Favorite Hotels in Spain!

Shop Window – Alfonso XIII Sevilla

Alfonso XIII Sevilla
Westin Palace Madrid

Top choice is Belmond La Residencia Mallorca


Top Hotels Spain – old favorites and some new surprises.
Every one of our favorite hotels in Spain all displayed outstanding service. All are Virtuoso properties, which means that they operate under a higher standard and are exceptional in decor, and comfort.
I usually request rooms for my clients on a lower floor and near, but not next to the elevator. In Madrid we like the Westin Palace, Mandarin Oriental Ritz, and Villa Magna. In Seville there is only one choice for me, Alfonso XIII. In Granada, some clients like to be near the Alhambra, so we suggest a former monastery, Parador de Granada. We stayed at Palacio des Los Patos in Granada, which gave us a town experience we very much enjoyed. Our top choice in Mallorca is Belmond La Residencia- low key glamour. Doesn’t get any better than that.
Other new surprises that we will be sure to visit, were Sant Francesc in Palma Mallorca, Castel Son Claret in central Mallorca, Jumeirah Port Soller Mallorca and if you have to be right on the water, Hotel Gran Melia in Palma.

Restaurants We Loved in Spain

View of Alhambra – from sunset to evening light from Las Tomasas Restaurant Granada

Michelin starred Ramon Freixa Madrid

Zelai -Sevilla

Award winning El Olivo- Belmond La Residencia Mallorca

Loved this decanter! El Olivo Mallorca[/caption]

Cafe Miro – Belmond La Residencia Mallorca

Pouring the Sangria! Divine luncheon at the fabulous new Sant Francesc Palma, Mallorca. A Singular Hotel

Besides the Tapas Tour in Madrid, we had some incredible dining experiences. Our favorite was Las Tomasas in Granada. They are perched on a hillside directly across from the Alhambra and the light from sunset to full night lighting was spectacular. The food was more family style but the best sweetbreads I have had – ever. Other favorites were Le Olivo and Cafe Miro at Belmond La Residencia – boy, they have their act together!
In Sevilla, we loved Michelin starred Ena at the Alfonso XIII – gorgeous hotel. And Zelai in the historic center of the city. Ramon Freixa in Madrid was expensive but certainly worth the experience.
In Mallorca, we had a fabulous wine tasting experience at Finca Son Bordils.

Wonderful Rose! Vineyard Son Bordils

Perfect tapas accompanied our wine tasting at Finca SFinca Son Bordils- Mallorca


The most pleasant surprise was a delightful rooftop luncheon at the exciting new Sant Fransesc in Palma, Mallorca. Light Tapas and Sangria- served perfectly.
I realized that with food in Spain, we have only scratched the surface. Already planning a return trip.

Spain! Heaven for Foodies!

Dome at the Westin Palace Madrid


Spain- Foodie Heaven!
I knew Spain has always been a dining destination – with 3 restaurants on the top 10 of the top 50 in the world, but never realized that basic dishes were a cut above. We started our dining focus in Spain with a tapas tour, set up by our fabulous DMC – Madrid & Beyond. Our guide, Carlos, took us to his neighborhood in Madrid and we began our tapas tour as Spaniards do, with a special recipe of vermouth to drink, and olives to sample. We then moved on to different small tapas bars ending in a supermercado in San Anton dedicated to gourmet dining.

Vermouth tasting at Bodegas de Angel Sierra

We tasted simple small dishes with thinly sliced Iberian ham- there is an art to the slicing, olives, cheeses, bread, steak, fresh tomatoes, wine, wine, wine. An incredible experience, I strongly recommend to all that want to get a sense of Spain.
The rest of the trip was focused on Spanish culture with a food focus. We went on to sample a dining range from simple to the highest Michelin starred restaurant, such as Ramon Freixa. Freixa was a 25 course tasting menu with wine pairings. Be prepared for a 3 hour sitting- simply sublime!

First course Ramon Friexa- amazing!


Next blog will be about our favorite restaurants.

Belmond La Residencia- Palma de Mallorca

Belmond La Residencia- Mallorca


Belmond La Residencia, Mallorca. Low key glamour.
On a island full of star hotels, Belmond’s La Residencia is the brightest.
Located in Deia, in the northwest mountainous area of Mallorca, Belmond la Residencia is the ultimate low key luxury destination. With leadership from Ulisses Marrieros, the resort spins like a top. With four restaurant choices, and the village of Deia a walk away, the hotel offers tempting options for all foodies.
Glamorous, classic, Belmond is the ultimate stop on Mallorca.

Sunset La Residence Mallorca

Highlights of ILTM Africa

Image courtesy Camp Kuzuma – Botswana


Image courtesy of Camp Kuzuma Botswana


Highlights from ILTM Africa

We found some fab new vendors and renewed friendships with our favorite suppliers that are clearly a cut above. Here are some of our favorites:

In Residence – Cape Town New villa concept. Pieter Brundyn is the founder.
Camp Kuzuma, Botswana – delightful husband and wife team running the beautiful camp.
Royal Portfolio properties :
The new Silo Hotel -Cape Town,La Residencia – Franschhoek , Royal Malewane Camp – Thornybush, and Birkenhead House -Hermanus
Delaire Graff estate near Stellenbosch
Makani Game Lodge South Africa
Mara Engai Lodge Kenya
Elewana Collection – so many great properties in the Elewana Collection
Chitwa Chitwa Camp
Cape Grace -Cape Town
Ellerman House – Cape Town
Groot Bos Lodge

Some of the great Elewana properties:
Tarangire Treetops -Tanzania, Loisaba -Kenya, Arusha Coffee Lodge among others

Image courtesy of Elewana Collection Arusha Coffee Lodge -Tanzania

-Tanzania,

Image courtesy of Elewana Collection. Loisaba

ILTM Africa – Small but Mighty

Cape Point South Africa

ILTM Africa – Small But Mighty

Vendors and Buyers alike agree that ILTM Africa is a hugely successful show. It a small show and because of the size, we as buyers can really get to know our prospective suppliers. The quality of the vendors is top notch. The show is carefully vetted, and we know we are talking to tour operators, camps, lodges, resorts, intra country airlines, helicopters and villa companies that can do a top quality, reliable job. For travel advisors focusing on Africa, it is a must see.

Villa 1 Nettleton Road, In Residence Cape Town South Africa

Staircase Villa 1 Nettleton Road Cape Town- it also has an elevator


Villa 1 is more intime: 4 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, a study, kitchen, dining area, and pool. 9000 square feet. On 4 floors, upstairs bedroom views are as stunning as Villa 5 Nettleton Road.

Master bedroom Corner suite – Villa One , In Residence

Kitchen Villa 1 , In Residence Cape Town

One of the two living rooms, In Residence Villa One Cape Town