December Roundup: 5 Incredible Travel Experiences
At Bell & Bly, our definition of luxury travel isn’t tied to the thread count of the sheets, or the butler service you’ll receive at your villa — but rather the access to exclusive and immersive experiences. Each month I’ll bring you 5 of the most incredible travel experiences I learned about in the prior month.
See Polar Bears from The Tundra Lodge
If you’ve ever wanted to see polar bears, a trip with Natural Habitat Adventures HAS to be on your bucket list. This is one of my favorite partners because they are always innovating to improve our clients’ experiences. The “Tundra Lodge” is a custom-built rolling hotel placed in an area of high polar bear density at the beginning of every season. Staying in the lodge is similar to sleeping on a train, with individual cabins and a bar cart. There are indoor and outdoor polar bear viewing platforms and daily excursions in the specialized polar rovers. It also must be said that Natural Habitat has some of the absolute best naturalists in the world to guide you in viewing this polar wonderland. This is sure to be a trip you and your family will never forget!
Relish in Luxury Domes at Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
There is finally a luxury option opening at the salt flats in Bolivia! Coming in February 2019, Kachi Lodge is a luxury camp experience set in a place quite unlike any other you’ll find on earth. Each room is in a white and glass enclosed “bubble” set directly onto the salt flats – you’ll feel like you’re staying on Mars. The culinary program is being provided by Gustu, one of the most renowned restaurants in Bolivia. The experience is true lodge style with all food, beverage, and activities included – as well as transfers from the airport. You’ve got to check out the photos to believe it!
Visit an Ancient Village in the Mountains of Tajikistan
For a truly incredible travel experience, head deep into the remote valleys of Tajikistan. The tiny villages you’ll find have largely been untouched by the rest of the world. In 2017 I visited the Yagnob Valley and did a homestay with a family. To get there, you need a good guide and must be relatively fit. After a short stay in Margeb you can drive on to Pskon, park, and hike the last 2 hours into the valley. The people here have been so isolated that they still speak a pre-Farsi language called Sogdian. Their villages were set up by ancestors fleeing Alexander the Great! If you are looking for something truly off-the-beaten path with some crazy rich history – this is it.
Visit New Zealand From Top to Tip on a Luxury Train Journey
Inspired entrepreneurs Amanda Johnston and Richard Aitken have big plans for New Zealand. In late 2017 the co-founders purchased and began restoring over 30 rail cars to create the Antipodean Explorer – a train journey from Auckland in the North Island all the way to Queenstown on the South Island. The journey will span 6 nights and stop in two different destinations per day. My partners say the line will be the most luxurious train journey in the world when it is completed in 2020.
Shuck Oysters & Hang With Royalty
Earlier this month I met with one of my partners in Spain who is amazing at staying ahead of the curve in terms of experimental experiences. She recently put together an amazing day for some clients that included going in search of oysters in the morning, learning how to shuck them for lunch, then cleaning up and having dinner with the brother of the King of Spain! Insider experiences like this sound crazy but are becoming more and more possible around the world.
If you’re looking for unique travel experiences, please reach out. I’m always excited to brainstorm with adventurous travelers.