Category

Luxury

Europe THIS Fall? Maybe?

By | Adventure, Europe, Family Travel, Honeymoons and Weddings, Luxury, Romance, Sightseeing | No Comments

Europe This Year? It May Be Awesome!

During this global pandemic especially, but really anytime- trusting experts to rely on vetted in-destination experts may be the key to most fully enjoying your experience.

Over the years I have built a reputation on knowing the destinations that I help people experience. Some of that is a result of direct, on the ground time spent in various destinations and resorts throughout the Caribbean – or on a variety of cruise ships both large and small….but I can’t go or know everywhere, and the other part of the equation that you may not realize is that I spend a significant amount of time at conferences networking with the top experts in destination to better understand what they offer, and who they are.

Going wide-open at a conference for 3 days can be fun, but it’s also hard work – and I do that to prepare to be able to better guide you when you want to experience a destination that I am less familiar with.

One of those destination experts is Titanium Tours specializing in Spain, Portugal and France. They may not be “the cheapest”, but I am not here to guide you to the cheapest experience possible – I am here to guide you to the BEST experience that you will long remember fondly. For that type of experience, Titanium is one of the best!

Below are some ideas from Titanium Tours – ideas that may inspire you to get a trip plan started – and maybe as soon as this fall, the best time of the year to go!

When to Go?

September – November are great months for travel to Spain, Portugal or France. The weather is still beautiful and autumn seasonal activities abound. According to the news coming from each country, we are confident that tourism will resume by then. As you can see above September and October are great months for travel in a typical year.

Furthermore, you can now find good fall airfares going to any of our airports. For example IND – BCN for well under $1000 ($600-700)  with one connection!

What to Book?

The beauty of custom independent tours and partnering with a company like Titanium Tours is that they can guide you to areas where COVID-19 is not present or has had little impact. They can help us help you to pick boutique hotels, less crowded routes, private experiences, etc where you will feel safe while traveling abroad. Their 3 countries in which they specialize have been impacted very differently and different areas of each country have been affected very differently. They can guide you to create an itinerary that’s both exciting and safe.

For instance, Portugal has had significantly less cases than France and Spain. If you want off the beaten path experiences, they can for example, take you 90 minutes north of Lisbon to our Castles and Wild Horses experience.

In France, you can avoid crowded areas to visit the Hill Top Villages of Luberon in Provence and go truffle hunting. Winter truffles are more aromatic and their season starts in November.

In Southern Spain, where COVID-19 has also had a much smaller impact, you can go to the private workshop of a silk shawl craftsman who’s family has been embroidering silk shawls, most typical in this region, for generations. Not only will you observe an artist at work, but you can even try your hand at it.

Or perhaps this is the year to go admire the beauty of the Azores….

The point is simply this – there is a big wonderful word of experience and the tourism industry is eager to help you discover them. In Europe it’s not all about cafes and museums – there are wonderful experiences to enjoy and still be safely guided!

EZTravelPad is here to guide you to the best tour operators with the best guides – who will help you have the best experience possible – custom designed for YOU!

We’re here to help when you are ready. Contact us today for more info

 

 

A Day on Waiheke Island – Wine Tasting & More

By | Adventure, Dining, Family Travel, Honeymoons and Weddings, Luxury, Romance | No Comments

Waiheke Island in New Zealand is a Wine Lover’s Paradise

 

A day on New Zealand’s Waiheke Island is as relaxing as it is beautiful. The gorgeous scenery, combined with a diverse amount of vineyards and dining options along with the welcoming residents combine for a fantastic day trip  from Auckland via ferry, or opt to stay for a few days because 1 day just might not be enough!

On a recent visit to New Zealand we had the good fortune to experience a full day on the island. The day trip was booked with a reliable tour operator that we use for many clients in many destinations. The portal offers terrific access to all sorts of the best day tours & activities across the globe including this one.

Upon departure from Auckland’s main ferry terminal the 45 minute trip across the Hauraki Gulf can be a bit chilly and breezy so determining whether to opt for the very comfortable accommodation in the climate controlled main decks or enjoying the view from the top deck exposed to the elements is a decision to consider from the outset. We opted for the breeze (and breezy it was!). But it greatly enhances the arrival in Matiatia Bay.

Starting out from the ferry terminal it takes just a minute to disembark, then a couple more to find your group for the tour (unless opting for a completely private tour) then you are off to a terrific tour of some of the islands top vineyards for tastings and more.

Our group started out at Stonyridge Vineyards for a brief overview and history of the property courtesy of some of the staff as well as wine tastings along the way.

then is was on to a delightful lunch that far exceeded our expectations outdoors near the olive tree plantation.

Quiche, excellent cheeses & guacamole & homemade chips, more wine….(not pictured – we were hungry)

The exterior at Stonyridge Vineyard

As one of the first vineyards on the island it certainly set some of the standards and some high bars, which we were soon to find out would be exceeded!

After Stonyridge we enjoyed some additional tastings at a nearby olive orchard which featured not only some nice olive oils, but additionally some chutneys and other delights were available for sampling and purchase.

But it was wine that we came for!

So on to Casita Miro

To say that this place was memorable is such an understatement. It is quite obviously a labor of love created and curated by the owners Barnett & Cat Bond. Cat focuses on the award winning restaurant

 

 

While Barnett focuses on the wine. A quick overview of the vineyards and brief history of the property….

 

quickly led to tastings of some of the best wines that we experienced in destination – especially the Madame Rouge, which is both outstanding and unforgettable! (and that’s not easy for me to say, as someone who does not generally care for sweet wines)

 

The Spanish influences and Gaudi inspirations are everywhere beginning with the unmistakably Gaudi-esque retaining wall that greets you upon arrival, throughout the property and on to the tasting bar pictured below…

The visit to Casita Miro was excellent, and if ever I get the opportunity to return for a special dining experience this one is near the top to the to-do list for New Zealand, but as they say on television commercials all too often….but wait, there’s more!

The most talked about and highly regarded vineyards on Waiheke Island has to be Mudbrick.

It was recommended and name dropped by everyone who I spoke to regarding putting this New Zealand experience together, and it did not disappoint.

Well, to be honest there was a bit of disappointment involved, but the lovely staff at Mudbrick had nothing to do with it – it was the weather…gloomy, overcast, hazy, chilly & cool meant that spending an extra couple of hours on the patio to enjoy the sunset was not going to be terrific this day, but maybe next time because if it were clear I can only imagine that the view of the sunset across the bay with Auckland in the distance would be amazing!

Still, the overall ambiance is a cut above.

Mudbrick is not only a terrific place for a small group tour or Cellar Door tasting, and of course an excellent choice for a memorable lunch or special occasion dinner, but as well is a top choice for events such a weddings or corporate events.

Strolling the gardens….

Dining al fresco….

Enjoying a libation….

Mudbrick is a cut above. Next time it will be enjoyed “on the fly” after checking the accuweather forecast!

In the end though, Waiheke is not only about vineyards and wine tastings (although I would be equally happy with a few days here as a few days in Napa & Sonoma), there is more to the destination.

A chill little laid back beach town is how I would describe the primary community of Oneroa. A bit of shopping, a stroll along the beach,

along with hiking, biking, paddleboarding, horseback riding, zip lining & more can help you unwind in this pristine little gem.

When it’s time to talk about incorporating a stop at Waiheke Island into your larger adventure to New Zealand then get with “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad for the help you deserve.

We specialize in unforgettable leisure vacations and we are here to help.

Email [email protected] for more

Friends Party at Private Villa – Chic Mansion

By | All-Inclusive Resorts, Caribbean, Dining, Luxury, Uncategorized | No Comments

Seriously- how cool would it be to share this amazing mansion with 5 other couples?

This is an 11,500 square-foot luxury house with six stunning guestrooms each with dedicated en suites. As a part of one of the hippest adults-only all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic.

The villa offers guests six suite-style bedrooms which mean that you and eleven friends can enjoy the house’s private amenities and the resort’s Diamond Club™ privileges together.

Your stay in the Mansion include luxurious round-trip airport transfers, butler service, private pool cabana with attendant and even a complimentary spa treatment for each guest. The villa has its own private pool, hot tub, patio, sound system and games room with a pool table.

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It’s gorgeous, it’s spacious, and it’s perfect for a private party such as a couples retreat or even to celebrate a Bachelor/Bachelorette party

Check out the Private pool complete with hot tub!!

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Game room is complete with bar, pool table and stripper pole (not pictured)

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Amazing living space with huge screen and more…..

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and when the smallest and least amazing bedroom looks like this….

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oh wait….you also get a private dinner with private chef!

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But remember – this is not just a stand-alone mansion, it’s also located on the same property as one of the coolest 5 Star Adults-Only All-Inclusive resorts in the Caribbean

Dine around outside the mansion at restaurants (included!) featuring cuisine such as

  • Italian
  • Ceviche
  • Steak House
  • Middle Eastern
  • International
  • Pub Grill

…and more

With nightly entertainment, a terrific beach, several bars and even a mermaid pool this is something to experience and share with your friends

All this and you can get in for under $1500 per person for 5 nights!!

So what are you waiting for…get your friends together for the ultimate couples retreat!

Contact “Your friends….in the travel business? at EZTravelPad for more info

 

Greg Norman on Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course

By | All-Inclusive Resorts, Caribbean, Luxury | No Comments

Golf Enthusiasts Wanted at Greg Norman Designed Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course

Sick of the cold weather? Ready for a break – and a round of golf on the most gorgeous course in the Caribbean?

Maybe it’s time to hit the links at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf course on Great Exuma in the Bahamas. But don’t hear it from me, let Greg Norman tell you why….

By the way, if you saw The Golf Channel’s Big Break Bahamas series, you know how gorgeous this place is…

Sure, you can book it yourself, but why pay too much and worry about whether you are selecting the room category that best suites your needs? Get a little help from “Your friends….in the travel business” let EZTravelpad help with the little details, and even the tee times! You just pack your bags and get ready to relax in the sunshine!

Loews Don CeSar Resort in St Pete – Perfect for a Destination Wedding in the U.S.

By | Blog, Honeymoons and Weddings, Luxury, Romance | One Comment

For a Destination Wedding at Florida’s Sunset Capital it’s Loews Don CeSar Beach Resort

Don CeSar Beach Resort – a Loews Hotel in St Pete Beach is a perfect spot for a U.S. based Destination Wedding. Stately, Classy, Gorgeous, and with a first class spa, this is a wonderful choice for discriminating couples interested in tying the knot beachside…

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If coming in with a low budget is something that you want to accomplish for your Destination Wedding then this might not be the first choice, but compared to other more modest resorts in the area Don CeSar is surprisingly affordable.

Your Destination Wedding is in Good Hands

When putting together a destination wedding there are a few things to think about- location & reputation, capabilities and quality. Don CeSar has you covered, with 3 wedding coordinators on staff preparing to host over 400 weddings this year, rest assured that you are in good hands. If the service and attention to detail is anything like I experienced there recently I couldn’t be anymore comfortable in suggesting this as a great spot to tie the knot.

Offering exemplary service at every turn, you will not be disappointed by the staff, by the facilities, or by the dining options….

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Flatbread topped with shredded island chicken, black bean spread & vegetables – Potato & plantain chips served with traditional guacamole and pineapple guacamole – Yum!

For some people a grilled chicken breast over a rice pilaf is just fine- others require something a bit more interesting. A more interesting menu is what you will find at Don CeSar, but is doesn’t stop there. The spa features 16 treatment rooms as well as a private deck overlooking the gulf – oh, and it smells like heaven when you walk through the door of the spa! Body toning water aerobics and beach yoga are complimentary for all guests.

Beach Resort = Beach + Pools

Beachside pools offer full service including complimentary refreshments (Italian ice, frozen grape kabobs, smoothies, chilled towels , etc) plus a full menu of activities include volleyball, beachball dodgeball, cannonball contest, and lots & lots of pool pampering are all in store for you if you stay for a few days.

Putting a Price on Service

How can you put a price on service? It’s the little things that mean so much – like the general manager stopping to have a chat – or walking into a restroom that smells of mint and eucalyptus – or being greeted by smiles from all the staff….lots and lots of staff can you put a price on that? Would you want your wedding celebration to be anywhere that offered less?

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view of Don Cesar from beachside – looking great from every angle

My reason for stopping into Don CeSar was to find a Destination Wedding and Honeymoon resort located in Florida that I could feel good about recommending. I found it. So if a Florida based Honeymoon or Destination Wedding is something that you want, let EZTravelpad help guide you there – or wherever else your heart desires. After all, it’s your special day – but it’s not your responsibility to plan it all.

Honeymoon in St Lucia – Anyone?

By | All-Inclusive Resorts, Caribbean, Honeymoons and Weddings, Luxury, Romance | No Comments

A Honeymoon or Destination Wedding at Sandals in St Lucia is Top Pick

A St Lucia Honeymoon, particularly at an all inclusive resort such as one of the 3 Sandals resorts located on the north end of St Lucia is one of the most sought after and romantic destinations in the Western Hemisphere.

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Maybe it’s Oprah’s endorsement or maybe it is just the rare beauty this tropical paradise provides, it could even be that the last episode of The Bachelor was shot there last season, in any case it is real. It is beautiful, it is romantic, and it is in demand. Whether you choose Sandals Grande St Lucian (pictured above), Sandals Regency La Toc, or Sandals Halcyon Beach, you simply can’t go wrong.

If lounging in a tropical paradise – sharing a couples massage on the beach – dining in an over the water seafood restaurant – driving thru a volcano – scuba diving wrecks and reefs – golfing in a tropical paradise – if any of these things sound like what you want your honeymoon experience to include, then perhaps a Sandals luxury included vacation to St Lucia is your ideal Honeymoon spot.

 

But Sandals is not the only option – there is also The Pitons

So what about these Pitons you keep hearing about? What about the 3 walled suites? Just imagine waking to this in your Honeymoon suite….

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Sure, this is Brad and Angelina stuff, right? Well, it’s not inexpensive. This Jade Mountain suite might run $10,000+ per week- if you can get in (better book it very, very far in advance), but there are other options that afford the same sort of view and the same concept of 1 wall being omitted so that you have an unbelievable view of one of the top 5 places in the world to visit.

The Sandals experience is All inclusive – the 3 walled view of The Pitons experience is generally not all inclusive, but you can combine the 2 as many people do, you can have it all. You can split your honeymoon into a few days of all inclusive fun in the sun + a few days of total relaxation in the most romantic place in the world, and you can get it done from between $5000-8000 total for a week including air from Chicago this September.

How do you plan such a once in a lifetime experience? How can you make sure that your Honeymoon in St Lucia is all you dreamed it can be? How can you coordinate a Destination Wedding to St Lucia, a place so far from home? One way is the best way, consult with a travel professional that specializes in Honeymoons and Destination Weddings, a travel pro like EZTravelpad

Intercontinental Thalasso Resort & Spa – Bora Bora in French Polynesia – A Review

By | Honeymoons and Weddings, Luxury, Romance, South Pacific | No Comments

Intercontinental Thalasso Resort & Spa in Bora Bora is Phenomenal

 

Welcome….

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The Intercontinental Resort & Thalasso Spa is located on a motu (small islet) just off the main island of Bora Bora in The Society Islands of French Polynesia – or in short- The South Pacific. Actually the name of the spa is The Deep Ocean Spa so check out that link….

As the name implies, this resort is all about the spa. From the moment you step foot into the reception area you immediately notice soothing mood music – relaxing – totally. The decor, layout and furnishings are all designed to be in harmony with the spa nature of the resort….

Initially I wondered, what is a Thalasso spa? As they say everyday is a school day, so if YOU don’t know – here goes….

A Thalasso spa specializes in Thalassotherapy (derived from the Greek word ‘thalassa’ which means ‘sea’). The spa uses the beneficial aspects of the marine environment- the climate, sea water, seaweed and algae, mud and sand—all for therapeutic purposes. This spa even uses the seawater for air conditioning!

Sea water is sucked from a depth of 3500 feet (trust me- it’s cool down there) and circulated amongst the buildings on property for cooling purposes. The water is available from this fountain in the spa and guests are encouraged to take a daily sip – maybe 1/2 oz or less for better health. I did, and it’s not bad…

 

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Like nearly every resort in French Polynesia the bulk of the buildings are bungalows. All guest rooms are in bungalows at this Intercontinental resort, as are the massage therapy rooms which are located in the overwater bungalows pictured below.  Guests can enjoy a soothing massage while relaxing as they watch fish swimming in the reef immediately below the massage tables – Clear viewing windows in the floors allow an up close experience and are a fixture of most overwater bungalows in the area, another part of the experience of French Polynesia…

 

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Had a long flight and feeling like your ankles are swollen from the lack of mobility combined with the warmth and humidity of the climate? This may be just the ticket- a Deep Chiller Walk pool. The pool of cool water is approx 25 feet in length and designed to  allow you to walk back and forth in shallow cool water while being pounded by current…nice!

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Tying the Knot

Considering French Polynesia as a destination for your wedding? There may exist a more romantic view than this, but if there is I am unaware of it. Imagine exchanging your vows in front of a huge plate glass window featuring Mt Otemanu as a backdrop – and standing on a clear floor with the reefs below….. this is the wedding chapel that dreams are made of.

A memory that will never, ever fade

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Yes, I have an inside shot of the view, but trust me- it just doesn’t do it justice. Maybe a more professional photographer can- check this link

 

So yes, the spa is amazing – the wedding chapel is to die for – but what about the accommodations? How are the bungalows? Are they nice? How are the views? See for youself at their website. Suffice to say that the huge picture windows that are located at the foot of the King-sized beds in the bedrooms of the bungalows will afford a view like no other – provided that you know what to ask for…..

 

So is the Intercontinental Resort & Thalasso Spa the top resort in Bora Bora? Probably not for everyone. Some might opt for a larger resort – others may choose somewhere a bit more family friendly….but if you are a spa enthusiast who supports Green initiatives and you want to totally relax during your escape in paradise then this may be the best resort for you in all of French Polynesia…..

Can you book it thru some online “discount” source?

Sure- but why would you when the voice of experience is waiting for you – “Your friends….in the travel business” are here to help – Consider EZTravelpad – your source for unbiased advise and best price.

What are the Most Popular Honeymoon Destinations Today?

By | All-Inclusive Resorts, Blog, Caribbean, Dining, Honeymoons and Weddings, Luxury, Mexico, Romance | No Comments

Is the most popular choice the right choice for YOU?

With so many choices for Honeymoons these days, how do you know what is the right choice for you?

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is it about the perfect sunset photo shoot on the perfect beach?

 

Caribbean? – Hawaii? – Mexico? – Florida? – South Pacific? – Europe?

There are many, many possibilities for destinations to choose from when you are thinking about your Honeymoon or Destination Wedding, and there are many factors to consider-

  • How much time can you afford?
  • What do you want to experience?
  • How does budget play into it?
  • Do you need a passport?
  • What about safety?
  • Resort – Tour or Cruise?

EZTravelPad can help you quickly narrow down your choices to the most suitable, and offer you expert advice as to what else you should be thinking about – after all, an expert knows more- right?

So what are the most popular choices for Honeymoons these days?

Well, in my experience the vast majority of couples that I talk to want to experience something unique- something that neither of them have experienced before so that they can make new memories together, and in general it is usually ranked something like this-

  1. Tropical – Romantic – Beach
  2. Cruise
  3. Close to home – a romantic Bed & Breakfast 2-8 hour drive from home
  4. Tour Europe

So let’s look today at #1 – Tropical resort This can mean Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, South Pacific, somewhere even more exotic…

By far – about 80% of EZTravelPad clients choose either Caribbean or Mexico. Many people make their selection based on preconceived ideas about safety – affordability – beauty – status.

Obviously safety is a paramount concern. Nothing is more important to EZTravelPad – and all of our travel partners – than your safety! Many people see negative press about Mexico or specific Caribbean islands and rule them out. I am not here to change anyone’s mind – I am here to help you make the best choice possible given your particular wants, needs and desires. I happen to love Mexico, and the value that it presents to the US traveler, so would urge you to consider it – or if not, then it’s a really big world with plenty of other choices!

Budget & Value-

Sometimes price and value are confused. At EZtravelPad we always strive to acheive the maximum value for our clients. One of the best ways to acheive MAX value is by selecting an all-inclusive resort. Most all-inclusive resorts are located in-

  • Cancun / Riviera Maya area of Mexico
  • Jamaica
  • Dominican Republic

At an all-inclusive resort (and there is a very wide variety ranging from budget to luxury) typically food and beverages plus entertainment and non-motorized water sports are included in the price.

Some resorts – such as Sandals Resorts also include motorized water sports such as water sking & scuba diving- even golf….unlimited! Sandals Resorts are very good and are located in Jamaica, Bahamas, St Lucia and Antigua

Palace Resorts are another great choice. Palace Resorts are located in Dominican Republic and throughout many areas of Mexico. Palace offers $1500 in resort credits that can be used for scuba, tours, spa, romantic dinners, golf & more. This is a great value and allows MAX flexibility & choice!

There are some other great choices as well…

BUT– all-inclusive resorts are not necessarily for everyone. If you are the type that wants to get out and experience the destination to it’s fullest – meet the people – eat the food – live the culture, then an all inclusive resort experience is probably not the best choice. If you are the type who likes fine dining offering tremendous choice and is not afraid to pay for it, then a more “Americanized’ resort may be your best option, and they exist EVERYWHERE.

You may be interested in a destination like Hawaii or South Pacific or Europe where all inclusive resorts simply do not exist – no worries, at EZTravelPad we are completely familiar with all types of EP resorts- from high-rise in Hawaii to private-island in French Polynesia. Consider this- will the OTA (online travel agency such as Expedia, Orbitz, etc) personally email the sales manager at the resort and let them know to expect you – and what to expect from you? Unlikely

Choice

So is your Honeymoon or Destination Wedding all about the beach?

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the party?

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the food?

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the tranquility?

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the adventure?

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the spa?

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the service?

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the destination?

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the room?

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How you answer those questions plays a very important role in determining which will be your best choice, and it is very difficult (if not impossible) to make the right choice based on the price and photos you find on the internet.

Adults Only vs Family Friendly

Often times Honeymoon couples want their Honeymoon experience to take place at an adults only resort. There are great options here, and again, Sandals leaps to mind as they are exclusively for adult couples only. Honeymoon couples make up the majority of guests at a Sandals Resort. Sometimes, particularly if a Destination Wedding involves children, then the adults only aspect is not possible. in that case there are still many, many choices- but I want to suggest that a primary concern at that point should be service – you want your most important vacation to go flawlessly and a more service oriented (and often higher end) resort may be the best choice.

How Can You Make The Most Informed Decision?

Here is the best advice you will receive- work with a travel professional….especially a travel pro that specializes in Romance Travel. In most cases the cost will be the same as you would achieve doing things yourself on the internet or going directly to the resort/airline/cruiseline….plus you will most certainly experience a higher grade of service and impartial advice to help you make the best choice.

Experience

Experience can mean many things. Is someone who has worked behind a desk for 20+ years your best source for feedback? Is your cousin, who went to Jamaica on her Honeymoon the best source for info? My belief is that experience is best when it’s broad, and part of that broad base of experience is only achieved by getting out and seeing – getting out and experiencing destinations and resort brands first hand – on the ground.

I have personally spent 33 days out of country this year alone- in 5 different countries – 8 different islands – visiting well over 60 different resorts, all in an effort to help my clients make the best choice possible when it comes to THEIR most important vacation. It’s hard work, but it is so rewarding!

At EZTravelPad we work with select wholesale vacation packagers – and directly with resorts to insure that you achieve the best possible value AND service. Work with a travel pro that you trust, that knows the destinations, and that understands what it is that you are trying to experience. At EZTravelPad we like to think of ourselves as “Your friends….in the travel business” – so when it’s time to make your plans make the call or send the email – you’ll be glad that you did.

 

St Regis Resort in Bora Bora, French Polynesia – a Review

By | Honeymoons and Weddings, Luxury, Romance, South Pacific | No Comments

St Regis – The Name Says it All

There are few brand names in the world that evoke images of  quality, elegance and opulence the way that St Regis does. For over 100 years and since it was opened by one of America’s wealthiest men, John Jacob Astor IV, The St Regis Hotel in New York has been one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.

St Regis became a Sheraton in 1966, then Sheraton was acquired by Starwood in 1998 and it wasn’t long before Starwood began expanding the brand worldwide. One St Regis brand resort – the St Regis Bora Bora in French Polynesia, has an entrance and view that may be familiar – ever see the mediocre flick “Couples Retreat”?

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Truly one of the most impressive views in the world as the sun sets over the Island of Bora Bora….

This was the view that Vince Vaughn & company took in as they first arrived at their resort renamed “Eden” in the film.

You may remember some of the other shots in this post since various locations were used in the filming, so if staying in a resort that was used as the backdrop is a bonus for you, this place may be for you.

 

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This private “plunge” pool is a part of the villa where a little known couple recently Honeymooned- I think they said their names were Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman if I remember correctly – perhaps you’ve heard of them?

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The private patio pictured above and below are also part of this luxury villa that is available if your pockets are very, very deep….

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The St Regis in Bora Bora is one of over a dozen St Regis properties worldwide that stretch from New York to Aspen to Bora Bora to Abu Dhabi and beyond.

After visiting several luxury resorts throughout French Polynesia I have had time to reflect on my thoughts regarding St Regis Bora Bora. Actually my feelings are mixed.

I suppose I think that St Regis Bora Bora has one of the most impressive views in the world, but equally impressive are the Four Seasons and Le Meridien located in close proximity

I also think that the St Regis sported the largest and most luxurious overwater bungalows that I visited (pictured below)

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I also am confident that the bathrooms in the overwater bungalows (pictured below) were the most luxurious and offered a view of Mt Otemanu from the tub and shower-

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I know that the buffet offered on the night of their Polynesian Show was impressive

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I may never again drink from a prettier coconut…

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Overall is is difficult to poke holes in a tried and true luxury experience- From the Jean-Georges restaurant on site named Lagoon – to the view – to the grounds – to the bungalows, St Regis exudes luxury and status – yet, I was left a little cold.

Our small group of travel agents were treated like Kings at every other resort we visited throughout French Polynesia. We were wined and dined by the managers at nearly every resort we visited… world-class resorts, some with equally world-class reputations, but not at St Regis. Although we enjoyed the completely engaging company of a lovely associate, upper management was curiously absent. Although we enjoyed a wonderful Polynesian buffet, the Polynesian show was substandard compared to other shows we enjoyed elsewhere.

So is St Regis somewhere I would recommend to a client? Probably

Would St Regis Bora Bora be a good choice for a Destination Wedding? Of course, and they are kid friendly

Would St Regis Bora Bora be a good choice for a Honeymoon or Romantic celebration? Absolutely – the price will keep most families away and it is a completely lovely destination with world-class services and amenities

So my humble advice is this- If value is your motive there are better choices in French Polynesia.

If you want to stay away from the Riff-Raff (as if there were any riff-raff in French Polynesia) then this might be a good choice….until Octomom or The Kardashians decide they need a vacation…..then all bets are OFF

In any case just remember that EZTravelPad is here to help you sort it all out

Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun – a Review

By | All-Inclusive Resorts, Caribbean, Luxury, Mexico, Romance | No Comments

Reviewing Le Blanc Spa Resort (a Palace Resort) in Cancun, Mexico

 

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Le Blanc Spa Resort is an adults only all-inclusive resort located in the hotel zone of Cancun, Mexico. It is located very close to the middle of the hotel zone actually, but exists a world away from what you would traditionally associate with Cancun all-inclusive resorts that often cater to the Spring Break crowd.

 

 

This resort is a far cry from typical and in high demand for Weddings and Honeymoons catering to the sophisticated crowd – urban chic, like something out of South Beach. You almost expect Rico Tubbs (Miami Vice) to walk around the corner at any minute…

The Beach is powdery white sand

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The water is an blue as you dreamed it would be and The infinity pool says it all…

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Guest Rooms

As you would expect, guest rooms are extremely well appointed and are as functional as they are luxurious featuring private balconies to enjoy the outdoors and 2 person in room jacuzzis to enjoy indoor.

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Offering butler service in rooms, concierge service at the pools, Haute Cuisine in 5 a la carte restaurants and superior service at every turn, Le Blanc is very much a luxury oasis in Cancun. Nightly turndown service with petit fours, higher end bath products, pillow top beds that you will never want to leave all combine for a very nice package. See more at their website at this link

Beyond the typical amenities Le Blanc offers unlimited free phone calls back to the US, unlimited internet service, and best of all, $1500 resort credits on a 5-8 night stay (other levels exist for shorter and longer stays) that can be used for spa, room upgrades, wedding packages, swimming with dolphins, tours, golf at Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf & much more!

So can you tell that I liked it? Can you tell that I can’t wait to go back?

Le Blanc is not for everyone, but if you consider yourself a person of discriminating taste that would prefer to be located close to the action and shopping in Cancun’s Hotel Zone as opposed to further away down along the Riviera Maya then Le Blanc may just be for you when it’s time to celebrate your Anniversary, Honeymoon, Destination Wedding or even just a luxurious retreat