I attended another virtual conference this week. This was not as heavy a schedule as Virtuoso Travel Week earlier this month, but ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors) deserved my very best attention, as they have been fighting tooth and nail to have our industry recognized as we endure particular hardship in 2020. I know many of us are suffering as small business owners whether it's related to travel, restaurants, gyms and so many other niches, and it has been a huge positive for J5Travel to have such a strong advocate fighting for the little guys like us as much as for the major players including airlines and cruise lines.
One appointment I couldn't quite accommodate during Virtuoso Travel Week, was with Dominique Debay, whose eponymous company represents several luxury hotels and resorts around the world. If you ever wondered how smaller, independent properties manage to compete with the big brands of Hilton, Marriott etc then it's often through a similarly small but specialized sales and marketing company. Dominique has over 30 years of combined experience in the travel industry, and represents a portfolio of unique and exclusive properties.
Our chat and her amazing presentation last week alerted me to the fact that many multi-generational families who have struggled to be together domestically throughout Covid, are taking large suites or villas in some incredible properties and locations for multiple weeks at a time, and all succeeding in their remote schooling and work tasks, while rebonding as whole families. It seems that being somewhere different (and luxurious) just adds that chill factor that means everyone is more productive and under control. All the properties below come with the clinch factor - fast wifi.
Check out the Top 5 list from Dominique's portfolio.
Top 5 - Remote Control Hotels and Villas
1. Hotel Esencia - Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Villa Yum-Ha at this gorgeous boutique property is a 3-bedroom private villa (above) with its own pool, just yards from a secluded beach (below). It comes with your own butler and chef between 7am and 10.30pm each day and queue the drum roll.....a home-school coordinator. You are able to be as isolated as you wish but are still free to enjoy all the facilities of the 55-room hotel and it has a particularly soothing spa.
I very rarely mention pricing, but this property currently has a wonderful "every 3rd night free" promotion.
2. Goldeneye, Fleming Villa - Jamaica
The original home of Ian Fleming, this villa (above) is tucked away within the grounds of Goldeneye a resort containing a collection of private villas, cottages and beach huts, each set amid tropical gardens, private beaches and secluded coves—a Jamaica home away from home. A booking at the Fleming Villa (5,500sq ft) includes 3-bedrooms in the Main House, sleeping up to 10, plus your own dedicated butler, chef and housekeeper. You also have your own private beach and delightful outdoor dining areas (below). The property reopened just last week.
3. Holy Deer San Lorenzo City Lodge - Rome
Whenever we're ready for Italy again, but not a hectic hotel, then this 3,750sq ft of extraordinary Italian craftmanship will just have to suffice.
With a discrete and private entrance in the back of Piazza Navona on Via Dell’Anima this Borromini 17th Century masterpiece was authentically renovated in 2018.
From the entrance to the Studio with antique Roman books (above) and the Dining Room with Murano Glass chandelier, you'll be in a palatial private world, the likes of which can't be found anywhere else.
4. Casa Tesoro - Punta Mita, Mexico
An Ultra Deluxe private and secure Oceanfront 7- Bedroom Villa with private sandy beach (above), and just 30 minutes from Puerto Vallarta airport. Stay here and you will enjoy a staff of 10, multiple private living and dining areas (below), 2 pools and jacuzzis, a 6-seat golf cart, 4-seat mini Moke SUV, a driver for local trips and an unmatched All-Inclusive experience. That big beach in the photo is all yours and is swimmable.
5. Sweet Bocas - Panama
For future reference, I consider Panama one of the most underrated destinations in the world. There are some extraordinary islands that are virtually uninhabited, the capital city is vibrant and exciting and there are some amazing properties to help bring it altogether.
None more so than Sweet Bocas, a 22-acre Private Island, 10 min. by boat from Bocas del Toro town and a 50 minute flight from Panama City. The main accommodation is a sensational 6-bedroom Overwater Villa (above). Here you will enjoy a staff of 22, including a yoga and fitness instructor and massage therapist.
Water activities? Check - all from the platform pictured below...kayaking, snorkeling, canoeing, paddle boarding, surfing, fishing and wake boarding.
Dining is Farm to Table and Sweet Bocas has its own organic farm on the island.
If you might be ready to "Book Your Bubble" please hit the button below.
Be social and follow along for continued travel inspiration.
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