As we continue to pursue our own team travels more aggressively as travel returns globally, in order to have fun, learn about new locations and properties, and reconnect with some of our favorite contacts, Kendall and Shanna were both "out of office" last week.
This week's article features both of their trips with Kendall heading to the Big Island, Hawaii and Shanna returning to one of her favorite locations, US Virgin Islands.
Be prepared for several J5Travel on-site trip reports through the rest of this year to include South Africa, Botswana, England, Australia, Fiji, Hawaii (again), Thailand, Galapagos, France, Costa Rica and Panama.
Top 5 - Big Island vs USVI
1. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai (above and below)
It is no surprise that the Four Seasons made the list of top resorts on the Big Island. The level of service, sophistication, and attention to detail this resort boasts is truly unmatched. Built into its natural surroundings, the resort combines history, culture, pure pampering, and true aloha to all who come its way. With almost all of their ground floor rooms offering an outdoor lava rock shower, and their villas complete with up to 5 bedrooms and private pools, there is something for every guest here. I could talk about this hotel for days. After undergoing a renovation back in 2019, the resort is also now complete with an extensive golf program, marine life center, and a snorkel pool with a 27 year old stingray! There is clearly nothing to be missed here. By booking Four Seasons with J5Travel, you will have access to additional amenities we can offer through our exclusive preferred partnership with the company.
2. Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas (above and below)
The USVI’s only Virtuoso property, Ritz Carlton, St. Thomas, overlooks Great Bay with St. John in the distance. Following an expansive $100-million renovation in 2019, the hotel features an alluring blend of sea-inspired luxury and the Caribbean’s natural beauty. Guests can discover all new public spaces including newly redesigned rooms and suites, Club Lounge, infinity pool, dining venues including a new culinary concept, and a Kids Club.
For the ultimate relaxation experience, upgrade to one of the brand-new pool cabanas, enjoy the many non-motorized water activities, or rent the Ritz’s own luxury catamaran, Lady Lynsey II, for sunset cruises and snorkeling tours.
As a member of the Marriott STARS program, our clients can enjoy exclusive benefits including complimentary breakfast for two daily, $100 hotel credit, welcome amenity, VIP status, and more!
3. Fairmont Orchid (above and below)
I had the pleasure of staying at the Fairmont Orchid for the duration of my trip, and it was the perfect place to call home for 5 nights. The resort offers a lagoon-style beach perfect for families with children, and you can’t miss their sunrise outrigger canoe experience where the guide performs a Hawaiian chant while you watch the sun rise over the mountains. My personal favorite highlight of the resort is the unique Spa Without Walls, where almost all treatment "rooms" are located in covered hales on the ocean or by the waterfall. Providing complete privacy, I can truly say this was one of the most relaxing experiences I have ever enjoyed!
4. Symbol of Love
It's not always about the hotel or the activity, sometimes just a vibe can make the difference.
Not that I ever need a reason to travel someplace tropical, but having a best friend and cousin who live in the USVI gives me all the more reason to visit. I touched down in sunny St. Thomas for the very first time in June 2018 and have already been back three times.
If you’ve ever visited the USVI, you’ve probably noticed locals wearing an unique bracelet. It’s called a "Hook Bracelet". It’s a band style bracelet with a horseshoe-shaped clasp (or "hook") that is recognized as a symbol of love. Long ago, the "hook" would guide Caribbean fisherman to their wives after many days out to sea. Today, if you’re in a relationship, you wear the hook facing your heart to protect your bond with your partner and to show that your heart is taken. If you’re single, you wear the hook outwards to attract true love. You can think of it as a dating app before dating apps were a thing!
5. Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection (above and below)
After taking advantage of the pandemic and completely renovating the property in 2020, Mauna Lani is an impressive resort. It has a very laid back, luxurious feel to it and offers high end dining at their famous restaurant, Canoe House. Mauna Lani focuses a lot on Hawaiian culture and has a full daily schedule of cultural activities guests can participate in - afterall, it was built on the soulful lands once cherished by the greatest of Hawaiian royalty. They also have incredible private residences which are perfect for large families or friend groups traveling together. The black sand beach just next to the resort is a must-do that is unique to the Big Island!
Ready to start planning your escape? Click the button below to get started planning!
I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.
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