Glamping or luxury resort – did you forsee this choice for popular travel trends for summer 2020?
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that travel would be in its current state or that glamping would be so popular this summer. With trips cancelled, re-scheduled and reimagined, my own travel took a domestic twist. Like so many of you, I was ready to bust loose even if it meant I was only going to explore my own backyard or country.
Glamping at The Grand Canyon
My birthday is the 4th of July, so I decided the best way to celebrate was a weekend road trip to “glamp” at Under Canvas Grand Canyon. I live in Phoenix, so this was a way to leave the blistering heat of the Valley of the Sun and enjoy the high country. Just 25 minutes from the Grand Canyon, the camp is out in nature, near a private airport and the heliport for Grand Canyon heli-touring.
As a wine lover, I thought a good way to break up the drive would be a stop in Cottonwood for wine tasting at the Pillsbury Winery and a brief walk around the cute downtown. Make reservations as they are currently limiting capacity in the tasting room.
Our drive then continued north through beautiful Sedona and scenic Oak Creek Canyon to the campground.
Pet-friendly Under Canvas offers tents that accommodate solos to extended families. I loved the ease of camping with no need to set up or break down, plenty of space between tents, comfortable accommodations, ensuite bathrooms, an on-site restaurant, and entertainment. There was a cute wood burning stove in our tent, however, we could not use it due to a ban on fires. It was chilly overnight, but the bedding made for a very comfortable night’s sleep.
I also chose to wear my Anatomie travel clothing that is perfect for all type of travel. Lightweight, wrinkle resistant, and fast drying, so I can travel light! (BTW – you can buy their fantastic separates, including the ones I’m wearing in the photo below at a 15% discount with my code JLT-PROMO15 – click here to start shopping!)
Masks were required in the reception tent and while ordering at the restaurant. Where social distancing outdoors was enabled, no masks were required. The camp is pet friendly – just ensure your pets are on a leash and they cannot remain in the tents unattended.
The Grand Canyon
We headed to the Grand Canyon the next morning to enjoy the view. The views were amazing!! You can hike the trails and camp in the park. If you choose summertime, be advised that the Canyon gets hot, so make sure to take plenty of water and follow the advice of Park Rangers and guides.
On our way back to Phoenix, we drove through Williams, Arizona on historic Route 66. I loved the nod to the past from some of the vendors on the route.
Trip to Florida
In addition to my glamping weekend, I also visited The Breakers Palm Beach so I could see how my luxury hotel partner on the east coast of Florida is implementing and sustaining their new safety protocols.
My Air Travel Experience
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport was very quiet and empty for my early morning departure to Palm Beach. There were a couple of newsstand shops open, but no restaurants.
Upon boarding, we were handed small bags containing a cookie, bottle of water and an individually wrapped sanitizing wipe. There was no food or beverage service during the 4-hour flight, although one could request beverages from the cabin crew, which I did. The cabin crew graciously served me a coffee and then later on a soft drink. Masks were required in the airport and on the airplane, except when eating and drinking. Most passengers complied without having to be reminded by the cabin crew. My connecting airport was Charlotte, a major hub for American. It was as busy as pre-COVID. Restaurants and concessions were mostly open for business and I was able to purchase food before boarding the plane.
The Breakers Palm Beach
The Breakers is a luxurious property that oozes class and sophistication from its manicured entry drive that takes you past its bubbling Florentine fountain to its opulent lobby with Murano glass chandeliers and hand painted ceiling frescoes modeled after the Villa Medici in Rome. I felt as though I had “arrived”.
The front desk team offered a warm welcome with offer of still or sparkling water and there was a lovely welcome gift of chocolates from Maggie Louise Confections in my ocean front guest room. I received the Virtuoso amenities of upgraded room, complimentary breakfast and $100 resort credit.
With ten dining options, there were too many choices for my short stay. I highly recommend the super fresh oysters on the half shell at Seafood Bar where I was mesmerized by the amazing bar/aquarium.
Echo, Flagler Steakhouse and Henry’s Palm Beach are off-site and can be reached by the complimentary resort shuttle.
With a plethora of activities, shopping and spa services available, it would be easy to just enjoy the resort; however, the town of Palm Beach is worth a stroll. The county requires facial coverings be worn in public common areas and indoors. There is also a daily curfew in Palm Beach from 10PM to 6AM.
The Breakers was founded in the late 1890’s by Henry M. Flagler, an industrialist who started the trend of grand properties on the island. It suffered fires in 1903 and 1925, then reopened after each more opulent than before. With unapologetic luxury and world-class service, it attracted the wealthy, US presidents and European nobility.
I enjoyed these two very different types of getaways, each with its own charm and appeal. For travelers looking for a very casual vacation, glamping is a great way to see the National Parks and enjoy the great outdoors. For travelers looking for a sophisticated vacation with time on the beach, The Breakers is top notch. Luxury travel is diverse and far more inclusive than many people realize. At its heart, luxury travel is all about making true connections between you and authentic experiences.
When you’re ready to bust loose and connect to nature or indulge in unapologetic luxury, I’m here to find the right experience for you! Email [email protected] or call 602-692-9379 to get started!