While the kids may have their summers planned, heading off to camps, new careers and vacations, it’s a great time for empty-nesters to get away. Treat yourselves to a luxury retreat in a destination brimming with activity and attractions, but also that easy pace you can take at your leisure, like Italy.
While that could describe nearly any city in Italy, Venice has luxury in spades, especially with a stay at San Clemente Palace Kempinski. Retreat to a private island in Venice with a couple’s getaway to remember. The all-inclusive package is a one-of-a-kind stay, complete with exclusive culinary, cultural and top-notch experiences — all in the lap of excess that is the hotel’s San Clemente Suite.
The Gilded Venice experience offer holds up to its name with amenities, including a four-night stay in an award-winning suite (spanning the entire floor of a secluded wing); round-trip airport transfer by luxury vehicle; and access to the luxury boat located on a private pier, prepped and ready to take guests around the lagoons, and anywhere in and around the city they would like to explore. Oh, and a round-the-clock personal butler.
Any trip to Italy wouldn’t be complete without memorable cuisine and homemade everything, but this is the Gilded Venice package, which brings the world-class dining experiences and over-the-top luxury of the city to your doorstep or bedside. All meals and drinks at the hotel’s restaurants and bars are included in the package, as well as breakfast by personal chef in the privacy of the San Clemente suite, or an option for the hotel buffet; dinner for two on Sunset Hill; private dining for two or four in a 12th-century church; and VIP amenities with Champagne each night at turndown.
In addition to the 5-star accommodations, treatment and cuisine, guests will also enjoy a private fitting for two pairs of bespoke Italian shoes, made by a local leather artisan; a private tour of a local glass-blowing factory; a fitting and photo session for two with traditional Venetian handcrafted masks; a guided tour of the city’s 58th International Biennale Art Exhibition; a tour of San Clemente Palace; and a personal photographer at the ready for your trip — with a slew of additional gifts and surprises along the way.
This four-day itinerary and all-inclusive experience comes to the tune of about $112,000 for two people.
While large areas of Colorado are experiencing exponential growth with far too many trees being clear-cut (it’s one of the fastest-growing states in the country), it’s still the home for great businesses striving to make the world a little greener. Those businesses include Sherpani, creators of women’s day bags, backpacks and travel bags, including a line of sophisticated, beautifully crafted items made from recycled plastic.
It’s been almost three years since Category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, wreaking havoc on the island and leaving most residents without electricity and clean water. Tourism, which accounts for 6.5 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product, took a beating, with hotels closed for year-long repairs, airlines cutting service and cruise lines shifting itineraries to other Caribbean destinations. Timing for the hurricane couldn’t have been worse, coming on the heels of the government’s announcement in May 2017 that it was unable to pay more than $70 billion in public debt and thus forced to file for bankruptcy. Large protests and a change of government would follow. Then, in January 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the south side of the island, forcing San Juan restaurants to close while power was restored. And as we write this story, coronavirus runs rampant across the globe with severe economic implications for all destinations, including Puerto Rico.
My youngest daughter and I arrived from Barcelona on the high-speed AVE train (in less than three hours) and entered Westin Palace Madrid in time for the Sunday Opera Brunch — which takes place under the stained-glass cupola of La Rotonda, where daily breakfast and cocktails are served. I’d heard about this event on several occasions when I toured the hotel in 2015, and when my granddaughter and I stayed there in 2017.