Malibu Yurt Retreat on an Organic Farm

I love AirBnB.  First of all their website rocks.  Second of all it’s taken a vacation listing concept and made it social where you get to see the home owners and their reviews.  Third and best of all….it opens up the door to a world of unique lodging opportunities. 

I’ve got a thing for round circular structures.  I find them peaceful and calming.  I used to do yoga in one (gosh I miss that yurt) and wow sleeping in them is even better. 

Anyhow the other night I was surfing the web and got lost down a rabbit hole.  I was looking at teepee tents… which led me to a website that sold them which somehow brought me to a blog about yurts… and then down another path about lodging in yurts which connected me to AirBnB…see how that goes?!

And I found this delightful looking listing in Malibu on an Organic Farm.  From what I gather it appears to be in a more remote place… where you can go on canyon hikes while soaking up the views.  Not bad.  Adding this one to the list.  Fine the listing here:  https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/900456

Korakia Pensione: Moroccan Desert Oasis in Palm Springs

Korakia was born as an artist’s lavish hideaway during the Roaring Twenties. Modeled on a Moroccan villa and nestled at the foot of a towering mountain within a landscaped 1.5 acres, this resort gives the California desert an exotic North African feel.  Located in Palm Springs, it’s 28 rooms and bungalows exude Mediterranean charm.  The courtyards are designed for relaxation.  Bocce balls and board games are all you need.  At night dip in any of the two torch lit pools.  Rooms start at $159 per night with a two night minimum.  Visit them online at:  www.korakia.com

Far Meadow - Yosemite Glamping and Lodging

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There are times I revel in down to basics - sleep in a tent - camping.  And other times when I indulge in luxurious lodging accommodations cocooned in Egyptian cotton sheets. 

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Far Meadow allows you to do both.  Starting at around $250 per night you can select their unique A-Frame cabin sitting on twenty acres of private land, 7,500 feet above Bass Lake in the High Sierras.  If that isn’t available, stay at their Log Cabin or Base Camp.  At Base Camp you’ll feel like you are sleeping in a tree house located on historic Old Yosemite Road. 

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For those inclined to go retro - select one of their 2 vintage trailers.  It’s in a prime riverside location.  Bring some friends and to stay in the teepee tents nearby. 

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Oh - and for those with four legged travel companions…yes they are pet friendly.

Learn more about Far Meadow by visiting www.far-meadow.com.

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Ecolodge on a private island

At Jicaro ecolodge you will find the perfect balance between active adventures and relaxation.  The ecolodge is located just a short boat ride from the colonial town of Granada with spectacular views of the Mombacho Volcano across the lake.  

Nine private casitas serve as the perfect setting for serenity, romantic escapes, tours and activities.  Just imagine beginning your day with yoga on their floating deck.  After when you feel more adventurous, venture out to the surrounding rainforest, perhaps a hike to the volcano or kayaking through the river.  

Between the yoga deck and the restaurant terrace, you will notice a circular structure with water in its center. This is a Cenote, a series of concentric circles stepping down to the water level.  

Watch some videos here: http://www.jicarolodge.com/gallery_videos.html

Get Cultured in Ubud »

Great travel blog for culture seekers.  And while in Ubud - here’s a few tips for you. 

Best place to find artisan handicrafts: Opt to visit artisans and artists in their own studios or workshops that surround Ubud village. To see people at work, travel away from the village center and Ubud market and instead visit the small neighboring villages where you will see true artisans at work. Check out Mas for its woodwork and Celuk for the silver smiths. The Tegallalang road is full of small shops with homeware and artifacts. The further north (towards the volcanoes) you go, the more local it gets.

Visit this article for more tips: http://www.thecultureist.com/2012/12/13/alila-ubud-hotel-things-to-do-in-ubud-bali/

You must have been good in a previous life (or this one)

Every morning this week my attention has been hijacked by SniqueAway.com’s daily emails.  Today they are featuring Viceroy Bali, in Ubud - Bali.  Here’s what they had to share about this exotic hotel:

Gazing over the lush, green inland hills and valleys of exotic Bali, this resort has “karmic reward” written all over it. Rooms feature private terraces or gardens, private pools, marble floors, and sumptuous bathrooms with oversized soaking tubs. Dine in the eternally fresh air at CasCades Restaurant, set on Balinese pavilions overlooking the rolling landscape, or meditate on all your good deeds (past and future) during a rejuvenating treatment at Lembah Spa.

Now here’s a “deal” company that is fully entrenched in the “dreaming” purchase cycle of travel.  They manage to distract me with ideas of Ubud…. previously not on my radar…. because I want to know what “eternally fresh air” feels and smells like. 

Hoteliers and marketers can take note that the story you weave can have this magnetic pull. 

If you haven’t signed up already, do visit www.sniqueaway.com - they are a TripAdvisor company so they do meld their recommended hotels with guest reviews.  Go figure - how perfect is that!  

Sextantio le Grotto della Civita

Located in the Sassi area of Matera, a town situated in the proverbial arch of the Italian boot, Sextantio le Grotto della Civita is the only hotel in the world located within the natural extravagance of prehistoric caves.  

Restoring these ancient caves took 10 years because Daniele Kihlgren, Swedish-Italian entrepreneur, hotelier and philanthropist wanted to compose a concoction of integrated traditional design made from local materials with minimalist contemporary amenities where necessary/ whilst honoring the history of the lives previously spent dwelling in their depths.  

Only 18 beautiful appointed rooms and suites are available.  The hotel builds on its already stunning scenery with terraces overlooking the expansive, archaeological Park of the Murgia Matera.  

The Spellbinders:

  • Waking up with included buffet breakfast (including locally sourced cheeses, traditional Matera bread, seasonal fruits and more) in the ancient, rock-hewn church
  • Drinking in views of the Park of the Murgia Matera’s caves, canyons and creeks from a natural terrace
  • Pausing to admire ancient architecture while exploring the area’s prehistoric cave dwellings
  • Drifting into bliss during a candlelit in-room massage (or a dip in the dreamy, stand-alone tub) 

This charming boutique bedrock hotel can be reserved here: http://www.mrandmrssmith.com/us/luxury-hotels/sextantio-le-grotte-della-civita

Trip to Mexico

Andrew Julian’s videos are among the best travel videos I have ever seen.  Yesterday I watched his Paris video.  Today Vallarta. 

Where’s my passport.  I feel the need to hop on a plane and visit Mismaloya once again.

Mustique.  The world’s finest private island retreat. 

Close your eyes and imagine; a private island sanctuary for those that can afford any of the 74 luxurious villas for $40,000+ per week, on 9 pristine beaches on a small island in the Caribbean.  Other attractions include the Cotton House boutique hotel, the Firefly, world renowned Basil’s Beach Bar, a health Spa, Scuba-diving facility, Equestrian center and thriving Tennis Club. 

The utopian concept of Mustique has attracted a lot of attention over the fifty years since Princess Margaret chose it as her island sanctuary. 

Guests that value the ability to relax in anonymity and be themselves return to Mustique each year.  While you are there, you can rent one of their villas such as the Alumbrera featured above. 

From its location on a promontory above Macaroni Beach, this glamorous villa offers guests dramatic sunrise and moonrise villas and a private footpath directly to Macaroni. 

The three bedroom villa comes with a 40 foot pool, a Suzuki Jeep and 1 large Kawasaki Mule for guests to use while in residence. 

Learn more about Mustique here: http://www.mustique-island.com/

The Quiet City: Winter in Paris.

When the tourists have left and the air has cooled is my favorite time to visit cities.   I feel it’s when destinations can show themselves and they quietly breathe and come alive.   Found this video by Andrew Julian on Paris in fall which captures that very essence. 

Bardessono is flawlessly phenomenal!  

There are times the hotel IS the Destination.  Such is the case for Bardessono; a small 62 room boutique resort overlooking Stags Leap Palisades in Napa Valley.  Visit the TripAdvisor reviews to see why it continuously exceeds expectations.  

I saw a photo from a friend’s Facebook page taken in Meteora, Greece.  I’m amazed these places still exist.  6 monasteries perched atop sandstone pinnacles.  See more photos by visiting this link:  http://www.lovethesepics.com/2011/02/mystical-magical-magnificent-monasteries-in-meteora-20-pics/

When Richard Branson is involved with a property, you know the property is going to be top notch.  I just learned about Kasbah Tamadot which is located at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, approximately one hour’s drive from the center of Marrakesh, Morocco. The hotel sits at an elevation of 1,320m above sea level and overlooks a valley whose river ebbs and flows with the seasons. On a clear day you can see Mount Toubkal, the Atlas’ highest peak. The nearest village is Asni which is particularly worth visiting on Saturday for the weekly market.

The resort features 24 deluxe bedrooms and suites, including 6 luxury Berber tented suites. All are individually decorated using traditional Moroccan furnishing and antiques,as well as items from the vast collection that belonged to Luciano Tempo, Kasbah Tamadot’s former owner. As a renowned antiques dealer and interior designer, Tempo brought together artifacts from all over the world.

Learn more about this beautiful resort by visiting: http://www.kasbahtamadot.virgin.com/en/kasbah_tamadot

"To see a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour."
- William Blake - Auguries of Innocence

The essence of “where the hear wonders, tranquility will follow” - is captured at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort And Spa.  

Located on Villingili Island, Addu Atoll, in the Maldives… and according to a search I just conducted on Expedia, were I to jump on a plane next weekend - would take me roughly 30 hours to get to.  

I can’t really say I’ve ever spent any vacation “lounging”.  I’m quite the high energy, active type.  But I’m sure at this resort…I’d figure out the art of relaxing pretty easily.