I absolutely loved my time in Argentina and I'm happy to be back home.
In your own business or life you may know what it's like to be surrounded by people who share your passion for your industry or interests - it's energizing! I learned so much from my colleagues, partners, guides and hoteliers about small towns, local experiences, South American wine, boutique hotels and grand estancias.
As I often say, I love contrasts, and I know that in addition to a stay in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, hiking in Patagonia, wine tasting in Mendoza or exploring nature around Iguazu Falls, you would enjoy the contrast of a rural Argentinian estancia experience.
I'll share a bit more about them....
Many estancias have been around since the 1800s and they exude charm, character and the romanticism of the gaucho spirit.
Their stables are full of horses, the grounds lush with greenery, the decor warm - decorated in wool and leather and infused with history.
They are a place that horses, sheep and cattle call home.
The food is elevated, and even some Relais & Chateaux.
They are an ideal place to get away from civilization to rest surrounded by pristine nature.
What might you do at an estancia? Depending upon where you are staying, there are so many options nearby:
- horseback riding
- mountain biking
- picnics in picturesque destinations
- fly fishing
- explore paleontology and archeology
- puma spotting
- go trekking to remote outposts
- 4x4 adventures
- visit glaciers
- meeting master silversmiths and leather craftsmen at work in their studios
And on property:
- make empanadas
- learn about sheep shearing
- milk a cow
- learn to play polo
- watch a polo match
- have a massage
- lounge at the swimming pool
- play an Argentinian bowls game with your family and new friends
- enjoy high tea
- and of course indulge in a classic Argentinian BBQ paired with local wine
When you plan your trip to Argentina, include an estancia!
I love helping my clients plan ahead to get exactly what they want - whether that be securing the best estancia in Argentina, a favorite hotel on the Amalfi coast for next summer or the best safari lodge in Kenya. I also love helping out when it comes to gift giving for special occasions.
Since mothers' day is coming up, I've made a list of a few of my favorite items that would be great gifts for the mom who loves to travel:
Monogrammed packing cubes in all types of colors and patterns.
- A new carryon - the expandable Away carryon is my favorite (this saved me on my trip home from Argentina because I brought home new shoes, an Uruguayan wrap and lots of dulce de leche).
- Comfortable clothes from Alicia Adams Alpaca. These luxurious options are ideal for travel! A favorite of mine is an oversized scarf or wrap.
- A membership to an airline lounge (which to get is very specific to each traveler. Search on "the points guy airline lounges" in Google and you will see many helpful articles comparing them).
- An Apple AirTag so she always knows where her luggage is.
- Noise cancelling headphones - Apple and Bose make good ones.
- A beautiful luggage tag (some extra fancy ones from Neiman Marcus or Harrod's). Here are many ideas from Condé Nast. Go for a colorful one so they stand out!
- And for the very best gift - pair something above with the gift of travel - surprise her with a specific destination, or curate a list of 3 she would love (spa, city, outdoor adventure) or plan the entire trip for the biggest wow factor. Surprise trips are some of my favorites to plan. Just recently one of my clients surprised his wife with a wellness getaway. He sent me the note below after she opened the gift (it had an assortment of yoga clothing along with the destination).
"She could not have been happier. She spent an hour looking at the resort and planning her activities as soon as she opened it. It was exactly what she was hoping for and she was so touched. The QR code on the ticket was such a wonderful detail that just put her over the top. Thank you so much for all your help!!!"
This week a new Virtuoso Magazine came out. See below for how you can get your own copy delivered to your home.
The INSPO + INFO articles below include lots of travel inspiration - the best Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, dining in 6 of the world's most stunning places,
Oprah's favorite wellness retreat, which Greek islands are right for you and how to ensure your travel dollars actually benefit local communities.
- The newest edition of Virtuoso Magazine
- This week's highlight - Rapa Nui in Argentina
- Hot New Hotel Opening - 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay
- Where in the World is Jessie? Cartagena, Colombia
- Inspiration + Information
Virtuoso Magazine May | June 2023
Although Europe doesn't need any more PR at the moment, that is what this issue is focused on (take it as a sign you should plan ahead for 2024).
Paris, Edinburgh, Provence, Italy, Croatia,
e-biking on the Danube and pintxo hopping in San Sebastián.
The latest edition can be found here.
If you are a current or future client and would like a print subscription, send me a note. I add 10 new subscribers with each edition.
Argentina is famous for many things - epic hikes, spectacular vistas, incredible wines, dulce de leche - and chocolate!
One of the places our guide said we must go was Rapa Nui (which, yes, is also the Polynesian name for Easter Island in Chile).
They are not only famous for chocolates, but also ice cream, Franuí and dulce de leche.
They are located throughout Argentina. If you are in Bariloche and you'd like to compare their chocolates with another local spot, just a few storefronts down is Mamuschka. We went in both. Mamuschka has some similar type chocolates and some very different. What we learned from our guide and what was evident with all of the Argentinians in the shops with us, is that Argentinians love to hand pick an assortment of chocolates for gifts.
Franuí was new to me and may be new to you too. It is a container of frozen white and milk chocolate covered raspberries. Not ideal for travel, but great for popping in your mouth for an afternoon treat.
So in addition to trying lots of Argentinian wine on your trip, also plan a trip to the chocolate shop. Dulce de leche makes a great gift to bring home to your family and friends!
🌟In February 2023, 1 Hanalei Bay opened on the island of Kauai.
Why visit 1 Hanalei Bay?
- The resort is perched on a hillside overlooking Hanalei Bay and the cliffs of the Na Pali Coast. All rooms have large windows for gazing out at the Hanalei Mountains or the ocean views of Hanalei Bay.
A wide variety of dining options! 1 Kitchen, the signature restaurant, is plant forward, hyper-local and sustainably sourced food from the island. Welina Terrace, an oceanfront restaurant and bar, is known for the best sunset on Kauai with a Japanese menu of nigiri, sashimi and hibachi. 26 sakes are on the menu. Other dining options include Neighbors, an all-day café with juices and acai bowls, The Sandbox, a poolside restaurant with poke bowls and fish tacos and Kai Maika’i at the adult pool, serving craft cocktails, local beer and bowls, salads and wraps. Also The Juice Bar for cold pressed juices and Wai’oli for shaved ice and cocktails in pineapples on site.
- Want to explore the island? 7 Audi Etrons are available for guests to borrow for day trips.
- Active adventures on or near property include guided hikes, ocean and river kayaking, surf lessons, snorkeling, fishing and helicopter tours. Bikes and e-bikes are also available to borrow.
- Relax at one of the beach cabanas, at the adults only infinity pool or at one of the two pools by the beach.
The Bamford Wellness Spa is a destination within the hotel. It has 18 treatment rooms and extensive spa menu including cryo facials, massages on a quartz bed and floats in a deprivation tank. The Vitahealth Medi Spa is opening this summer and will offer hormone balancing, nutritional consulting, custom IV therapies and more.
Of course it comes with the usual perks and VIP treatment when booking your stay through Truvay Travel.
(For those new to the newsletter, Jessie is our 19 year old daughter on a gap year. She spent the fall exploring Europe and is now adventuring around South America)
Jessie and her friend continued their stay in Colombia - last week exploring in and around Cartagena. They took a boat to the Blue Apple Beach Club for a day (photo above of their beachside cabana) and her text to me was "I LOVE THIS PLACE!"
See the photo below of the sun setting over Cartagena on their boat ride back at the end of the day. There are several beach clubs on islands off of Cartagena and I love adding this fun experience into an itinerary!
From Cartagena they ventured out to more remote destinations. At one place they stayed in the tiki hut below. Lots of adventures! And from there, Jessie's friend she'd been traveling with returned home. They were supposed to finish the trip together in Colombia but her friend had some revelations this year about what she wants to do with her life and felt the need to go home to begin working on them.
For Jessie, it was an exercise in being open to traveling on her own again (she did that briefly in Europe last fall), which is not her preferred way to travel. She was sad. I suggested she give herself an defined period to feel the sadness, rather than avoid it by filling up her time with other things. After that she could focus on what's next.
After that period passed, she focused on brainstorming places she could work this summer and writing letters to potential future employers. And since she's scheduled to run a half marathon shortly after she gets home, she's making a plan to train for it. Go Jessie!
I'm happy to report a day after these conversations she arrived in a new destination and wrote me "Love it here! Already have 3 friends and just had quite the adventure to get here. It's amazing! It feels like a sleepover in my room everyone is so nice."
sunset over Cartagena while returning from the Blue Apple Beach Club
houses and shops in Cartagena are so colorful
the tiki hut Jessie called home for a few nights
Best Michelin-Starred Restaurants In Europe, Condé Nast Johansens
29 Weekend Getaway Spas for Every Type of Traveler, Town & Country
The 14 Best Beach Resorts to Book This Summer, From the Maldives to Italy, Robb Report
How to eat in 6 of the world’s most stunning places, National Geographic
The Best Southern Destinations For A Mother-Daughter Weekend Away, Southern Living
A Wine Lover’s Guide to Slovenia, from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea,
Before lockdown, Kyoto was overrun with tourists. Now that it’s been reclaimed by the locals, the fun really begins, Air Mail
'Lost golden city of Luxor' discovered by archaeologists in Egypt,
The Must-visit Destinations Perfect for Luxury Culinary Travel,
Luxury Travel Magazine
Oprah on the Best Wellness Retreat of Her Life, Oprah Daily
Where to Travel Next: The 2023 Hot List, Condé Nast
The A to Z Guide to Traveling Sustainably, Condé Nast
so many great ideas!
Which Greek Island Should You Visit in 2023?, Condé Nast
This new airline ticket lets you book business class seats for cheaper price, Condé Nast Traveller
Experiential Travel Is Back Stronger Than Ever, Forbes
How to Make Sure Your Travel Dollars Actually Benefit Local Communities, AFAR
Here's why summer flights seem so expensive this year, The Points Guy
Sober tourism is a growing trend—here’s how it can transform your trip, National Geographic
How to spring clean your mind, Washington Post
U.S. to End Vaccine Requirement for Inbound International Travelers, AFAR
(If you aren't able to access an NYT, WSJ or Washington Post article, send me a note and I'll send it to you in a PDF.)
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