Monthly Travel Inspiration and Insider Resources from Departure Lounge Travel
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Rocky Mountaineer

Departure Lounge Talks With Rocky Mountaineer

Departure Lounge Founder, Keith Waldon, invites to you join a Zoom chat Tuesday, March 2nd, with Danny Becker from Rocky Mountaineer, the luxury train travel company.

Danny will share with us the details of Rocky Mountaineer's new U.S. routes between Denver and Moab, Utah, featuring Arches National Park and other amazing sites. He'll also update us on the company's Canadian routes and status. Attendees will receive a special savings opportunity available for a short time after the event.

Please join us for this virtual event on Tuesday March 2nd at 6:30 p.m. Central (7:30 Eastern, 5:30 Mountain, 4:30 Pacific)

Zoom link below to join the virtual event on March 2nd:

During this Zoom chat, we will not be able to see you via video. But you’ll be able to see our special guests and their presentations. If you have questions for any of these three companies, please email them to [email protected].

Los Cabos Pedregal

Bliss Begins at Los Cabos Pedregal

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, formerly known as the Resort at Pedregal, is the ultimate in luxury Los Cabos resorts. The name is new. The experience remains unforgettable.

Carved into the majestic cliffs at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula, the journey begins with a trip through the unforgettable Dos Mares tunnel—a portal that transports you to a secluded beachfront oasis of luxury and sophistication while keeping you connected to this culturally vibrant region.

Travel + Leisure readers have voted this the best hotel in Mexico; each of its guest rooms features its own private plunge pool, a fireplace, an outdoor terrace, and a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy a relaxing day in the award-winning Waldorf Astoria Spa and a fantastic meal at one of four restaurants: Don Manuel's, El Farallon, The Beach Club, or Crudo. Venture out with a curated collection of natural activities that reveal the magic of Baja's diverse landscape, wildlife, and people.

At Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, there's always something new to discover, somewhere unspoiled to explore. Here, your cares wash away. You will relish every minute because when you are fully present, every moment is authentic. You are free to revel in the most vital connections of all—the bonds you share with the land, the sea, and the ones you love. That's how you Live Unforgettable.

Sun Kissed Love

The sweeping Ocean Vistas, the sapphire-blue water, warm Mexican sunshine have a way of creating an environment of romance. To spark your passions, book the Sun-Kissed Package with a Departure Lounge advisor — complete with a full range of enchanting services for two.

Package Inclusions:

  • 3 Night Min
  • One Romantic dinner for two. Location options: Don Manuel's, or El Farallon Restaurants
  • One Rose Petal Turn Down
  • Round trip airport transfers to and from San Jose del Cabo Airport (SJD), including a personal greeting by our airport host and escort to your private car
  • (1 Luxury Vehicle for up to 5 people)
  • Full breakfast for two each morning in our signature restaurant Don Manuel's, two breakfasts per bedroom
  • 20% Off Spa treatments

See why we love it!

Conrad Punta de Mita

Fall in Love All Over Again at Conrad Punta de Mita

According to Forbes magazine, Punta de Mita is the ultimate luxury travel destination. It has attracted high-profile and celebrity visitors such as Demi Moore, the Kardashian clan, and luxe-lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow.

Punta de Mita, a 1,500-acre private peninsula, is located on Mexico's Pacific coast. With 320 sunny days a year and a laid-back atmosphere, Punta de Mita is a superb romantic getaway. The stunning views, luxurious tropical palm trees, the turquoise color ocean offers the perfect combination of elements to transport you and your partner on an unforgettable romantic journey. Together you will renew, recharge, and reconnect.

The choices of activities a couple can do are endless. They range from sailing, diving, whale watching, golfing to visiting charming nearby towns such as Sayulita, San Pancho, or Puerto Vallarta. Experience a morning or evening stroll along the two-mile-long beach, surrounded by tall palm trees and listening to the sound of the waves.

Conrad Punta de Mita

Enjoy a relaxing spa day by choosing from a variety of treatments inspired by the traditional Huichol culture. After that, you can delight in various exclusive delectable dining options and innovative drinks from seven unique restaurants and bars.

The customized non-intrusive service care at the Conrad Punta de Mita will make your ideal romantic getaway unforgettable.

Book your ultimate romantic getaway with a Departure Lounge Advisor and receive:

  • A bottle of champagne.
  • House curated chocolate truffles in your room.
  • $100 USD food & beverages credit to use in any of our restaurants or in-room dining.
  • 20% off of any SPA service to relax with your loved one.
  • Three-course Curated Dinner

Subject to availability. Any discount earned is non-transferable and must be consumed during the same stay in which it was earned. Valid from February 1st to February 28th, 2021. Blackout dates or cancellation restrictions may apply. This offer may not be combined with other select promotions, offers, or discounts and is not valid for existing reservations or groups.

Book your romantic adventure today!


Nurtured by Nature at Ted Turners, Vermejo

When Ted Turner purchased Vermejo in 1996, his goal was to restore and preserve the native ecosystems that support our planet's diversity of life. A generation later, Ted Turner Reserves, Vermejo is over 550,000 acres of majestic wilderness located in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, beckoning travelers to immerse themselves in the rejuvenating power of nature rewilded.

Vermejo is no doubt a magical place to spend your perfect Winter getaway. Bringing dazzling crystalline displays of nature as the winter grasses and forests are coated in ice overnight and sparkle in the morning sun. Majestic eagles and hawks soar overhead and come sun or snow, and the landscape beckons us outdoors. Guests experience a rejuvenating "digital detox, nature retox" with yoga and fitness classes, included activities and immersive nature experiences. Then get cozy in the lodge with a warm mug of cider or sink into the luxury of Casa Grande with a good book by the fire.


With snow capped alpine tundra, 19 fishable lakes, and over 550,000 stunning acres of picturesque lands, Vermejo is the jewel of northern New Mexico. Its diverse landscape is home to various wildlife, including elk, bison, black bears, and mountain lions. Whether riding horseback through open fields, exploring turn-of-the-century charcoal kilns, or fly fishing for Rio Grande cutthroat trout, Vermejo has something for everyone.

Reserve your Winter getaway with Departure Lounge and receive complimentary upgrades and additional perks. Stay for at least 3 nights and enjoy privately guided tours and activities for the length of your stay. Book by February 28, 2021. See why we love it!

Ready to explore the wild?


These Vacation Rental Ideas Might be the Best Option for your Next Getaway

When it comes to warm-weather destinations, the all-inclusive beach resort is a crowd favorite for a reason. They’re plentiful, easy to book, and offer guests a range of activities that appeal to the whole family. Yet, recent trends point to travelers wanting more time spent away from home, more privacy, and overall, a greater ability to customize their travel experience—a vacation rental checks all those boxes. Check out this shortlist of rental properties as inspiration for your warm-weather getaway.


New Mexico, Ladder

Situated on 245 square miles of New Mexico wilderness, Ladder, a Ted Turner Reserve, is an ideal destination for travelers looking for an authentic ranch experience. Bunk in the four-bedroom ranch house and indulge in menus curated by a private chef and brisk desert evenings in front of a roaring stone fireplace. With many wildlife roaming the grasslands and forests surrounding the ranch, it’s only natural that many activities available to guests are outdoor-oriented. Horseback riding, photography tours, and safaris that focus on the ranch’s conservation efforts are what make this rental property genuinely unique.


Belize, Royal Belize

Set on a seven-and-a-half-acre cay studded with palm trees, Royal Belize is a tropical paradise made for pod travel. Accommodations include three villas and a bunkhouse, set up for exclusive use for a group of 10 to 16 people. Renowned for its snorkeling and incredible barrier reef, this property is an ideal basecamp to explore further all that Belize has to offer. Included in the amenities are a private chef, unlimited beach toys, and Wi-Fi. Adventures outside the property provided for guests range from guided reef snorkeling to sunset cruises served up with champagne.


St. Martin, Casa de la Playa

A stunning example of where to take pod travel in the Caribbean to the next level, the cheekily named Casa de la Playa is a private five-bedroom paradise on the island of St. Martin. Unsurprisingly, there is enormous emphasis on indoor-outdoor living. A sliding glass wall can allow island breezes to drift through the common room. Take a dip in the infinity pool or sip a cocktail on the rooftop terrace. While there are lots to see and do on the island—beaches, shopping and watersports top the list—with this rental as your home base, you won't want to leave! Travel Update: St. Martin has temporarily closed its borders. We'll continue to monitor the island's travel mandates. 

As your travel advisor, we hope that these vacation homes have inspired you to give private rentals a try on your next vacation!

It's All In The Details

How to Best Book a Vacation Rental

In comparison to a hotel stay, booking a private residence can seem daunting. Even considering the vast differences between large hotel franchises and boutique properties, there seem to be few common denominators between them and a rental property. However, with your travel advisor by your side, it's not a process you have to navigate alone. When it comes to increased privacy, accessibility, and amenities, you'll quickly discover that many private rentals can smoothly go toe-to-toe with the crowd's favorite resort. 

Easy as a Hotel

Contrary to popular belief, rental properties can be just as easy to book as a hotel. Having a travel advisor by your side is key to making the process as low-stress as possible. Just as choosing the perfect hotel, we have local partners to help us find the property that best suits your needs, aid in crafting itineraries around your desired schedule, and be a point of contact throughout your stay. 

While resorts typically have a "one size fits all" approach to attracting guests, choosing a private residence to rent can be a highly customizable, and honestly highly enjoyable experience. You can tell us how much space you need, a location, a list of must-have amenities, and even a specific décor, and working with our team on the ground, we can come up with a list of possibilities for you to choose. During the age of COVID, we can also limit your search to properties that only abide by the highest cleanliness standards.


With the recent trend towards more extended vacations, renting a private residence might be better for your wallet in the long run. While costs of rentals and hotel rooms always depend on location, availability, season, amenities, etc., dollar for dollar, a vacation rental is usually more affordable. With greater flexibility to choose the length of your stay, location, and amenities, you typically get what you pay for—in the best way possible.

Resorts offer guests a full buffet of amenities to cover all their bases, but you can pick and choose precisely what will be available with a private residence. If you’re an avid cook, having access to a full kitchen and local shopping is another way to keep costs down. With 2020 popularizing pod travel, rental properties can be a more affordable option for groups, making your vacation dreams a reality without breaking the bank.

Renting 101

First-time renters often share the same concern—how does one best prepare for a stay in a private residence? The single best thing you can do to prepare is to ask questions. Those questions will, of course, vary from destination to destination and booking to booking, but we compiled a shortlist below to get you started: 

  • What is the transportation situation? Will I need a car? 
  • Is there parking, and if so, how much is it? 
  • Is there a grocery store nearby? 
  • Is it noisy? 
  • Are there reliable instructions for the use of amenities?  
  • Do the neighbors know the home is being rented?  
  • Who do I contact if something breaks?  
  • Is there anything on the property I can’t use?  
  • What is the property’s COVID policy, and what does the cleaning fee cover? 
  • Will the owners be visiting during my stay? 
  • Is there staff on the property? If so, what are their duties, and how do they expect to be tipped? 
  • Does the owner require a deposit? 

While this list alone may seem daunting, it’s important to remember that the more information you know about a rental property upfront, the less likely you’ll be in for any unpleasant surprises later on.  As your travel advisor, it’s our job to work with our local partners and owners to nail down the details for you.

Private residences are a way of exploring a new (or much beloved) destination while feeling a little bit less like a tourist.  

Travel Advisors 101

How We Stay Educated During Uncertain Times 

Since around this time in 2020, travel advisors have made it their MO to stay updated on the latest trends, regulations, and changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. As situations worldwide develop month to month and even day to day, we recognize the importance of staying educated to keep you safe when you decide to leave home. 

From attending virtual seminars and discussions with our colleagues to utilizing social media, we consistently strive to answer any question you have concerning travel in 2021 and beyond. This past year has been a learning curve for the industry, but we take pride in how we have managed the situation. Keeping that spirit of travel alive is mostly thanks to clients like you. Your enthusiasm to explore the world, patience and feedback on the types of experiences you’re looking for has been paramount.

In addition to the efforts already mentioned, press releases from the CDC have been one of the more reliable indicators to predict just how travel preferences will change on an immediate basis. For example, on January 12th, the CDC released a statement announcing that a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours will be required for all passengers entering the United States, regardless of destination, and went into effect on January 26th. 

While this is not an unfamiliar requirement to enter other countries for those who have been, or plan to, travel internationally, this development will require additional planning when considering travel outside the United States. As a result of this announcement, we travel advisors expect to see clients' further consideration in choosing destinations that have the appropriate testing facilities and an uptick in domestic travel to avoid this new regulation altogether.

It’s navigating situations like these where your travel advisor is your greatest ally. Whether you’re planning a trip for this month or years down the lane, rest assured we have the know-how to keep your next vacation low-stress and safe.  

VIP Offers

Departure Lounge VIP Offers

For the current VIP special travel values and insider access options, click below.