Villas

A Return to Cap Juluca, and Classic Caribbean Luxury

All photos courtesy of Cap JulucaAll photos courtesy of Cap Juluca

Once upon a time, when I was brand new to travel writing, I got an invitation to go to Cap Juluca resort in Anguilla. I had no idea where Anguilla was exactly, but had heard of Cap Juluca because of the celeb fan base (Jennifer Aniston, Janet Jackson, Bill Gates…the list goes on…). At the time, I had traveled, but in a college budget-type way. That trip was an eye-opener to what a luxury hotel experience could be, and in some ways set the course for where my life would go. I’ll never forget sipping a welcome glass of champs on that amazing beach; my first experience with a in-room  …

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  …

Inside Luxury Destination Weddings at the Caribbean’s Most Exclusive Resort

Wedding couple at Amanyara by Scott Clark PhotoWedding couple at Amanyara by Scott Clark Photo

I travel a lot, checking out hotels and venues for our honeymoon and destination wedding clients. But I usually travel solo (to cover more ground), and certainly don’t celebrate like a wedding guest when I’m working! So when I got the invitation from my friend JoAnn Gregoli of Elegant Occasions (who also happens to be one of the country’s premier luxury destination wedding planners) to join her in Turks and Caicos to see how they do destination weddings at two of the Caribbean’s top resorts, I couldn’t resist the chance! Here’s part one of my recap, from Amanyara.
Amanyara is arguably the most exclusive resort in the  …

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,  …

Unique Luxury Destination Wedding Spot in Tuscany

Courtesy of Monteverdi TuscanyCourtesy of Monteverdi Tuscany

We’re always on the lookout for unique destination wedding spots. So when we recently got the invitation to travel to Tuscany with David Beahm, we couldn’t pass it up! Not only is David one of the top event designers in the U.S., he is an old-school gentleman with exquisite taste. So when he said we needed to see a hotel, we knew it would be special!
A hilltop town-turned-hotel, Monteverdi Tuscany is in Castiglioncello del Trinoro, near Chiusi. The Italian-American owners fell in love with the medieval-era town and started buying and renovating apartments. The result: A one-of-a-kind hotel spread throughout the town, home to approximately 10 full-time residents. As a guest,  …

Villa Life: Provence is Calling

Villa in Provence, France honeymoonLa Bergerie/Villas of Distinction

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love hotels — the service, the style, the ease never gets old, no many how many I visit. But since a recent trip with a group of dear pals, I’ve been dreaming about a different kind of stay: bringing my people to sprawling villa where we can laze by the pool and explore the area, then recap our adventures over long, relaxed dinners at the dining table.
Which is why I’m drooling over La Bergerie, a six-bedroom estate in Provence near the Cote D’Azur. Check out this amazing foyer, and that’s just  …