Showing posts from 2017

Hawaii: Which island is best for you?

Hawaii: Which island is best for you?By Damien MartinIt’s the only U.S. state in the tropics, the most remote island chain in the world and actually made up of more than 100 islands. You can go SCUBA diving well below sea level and go to the top of what is technically the world’s tallest mountain (though most of it is underwater). There are great beaches and great golf courses everywhere, and the weather is just about perfect year-round. No matter how you slice it, Hawaii is pretty awesome. But which island is best for you? Off the eight main islands, Kaho‘olawe is uninhabited, Ni‘ihau is off limits non-Native Hawaiians and Moloka‘i has limited options for accommodations. That leaves five islands that vacationers commonly seek out, each with something unique in store.Hawai‘i, “The Big Island”
By far the largest of the islands, Hawai‘i is made up of five volcanoes and could fit the rest of the islands inside it with room to spare. With Kilauea volcano erupting continuously since 1983 an…

Off the beaten path travel experiences

Off the beaten path travel experiences
By Damien Martin So you’ve been up to Machu Picchu, seen all of the big five on safari. You’ve marveled at the beauty of Lake Louise and split a week between London and Paris. You’ve lived out all your Hobbit-related fantasies in New Zealand and been to every cat cafĂ© in Japan. Yet, you still can’t shake this wanderlust. You need a new adventure, but where haven’t you been yet? Consider these off-the-beaten path destinations for each continent (except Antarctica; you should probably stick to the beaten path there).

North America: Fogo Island, Canada

One of the easternmost spots in North America, Fogo Island in the province Newfoundland and Labrador has fewer than 3,000 inhabitants and is a great destination in each of the seven seasons. Yes, seven. They are: summer (July-August), berry (September-October), late fall (November), winter (December-February), pack ice (March), spring (April-May) and trap berth (June). Each is unique and offers a glimpse …

The Ultimate Safari Experience

The Ultimate Safari ExperienceBy Damien Martin
Finding the right safari for you can seem like an exhausting adventure all its own. With so many countries, landscapes and animals to choose from, you might need a vacation from your vacation planning. That’s why it pays to have partners like we at Largay Travel do. Whether it’s the Great Migration that’s caught your fancy or the dunes of Namibia, if you want a custom itinerary designed just for you or a classic safari you can share with a small group, your travel advisor and our preferred partners work with you to plan an unforgettable, un-Google-able experience. Micato Safaris

Whether it’s your first safari or your 10th, Micato will make sure you get to the right place at the right time and still maximize the richness of game viewing. Almost every itinerary includes the big five: lion, elephant, leopard, Cape buffalo and rhinoceros. The Pinto family, which is based in Kenya and has been running safaris for more than 50 years, frequently we…

Top Virtuoso Overwater Bungalow Experiences From Around The World

Top Virtuoso Overwater Bungalow Experiences From Around The WorldBy Damien Martin
It’s hard to find accommodations more romantic than an overwater bungalow. There’s the seclusion of being in your own separate building, the gorgeous views, the gentle breeze blowing through. You can jump right from your room into the water. It’s beautiful! It’s no surprise, then, that overwater villas are popping up all over the world. Here are a few Virtuoso-preferred options on our bucket list:
Le Taha‘a Island Resort & Spa, French Polynesia

When you think of overwater bungalows, the lagoons of French Polynesia typically come to mind first. Built on a secluded islet, Le Taha‘a is one such place. Forty-five of the resort’s 57 rooms are overwater suites, so you can choose between views of the lush island of Taha‘a and a glimpse of Bora Bora jutting out of the ocean. With activities galore, you can be as lazy or as active as you want to be.
Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

Just 20 minutes from the Male airport,…

Quick Summer Beach Getaways

Quick Summer Beach GetawaysBy Damien Martin
Last week’s solstice has confirmed what kids released from homework and the opening of your local pool have been hinting at for weeks: It’s officially summer. Time to pack up and hit the beach! A few of our favorite Virtuoso-preferred domestic beach destinations:

Topping Rose House, Bridgehampton, New York

With just 22 rooms and a Jean Georges restaurant on-site, this is a quiet oasis in the often chaotic Hamptons. There’s plenty on the grounds to keep you occupied, but you’re also smack-dab in between Southampton, East Hampton and Sag Harbor, and Topping Rose House’s Lexus fleet is waiting to whisk you to the beach just a few minutes away.

Ocean House, Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Spread across 13 acres, Ocean House has been a mainstay on Block Island Sound since 1868. The turn-of-the-century decor blends well with modern touches such as in-room iPads, and each room reminds guests that they are just a few steps from 1,000 feet of beachfront. Along…

Wedding Bliss at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead

Wedding Bliss at the Ritz-Carlton BuckheadBy Damien Martin

“Happiness for the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight for the lucky, equanimity for the wicked.” Our yoga teacher, Elizabeth, instructed us to focus on one. As my wife and I were heading to a wedding later that day, I chose happiness for the happy. Standing in the garden of the Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, looking up at Buckhead skyline, I couldn’t help but think we were already the lucky ones. Even the moon hung around in the bright blue sky dotted with fluffy white clouds, soaking up as much of the gorgeous morning as it could.

Limbs energized and minds relaxed, we enjoyed lunch at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead just down the street, where we were staying. Booking on the club level is worth it for the refreshments alone, but they also include two pressed items of clothing per day, which is perfect if you came in for a wedding.

The groom is of Indian descent, with Christian and Hindu parents. The bride is of Persian descent,…

Camping in style for National Camping Month

Camping in style for National Camping Month
By Damien Martin School’s out, summer’s here and it’s time to break out the tents and s’mores, because June is national camping month. At Largay Travel, we love camping as much as the next person, but as usual, we like ours with a unique flair. Here are a few of our favorites.
American Safari Camp

With locations at Lake Powell, Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon, American Safari Camp puts you closer to the action of nature than any hotel can get you. Not only are the accommodations spacious and the food a few steps up from canned beans, but just about any activity you can dream up can be arranged: horseback riding, mountain biking, rappelling and hot-air ballooning are all possible. Plus, your guides pitch and take down the tents, so all you have to do is have fun.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

Located in Tofino, British Columbia, in the Clayoquot Sound World Biosphere, the resort features 20 tents with flush or composting toilets and…

World of Wellness: From holistic health to digital detox, we've got you covered.

World of WellnessFrom holistic health to digital detox, we've got you covered.By Nadine Courtney 

In recent years, the nebulous-sounding field of wellness has become hot  – all the best destination resorts offer options. But where a hotel might have previously offered a smattering of extra massages in its spa or added yoga to its fitness menu, the next generation of spa-goers want something much more profound.

“There has been quite a shift in what clients look for in wellness travel,” says Kathleen Sutter, a Virtuoso agency owner based in Sarasota, Florida. “It is no longer just massages, yoga, salon treatments, and weight-loss programs, although these are still important options.” A few added classes or amenities no longer cut it. Instead, savvy travelers want to maximize their time away from home with multi-part treatment “journeys,” sessions with world-renowned professionals, and destination courses worth traveling across the globe – all designed to take guests’ quest for wellne…

Pompeii: The Exhibition

Pompeii: The Exhibition  By Damien Martin

It’s a beautiful day out, and you’re going about your normal business. Sure, you’ve felt a few tremors, but those are so commonplace you don’t think much of them anymore. You have no idea that by the end of the day, your city will be completely destroyed and just about everyone you know will be dead.

    That’s what happened for the citizens of Pompeii on August 24, A.D. 79. The prosperous port town south of Naples was wiped out when Mt. Vesuvius erupted that afternoon, spewing flames and ash as high as 20 miles in the air. The heat alone was enough to kill people instantly. Over the next few days, enough pumice and ash had fallen to bury the city under several yards of debris. Within a few years, people had forgotten where the city used to stand.

    When unearthed in the 1740s, the preserved faces of the victims told excavators without words the horror and anguish of the catastrophic event. While devastating for the inhabitants, in a quirk of h…

The Ultimate Golf Getaways

The Ultimate Golf Getaways
By Damien Martin

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and there are plenty of work to be done outside. So what better time to ditch those projects, gather your friends and go play some golf? We at Largay Travel have the perfect foursome of getaways to help you fix that slice once and for all.

Experience the Home of Golf, Scotland

Even if your game isn’t quite Claret Jug-worthy, you can still live out your dreams of playing a round on the Old Course at St. Andrews with our Virtuoso-preferred partner Adventures in Golf. The 6-night package also includes three other rounds at world-ranked courses such as Kingsbarns, Royal Dornoch, Carnoustie and Turnberry Ailsa.

Deluxe accommodations with daily breakfast and a rental car are included. You can add a driver to take you around if you need to focus your mental energy or your other driving. Space for 2017 is quickly filling up, but it’s not too early to plan for next year.

100 Holes of Golf, Hawaii
This 6-night p…

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!
By Damien Martin

No, it’s not Mexico’s Independence Day (that would be September 16). Yes, it’s way more popular in the U.S. than it is in Mexico; you can thank the Chicano Movement of the mid-20th century for that.
    While now it’s mostly an excuse for Americans to party, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The victory didn’t even preserve Mexican independence for long, as France soon after took Mexico City and established the Second Mexican Empire as a client state.
    The battle’s significance did resonate across the world, though, because an outnumbered Mexican force defeated a French army that was on a half-century winning streak. Guerrilas continued to fight and, aided by the U.S. after the American Civil War ended, managed to regain independence in 1867.
    Though it’s really only a regional holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has become a celebration of Mexican heritage around the world. Here’…

Happy World Penguin Day!

Happy World Penguin Day! By Damien Martin

One by one, they waddle out of the surf and onto the beach. Two or three wide, they scuttle on, hunched forward, headed home after a long day. Occasionally, one bumps into the neighbor in front. It’s starting to get dark, after all, and they’re in a rush. It’s not always easy being a little penguin. This rush hour traffic jam takes places every evening at sunset on Australia’s Phillip Island, about 2 hours outside Melbourne. And, yes, Little penguins is the official name for the world’s smallest penguin species, standing between 1 and 1½ feet tall. For the best view of the Penguin Parade, you need one of the 300 daily tickets for the viewing platform at Summerland Beach. The tiered seating offers 180-degree sightlines as the penguins march from their fishing waters to their sand dune burrows. You can also get an up-close view from underground window (limited to 70 people), watch from an elevated tower (10 people) or head off in a small group (limi…