Category Archives: Uncategorized

Costa Rica Guided Vacations

The best way to see Costa Rica is with a guided vacation.  Choose from the following two guaranteed departures. No minimum number of travelers.  Max is 20.

Tour #1:  Marvels of Costa Rica (8 nights and 18 meals)

Choice of Superior or Deluxe Hotels.  Includes 1 night San Jose, 2 nights Arenal, 2 nights Monteverde, 3 nights Guanacaste with local licensed and certified tour guide and driver throughout.  Multiple guided tours included; optional tours and activities are available at additional cost.  Departures every other Saturday. Continue reading Costa Rica Guided Vacations

Just back from Tahiti

Hi everyone!  Well, I just returned home last night from Tahiti, visiting Papeete (Tahiti), Moorea, Bora Bora and Tikehau.  And while I’m going to be adding some hotel reviews from my recent trip in the next few days I thought I’d share some of the more “casual and fun” shots first.

Lunch at the Hilton Moorea Resort by chef Eric Scuiller was spectacular:

 

Even if you’re not staying at the Hilton Moorea, a dinner there is definitely a culinary highlight.

I highly recommend the Jeep Safari Tour of Moorea, it’s the easiest way to see the island.  This is me from one of the spectacular views overlooking Moorea’s lagoon.

Continue reading Just back from Tahiti

Legends Moorea Resort: Know before you go

This morning as I was perusing my usual assortment of emails, I came across a flash deal from a third party for the Legends Moorea in Tahiti, along with an enticing picture of an overwater bungalow.  Problem is, this resort does NOT have overwater bungalows.  Furthermore, it looked like Mt. Otemanu in the background, which would mean this picture isn’t even from the same island!

I cringed thinking how many people might buy this deal, expecting to get Bora Bora lagoon in an overwater villa only to discover the truth upon arrival. Legends Resort is located on the island of Moorea, and is perched cliff-side, well above the water.  If you stepped off your patio and into the water, there was a nasty and long fall in the process.

Legends Moorea - beautiful but not beachfront

Now, I’m not knocking Legends Moorea.  It is, in fact a wonderful four star resort with huge multi-bedroom villas – if you don’t mind being that close to a lagoon paradise with no easy access to the water.  This would fit clients who are so well traveled that they are looking for a different way to experience Tahiti from their last half dozen trips.  Or maybe the client who’s been on an extended trip of Tahiti and just wants a few nights to chill.  Or maybe the wealthy novelist who wants to surround himself in paradise so he can crank out another best seller.  And since none of my clients fit into these categories (but I’ll gladly take on a new client who does), I’ve yet to sell Legends Moorea to anyone.

This is a good example of why you should work with a Tahiti specialist.  Those of us “in the know” would be able to talk you out of this property (if you’re expecting to step into the lagoon from your resort) and into something that fits you better.  Tahiti is just too special a destination for a mistake like this!

Contact Cindy Grant, Tahiti Tiare Destination Specialist, to arrange your dream vacation to French Polynesia.

~Happy Travels, Cindy Grant, Reconnect Travel and Expert Family Travel.  972-625-6200.  Located in the Dallas Fort Worth area, near Frisco, Plano, Lewisville, Carrollton, Little Elm, The Colony, and Irving.

UPDATE 09FEB 2012

I’m happy to report that the good folks at Legends Moorea remedied the incorrect photo promptly.  Thanks guys!

 

Travel Trends: Costa Rica

Guanacaste on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast has been growing with 4 and 5 star resorts in the last few years, and flights have increased into the area’s airport (Liberia).  The result is a nice selection of upscale and luxury beachfront resorts offering wonderful on-site amenities and activities combined with offsite excursions into Costa Rica’s rainforests, waterways, and volcanoes.

Resorts in the Guanacaste area:

  • Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica (5 star luxury)
  • Westin Resort & Spa Playa Conchal (5 star luxury)
  • JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort (4 1/2 star upscale-luxury)
  • Reserva Conchal (4 star upscale)
  • Hilton Papagayo Resort & Spa (4 star upscale)
  • Riu Guanacaste (4 star upscale)
  • Punta Islita Hotel (4 star upscale)
  • Occidental Grand Papagayo (3 star moderate)
Now, while resorts are sprouting up, the road conditions in Costa Rica continue to be…well, annoying.  So I don’t recommend renting a car in Costa Rica (unless you’re the kind that thinks driving in Rome is a slice of pie).  Good news, though, is that you don’t need a car to enjoy Costa Rica.  Airport transfers are easy to book with your package, as are day excurions that include hotel pickup and drop off.
One thing I will mention about Costa Rica, is that the beaches here are the rocky Pacific Ocean variety.  If you’re dreaming about a white Caribbean beach, this won’t cut it.
~Happy Travels!  Cindy Grant, Travel Consultant at ReconnectTravel.com 972-625-6200

The Christmas Conundrum

I get this question a lot…

Q: How much should I expect to pay for a vacation over the Christmas break?

A: Christmas holiday period is considered prime/peak season.  In other words, you are paying top dollar to travel during this very special travel period.  The most popular is generally 26DEC until 02JAN, though the “end date” depends on what day of the week New Year falls.

As a general guideline, recall a recent trip you may have taken – say two adults to Riviera Maya, one week this past May.  You paid $4500 for your package that included airfare, transfers, and all-inclusive accommodations.  For apples to apples, double that number ($9,000) for the peak week 26DEC – 02JAN and that’s a good estimate.  If you can travel the week prior (say, 19DEC – 26DEC), you’ll do a wee bit better, and for these travel dates, I would recommend multiplying your last trip by 1.5 to get a good idea of prices (or, $6750 in this scenario).  This guideline works if your last trip was in LOW season.

I say this, but also caution that flights and hotels do sell out for Christmas.  So don’t book a Christmas trip last minute, hoping that the prices fall (because they won’t!).  Anything less than 2 months in advance for popular travel dates is considered last minute.  If you do book Christmas last minute, having flexibility on dates, destination, and resort will go a long way.

Happy Travels ~ Cindy Grant, Travel Consultant ReconnectTravel.com 972-625-6200

A warm welcome to you

  • Are you overdue a vacation where you can replenish your energy and senses?
  • Has your focus been on meeting family and career needs for years, and feel you deserve some ME time?
  • Does the thought of a pampering, tropical escape get you all smiley and giggly on the inside?
  • Are you overwhelmed at the myriad of choices online, so that planning your trip only adds to the stress?

Who We Are

Reconnect Travel works with empty nested professionals who want their stress and worries to fade away without medication, therapy, or divorce attorney.  We create unforgettable journeys that are relaxing, romantic, and make you feel young again.  What separates Cindy Grant from the other travel consultants is that she has a gift for planning unforgettable trips that ignite the spark and replenish the soul.  Now, isn’t that a lot more fun than therapy?

 

Testimonial

Cindy, thank you so much for making our Tahiti trip perfect.  You were right, all the details were taken care of!  And I loved the Hilton Bora Bora Nui, it was even better than you described.  I can’t wait until our next trip, and I’m definitely sending my friends your way.  You are awesome! – B and W Santos, Texas – June 2011

I had spent two confusing months going over resort reviews and websites when I found Cindy Grant.  She was able to steer us to the perfect resort in Punta Cana for our anniversary trip, and it cost less than our budget, yay!!  I can’t say enough wonderful things about her, she knows her stuff.  – G Williams, Oklahoma — March 2012

Cindy was always available for our barrage of questions. There were 10 of us in the group and not one of us walked away from this trip with a bad experience. From the flights, to the transportation, to the resort – everything was orchestrated without a hitch. The resort was as beautiful as she described it would be. We would definitely recommend her to our friends and we will be using her again in the future. – J. S., Iowa — April 2013

 

Divers Rejoice: Rangiroa Hotel Kia Ora set to reopen Sep 2011

An atoll island in French Polynesia, Rangiroa is best known for its amazing lagoon and drift diving.  However, the last year Rangiroa has been without any decent accommodations, since the Hotel Kia Ora closed for a complete rennovation.

But yay, good news!  The Hotel Kia Ora is scheduled to open on time — September 2011.  Bungalows and public buildings were torn down and rebuilt, and I’m betting this will take the property from a 4 star rating to a 5 star luxury.  That’s just my guess.

I’ve actually been to this property, back in 2009, and thought it was fantastic then.  So I can’t wait to see what the property manager Jerry Garcia has done with the place.  I definitely plan a visit the next opportunity that comes my way.

I’ll pop back on the blog and let you know the scoop on the new and improved Hotel Kia Ora, but meanwhile, a little bit of information based on the original property (and my stay there in 2009).  The pictures below are new (taken in August 2011).

Hotel Kia Ora is recommended for divers and for beach lovers who are looking for the ultimate in South Pacific getaways.  Families are welcome, but anticipate there being no kids’ clubs or lively diversions for your little ones.  Clientele consists of seasoned travelers and a healthy return client base.  This is an excellent choice for anniversary and honeymoon couples, as well as the executive who needs to sink his feet in the sand for a few days to recharge batteries.  Bring along a good book or two and prepare to relax.

(2009): It is advised to pre-book the meal plan, which includes a hearty breakfast buffet and dinner daily.  The breakfast pastries and desserts are expertly created by the Hotel Kia Ora’s own pastry chef, and dinner selections are diverse, with French inspired dishes, local specialties, and the Chef’s daily menu.  Meals here are reasonable, considering the pricey cost of food in Tahiti.  As well, the bar list is fairly extensive.  Lunch options are a bit short; you can select from a small number of sandwiches from the bar, or commit to a lunch in the restaurant.   However, two main meals (breakfast and dinner) are the way to go, with something light to tide you over at lunchtime.

Happy news, bungalows are being outfitted with television and internet access. Accommodations include overwater bungalows, garden bungalows, and beach bungalows.  Some units are multi-rooms and have infinity pools on the deck.

For divers and snorkelers, Tiputa Pass a pass/drift dive toward the ocean with a variety of fish, eels, turtles, and sharks.  Other diving and snorkeling opportunities abound, and the Hotel Kia Ora has reasonably priced off-site activities available during the course of your stay.

Dive center offers PADI instruction. Spa onsite. Snorkel gear and canoes are available for use.

Sister property Kia Ora Sauvage is still being remodeled, and will not be reopening yet.