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.

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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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.

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.