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Donna’s Favorite World Travels

It’s a hard question when someone asks me what my favorite resorts and destinations are, the answer is “endless.” It would take many lives to travel this whole world. One thing I know for sure, for every amazing trip experience, you become a better storyteller. But here are a few of my favorites.

Rosewood Jumby Bay

Jumby Bay is pronounced “jum-bee” and is named after the Antiguan word, meaning “playful spirit.” Set in one of the most beautiful, undisturbed places in the world, Jumby Bay, a Rosewood Resort, is nestled on a 300-acre private Caribbean island. Reachable only by boat and with no cars in sight, this private isle of white-powdered beaches and winding bicycle paths is a one-of-a-kind hideaway known, quite simply, as one the finest resort in the Caribbean.

Once you touch down in Antigua, you will be whisked away for the seven-minute scenic boat ride to the island. Jumby Bay offers a picturesque postcard setting of lush landscape, stunning white sands, and crystal clear waters. You will find 40 guest rooms and villas all inclusive of breakfast, lunch, and dinner; unlimited spirits and imported wines; all non-motorized sports, from snorkeling to sailboarding; sunset cruises; resort bicycles; and use of the fitness center. The resort also offers six restaurant dining options, and the Sense Spa.

If you are looking for a private hideaway, Jumby Bay may be your “Do Not Disturb” choice.

One&Only Palmilla

After the hit from Hurricane Odile, One&Only Palmilla reopened better than ever with newly refurbished guest rooms, new adult outdoor lounging areas, fitness center, spa, and restaurants; including the Michelin-starred steak and seafood restaurant, Seared. One&Only Palmilla is one of the few resorts with a swimmable beach.

This lavish resort offers colorful tropical blooms creating a path to the sea. A perfect destination from Los Angeles, it is only a 2 hour and 10-minute direct flight via American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, or Mexico Airlines.

One&Only Palmilla can produce the most amazing wedding celebration to bond your forever love, create a memorable weekend getaway with family and friends, and re-inspire your team for the company’s annual group retreat. The outstanding service and attention to detail will not disappoint during your stay.

The resort is family-friendly with several enjoyable activities, all of which can be arranged prior to your stay or planned with the concierge when you arrive. Activities within minutes of the property include whale watching, zip lining, horseback riding, and surfing. For golf lovers, the Jack Nicklaus’ golf course is the first signature course built in Latin America and comprises of a 27-hole layout consisting of three nines: Arroyo, Mountain, and Ocean.

This outstanding course ensures golfers of every skill level a memorable and exciting game. It is only a short seven-minute ride to the Palmilla Golf Club and is rated as one of the Top 100 in the world by Great Golf Resorts of the World.

Located at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, One&Only Palmilla is the perfect oasis offering serenity and playfulness. Your every wish is indulged and every dream fulfilled.

Auberge Du Soleil

Once you touch down into the San Francisco airport or the private FBO, you will arrive at this world-class luxury resort in the heart of Napa Valley after a two-hour drive. Auberge Du Soleil offers the perfect getaway for foodies and wine lovers, featuring expertise in the art of dining using seasonal, regionally-grown products, all served while taking in the most breathtaking panoramic valley views. I found it so relaxing and tranquil. Having breakfast on the terrace was something I looked forward each morning. The Restaurant at Auberge Dul Soleil pays tribute an award-winning menu and wine list. The culinary team is sure to impress whatever you have a taste for – a must experience.

The warm, friendly staff is readily available to accommodate your wishes, whether it be to set up a wine tour, spa treatment, hot air balloon ride, or simply a dinner reservation.
You will find a 7000 sq ft spa overlooking the Napa Valley and offering an array of experiences guaranteed to relax, heal, and invigorate your mind and soul utilizing natural ingredients indigenous to the region. Try the ULTIMATE INDULGENCE AFTER-HOURS| 3 hrs long for couples or AUBERGE ATTUNEMENT | 75 mins. Enjoy the secluded, discreet, elegant soaking pools and sexy lounge areas where you can lay back sipping a nice glass of wine made nearby or a cocktail while taking in the fresh air, sun and views.

Napa Valley is an easy must on your bucket list; it features more than four hundred wineries and grows many different grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, and other popular varietals. Napa Valley, California is visited by as many as five million people each year.

You will find new discoveries and activities to do upon each return visit. Whether you are wine tasting, dining at one of the renowned restaurants, pampering yourself with a massage at the spa, or just enjoying a relaxing stay at the Auberge du Soleil resort… as they say
“Napa Valley is your spot of heaven on earth.”

South Africa

South Africa is one of my most incredible and favorite trips. It’s a long trek to South Africa but well worth the time; an experience that you will cherish for a lifetime. My trip started out in Cape Town. I stayed at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, which is walking distance to the waterfront, but I also love the One&Only Cape Town hotel too.

South Africa offers so much to see and do; I recommend putting an itinerary together for your journey. A couple of things you will want to include are the Robben Island Tour and the Table Mountain Tour. Robben Island Tour is a South African Heritage site where the former South African President Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison before he became the President. See and learn about this rich historic island.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is at the Southern tip of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans collide. It offers the richest and most biologically diverse marine ecosystems on the planet. Grootbos, meaning “Big Forest,” is a paradise of 765 different plant species. You can go on guided hikes and tours embracing the astounding sweeping views, across the plains to the sparkling ocean coast. This is natural beauty only seen in this part of the world. At the Grootbos Reserve, you can also arrange to go shark cage diving or whale watching. To experience the thrill of a close encounter will be unforgettable.

Recommended lodge: Forest Lodge, 5-Star all-inclusive with breakfast and lunch buffets, five-Course dinners, land-based whale watching tours, safari, bird watching tours, and more – luxury at your fingertips.

Sabi Sand Game Reserve & Lion Sands River Lodge and Game Reserve

Two safaris take place each day, a morning and late afternoon, leading into early night when most wildlife is most active. If you’re lucky, you may see all of the “big five”: African lion, elephant, leopard, Cape buffalo, black/white rhinoceros. Your stay at the Lion Sands Lodge will be inclusive of three meals daily, beverages (including local brand beers, house wines, and spirit), laundry, two game drives, mini bar, snacks and refreshments, and specified safari activities.

During the safari at the halfway point, our tracker would pull off the road and surprised our group with coffee and breakfast items in the morning and drinks (wine, champagne, etc.) with appetizers in the evenings. It was wonderful to pause and watch the sunset with a glass of wine in the bush. Breathtaking.

The Royal Livingstone Hotel

Then, cross into Zimbabwe and check out Victoria Falls and a sunset cruise.

While there, I suggest staying at The Royal Livingstone Hotel at the Victoria Falls in Zambia; perfect for the discerning traveler in search of luxury, extravagance, indulgence, and a myriad of activities. This iconic hotel is spectacularly set in a lush riverine environment within a national park. The wildlife roams freely; so don’t be surprised to see a zebra nibbling on grass right outside your hotel room. A giraffe walking around the property was a wonderful surprise too – I loved it!

Your travel experiences add to the story of your life, so live each moment!

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