Central America

Romantic Hotels in Cartagena’s Old City

Courtesy of Accor HotelsCourtesy of Accor Hotels

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be a speaker at the Love Colombia conference in Cartagena, Colombia. Though this Central American city had long been high on my must-visit list, I had never made it there before. After spending five days exploring Cartagena’s romantic hotels and meeting with the city’s top tourism and event pros, I know firsthand what I’ve been missing, and I’m certain I’ll be back again!
Located on the southern edge of the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena was founded in the 16th century, and today the historic Old City is a designated UNESCO Heritage Site. The historic stone walls (originally built to repel invaders)  …

Meet Jicaro, A Romantic Eco Resort in Nicaragua

Jicaro Island Ecolodge, a romantic private-island resort in NicaraguaJicaro Island Ecolodge, a romantic private-island resort in Nicaragua

The buzz is growing about Nicaragua. The Central America country is undergoing a tourism renaissance, and our recent visit found a lot of romantic eco resort options — including Jicaro Island Ecolodge, an unexpected treasure.
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See Our Latest Travel Picks in the Spring 2016 Issue of Destination I Do!

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Pardon my braggy moment, but I was so excited to go to my bookstore today and see the latest issue of Destination I Do! I travel a lot, scouting for clients and writing about top honeymoon and wedding spots for various magazines. Destination I Do is one of my favorites; they share my undying passion for travel, and are some of the smartest, kindest people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with.
For this issue, I headed to Los Cabos, Mexico, which is a fave spot personally as well as for weddings and honeymoons, thanks to the abundance of great hotels, gorgeous natural beauty and the fact that  …

Architectural Digest-Worthy Villas for a Destination Wedding or Special Occasions

Casona Don Carlos in Nicaragua, photo courtesy of Mukul ResortCasona Don Carlos in Nicaragua, photo courtesy of Mukul Resort

I loooove hotels; few things make me happier than scoping out a new resort, or revisiting an old favorite to see how its changed. But hotels aren’t the only way to go for luxury travel — there are some spectacular villas out there, offering a different take on the luxury experience. For instance, Villa Manzu in Costa Rica comes with household staff and a garage filled with surfboards and kayaks, so guests can easily get out and play in the Pacific.
To me, the best villas offer a sense of place, with great views, beautiful views and outdoor space to enjoy the location, and unique furnishings  …

A Secret Honeymoon Villa in Guatemala

Casa Palopo at Lake AtitlanCasa Palopo at Lake Atitlan

Most visitors to Guatemala head straight to the historic capital Antigua and leave it at that, but you’re missing out if you don’t head into the highlands. Lake Atitlan is the deepest lake in Central America; think Lake Tahoe only surrounded by rural villages and the Sierra Madres instead of the Rockies. It’s a three-hour drive from Guatemala City by car, or 30 minutes by helicopter (which is how the wealthy Guatemalans do it; many of them have second homes here).
One of these homes has been turned into the sweetest boutique hotel, ideal for honeymoons or buyout weddings. Casa Palopo is a former villa-turned-9-room hotel,  …

Globetrotter: Laura Grier on Guatemala

Courtesy of Laura Grier/Beautiful Day PhotographyCourtesy of Laura Grier/Beautiful Day Photography

Los Angeles-based photographer Laura Grier travels the world, shooting destination weddings with her company Beautiful Day Photography as well as doing custom travel photography and interacting with traditional artisans in partnership with NOVICA and National Geographic via her second company, Wanderlust. Here’s what she found on a recent trip.
Imagine having the opportunity to spend a few days and nights living among sixteenth century ruins. I had the chance to do this and so much more when I went to Antigua, Guatemala, a UNESCO Heritage site. As a photographer, this city was my absolute dream — it’s a watercolor palate  …