointment for a short interview at the airport where you provide your valid passport and fingerprints. Once approved, your entry card lasts five years!

Let Me Upgrade You

You never know unless you ask! When checking in for your flight, ask about any available upgrades. If you’re celebrating a special milestone, mention it! You may just get lucky on an undersold flight.

Cashmere to Carry-On

When it comes to quality and lifespan, cashmere is our travel go-to. Investing in a neutral-colored sweater or cardigan will ensure many wears, able to dress it up or down. Even in the summer, airplanes can be very chilly so bringing this trusty piece with you even to the tropics can save the day! We love the oversized cashmere sweater from Banana Republic.

Time to Snooze: Use it or Lose it

There is no better time to start prepping for the inevitable jet lag than on the flight. Try to get some shuteye so you can hit the ground running when you arrive. Bose’s noise-canceling headphones are a game-changer. After wearing them for a while, you’ll almost forget there are other passengers on the plane! We also recommend investing in a silk sleep mask if you’re easily awoken by bright overhead lights.

Destination Travel Tips:

Stay Organized

The worst feeling is rummaging through your entire suitcase looking for something and not being able to locate it before the nerves set in. Avoid panic by keeping items easily accessible and organized with purpose. Use the same pouches for the same items on every trip. This way, you can find anything in a flash and not have to destroy your carry-on to find something.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

A souvenir can be as tacky or as momentous as you choose; we always opt for the latter. When purchasing something to take home with you, you want it to continue to spark joy in you even years later, triggering a happy memory or feeling about your trip. We suggest collecting something authentic to the destination and a bonus if it’s something that helps the local economy and puts money into the pocket of a local rather than a larger company. Items offering a glimpse into the local culture allow you to take a piece of the destination home with you and hold it close long after you return home.

Another important aspect to remember is knowing the rules! There are many items that can be purchased that are not allowed out of a country or into the country where you will be arriving. Be sure to look into the restrictions and process of transporting the goods you wish to take home with you before purchasing.

Stop and Smell the Roses

It is hard to not want to see and do it all in the duration you’re at a destination. Cramming weeks’ worth of sightseeing and adventuring into a week or even less than that can be exhausting, stressful, or overwhelming.

We suggest slowing down. Depending on how long your trip is, before traveling, spend some time mapping out your top desires and dive deep into those. Take time to eat your meals, talk to people, and soak in the essence of what is in front of you. Learning to slow down your pace and be present is part of the experience and will, in turn, bring forward memories that are irreplaceable and vibrant.

A Few Words Go a Long Way

You don’t have to be fluent in a language to be able to get around. However, it does help to know at least the basics! Some countries are more tourist-friendly than others and by taking the time to learn a few words or basic phrases, you will have a much easier time getting around and feeling polite in your travels.

Dining Travel Tips:

Be a Student in the Kitchen

What better way to learn about a new cuisine and the locale’s cooking traditions than to learn from the locals themselves? Almost all destinations have some kind of setting available offering hands-on cooking or interactive settings to learn how to cook a locally authentic meal. Remember, calories don’t count on vacation so it’s okay to indulge!

Locals Know Best

Sure, do your research beforehand to see what piques your interest in the restaurant world where you will be. However, just as we know the best-hidden gems in our hometowns, the locals in your travel destinations always know the inside scoop. Ask around and take recommendations from the locals or your concierge. Take a stroll through the local market. This is a great place to learn more about the local cuisine, regional produce, and spices, and pick up a treat or two!

Let Us Elevate Your Next Trip

Helping you plan a unique, unforgettable trip is our specialty! If our travel tips have gotten your travel juices flowing, we’d love to help you get started bringing your new dream trip to life! Already have a trip booked? Fret not! Through a process called a Hotel Reservation Takeover, our team can – you guessed it – take over the hotel reservation and apply our amenities and support your booking from that point on!

  • Complimentary breakfast daily for two
  • Complimentary room upgrade (STA)
  • 100 USD resort credit
  • Early check-in / late check-out (STA)

To get started, email us at team@ourismantravel.com or submit a Travel Request Form on our website.

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Hotel Spotlight: Why We Love Alila Napa Valley

Nestled just north of the charming town of St. Helena and directly next door to the renowned Beringer Estate Winery, Alila Napa Valley is a hidden gem that holds the promise of delightful surprises. Alila means “surprise” in Sanskrit and the hotel embodies the essence of its name by gifting guests with thoughtful and small surprises throughout their stay. Formerly known as Los Alcobas Napa Valley, this adults-only, intimate, and modern property combines contemporary elegance with a traditional estate-like setting. With only 68 rooms, Alila Napa Valley offers a serene escape, featuring a heated pool, a public fire pit overlooking the vineyard, a gym, and an onsite restaurant. Angela from Team O had the opportunity to explore this luxurious retreat in the heart of California Wine Country.

Arrival Experience: Warmth and Hospitality

Upon arriving at Alila Napa Valley, guests are warmly welcomed by the valet and the attentive management. In Angela’s case, with a 1:00 am arrival, she was still personally greeted by the night manager to ensure that she felt comfortable and at home. The genuine hospitality sets the tone for a memorable stay. While there are many surrounding airports to choose from, Angela flew into San Francisco (SFO) and flew out of San Jose (SJC). We can help you discover options for the closest airport to Napa Valley including SFO, OAK, SMF, and SJC. We can also assist in arranging your transportation to and from the hotel through our Hotel Plus service.

Rooms: A Tranquil Vineyard Retreat

During her stay, Angela experienced the comfort of the upper floor Vineyard View Room located on the 3rd floor (and the highest floor). The breathtaking views of Beringer’s vineyards and the inviting outdoor firepit made it a highlight. While the vineyard in the back of the hotel is small, the views don’t disappoint. The fire pit is controlled by a manual 30-minute timer so you can enjoy the peaceful ambiance stress-free. The room is equipped with modern amenities, including a tablet for seamless control of the entire space. With automatic roller shades, a shower/bath duo, and a separate toilet room, every detail felt carefully planned out and created a more-than-spacious environment. The in-room amenities feature local products, including Cliff Family products and Schramsberg Blanc de Noir, which add a touch of authentic Napa flavor. Angela particularly enjoyed the turndown service at night, which provided a glass and bottle of water on each nightstand. The first of many thoughtful surprises.

Dining: A Gastronomic Journey

Alila Napa Valley boasts the Acacia House restaurant, a sublime culinary experience led by Top Chef Masters winner Chris Cosentino. Don’t miss the tasty croissant bread pudding french toast during in-room dining (complimentary when you book your stay with us). For offsite dining, we recommend exploring Charter Oak and Long Meadow Ranch Winery, each offering unique and rememberable dining experiences.

Spa Alila: A Haven of Holistic Well-being

At Spa Alila, contemporary, farmhouse-themed interiors create a peaceful ambiance. Included are a steam room, cold plunge rain shower, and wellness juice shots. The spa offers a range of holistic treatments, blending ancient healing techniques with modern expressions. Inspired by Napa’s temperate climate and nutrient-rich soil, these treatments incorporate nourishing ingredients and healing botanicals, leaving guests feeling rejuvenated and renewed. Angela personally tried the yoga sound healing meditation. There is also a unique ritual where guests are asked to gather a selection of herbs, then place them into a single sachet bag; they are then asked to set an intention of what they would like to release or let go of so they can be more present with their time at Spa Alila. They then pass their bundle of herbs to their provider, symbolizing the intention of passing on their chosen burden.

Activities: Exploring the Best of Wine Country

Angela’s stay at Alila Napa Valley also included complimentary al fresco painting workshops on the property. Additionally, she explored renowned wineries, including Faust Haus and Quintessa, with the latter standing out as her favorite.

Pro Tip: There are ten (yes, ten!) wineries within walking distance of the hotel. The concierge is more than happy to recommend their favorite based on your preferences. All you have to do is ask! We can also assist in helping you reserve your wine tastings at any winery through our Hotel Plus concierge assistance service.

Harvest Season: The Perfect Time to Visit Napa Valley

Fall in Napa Valley is an exciting time to visit wine country. The harvest season, which takes place from August to October, brings a unique charm to the wine-tasting experience. While it is the busiest time of year to visit, mid-October stands out as a breathtaking time when the vineyards transform into a kaleidoscope of colors with the fall foliage. For adults, this is an ideal time to join Harvest Parties, vineyard events that offer the opportunity to indulge in fine wines and delectable cuisine while celebrating the season. You can read our blog for our other top destinations to visit in the Fall.

California Wine Country: A Whirlwind Adventure

Planning a wine-tasting trip to California can be overwhelming, considering the multitude of valleys and vineyards to choose from. How does one avoid the crowds and discover the most exceptional wineries? Fear not! After some unforgettable weekends exploring Napa and Sonoma Valleys, our team has gained the inside scoop on this captivating region. Read our blog for our full list of the top ten activities.

The Perks of Being a Hyatt Privé Partner

As a Hyatt Privé partner, we are happy to offer our clients exclusive and complimentary benefits at Alila Napa Valley, including:

  • $100 resort credit
  • One category room upgrade at booking (STA)
  • Daily complimentary full breakfast for two 
  • Welcome amenity
  • Early check-in/late check-out (STA)

Exclusive Promotion: Enjoy a 3rd night free. Valid for Travel Now Through 31 Mar 2024. Book By 31 Mar 2024. 3rd Night Free is available on all room types. Blackout dates may apply. Contact us to learn more.

Book your stay through our complimentary Hotel Only booking tool, or fill out a Travel Request Form if you would like assistance with activities planned, meal reservations, wine tour bookings, and more and our Hotel Plus team will be happy to assist.

Alila Napa Valley is a destination where the essence of surprise meets the art of hospitality. From the warm arrival experience to the tranquil vineyard retreat and the delightful dining experiences to the rejuvenating holistic spa treatments, every aspect of Alila Napa Valley offers enchanting surprises for its guests. If you’re seeking a luxurious getaway in California Wine Country, Alila Napa Valley awaits with open arms, promising an unforgettable journey of surprises, delicious wine, and relaxation.

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Hotel Spotlight: One&Only Portonovi

Discover the Unspoiled Beauty of Montenegro at One of its Best Resorts, One&Only Portonovi

Located in the heart of Boka Bay, One&Only Portonovi sprawls across 60 acres and overlooks a dramatic coastline adorned with awe-inspiring mountain vistas and tranquil waters. The emphasis on privacy and chic palatial living creates an ambiance that is nothing short of enchanting. Meg from Team O recently had the opportunity to experience this luxury resort herself and brought back the inside scoop.

One&Only Portonovi presents an idyllic nautical playground along the Adriatic coast. Its spacious rooms, suites, and villas offer a Riviera-style ambiance, complimented by delectable dining options and a plethora of activities for all ages.

One&Only Portonovi is an easy drive from Tivat Airport (TIV) with a commute of about 50 minutes and just one hour from Dubrovnik Airport (DPV); both of which are served by a variety of airlines and well equipped to handle private jets. We can assist you in determining which airport is best to fly into based on your overall itinerary and airline preference.

Montenegro, in the southeastern region of Europe, neighbors the tourist hotspots of Croatia, Greece, and Italy, yet remains an undiscovered destination of unparalleled beauty and nature. Embracing a sense of escape and charm, Montenegro beckons all European visitors to include it in their itinerary.

July and August mark the high season in Montenegro when the weather is at its warmest and the coastal towns and beach clubs come alive with vibrant energy. However, for travelers seeking a quieter experience, shoulder seasons offer a more relaxed atmosphere while still providing pleasant weather.

Indulge in Luxury Accommodations

As you step into the oasis of One&Only Portonovi, you will be captivated by the opulence and comfort of its meticulously designed accommodations. From rooms with panoramic bay views to luxurious private villas, the resort offers an array of room types to cater to your party size and preferences.

Elevating the Room Experience

Accommodations are categorized by rooms, suites, and villas. The 113 rooms at One&Only Portonovi boast a Mediterranean-style design, with the bathrooms nearly matching the size of the bedroom. Additional seating areas with window seats converting into an extra bed create a sense of spaciousness and convenience. Some rooms and suites are in a more secluded building with just 8-10 rooms that share a separate pool and are more private – perfect if you’re traveling with a larger group. For a truly indulgent experience, guests can preorder a bath experience with rose petals and champagne – a perfect way to treat yourself or surprise someone special!

Pro Tip: Our top recommendation among the room options is the breathtaking Panoramic Bayview Room. Offering sweeping views of the bay, this room is ideal for those who want to soak up the mesmerizing sunset and snag some epic golden hour photos. The terrace, complete with a daybed, is perfect for enjoying your morning coffee or nightcap. With one King bed, these rooms can accommodate up to 2 adults and one child.

For guests traveling with children or a group, the Portonivi Family Room is the perfect setup. Featuring a King bedroom adjoined by a 2 Queens bedroom, both offer views of the surrounding peaks. This room creates a cozy and welcoming atmosphere akin to a home away from home, comfortably accommodating up to four adults and two children.

Suite Three: a Plush Residence

Among the beautiful suite options, Suite Three stands out as our top recommendation. Situated on the entire fifth floor of Tower Two, this three-bedroom suite offers unrivaled views, privacy, and luxury. With two interconnecting King rooms plus one Queen room, it is an ideal choice for those traveling with an entourage. As it is located on the top floor of the resort, you can savor breathtaking views of the calm, crystal-clear Adriatic Sea, dotted with elegant super-yachts. This suite can sleep up to eight guests, with two King beds and two Queen beds, while offering both mountain and bay views.

The Epitome of Luxury: One&Only Portonivi’s Private Villas

Undoubtedly offering the finest accommodation in Montenegro (in our opinion), the private villas at One&Only Portonovi redefine luxury. There are 10 private villas on the property: Villa One and Villa Two are 2-3 bedroom homes while the three Signature Villas are 3-4 bedrooms and also include two extra rooms for security and staff. Each standalone villa offers about 2,300 square feet of space and is nestled within its own blooming garden, complete with a private swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, private bar, and massage room. The Signature Villas even have their own private beach just behind the home! The Signature Villas are smaller in square footage but are equipped to accommodate larger parties than Villa One and Villa Two. Embrace the spectacle of sea sunsets from your villa, complemented by attentive, holistic service from a dedicated team of butlers and private chefs.

Exclusive Offer: Villa Hideaway

For those seeking the ultimate indulgence, the Villa hideaway promotion promises an unforgettable stay. Enjoy an 8th-night complimentary stay, along with a private Boka Bay tour aboard the resort’s Nesey boat. The complimentary services don’t stop there. Relish a sumptuous in-villa barbeque dinner prepared by your private chef, and avail of one 4-hour complimentary babysitting service, allowing you to take advantage of the resort’s luxuries with complete peace of mind. Contact us for more information on this offer.

In every aspect of its accommodations, One&Only Portonovi delivers an experience of sophistication and comfort, enveloping guests in a world of pure luxury and wellness.

Unleash Adventure: Activities at One&Only Portonovi

At One&Only Portonovi, a multitude of activities await. From culinary delights to family-friendly experiences and immersive tours, the resort caters to guests of all ages.

A Wellness Journey

Feel your stress disappear by choosing any of the curated programs and services offered throughout the resort and at the world-renowned Chenot Escape Spa. From detox programs and de-stress and recharge retreats to fitness programs and rejuvenating spa days, the choice is yours! You can scroll through their brochure for a full list of services offered. Pro Tip: Skip to page 25 for a list of pre-selected itineraries you can choose to follow based on your wellness goals.

If wellness isn’t your top focus for this trip but you still want moments of relaxation, take advantage of the resort’s complimentary amenities including an indoor pool, steam room and sauna, relaxation pavilion, and signature Chenot herbal tea.

Family-friendly Adventures

One&Only understands the importance of cross-generational bonding, offering family activities that include kayaking, SUP boarding, badminton, and beach volleyball competitions. Create cherished memories with your loved ones as you embark on these exciting adventures together.

The KidsOnly club welcomes children aged 3 to 12 with hours of exciting activities, fostering creativity and camaraderie. For teenagers aged 13 to 17, One Tribe offers a vibrant space where they can connect and explore various indoor and outdoor adventures together. All children and teens are looked after by trained caregivers.

Guided Nature Tours

Put on your hiking boots and join Saša Kulinović, the resident mountain guide, to explore the wild beauty of Montenegro. From rugged peaks to spellbinding sunsets, Saša takes you to the country’s most captivating locations with his exclusive insider expertise. Get ready for views straight out of a magazine!

Day Trips and Bespoke Journeys

For a touch of nostalgia, commence on a private vintage car tour, tracing the same coastal road trip once enjoyed by Marshal Tito. Enjoy a sunset wine tasting to cap off an incredible day.

The resort has three resident boats for guest tours. Meg enjoyed a boat tour to Korto and Perast. During her tour, she walked the steps to the mausoleum, had lunch at a local’s 200-year-old home, and walked around the historical towns. She also rode through Boka Bay to Lady of the Rock island to see a church built in 1630. The price for an 8-hour tour is 1,400 EUR. Guests can also request a quick, 10-minute boat ride to Blue Cave for a unique and beautiful swimming experience!

The resort offers bespoke journeys, planning the ultimate day trip tailored to your specific interests. Tour ancient towns, explore secret beaches, and traverse the rugged interiors of the untouched countryside.

Culinary Delights

Choose from three restaurants or schedule a private dining experience at One&Only Portonovi. Feast at Tapasake, the resort’s waterfront restaurant offering contemporary Japanese-Peruvian cuisine, dine at La Veranda for authentic Montenegrin cuisine with a wealth of history and flavor woven into every dish, or eat fresh, local, Italian ingredients at Sabia. From modern Asian tapas dishes to French pastries, afternoon tea, and a trolley of personalized cocktails, Caminetti is the resident bar on the property and a great place to socialize with other guests. You can read more information on each dining option here.

Montenegro Unveiled

Montenegro, known as the “black mountain” by locals, invites travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-track adventure. With historical sites, stunning beaches, serene lakes, snow and water sports, and enchanting spas, it offers a unique blend of activities and attractions. The country is known for its friendly locals and its well-organized holiday resorts. Montenegro’s currency is the Euro, which is readily available and makes shopping and traveling within the country easy for visitors. Since its independence, Montenegro has been developing its tourist industry rapidly and renovating its infrastructure, including roads, buildings, and public utilities. The country’s diverse landscape, consisting of mountains, gorges, and captivating coastal scenery, makes it a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts. Despite being one of the world’s smallest countries, Montenegro boasts a rich cultural heritage with marvelous churches, monasteries, and folk arts. For those looking for a quieter yet vibrant escape, Montenegro’s tranquil charm might just be the perfect destination.

As a Virtuoso Partner, we can offer our clients exclusive benefits, including:

  • Upgrade on arrival (STA)
  • Daily Breakfast for two guests per bedroom
  • 100 USD equivalent Resort credit
  • Welcome In-Room flowers
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out (STA)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Book your stay through our Hotel Only service to receive these amenities at no additional cost. For a fee of $200, you have the added benefit of our assistance with any concierge services you may need through our Hotel Plus service, including arranging dining reservations, scheduling spa appointments, and taking care of transfers for your arrival and departure.

If you love One&Only Resorts, we have also recently visited two more of their properties and shared our experiences.

If you would like to request more information about availability and rates for One&Only Portonovi, fill out a Travel Request Form or contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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