The Vintage House Review: A Luxury Escape In The Heart of the Douro Valley, Portugal

The Vintage House Review: A Luxury Escape In The Heart of the Douro Valley, Portugal

This post was last updated on September 26th, 2017The Douro Valley immediately shot to the top of our travel bucket list the moment we decided to celebrate our six-year anniversary in Portugal. Luckily, this spectacular wine region did not disappoint.     From the rolling green hills to the rushing Douro River to the lush vineyards and olive groves, the Douro Valley is easily one of the most romantic places we’ve visited. Top it all off with spectacular wines from family-run wineries and mouthwatering local cuisine, and it’s hardly any wonder why we’re already dreaming of a return visit. For such a magical destination, it only makes sense to splurge on a memorable and luxurious hotel to match. And in the Douro Valley, there is simply no comparison to The Vintage House.   The Vintage House: A Luxury Hotel In The Douro Valley, Portugal     The Vintage House is a five-star boutique hotel just steps from the famed Pinhao Train Station. Located in what was once an 18th-century wine estate, The Vintage House is all elegance and style. From luxury bedding to sophisticated furnishings, you’ll find all the amenities you would expect from a five-star hotel. The true highlights of the rooms are the private terraces, each with unparalleled views of the Douro River. There’s nothing quite like sipping a cup of coffee in between wine tastings on your personal terrace while soaking in the outstanding views of the Douro Valley all around.     The Vintage House also boasts a lovely pool with panoramic river views, which looks particularly scenic when lit up at night. We didn’t...
8 Must-Visit Attractions In Paris, France

8 Must-Visit Attractions In Paris, France

It’s no secret that we love Paris. Each time we visit, we discover something completely new that leaves us swooning over the city even more than we thought possible. Whether it’s a quiet corner cafe, a chic boutique or an exhilarating show, there’s truly no limit to the once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences on avail in Paris. We’ve written about our top 50 tips on what to see and do in the city, but if you’re looking for a summed up version, here’s a quick look at a few of the most recommended must-visit attractions. To see all the attractions below (and more) in an authentic and affordable way, a Local Paris Tours is a great option. 1. The Eiffel Tower Of course, no list of top Paris attractions is complete without The Eiffel Tower! Love it or hate it, no trip to Paris is complete without a visit to this iconic Parisian landmark. It will cost you €15.00 and countless hours of your day to take the elevator to the top. Instead, consider purchasing a ‘skip the line’ ticket, or just enjoy the Eiffel Tower from its base. 2. Notre Dame This mesmerizing cathedral dates back to 1163. It’s more than just the home of Quasimodo—it’s also considered to be one of the best examples of French gothic architecture. Marvel at the gargoyles and then climb the towers for a great view over the city. 3. The Louvre Even if you’re not big on museums or art, The Louvre is one museum that’s worth the time. Boasting over 1 million pieces of art, you’ll want to leave plenty of time...
Tips for Planning a Luxury Vacation

Tips for Planning a Luxury Vacation

This post was last updated on September 4th, 2017Given a choice, we would all travel in the lap of luxury, catching a private jet to a tropical island resort. Sadly, unless your name is Taylor Swift or Kim Kardashian, private jets are well out of reach and a luxury vacation is the stuff of daydreams; or at least that is the assumption. The good news is that anyone can plan a luxury vacation and you don’t need deep pockets – you just need to be a smart traveler. Pick a Destination The destination is very important, as some spots are more expensive than others are. Luxury invokes resort hotels and 5* villas in Cancun, but there are plenty of more affordable vacation destinations where you can wake up to sun-kissed beaches, swaying palms, and the sound of birdsong. Take Thailand, for instance. There are some amazing resorts in Thailand where you can enjoy a luxury vacation for a fraction of the price you would pay to stay in a similar hotel on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Alternatively, what about the British Virgin Islands?  There are plenty of luxury activities to enjoy there.  Sample a BVI sailing itinerary or go on a private diving excursion.  Luxury holidays don’t have to mean expensive costs. Cheap Luxury Airfares Frequent flyer schemes are the easiest way to enjoy premium class travel. It’s perfect if you are a frequent business flyer, as you have plenty of opportunities to accrue air miles. You can use your air miles to upgrade your flights from Economy to Business Class or even First-Class, so start saving,...
The 5 Most Postcard Worthy Travel Destinations

The 5 Most Postcard Worthy Travel Destinations

  Have you ever seen a postcard picture of a destination and thought, “Does it really look like that?” We’ve all seen those picture-perfect landscapes, the ones we drool over on Pinterest and hastily save to our “Bucket-list” board. But which destinations top the list as the most worthy to become travel postcards?   1. Santorini, Greece   Our vote for number one is Santorini, Greece. The white washed buildings with dazzling aqua roofs overlooking the Aegean Sea can send any wanderluster into a doozy in moments. This is one of those places where you can just perch on a balcony, sipping on wine, and forget about the world for hours on end.   2. Taj Mahal, India   Of course we would include this one in the list. You’ve probably seen the Taj Mahal on a thousand different postcards and rolled your eyes thinking it can’t be that great. But if you’ve ever seen the Taj Mahal in person, you know a different story. This ancient architectural wonder is so famous for a reason. It will take your breath away from the moment you gaze up at its larger-than-life marble walls.   3. Douro Valley, Portugal       Douro Valley, Portugal is fresh on our minds, as it was our most recent adventure. We can tell you from firsthand experience, that this postcard worthy landscape is truly all it’s cracked up to be. Something about these rolling hills, as far as the eye can see, does something incredible to your soul. Not to mention, the exceptional wine and hospitable locals.   4. Lapland, Finland   Seeing the...
Carmo’s Boutique Hotel: A Small Luxury Hotel In Portugal’s Most Spectacular Region

Carmo’s Boutique Hotel: A Small Luxury Hotel In Portugal’s Most Spectacular Region

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2017   It’s no secret that, given our travel lifestyle, we’ve stayed in countless hotels, hostels, resorts and apartments of all shapes, sizes and prices around the world. Throughout this time, we’ve learned that our favorite kind of accommodation is the small luxury hotel. The type of place that’s more like a friend’s guesthouse than a business—accommodation where you feel right at home (albeit more often than not at a much more stylish and luxurious home.) These small and personal hotels always go down as the most memorable, actually enhancing our travel experiences rather than just serving as a place to fall asleep at the end of a long day. Carmo’s Boutique Hotel in Ponte de Lima, Portugal, is exactly this kind of place (and more.) The family-run luxury hotel is not only uniquely gorgeous in every way, but it’s also conveniently located in one of our favorite spots in Portugal, the Minho region. If you’re looking for a memorable, off-the-beaten-track Portuguese experience, this is it. Here’s a closer look at why we love Carmo’s Boutique Hotel and the Minho region so much:   Carmo’s Boutique Hotel: A Small Luxury Hotel Of The World   It doesn’t take long to realize why Carmo’s consistently wins awards for being one of the world’s best small luxury hotels. Located down a quiet country road surrounded by rolling hills, you might drive right past Carmo’s if you didn’t know to look for it. Once inside, the hotel grounds begin to unfold into a quiet oasis of gardens and vineyards.     Carmo’s Boutique Hotel...
A Must-Try Douro Valley Wine Tour in Portugal

A Must-Try Douro Valley Wine Tour in Portugal

This post was last updated on September 26th, 2017    The Douro Valley makes a dramatic first impression. With its rolling green hills, a mighty river and lush vineyards and olive groves, it’s hard to imagine a better backdrop for sipping fine ports and table wines.     While the Douro Valley isn’t necessarily a secret, the destination doesn’t see nearly as many tourists as other famed wine regions such as Bordeaux or Napa. Drive just a few minutes outside of the main town of Pinhão, and you’ll encounter picturesque towns devoid of any tourists, seemingly pulled straight out of a storybook.     Even with its sleepy charm, you won’t have any trouble discovering spectacular vistas, delectable cuisine and memorable wines—if you know where to go.   Enter: Jorge Barefoot Wine & Tours     It’s no secret that we love wine and food tours. From Hong Kong to Paris to Boston, we’ve had quite a few incredible foodie experiences. But of them all, our Wine and Olive Oil Tour with Jorge easily tops out as most memorable—for all the right reasons. The best wineries in the Douro Valley are spread out, and most require advanced reservations for a tasting. We wanted to discover top table wines, but we also wanted to do it in a way that would let us get to know the winemakers and ideally find undiscovered wines from small but passionate producers. Jorge Barefoot Wine & Tours was the perfect solution. We set up a private, full-day tour, meeting from our apartment in Provezende, then set out on what would be the highlight of...