Travel Inspiration By A Pro Trip Designer

Caribbean Family Vacation Planning

Beach, Family, Friend Of A Friend Consulting

Feb
11
2013

 

Oh how those beaches do siren call

Oh how those beaches do siren call. This one is on Mustique

Right now I am in the middle of planning various Caribbean family vacations for some clients. Three years after the debut of my book, Caribbean Hideaways, I find that I’m still just as drawn to those beautiful islands, but now not just for a solo adventure or romantic jaunt, but also for a no-fuss, visually and culturally engaging family trip that won’t break the bank. I’m convinced they exist, it’s simply a matter of matching the client to the right place.

Many of my clients them have young kids, like me, and are eager for a getaway that promises sun, sand and simple pleasures. Shockingly, it’s harder to find than you think. This is where the taste-meter play such an integral role in working with a Travel Advisor. With a gluttony of so-called options and worse, misleading photos and unreliable reports online, planning a vacation feels like a brutal gamble, ultimately fueling the need for one even further. What I try to do for my clients is first, recommend places I know firsthand, which helps that I’ve visited 22 islands in the Caribbean for my book and make annual pilgrimages to my favorites.

A new resort that's caught my eye: Balcones del Atlantico. What can I say? I'm a sucker for model boats

I’m a sucker for model boats

Then, second, help them discover places and learn to look at them critically based on what’s online. Having researched places online for almost ten years now, there are Buy Viagra various warning flags that I can spot from a website alone – particularly Caribbean or beachfront properties. For instance: if you don’t see a shot of the building or any part of the property showcasing that it’s actually on the beach – it likely isn’t. Websites will lure you will arching palm trees and aquamarine waters, but if you want to ensure they’re right out your door or just steps away, be sure to investigate directly.  This tip and others are what, I hope, will lead my client base to grow. I’ve done this for years folks and I hope to get to every place I recommend so that I can feel 100% confident in it being a fit for my clients – especially for those highly-anticipated, annual spring-break trips.

With all that in mind, below is a newly relaunched resort in the Dominican Republic, Balcones del Atlantico, that I’m currently considering recommending to clients and friends. I have yet to go myself, and so I’m looking into a quick jaunt next month to verify its fit. Anyone been?  It seems ideal by my research, but nothing matches actually visiting for real verification and vetting.

The view from the water

The view from the water

The aerial view of the pool

The aerial view of the pool

Interiors look quite chic, though I wonder about the natural light since this photo is taken with all the lights on

Interiors look quite chic, though I wonder about the natural light since this photo is taken with all the lights on — another thing worthy of noting when you look at interior photos.

Posted in: Beach, Family, Friend Of A Friend Consulting

Published by Meg, Monday, February 11, 2013 No Comments

Caribbean Hideaways Signing at Forty One North

Hotel Reviews, Personal or Promotion

Jul
30
2012

This past weekend I was in Newport, Rhode Island for a book signing of my second book; Caribbean Hideaways hosted by the lovely folks at Forty 1 North. The assembled group and I enjoyed delicious Caribbean-influenced cocktails made with 10-cane Rum and passed nibbles of jerk chicken and shrimp while I spoke about my signature hideaways hunting methods to a delightful group of Forty 1 North card members. As always, it’s a treat to speak about my passion and share my books with others, not to mention, be a guest speaker at Forty 1 North.

Forty 1 North's chess kit and dockside Grill Restaurant

Forty 1 North’s chess kit and dockside Grill Restaurant

The deck at Forty 1 North is easily one of the best spots in Newport, particularly if you’re a yacht enthusiast. With direct views of nautical traffic in the harbor, plus a row of dock slips that often cater to some of the world’s most elegant boats: Hinckleys, Rivas, or in the case of this past weekend, the 147-foot megayacht, the good spot to people-watch too. With a lively crowd that begins at 5pm and goes until 1am – thanks to a DJ spinning from 10pm, the Grill area is one of Newport’s hottest evening venues.

On the deck before the book signing at Forty 1 North

On the deck before the book signing at Forty 1 North

Instagram photo of the view from our room - note the tall ship cruising by

My Instagram photo of the view from our room – note the tall ship cruising by

The rooms at Forty 1 North, particularly the one I stayed in (Room #1) are incredibly comfortable – the beds especially. With deep soaking tubs (of which my 2-year old son was a particular fan), multi-head, walk-in showers, flat-screen TVs and in-room IPads, all the necessary luxuries are available. But for me, the real luxury comes from the intimate views. The creature comforts are, of course, much appreciated, but its walking out onto the terrace and taking in the splendor of Newport’s Harbor that elicits the sigh of content.

ROLLIN’ WITH NOLAN TIP: If it’s access to Yachts, or those who own them, that drives your visit to Newport, then there is no better place than Forty One North.

Posted in: Hotel Reviews, Personal or Promotion

Published by Meg, Monday, July 30, 2012 No Comments

Caribbean Hideaways – Book Signing

Hideaways, Personal or Promotion

Dec
07
2010

Thursday, December 2nd

Rizzoli Book Store, New York

I felt very blessed to have so many friends, family and colleagues show up at the signing last Thursday night. We sold over 40 books (for $50 a pop that’s great!) and were told it was one of the bookstore’s most successful events of late!  Thank you to Everyone who came out!

A tabletop filled with Caribbean Hideaways

A tabletop filled with Caribbean Hideaways

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Pictured above is the very talented, JESSICA ANTOLA, who shot the book and accompanied me throughout the Caribbean
Some of my most loyal fans

Some of my most loyal fans

Please refer to the left hand column for future book signings. (There’s one this weekend in NYC!) And if you, yourself are a bookseller, please let me know as I’d be happy to do an event.

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Posted in: Hideaways, Personal or Promotion

Published by Meg, Tuesday, December 7, 2010 No Comments

about meg

About Meg

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Meg is the founder of luxury travel consulting company, Friend of a Friend Consulting. Her three books, Italian Hideaways, Caribbean Hideaways and England's Hideaways are published by Rizzoli. Passionate about travel, hotels and wine, she continues to write freelance travel pieces and is currently pursuing a Masters in Wine through the WSET.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own and do not reflect separate business relationships with the subject. Whenever posts are supported financially, they are designated as such.