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Check out our picks for this summer’s best lodging









in Collaboration with The New York Times


P OE G O | S UM M ER 201 7


Dear Poe Traveler:

AGENT REPORTS Ellison Poe on the Go GRAVETYE MANOR (UK) AND MOROCCO Ellison recently made a stop-over in the English countryside en route to the Atlas Mountains for a grand getaway with daughter Jane (a pre-graduation escapade before a postgraduation trip on The Royal Scotsman).

Are you frustrated in your dealings with the airlines? The delayed and canceled flights? The seemingly endless fees? The lost luggage? Being forcibly removed from the plane by armed officers? The scorpions? We feel you! We are frustrated, too, and we’ll do everything in our power to help you navigate the madness. There are, however, certain things that remain out of our control—for example, delayed, canceled, or re-routed flights due to weather or mechanical issues. We’ll bend over backwards to help you sort it out, but—though we are in the business of crafting travel dreams—we are not in the business of working miracles. We cannot create room on a flight that is already sold out—we just can’t do it!

• Fly in the morning and don’t take the last flight out. • Know that all airlines are pretty much created equal, there are only about four, but Southwest gives vouchers for delayed flights, $100. No one else does it—take advantage of it. • Don’t check your bags, but if you must make sure you have a change of clothes and toiletries in your carry-on. We cannot stress this enough! As we like to say, “Keep Calm and Carry On . . . your luggage!”

Your friendly travel agents, Margaret and Ellison Cover sketch by Kent Blochberger.

• Find out what you’re entitled to. • Figure out what will happen to your connecting flight. Get tech smart—use all available re-booking platforms at the same time. • Make sure you have travel insurance. • Try to get a lounge pass to take advantage of the comfy seating, clean bathrooms, snacks, and less-frazzled agents. This can make a huge difference. • Get a luggage tracker app/device. • Download the Breathe2Relax App. • Be patient! Be civilized! Be kind!

PAULA Without a Kir in the World BETH & ANGELA Into the Wilds of Iceland: DO go chasing waterfalls ANN France Redux NANCY The O’Briens in Ireland

What we can do is offer the following suggestions . . . • Adopt the Boy Scout motto: BE PREPARED! Let’s hold those three fingers up and take the pledge! No, not just the middle finger—all three!

First to England . . . As described in The Telegraph, “Gravetye Manor is an almost implausible phantasm of loveliness—a scene from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ floating in the spicyvapours of roses and azaleas.”

It’s located within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: a region of sandstone outcrops, low-lying meadows, and thick clusters of hazel and silver birch trees. The manor is flanked by a twisting lake and surrounded by beautiful gardens which Ellison got to appreciate them in their full splendor. The Manor itself is an authentic Elizabethan edifice, all mullioned windows and red-brick chimney stacks.





P OE G O | S UM M ER 201 7


AGENT REPORTS ... Continued from previous page

PREVIOUS PAGE | LEFT | Ellison and Fatima from

A&K in Marrakech.

| RIGHT | Dan Parker and Ellison

at Gravetye Manor.


The Royal Scotsman, Great Fosters (UK), Turks & Caicos Advisory Board Meeting for JG Black Book, and Eustacia (BVI) with Janine Cifelli.

Margaret Kemp and Mildred Cooper have a busy travel schedule ahead of them. This summer, they’re headed to London, Greece, Croatia, and Italy—with family in tow; and they’re going to India in the fall! We’llv keep you posted on this globetrotting duo.

“It’s very old-shoe feeling. My favorite room was the old library—wood-paneled with an art deco style bathroom. This isn’t a hotel with a snazzy gym or anything trendy. Londoners come for the weekend.” Its Michelin-starred restaurant is astonishing, too. All this, and Gatwick is only 25 minutes’ drive! They then took an early flight to Marrakech to begin the next stage of their journey. Abercrombie & Kent met them straight off the plane—one of the many reasons we love A&K! “The Marrakech airport is gorgeous— white and modern like a Marimekko design,” says Ellison. It was then a two-hour drive up the Atlas Mountains to Richard Branson’s property, Kasbah Tamadot. Ellison reports, “It’s like a Hollywood movie set.” They stayed in a tricked-out Berber-style tent complete with living room, fireplace, and outside terrace overlooking the mountains. “It got really cold at night, but you cozy up in these richly colored capes with pointy-hoods and tassels and a great pair of leather slippers. Ellison says, “The Atlas Mountains feel like the Tetons, and there was a lot of snow left. That night we went to the dining room for dinner; they had a ‘theme’ night of Berber folk dancers

which turned out to be fun. We had drinks in the courtyard which looked magical with its reflecting pools all lit with candles, then after dinner we went to the library for mint tea by the fire.” The next day, they drove down the mountains to Marrakech where they stayed at the iconic La Mamounia—“My favorite hotel!,” enthuses Ellison. “It is totally Art Deco and has recently been given a face lift. They have amazing huge gardens and an enormous Olympic size swimming pool but it isn’t ‘modern’ at all. The service is impeccable, and you feel like you could be in a Humphrey Bogart movie. That afternoon our guide took us into the souk, and we wandered and got to know the ‘feel’ of the medina.” She also might have done just a bit of carpet shopping, too. “Our last day we saw Yves St Laurent’s garden—Marjorelle Garde—stunning blue buildings, definitely worth a visit, and with A&K you can skip the queue!” They then flew back to London and ended their trip at the Gorgeous Goring, showering the staff with fezes. They also tried a new restaurant called Bob Bob Ricard. “Fantastic! You push a little button for champagne and violà! It feels like you’re in the Wes Anderson movie Grand Budapest Hotel.” A fitting ending to a fabulous trip.

Without a kir in the world PAULA LEE

Belmond Afloat in France Dijon to Saint-Jean-de-Losne Allow us to set the scene: The morning mist rises to reveal the sun as the craft slips its moorings. The barge makes its way through picturesque locks and riverbanks lined with fishermen. A kingfisher darts past. A village baker cycles by, his dog perched in the wicker basket. The dog, donning a tiny Breton shirt, jaunty chapeau, and red kerchief, calls out, “Salut, mes amis!” Sorry, got carried away . . . back to the barge . . . Envision yourself lazing on deck beside the plunge pool or gently peddling to a nearby country market. Such is Belmond barge life. This spring, Paula experienced this first hand aboard the lavish Amaryllis. The bucolic, restful cruise kicked off in grand fashion with a champagne reception that set the tone for the journey ahead. The Belmond Amaryllis is the very epitome of French finesse. Picture antique Louis XVI furniture, trompe l’oeil wall murals, and embroidered Parisian bedcovers. “There are only four cabins, and they’re very luxurious and roomy,” says Paula. “The food was fabulous, the decor beautiful. You can get off the barge and bike into the most charming villages or you can travel by luxury van.” Paula explains, “The barge is charter only, perfect for a group of friends or a family

(without small children). It’s cozy yet not cramped, and the crew members attend to your every need.” She adds, “We only saw one other barge the whole time, so it’s very different than river cruising. It’s more like a moving luxury boutique hotel. . . . Even active types won’t get antsy onboard because you’re moving at a decent pace.” Each day brings a new adventure.

Highlights included: • Visiting the famous Côte de Nuits vineyards and splendid Château du Clos de Vougeot, a 16th-century, Renaissance- style castle which was originally a wine farm where Cistercian monks first began making wine in the 12th century. (Paula even got to check out their medieval vats and presses.) • Touring Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy, and the magnificent, 15thcentury Hôtel-Dieu, a former charitable hospital renowned for its flamboyant architecture and stunning furniture and art collections. • Exploring the renowned Joseph Drouhin winery. Paula also enjoyed a pre- and post-stopover in Paris where she stayed at the famed Royal Monseau, just steps away from the Champs-Élysées. It’s a happening spot, and, in addition to any number of celebs at any given time, it houses its own art gallery and Art Concierge. Paula also took a walking tour with our friends at Chocolatine—a must when in gay Paree!

INTRODUCING ANN... We’re thrilled to welcome Ann Straessle to the Poe Travel team! A mother of five (ages 10-21), Ann has a background in education and has worked in oncology for the past seven years. Ann and family are outdoor enthusiasts; they love to camp, hike, go caving, really, any and all outdoor activities. They are active and sporty like that. A couple of years ago Ann and daughter Abbey went to Tanzania to teach English to the Maasai and volunteer at a school, helping set up social programs for high school kids. Someday she would like to return to East Africa with the rest of her family. Ann is an all-around delightful person, and we’re so lucky to have her.



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AGENT REPORTS FAVORITE PLACE Beth and Angela in chorus: Thorsmork! Angela: The landscape is simply stunning, and because it’s hard to get to there are very few people. They had to take a SuperJeep to this hard-to-reach spot and found themselves surrounded by high mountains, majestic glaciers, and birch woods. Unfortunatley, they couldn’t do the glacier walk due to the weather, but they highly reccommend it weather permitting.

THE PEOPLE Super warm, friendly, and laidback. Oh, and hearty, definitely hearty.

IN SUM: Beth: The most amazing place I’ve ever been. Angela: I’ve never worn so many helmets in my life—but I mean that in a good way. Highlights of their action-packed adventure include:

Into the wilds of Iceland: DO Go Chasing Waterfalls . . . ANGELA SIMON AND BETH PORTER

Packing for Iceland flummoxes many of our clients, but now we can help you pack perfectly! Beth & Angela have it down to a science.

When the photos started coming in, those of us in the Poe Travel home office couldn’t believe our eyes—Beth and Angela atop Icelandic horses, descending deep into the bowels of a volcano, driving all variety of recreational vehicles across rugged landscapes?! And all the while ruddy-cheeked and smiling. With the help of our friends at PTI, particularly founder and head guide Jon Olafur Sigurbjornsson, these Poe girls had one exhilarating adventure. Iceland is a dramatic place, a land of vast tundra, stunning fjords, and tumbling waterfalls. You could call it idyllic. Quiet even (save only for Angela’s shrieks as she kareened across an ice field on a snowmobile). While Iceland looks like it’s floating at the edge of the Earth, its actually more accessible than ever. Its a short nonstop flight from the East Coast of the United States. Depending on when you visit, the Land of Fire and Ice might be drenched in a deep-red midnight sun—or lit by the flickering aurora borealis during otherwise

dark winter days. Whether you’re seeking out Iceland’s greatest hits or eager to retreat deep into Iceland’s glaciers, lava fields, and national parks, we can plan the perfect trip for you. Beth’s and Angela’s impressions follow.

FOOD Beth: On every menu there’s cod, Arctic Char, lamb, and salmon. The lobster is amazing; they’re small cold-water lobsters, and they’re delicious. Angela: Hot dogs are a big deal in Iceland. We had a hot dog from a famous cart in Reykjavik. They’re made mostly with pork, beef, and lamb and are topped with fried and raw onions and no fewer than three sauces. The first is a stripe of ketchup; the second a special lightly spiced mustard; the third a remoulade. This is also the cheapest way to eat in a country where a beer costs $14.

• Descending into a volcano Thrihnukagigur volcano is a unique natural phenomenon. All you need is the willingness to complete a 40-minute hike (each way) and the courage to descend 400 ft. to the bottom of the crater in an open cable lift. Beth and Angela were up to the task. Says Angela, The volcano was very cool because it felt like (and was) a real expedition. You had to work to get there, a long walk in blowing wind and snow, and it all gave you a huge sense of accomplishment. • Exploring the Golden Circle Iceland’s main attraction is the Golden Circle. It combines most of what the country has to offer: beautiful landscape, powerful geysers, and the most magnificent waterfall. To top it off, they drove a snowmobile on Langjokull glacier, Iceland’s second biggest! Thingvellir National Park: A huge part of Icelands history since the first Althingi in 930, a geological phenomenon, and a Unesco World heritage site. Geysir area: Home to a number of hot spouting geysers; the most famous one is Great Geysir, but the most energetic one is Strokkur which spouts every few minutes. Gullfoss waterfall: Iceland’s most famous one, and there’s a lot of competition.

• Touring the South Shore The south shore of Iceland is well known for its beauty, waterfalls, endless beaches, and Solheimajokull glacier. Seljalandsfoss waterfall: Angela and Beth got to walk behind it for a unique perspective. Reynisdrangar: Mysterious-looking Basalt sea stacks in the North-Atlantic Ocean. Legend has it that they originated when trolls unsuccessfully dragged a threemaster ship to land, but Beth and Angela did not spy any trolls on site. Skogarfoss waterfall: one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland, and you can walk right up to it; sometimes there are DOUBLE rainbows visible! Gigjokull: A glacial tongue that drains from the famous Eyjafjallajokull glacier. Stakkholtsgja: Light hike into the canyon of where there’s, you guessed it, a beautiful waterfall. Basar: Light hike in the bottom of Thorsmork valley where there are 170 species of plants, moss, and lichen. • Borgarfjordur and Kaldidalur Valley Hvalfjordur and Borgarfjordur are not Icelands most popular attractions, but thats just the sort of off-the-beaten track destination that Poe Travel loves. Angela and Beth saw waterfalls and hot springs and drove through Icelands second highest jeep road, Kaldidalur. Deildartunguhver: The most powerful hot spring in Europe. Barnafoss and Hraunfossar falls: Hraunfossar (Lava Falls), the water runs on ancient lava fields, covered with trees, into the river. Kaldidalur Valley: Kaldidalur lies between two glaciers. • Reykjanes Peninsula with Blue lagoon There are numerous hot springs and sulphur springs on the Reykjanes peninsula. Kleifarvatn Lake: located on the fissure zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, this picturesque lake the largest on the Reykjanes Peninsula and is said to be inhabited by a monster (not spotted by Angela and Beth). Seltun geothermal area: Sulphuric water and gases have created colorful deposits making the soil green, yellow, and red. Krysuvikurbjarg: Cliffs where you see the North Atlantic Ocean break on the cliff—and a lot of birds. Blue lagoon: The waters in the Blue Lagoon are rich in minerals that are meant to have healing powers—and theres a swim-up bar!

Inside the Volcano experience, dormant Thrihnukagigur

Snowmobiles on Langjokul Glacier, Iceland’s second biggest glacier

While Iceland looks like it’s floating at the edge of the Earth, it’s actually more accessible than ever. It’s a short nonstop flight from the East Coast of the United States.



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France redux

The O’Briens in Ireland



Provence—Camargue—French Riviera—Tuscany

Nancy and Tim O’Brien, along with our friends at CIE Tours, escorted a group to the Emerald Isle in May, and report that all had a rousing, grand time.

On a return trip to France, Ann explored new terrain, both geographically and gastronomically. She smapled a veritable taxonomy of meats along the way, including: lamb, rabbit, pigeon, and even torro. (Bull, you say? NO, it’s true!) And the wines that accompanied these dégustations? . . . well, you can imagine—simply sublime. The stars were aligned for one fabulous trip—the Michelin stars, that is! Ann’s first stop was the magical hotel Mas de la Fouque in lovely Saintes Maries de la Mer. Adjacent to a natural reserve, the hotel exists at the very nexus of luxury and nature. Picture marshy fields of black bulls, white horses, Provencal cowboys (Bonjour, partner!), and pink flamingos (!). The Camargue really is like its own little country, and Mas de la Fouque seamlessly blends into its natural surroundings. Ann says, “It’s a very cool place with a laidback, relaxing feel. There’s even a resident cat lazing around.” Ann then traveled to picturesque Castillon-duGard where she wandered down storybookpretty cobbled lanes in the car-free heart of this medieval hilltop village. Ann says it’s the perfect base for exploring both Languedoc and neighboring Provence. She stayed at beautiful Le Vieux Castillon, situated amidst the ruins of a 10th-century chateau. They, of course, paid a visit to nearby Pont du Gard, the oldest Roman aqueduct in the region and the most impressive. They also spent a day in enchanting Uzès, one of the best preserved and most meticulously renovated towns in the South of France. “Oh little town of Uzès!” French novelist André Gide affectionately once wrote. Authentic and unpretentious, its renowned for its Renaissance architecture and Roman past. A hidden gem! Next stop . . . Provence and more mindbending luxury. Best known for its eponymous two- Michelin-starred restaurant, Baumanière les Baux had Ann swooning over the pictureperfect panoramas of Provence. Here she took in the olive groves and vineyards where Cézanne and Van Gogh found inspiration.

They began with a tour of ancient and modern Dublin; stops included the General Post Office where the 1916 Uprising started; Leinster House, the seat of government; and rows of Georgian houses with gaily painted doorways. They also visited the magnificent old library building of Trinity College with a student guide to see the illuminated manuscript of “I went for a walk early one morning and stumbled across a great hiking trail where you could overlook vineyards and see the sunrise,” she says wistfully. “Baumanière had the cutest little goats on the property . . . And the houses and buildings built into the rocks in Les Baux were fascinating.” Clinging precariously to an ancient limestone baou (Provençal for ‘rocky spur’), the fortified hilltop village of Les Baux-de-Provence is one of the most visited in France for good reason. The group also marveled at Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux-de- Provence, a unique multimedia art show in an ancient quarry. They then alighted at the Chèvre d’Or, a château built on the steep slopes of the French Riviera which offers breath-taking vistas of the Mediterranean. There they savored the great classics of French gastronomy as well as Mediterranean specialties and continued the hard work of relaxing and reposing. “Then we went to Hôtel le Cap Estel, also in Èze. It is fabulous and over-the-top. The views are spectacular. Not quaint, more like super luxe. Monte Carlo is 10 minutes up the street.” In true jet-setter fashion, she rounded out her French leg of the trip in Nice with a daytrip to Monaco. And, finally, Ann retreated to Tuscany to the Castello Banfi Il Borgo. “My favorite!” she exclaims. This 7,000-acre, family-owned vineyard estate and winery is in the gorgeous Brunello region has its origins as an ancient Etruscan settlement and as a Romanesque Renaissance castle. “We ended the trip here with a big finish. The food was absolutely amazing and the wine just as good.”

Tim and two friends managed to work in a few rounds of golf while Nancy and the others drove the Wild Atlantic Way to Slea Head at the westernmost tip for dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean. They embarked on a short cruise around Dingle Harbor and Bay where Fungie, the Dingle Dolphin, has resided for over 30 years. They also took a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car through the Killarney National Park to scenic Ross Castle, set on the shores of Lough Leane, Killarney’s largest lake. They enjoyed local stories by their jarvey (driver) and admired the great views of the mountains. Driving north, they stopped in the village of Adare, famous for its main street lined with thatched cottages and colorful gardens. In Limerick, they visited the mighty King John’s Castle, which has guarded the River Shannon and access to the interior of the country for over 800 years. That evening, they traveled to 15th-century Bunratty Castle for a medieval-style feast with lots of food, wine, and song that transported them back to the Middle Ages (the good parts, minus the plague, etc.). Next they traveled along the coast of County Clare to the Cliffs of Moher, which rise almost 700 feet above the churning Atlantic swells. There they walked along the top of the cliffs to O’Brien’s Tower for great views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. (Nancy and Tim felt right at home.)

| TOP | The group in front of the

Pont du Gard.

| ABOVE | A cooking class at

Castello Banfi.

| RIGHT | From left to right:

Terry Simpson, Barbara McDaniel, Maria Castro, and Nancy O’Brien

the 8th-century Book of Kells. They rounded out the night at a pub for a dinner of Irish specialties and a lively show with popular Irish music and step-dancing. The next day took them to the impressive Rock of Cashel, one of Ireland’s most spectacular archaeological sites. One of the group’s favorite parts of the trip was their visit to a nearby sheep farm for tea and freshly baked scones. Later, they paused for a poetic moment in the Irish rain to watch trained dogs herd sheep. Continuing south, they visited Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.” They then drove through Macroom, built around a castle, and into County Kerry, where the scenery becomes more mountainous. In picturesque Killarney, they admired the lakes and Ireland’s highest mountains, the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks.

They also visited the Burren Birds of Prey Centre and had a guided tour of Galway through the twisting streets of the old city. They ended the trip with a drive through the Irish countryside to Kildare to tour the Irish National Stud Farm and learn about the breeding industry. “What a treat it was to see Invincible Spirit the magnificent champion thoroughbred who garners a stud fee of EURO 100,000!” says Nancy. It was an action-packed tour to be sure, with a superb sampling of all that Southern Ireland has to offer.

UNOFFICIAL TIPS TO HELP KILL TIME IN AIRPORTL ANDIA: • Harshly judge weary parents traveling with small children for misbehavior of small children and pray they aren’t seated next to you • Feel outraged at how expensive everything in the airport is but then buy a $4 Twix because “you deserve it” • Feel nostalgic for the golden age of air travel when people made an effort and didn’t wear flip-flops and tracksuits • Observe designated smoker’s area as if zoo exhibit • Pretend travel pillow is neck brace to garner sympathy • Eat Cinnabon and then swear to yourself you’ll never eat Cinnabon again • Devour Sbarro and instantly be filled with regret • Panhandle and/or busk on train shuttle • Don’t take moving walkway telling yourself you need the exercise and shaking your head about the obesity epidemic and then wish you had taken moving walkway when you realize how far away your gate is • Walk flaneur-style in front of beeping motorized cart



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Lodging We Love “JUST THE TWO OF US”: AMAN & ROSA ALPINA It’s a match made in hotel heaven! One airport, two destinations . . . Envision the romance of Venice in the summer with its sun-drenched balconies and bustling canals. Imagine immersing yourself in art and culture as you spend three nights at a picturesque palazzo, breakfasting to views of passing gondoliers, visiting museums, pontificating over Titians. You get the picture. Then imagine traveling to a completely different but equally dazzling landscape/locale to Rosa Alpina in the crisp mountain air of the Dolomites. Meander through one of Europe’s most beautiful mountain ranges and be revived by a luxurious spa and Michelin starred cuisine. It’s the ultimate super value super deluxe combo deal (we’ve yet to see one quite like it!). This amazing offer is only valid until the September 24, 2017, so call us pronto!



• Daily full American breakfast à la carte

• Daily breakfast

• Mini bar with alcoholic drinks included

• One dinner for 2 at the restaurant Wine Bar & Grill Italian style restaurant

• Room upgrade upon availability • 60-minute massage for 2 • Lunch or dinner for 2 at the Aman Restaurant with wine chosen by their Sommelier • Sunset aperitivo for 2 by boat • Tickets for 2 for the Art Biennale • Tickets for 2 for the Damien Hirst Exhibition •T  ickets for 2 for the Guggenheim Collection •T  ransfer from Venice airport to Aman Venice • Transfer from Aman Venice to Rosa Alpina


VENICE is not a lone example of a floating city; it has a little cousin, Chioggia, which sits 16 miles to the south. This pretty town has canals of its own, including the Canale Vena. THE DOLOMITES were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, and the mountain region features numerous nature reserves. The Dolomites cover an area totaling 548 square miles and includes nine mountain ranges.

• Full day hiking with mountain guide • BBQ at the Rosa Alpina mountain cabin located at 6000 feet • Aperitif in the kitchen with the Chefs followed by a dinner at the gourmet restaurant St. *Hubertus ** Michelin/ 5-course tasting menu with matching wines • 50-minute massage Alpine Herbs Muscle Relief for 2

It’s the ultimate super value super deluxe combo deal (we’ve yet to see one quite like it!).


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WHERE TO GO WHEN Central America with Countries - Single Color by



YES WE YUCATAN! Sure this beautiful region has long been a hotspot for travelers, but did you know that dinosaurs became extinct here? Sixty-six million years ago, the asteroid that wiped out these “terrible lizards” hit what is now Chicxulub, and scientists from different countries continue to explore the area. Thanks to said asteroid, there are cenotes in the Yucatán—a network of interconnected underground rivers unique to this part of the world.

FROM THE SPIRITUAL TO SPIRITS Lavish retreats are setting new standards on the Yucatán peninsula and offering the chance to commune with both shamans and celebrities (do we sense a paradox here?). Opened in 2016, the Chablé Resort blends five-star hospitality, superior cuisine, and the world’s largest tequila collection with a mystical natural environment. Located 25 minutes from the historic city of Mérida, Chablé offers a harmonious blend of nature and luxury. Chose from 38 luxurious standalone pool villas, two expansive 3-bedroom presidential suites and a XIX century traditional “Hacienda,” completely restored to reflect the elegance and sophistication of the past.

Anchored by a world-class spa and spread across 750 acres in the heart of the Mayan forest, this resort epitomizes tranquility. The spa is built alongside a private and natural cenote, a natural formation commonly associated with the Yucatán Peninsula and considered sacred by the Mayans. In addition, they offer organic cuisine from a seasonal menu sourced directly from Chablé’s on-site gardens. The Yucatán region is rich in culture and history, guaranteeing guests an authentic experience in a serene environment with a true sense of place.

TUSCANY FOR THE WHOLE FAMIGLIA Spend your days exploring Tuscany and your nights immersed in the quiet of the Italian countryside at La Costia. Set on a rise at the end of an unpaved road near Montaione, this glorious villa has six bedrooms divided between the main house and guest house and has the feel of a private country estate. Charming traditional architecture complements modern furnishings. Once you drive through the gates of this secluded retreat, you’ll feel like you’re in your own world— though you may be able to spot other villas or

even the ocean in the distance. Enjoy a coffee on the shaded terrace, then soak in the sun in a lounge chair around the pool. Kids will love taking the bicycles for a spin or playing at the foosball and ping-pong tables. In the evenings, make use of the pizza oven and pour a glass from the wine cellar to enjoy at the al-fresco dining area. We recommend flying into Pisa and strolling through downtown and/or taking a day trip to Florence, but you may never want to leave the grounds!

Keen to go to Thailand but want to avoid the gap year crew? Always dreamed of seeing the northern lights but not sure when you’re most likely to catch them? It’s the perennial dilemma for all fans of travel: where to go when. That’s why we’ve put together the following travel calendar to make sure you’re always in the right place at the right time.




Uganda, Florida, Lanzarote, Switzerland, Sydney, Slovenia, Kerala in India, Grenada, Honshu (Japan), Guatemala, Cape Town, Oman, Dubai, and the Arctic Peninsula. It’s prime Caribbean time but avoid price-heavy Barbados and head somewhere like the Dominican Republic. The wild card for January is Venice, a city that wrests back its mystery from the summer swarms.

Lapland for the northern lights; Marrakech for sunny weather and off-season rates. Rome is another hectic city that benefits from off-season heel cooling. For a vitamin D boost think about Goa  as beaches empty out between now and monsoon season. Other ideas—Ibiza, the Gambia, Michoacan in Mexico, the Indian Ocean, Cambodia, Singapore, Haiti, and Quebec.

Koh Samui (Thailand) for scuba diving, Yosemite, late-season skiing in the Austrian and French Alps, Sicily, Cyprus, South Africa, Tyrol in Austria, the Maldives, Chile, Costa Rica, Banff in Canada, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Trinidad and Tobago. Iguazu Falls straddling Brazil and Argentina is in full flow this time of year.




Panama, the Philippines, Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand, the Alps, Belize, Melbourne, Brussels, Nepal, St Lucia, Andalusia and Seville in Spain, Sicily, Jordan. It’s cherry blossom season in Japan, and there are new year’s celebrations in Thailand. The Caribbean is still going strong as well.

The Scottish Highlands, Crete, and  Portugal. It’s tulip time in The Netherlands. May to September is also the best time to visit South Africa’s game parks. With its rivers, seas, and slopes, Montenegro is a nature lover’s paradise. Bermuda, Samoa, Morocco, Peru, North Island in New Zealand, the Loire Valley, Israel, Prague, Cuba, Southern Namibia, and the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Other ideas—sailing the fjords on the west coast of Norway or hitting the roads of northern Queensland for a picturesque tour.



Sweden or Norway for frolicking in the midnight sun. New Zealand’s ski season, Mongolia, the Baltic, Alaska, Japan, Zanzibar, the Himalayas, the Azores, Antigua, the Ionian Islands, the Dolomites, or the Black Forest in Germany. Brazil for wildlife spotting, from toucans to elusive jaguars.

Kenya for the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara, the Costa de la Luz in southern Spain, Umbria in Italy. Other options include Iceland, Zambia, Malawi, Sofia in Bulgaria, Berlin, Nova Scotia, Sweden, Ecuador, Champagne in France, Buenos Aires, the Cook Islands, the Kimberly in Australia, and Papua New Guinea.

Iceland for blue whale-watching. Greenland, Jamaica, Iran, Sardinia, Cape Cod, Lisbon, Bora Bora, the Canadian Rockies, Zambia, and Rwanda. Other ideas—cowboy up and take the family to a ranch in Montana or head to Borneo to watch the turtles hatch.

SEPTEMBER India’s monsoon season has just finished, leaving the country fresh and lush; at the other end of the world, it’s still warm enough to hit the beach in southern Australia and cool enough to tour Uluru. The Silk Road in central Asia, Costa Brava, Tibet, Georgia, South Korea, the Cotswolds, South Africa, Provence, Arizona, Vermont, and Sumatra and Java in Indonesia. You’ll find deserted beaches in a sun-drenched Corsica and autumn foliage brightening up Beijing. For active types—rafting in New Zealand or exploring the Moselle Valley in Germany.

TRAVEL CALENDAR continues on page 21...


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SLEEK STYLE IN WICKER PARK If you’re familiar with Chicago, you’ve probably been hitting the West Side Wicker Park neighborhood for epicurean excursions and cocktails for quite some time. The only problem was that there wasn’t a place to stay. Thankfully, that’s been remedied. The Robey— in a landmark Art Deco building—is shifting the city’s hotel game four L stops northwest of downtown. Now, after a night of revelry, just walk a block to the loden-hued lobby that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into Edward

Hopper’s “Nighthawks.” Upstairs, dimly lit hallways with original marble wainscoting lead to 69 rooms, where you’ll find vintage coffee tables, custom Amish-made beds, and Woolrich blankets. It’s all finely crafted and unassumingly Midwestern, until you get to The Violet Hour, the rooftop lounge—a glasswalled, skyline-framing bar open exclusively to guests. We like its Prohibition-era vibe and old-school house rules like no cell phones or baseball caps. How civilized!



If you’re looking for heaven on earth, we’ve found it in a somewhat surprising place. Thirty-five acres of gardens, lawns, and vineyards surround Abeja, a lovingly restored century-old farmstead in the breathtaking foothills of the Blue Mountains just a short eight-minute drive to downtown Walla Walla, Washington.

You’ll be welcomed with a complimentary glass of wine from Abeja’s winery on arrival and shown to your beautifully appointed cottage or suite. The multi-course breakfast can be delivered to your room or served in the Small Barn or on the patio next to the breakfast garden. Explore downtown Walla Walla and valley wineries. So serene and a cool alternative to Napa.

Secluded, private, and—until recently— residential, Eustatia Island offers unsurpassed beauty and exclusivity for up to 16 guests. Water days are spent kite surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, and sailing. Land days are about yoga, massages, and hiking. Complete with heli-pad, the 30-acre solar-powered island is home to coconut palms, succulents, and four stunning hilltop and beach houses—each with an outdoor lounge, gourmet kitchen, and chefprepared meals. Oh, so swell.

MI CASA ES SU CASA THE HACIENDA COLLECTION We love these hotels! With three Haciendas in Yucatan and two more in Campeche, completely remodeled, this collection offers a wide range of experiences, each of them unforgettable. You can enjoy five different atmospheres that will transport you to an era of luxury and comfort that the hacendados of the Mexican southeast enjoyed in the past. It’s like a super luxe trip back in time.


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Exceptional Experiences A NEW WAY TO DISCOVER PERU

ALPACA YOUR BAG! Explore the Peruvian Andes and experience one of the world’s highest train routes aboard South America’s first luxury sleeper train— Belmond Andean Explorer. It just recently departed on its inaugural journey, setting a new level of luxury for rail travel. Sister to the celebrated Belmond Hiram Bingham train, Belmond Andean Explorer transports up to 48 passengers through Peru in peerless style. A selection of one- and twonight itineraries journey between Cusco, Puno and Arequipa, taking in natural wonders such as Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon en-route. Your time aboard promises to be every bit as inspiring as your off-board moments of discovery. Inviting, indulgent accommodation and refined Andean cuisine ensure an unforgettable journey.


The Belmond Andean Explorer is South America’s first luxury sleeper train. Yes, this is on a train.

Here’s a bright idea—spend Thanksgiving at Amangiri in the Grand Canyon! A modernist marvel of architecture and design in the wild and wind-swept landscape surrounding Utah’s Lake Powell, Amangiri is a cleanlined sandstone monument to luxury that blends into its stark and striking natural surroundings. The hotel’s centerpiece, a dramatic pool, is built around a jutting rock formation at the base of a mesa. It’s all very relaxing and decadent, with a Navajo-inspired spa, gourmet restaurant, and absolutely stellar service. Why baste and bake when you can relax and repose? Amen, Aman!

EXTRA, EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! New for 2018 — A Private Jet Journey in Collaboration with The New York Times AROUND THE WORLD BY PRIVATE JET: CULTURES IN TRANSFORMATION Circle the globe on an inspiring and informative journey by private jet, created by The New York Times in collaboration with A&K. This itinerary takes you beneath the surface of some of the world’s most compelling destinations, illuminating them through the expertise of veteran Times journalists.

perspectives on the people and places that shape our world. Join a dedicated flight crew aboard an exclusively chartered Boeing 757 with first-class, fully lie-flat seats, accompanied by A&K’s top-notch Tour Directors and local experts, for an around-the-world adventure like no other.

Travel in a group of just 50 guests, joined by some of The Times’s most noteworthy journalists and local contributors, who offer firsthand




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WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN The Great Pyramids of Giza and other treasures of Egypt have beckoned travelers for more than two millennia. On an A&K journey to this timeless destination, explore venerable tombs and temples to piece together the life and times of one of the world's greatest ancient civilizations. Let A&K reveal Egypt's secrets in unqualified comfort. Cruise the fabled Nile in style — like the pharaohs—on “Sun Boat III,” disembarking at iconic sites as well as littleknown temples. Travel in the company of the region’s best Egyptologists, whose dedication to your journey is rivaled only by their passion for local art, history, and culture. Discover the Aswan islands by felucca (traditional sailboat), or privately tour the famous Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, home to artifacts recovered from the great Tutankhamun’s tomb.


UN-CRUISE ALASKA Small ships mean big experiences. UnCruise Adventures offer a unique take on small-ship cruising, allowing passengers to explore areas inaccessible to larger ships, stepping ashore in small communities, and getting up-close with wildlife. Their Alaska adventure cruises are perfect for families large or small—couples to multigenerational groups. You can paddle, hike, soak in a hot tub under the stars, take a “polar bear plunge,” and play in the mud with your expert expedition team. You can experience Glacier Bay National Park, Native totems, breaching whales, soaring eagles, rainforests, and northern lights. Do as much or as little as you like on an unforgettable journey.

When to go? Uncruise sails Alaska from

April to September, and each month has its benefits. Bears, whales, wildflowers, sunlight, northern lights—talk to us about which cruise is right for you. Choose from a variety of itineraries and ships—from a 22-guest boutique yacht to an 84- guest expedition vessel.

New for 2018 from Lindblad: New Trip! New Ship!

This resort nestled in the forests of a national park in Japan, Hoshinoya Fuji, is exactly what camping should be. That is, if camping included gourmet picnics, “Glamping Masters,” and elegant minimalist decor. The “camp,” about 70 miles west of Tokyo, overlooks Lake Kawaguchi and offers breathtaking views of iconic Mt. Fuji. The 40 “cabins” (note the frequent use of quotation marks) are minimalist concrete cubes, with doors sliding open to reveal dramatic views through a wall of glass. The interior is modern Japanese design at its best: serene, natural, minimal, and crisp white, with a cloud-like bed taking center stage. The young staff members—dubbed “Glamping Masters”—are friendly, enthusiastic, and endlessly patient (particularly with children). It’s ideal for families with non-mobile babies or those over three. The experience is all about nature, even down to the room key holder which doubles as a wooden bird caller. Camping has never been so chic.

INDIA This mobile camp caters to those explorers by setting up lavish safari-style tents (complete with four-poster beds and hot showers!) in the villages of Thiksey and Diskit, in India’s Ladakh region, just over an hour-long flight from New Delhi. If the rugged landscape isn’t enough to give you a whole new perspective, the activities will. Meet gurus from the far reaches of the Himalayas, raft down the River Indus, watch a game of Polo, picnic in picturesque spots, celebrate tribal hues at the Hornbill Festival, explore quaint tribal Naga villages, join monks for a magical early morning prayer ceremony, ride a Bactrian camel through the Hunder sand dunes, watch indigenous games such as “greased bamboo pole climbing,” or simply curl up in your “tent with a view.” The Ultimate Travelling Camp can be customized for special occasions—a celebration, a wedding, an anniversary, or a 50th birthday.

GLAMPING ABROAD What is glamping? Recently, a global trend has caught fire that offers outdoor enthusiasts an upgrade on rest and recreation. It’s called glamping, a new word for a new kind of travel, defined as glamorous camping. When you’re glamping, there’s no tent to pitch, no sleeping bag to unroll, no fire to build. Whether in a tent, yurt, airstream, pod, igloo, hut, villa, cabin, cube, teepee or treehouse, glamping is a way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury. what-is-glamping/


Ellison in Madagascar & Kenya 2018 Father Ruben on The Way 2018



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TRAVEL TREND Graduation trips are perennially popular, but these days we’re booking a lot of one parent/child grad trips. It’s a chance for a mom or dad to bond one-on-one with his/her grad before launching them out of the nest. Girls’ trip, guys’ trip, mother/son, father/daughter, we can create something unique and exciting for all variations. Call us and let us plan a grad trip you’ll remember for years to come!

JUST LOOK AT THAT TINY GONDOLIER! Fun, educational, and hassle-free travel in Europe with children? Yes! Poe Travel and Family Twist can make it happen. Family Twist offers an A to Z service for parents or grandparents looking to craft the perfect visit, organizing surefire activities for children of all ages, as well as guided tours that focus on making art and history accessible to young ones. And if parents need some time alone—and we know they do—Family Twist will

also provide babysitting services. Destinations include: Paris, The Loire Valley, London, Rome, Florence, Venice, and Barcelona—and they just added Madrid (great for kids of all ages)!

New England, Fiji, the Seychelles, Slovakia, Lyon, Bolivia, Costa Verde in Brazil, New Mexico, the Scottish Highlands, New York, and Taiwan. With Vietnam experiencing monsoon seasons in both the winter and the summer, this month is the prefect window of opportunity for an escape to Halong Bay. Clear mountain views can be found in Darjeeling in India and Bhutan. Oman offers a taste of old Arabia and mellow weather.



Hong Kong, Nicaragua, the Cayman Islands, the Simien mountains in Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Tokyo and Honshu, South Africa, Oregon, Nepal, Dunedin (New Zealand), Ruka (Finland), Barbados, Puerto Rico, and the British Virgin Islands. Further afield, Rajasthan and the Golden Triangle or the Mayan ruins at Ruta May (Guatemala); Abu Dhabi for Formula One or the new crop of museums.

For festive markets Prague, Berlin, and Tallin (Estonia); for skiing, avoid the French Alps and head to Ischgl or the Hintertux glacier in Austria, Saas Fee in Switzerland, or Colorado; for sun St Vincent and the Grenadines, Australia’s Sapphire coast, the Andaman Islands, Laos, Senegal, San Sebastian, Micronesia, and Tenerife; discover winter wonderlands in Arctic Sweden or Jasper (Canada); for a lively New Year’s Eve Scotland and New Orleans; for a natural high Morocco’s stunning Sahara desert or Southern Patagonia, Chile.

Participate in a carnival mask workshop in Venice; take art lessons in a studio in St-Germain; tour Barcelona’s architectural highlights such as Gaudí’s Casa Batlló by bike; the possibilities are as endless as an 8-year-old’s energy.


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Get set to explore Belize’s remarkable reefs and the dramatic Maya ruins of Tikal aboard the National Geographic Quest, the only expedition ship exploring the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest reef in the Northern Hemisphere. On land discover ancient temples cloaked in lush vegetation and hike amid giant ceiba trees in the remarkable Maya Biosphere Reserve; then snorkel, scuba, paddleboard and more to experience the region’s vibrant underwater wilderness with all your senses.

Exquisite Cultural & Wildlife Adventures

DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. immerses travelers in the character of countless destinations by biking through unspoiled landscapes, tasting evocative cuisine and wine, and resting in unique hotels. Our Puglia Bike Tour explores a region of Italy that’s still a secret to many. Its bright-white towns on the Adriatic Sea exude plenty of romance, but Puglia is perfect for families, too. Luxuriate in La Sommita’s spa, sip a glass of Salice Salentino, cycle right to the sea in Leuca, and join locals for a home-cooked lunch in their whimsical trullo home. Talk to your Poe travel agent for more details. experience the world by bike

Your passion is exploring the world. Our passion is bringing this to you. Dedicated to luxury travel.


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915 Cumberland P.O. Box 2576 Little Rock, AR 72203 USA 800-727-1960 501-376-4171

OUR GO-TO GUIDE IN SOUTHERN SPAIN ROISIN BYRNE Allow us to introduce dear Poe friend Roisin Byrne who is now offering private guided tours of Málaga and the surrounding areas. Here’s a brief bio: My love for Spain and all things Spanish began when, at 12 years old, I started learning the language at school in Ireland where I grew up. Then at 18 I visited Spain for the first time, and a huge piece of my heart has remained here ever since. After college, I lived in several parts of Spain for five years where I met and married an American, moved to Little Rock for 33 years, taught Spanish for the Little Rock School District for most of that time, and raised two sons. During my career, I mostly taught middle school and took groups of students to Spain and other parts of Europe many times. Now I’m back in

my beloved Spain and living in the beautiful southern city of Málaga on the Mediterranean Sea. Málaga has a bit of everything I love about this country. It was ruled by the Phoenicians, Romans, and Arabs so it has enough buildings, monuments, and ruins to satisfy my interest in history. It’s the birthplace of Picasso and has several art museums to satisfy my love of art. It’s just the right size to explore the narrow streets on foot. The fishermen go out almost every night providing me with a steady diet of fish which can be washed down by a delicious glass of local wine. Moving here was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had, and I’m always delighted to show people around and help them get to know this beautiful part of Spain. See you soon, Roisin!


1-800-727-1960 | 1-501-376-4171

Poe Go summer 2017  

A newsletter for the discriminating travel.

Poe Go summer 2017  

A newsletter for the discriminating travel.