Cooking with Regent Seven Seas Cruises

From our kitchen to yours, we will share a delectable recipe from Culinary Arts Kitchen Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly each month on Luxury Goes Exploring™. Today, we are inspired by the warm Aegean weather of Greece and opting for a fresh Greek Summer Salad with Grilled Halloumi – a tasty addition to any meal. This salad […]

via Recipe: Greek Summer Salad with Grilled Halloumi —

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Best Tango Show Buenos Aires | Rojo Tango

My partner and I just returned from a two week trip through Chile and Argentina, staying at the finest hotels and eating at some of the best restaurants.  This may not be a fair review as I didn’t see any other tango shows.. but I can tell you I can’t imagine this can be beat.

VENUE/ A very small cabaret seating maybe 15-20 tables, so you’re very up close and personal with the dancers.  It’s right off the lobby of the stunning and sexy Faena Hotel Buenos Aires. Disclaimer – even though the Faena is one of our partners, my enthusiasm stands alone.

CUISINE/ Do you ever hear that the show was good but the food was terrible? This isn’t true here, and I consider myself a San Francisco food snob.  You have a choice of several courses, champagne, red & white wines.  Service is fantastic.

DANCING/ I grew up in a family of ballet dancers so while I can’t say my mom and sister would give a rousing thumbs up, I’d guess they would. I actually wasn’t that interesting in going but the variety and technicality was stunning.

TRANSPORT/ Private (really nice) car transportation to and from included.

PICTURE/rojo-tango-buenos-aires I wish I could have taken pictures but just eked out this one. For all Flickr pix of our recent trip through Chile and Argentina, click here.

OTHER POSTS FOR SOUTH AMERICA/ The Singular Patagonia  Eolo  Park Hyatt Buenos Aires  Four Seasons Buenos Aires  Estancia La Bamba de Areco

RECO/ Go.

 

 

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
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Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

 

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

 

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

 

 

 

La Bamba de Areco | Relais Chateau Buenos Aires

John and I were in Patagonia earlier this month, as part of a fabulous vacation through Chile and Argentina.  After 2 very busy weeks exploring Chile (Valparaiso & Puerto Natales’ Torres del Paine at The Singular in southern Patagonia) and Argentina (El Calafate’s Eolo)  we spent our last night, after 4 days in Buenos Aires, here at Estancia La Bamba de Areco.  This 11 room Relais & Chateau lodge is about a 2 hour drive west of town in the middle the pampa.

So yes, it’s worth the BA traffic and 10 minutes on a bumpy dusty road to get here, and we only stayed about 26 hours. I’d probably recommend 2 nights, or longer if you want to really chill. But even our 1 night was well worth it. And you can helicopter in/out if you prefer.

  • Like many of the other hotels we stayed at on this trip, the serenity is golden. No incredible sweeping views here*, except of the peaceful ranch setting.
  • The hotel’s various buildings were meticulously enhanced by great interior design, but the buildings themselves are quite old, not that you’d know it.
  • The old buildings, I was told, account for the fairly small rooms, but they’re so nice, very comfortable and airy. Natural light is abundant. And the bathrooms, with their heated floors are huge.
  • All food & wine is included and it’s wonderful as you might expect from a Relais & Chateau property.  Lunch is the ‘bomb’ with a BBQ featuring endless steak, sausage, phenomenal roasted potatoes, and I can’t remember what else but it was worth staying here just for this.  Dinner was also delicious, if not more low key.
  • And interestingly because the place is so small all dining is communal – a great way to meet your fellow travelers, which is unique and cool.  The BBQ lunch was served at a big outdoor table, while dinner was at a cozy table in their elegant dining room.
  • Wander around the stables where the polo horses hang out between matches and practice.  It’s very peaceful.  And then take a ride on  one of their other horses. I understand the owner of the hotel is a French polo player and entrepreneur.
  • And they have a horse whisperer. That’s the after lunch surprise. Very interesting.

* well there was one, the horse back ride through the fields was really nice and you can see forever since there are no hills.

Learn more about the hotel, our complimentary breakfast and upgrade program.

More photos of my trip are here on Flickr.

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

 

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
Sign up for our interesting but infrequent emails

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

 

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

 

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

 

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Eolo | Patagonia Relais Chateau

I was in Patagonia earlier this month as part of a fabulous vacation in South America. After an incredible four days exploring the Chilean side of the border at The Singular in Puerto Natales (near Torres del Paine) we drove about 4.5 hours north (including the customs stop) to the Argentine side.  Just outside of the town of El Calafate, we were lucky to spend 2 nights at Eolo, a very small Relais & Chateau hotel (lodge?) in the middle of absolute nowhere.  Except that it is on the main road from El Calafate to the Perito Moreno glacier, the key draw to this area.

  • The location on the slopes of a hill affords views that are (again) breathtaking
  • Each room has expansive views to the pampa, a few cows, horses, birds & even a local pooch
  • The best food of our trip is included, and wine is very reasonably priced.
  • The staff was very helpful in arranging our tour to the Moreno Glacier, which is one of the coolest excursion I’ve ever done.  (See us in the crampons in the photos?).

From here, we flew north to Buenos Aires….. click through for pix of the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires and the Four Seasons Buenos Aires.

More photos of my trip are here on Flickr.

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

 

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
Sign up for our interesting but infrequent emails

facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

 

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

 

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

 

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Meadowood & Napa Valley

I just had the opportunity to get away from the craziness and fog of San Francisco for a luxurious 3 night stay in the Napa Valley.

My partner John and I have been going to the Sonoma & Napa wine country for years. We met at the Russian River there 19 years ago and we like it.  Napa in particular is definitely more crowded than it used to be, a lot more famous, there are more places to stay and some really great restaurants.

And it’s still nice, especially along the Silverado Trail which pretty much remains the same as it’s been for years. In the spectrum of ultra luxury hotels there are 3: Meadowood, Auberge du Soleil and Calistoga Ranch.

The resort is huge – I think I was told over 250 acres. It’s basically a separate valley (call it Napa 2)  off the Silverado Trail. Once you enter the very long driveway you’re in a quiet wonderful world. The feel is very traditional..

Different people look for different things in a hotel or resort. Meadowood is very golf, tennis, spa and fitness oriented.  (It was as a country club before it was a resort.)  What we loved were the rooms in the far reaches of the valley. The space, the view, the privacy and the nooks and crannys were fantastic. Whoever thought to include mini spaces within your very nice size room was a genius. These included a banquette and a day bed. The room must have been at least 800 Sq Ft. plus another 100+ on the deck.

We enjoyed a delicious outdoor breakfast overlooking the golf course and in the course of the meal came in to contact with a few deer too.

That’s the life!

f o r   m o r e   i n f o r m a t i o n   &   t o   b o o k

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

Why Italy is like India

Take hunger for instance. I’m hungry right now, but I’m totally loving my restaurant experience here in Sorrento. The waiter and the pizza maker are taking a break and chatting with two beautiful female customers. I assume my pasta is coming – paccheri con melanzane and ….ok the pizza maker just brought it…mandorle (almonds).

The relaxed vibe is impossible to describe to anybody who hasn’t been to Italy. It’s fantastic. It’s 100% un-American.

I was hungry in Rishikesh, India a couple of years ago. I was attending a typical arti sunset ceremony on the banks of the Ganga (Ganges) with a group and we were invited to meet with the guru. So starving I went and thoroughly enjoyed that beyond unique experience.

So Italy and India aren’t really alike but offer the over stimulated American the opportunity to sit back and enjoy life. And that’s a gift. # joshtravels

p.s. I wrote this entire piece here in Sorrento as the waiter or pizza cook didn’t rush me out. Or even bring a check.

Sail, Sip & Savor the Mediterranean

MedIn the Mediterranean, create memories to last a lifetime. Enjoy a traditional flamenco show while savoring delicious tapas in Palma de Mallorca and sample the earthy wines of Tuscany on an unforgettable winery tour. Take in the sights of world-renowned architectural masterpieces from Rome to Barcelona and marvel at natural wonders from Corfu to Kotor. Discover hidden gems, from Cinque Terre to Koper, or indulge in the flavors of Provence…it’s all included.

The Greek Isles

Ancient Riveries

Featured Sailing: 10-night Ancient Reveries

Among the jewels of the Greek Isles is charming Argostoli, flowing up from the turquoise bay along the sides of white limestone hills with its colorful fishing boats, vibrant open-air market and relaxing atmosphere.

Sail ArgostoliTake home popular gifts and keepsakes including thyme honey and the excellent locally produced Robola Taoussi (white wine).

 Sip Mythos: Enjoy this delicious golden beer after a full day…

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VIRTUOSO LIFE – Food & Wine Issue

Enjoy this digital edition of Virtuoso Life® with our compliments.
If you are not able to view this email please click here.
Josh Friedman, an independent affiliate of
Travel Experts, Inc.
415.987.0372
josh
joshfriedmantravel.com
CST# 2080753-40

A Proud Member of Virtuoso®

Whether you eat to live or live to eat, there’s no doubt that when you travel, you’re doing both to the fullest. Food is central to the travel experience. That’s the basis of this issue, which takes you to the best places to try regional dishes on five continents, looks at the latest twist in Lyon’s famed dining scene, and explores Ecuador’s cacao trail, among other enticements. The world’s waiting – who’s hungry?
In this issue
Location, Location, Location
From paella in Valencia to pizza in New York, Chicago, and Naples, we’ve rounded up authentic regional specialties.
Parlez-Vous Frapanese?
Japanese cooks and flavors are reinvigorating Lyon’s classic cuisine.
Sweet Spot
Ecuador serves up a delicious cacao-to-confection journey.
Reader Report
A family reunion to write home about.
Culture Stop
Germany’s Christmas markets measure their distinct culinary cultures not with sugar plums, but sausages.
Enjoy this issue pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png
Contact Me Josh Friedman | 415.987.0372 | <a href="mailto:josh
Fares, schedules, Virtuoso exclusives, events and amenities are subject to availability and blackout dates and may change without notice. Unless otherwise stated, prices are in U.S. dollars, per person and based on double occupancy. Restrictions may apply. See your Virtuoso travel advisor for more details and applicable restrictions. Virtuoso is not responsible for any errors in pricing.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo, SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL, ORCHESTRATE DREAMS, VOYAGER CLUB, and RETURN ON LIFE are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 – Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California. US/CAN 561411 10/14

© 2014 Virtuoso, Ltd. | 505 Main Street, Suite 500 | Fort Worth, TX 76102

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Call Josh for details, excellent pricing, the ultimate in service & exclusive hotel amenities with Virtuoso. To receive our periodic destination and/or promotional emails, click here.

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency

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four seasons preferred partner,

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals. His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays. He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own

Travel to France with Traci des Jardins on a Foodie Trip this April

James Beard Foundation trip with Traci des Jardins

Dear Foodie Traveler,

Here’s a pretty amazing and different   (click here) trip to Europe:  a James Beard Foundation international culinary journey, “Taste the Best of France with Chef Traci Des Jardins” (29 April – 5 May, 2013, limited to 12 guests). It’s being put together by a partner of ours who not your typical tour company. More on that below.

This high-end luxury culinary expedition (starting about $12,750 per person) is truly a food and wine lover’s wildest dream.  The fact that it raises funds for the James Beard Foundation provides an added incentive for every passionate foodie.

Royal Insider is a culture-sustaining travel company established in 1999 to plan and orchestrate trips that allow travelers to participate in the authentic culture of a destination, hosted by the people whose strivings sound out the heartbeat of that culture every day.  By doing so, the company affords its guests otherwise inaccessible experiences, while channeling visitor resources to support the people who drive the culture―rather than feeding guests into a caricature-heavy tourism infrastructure detached from the soul of the place.

Royal Insider is not a travel agency, but a company based in New Orleans that designs custom trips for individuals and groups to experience New Orleans anytime, and international, set departure trips for very small groups that individuals can join.  The word ‘tour’ isn’t allowed in Royal Insider’s world. They call the experiences they create ‘outings.’  To make them possible at all, the company has to conduct a complex symphony of diplomacy, honoraria, charitable contributions and the nurturing of ongoing relationships.  The company literally never hires tour guides. Instead, they arrange for travelers to be hosted by culture bearers: singers, artists, chefs, winemakers, record producers and countless others who welcome their guests inside to experience the real local life―not tour them around the facade of it. Guests also have a “host-on-call” in the destination they can turn to throughout their stay.

I think you know who to call for more information. Have a great holiday!

Josh

Call Josh for details, excellent pricing & the ultimate in service

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco’s financial district
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
with travel experts, a virtuoso member agency

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[sign up for exclusive offers!]

Josh Friedman is a travel agent specializing in luxury travel for small groups and individuals – particularly ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations and food & wine inspired journeys.  Based in San Francisco, and with clients throughout the USA, his business is focused on 24/7 personalized service to the sophisticated leisure and business traveler.  His personal  relationships with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies often allows for exclusive amenities and VIP status. 

 If you’d like to learn more about luxury travel and our services, please contact Josh Friedman Luxury Travel in San Francisco’s Financial District via phone at 415.987.0372  or email: josh [at] joshfriedmantravel [dot] com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, too.

associated with travel experts, a virtuoso member and four seasons preferred partner, 201 spear st., ste 1100,  san francisco, ca 94105 cst# 2080753-40

Miraval | Heathful Gourmet Dining & Nature

I’m sitting on my porch and a lizard is scurrying up the tree right here in front of me. There are little (I assume baby) bunnies everywhere, although now at 2PM they’re likely in their holes. These adorable little creatures should be out in a couple of hours. There are butterflies, lots of birds and yesterday I saw a few horses [that deserves another post] and a horny toad.

Geez. My post before I left San Francisco was really a bit angry and very cynical. I apologize!  We’ve now been at Miraval 48 hours and it’s very different than I expected. All these people are really into fitness and health.  When I was told the dress was very casual and that people wore athletic gear to the restaurant I really didn’t belive it all that much.  But then people come here to do spa stuff — a lot of spa stuff. While this lifestyle is not for me I can totally get it. And as far as the ‘way out’ stuff like astrology, I think you really need to look for it. It’s barely noticeable.

So I’m pretty relaxed now I’d say. I’ve napped a lot, had a spa treatment and the biggest and best surprise of all, is that I’ve dined very very well.

Miraval Berries
Berries at Miraval

I’m always comparing restaurants when I travel to San Francisco because that’s where I live, and it’s hard to live up to those standards. Miraval does a really great job at that. The chef, Chad Luethje, is awesome. He really is.  The cuisine is creative, it’s tasty, it’s healthful and it makes you think about what you usually eat and what you could eat. What we eat is a choice, and I think we tend to forget that with our busy lives. We’re also used to eating that which our culture has told us to eat for as many years as we are old. So when you don’t get a piece of fish smothered with sauce, but instead just grilled with a fruit-vegi salsa, it’s a great wake up call that you can choose what you want.  I hope that lesson comes home with me.

More later about spa treatments, equine experience and whatever else I’ve yet to experience.

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco’s financial district
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
with casto, a virtuoso member agency

please contact josh for your miraval reservation. we offer these exclusive amenities: upgrade on arrival, subject to availability, a Miraval gift basket and early check-in and late check-out if available. rates at miraval are all-inclusive

yelp!   Twitter   Facebook  Flickr  You Tube
[sign up for exclusive offers!]

Josh Friedman is a travel agent specializing in luxury travel for small groups and individuals – particularly ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations and food & wine inspired journeys.  Based in San Francisco, and with clients throughout the USA, his business is focused on 24/7 personalized service to the sophisticated leisure and business traveler.  His personal  relationships with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies often allows for exclusive amenities and VIP status. 

 If you’d like to learn more about luxury travel and our services, please contact Josh Friedman Luxury Travel in San Francisco’s Financial District via phone at 415.987.0372  or email: josh [at] joshfriedmantravel [dot] com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, too.

associated with casto, a virtuoso member and four seasons preferred partner, 500 sansome st., san francisco, ca 94111 cst#1008439-10

Miraval | View from my Patio
Miraval | View from my Patio