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Luxury Adventure

Monday, October 02, 2017

Northern Lights Viewing, Dogsledding, and Yoga Retreat in Finnish Lapland

Arctic travel and Northern Lights specialists Off the Map Travel have just announced a new winter wellness retreat in Finnish Lapland. The 4-day/3-night itinerary includes 2 nights at a glass-roofed igloo in Rovaniemi and one night in a snow room at the Arctic Snow Hotel. In the daytime, you’ll go dogsledding, take yoga classes, and experience rest and relaxation in the world’s first sauna made from snow. You’ll be enveloped by an instant cloud of steam, resulting from the contact between the sauna’s 1.5 meters-thick snow walls and the heat from the sauna’s stove. The result is a steam-room like effect with cleansing benefits for both mind and body. Then it’s off to the ice bar and your glass-roofed igloo with uninterrupted views of the Arctic night sky. Cost starts at $1606 per person based on double occupancy, and includes lodging, breakfast, activities, and airport transfers. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/02/17 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, June 02, 2016

Clayoquot Partners with Rosewood Georgia to Present Luxury Gone Wild

Take one of Abercrombie & Kent’s luxurious tented African safaris and plop it down on the northern fringes of Vancouver Island in British Columbia and you start to understand the sumptuous wilderness experience that can be had at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort. On the shores of the Bedwell River under the canopy of a temperate rainforest, you can spot bear, whales, porpoises, moose, and bald eagles as you choose to sea kayak, hike, or go on horseback. Then it’s back to home base for a hot tub or massage at the spa, and a fabulous dinner that features the bounty of British Columbian goods. There’s halibut, tuna, and every type of salmon available, from the pink Coho to the cherry red smoked sockeye salmon, and loads of fresh fruit like figs, blueberries, gooseberries, and yellow golden berries. Now Clayoquot has teamed with Vancouver’s classic Rosewood Hotel Georgia to combine city with country in their Luxury Gone Wild package. Spend at least one night in Vancouver and then fly via floatplane to Clayoquot for a 3 to 4-night adventure. Make sure one of those nights at Clayoquot is atop Cloud Camp, a private retreat overlooking the terrain, replete with private chef and guide. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/02/16 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Belmond Grand Hibernian to Launch in August

Belmond, formerly Orient-Express, will launch its first luxury train in Ireland this August. Called the Belmond Grand Hibernian, the sleeper train will consist of 20 cabins with accommodations for up to 40 guests. The train will also feature four interconnecting suites to accommodate families, two restaurant cars, and an observation bar car that will serve as a social gathering spot. Expect artisan cheeses, seafood, and local whiskies in the two dining cabins. The Grand Hibernian will travel throughout the island offering two, four, and six-night rail stays that include stops at Dublin, Belfast, and Cork. Daily excursions include a round of golf at a world-class resort, a literary tour of Dublin, and stops at Ireland’s classic estates. Belmond already offers upscale train travel to Scotland on the Belmond Royal Scotsman, currently the UK’s only luxury sleeper train. 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/08/16 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, February 09, 2015

Kicking Back in Aruba

If you dream of a Caribbean getaway with blinding white sands and aquamarine waters, a destination that has year-round temps in the mid to upper 80s, less than 15 inches of rain a year, a steady breeze, and absolutely no threat of hurricane, then it’s hard to top the Dutch island of Aruba. Only 16 miles long and 7 miles wide, this speck of land, just off the South American coast remains a popular escape year after year simply because you’re guaranteed a week or two of a warm, therapeutic climate. It doesn’t matter that the interior is mostly arid desert, not nearly as lush as other Caribbean isles like Jamaica or St. Lucia, because travelers come here primarily for that glorious 7-mile stretch of beach. To find out about activities, restaurants, and hotels in Aruba, please check out my latest story for Global Traveler

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/09/15 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Head to Puglia, the Heel of the Italian Boot

Tuscany has been hyped ad nauseum, leaving the rest of Italy open to folks who prefer not to follow the masses. This is especially true in September, when most of the backpackers have left the country with guidebooks in tow and the Italians return from their August vacation. One of my favorite parts of the country is in the southeast, Puglia, known as Giardano d’Italia, the Garden of Italy. With its rich soil, the region is known for its bounty of fruits, vegetables, and wines. Couples can bike through olive groves, picnic on the Adriatic shores, visit the Roman ruins of Egnazia, and spend an afternoon hiking through the beehive-like buildings of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Alberobello. Spend your nights at Masseria Torre Coccaro in Savelletri, where acres of olive groves and gardens surround a 14th-century watchtower. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/11/13 at 10:00 AM
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bermuda Beckons

Soft and cushiony, with a shade of pink to enhance the dramatic effect, the sand on the beaches of Bermuda is better than advertised. Hemmed in by jagged rock formations and backed by cliffs, the southeastern shoreline of the island, where the finest beaches reside, are a mix of horseshoe-shaped coves filled with tanning bodies and small jewel-like pockets of sand with just enough space to contain a couple or two. This sublime stretch of coast serves as the ideal welcome mat for the weary waves that have rolled some 600 miles from the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the closest landmass to the west. September and October are the ideal months to visit this 23-mile speck of land in the Atlantic. The surge of travelers, many venturing here aboard cruises in summer, have come and gone, returning the island back to its natural relaxed state. And, most importantly, late summer is the driest time of the year, bringing warm sunny days. Stay at the Reefs Resort in Southampton. Honeymooners or those in need of a dose of romance should ask about the rooms with private hot tubs on the balcony overlooking the Atlantic. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/10/13 at 10:00 AM
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Just Ask Jeeves: The Rise of Butler Service in the Travel Industry

Walk into the Lanesborough Hotel at London’s Hyde Park Corner and you’re immediately escorted to your room, where you are introduced to your butler, who is there to be your personal assistant for the rest of your stay. He’ll unpack for you, set up your WiFi, make restaurant reservations, draw your bath, make hotel transfers, wake you up with coffee and tea, be a personal shopper, and a whole lot more if need be. 
“We’ll do anything as long as it’s legal,” says the Lanesborough’s head butler, Daniel Jordaan. In the past, that has included cutting a businessman’s hair who was late for a meeting; finding reindeer from a farm, little people to dress up as elves, Santa, and a snow machine for an impromptu Christmas party; redecorating a private hospital room in the style of the Lanesborough after a woman had come to London to give birth; and sending a courier on the Eurostar train to Paris to have a confidential document signed urgently.
Blame it on Carson, the hard-working butler who runs a tight ship on the popular television series, Downton Abbey, but more and more high-end clientele are yearning for yesteryear when personal service extended from the hotel or cruise line’s concierge to inside the suite. With the addition of butlers, hoteliers now have the opportunity to service their guests behind closed doors. 
I’m off with my son, Jake, to the first of many college visits this fall. I’ll be back on Tuesday, September 3rd. Enjoy the weekend, and, as always, keep active! 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 08/29/13 at 10:00 AM
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Friday, April 05, 2013

Gems of India Tour, Maharajas’ Express

When British tour operator Cox & Kings joined forces with Indian Railways to create the most luxurious train in the world, they spared no expense. Unveiled in 2010, and limited to 88 passengers on each trip, the Maharajas' Express features lavish private suites with marble baths and large panoramic windows to take in the views. On the four-day, three-night Gems of India loop, which starts and ends in Delhi, passengers make stops to visit the resplendent Taj Mahal at Agra, take a tiger safari at Ranthambore National Park, and shop and watch an elephant-polo match in Jaipur. Along the way, passengers can marvel at the Hindu temples, village roads plied by camel carts and rivers lined with fishing boats.
The Gems of India tour is just one of ten scenic train rides I describe in my latest story for Executive Travel. Have a great weekend! 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/05/13 at 12:00 PM
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Canadian Rockies/Alaska Combo

Vacations by Rail, the Chicago-based travel company, has just announced a phenomenal 16-day vacation that combines train travel on arguably the best train in North America, Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer, with an Alaskan cruise on Holland America, ending with an Alaskan railroad jaunt from Anchorage to Denali National Park. Coined the Rocky Mountaineer and Alaska by Sea and Land package, board the Rocky Mountaineer and get ready for a soul-stirring train ride through the snowcapped peaks and cobalt blue glacial waters of the Canadian Rockies. You have two days in Vancouver before you board the ms Zaandam for a weeklong cruse on Alaska’s Inside Passage, stopping at Juneau, Skagway, and Glacier Bay before arriving in Anchorage. Spend a day and night in town, before taking your last train on to Denali, home to 20,157-foot Mount McKinley, and your final destination of Fairbanks. 2013 departures are available May 21, June 18, July 16, and August 13 and 27 and prices start at $3,579 per person based on double occupancy.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/14/13 at 12:00 PM
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tour The Set of Downton Abbey

If, like me, you’re going through Downton Abbey withdrawal, now that the second season has finished, you’ll be happy to know that there is a temporary cure. Fans can not only tour Highclere Castle, the estate where the series is filmed, but you can join the property’s owners, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, for lunch in their formal dining room and/or high tea. The opportunity is only available to private groups of four or less people and is booked through Noteworthy Events. Unfortunately, Dame Maggie Smith won’t be there holding court. Sorry, you can’t have it all. 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/13/12 at 01:00 PM
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about us
photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

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