Barge Lady, Magical Mexico and African Safaris - Bacall Associates Travel Edit Title

14 July 2016 - The latest members to join the carefully curated Ultra Villa collective bring European barges, Mexico, Africa and the Indian Ocean to discerning travellers looking for a handpicked holiday rental. Now with over 50 members, the covetable ‘little black book’ that is Ultra Villa covers all corners of the globe with an inspiring collection of villas, lodges, boats, islands, resorts, ski chalets, and very special boutique hotels.

For over 30 years it has been Ellen Sack’s goal as the Barge Lady of Barge Lady Cruises to book travellers on “the perfect barge cruise.” Found within the new Ultra Boat platform, the cruises carry 4-24 passengers that sail through European canals, primarily in France, Barge Lady Cruises focus on gourmet food and wine, while exploring the countryside and relaxing. A dedicated crew cooks and cleans, pilots the barge, and gives chauffeured tours of local vineyards, châteaux, historic churches, markets and charming Medieval villages. Guests indulge in the food and wine, go on daily excursions, leisureely bicycle, enjoy the scenery, mingle with other guests, and read and relax on the deck.

Ellen is known as the barge expert in the travel world and has received many accolades. She was featured in the book “1000 Places to See Before You Die,” and was called the “reigning expert on barge cruising” by Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor of the Today Show. She has been listed as Top Travel Specialist by Conde Nast Traveler magazine numerous times and is a featured expert on the Wendy Perrin WOW list.

Anyone Mexico-bound will be inspired by two new members; Cather wood Travels and Quinta Quebrada.

Cather wood Travels offers the most singular travel experience in Yucatan, the site of many important ancient Mayan cities. Expeditions are led by experts and local partners, but they also hold the keys to private estates, chic haciendas and extraordinary artistic projects and have unrivalled access to private haciendas and beach villas.

Quinta Quebrada, found within the new Ultra Boutique platform, is undoubtedly the most extraordinary house in San Miguel de Allende, a colonial-era city in Mexico’s central highlands. This imposing yet charming 16th-century house has 13,864 square feet of living space over three floors, including 11 bedrooms, with beautifully landscaped grounds covering almost one acre. Ideally located a short walk from El Jardín, the main plaza of this beautiful old city, Quinta Quebrada is a true colonial gem and a living museum.

The décor imaginatively mixes period colonial Mexican furniture and art with 17th and 18th-century furnishings and decorations from faraway destinations like India, Italy, and Spain. Outdoor space is as inspiring as the interiors, with fabulous courtyards, follies, gardens full of climbing roses, cascading bougainvillea, purple-flowering jacarandas, multiple terraces, and loggias, a 60′ x 40′ pool set between two gardens, a terrace and a loggia with dining and seating areas and a fireplace.

One of the most picturesque cities in Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is famous for its baroque Spanish architecture, charming cobblestone streets and vibrant cultural scene.

Henrietta Loyd started in the safari business over 25 years ago and her company, cazenove+loyd, is recognised as THE  expert on Africa and the Indian Ocean.

From a core business of family safaris has grown a network giving cazenove +loyd access to some of the most spectacular private houses and villas in South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania – often the special retreat of the lodge owner. Whether before or after a safari, taking a private house in South Africa’s Cape, or a beach villa on the coast of Kenya, or on islands like Zanzibar or Lamu just off the East African mainland, has always been a popular option. Cazenove+loyd also has access to private houses and beach villas in Mozambique, in the Seychelles, on Mauritius and in Morocco.

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