In Part 2, Wandering Carol, dishes on her top 3 destinations for, say, a big birthday, advice for a fast but fancy girls weekend getaway, and, buying the perfect souvenir. Leave a comment if you have any advice for a travel splurge.
IF YOU HAD TO NARROW IT DOWN, WHAT ARE THREE PLACES (city, hotel, etc) YOU’D SUGGEST TO MARK YOUR FORTIETH?
For Canada, the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is my top choice for a luxury getaway. The town of Banff has the freshest air imaginable, stunning mountain scenery and the hotel has a to-die-for spa. To make the trip complete, you could take the Rocky Mountaineer, a luxury train through the Rockies, from Vancouver to Banff then stay in Banff for a few days to hike and soak in the hot springs. (And eat fudge. Banff has the best fudge shops.) I’m a Rocky Mountaineer brand ambassador so you’ll find a lot of articles about them on my blog.
For Europe, go to Paris! I wanted to spend my fortieth birthday at the Hemingway bar in the Ritz in Paris, buy a bottle of champagne and share it with everyone in the intimate bar. Sadly, I got felled by mysterious spider bites a few days before my birthday and ended up back in Canada. But, I’d still recommend Paris to anyone. If you want something a little more on trend in Paris I’d suggest Le Bar at the Plaza Athénée hotel.
If you want something beyond, Thailand is a favourite. You could stay at one of the chic resorts in Phuket such as Keemala Phuket, an amazingly stylish wonderland where you wouldn’t be surprised if a Hobbit strolled by, or get adventurous at Elephant Hills, a luxury camping resort that combines the lush outdoors with the ethical treatment of elephants.
WHAT’S A MUST HAVE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS PLANNING A SPLURGE TRIP – Y’KNOW, BEYOND THE PLUSH BATHROBE?
A big souvenir. On our honeymoon in Europe my husband and I bought a Murano glass chandelier. Then again, there is always that Chanel Boy Bag, or a cashmere sweater from Milan.
WHERE’VE YOU HAD THE BEST SERVICE, FOOD, AND AMENITIES?
I’ve had so many great travel experiences, it’s almost impossible to narrow it down. A stay at the historic Brenners Park in Baden-Baden, a gorgeous spa town in Germany, comes to mind. That is one seriously romantic hotel in one of the sexiest most elegant towns in Europe. Don’t be surprised if you run into royalty. It’s a quiet town, though, so don’t expect to be partying every night.
WHAT IF YOU WANT TO GO BIG FOR JUST A WEEKEND – WHAT ARE SOME TIPS.
Pack some high heels. (Unless you’re going hiking. Then take a rain jacket.) If you’re only going away for a weekend, you don’t have to worry about your budget as much as if you were going away for a long vacation, so splash out on a great meal, a fabulous hotel and a couple of craft cocktails.
A 40th BIRTHDAY GIRLS GETAWAY WOULD BE FUN. TO HAVE MAXIMUM FUN, WHERE SHOULD THE BIRTHDAY GIRL AND HER SQUAD GO TO CELEBRATE?
This seems obvious but Vegas. Not for the nightclubs or the gambling. I like Las Vegas for its world-class spas and high-end restaurants. The spas at Bellagio or Caesars Palace make a great girls getaway, and the spa scene tends to be more sophisticated than hectic. For restaurants I love Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand and Picasso at Bellagio – where else can you dine surrounded by genuine Picassos?
ANY APPS YOU CAN RECOMMEND FOR THE LUXURY TRAVELER?
I’m app challenged. Although I am addicted to Instagram (so follow me @WanderingCarol).
Carol Perehudoff is the mastermind behind WanderingCarol.com – a luxury travel blog for those who love to laugh. Her travel articles have appeared in a number of publications including enRoute Magazine, the Chicago Tribune and the Toronto Star. Based in Toronto, her passions are slow travel, hot springs and the South of France – and she is often gripped with the desire to be elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram or visit her Facebook
Thanks for these luxury travel tips. I’m glad you mentioned that you should get a big souvenir for these kinds of trips. It seems like a good way to remember your trip, especially if it can help remind you of a particular aspect of the trip.