Napa Valley is a gorgeous and relaxing place to visit. Inns and resorts are located on beautiful grounds with views of the valley and their vineyards. Wine tasting is just part of a Napa Valley vacation – they also have amazing spas, many of which incorporate wine in their treatments, called vinotherapy.
1. Spa Terra at the Meritage Resort
Spa Terra at The Meritage
Spa Terra at The Meritage
Spa Terra is built in an underground “Estate Cave.” The waterfalls, dim lighting, soothing music and cave setting create a relaxing atmosphere. Spa Terra has steam grottoes, soaking pools, radiant heating, and of course, wine therapy.
2. Auberge du Soleil, Auberge Spa
Auberge du Soleil Spa
Auberge du Soleil
Auberge is a beautiful and private inn that overlooks Napa Valley. Guests are invited to participate in their water rituals, which feature a soak in each of 3 temperate springs overlooking Napa’s vineyards and Auberge’s olive grove. The generous Melisse suite accommodates 4 guests and includes a fireplace, private tanning deck, heated private pool, and floor to ceiling windows that offer a panoramic view. Treatments are performed with house infused oils and other herbs cultivated by therapists in the spa’s garden.
3. Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
This spa was named one of the Top 25 Spas by Travel + Leisure. Their facility features a fireplace, resting rooms, bathhouse, outdoor thermal mineral pool, jacuzzi, Watsu pool, herbal steam room, sauna, indoor lounge with fireplace, and spa cafe. The Fairmont also has their own source of thermal mineral water. Treatments include massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, couples treatments, Ayuverdic treatments, body wraps, flotation treatments, facials (including a Caviar Facial), and body scrubs.
4. Kenwood Inn & Spa
Kenwood Inn & Spa
Kenwood Inn & Spa
The Kenwood Inn & Spa was named one of the Top 3 Resort Spas in the U.S. by a Conde Nast readers poll, 2009. This adult-only inn is hidden among vineyards and has a luxurious rustic feel. Kenwood offers vinotherapy with red wine extracts, Chardonnay, and Riesling oils. Guests can even enjoy a massage on the second floor open air cabana overlooking the pool.
Luxury Brands Digital Intelligence
Thanks to Luxury Lab for posting their second annual Digital IQ Index of luxury brands!
Taken into account: 72 luxury brands and their websites, digital marketing strategies, social media initiatives and mobile apps.
And the winners are…
Appreciated: Their “Poppy Project” connected 468 blogs and readers through a web of poppies –> with each hashtag tweeted, the poppy tag grew on blogs, like a public art show.
2. Ralph Lauren
Appreciated: They developed a popular and easy to use mobile app and shoppable children’s video storybook.
3. Louis Vuitton
Appreciated: Launched digital flagship this fall and debuted Gucci Connect.
5. Hugo Boss
Appreciated: Launched artofthetrench.com; enlisted The Sartorialist’s Scott Schuman to create a social networking blog based around Burberry’s iconic trench coat; readers could “like” it, comment, or share photos, just like on Facebook.
7. Dolce & Gabbana
8. Giorgio Armani
10. Tiffany & CO.
Scott Galloway of Luxury Lab explains that the emergence of Gen Y consumers plus the profitability of digital leadership led to a greater investment in this area. Brands are engaged in a race to aquire fans and followers online to raise brand awareness.
Those that displayed the lowest digital intelligence were mainly fine watch and jewelry retailers, such as Rolex, Chopard, and Cartier. They do not have Twitter accounts, and barely have any presence on Facebook, essentially ignoring social media altogether.
Do you think it’s a good idea for luxury brands to ignore social media like Rolex, Chopard, and Cartier have done?
This past month at the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific, major hotel brands revealed that they plan major expansions in China.
- Hyatt: Four new properties in Jinan, Ningbo, Guiyang, and Qingelao (aimed at leisure and business travel)
- Intercontinental: New properties for their lifestyle brand Hotel Indigo in energetic cities of Xiamen and Taiwan.
- Wyndham: Three new properties on the island of Hainan, three resorts in Boao
This announcement confirms China’s leading position in the hotel industry. There are currently 92,559 rooms being built in China (stats from global hotel analyst STR).
Grand Hyatt Beijing, China
Intercontinental Shenzhen, China
Wyndham Xiamen, China
Wanderfly is a new travel suggestion site that asks users questions in order to provide personalized recommendations for destinations the user would enjoy.
The home page asks for users’ departure city, budget, dates, if there is a specific location they had in mind, and what type of vacation they would like (i.e. romantic, spa, eco tourism, etc.).
Based on those questions, Wanderfly provides several suggestions complete with destination overview, news, weather, photos, price for flight and suggested hotel, Google Map, and the option to book with Expedia. Wanderfly will also be adding reviews, travel tips and currency conversion soon. You can view one at a time (pictured below) or all at once. They have integrated with Facebook, and users can connect Wanderfly with Facebook and see if they have any friends in the suggested destination.
Wanderfly Suggestion Results
For each suggested destination, Wanderfly provides suggested flights and hotels at different price points:
Wanderfly Flight Suggestions
Wanderfly Hotel Suggestions
Wanderfly also provides activity suggestions based on which type of vacation the user has selected. If they selected ‘Food,’ restaurant suggestions will appear for each destination. Another social media integration – FourSquare, which comes into play here, in the destination activity suggestions.
Wanderfly Destination Recommendations
When you’ve signed up, you can save searches and favorite things to your account and look at them later. You can also share with friends via email, or request to talk to a Travel Expert.
Conclusion: Wanderfly is a great tool if you haven’t decided exactly where you want to go yet. The site is clean, aesthetically pleasing, easy to use and provides great suggestions for all budgets. The travel tips and reviews will be very influential once they’ve completed development on those features.
It’s imperative to look and feel fabulous when you’re traveling to an exotic destination. Here are a few products to keep you looking and feeling your best:
Noxema Wet Cleansing Cloths
1.Noxema Wet Cleansing Cloths are a lifesaver! I actually use them on a daily basis, but they’re great for traveling as well. They’re especially perfect for washing makeup off at night when you’re tired. Cleansing cloths have become quite popular lately, and I’ve tried several different kinds. Noxema’s Cleansing Cloths are the best – the eucalyptus is super refreshing!
Nars Multiple Makeup Stick
2. The Nars Multiple Makeup Stick is a multi-purpose stick for eyes, lips, cheek & body. Some of the colors look quite bold at first glance, but they wear super sheer. All you need is a tinted moisturizer or foundation and the Multiple Makeup Stick and you’re all set! One quick swipe, a little rub and voila! The Stick comes in the classic Nars shade, Orgasm, and 10 other lovely hues. There are a few new shades hitting shelves this May – Turks and Caicos, a bright peach; Cadaques, a rosy pink; and Beverly Hills, a flush red. Read Allure’s review here.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
3. Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 is a sheer, lightweight foundation that can be worn by all skin types. It’s especially great for those with oily or acne prone skin. Wear with Nars Multiple Makeup Stick for the easiest beauty regimen ever!
Yves Saint Laurent Instant Eye Wake-up Pads
4. Yves Saint Laurent Instant Eye Wake-up Pads are just what a tired girl needs. YSL perfectly puts it: “Your must-have anti-fatigue beauty partner for fresh and radiant eyes.” These little pads will also diminish the appearance of fine lines and crows feet around the eyes. Traveling and adventure can be quite demanding – don’t let it give you unsightly under-eye bags!
Frederik Fakkai Travel Faves - Technician Color Care
5. Frederik Fakkai Travel Faves – Technician Color Care allows you to maintain your gorgeous locks on-the-go with your favorite mini Fakkai products! It comes with luxurious shampoo, conditioner and anti-fade topcoat for enduring color and vibrancy, along with travel-size Sheer Hold Hairspray and mini comb – all in a chic travel bag. The Salon Technicial Color Care line uses Galanga Root Extract to shield agains UV rays and heal damaged hair. The Rapid Results Moisture Mask submerges hair in humectants and extracts to revive just-colored condition and silkiness. Anti-Fade Top Coat is a quick-dry solution that seals the cuticle, and helps prevent frizz and fade.
Ojon Rub Out Dry Cleaner To Go
6.Ojon Rub Out Dry Cleaner To Go – no one needs to know you haven’t washed your hair today! We don’t always have time to wash our hair and restyle it every single day, so use this dry shampoo to get rid of oily hair. Fun Fact: you can also use it if you’ve accidentally added too much product to your hair.
Laura Mercier Flawless Face Kit
7.Laura Mercier Flawless Face Kit includes a foundation primer, tinted moisturizer, undercover pot shade, secret camouflage brush, camouflage powder brush, velour puff, and egg shaped sponge. Basically it includes everything you need for a flawless, classic face!
mdskincare Sunscreen Pads
8. mdskincare Sunscreen Pads SPF 30 are little pads that you can apply anywhere for a sticky-free, long last finish. Great for any skin type, even acne or break out prone. Carry them in your purse or beach bag when traveling so you’re always prepared!
fresh Sugar Deoderant and Antiperspirant
9. fresh Sugar Deoderant and Antiperspirant is a glide-on deoderant that has a sweet, sugary aroma that uses skin soothing botanicals and deoderizing agents that help you stay dry no matter where you are! Pack it in your purse or beach bag to stay fresh on-the-go
GO SMiLE Jet Set Travel Kit
10. GO SMiLE Jet Set Travel Kit includes a tube of AM Energy Luxury Toothpaste, PM Tranquility Luxury Toothpaste, and a Portable Toothbrush in a little zip case. Whiten your teeth with the special morning toothpaste that contains energizing ingredients like mandarin, lemon, lime, and peppermint extracts, and at night with soothing lavender, chamomile, vanilla, valerian root, and spearmint extracts. Naturally hydrated silica will polish surface stains and fluoride prevents tooth decay.
Palmasola is a luxury vacation rental located in the private resort community of Punta Mita, Mexico.
Palmasola is a 25,000 sq. foot mini-resort located in Punta Mita, Mexico. The word mita comes from an old Aztec word meaning “gateway to paradise.” Palmasola is definitely located in a private paradise, available only to those who can afford it. It shares the gated Four Seasons community.
Palmasola was built by a Bay area commercial real estate developer and his wife, an investment banker, who fell in love with Punta Mita while on vacation. Mexican architect Manolo Mestre and his associate, Juan Collignon and interior designers Ofelia Uribe and Erica Karyer worked closely with the owners using simple, natural materials to achieve a timeless Pacific Coastal look. They implemented unpolished marble floors, hand plastered walls, and handmade Mexican furniture from local wood.
Palmasola Master Residence Interior
Palmasola has a staff of 15, including 2 gourmet chefs (one Mexican trained and one European trained) that prepare Continental Mexican cuisine. They also provide chauffeured transportation to and from the airport. Palmasola includes 11 thatched- roof luxury huts and a 9 mile stretch of beach. There is a gym, massage room, entertainment and business centers, and custom bath products. Palmasola can fit 18 adults comfortably. Guests have full use of the Four Seasons resort hotel, including the famous Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and its “Tail of the Whale” natural island hole.
DINE is the real estate developer who created Punta Mita, the Four Seasons resort, and the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. The Mexican government awarded DINE with an award for Ecological Excellence and the Jack Nicklaus Golf Course received a perfect 100 score for speed of play.
Palmasola Master Residence Exterior
Rates for the Palmasola start at $13,000 a night for the Spring/Summer seasons. If you’d like to visit during the Winter season, rates go up to $15,000. Fall prices will run you $14,000 a night, and Holiday season rates are so pricey that they are only available upon request. There is a minimum stay of five to seven nights.
Palmasola Residences Beach and Ocean Vistas at Punta Mita, Mexico
If you can’t afford a stay of $65,000 ($13,000 nightly rate for 5 days) to $140,000 ($20,000 holiday nightly rate for 7 days) you might want to take a peek at the Four Seasons Residence Clubs.
Palmasola Guest Residences
Palmasola Dining at the Beach
Palmasola Residences and Lazy River
For a fraction of the price, you can stay at a Four Seasons Residence Club in Punta Mita, Mexico. These units are luxury condos that provide the same services and amenities as the resort hotel (maid service, 24 hour concierge, etc). For a two bedroom condo, Spring/Summer rates range from $1,275 to $1,675, Fall ranges from $1,200 to $1,500, and Winter season ranges from $1,350 to $2,175. Holiday rates (Christmas, New Year, and Spring Break) are usually about $2,800.
Palmasola Outdoor Living Spaces
You can book your stay with Travel En Vogue here.
Hilton Dalaman Golf Resorts & Spa in Istanbul, Turkey
Image via TravelPhotographers.net
With the help of the internet, people can plan their own itineraries for most trips. Here are some tips from expert travel agents to keep in mind when planning your vacation, via Virtuoso Life Magazine:
1. Get private.
Going with a private guide is an advantage – private guides have insider access to popular sites, and can help you visit before and after hours.
2. Check the weather.
Plan travels to coincide with optimal weather – every destination has seasons that are better for traveling, so make sure the weather patterns line up with the type of vacation you are planning for.
3. Go when other tourists don’t.
This can be hard if you are very serious about Tip #2, but there are some pros to going during slow season (like cheaper rates).
4. What to pack….
For a private jet: champagne or wine stopper for the celebratory bottle that you will never finish
Eco-adventure: clothes you’re ready to retire. Before returning, donate them to the local charity.
5. Order a signature cocktail.
Try these expert travel agent recommended cocktails:
- Raffles Hotel Singapore, Long Bar: “Sling”
- St. Regis NY, King Cole Bar: Bloody Mary
- Cambridge Beaches Bermuda: “Dark & Stormy”
6. Get a real souvenir.
- Hong Kong: Custom make suits and shoes, antique lacquer boxes, a chop (a personalized carved signature stamp)
- London: Royal Blend Tea, perfume from Floris, Henry Watson’s pottery
- Milan: Designer wear, silk scarves, leather shoes
- Sydney: Sheepskin products, woolens, opals
- Buenos Aires: Leather, cashmere
7. If attending a bullfight at San Fermin:
Drip wine on your shirt before you go, otherwise the locals will do it for you – better to have a few spots then to be covered completely.
8. When traveling in the American South:
If you don’t specify unsweetened iced tea, you will get the extremely sugary “sweet tea,” the house wine of the south.
9. On the vernacular of Cornwall, England:
Cornish people call everyone, ‘my lover.’ Don’t be offended.
10. On being present during your vacation:
Put the camera down. You’ll have plenty of great photos, but you can’t capture every single thing, like interacting with penguins or the awe of an iceberg.
It’s sad leaving your dog at home – they like vacations too! Luxury hotels are now catering to canines so you don’t have to leave your pets behind. Dogs are now able to have many of the same spa treatments and gourmet food items that you do. Here are a few hotels that will make sure your doggie gets the celebrity treatment it deserves:
1. The James Hotel
Pet friendly hotels - The James Hotel
- Full pet spa menu
- Rain gear available
- Primehouse Pet Menu
- En suite training sessions with award winning animal behaviorist
- “Pet Tourist Map” that indicates pet friendly locations to take your dog
2. W Hotel All locations are pet friendly; specific services may vary in different locations
Pet Friendly Hotels - W Hotel
- Treat, toy, bone
- Turn down service with special nighttime treat
- The 5 locations in NY offer en suite massages by a licensed dog therapist
- W Hotel Tuscany provides dogs with a “Bow-ow” first aid kit
3. Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Los Angeles, CA
Pet Friendly Hotels - Hyatt
- Pawsport with vital information and stamp boxes to track visits that add up to pet prizes
- Stainless steel bowls
- Plush dog beds
- “Haute Dog” Menu
4. Loews All 16 locations in NYC, Orlando, New Orleans and Chicago
Pet Friendly Hotels - Loews
- Personal note from manager upon arrival with info regarding dog walking routes, local vets, pet attractions, and nearby pet friendly restaurants
- Mini bar stocked with gourmet doggie biscuits
- Pet room service with healthy options, veggie entrees, dry and canned food. Gourmet food items include bow wow burgers, chicken and rice, grilled filet
- Water bowls, toys and treats
- Available beds, leashes, videos
5. Grove Isle Resort & Club Coconut Grove, FLA
Pet Friendly Hotels - Isle Grove Resort & Club
- Happy Hour every Saturday from 5-7pm for dogs and owners:
- Plastic martini glasses filled with treats, water bowls, and doggie hors d’oeuvres (Angus beef burger & fries, roasted pork with rice & beans, wood roasted chicken with potato dumplings and bovine gravy)
- Special dog themed drinks for owners: “Big Wet Slobbery Kiss” and “Tail Chaser”
6. Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michael’s, MD
Pet Friendly Hotels - Inn at Perry's Cabin
- Guests traveling with dogs automatically receive a room with a balcony to give dogs extra space
- Room service menu includes osso bucco with seasoned veggies and homemade “Scooby Snacks” (homemade dog biscuit)
7. Kimpton Hotels, The Hotel Monaco
Pet Friendly Hotels - Kimpton Hotels
- Pets greeted by name on pet welcome guest board
- Pampered pet basket
- Pet walking services
- Donates to animal shelter (Hotel Monaco Denver)
- Pet psychic offers insights over wine
- “Peck & Paw Times” pet tabloid
- “Pets In The City” Program includes pet bowl, bet, pet massage, and book (Hotel Monaco Chicago)
- Vet on site (Hotel Monaco New Orleans)
- Evian water (Hotel Monaco New Orleans)
- Doggie moves: Lassie, Babe, Dr. Dolittle (Hotel Monaco San Francisco)
- Monogrammed doggie coats (Hotel Monaco Seattle)
8. Las Ventanas Los Cabos, Mexico
Pet Friendly Hotels - Las Ventanas in Los Cabos, Mexico
- “Canine Delights” menu features shredded braised beef with rice, doggie chewies, raw hides, jerky, and made to order meals for picky pets
- Jet lag massage/stress reducing neck massage
- Portable pet cabana to take in the suite or to the pool or beach
9. Nine Zero Hotel Boston, MA
Pet Frienly Hotels - Nine Zero Hotel
- “In the Doghouse Package” includes food and water bowls, gourmet doggie turndown treats, plush doggie bed and pillow, ID tag, room service menu by local Polka Dog Bakers (low calorie lunch box available for dogs on a diet)
- Dog walking
- Side by side, en suite person and pooch pedicures
- In August Nine Zero features complimentary frozen bones, chicken broth lollipop, or doggie ice cream at turndown
10. The Peninsula Beverly Hills Beverly Hills, CA
Pet Friendly Hotels - The Peninsula Beverly Hills
- Pet preference questionnaire
- Resident beagle, Bill Bean
- White gloved “page boys” available for walking
- Dog bed turndown service (monogrammed blankets)
- Spa services (massage)
- Treats: roasted free range chicken, salmon fillet
The difference between a four star hotel and a five star hotel is the little extra services and amenities that make guests feel special. Check out the amazing perks of staying at a luxurious five star hotel:
1. Pet Services:
Pet Friendly Hotels - Luxury Hotel Amenities
Pet Room Service is now available at many five star hotels. At the Lowell New York, pets can order from a special room service menu that serves filet mignon tartar and organic buffalo bone. Also available is aromatherapy spray, oatmeal shampoo, and paw moisturizer treatments. The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Spa provides bones, bagels and Evian water for pets.
2. Excursion Services:
Luxury Hotel Amenities - Private jet to sunrise breakfast on secluded island
Luxury excursion services are popular, such as the Grand Hotel Europe at St. Petersburg, which offers a scenic tour of the city on Katrina, a luxury speedboat. The Banyan Tree Phuket has a private jet available to take guests to a secluded island for a sunrise breakfast.
3. Butler Services:
Luxury Hotel Amenities - Butler Service
Guests can find Butler Services at Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora, Rixos Hotel Premium Belek Turkey, and Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel Hawaii.
Baby Butler Services are available at Keswick Hall, an Orient Express Hotel in Virginia. A woman will warm the baby’s bottle, place a rocking chair and personalized crib in the room, and will rock the baby to sleep with the mom soaks in the bath.
4. Gourmet Food Services:
Enchantment Resort & Spa in Arizona features Luxury Hotel Amenities including gourmet food services
Enchantment Resort and Spa in Arizona has built grills on their terraces and guests can choose from an assortment of meats, delivered by room service. The Berkeley Hotel in London gives guests ginger cookies in the shape of fashionable items, like a pair of Jimmy Choos or a YSL jacket.
5. Deluxe Car Services:
JW Marriott Beijing has luxury amenities including a car service
The JW Marriott Beijing escorts guests from the airport to the hotel in a Bentley or Rolls Royce. While they are driving, a cell phone rings in the back with a welcome message.
At the Taj Palaces in India, guests are picked up in a restored vintage car and greeted by hotel staff, camels and elephants.
6. Eco Friendly Options:
Four Seasons Nevis Garden Pool
The Four Seasons Resort Nevis in the West Indies has a program that allows guests to adopt the endangered sea turtle, which as been tagged with a satellite transmitter. Guests can monitor their turtle online as it migrates.
7. It’s the little things that matter:
Hotel Fasano in Brazil
Hotel Fasano in Brazil places two pairs of black and white Havainas in each guest room, Ritz Madrid provides monogrammed robes, Jade Mountain in the Caribbean puts a poem on each pillow before turn down every night, and the Sukhothai in Thailand gives guests raw stuffed silk elephants for good luck.
There are a variety of cruise ship options out there for every kind of traveler. These particular cruise ships are all luxurious, but some might be more traditional, more modern, resemble a yacht or have different types of activities.
Best Glamour: Silver Wind or Silver Cloud by Silver Sea Cruises
- These are twin sister ships that provide plenty of on-board activities, delicious gourmet cuisine, open bar, and all inclusive wine!
- Spacious suite-like staterooms, decks of balconied staterooms, elegant decor.
Best Extravagant Variety: Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity by Crystal
- Enjoy the company’s “never say no” motto: best service, over-the-top guest rooms, suits and penthouses
- Floating Caesar’s Palace, Feng Shui Spa, exclusive collection of boutique restaurants, like Prego by Valentino, Nobu Matsuhisu’s Silk Road
Best Privacy: SeaDream I and SeaDream II by SeaDream Yacht Club
- 110 passenger yachts that are a little smaller and very private.
- All inclusive – cocktails, gratuities, watersports and even caviar!
- Asian influenced spa
Best Tropical Elegance: Paul Gauguin by Regent Seven Seas Cruises
- 304-passenger ship that sails year-round in French Polynesia
- Casual elegance, romantic, great for honeymoons
Best Trendy Atmosphere: Seven Seas Voyager by Regent Seven Seas Cruises
- Boutique hotel vibes, all suites come with butler service
- Theatrical restaurants
Best Casual Elegance: Wind Spirit, Wind Star or Wind Surf by Windstar
- Sporty, preppy crowd
- Travel to exotic destinations without sacrificing comfort or style
Best Traditional Luxury: Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend by Seabourn
- 204 passenger luxury liners
- Flawless service, delicious gourmet cuisine, complimentary wine
- Farewell beach party with caviar and champagne!