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Belmond El Encanto

Hotel Review: El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel

Hotel Review

El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel

Classic luxury combined with Hollywood Glamour offering views of the American Riviera
MARIA DIEGO

El Encanto became a hotel in 1918 and as a 105-year-old property, it manages to effortlessly combine historic charm with a touch of Hollywood, perched high in the Santa Barbara Hills of California. Offering unparalleled views of the American Riviera as well as exclusive additions available with Diego Travel as a Belmond Bellini preferred partner, you can be sure of a luxury getaway to remember.

Perfect For: Groups of Couples | Large Groups of Friends | Families with Older Children | Destination Weddings | Romantic Getaways | Special Occasions

34.4391,-119.7043

Belmond El Encanto

Belmond El Encanto location: Located high in the Santa Barbara Hills.

Getting There: Fly direct to Santa Barbara Airport SBA or just over a 1 hour and 30 minutes drive from LAX, this is a great option for a weekend escape from the city or as a stop on part of a longer California road trip.

Vibe Belmond El encanto

Vibe: El Encanto prides itself on being a modern classic, combining the glamour of Hollywood with the rustic charm of the region and coastal influences from the American Riviera.

The hotel promises rooms that combine Spanish colonial style with laidback California craft. The resort effortlessly manages to exude glitz and glamour, while giving you the relaxed coastal California vibe as you unwind poolside at the zero-edge pool, enjoy the local wine and cuisine or stroll in their seven acres of secluded gardens. Views of the American Riviera from high in the hills, adds to that feeling of luxury and exclusivity that Belmond achieves to effortlessly.

Accomodations:

The property offers 92 rooms and bungalow-style suites across its seven acres. Superior Rooms are the entry level option at 350-400sq ft, while the Deluxe King offers 350-630 sq ft.

Terrace and Premier rooms are 500-700sq ft and promise ocean view rooms as well as poolside access. While the terrace rooms also offer your own private, furnished patio and premier rooms include a deep-soak bathtub, walk-in shower and a fireplace.

El Encanto Santa Barbara Rooms

There are four Specialty Suites available and these offer the option to connect two suites together for a 2-bedroom suite that can sleep up to 6 people. As does the Camilla Suite which also offers views. All Specialty Suites are located for maximum privacy and offer a separate living area with a fireplace.

The Oak Tree Suite is the largest and also comes with its own kitchenette and enclosed patio area.

Belmond El Encanto Rooms

All room options come with hardwood floors and underfloor heating while the suites and bungalows have marble floor with underfloor heating.

Belmond El Encanto Santa Barbara California Rooms

Food & Beverage: 

The hotel itself offers The Dining Room Terrace with stunning views of the American Riviera and Californian cuisine. Reservation is required.

The resort also recommends a range of preferred choices for food and drink in the nearby area. 

Belmond El Encanto Restaurant Outdoor

Rare Society is one of the newest additions to Santa Barbara as an upscale steakhouse reminiscent of the retro steakhouses of Las Vegas but with a twist of modernity, fine dining and locally sourced ingredients.

Santa Barbara is also home to a fantastic range of drinking experiences including the Tasting Room at Paradise Springs, Test Pilot cocktail bar and Figueroa Mountain Brewery.

Belmond El Encanto Restaurant

Tre Lune is a relaxed Italian restaurant with wine pairings and cocktails. Toma is also a great choice for authentic Italian food with a fine-dining feel.

Bouchon is a top choice in Santa Barbara with passionate owners, Amy and Mitchell, catering for any dietary requirements and producing spectacular dishes.

Stonehouse is a unique experience at the nearby exclusive property, San Ysidro Ranch. Located in a historic 19th-century citrus packhouse, the stone terrace, open fires and spanish guitar brings a rustic element to this local, award-winning cuisine.

Belmond EL Encanto Bar

Wellness: The Spa at El Encanto is a luxurious escape that immerses you in the coastal vibe of the California location with luxury skincare products and treatments available.

San Ysidro Boutique

Santa Barbara California

Things to Do: There is no shortage of activities available at El Encanto and their concierge team is all too happy to assist in making your trip even more memorable.

Horseback riding can be arranged, a private guided wine tour of local vineyards and producers, or a private sailing charter are just a small selection of the luxury experiences on offer in the area.

Explore the SantaBarbara Botanical Gardens, go whale watching in the Pacific for a once-in-a-lifetime experience or play golf at the Sandpiper Golf Club or Glen Annie Golf Club, both offering views of the ocean from the course.

Electric bikes, a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine can also be arranged for you if you want to escape into the countryside for a hike with a romantic touch.

What  Sets  It  Apart: The Belmond El Encanto team is passionate about helping you to experience the perfect luxury escape in the Santa Barbara Hills. Whether that’s dining with them, or finding you the perfect dining or excursion experience with one of their preferred partners in town.

Despite the size of the resort, the luxurious feel of the bungalow-style suites help you feel at home while also exuding glamour and elegance.

Bouganvillea at Rancho San Ysidro
Bouganvillea at Rancho San Ysidro

How Much Does it Cost?

Superior rooms start from $900 per night, with deluxe, terrace and premier rooms all being upgrades from there. 

Suites and Bungalows start from $1,400 per night while the four Specialty Suites start from $2,399 per night.

Diego Travel Loves: The resort offers a great amount of flexibility for groups such as families or small wedding parties, with rooms and suites able to be adapted depending on your group and the number of bedrooms needed. The Oak Tree suite is perfect with its large terrace, kitchenette and multiple rooms.

San Ysidro Ranch California
San Ysidro Montecito California

Extras You’ll Get with Diego Travel:

  • Diego Travel is a Belmond Bellini preferred partner and we get our clients access to exclusive promotions that can’t be booked online
  • Additional Belmond Bellini amenities
  • Priority upgrade
  • Daily breakfast included
  • Resort Credit
  • When you book your stay with a minimum spend, you’ll receive a $500 gift card toward a future Belmond Hotels stay
  • Guests who purchase a luxury experience with Belmond worth a minimum of $5,000 USD will receive a $500 USD gift voucher per booking to be used on a future stay at any other Belmond Property

    El Encanto Insider Tips:

    Don’t miss the locally sourced delicacies at The Dining Room Terrace at the resort, the seafood is a particular highlight, with Morro Bay oysters, freshly-shucked all year round.

    Diego Travel Review of El Encanto

    Summary of Our Stay at El Encanto

    As a Belmond Bellini preferred partner, I’m always confident of having a spectacular experience at Belmond properties, and El Encanto is no exception.

    From the welcome email from the concierge before arrival offering additional details and assistance to personalize my trip, to the exceptional service throughout the resort, El Encanto embodies the relaxation of the California Coast with glamour and sophistication.

    Belmond El Encanto Santa Barbara

    The range of luxury activities on offer and the proximity of plenty more options in Santa Barbara town makes this an easy vacation that’s a real joy to experience and immerse yourself in.

    Belmond El Encanto Pool

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    Belmond El Encanto Santa Barbara


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    San Ysidro Ranch

    Hotel Review: San Ysidro Ranch

    Hotel Review

    San Ysidro Ranch

    An exclusive hideaway in the foothills of Santa Barbara
    MARIA DIEGO

    Tucked away in the tranquil setting of the Santa Barbara foothills, San Ysidro Ranch is a luxury escape like no other. With 38 unique cottages set on 550 acres of a leafy ranch with citrus groves, miles of hiking trails and a running creek and waterfall, the privacy and luxury of this boutique property is one of Santa Barbara’s best kept secrets.

    Perfect For: Couples | Small Weddings | Honeymoon | Anniversary | A Tranquil Escape from the City | Privacy & Exclusivity | Romantic Getaways

    34.4467,-119.6229

    Rancho San Ysidro

    San Ysidro Ranch location: Located in Montecito in the foothills of Santa Barbara.

    Getting There: Fly direct to Santa Barbara Airport SBA or drive 2 hours north from Los Angeles.

    San Ysidro Ranch

    Vibe: As a property that doesn’t do any advertising and is focused so much on privacy, San Ysidro Ranch exudes understated exclusivity, privacy and intimacy. With just 38 individual accommodation options all with private entrances, luxury and impeccable service is the reputation that precedes San Ysidro Ranch, making it a favorite for romantic getaways, discreet city escapes and luxury stays in Santa Barbara.

    Accomodations: All 38 cottages boast sunken hot tubs, large four-poster beds, an outdoor shower, indoor shower and tub, a large stone fireplace, air conditioning and three meals a day included. The luxurious nature of this property promises no hidden resort fees or parking charges, the only additional costs at check out are excursions and alcohol.

    Half the cottages are standalone, and the rest share just one wall. But with private, gated entrances and enclosed gardens for each, the privacy of each cabin is never sacrificed.

    Rooms at San Ysidro Ranch

    Every cottage is uniquely decorated with an understated homely feel. While the patio for each cabin is intended to help guests get reacquainted with their senses as they immerse themselves in the tranquillity of nature.

    If you’re looking for a slightly bigger space, the Hibiscus, Orange, Kennedy and Terrace cottages are all 2 bedroom properties. While the Ivy Cottage is a 1 bedroom suite and the Warner Cottage is a presidential suite with a private pool, jacuzzi and kitchen.

    San Ysidro Ranch Bathroom

    The historic Churchill Cottage is a favorite for history and book lovers as Winston Churchill once stayed there and the library decor is a stunning English history aesthetic.

    As well as their own private entrance, all 38 cottages on the property come with their own parking space with electric car chargers for each. Every property is also pet-friendly.

    San Ysidro Ranch Cottages

    Food & Beverage: 

    Head Chef, Matt Johnson, has been at San Ysidro Ranch for 18 years and his passion for food is reflected in the incredibly high standard of dining at the property.

    San Ysidro boasts two restaurant options with an additional option for private dining also available.

    The Stonehouse is located in the historic 19th-century citrus packing house, with creek views and a dining experience that feels as if you’ve stepped into the vineyards of Italy.

    Rancho San Ysidro Food

    Aside from the award-winning dining experience, San Ysidro also stands out thanks to its world-renowned wine cellar which is the only property to hold a Grand Wine Award and is also the only place in the world that has two vertices of Pertruce from Bordeaux. The 12,000-bottle wine cellar houses an extremely rare collection of wine and spirits, perfect for any oenophiles.

    For those in search of food offerings in nearby Santa Barbara or Montecito, Bouchon offers a spectacular menu with wine pairings. Lucky’s is also a popular option for a white linen dining experience offering a steakhouse menu with an old Hollywood feel, located on the Coast Road in Montecito.

    Also located in Santa Barbara is Paradise Springs, the first bi-coastal winery in the US, offering wines from its California and Virginia locations.

    Rancho San Ysidro Restaurants

    The unique take on American style cuisine is award-winning and consistently voted the top dining experience in Santa Barbara. With open fires and an ocean-view terrace, this is a truly romantic dining experience.

    The Plow & Angel is all about delicious comfort food, located in a cosy stone cottage with fireplaces and wooden fixtures and fittings.

    Private dining is available in the Old Adobe, a historic California landmark dating back to 1825 and one of only three of its kind remaining. The Old Adobe can be rented for an evening with prices starting at $750.

    Lunch at Rancho San Ysidro, Santa Barbara, CA

    Wellness: The story behind the spa at San Ysidro is a testament to the impeccable service that goes above and beyond in every sense.

    The full service spa was only built during the pandemic because so many women were traveling to Montecito to see hair stylists after their usual salons in Santa Barbara were closed. The owner wanted to provide the best possible experience for the locals, so he built the full-service luxury spa which now guests can enjoy too.

    From massages and facials to hair services, the salon and spa is focused on continuing the theme of tranquillity and rejuvenation.

    San Ysidro Boutique

    Golf at San Ysidro Ranch

    Things to Do in San Ysidro Ranch: A stay at San Ysidro means the opportunity to build your own luxury escape, whether you’re looking for daily hikes, sunset cruises or horseback riding in the foothills.

    Horseback riding with a picnic lunch or boating cruises at sunset are a favorite for couples on a romantic getaway.

    And if you don’t want to leave the property, San Ysidro still offers onsite events daily, such as the Belvedere cocktails and live music 3-7pm each day or 17 miles of hiking trails with ocean views

    What  Sets  It  Apart: The first thing that should be mentioned that sets San Ysidro apart from the rest is the impeccable service. Not only are privacy and discretion constantly maintained, but the staff go above and beyond to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

    Housekeepers have just four rooms each to clean, meaning the attention to detail is of the highest standard, as well as staff turnover being incredibly low, thanks to the property’s great incentives for staff.

    The owner is onsite and oversees everything, ensuring the standards remain at the absolute highest, while the guard house maintains security on the property at all times.

    Morning yoga, access to the Montecito Country Club, exquisite dining and exclusive excursions are all details that the property provides that sets it apart from other luxury properties in the area.

    Bouganvillea at Rancho San Ysidro
    Bouganvillea at Rancho San Ysidro

    How Much Does San Ysidro Ranch Cost? Rates start at $2495 with meals included.

    Diego Travel Loves: The uniquely designed accommodation, stellar service and emphasis on privacy is what puts this in the top 5 properties I’ve ever experienced.

    The owner is passionate about ensuring everything at the property is impeccable, the staff are committed to your comfort and privacy, while the dining, spa and excursion options are really the details that go above and beyond any other California luxury boutique hotel experience!  

    San Ysidro Ranch California
    San Ysidro Montecito California

    Extras You’ll Get with Diego Travel:

    • Personalized selection of the right cottage for you, thanks to my personal relationship with the team at San Ysidro Ranch
    • $100 bonus when you book with Diego Travel

      Rancho San Ysidro Insider Tips:

      Book at creekside cottage to guarantee creek view rooms.

      San Ysidro Ranch

      Summary of Our Stay at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California

      It is rare for me to feel so completely blown away by a property, but San Ysidro Ranch achieved exactly that.

      Everything about the property is a special experience and you feel so catered for and cared for as a guest, from the rooms to the dining experiences and activities offered.

      San Ysidro Ranch Dinning

      The property radiates exclusivity and luxury but in the most understated way, making you feel at home but also a word away in the peace and calm of this retreat into the foothills.

      A stay at San Ysidro is a very special experience.

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      Park City, Utah

      The best luxury hotels and resorts in Park City/ Deer Valley, Utah

      Park City/ Deer Valley, Utah

      The Diego Travel guide to the best luxury hotels in Park City & Deer Valley, Utah

      MARIA DIEGO

      Located in the mountains less than 1 hour east of Salt Lake City, Utah, Park City/ Deer Valley is a mountain town which is popular for outdoor activities. With a population of fewer than 10,000 people, Park City is a thriving resort town for skiers in the winter months and a haven for hikers and outdoor adventure in the summer.

      Tucked into the valley and surrounded by mountain terrain, Park City/ Deer Valley Utah is four-season destination dating back to 1868 when prospecting soldiers discovered silver in the surrounding mountains.

      Being a mountain town just 32 miles from downtown Salt Lake City, Park City and Deer Valley are the perfect option for a luxury ski vacation in Utah or a weekend mountain getaway in the US. With plenty of Park City & Deer Valley ski resorts and luxury hotels to choose from, you can go from spa to ski slope in an afternoon, as well as spend time discovering the charms of this Utah mountain town.

      Perfect For: Families | Adventure Seekers | Luxury Vacations | Couples Groups | Weekend Getaways | Small Groups of Friends | Romantic Getaways

      Getting to the BVI

      Getting to Park City/ Deer Valley, Utah

      There are direct domestic and international flight options into Salt Lake City International Airport which is a 45-minute drive from Park City/ Deer Valley.

      Traveling by car is the easiest way to reach Park City/ Deer Valley if you’re traveling independently, however make sure to check with your hotel or resort as many offer transfers with your stay.

      Park City/ Deer Valley
      • 40.6468,-111.4968

        Park City

      • 40.6371,-111.4772

        Deer Valley

      Park City, Utah- Main Street

      What to do in Park City/ Deer Valley

      • Skiing

        The winter months bring the most people to Park City/ Deer Valley to take to the slopes and visit America’s largest ski resort in the country, Park City Mountain and Deer Valley. With 300 inches of snowfall annually, Park City/ Deer Valley offer everything from ski classes for beginners, to some of the most challenging double black diamond runs in the US.

        Park City Mountain and Deer Valley feature terrain parks for those wanting to practise their jumps and freestyle, or over 7,000 skiable acres for those who prefer to stick to the slopes or go cross-country.

      • Skiing at Park City Utah

      • Hiking

        Don’t be fooled into thinking that Park City/ Deer Valley is just a winter destination. The mountain town is a real hidden gem in the summer months, with hundreds of miles of trails. There are trail options suitable for families through to seasoned hikers, whether you’re looking for canyon trails or summiting the peaks around Park City/ Deer Valley for the most spectacular views.

      • Visit Main Street

        Park City’s historic Main Street is a thriving hub of activity all year round, from street performers to festivals to art galleries. Visit the famous Silly Market running from June through September. Ride the free Main Street Trolley and discover specialty shops, distilleries, microbreweries, museums, boutiques and bookstores in the historic heart of Park City.

      • Shopping Park City Utah

      • BVI Scuba

      • Utah Olympic Park

        Park City is most well-known internationally for being the host of some of the ski events at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games held in Salt Lake City. 

        Just outside of downtown Park City, the Utah Olympic Park is still a winter sports training venue, but now visitors can visit the venue, learn about its sporting history in the museum, and see choreographed freestyle flying shows where winter sports athletes show off their tricks. Or you can get your own taste of exhilaration, with a Tubing Experience down one of the slopes, reaching speeds of 50mph, or the ziplining experience.

      • The Alpine Coaster

        As well as skiing, ice skating, mountain biking, water rafting, dog-sledding, snowmobiling, tubing and horseback riding, the exhilarating outdoor activities don’t end there. Park City is home to one of the world’s longest alpine coasters at over 3,000ft in length. Reaching up to 30mph, the track winds through over 1 mile of trees, fields, mountains and spectacular views, with space for up to 2 people per coaster.

      • Scenic drives

        Whether you’re visiting in winter or summer, the mountains, passes and parks around Park City/ Deer Valley are perfect for scenic drives, a slower pace after a day on the slopes or simply a romantic evening drive.

        Guardsman Pass is popular for spring wildflowers and fall colors, Mirror Lake Scenic Byway takes you through Utah’s highest mountain range, taking in meadows, waterfalls, mountain views and lakes. Weber Canyon is perfect for an easy summer or fall scenic drive from Park City or drive the historic Emigration Canyon which is open year-round. Some of these routes are closed over winter due to snowfall, check the route access before you drive.

      • Luna Boutique BVI

      Goldener Hirsch Park City

      Where to Stay in Park City/ Deer Valley

      Being such a popular skiing destination, it’s no surprise that there are a variety of luxury Park City and Deer Valley hotels and resorts to choose from based on your budget, trip type, needs and travel party. I was able to visit seven of the properties in Park City and Deer Valley and while each has its own unique features, I’ve summarized the selection below with my honest experiences and my job is to determine the best fit for you and your trip.

      Montage Deer Valley

      Montage Deer Valley

      This stunning resort goes above and beyond in every aspect. With 220 guest rooms, 174 suites and 81 residences, this 1 million sq ft. property is a resort within a resort that caters impeccably for adults and kids. With a shuttle to take kids to ski schoo,l a Compass Explorers Program for kids, family pool hours, Park City’s only bowling alley and family friendly restaurants, this is a great option for family vacations. Large groups and multi-generational families are not forgotten too with the option to connect rooms and suites to allow up to 10 people to stay together.

      Rooms are available with resort view, slope view or peak view, with the third floor being best for peak views. 

      For couples or adult group trips, you can also enjoy full access to the spa for a $50 nightly resort fee, a serenity suite which is a couples treatment room but can also be used for Bridal Parties to get ready. The Yama Sushi Bar, Après Lounge, spa facilities and even a wine tasting tour are all available at the resort, making this a special trip for couples.

      The resort also offers a casual pub restaurant, Burgers and Bourbon for classic burgers, a breakfast buffet or grab-and-go breakfast option. and s’mores on the Apex Patio every day from 5.30pm.

      Lift passes and lessons, private instructors, history tours, a full ski shop, transfers, mountain bike rental and once in a lifetime trips such as private plane tours over the park, can all be arranged with the hotel to create the ultimate memorable trip.

      Book with Diego Travel to receive the following Virtuoso Amenities:

      • Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability (view catagory & applicable to hotel inventory only. Residences are eligible for an upgrade upon arrival, based on availability)
      • A daily breakfast credit up to US $60 per bedroom, per night (credit may be used in restaurants, Buzz Coffee shop, or through room service.)
      • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay, applicable towards food & beverage, spa services, or activities and rentals in Compass Sports. (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
      • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
      • Complimentary Wi-Fi

      Diego Travel recommends Montage Deer Valley: Families wanting a Kids Club | Couples | Large Families or Multi-Generational Families | Destination Weddings | Groups of Friends

      GOLDENER HIRSCH DEER VALLEY

      Goldener Hirsch

      For true luxury, the Goldener Hirsch luxury hotel in Park City is the perfect mix of old world Alpine chalet charm with modern architecture and amenities. The residences building was opened in 2020 and the hotel flawlessly combines a modern European feel with luxurious alpine chalet decor and first-class amenities with incredibly attentive staff.

      Located just a 1 minute walk from the ski lifts, Goldener Hirsch is also the best option if you’re planning a Park City ski vacation and you want to prioritize location and maximize time on the slopes. 

      Guests are given the option to stay in the modern building or the traditional chalet style building, but all guests have access to the rooftop sky pool and hot tub for the ultimate après ski experience. The rooftop also hosts live music every Thursday evening and a summer market on Saturdays with Bavarian food samples and wine tasting.

      The only downside to Goldener Hirsch is that there are no spa facilities. However guests can avail of free access to the spa at the Stein Eriksen Lodge next door.

      Book with Diego Travel to receive the following Virtuoso Amenities:

      • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
      • Daily breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom
      • $100 USD Resort credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
      • Early check-in / Late check-out, subject to availability
      • Complimentary Wi-Fi

        Diego Travel recommends Goldener Hirsch: Honeymooners | Skiers and Adventure Seekers | Groups of Friends | Anniversary Trip


        Pendry Park City

        Pendry Park City

        We were very impressed by Pendry Park City, Park City’s newest luxury hotel resort. With a great layout and space with 153 units particularly suited to large groups and multi-room units. In fact, you can reach out to the hotel and discuss the best room configuration for you and your party because there are so many options available. They can guarantee your room type upon booking.

        All 1 bedroom or larger units come with a washer-dryer, 4 bedroom units have a mixture of king and double beds and have close access to Canyon Village. 

        There’s a strong focus on wellbeing, from the fresh, clean decor and design, to the pool and spa, Wellness Lounge Oxygen Therapy, rooftop pool and even IV therapy.

        The slopes are just a 2 minute walk with ski rental available, bike rental available and a ski in-and-out format. 

        Although the rooftop area is small, there’s a full range of events and activities from live music Thursday through Sunday and it’s the only hotel in Park City with a rooftop bar. 

        For family vacations, there is also a daily kids club and babysitting available. The hotel is also building out a larger complex, so more shops and restaurants will soon be available.

        Book with Diego Travel to receive the following Virtuoso Amenities:

        • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
        • Daily breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom
        • $100 USD Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
        • Early check-in / Late check-out, subject to availability
        • Complimentary Wi-Fi

        Diego Travel recommends Pendry Park City: Families | Multi-generational Families | Large Groups | Wellness Vacation | Outdoor Enthusiasts

        Stein Eriksen Lodge

        Stein Eriksen Lodge

        For those looking for Park City ski resorts, Skein Eriksen Lodge is the only true ski-in/ski-out ski resort in Park City.

        Renovated in 2021, with 172 rooms, 44 condos and 4 residences with pools, Stein Eriksen can cater for families and most party sizes, with 1-4 bedroom units available. The condo units have the largest balconies and also come with hot tubs for an extra après ski touch of luxury.

        Stein Eriksen also boasts the only lift that runs throughout the summer months too, the Sterling Express, making it perfect for those wanting to explore the mountain trails for summer hikes and mountain biking.

        The 16-room spa is a Forbes 5-star spa as well as the longest running spa in the state of Utah. 

        The hotel has a distinctly European feel with true ski in and out, full valet service, ski shop and rental and it is a major hub for the whole mountain.

        While amenities are good, some parts of the hotel such as the restaurant are still undergoing renovation. It’s also worth bearing in mind that room access is outdoors so it feels less like a hotel and more of a resort village – something to bear in mind particularly if you’re booking during the winter months!

        Book with Diego Travel to receive the following Virtuoso Amenities:

        • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
        • Breakfast during the winter time period will be a buffet breakfast and during the summer time period will be a la carte ($60 Breakfast Credit)
        • $100USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
        • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
        • Complimentary Wi-Fi

          Diego Travel recommends Stein Eriksen: Avid skiers | Adventure Seekers | Summer vacations to Park City | Families | Multi-generational Families | Weddings | Incentive Trips

          Lodge at Blue Sky

          Lodge at Blue Sky

          Arriving at the Lodge at Blue Sky, you feel completely immersed in the landscape and natural resources of the area because owners, Mike and Barb Philips have ensured everything is locally sourced, from the locally sourced wood, to the limestone from a local quarry and the 60 rescue horses they keep on the property.

          They’ve created a substantial experience which is blended in with the landscape, with 46 rooms, 16 Earth Suites which have outdoor showers and the 5 premium Creek Houses have open air rooms, outdoor balconies and indoor fireplaces. The expansive views and rooftop all add to the experience of being immersed in the surrounding nature.

          Although located 25 minutes from Park City Mountain Resort, most guests stay here 4-5 nights thanks to the incredible amenities on offer. Extensive spa treatment menu, an exclusive ski lounge and complimentary ski shuttle, mountain biking, helicopter excursions, hiking, a covered and heated shooting pavilion, fly fishing and horseback riding excursions and more, all on the hotel’s 3,500 acres of property.

          Their kids club, Little Vaqueros Club, follows a different theme every day with exciting excursions included. 

          An all inclusive stay here covers absolutely everything, from meals and snacks to one activity per day and return transfers. Mercedes Benz courtesy vehicles can also be used for up to 5 hours at a time.

          For the ultimate romantic escape, their Sky Suite offers spectacular views of the valley. There are also two mountain top yurts where private experiences can be arranged with an optional private chef. 

          Book with Diego Travel to receive the following exclusive promos:

          • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
          • Breakfast credit for two per bedroom daily ($50 maximum per person, per day, excludes alcohol)
          • $100USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
          • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
          • Complimentary Wi-Fi

          Diego Travel recommends Lodge at Blue Sky: Romantic Getaways | Honeymooners | Anniversary Trips | Outdoor enthusiasts | Small Groups 

          Waldorf Astoria Park City

          Waldorf Astoria Park City

          A stay at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Park City is more suited to those looking for a luxury hotel stay on a budget. 

          The hotel offers a gondola-out, ski-in style resort with a shuttle also running in a loop through the valley so guests can access various slopes and ski schools. They also offer an onsite excursion specialist, Expert Active, which offers transfers, bike rental, ATVs, kayaking, distillery whiskey tasting, rafting, rock climbing, city tours and more.

          Unfortunately there is no longer a kids club at the Waldorf Astoria, but the hotel does offer 1 bedroom suites which can fit up to a family of five.

          The hotel also offers a heated pool and two hot tubs, live DJ on weekends, lawn games, a great selection of restaurants and bars, fitness centre and spa and gondola access right across the street.

          Book with Diego Travel to receive the following Virtuoso Amenities:

          • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
          • Daily full breakfast to be used in our restaurant, Powder, for two guests per bedroom
          • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay. Resort Credit may be used for In Room Dining, in our Restaurant, Powder, at our Pool Bar and Grill (Summer only), and Spa services. Not applicable at Palette or Spa Gift Shop (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
          • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
          • Complimentary Wi-Fi

          Diego Travel recommends Waldorf Astoria Park City: Those on a Budget | Anniversary Trips | Small Group Trips | Incentive Trips

          St Regis Deer Valley

          St Regis Deer Valley

          With 183 rooms and spacious suites that can be connected to create 3-bedroom suites perfect for families, this would be a great option for multi-generational families and larger groups to be able to stay together. Unfortunately the St Regis Deer Valley has discontinued its kids club which is a shame as their proximity to the ski school is fantastic.

          Located on the lower base of the mountains with three restaurants and a cafe offering a grab and go breakfast and a ski rental shop in the basement, this is a great option if you just want to get out and hit the slopes.

          The hotel also offers a 24-hour fitness centre, spa with 11 treatment rooms, oxygen treatment and nail salon, plus a huge steam room and jacuzzi covering 14,000 sq ft.

          With a wine vault catering for private dinners and the space for weddings up to 108 guests, there’s plenty of options for larger groups, although current staffing shortages are temporarily making that more challenging.

          Book with Diego Travel to receive the following STARS exclusive promos:

          • Local Scones and Honey Amenity. Did you know that Utah is the Beehive State? This amenity offers:
              • Freshly-made, local Huckleberry Scones
              • Local Honey from Keeper of the B Farms
              • Local Lavender Devonshire Cream

            Daily Breakfast for 2 

              • $40 daily breakfast credit, per person for up to two people ($80 in total). Reedeemable at RIME – Seafood & Steak, located on the third floor of the resort. Hours of operations are 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM daily.
            • $100 food and beverage credit
            • Complimentary WiFi daily
            • First priority on waitlists in sold-out situations
            • Early Check-in/late Check-out, based on availability
            • First priority for requested room category, bed type, rollaways and connecting rooms
            • VIP status granted with in-person warm welcome
            • Priority for complimentary room upgrade (based on availability upon arrival)
            • Welcome note from General Manager (or Hotel Management)

            Diego Travel recommends St Regis Deer Valley: | Large Families or Groups | Multi-generational Families | Destination Weddings | Incentive Trips | Skiing Beginners | Parents Traveling with Older Children

            A Few of My Favorite Things

            Park City/ Deer Valley, Utah

            The variety of Park City Utah Luxury Hotels

            There’s a great selection of luxury Park City/ Deer resorts and the best hotels in Park City offer an spectacular experience which is above and beyond many other ski resort towns in the country. 

            We loved the ultimate luxury experience at the Goldener Hirsch with the old world chalet style and the option to choose between old world or modern when you stay as a guest. Newer Park City Utah lodgings like Pendry Park City or the immersive experience at the Lodge at Blue Sky makes this an even more special experience, beyond that of just a winter ski vacation.

            The range of outdoor activities on offer

            Park City and Deer Valley are not just about skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. There are so many amazing excursions offered by hotels, with outdoor adventure activities for everyone from outdoors people to thrill seekers to kids looking for some fun. You can’t run out of things to do when you’re staying at one of these Park City/ Deer Valley Hotels and you can create a trip that really is a once in a lifetime experience.

            Design My Trip!


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            Marrakech

            Marrakech

            Marrakech

            Luxury Hotel Guide for Your Morrocan Vacation
            MARIA DIEGO

            Morocco lies in the North Western part of Africa, its name meaning Land of God. Its main industry is agriculture, and with a climate similar to California, everything from olive trees to figs to citrus is grown in abundance. Morocco is home to 56 million people and of those, about half live in the country side in small villages. It’s a diverse country where you have everything from beach resorts on the coast, to desert camps in the Sahara, to Ryads in countryside and to luxury hotels in Marrakech and everything in between.

            Fez was the first Medina of Morocco and used to be the capital, but Casablanca has since become the capital and is the industrial and financial capital of the country. This guide will cover Marrakech, which in my opinion is the heart of Morocco and should be the focal point of your trip.

            Marrakech is an ancient city in the center of Morocco and has plenty of options for luxury resorts with grand pools, spas, delicious food and impeccable service. Beyond relaxing at your resort, there is a lot to do not only in the city of Marrakech that includes history, culture. If staying over a few days, there are also many amazing places to discover on a day trip excursion.

            Perfect For: Families | Destination Weddings | Luxury Honeymoon | Couples Groups | Multi-Generational Families | Incentive Trips | Corporate Groups | Adventure Seekers

            Getting to Morocco

            Getting to Marrakech

            Marrakech used to have non-stop flight options from major US hubs, but because of the pandemic, flights are somewhat limited and connect through either Cassablanca or Europe. We connected through Madrid Barajas International Airport to Marrakech. Hopefully, a non-stop option to Marrakech will be introduced in the near future. For domestic options, flights can also be somewhat limited to certain days of the week, especially when visiting the smaller towns, so it is best to work with a travel advisor like me who takes care of all the logistical details..

            Marrakech

            31.6258,-7.98916

            Marrakech

            Moroccan Spices

            Marrakech Luxury Travel Guide

            What to do in Marrakech

            • The Medina

              The old city, also referred to as the Medina, is the walled in section of Marrakech filled with the market (the souk), two notable resorts built by the Moroccan royalty, La Mamounia and Royal Mansour, as well as many plazas, shops, restaurants, museums and private riads. In Moroccan culture, most homes look exactly the same from the outside, as they don’t care to share their status on the exterior of the home. Once you step inside, it can either be simple or extravagant. A great way to experience this is to visit Majorelle Gardens next to the Ives Saint Laurent’s museum. The Medina is the heart of Marrakech, and where the hustle and bustle is.

            • Souk Marrakech Morocco

            • Moroccan Spices

            • The Souk

              Within the Medina lies the Souk, which is the marketplace where you can find everything from handcrafts to food, spices, jewelry, and shoes. The Souk also has sections, one area for the metalworkers, while another area is for leather. It’s helpful to go with a local guide to quickly lead you in the right direction and to the right vendor, as it’s easy to get sucked in and not find your way out, and it can be quite chaotic, with motorcycles and carts constantly running through. We traveled with our three kids and my mom, and we each gripped tightly to a little hand. One of my favorite stops in the Souk was to a pharmacy/herbalist, where the shop owner explained how to tell the difference between quality Argan oil and imitation Argan oil, and showed us ancient Moroccan remedies for ailments.

            • Shopping

              The vibrantly colorful city of Marrakech has long been a source of inspiration for fashion designers like Yves Saint Laurent.  Today, along with his famous museum, you can find his fashion boutiques around the city along with other well-known designer brands and smaller up-and-coming labels such as Topolina a French couture pattern maker who made Morocco her home to highlight its bold and bright colors and incredible textiles through fashion.  While we were in Marrakech, we hit Pacha Gallery, on the hunt for antique doors and custom lighting for a residential project we are working on back home. For natural herbs and health remedies, don’t miss Herboriste la Sagesse, where they’ll mesmerize you with a very quick and impressive overview of every potion available.  Finally, don’t forget to visit the shops inside La Mamounia, featuring a perfect blend of fashion with Moroccan sweets and treats that you can bring home as gifts.

            • Marrakech Shopping

            • Atlas Mountains Morocco

            • The Atlas Mountains

              The Atlas Mountains are divided into three areas – the High Atlas, Mid- Atlas and the Anti-Atlas in the South. Beginning about one hour outside of Marrakech, it is worthwhile to explore the Atlas Mountains to experience the countryside of Morocco. There are many villages  and valleys that are worth a visit and when you plan your trip with Diego Travel, we will make recommendations based on the routing and logistics of your trip to experience the Atlas with a a day tour or immerse yourself in a multi-day itinerary.

            • The Coast

              The two coastal towns that worth visiting as a day trip from Marrakech are Tagazhout, to the southwest, and Essouria to the west. These coastal hubs come alive in the summer with European travelers but are worth a day visit any time of the year. Tagazhout is lined with beach resorts and is a famous surfing destination, while Essouaria is a charming walled coastal town.

            • Essaouira

            • AIT-BEN-HADDOU

            • Ait-Ben-Haddou
              One of my favorite experiences from our trip to Morocco was our visit the Unesco World Heritage site of Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou. A 3.5 hour drive through the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech where we experienced the Morrocan countriside and take a peek into the Berber tribes that live in the Atlas Mountains. Ait-Ben-Haddou is an incredible example of traditional Morrocan architecture and an unforgetable sight that has been used a s backdrop in many hollywood films including Gladiator, the Mummy and Babel as well as one of the backdrops for Game of Thrones. While it is posible to do a day trip from Marrakech, I highly suggest an overnight trip combining it with a visit to Ouzarate and Skoura, the land of 1,001 casbahs and staying at the 19th-century Kasbah turned luxury boutique hotel of Dar Ahlam for an unforgetable experience.

            Diego Travel Marrakech Luxury Hotel Guide

            Where to Stay in Marrakech

            Marrakech is home to as many luxury hotels and resorts as you would find in a destination like Paris, France. In fact, the British and French are Morocco’s top markets in tourism, behind Americans. There were so many amazing resorts in Marrakech, it was hard to decide where to stay, but I’m happy to report that I was able to stay at and visit most of the below options. While each is unique, there is something for everyone, and it is my job to speak with you and determine the right fit based on your style, travel tastes, and needs. I’m also including an option in the Atlas Mountains, Dar Ahlam, which I highly recommend. And while we didn’t get to see it, Kasbah Tamadot, Richard Branson’s luxury villa at the base of the Atlas Mountains and just one hour outside of Marrakech, is worthy of a stay.

            Oberoi Marrakech

            The Oberoi Marrakech

            This 28-acre estate with 84 rooms is set just 25 minutes outside of Marrakech, on an estate filled with olive trees and soaring emerald cypress trees that line extensive fountains and pools. The service at The Oberoi in Marrakech is what set it apart and was beyond exceptional, so much so that I was nearly crying when we had to leave. Owned in part by a local aluminum family and in part by the Oberoi

            family, the property was built over 3 years with no expense spared. 200 artisans took years to hand carve the wood and stone domed ceiling of the lobby, and the property is complete with several restaurants, a huge spa, a kids club, a teen club, and even a vloggers room equipped with as many outlets and high powered wifi connection. I could envision myself staying here for a full week, to just disconnect, read good books, and enjoy the property with day trips into the center of Marrakech.

            Book with Diego Travel to Receive the Following Virtuoso Amenities:

            • Complimentary one category upgrade upon arrival or at time of booking, based on availability
            • Daily Continental breakfast for up to two people per bedroom
            • Welcome note and amenity
            • Priority Early Check-In/Late Check-Out
            • VIP Status
            • Complimentary 50-minute massage for up to two guests
            • Diego Travel Welcome Box when Using the Travel Planning Service

            Diego Travel Recommends Oberoi Marrakech For: Honeymooners | Destination Weddings | Couples Groups | Multi- Generational Families | Anniversary Trips | Families | Incentive Groups

            Royal Mansour

            Royal Mansour

            We arrived to the grand entry of Royal Mansour, where guards stand in regal uniforms as if their guarding the true royal palace. Entering into the courtyard will have your eyes unable to settle, as there is so much going on everywhere. The palace was built in 2010 by the king, as no expense was spared to make it as grand as possible. While I had an appointment for a site inspection (full disclosure: we didn’t sleep here), we waited for about 10 minutes until we were greeted. Not the warm and personable welcome that we received at other properties, and overall, that was the feeling I had here.
            There are 53 riads in total, all offering total privacy, in large part to the underground tunnels built for the property so that staff remain out of sight from the guests. The staff are discreet, and tend to not speak unless spoken to, make less eye contact, and are generally there ready

            to serve but not over-imposing. The scene here was to see and be seen, and the guests dressed to the nines.
            The resort has 4 restaurants, excluding The Nest, which is a private area that can be specially set up for dinner, accommodating from 2-10 guests. There are 2 pools – an enormous outdoor one with pool cabanas that can be rented, and an indoor pool at the spa. The kids club serves children ages 4-10 and they can provide nanny service for younger kids.
            Aside from the multi-bedroom riads with full kitchens and private rooftop pools that would be perfect for groups or larger families, my favorite part of this property were the gardens. In my opinion, Royal Mansour has the most beautiful gardens in all of Marrakech. While you’ll see long lines waiting to get into the YSL museum and gardens, this garden was much more beautiful and worth at least a lunch reservation in order to go and see them. They were built in 2020 when the curfew imposed due to the pandemic, inspired the king to build an area of the property where guests could continue enjoy the outdoors beyond the curfew.

            Book with Diego Travel to Receive the Following Virtuoso Amenities:

            •  Upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability (from Superior 1 BR to Premiere 1 BR)
            • Daily full breakfast for up to two people per bedroom, provided via room service
            • $100 USD Food & Beverage Credit
            • Complimentary Round-Trip Private Airport Transfers
            • Priority Early Check-In/Late Check-Out
            • VIP Status
            • Diego Travel Welcome Box when Using the Travel Planning Service

            Diego Travel Recommends Royal Mansour: Honeymooners | Spa-Focused Trips | Multi-Generational Families | Families wanting Kids Club | Incentive Groups

            La Mamounia

            La Mamounia

            La Mamounia is the nickname for the prince who was gifted this property by his father, the king. La Mamounia is conveniently located next door to Royal Mansour, and inside of the walled Medina in the old city. If you’re looking for a central location, an ambience of chic well-

            traveled Europeans, a selection of fine dining and shopping options in the common areas, than La Mamounia would be an excellent choice. It definitely has the “in-the-know” vibe with high-brow shops like Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior mixed with elegant boutiques carrying local designer wares you won’t find anywhere else. All the restaurants were renovated in 2020, and I loved the pale pink and jungle green hues combined with brass decor in one. The grounds have beautiful gardens, which you can walk freely, even if you are just dining in one of the restaurants. However, unless you are a guest of the hotel, you cannot access the impressive hotel pool and cabanas, which are heavily guarded with security, as is most of the property.
            While I only toured the suites and the presidential La Mamounia Suite, the actual 2-bedroom apartment for the prince himself, the rooms are spacious, airy and well appointed without feeling stuffy and pretentious. It is an older hotel, but rooms and grounds are maintained impeccably, and definitely have the royal feel.
            The hotel has a small spa, but no kids club or kid-friendly amenities. However, if you don’t need those amenities, my kids enjoyed running around the grounds and would have had no issue with a short stay here. However, it is less of a family-friendly resort than many other options in Morocco. The hotel can arrange for babysitting services, but again, there are really no facilities to entertain the kids.
            Insider Tip: Reserve a sushi dinner followed by a private movie screening in their secret cinema. This bespoke experience can be enjoyed by any hotel guest with advanced reservations, but most people don’t even know that the opportunity exists.

            Book with Diego Travel to Receive the Following Virtuoso Amenities:
            • Upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability (for suites, upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability)
            • Daily full breakfast for up to two people per bedroom
            • $100 USD Food & Beverage Credit
            • Priority Early Check-In/Late Check-Out
            • VIP Status
            • Diego Travel Welcome Box when Using theTravel Planning Service 

            Diego Travel Recommends La Mamounia Marrakech For:
            Honeymooners | Groups of Friends | Anniversary Trip | Mother/Daughter Shopping Trips | Incentive Groups | Destination Wedding

            La Villa des Orangers

            Villa des Orangers

            We started off the trip at this luxury boutique Relais & Chateaux property and I immediately fell in love. One of the few options inside of the walled Medina, a stay at Villa des Orangers feels like you’re walking into someone’s very elegant private home. After a very long and delayed journey to arrive to Marrakech, the staff welcomed us in a seated area, as we were served the best mint tea of our trip while we filled out paperwork. It was late at night at the full moon was glowing through the tree branches, lighting up the courtyard and over the pristine lap pool. Once that brief welcome was complete, they welcomed us into what felt like a living room, with the fire lit and dinner immediately served around a coffee table, the perfect set up for tired and hungry kids.
            Each room at Villa des Orangers is uniquely appointed, and we were staying in two bi-level suites that were perfect for our large family. They were decorated with antiques, and every detail from the handrails to the lighting to bathtub were simply stunning. From a design standpoint, Villa des Orangers might have been my favorite just because it felt so homey and is centrally located right in the heart of the Medina. I have a preference for these boutique-style hotels over the grand opulence of some larger brand-name 5 star hotels. However, as a caveat, the building is ancient, so there were some quirks to the building that might not be perceived as luxurious to many travelers.

            Book with Diego Travel to Receive the Following Virtuoso Amenities:
            • Upgrade to next room category, based upon availability at check-in
            • 100 USD hotel credit per room, per stay (2 night minimum, valid towards incidentals)
            • Guaranteed 2pm late check-out
            • Complimentary welcome drink per guest, per stay

            • VIP Status
            • Diego Travel Welcome Box when Using the Travel Planning Service

            Diego Travel Recommends Villa des Orangers For: Honeymooners | Groups of Friends | Anniversary Trip | Mother/Daughter Shopping Trips | Small Groups

            Amanjena, Morocco

            Amanjena

            I was very excited to stay at Amanjena, as Aman Hotels are always at the top of my list when it comes to guaranteed luxury and over-the-top service. Amanjena did not disappoint, and has the wow factor that would make any trip extra special. The grounds are stunning, with expansive pools and fountains throughout. The entrance has two lobbies on either side, with a bar on one side and restaurants on the other. The food was incredible, and for our first dinner, there was a trio of musicians playing traditional Moroccan music while we dined under the high glass-domed ceilings in a candlelit room that could not have been more romantic. Well, had we removed our three tired kids, it might have been.
            The 40 villas on property are stunning and offer lavish accommodations with incredible amenities. What is included here sets Aman properties apart from your typical hotel stay – from welcome amenities to nightly treats placed on your pillow. There are only 4 room categories at Amanjena, with the first three all having the exact same floor plan with the differentiating factor being the outdoor space. You can consult with me on season you’ll be there to determine best fit.
            On property there are two pools, one adults-only and one family- friendly. To be honest, the family-friendly pool felt like an after-thought, stuck behind the spa building and next to the golf course, in a way that doesn’t seem like it would be enjoyable. From what I was told, most families will stay in the 2-bedroom villas, the Alhambra Suite, that have a full-size private pool in their own “backyard,” which makes a lot more sense.
            The spa is small but offers an extensive menu of treatments, and the separate men’s and women’s hammers offer different masks that you can apply as a complimentary service during your stay. While there’s not a ton to do, per se, at Amanjena, they do offer a small selection of kids activities such as calligraphy, story time, and a cooking class, and can arrange for nearby camel rides. While Amanjena does have families that stay here, especially during the peak seasons of December and April, the majority of travelers here are couples seeking privacy, romance and a nice getaway from major European cities.

            Book with Diego Travel to Receive the Following Virtuoso Amenities:
            • Upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability
            • Daily continental breakfast for two guests per bedroom
            • $100 USD Food & Beverage Credit
            • Priority Early Check-In/Late Check-Out
            • VIP Status
            • Diego Travel Welcome Box when Using the Travel Planning Service

            Diego Travel Recommends Amanjena For: Honeymooners | Groups of Friends | Anniversary Trip | Parents Traveling with Older Children | Small Groups

            Mandarin Oriental Marrakech

            Mandarin Oriental Marrakech

            The sleek and modern Mandarin Oriental Marrakech was designed by the same designer responsible for the Baccarat Hotel in New York City and the newly redesigned Mandarin Oriental in Madrid. The property is best known for its open air gardens and two golf courses, and comes with many accommodation options with villas that are perfect for families.

            The hotel is often site to high-profile events such as runway shows for Moncler and Yves Saint Laurent.

            Book with Diego Travel to Receive the Following Virtuoso Amenities:
            • Upgrade upon arrival, subject to availability (for suites, upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability)
            • Daily full breakfast for up to two people per bedroom
            • $100 USD Food & Beverage Credit
            • Priority Early Check-In/Late Check-Out
            • VIP Status
            • Diego Travel Welcome Box when Using the Travel Planning Service 

            Diego Travel Recommends Mandarin Oriental Marrakech For:
            Honeymooners | Groups of Friends | Anniversary Trip | Mother/Daughter Shopping Trips | Incentive Groups | Destination Wedding

            A Few of My Favorite Things

            Marrakech

            Combining Ancient Culture with Luxury Accommodations

            We loved learning about ancient Moorish culture and visiting the Dar el Bacha Museum of the Confluences before wandering through the narrow streets of the Souk. We also loved driving through the Atlas Mountains and seeing how the Berbers live and visiting the Unesco World Heritage site of Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, in Ouarzazate Provence.

            The Service

            Morocco is a destination where you get a lot of value and high level of service for a fraction of what it would cost in Europe. Service, food, shopping and culture were all phenomenal. If you have questions about which property to choose or how to plan your trip, you can fill out our Trip Design Form to get started and we will reach out with more information!

            Design My Trip!


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            Best Family Vacations in the USA

            Best Family Vacations in the USA

            Diego Travel Destination Guide

            Best Luxury Family Vacations in the USA

            MARIA DIEGO

            Are you searching for the best family vacation spots in the US? There’s no shortage of family destinations in the USA, but there are some hotels and top family resorts in the US that really stand out from the rest.

            Whether you’re looking for the best beach resorts in the USA for families, luxury family vacation ideas or the best family vacation summer destinations, we’ve selected our favorite family vacations in the US from the past couple of years. These are hotels and destinations that are perfect for the whole family to enjoy, escape the routine and spend some quality family time together.

            As a Virtuoso travel agency, Diego Travel adds value and additional amenities to your stay every time. Contact us here to get started planning your next family vacation!

            6 Ideas for your next Family Vacations in the US

            Sea Island Vacation Rentals

            1. Sea Island, Georgia

            Located off the coast of Georgia, Sea Island is the ultimate East Coast family vacation spot. We loved it so much we came back twice in one year, take my word – it’s the best family vacation in Georgia!

            With beautiful beaches and a huge range of family-friendly activities from dolphin watching tours, falconry or arts and crafts to bike riding or boat rental, the list of activities is enough to keep the kids occupied for the entire trip.

            For the adults, there’s a spa, fitness centre, hot tub, golfing, horseback riding and a range of eateries from casual pubs to formal dining, including the only Forbes 5-Star restaurant in Georgia.

            The Sea Island cottages and vacation rentals are also perfect if you’re looking for large family vacation rentals or multi family vacation spots, or even if you just prefer to have your own space.

            Sea Island also offers The Cloisters, Ocean Residence, Beach Club, The Inn and The Lodge, so there’s plenty of accommodation options to suit you and your family’s vacation.

            When You Book with Diego Travel, You’ll Receive:
            • $100 per day resort credit when you book a Sea Island cottage rental
            • $100 one-time resort credit + daily complimentary breakfast when you book a Sea Island hotel room

            Blackberry Mountain Sunset

            2. Blackberry Mountain, Tennessee

            If you’re looking for the best luxury resorts for families in the US, this mountain retreat in the Great Smoky Mountains is the perfect property.

            With a focus on wellbeing, outdoor adventure and delightful cuisine, Blackberry Mountain is ideal for active families who are looking for the top family vacation spots in the US that provide a holistic accommodation and hospitality experience.

            Spend the day out on the hiking trails, water skiing on the pond or zip lining through the arbor treetops adventure course, followed by hot yoga, sound baths in the loft, clay sculpting or relaxing in the spa.

            Blackberry Mountain offers a range of accommodation types including 2-5 bedroom homes – perfect for large groups and one of the best places for a family vacation in Tennessee.

            When You Book with Diego Travel, You’ll Receive:
            • 5% off published rates
            • $50 spa credit
            • Upgrade at time of check-in, subject to availability
            • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

            Laguna Beach Coves

            3. Laguna Beach, California

            With so many outdoor activities in the area like hiking, horseback riding, museums, farms and beaches, plus plenty of restaurants, shops and attractions, Laguna Beach is the perfect base if you’re looking for all inclusive California family resorts for your next US vacation.

            My three favorite hotels in this area of Southern California are Montage Laguna Beach, the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, and the Monarch Beach Resort. Their locations in Laguna Beach are perfect for weekend getaways or longer family vacations to enjoy everything this beautiful coastline has to offer.

            The Monarch Beach Resort is a golf and beach resort that’s both kid-friendly and dog-friendly. With 3 pools, a kids club and Laguna’s only beach club, this is a great option for the whole family to enjoy.

            The Ritz Carlton is further south and a must-stay for any surfers in the family! With plenty of restaurant options and fun activities such as whale watching tours organized by the hotel.

            Montage Laguna Beach is the ultimate luxury destination for family vacation spots in the US. With 1,2,3 and 4 bedroom suites, ocean views, a kids club and kids programme, adults-only spa and exclusive beach access, the whole family is treated like a VIP when you stay here.

            This coastal stretch of California is one of the best family vacation destinations in the US and perfect if you’re looking for summer vacation ideas.

            When You Book with Diego Travel, You’ll Receive:
            • Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability
            • Daily full breakfast for two 
            • $100 USD resort credit
            • Early check-in/Late check-out, subject to availability
            • Complimentary Wifi

            Diego_Travel_Hotel_Review-Montage_Palmetto_Bluff

            4. Montage Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina

            Just 30 minutes outside of Savannah, Georgia, you find yourself in this tranquil and picturesque setting at the Montage Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina.

            Our favorite hotel for the best family vacation in South Carolina, the Montage Palmetto Bluff feels like a true escape and a step back in time with tree lined avenues and gas-lit laps on this 20,000 acre estate.

            And with so much space, it’s no wonder that this resort is full of family friendly activities – tennis courts and lessons, golfing, bike rental, boating, shooting club, bowling alley, kids club, 3 different pools and a spa for the adults to enjoy too.

            You can arrange a golf cart or bikes to move around the property,which has seven restaurants spread out over the whole resort area ranging from casual to formal dining which I suggest booking in advance of your stay. You can also take a boat tour on a guided day trip to Daufuskie Island and learn so much about the history and culture.

            When You Book with Diego Travel, You’ll Receive:
            • $100+ resort credit
            • Daily breakfast credit
            • Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability
            • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

            Rosewood Miramar Beach

            5. Rosewood Miramar Beach, California

            Rosewood Miramar Beach Hotel might just be the number one option for best family beach vacations in the US. This beachfront hotel is the perfect combination of luxury and laid back beach style.

            The Rosewood Miramar is located just 15 minutes from Santa Barbara. But being the only oceanfront property in Montecito, you feel the stress wash away in this calm, easygoing, beachfront setting.

            With family-friendly beach yoga, falconry experiences, family movie nights, a range of accommodation types, six restaurants and the only 5-star Forbes spa in Santa Barbara, there’s fun for the whole family at this beachfront hotel.

            The resort embraces outdoor living too, with kayak rental, boat charters, hiking excursions, surf lessons and the beach on your doorstep.

            Whether you’re looking for active family vacation ideas in California or slower paced, all inclusive US beach resorts for families, the Rosewood Miramar Beach Hotel managed both effortlessly.

            When You Book with Diego Travel, You’ll Receive:
            • Complimentary one category upgrade upon arrival, based on availability
            • Daily USD30 breakfast credit for up to two people per bedroom
            • $125 Sense Spa credit per stay
            • Welcome note and amenity from the Managing Director on behalf of Diego Travel
            • Diego Travel Welcome Box for First-Time Clients

            Four Seasons Orlando

            6. Four Seasons Orlando, Florida

            A family-favorite among our clients, whether it’s a weekend getaway for the family or a once-in-a-lifetime trip to this Florida destination, Orlando is one of the best family trips in the US.

            I always say that not only is the Four Seasons Orlando the best family hotel in Orlando, it’s a destination in and of itself: your entire stay feels magical, for adults as well as the kids.

            The non-stop entertainment for the kids goes above and beyond at Four Seasons Orlando, with complimentary kids camp available daily, a 5-acre water park, 18-hole putting course, four restaurants, three lounges and the Disney character breakfast – a must-do for kids.

            Even the spa has a Bippity Boppity Boo boutique experience for girls looking for the princess experience without the wait in line at the Magic Kingdom.

            The Four Seasons Orlando concierge can assist with park tickets, fast passes and any other park queries to make sure your trip runs smoothly from start to finish.

            The Four Seasons Orlando is without a doubt, the best place to stay in Orlando for families.

            When You Book with Diego Travel, You’ll Receive:
            • Exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner Rates (excluding character breakfast)
            • Daily full American breakfast for 2
            • $100 spa credit
            • Upgrade of one category at time of check-in, subject to availability
            • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
            • VIP welcome amenity
            • Diego Travel welcome box for first-time clients

            Insider Tips at Montage Palmetto Bluff

            6 Ideas for your next Family Vacations in the US

            Hopefully our guide to the best family vacations in the US has given you plenty of inspiration for your next family trip. Whether you prefer a laid back beach vacation or an action-packed family-fun resort, here at Diego Travel we know family vacations are extra special and deserve to be perfect. 

            If you’re still undecided, feel free to schedule a call with me, so that I can match you with an ideal destination that fits both your family and budget.


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            William Silver/Shutterstock

            Travel planners share 9 places in the US everyone will want to visit this year

            INSIDER
            March 4, 2022
            By Alyssa Towns Swantkoski

            Insider asked travel planners to share which US destinations they believe will be popular in 2022

            Sea Island offers 5 miles of private beach, luxury resorts and accommodations, and several outdoor activities, including golf, with PGA tournaments having been held on the island.

            Maria Diego of Diego Travel agency has seen this location grow in popularity and expects to see more of the same.

            “One of my best-selling destinations throughout the pandemic has been Sea Island, Georgia. Located between Jacksonville, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia, it’s an easy drive from Miami/South Florida and the East Coast,” she said.

            Sea Island has hotel accommodations and cottage rentals, plus it’s dog-friendly. 

            “Since people are looking for extended vacations, this is a great option that offers so many activities for families,” Diego said. There are plenty of golf courses and tennis courts, too. 

            Read the INSIDER Article

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            British Virgin Islands

            British Virgin Islands

            The British Virgin Islands

            A Destination Guide for Your Luxury Caribbean Vacation
            MARIA DIEGO

            The British Virgin Islands, made up of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, and Scrub Island, along with many other smaller islands is one of the best destinations in the Caribbean for luxury travel. I was invited on a FAM trip (the travel industry’s term for familiarization trip) hosted by the British Virgin Islands Tourism Board, where we got to see the top luxury hotels, resorts, private islands, and villas and many different islands. They also introduced us to many different experiences that are possible on the British Virgin Islands, including chartering private yachts, sail boats, and catamarans, renting Moke cars to ride around the islands, exploring The Baths National Park, and all the other fun you can have on the BVI. If you love beautiful beaches, perfect weather, luxury hotels and villas at a great price point, and the best rum cocktails in the world, then you will love the British Virgin Islands!

            Perfect For: Families | Destination Weddings | Luxury Honeymoon | Couples Groups | Multi-Generational Families | Scuba Divers | Snorkelers | Adventure Seekers

            Getting to the BVI

            Getting to the British Virgin Islands

            Getting to BVI isn’t easy, which is why it is perhaps such a popular spot for the jet setters who want a more exclusive experience and privacy. For ease of flights, it’s sometimes better to fly into STT (St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands) because it is a direct flight from many major US cities. From St. Thomas, you can take a boat over to British Virgin Islands, even though you will need to stop by boat to clear customs.

            Otherwise, you can fly into the British Virgin Island’s main airport in Tortola, the Terrence B. Lettsome airport (EIS), which you will need to connect through Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, or Antigua. You have additional smaller airports at Virgin Gorda (VIJ) and Anegada (NGD), and other smaller landing sites for private aviation. When you utilize Diego Travel’s trip planning service, we handle all of the logistics of travel to the US Virgin Island and British Virgin Islands so you don’t have to worry about any of it.

            BVI
            • 18.4223,-64.6192

              Tortola

            • 18.4461,-64.4341

              Virgin Gorda

            The Baths Virgin Gorda

            The British Virgin Islands Luxury Travel Guide

            What to do in the BVI

            • The Baths National Park

              The most visited site in the British Virgin Islands is 7-acres of coastline called The Baths National Park, an iconic location of large boulders and white sand located at Devil’s Bay on Virgin Gorda. Instagram has catapulted its popularity, with influencers getting their obligatory shot between or on these impressive boulders. You can crouch down through narrow passage ways to snorkel or scuba dive your way around them from the water. If you’re visiting the BVI, you cannot miss The Baths.

            • Yacht Charter in the BVI

            • Yacht & Catamaran Charters

              As I discussed in my guide to the US Virgin Islands, the Caribbean just might be the Yacht Charter Capital of the World, and you will find many luxury boats, yachts and catamarans to rent in the region. The problem is, where can you find one of these that fit your budget?

              I’ll let you in on a secret. The yacht charter with crew experience is more affordable than you think, especially when traveling with a group of family or friends. I have worked with one of the boating industry’s top yacht brokers for over a decade, and she has 30+ years in the industry. Together, at no additional cost to the client, we are able to pair Diego Travel clients to the best boat and crew at your budget.

              Whether you opt for a live-on boat charter experience, or opt for a day charter to experience the ocean from your hotel or private villa, we have the best contacts to ensure you’re getting the most value for your budget while boating around Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, or Jost Van Dyke.

            • Diving

              My husband and I started out in the travel industry operating a marina with boat charters and ground transfers, and many people are surprised to know that I have never scuba dived before because I feel like I learned everything there is to know about it. A health condition prevents me from scuba diving, so I stick to snorkeling in shallow reef area. Despite my inability to scuba dive, I can tell you that the British Virgin Islands is perfect for both scuba diving and snorkeling, especially at islands like Anegada, the only flat coral island in the BVI. The island is surrounded by a series of reef mazes and tunnels and are full of interesting types of sea life that you won’t find any many other places. In Virgin Gorda, don’t miss visits to Savannah Bay, Pond Bay, Devil’s Bay (where The Baths are located), Mahoe Bay and Spring Bay.

            • BVI Catamaran Charter

            • BVI Scuba

            • Sailing

              The BVI has consistent trade winds that makes it ideal for constant sailing, whether you are a novice or experienced sailor. Similar to the boat charters, sailing deserves its own category in things to do in the British Virgin Islands because you can take sailing classes on a small sail boat or even a Hobie cat or wind surf. When we visited Moskito Island, where Richard Branson owns an estate and is right next to Necker Island, a skipper took us out on a Hobie cat, so we could just sit back and relax while she transferred us on the water to the private beach club of Moskito Island. It was one of the most adventurous, wet and funny moments of our trip!

            • Shopping

              Along with luxury accommodations usually comes luxury shops that pop up that caters for the high-end clientele that frequents these islands. My first stop to the British Virgin Islands was at Oil Nut Bay, and we popped into Luna Boutique BVI at the marina next to Nova Restaurant. A chic boutique that carries unique and well-known brands and a great range of items from swimsuits and coverups to straw bags and candles. Even if you’re not staying on Oil Nut Bay, I highly recommend a visit to the restaurant and the few shops around it here. At Rosewood Little Dix Bay, you can also visit their boutique that is also full of beautiful clothes and souvenirs to take home. And while we didn’t have a lot of time to shop, a departing gift from our lovely hostess from the Tourism Board was a set of spices and teas, all local products that are typical products you can buy on your trip to the British Virgin Islands (and of course, don’t forget to bring home some alcohol, distilled there on the islands).

            • BVI Drinks

            • Luna Boutique BVI

            • Drinking

              I would be remiss to skip the importance of drinking on the British Virgin Islands – cocktails and the on-island distilleries are a huge part of BVI island life, and will definitely make your vacation more fun and unforgettable (or forgettable, depending on how much is consumed). I’ll discuss bars and places to visit for the best cocktails in the BVI under restaurants.

            Oil nut bay

            Where to Stay in The British Virgin Islands

            One of the best destinations in the Caribbean for luxury private villas and homes is the British Virgin Islands. The Rosewood Little Dix Bay Resort on Virgin Gorda is probably the best hotel in the British Virgin Islands, and underwent a massive renovation in 2019, only to reopen just at the start of the pandemic.

            Rosewood Little Dix Bay

            Rosewood Little Dix Bay

            The Rosewood Little Dix Bay is perfect for honeymooners, anniversary trips, and even great for families. The hotel is located on a wide crescent bay with a very long beach for walking that is completely private for the resort. This makes it ideal if you want privacy and a beautiful sandy beach. Little Dix Bay has a long history and has had return visitors for years, and when I asked the general manager what he loved most about the resort, he said that the returning guests who celebrate their honeymoon and then their 25th wedding anniversary 25 years later is one of the things that makes the property so special. The main pool is nothing to write home about, but is a nice distance from the main restaurant and beach that it is quiet. There is another pool at the spa that overlooks the open ocean on the opposite side of the property, and I almost preferred this pool to the other. One thing that is worthy of writing home about is the tennis courts, pickle ball courts, and huge gym with fitness equipment. For guests who want to stay active and play sports on property, there are definitely many options. Finally, another advantage of staying at Little Dix Bay is its proximity to The Baths National Park in Virgin Gorda.

            Book with Diego Travel to Receive the Following Rosewood Elite Amenities:

            • Exclusive Rosewood Elite Offers
            • Complimentary one category upgrade upon arrival, based on availability
            • Daily Full American breakfast for up to two people per bedroom
            • USD125 food and beverage credit
            • Welcome note and amenity
            • Priority Upgrade if Available
            • Priority Early Check-In/Late Check-Out
            • VIP Status
            • Diego Travel Welcome Box when Using the Travel Planning ServiceTravel Planning Service

            Diego Travel Recommends Rosewood Little Dix Bay For: Honeymooners | Destination Weddings | Couples Groups | Multi- Generational Families | Anniversary Trips | Romantic Getaways | Incentive Trips

            Moskito Island

            Moskito Island

            Moskito Island was perhaps my favorite destination in British Virgin Islands and is an exclusive experience that not many people will ever get to experience. There are only a handful of homes on the entire island, owned by Richard Branson and his billionaire friends. Fortunately, you too can have this experience, and rent out one of the homes that is between 7 and 11 bedrooms in each estate. The island itself has its own communal beach club, beachside pool and outdoor living area, tennis courts, gym, and water sports center, all for your own private use. Each estate has its own team of friendly staff that make the experience of staying on Moskito Island so exceptional.

            I was lucky enough to stay at the Branson Estate and slept in the bedroom next to Richard Branson’s at the Headland House, which is a perfect setup for a family with children or teens. The home has its own kitchen and communal areas, but then there are two other stand alone buildings that make the Branson Estate ideal for multiple families traveling together, or even 11 couples who want to gather at night for gourmet meals and karaoke at night. That evening, we kicked it off with a private rum tasting with rum expert at Branson team member, Goran. This rum tasting comes included with your stay when you book with Diego Travel.

            Later, we enjoyed one of the best meals of my life, followed by a night of karaoke that lasted well into the night, joined by fun staff who made the entire experience. The next day, we were whisked to the beach for a captained experience on a Hobie cat, where they took us around the island and dropped us off at the communal beach club, where we enjoyed cocktails and a beautiful beachside meal. It was heaven, and I still pinch myself that I got to have this experience.

            The other estates are The Oasis, where Paris Hilton recently honeymooned, and modeled after a cruise ship, which sleeps 18 with 6 family rooms close together and 3 separated villas for invited staff or friends. The Point is the closest to the beach and has 8 rooms that are completely separated bungalows, so likely not ideal for young kids but a great experience for couples. The Point sleeps 22 people.

            Summer 2022 will see the opening of The Village to the Moskito Island rental program, which will be the premiere party house with a water slide, full light display and a DJ booth that comes up from the floor. There are 8 rooms total, with 7 separated pods. Again, this estate is ideal for the ultimate party and for the huge celebration you won’t be able to have anywhere else. So how much does it cost to stay on Moskito Island? Well, considering all food and house drinks are included, as well as full staff that provides housekeeping, entertainment, gourmet meals, and even around the clock babysitting for your little ones, the nightly rate in low season is around $22,000 plus taxes and fees. Whether you rent out each estate for just you and your plus one, or a large group of friends, the nightly rate remains the same.

            The most unique element of Moskito Island are the experiences that they can create to really wow their guests, which is why the price is completely accessible when considering what you get. They create events like family style Olympic Games, bonfires, BBQ and s’mores, will have pizza night at the beach house, and create romantic dinner setups for parents to enjoy time on their own, while they set up a kids table for a kid-friendly dinner with babysitters down at The Cove.

            Doesn’t it sound like paradise? It is. And when you book your stay with Diego Travel, I work with the island manager directly to make sure every detail is accounted for and can pair you with the estate that matches your needs.

            Oil Nut Bay

            Oil Nut Bay

            Oil Nut Bay is another hybrid private island experience set up with resort amenities, with a beautiful beach club with private villas, both beachfront and perched up on the hills overlooking the bay. You need a golf cart to get around this expansive island, and homes vary in both size and decor. You can also visit as a couple only, which would be ideal for a honeymoon, with a base suite starting at just $600/night in low season. Homes are new and well-designed, with most offering private pools and full kitchens.

            Whale peak season is March and April, when I highly recommend renting a villa on Whale Point; in fact, one of my favorite villas is called Whale Point and is a brand new 2-bedroom villa with pool and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. In low season, rates start at $1700/night+ + which makes it very affordable to go with another couple.

            My favorite large home that would be perfect for a group of adults or traveling with teenagers, is Maranti, a 5-bedroom villa with separated en-suite rooms. All homes can provide provisions and a chef is available to prepare dinner each night, or you can enjoy dinner at the restaurant down at the pool and beach club.

            They are currently building a spa, and currently have a gym and kids club, so Oil Nut Bay is one of my top picks for multi-generational trips that want privacy, quiet, and a beautiful setting for extended stays. It’s not uncommon for guests to rent these homes for a month-long stay, and with rates being so accessible, it might be worthwhile to consider an extended vacation.

            BVI Villas

            Private Villas

            While in the British Virgin Islands, I met the “Queen of BVI” and owner/ founder of a destination management company that covers all of the islands. After working 30+ years in the hospitality industry, from her role as general manager at Rosewood Little Dix Bay to president of the tourism board, she now runs her own company and works exclusively with travel advisors. I was lucky enough to spend half a day with her, where she gave us tours of some of her favorite private villas at a range of prices. Villas ran from beachfront from $6,000/week for a 4-Bedroom home to upwards of $40,000/week. What is great about working with this person is that she literally knows every single villa and boat rental on the islands, and is able to match my clients to the perfect vacation rental and works with me to build an itinerary that is perfect for your needs. Need a babysitter? She has the contact. Want an in-house private chef and your kitchen fully stocked before arrival? We have you covered.

            Two of my favorite villas that we toured and had lunch and dinner at were Baraka Point and Aquamare Villas. Both are beachfront and excellent options for families. Baraka Point is up on a cliff and has beach access that is just a couple minutes walk to get there. Both of these villas are very close to Sugar Cane restaurant, which I will cover in the next section.

            Guana Island is 850 acres of private island with seven beaches, mountains, gardens and hiking and private villas that offer first-class luxury service as well. Guana Island is completely private, with gorgeous white sand beaches and an ideal destination when you want to get away from it all. At any of the above villas, when you book your BVI vacation with Diego Travel, we will make sure you are paired with the perfect match to fit your needs.

            Moskito Island Dinning

            Where to eat in the British Virgin Islands?

            Some British Virgin Islands favorites, and very unique to the BVI dining options:

            • Nova on Oil Nut Bay – Built on a dock that extends out over the ocean, Nova is the perfect spot to spend a leisurely afternoon enjoying fresh sushi or local fish and sipping on fancy cocktails from their extensive and modern bar. It’s fun to people watch and check out the yachts at this marina restaurant.

              CocoMaya Restaurant – Just minutes from the iconic Baths in Virgin Gorda, Cocomaya is an iconic beach club and bar that is a must-see when visiting the British Virgin Islands. Plan to reserve a day bed and spend at least a few hours here, whether for lunch or into the night for dinner.

            • Nova on Oil Nut Bay

            • Sugarcane Restaurant – Sugarcane is located in Nail Bay on Virgin Gorda, walkable to Baraka Point and very close to Aquamare Villas. This fun spot perched up on a hill overlooking the water has delicious food, drinks and even a sports club that includes pool and tennis club. When you’re a guest a Baraka Point, you even get free access to their sport club and gym.

              Reef House at Little Dix Bay – You can make dining reservations here even if you’re not a guest at Rosewood Little Dix Bay. This beachfront restaurant is worth a stop, whether you’re visiting the islands by land or by private yacht. Reserve in advance if you’re not staying at the hotel.

            • Willy T at Cooper Island Beach Club – The legendary floating bar of the BVI’s where all you need to know is “what happens at Willy T’s stays at Willy T’s.”

              Did you know that when you utilize Diego Travel’s trip planning service, we make all your dining and activity reservations for you? Find out how you can implement our concierge service into your travel plans to make planning your trip to BVI as easy and seamless as possible.

            A Few of My Favorite Things

            The British Virgin Islands

            Private Islands Galore

            If you can swing it, the British Virgin Islands is worth the splurge on a private island experience. There are several to choose from, ranging from Necker Island to Moskito Island (the more famous due to Richard Branson’s famous name), to Aerial Island Resort and Guana Island. Whatever your budget and reason for celebration may be, I am happy to walk you through the different options and help you select which private island escape will be right for you and your occasion.

            The Privacy and Exclusivity

            After having visited both British Virgin Islands and US Virgin Islands all within two weeks of each other, I can say that what is notably different about British Virgin Islands is the element of exclusivity about it. While less buzzy and pretentious than its fellow Jetsetter Caribbean competition over at St. Barths, British Virgin Islands is no doubt a playground and hot spot for the rich and famous who are looking to vacation in private at some of the best beaches in the world. While many places come with a hefty price tag, the good news is that the average person can still experience the luxury element of BVI without spending a small fortune.

            The Service

            I didn’t experience a single bad meal while visiting the BVI, but what stood out most was the level of service at all the places we stayed, most notably at Moskito Island. Many people come to work seasonally at British Virgin Islands and never leave, while others are native to the islands and have such a happy disposition about life. It makes you feel like family by the time it’s time to leave, and you’ll never want to go home.

            If you’re interested in a chartering a yacht or catamaran in the British Virgin Islands, or book the Rosewood Little Dix Bay or any other private villa or vacation rental, I would be happy to provide you my guidance and match you with the perfect boat + crew or hotel accommodation. You can contact me directly to inquire.

            Design My Trip!


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            United States Virgin Islands

            US Virgin Islands

            US Virgin Islands

            A Destination Guide for Your Caribbean Vacation
            MARIA DIEGO

            The US Virgin Islands, made up of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, is a boater and diver’s paradise of many islands, beautiful beaches, and plenty of dive spots to explore. We were looking for a remote region to charter a private catamaran with crew to spend a week of bonding and adventure with our kids, and settled on the USVI as the perfect destination. Private yachts, sail boats, and catamarans are available throughout the US Virgin Islands and Diego Travel works with the best yacht broker for our clients’ needs.

            Perfect For: Families | Destination Weddings | Honeymoon | Couples Groups | Multi-Generational Families | Scuba Divers | Snorkelers | Scuba Divers

            Long Bay Marina-Charlotte Amalie

            Getting to US Virgin Islands

            Getting to USVI is perhaps one of its biggest draws, since there are so many direct flights into St. Thomas (STT) from major cities like Chicago, Dulles, Newark and Miami. From St. Thomas, it’s an easy boat ride to St. John, and a full day boat ride to St. Croix, so most people visiting St. Croix will take the direct flight from Miami. US Virgin Islands is extremely close to British Virgin Islands. Before Covid, visitors could visit the islands interchangeably pretty easily, but now the restrictions make it more difficult. For ease of flights, it’s sometimes better to fly into STT and take a boat over to British Virgin Islands, even though you will need to stop by boat to clear customs. When you utilize Diego Travel’s trip planning service, we handle all of the logistics of travel to the US Virgin Island and British Virgin Islands so you don’t have to worry about any of it.

            USVI
            • 18.3411,-64.9328

              St Thomas

            • 18.3308,-64.7945

              St John

            United States Virgin Islands Catamaran Charter

            Catamaran Charter

            YACHT AND CATAMARAN CHARTERS

            The Caribbean just might be the Yacht Charter Capital of the World, and you will find many luxury boats, yachts and catamarans in the region. The problem is, where can you find one of these that fit your budget? I’ll let you in on a secret. The yacht charter with crew experience is more affordable than you think, especially when traveling with a group of family or friends. I have worked with one of the boating industry’s top yacht brokers for over a decade, and she has 30+ years in the industry. Together, at no additional cost to the client, we are able to pair Diego Travel clients to the best boat and crew at your budget. When I reached out to her for our personal vacation, we were considering two boats in our price range, and she told me one crew would be better than the other with our young kids. She was right! And whether you’re looking for a charter in Greece, Italy, or the Caribbean, she knows the boats and crew and directs me to the right choice once we have a discussion about you and what your needs are.

            The US Virgin Islands are so popular for yacht charters because there are so many islands and protected bays for mooring at night, with not much distance or rough seas in between destinations. You can go for a full week or two without touching land, just exploring different waters, with each beach and bay being extremely unique. We spent our seven nights in Monde Bay, Little Lameshur Bay, Long Bay, Francis Bay, Caneel Bay, and finally Brewers Bay. The cool thing about our captain, who had 10 years experience, was that he knew to get us one bay ahead of the rest, so at each stop, due to our timing, we had each bay essentially to ourselves.

            USVI Catamaran Charters

            While we opted for a catamaran charter with crew, there are also bareboat catamaran and sailboat charters available (meaning less cost without crew). If you are the do-it-yourself type and want to man your own boat, you have this option available in the USVI. For those that want to learn how to sail, the USVI also affords a variety of options to get ASA certified during on your crewed charter.  Keep in mind that boat charters are regularly 7 nights.

            • Scuba Diving

              Scuba diving and snorkeling are the number 1 attraction of the US Virgin Islands, with so many reef dives, wreck dives, drift dives, and rocky islets that are home to a myriad of fish and sea life. Our 11-year-old daughter tried scuba diving for the first time, and on her second attempt stayed underwater for 25 minutes.

              The USVI is full of national wildlife reserves like Buck Island and the Virgin Islands National Park & Coral Reef National Monument. Because of the amount of protection surrounding the islands, the water is full of sea life, making the perfect paradise for both scuba divers and snorkelers.

            • Watersports USVI

            • It’s worthwhile to mention the amount of sea life we saw off our boat. From constant fish, sting rays and octopus, our favorite was swimming with the sea turtles, where there is a bay with hundreds of them. My 4- and 6-year-olds swam on their own as we patiently followed a little sea turtle as he would slowly surface for a breath every few minutes, where we’d get an up close look and then watch him plunge back to the sand. The fine of touching any turtle starts at $5,000, so this ensures these beautiful creatures can remain unharmed and explore freely in their natural habitat for years to come.

            • Watersports and Day charters

              For those who prefer to be landbased instead of chartering a yacht or catamaran, the US Virgin Islands offers plenty of oportunities to experience the natural beauty of these islands.

              There are a wide range of activities available directly from the beach like taking sailing classes on a small sail boat or a Hobie cat. The USVI is a great introduction to sailing for kids if they are interested in learning to sail. There are also many otions to go kayaking or stand up paddleboarding or even learning to windsurf or kiteboard

              Fishing charters offer an unique oportunity to fish the Puerto Rico Trench where you can find some of the best offshore fishing in the Caribbean, located only six miles from shore.

              Many operators offer snorkeling tours, day sailing catamaran trips and sunset sailing experiences. Private day charters are also available aboard both sail boats and powerboats.

            • USVI Bars

            • Shopping

              Charlotte Amalie is the main cruise ship port where the large cruise ships arrive and depart. In St. Thomas, you don’t pay sales tax, so it’s the perfect place to buy a luxury watch or jewelry. Charlotte Amalie is full of your more touristy shops that cater to the cruise ships, while St. John has some more boutique shopping with local shops that sell everything from board shorts and rash guards for men to swim suits and cover ups for women. In the USVI, you won’t wear or need much more than that, as even in the winter time, the evenings rarely get cold enough to require a sweater.

              On our week-long charter, we only stopped twice for shopping and to walk around, and my favorite spot was Mongoose Junction in Cruz Bay in St. John. This small shopping center has a few bars and restaurants, but my favorite shop was Lulee, which carries all my favorite brands and where I bought a replacement pair of my favorite Agolde denim cut-offs.

            • Rum Tasting

              While we truthfully did not explore the USVI by land that much, we had been in the past when visiting by cruise ship and were told of the many rum distilleries on both St. Thomas and St. John. And just as any good Caribbean island should offer, a good bar and opportunity to taste a dozen rums abounds in the US Virgin Islands.

              One of country music’s most famous singers, Kenny Chesney, has a home on Cinnamon Bay in the USVI and often sings about island life and its plentiful drinks. Two of our favorite spots are the Windmill Bar on St. John, perched on a hilltop in an old sugar mill with live music and stunning views, and for a more refined wine tasting experience, try Kati Ligo in St. John, a cozy wine bar.

            • St John Shopping

            Ritz Carlton St Thomas Aerial View

            Where to Stay in the USVI

            The Ritz Carlton St Thomas

            The Ritz Carlton St. Thomas

            The Ritz Carlton St. Thomas is perfect for families, multi-generational families (we saw a ton of large family groups during Christmas week), and even great for couples during non-holiday travel times.  The hotel is located on a small bay with a somewhat short beach and two pools.  One pool was originally redesigned to be adult-only, but the sales director told me that families werent having it and that they eventually gave in and have kids welcome at both pools.  Having said that, families with young and noisy kids tend to gravitate to the pool located next to the winding water slide, a new addition from the renovation.  Right next to the water slide pool is a fantastic kids club, where both indoor and outdoor activities are completely complimentary for ages 5-12.  Cabanas incur an extra cost and are located around both pools.

             Aside from the pools and beach, you also have tennis courts and a huge brand new gym with state of the art equipment.  You have an amazing spa, and fun boutique, and four restaurants.  To really add to the experience, I highly recommend a private beach dinner, where theyll set your table up under a romantic sea grape tree that sits on the beach.  It is the perfect spot to celebrate an anniversary or have a proposal. 

            Lets talk about Club level at this Ritz Carlton hotel.  If youre a Marriott or Ritz Carlton loyalist, I am sure you are aware of club level by now.  The club level rooms give access to a special club lounge for its guests.  In my opinion, at some properties, this added benefit is well worth it and at other properties, its not worth the price difference.  At Ritz Carlton St. Thomas, the Club level is definitely worth it.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served buffet style with a wine and coffee bar, all complimentary to Club level guests.  They also have their own outdoor terrace space, so its almost like having access to your own exclusive restaurant that is completely free.

            The cost of meals at a resort like this can really add up, so we saw plenty of families eating all their meals in the Club lounge.  Finally, Diego Travel is a preferred partner to Marriott STARS program, which includes all Ritz Carltons, so even if youre Bonvoy Ambassador Elite, you will still get additional perks when booking your Marriott stays with Diego Travel.  The only time these perks dont apply is when youre booking your stay using points.  

            Book with Diego Travel to Receive the Following STARS Amenities:

            •  Welcome Amenity
            •  Complimentary Breakfast for 2 at Bleuwater Restaurant
            • $100 Hotel Credit
            • Complimentary Wi-FI
            • Priority Upgrade if Available
            • Priority Early Check-In/Late Check-Out
            • VIP Status with In-Person Warm Welcome
            • Diego Travel Welcome Box when Using the Travel Planning Service

            Diego Travel Recommends Ritz Carlton St. Thomas For: Families | Destination Weddings | Couples Groups | Multi-Generational Families Corporate Groups | Incentive Groups

            Where To Eat in US Virgin Islands?

            • Two US Virgin Islands favorites:

              Lime Out A floating taco bar based in Coral Bay, St. John.

              Pizza Pi A small boat with a pizza oven offering delivery by dinghy based in Christmas Cove, Little St. James.  They make gluten-free pizza too! Started by a couple who left their corporate world behind and covered a boat into a large pizza oven/delivery restaurant.  Talk about chasing your dreams!

            • Lovango Cay

            • Our favorite day and dinner experience:

              Lovango Cay A beach and pool club with limited daily memberships starting at $100 per person, private cabana rentals, and waterfront dining based off Lovango Cay.

            • Our other favorite food experiences:

              Dave and Jerry’s  Fine dining in St. John that offers excellent steaks and a ton of food.  We outdid ourselves!

              Prime Fine dining in St. Thomas, would recommend for a final evening on the dock if youre chartering a yacht or catamaran.  

               ZoZos Waterfront dining in Caneel Bay, St. John and also a happy hour option with live music and a cute gift shop.

              Skinny Legs This is a very local hang in St. John serving up burgers and drinks.  The name says it all for appropriate dress attire.

            A Few of My Favorite Things

            USVI

            Beaches and Bays

            Don’t miss Turtle Bay and Cinnamon Beach on St. Johns. Even though there are more tourists here than other areas, it’s for good reason. It’s so neat to swim with so many sea turtles and a unique experience to the USVI. Cinnamon Beach is long and with soft, white sand, perfect for a long beach walk and located where you have many multi-million dollar villas that are available for rental. Diego Travel can assist you with these villa rentals too. Little Lamashur Bay was less crowded and we saw sea turtles and sting rays there too.

            Water Sports

            One of the best things about chartering a yacht or catamaran with crew, is the direct access to a lot of sea toys like tubing, stand up paddle boarding, eFoils (we saw tons of these), kite surfing and water skiing or wake boarding right off the back our catamaran. Our kids had so much fun doing all of these things, that you could never get bored. So between gourmet meals prepared by our chef, Erika, our captain, Tyler, would take us out for fun on the water in between. Although, I have to admit that sometimes I would let my husband take the kids while I stayed behind on the quiet boat to read a good book (and work remotely).

            The People

            The community of US Virgin Islands is a huge boating community who love the water and the easy way of life. Though after witnessing how hard our crew worked aboard the boat throughout our week stay, I realized that they work hard and likely play harder. The people are very friendly, easy-going, and work hard to provide excellent service when you charter a yacht or catamaran. They come from all over the world to work on boats in the Caribbean, and most of them are well-traveled and well-educated, spending part of the year working very hard and able to take time off in their off season to travel to other places. I learned a lot from our crew, a couple who has been married 5 years and in the yachting industry for 10, and hope to someday charter with them again.

            If you’re interested in a chartering a yacht or catamaran in the US Virgin Islands, or book the Ritz Carlton St. Thomas, I would be happy to provide you my guidance and match you with the perfect boat + crew or hotel accommodation. You can email me here to inquire.

             

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            Commodore Perry Estate

            Hotel Review: Commodore Perry Estate, an Auberge Hotel

            Hotel Review

            Commodore Perry Estate

            An Auberge Hotel
            MARIA DIEGO

            A historical mansion set in an idyllic neighborhood near downtown Austin, Texas, the Commodore Perry Estate was redesigned by internationally renowned interior designer Ken Fulk and is the epitome of old world charm met with an eccentric twist of modern glamour. 

            Perfect For: Small groups of friends | Girls weekend getaway or bachelor/bachelorette parties | Romantic Getaways | Weddings | A Stopover for Multi- Caribbean Island Vacation

            30.3006,-97.7229

            Commodore Perry Estate

            Location: A 10-acre estate set in the heart of Austin, Texas.

            Getting There: Just 15 minutes from Austin- Bergstrom International Airport (AUS).

            Commodore Perry Estate Vibe

            Vibe: Even though you’re just minutes from all the action of downtown Austin, Texas, the Commodore Perry Estate makes you feel like the houseguest of a European royal’s country estate, with elegant finishes and first-class service, with just the right amount of eclectic charm that keeps it feeling “Austin weird.” Fun activities like tarot card readings and live retro record sessions under the moonlight keep the scene young and fresh.

            History: Edgar “Commodore” Perry was a beloved Austin historical figure who amassed his fortune in the cotton industry in the early 1920s. While golfing at the next-door golf course, Perry spotted a piece of land and decided to build what would become a welcoming estate for he and his wife, Lutie, to welcome guests from near and far and place Austin on the map as one of the best places to live. As a newly reimagined urban retreat, this hotel hopes to restore the liveliness and glamour that Commodore Perry and his wife bestowed on it nearly a century ago.

            Commodore Perry Estate History
            Bar at the Commodore Perry Estate

            Perfect For:  Commodore Perry Estate is perfect for that romantic weekend getaway to enjoy the music scene of Austin, but retreat back to luxury and feel away from it all. I would also recommend it for a girls weekend getaway or bachelor/bachelorette parties, as well as groups of couples. With 54 rooms, it’s not uncommon to have a buy-out for a wedding or glamorous corporate affair or incentive trip, and Diego Travel is happy to assist with helping to make your stay magical, no matter how small or large your group size might be. The Mansion is made up of just 5 suites, so if you’re traveling with a small group of couples, it would be the ideal setting for a truly unique and unforgettable stay.

            Accomodations: 54 total rooms and suites with plans to add new residences and a spa in the future.

            Commodore Perry Estate Bathroom

            Commodore Perry Estate Cofee

            Food & Beverage: The outdoor patio at the Mansion serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and serves as a social hub for the Austin socialite scene. If you’re wanting more exclusivity, the Garden Nook, Solarium and the Loggia of the Garden Restaurant are for Members and overnight guests of Commodore Perry Estate only. Lutie’s restaurant recently opened and is a buzzy space in a jungle green setting that serves farm-to-table food and hand-crafted cocktails. Finding space is an issue, so reserve your table well in advance. Food and drinks can also be served poolside, or of course in in-room dining where you can partake in an honor bar, set up with your preferences upon request prior to your arrival.

            Wellness: The property is lacking a spa, so if you’re looking for a spa retreat, this is not the right fit for you. However, they provide a weekly wellness class schedule including pilates, yoga and nearby hiking. The concierge will be happy to set up a treatment at the nearby Springs or trip to the Herb Bar, where you will find personalized herbal elixirs for mind, body and soul.

            Commodore Perry Estate Wellness

            Commodore Perry Estate Pool

            Activities: The experience of Commodore Perry Estate is as much about what you aren’t doing as what you are. The goal is not to fill your time with activities but rather disconnect to relish in fine spirits, delicious food, and interesting conversation, all while sitting back in a velvet settee with funky jazz softly playing in the background. Just like Mr. and Mrs. Perry would have done.

            What  Sets  It  Apart: Recently voted the #1 resort hotel in Texas on Travel + Leisure’s 2021 World’s Best List (link that here), it’s with good reason that the Commodore Perry Estate stands out in a state whose slogan is “Go big or go home.” The property is intimate and small but leaves a large and lasting impression.

            Commodore Perry Estate
            Commodore Perry Estate

            How Much Does Commodore Perry Cost? Nightly rates start at $609 for mid-week stays in low season to upwards of $6,500 for Mr. and Mrs. Perry’s Suite, the nicest and largest of the Mansion Suites.

            Diego Travel Loves: The decor! If you don’t know about Ken Fulk , look him up and be ready to fall in love. It is truly a treat to stay here.

            Ken Fulk
            Diego Travel Amenities Commodore Perry Estate

            Extras You’ll Get with Diego Travel:

            • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
            • Daily Breakfast Credit for two guests per bedroom ($70 per day, per room)
            • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable,
              not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
            • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
            • Complimentary Wi-Fi

            Our preferred partnership with Auberge Resorts ensures that you will have priority upgrade and be flagged as a VIP for your stay. That’s something you won’t get booking online or with Amex Travel.

              Commodore Perry Insider Tips:

              There are only 2 rooms on property with bath tubs, so if you love a good soak, be sure to book your stay with Diego Travel so we get you into there right room. Also, there are no connecting rooms on property, so while this isn’t ideal for travel with young kids, a rollaway can be placed in certain rooms

              Commodore Perry Estate1

              Summary of Our Stay at Commodore Perry Estate:

              After time spent at both Miraval Austin and Lake Austin Spa Resort, I was ready to change it up and stay in the newly opened Commodore Perry Estate closer to the city center. The moment I arrived to the gravel driveway and was warmly greeted by the doorman, I knew I had come to the right place. The lobby is inviting with a soaring ceiling and hand-painted mural on the Mediterranean-inspired walls, which leads directly into a living room with cozy fireplace that’s inviting enough to say, “Come on in and stay awhile.” Perhaps with “y’all” at the end…I don’t know. We are in Texas.

              Commodore Perry Austin

              Aside from the extremely cool setting that will have your eyes glancing around each room to soak up all the details, there’s something intangibly special about the Estate. The property has procured local artisans to provide the details like the minibar snacks, the offerings on the liquor bar, and even a body oil left on your nightstand at the turndown service that will leave you dreaming in seconds. The scent, the textures, the combination of color – all of it adds to the mystique of Commodore Perry Estate and left me not wanting to leave.

              Commodore Perry Ken Fulk

              Shortly after check-in, I made my way down to the pool with a good book, where I sipped on a fancy cocktail that was topped with a fresh herb sprig plucked from the garden. There weren’t many others around, and everyone seemed to be basking in the glorious sound of silence around us, until the music started playing from the Garden Restaurant. A few chapters in and it was time to pull myself up from the yellow and white-striped lounge chair and change into something a little more fancy for a solo dinner on the patio. The music was just what you’d expect from one of the best destinations to enjoy live music. Divine. I was only sad not to be sharing it in the company of my husband or friends.

              Commodore Perry Estate Grounds

              Back at my room, I had one of the best night’s sleep in my life, and I love the red satin eye mask that was provided along with the body oil. I’m not a vampire, but I might have been one in my past life, because a solid black out in any hotel room definitely gains instant bonus points in my book.

              Breakfast brought more delicious food with a goat cheese yogurt on a bed of ice, topped with frozen fruit and grapes. Drizzed in local Austin honey. Yum! My mouth waters just thinking about it and I would return just for that breakfast. Even better enjoyed solo to the sound of silence. Sometimes a weekend sans my kids is just what I need. Does that make me a bad mom? Maybe. But I came home refreshed and with my batteries recharged, ready to take on the role of Super Mom and Master Travel Advisor at once.

              Commodore Perry Estate Austin Texas

              Since my stay, I’ve been happy to send clients for anniversary weekends, birthday celebrations, and a visit for no reason at all, and everyone has come away just as relaxed and content as I did. It’s safe to say that you will love it too, and I’d be happy to guide you through selecting the room that speaks to your soul and puts you right in the mood for the perfect Austin weekend.

              Let’s Get Planning!

              Getting to Austin Texas


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              Montage Palmetto Bluff

              Hotel Review: Montage Palmetto Bluff

              Hotel Review

              Montage Palmetto Bluff

              A Luxury Resort IN SOUTH CAROLINA
              MARIA DIEGO

              Montage Palmetto Bluff is located 30 minutes outside of Savannah, Georgia in Bluffton, South Carolina. It is a private, exclusive resort destination that is the perfect vacation for the whole family in the most beautiful, picturesque setting. 

              Perfect For: Families | Multigenerational Travel | Romantic Getaways | Weddings

              Palmetto Bluff South Carolina

              32.2038,-80.8840

              Montage Palmetto Bluff

              Location: Palmetto Bluff, in Bluffton, South Carolina, 18 miles north of Savannah, Georgia.

              Getting ThereMontage Palmetto Bluffs closest airport is Savannah, Georgia, but you can also fly into Hilton Head, which are about a 35 minute drive to the property (airport codes HHH or HXD). 

              Tree at Montage Palmetto Bluff

              Vibe: Montage Palmetto Bluff is a picturesque resort set within a sprawling 20,000-acre development in Bluffton, South Carolina. The community is made up of tree-lined rows of 2- story brick houses with white picket fences and gas-lit lamp posts. It’s a step back in time to another era where you can fully disconnect and enjoy the natural surroundings of the South.

              History: The area of Palmetto Bluff is steeped in a rich history, with the original mansion that is now owned by Montage Palmetto Bluff belonging to the Wilson family in the 1920s. Nobody knows how, but the original mansion burned down in 1926, and there’s a record that Mrs. Wilson ran into the burning building to salvage her shoe collection, tossing the shoes out of the second-story window out to the grassy lawn below. The Wilson family pet cemetery can also still be found on property. The area of Palmetto Bluff used to be a hunting and fishing retreat up until the 1950s. Pat Conroy is a beloved writer of the area, and his memoir, The Water is Wide, tells the story of the area, if you’re interested in the history.

              Palmetto Bluff Vibe

              Accomodations: 200 resort accommodations with more private residences being added

              • La Samanna Rooms

              • Rooms at Montage Palmetto Bluff

              Lunch at Montage Palmetto Bluff

              Food & Beverage: Montage Palmetto Bluff currently has 7 restaurants that are quite spread out around the property, so it is helpful to reserve based on the activities you will be doing for that day. I also recommend a golf cart rental, to easily get around the area without having to rely on the transportation provided by the resort. The Canoe Club is a more formal option for dinner and one that I highly recommend booking well in advance. Octagon is the restaurant in the main inn, where you will likely eat most of your breakfast meals, particularly if they come included with your stay as they do when you book with Diego Travel..

              Wellness: Spa Montage provides a full service salon and spa that caters to the many wedding groups they have and offers a private pool, exclusive to guests of the spa. They also have a steam room and sauna located in the ladies’ and men’s locker rooms that you can enjoy before your relaxing treatments that use Valmont and Tata Harper skin care products.

              Spa at Montage Palmetto Bluff

              Clay Shooting Lessons At Montage Palmetto Bluff

              Things to Do at Palmetto Bluff: Montage Palmetto Bluff offers tennis, golf, biking, and boating, among other activities for grown ups and kids. Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club is located about 10-15 minutes from property is offers clay shooting and air rifle for kids. Families can also enjoy the several tree houses around property, the Paintbox kids club program, and the Montage Merit Badges that kids can receive as they complete each of the unique programs on property. The resort has 3 different pools that can be used exclusively by Montage Palmetto Bluff guests, thought Bluffton itself has others that can be used by homeowners.

              What  Sets  It  Apart: Montage Palmetto Bluff is your ideal destination for your group event such a wedding, corporate retreat or incentive trip. It really is its own township and offers versatile accommodations that would be a good fit for any group. Ever since Justin Bieber was married on property, it’s been in high-demand for destination weddings, for its picturesque and fairytale setting.

              Church at Montage Palmetto Bluff
              Palmetto Bluff Horses

              How Much Does Montage Palmetto Bluff Cost? How much does it cost? Nightly rates start around $495 in low season for a forest view King room in the main inn and go upwards of $4,000 for multi-bedroom residences.

              Diego Travel Loves: The ease and convenience of having everything right there. You really don’t need to leave the Bluff to explore outside; though we recommend chartering a boat (contact us to reserve yours!) to explore the local islands that can only be accessed by boat.

              Montage Palmetto Bluff Boat Charters
              Diego Travel Extras at Montage Palmetto Bluff

              Extras You’ll Get with Diego Travel:

              • $100+ resort credit
              • Daily breakfast credit
              • Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability
              • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

                Montage Palmetto Bluff Insider Tips:

                You can do a guided day to Daufuskie Island and learn about the rich local history and culture, while enjoying lunch at a delicious local spot, or you can arrange an oyster roast on nearby Paige Island. When you book your stay with Diego Travel, we can include these experiences to make your stay truly unique and unforgettable.

                Insider Tips at Montage Palmetto Bluff

                Summary of Our Stay at HMontage Palmetto Bluff:

                I decided to plan my birthday weekend to Montage Palmetto Bluff at the end of August since it’s a destination that I book often, but had never experienced for myself. The flight schedule was perfect, so we were able to enjoy a long weekend without the kids missing any school. The immense live oak trees on the drive into the Bluff are breathtaking, and the rows of gas-lit iron lamp posts signal that you’re near arrival as you pull up to the recreation of the historical Wilson mansion. Everyone was friendly, and while we waited briefly to check-in, the kids ran back and forth on the expansive green lawn to get their pent-up energy out from the short flight.

                Montage Palmetto Bluff 2

                The first night we had dinner at Buffalo’s, aptly named for the buffalos that use to roam the property prior to it becoming a development. Service was friendly and the food looked delicious, but our plates were hit or miss in terms of taste. The atmosphere was lively, and you definitely need a dining reservation for every meal when visiting Montage Palmetto Bluff, especially because guests are welcome from both residences and off the Bluff. I recommend booking dinners at least a month out for best availability.

                Montage Palmetto Bluff Sunset

                Our creek view cottage was spacious – more space than we’re accustomed to when traveling with our 3 kids – since we were upgraded at time of booking, which is what you’ll also receive when booking your stay with Diego Travel. Because we didn’t have time to pick up our golf cart the previous night, we waited quite a bit of time for a ride to the tennis courts on our first morning, which made us a bit late for the kids’ tennis lessons. However, the resort was extremely apologetic and comped our tennis lessons. Had we known the lay of the land, we also could have walked, but I do recommend having the golf cart set up from arrival, as it’s much easier to get around property with the kids. If you’re traveling without kids, you can probably just have the bike rentals, which would be a fun way to get from each point.

                Tennis Lessons at Montage Palmetto Bluff

                After tennis, we enjoyed breakfast at Octagon’s, and then had time to visit the pool by the Canoe Club in the afternoon. We saw alligators in both the lagoon and over by the Canoe Club, so be careful with letting your little ones get too close!

                I wanted to experience as much as possible, so I signed up for activities in advance from shooting, to a boat charter, to the spa, and enjoyed all of them as my clients would. My main takeaway is that it takes a very long time to get from one point to another as everything is much more spread out than I had envisioned, so be sure to allow enough time between meals and activities. And also remember that you’re in the South, so the pace is slow!

                Aerial view of Montage Palmetto Bluff

                Our second night we had dinner at Cole’s, which is in the Moreland area where the evening kids club is located and the bowling alley. While the kids enjoyed that, we had dinner with our 4- year-old since kids have to be 5 to enjoy the kids club. Our Southern dinner was delicious, particularly my husband’s fried chicken plate. We highly recommend! At the end of the night, we caught the shuttle back to the main inn, where we met our older kids at the s’mores station where they were on their 2nd or 3rd gluten-free s’mores. They did not want to turn in!

                S’mores Station

                Montage Palmetto Bluff was a perfect long weekend to have some fun activities with the kids, with something for everyone. My clients who belong to country clubs or tennis and golf clubs love it because it offers world-class facilities to play all of these sports. While I don’t personally play tennis or golf, I appreciated the great lessons that my kids had, but we particularly loved the day out on the boat that we enjoyed with Captain Gio. He was a fantastic guide and shared stories from the area that we would never have experienced had we not done the boat charter. I would be thrilled to set up my clients with Gio to do some of these unique experiences to see the area from a different perspective.

                Palmetto Bluff Waterways

                When you plan your trip, reach out to us and we will take care of all the details while getting you all the added amenities, whether you’re planning a visit for your honeymoon or for your company retreat. We can assist with it all.

                Let’s Get Planning!

                Palmetto Bluff South Carolina


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