If a resort is good enough for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, it is good enough for the Jones Family

My family visited Grenada this Spring Break, and we all voted our trip one of the best beach vacations we have ever enjoyed.  It is a volcanic island with a mountainous and lush interior, but it is also surrounded by beautiful beaches.  We had a fantastic time relaxing on the beach, hiking through the rainforest to reach a fun waterfall and taking a snorkeling tour on personal zodiac boats.

We stayed on Grand Anse Beach at the Spice Island Beach Resort.  It is an all-inclusive resort on a beautiful stretch of the beach.  The service is beyond compare.  There was not one misstep.  The owner and general manager personally welcomed us to their beautiful resort with a fruity cocktail, and we were promptly escorted to our rooms.


We stayed in two connecting Sea Grape Beach Suites.  These are the best rooms in my opinion.  The verandah of each room steps down directly onto the beach just a few steps from the sea.  If you don’t care for sunbathing at resort pools, you could stay at your suite your entire visit.  There was routine beach service and plenty of lounges.  The resort’s beach is quite  long, so guests really enjoyed their own private section of the beach in front of their suite.

If you prefer a more private experience with your own private courtyard and pool, Spice Island Resort has quite a few large multi-bedroom suites.  These accommodations suited Prince Charles and Camilla perfectly.  Did I mention Charles and Camilla were guests at the resort during our stay?  The video below shows them on the beach right in front of our suite.  I think Charles might have enjoyed it better if he took off his dress shoes. There really wasn’t the security as you would expect, and it really is special shaking hands with the owner 5 minutes before he meets and shakes hands with Prince Charles.

There were more surprises at this very special resort.  One afternoon, a lovely man hand-delivered an invitation to enjoy cocktails at sunset with the owners, Sir Royston Hopkin and his family at their beautiful home on a point with magnificent views of the sun setting over the sea.  He invited all the guests and presented one member of his staff with an employee of the month award.  To say the staff at the resort treat you like family is an understatement.  We arrived as guests and left as friends.  Teddy was hugging his new friends good-bye.  When we left, the owner, general manager and others were again present to wish us safe travels home.  Spice has a huge percentage of repeat guests, and I now know why.  

Our family loved the pool with its nooks and crannies of private areas with lots of shade and direct sun.  We also got to enjoy a lot of what Grenada offers its visitors.  We took a hike through the rainforest to swim at a beautiful waterfall.  Our guide called over his monkey friend named Loverboy for bananas.  Loverboy climbed right on our sons’ shoulders and stuffed at least five bananas in his cheeks before retreating back into the jungle. 

We also took a private watercraft tour and visited different beaches.  Grenada really has beautiful beaches.  If we had more time, I would have loved to visit the rum distillery.  We will take the tour next visit.  Grenada rates as one of our kids’ favorite spring break trips and hope to return.  I’m happy to oblige!

Contact me for more information on Grenada and the fabulous Spice Island Beach Resort & Spa!  Click here to email me or call 314-780-8845.

Book Virtuoso Hotels Online

We hear from clients that there are times they want to book a Virtuoso hotel on the weekend or at night when we are not available.  Other clients have said they don't want to "bother me" with a quick hotel booking.  While I am never "bothered" by a client's request for a Virtuoso hotel booking, I do agree that sometimes you just want to quickly make that booking on your phone or computer.  In order to receive the exclusive Virtuoso amenities, however, you have to make that booking through us. 

We have responded to the needs of our clients and have recently introduced the option of booking your Virtuoso hotels on your phone or computer while still ensuring your VIP treatment by the hotel staff and access to the exclusive amenities you can only get by booking through us. 

It is really easy to make your hotel booking and still receive our personal service. 

1.  Click on this link:https://www.virtuoso.com/advisor/juliejones

2.  On the home page, click on "Hotels" in the menu bar:

3.  If you know the specific destination or hotel, type the name and your travel dates in the boxes.  You will be shown a list of the Virtuoso hotels in that destination or the specific hotel you requested:

4.  If you want a more advanced search showing different destinations or simply all the Virtuoso properties, scroll to the bottom of the "Hotels" page and click on "View all Hotels".  From there, you can check the boxes on the left side of the screen to narrow your options.

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5.  Click on the name of the hotel you want to book:

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6.  Enter your dates and click "Book" for the preferred accommodations.  Don't forget to click on "View More rooms" at the bottom to see all the room categories:

7.  After clicking "Book", you will be asked to create an account:

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8.  Click "Continue Booking" to complete the Payment Information page.  You will see the total cost for the room and a list of the Virtuoso amenities you will receive as a Virtuoso guest of the hotel:

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9.  We will then receive an email with your booking information.  We will contact the hotel on your behalf to confirm your Virtuoso amenities and to request an upgraded room.  

It's the best of both worlds!!  You can make that convenient online booking when you know exactly what you need while still receiving Virtuoso amenities and our assistance as needed.

Try it out next time you have a quick hotel or resort booking.  Let me know if you have any questions about this new service at 314-780-8845 or email me.

Gleninchaquin Park

Gleninchaquin Park

What was the most pleasant surprise from my recent trip to Ireland?  The food!  It is delicious!  

During my short but sweet visit to Ireland, I was expecting to be surrounded by the beautiful countryside, castles and manors that leave one speechless…and lots of Guinness.  However, I really didn’t expect much in terms of the food in Ireland.  I have to say, every meal was just outstanding, from the seafood in the pubs to fine dining.  It also helps to be escorted by a private driver guide who knows where the locals get the best meals in town.  

I flew into Cork on a cold, rainy day and transferred directly to Sheen Falls Lodge.  My suite on the third floor was located right over the rushing waterfalls, making my 3 night stay so relaxing.    For a larger group staying at Sheen Falls Lodge, I highly recommend staying in one of the cottages on property with full kitchens, ensuite baths and private patios with beautiful views.  They are bright and airy with large living spaces for families or friends to enjoy.  The location of Sheen Falls is perfect for relaxing, enjoying the town of Kenmore and exploring the Beara Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry.  It is a great home base for visiting the Southwest region of Ireland for a few days.  The hotel has new owners, and they have given the hotel an extensive refurbishment making it a must stay during a trip to Ireland.

Our first day was filled with massages, a horseback trail ride and resting after our long travels.  The next day I was just in awe of the beauty of the Beara Peninsula.  We enjoyed lunch at a  tiny pub with the most incredible seafood.  We also hiked Gleninchaquin Park.  It was so wonderful to enjoy a hike where the only other people were locals enjoying a day off.  The woman who owns the land was so sweet welcoming us to her beautiful property.  Her husband and she had spent years taking care of the hiking trails for all to enjoy.  

While driving through Ireland is fabulous, it can also be exhausting.  I highly recommend spending a day just enjoying the grounds and activities offered at Sheen Falls Lodge. It can also be a day to stroll through Kenmare.  It is a lovely, quintessential Irish village with great shops and pubs.  Afterwards, enjoy a wine tasting with the sommelier at Sheen Falls followed by a private dinner in the wine cellar.  I have such fond memories of the friendly staff at Sheen Falls Lodge and can’t wait to return with my family!

We next visited Ballyfin, a countryside manor house located in County Loais.  Ballyfin is considered one of the very best hotels in Ireland and that reputation is well deserved.  It is a very special place to visit for a peaceful, romantic escape.  In addition, It also has so many wonderful activities on property, that a large family with both active kids and grandparents wanting to enjoy the manor house or carriage ride through the property will enjoy their time at Ballyfin.  

Each room at Ballyfin is individually decorated.  You feel as if you are staying in someone’s home.  The staff treats you as family and greets you outside upon your arrival.  A very unique and fun experience is to dress in period outfits and enjoy a formal evening with dinner as if living in a different era.  Conversely, you can reserve the lovely cabin on the grounds with the most amazing views of the surrounding landscape where your meal is served picnic style.  Ballyfin is truly a destination in itself and much loved by everyone who visits this very special manor house.

My last night in Ireland was a fun night of pub hopping with an overnight stay at The Westbury.  I love The Westbury, because it is located right in the heart of Grafton Street.  In addition, the friendly, impeccable service from its staff really makes your stay memorable.  While there is much to see and do in Dublin, the most pleasant surprise for me was my tour of Kilmainham Gaol.  This tour of Dublin’s famous prison house is very popular, and tickets must be purchased months in advance.  I learned so much about Ireland’s fascinating history during this tour.  It is really an excellent way to gain an understanding of Ireland and its most important historical figures.

Ireland is a country where one visit is never enough.  It is really a short flight from the East coast and is a great escape for a long weekend or an extensive period to explore the whole island.  I can’t wait for my return visit with my family!


It was really sad saying good-bye to Florence so soon, but we were really looking forward to Venice!  We woke early to catch our train.  I can’t say what the countryside looked like from the train, because I slept the entire trip.  It was great to wake up refreshed ready to enjoy Venice.

We stayed at Hotel Londra Palace which has an enviable location right on the Grand Canal.  We enjoyed a beautiful view of the Grand Canal from our room, and our rooms felt very regal and large.  We were able to enjoy lunch at dinner at Hotel Londra.  Both meals were delicious!!  It was so great experiencing the meals from different regions in Italy with the variety of cooking methods and specialties.  Although I do believe Teddy ordered spaghetti with red sauce for every single meal.

We only had one day to experience Venice.  We opted for a more unique tour by renting our own private boat and driver to take us to the three islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello.  Murano is where you can watch the art of glass blowing.  It is a nice island with a quaint canal of shops.  Burano is a nearby island where the artisans specialize in lace.  We enjoyed this island a bit more with its colorful buildings and gorgeous view of the Venice skyline.  We sat on a sea wall with our gelato and took in the beauty.  Torcello was my favorite island.  It is really small and quaint.  We just had a wonderful time walking along the canals and climbing the bell tower where we had a superb view of the entire region.  

A highlight of our trip was the night-time gondola ride. Unlike the experience of visitors in the summer, we were in the only gondola on the waterways!  It was a really magical way to conclude our trip in Italy.  

I would love to share our experiences in Italy.  Contact me anytime at 314-780-8845 or email me.


Next stop on our tour of Italy — Florence.  We drove from Norcia to Florence with a quick visit to Assisi.   Assisi in March is a real treat, because there are very few visitors.  It is very beautiful and great to visit if you are passing through the area.  

We had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Lungarno during our visit to Florence.  It has recently reopened after a complete renovation.  It has a nautical theme and is right on the Arno River.  When you look out the window, you literally look down at water.  The hotel hangs over the edge.  It overlooks the Ponte Vecchio and is across from the river from the main part of Florence.  It is actually really nice to walk across the bridge after a long day in Florence and experience a more local feel with wonderful, small and traditional trattorias within a block of our hotel.  

We had a beautiful room overlooking the river.  I stopped every few minutes to stand on our Juliet balcony and take in the view.  It is a real treat.  Our boys were in a Jr. Suite without the fabulous view.  Their room felt like a suite with a living room and a step up to the bedroom with a huge bathroom.  It was really inviting and had such a great layout.

The staff is just wonderful.  The bellman with the great smile even walked us to our first dinner and introduced us to the owner of the trattoria.  The Lungarno Collection, owned by the Ferragamo family, has three other hotels in Florence.  They all have very different vibes, and the Hotel Lungarno is their flagship property.  We enjoyed a drink at La Terrazzo Rooftop Bar at the top of the Continentale.  It has the best views of Florence and was wonderful for enjoying the sunset after a long day exploring the city.

We enjoyed a wonderful tour of Florence.  You learn so much more about a city when you have a private guide.  We opted for a half day in Florence, so we could spend the afternoon shopping.  Our wonderful guide Angela is so knowledgeable about the art and history of Florence.  She also knows where to find the best gelato!!!


After a very busy three days in Rome, we rented a car and hit the road for Norcia which is located in the Umbria region.  The mountainous landscape of Umbria was a surprise for me.  I was expecting the rolling hills of Tuscany.  However, Norcia is actually a medieval town tucked in the mountains on the edge of the National Park of the Sibillini mountains.  Norcia is the birthplace of St. Benedict whose statue is in the central piazza.  The monks renovated the Basilica of St. Benedict in this central piazza in the year 2000 and lived there until earthquakes destroyed the Basilica and much of the town in 2016.  The face of the building remains standing with the rubble from the rest of the building still piled behind it.  These monks are truly fascinating.  They sing for the community daily and even have produced a top-selling album of their music.  In addition, they own and operate a brewery.  Birra Nursia is delicious.  Read about this fascinating community of monks https://en.nursia.org/.  It is well worth your time.

We were so fortunate to visit Norcia on the day of their spring festival.  Mass was held in the central piazza, and we listened to the beautiful voices of the monks singing.  There were medieval costumes and music, games and a walk through town with all the townspeople.  In the afternoon, we took a long walk along a bubbling creek admiring the surrounding snow-topped mountains.

There are so many reasons to visit Norcia:

—The best truffles and truffle hunting in Italy;

—It is the home of prosciutto.  I can live on a diet of prosciutto, so I was definitely in my happy place.

—It is an epicurean dream, and foodies from around the world make a pilgrimage to this beautiful village just to experience the food.

—Active travelers to Italy love the many options to experience the outdoor beauty.  There is wonderful hiking during the summer and winter, white water rafting, hang gliding for the bravest of visitors and many more activities.  We took a long hike during our stay and were just in awe of the beauty.

Norcia really is a secret gem in Italy.  More visitors need to add it to their itinerary, not only to experience all it has to offer, but also to support the people and monks of Norcia who are intent with their hard work and limitless positive attitude to rebuild and recover from the devastating earthquakes of 2016.

Palazzo Seneca.  This 5-star hotel with Vespacia, a Michelin star restaurant, is located right in the heart of Norcia, steps from the central piazza.  My family absolutely adored our stay at Palazzo Seneca.  The Bianconi family has mastered the art of creating an environment where guests truly feel they are guests in a warm, inviting home, not just a hotel.  

The breakfast buffet was so wonderful where our orange juice was juiced when ordered, the prosciutto and cheeses were plentiful and ready to be sliced and the service was always welcoming.

The opportunity to eat at Vespasia was a real treat.  Each course was creative, beautiful and delicious.  Our kids also enjoyed the treat of trying new foods.  The chef was also kind enough to offer french fries to our 8 year old.  What a treat to enjoy a Michelin star meal without the stuffy attitude that is often present.  It was a really enjoyable experience.

Palazzo Seneca feels like a medieval manor with a fabulous spa in the basement.  The rooms are filled with antiques collected through the years by the Bianconi family.  The bathrooms are very large.  We had a terrace off our room with an absolutely gorgeous view of the mountains!  This hotel was our kids' favorite during our trip where they were comfortable exploring the property and enjoying time in the living room playing chess.  They also loved being able to step out the front door and explore the village of Norcia and get some pizza and gelato on their own.  The entire experience was a welcome respite for us all after the bustling environment of Rome.

Here are a few pictures of our time in Norcia!  Please contact me at julie@topflighttravels.com or 314-780-8845 with any questions about this wonderful city.

Julie Jones

Spending 9 days in Italy with my family has been an absolute joy!  It has been wonderful watching our boys fall in love with Italy just as I did 30 years ago.  We did a whirlwind tour of the big cities with a wonderful break in Norcia located in Umbria.  Norcia has been declared the highlight of our trip!!  More on Norcia later.  I thought I would take time to share our trip by breaking it down by the 4 separate cities we visited.


We flew to Rome on Delta Airlines.  Delta is my go to US airline, and I love the Delta One cabin.    This trip with the kids, however, we were not so fortunate, and Billy’s bag was lost!  At least Delta delivered the bag to our hotel the next afternoon.

St. Regis Rome.  We had such a wonderful stay at this absolutely gorgeous hotel.  The lobby and public spaces have undergone a complete transformation over the past several months.  It is truly a beautiful respite from the busy city.  We loved spending time there for breakfast in the morning, relaxing after our tours of the city and for drinks later in the evening after the kids went to bed.  Each evening, a different musician would play the piano, flute, guitar….there was great variety and the musicians were lots of fun.

The rooms and suites are currently undergoing their transformations that will be completed in time for the summer season.  I got a glimpse of a few rooms that have been completed.  For guests who prefer a lot of space, the St. Regis Rome works great.  The rooms are really spacious and the bathrooms are a nice size with huge showers.  The new colors and furnishings are contemporary and calming, but it still feels like the regal hotel that defines the St. Regis Rome.

I really like the location, because there are some wonderful restaurants to discover within walking distance.  A special shoutout to Osteria 44!  The food is delicious, and the staff made our first evening in Rome so fun!

The very best part of St. Regis Rome is certainly the warm and gracious staff.  We loved returning to our home in Rome to be welcomed by smiles and questions about our day.

Our time in Rome was very busy.  We visited the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican City, Pantheon and other historical highlights of the city.  Our sons most enjoyed the Catacombs and the different layers of tunnels and rooms under the Basilica San Clemente.  Our private guide provided a wealth of information, and it is so nice to have a private driver in Rome.  My favorite tour was a walking food tour in the area around Campo dei Fiori market.  It was so fun exploring the bakeries, meat markets and finishing our day with a fabulous lunch in a tiny osteria.

Here are a few pictures of our time in Rome!  Please contact me at julie@topflighttravels.com or 314-780-8845 with any questions about this wonderful city.

Julie Jones
Maximize Credit Card Travel Rewards

If you aren't using a credit card for all your expenses, you need to start now!  However, I do take back that advise for anyone carrying a balance on their cards.  There are so many credit cards that can save you money on your travel expenses, including flights, hotels, airport lounges, foreign currency exchange fees, trip insurance and more.  You are really leaving money on the table by not taking full advantage of these credit cards.  You could extend your trip of a lifetime with all your savings!

I found this great article by U.S. News & World Report on how find the credit cards that provide the most value and how to utilize the cards to get the max value from them.  The only card that is missing is the Capital One Venture card.  We get 2 points for every Dollar spent on our Venture card.  Points accumulate very quickly in our household.  Then, you just login to their website, click on recent travel related charges, and, poof, they disappear!!


Julie JonesCredit Cards
River Cruises: Fun for the Whole Family
The view from castle ruins sitting above Durnstein, Austria

The view from castle ruins sitting above Durnstein, Austria

Checking out the view from our stateroom...

Checking out the view from our stateroom...

Tauck Bridges is well known and loved for their family-centric small group tours.  They now offer specific river cruise itineraries where kids are not only welcome, but Tauck makes the children’s experience a priority.  This summer, I was thrilled to take my 8 year old son Teddy on their Blue Danube: Family Riverboat Adventure.  I had a few reservations about how much fun a young boy can have on a river cruise visiting small European villages, but we had a blast!! 

We flew into Munich, Germany where our private driver met us in the arrivals hall and whisked us to the Hotel Bayerisher Hof to meet our crew.  We then transferred to Vilshofen, Germany where we boarded the MS Esprit.  Our cabin has two twin beds, plenty of closet space and a full wall of windows and a french balcony providing unobstructed views of the countryside.  The lower floor has rooms with just windows.  I think it is well worth the extra money to get the wall of windows and a door to let in the fresh air.  The suites on the top floor are truly as roomy as a hotel room with very spacious bathrooms.  

We visited a few large cities such as Vienna and Salzburg and a few small villages.  Our absolute favorite day was in Durnstein, Austria.  It is such a quintessential small Austrian town where we rode bikes along the river and hiked to the top of castle ruins for a magnificent view of the Danube and bucolic countryside.  Another favorite day was in Brataslava, Slovakia.  Teddy and I loved exploring the capital of Slovakia, visiting its shops and trying its wonderful food.  These smaller towns were a better fit for the young kids.  They were more relaxed and could have fun exploring.  The larger cities were a bit more intimidating for them to navigate.  The teenagers on board seemed to really love visiting the larger cities.

What truly made our trip special was the crew on the MS Esprit.  Carlos, the cruise director, was a great leader and ended every announcement with ‘ciao for now’.  The kids loved it.  The staff was also exceptional and took great care with the kids.  Our tour guides who live in the cities we visited were also wonderful. 

Would I take a river cruise again?  Yes!!  Next time, I want to take the whole family.  This cruise had a nice group of younger kids that all became fast friends.  The teenagers also had their own group and seemed to be having a great time.  As a result, all us moms, dads, grandparents and special friends had a blast enjoying the scenery, great wine and making family memories to last a lifetime.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this special experience at 314-780-8845 or julie@topflighttravels.com.  

Virtuoso Travel Week 2017
Kayaking in Antartica

Kayaking in Antartica

Every year I spend a week at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada visiting with my colleagues and my partners from around the world with whom I love to reconnect and share a drink.  I also get to make connections with new partners that I look forward to contacting for my clients’ exciting trips in 2018.  Each year, I meet a few new tour operators, owners of hotels or their GMs that turn into valued partners whom I trust to take fabulous and special care of my VIP clients.

I learn so much from my partners at Virtuoso Travel Week each year.  Here are three of my takeaways from VTW 2017:

1.  Visit Umbria, Italy!  The Umbria region is to the East of Tuscany.  Like Tuscany,  Umbria has fabulous wine, fabulous properties and the same fabulous scenery.  Unlike Tuscany, Umbria is far less crowded with tourists in the summer months and cost much, much less to visit.  Why not blaze a trail off the beaten path instead of following the path everyone else has tread?  I met with Federico Bianconi, the owner of Palazzo Seneca located in Norcia, in the heart of Umbria.  Palazzo Seneca is a 16th Century palace that has been owned by the Bianconi family since 1850.  It has been skillfully restored by local artisans and has 24 individually appointed rooms.  You can peruse ancient texts in the library, play tennis, take Umbrian cooking classes, visit restaurant suppliers, explore wineries of the region, partake in horseback riding and, best of all, truffle hunting!   I can’t wait to visit!!

2.  Mii amo, a destination spa, is now Virtuoso!!  Mii amo has 3, 4 and 7 night journeys customized to focus on your mind, body and soul towards your goal of healing and renewal.  It is my absolute favorite spa that I have been lucky enough to visit.  Since it is now Virtuoso, my clients can receive room upgrades in addition to $100 or $200 credits to use towards additional spa services or drinks at the bar.  Mii amo has also just announced a 15% discount valid for stays through October 4, 2018.  I don’t think I have ever seen them offer discounted rates!  Let me know if you want more information!

3.  South America should be on everyone’s list of places to visit next.  I had so many conversations about so many destinations in the region that I want to visit!  I can’t wait to visit the Galapagos Islands, Lake Titicaca in Peru, Mendoza in the heart of Argentina wine country and all of Chile, including Santiago, the Atacama desert (the driest place on Earth), the Andes for skiing, Easter Island, Patagonia and the madcap streets of Valparaiso!!  I would continue my dream trip with the Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfalls system in the world, a Peruvian Amazon cruise with Aqua Expeditions and the beautiful beaches of Uruguay.

Now, its time to take these relationships and new knowledge and start planning exceptional trips around the world in 2018!

Julie Jones
Four Seasons Bora Bora
Overwater Bungalows at Four Seasons Bora Bora

Overwater Bungalows at Four Seasons Bora Bora

When I tell someone about my recent trip to Bora Bora, every single person responds with either “I LOVE Bora Bora” or “I have always wanted to visit Bora Bora”.  It seems to make the top of everyone’s list in some way.  

What surprises me is how people view it as such a faraway, exotic destination.  I’m told that Bora Bora receives the same number of tourists in one year that Hawaii receives in one week.  Many people think nothing of hopping on a plane to Hawaii.  Next trip, those same people should book a flight to Bora Bora and load one extra movie on their ipad.  The flight to Bora Bora is less than two hours longer than that flight to Hawaii.

The French Polynesia is located South of the equator about the same distance as Hawaii is North of the equator.  Tahiti is the largest island.  You fly into Papeete, Tahiti on a nonstop flight from Los Angeles.  From there, you take a quick flight to Bora Bora.

Beachfront Villa

Beachfront Villa

There are a surprising number of resorts on Bora Bora at many different price points.  I was very grateful to be a guest of Four Seasons Bora Bora.  There are 100 overwater bungalows and 7 beachfront villas with one, two or three bedrooms which are really fabulous for families.  If you stay in an overwater bungalow, you can choose between a beach view, lagoon view and a mountain view.  The mountain view is breathtaking with a view of Mount Otemanu, one of the peaks of an extinct volcano.  It is a truly breathtaking view that is, of course, more expensive.  There are also a few connecting bungalows for families or couples traveling with friends.  Some bungalows have infinity pools.  You could stay at your bungalow all day, swim in the ocean and your pool, order room service and drinks and enjoy the best view on the island. 

Yes, I did mention families.  Families are welcome!  It is a quiet atmosphere at the resort, but I consider it a great fit for many families.  The villas are wonderful for families with small kids, so they can enjoy their own private pool right at the beach.  Familieis with older kids would have fun staying in two connecting bungalows and would be thrilled with the many snorkeling and fishing adventures.  There is just one very lovely and relaxing main pool, so kids who like waterpark atmospheres would think the pool is pretty lame.  I think the tween ages would be the hardest to keep happy.

Spa at Four Seasons Bora Bora

Spa at Four Seasons Bora Bora

While non-motorized sports are included in your room charge, there are a few more active adventures you must make room for in your budget.  My very favorite activity is the stingray and shark swim.  It is great fun swimming with the stingrays.  We took a ten minute boat ride to waters about chest high where our guide knows the stingrays.  His friend, Juliet, swam right up to him.  Our guide said he has known Juliet for 15 years.  She is pregnant and let our guide hold her for over 20 minutes.  After the stingrays, we visited an area with electric blue waters where you can swim with black tip reef sharks and lemon sharks.  It was an incredible experience, and I highly recommend it to any visitor to Bora Bora.  

I also had the opportunity to jet ski around the entire mainland of Bora Bora.  It was so fun!  The color of the water constantly changes and is so beautiful!  It is great fun to say I circled the island of Bora Bora on a jet ski!

There are lots of other activity choices, such as catamaran sailings, sunset cruises with private dinners, fishing, diving and other snorkeling trips.  The most fun may also be just sleeping on the beach with a fruity drink always at hand.  The service is typical Four Seasons service: impeccable. Everyone is so friendly and truly wants to make your visit to their beautiful island special.  There were hugs good-bye, and, as you drive off in your boat towards the airport, your hosts wave good-bye until they can no longer see you.  Its such a nice touch and makes you mentally start planning your return.

Contact me with any questions about Four Seasons Bora Bora and the French Polynesia in general.  I love sharing my experience on this truly special place on Earth!

Swimming with black tip reef sharks in Bora Bora.

Swimming with black tip reef sharks in Bora Bora.

The Best Island in the World
Four Seasons Bora Bora

Four Seasons Bora Bora

In two weeks I will be visiting “the best island in the world”, a title awarded to Bora Bora by U.S. News.  Bora Bora is the most famous of French Polynesia’s Leeward Islands.  It is a volcanic island, surrounded by an outer coral reef that encloses a crystal clear, turquoise lagoon.  I will be staying at the world-famous Four Seasons Bora Bora in an over-water bungalow suite.  I am counting down the days and will post about my experiences.  

The French Polynesia is incredibly popular with honeymooners and clients celebrating anniversaries.  In addition to romantic trips, Four Seasons Bora Bora is a very popular resort for destination weddings.  While Spring is considered the low season with the fewest number of tourists, the temperature averages only 3 degrees warmer than in the winter months.  There is no bad time of year for a visit to the French Polynesia.

I will be enjoying a Polynesian massage, a snorkeling safari in the lagoon and, wait for it…a wave runner tour around the entire island!!!  It should be a spectacular trip to the best island in the world!!!  Stay tuned...