Posts Tagged ‘luxury travel’

Sri Lanka’s Latest Villa Rentals

On Houses

A view from On Houses Weligama, Sri Lanka

Lately, Sri Lanka is really making the travel aficionado rounds as the next hot destination. As such, we came across On Houses Weligama, located on the beautiful south coast of Sri Lanka, and wanted to let our readers know about these luxury villa rentals. On Houses, Weligama is in a quiet and secluded bay five minutes away from Weligama Bay. With its four houses built into the hillside and each with uninterrupted ocean views and lush tropical gardens, On Houses, Weligama is the newest addition to the growing portfolio of luxury accommodation and travel options now available in Sri Lanka. 

Imagine awakening every morning on a tropical island, rich in culture and history, unrivaled in its natural beauty, facing the white sands and clear waters of the Indian Ocean, in a home that represents refined taste and tropical modern luxury.

On Houses

Take in the views of the ocean from your own private infinity pool

On Houses can be rented out as whole villa rentals, whether only 1 or all 5 bedrooms are being occupied. Each On House rental comes with an in house highly trained chef, as well as housekeeper, waiter, shared gardeners, pool attendant, and security.

Rental of an On House can be best booked and paid for through a variety of property rental services, such as Airbnb, Trip Advisor, Booking.com, Expedia, Vacation Rentals, and others.

On Houses

A room with a view…

Features of the On House include:

  • 5 en-suite bedrooms, each with direct ocean facing views
  • Handcrafted high quality finishes throughout
  • Private infinity edge pool with underwater music speakers
  • Generous terraces and verandahs
  • Spacious living and dining areas
  • Outdoor dining pavilion
  • Fully furnished
  • Private gym/ massage room
  • Enclosed garage
  • Separate two-bedroom staff quarters and laundry
  • Exquisite landscaping
  • On site management, including security, gardening, and maintenance
  • ON House rental program available through ON House management

 

 

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Sustainable Cruising in the Galapagos

Sustainable Cruising on the Galapagos

Sustainable Cruising on MV Origin 

Sustainable cruising. It’s something we like to promote because, in addition to trains, it’s a great way to make the journey the destination. Plus, who doesn’t want to see big turtles in style? To that end, Ecoventura, a leader in sustainable cruising through the Galapagos Islands, has just announced inaugural departures for its newest premium class vessel, MV Origin, whose maiden voyage departs from San Cristobal Island on January 17, 2016. 
The newest and only vessel of its kind, MV Origin is positioned to redefine the cruising experience by combining modern sophistication with environmental responsibility, alternating between seven-night A & B itineraries to reduce the impact of visits to the islands’ most popular sites.  On January 17, MV Origin will join Ecoventura’s existing fleet on the B itinerary through the northwestern route. Its maiden voyage on the A itinerary departs on January 24, taking guests around the southern central route through the islands. Both itineraries include daily, personalized excursions with optional snorkel and kayak tours led by two onboard, certified naturalists.
A snapshot of the islands

A snapshot of the islands

The 20-passenger mega-yacht (we must admit, we love anything that marries sustainability… with mega-yachtdom) will feature 10 deluxe staterooms distributed throughout one deck, and a variety of onboard amenities designed especially for the discerning traveler. These will include locally inspired gourmet cuisine, and recreational equipment such as a Jacuzzi and fitness center. MV Origin will also feature expansive indoor and outdoor social and observation areas allowing for easy comfortable viewing of the islands’ unique scenery and topography.  
Rates for 2016 start at $6,500 per person, but are all inclusive. Based on double occupancy, that means all meals and snacks, Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, all alcoholic beverages, guided shore excursions, snorkel equipment and sea kayaks, as well as transfers in the islands between the airport and dock.

We think that sounds pretty pretty (Dar)winning to us!

Belize’s Exotic Eco-Adventures

Belize's Xunantunich Ruins

There are many exotic sights and extraordinary wonders to be witnessed across the far flung destinations on the planet, but people rarely have the time to travel to the remote reaches of the world.  It’s hard enough to find a long weekend, let alone the trips that take to you to beaches unexplored or ruins buried in the jungle. So, with that in mind, when we heard about Absolute Belize we wanted to hear more. Absolute Belize specializes in crafting spectacular and unique travel itineraries and creating authentic Belizean experiences for travelers who are seeking something out of the ordinary. Another great selling point…  for Americans, Belize is a much shorter flight and an English speaking destination.

Whale Sharks in Belize

For those who are searching for the best diving in the world and have always wanted to witness the Great Barrier Reef, Absolute Belize also offers itineraries to experience the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere and three of the four major atolls in the Caribbean, including the famous Blue Hole. During the full moons between March and June, Whale Sharks, usually seen in South Africa or Indonesia, migrate off the coast of Belize. Whale Sharks are the world’s largest fish, growing to an enormous 50 feet in length. Witnessing these magnificent creatures is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  The Belizean waters are teeming with marine life in all sizes and shapes, including 70 types of hard corals and nearly 500 species of fish – truly a diver’s paradise.

The Lodge at Chaa Creek

People talk about the 100-year anniversary of the rediscover of Machu Picchu and the fascinating Incan culture, but December 2012 is also the end of the Mayan calendar so it would also be an amazing time to see the Mayan sites in Belize. The Maya civilization spread into the area of Belize between 1500BC and 200AD and flourished until about 1200AD. Several major archeological sites—notably Caracol, Lamanai, Lubaantun, Altun Ha, and Xunantunich—reflect the advanced civilization.

A Full Moon under Belize Skies

Despite being an endangered species, Manatees are also widely present in the waters of Belize. Swallow Caye has been declared a wildlife sanctuary and serves to protect the manatees and other marine life that call this habitat home.

An Aerial View of Ambergris Caye, Belize

Is seeing the Aurora Borealis a dream?  What about an equally spectacular light show? A nighttime snorkel off the island of Ambergris Caye is not to be missed – view the nocturnal creatures of the underwater world and witness them flashing their bioluminescence, where hundreds of species of fish and invertebrates use chemicals within their bodies to produce light.

All of these amazing adventures in one nearby destination! And great resorts to stay at as well.

Black Jaguars of Belize

Widely reputed as one of the Caribbean region’s best examples of sustainable, ecotourism, The Lodge at Chaa Creek is a pristine eco-lodge located in heart of the lush Belizean rain forest. The private 365 acre nature reserve is set along the banks of the Macal River in the foothills of the Maya Mountains and is home to a number of exotic jungle dwellers including peccaries, jaguars, monkeys as well as over 300 species of tropical and migratory birds. Guests are literally surrounded by one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world. The reserve features miles of well-maintained trails for guided horseback riding, mountain biking and nature walks. You can canoe down the Macal River, go birding, discover the rainforest and nearby Maya archaeological sites, relax with a luxurious spa treatment, kick back in a hammock or indulge in the fabulous cuisine at the award winning restaurant. From US $105 per person per night plus 9% hotel tax and 10% service charge.

Ka'ana Boutique Luxury Hotel

Conveniently located near all major touring attractions in the Cayo District of Belize, Ka’ ana Boutique Luxury Resort is another premier choice for discerning travelers. With nearby cultural, historical and eco-adventure attractions, Ka’ana is a luxurious adventure outpost. In addition to fine dining, spa services, and an infinity swimming pool, they have some amazing touring options (and an abundant array of wines from around the globe). From US $250 per night plus 9% tax and 10% service charge.

Sweet: Lesbian Travel with a Twist

What if going to a beautiful resort, giving back to a community in need, and partying your butt off were all possible in the same week – and what if the whole trip was carbon neutral? This is exactly the kind of trip customers of Sweet embark upon – an adventure filled with do-goodery… and debauchery.

Sweet is the latest in lesbian travel… with a twist. Merging the best of lesbian travel with social and environmental awareness, Sweet aims to make the world a better place while having a blast in it. All of Sweet’s vacations are carbon neutral, meaning they offset the pollution created by their air, land and sea travel. They traveling to amazing places (Belize, Mexico, Italy) with the very best lesbian entertainers and extravagant parties, while also supporting their guests’ personal enrichment, raising money for worthwhile causes and doing meaningful projects all over the world. How sweet is that?

Sweet's Founder, Shannon Wentworth

This niche travel company has set out to change the world – one bite-sized chunk at a time. The founder of Sweet, Shannon Wentworth, believes that if we break down this huge social issues (poverty, pollution, human rights, education in developing nations) that we can make a difference. We agree, Shannon, and we commend you!

Sweet has given back in many ways – from filling over 200 giant bags of garbage from Uvero Beach in Mexico and painting bright cartoon characters on the walls of a children’s hospital ward to donating two new computers to a children’s e-learning center in Honduras – Sweet is dedicated to enriching the lives of not only their guests but also enriching the communities that they visit. PBS also just did a feature on Sweet’s  ‘In the Life’ program, calling Sweet customers ‘voluntouristas’. Pretty fun so check it out here:  Sweet Lesbian Eco-Travel or, better yet, discover sweet for yourself!

www.discoversweet.com

The New Shore Hotel Santa Monica

Shore Hotel - Santa Monica

A day doesn’t go by when we don’t miss the sunny days we spent in Cali. So, always on the hunt for new hotels and openings in the beloved stomping grounds of our 20s, we tracked down this sweet opening. This October in Santa Monica, just steps from the Santa Monica Pier, 3rd Street Promenade, and the city’s popular beaches and shopping, Shore Hotel is the newest addition to the coastline. It’s also, incidentally, a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) registered property that offers eco-friendly accommodations with stunning views of the Pacific.  The open-air, U-shaped design of the main hotel building has a stainless steel-clad trellis over the street-side of the courtyard, which unifies the two wings of the main building creating an outdoor “living room,” with an outdoor pool, a water feature, and patio dining at Blue Plate Taco. In addition to rooms with crisp turquoise and vibrant orange accents, the hotel also has a unique public-use space that blurs the line between the sidewalk and hotel entrance and includes park benches for pedestrians looking to chillax.

Upon completion of construction, if awarded LEED Gold Certification, Shore Hotel will be the only property in the city of Santa Monica with this elite status.  In June, the Shore Hotel was recognized at the 41st annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards, recognizing the project teams responsible for the City’s very best architecture. So, check it out next month, and let us know what you think!

www.shorehotel.com

www.facebook.com/ShoreHotel

Natural Hotel Wonders of the World

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge

Without a doubt, Machu Picchu is among man’s most awe-inspiring wonders, and the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge sits just outside the gates of this Inca citadel.  The hotel was originally built as lodging for the teams of archaeologists who flocked to the region after Hiram Bingham’s discovery of the ruins around 1910. It offers its guests the opportunity to explore this great site late in the evening and early in the day; this sacred place of ancient stones is illuminated by spectacular sunrises and mystical moonlit nights. Sit out on the terrace and savor Peruvian cuisine based on produce grown on the Lodge’s own plot. The hideaway is the perfect place to relax and unwind in the shadow of the Lost City. Rates start from a steep $925/night, single or double occupancy, but this spot is uber famous so what do you expect?  Booking code is L04.  www.LHW.com/machupicchusanctuary

Hayman Private Island Resort - Great Barrier Reef/Australasia

Hayman is a magnificent private island resort, nestled amid a tropical paradise in the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef – Australia’s national treasure and one of seven natural wonders of the world. A site of remarkable variety and beauty; it contains the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral and 1,500 species of fish. As Australasia’s most awarded luxury nature resort provides astonishing beauty and restorative peace. Rates include daily buffet breakfast, tax and service charge, and start from AUD 670/night, single or double occupancy. www.hayman.com.au

Royal Suite at the King George Palace

Travelers wanting to explore the remains of ancient Greece can’t find a better base than the King George Palace in Athens.  The hotel’s jaw-dropping views of the Acropolis cannot be surpassed.  From now until the end of the year, the hotel gets guests off on the right foot with its two-night Acropolis Museum Package, priced from EUR 280/night, single or double occupancy, which includes daily breakfast, an exclusive 1 ½ hour guided tour of the new Acropolis Museum, Wi-Fi access and entrance to the gym.  The offer is valid every day except Mondays, when the museum is closed.  There is a two-night minimum, and a one-night deposit is required at the time of the reservation.  Booking code is L16. www.LHW.com/kinggeorge

Victoria Falls Hotel

A stunning African wonder created by nature – Victoria Falls.  And since the grand Edwardian-era Victoria Falls Hotel is just a leisurely ten-minute stroll from this spectacular sight, there is no need for an elaborate package to enable guests to fully enjoy the majestic cascade.  The hotel’s Leading Suites offer, which is valid until December 31, 2011, and priced from USD 399 per night, single or double occupancy, is straightforward and includes a welcome box of Belgian chocolates (yummers!), buffet breakfast daily, dinner for two one evening, a gift from the general manager, a snack tray each evening, and tax.  Booking code is L06. www.LHW.com/victoria


Exotic Asian Escapes

Pink Beach - Indonesia

Recently, Asia Transpacific Journeys sent me some information about their new custom journeys and small group trips to the Asia/Pacific region so I had to share the details; primarily because I’ve never seen such interesting itineraries to places like Komodo Island or Myanmar before. Founded in 1987, they claim that no other company offers such expertise in the region and I’m of the mind to believe them. With long-standing connections in Asia, outstanding personalized service, and deeply insightful cultural interpretations, this has made them the travel company of choice for organizations such as the American Museum of Natural History, the World Wildlife Fund, and Ivy League alumni associations so see below for some trips that are sure to tickle your fancy.

Indonesia: Pink Beach in the Komodo Archipelago

Indonesia’s 17,000 islands are home to stunning beaches, none more famous than Pink Sand Beach in the Komodo Archipelago. Komodo Island is also home to incredible wildlife such as the Komodo dragon, and offers unsurpassed snorkeling. Travelers can stay on a wonderful private yacht (hello, Captain!) or opt for gorgeous island resorts.

Best time to travel in Indonesia: Now through October.

Vietnam in Style: Six Senses Con Dao

Vietnam: Con Dao Archipelago

White-powder sand rings the 16 pristine islands that comprise the stunning Con Dao Archipelago, where impressive rock formations jut from crystal-clear Windex-blue waters. Deserted, perfect beaches, a ring of colorful coral reefs and a towering mountain backdrop make this magnificent national park Vietnam’s top insider tip and one of Asia Transpacific Journeys’ favorite seaside destinations.

Best time to travel Vietnam: November to April, so travelers should start planning their winter getaway now.

Now is a great time to plan a trip to Myanmar (Burma) with the best season to visit coming this fall.

Myanmar: Ngapali Beach

The country is up-and-coming and offers plenty of hidden treasures, including the snow-white sands of Ngapali, the second largest beach inSoutheast Asia and a great place for strolls along the vast, sandy beach. Stunning Ngapali Beach is as unspoiled as it gets and makes a great place to relax and enjoy the views, and engage in other activities such as swimming, snorkeling and fishing.

Best time to visit Myanmar: November to March.

Cambodia's Swanky Digs: Song Saa Island Resort

Cambodia: Koh Rong Archipelago

Cambodia’s islands, situated in the sapphire waters of the Gulf of Thailand, are a true treasure trove for those travelers looking for a quiet and tropical escape to get away from the crowds. Most of the islands in the Koh Rong Archipelago remain remote oases of virgin rainforests, tropical reefs and glistening white beaches, and opportunities for offshore adventures and water activities are plentiful.

Best time to travel to Cambodia: October through April.

www.asiatranspacific.com

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