If you know me you know I am all about the smaller, boutique properties. And that is for many reasons – but lately even more so now that our new reality includes the oh-so-familiar term social distancing. At this point in time, I think more of us are looking for that more personal, unique property with elbow room as opposed to staying at a resort with hundreds of other travelers. One collection that really caught my attention is The Mint Collection which offers three properties – one in Spain and two in Chile.
So naturally I invited Julie Cardamone, the Founder of The Mint Collection to join me in a video chat to introduce you all to these amazing accommodations and she graciously accepted my invite and sat down with me to share all there is to love about these exclusive properties.
So, lets waste no time! May I present you with this marvelous peek into her unique, charming and oh so inviting collection!
Company Background: After being in leisure travel for six years and falling in love with the industry - Julie started The Mint Collection in 2018. Her idea with this collection was to solely focus on those fabulous, independently owned boutique properties – that as she so poetically says “have a true heart and soul behind them” and that “there’s a real purpose for these lovely little gems that are so inviting” and because of this she wants to share them with the US and Canada.
Properties: As noted in the introduction there are three properties in the collection. Read on to choose where you want to stay at on your next adventure!
Now – since this is an exclusive-use villa - this is without a doubt - a blank canvas that can be turned into accommodations for any type of getaway you can think of! How about a “We can travel again!” celebratory trip with a group of friends. A multi-generational family reunion to spend time in each other’s company instead of on Zoom. A corporate retreat to regroup after working from home most of twenty twenty. A destination wedding that dreams are made of. Or whatever else you may have in mind. And while you are staying there, I can arrange – through Julie – anything you want to make it even more special – from wine-tasting to a yoga instructor to having a chef there a few times or the entire stay - and more.
Eventually Sylvia’s father - Sylvia is the current owner - bought it and by this point – as you can imagine - it was extremely dilapidated. Her father actually bought it more so for the land as he liked to hunt. However, he fell in love with the home and decided to bring it back to its glory. So, he started renovations – but after the first floor was finished - the ceiling collapsed on the second floor - so they had to start all over. Unfortunately, her father passed and never got to see the finished product, but Sylvia took it over and finished what was started.
While you are here you are not only enjoying the expansive country views and nature that surround you - you’re also enjoying the history of the house itself. It is filled with stories behind every little nook and cranny and features a lot of the owner’s – Sylvia – artwork. And while there is a book provided in which you can read through all of villa’s history – Sylvia is there to greet you and is more than happy to give you a tour and relay its past.
On the grounds there is a playground in the back yard for the children – or the young at heart. And for the grownups there is a fabulous spa that also houses an indoor pool. There is also a large outdoor pool and tennis courts as well. The grounds are large and well spread out – which means even if you are there with extended family – you can still find your own space and have alone time too.
The winery’s restaurant - Doña Paula – is the actual building where Doña Paula famously hid 120 soldiers that were seeking refuge during the war for Chile’s independence. During the tour of the winery, you will get to see just where they were hidden by her. A great example of travel as a living classroom – this time a history lesson!
Across the way you also have a museum that is made up of artifacts that the owner had collected throughout his entire life. There are over 3000 pieces housed here and as you walk through; you get a really great overview of both the history of Chile and its different cultures. That being said this honestly makes Casa Real a perfect choice for either the front or the back end of the trip to Chile. So, if you are one of my peeps who wants to brush up on the history of the country – to learn a bit more about it before you continue on to the other Chilean cities - we can tack it on at the front end! Either way it’s a marvelous addition!
And if none of that is your speed - there are hot springs to relax in – and depending whether you feel like hiking to the ones in the mountain or not – you can enjoy them up there or they also pipe down the hot water from those springs into pools closer to the property. They also have an amazing spa where they make their own oils out of berries that you can find right there in the park.
Updated COVID-19 Information As of this writing the CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to Spain and Chile.
For the CDC’s most up to date information on COVID-19 click here. And for the most up to date COVID protocols in Spain click here and in Chile click here.
I don’t know about you – but I plan to make at least one of these picturesque boutique properties a must do on my list of travel plans. If you feel the same – contact me now so we can start curating the perfect adventure for you!
For more details on the fabulous Mint Collection, their price points and more - contact your Travel Guru! Oh, and if you need a payment plan to fund your travel adventure – we got those too!
During the shutdown of Covid19, Loulu Lima began interviewing many tourism boards, destination management companies and suppliers whom BHGH works with in the curation of your itineraries.
Here you will find the videos as well as written summary of each. Summaries are transcribed by Carole A. Peck.
Video post production managed by MotionDash.Media
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