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September 2017 - Vol 3, No 20 - International Luxury Travel Mart Americas
Something Old, Something New…
In case you were wondering, I enjoy what I do. Thirty years in travel and luxury related media and only a few times where it felt like a job. Two weeks ago I was at the International Luxury Travel Mart, Americas Edition at the Mayakoba resort complex in Riviera Maya. It houses a Fairmont, Banyan Tree, Rosewood and a recently opened Andaz, which is Hyatt’s entry into the luxury lifestyle segment. Hopefully you enjoyed the Special Report two weeks ago, or if you missed it click here.
This report covers a few things that caught my eye that are new and noteworthy.
I hope all your trips are amazing experiences!
Table of Contents
1. Refueling Stopovers in Iceland
2. San Ysidro Ranch Gets a Spa
3. Clinique La Prairie Offers Sleep Treatments
4. Hotel Esencia Provides a Perfect Venue For Takeovers
5. Your Favorite Special Reports
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While Iceland has become a hot destination unto itself, it has long been and remains a popular refueling stopover for private jets flying between North America and Europe or beyond. In fact, Iceland Luxury reports a significant number of private aviation users who do one night or even half day stopovers end up coming back to Iceland for longer trips.
What can you do during a stopover?
The Blue Lagoon geothermal lagoon’s waters originate 2,000 meters below the earth’s surface. In the lagoon, the water is never deeper than 4.5 feet and it regenerates every 40 hours. Depending on time of year you can go snowmobiling on a glacier or even get in a couple hours of salmon fishing.
October and November are prime viewing period for the Northern Lights, and with only about six hours of daylight, you’ll have a good chance of catching this natural wonder. If you have a bit more time, you can do the Silfra scuba dive between tectonic plates that separate the North American and Eurasian continents. Contact Ninna Haflidadottir at email@example.com.
2. San Ysidro Ranch Gets A Spa
While San Ysidro ranch has always had spa services, they have always been offered in room or on the deck of the resort’s cottages. From last year that changed. There is now a dedicated spa, and while the accounting and HR teams lost their office space, you will be delighted to see it now includes four treatment rooms, including a couple’s room that includes a working gas fireplace. The couple’s tub is the same one in the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons New York. Warner owns both properties, as well other notable hotels such as Las Ventanas in Los Cabos. The overflow bathtub (you can’t spill water on to the floor) has colored lighting which can be programmed to an assortment to your choice.
With just 41 hideaways and cottages, including the one where J.F.K. honeymooned, San Ysidro Ranch is popular for full takeovers, including weddings. If you haven’t been in a few years, the tennis courts are gone and in their place is the Upper Estate Lawn which can seat up to 250 for either outdoors or tented events. From the Pacific Coast hillside you can see the channel islands in the distance. Overflow guests can be accommodated at the Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara which Warner also owns. And if you are looking to impress your board members, the resort has become a popular venue for very high-end executive gatherings. Contact Managing Director Mark Muratori at 805.565.1777 or firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Clinique La Prairie Solves Sleepless Nights
Do you suffer from fatigue, daytime sleepiness, sleepless nights, difficulties in falling asleep and daytime symptoms such as lack of concentration, memory loss or irritability?
According to Clinique La Prairie up to 40% of the general population complain about having sleep problems yet accept it as an inevitable condition. The clinic’s Sleep Program can help you to solve your problems in only six nights, with alternatives available based on how much time you can spend.
The program held in its Montreux campus (fly into Geneva) includes identification of your problem by a sleep specialist, sleep evaluation by respiratory polygraphy, and if needed further overnight-investigation. There is a neurologic evaluation and ENT evaluation for snoring, apnea and nasal obstruction, plus a psychotherapeutic evaluation for accurate administration or reduction of prescribed medication. You also receive relaxation techniques taught by a psychologist with hypnosis sessions if needed. You can choose from a variety of luxury accommodations, including suites.
While there you have the option of getting dietetic advice, one 90-minute cellular brightening radiance treatment, one 60-minute relaxing massage, one 60-minute signature massage, four 60-minutes personal training sessions, group fitness and aquagym classes, plus access to the fitness center, swimming pool, sauna, steam room and vitality pool.
The standard schedule, which can be adjusted goes something like with plenty of time to enjoy yourself and take advantage of the facilities:
On Sunday: check-in, ‘‘sleeping’’ questionnaire, first meeting with the nurses, visit by the dietician.
On Monday: Detailed discussion and examination by your personal doctor.
On Wednesday: Preliminary analysis of results by your sleep specialist.
On Friday: Final analysis and therapeutic consultation with your sleep specialist. On Saturday: Departure.
4. Hotel Esencia - A Perfect Takeover Venue
If you are looking for a boutique luxury hotel experience, Hotel Esencia, a 50-acre estate, about 20 miles south of Playa del Carmen, is an ideal option, particularly for full takeovers. It was originally built for an Italian duchess, and walking its ground brings you a sense of Hollywood 1950s glamour meets beach resort. You can drive about an hour from Cancun’s international airport or helicopter right to its beach in 15 minutes. You can watch a video tour here.
You will want to take a bit of time choosing your accommodations, as they vary, and by definition what Esencia calls a suite, is by standard definition a junior suite, meaning there isn’t a fixed wall dividing the bedroom from the sitting area for the most part. There are three villas and 38 suites.
The 2-bedroom Pool Villas feature multiple terraces, a media room, and a courtyard furnished with hammocks, entertaining furniture, and full-size swimming pool.
There is also Yum-Ha, a 3-bedroom villa next door (pictured above) that Esencia manages and comes with all hotel services and liberties. It is set slightly back from the beach.
Not including Yum-Ha, full takeovers start at $88,000 for three nights, including taxes and service (but not food and beverage) for up to 80 guests, make Esencia a phenomenal value. It has a lovely beach location where during certain parts of the year you can watch the turtles hatch. It will remind you of vacationing on a large private estate, which it is.
Coming in the next few weeks is a series of beachfront suites, several of which will connect to backside garden-view suites to form two-bedroom units. The new suites have large indoor and outdoor showers. Those on the second floor have decks overlooking the beach and in-bedroom oversize bathtubs, also looking out onto the Caribbean waters.
Esencia gets a 5-star rating on Trip Advisor. It has had only one Poor/Terrible rating since new ownership took over two years ago and invested in significant renovations and upgrades. Forbes calls it, “A secluded gem on a powdery beach that is a nesting area for sea turtles.” The Sunday Times says, “The most heavenly hotel on Earth.” When I posted a photo on my Instagram during my tour a friend from Hong Kong emailed me to tell me it’s her favorite hotel.