After living for 25 years in USA, where I went with my husband at the time to do our graduate studies, a divorce, and a big economic crisis, I decided to come back to my home country and restart life with something completing new from what I had been doing till then. Most of my adult life was dedicated to raising my three beautiful children Leonardo, Gabriel and Bianca who were all born in USA. Then in 2005, my husband and I divorced, so in 2009 I made the final decision and moved my family back to Brazil, my homeland, settling not in Rio de Janeiro, where I was from originally, but in the charming, southern island-city of Florianopolis in the state of Santa Catarina. I simply fell in love with the island, a cosmopolitan city of some 300,000 with two major universities, a Waldorf School and 42 surf beaches along the ocean side of the island.
I sensed that Florianopolis, though still a bit sleepy at the time, was about to be discovered by the travel industry, so, needing a way to earn a living, I decided to open a bed-and-breakfast in the house I was living in on the island’s inland lake, Lagoa da Conceicao. I have two big passions in my life: travel and meeting new people. I love to talk and find myself fascinated by people’s life stories, so I thought this would be a perfect way to combine those interests of mine. And that has turned out to be so very true.
I love getting to know my guests, to hear their life stories, their passions, the litany of their travels. Unlike with some hoteliers, my guest are not just people who come to have a bed to sleep and a breakfast to eat but rather people who are looking to experience a new culture, It is a great pleasure for me to be able to share with them the things I appreciate in the island, the gastronomy , the craft beers, wines, music, sports or just being able to be part of such great moments of their lives.. moment of re-sparking and re-calibrating so they can go back into their routine of life and work feeling rested and renewed. Janela de Marcia has also proven to be a wonderful experience for my children. My oldest son is attending college in the U.S., but my second-born, Gabriel, has been a big help to me and learned a lot from the experience. He is just heading off to university in southern Brazil now. My youngest, my angelic 12-year-old daughter, Bianca, has also been a big help to me and has learned a great deal from the experience.
The real star of the show, though, is Florianopolis itself. This city has so much to offer without the problems of the big cities. I am not much of a surfer, but I enjoy connecting my guests up with some of the excellent surf instructors here and the fabulous beaches, too. There are wonderful restaurants (seafood, of course, is a specialty), fun clubs, cafes. Some of the best moments, though, turn out to be relaxed conversations during the quiet mornings at Janela de Marcia, over coffee and our delicious Brazilian breakfasts. Perhaps my favorite aspect of running my business has been not just having guests but making friends, friends from all over the world.
“Mimosa Apartment” in Kotor Montenegro
The first time I came to Kotor was on a ship from Italy and when we sailed into Southern Europe’s deepest fjord Kotor Bay with the morning sun, I was sold. Flanked by towering mountains on either side, this 28-kilometre bay was more beautiful than we ever could have imagined. Having travelled extensively for many years I knew that I wanted to spend time here, again and again; so we swept aside our intention to explore this entire small country of 600 000 inhabitants and instead spent a week looking at property.
Within a week we found a seaside apartment that had the benefit of the sea on the doorstep as well as being within walking distance of one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities, Kotor. Mimosa, our lovely apartment, therefore has the best of both worlds: the advantage of swimming, fishing, boating, and water sports as well as the culture and leisure activities of a city.
Montenegro is a magic place, no wonder it was chosen as the setting James Bond film “Royal Casino”.
At the northern tip of the Garden Route, on the border of the Western and Eastern Cape, the R102 swings away from the N2 and zigzags down a mountain pass, passing a troop of baboons squatting, appropriately, just beyond the baboon warning sign. 10 Kilometres later, at sea level; a sign indicates the opportunity for a cup of tea. This is Nature’s Valley, the Garden Route’s best-kept secret.
A tiny enclave nestled within the Tsitsikamma forest, Nature’s Valley is a residential area located inside a South African National Park. A couple of kilometres in length and a few hundred metres in diameter, it is flanked by the Indian Ocean, a placid lagoon, and mountain slopes covered with indigenous forest, yet only 30 kilometres from bustling Plettenberg Bay.
What makes Nature’s Valley so special? For me it was carefree days spent hiking with now long-lost friends along the rugged coastline past rocky cliffs to reach the Salt River Mouth, a picturesque cove set against the verdant backdrop of mountain forest. There we camped for days, isolated from all noise of civilisation. Now, decades later, these views and beauty still take my breath away. This is still South Africa’s most beautiful location or, as a lot of my guests say, “paradise on earth”. For those who simply wish to soak up the timeless beauty of nature, you don’t need to venture far but whatever it is you wish to see or do in Nature’s Valley, be prepared for it to steal a piece of your heart.
Tremblant Living was founded in 2003 by Chris Nadeau and Isabelle Daigneault. “Our business and personal values are reflected throughout business, including; being responsible corporate citizens, respect for planet earth, honesty, trust and enjoying life while leaving a minimal trace! We are a husband/wife team who are passionate about the great outdoors and enjoy discovering the world and particularly its great cultural diversity”.
“We pride ourselves in providing a high level customer experience in amazing Tremblant experience to vacationers in Mount Tremblant. We offer vacation homes that are on or close to the resort, & equipped with everything that you could possibly need to make your stay incredible! Tremblant Living properties come with only the highest of standards. We are accredited by the CITQ (Quebec’s Tourism arm) and repeatedly deliver outstanding accommodations and amazing guest experiences! “
An owner of rental properties in Tremblant since 1999, Chris understands the needs and expectations of home owners as well as vacationers. Born in a small 500 person fishing village in Northeastern Quebec (near Labrador). He left a 17-year Canadian banking career in 2003 to concentrate on growing the ‘Tremblant Living’ brand that he started years earlier. He also enjoys discovering the world and practicing numerous sports including hockey, yoga & backcountry skiing.
Isabelle was born and raised in Quebec’s Eastern Townships and is an active volunteer on the national committee of the Alpine Club of Canada. Passionate about the outdoors and travelling, Isabelle is an active volunteer on the national committee of the Alpine Club of Canada. She enjoys skiing, climbing, mountaineering and yoga She also has a passion for film making – producing her first documentary film called “Chuquiragua” (2005) that was featured a number of film festivals.
My name is Jennie and I live in one of the least densely populated areas of Italy. Our guesthouse is located in the Maura Valley at the edge of the Italian Alps in Piedmont.
I used to be a manager in a small textile company with my own office in Edinburgh and I traveled worldwide visiting clients and attending meetings. Unfortunately, during this time I fell ill with a cancer but at the time I thought I was just too stressed and suffered from jet lag.
So I decided to come here to Pret Canosio to be close to my parents and open a bed and breakfast. My parents had a house located in the village and I used to go trekking in the Maira valley with my father. So I am very familiar with all the hiking trails and sites in this area. It was very comforting to see my father looking out the window and smile at me as I went hiking through the Maira Valley. At that time the b/b was very small so we bought another ruined house and renovated that one too, creating a small, cozy restaurant. Little by little we purchased other abandoned buildings within the village and began renovating every house ourselves we purchased all with our own savings. It was a big effort, but this area attracts our passion and holds us here.
This area is relatively undeveloped compared to the rest of Italy. We are located in the western part of the Cottian Alpes along the border of France and Italy. The main activies in this area are hiking and skiing.
It is the people who come and stay really give back to us , so our passion has kept developing!
Thank you for this opportunity! Jennie
Click link for availability and rates for Borgo Santa Maria in Valle
My wife and I have been working in marketing and tourism for all of our lives in Padua, where we had a base for many years. To get out of the hustle and bustle, we decided moving to Tuscany was ideal for us. Because we had friends in the area, we knew the region quite well from past visits and knew we wanted some place central and reasonably close to Highway A1.
We did not know the medieval village of Laterina before we moved here, but we knew Arezzo quite well, which is only about 9 miles away. The area’s central location, proximity to main art cities and preserved culture made our decision to locate here much easier.
Finding the house we wanted was not an easy task and changing it into a charming and pleasant holiday home proved even more difficult. However, with hard work and dedication, we succeeded. In fact, we love our location so much, we live here year-round!
Although sometimes tiring, our work is very rewarding. We love it, thanks to the many people we’ve met during the years. Whether it’s those who kept coming back, kept in touch or asked for our advice when choosing another area, our guests are what makes what we do special.
We like to say that our vacation home is “Managed by the owner” and “By professionals,” knowing very well the meaning of both sentences. It is very difficult to do what we are doing without professionalism, but owning the property helps us to put more love in what we do.
– Giorgio Marcato
Click here to contact Borgo Santa Maria in Valle. You may also click each picture below to get a closer look at the property.
My name is Colin and my wife, Emi, and I are are pleased to share our home with you! First, here is a little about ourselves…
Between Emi and I, we have a combined 55 years of experience in the international Real Estate business. Emi is Filipina and ran a Real Estate business in Kuwait, and afterwards, managed a beauty salon and spa. I worked for HALLIBURTON and was responsible for all construction projects and Real Estate for the Middle East and Africa.
Five years ago, Emi and I were married in the Philippines. Because of Tagaytay’s excellent climate, we came here for our honeymoon. We found the land for our home by happy accident and decided to buy it. Since purchasing, it has blossomed into a beautiful, 3,500 sq. meter home with a pool, mini golf course and lots of fruit trees.
When it came time to retire, I had to decide between living in Asia or England. I am originally from the UK, but since I had spent the last 35 years working overseas, the thought of retiring in Asia was very attractive go me. Since Emi had a large family in the Philippines (5 children and 7 grandchildren) that was the obvious choice. Now, here we are!
One thing that makes our home unique is its location away from the ‘touristy’ Tagaytay. We are located in a very quiet and clean place which is not a sub division, but along side the local people – The way we like it. At our property, you’ll get to experience Tagaytay as a traveler, but live in the comfort of a peaceful home. Through talking amongst other ex-pats, we have learned some of the area’s best places to visit. For instance, we are located only 90 minutes from Makati, which is perfect for when we need it!
If you like this home or if you will be in Tagaytay soon, you may be interested to know we recently formed the company, EMR Real Estate and Property Services, here in Tagaytay. We will be developing other land and will open a new Salon and Spa next month.
Hope to see you sometime in Tagaytay!
Colin & Emi Richards
Years ago, while vacationing in Clearwater Beach, Florida, we bought this property for its coastal location: Merely a 1-2 minute stroll to the Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater Beach! At the time, we owned a Bed and Breakfast in Pennsylvania, which became Travelers Magazine’s “INN of the Month” in June, 1998. After remodeling in 2002, we thought of doing another Bed and Breakfast at “Sea Shells.” It grew from an, “Ugly duckling to the beauty of today,” but we were unable to get the proper licensing to continue.
As years went by, our grandchildren went to college, graduated, and now have their own full-time careers, thus, little vacation time. So, we decided to share our family vacation home and it has become a very successful “weekly-monthly” rental and vacation choice for many. Visitors welcome!
Owners: Dick Groff and Beverly B. Allemann
Click here to contact.
At the age of 20, I was already saving my money with the aim of one day realizing a gite de charm (vacation home). For years, I had been fascinated by architecture, renovation, and interior design. After my first experience managing a small family gite near Uzes, I decided during Christmas 2006 to proceed to the next stage with a friend.
Soon, we began searching for a large property where I could develop several high-end gites. Over the next 3 years, we carefully inspected multiple properties based on our criteria that the properties for sale must be located in the eastern half of Languedoc-Roussillon. We visited more than 60 properties! Above all, we wanted an absolutely quiet place, panoramic view, ancient stone buildings with a lot of charm, and a central location with regard to the most famous landscapes and places of interest of the South of France including the Camargue, the National park of Cevennes, historic cities of Provence, and Languedoc.
We wanted to make between 5 and 8 large gites for 2 persons each so we looked for a property which had the potential. At least 500 livable sq. meters were needed, and especially every accommodation had to provide a private protected terrace or a garden. The state of the buildings had no importance because we were ready to make a complete renovation. We sometimes visited ruins where a lot of imagination was needed to conceive our project. There were also some other criteria which were important for us, like the distance from the shops, a good bakery nearby, internet ADSL, and of course, we had to feel a real coup de coeur for the place. Then, it happened.
Summer of 2010: we found a converted 9th century religious priory , surrounded by the vineyards of an 18th century wine estate. The Domaine de Monteils looks like a small hamlet with several separated houses, nested in the middle of a Mediterranean park of 5 hectares. During our first visit, we fell in love at once with the place and I believe that we would have bought this little paradise even if it had been necessary to modify our project. Then we realized that all our criteria of search were gathered – incredible!
The fateful day finally arrived and we were given the keys in September of last year. We were faced with renewing 1 800 sq. meters of buildings. The thought was very frightening, especially when you don’t work in the building industry. We decided to renew only a part of it and do the rest later. Nevertheless, the challenge was very impressive and almost impracticable because we had to build the 4 first gites in only 6 months in order to welcome our first visitors in July, 2011. Even though all the members of our families helped us as well as some people from the village, I still wonder how we did it! Not only we were very warmed welcomed in this village of Carnas, but many inhabitants liked our project and there were volunteers to lend a helping hand. First, we worked with an architect to make the plans. We wanted our gites to be very atypical in a design still. The renovation work began in February. It was necessary to manage a very strict schedule for the craftsmen who came to make the work that we could not do ourselves: Masonry, roofing, plumbing and electricity. Moreover, these craftsmen also kindly proposed to help us (free of charge) with the final touches after the initial work was finished.
Fortunately, we already knew how to make a stone floor, wooden parquet, paint, and to make any sort of do-it-yourself projects, which helped us a lot. The wooden terraces appeared toward the end of the project, just in time to settle spas. The swimming pool was fitted with a large brand new terrace. The park, which had become the real jungle, was transformed into an attractive plant labyrinth. The renovation work ended only 3 weeks before the opening, and the rooms were still empty. We worked night and day to finish everything in time: settle kitchens, install furniture, buy all the dishes, the linen. Above all, we wanted to do what pleased us most: hang on our paintings and place our antique or design objects of decoration in accordance with every gite. Saturday, July 02, 2011 at 8 am the morning we were still in a hurry for the last purchases and making sure there were flowers on tables and a bottle of champagne in every refrigerator. Phew everything was finally ready!
A surreal, quiet atmosphere reigned in the last minutes while we waited for our first visitors. We felt like we were not able to be as much of perfectionists as we would have wanted, but we were pleased to welcome visitors from all horizons as if they were invited members of our family. After all, they were as delighted as we were to spend a holiday in the sunny south of France!
The gallery below has additional pictures of this gorgeous property in South France. Click on pictures to enlarge.
You can also visit the website for gite Languedoc provence.