Changing the Paradigm of Luxury Travel

(No) Helen Jordan took a glamping road trip to Under Canvas Grand Canyon.

Helen Jordan of Jordan Luxury Travel, an affiliate of Brownell, tries camping and a visit to a luxury resort for her domestic vacations.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that travel in 2020 would be in its current state. With trips cancelled, rescheduled and reimagined, my own travel took a domestic twist. Like so many of you, I was ready to bust loose, even if it meant I was only going to explore my own backyard or somewhere else in the U.S.A.

My first trip was a 4th of July weekend glamping road trip to Under Canvas Grand Canyon. I live in Phoenix, so this was a way to leave the blistering heat and enjoy the high country. Just 25 minutes from the Grand Canyon, the camp is out in nature, near a private airport and the heliport for Grand Canyon heli-touring.  

Under Canvas offers plenty of space between tents, which accommodate solos as well as extended families.

We stopped in Cottonwood for a wine tasting at the Pillsbury Winery and a brief walk around the cute downtown. Our drive continued north through beautiful Sedona and scenic Oak Creek Canyon to the campground.  

Pet-friendly Under Canvas offers tents that accommodate solos to extended families. I loved the ease of camping with no need to set up or break down, plenty of space between tents, comfortable accommodations, ensuite bathrooms, an on-site restaurant, and entertainment. There were fire restrictions during our stay, so we could not use the wood burning fire stove in our tent, which was not an issue. It was chilly overnight, but the bedding made for a very comfortable night’s sleep.

Masks are required in the reception tent and while ordering at the restaurant. While social distancing outdoors was enabled, no masks were required. And while the camp is pet friendly, all pets must be on a leash and may not remain in the tents unattended.

In addition to my glamping weekend, I also visited The Breakers Palm Beach so I could experience the changes and new safety protocols to protect against COVID-19.  

This luxurious property oozes class and sophistication from its manicured entry drive that takes you past the Florentine fountain to its opulent lobby with Murano glass chandeliers and hand painted ceiling frescoes modeled after the Villa Medici in Rome.  

The front desk team offered a warm welcome with offer of still or sparkling water and then there was a lovely welcome gift of chocolates from Maggie Louise Confections in my oceanfront guestroom. I received the Virtuoso amenities of upgraded room, complimentary breakfast and $100 resort credit.  

Founded in late 1890s, The Breakers has a plethora of activities, shopping and spa services available. 

With 10 dining options, there were many, many choices. I chose and highly recommend the super fresh oysters on the half shell at Seafood Bar where I was mesmerized by the amazing bar/aquarium.

Echo, Flagler Steakhouse and Henry’s Palm Beach are off-site and can be reached by the complimentary resort shuttle.  

With a plethora of activities, shopping and spa services available, it would be easy to just enjoy the resort; however, the town of Palm Beach is worth a stroll. The county requires facial coverings be worn in public common areas and indoors. There is also a daily curfew in Palm Beach from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The resort also conforms to the face mask protocols required by the county and city.

The Breakers was founded in the late 1890s by Henry M. Flagler, an industrialist who started the trend of grand properties on the island. With unapologetic luxury and world-class service, it attracted the wealthy, U.S. presidents and European nobility.  

The Breakers Palm Beach is well suited for the traveler looking for a sophisticated ultra-luxury resort on the beach.

I enjoyed these two very different types of getaways, each with its own charm and appeal. For travelers looking for a very casual vacation, glamping is a fantastic way to see the National Parks and enjoy the great outdoors. For travelers looking for a sophisticated ultra-luxury resort on the beach, The Breakers is top-notch.

Luxury travel is surprisingly more inclusive than many realize, and the luxury traveler should not be boxed in by an outdated and limited definition. Luxury is diverse, fueled by unique offerings and possibilities, and most importantly, where lifelong memories are created through personalized travel experiences.

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