Join me! SeaDream Yacht Club- June 25th! Trip of a Lifetime!


Get ready for this: We’re going on a “Yachting Adventure” in June! This will be a trip of a lifetime!

We push-off from Istanbul and cruise the Greek Isles to Athens June 25th- July 2nd. I locked in a special rate starting at – $2800 less per cabin than what everyone else pays! In addition, my group will also receive a $200 spa credit per room. Here’s the breakdown:

112 guests

95 Crew

5-Star Service

You should know… All-Inclusive SeaDream yachting is different from big ship cruising. SeaDream visits the intimate yachting playgrounds, harbors and ports where large cruise ships cannot go. Unlike cruises, you will be pampered by SeaDream’s award–winning service and cuisine. You can be as active or as relaxed as you want while experiencing the ultimate in luxury, privacy and personalization. I only have a few cabins left at this price so tell your friends, & join us- all are welcome! My discount price is only good until March 25th so click here to email me… xo Pia

Spring Break Part II

Northstar-at-Tahoe- Lake Tahoe  April 2010

I had only one day to repack for my trip to Lake Tahoe’s north shore. My dad was celebrating his 80th birthday and our family decided that returning to our favorite vacation spot would make for a wonderful reunion.

My family has been going to the Northstar-at-Tahoe ski area for over 15 years. It’s a favorite with families because it’s designed to invite, not intimidate.

The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe is the first new-build resort development in the area in decades. Lately we have seen dramatic changes (upgrades) at the mountain and with the addition of the Ritz-Carlton Highlands and it’s impeccable 5-star service Northstar has really come into the big leagues of ski destinations.

Much to our delight the Sierra Nevada Mountains were getting a heavy snowfall late in the season. This made the skiing absolutely perfect all week!

I loved having ski-in/ski-out slope side accommodations with ski concierge services, so nice not having to schlep equipment. They had my ski gear ready for me each morning and even helped me into my ski boots!

A gondola from the resort makes it convenient to access the village where you’ll find the finest dining, shopping and entertainment. We discovered Mikuni, a Japanese restaurant and sushi bar that took sushi rolls to a new level.

 

 

The ice-skating is free and for a classic treat you can purchase a smores kit to roast over the village fire pits.

Our 2-bedroom residence was beautifully decorated in warm sophisticated mountain décor. A large LCD flat screen was situated over the fireplace, a Viking gourmet kitchen, iPod docking station, wireless internet and 400 thread goose down comforters are some of the amenities in our luscious retreat.

The Ritz-Carlton also offers a 17,000 square foot spa and fitness center and a signature restaurant by Traci DesJardins, a renowned San Francisco celebrity chef. What really made this resort stand out is the excellent service we received from the 24-hour concierge. I can’t say enough about how their intuitive service enhanced our stay.

There’s nothing like waking up in your cozy room watching skiers make first tracks while you sip your morning coffee knowing just outside your equipment is ready to go!

When you’re ready to make a reservation here or at any ski destination contact me! pia@plazatravel.com

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Spring Break Double Header, Part I

Maroma Beach- Riviera Cancun  March 2010

I was making arrangements for my girlfriend to go down to Mexico for Spring break when I suddenly got the great idea that I should go with her…  Spring Break Double Header!

I was due in Lake Tahoe for a family reunion at the end of the week so I split my time and had the best of both worlds! I went from the warm beaches of Mexico to the snowy slopes of Lake Tahoe all in one week!

My first stop was the all-inclusive Secrets Resort and Spa on Maroma Beach, one of the best beaches in all of Mexico. It was an extra special trip because I had my teenage son with me and, escaping the snow of the midwest, my girlfriend brought her teenage daughter. Hmmm. It was love at first sight when I saw the long stretch of powdery white sand and Caribbean blue water.

I could definitely park myself under the nearest palapa and be happy here!

Although it’s not as exclusive or authentic as some of the places I’ve recently visited, I got into the fun of having a more lively atmosphere and various dining choices on a single property. There are 7 gourmet restaurants, 8 bars and several nightly activities which range from current movies to live performers. Afterwards, the disco is always in gear if you feel like having a late night. (Hey and it’s all included!) I’ve been to a lot of resorts, and some of them make outrageous claims but here, they really do want you to have it all. Their motto of “Unlimited Luxury” did not disappoint. From the minute you check-in at reception you will be pampered by their amazing service personnel.

The resort is 18+ and is perfect for romantic getaways and adult groups that don’t want to worry about how to split the check each night. Secrets discourages the typical Spring Break crowd and concentrates on a more sophisticated atmosphere but don’t be fooled, there were plenty of tequila shots going around the pool, afternoon volleyball games, and salsa dance classes in case you forgot how to do the Macarana. After all, adults are just grown up kids! Right?

At the Italian restaurant with the "BIG" cheese!

Folks, this trip is the anecdote for having fun in the sun and eating and drinking ’till your heart is content. I’m a Master Agent for AMResorts and I needed to physically experience what I’ve read in the glossy brochures. If you’d like more information or to book a Secrets Resort, Dreams Resort, Now Resort or the boutique Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts please contact me at pia@plazatravel.com


~Finding Blue Heaven on Earth in Tahiti~

Tahiti- March 2010

Ia Orana! Or “hello” in Tahitian- This is the way visitors are welcomed to these beautiful islands! We only had 5 nights to get away this time so it was going to be a challenge to see if it was worth going so far. I should have known because at first glimpse of those aqua lagoons I knew I’d made the right decision. It can be a long flight but with a little effort and patience you’ll find yourself in the completely different world of French Polynesia…

Ever imagine a place so dreamy that it can’t possibly exist? My destination was the Relais & Chateaux property: Le Tahaa Island Resort and Spa (on a motu off the island of Tahaa.) A short connecting flight is needed from the main city of Papeete and a 30 minute boat transfer until you arrive at your South Seas Nirvana. Le Tahaa has 48 over-water bungalows and 12 more beach suite accommodations. This tranquil, fantasy island has an authentic Polynesian feel with public areas built right in the trees. It gives you Robinson Caruso style without sacrificing comforts that you would expect form a 5 star resort. A nice departure from the slick new developments on Bora Bora.

My favorite accommodations were the sunset over water bungalows with a front row view for watching the sun sink down into the lagoon each night.

You can wade endlessly in waist-high deep water right off the back of your deck while you hear the surf pounding in the distance. The private deck has a covered dining area and outdoor shower for rinsing off the sea water after your swim. Sliding doors separate the bathroom from the bedroom where a large picture window gives you a constant reminder of the beauty outside. Rooms have flat screen TVs, iPod docks, monoi scented local toiletries, mini-bar, robes and slippers and a Nespresso machine. The gold standard for coffee in hotel rooms, for the best coffee anytime!

Poisson cru. A favorite Tahitian dish of raw fish, lime and coconut milk.

The chef in the restaurant easily handled any special requests, their menu features island specialties with a focus on fresh seafood, although they easily accommodated my husband’s vegetarian diet.

Twice a week, the resort features a Polynesian buffet with an amazing fire show but that’s the extent of the entertainment provided by the resort.

The island is very laid back and our minds were made up to do nothing more than relax and let ourselves fall under the spell of the Tahaa’s natural gifts of crystaline water and endless ocean views… although we did manage to pry ourselves off the lounge chairs to go bounding over the lagoon on jet skis (so fun!). Afterward, we treated ourselves to relaxing massages in the outdoor spa. We had just enough of everything we needed to unwind from our busy lives. The slow and deliberate island style puts you in harmony with nature. I highly approve of this private and relaxing resort that accomplishes more for your soul and well-being in 5 days than vacations that are twice as long. I specialize in travel to Tahiti (I’ve been there 4 times in last 2 years) and I want to share this gift of the world with you. To be seduced by the magical colors of the lagoon, for information or to reserve a stay at this exclusive hideaway please e-mail me.

~A Visit to La Esperanza~

Cabo San Lucas- February 2010


My tan had barely faded and I was off again, this time to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The place where you drink margaritas, chow on chips & salsa and worry about it when you get home! It’s super-easy to jet down to from Los Angeles.  A quick 2 hour plane ride and you are ready to order your first margarita. There are hotels to fit every budget but as my good karma would have it, I found myself at one of the most exceptional resorts along the tip of the Baja peninsula.

This was my second time staying at La Esperanza. The magnificent 5-star Auberge resort sprawls from it’s location on a bluff overlooking  the Sea of Cortez. It’s lush gardens and carefully manicured grounds are a dramatic contrast to the natural desert landscape of Baja. Accommodations range from Mexican inspired casitas and villas to stand alone private residences. We stayed with friends in a luxurious four bedroom villa with it’s own lap pool and outdoor jacuzzi. Nice!

I loved having the extra living space the villa provided. The indoor/outdoor design gave everyone ample room to lounge around. Each morning I’d relax on the terrace sipping coffee and fiddling with my iPhone until we all decided which pool we should visit for the day. Tough choice because there were more than a few pool areas (can you believe this life?).  My favorite was the adults-only hotel pool with it’s sweeping ocean vistas from it’s palm tree lined multi terraces. During the winter season you can spot whales breaching just off the shore from your lounge chair. You can even get a foot and shoulder massage while sipping your margarita. Every wish is carried out with a smile and you can truly relax in this 5-star sanctuary.

We had prearranged with the concierge to stock the refrigerator in the villa. At one point there was discussion of using the gourmet kitchen to eat in a few nights but despite our best intentions there were just too many other restaurants in the area to temp us off campus.

Some of my favorite dining experiences were “The Restaurant” at Las Ventanas. It’s desert decor complimented by regional artisans is probably one of the most romantic atmospheres for dinner on the corridor. At The One & Only Palmilla the Jean-George restaurant “Market” had an ultra stylish south beach feel and Chef Marco Bustamonte’s restaurant at the brand new Capella Pedregal stood out with their fresh cleanly prepared food.

This is the perfect time of year to go. Right now the weather is in the 80’s, sunny and just waiting for you! To book a resort in Cabo, contact me asap.

My week in St. Barths!

St. Barths — January 2010

St. Barths and I really hit it off on our first date. This boutique island in the Caribbean creates an idyllic atmosphere of fine food, spectacular scenery, and just enough shopping in case you get board. It’s duty free but you’ll cry Hermès tears when you see the prices!

We spent the week at Villa Mango, a private 3 bedroom home perched in the hills overlooking Gustavia Harbor. The lifestyle of St. Barths encourages you to get out, explore different beaches and try a new restaurant every day and in our case, twice daily. Much is said about the glitz and glamour of this sexy island “where the rich and famous run free” but I saw another side of life here. You can totally lay back and choose how much you want to be in the fire. From the hipster’s Eden Rock to the uber discreet Hotel Le Toiny one thing is agreeed, you will need a suitcase full of Euros to foot the bill.

My good friend Anne Sides loving all those same things has been coming to St. Barths for 20 years. She and her husband Allen own Ocean Way Recording Studios and finally realized their dream of opening a studio here partnering with Eden Rock.

Clockwork Orange Flashback!

Ocean Way Studio, St. Barths

The studio is part of the 16,000 square foot Villa “Rockstar.” The modern white decor gave me Clockwork Orange flashbacks. The “Freddy Mercury Suite” looked like someone took a bedazzler to it covering it in silver moacis tiles. Simply wild! David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust days would have been right at home here. Extraordinarily decadent! It’s quite a contrast to the other French casual inspired accommodations on the island. I can’t wait until we return in June to take it for a spin.

St Barthelemy is located in the French West Indies near the Caribbean islands of St. Martin and Anguilla. Contact me for reservations.

Don’t know what to do for Valentine’s Day?

A “stay-cation” makes a lot of sense when you don’t want the hassle of an airport. You begin to relax the minute you drive up to the valet. You waste no time on travel, save on airfare and maximize precious vacation time!  It’s not too late~ send me a message!

I’m off to St Barths!

St. Barths Here I Come!

Hi Everyone- I’m back online and ready to go to fabulous St. Barths in the Caribbean. It’s been raining elephants in Los Angeles and I can’t wait to get to blue water. I have to run and pack but I’ll give a full report when I return!
X
Pia

My Long Weekend at Capella Resort in Ixtapa!
Capella Ixtapa –  April 2009
I’ve just returned from a four night stay at Capella- an enchanting new resort in Ixtapa Mexico. It’s 59 rooms dramatically cascade the hillside with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. All rooms are oceanfront and feature a plunge pool on the terrace. They are so well appointed and private you may never leave them!  Hearing the waves crash below immediately put me in a blue water trance.
I love finding unique places for people to enjoy. Capella has just opened to rave reviews so let’s see what makes this place so special…
When I stepped into my room I was greeted by a gorgeous ocean view!
I turned on the music and sat out on my terrace. I had everything I wanted, and what wasn’t there was just a phone call away.
The rooms are thoughtfully appointed with complimentary water and soft drinks in the mini bar, candles, French-press coffee maker, wireless-internet, LCD TV, i-pod docks and superior bath amenities.
Capella is located in a quiet residential area of Ixtapa. Boasting near perfect weather year-round and just a 3 1/2 hour flight from LA, it’s ideal for a long weekend getaway.
All the things we love: sumptuous new Italian linens, comfy pillows and lots of fluffy towels!!! I slept so well.
Please don’t disturb. I’m stargazing from my terrace… zzz
I’m really going to miss room service in the morning. Do you think that’s enough papaya?
There’s not much to do except go to the gym, sit by the pool or make a spa appointment. Of course you could always leave and go into Ixtapa or to a big beach, but why would you do that?!?!
Endless views – sometimes this is all you need. Okay, okay- there’s a bike path just outside the front door, championship golf, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, shopping, and all that other stuff you do on a tropical vacation or just sit here and le t the staff pamper you! Margarita por favor!!
This is the perfect hideaway for couples looking for a romantic escape or for friends to come relax and unwind.  It’s like having your own private villa.
Being built into a hillside never posed a challenge.  There are two funiculars and an elevator to help you get around. (A funicular is something you’d wait 45 minutes to ride if it was in Disneyland. Here it just glides up the hill to your room.)
Napa has wine tasting- Ixtapa has Tequila tasting –
regular or unleaded!
There were more fun activities at the resort’s Terrace Bar. We had margarita making lessons!!
Delicious!
With the moon and stars as a backdrop this was a romantic place to have dinner. There are also three other choices for dining as well as 24 hour room service.
There were so many things done right that I can’t think of anything I’d want different. I returned to LA looking and feeling great and when I go on vacation that means -Mission Accomplished! I think I’m Capella’s biggest fan and I am already missing the 5 o’clock Coronitas, guacamole, chips and salsa (served complimentary by the way!)
I can’t wait to tell everyone about this property. Once the word gets out this little piece of heaven will cost much more.
Capella offers incredible specials from time to time and lucky you, I’m your Capella connection! In Cabo, this would cost 3-4 times the price. When was the last time you had a plunge pool on your terrace?
Leave Thursday morning and come back Monday night- an easy weekend getaway. Call me now and I’ll make it happen!
Happy Travels!
With Love- Pia
pia@plazatravel.com
Pia Vai
Plaza Travel
16530 Ventura Blvd.
Suite 106
Encino, California 91436
818-990-4053 office
818-789-5405 fax
818-231-2767 cell
www.plazatravel.com
pia@plazatravel.com
CST# 1014684-40
Bye Bye Capella! Hope to see you soon!

Capella Ixtapa –  April 2009

I’ve just returned from a four night stay at Capella- an enchanting new resort in Ixtapa Mexico. It’s 59 rooms dramatically cascade the hillside with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. All rooms are oceanfront and feature a plunge pool on the terrace. They are so well appointed and private you may never leave them!  Hearing the waves crash below immediately put me in a blue water trance.

Resort Photo

I love finding unique places for people to enjoy. Capella has just opened to rave reviews so let’s see what makes this place so special…

When I stepped into my room I was greeted by a gorgeous ocean view!

When I stepped into my room I was greeted by a gorgeous ocean view!

3

I turned on the music and sat out on my terrace. I had everything I wanted, and what wasn’t there was just a phone call away. The rooms are thoughtfully appointed with complimentary water and soft drinks in the mini bar, candles, French-press coffee maker, wireless-internet, LCD TV, i-pod docks and superior bath amenities.

4

Capella is located in a quiet residential area of Ixtapa. Boasting near perfect weather year-round and just a 3 1/2 hour flight from LA, it’s ideal for a long weekend getaway.

5

All the things we love: sumptuous new Italian linens, comfy pillows and lots of fluffy towels!!! I slept so well.

6

Please don’t disturb. I’m stargazing from my terrace… zzz

7

I’m really going to miss room service in the morning. Do you think that’s enough papaya???

8

There’s not much to do except go to the gym, sit by the pool or make a spa appointment. Of course you could always leave and go into Ixtapa or to a big beach, but why would you do that?!?!

9

Endless views – sometimes this is all you need. Okay, okay- there’s a bike path just outside the front door, championship golf, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, shopping, and all that other stuff you do on a tropical vacation or just sit here and let the staff pamper you! Margarita por favor!!

10

This is the perfect hideaway for couples looking for a romantic escape or for friends to come relax and unwind.  It’s like having your own private villa.

11

Being built into a hillside never posed a challenge.  There are two funiculars and an elevator to help you get around. (A funicular is something you’d wait 45 minutes to ride if it was in Disneyland. Here it just glides up the hill to your room.)

12

Napa has wine tasting- Ixtapa has Tequila tasting –regular or unleaded!

13

There were more fun activities at the resort’s Terrace Bar. We had margarita making lessons!! Delicious!

14

With the moon and stars as a backdrop this was a romantic place to have dinner. There are also three other choices for dining as well as 24 hour room service.

15

There were so many things done right that I can’t think of anything I’d want different. I returned to LA looking and feeling great and when I go on vacation that means -Mission Accomplished! I think I’m Capella’s biggest fan and I am already missing the 5 o’clock Coronitas, guacamole, chips and salsa (served complimentary by the way!)

I can’t wait to tell everyone about this property. Once the word gets out this little piece of heaven will cost much more. Capella offers incredible specials from time to time and lucky you, I’m your Capella connection! In Cabo, this would cost 3-4 times the price. When was the last time you had a plunge pool on your terrace?

Leave Thursday morning and come back Monday night- an easy weekend getaway. Call me now and I’ll make it happen!

Happy Travels!

With Love- Pia

pia@plazatravel.com

Pia Vai
Plaza Travel
16530 Ventura Blvd.
Suite 106
Encino, California 91436
818-990-4053 office  ext. 194
818-789-5405 fax
www.travelwithpia.com
pia@plazatravel.com
CST# 1014684-40

17

Bye Bye Capella! Hope to see you soon!

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Category: Reviews  5 Comments
On a New Adventure!

I’m too busy traveling to work on my website…

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