We luxury travelers can get competitive. We want to be first in the latest hotspot and the new five-star hotel.
Wait, Nicaragua? Yes. Guest Author Gerrie Summers checked out Nica (as insiders call it) on behalf of Luxury Travel.
"Nica is going to captivate the think-different luxury traveler," Gerrie believes. "Its scenery is dazzling, its Mayan and Colonial Spanish cultural blend fascinating. Plus, Nica is rich in adventure sports, virgin surfing beaches, and fantastic Flor de Caña rum."
"What you won't find in Nica," promises Gerrie, "is crowds, tourist traps, and inflated prices."
And where to stay? "Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa, Nica's first luxury hotel and one of my favorite tropical resorts anywhere," Gerrie says.
"Mukul is so high-end, yet so low-key, with its picture-perfect Manzanillo Beach and uplifiting, serene design."
- Gerrie did all the scouting work for you. Here's what she found to see, do, & brag about in Nicaragua >>
- Why luxury travelers are going to fall for Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa >>
- Gerrie has one final word about Nica: Go.
Photos: Nica's Emerald Coast and Leon Cathedral ©Dick Washburne. Images of Mukul, including Guacalito Golf Course (below) ©Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa
In Tuscany, like everywhere, old villages are losing their young people to the cities.
But 900-year-old Castiglioncello del Trinoro, in the province of Siena, is undergoing a rebirth.
Its abandoned, stone-walled homes, farmhouses, and castello have been subtly transformed, villa by villa and suite by suite, into a graceful, profoundly Tuscan hotel.
Today, this unique hotel village is known as Monteverdi Tuscany.
This new kind of authentic European experience is the vision of Michael Cioffi, an Italian-American based in Cincinnati. English-speaking visitors are warmly welcomed to Monteverdi Tuscany.
Guests relax instantly, taking in the property's stirring views of verdant Val d'Orcia and savoring Monteverdi Tuscany's two restaurants, modern gym, infinity pools, art gallery and music salon.
Nearby are woodland trails and historic gardens, a papal palace, Tuscany's only archeological dig, and the legendary wineries of Montepulciano.
Tuscany is not a new destination for luxury travelers. But Monteverdi Tuscany has changed the game.
- Get your lux travel blood pumping with a look at Monteverdi Tuscany >>
- Of course, Italy has its place of honor in our (and your?) take on the world's best destinations >>
All photos (including below): ©Monteverdi Tuscany
Luxury Travel's Miami-based Guest Author, Sara Liss, knows a thing or two about tropical getaways.
First of all, "Parrot Cay by COMO is set on Turks & Caicos, one of the Caribbean's hottest upscale destinations," Sara notes. "There's a definite celeb-and-yoga vibe. Donna Karan and Bruce Willis both own villas on Parrot Cay."
Intrigued? Parrot Cay by COMO is a private-feeling boutique hotel with 72 accoms, from one-bedroom suites to rambling villas suited to families, girl or guy getaways, or "your celebrity entourage," suggests Sara.
No question, Parrot Cay by COMO is a quiet yet glamorous go-to. The island has come a long way since it was the lair of female pirates who'd storm out of a hidden cove to plunder ships seeking safe harbor.
Power babes! Something to meditate on at Parrot Cay by COMO.
- See why some of the most beautiful people come to sun, snooze, and slim down at Parrot Cay by COMO >>
Photos above and below: ©Parrot Cay by COMO
"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life," Dr. Samuel Johnson famously said. Substitute "a luxury traveler," and we can totally relate.
London is the cornerstone destination of the English-speaking world, the cradle of Anglophone culture. If I had to pick a city to visit every two years my whole life, it would be London. (And I felt that way back when you couldn't get a decent cup of coffee or loaf of bread in London. And now it's a culinary lodestar.)
Luxury Travel's new Guest Author, Joseph Reaney, grew up not far from London and knows the town inside-out. With his insider savoir-faire and his connections, Joe unearthed London's most extraordinary luxury experiences for us.
- See what Joe found for us luxury nomads to do: a Champagne tasting overlooking all of London, and much more >>
- He was born in 1985 near London, but now covers the Continent: Meet Joe Reaney >>
- Two stellar hotel choices for lux London visitors: the celeb-favored, impossibly glamorous Corinthia Hotel London >>
- And the grooviest hotel in a city of ferociously fashionable neighborhoods: amidst the style whirl of Shoreditch and Hoxton, Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel >>
- Need some motivation? All the reasons to visit London now >>
Photos from top: Royal Penthouse Terrace at ©Corinthia Hotel London; antique London map ©Wikimedia Commons; Lux Travel's Joe Reaney toasting London atop the London Eye ©Courtesy of Joseph Reaney; (below) 1901 Restaurant at Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel London ©Joakim Blockstrom.
Covering luxury travel (as I do) or reveling in it (as you do) raises the bar. We can get very ho-hum about hotels.
But the brand-new NIZUC Resort & Spa is going to get blasé critics and seen-it-all travelers very excited.
NIZUC is convenient enough for weekend getaways. Set on a semi-private barrier island between Cancun and the Riviera Maya, it's 10 minutes from Cancun airport, in turn a three-hour nonstop flight, or less, from most of the U.S.
NIZUC is just fabulous. It's a design wonder; you must see it to believe it. And NIZUC is a consummate luxury hotel, with vast, secluded suites; dazzling dining; a glorious beach; stupendous spa, and five-star service.
Can you tell I was wowed by NIZUC? Luxury traveler, you will be, too.
- Discover why the luxury travel world will soon be buzzing about NIZUC Resort & Spa >
- See what delights await you in Cancun >
- And in the Riviera Maya >
- Read about NIZUC's Ramona restaurant and more of Cancun's best eateries >
- Decide if you could handle this Cancun craze: swimming amidst 60-foot whale sharks >
- No sharks, but bats and rays of eerie blue light, as you snorkel and scuba in the Riviera Maya's spooky, water-filled, Mayan cenote caves >
Photos of NIZUC from top: adult pool ©Nizuc; Mayan-style logo ©NIZUC; resort walkway, resort suite ©Karen Tina Harrison; Ramona restaurant entrance ©NIZUC; Indochine restaurant hostess Alejandra ©Karen Tina Harrison; resort pier ©NIZUC.
Luxury Travel's Culinary Travel ace, Max Jacobson, is a longtime restaurant reviewer who is quite...chary with his praise.
But his enthusiasm for Southern California's The Grand Del mar jumps off the page. Max isn't the only critic who finds this fairytale-look resort superlative all-around.
- The Grand Del Mar is The Golden State's only triple five-star hotel, with flawless luxury service to boot
- Its Addison restaurant owns endless accolades, including Relais & Chateaux membership
- In five-star fashion, the resort's spa, gym, golf - everything - is tops
Would you like The Grand Del Mar as much as Max did? Check it out, see some pics, and decide for yourself >>
Photos: ©The Grand Del Mar. Top: Amaya restaurant; horseback riding on-property; Addison restaurant; resort pool; (below) Capella Chapel.
Just the name Waldorf Astoria Hotels conjures sophisticated luxury. From the brand's landmark flagship hotel on NYC's Park Avenue, the brand has grown to 24 deluxe properties worldwide.
The "face" of Waldorf Astoria's new global campaign is Ukrainian actress Olga Kurylenko, left, Bond girl and star of other movies. (See a poster here.)
I'm usually impatient with TV commercials. But this campaign, shot at the sumptuous Waldorf Astoria Chicago, is intriguing, more of a mini-miniseries. Like her mysterious yet but modest character, Olga Kurylenko really stays at Waldorf Astoria hotels. And that's a tipoff to luxury travelers.
- Take a break with the romantic and touching first installment, The Stories Begin Here >>
- Find out more about the famed Waldorf Astoria hotel brand >>
- See what wonders Waldorf Astoria performs with a Florida family resort, Waldorf Astoria Naples >>
Photos ©Waldorf Hotels & Resorts. From top: New York; Olga Kurylenko: Shanghai. Below: Chicago.
In ancient times, all roads led to Rome. And all sea journeys led to Malta.
Strategically set dead-center in the southern Mediterranean, this three-island nation has been visited (sometimes conquered) by everyone. Its language is a mix of Arabic and Italian.
Malta's golden age was the Crusades and early Renaissance, when it was claimed by roving aristocrats who became known as the Knights of Malta.
Today, Malta sings its siren song for modern-day aristos: jet-set travelers who understand this land's potent and timeless allure.
And for them, there's only one conceivable hotel perch in Malta: Corinthia Hotels, owned by a Maltese family, the Pisanis.
- Find out about Corinthia Hotels' original property, Malta's eternally sumptuous Corintha Palace Hotel
- For the swimsuited society crowd who "sea and be scene," Corinthia Hotel St. George's Bay
- Why London's most glamorous place to stay right now is Corinthia Hotel London
Photos from top: Corinthia Palace Hotel, Malta; Corinthia Hotel St. George's Bay, Malta; Corinthia Hotel London; below, Corinthia Hotel St. George's Bay at dusk. All ©Corinthia Hotels & Resorts.
Yes, we know. Keep your passport in your hotel safe.
But there's a lot more valuable travel advice that you never hear.
Well, not never. Here at Luxury Travel, our globe-trotting travel writers have volunteered their most useful advice... the kind of savvy that you usually have to learn the hard way. Like:
- Joe Carlson: Why you need to pack a couple of small padlocks
- Maureen Jenkins: The very best way for solo travelers to meet locals
- Veronica Mullen: Why malaria meds are no longer a big deal
- Michael Hiller: The first thing you should do when you enter your hotel room
- Kathleen Squires: Which hotel staffer (not the concierge!) to ask for a restaurant recommendation
- Moi, Karen Tina Harrison: How to score a premium economy seat upgrade with zero upcharge
And lots more! Don't miss Luxury Travel's treasure trove of travel tips >>
All photos, Wikimedia Commons. From top: Jet cartoon, Abuk Sabuk; Ancient padlocks in Wall Museum, Acre, Israel; Antique map of London, Braun & Hogenberg; Vintage Moss safe, RexxS; World War II malaria poster, US Army, ©National Archives and Records Administration.
When we visit New York City, we hope for a great view of the skyline from our hotel. But that's usually too much to expect.
Not at ONE UN New York Hotel.
The hotel is set in a quiet, scenic part of midtown near the United Nations. And most of ONE UN New York's rooms deliver knockout views of Manhattan icons like the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, the East River, and of course the UN.
Says Guest Author Victor Fiorillo, who visited and profiled ONE UN New York for us, "Every night, you can toast this spectacular panorama from your private terrace. It's a Big Apple peak experience."
More to love about ONE UN New York Hotel: its indoor pool and tennis court, both with incredible city vistas.
- Let Victor tell you why you may fall for ONE UN New York Hotel >>
- See why your luxury travel schedule needs a regular wakeup call from The City that Never Sleeps >>
Photos above and below: ©ONE UN New York Hotel.