Latest News from the Properties
After a decade of innovation and setting the bar for exclusive & immersive luxury experiences on Lake Titicaca, Titilaka is in the midst of several renovation & expansion projects. These are being conducted in such a way as to not affect guests staying at the lodge and are set to conclude by mid 2019.
Chief among the improvements are:
Outdoor hot tub and new-state-of-art motors for faster boats will be available (completed in November 2018)
All rooms, common and social areas as well as terraces are being redecorated while corner rooms are revamped with additional amenities
New services are being implemented including complimentary access to airport VIP lounge for all guest, Wi-Fi in all the hotel's vehicles and boats and enhanced culinary experiences are being put in place.
Titilaka is also adjusting their rates next year, the first increase since 2014. For clients desiring the utmost in privacy and flexibility, this is a great thing as the Titilaka Experience can now be booked on an all-inclusive, private basis. The traditional Titilaka Experience will also remain available for guests who want to participate in set excursions on a shared basis.
Lastly, the team behind Titilaka has announced plans to expand, with new lodges planned for Arequipa (2019) and Cusco (TBD). You can view a full presentation on Titilaka’s upgrades & changes here.
Inkaterra’s Hacienda Urubamba, a Virtuoso Property, recently celebrated the opening of Mayu Spa (“River” in Quechua) in August. With a rustic chic design inspired by traditional Andean architecture, Mayu Spa is located on a low hill between I Hacienda Urubamba’s organic orchard and an enchanting pepper tree forest. Treatments are based in 100% natural products derived from native medicinal herbs; the new wellness center has a plunge pool, four private therapy rooms and a dry sauna and offers a variety of massages, therapies, reflexology and facials. For more details, check out their blog post on Mayu Spa.
Some say that you hear the best stories while sitting at the bar. Axel Romero at Hotel B, the cocktail wizard who was recently awarded the Best Peruvian Bartender 2018 at the Summum 2018 Awards, knows the value of a good bar yarn and uses these as inspiration behind his cocktails. For this experienced bartender, each drink is a chance to write an exquisite and stimulating story in which spirits, juices and spices are cast in the leading roles. He is passionate about his career: after previously working at Astrid & Gastón for several years, he is now at Hotel B where he is committed to making each one of his drinks an experience. Read more about Axel and other winners of the Summum Awards (like the James Beard awards for Peru) here.
The team at Hacienda Bambusa has been busy in 2018, creating new activities & excursions and elevating the details of the 8 en suite bedrooms within the Hacienda. New photos are available via dropbox in the Hacienda Bambusa image library and the Activities Book can be easily shared with guests to help them select their desired excursions in advance. Choose the Best of Bambusa option for an all-inclusive experience and a great value for your guests.
To cope with increasing tourism in Manuel Antonio, Arenas Del Mar continues to pioneer new experiences for their guests to enjoy in the area. Coming soon are early morning visits to a private nature reserve with great wildlife viewing and mountain biking in the hills above Quepos.
Latitude 10 Resort in Santa Teresa closed for part of October & November to undergo renovations and has reopened looking better than ever! New king-size canopy beds in each suite, soft upgrades & in-room amenities, a completely revamped menu and on-site experiences (like complimentary on-site cooking classes and beachfront yoga) have completely elevated the Latitude 10 experience.
Kurà recently welcomed a new Spa Director (formerly of Hacienda Alta Gracia) and has completely revamped the menu at Spa Shà in addition to creating new breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. Ask about full board options for guests, available for booking on request.
Lapa Rios Lodge has added themed dinner nights to their menus - including BBQ, Dock to Dish Night (make your own ceviche) and “Comida Tipica” to showcase local foods enjoyed in Costa Rica. This gives guests staying 3 or 4 nights an excellent variety in meal choice and is also fun & interactive for families.
Lastly, the Cayuga Collection team has been hard at work opening Senda Monteverde, a new boutique lodge just a short walk from town and adjacent to a private Cloud Forest Nature Reserve. Senda officially opens on December 15 and to celebrate, is offering 10% when booked in conjunction with another Cayuga property. Details and restrictions are found via the link.
ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS
If you have any clients looking for a last minute "festive season" option, we just had some unforeseen prime date cancellations at Hacienda Zuleta in Ecuador. Couldn't think of a more welcoming place to be than with the Galo-Plaza family over the holidays - hiking and horseback riding during the day and feasting on farm fresh cheese and wine by the fireplace in the evening. You can either contact your DMC or email email@example.com for updated availability over Christmas, New Years and into January.
If you are unfamiliar with Hacienda Zuleta, check out the video below for an overview on this gem of a property. If you would like a copy branded with your own logo as an intro, please send Clark your logo and he can provide it to you.
Mashpi Lodge has always maintained a great blog, but recent posts are particularly helpful for travel advisors from a sales perspective.
Seasonal Weather, Birds & Animals at Mashpi
What’s the Ride to Mashpi Lodge Like? (Good hour by hour breakdown of the journey from Quito to Mashpi)
Family Friendly Activities at Mashpi Lodge (Divided into younger children, older children and teens)
Galapagos Safari Camp owner Stephanie Bonham-Carter recently wrote a great blog post about “Appropriate Luxury”, a concept we applaud and support across all of our properties that operate in remote and fragile environments. Creating a luxury guest experience that is equally respectful of the natural world is a balancing act, and there’s a good reason you won’t find imported fish or out of season produce on the menu or air conditioning in your tented suites.
Check out the full post here: Appropriate Luxury in the Galapagos - The Safari Camp Approach and share this with your clients.
Galapagos Safari Camp also recently become of the Traveller Made consortia in November.
Do you have travelers staying at Casa Gangotena who like to get out and explore on their own?
Share these “Three Recommended Walks Through Quito’s Old Town” for suggestions on great self-guided walking tours to local markets, churches, down interesting side streets and to beautiful vista points. Quito’s Historic Center is best explored on foot and the staff at Casa Gangotena are always happy to suggest activities tailored to your client’s interests.
CHILE & ARGENTINA
Due to last minute cancellations, Awasi Atacama has space in January, which was previously 100% full. Here are the available dates for Awasi Atacama in January 2019.
Contact your DMC or firstname.lastname@example.org to book. Additionally, Awasi Atacama welcomed new General Manager, Nicolás García to the lodge this month.
Need a moment of calm during the always busy month of December? Transport yourself into nature with this video from Awasi Iguazu.
Juan Pablo Culasso was born blind. He taught himself how to identify birds by listening to their song. He has become one of the world’s most respected bird experts; using just his ears, not his eyes. Listen to some of his recordings in Awasi Iguazú:
It was a hard year for Nicaragua & for Jicaro Island Lodge. After enjoying a hugely successful year in 2017, tourism in Nicaragua came to a standstill following political protests & violence that began in April of 2018. Jicaro Island was forced to suspend guest operations for a few months, though as many staff as possible remained employed throughout the temporary closure. Laying people off in a time of crisis only contributes to a desperate spiral and owner Karen Emmanuel used her personal resources to keep staff on the payroll through six months of closure.
With a quiet but emotional celebration on November 15, Jicaro Island Lodge officially reopened their doors to guests and Karen was there to share in the experience. In the video below, Karen shares her love for Nicaragua, especially the people who make Jicaro Lodge and the country so enchanting. Special reopening rates are available - contact your local DMC or email@example.com.
We’re thrilled to welcome El Otro Lado Private Retreat into our portfolio. Located across the bay from Portobelo (which just received UNESCO recognition for the significance of the local Congo Culture), this colorful hideaway is an ideal base for exploring the Caribbean reefs, beaches and rainforests of Portobelo National Park, learning the fascinating legends of the likes of Sir Francis Drake and the pirate Henry Morgan, and immersing oneself in the colors, rhythms and flavors of the Congo Culture. Cozy details in the rooms and public spaces and a new wellness program also make it a perfect retreat to relax & recharge.
New in 2019, El Otro Lado will offer all-inclusive rates (full board, excursions, on-site activities & wellness experiences) and we’ll be hosting an extensive webinar on all of the changes and updates soon. In the meantime, enjoy this short video highlighting the best of Portobelo & El Otro Lado.
Panama is hot right now and Isla Palenque has been enjoying a fair amount of press. Check out the latest Town & Country issue for their guide on Where to Travel in 2019, featuring Panama and Isla Palenque.
Isla Palenque also recently announced their Dock to Dish program, making it the first hotel to Panama offer certifiably sustainable, community-sourced seafood through the award-winning program out of Montauk, NY. Learn more about the mission of Dock to Dish via the link to their website.