Just Back From: The St. Regis Deer Valley

Our close friend and preferred partner, Jeremy McClellan,who represents Marriott International Luxury Brands, recently returned from a visit to The St. Regis Deer Valley. 

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Catering to families and multi-generational travel, The St. Regis Deer Valley offers a huge selection of guest rooms and suites.  A differentiator for the resort is the large choice of multi-bedroom suites ranging from one to four bedroom suites….in addition…they also have residential suites ranging from two to four bedrooms.  As a huge bonus, all suites and residential suites have a full designer kitchen….again, really the perfect home for families. 

  • Location, location, location!

    • Park City is only 40 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport.  There is no easier ski destination to travel to with such great access to a major gateway offering flights around the world.  This is really ideal for families searching for ski destinations with direct flight accessibility.

    • The St. Regis Deer Valley is right next to the children’s ski school…so again, a perfect venue for families of all ages

  • After hitting the slopes…unwind in the Remede Spa where nothing helps those tired muscles recuperate like a great customized massage.  The last time I had been skiing was about three years ago and so my legs definitely felt the burn after day one…and the massage at the spa was EVERYTHING I needed and so much more!

  • J&G Grill – This is where customers enjoy breakfast, luncheon or dinner and the décor concept is all about the picture windows providing views of the mountains.  The bar seats lining the exhibition kitchen are always popular and no mountain restaurant would be complete without a two-sided wood-burning stone fireplace to ensure the ultimate coziness overload.

  • Brand Highlight – The Bloody Mary is a signature cocktail for St Regis brand and each property offers their own unique recipe.  Introducing The St. Regis Deer Valley 7452 (named after the altitude of the resort).

Destination Guide:

Tried and True:

  • Winter - Hit the Slopes!  Deer Valley is world famous for its incredible skiing.  With over 2,026 acres of terrain, skiers of all abilities will enjoy well-manicured slopes ranging from bunny hills to moguls.  A little interesting note for Deer Valley – no snowboarders are allowed.  As a skier, I actually appreciated this fast rule and enjoyed the ski only runs.  The total Deer Valley resort has 103 runs broken down between 27 beginner, 41 intermediate, 27 advanced and 5 expert lifts.  This ration really makes Deer Valley perfect for families and really for skiers of any skill level.

  • Summer – Mountain Biking!  Although a very niche market, Deer Valley is a haven for mountain bikers with over 70 miles of bike trails including three new flow trails designed by Gravity Logic.  These trails are accessed by three chairlifts and spread over six different mountains.  Silver Lake Express chairlift at the base of the resort, Sterling Express at mid-mountain and Ruby Express at Empire Canyon provide lift-served mountain biking at The St. Regis Deer Valley

 

Something New:

  • A Solstice Celebration – Picture historic main street of downtown Park City closed to traffic and a gorgeous communal dining table constructed and decorated by various local restaurants.  Organized by Park City Area Restaurant Association, Savor the Summit is a gorgeous event held each year on the June Saturday closest to the Summer Solstice.  Tickets may be purchased from the association directly and do sell out quickly.  (Photo Attached)

  • Alpine Distilling – Helmed by Rob Sargent, Alpine Distilling is an award winning producer of spirits including gin, vodka and bourbon.  While visiting The St. Regis Deer Valley I participated in the Gin Tasting Experience.  Full disclosure….I don’t really like Gin….that said however, I loved this experience which was the perfect mix of chemistry and storytelling while tasting and smelling various components of Gin. 

Just Back From: Family Travel Forum

Members of our TWIL team recently returned from a Family Travel focused conference in Jamaica, where they stayed at the Moon Palace Resort in Ocho Rios and spent their days meeting with family focused suppliers and getting the inside scoop on up-and-coming new resort openings and enhancements.  

Here are some of the key takeaways that our Advisors, Lori Gold and Kim Silvertown learned from their time in Jamaica.

 Jamaica:

  • Moon Palace Ocho Rios:Smaller than the one in Mexico, but none the lesser. This resort boasts calm waters on a quaint private beach annexed next to a public beach with local sellers. Some feel that watching the cruise ships pass by is an obstruction, others enjoy its beauty. Family friendly with food to satisfy all palates. 

  •  Lady Hamilton at the Grand Palladium: Beautifully modernized space with an excellent Kid’s Club program (3+ if potty trained). 

  • Iberostar Rose Hall Suites: Float down the lazy river, slip and slide at the waterpark, and get cozy with comfortable suites offering pull out sofas and guaranteed connecting rooms. 

  •  The Finest: Opening in 2020/2021, this all-inclusive will host unbeatable service on a luxurious property.

Mexico:

  • Sandos Caracol: Freshly renovated standard rooms are now reimagined as Eco rooms. 85% complete. 

  •  Sandos Playacar: Kids only waterpark makes this resort a family vacation winner.

  •  Sandos Palm Bay: Opening April 12th, this stunning resort is beyond deluxe – all rooms are oceanfront. 

  • Hotel X-Caret: Plenty of connecting rooms make this property family friendly. But, if you are looking for a peaceful retreat, the brand new adults only Casa de le Playa is opening in December. Here, you will stay in a room with an ocean view and access all pools with serene views. The X-Caret is opening a new park at Xoximilco called Xavage in March – we look forward to the reveal. 

Punta Cana: 

  • Lopesan Resort Punta Cana: This brand new chain (existent only in Europe) is opening in May. It will be a luxury experience that is unparalleled.  Lush greenery, white sand beaches, and turquoise waters come together to create a one of a kind experience. With six freshwater swimming pools, including a two-tiered infinity pool, a kids pool, an adult only area with futons, hammocks, and balinese beds, this resort has a place to unwind for anyone. The Lopesan also hosts The Boulevard: a large entertainment space for all ages equipped with a casino, wellness centre, discotheque, bowling alleys, kids and teens facilities, and shops. 

  • Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real: Grand opening of new luxury section with a waterpark. Welcome to play at all three resorts. Separate Kid’s Club age segments: 1-4, 4-12, and teens. 

  •  Melia Caribe: Opening a new waterpark Feb 19 and all newly renovate. 

Bahamas:

  • The Atlantis-Reef renovation is well underway and the Royal Tower will be beginning its makeover this year. The rest of the resort is completely revised.

Bermuda: 

  • Exciting additions in Bermuda: they are opening a new airport, a St. Regis, and a Ritz Carlton Reserve in 2020. Tourists cannot rent cars, only Twizzles – electric vehicle.  

Antigua:

  • The beautifully polished Blue Waters in Antigua has 3, 4, and 5 bedroom villas in an all inclusive luxury space. 

Travel Well! 

Lori & Kim.  

Just Back From: Halkidiki, Greece 

One of our TWIL agents, Ilana Prussky, visited Greece in October and here is what she has to say:

First Stop: Ikos Olivia: Luxury All-inclusive Resort 
Getting There: The closest airport is Thessaloniki. It is approximately 50 minutes to the resort. 
Who is it for? Ikos Olivia is perfect for family travel. Whether it is a family with young children or a multigenerational family, Ikos is the perfect spot for you.

Our Take:
Ikos has positioned itself as redefining what a luxury all inclusive is. I can truly say that when you are at Ikos you do not feel like you are in your typical Caribbean all inclusive - it has a boutique resort feel with amazing service. I arrived at Ikos at night and immediately I was able to see that it would be a special place. Ikos has many different restaurants on property as well as all the other amenities you would expect out of a 5-star hotel.

  • There are over 4 pools and a variety of accommodation styles. They have your standard guestrooms in the main lobby tower, and then they have many options of bungalows. Bungalows range from one- and two-bedrooms suites either with garden view, pool view and ocean view. Ikos is split up into the standard rooms and bungalows and the deluxe bungalows. The deluxe bungalows have a few more special touches, however the main difference is the deluxe section has its own pool and private beach section. 

  • Something special about Ikos is the childrens program. Every parent I spoke to raved about the kids program, whether they had a young toddler or a teenager. They have basketball, soccer, volleyball, bike rentals and many more activities to enjoy.

  • The breakfast buffet was plentiful ranging from omelette bars to crepe making, all the best Greece dishes as well as the classic American cuisine.

  • A highlight of my stay at Ikos would be the Wine Tasting. It is included in the Ikos All inclusive experience and is well run by a sommelier.

Second Stop: Sani Luxury Resort (four main resort options)
Getting There: The closest airport is Thessaloniki. It is approximately 50 minutes to the resort. 

  1. Porto Sani: 
    Who is it for: Families 
    Must know: Porto Sani does not have a beach! That said, it has many pools, and tons of availability for seating. It is made up of bungalow style accommodations ranging in size. The furniture is more traditional and dated. 

  2. Sani Asterias: 
    Who is it for: Couples or Families 
    Must know: Sani Asterias is the smallest of all the Sanis. Asterias would be the highest end property, which is portrayed in the level of service and the décor. The property is quite small, it is a short walk from the rooms to the pools. There are only two treatment rooms, so reserve at your time of booking! 

  3. Sani Club: 
    Who is it for: Families with young children 
    Must Know: All the properties on Sani Resort are located within walking distance of each other except for Sani Club. Sani Club is located approximately 5 minutes by shuttle from the rest of the resort. Sani club is filled with children and is perfect for multi-gen. It is important to note that Sani Club is huge! Going from your room to breakfast to the beach is not walkable! You must call a golf cart every time you want to go somewhere, and there are always golf carts around to take people places. Sani Club is also located on a hill - it makes for the most unbelievable views - however, it makes getting around challenging.

  4. Sani Dunes: 
    Who is it for: Families with older children or couples 
    Must know: Sani Dunes is my favorite of all the Sani Resort properties. The rooms are bungalow style - they are stunning. The beach club at Dunes is the place to be. It is absolutely stunning. The lobby is grand, and has a delicious restaurant, called “The Market.”

Our Take: 
Sani Resort is a five-star resort located in Halkidiki. It is split up into 5 different resorts, sharing common spaces, restaurants, as well as a marina. Sani Resort is made up of: Sani Club, Sani Beach, Sani Dunes, Sani Asterias & Porto Sani. Each resort is run completely on their one. Sani Marina is made up of a teens club, a ton of restaurants, shopping and more. Once you are at Sani, you truly never need to leave. The different resorts at Sani are perfect for different types of travellers. 


Halkidiki is postcard perfect for any occasion.

Just Back From: The Ritz-Carlton, Abama in Tenerife Spain

Our close friend and preferred partner, Stacey Colonna,  who represents Marriott International Luxury Brands, recently returned from a visit to Spain, where she had the pleasure of staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama.  

GETTING THERE

There are connecting flights at very convenient times from NY-JFK and from anywhere else in the USA. We flew from JFK to Madrid with a brief 2-hour layover giving us just enough time to head over to the connecting gate with a few stops at the shops along the way. Tenerife was our final and only destination this trip, but you can certainly create a very exciting itinerary with a stay in vibrant city like Madrid or Barcelona during your connection before landing in Tenerife to start your awe-inspiring beach vacation.

 

Looking for some more reasons to travel to Tenerife? See my experiences below…

 

NATURE

The natural beauty in Tenerife is spectacular - all elements are represented and in their maximum glory. For a nature nut like me, it was the most delightful experience. The night sky is unpolluted with light so the goodies above are to be seen to be believed. I saw more stars in the sky than I have ever seen in my lifetime! The Ritz-Carlton, Abama’s neighborhood sky includes our planet’s view from within the mighty Milky Way which sits directly above the resort and can be seen with the naked eye (WOW!) The hotel knows their view is pretty special and they offer guests a private, casual, beach stargazing picnic that comes complete with a highly educated and enthusiastic astronomer and a 2-Michelin Star picnic catered by M.B. restaurant. Reservations required. We had the pleasure of enjoying this picnic, and I highly recommend it for your guests for a memorable and educational experience they will never forget.

 

In Southern Tenerife where The Ritz-Carlton is, you are guaranteed perfect beach weather and low humidity 98% of the time throughout the year. Picture an ocean that looks like a kaleidoscope of aqua, turquoise, cerulean, royal and navy blue and you have the gorgeous waters of Tenerife! Being a volcanic island, the Canary Island’s waters are rich in healing and therapeutic minerals. The Ritz-Carlton is situated on a cliff and the landscape is made up of volcanic nooks and crannies of smaller cliffs and caves galore. Climb to the top of a small cliff located on at the resort’s beach and dive right into the ocean if you dare (it’s totally safe - and yes, I did it!). Swim in any one of the natural pools that nature created inside the crevices of the land on the cliffs was one of the most memorable beach experiences of my lifetime. The resort beach is very intimate but public which is nice because you get a little local flavor. The facilities, Beach Club, lounge chairs and services are reserved for hotel guests though, so guests still have exclusivity. The beach itself if small enough to attract only an elite crowd and the experience feels extremely private and secluded.

 

FOOD

The stars in the sky are not the only impressive ones in Tenerife, and The Ritz-Carlton, Abama has two Michelin Star restaurants: Kabuki (1 Star) and M.B. (2 Stars). There are 8 additional restaurants offering everything from tapas to Italian, sure to please every diner’s culinary wishes. My personal favorite dishes were seafood paella at El Mirador and ceviche at Txoko.

 

RESORT ACCOMMODATIONS

The main building has 313 rooms & suites, a Ritz-Carlton Club level and Club Lounge. This section of the hotel caters to families with 8 family suites and 3 specialty suites; Imperial Suite, Royal Suite and The Ritz-Carlton Suite each with the very best views to the ocean and of the spectacular grounds at the resort.

 

My favorite accommodations are located in the 4 Villa rows on the property grounds. The units themselves are large guestrooms and suites however the row and the exclusive pool and services you enjoy are all what makes the secluded area on the resort grounds Villa-like. We stayed in the Tagor Villas; the adults only villa row that comes complete with a personal buggy for use while in residence. Nice touch! These villa rows feel like a resort inside the resort, and for those who want more exclusivity than what they would have in the main building, this is the perfect option.

 

Just in time for holiday season, debuting this October are four brand new Villa Deluxe connecting rooms and One-Bedroom Villa Family Suites (for families of 4). The Villa Family Suites feature vast walkthrough living spaces with generous sitting rooms and dining areas, king-sized master bedrooms and balconies overlooking the resort’s lush botanical gardens and swimming pool.

 

RITZ KIDS

Always fun, and this hotel does it “Pirate-style” with a fun treasure hunt. You must inquire directly as the treasure hunt is a seasonal, limited option for kids at the resort however the Kids Club is open all year round with indoor/outdoor facilities to keep the little ones busy.

 

MY RECOMMENDED 5-DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: arrive and relax at the resort. Have lunch and spend the day at the pool (there are 7 pools on the resort grounds) or at the beach. Rest up then have dinner at one of the 10 restaurants at the resort.

 

Day 2: enjoy a day at the Spa. The facilities will keep you busy the entire day and this Spa is truly a highlight at the resort -- not to be missed. Enjoy dinner at one of the 10 restaurants at the resort or head into Playa de San Juan for a local and very casual dinner (just a 5-minute cab ride from the resort).

 

Day 3: spend the day to late night up north. The Ritz-Carlton is South on the island where the weather and beach take center stage and just an hour to the North is where the island “attractions” are. I recommend reserving a private car and driver for the day and start your adventure driving through Vilaflor one of the local villages, then through the magnificent pine forest and into the plateau of the Teide the spectacular Volcano, with its moon-like landscape where films like Planet of the Apes, and Clash of the Titans have been filmed. You literally feel like you are on another planet! Then walk through the fabulous Orotava Valley to Icod Los Vinos, known for its wines and the famous  Drago tree known for its mystical powers. Have a typical Canarian style lunch at the restaurant of your choice then move on to Garachico a local town destroyed in the volcanic eruption of 1706. End your day tour with the magical village of Masca with its amazing views of La Gomera which has approximately 120 inhabitants. Take advantage of your time up North and join a Stargazing group tour at sunset at Teide National Park for a view of the night sky as you’ve never seen it before!

 

Day 4: All day Beach! Spend the day on the beach exploring the natural pools located cliffside. Just before sunset, enjoy your private, casual Stargazing Michelin Star picnic on the beach. (Reservations for the picnic are required.)

 

Day 5: spend your morning out on the water for dolphins and whale watching- available to view all year round! Come back to the resort in the afternoon to relax and enjoy the resort’s facilities; beach, spa, pool, and restaurants or depart for your city excursion if you plan to connect via Madrid or Barcelona.