Sarah Groen is the host of the podcast, Luxury Travel Insider, a contributing travel columnist for CEO World Magazine, and the owner of Bell & Bly Travel.
Today we’re chatting about what I think is one of the most fascinating countries on the planet - Japan. It’s on one hand a total sensory overload and on the other hand, such a refined experience that without the very best of guides, you might totally miss the point. From owl cafes in Tokyo, to powder skiing in Hokkaido, to behind the scenes with a Geisha or Samurai warrior in Kyoto - Japan is a world unto itself. Our guest today is Avi Lugasi, a long time resident of Japan and owner of my go to partner in the country, Windows to Japan. Avi specializes in going deep - and understanding the tiny nuances of the most intricate crafts (he did after all spend 3 years in a zen Buddhist monastery and earned 2 blackbelts in archery). Avi and I discuss the ins and outs of finding excellent guides in Japan, how memorable experiences are created person to person, and how harmony is such an important aspect of the Japanese culture. Learn more at Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn
Our guest today is Fernando Polanco, the Managing Director and Co-Owner of Hacienda Zuleta in the Andean highlands of Ecuador. Someone I’ve wanted to have on the show for a long time. Fernando is a storm of energy, and one of the most passionate hoteliers I’ve ever met. He comes from a long line of Ecuadorian patriots and Spanish explorers before that. His home, Hacienda Zuleta, was a sacred place for the Caranqui indegenous tribes for hundreds of years, the building itself was initially constructed on orders of the Spanish King, Charles the II, and THEN Fernando’s great grandfather and grandfather, both past Presidents of Ecuador, made the hacienda into their home and a working farm. If you are lucky enough to visit this slice of heaven and living history, you’ll likely meet Fernando or his Aunt Margarita. During the days you’ll horseback ride, explore the Caranqui ruins, hike, tour the cheese factory, or even visit the equator line. Then after exploring you’ll tuck into the most amazing food, enjoy a night cap by the fireplace with your friends and maybe Fernando’s dog, and enjoy a cozy night of relaxation. Fernando and I discuss why mainland Ecuador should be on everyone’s travel wishlist, the unbelievable diversity the country has to offer, and the deep history of his land, family, and how they’ve given back over the years.  Learn more at Connect with me on social: Instagram LinkedIn
Our guest is Dave Guenther, Founder & President of Roadtrips - my go to partner when planning luxury travel centered around sporting events. Dave’s 30 years in business gives him insider access to events like the Olympics, the World Cup, Formula 1 Races, The Masters, The Superbowl, The Kentucky Derby and more. Whatever your sport is, Dave & I can work together to get tickets before they go on sale, secure the best rooms in the most coveted hotels, and get you insider access to the VIP parties. Dave & I discuss how luxury sports travel is so much more than just visiting a stadium, the serendipitous experiences you can have at these world class events, and how the world of sports brings people together in a way that politics never could. See photos, show notes, and listener perks HERE. Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn
Our guest today is Michael Hoffmann, the Managing Director of Inn at Perry Cabin. This slice of Americana is nestled into a cove on the Eastern shores of the Chesapeake Bay, near the historic town of St. Michaels. To get here, you cross the bay on a beautiful private yacht with the wind in your hair. By the time you arrive, your stress has melted away and you can truly enjoy this historic property. Whether you choose to learn sailing, go crabbing, spend time golfing, or just relaxing - you’ll leave Inn at Perry Cabin with a new appreciation for the smaller things in life. Michael and I discuss the history of Chesapeake Bay, the roaring fireplaces, a secret trap door, and a little tidbit about the movie Wedding Crashers. See photos, show notes, and listener perks HERE. Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn
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20 hours, 21 minutes
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