Sunday, August 28, 2011

What to do when the nest is empty?

I am pondering this question as I spend my first Sunday night alone, after dropping off my youngest child at college. So far, my list includes cleaning the closets, making books from my numerous photos from recent (and not so recent) trips, and attacking the stack of unread travel magazines. I think the most logical answer for me, a travel advisor, is: to travel!

Last week I attended Virtuoso's annual Travel Mart, where I met with our hotel and tour partners from around the world. These are the movers and shakers of the travel industry, and I came home with plenty of ideas of where to travel to next!

Since my elder daughter will be studying in Spain next year, I may want to pop over for a visit. In Madrid there are some beautiful choices of hotels, perhaps the iconic Hotel Ritz Madrid. It is perfectly situated next to Retiro park and within walking distance to the museums. All of the rooms and suites are individually decorated in a classic style.

If I am in the mood for something a little more contemporary, the Hotel Villa Magna would be perfect. A recent renovation has left it more elegant than ever. I don't think I can go wrong with any of the six Virtuoso properties that are located in Madrid.

I will definitely have to fly or train down to the coast and visit the Marbella Club Hotel. It is open year-round so I don't have to worry about when to travel. They have a heated salt water pool, fabulous European spa and their own 18-hole golf course.

Whatever I decide, I know that our Onsite partner, Made for Spain, can provide me with the best tour options and guides in the country. They were voted best Onsite tour company at the Virtuoso Awards Ceremony this year.

The buzz is all about London for 2012. The Summer Olympic Games will be held there next July and August. If you're planning on attending, call us now to secure the best hotels and touring packages available!

I learned about a new gorilla tracking opportunity that will come available in May of 2012. Our partner, Wilderness Safaris, will open a new camp in the Republic of Congo in the Odzala-Kokoua National Park. This area is in the heart of the Congo basin, in a seemingly endless tropical forest. This is a different experience from mountain gorilla-trekking in Rwanda or Uganda. Here, in the Congo, you will have the opportunity to track the Western Lowland Gorilla as well as see many other kinds of wildlife. Sign me up!      

Book your next vacation or adventure with the Travel Specialists at Bee Kalt Travel!
Phone: 248-288-9600 or Toll-free 1-800-284-5258

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Maroma Resort and Spa, Mayan Riviera, Mexico

White sand beach, turquoise ocean and an icy cold margarita greeted me upon arrival at the Maroma Resort. This exclusive retreat is located just 30 minutes south of the Cancun International airport, an easy flight from most major North American cities.

Maroma, an Orient-Express hotel, sits on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, surrounded by lush, jungle plants and flowers. It has everything you would need or want for a romantic getaway: cozy rooms with Mexican tiled baths, or expansive suites complete with your own private plunge pool on the terrace, private rooftop massage bed and a personal gym. The accommodations come with every amenity: wifi, ipod docking stations, wonderful organic soaps and body lotions. The only thing missing, and I didn't miss it, is a television. They do have a lounge with a large screen TV available for guest use if needed.
There is an emphasis on tranquility and relaxation here. You are given the option to choose an aromatherapy scent for your room if you wish, and each night when you return, the room is bathed in candlelight.

Days can be spent on the water, snorkeling, jet-skiing, sailing or lounging on Maroma's fantastic beach beds. They have plenty of beach umbrellas for those who prefer to stay in the shade. There is a nice, air-conditioned, well-equipped fitness center along with a open air yoga pavilion. The spa is a destination in itself. The massage suites are centered around a serene courtyard. They offer a variety of treatments including many Mayan influenced body treatments. One of the more unusual experiences offered here at Maroma is the Mayan Temezcal. It is a ritual steam bath which is meant to purify and calm the body and spirit. Those who are claustrophobic need not apply. But, for the adventurous, this is quite an experience! It begins with the ancient tradition of burning incense and blowing a conch shell, then the Temazcalera ushers the guests into the Temazcal, a small pyramid shaped room with a fire pit in the center. Hot lava  rocks are deposited in the center of the pit, the doors are closed, and the rocks are doused with herb infused water. This creates an aromatic steam along with a lot of heat. There is chanting and meditating while the steam purifies and heals the body.
You come out refreshed and invigorated when it's all over! I highly recommend this experience.
Tequila tastings and cooking classes are also offered!

The resort offers several dining options, with fabulous cuisine. I had my fill of fresh-made guacamole and ceviche, along with artfully presented seafood dishes and decadent desserts.

Book your Maroma Resort holiday with us and receive VIP amenities such as an upgrade upon arrival, complimentary airport transfers and a 30 minute massage!   

Contact the Travel Specialists at Bee Kalt Travel today!
Tel: 248-288-9600 or Toll-free 1-800-284-5258