AWARD WINNING TRAVEL SERVICE | TOLL FREE: 1-800-350-9333

TOLL FREE:
1-800-350-9333

AWARD WINNING
TRAVEL SERVICE

MENU
menu

TOLL FREE:
1-800-350-9333

MENU

TRAVEL BLOG

Charlie’s Bucket List Destination: The Wickaninnish Inn

Wick-a-nin-nish Inn

Usually we don’t consider the hotel the “destination” but in the case of the Wickaninnish Inn, it’s worth the trip. Known to friends (which all guests become) as the “Wick Inn,” this family-owned and operated lodge will speak to the part of you looking for a nice, quiet place to take your time and relax. Enjoy a nice stroll through the old-growth forest behind you, or walk the Pacific coastline in front of you. Have no commitment except to the warmth of the fireplace.

Wick Inn canopy suite view

Ocean View from the Canopy Suite

Located on the West Coast of Vancouver, this rustic last-frontier-style lodge is the perfect place to be on the edge of wilderness while still experiencing top luxury. Each season varies quite greatly, so you will want to know what kind of experience you are craving. No matter when you travel, enjoy the hand-carved artwork and furniture made by Henry Nolla over his 25 years at the Wick Inn, including the beautiful fireplace mantles in each room.

Henry Nolla in the Wood Carving Shed

Henry Nolla in the Wood Carving Shed

This lodge first came on our radar through Charles de L’Arbre, owner and CEO of Santa Barbara Travel Bureau, when we asked him what his dream destinations were. A trip to the Wick Inn was top on his travel list. It turns out that Charles has a soft spot for extreme weather, and watching trans-pacific waves crash outside while sitting by the warmth of a private fireplace is right up his alley. The best season for this kind of experience is the Winter Season (November to February). Living in the dry hills of Santa Barbara doesn’t quite offer the same… weather.

wick inn storm watch 2

Winter Storm Watching Season (November to February)

The peak season, however, is in the Summer. The Wick Inn is a beautiful beach resort, hosting weddings, proposals, vow renewals, birthdays, family reunions and more. You can easily explore the surrounding area, or enjoy the rustic luxury of the Inn. If you are looking for romance– this is your spot. Save with the “All You Need is Love” package or take a healthy, spa- and yoga-based approach with the “Ancient Cedars Active Health” package, which includes massages, yoga classes, and gourmet meals for two.

Beautiful ceremonies available at the Wickaninnish Inn to celebrate the occasion

Beautiful ceremonies available at the Wickaninnish Inn to celebrate the occasion

If you love adventuring, we suggest the “Wilderness to Wickaninnish Package.” The Wick Inn and the new Clayoquot Wilderness Resort have partnered to offer the most incredible experience to those who want to explore Vancouver Island. Stay in a luxurious tent (no, we are not kidding), and during the day explore by hiking, kayaking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing amidst the spectacular wilderness, followed with massages and gourmet meals for two. After a few days in the wilderness, relax at the Wick Inn.

Walk amongst the Old Grown Rainforest

Walk amongst the Old Grown Rainforest

With only 75 rooms, each with an ocean-view balcony, fireplace, and giant soaking hot tub, you will feel the excitement of a new frontier amidst a rustic backdrop and modern luxury.

Call Charles de L’Arbre at 805.969.7746, or email him at charlesd@sbtravel.com to talk about this beautiful property.
Thank you to the Wickaninnish Inn for providing these beautiful photos.

Tropical Romance for Love All Year: Kauai

Kaua’i, United States

Recommended Travel Season: September & November or April to June

Best time to make your reservations: Winter and Spring.

Call Your Santa Barbara Travel Advisor or Tina at 806.966.3116 for details

The beautiful island of Kaua’i, nicknamed the “Garden Isle,” is on the top of our list for romantic vacation destinations. Take a hike along the dramatic cliffs of the Na Pali Coast, pick your own guavas hiking through tropical jungles with a waterfall as your destination, swim in the warm ocean waters, and enjoy the amenities at your resort for luxurious relaxation.

Kauai-1

Welcome to Kaua’i! Extreme landscapes, luscious terrain, and beautiful culture

When considering Kauai, we recommend visiting between September and November or from April to June, when the climate is mellow and the prices are reasonable. If you can’t travel during that time, you’ll still enjoy Hawaii, just expect more heat or rain.

str189ex-179238-Porte Cochere

St. Regis Princeville

The St. Regis Princeville is one of our favorite properties on Kaua’i, introducing an “unparalleled level of sophistication and serene luxury.” We love the location overlooking Hanalei Bay, and the spacious 9,000 acre resort community offers all of the best amenities you would want in reach. Together you two can ride horses along the Na Molokama mountain range, kayak the Hanalei River, go snorkeling in the pristine Hawaiian waters, visit tropical botanical gardens, Kayak, and surf. If you are bringing the kids, look forward to Ukelele lessons, Hanalei Stargazing, Lei Making, snorkeling, jungle adventures, and beachside bonfires. Or, just hang with your Pina Colada at the poolside.

str189po-153705-Pool

Give yourself more than a long weekend– that fourth night will be free when you make your St. Regis Princeville reservation through Santa Barbara Travel Bureau by December 22, 2016. You will also receive the following exclusive amenities:

  • Upgrade at time of check-in (based on availability)
  • $100.00 Resort Credit to be used during your stay
  • Complimentary breakfast for 2 at Makana Terrace

str189po-149073-Pool

Call your Santa Barbara Travel Advisor or Tina for details:

805-966-3116

tnordholm@sbtravel.com

5 New Years Resolutions to Make– If You Want to Travel

With every New Year comes the “Resolutions Phase” as promises are made to quit our vices or spark our good habits. Gym memberships shoot up, only to be abandoned by February 1; shoes are purchased with hopes of hitting pavement, only to sit in a closet after their debut around the block; promises are made to quit-that-thing-I-know-is-bad only to run rampant with it. Clearly, we are going about this all wrong.

Even motivating goals, like travel, have made it to the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions Lists as long as the internet has compiled them, but most people write their travel dreams on a bucket list, not a book-it-now list, and instead opt for that gym membership. The key is to make your goals more specific, and even a little ridiculous, but make sure they are rooted outside of your locale. Let your journey to a new place plant the seed of the habits you want to build by rooting them in your passion.

1-3 DominicanRepublic2

1– See a Wild Flamingo (on White Sand Beaches)

Silly? Perhaps, but think of the places you can go! These beautiful, wild birds are a distant cousin to those seen in a zoo. Experience Flamingos in their natural, pink glory and watch them “dance” in the sand as they dig up pink shrimp. This resolution can take you throughout the Caribbean, and even to a tiny island called Holbox off the coast of Mexico, where there are no cars and plenty of white sand beaches.

DominicanRepublic4

2– Coconut Water Detox (via Bicycle Delivery)

Unlike the “lose weight” or “be healthier” goals, a Coconut Water Detox can be highly beneficial with only a 2 day commitment. From Bali to the Dominican Republic, the locals will scale coconut trees and delivery your supply by bike, with a machete. Coconut water is one of the purest forms of water when taken straight out of a coconut, and offers a healthy balance of minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, salt, and vitamins. The water is also alkaline, which creates an anti-cancer atmosphere in our bodies. Not only will you feel infinitely better after 2 days, you will have become quite handy cracking open a coconut with a machete.

Bhutan Yoga 1

3– A 1-Week Yoga Challenge (in the Himalayan Kingdom)

Skip the gym membership or yoga pass and go all-in. We couldn’t feel more strongly about this yoga retreat in Bhutan, available at a special rate from now until August. Enjoy the tranquility of the deep forest and misty mountains of the Himalayas, while being fed organic cuisine, breathing deeply, and relaxing mind, body and spirit in the spa. Pictures are worth a thousand words at Uma by COMO. There are even one-on-one meetings with a Buddhist monk for a truly enlightening experience!

tango-axis4– Tango & Vino (in Buenos Aires

Don’t just take dance classes, learn this passionate style of movement from the source: Buenos Aires. Tango came from Europe, but found it’s home in Argentina. The sensual movements of Tango will bring passion & spice into your every day. While you’re down there, discover the art of tea, sample delectable wines with an expert wine steward, walk in Pope Francis’ footsteps, and sneak backstage at the Colon Theatre opera house.

chile35– Time Travel to the Next Season

Yes! You can chase seasons, and we think this is the most amazing of resolutions. Whether you are one to chase Summer or Winter, we will help you find exactly what you are looking for. White sand beaches with glorious sunsets in Fiji, to an adventure trip in Chile and Patagonia, to a foodie adventure though Argentina, the other hemisphere has so much to offer!

Iquitos-Sunset

 

Whatever passion you are looking for, our travel agents are experts on where to find it. Look outside of the box of resolutions, and make sure your bucket list doesn’t get too long. Call us to talk about your New Years resolutions, and we’ll make them happen. 805.969.7746 and speak with Erin for a complementary travel consultation.

Solo Travelers on Silversea Cruises

We’ve written before about the amazing explosion in the desire for solo travel.  A recent poll by Booking.com revealed that 66% of women have vacationed without a partner.  It appears that people, especially women, are no longer willing to wait for a spouse or a companion whose schedule or interests match theirs.

This rising demographic doesn’t want to be penalized for traveling alone.  Cruise companies have, in the past, been especially guilty of the dreaded ‘single supplement’ that charges just as much for a solo traveler as for a couple.  That’s why we’re happy to report today about Silversea, the small ship cruise line.  Silversea caters to the independent, adventurous traveler by offering sailings to unique destinations with only a 10% cabin supplement.

Silversea offers concierge-level, personalized butler service in all their suites.

Silversea offers concierge-level, personalized butler service in all their suites.

The cabins themselves are all ocean-view suites.  Owned by an Italian family, Silversea features Italian bed linens and chocolates, and even Italian marble in the spacious bathrooms.  Their all-inclusive experience, with an extraordinary staff-to-guest ratio of nearly one-to-one, is more akin to a floating boutique hotel than the usual cruise ship: there are no lines, no waiting, no assigned dining times or tables, photographers or art auctions.

A welcoming champagne reception is hosted aboard every Silversea sailing, so that independent travelers can meet and mingle with other like-minded voyagers – and some departures even feature Gentlemen Hosts who are available as dance partners and dinner companions.

Select Silversea departures have only a 10% single supplement, with all the same, all-inclusive features

Select Silversea departures have only a 10% single supplement, with all the same, all-inclusive features

Silversea cruises also fit well with the independent traveler profile:  their ships are sized to be able to visit more remote, lesser-known ports and to bring guests closer to their destination.  Silversea guests are known for being physically fit, with a strong spirit of adventure and a bucket list of must-see and must-do experiences.

Silversea guests are highly experienced travelers, with a strong spirit for adventure.

Silversea guests are highly experienced travelers, with a strong spirit for adventure.

The departures featured on Silversea’s 10% supplement promotion reflect that explorer mindset. In 2015, solo travelers can choose between expeditions to Chile and Cape Horn, the Galapagos and Tahiti and New Zealand. In 2016, there are South Africa, Africa and Australian travel opportunities. Don’t like these destinations?  Silversea also has reduced single rates available on additional voyages.

Give us a call at Santa Barbara Travel today to see which departure bests fits your schedule – and your bucket list!

Land to Sea Culinary Immersion at Terranea Resort

Here at Santa Barbara Travel one of the hottest  trends we see is the desire for culinary travel.  No longer do travelers merely want to visit a destination, they also want to experience it – and many want that experience to include locally cultivated food and drinks.

Building on California’s allure as America’s ‘Capital of Culinary Travel‘, Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes presents a 3-day, 2-night inclusive package for two that will immerse the senses and satisfy your inner foodie with a complete ‘Farm-to-Terranea‘ dining experience.

Join the Executive Chef in Terranea's own garden for a private tour

Join the Executive Chef in Terranea’s own garden for a private tour

Join Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra on a visit to the resort’s local farm, discussing seasonal ingredients, picking produce and then preparing a meal.  Participate in a pastry & liquor pairing workshop with Executive Pastry Chef Pierino Jermonti and Sommelier Szymon Piechaczek.  Go on a whale-watching picnic. Indulge in a spa treatment incorporating salts, lavender, lemons or honey – all produced on site by the resort.
Your 'Farm-to-Terranea' weekend includes a spa treatment with products all produced at the resort.

Your ‘Farm-to-Terranea’ weekend includes a spa treatment with products all produced at the resort.

This culinary immersion weekend also includes seats at the exclusive Chef’s Table Dinner series, dinner for two at signature resort mar’sel (with wine pairing) and your choice of a honey workshop, a sea salt workshop or a fish market experience with a Terranea chef.

Book through Santa Barbara Travel and you will also receive a $100 resort credit, daily breakfast for two, a VIP welcome amenity and a one-category upgrade upon arrival and early check-in and late check-out, based on availability.Enjoy this unparalleled culinary experience December 2-4, 2015, and the weekends of February 18th, April 21st, June 30th, August 25th, October 13th and December 8th in 2016.

Can’t make it for a full weekend?  Then how about booking a Chef’s Table Dinner for an evening?  These are available now on February 18th, April 21st, June 30th, August 25th, October 13th and December 8th in 2016.

A wine-focused dinner more your thing?  Consider a mar’sel Library Wine Dinner, which takes place in 2016 on January 21st, March 17th, May 19th, July 21st, September 15th, and November 17th.

All these events are incredibly popular and fill up quickly, so book now through Santa Barbara Travel for best availability.

Amazing One Week Special from Windstar Cruises

Tired of the big crowds on cruise ships?  Here’s your chance to experience all the comforts of a luxury cruise ship, but without the hassle.

Windstar Cruises is known for pampering without pretense, and their ability  – with fewer than 300 guests on board – to visit the hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world’s most treasured destinations.

Wind Spirit photo (3)

You can now combine an amazing experience with an amazing price.  We have to pass on the info we’ve just received about this incredible deal:  Starting on September 29th and lasting only through October 6th, you will be able to save up to 77% on Windstar Cruises, with prices as low as $1,499 per person.  This includes popular voyages to Panama, Costa Rica, the Caribbean and Europe.

Give us a call today at Santa Barbara Travel.  With prices this low, spaces are sure to sell out almost immediately.