Bucket-List Travel

Consider these lesser-known destinations for the year ahead.

Avid travelers, intrepid adventurers, and culture enthusiasts eager to make up for lost time are circling their calendars for this year and beyond. But with the masses also looking to vacation with friends and family, the world’s most in-demand travel destinations and experiences are likely to be busy and crowded. Here’s a look at some of the world’s best under-the-radar travel options.

Historic Hot Springs and Via Ferratas in the American West

Active travelers looking to take their adventure game to another level are seeking out via ferratas (Italian for “Iron Way”), climbing routes that employ steel cables, rungs, and ladders affixed to natural rock formations. One of America’s newest and most expensive via ferratas is found at Castle Hot Springs, a historic resort north of Phoenix that has been revitalized in recent years to become one of the country’s most luxurious destination resorts. After walking across a 200-foot long aerial walkway high above the cactus-strewn canyon floor, guests recover in one of three therapeutic hot spring pools, with temperatures reaching 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

Visitors to Colorado can explore the 720-mile, Historic Hot Springs Loop, which incorporates five inviting destinations in the western part of the state. The 19 hot springs facilities offer unique features such as vapor caves, hot pots, terraced pools, and gigantic travertine formations. Highlights include the charming alpine town of Ouray, known as the “Switzerland of America,” and historic Pagosa Springs, which offers a convenient base in The Springs Resort & Spa, where guests enjoy access to 24 soaking pools ranging from 83-114°F. Overlooking the picturesque San Juan River, the pools are filled with mineral water from the resort’s “mother spring,” which has been measured to 1,002 feet deep, making it the world’s deepest measured geothermal hot spring.

The tony ski town of Telluride offers one of the country’s most jaw-dropping via ferrata routes, thousands of feet above the town’s famed boxed canyon. Guides are not required, but with its challenging course, featuring metal ladder rungs bolted onto a sheer cliff face, not to mention gorgeous views of Bridal Veil Falls, the course is not for the faint of heart.

Luxe Tropical Wellness in Lanai

The Hawaiian island of Lanai, which gets only a fraction of the visitor traffic received by neighboring Maui, is famously owned by the tech mogul Larry Ellison. Travelers often feel like they have the island to themselves, as crowds are rarely found across its pine-clad forests or glimmering shoreline. Ellison’s newest contribution to the island, Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort, is a secluded wellness enclave that distills preventive health science, data, and research into simple paths for everyday living. Guests can explore untouched wilderness, burn off calories in an outdoor adventure park or via myriad fitness and movement classes, and refuel with meals by Nobu, highlighting sustainable, local ingredients. Or guests can venture over to the island’s other destination resort, the oceanfront Four Seasons Resort Lanai, where the stunning grounds contain memorable spaces for R&R, namely stunning lagoon-style pools and museum-quality botanical gardens.

Next-Level Thrills in Alaska

Best known for its world-class salmon fishing, the majestic town of Ketchikan is home to Salmon Falls Resort. Situated at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s iconic Inside Passage, the resort offers numerous intriguing activities, most notably float plane fishing in which, after a scenic chartered flight, guests land in remote spots to enjoy one-of-a-kind guided fishing experiences. Due to a lack of cruise ships and a decrease in charter fishing excursions, the wildlife watching and fishing is better than ever. The resort’s other bucket-list experiences include bear watching tours, wildlife watching boat safaris, salmon cooking demos, and wine pairings with salmon roe.

Located in a remote spot in Alaska’s Denali National Park, the Sheldon Chalet attracts big spending mountaineers—three-night packages cost around $35,000 for two guests, inclusive of a helicopter “flightseeing” tour, gourmet meals, five-bedroom luxe accommodations, all gear and equipment, and more. Once properly fitted with a climbing harness, snowshoes, helmet, and poles, guests attend the chalet’s glacier school. (No previous mountaineering experience necessary.) Others may simply prefer to relax around the fireplace or warm up in the sauna with views of Denali’s summit.

Situated 60 miles west of Anchorage, Tordrillo Mountain Lodge lures adventurers with its heli-skiing and other hair-raising pursuits; owner and heli-ski pioneer Mike Overcast opened the lodge with Olympic gold medalist Tommy Moe. Guests can tackle the only via ferrata in Alaska, or go bear viewing in a vintage 1956 Turbine Otter plane.

Reflections in the beautiful blue waters of Horseshoe Lake at Denali National Park in Alaska.

Reflections in the beautiful blue waters of Horseshoe Lake at Denali National Park in Alaska.

New Options, Spread Apart in the Maldives

Luxury travelers looking to enjoy world-class scenery and relaxation in private, secluded environs have long flocked to the Maldives. But with roughly 1,200 coral islands spread over 35,000 square miles, the destination offers an endless array of new locales to explore.

Located in Raa Atoll on Muravandhoo Island, Joali Maldives is one of the destination’s splashiest new openings, as well as its first immersive art resort. The 73-villa property places a distinct focus on design, having utilized the Istanbul-based design firms Autoban and Atolye4n, and Tokyo-based Studio Glitt. When not luxuriating in the postcard-perfect waters, guests take holistic wellness journeys and go on yachting excursions to spot whales and manta rays.

Another relative newcomer, the Vakkaru Maldives resort is memorably situated within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll. A tropical wonderland filled with more than 2,300 fully grown coconut trees, the resort’s Work Well package—which includes a bespoke fitness program, personal assistant, and access to a private, oceanfront office—is perfect for executives looking to “work from home” in one of the world’s most scenic offices. Available to guests who book a stay for 21 days or longer, each Work Well residency includes a complimentary upgrade to a bigger villa with a well-equipped study.

For the ultimate private luxury experience, big spenders can buy out one of the Maldives’ priciest and most decorated options—for $35,000 per night. The small private island of Naladhu offers blissful seclusion; there are 20 elegant houses, each with a private pool and 24-hour dedicated butler service. The buyout includes exclusive access to other islands, and guests can enjoy activities such as deserted island picnics, private yacht cruises, in-room spa journeys, and more.

Joali Maldives is a high-end resort and immersive art experience at the same time.

Joali Maldives is a high-end resort and immersive art experience at the same time.

Hard-to-Reach Caribbean Highlights

With its natural hot springs and tropical rainforests, Dominica is one of the Caribbean’s hidden gems. The mountainous island nation is home to some of the region’s most spectacular rivers and canyons. Participants jump into secret waterfalls and natural pools, descend into deep gorges, hike through lush jungle, and rappel down giant waterfalls to drop into the water below.

Serious hikers make the trek to the island’s awe-inspiring Boiling Lake, the second-largest of its kind in the world. The journey to the lake—an ancient, natural cauldron of bubbling water that’s more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit—takes visitors through lush jungles, natural springs, and sulfur pools. The island is also home to the Caribbean’s first long-distance walking trail, the 115-mile Waitukubuli National Trail. With 14 contiguous segments, the trail can take experienced hikers nearly two weeks to complete in its entirety. Family-friendly and suitable for all types of hikers, the trail takes visitors through the island’s history, including indigenous Kalinago villages and ruins from 18th-century French settlements.

Over in the British Virgin Islands, eco-minded visitors to Oil Nut Bay on Virgin Gorda can try their hand at turtle tagging. The scenic island resort, surrounded by the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic on the other, sits in a turtle-rich environment. Turtle tagging boating adventures allow guests to swim alongside green sea turtles and partake in free diving to safely catch the turtles alongside a researcher. Turtles are measured, tagged, and released, and guests can then follow their adventures even after returning home.

A sailing paradise with 60 islands and cays, the British Virgin Islands are best explored on the water. Voyage Charters recently launched Electrified, its first solar-powered charter yacht and the first sustainable sailing option of its kind in the destination.

Those looking for a truly out-of-the-ordinary diving experience should head to Virgin Gorda’s Mountain Point, home to the islands’ newest diving mecca, the BVI Art Reef. In 2017, the Kodiak Queen—one of only five surviving ships from Pearl Harbor—was intentionally sunk with a large-scale sculpture of an 80-foot kraken. The project was created by a group of artists, engineers, scientists, and donors (including Sir Richard Branson) to raise awareness of ocean conservation. The site is a coral out-planting platform, which is facilitating a thriving new reef habitat while rehabilitating vulnerable marine life such as the goliath grouper.

Speaking of Branson, the islands’ most famous ambassador, his private island retreat, Necker Island has been fully restored after the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma in 2017. Those visiting in 2021 will be among the first to experience the island following its pricey restoration; in addition to two additional guest rooms in the Great House, three giant wind turbines have been installed, furthering the island’s commitment toward sustainability. Aquatic types pass the time with underwater sea adventures, while landlubbers can enjoy everything from private yoga and tennis to cave exploring. The starting rate for exclusive hire of the entire island, which includes use of 20 bedrooms, is $105,000 per night.

Dominica in the Caribbean offers lots of hiking and climbing options for all levels.

Dominica in the Caribbean offers lots of hiking and climbing options for all levels.

Source Sotheby's International Realty Blog https://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng/bucket-list-travel-april2021 

Homes & Land features Forest Brook Manor on their front cover.

Forest Brook Manor, our mountaintop estate in Lake Placid NY, has been featured on the front cover of Homes & Land magazine!
For more information on this property, contact the Keir Weimer Team of Select Sotheby’s International Realty.

The Week features Grindstone Island Estate as one of 6 ‘Beautiful Island Homes’


Grindstone Island, New York. This three-bedroom house sits on one of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River. The 9.7-acre property holds a main house that was built in 1900, a covered boathouse with three slips, and a three-bedroom guesthouse.

Additional amenities include an easy-access ramp for boats, a large steel dock, and patios and decks around the property. $1,750,000. Keir Weimer, Select/Sotheby’s International Realty, (315) 663-7022.

View the full article here, or check out the listing details page here!

3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Second Home

Buying a vacation home sounds like a dream, but that doesn’t make it the right move financially. Consider these three things to see if purchasing a vacation property makes sense for you.

Realtor.com teamed up with Keir Weimer, an Associate Real Estate Broker with Select Sotheby’s International Realty, to promote his expert advice at a national level, on three things you should consider before purchasing a vacation home. Keir’s team specializes in second home, commercial and resort properties throughout the Adirondack Park and Upstate New York.

Watch the video here : http://www.realtor.com/videos/buying-a-vacation-home-better-watch-this-first/2f7f6aed-779a-484a-8d6b-128dbecb4c2e

Significant Sale | Historic and Iconic Texas Ranch

They say there’s a buyer for every property – even a $725 million North Texas ranch.

L.A. Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, and his wife Anna Walton Kroenke, niece of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, have been approved by the courts to buy the W.T. Waggoner Estate Ranch, recognized as one of the biggest contiguous ranch property in the United States. Spanning 510,527 acres and sprawling across six counties, that statement is unsurprising.

The property has been owned by the same family since 1849. To put that into perspective, it was the year Fort Worth was founded, Zachary Taylor was sworn in as the 12th president of the United States and Edgar Allan Poe passed.

Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, was the major broker in this landmark and historical transaction. “This shows that iconic ranches like this can be sold in today’s market with the right strategies and international exposure,” says Broker Robbie Briggs.

Sotheby’s International Realty artfully unites extraordinary homes with extraordinary lives throughout the world. While the buyers are domestic, interest was generated from all corners of the earth including South Korea, China, Russia and South America. As a global network of affiliates, Sotheby’s International Realty’s agents are experts in their local markets with unrivaled access to the brand’s worldwide exposure, and this is an apt example of just that.

Extraordinary Homes | Superbowl Edition

It’s that time of year! Roll out the wings and grab yourself a cold one – Superbowl Sunday is upon us. After a heated season, we are all geared up to watch the Panthers take on the Broncos at Levi’s Stadium in sunny Santa Clara; and what better way to watch than in the comfort of your own home theater? Check out four of our listings below, with game-day viewing facilities guaranteed to score a touchdown with your football-fanatic friends and family.


36 Stony Brook Drive, Saratoga Springs NY | $8,600,000

The most magnificent mansion available in Saratoga Springs, this 25,000 square foot home offers every amenity imaginable. From the indoor basketball court to the indoor and outdoor swimming pools to the 20 seat movie theatre, there is plenty of room for everyone, giving your guests a Superbowl experience that they will never forget.


2 Sandy Drive, Amsterdam NY | $349,900

This property does not fall short on entertainment options, and the home theatre with stadium seating, two refrigerators, A/V equipment and 120-inch screen is guaranteed to impress.


9 Taymor Trail, Clifton Park NY | $1,390,000

Private and pristine, this property backs up onto 50 acres of protected land, but still allows for an easy commute to New York’s Capital District. A more intimate setting in which to watch the game, sit back and take in the action in one of the reclining leather seats in the professional home theater.


7-9 University Place, Amsterdam NY | $679,000

This unique home was once the vacation spot of Star Trek’s William Shatner and boasts a large common living area with two separate wings. Since there’s plenty of space to host family and friends alike, catch the game in the 31-seat movie theatre and keep yourself refreshed at the nearby built-in bar.


PS – Since the commercials that air are as hotly anticipated as the game itself, we are extra excited to see our local coffee company, Death Wish Coffee, hit the big screen with their debut Superbowl Commercial!

A 2015 Success Story – Sarah Hislop

sarahWe’re excited to recognize Sarah Hislop on a job well done in 2015 for increasing her sales volume by 149%.

What do you attribute your success to this year?

“​I attribute much of my sales volume growth in 2015 to creating real relationships with people, sometimes for years, so that when someone is ready to enter the real estate market, they feel comfortable knowing that I have their best interests at heart.”

How has your affiliation with SIR helped?

“SIR has exceptionally high standards for property presentation, which I love. When the unique and special features of a property are allowed to shine, it makes my job more fun and therefore makes me more enthusiastic about showing someone why a particular home is right for them.”

What’s your favorite thing about the Real Estate Industry?

“On a professional level, I love that every transaction is different and presents a new set of challenges to work through. On a personal level, I love when a sale is complete and my buyer or seller can begin the next chapter in their lives. I gain a true sense of satisfaction to be able to successfully partner with someone on an important and exciting life transition.”  ​

What are your goals for next year?

“My goal is simple, to continue to do the absolute best job that I can for every one of my clients. ​The rest falls into place.”


Sarah Hislop is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Select Sotheby’s International Realty.

Artistic Architecture – Towers

The latest Sotheby’s International Realty Extraordinary Living blog post about artistic towers features one of our high end unique properties, the Highland’s Castle.

Artistic Architecture | Towers

Towers, whether historic or modern structures, are rare architectural additions to homes of any design. A tower offers a compelling layout and interior to a property while also showcasing inspiring views from the top. From castles rich in heritage to contemporary manors, explore some of the most captivating tower homes from around the world.

Towers 1£2,500,000 GBP | England, United Kingdom | United Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty

England – A former hunting lodge, the signature design element of this home is its stone castellated tower. Inside, at the base of the tower, is a sitting room featuring a portrait window overlooking the English countryside and the Cirencester church. The property sits on 4.15 acres of land and includes the subterranean main house, swimming pool and coach house with a two-car garage and guest studio.

Towers 2$2,995,000 USD | Princeton, New Jersey | Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty

Princeton, New Jersey – Built by local architect Rolf Bauhan in the 1950’s and renovated in 2004, this stone manor features a unique tower that connects main home and guest quarters by a gallery bridge. The home is constructed from reclaimed materials including wide-plank floors and hand-hewn beams. Inside, there is a wood-paneled library, dining room with rustic brick floor, built-in buffet, farmhouse-style kitchen and master suite with Juliet balcony.

Towers 3Price Upon Request | Bolton Landing, New York | Select Sotheby’s International Realty

New York – Prominently featuring a tower as part of the main home, this regal stone estate overlooking Lake George is aptly named Highlands Castle. Radiating classic elegance, the castle features a combination of solid oak, travertine stone and natural flagstone flooring, gothic-arched custom doors of solid oak, a faux bookshelf secret passageway and 21 floor-to-ceiling windows in the Great Hall showcasing panoramic views of the lake and the Adirondack Mountains. The 8.7-acre property also boasts a carriage house, gatehouse, 2,000-foot driveway and is surrounded by a stone wall with gothic iron gates.

Towers 4$849,950 USD | Pagosa Springs, Colorado | Legacy Properties West Sotheby’s International Realty

Colorado – An architecturally distinguished home, the Asterisk, named after its unique floorplan, is comprised of six adjoining barrel-vaulted vertical-walled branches. Rising above the home is an Anasazi-inspired sandstone tower featuring views of the Rocky Mountains. Spread over six floors, the home has three bedrooms, two loft spaces, a roof deck and is situated on 7 acres of land.

Towers 5Price Upon Request | Luxembourg, Belgium | Brussels Sotheby’s International Realty

Belgium – A 54-room medieval castle, this towered home is nestled on almost 9 acres of lush countryside greenery. The sprawling residence features 15 bedrooms, 17 fireplaces, various dining rooms and lounge areas, a large kitchen and five mineral springs along the property. It was recently refurbished and restored with an overall automation system, alarm and video intercom system and double flow ventilation.

Select Sotheby’s International Realty Hosting Pet Adoption Clinic

The Saratoga County Animal Shelter will be at Select Sotheby’s International Realty, located at 270 Broadway in Saratoga Springs, New York on Saturday, June 27, from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm for a pet adoption clinic.

The Saratoga County Animal Shelter will be at Select Sotheby’s International Realty this Saturday with adoptable dogs and cats from the shelter. The shelter is a modern facility which provides a space where animals can be made healthy and adoptable. The shelter promotes spay and neuter programs. There will be information available about volunteer opportunities and The Friends of the Saratoga County Animal Shelter.

The Friends is a non-profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to providing financial and volunteer support to the Saratoga County Animal Shelter for the care and well being of the animals that pass through the shelter. There will be a raffle and refreshments.

For additional information, please contact Jane Sanzen at 518-526-6056.

Hot off the press! Residential Lifestyles Portfolio

We are excited to announce that our newest edition of Portfolio Magazine has arrived! Stop by our office today to get your own copy.