Abaco was a very different trip than we have taken in the past. My college buddies and I usually go to a place that is closer to a city ... something that offers golf and some nightlife.
Abaco is very quiet; however, the change of pace was very well received. The golf course was voted the best course we have played as a group (this was our 15th year of doing this trip, and we have played some pretty nice courses). The villa was much better than any place we have stayed before. The food was excellent. Amanda did a great job making us feel welcome. We spent a day fishing, which was something different for us, and very relaxing. I asked the guys what they thought of the overall Inspirato experience, and each one of them replied that this was our best trip yet!
Tuscany was beyond our expectations. The villa was absolutely spectacular. The villa is 1,000 years old; however, it had everything that we needed. The grounds were really cool ... we were basically at the top of a mountain with all sorts of trails. All of our guests in Tuscany said that "we should have spent more time at the villa." However, the day trips were fabulous. Just driving around Tuscany feels like you are not living in the real world. The views look almost fake.
Pisa and Lucca are really cool old cities. San Gimignano is one of the most beautiful small towns I have ever seen. My favorite day was the day we spent at a winery in Chianti. The tour of the winery was fantastic (much better than the tour I took in Napa earlier in the year – not an Inspirato trip). The wine tasting was a blast – 15 of us gathered around a table talking about which wines we liked the best. Then we had the best lunch I have ever had. (I am not exaggerating!)
Florence is a spectacular city, but it is extremely crowded. I prefer the smaller, quainter cities, but all of the women on the trip loved the shopping in Florence!
Simona did an absolutely amazing job with scheduling the week. The day trips were perfect. The restaurants were literally some of the best restaurants I have ever been to. At many of the restaurants, there were no menus – we eat whatever the chef was serving. That made for such a unique experience, and no one was disappointed – the food was truly amazing. My kids can be picky eaters, and they all said that it was the best food they have ever eaten (they even like wild boar and wild rabbit sauce on their pasta!). Simona also set us up with two drivers for the entire vacation and they did a great job of getting us around and giving us some great pointers on where to go. They had a huge positive impact on the trip.
I don't think we have ever been on a vacation where we had so much to do, yet never felt hurried. I also don't think we have ever had a vacation where everything went so smoothly ... especially with 15 people in the group. There was a fantastic combination of sight-seeing, relaxing, indulging in really good food and wine, and really spending some quality time with family and friends (all of the grandparents cried because it was such a special opportunity for them to spend time with their grandkids on a European vacation). Our friends that we brought with us were completely blown away; although they have travelled quite a bit, they said they had never stayed in a place like the villa we stayed in, and they had never eaten so well on a vacation.
As my wife said on the way home, "I don't think we could ever take a vacation again that is not affiliated with Inspirato! We could not find these types of accommodations on our own. And more importantly, the concierge makes the experience ten times better." Both trips were PERFECT!
The Mulvey Family are members of Inspirato.