The Greek Islands are one of those quintessential island destinations that continue to allure the most seasoned of travelers. My most recent visit took me to the the chic island of Mykonos. Located in the Aegean Sea the island is known for having a cosmopolitan atmosphere with its exciting nightlife, picturesque Cycladic architecture and magnificent beaches.
Mykonos can be a quiet and romantic destination for a couple looking to relax under the Aegean sun. There is no shortage of amazing beaches; some of my favorites included: Ornos, Paraga and Psarou.
Mykonos is also home to some of the best beach clubs that you’ll find anywhere in the world. Partygoers seeking world renowned DJ’s will delight in the amazing music scene. The beach parties usually start in the afternoon and can go all day long – some even lasting until sundown. There are quite a few beach clubs to choose from but my favorite three are: Nammos , Scorpios, and Sol y Mar.
Mykonos has amazing hotel options but I recommend making the Bill & Coo Coast your home when visiting the island. Bill & Coo Coast is a boutique, 5-star hotel on ten beautiful, beachfront acres.
The hotel is in a quiet and secluded beachfront location that feels removed but is only a short ten minute drive from the town. They also have a sister property located in town, Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge and a complimentary shuttle runs throughout the day that can take you back and forth.
The property has very modern and chic décor but it still feels Greek. Each suite is decorated in an elegant style, with neutral tones and complemented by thoughtful amenities like enormous beds, crisp white fabrics and ultra-modern furnishings.
There are fifteen expansive and well-appointed suites overlooking the sea, five of which have their own private pool.
The hotel has a beautiful pool as well as a private beach area with a lounge bar that serves Mediterranean inspired cuisine and signature cocktails. The property also has some very unique service amenities such as providing each guest with a cell phone so that they are able to contact the hotel staff at anytime if there is something that they need or want.
For dining, you have the option of enjoying a candlelight dinner under the moon or in the privacy of your suite from the set menu at Taverna. Finally, if you are seeking a fine-dining experience, you can enjoy the delicious food served at the signature gourmet restaurant at their sister property Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge. Both restaurants are run by award-winning chef Athinagoras Kostakos.
Mykonos is a destination not to be missed! If you’d like to start planning your vacation at Bill & Coo Coast please email me. We will make sure you that you are well taken care of!
Sustainable travel means more than just reusing hotel towels. Sustainable travel is about the long-term impact that travel will have on a particular part of the world. As a destination becomes more popular with tourists, the place can see both a positive and negative impact. So, it’s important to always support the positive and try to minimize the negative.
Ever After Honeymoons has had the privilege of traveling to every corner of the world and so we wanted to take a moment to praise two luxury resorts who are supporting sustainable travel and really doing their part to give back!
NIHIWATU – The Property
Nihiwatu is a remote, luxury resort on the island of Sumba in Indonesia. It is a short flight from Bali and in 2016, Travel + Leisure readers voted it the number one hotel in the world! Nihiwatu is not only a beautiful resort but it is also a property that continually gives back and it is a great example of a sustainable resort that is supporting it’s local community.
NIHIWATU – Giving Back
Nihiwatu emerged from a vision to create a resort that would preserve and share the breathtaking beauty of Sumba. To achieve this goal, the Sumba Foundation was founded in 2001 and now a portion of the resort’s profits are repatriated into the organization. Guests are educated about the foundation’s efforts through an impactful presentation and short film and many of them become benefactors to the foundation.
Over the last fifteen years, the Sumba Foundation has been able to setup 4 medical clinics and a malaria training center. They’ve also developed over 100 wells and water stations. In addition, the organization currently feeds 80 small children in its malnutrition program and provides school lunch for 1,100 children, twice a week.. They have also refurbished 15 primary schools, that they continue to support.
THE BRANDO – The Property
The Brando is a unique luxury resort located on French Polynesia’s beautiful private island of Tetiaroa. The property consists of 35 stunning villas on an island surrounded by a sparkling lagoon. The Brando considers themselves stewards of Tetiaroa, and they believe that they have the responsibility to treat it with the highest level of care and respect. Almost all of Tetiaroa is being protected and preserved in its natural state.
The resort was the dream of Marlon Brando, who first came to Tetiaroa while filming a movie and immediately fell in love with the island’s rare beauty and the sense of peace it gave him. Brando was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa’s natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural richness and was determined to find a way in which it could be a center for research and education and a model of sustainability. Since then, The Brando has continued to have an impressive roster of celebrity donors and supporters including Leonardo DiCaprio.
THE BRANDO – Giving Back
Inspired by the late Marlon Brando’s vision, the Tetiaroa Society was founded. The Tetiaroa Society is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving the precious biodiversity on Tetiaroa. The scientists and volunteers there are working on several projects, including a sustainable fishing program, a fish replenishment program, and an atoll conservation plan.
Their efforts also include monitoring, preservation, and restoration programs related to plants and agriculture, as well as the preservation of the island’s cultural heritage. The research conducted here serves as a living case study, where the lessons learned can be implemented locally as well as applied to places across the globe.
Nihiwatu & The Brando are both beautiful resorts that are doing an amazing job giving back to their local communities. If you’d like to visit one of these destinations, please email us so we can start planning your vacation. We will make sure you that you are well taken care of – and you can enjoy your vacation knowing that you are supporting sustainable travel!
I recently explored Utah where the state motto is “Life Elevated.” No two words better describe this beautiful untouched stretch of the American Southwest because everything from the landscapes, to the sunsets, to the amazing outdoor adventures, is taken to the next level! For those who like to keep busy, Utah is the dream destination with no shortage of activities from hiking to fishing to river rafting to mountain biking. Utah is also home to a handful of beautiful National Parks, offering some of the most unique landscapes and rock formations anywhere in the world.
Choosing where to stay will be the easiest decision that you make because everything will pale in comparison to Amangiri! Meaning “peaceful mountain,” Amangiri is part of the exclusive Aman Resorts hotel collection. Their destinations are renowned for their space and privacy and are meticulously designed to frame their natural settings. There are only two properties within the United States, one of which is the breathtaking Amangiri!
Amangiri is located in a secluded and private valley in Canyon Point and overall has a very unique look because it was built directly into the landscape.
The resort has 34 suites as well a four-bedroom accommodation, all of which have been designed to embrace the area’s raw aesthetic with clean lines, natural materials and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Each suite has a private outdoor lounge and fireplace providing incredible views of the desert’s unique rock formations.
A few suites also come with a private pool and a roof terrace offering full panoramic views.
The property has wonderful amenities to ensure that you relax and unwind while vacationing in the desert. There is a beautiful outdoor lounge with expansive views of the desert as well as a large pool that has been built directly into the rock formations.
The property also serves delicious food that is inspired by the American Southwest and made primarily from locally sourced ingredients.
And no trip to Amangiri would complete without a visit to the spa! The Amangiri spa has a relaxing ambience with candlelit hallways and spacious treatment rooms that overlook the desert and they offer unique treatments that reflect on the healing traditions of the local Navajos.
There are also fun activities for guests every night including campfire s’mores and stargazing! Be sure to spend an evening unwinding on the outdoor beds. They are a unique feature at Amangiri and the perfect way to stargaze in the desert.
Finally, make sure to take advantage of the amazing hikes and canyon tours that are in close proximity. Don’t miss their exclusive Via Ferrata hike with ladder rungs, fixed cables, and a 232 foot suspension bridge with the most stunning views!
Horseshoe Bend is also a must see but try and go early to avoid the crowds.
And finally don’t miss the 3-canyon tour visiting the famous slot canyons that takes you to Rattlesnake Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon and Owl Canyon.. They are amazing and truly a sight like no other!
Amangiri is the perfect destination for both a relaxing getaway or an adrenaline-fulled adventure. Please email me if you’d like to start planning your vacation at Amangiri. We will make sure you that you are well taken care of!
Photo credit: Scott Clark Photo
With harvest season just around the corner (late August to October), I decided to explore Sonoma County. Sonoma is a unique wine region with a slightly different feel than Napa. Tasting rooms in this region can range from simple and rustic to elaborate wine castles and with more than 425 wineries, miles of beautiful coastline, towering redwood forests, farm-to-table dining, and amazing boutique hotels and resorts, Sonoma makes for the perfect romantic getaway.
There are many options when visiting Sonoma from large resorts to boutique hotels but I recommend making the Farmhouse Inn your home when visiting wine country. It’s one of Sonoma’s most unique and luxurious properties and is located at the center of the Russian River Valley, surrounded by vineyards, redwoods and just minutes from the coast. The Farmhouse Inn is a 5th generation family-owned and run business with siblings Catherine and Joe Bartolomei currently managing the property. You’ll often find them on-site, handling the day-to-day operations.
The Farmhouse Inn offers 25 luxurious rooms & suites that come with private outdoor spaces, gas or wood burning fireplaces, steam showers, jetted bathtubs and unique décor that is both rustic and chic.
Guests of the Farmhouse Inn are given VIP access to 12 of the best wineries in Sonoma and after a long day of wine tasting you can come back and relax and unwind at the beautiful pool or enjoy the various fire pits and outdoor seating options.
There is a beautiful Spa that features bold architectural accents, richly textured hand-woven fabrics, and simple elegant furnishings. There is a full menu of services many of which utilize products and produce that are grown and harvested at The Farmhouse Inn. Local honey, herbs and heirloom cider apples are used in many of the treatments offered at the spa.
You won’t have to travel far to eat amazing food. There is a Michelin-starred restaurant on the property that features an ever-changing, farm-to-table menu, using ingredients from the Farmhouse Inn’s ranch as well as other local artisan farmers. Wine pairing options are also available and there is a special wine program that allows diners to taste local wines chosen to perfectly complement their meals.
The Farmhouse Inn combines the hospitality of a family-owned bed and breakfast, with the service and amenities of 5-start luxury hotel and is the perfect spot for a romantic and relaxing escape. Please email me if you’d like to plan a getaway to Sonoma. Harvest season sells out quickly so I recommend booking at least 4 months in advance.
Cabo San Lucas is beautifully situated on the tip of Mexico’s 1,000-mile Baja California peninsula and is a travel destination like no other, combining great weather, exotic scenery and five-star comfort. On this visit, I had the pleasure of staying at The Resort at Pedregal a luxury hotel set in a private and secluded area, yet still close to town. The property is carved into a cliff on 24 spectacular mountainside and oceanfront acres, at the point where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, near the legendary rock formation known as Land’s End.
The property features a collection of residential style villas, and each guestroom has its own private plunge pool, fireplace and outdoor terrace with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. Rooms features all of the latest modern amenities including: rainforest showers, complimentary wifi and LCD TV’s with cable. Personal concierge service is also available.
You can stay as busy or relaxed as you like when visiting the Resort at Pedregal. There are a number of beachfront pools including an adult’s only pool with a swim-up bar. Golf excursions are also available as well as sea cruises and whale watching tours. And just a few minutes away, there are endless opportunities to discover coral reefs and sandy beaches.
Be sure to carve out time for a relaxing day at the onsite spa, Luna Y Mar. It’s incredible! Also make sure to dine at their award-winning restaurant, El Farallon. It’s tucked into the cliffs and offers break-taking views of the Pacific Ocean. You can’t go wrong with their amazing selection of freshly caught fish and authentic Mexican entrees. They also have an amazing Champagne Terrace Bar with a wide selection of rosés and champagnes.
The Resort at Pedregal combines great service, luxury amenities and exotic beaches and has become renowned for creating relaxing experiences by the sea. Please email me if you’d like to start planning your honeymoon or vacation at The Resort at Pedregal. It is the perfect Mexico escape and we will make sure you that you are well taken care of!
Photo credit: Gary Ashley of The Wedding Artists Collective.