THIRDHOME Member, Allison Schlanger, traveled with her family to Kenya. They booked a Kenya safari Curated Journey through THIRDHOME Custom Travel.
What THIRDHOME Custom Travel experience did you book and what appealed to you the most when choosing your destination?
We just got back from three of the most incredible weeks we have ever experienced as a family in Kenya. Out time there felt like 3 different trips – each so special in its own way. Our first week was spent on safari – first in Lewa Conservancy and then the Maasai Mara during the great migration, our second week was spent in Nairobi and our last week we traveled to Watamu on the coast. In each location we stayed in a THIRDHOME property.
What were some of the adventurous or cultural highlights of your Kenya safari Curated
Journey. What did you see and experience?
Our safari was completely planned and arranged by Liz Bates at THIRDHOME – and it was true perfection. Our first 3 nights were spent at Lewa House – a safari camp that has been in the same family’s hands for 5 generations. Once we landed on the airstrip at Lewa Conservancy we were picked up by our safari guide, Jimmy. We quickly realized that Jimmy was about to make our stay magical. Every day we were immersed in herds of elephants (which we could swear Jimmy communicated with), giraffe, lions, rhinos, buffalo
andzebra. Jimmy got us so close to the animals there were a couple of moments where we were so locked into their eyes we forgot to lift our cameras to capture their gorgeous faces. While at Lewa, we jumped at the chance to horseback ride through the bush to get even closer to the giraffes and zebras.
Our second stop was
Cottar’s. Liz had booked us a family tent at another camp that has also been in the same hands for 100 years. Upon arrivalwe were told that Cottar’s had over-committed the family tents and that we were going to be upgraded to The Bush Villa. The management team apologized for the inconvenience of having to stay in a fully-staffed house with this view!!!
We happened to be at Cottar’s during the great migration and we were able to see thousands of wildebeests, eland
andzebra during our stay, but the most special part of staying at Cottar’sis their partnership with the Maasai tribe in the area. Our guides, Enoch and Salasch were both Maasai warriors. Enoch spoke perfect English and became our professor of sorts – answering every single question about Maasaiculture we could think of on a minute to minute basis. They took us to visit a Maasai village and Maasaischool. We spent hours at the school playing with the students and getting to know the teachers – one of which we are still in touch with. The day we spent with them will not only stand out as one of the most impactful of this trip but one of the most impactful of our lives.
Was there one specific “wow” memorable moment that you enjoyed most?
Our biggest wow moment of the entire three weeks happened in Nairobi. When we called Liz (THIRDHOME‘s Director of Adventures and Custom Travel) to help us plan a safari we told her that our only requirement was that it had to be in Kenya. After 11 years of a long-distance relationship with a student (her name is Winnie) we met through an incredible organization called Kenya Education Fund, we were traveling to Nairobi to meet her in person. The first moment we saw each other was the wow moment of this trip. After 11 years of getting to know each other through letters, emails, texts, pictures and video chats – we were finally face-to-face. It was a moment that will stay with us forever. Finding so many places to stay through THIRDHOME allowed us to spend two unforgettable weeks together. For that we will always be grateful to THIRDHOME.
What did you like most about your accommodations during your Kenya safari?
At every stop on our
tripwe stayed at a THIRDHOME related property. It would be hard to top the bush villa/private chef at Cottar’s but here is a rundown of our other accommodations…
Nairobiwe stayed in The Tribe Hotel. We traded 1 Key per room. The Tribe, and its sister property, The Trademark (also on THIRDHOME Exchange) are known as top places to stay in Nairobi. The Tribe staff could not be friendlier or more accommodating. Their restaurant was terrific. The Tribe has the feel of a business hotel and is adjacent to the Village Market Mall – shopping and upscale restaurants. The Trademark is connected to the Village Market. It appears to be the newer/younger property. Next time we will try The Trademark.
At our next stop, Watamu, we traded for a THIRDHOME property. We stayed there 4 nights and then checked into the Medina Palms. The Medina Palms was top notch all the way. The accommodations were simply gorgeous, the pool never-ending and they are a short
tuk tukride from one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever been on in our lives.
Where would you like to go for your next trip?
I have a running bucket list…The Azores, Boliva salt flats, Faroe Islands, Banff, Seychelles, Thailand, Galapagos, Morocco, New Zealand/Australia, always ready to return to Israel…and now Kenya…again and again.
What would you like to share with other members about your experience using THIRDHOME Custom Travel?
We started planning our journey to meet Winnie one year ago with Liz Bates, THIRDHOME‘s Director of Adventures and Custom Travel. She immediately understood the significance of the trip and set out to make it special in every way. We are physically back in the states but emotionally still very connected to Kenya. This was a trip of a lifetime for many reasons. Liz helped to make the vacation part of it truly spectacular.
How would you rate this travel experience?
Is there anything else you would like to add or comment on?
Kenya Education Fund (www.kenyaeducationfund.org) was founded by our friend, Brad Broder. Brad joined the Peace Corps after college and was struck by the fact that half of all kids in Kenya could not afford to continue their education after elementary school. In 2006, he joined forces with local community
leader, Dominic Muasya and started Kenya Education Fund (KEF). Their goal was to provide scholarships to students across Kenya so that they could stay in school through high school (and hopefully beyond). They wanted to help break the cycle of extreme poverty in Kenya and they strongly believed that starts with providing an education to all children. Click here to learn more about the Kenya Education Fund.
Interested in booking your own Curated Journey like this Kenya safari? Contact THIRDHOME‘s Director of Adventures and Custom Travel, Liz Bates, at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to browse destinations for travel inspiration.
If you’ve booked or are thinking about booking a trip to Portugal, this guide is for you. THIRDHOME‘s Travel Concierge, Liz Bates, has collected Portugal’s best local experiences, and is now sharing her insider knowledge with you!
Don’t just be a tourist. Live Like a Local, in Lisbon or Porto, Portugal, by adding-on one of these private or small group experiences!
A refreshing Mediterennean climate, rich history and beautiful cityscape all meet in confluence in the city of Lisbon. Start planning your Lisbon experience today.
Nightlife with Fado Show & Dinner – $145 per person
The historic city of Lisbon is at its most beautiful at night. Enjoy a traditional Fado performance and folk dancing while dining on local delicacies.
Fatima Pilgrimage Half-day Tour – $95 per person
In 1917, an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared to three young shepherds in Fatima, Portugal. It has since become a popular Roman Catholic pilgrimage, with nearly 4-million people traveling to see the commemorative shrine and basilica, each year. Make this world-famous pilgrimage and see the Portuguese countryside on a half-day tour from Lisbon.
Sintra & Estoril Scenic Escape – $99 per person
Discover Portugal’s diverse scenery, from sun-kissed beach to a verdant mountain palace, in one unforgettable afternoon. Uncover beautiful Moorish architecture, palaces and coasts, only a short drive away from Lisbon.
Nestled in the estuary of the Douro River is the bustling city of Porto. Admire Porto’s architectural marvels, irresistible cuisine and delicious fortified Port wine.
Wine Tasting & River Cruise – $119 per person
Visit a cave wine cellar to sample and learn about Porto wines. Tastings are followed by an hour-long Douro River cruise. Coast along Porto’s riverfront and discover the city’s best architecture and wines.
Douro Valley Full-Day w/Lunch – $149 per person
Discover the charming region of Douro Valley. Explore rolling vineyards and scenic riverside towns on this full-day excursion. Uncover the delectable wines in this enchanted valley on a full-day tour.
Santiago de Compostela Tour & Hike – $125 per person
Witness a pilgrimage over 1,000 years in the making. Visit Santiago de Compostela, capital of the autonomous Spanish community of Galicia, the final destination of The Way of Saint James Pilgrimage. Over 200,000 Roman Catholic pilgrims leave their homes each year to visit the final resting place of James the Apostle.
NO Keys are required to book these excursions and guided activities, however, a Personal Concierge assistance fee of $200 will be required upfront and does not include the actual tours and experiences you opt to add-on. If you would like to include a local excursion, please contact THIRDHOME‘s Travel & Concierge, Liz Bates.
Jacqueline Roth shares her family’s experience staying in Iceland through THIRDHOME‘s Travel & Concierge Curated Journeys.
This past Christmas, my family and I embarked on our first trip to Iceland.
With only five days to hit all the major sites around Reykjavik and the southern coast, every day was packed with excursions set up by Liz Bates and the Travel & Concierge Department.
She connected us with two amazing guides from Superjeep Iceland tours. Our guides would pick us up at our villa each morning and our day of adventure would begin. Iceland only has about 4-5 hours of sunlight during the winter, so our days needed to be meticulously planned to get to our first destination at sunrise and end our day with a beautiful sunset.
Some of the highlights of our trip included ATV-ing through the mountains, soaking in the blue lagoon, hiking on top of glaciers, and visiting a number of amazing natural wonders.
We conquered a lot over our stay, including the famous Golden Circle Tour, Ice Tunnels in Langjökull Glacier, Gulfoss Waterfall, and watching the sunset on the black sand beaches on the southern coast.
At night we explored and dined in downtown Reykjavik. We tasted the traditional Icelandic cuisine like whale and puffin, went ice skating in the town center, and even sang karaoke with the locals.
Our trip ended on a high note as we were fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights from our villa, a sight we will never forget! Thank you, Liz and THIRDHOME for helping us create yet another amazing vacation!
Jacqueline and her family have traveled with THIRDHOME since 2011. You can also read about their experience at Camdeboo Manor in South Africa or learn more about the Roth’s travel lifestyle with Alan Roth’s Member Spotlight.
WHAT ARE THIRDHOME MEMBERS SAYING ABOUT THEIR LUXURY HOME EXCHANGE TRIPS (TO Italy AND Jamaica) THIS WEEK?
THIRDHOME members have the option to add-on to their stays by using the club’s Travel & Concierge service. In Italy, for instance, members can embark on gastronomic tours of the city, discover hidden art scenes and book local sommeliers for tastings. This particular local experience was based out of the historic Palazzo 1619 Burano in Venice. If you want truly authentic experiences with your THIRDHOME trips be sure to give the Travel & Concierge service a try.
THIRDHOME member David says, “Liz, we just wanted to share with you that we’re having a great time and have really enjoyed all of our guided experiences you arranged for us in Venice. This was our first stay booked with THIRDHOME at the charming Palazzo 1619 Burano residence in the Venetian isle…thank you for planning the amazing artisan tours and private art-religious-culinary experiences…Each and every tour, including all the guides, were just out of this world. Thank you!” click here to read more of David’s review
Nestled in idyllic Sandy Bay, this Tryall Private Club property is perfect for experiencing the white sands of Jamaica. The property itself has an open floor plan, designed to let the tropical landscape into the bright living spaces. Visit the private white sand beach for a swim or take one of the complimentary sea kayaks for a spin. When you’re not sunbathing on the beach enjoy the resort’s world-class par 72 golf course. This property also includes a full-service staff. Be sure to check out the Tryall Wheelhouse for your next Jamaican getaway.
THIRDHOME member Douglas and Kimberly say, “What a wonderful week we had at the Wheelhouse! The Villa is beautiful and the views are spectacular. We started off with a few days of rain, but the staff, especially Gavin came up with all kinds of fun things for our kids to do!” click here to read more of Douglas and Kimberly’s review
Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next THIRDHOME trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.
Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about THIRDHOME.
Welcome to the land of slow-blowing tumbleweeds, legendary gunslingers, notorious outlaws and big steer. Welcome to the American West; soaked in history since before the days of Lewis & Clark, the American West has emerged into the 21st-Century as one of the country’s richest cultural regions. THIRDHOME‘s Travel & Concierge department has crafted stays for properties in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. Each property is paired with special events, cultural discoveries and optional outings, all catered to your traveling preferences.
GIDDY-UP AND RIDE WEST WITH THESE EXCLUSIVE STAYS IN ARIZONA, TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO
Start your Arizona adventure from the comfort of this Southwest-style luxury home located in the Dester Mountain community of Scottsdale. This 4-bedroom property excels in outdoor space. The pool, hot tub and fire pit are a natural draw for guests, especially under Arizona’s unobstructed night sky.
Visit this exhibition of equestrian majesty at the Arabian National Breeder Finals Horseshow. Watch world-class stallions breeders compete for grand prizes in their class while taking in the beauty of the WestWorld Scottsdale facility.
After taking in the beauty of Arabian horses, you have the option of going to The Western Spirit of Scottsdale Museum, which will be exhibiting The Rennard Strickland Collection of Western Film History. This collection features historic Western film posters, lobby cards and other film related memorabilia dating back to the 19th-Century. Osage and Cherokee art is also featured in this wide assortment of Western art.
Finish out your Exclusive Stay in Arizona’s great natural beauty by enjoying some outdoor recreation. Go hiking, mountain climbing, explore ancient adobe dwellings or go on a desert jeep tour. The options are limitless and catered to your traveling preferences. This Exclusive Stay is during the week of September 8-15, 2017.
Stay at this gorgeous Texas Villa while visiting Austin, one of Travel+Leisure‘s 2017 top cities in the United States. This property comes with ample amenities and features three pools, a full-service spa, restaurants and a bar, access to 5 golf courses and boat rentals at the Lakeway Marina. This property can sleep up to 8 Texas Longhorn fans at a time.
You’ll get to watch the Longhorns pummel the San Jose Spartans from the 45-yard line, at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 9! With four seats on the 32nd row, you’ll get to witness all the excitement up close.
Cool off with special access to Lakeway Marina’s boat rentals. With a wide selection of jet skis, party barges, pontoons, ski boats, runabouts, paddle boards and kayaks you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make the most of your lakefront property.
Finish out your Austin vacation with a Swedish massage at Lakeaway Resort & Spa. The Travel & Concierge department can also arrange Texas BBQ outings, brewery tours, wine tasting trips and night excursions. Don’t just travel to Austin, travel to an Austin that’s hand tailored to you. This Exclusive Stay is during the week of September 8-15, 2017.
Travel + Leisure just named Santa Fe one of the World’s Top 15 Cities for its pueblo-style architecture, local culture and old-world aesthetic. You’ll be stepping into the past with this 1920s adobe-style bungalow in Santa Fe’s Historic Eastside while experiencing one of the most beautiful aerial spectacles in the world.
Inflate your imagination at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The event lasts all week with morning and evening options for attendance. Watch lasers dance across the sky during the laser light show followed by the mass ascension of balloons into the New Mexico sky. With Rainbow Ryders balloon company, you’ll have the opportunity to fly in one of these spectacular balloons. You will also have Rail Runner tickets and shuttle service coordinated for your trip to Albuquerque through your travel concierge.
When you’re not flying over the New Mexico landscape, you’ll be observing its beauty from street level. Established in 1610, Santa Fe is the country’s oldest state capital. The city has done a tremendous job at preserving the structures that create its colonial appeal. Shop for Native American jewelry and pottery along the Palace of the Governors, or visit Santa Fe’s Museum of Fine Arts to see a collection on par with the New York Met. Between all the art downtown and the entire district of Museum Hill you’ll have many chances to take in some of the country’s best artwork and culture.
As always, there’s so much more that can be booked through the Travel & Concierge department. Hot springs soaking at one of Santa Fe’s all-natural luxury Spas is a wonderful way to experience the rugged beauty of New Mexico’s countryside. You can also visit the cliff dwellings of the Pueblo Native Americans, golf, take private yoga sessions, join a food tour or take an authentic local cooking class. This Exclusive Stay is during the week of October 7-14, 2017.
Embark on your own adventure with curated yacht charters
The sound of steel guitars enters your home, a schooner soars across the screen, with azure ocean waves lapping at the hull. Who doesn’t remember Gardner McKay’s swashbuckling adventures on Adventures in Paradise? Moreso, who wouldn’t want to have a similar adventure of their own? With THIRDHOME‘s new curated yacht charters and aquatic voyages, it’s possible.
Be the captain or hire a skipper of your own:
You can opt to do a bareboat charter, which makes you the master of your own destiny. Choose your own routes, restock as you go, and challenge your nautical know-how.
Go for the fully crewed luxury charter which provides for a crew of up to 10. This crew can include a skipper, chef, and local experts. Your only onboard duty is to relax and enjoy the ocean breeze.
During your Curated Journey, travel under power or sail. Curated aquatic voyages come in many forms. Want the monohull sailing experience? Charter a 54 ft. Beneteau yacht with space for up to 11 passengers. If you have trouble telling the mizzen from the boom, then you’ll be happy to find an 110 HP engine on the vessel. Or, charter the 57 ft. Robertson and Craine Catamaran with 6 cabins. If the tradewinds are blowing low, then voyaging under power might be the best option. The 50 ft. Robertson and Craine power yacht is also available for exotic adventures.
Where to voyage? THIRDHOME‘s curated aquatic adventures are offered in the following locations:
– The British Virgin Islands
– US Virgin Islands
– St Lucia
– Puerto Rico
Yacht Amenities? You won’t be roughing it out in the deep blue. Amenities include:
- Skipper available for hire
- Cook available for hire
- Stocked galley (kitchen) with pre-requested food items and provisions
- Offshore sailing school available
- Pre-order watersport equipment (kayaks, paddleboards, fishing gear, diving equipment)
- Wi-Fi on Exclusive Plus class yachts in the B.V.I., St. Martin, St. Lucia, and Grenada
- Electronics & Communications rentals
Adventure is right around the corner with THIRDHOME‘s curated yacht charters. Plan a voyage that Gardner Mckay would be proud of.
Ready to brave the great ocean blue? Click here to read more about these curated yacht charters, including how to reserve your trip.
Set sail through the Galapagos on the aquatic safari of a lifetime with THIRDHOME
This curated private eco-safari of the Galapagos has a maximum capacity of 16 passengers. Read more about this intimate encounter with one of the world’s most preserved ecosystems below:
The Galapagos Islands or Archipiélago de Colón is most famously known for Darwin’s expedition in the 1830’s. Cradling the equator, each island has its own unique habitats and endemic species. This voyage is equal parts leisure and safari-like exploration.
You will experience the Galapagos from the 113 ft. M/C Ocean Spray mega-catamaran. The ship is specifically designed to maneuver the islands’ fragile ecology in a noninvasive fashion.
The interior of the mega-catamaran has 8 cabins with private balconies and en suite bathrooms. The lounge pictured above has giant windows to capture the natural glow of the equatorial sun.
A 360-degree view is offered from the third-floor sundeck. On the main floor, you’ll find a huge aft deck with lounge chairs and a jacuzzi. This is the perfect place to recap your day’s discoveries.
A large dining table can be found on the lower aft deck where fine dining will be provided by the crew’s chef. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset over Baltra Island.
But what would all the luxury be without mingling with the locals? Pictured above is the Galapagos Tortoise, which has an average age of over 100 years. In the water, you might see the ancient Green Sea Turtle, who’s species was around to watch both the evolution and demise of the dinosaurs.
Above is one of 3 species of booby on the Galapagos. The Blue Footed Booby wanders the rocky shores in great curiosity. The term “booby” derives from the Spanish word “bobo” which means clown or fool. They certainly live up to expectations.
The first humans landed on the Galapagos in 1535. Almost 483 years later, you could be landing there as well!
It’s up to THIRDHOME members to cast their votes for the dates of this expedition, and availability is limited. If you’re ready to learn more about the Galapagos Eco-Safari Cruise click here.
“It’s wonderful to get out on the water. I need it.” He [Hemingway] gestured toward the ocean. “It’s the last free place there is, the sea.” – From Robert Manning’s (the executive editor of The Atlantic) 1954 visit and interview with Hemingway in Cuba.
Retrace Hemingway’s life in Cuba and Cuban history in this exclusive yacht voyage
This incredibly exclusive journey can only accommodate 46 lucky guests. At the bottom of this post, find out about an incredible promotional offer available to THIRDHOME members, but first, read about the adventure of a lifetime:
This exclusive voyage takes place on the Panorama, a yacht capable of boarding 46 guests. The Panorama is a three-masted motor sailer with cabins on three decks. All cabins have air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. The forward deck is spacious, allowing for en route activities. After a windblown tan, you might retire to the aft deck for a drink at the bar.
The interior of the Panorama includes a library and lounge. The library will prove especially handy for rereading that copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls or studying up on Cuban history. The Panorama will be boarded in Cuba after a brief flight from Miami.
The first few days will be spent in Cienfuegos exploring the local arts and culture followed by a trip to Trinidad. UNESCO has dubbed Trinidad a World Heritage Site for its gorgeous architecture. The port was founded in the 16th century and calls back to the days of the founding Conquistadors.
After departing Trinidad and Cienfuegos, a day will be spent at sea. Life at sea includes delectable cuisine, educational lectures, games, and visits to the bridge.
You will land, as Columbus did in 1494, on La Isla de Juventud (Isle of Youth) on the 5th day. The island has a distinct history brought forth by the Aboriginal Indians, pirates, and the imprisonment of the Castro brothers for 19 months.
By the 7th day of this Curated Journey, you will reach Havana, home to Hemingway’s former residence, Finca Vigia (Lookout Farm). Hemingway’s fishing boat, Il Pilar, can still be found on the grounds. Hemingway left in 1960 when he returned to the United States for the final time. The Cuban Government now runs Finca Vigia as a museum.
This voyage has limited space and embarks on either January 18, February 8, or February 15, 2018. This luxury small-group sailing journey is limited to 46 guests; voyage pricing starts at $6,199 per person. An ongoing promotional offer could save you $1,000 per person (subject to availability). Click here to reserve your trip or learn more about the special promotion for this Curated Journey.
Cottar’s Safari Camp is located in Kenya and sits on 7,000 acres, which adjoins the Serengeti and Maasai Mara game reserves. Known for giving a premier safari experience for almost 100 years, this is the ultimate trip for those who are seeking to spend time on a game reserve in Africa. The atmosphere of Cottar’s Safari Camp is exciting, relaxing and romantic.
Take a Curated Journey “Happily Ever After” trip with your significant other through THIRDHOME, and celebrate your relationship while staying in a “Romance Tent” at Cottar’s Safari Camp. Read to the bottom of this post to find out the incredible deal that is available to THIRDHOME members when booking this Curated Journey.
Your Curated Journey to Cottar’s Safari Camp will include:
A 4-Night stay (minimum) in a “Romance Tent” featuring a private bathroom, spacious accommodations and a sprawling veranda.
Served daily there will be breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails at sunset. The camp offers a communal dining atmosphere, but arrangements for private dining can be made upon request.
Enjoy game drives, guided bush walks, cultural visits, swimming, fishing and more.
Professional Safari Guides
At Cottar’s, you’ll be guided by an impressive staff. There are 3 Gold-Level KPSGA Guides on-site, when there are only 23 Gold Standard Guides in all of Kenya. The rest of the staff are Silver-Level qualified.
Ready to take the ultimate trip together as a couple? As a THIRDHOME member, you will receive a 50% discount off your accommodations when traveling as a couple, celebrating an anniversary or enjoying a honeymoon. This discount is valid for travel in 2018 during the months of May, June, November or December 1-20. Click here for more information and to book your trip to Cottar’s Safari Camp in Kenya.