The Sunshine State Travel Spree

Earlier this month, Stephanie and I set out on a mad dash to see some of our favorite properties on the South Atlantic Coast of Florida into the Keys in a 4 night, 13 hotel “shopping spree.” By Day 4 (honestly by Day 2!), we were exhausted, but we learned so much– and isn’t that the point of using a Travel Advisor? So many people can tell you a great place that they have been, or sometimes more importantly– where not to go, but a great Advisor can point out the differences between the best properties, telling you why you should choose one property over another. When you are looking for the perfect place to celebrate a milestone, school break, or just a hard earned getaway– make sure you have an advisor on your side who is helping to guide you to the best property for YOU! Anyways, here are a few of the properties we visited on our “Travel Spree!”

Eau Palm Beach

We started our “Travel Spree” in Palm Beach, staying the night and touring Eau Palm Beach.

Why Stay Here? Spa lovers and Decor enthusiasts will rejoice in this property! Honestly, I don’t know if I have seen a more “fun” spa than Eau Palm Beach– take time to enjoy the amenities of the common spaces before and after treatments. I also love the decor of the rooms, they are so perfectly tasteful, feeling very “Palm Beach” with splashes of color and Mid-Century Modern. Families will also love their great kids club!

Pro Tip: Book an Oceanfront Lanai Terrace Suite and have access to all of the amenities of a Pool Cabana right out your Suite Door!

The Shameless Tourist Perks:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Breakfast for two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD Resort/Hotel credit to be utilized during stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

The Breakers, Palm Beach

Why Stay Here? There is really no better word than “iconic” for the Breakers Palm Beach. This resort is steeped in history and very much put South Florida on the Tourism Map for the United States. It is truly a history buff’s (like me) dream, having evolved so many times over the past 100+ years it has been in place. The amazing thing about this hotel is that it is still family owned and operated after all of these years! To put the icing on the cake, the family takes no money from the hotel each year, placing all of the profits back into the hotel for renovations, expansion, and employee benefits. Anyone wanting a historic property or a place to go with lots to do on site (with still impeccable service), will love the Breakers.

Pro Tip: If you want the best of the best service, book a Flager Club Room!

The Shameless Tourist Perks:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Signature breakfast daily for two guests per bedroom served in The Circle or The Beach Club Restaurant
  • $100 USD Resort/Hotel credit to be utilized during stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach

Why Stay Here? Looking to stay close to Miami but still out of the South Beach area? If you want some of the largest rooms and a resort atmosphere, Acqualina might be right for you! With their iconic Red and White outdoor decor, you are bound to have a glamorous South Florida Getaway at Acqualina!

Pro Tip: If you are looking for the Ultimate in Privacy, Acqualina has very small floors (sometimes with only 4 rooms per floor). If you have a larger group, it is easy to book an entire floor to yourself!

The Shameless Tourist Perks:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily a La Carte Breakfast for two adults, per bedroom
  • $100 USD Spa Services credit, to be utilized during stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-F

Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club

Why Stay Here? Stephanie says I have a love affair with Four Seasons Hotels– she isn’t wrong. I’m completely smitten with the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club. It perfectly combines my love of history, modern elegance, and luxury all in one beautiful property. Being a Luxury Travel Advisor, I always look at hotels with a discerning eye– how crowded is it? How is the vibe? What is unique about this property? Location? Room quality? And finally, what is the price point for all of these factors? While this hotel is certainly on the high end of the spectrum for price point, it was one of the only hotels we saw over spring break that was almost completely booked up and did not feel extremely busy, which to me, speaks volumes. This hotel is also an icon North of Miami and it has been graced by the presence of greats such as Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill, and more.

Pro Tip: Book a room in the Cabana Tower for a Room with a Private Cabana attached! Or if you can’t swing a stay here, make sure you at least take time to visit their famous Champagne Bar, you won’t regret it!

The Shameless Tourist Perks:

  • Daily full breakfast for two people per bedroom, served in a hotel restaurant or through In-Room Dining 
  • Hotel/Resort Credit* (based on room category booked):
    • Guest Rooms: USD 100 credit per stay
    • Suites and Specialty Suites: USD 200 credit per stay
    • Private Retreats: USD 200 credit per bedroom per stay
  • Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in
  • Complimentary standard Internet in all guest rooms and premium Internet in all suites

1 Hotel South Beach

Why Stay Here? Are you looking for an Oasis in the middle of South Beach? Close to everything but the feeling that you are a million miles from the hustle and bustle? The 1 Hotel might be the right choice for you. With some of the largest and most beautiful rooms in the city, a rooftop bar and pool, multiple restaurants, a beach club, and a focus on wellness and your “day life” (as opposed to your “night life”), the 1 Hotel certainly made us feel right at home for our one night stay during our journey.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the gym here! It’s the largest hotel gym in North America.

The Shameless Tourist Perks:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Full American Breakfast daily for two per bedroom
  • $100 USD Hotel credit to be utilized during stay
  • Early check-in is subject to availability
  • Guaranteed 4pm late check-out for Premium Suites and Penthouses with all other room categories subject to availability
  • VIP Welcome Amenity
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

The Miami Beach Edition

Why Stay Here? If you want a hotel that embodies everything Miami, The Edition Hotel is your place. From the Mid-Century Modern Decor (and even remnants of its history!), to the nightclub, glitzy lobby, bowling alley, and ice skating rink, the Edition certainly screams Miami in all the best ways.

Pro Tip: Book a Bungalow Room (are you seeing a Pro Tip Pattern for South Florida?!)

The Shameless Tourist Perks:

  • Welcome Amenity
  • Complimentary Breakfast for Two Daily ($60/daily Value)
  • $100 USD Hotel 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)

The Ritz Carlton, Key Biscayne

Why Stay Here? Looking for a Florida Keys vibe just 20 minutes from the Miami airport? Look no further than the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne. With a laid back ambience, great on-site shopping and dining, and plenty of water fun for all, this hotel fits the bill for many personalities.

Pro Tip: Book a Cabana at the pool during your stay! The elevated platforms and personal service are well worth it!

The Shameless Tourist Perks:

  • Full Breakfast Buffet for two people daily in Lightkeepers Restaurant
  • Welcome Amenity
  • $100 USD Hotel 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)

Baker’s Cay Resort

Why Stay Here? If you are looking for a VIP Experience in Key Largo, which is the closest true “key” to Miami, Baker’s Cay is definitely the spot for you. With a dedicated team to assist our clients in making sure they are welcome and feel at home here, you will have the personal attention to detail and service that really makes a difference in a getaway. This hotel was recently refurbished and was beautifully decorated in doing so!

Pro Tip: Wanting Peace and Quiet? Book a Hammock View Room. Want to be in the middle of all of the action and with the most breathtaking ocean views? Make sure to book a Waterfront Room!

The Shameless Tourist Perks:

  • VIP Status
  • Personalized Welcome Amenities
  • Exclusive access to the onsite Guest Coordinator who can assist with just about anything!

Playa Largo Resort & Spa

Why Stay Here? If you are wanting a hotel with a large pool and lots of common amenities in Key Largo, Playa Largo might be the right choice for you! Personally, I feel like families will love this resort because of it’s common spaces and large beach area.

Pro Tip: Make sure to take part in their nightly Sunset Party at the beach!

The Shameless Tourist Perks:

  • Welcome Amenity
  • Complimentary Breakfast for Two Daily
  • Complimentary WiFi daily
  • Early Check-in/late Check-out, based on availability.
  • VIP status granted
  • Priority for complimentary room upgrade (based on availability upon arrival).
  • Welcome note from General Manager (or Hotel Management)

Little Palm Island

Why Stay Here? Looking for the only true luxury property in the Keys? Look no further! Little Palm Island is about a 30 minute drive and a 10 minute boat ride north of Key West. It is truly a paradise on this tiny island where the room accommodations, common spaces, and restaurant are all pristine!

Pro Tip: Our Favorite Room Category is the Island Romance Suite which has a private outdoor soaking tub! Book early and through the Shameless Tourist to make sure your suite is assigned to the most private location and best view.

Ocean Key Resort

Why Stay Here? Looking for the resort with the best location on Key West? Ocean Key Resort is located just at the end of Duval Street, the most “happening street” on this small island! While the lobby is very pretty, the rooms do need a little bit of updating.

Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Resort

Why Stay Here? If you are looking for a resort on Key West with a large pool and great places for the kids to run around, Casa Marina might be the spot for you! Again, it’s worthwhile to note that the rooms here are in need of updating but we found the common spaces at Casa Marina to be a bit more accommodating to families than Ocean Key.

Do you love South Florida and the Keys? Drop us your favorite tip below!

Travel in 2021 and Beyond!

Since the pandemic began, you would be hard pressed to find an industry that is more changed by COVID than Travel. From new procedures and protocols to entry and exit requirements, it’s no wonder most of those who are traveling now have changed their travel habits as well. January is often the month where most people plan travel for some part of their year and at the Shameless Tourist we are beyond lucky to have seen a January and February to be booming with clients looking to plan their Spring Break, Summer, and Fall getaways.

Domestic Stays

“Long haul” travel has been placed on the back burner for many of us recently and most of our clients are looking to stay closer to home. We are so lucky to live in such a large country with so many diverse landscapes, there is a lot of domestic travel to choose from! Our top destinations have been Arizona, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and as always– Florida! Rounding out this list lately is Hawaii, which reopened in the fall and has been more popular than ever for travelers looking for a beach getaway.

Nature Calling

Our big cities in the US are something that have always amazed me- the energy, the culture, the food! But in the past year we have seen a big shift toward the great outdoors— the Mountains and the Beach are where most of our clients want to be and many are rekindling a love for an old sport or finding joy in a new one. Golf enthusiasts are flocking to their favorite courses and finding time to check off the bucket list some of those courses they have always wanted to play. Skiers are enjoying the snow, fisherman are getting out on their boats, and even I have taken up a new sport– Surfing.

Longer stays, more luxurious hotels

With work from home and school from home being a large part of our lives now, another trend we have noticed is that most people are booking longer getaways. The short weekend getaway has turned to week long stays for many. I’ve also noticed a more dramatic shift in the luxury travel sphere– more people have been willing to book luxury hotel options. I’m assuming this has to do with traveling less frequently (more budget for getaways), less expensive airfare, and the desire for a stress free vacation. I’ve also noticed for my clients who have kids back in school, the desire to travel during school breaks has been immense, so I recommend if you would like to travel during the breaks, plan ahead!

Our Favorite Getaways

So, for the fun part– where are our favorite places to recommend at the moment? Where are our clients traveling to? Here’s a short list of some of our favorites:

As a reminder, booking any of the above properties through the Shameless Tourist give you exclusive access to VIP amenities, pricing, and insider tips you cannot get by booking directly at the same price or better than listed online. Contact us today to learn more and find your perfect 2021 getaway!

A Weekend in Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara area is considered The American Riviera. A city with beautiful beaches, amazing restaurants, unique architecture, and a much more relaxed pace than nearby LA. If you are looking for a California getaway, Santa Barbara is one of the very best places!

Our Girls Weekend Away!

We started the weekend off by checking into the beautiful Belmond El Encanto and spending the afternoon poolside. The views and the cocktails made for perfect post-flight place to soak up some Vitamin D!

For dinner, we decided to “dip our toes” into the famous Funk Zone, an area of Santa Barbara known for its restaurants, shops, and Urban Wineries. By recommendation of a friend, we chose to have dinner at Carlito’s Cantina. The Margaritas were amazing and I would highly recommend trying it out if you visit the area.

After dinner, we went back to the gorgeous resort and rested up for a busy Saturday!

Saturday morning we went took the short drive to the trailhead for Inspiration Point. This hike was easy (I would recommend for children over age 5) and has some of the best views in the area. It was a great way to start the day— approximately a two hour roundtrip excursion. Unfortunately, the fires in the area spoiled the view a bit, but I’m still so glad we did this!

After the hike, we freshened up, put our swimsuits on and headed toward the beach! Before swimming, we stopped at a local taco stand that I highly recommend — East Beach Tacos (I’m still dreaming of my Ahi Tuna Taco!).

We then hit the sand and waves at Butterfly beach! After strolling along this famous beach, we took a quick drive to Montecito to check out the Rosewood Miramar Beach Resort. I love the beach bar at the Rosewood Miramar and also loved how there are actually houses and restaurants directly on the beach; a rarity in California.

Saturday ended with another visit to the Funk Zone and Stern’s Wharf. I loved this area; I loved walking around, seeing the skaters in the skate park, watching the sail boats in the water! It was the perfect Saturday evening!

On Sunday, we started the day with Brunch at the hotel then ventured out to Los Olivos (about an hour from Santa Barbara) to check out this quaint little town and visit a famous winery in the area, Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard. The wine was amazing but note; if you want to do a tasting on the patio you must be 21+, however, you can order a glass of wine and sit in the yard if you have your family in tow. Side note: I realized on this trip that I have an affinity for taking photos of my cocktails (or wine) — I’m a complete sucker for a great drink with amazing views.

After the winery visit, we promised Keki a shopping trip. We went to the outdoor shopping area in Santa Barbara called Paseo Nuevo; I’m not sure I would recommend this for most visitors as most of the stores in this mall have locations elsewhere, but Keki was a happy camper.

We finished this day and our trip, just as we started it, poolside!

Where to Stay Santa Barbara

Belmond El Encanto– for guests wanting exquisite views and a unique sense of place. I loved this property for it’s romantic vibe, beautiful gardens, and casita style accommodations.

Four Seasons Santa Barbara– for guests wanting a sense of place right at the edge of Butterfly Beach.

Hotel Californian– perfect for those wanting to be right in the heart of the funk zone! Walk right out your door and be in the action of the best shopping and dining.

Rosewood Miramar Beach– if you are looking for the most glamorous hotel in the area, the Rosewood Miramar Beach is your place. The decor is so chic and the beachside bar made me wish I had packed my Sperry’s and shoulder sweater. This is also perfect for anyone who wants to have an accommodation right on the beach, it’s one of the only places I can think of in all of California that offers that kind of an accommodation!

San Ysidro Ranch– lastly, if you are looking for a romantic getaway with history, San Ysidro ranch is the place. John F Kennedy and Jackie honeymooned at this idyllic spot nestled in the hills overlooking the area. All of the unique cottages offer something different for everyone.

As a reminder, booking any of these properties through the Shameless Tourist offers you exclusive benefits (like breakfast and resort credits, room upgrades, etc!) and VIP status! We would love to help plan your next trip to Santa Barbara!

The Shameless Tourist Guide to The Rockies

I receive almost as many inquiries about where to enjoy the Mountains in the US as I do about beach destinations. With so many options to choose from and most friends having very strong opinions about “the best” place– how do you choose which option might be best for your family?

Before I list a little on each destination, I wanted to point out a few key factors I think everyone should consider before choosing their Mountain Getaway!

  • Location– Generally speaking, the easier the location is to get to, the more crowded it will be. The Colorado resorts closest to Denver, CO will certainly see more traffic than those farther away. I always like to use the saying “You can’t get to paradise on a 747.”
  • Price Point- Price is always a deciding factor in any vacation. There are definitely value, moderate, and luxury price point ski resorts and typically speaking the moderate and luxury ski resorts will have much more to offer guests outside of skiing. Luxury ski resorts will certainly have more hotel options, while most moderate resorts guests will rent homes or condos.
  • Ski Level- While most ski resorts will have a variety of ski terrain, it is important to consider the difficulty level of terrain when matching a ski resort to your vacation.
  • Time of Year- When are you visiting? There are certainly some ski resorts that have as much or more to offer in the summer than the winter. Conversely, if you are planning to visit in “early season” for skiing (i.e., mainly before Christmas), you might want to choose a destination with more average snowfall to make sure and avoid the early season conditions as much as possible (generally speaking, the further north, the more snowfall).
  • Vibe- What are you looking for? Great restaurants? A town with history? A great hotel at a great price point? A family friendly destination? An active summer scene? There is so much to consider when finding your perfect resort!

Let’s get to it! For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to focus on my favorite Moderate and Luxury Ski Resort towns and break them down into those two categories.

Moderate Resort Towns

Breckinridge- Only an hour and a half from Denver and with so much skiable terrain, Breckinridge, a historic charming mining town, is a favorite among local Coloradans and visitors. The lift lines and crowds, especially during peak weekends can be intense, but being able to fly in and out of Denver is very convenient for most families, especially during the winter months. Most guests will rent condos or homes in this quaint town with almost 3,000 skiable acres of various difficulty levels.

Copper Mountain- Being right off I-70 and also only an hour and a half from Denver, Copper Mountain is certainly heavily trafficked by “weekend warriors” looking for a quick getaway from Denver. But, with almost 2,500 skiable acres and a variety of terrain, there is something for everyone at Copper Mountain. The town itself is quite small; having the resort mostly focused on skiing.

Crested Butte- CB is located 5 hours from Denver and is surrounded by 1.7 million acres of National Forest, offering lots of outdoor activities like snowshoeing, cross country skiing, hiking, biking and more. Unlike the two resorts I’ve previously mentioned, it’s distance from Denver provides for shorter lift lines and a more “off the beaten path” experience. Worried about the drive? Fly into Gunnison airport for a quick 30 minute drive to this ski town.

Keystone- Another resort very close to Denver, Keystone has something for everyone and for more hours of the day. If you can brave the frigid winter nights, Keystone has the best night skiing program in Colorado! Little known fact: Keystone also has more skiable acreage that its close-to-Denver neighbors.

Steamboat Springs- For those looking for a moderate resort town with the most skiable terrain, lower crowds, and some of the best snowfall in the state, Steamboat Springs is the place. With over 3,000 acres to ski, an average snowfall of over 330 inches per year and lower crowds (being over 4 hours from Denver), it is a great destination. If you are into country music, the Texas Country Music Festival is held here every January. Worried about the drive? Fly into Hayden Airport nearby instead!

Taos- With the most skiable acreage of any ski resort in New Mexico (by almost double), Taos is my pick for best New Mexico Ski Resort. Need more than the 1,200 acres Taos has to offer? Taos is situated on the “Enchanted Circle” — an 83 mile loop that connects Taos with Angel Fire and Red River, offering skiers lots of variety.

Winter Park- The fourth of the great ski resorts near Denver, Winter Park is an excellent option for those looking to stay close to the convenience of DIA, while having a great ski experience. With over, 3,000 acres of skiable terrain at a variety of difficulty levels, what’s not to love?

Luxury Resort Towns

The below are my top picks for visitors looking for a Mountain getaway with great hotel and resort options, fine dining, spas, and more. Note that more moderate priced accommodations will be available in all of these resort towns, if you are looking for an amazing experience that doesn’t break the bank!

Aspen Snowmass

The city of Aspen, Colorado has a reputation that precedes itself– it is usually one of glamour and celebrities but I would venture to say that the reason it has such a reputation is because of the immense amount of activities to enjoy and the beauty of this area. With four mountains to enjoy for skiing, hiking, biking, and more, some of the best restaurants in the Rockies (in the country really), amazing shopping, Gold Medal fly fishing waters, paddle boarding, white water rafting, Art & Culture, you could never be bored (and the list goes on from here). Indeed, Aspen is actually one of only two Rocky Mountain towns in the US seeing more tourism in the summer than the winter. Just a short 20 minute drive down the road, Snowmass Village is the very family friendly neighbor, with the largest of the four ski mountains, a mountain adventure park, more restaurants, an ice skating rink, and a more affordable price point for families looking for larger spaces. Another perk of this area is the small ASE airport located just 10 minutes from town, making for an easy arrival/departure experience but still far enough from Denver (4 hours) to keep the crowds at bay. I have never had a client disappointed with their choice when they decided to visit Aspen.

  • Favorite Hotel Options in Aspen/Snowmass:
    • The Little Nell- For visitors looking for the very best in service and location, the Little Nell is the place. This Ski in/Ski Out property has exclusive access to some unique experiences on Aspen Mountain like the ability to get “first tracks” on the slopes, watch the New Year ring in from a Snow Cat with Champagne in hand, and more. This Relais & Chateaux Property has the best wine cellar in town and for those looking for a unique and unforgettable dining experience, try booking a private tasting in their cellar.
    • Hotel Jerome- For visitors looking for a unique hotel experience immersed in History, Hotel Jerome is the place. The first hotel in town was built in 1889 and has changed hand several times before it’s most recent ownership, Auberge Hotels and Resorts, making it one of the premier luxury properties in town. I love the elegant, but distinctly Western vibe of the property, nodding to the town’s rich history. Local’s love J-Bar, the casual dining option on site.
    • The St. Regis Aspen- The St. Regis is the largest of the luxury resorts in town, which creates more opportunities for onsite activities and family amenities. This resort is known as one of the best spas in the Rockies (make sure to block time to spend an afternoon here and if you are getting a massage, make sure to ask for the CBD Oil to be added to soothe sore muscles). During the Festive season, this resort offers so many amazing activities for families such as gift making, gingerbread house decorating, sleigh rides with Santa, and a favorite of mine– the reading of the Night Before Christmas by the “Big Man” Himself, on Christmas Eve. Because of the size of this property, it is more likely to offer promotions to those looking to travel this way from time to time, especially if you are staying 4 or 5 nights!
    • The W Hotel Aspen- Looking for a Girls Getaway or just a lively vibe? The W Hotel Aspen is distinctly W, with a very 70s color palette and decor along with rooms that have 4 queen bunk beds and a presidential suite that it out of this world. Right next to the Little Nell, and the only other Ski-in/Ski-Out Property in town, the W is the best priced luxury hotel in Aspen.
    • The Viceroy Snowmass- If you want to stay Ski In/Ski Out and have more of a beginner/intermediate ski level, the Viceroy Snowmass is the perfect option. I love this hotel for families as all of the accommodations are larger, most being residential style. This property is also the best priced luxury property in the Rockies, it is my #1 pick for the best value!

Beaver Creek

Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch

For those looking for family friendly ski resort, Beaver Creek is a great option. Nestled back a bit away from I-70, but still with very easy access to the highway and Vail ski area, Beaver Creek offers a ski in/ski out small village with almost 2,000 acres of skiable terrain. For families, I love their tradition of complimentary Cookies and Milk on the slopes. Airport: Vail/Eagle is a 30 minute drive, or about 2 hours from Denver International.

  • Favorite Hotel Options in Beaver Creek:
    • Park Hyatt Beaver Creek- The Park Hyatt is certainly the best option in the town of Beaver Creek. Ski In/Ski Out right in the village with easy access to all that Beaver Creek has to offer.
    • Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch- If you are looking for a larger family resort (that you might never want to leave!), the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch is located on the Western Side of the Beaver Creek Resort Mountains with it’s own ski lift, right out the back door. This resort has multiple restaurants on site, a pool and hot tub, a kid’s club, a spa, and lots of onsite activities as well as room sizes and suites to accommodate any family size.

Jackson Hole, WY

At the edge of Yellowstone National Park and just minutes from Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole has so much to offer. As I mentioned previously, there are only two ski resorts in the US that typically see more traffic during the summer months, one is Aspen, the other is Jackson Hole. With wonderful skiing, a great town, and of course one of the most famous National Parks in the world nearby, Jackson Hole should be on everyone’s list. Pro Tip: Jackson Hole is about 80 miles from the entrance of Yellowstone National Park, so I recommend splitting your stay if you are open to glamping or camping inside the National Park to really be able to enjoy your time.

  • Favorite Hotel Options in Jackson Hole:
    • Amangani- If you are looking for the Ultimate in Luxury and Seclusion, Amangani is the place. There are only two Aman hotels in the US and visitors to Jackson Hole are quite lucky to have such an amazing property in their vicinity!
    • Four Seasons Jackson Hole- What’s not to love about a Four Seasons? This ski-in/ski-out property is certainly a favorite for those looking to stay in luxury in the heart of the ski area.
    • The Caldera House- If you are looking for a boutique ski-in/ski-out property with larger accommodations for your family, the Caldera House is amazing! This property only offers 8 rooms, so they can offer finest in attention to detail while also having the wonderful location.
    • Hotel Jackson- For those looking to stay in the town of Jackson (as opposed to the ski area), Hotel Jackson is a wonderful luxury option. I especially like this option for guests visiting in the summer months who may not be accessing the mountains quite as often!
    • Under Canvas Yellowstone- For those looking to extend their vacation into the National Park and want an amazing glamping experience, check out Under Canvas Yellowstone. Located in West Yellowstone, Montana, this property is just 10 minutes from the west entrance of the park and allows guests to “camp” in comfort and luxury, with private bathrooms, fireplaces, and more.

Park City/Deer Valley, Utah

If you are looking for a luxury ski resort that is super easy to access, Park City is the spot. Located just 30 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport (a Delta Hub), this area has wonderful snowfall, lots of luxury properties where you can warm your ski boots, a charming town, and more. Park City and Deer Valley are just 20 minutes or less apart. In Park City you will find a charming village (more of a very long street!) with lots of great restaurants and shops. Deer Valley is where most staying in luxury properties will stay to ski, although both Park City and Deer Valley have lots of skiing nearby (however, lift tickets do not reciprocate between the two ski resorts).

  • Favorite Hotel Options for Park City/Deer Valley:
    • Waldorf Astoria Park City- the only luxury ski resort in Park City and one of the other best values for a luxury ski hotel in the US. The Waldorf Astoria was recently renovated and offers luxurious accommodations, a wonderful pool, and a great location just minutes walk from the Canyons area of Park City’s ski runs.
    • St. Regis Deer Valley- I love this option for families looking to be super convenient to ski school as you can simply whiz right down to Deer Vally Plaza/Snow Park Lodge via the Funicular. This hotel is ski in/ski out and has some wonderful commons spaces, a great spa, and more.
    • Montage Deer Valley- If you are looking for a “Winter Escape” with lots to do on property and away from the crowds, the Montage is the place for you.
    • Stein Erikson Lodge- If you are looking for the ultimate in luxury, attention to service and detail and the best location on the Mountain, the Stein Erikson is the place! Located in the Silver Lake Lodge area of the ski resort, you are perfectly situated to get anywhere you would like on the Mountain.

Vail, Colorado

Vail Village

Vail is world renowned for its European Chalet village charm, amazing back bowls for expert skiers, and the most skiable terrain in Colorado (over 5,000 acres). Located just about 2 hours from Denver International Airport (or 30 minutes from Vail/Eagle Airport), it sees heavy traffic during the winter due to it’s convenient location, but thankfully there are 3 distinct villages and mountain areas to “spread the love”.

  • Favorite Hotels options for Vail:
    • Four Seasons Vail- This is my number one top choice for Vail, because again, what’s not to love about a Four Seasons? This hotel is located right in Vail Village, in the heart of the town. This hotel has a modern, clean, “Four Seasons feel”.
    • The Sebastian Vail- Another great option at a bit better price in Vail Village, this option has several onsite restaurants, a spa, and more. This hotel has a very Colorado/Mountain Feel.
    • The Sonnenalp Vail- The last of the luxury resorts in Vail Village has excellent service and more of the Swiss Chalet feel that Vail is known for.
    • The Arrabelle at Vail Square- in the “Square” area of Vail, this is definitely a winner when it comes to service. Located just steps to the gondola, it is a perfect location in the Square area. The Arrabelle also has many multi-bedroom residences for families looking to enjoy space together.
    • Grand Hyatt Vail- If you are okay being a little further from the Square or the Village, the Grand Hyatt is an excellent choice for guests looking for luxury with budget in mind. This hotel has changed ownership several times in the past few years, but was also very recently renovated and has lots of onsite amenities.

Telluride, Colorado

The West meets Luxury Ski. For those looking for a Ski Town that resembles the “Old West”, Telluride is the place. This town is known for it’s “colorful history” following the mining boom as many outlaws passed through or called it home for a while. Located in Southwest Colorado, you would not want to attempt to fly into Denver and drive– I would recommend Montrose Airport, which is 45 minutes away or Grand Junction Airport, for a longer 2.5 hour drive. Telluride has also become a hot spot for summer travel with it’s numerous festivals and activities.

  • Favorite Hotels in Telluride:
    • Inn at Lost Creek- for someone looking for a boutique hotel (only 32 rooms) in the heart of Telluride, this is the best!
    • The Madeline Hotel & Residences- if you are looking for a resort with a little more to do in Telluride with all of the luxury, the Madeline is the perfect place.
    • Dunton Hot Springs– about 45 minutes outside of Telluride, Dunton Hot Springs is a romantic ghost town perfect for anyone looking for a secluded and unique mountain experience. Dunton Hot Springs is a collection of historic cabins turned into luxury accommodations. Onsite you will find three natural hot springs, a community house/bar with some of the most amazing food you will ever eat (and all inclusive!), a yoga studio, a library, and all of the mountain activities you can enjoy.

As a reminder, booking most any of the properties listed in this blog will put you at the top of the room upgrade list, complimentary breakfast, resort credits, VIP status, and more; and at the same rate as you would pay by booking directly with the hotel.

Do you have a favorite mountain town?

Navigating Walt Disney World in 2020

Walt Disney World is still the most magical place on earth and I feel like the luckiest girl on earth that I was able to visit the parks shortly after their reopening!

Many of my clients left on the books in 2020 decided to postpone their trips and I completely understand the hesitation to travel at the moment– with so much unknown it is difficult to plan and with so many changes to the Walt Disney World experience, many people are wondering; is is worth it? My answer is 110% yes and I’m here to tell you why!

Low Crowds: Never have I ever seen such low crowds in the parks. I travel to Walt Disney World at least twice per year; visiting each of the four theme parks and staying at a different resort everytime, and I really can’t stress enough how amazing it is to have the parks so empty. Disney is limiting the number of guests who can visit each day and this makes for the most magical experience. At the moment, there are no FastPasses, but they are not needed. We never waited more than 30 minutes for any attraction and were able to ride nearly every ride multiple times during our visit. Attractions that usually see a one, two, or even three hour wait on normal days have lines of 10-20 minutes. These low wait times meant more time enjoying ourselves, less stress, less rushing, and more time just having fun.

Limited Park Hours and Lack of Park Hopping: I know this may sound like a negative to some (and I even thought it was a drag before our visit) but these shorter park hours and necessity of choosing only one park per day, again made for more time enjoying ourselves, less stress, less rushing, and more time just having fun. I loved the late opening for Epcot and Hollywood Studios (sleeping in on a Disney trip had never been heard of before!) and the early closing for Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom (evening pool visits and time spent playing Uno in our room was so great!).

Character Sightings: This felt so nostalgic! I loved walking around the parks and spotting characters. In my opinion, it was more fun in a lot of ways than waiting an hour in line to say hello to a princess and take a photo! When characters start their “cavalcade” (as they are calling it) the park music changes, letting everyone know something exciting is coming! My favorite sightings were Alice and Anastasia & Drisella (Cinderella’s Step Sisters). Alice had a wonderful conversation with my daughter and we simply walked up to her– usually meeting Alice is a 45 minute commitment to a line at select times during the day. Anastasia & Drisella perched themselves on the balcony of Cinderella Castle and were advertising for a maid position, which was so funny. 100% of their former maids have become Princesses, in case you are interested in the job!

Safety: The safety measures put into place at Walt Disney World are unparalleled. From limited park attendance, to frequently cleaning all of the ride vehicles (every time we were in line for a ride they announced they were cleaning again!), to hand sanitizer (absolutely everywhere), to mobile food ordering, mobile dining reservation check in, thoughtful spacing of every line, and 100% of people wearing a face covering 100% of the time unless they are eating or drinking and stationary; Walt Disney World is certainly in a “World of their Own”. Because the Disney Company owns and operates all of the hotels, restaurants, dining, and experiences in their “bubble” they are able to create and monitor the safety precautions of every aspect of your vacation; something that is very hard (if not impossible) to do anywhere else.

Many of those immediately interested in traveling to this Whole New (Disney) World have asked— “How long will these low crowds last?”. Well, we honestly do not know. I know that for 2020 the park attendance will be greatly limited, but Disney can increase the number of park reservations at any time and they will not disclose this information when they do it. If you are wanting to go, my advice is to go as soon as you can and feel comfortable doing so. The amazing thing right now is that we do not need any advance notice to plan a wonderful trip, which is simply magical!

Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel, VIP Tours, Club 33 and more

Disneyland offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the Magic of Disney in a less stressful, more nostalgic, and a little different way.

If you have boys (or girls!) who like the Cars Movies or Monster’s Inc, Disneyland offers a lot of fun that isn’t available at Walt Disney World.  Radiator Springs Racers is one of my most favorite rides in all of the Disney Parks!  Some of the rides we remember as children only remain at Disneyland Park like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Snow White’s Scary Adventures.  The proximity of the parks to each other and the hotels makes for an easy day, or as I suggest, long weekend, at Disney Parks.

Anyways, I had the honor of being invited to our Gold Key Advisor meeting at Disneyland in October.  Favorite thing from the trip?  Dinner at Club 33, which was truly a bucket list item for me!  I took away so much from the short visit and wanted to share a few of my favorite tips and tricks–

  • DO: Visit during the Fall!  Great Weather, perfect decor, and the Nightmare Before Christmas layover on Haunted Mansion is worth a visit in itself.
  • DO: Make sure to get great seats for World of Color– it is truly magical!
  • DO: Spend more than a day, Disneyland is a 3 day trip in my opinion!


As always with any Disney Park, if you can splurge on a Disney VIP guide, do so.  It makes all the difference in a trip and I strongly encourage them for anyone who can only visit the parks for a day or two!

Where to Stay: Being recently remodeled and in the heart of everything, the Grand Californian is always a great option.  I also recommend the Resort at Pelican Hill for those looking for a little more pampering, huge accommodations, an amazing pool and kids club, and more.  Just a 20 minute drive from all of the action in Anaheim, it makes for a perfect place to stay for those who don’t mind the short drive or a great addition to any vacation.

St. Regis Aspen

Aspen is one of my favorite cities in the world.  Very few places in the world offer the arts, culture, shopping, and dining quality on par with New York, Paris, or London all bundled within a small mountain town.  Plus, what isn’t to love about the picturesque Maroon Bells, world class skiing, and summer weather that can’t be beat.

The St. Regis Hotel is iconic within the city.  Situated at the base of Ajax Mountain, just a block from the gondola and two blocks to the famous “Walking Mall,” the location is perfect both in winter and summer.  As the largest 5-star hotel in the city, it offers a variety of room types, all of which are well appointed with Ralph Lauren sleigh beds and marble bathroom vanities.  I love the Deluxe Patio rooms for summer time, which offer ample outdoor space for viewing the mountains.  Suite level and above comes with the Signature St. Regis Butler Service, which, if you are traveling with pets, I would say is definitely worth the splurge (even if you don’t have pets, I was incredibly spoiled by the Butler service).

Definitely 10/10, would St. Regis Aspen again!

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

My daughter and I embarked on our annual Mother Daughter Disney trip this year in July, and as any good Travel Advisor would do, we experienced new things and stayed at a resort which we had visited but never stayed at.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is located in the Magic Kingdom Area of the Walt Disney World property and is the only deluxe resort in that area that is not on the monorail.  This makes the price point significantly lower, generally speaking, but still has easy boat access to Magic Kingdom, so it is a great value for a lot of families.


Favorite things about this property:

  • The Restaurants- Whispering Canyon (casual dining option) is a really great time and Artist’s Point (signature dining option) is truly amazing
  • Location and Price Point- For a Deluxe Disney Resort in Magic Kingdom, it’s hard to beat the price point of Wilderness Lodge.
  • The new Copper Creek Villas and Cabins- the newly renovated Copper Creek Villas and Cabins are located within Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and the new decor does not disappoint.


  • Standard rooms are smaller at this property than many of the other deluxe resorts.
  • Not being on the monorail, should you want to dine outside of the parks it is difficult to visit restaurants other than those on property.
  • The pool area was a disappointment to me.  The water features and even small size of the main pool would make me shy away from this resort during the summer months.


Have you stayed at this Disney property?  Would love to hear your thoughts!


Wine at the Mine

Aspen Food and Wine Festival is one of the biggest summer attractions for the Roaring Fork Valley.  Amazing weather, wine, incredible food, wine, Celebrity attendees, wine, fabulous parties, more wine; what’s not to love?

Wine at The Mine has quickly become one of the hottest parties of the weekend.  Hosted by Infinite Monkey Theorem (IMT), an Urban Winery based in Denver (second location is in Austin), this fun and fabulous party just celebrated its sixth successful event.  Thousands flock from downtown to Smuggler Mine to taste “culinary delights,” listen to great music, and drink surprisingly delicious canned wine.  IMT holds many awards for its wine in a can, my favorite being the new Sauvignon Blanc.  Stick around until after 10PM for the Silent Disco.

Official Sponsor Tesla gave stylish rides to party goers.  I was lucky enough to ride in their X Model.

When is your next trip to the Mountains?