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 

Looking for an Equestrian Property in Upstate New York?

With the Saratoga Race season not far away, let’s take a look at some equestrian properties in Upstate New York that are currently listed for sale.

1. 538 Phillip Road, Fort Plain, New York

This farm is a true gem! Currently, it is operated as the Delnero Furniture Workshop and features many outbuildings including barns, a workshop, a smokehouse, a large covered terrace featuring mountain views, one luxury farmhouse and one guest cottage.

And the fun doesn’t end there. There’s a pond stocked with catfish and bass, a true fisherman’s dream. Additionally, the property expands over 400 prime acres.



2. 406 Maben Road, Princetown, New York

Located just 40 minutes from the famed Saratoga Springs, this delightful farm has old time charm with modern amenities. The farmhouse boasts a great room with a floor to ceiling fireplace and windows brimming with sunlight, a stone facade, and wooden ceilings lined with antique lighting fixtures, all is which is overlooked by a balcony supported by mahogany columns.

Two large fenced pastures with run-in sheds extend out from this elegant home, and the property boasts a renovated 7-stall barn which includes a tack room and an office. Just behind the barn is a courtyard with a “secret garden,” perfect for the peaceful enjoyment of quiet rural evenings. An amazing, spacious, sweeping wraparound porch hugs three sides of the circa 1830 house, and the exquisitely landscaped grounds are laced with classic stone walkways and patios.



3. 5510 Bluff Head Road, Huletts Landing, New York

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to not only own a place to keep your horses, but you can also live the Lake George waterfront lifestyle you’ve always dreamed about! You can live an active lifestyle on the 44 acre property with a large amount of land already cleared.

In addition to the land, there’s a fully furnished log cabin, built in 2005, a high end Har-Tru tennis court, and a large barn with stables. In the winter, enjoy snowmobiling and skiing, all while being located close to Vermont. Enjoy the beauty of Lake George with the equestrian lifestyle you’ve always wanted.



4. 85 Keyes Lane, Shushan, New York

This scenic farm is not to be missed. Located in the private and serene area of Shushan in Washington County, there aren’t any noisy neighbors around to ruin your evening. The home was modeled after a classic farmhouse, but is only 24 years young. The tree-lined entrance will give you an enchanting feeling as you make your way to your own private paradise.

The home is surrounded by pastures, fields, streams, ponds and mountain views, allowing you to find beauty from all angles when you’re immersed in your day to day lifestyle. The 125 acres of privacy is currently used as a horse farm, but the possibilities are endless.

85 keyes lane


5. 287 Halds Road, Westport, New York

What could be better than having a farm immersed in the Adirondack Park? This lovely farm, located a short distance from Lake Champlain, boasts incredible views of both the Adirondack Mountains and the lake from various hiking trails throughout the 74 prime acres. The farmhouse has been completely restored and upgraded with modern appliances and amenities.

A charming stone fireplace in the main living area keeps you warm on the cold fall and winter nights, while the volumes of land provides plenty of space to create an outdoor fire pit, perfect for marshmallow roasting and hotdog cooking.



7 Lakes You Didn’t Know Existed in Upstate New York

When someone says “I’m going to my lake house in Upstate New York,” immediately people think of the famed Queen of American Lakes, Lake George, or the popular tourist destination, Saratoga Lake, or even sometimes they think way north to Lake Champlain or Lake Placid. What most people don’t realize is there are actually a TON of smaller lakes in our region, and many of them make great vacation destinations. Here’s seven different lakes that are not as well known, but are great fun for the family!

1. Crooked Lake, Averill Park NY

This charming lake is a popular wedding destination. Tucked away east of Albany, in Averill Park, this private lake allows only residents of the lake access, with no public boat launch. We hear there’s good bass fishing too!


36 Huntley Road, Averill Park NY | $795,000


2. Second Lake, Old Forge NY

Many of you may have heard of “Old Forge” and “Fourth Lake” but not too many people know that there’s actually an entire chain of lakes that link together called the “Fulton Chain Lakes.” Each of these lakes would make a great destination. Some are more secluded in the Adirondacks than others.


205 Pine Acres Rd, Old Forge | $1,750,000


3. Friends Lake, Chestertown NY

Another beautiful but private lake, this one features a Slalom Course for it’s residents. It allows motorized boats and is about 2.5-3 miles long.



4. Trout Lake, Bolton Landing NY

This 1.3 mile adorable lake sits above Lake George. It’s a popular water skiing lake, and it’s extremely quiet, which it’s residents love.


9 Pine Tree Ln, Bolton Landing NY | $84,900


5. Pecks Lake, Gloversville NY

This man-made, 5 mile long lake is full of charm, and also full of fish! The lake is home to Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Brown Trout, Pickerel, Large Mouth Bass & more! Pecks Lake is also known as one of the last few remaining unpolluted lakes in the Southern Adirondacks since it has yet to be affected by acid rain.


524 North Shore Rd, Gloversville NY | $450,000


6. Loon Lake, Chester NY

This public reservoir is also a popular fishing area and features a sandy beach and park open to anyone looking for a good time! It’s certainly not as busy as some of the other lakes, making it desirable for those looking for peace and quiet.


3 Lower Birchwood, Chestertown NY | $749,000


7. Long Lake

This beautiful 14 mile lake will give you a true Adirondack experience. Nestled in the Adirondack Park, you get the full experience of serenity and privacy while enjoying the great outdoors. The town offers unique shopping and eateries for the not-so-outdoors type.

0020_627Deerland_FoxHillEstate_LongLake_Burke_062314elc627 Deerland, Long Lake NY | $2,999,000

The 46 Places to Go in 2013

Whether you travel to eat or shop, surf or ski, new adventures await.

Check out the article here. It lists 46 places you must see in 2013!

Luxury Travel is on the Rise

Luxury Travel is on the rise, and as consumers hit the trail for their favorite resort destinitations, expectations for service are also increasing.  It does not come to any surprise, but a few progressive luxury hotels have incorporated mobile technology into their customer experience.

On the Wall Street Journal television segment this morning, it was reported that the new trend for some luxury hotels is to eliminate the check in desk procedure.  These forward thinking hotels are waiting for their guests to arrive at the front door, when they arrive, they already know who they are, and they wisk their guests directly to the room, and check them in using an IPAD.

This definitely beats standing in a line in front of registration desk!