Travel Goals 2023
Travelers, 2023 is knocking on the door. What are your New Year’s travel resolutions? Your professional travel advisor can guide you in planning and fulfilling your bucket list dreams! Their expertise, combined with our SELECT Hotels, Resorts, Villas and In-Country Partners are sure to delight.
To get your imagination jump-started, in this issue we have included some hidden gems as well as popular favorites. Check out our “Perfect Day” itineraries in Patagonia, Koh Samui and Vail. Our SELECT hotel partners have amazing properties, in diverse destinations, that are sure to whet your travel appetite. Oh, and don’t forget you have access to our exclusive SELECT amenities and extras!
Perhaps you’re looking for sustainable tourism and would like some eco-friendly options? We’ve got you covered with possibilities to connect with the beauty of nature, all the while preserving the environment.
Maybe you need a getaway from it all spa and wellness vacation? Your advisor can share some “take care of you” escapes to luxurious retreats, where the settings are exquisite, and the pampering never stops.
Not ready to let go of your vacation? You can take a little slice of paradise home with you. With the eco-friendly products and spa treatments highlighted in this issue, you can keep your commitment to sustainability and self-care. Kick-off your 2023 in style, plan your next travel adventure.
Whether you choose Koh Samui, Patagonia, Vail or another bucket-list destination, live your travel dream today. You deserve it!
As part of Internova Travel Group, our agency has access to world-class amenities and partnerships, giving us the power to deliver highly customized travel experiences not available anywhere else.
Established in 2008, Internova Travel Group delivers a hightouch, personal level of travel expertise to leisure, luxury, and corporate clients through our more than 6,000 companyowned, franchised, and affiliated travel agencies throughout the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and has a presence in more than 80 countries. SELECT catalog is produced by Internova Travel Group. The contents are protected by copyright ©2022 and all rights reserved. Reproduction without prior permission is forbidden. Every care is taken in compiling the contents in this magazine, but the publisher assumes no responsibility in the effect arising therefrom. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. All rates, offers, and information are valid at the time of printing and are subject to change and availability. Internova Travel Group. Please address all advertising and subscription inquiries to: SELECT, 1633 Broadway, 35th Floor, New York, NY 10019.Brent Rivard Chief Marketing Officer Albert Herrera Executive Vice President, Partner Relations Lindsay Anderson Devon Domanski Lisa Simons Writers Melissa Ghazi Marketing Manager Stephanie Clark Managing Editor Juana Alvarez Rodas María Paulina Barrera Trudy Visentin Designers Fabiana Mena Mariana Ramos Contributors PATAGONIA, CHILE
TOP LAVISH SPA TREATMENTS YOU HAVE GOT TO EXPERIENCE
Wellness travel has most definitely evolved into a category unto itself, offering travelers heightened levels of relaxation, glowing physical results and transformational experiences that go beyond treatment rooms, to serve body, mind and spirit. Whether it’s spending a few hours at a spa or committing to a full-on retreat-style stay,
guests are able to savor an undoubtedly restful holiday with wellness programs from leading resorts around the world. With so many to choose from, we’re highlighting some of our most-favorite and not-to-be-missed options for travelers seeking rest, rejuvenation and more.
Carlton Hotel, St. Moritz, Switzerland
Only open during a short window from December to March, this exclusive ski-resort offers a spa inspired by nature and backed by science, to promote holistic healing. Guests can connect with the power of their surroundings, and indulge in personalized treatments that take place at the property’s nearly 13,000-square-foot wellness area, spanning three floors of the resort, and which comes complete with amenities like steam baths, saunas, hydromassage showers, Jacuzzi, pools, sun terrace and treatment rooms.
Cenote Healing Retreat
Rosewood Mayakoba, Mexico
In this idyllic setting on the Riviera Maya, guests can partake in a variety of wellness offerings. The two-day Cenote Healing Retreat, inspired by Maya shamanic rituals, taps into the spiritual energy and power of cenotes, and includes energy-healing rituals, meditation, sound baths and cleansing plunges into cenote waters on the property as well as secret cenotes off-site. Guests feel invigorated, inspired and recharged emotionally.
Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal
The spa and wellness program at Six Senses Douro Valley is unlike any other with offerings that range from traditional, to cutting edge advancements. This luxury property caters to all facets of personal wellness and is a rich immersion for all the senses.
Honoring Portuguese tradition, and the elements of water, stone and wood, they call it “rural relaxation”. But there is no shortage of simple luxury with the well-appointed spa facility, variety of wellness programs, and expert-led retreats. While skilled-care is applied to all skin-focused and body treatments, the variety of health experiences is beyond impressive, with unique offerings focused on immunity, brain health, heart and emotional connection, fitness, sleep, detox, holistic anti-aging, and pets – yes, pets!
Among the most impressive inclusions on the wellness and spa menu are biohacking treatments. Biohacking takes shortcuts to better wellness by “hacking” the body’s natural recovery system allowing improved health, balance and energy. Two targeted treatments are on offer: cellgym oxygen therapy and normatec acupressure boots – which can result in a long list of health improvements. If the biohacking treatments sound too advanced, opt for a one-off signature treatment or a targeted program where your daily schedule could include a variety of treatments, workouts and experiences.
The Power of Shiatsu Aman Kyoto, Japan
Positioned among 17 Unesco World Heritage Sites and a golden Temple, Aman Kyoto rests in a secret garden at the heart of a forest, setting the stage for a tranquil, private and healing spa experience. The menu of services is extensive, yet all built on four pillars of wellness: nutrition, movement, psychological health and bodywork.
One of the property’s unique characteristics is its mineralrich waters and natural hot springs. Japanese Onsen bathing is known for its healing, relaxation and many other health benefits. Guests are invited to soak in the healing waters and immerse themselves in a bathing culture that dates back to the sixth century from Buddhist cleansing rituals.
The Shiatsu massage is a favored specialty at Aman Kyoto, and is an intuitive technique, based on the same principles as acupuncture. The powerful treatment aims to restore the flow of energy in the body and is known to improve muscle
tone, strengthen immunity and dispel stress. This Japanese wellness service is a must-try for those who can while visiting. For those seeking something different, there is a multitude of pampering offerings to choose from, including fully customizable treatment journeys.
Between the carefully curated wellness activities, luxurious accommodations and the blissfully idyllic setting, there’s an undeniable serenity to be found, and a peace guests take with them, long after they leave.
Is it any surprise that spa and wellness travel is one of the fastest growing niches in tourism? To be able to explore an exciting destination, while taking the opportunity to care for one’s self intentionally, is truly a luxurious vacation. And with such variety and levels of immersion, there’s a wellness experience for everyone. Whether your next journey is steeped in science, nature, or ancient ritual, there may be no healthier way to vacation.
01 All it takes is 10 minutes for this Clarins masque to combat puffiness and swelling of the face and neck, click to shop
02 Ease into a deeper level of relaxation and sooth sore, tired muscles and joints, click to shop
03 Pop in the fridge or under cold water to instantly soothe, cool and calm the face and body, click to shop
04 Use to revitalize the eyes anytime you need a pick-me-up – even as your plane lands, click to shop
If your next trip doesn’t include a spa or wellness program, you can still benefit from a little self-care. These items have us looking and feeling our best before, during and after travel. 01 02
SELECT WINTER DESTINATIONS
Allow your winter getaway to become even more satisfying when you visit one of these SELECT partners and enjoy added
VIP benefits. Each property featured provides impressive hospitality and luxurious accommodations in stunning locations.
Book with your travel advisor to enjoy luxury perks, such as:
VIP amenity valued at 100 USD
Complimentary breakfast for two daily
Upgrade upon availability
ANANTARA PALAZZO NAIADI ROME
In a crescent-shaped palazzo fronting the Piazza della Repubblica, Anantara Palazzo Naiadi immerses guests in the splendor of ancient Rome. This palatial hotel boasts one of the most enviable locations in the city center, with several iconic sites all in easy walking distance. After a day of exploration, return for rooftop relaxation overlooking the Eternal City.
Number of rooms: 238
Neighborhood: City center
Local interests: Colosseo, Pantheon, Fontana di Trevi, Basilica di San Pietro, Musei Vaticani, Campo Di Fiori
Early check-in and late check-out upon availability
Complimentary Wi-Fi And much more!
CONRAD PUNTA DE MITA
RIVIERA NAYARIT, MEXICO
Perfectly positioned where the jungle meets the ocean, nestled among miles of pristine beaches and green rolling hills, Conrad Punta de Mita offers an exclusive beach setting, where accommodations feature private terraces and sea views. Explore uninhabited islands with secret beaches, tour historic towns and partake in cooking classes with the chef.
Number of rooms: 324
Neighborhood: Punta de Mita
Local interests: Sayulita, Isla Marietas, golf
BAGLIONI RESORT MALDIVES
DHAALU ATOLL, MALDIVES
Inspired by the sand and sea surroundings, the Baglioni Resort Maldives in the Indian Ocean is awash with tropical beauty. Enveloped by turquoise waters, this award-winning property features gorgeous over-the-water accommodations. With extensive restaurant options that include Italian, Japanese and other international cuisines, guests are sure to find a culinary adventure.
Number of rooms: 85
Neighborhood: Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives
Local interests: Ocean, marine life, beaches
FAIRMONT KEA LANI
MAUI, HAWAII, USA
Situated on a shimmering golden sandy beach, the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui offers luxurious villas and suites, with six dining options, including the award-winning, Ko. The property boasts three resort pools, including one adults-only, a wellness program and Hawaiian cultural activities. Opportunities abound for snorkeling and diving in the deep blue Pacific waters.
Number of rooms: 450
Local interests: Waterfalls, beautiful beaches, snorkeling/diving, Hawaiian culture
FOUR SEASONS RESORT AND RESIDENCES JACKSON HOLE
JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING, USA
Nestled in an exclusive mountain valley, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole is surrounded by some of America’s most rugged peaks, celebrated ski runs and an array of wildlife in nearby Grand Teton National Park. Experience world-class skiing and snowboarding, before dining at any of three extraordinary on-site restaurants at this ski-in/ski-out location.
Number of rooms: 124
Neighborhood: Teton Village
Local interests: Skiing, wildlife, outdoors
GRAN MELIÁ HOTELS & RESORTS
Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts reflect the simple pleasures of a life well-lived, in worldclass destinations. The properties meet at the intersection of luxury and Spanish joie de vivre, contrasting Mediterranean influence with European grandeur. Each property blends history with avantgarde details making each experience more like a “way of life”.
Number of locations: 5
SELECT locations: Madrid, Misiones, Rome, Seville
Service style: Spanish influences blended with an avant-garde style
HALF MOON, A SALAMANDER RESORT
ST. JAMES, MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA
Half Moon offers three distinctive accommodation experiences – and a variety of award-winning amenities – on two miles of Jamaican beachfront. Highlights include a championship golf course, acclaimed spa and wellness program, and horseback riding. Return to luxurious accommodations and dine in one of its award-winning restaurants.
Number of rooms: 238
Neighborhood: Montego Bay
Local interests: Community, wellness, adventure
MONTE-CARLO BAY HOTEL & RESORT
MONTE CARLO, MONACO
Built on a four-acre peninsula, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and exotic gardens, the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort boasts luxe accommodations – most with sea views – all with spacious balconies. Amenities include a sandybottomed lagoon, indoor-outdoor pool, a two Michelin-star restaurant and award-winning spa, Cinq Mondes.
Number of rooms: 332
Local interests: Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Tête de Chien, casinos
NH COLLECTION GRAND HOTEL PALAZZO DEI DOGI
Located in a 17th Century palazzo, NH Collection Grand Hotel Palazzo dei Dogi, boasts outstanding beauty. The hotel is mere steps from local artisanal shops and famed sights, and guests enjoy private pier access to the waterways.
Accommodations feature classic décor with picturesque views. Exquisite, authentic Venetian cuisine and fine wines are highlighted at the restaurants and bar.
Number of rooms: 64
Local interests: Piazza San Marco, Ponte di Rialto
Colorado’s first-class terrain, luxurious hotels and exceptional dining scene, make Vail one of North America’s most coveted ski towns. Whether you’re an avid skier or newer to the sport, here’s how to spend a perfect winter day in this alpine mecca.
Since the early bird gets the best powder, wake up before 7:00am at The Sebastian Vail, a gorgeous boutique hotel in the heart of the village. To fuel up for an active day, breakfast is a green smoothie with a delicious platter of smoked salmon, bagels, whipped cream cheese, capers, red onion and heirloom cherry tomatoes. (You’ll save The Sebastian’s bottomless mimosas for a morning when you’re not hitting the slopes first thing.)
Check in with your ski valet at The Sebastian’s Base Camp. Located at the foot of Vail Mountain, the hotel’s ski-in/ski-out service is dedicated to making your outdoor adventures absolutely effortless. Sip fresh coffee while the Base Camp’s adventure concierge sets you up with just the right gear; all you have to do is slide into warm boots, clip into your skis and step onto the gondola. The rest of your morning is spent exploring 1,500 acres of immaculately groomed runs under blue skies, stopping only to grab lunch and some hot cocoa back at base camp.
After many invigorating hours on the mountain, it’s time for Vail’s favorite past-time: après-ski. Treat yourself with the pleasure of warming up at Alpenrose, a cozy European restaurant that’s been charming locals and visitors since 1974. Ravenous from skiing, you can tuck into some old-world classics like gooey raclette, zwiebelkuchen (caramelized onion pie) and big mugs of Bavarian beer.
For some downtime back at the hotel, check in at The Sebastian’s Bloom Spa for a “High Altitude Adjustment” treatment. At more than 8,000 feet above sea level, it’s easy to feel the effects of altitude in Vail, so recharge with a relaxing foot soak, oxygen therapy session and full-body massage.
Head out to dinner at Sweet Basil, a Vail fine-dining institution. Led by chef de cuisine Will Edwards, Sweet Basil’s kitchen has served acclaimed New American cuisine since 1977. Indulge in dishes like smoked short rib croquettes with gruyere fondue; Colorado lamb with pecan salsa verde; and sticky toffee pudding cake.
RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO
Rosewood Mayakoba is located in the heart of a 620-acre nature reserve in Riviera Maya. Situated between lush jungle, winding lagoons, and turquoise ocean, this ultra-luxurious and awardwinning property features expertly appointed suites with plunge pools and butler service, as well as an exclusive collection of private residences.
Number of rooms: 129
Neighborhood: Riviera Maya
Local interests: Golf, Cenotes, Chichen Itza archaeological site
SIX SENSES IBIZA
Located on the northern tip of Ibiza, Six Senses Ibiza has come to be known for attracting free spirits. With unobstructed sunset views and beachfront caves, one will feel the deep spiritual connection rooted in the local culture. Savor farm-fresh cooking with Six Senses chefs after an exhilarating ride through the pine forest trails on an e-mountain bike. As nighttime falls, partake in stargazing or enjoy live music.
Number of rooms: 133
Neighborhood: Xarraca Bay
Local interests: Ocean, spa, arts
THE MILESTONE HOTEL & RESIDENCES
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Housed in an enchanting Victorian building, The Milestone Hotel & Residences boasts illustrious royal neighbors opposite Kensington Palace and Gardens. Each room is unique with fresh florals and fine furnishings. Amenities include a spa room, sauna and resistance pool. Enjoy signature cocktails in Stables Bar and fine British dining in Cheneston’s Restaurant.
Number of rooms: 56
Local interests: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace, Design Museum
THE BOCA RATON
BOCA RATON, FLORIDA, USA
Situated amidst 200 lake and oceanfront acres in Palm Beach County, The Boca Raton features five distinct hotels – including the recently-opened 27-story tower after a $65 million transformation. Surrounded by storied history and grand architecture, this iconic resort offers a private beach, pool club and award-winning Spa Palmera, World of Flavor restaurants and cocktails created with innovation and flair. The active guest can enjoy golf, tennis and water sports.
Number of rooms: 900
Neighborhood: East Boca Raton
Local interests: Beach, spa, golf
THE RITZ-CARLTON BOSTON
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, USA
Steps from the Boston Common, The Ritz-Carlton Boston offers urban luxury in the historic downtown, all within walking distance of the city’s major universities. The property features a modern bistro and glamorous mid-century modern-inspired bar offering signature martinis. Club Level guests can enjoy the Lounge that features complimentary culinary presentations, craft cocktails, and access to the adjoining Equinox Sports Club.
Number of rooms: 193
Neighborhood: Downtown Boston
Local interests: Boston Common, Fenway Park, Theatre District
THE PENINSULA HOTELS
US, EUROPE & ASIA – WITH MORE LOCATIONS IN DEVELOPMENT
The Peninsula Hotels are especially magical during the holidays, with properties around the globe offering guests a luxurious feast for all the senses. With magnificently decorated lobbies, lavish seasonal menus and delightful family activities, guests are sure to create truly special memories at any given time of year.
Locations: Bangkok, Beijing, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Hong Kong, Manilla, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo
Service style: A unique combination of tradition, glamor, innovation, and service
THE RITZ-CARLTON NEW YORK, CENTRAL PARK
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA
The Ritz-Carlton New York is set in New York’s iconic Central Park neighborhood, complete with a knowledgeable concierge providing guests with recommendations to all the top attractions. Unwind at La Prairie Spa, take advantage of the 24-hour Fitness Center and Movement Studio with on-demand virtual classes and settle into the well-appointed Club Lounge.
Number of rooms: 253
Neighborhood: Central Park
Local interests: Central Park, luxury shopping, Broadway
THE SEBASTIAN VAIL
VAIL, COLORADO, USA
Located in the heart of Vail Village, surrounded by breathtaking mountain views, The Sebastian Vail offers exquisite guest accommodations. For the winter enthusiast, activities include skiing, snowboarding, dog sled tours and ice fishing. Nearby shops and boutiques beckon those seeking retail therapy. Dine in one of its tantalizing restaurants, which are dedicated to sustainable, local, organic and fresh foods. Relax the day away in a private hot tub.
Number of rooms: 100
Neighborhood: Vail Village
Local interests: Vail Mountain, Beaver Creek Mountain, Gerald R Ford Amphitheater
As our fall turns into winter and a chill descends, the Southern Hemisphere is just beginning to blossom into spring. The extraordinarily beautiful region of Patagonia, for example, is at its prime during our coldest months, making for an ideal winter escape. Once you’ve journeyed to Chile’s remote Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, here’s how to spend three perfect days exploring this area’s breathtaking landscape and culture.
With the sun up before 6:00am, it’s easy to be an early riser in Patagonia. From your cozy but spacious two-story suite at Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, enjoy enviable views out over Torres del Paine National Park. After a hearty breakfast of fresh fruit, scrambled eggs and toast with Mantecoso cheese, prepare for a day of hiking by dressing in layers (this region’s weather can be notoriously unpredictable), packing a windbreaker and ensuring you have plenty of water.
Led by an experienced guide, your first big Patagonian adventure is an iconic one: a full-day hike to the base of Torres del Paine’s Three Towers. Famous the world over, this legendary route is on the bucket list of many avid hikers and will take you across greatly varied terrain. You’ll hike through native forest, cross a river and navigate massive chunks of stone before being rewarded with a commanding view of the Three Towers.
Dinner is yet another way to experience the unique environment of Patagonia. At the lodge’s restaurant, chefs create dishes featuring local delicacies like lamb; wild hare; and king crab caught in the Strait of Magellan. Other ingredients, including herbs and berries, are foraged from the land.
Rise early to enjoy breakfast before a full-day kayaking expedition. After traveling to Lake Grey – a body of water that’s proglacial, meaning it formed behind a moraine or ice dam – you’ll hop into your kayaks and paddle past towering ice formations that have cracked off Glacier Grey. Weather permitting, you’ll also head down the river towards the equally-scenic Serrano area.
After a breakfast of waffles and fruit, layer up once again and meet with your guide. Today you’ll be exploring by horseback from the Entre Lagos section of Estancia Cerro Guido, a nearby ranch established at the end of the 19th century. After donning chaps and hard hats, you’ll mount your steeds for a ride along an unmarked trail towards Lake Sarmiento, where yet more exquisite views of the surrounding mountains await.
Hungry from your time on the water, dinner is a satisfying spread of grilled melon with papaya yogurt sauce, sea bass with thyme and cochayuyo – a type of Chilean kelp –and a nutty slice of nougat almond cake to finish it all off.
After your half-day trek, unwind by visiting Uma, Tierra Patagonia’s spa. Like the lodge itself, Uma is understated but luxurious; its heated indoor pool is encased entirely by glass, so you have the chance to spot animals in the surrounding wilderness while enjoying a hydromassage. The rest of the temperature-controlled spa circuit includes a steam room, plenty of dedicated relaxation spaces and an outdoor open-air whirlpool. Soothe sore muscles even further with a massage, body wrap or scrub; each of which use all-natural ingredients and aromatherapy oils.
At the end of the day, cozy into your suite’s second-floor lounge with cups of tea to admire Patagonia’s dusky skies – a great time to reflect on the three days you’ve spent in this unique and remarkable place.
Rehash the details of your day over Calafate Sours – the lodge’s signature cocktail. Native to the region, calafate is a shrub with pulpy purple fruit that must be harvested by hand from the plant’s spiny branches. Then, after an amazing tomahawk steak dinner, it’s early to bed in anticipation of tomorrow’s exploits.
For Eco-Friendly TravelersNAYARA GARDENS, COSTA RICA
Ecotourism is not simply traveling responsibly for the sake of the environment – that’s only part of it. The opportunity to visit a natural destination, while respecting the environment and aiming to improve the wellbeing of locals is essentially the ethos of ecotravel. It’s a unique value proposition to enjoy a vacation, while being a steward of conservation and responsible travel. The idea that sustainable travel experiences all look and feel the same is a misconception that doesn’t do justice to the variety of destinations, activities and accommodations out there. From endless sea and sky views with contemporary food and drink programs, to tropical rainforest spa treatments between outdoor adventures, there really is something for everyone to get excited about.
Imagine luxury and adventure as nature intended, and feel right at home with the relaxed mountain lifestyle. The Lodge at Blue Sky in Utah, 35 minutes from Salt Lake City airport, was designed with deep reverence for nature’s beauty – and does not disappoint – showcasing contemporary design against undeveloped surroundings. With an exclusive setting on 3,500 acres of lush, untamed landscape, guests can choose from three distinct accommodation styles on the property, each celebrating the unique elements of the natural environment they’re situated: Sky Lodge, Earth Suites, or Creek Houses. Guests are encouraged to connect meaningfully with the environment through the organic architecture, farm-to-table
cuisine, a wellness sanctuary and The High West Whiskey Distillery, which lovingly crafts small batch whiskey from grain to glass. The property is deeply committed to environmental and community issues and has a strong social purpose initiative, that includes efforts to prohibit single-use plastics, mindfully source local materials, run a regenerative farm, implement sustainable practices for recreational activities like clay shooting, fund emergency care for uninsured people in neighboring communities, foster rescue horses and manage a wastewater treatment facility. All of the sights and activities available at Blue Sky stoke the soul of guests, visit after visit and cultivate a rich appreciation for mountain heritage.
If water is more your element, perhaps a surprising island getaway is the ideal plan…it just may not be what you’d first expect. Fogo Island Inn is on an island, off an island, at one of the four corners of the Earth. Are you still following? Situated along Iceberg Alley, the Inn delivers genuine, place-specific hospitality in a stark, unforgiving Newfoundland wilderness but offers an undeniable charm for which it’s affectionately earned the moniker “salty Narnia”. All rooms and suites feature floor-toceiling windows opening onto the North Atlantic, and furnished with handmade luxury amenities by locals. Snowmobiling, snowshoeing, berry picking, foraging, hiking, fishing, watching icebergs or listening to local music, are just some of the ways to truly experience the island. Each season provides a different perspective for getting to know the place, and perhaps even yourself.
If warmer climates yield the most enjoyable getaways, Costa Rica is a perfect beginning for ecotourists. Nayara Gardens provides an authentic rainforest experience in the heart of the Arenal Volcano National Park with the environment and social responsibility at the heart of everything they do. With three properties set in a lush paradise – Nayara Gardens, Nayara Springs and Nayara Tented Camp – each has views of one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and all are luxurious accommodations in their own right. Whether it’s a bungalow, private villa or glamorous tent situation, all lodgings are designed to immerse guests in this rainforest setting (think outdoor showers, pools, terraces and Jacuzzis), and discover the natural tropical delights that await. The private and tranquil surroundings make this a popular choice for couples and families alike, and the resort reinvests into the rainforest, planting thousands of trees to preserve the natural habitat for sloths, monkeys and birds. Staff are all local and provide “heartfelt hospitality” to all guests, hoping to share Costa Rica through their own eyes. This is most definitely a natural wonder where travelers can savor peace and quiet while marveling at the surrounding flora and fauna.
Encounters with the places, people, and culture that make a destination special are certainly authentic and memorable aspects of travel and natural extensions of ecotravel. Experiencing things as they were, as they are and as they will be for years to come – with little interference and influence – is a rarity, but most definitely worth exploring.
For more information about these, or other sustainable travel experiences, reach out to your SELECT advisor.
A The Lodge at Blue Sky, Utah, USA
B Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada
C Nayara Gardens, Costa Rica
KOH SAMUI, THAILAND
When you picture Thailand at its most beautiful, you’re picturing Koh Samui. Its pristine cerulean waters. Its lush mountains rising abruptly from the sea. Its white sandy beaches, sacred golden temples, exquisite cuisine and friendly smiles. If paradise is what you’re after, here’s how to spend a perfect day on the island of Koh Samui.
From your villa overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, awake at the luxurious Banyan Tree Samui resort to the sounds of the surrounding jungle. Get an energizing start to the day with a private yoga class, then slip into the waters of your infinity pool to savor a “floating breakfast”, complete with coffee and plenty of fresh tropical fruits.
Refreshed and ready for the day, join your private tour guide for a drive north to see two awe-inspiring local landmarks: Wat Phra Yai and Wat Plai Laem. Wat Phra Yai, also known as the Big Buddha Temple, features a golden Buddha seated in Mara pose that’s nearly 40-feet tall; its position at the top of a hill offers incredible views of the surrounding ocean. Next, is the nearby Wat Plai Laem, a great example of the island’s strong Chinese heritage. The first of its two giant statues is the 18-armed Guanyin, Chinese Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, while the second is an enormous laughing Chinese Buddha. For all visits to sacred places on Koh Samui, remember that it’s customary to have your legs and shoulders covered.
A short drive west brings you to the popular Greenlight Café & Bar for lunch. This bright and amiable space features organic vegan and vegetarian food made with Koh Samui’s bounty of ingredients. Try the brown rice rolls with seasonal vegetables, marinated cabbage, handfuls of fresh herbs and a tamarind-peanut sauce, before grabbing a green juice on your way out.
Back at the resort, it’s time to move off the land and into the crystal-clear waters of Banyan Tree’s private bay in Lamai. Join a snorkeling class that explores the resort’s nearby reef, searching beneath the waves for wildlife like copperband butterflies, trumpetfish, parrotfish, giant clam colonies and blue-spotted stingrays.
Later in the afternoon, the water theme continues at the spa. Developed by Banyan Tree, “The Rainforest” is a holistic hydrothermal experience with nine different therapies, each designed to soothe and can revitalize various parts of your body.
Dinner is on the terrace at Saffron, Banyan Tree Samui’s signature restaurant known for its exceptional cuisine. You can opt for the Thai tasting menu with dishes like crab spring rolls; pomelo salad with betel leaf, young coconut and tamarind; tom kha gai soup with Kaffir lime leaves; and pork spare ribs with black pepper and honeycomb sauce. During dinner, you’ll be treated to beautiful performances of “Menora”, a traditional dance of southern Thailand.
4:15pm 7:00pm 9:00pm
Before heading off to bed, your villa patio is the perfect place to sit and reflect on an incredible day, once again soothed by the sounds of the surrounding jungle.