Posted on 26 May
Need some inspiration for your summer travel plans? We've got you covered. Whether you're looking for a relaxing beach escape or a big adventure, The Agency's 2017 Travel Guide features some of the top luxury travel destinations around the globe.
The original Italian island retreat, Capri features dramatic views and the bluest ocean you have ever seen. The Agency's Jonathan Ruiz's top pick: Ristorante La Fontelina. Spend the perfect day in Capri with one of the best lunches you've ever had. Relax on the rocks sipping rosé or take a dip in the Mediterranean while waiting for your table. Feast on fresh fish and pasta; all-time favorites include spaghetti with clams and fried paranza. Don't forget to enjoy a post-meal nap on the daybeds! Once you are fully rested, enjoy a boat tour around the island, taking in the magical Blue Grotto. Boat tours depart from Marina Grande along the shore to the famous Faraglioni rock formations, the lighthouse, and make a stop in front of the Blue Grotto. Get ready to let loose and dance at one of Capri's local hotspots or tavernas, including Anema e Core, where you can enjoy live bands and dance the night away. Insider tip: most nightclubs don't get busy until around midnight, expect to dress informal "island chic," and definitely wear flats! Didn't pack the right attire? Don't worry, Capri is home to some of the finest shopping. From the Piazzetta, the streets are filled with designer names and local artisans; from sandal-makers to perfume-makers, you'll find tons of custom-made and local items. Stop by da Costanzo for a pair of the chicest leather-soled sandals; custom-made since the 1960s, you'll have a new pair in a matter of hours.
If food, wine and art top your list of travel must-haves, then Burgundy is the perfect location for your next retreat. Stay at Hotel Le Montrachet, a recommendation from The Agency's Natasha Barrett. Located in the heart of Côte de Beaune, Le Montrachet offers amazing wines, authentic cuisine and comfortable rooms. Interested in a true VIP experience? Le Montrachet offers a three-day all-inclusive package offering once-in-a-lifetime private and VIP tours of the area's best wineries, a Michelin star dining experience, and a suite at the hotel. Stroll the grounds of the Palace of the Dukes and States General of Burgundy. Built between the 1300s and 1800s, the Musée des Beaux-Arts features great exhibition galleries, with a mix of medieval weaponry, stained glass pieces and religious paintings. Of course, you cannot miss what many consider the world's greatest wines; sip on Chablis, Macon and a handful of other varietals produced in the region. Take a seat for an intimate vineyard-side lunch at Domaine Drouhin-Laroze. The lady of the vineyard home-cooks regional delights such as boeuf bourguignon and the best Gruyere potatoes au gratin you have ever tasted. Sip on the winery's mildly spicy reds to compliment your courses before you take a private tour of the centuries-old wine cellars.
Morocco's "jewel of the South" and where The Agency's Michael Perez grew up, Marrakesh is the vibrant heart of Morocco, from luscious gardens and historic mosques to the markets and tea-shops. Plan to stay at Es Saadi Resort, a five-star hotel where you can enjoy the peaceful pools, spa, restaurants and one of the 84 suites. The resort, created by craftsmen of Morocco, features glazed tile floors, marbled inlay, and a collection of art from the owners. Once you are situated, plan your first escape with a Moroccan Desert Tour. The luxury desert packages will take you to the most exclusive camps in the dunes of the Sahara Desert of Morocco—a truly magical experience. Don't miss Jamaa el Fna, a square and market place in the medina quarter, a true wonder of the old world. Whether you are watching the snake charmers, eyeing a natural cure from one of the medicine men or enjoying a fresh-squeezed juice, the square is filled with vendors, entertainment and food for all to enjoy. Already worked up an appetite? Discover real Moroccan home cooking at Al Fassia. The restaurant is run by a group of local women and features dozens of salads, tagines and b'steeya. Yalla!
Dubbed “The Hamptons of Canada” and "The Malibu of the North," Muskoka is one of the most beautiful places on the planet with incredible homes—just ask The Agency's Feroz Taj. From Spielberg to Tom Hanks and Cindy Crawford, these Hollywood Elite all have residences in the area, so you may end up rubbing elbows or sharing a beer with any number of them. Just two hours north of Toronto, Muskoka is clustered around three large lakes, framed by a canopy of trees along the pristine shoreline. Visit the Gravenhurst Opera House (their summer theater season starts mid-June) to catch a range of theater performances, outdoor summer movies and concerts on the water. Don't miss the Canadian National Ski Show Team and Team SWS as they perform at the Summer Water Sports shows. Packed with entertainment for the entire family, their death-defying stunts and technical moves will leave you in awe. Muskoka is also known for its homegrown fare, from maple syrup and cranberries to craft beers and wines. Be sure to check out the seasonal beers from Lake of Bays and Muskoka Brewery and wine from Muskoka Lakes Winery. Looking to hit the links? The area is home to several of Canada's top 50 golf courses and resorts, with courses that will suit any handicap. Tee-off at Bigwin Island Golf Club and enjoy the panoramic vistas of the Lake of Bays on the 6th hole, known as one of Canada's best scenic holes. Looking to spend a little time in nature? How about a moose adventure! Algonquin Provincial Park is full of Canadian moose once the temps start to rise; be sure to pack your camera and enjoy watching the moose graze on the lush landscape.
Punta de Mita, Mexico
Set on a peninsula—and home to The Agency Punta de Mita—this secluded area offers the perfect mix of beachfront towns and five-star resorts. Whether you are looking to relax on the beach, have an adventure or just indulge in tequila and tacos, Punta de Mita has it all. Feeling adventurous? Consider a hike in the subtropical forest and experience Monkey Mountain. Unfortunately, you won't see monkeys, but you'll learn about the history of the mountain and take in the regions flora and fauna, bugs and birds. Plan to stay at the new W Punta de Mita in one of their 119 guest villas. Relax at WET Pool and Deck or treat yourself at Away Spa, then dine at one of the most exclusive restaurants around, Mesa1. Located on an islet, guests take their place at a 16-seat outdoor dining area. The team of chefs tailor a seven-course tasting menu unique to each diner and prepare it in the open for a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience. Need a little more room? Stay at Cuixa del Mar, an amazing beachfront property with six bedrooms that accommodate up to 16 people. Guests can enjoy water activities such as paddle boarding, surfing, kite boarding, kayaking and more. We'll pack the bathing suits, you grab the sunscreen.
Texas Hill Country, Texas
Deep in the heart of Texas lies one of America's great unrecognized wine regions. With over 70 wineries scattered across the 9 million acre region, the area is the second largest wine region in the U.S. You can sip and savor some amazing wines and fulfill your summer BBQ cravings, while taking in some beautiful sites. Head to Bell Springs Winery, a 45-minute drive from Austin, and enjoy a glass of their Drippin' Sweet Red on the porch. Head north to Fall Creek Vineyards, Hill Country's oldest vineyard and winery, to enjoy the shores of Lake Buchanan and premium cabernets and buttery chards. Head south to the so-called Wine Road 290, with 17 award-winning vineyards in the 30-mile stretch of highway. But don't sip on too much vino—the region is also home to jaw-dropping natural wonders and exceptional food. Book a stay at the Fredericksburg Herb Farm, a farm that doubles as a lodge, where you will wake up to the sweet smells of fresh herbs each morning. Feeling a little more adventurous? Head to Enchanted Rock, a massive pink granite rock, that is also an excellent place to rock climb. Indulge in some Texas barbeque at Opie's BBQ in Spicewood, pick from the pit and enjoy some of the best meat in the area. Insiders recommend the brisket, jalapeño sausage and one of Opie's pork chops. In the mood for something sweet? The town of Medina (the apple capital of Texas) is home to the most incredible apple pies, and the best are loaded with Golden Delicious apples from Love Creek Apple Store.