From Soaring Cloud Forest to Sun-Drenched Beach


To promote the luxury villa property rentals of LaCure, I continue to write a series of e-blasts to travel agents and potential clients directly. Destinations and experiences are tied into specific selling seasons. The short, evocative copy has to pair well with the gorgeous art. For this e-blast, we are selling the eco- and adventure travel charms of Costa Rica:

View two oceans at once from the top of a volcano. Hike rainforests ringing with howler monkey complaints, dancing with colorful morpho butterflies, opening to misty crater lakes. Choose your adventure – eco or pulse pounding – in this stunning biodiverse paradise.

Watch surfers carve perfect waves from your place on a perfect beach, a short walk to your majestic villa with its soaring spaces – the perfect way to experience the tropical warmth and bounty of Costa Rica. . . . See the e-blast here.

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Robert Redford and the Law of the Jungle


The trouble with trying to arrange a memorable vacation isn’t the lack of choice but too much of it. With so many options available on the Internet, it’s hard to know what offers the best experience. You might find yourself on a cookie-cutter tour and miss a destination’s hidden treasures.

Last year, I worked with the team at Frank Design Strategy in Calgary to help create a website for travel agent Natasha Rhodes. Her company, Rhodes Less Travelled, offers active and experiential vacations that enable clients to explore other cultures, get up close and personal with wildlife and immerse themselves in natural wonders, ranging from kayaking in the stillness of the High Arctic to exploring the lush jungles and wine lands of South Africa.

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Travel With a Human Touch


For three decades, LaCure has been a market leader in luxury villa rentals, providing an exclusive alternative to high-end vacation resorts. Over the years the market has become more crowded with competition, especially with the easy access to travel research and arrangements provided by the Internet.

LaCure recently relaunched its site. The copy I wrote emphasizes not only the company’s long experience and diverse portfolio but its human touch. While the Internet may boast unlimited  travel choices, it’s often hard to judge the difference between good deals and the bad.

LaCure vets all its properties according to rigorous standards developed over the decades, guaranteeing that there is no gravel among its gems. And its travel experts work with clients to find the property and program that best matches their needs.

Sounds like a good proposition for a target more motivated by quality, service and novelty than price.

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Coffee Mountain High in Jamaica


There’s coffee and then there’s coffee.  The world’s best cup may be Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, with its smooth rich flavor and lack of bitterness.

The Blue Mountains of Jamaica are so named for the azure haze that wreathes its peaks, which 2,256 meters above sea level. Covering the eastern parishes of St. Andrew, St. Thomas, Portland and St. Mary, the mountains boast the ideal conditions for coffee growing, with their cool mists, abundant rainfall, rich volcanic  soil offering excellent drainage and prolonged growing season.

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Four Ways to Experience Provence


I am writing series of weekly marketing e-blasts for LaCure, the luxury villa company, targeting different market segments. These would direct clients, repeat clients, travel agents, partners such as American Express, Andrew Harper and Home Away. The following is aimed at Andrew Harper agents, promoting Provence and its summer festivals to its client base.

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Catalan Mountain and Sea Cuisine

El_Celler_de_Can_Roca_serving_displayEl Món, a selection of five appetizers, served at the “world’s best restaurant,
El Celler de Can Roca.

Whether you love seafood or meat, or both, Catalonia is a destination for the world’s gourmands. Its culinary traditions are a mixture of influences – for example, paella from Valencia, or meat dishes from Provence – but always interpreted with a Catalan spin and served with the Mediterranean mania for the freshest  foods.

The dishes combine the best ingredients found in sea and mountains, as well as sweet and savoury flavours, for a style of cuisine called mar i muntanya. Typical ingredients include almonds, tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, rice, olives, olive oil, calamari, many other kinds of seafood and pork done in a variety of ways, since Catalonia is one of the main producers of swine products in Spain. Xoriço paprika salami, produced from the black Iberian Cerdo pig, is often used in cooking.

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Take the Heli-Skiing Cure


The following blog post, originally appearing on Lifecruiser.

I thought it would be a good way to cure my fear of heights.

A friend and I were skiing in Rockies of Alberta, challenging the slopes of Lake Louise and Sunshine. One night, after a couple of  shots in front of the roaring fire at our lodge in the town of Canmore, Hal said, “I think we should try heli-skiing.” . . .

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Villa Mas Mateu: Tilt at Windmills in True Style


So you want a vacation in Spain, in Catalonia. You want to be near the action of Costa Brava and to a town full of history and fine dining, like Girona. But you also want a secluded inland location, on its own forested estate, nestled amid olive groves, with views of the snowcapped Pyrenees. You want to immerse yourself in the ambience of a centuries-old private home but have all the amenities and comforts of a dazzling modern design.

A tall order? No, what you want is Villa Mas Mateu. . . . Read the full blog post for the LaCure magazine here.

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House of the Sun’s Forever Glide


As kids on bicycles we dream of downhill glides that go on forever. These fantasies become particularly intense as we struggle later to bike up a steep incline.

Haleakalā, the massive volcano that dominates the Hawaiian Island of Maui, forming more than 75 per cent of its landmass, may be the closest you can come to realizing this downhill dream. The tallest peak of Haleakalā, Pu‘u ‘Ula‘ula (Red Hill), rises 10,023 feet (3,055 meters) above sea level, looking down into a massive crater seven miles (11.25 km) across by two miles (3.2 km) wide and 2,600 feet (800 meters) deep.

In Hawaiian folklore, this crater is home to the grandmother of the demigod Maui. She helped her powerful grandson to capture the sun to slow its progress across the sky and lengthen the day. In fact, Haleakalā  means House of the Sun. . . .

Read the blog post I wrote for  LaCure, North America’s premier villa rental company.

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