Just Back From: Colombia

One of our Twil Agents, Rhonda Lewis visited Colombia in June and here is what she has to say:

Rhonda had the pleasure of staying two nights at the Four Seasons in Bogota. There are two Four Seasons in Bogota and they are strikingly different! Casa Medina is boutique, charming, and feels like an old traditional house with beautiful hand-carved wooden doors and fireplaces. On the other hand, the Four Seasons Bogota is more corporate and modern with very little public space because it is located right in the heart of the city surrounded by 5 restaurants on the same block. The hotel has superb service and an outstanding breakfast!

If you are a biker, many city streets are closed on Sundays, which presents the perfect opportunity to explore the city by bike in a safe, leisurely way. There are many incredible things to see such as markets, museums, the history, art and more!

From here Rhonda spent three nights at the beautiful Casa San Augustin, located in the heart of the old city. The building itself is rich in history from the 17th century and was previously three homes that were restored and converted into a hotel. Casa San Augustin is walking distance to amazing restaurants and shops.

 Beyond the fantastic cities of Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia offers a variety of experiences such as art viewings; cooking lessons; helicopter tours; rum and/or coffee tastings; historical tours; archeological tours; and outstanding cuisine options. If you like to swim, snorkel, fish or scuba dive, just off the coast of Colombia, you can find the Islas del Rosario. Rosario Islands are one of the 46 Natural National Parks of Colombia and has one of the most important coral reefs of the Colombian Caribbean Coast.

The weather in Bogota averages between 12-15 degrees year-round, while Cartagena is around 30 degrees.  

Columbia is a fantastic travel destination and we highly recommend you checking it out! If you have any questions or inquiries, please contact your TWIL Travel Advisor at TWIL Travel today.

 

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.