Mike and Sue Challenger have been members of the Club since 2021. Keep reading to hear about their extraordinary South African safari experience by ThirdHome Adventures & Custom Travel.

Read their full testimonial below:

Whoever said, “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks,” hasn’t been on a ThirdHome Adventure, arranged by Liz Bates, Director Adventures & Custom Travel. At 70+, we had never been on a 4-wheeler (quad as they call them) in our lives, but that all changed at Leobo Private Reserve, the first leg of our three segments Adventure in South Africa.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Heidi, co-manager with her husband, Chris, took three of us out for our first ride around the upper savannah, and animal activity at that hour was prolific. Giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, kudos, warthogs, springbok, and impalas were everywhere. We loved every minute and looked forward to our next ride, which came on Thursday afternoon when we went for a 17 km ride down the rugged road to the hippo pond. And we did all of that just hours before our helicopter ride around the entire property to get an up-close aerial view of all the animals.

We experienced lunch out in the bush and dinner under the stars. We were busy from morning to night every day with more new things to do than we ever had done in one week. We would say our favorite experiences here were the quads and the helicopter ride witnessing all the many animals from above, and the sweeping river views. This experience at Leobo could not have been accomplished without Heidi and Chris and their excellent support staff. They spent many long hours making sure everything was perfect and that we were all having a fabulous time.

The second leg of our trip was to Cape Town and Table Mountain, the Wine Country, Cape Hope, and the South African Penguins. Everything was perfect, from meals and accommodations to our tour guide, Luci, and everything in between. The views from Table Mountain and Cape Hope were extraordinary, the wine countryside was beautiful, and the wines were delicious. Of course, our favorite experience here was the penguins, which were beyond adorable. Liz once again outdid herself on accommodations, activities, and lunches.

For our third and final segment, we went to Camdeboo Lodge. Wow, the adventures just keep continuing; nonstop action of early morning game drives to a shortcut over and down the mountain that literally had us on the edge of our seats and the edge of the road while returning to the lodge in the evening. On the first day, we encountered the Lions—that was a WOW moment for us! It was good to know they were not there to eat us but leisurely enjoy the day. The female cheetah, however, was not to be outdone. We slowly walked over to the bush with our guides, where she had her cubs. We didn’t see the cubs, but the cheetah was sitting there regally posing and letting us soak up her beauty. The second day was just as extraordinary. We had close encounters with elephants, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, vervet monkeys, and much more. We were so excited to see more of the Big Five. The staff and guides at Camdeboo were wonderful.

Lastly, to add to this once-in-a-lifetime trip and all its memories were the extraordinary new friends we made on this Adventure! Wade and Debbi were absolutely perfect hosts. We can’t wait for everyone to get together again for a reunion and experience more. We are all hooked on travel and are always looking for the next new experience and WOW moment. This Safari Adventure definitely gets a 5++. We feel it was definitely over the top and our favorite trip from all the places we have visited all over the world.

Seeking a personally curated South African safari experience for your own private group of family and friends? Collaborate with Liz Bates.

What are other members saying about this incredible South African safari experience?

We had such an amazing time with the group in South Africa! The entire trip was AWESOME!! We loved the trip! Our favorite Leobo experience was the helicopter ride! Absolutely beautiful and thrilling at the same time! Ruth’s WOW moment was capturing the video of giraffe running with the helicopter so close she felt like she could touch their ears! Favorite Cape Town experience was the coastal drive to the Cape of Good Hope. Views were breathtaking and the hike by the lighthouse was fantastic! We would rate the safari experience at a 5, actually higher!! And YES, we would like a reunion experience with the same group. Everybody, including us had so much fun. And we have made new friends–including with Wade and Debbi!! We all became friends very quickly and enjoyed our time together!

– Frank V. Member since 2021.

I must say I really wasn’t sure exactly what to expect on our trip to South Africa but what I can say it was beyond my expectations!!! It was an unbelievable trip with several amazing experiences that makes it hard to pick just one. We have traveled with groups before where we didn’t know most of the other people but this group we met on this trip were all amazing and wonderful and everyone got along so well. I really feel that all of us from this group will continue to stay in touch with each other and try to meet each other again whenever possible. It was so nice to see people helping each other if some could not keep up and everyone was very encouraging to help people try new things! This trip was so well organized with never a lack of something to do. If anyone asks what kind of trips ThirdHome organizes I would be very happy to say only the very best!

– Ruth V. Member since 2021.

WOW WOW WOW!!!! I can’t say enough about the fabulous trip at Leobo Private Reserve. From the moment we landed in South Africa, we had a smile on our faces. Leobo was beyond impressive…the adventures were unique, the food was scrumptious, the accommodations and views were breathtaking and of course, the company was extraordinary! This was the most memorable trip Milt & I have ever been on. We look forward to experiencing more ThirdHome Adventures in the future.

– Dee and Milt W. Members since 2015.

“If life is a tapestry made of our experiences and memories, we would like to thank the ThirdHome family for adding bold colors and golden threads to our fabric. The trip to South Africa put together by Debbi, Wade, and Liz was a dream come true, full of unforgettable people and events. We can’t wait for the next ThirdHome Adventure!!!

– Neal and Jamie H. Members since 2015.

As temperatures rise, so does wanderlust. Join us as we explore the top European destinations that travelers are heading to this summer.

Many find summertime synonymous with vacation, perhaps in part because of the idyllic weather or more time off from work. Now, with a reopening world, and the official start of summer approaching June 21, more people are itching to travel than ever before. In a recent article penned for Fortune, the President of American Express Travel reveals an exciting increase in foreign travel this summer, particularly to some of Europe’s greatest cities.

Let’s take a closer peek into the top four international destinations worthy of making your summer vacation roster.

London, England

Thinking of venturing across the pond? Now’s a great time to do so! Fortunately, London has a mild climate year-round, which translates to comfortable summertime temperatures resting in the mid-70s (°F). What’s more, you’ll enjoy longer daylight hours, making it easier to check off all the can’t-miss attractions on your itinerary. This may include Buckingham Palace, which is only open to the public from July to September. Better yet, if your next exciting home swap lands you in London between late June and early July, you might just find yourself in the stands at Wimbledon!

Paris, France

“Summer loving had me a blast…” — The lyrics don’t lie; it just so happens the best time to visit the most romantic city in the world is from June to August. Long days of sunshine averaging in the high 70s (°F) will grace you as you wander the streets in search of authentic Parisian cuisine and exciting activities. You can enjoy the summer’s many open-air events, such as the Paris Street Music Festival (Fete de la Musique) in June or the three-day Rock En Seine Festival in August.

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece’s capital city, is a wonderful year-round destination. While the summer heats up quickly, reaching the low 90s (°F), there are plenty of ways to stay cool during your travels. An easy trick? Include museums and cultural centers with air conditioning in your itinerary. You can see some of Athen’s best attractions like the Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, and the National Archaeological Museum without breaking a sweat. Another tip is to embrace nightlife. Many bars, clubs, and cafés in Athens boast open-air features, including courtyards and rooftops, so as the temperatures fall with the setting sun, have yourselves a fantastic night out!

Rome, Italy

There’s no denying that summertime is peak season in Rome. The warm, mid-upper 80s (°F) weather and exciting annual events, like Vinòforum and Lungo il Tevere, draw visitors from across the globe. As such, hotels can become costly, which is another great reason to try a house exchange for your summer vacation. Don’t just take our word for it; see what our members are saying:

“Absolute Perfection.”

This is by far the best property we have had the pleasure of booking. Everything about this apartment is perfect – the location, the spaciousness, the amenities, the thoughtfulness of the owners – welcome wine, charcuterie, breads, waters. We have been to Rome many times but this was one of the best visits we’ve ever made to the Eternal City. We ate at many of our favorites and David’s suggestions are spot on – Armando’s, Nino, Emma, Ditrirambo, La Pergola, Taverna Angelica, and Life. We took the Scavi tour, visited many of the smaller churches we hadn’t had an opportunity to see, walked this beautiful city, and attended the Opera, We even experienced a Roman snowfall which is a true rarity. We look forward to returning to this beautiful apartment in the not too distant future.”

– Emma L., Member since 2020

“Great location and beautiful apartment!

We stayed during the month of July 2021. From the time we reserved this beautiful apartment, the host was very helpful providing useful information, sharing the websites, and made sure that our stay would be comfortable. The manager was very helpful upon arrival and during the stay, made sure that all was in place to make sure we enjoyed the stay. We felt very well taken care of and made us feel very special. Location of the apartment was closed to every places where we wanted to visit. We usually stay at St. Regis for our short stay in Rome, but this apartment location made our stay in Rome for a week especially very enjoyable. Apartment was very specious, clean and comfortable with updated modern interior. Nothing like staying at the hotel. We would love to return to this property again. Thank you for letting us book and stay at your beautiful property.”

– Mark U., Member since 2019

Ready to plan your ultimate summer vacation? Click here to learn more about traveling to Europe this summer with ThirdHome.

What are ThirdHome members saying about their luxury home exchange trips to Mexico and Honduras.

ThirdHome Exchange members recently returned from Valle de Bravo, Mexico and West End, Honduras. Read more about their spectacular luxury retreats at gorgeous waterfront villas.

Casa Vista Bonita  | Valle de Bravo, Mexico

The stylish design and cutting-edge decorative choices make this five-bedroom luxury villa a true landmark. Located in the vicinity of Valle del Bravo in the exclusive community known as “El Escondrijo,” this trendy vacation residence includes a private pool, access to a community club with tennis courts, and a private deck by the lake.

ThirdHome member Renu says, “I have been on probably 50+ ThirdHome home trips. This one is right up there in the top two. Thank you María del Rocío Beltrán! The STAFF was incredible: Hector, Elivira and Alex took care of our every need. They prepared the most beautiful & delicious meals. The house and views were spectacular. My favorite parts were the master bedroom opened up completely to the outside in one corner, the outside area, the two very large gorgeous dining tables to choose from AND a large tree in the living! It was really hard to leave the home, but made ourselves leave to enjoy the beauty surrounding us. Bucket list Monarch Butterfly day was even better than I could have imagined. I went back a second time for the spiritual experience. A definite NEED to go back AGAIN home!” Click here to read Renu’s review.

Vivaro Luxury Beachfront | West End, Honduras

This gorgeous and large 4,500 square-foot luxury home is situated on Roatan’s beautiful west side, in the Bay of Honduras. Five bedrooms and seven bathrooms sit on a stunning, white sand beach, where the waves of the Carribean Sea lap up onto the shore. Whether snorkeling, diving, or just relaxing by the water, there’s nothing more luxurious than a beach in paradise to call all your own!

ThirdHome member Nelvine wrote, “We had the best time at the Vivaro Roatan luxury beachfront home! My husband and 10 year-old twins stayed there for a week and it was such a unique experience. Matt, the property manager, is so nice and friendly! He greeted us and helped us with everything throughout our stay – from planning any excursions to transportation. The home is huge for a family of 4, plenty of living space. The living area is spacious and includes some board games, which was fun to have with kids. Our trash was taken out for us throughout the week and the pool was also cleaned during our stay. The home comes with tons of floaties, snorkel gear, paddle boards, and life vests, so kids and parents were all very happy. We were able to enjoy our own beach with so much privacy. It was all very relaxing. There was air conditioner available and fans as well, so we were always comfortable. We were also only a 10-minute walk away from town: the family and I walked to West Bay to try different restaurants and look at shops. On a rainy day, we had Chef Junior come over to the home and teach us how to cook pizza. It was such a blast – what a great family idea! You can even go fishing! You get picked up from the dock right on your property. This is a great place to relax and unwind. Thank you team for making our stay so memorable! We will never forget it.” Click here to read Nelvine’s review.

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome Exchange trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our Exchange Club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

Members Andrew and Anne from Australia have been part of ThirdHome Exchange for more than eight years. Learn about their favorite trips and experiences as long-time members of the the Club.

ThirdHome’s website is second to none. It is great fun to explore the world.”

– Andrew, January 2022

Read Andrew’s full testimonial below:

We have been members of ThirdHome for more than eight years. In that time, we have enjoyed 21 home exchanges (needless to say we are retired), and had to cancel a further seven due to COVID pandemic travel restrictions. It has been an amazing experience and in many cases, not accessible through other means.

Their favorite trips?

Picking favorites from such wonderful experiences is difficult. We both agree that the best was a game lodge (unfenced!) in a private South African game park. The following were also amazing:

Owners have been wonderful – many outstandingly so.  Hiccups have been few, mainly because ThirdHome was very proactive in resolving the few issues that arose. 

Their experience as Hosts

Likewise, the members who have stayed at our property in Sydney were wonderful, appreciative, and respectful.  

Traveling with ThirdHome is like no other.

ThirdHome’s appeal to us is that it is global, cost is offset by credits earned by making your property accessible to other members, and because it is not driven by a profit-focused management company.  Members are free to join or leave at any time. Staff have been invariably wonderful.

ThirdHome’s website is second to none. It is great fun to explore the world or just an area you plan to visit for other reasons to see if there is a ThirdHome property available.

Find out why Debbie Wingham, the designer of the “World’s Most Expensive Advent Calendar,” thinks home exchange is the innovative solution for your luxury travel needs.

With ThirdHome, a new destination is always on the horizon. Meet Debbie Wingham: luxury designer, travel extraordinaire, and ThirdHome Exchange member. Debbie joined The Club as a solution to the problem many second homeowners face: you love your vacation property, but you want to explore somewhere new.

Thus, home exchange is the perfect solution. Debbie explains, “I can use [my vacation home] as leverage and become a part of this exclusive club and travel the world.”

Watch this video for more of Debbie’s thoughts on home exchange and ThirdHome:

ThirdHome Members, Jolene and Neal Luck, had an extraordinary experience traveling from Sydney to Singapore aboard the Crystal Symphony.

How did you choose this Crystal Cruise Experience?

When we saw the Crystal Cruise offering on ThirdHome and the voyage was from Sydney to Singapore we immediately looked at each other and said WOW this knocks off several things on our bucket list we have to do this!  We love snorkeling so the Great Barrier Reef was also a huge draw.  We saw dragons on Komodo island on documentaries for years and the opportunity to get to actually see them in person was a big selling point.  Bali was a destination interest since the book Eat, Pray, Love! Singapore is known as a premium destination spot.

What were some of the main highlights and experiences of your journey?

We challenged ourselves with the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, we trekked the Sydney Botanical Garden, Hyde Park, and Darling Harbour and topped out at 17K steps seeing the most iconic birds in Australia. We also hiked Hamilton Island Scenic Trail with breathtaking views of the bays, butterflies, and Kookaburras.

Aboard the Symphony we got to see an America’s Got Talent act and The Illuminators light dance show, which was absolutely thrilling. We also very much enjoyed the grand gala, which highlighted the amazing chefs and their culinary creations.

Bali was a 9 hour tour for us and the best possible tour of all including a personable guide telling stories of his youth, an orchid garden, batik processing center, and two famous temples starting with Pura Taman. Ayun ending with the sunset at Pura Tanah Lot (the seaside temple only accessible at low tide), Balinese food, and dance performance of the traditional Ramayama Monkey Chant onboard the ship.

Marina Bay Sands infinity pool on top of the structures was spectacular and our room faced the marina where light shows were conducted every evening.

Clark Quay was absolutely the most beautiful place after dark or otherwise we’ve ever seen and the Singapore river cruise puts you up close and personal with the revolving colors on the bridges and the waterside facilities.

Faber Peak Cable Car Dining was unique and a memorable experience ending with a video show on a large tree bringing fantasy and amazement

The Singapore Botanical Garden comes close to matching the Gardens by the bay or better (just missing the indoor fantasy gardens) and we saw a water monitor in the pond (much like a small Komodo dragon).

Was there one specific WOW moment you enjoyed the most?

The WOW moment was when a large Komodo dragon started coming straight for our group (there is a series of pictures on this).  The guides recommended stepping back and pointed their sticks at the dragon and he dropped on all fours flat to his belly.  The guides say they hate the sticks poked at their noses because it hurts them so they don’t charge when the sticks are pointing at them.  A separate WOW moment on the same island was when we saw a Komodo dragon stalking a deer on the beach, the people scared off the deer and the dragon missed his lunch.

What did you like most about the Crystal Cruise experience – service, staff, dining, cabin accommodations, etc?

The service, staff, dining, and staterooms on the ship were above any expectation we could possibly have. The food was five-star (I would give ten-star if there was such a thing) gourmet as often as you want including room service. The stateroom attendants made sure the room was stocked with beverages and fruits of your choice. There were several staff members who went above and beyond to make us feel special and appreciated as guests on the ship.

What would you like to share with other members about your experience using the services of ThirdHome Custom Travel?

We worked with Liz Bates and she has supported three magnificent trips for us including Fiji, Peru, and now Sydney to Singapore.  Liz is always there for her clients, does the right thing, and does what she says she is going to do.  We know we can count on Liz with any of our travel needs and appreciate her expertise so much.

How would you rate this past travel experience?


Interested in booking a Crystal Cruise Voyage? Contact Liz Bates to start planning your experience.

What is ThirdHome member, Barbara, saying about her trip to Guatemala this week?

ThirdHome Exchange member, Barbara, recently returned from Guatemala. Keep reading to learn more about her travel experience!

Caelum et Terra, Guatemala

Caelum et Terra | Santa Catarina Palopo, Guatemala

Caelum et Terra is truly heaven on Earth overlooking Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. Views from the cliffside home include San Pedro, Tolimán and Atitlán volcanoes. Colorful decorations fill the interior of the home and staff is on site for luxury service during your stay. Two levels make up this incredible Guatemalan residence with 3 bedrooms on the lower level and a master bedroom on the top. Take in the breathtaking scenery while swimming in the infinity pool and looking out over the edge. Explore nearby villages such as Quetzaltenango or Chichicastenango en El Quiche, both rich with Mayan culture and Spanish colonial architecture. Caelum et Terra is a perfect and unique getaway!

ThirdHome member Barbara says, “Our family stay for just the 4 of us was truly heaven on earth. In all my years of traveling this has to be one of the highlights and words do not even begin to describe how special this area is.” click here to read more of Barbara’s review.

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome Exchange trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our Exchange Club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

ThirdHome member Alli Gulliver just returned from Cuba on Mariel Hemingway’s Hidden Havana Adventure – See what she has to say about this extraordinary experience.

“Mariel Hemingway’s Hidden Havana” was our first ThirdHome Adventure and it will certainly not be our last! We arrived in Cuba with certain preconceived notions about the country and we departed with completely altered and improved impressions.

Wade Shealy in a car Cuba Unique architecture in Cuba

We entered Cuba on the basis of “Supporting the Cuban People” and ThirdHome left no stone unturned as they exposed us to the stunning culture and beautiful artistry of these wonderful people. We toured a cemetery and art gallery and also attended a popular nightclub which doubled as an art gallery. We visited the gallery and home of a well-known artist and enjoyed a private performance of a young dance troupe. We were able to have lunch with a famous radio announcer and drinks with a popular musical artist. This all in addition to the more common yet also incredible tourist attractions such as the Partagas Cigar Factory and Ernest Hemingway’s favorite bar, Floridita. The main highlight for us was the private cigar and rum pairing activity, which also impressed members who had never smoked a cigar before!

THIRDHOME Members rolling cigars THIRDHOME Members touring the streets of Havana, CubaEvery restaurant was carefully chosen and exposed us to the wide range of culinary skills to be found in this fascinating country. We also enjoyed a special cooking and mojito making class in a much beloved local restaurant outside of Havana.

Gourmet breakfast at the private villas Traditional Cuban dish

Mariel Hemingway was charming and very approachable and her insights into her grandfather’s life and legacy were invaluable and impressive. We were given unprecedented access to his home, Finca Vigia, and the opportunity to meet and speak in detail with the grandson of Gregorio Fuentes. Both very intimate and extraordinary experiences that brought so much of what we had read previously to life.

Mariel Hemmingway sharing stories at lunch Mariel Hemmingway with THIRDHOME members

Our guides were impressively knowledgeable and their command of the English language was flawless. They answered our many questions with great insight and honesty. We truly felt as if we were being given an insider view into this interesting and somewhat complicated culture.

Stephan Haas and cuban driver guide THIRDHOME Adventure tour guides

THIRDHOME Members in Cuba with Mariel Hemingway

Our villa was charming and comfortable and every morning we started with an impressive breakfast buffet. The villa staff were attentive and pleasant. Our group dynamic was one of instant chemistry and mutual enjoyment. We have no doubt that we will remain friends with the people we met on this trip and all of us hope to plan travel together again soon.

THIRDHOME Members enjoying breakfast at their villaMariel Hemmingway entertaining THIRDHOME members at the villa

THIRDHOME Members driving in a vintage cuban car

We cannot speak highly enough of this experience and the unbelievable attention to detail by ThirdHome. It is unusual to travel for a week and find nothing to fault. The movement of a group of 30 people was seamless and smooth and the itinerary was extremely well rounded and considered. Our Cuba experience was both memorable and influential. We would not hesitate for a minute to travel with ThirdHome Adventures again.

Cuban Cabaret at the TropicanaTHIRDHOME Members walking into Finca Vigia

Alli and Richard Gulliver in CubaAlli is a longtime ThirdHome member and loyal traveler to our Adventure & Custom Travel Division. 

Contact liz@thirdhome.com to start planning you next trip! 

“We are traveling more, and consequently, enjoying life even more.”

Petronio Nogueira joined ThirdHome in 2016 and has traveled 12 times to luxury properties in various locations including the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Hungary. While traveling the world with his wife to ThirdHome properties, he has hosted a number of fellow members at their enchanting second home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Get to know ThirdHome member, Petronio Nogueira, and how he uses The Club to Stay Worldly!

How did you get involved with ThirdHome? The first time I heard about ThirdHome was in an article in The Economist. Based on this, my wife and I decided to list our vacation home in the marvelous city of Rio.

Where are you based?
Currently, we are living in London, United Kingdom.

Who do you usually travel with?
My wife and when it is possible, my son, my daughter and her husband. Sometimes we also invite friends.

What do you do for a living?
Enjoy life, among other less important things!

What are your favorite travel hobbies?
Hiking, going to the beach, dining, sight-seeing.

What do you love most about your property with ThirdHome? Welcoming ThirdHome members into our vacation home in Rio and creating an opportunity for them to discover and enjoy what used to be our beautiful home city.

Compared to other exchange and rental platforms, how has your experience been hosting other ThirdHome members?
Hosting ThirdHome members has been a fantastic experience.

Any personal/family achievements you’d like to share?
My wife and I have expanded our horizons as we have been traveling more and to new and interesting places.

How has ThirdHome changed the way you travel?
It has definitely changed the way we plan our trips for three main reasons: First, we’re thrilled by the idea of staying in a beautiful house with family and friends. My wife and I have discovered the joy of staying for a full week in one place. Finally, and more importantly, we’re traveling more, and consequently, enjoying life even more.

How would you describe ThirdHome to a friend? ThirdHome is an exclusive membership club where you get access to fantastic vacation homes in special places.

What’s the most memorable restaurant you’ve eaten at during one of your trips?
Restaurant Le Gabriel in Paris.

Any travel tips for fellow members?
Go beyond and enjoy life!

ThirdHome Exchange members have recently returned from Palm Springs and Palm Desert, California. Keep reading to learn about their ThirdHome experience.

Modern Desert Townhome | Palm Springs, California

Visit the beautiful desert oasis of Palm Springs, California. This custom, contemporary residence offers 2 bedrooms and plenty of modern amenities to make you feel truly at home during your stay. Built in 2006, it includes floor-to-ceiling glass windows for views of the incredible outside atmosphere with a beautiful garden and patio for outdoor relaxation. High ceilings and luxury home decor also add to the chic and stylish ambiance. This desert paradise awaits you with open doors to your next exciting California stay.

ThirdHome member Charlie says, “We enjoyed our time at this lovely, beautifully decorated home! The large spa and private yard was a treat every afternoon after hiking and playing golf. The owners were extremely helpful and responsive. We highly recommend and hope to return!” click here to read more of Charlie’s review.

Desert Gem, Palm Desert

The Desert Gem | Palm Desert, California 

The Desert Gem was designed to help you live and feel like a celebrity in the Californian desert! This private and gated home lounges across 2,500 square-feet and can accommodate up to 12 guests. The lavish yard will become your very own oasis as you take in views of the majestic juxtaposition of desert and greenery. A private pool and plenty of space to soak up the desert sun make for a perfect getaway with everything you need to leave the outside world behind. Minimalistic design and abundant space capture the atmosphere of the interior, pleasing to the eye of any savvy traveler.

ThirdHome member Raymond says, “The Gem was the perfect location for us as we could easily walk for groceries, dinner, and shopping on El Paseo. The home was well equipped inside and was roomy and comfortable for us and our guests. We would stay here again with no second thoughts! ” click here to read more of Raymond’s review.

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome Exchange trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our Exchange Club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

ThirdHome member Barbara Malarski just returned from a majestic Rain Journey through Switzerland. Read below for her account of this amazing locomotive experience.

Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

The Hills are alive with the sound of … cow bells in the unsurpassed pastoral beauty of the Swiss countryside. The crinkle of Swiss chocolates, as they unravel from a gold wrapper, pierces through the otherwise silent sound of the soft snow landing on Jungfraujoch – The Top of Europe. Jungfraujoch, the highest altitude railway station in the world, is located at 3454 meters above sea level. Sparkling snow and ice stretches from the peopled viewing tower to beyond. The gentle rumble of steel train tracks aboard the famous Glacier Express accompanies a vision of blurred glaciers, ancient forests, and rushing mountain streams.

Barbara in Ville Vielle, the end of the promenade from Montreux Switzerland

Lunch at Cafe Resturant de La Clef, VeveyJill Chism and I had just completed the Mont Blanc walking trail (an 8-day version of the walk through France, Switzerland and Italy across a number of challenging passes), so we were keen travel at a more restful pace. And rest we did as we looked out the window at the picture perfect landscape by train. Our Curated Swiss Rail Trip exceeded our expectations, especially the picturesque landscapes of ancient and famous vineyards traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area.

Photograph from 'images' biennial exhibition at VeveyJill in Ville Veille near Montreux SwitzerlandChillon Castle in Veytaux, Switzerland

Our first stop was in the town of Montreux, where our hotel was a 5 minute walk to Lake Geneva. We were in awe of Montreux’s long flowered promenade that borders the lake’s edge.  Being “walkers” we loved the 5 kilometer walk to Chillon Castle with numerous other significant landmarks along the way, including the magnificent Fairmount Le Montreux Palace dating to the Belle Époque (1871-1914).  On from the castle is the charming town of Vielle-Ville, which simply means ‘old town’. If you are an enthusiastic walker, once back in Montreux, you can walk the promenade in the opposite direction to Vevey, another charming historical town nearby. Coming from the Tropics in Australia, we loved the biodiversity of pines, cypresses and palm trees that reflected a more Mediterranean feel. It was very relaxing and made us feel at home.

Public Art in Lake Geneva, Vevey Freddy Mercury statue, MontreuxVevey, 15 minutes by local bus, if you don’t want to walk, was hosting its biennial Arts Festival. The standard of the Arts festival ‘Images’ was very high, enlivened by the inventive staging of its exhibits. Works of both established and emerging photographers were displayed in an astonishing variety of unconventional venues and locations, showcasing both the beauty of the surrounding natural environment as well as the town’s historical buildings. Aside from the ‘Images’ exhibition, Jill was especially intrigued by the collection of Picasso prints (the second biggest collection in Europe) at Musee Jenisch in Vevey. And there was no one else there looking at over 150 original prints!

‘Cows can walk through walls’ - InterlakenCows 2500m on Swiss mountainsOur timely arrival enabled us to experience Freddie Mercury’s Birthday Memorial. Montreux was alive with people and music, celebrating the time the band Queen spent writing music from an apartment they owned in the area. Staying at Montreux was a highlight for us, especially in the month of September with so many events in combination with its natural beauty, culture and history. It was truly magical to be there.

The end of the promenade from Montreux to Ville VeilleJill at Jungfraujoch 3571m Outside the highest railway station in EuropeFrom Montreux we stopped briefly in Interlaken, which is presided over by three mighty mountains, nestled in a valley that is a gateway to alpine destinations for hiking and exploring the region.  Our main reason for stopping at Interlaken was for the unique train journey to Junfraujoch, The Top of Europe, which sits at 3454 meters above sea level. The experience involved changing three trains. Quite a trip: Our advice is to start as early as possible.

 View from the lookout tower at JungfraujochTraditional Swiss desserts in InterlakenChapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland

Next we were on to Lucerne in Central Switzerland. The town straddles the Ruess River with its main feature being the famous Chapel Bridge, a 66 foot long wooden bridge, and the oldest covered bridge in Europe. We spent hours walking through the old town and ended up at the Culture and Convention Center, and ultra-modern building sitting on the lake. We were blessed to experience a free concert inside The Convention Centre, in what is recognized as one of the world leading concert halls.

Culture and Convention Center in Lucerne, Switzerland

View from the train traveling to Lucerne

View of Lucerne from the Old Bridge

Leaving Switzerland, we had the opportunity to stay in ThirdHome’s unique 19 century mansion, a traditional “Mansard House”, located in the small village of Soisy Sur Seine, France. With Paris on our doorstep, 20 miles away, we mostly retreated into the countryside with long walks along the Seine into either Ris D’Orangis or the local village for our morning croissants. Pure Heaven! It was serenity on the Seine. This was a remarkable home and one which Jill and I felt privileged to have the opportunity of staying in, hosted through ThirdHome and Liz Bates.

Barbara is a longtime ThirdHome member and frequent traveler with a second luxury home in Port Douglas, Australia. 

Contact liz@thirdhome.com to start planning your voyage! 

ThirdHome Exchange members have recently returned from Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic and Matei Taveuni, Fiji. Keep reading to learn about their ThirdHome experience.

Dominican Republic THIRDHOME (1)

El Ingenio 16 | La Romana, Dominican Republic

Escape to the Dominican Republic’s exclusive Casa de Campo La Romana Country Club with this centrally-located property. With room for up to 8 people, this home is a perfect springboard for a holiday filled with award-winning golf, delicious meals and beachfront lounging for the whole family. Enjoy direct access to the pool and outdoor living areas from the main living space and enjoy rolling golf course views. The house staff will accommodate your every need during your stay at this luxurious tropical retreat.

ThirdHome member Michael says, “Our family of five was so fortunate to be able to experience a wonderfully relaxing week at El Ingenio 16. Our hosts, Pat and Mike, were the consummate ThirdHome hosts. Pre arrival, they made sure that we knew every detail about the resort and their home. The resort, Casa de Campo, has world class golf courses, a lovely beach and numerous restaurants. as well as many other fun family activities (tennis, shooting, horseback riding etc). The house is truly a ‘home’. Thank you to our most wonderful hosts!” click here to read more of Michael’s review.


Raiwasa Private Retreat | Matei Taveuni, Fiji

Perched on the northern coastline of Taveuni Island, Raiwasa is one of Fiji’s most exclusive properties. With private beach access and an infinity pool, this home is packed with reasons to visit. And with room for 6 people, you’ll want to invite the whole family. The full staff of 12 can arrange full-resort amenities during your stay at Raiwasa. Get a massage while looking over the Somosomo Straight or enjoy a 5-course dinner prepared by the property chef. Explore Taveuni’s rainforests, waterfalls and wildlife when you’re not luxuriating in Raiwasa’s wealth of amenities.

ThirdHome member Andy says, “Raiwasa is without question, the best vacation we have ever experienced. From the time we arrived until our plane took off, every need was accommodated and the level of service was impeccable. We took full advantage of the activities offered and learned so much about the special island of Taveuni and Fijian culture. While we did a lot of exploring and activities, there was still plenty of time for a daily massage and relaxing by the pool. To say the food at Rawaisa is incredible would be an understatement. The garden on the property provides so many fresh, local fruits that are served daily. Everything we ate was thoughtfully and beautifully prepared…Raiwasa exceeded every expectation we had. My husband and I went for a week-long vacation just the two of us, but we can’t wait to return with our children. If you are considering a trip to Raiwasa, don’t hesitate another second, book now!” click here to read more of Andy’s review.

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome Exchange trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our Exchange Club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

Search our luxury travel blog

Search Icon

Hit ESC to close, ENTER to search