Ol Donyo Was – Chyulu Hills Kenya- Amazing!

Both Relais & Chateaux and Virtuoso, Ol Donyo Was is an amazing Lodge in the Chyulu Hills of Kenya. One of the few Lodges with it’s own blind, Ol Donyo affords spectacular safe viewing of wildlife, up close and personal. Suites have huge glass doors open up to the plains and unforgettable views. The staff is highly trained and delightful. Our guide Elijah taught the children how to make bows and arrows out of tree branches. He was amazingly good with the kids. They hated to say goodbye. Perfect place for children on Safari, activities include horseback riding. The day of riding was a huge highlight.

Migration! Wow!

Migration!
What a thrill!!
We found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the migration on the Grumeti plains.
We saw thousands of wildebeest, and zebras. I did not realize there was a such a sound factor to the migration- all those animals talking at the same time. We very lucky to see river crossings, and lots of interaction between the masses of animals.

Singita Sasakwa- Holy Cow!

Singita Sasakwa – Holy Cow! Pride of Tanzania
Situated in the Grumeti concession, Singita’s Sasakwa is uniquely outstanding. With a highly trained staff, along with the most wow decor I have ever seen in a Tanzanian Lodge- Sasakwa is probably one of the top 2 resorts in all of Africa.

Tanzania – Surprising Arusha Lodge, Legendary Lodge


Superb staff, warm welcome, the place was an old homestead, and it feels like a charming home.
Upon arrival, they offered a fabulous dinner on their verandah overlooking a lovely garden.
I had duck breast, and the children had crispy prawns. We had a connecting suites as big as the house. Snuggling down between Egyptian sheets, with the africology amenities smelling of Africa, we feel immediately to sleep.

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.