Return to site

I Only Cried Twice

This Week

· Travel

Yes, the tears only came twice this week.

That may well be below the national average, right?

Firstly, Homeland came to an end after 8 seasons. I really loved this TV show, and was willing to forgive the producers earlier than most for killing off Nicholas Brody.

Secondly, and to get serious now, we received an email from great clients of ours who traveled to South Africa with us (and Hills of Africa) last summer. They wanted to know if we had contact details for the guides they had enjoyed during their adventure. They wished to reach out to them all and see how they were doing...
I properly wept. This is why I love this career, and will never give up on it. To have helped create such a deep connection for clients that they had this wonderful urge is incredibly uplifting and fulfilling and a very large part of all the elements that make up my ferocious passion for travel. I really hope that the emails being sent to Eugene, Cyril and Anine in South Africa will make their day, just as our client's email made mine.
I also need to update you all on the state of the union here at J5Travel. We are still a team of 4 and intend to remain that way until the end of this disruption is within sight, when hopefully we will ramp up again, but Helen (enjoying South Africa in photo below) received an opportunity to rejoin Bank of America in a temporary role, and for us as a family this was the right decision in the current non-travel environment. The team continues to work relentlessly on rebooking or cancelling summer trips right now, and have even received a few new inquiries. The future of travel is out there!

Let's follow on from the local to Charlotte resort selection of last week and hop right over to the West Coast. If you're California dreaming yet, let us know here.

Top 5 West Coast USA Hotels & Resorts

1. Montage Beverly Hills, California (above)

Ideally located in the heart of Los Angeles, steps from famed Rodeo Drive, Montage Beverly Hills delivers exceptional experiences plus unparalleled service. Glamorous guest rooms and suites – most with private balconies – allow you to revel in luxury. Retreat to a private cabana at the rooftop pool, or unwind at the award-winning, 20,000-square-foot Spa Montage Beverly Hills. Delight in unforgettable dining at The Restaurant, or indulge in a unique experience at the bar £10 – enjoying rare vintages of Scotch at the only official U.S. outpost of The Macallan.
Our tip: Make a reservation at the secret speakeasy bar, £10 (below). Shhhh, not too many know about it.
Virtuoso amenities: All usual exclusive Virtuoso perks plus room upgrade at time of booking and a $100 hotel credit.

2. Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California (below)
High above the cliffs of Big Sur, you’ll find a luxurious, romantic escape: Post Ranch Inn, known for its award-winning organic architecture. Choose 1 of the 40 secluded guest rooms, suites, and private houses that blend rustic elegance and comfort with ocean and mountain views. Each room features a wood-burning fireplace, private deck, and complimentary minibar. Enjoy activities like morning yoga, rejuvenating spa treatments, swimming in the heated pool and ocean-view basking pools, hiking, and nightly stargazing. The celebrated Sierra Mar restaurant, recipient of Wine Spectator’s Grand Award, serves organic seasonal fare.
Our tip: For a special occasion, book an upper Pacific Suite, featuring a huge private deck with spa and jetliner views over the ocean.
Virtuoso amenities: All usual exclusive Virtuoso perks plus $100 resort credit per stay.

3. Bardessono Hotel and Spa, Napa Valley, California (above and below)
Bardessono prides itself on offering a mindful approach to living the good life. "Deep green" with a subtle aesthetic, privacy, and graciousness, Bardessono models hospitality with enduring expressions of land and the family that fostered and sustained the original Bardessono farmstead. The hotel boasts Lucy Restaurant & Bar, with an on-site California Certified Organic Farming culinary garden, and a full-service spa with personalized spa treatment areas in each of its guest rooms. Private havens of refined luxury, the new Maple Grove villas are a grand respite for elite guests seeking more space and immersive cultural experiences.
Our tip: Hop on a complimentary bicycle and explore the town of Yountville, dubbed the "culinary capital of Napa Valley."
Virtuoso amenities: All usual exclusive Virtuoso perks plus $100 food and beverage credit.

4. Thompson Seattle, Washington (below)
The Pacific Northwest lifestyle gets an edgy upgrade at Thompson Seattle. Sunlight and Instagram-worthy views of Puget Sound flood through the floor-to-ceiling windows of this 155- room hotel, just steps from lively Pike Place Market. You’ll find a bevy of locals at The Nest, the rooftop lounge and terrace that serves handcrafted cocktails and hosts hip events, such as vinyasa flow classes and courtyard parties. Conversation is Thompson Seattle’s new signature restaurant and offers an approachable fine dining experience in a welcoming setting curated to foster conversation and ignite a sense of community.
Our tip: Join the Thompson Seattle concierge team – all Seattle natives – for The Market Experience, a custom tour of Pike Place Market, just steps away from the hotel.
Virtuoso amenities: All usual exclusive Virtuoso perks plus one-way airport transfer.

5. Golden Door, San Diego (San Marcos), California (above and below)
Enter the legendary Golden Door and step into a new way of living and thinking. Nestled in the mountains of Southern California, this architecturally significant, Japanese-inspired luxury destination transforms 40 guests each week with a personalized experience that blends fitness with farm-to-table cuisine and rejuvenating spa services. Women’s weeks, men’s weeks, and coed weeks are held throughout the year.
Our tip: Few places in the world offer such an array of mindful practices, from biofeedback and breathing techniques to sound vibration and self-hypnosis.
Virtuoso amenities: All usual exclusive Virtuoso perks plus Golden Door body scrub treatment; and three months of fitness follow-up with personal trainer by phone or e-mail.

If you need any travel advice or want to start planning for a quarantine getaway let us know here.

Be social and follow us on our next travel adventure.

Want our blog posts delivered straight to your inbox?
Enter your email below to subscribe to our newsletter.

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!