There’s no place like home, but when you go on vacation, finding the right home away from home can make or break a vacation. Hotels come in all shapes and sizes -- some are luxurious, others budget-friendly. In the end, it’s the little things that make a difference, turning visitors into repeat customers.
La Playa Hotel, Carmel
From the rooftop of Rio’s Fasano hotel, the setting sun illuminated Sugarloaf Mountain to cinematic effect while perfectly tanned couples in tiny bathing suits soaked up the last waning rays from sunbeds around the infinity pool.
What do you know about MALT? No, not the grain that’s used to make whiskey and beer.
When did we forget how to go on vacation? These days, a week off means an opportunity to do more stuff. From paradise, we Instagram and tweet every last relaxing moment, never escaping long enough to untether from the chatter. What if there were a place somewhere at the end of the world where there is gloriously nothing to do?
Around the glass-walled pool at the envy rooftop bar, ripped boys and glossy-legged girls with straightened hair and skyscraper heels pick cocktails from a glowing menu. This is Medellín, cultural capital of the new Colombia—flush with oil money, cleaned up and ready to party (as seen on TV). But I am here for more than a caipiroska (a vodka-laden variation on the caipirinha). I want to know whether Medellín’s new image as innovation central goes deeper than the lip gloss.
Gentle splashes of fresh water sprinkle over the bow, reviving us as we breeze through islets—more like dollops of jungle spooned from a batter of rainforest than beachy outcroppings. Egrets soar past our path and skid into landing, loons drag their knuckles on the placid waves, and somewhere beneath, bull sharks silently drift along, having adapted to the lack of salt water over thousands of years. My husband and I are on a small skiff traveling through an archipelago of 365 atolls off the coast of Granada, formed from the last reaches of an eruption thought to have happened thousands of years ago, when nearby Mombacho Volcano blew its top near the northwestern tip of Lake Nicaragua.