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  • Villa Luz is a stunning 5 bedroom hilltop villa with sweeping views of Ferrudura Bay as well as the Atlantic Ocean.  Graceful contemporary architecture comprised of a restrained palette of natural local materials provides a backdrop to the phenomenal natural setting.  

    Each suite has a private balcony facing the ocean.  The suites are entered via a courtyard garden replete with gurgling fountains and gentle waterfalls. The heart of the home is a 2 level 1,700 sq ft. living, dinning and entertaining area. Two living areas and a bar also share the modern space with a 14 seat home-theatre on the mezzanine. Sliding glass doors allow for the living area to be completely opened up to the garden, pool and sunsets providing a superlative and relaxing relationship with the natural surroundings.

    On the mezzanine there is a 14 seat home-theater which has a large flat screen TV with DVD player and surround sound to create an outstanding home cinema experience.

    The swimming pool is 14 meters X 4 meters with 8 sun beds surrounded by a sandstone tiled patio, accented with mini palm trees.  The outside area has a shaded gazebo which contains an open barbecue and table ideal for pool side lunches.

    Includes cook and full-time assistance of an English speaking concierge.

    For more information:  Villa Luz

    For reservations contact:  Jill Siegel

     


    For the past 7 years I have been blessed with being one of “Conde Nast Traveler Magazine’s Top Travel Specialists.”  I was chosen by Wendy Perrin and the editors of the magazine out of thousands of specialists.  Wendy has said that it is harder to get on the list, then it is to get into Harvard, and even harder to stay on the list.  I have to thank my many clients who have written reviews after returning from their trips.   Here are a few of my favorites!

    TRAVELERS SAY

    Our family of five recently returned from an incredible trip to Brazil that was planned perfectly by Jill and her team. Our family of five, which includes three daughters (17, 15 and 9) were looking for a mix of cosmopolitan Rio, natural beauty and some relaxing sun and sand. Jill planned a magnificent trip that began and ended in Rio, detoured to Iguazu Falls and then took us to beautiful Trancoso. Every accommodation, transfer, and detail was handled seamlessly and professionally. I was able to totally relax knowing that Jill had our family in excellent hands. Our guide in Rio, Valeria, was just perfect, as was the driver. Anyone traveling to Brazil would be well served using Jill Siegel. We really had a trip of a lifetime!

    MJEROME

    April 24, 2013

    TRAVELERS SAY

    A friend and I decided to attend Carnival this February (2013) and opted to expand the trip to see some of the other highlights of Brazil. I’ve been underwhelmed using “off-the-web” travel services in the past when traveling to South America so decided to check Conde Nast Traveler. The recommendation to utilize Jill Siegel paid off. We had a great trip, enjoying a great Carnival experience, a visit to the Southern Pantanal, a stay in Amazonia and a return to Rio to experience the highlights of that great city when not dominated by Carnival. We were very satisfied with all aspects of the trip planning and attention to detail and would definitely recommend her to others planning to travel to Brazil!

    BP MEIER

    March 5, 2013

    TRAVELERS SAY

    I called Jill to arrange a two week trip for my wife and myself and two friends. My initial impression was fantastic. Her in depth knowledge of Brazil inspired confidence, and the manner in which she responded to inquiries and very refreshing. She was very responsive to our interests, especially Brazilian music, and together we planned a detailed itinerary consisting of Rio, Buzios , Salvador and Trancoso. The service was very personalized and friendly and involved her making personal introductions to musicians in Rio. Our guides in Rio and Salvador were excellent. In particular our guide in Rio , Leticia Levy was simply the best guide we have had in all out travels. All the travelling arrangements were seamless. The hotel and restaurant suggestions were all excellent. Her superlative level of service continued throughout our trip as she responded to almost daily inquiries. We cannot recommend Jill highly enough!

    KEN SNIDER

    November 7, 2012

    TRAVELERS SAY

    My boyfriend and I have recently returned from a wonderful 2 week South American trip arranged by Jill Siegel. Despite a relatively complex itinerary involving the Amazon jungle, beaches of Rio and the wilderness of the Pantanal, she was able to give us a seamless itinerary. We always had English speaking guides, even in places where this appeared pretty rare. Special mention should be made of Leticia, the private guide that Jill arranged for our 3 days in Rio–it was more like travelling with a friend of the family than having a hired guide. Although Conde Nast lists Jill as a Brazil expert, she didn’t miss a beat when we wanted to tack on several days in Peru. Different ground operator, same first class service. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Jill to anyone thinking of traveling to Brazil.

    WHITNEY HOPPER

    September 24, 2012

    TRAVELERS SAY

    We contacted Jill with a request for a vacation that would be very focused on the nature of the Amazon forest. She came back with a recommendation for a river cruise up the Rio Negro, which was a great match to our request. We had a terrific trip; all arrangements were well handled, and when bad weather threatened our departure, Jill was working with us on a back-up plan (fortunately unneeded, but reassuring to know there was one). We would love to work with Jill again for a trip to Brazil. We had a very special experience there.

    CRAIG

    August 25, 2012

    TRAVELERS SAY

    We just returned from the trip of a lifetime, arranged by Jill for my husband and me, along with my best childhood friend and her husband. We spent two fabulous weeks, visiting Rio, Iguazu Falls, Salvador da Bahia and Trancoso (a piece of heaven on earth). Jill worked closely with us to determine what our priorities were and what we wanted to see and do. Once we arrived, everything was so seamless. We were met by fabulous guides each step of the way, who were both charming and knowledgeable. Our accommodations were top notch and we truly enjoyed every minute. Every segment of our trip was special, thanks to Jill’s expertise. I am so grateful that I was able to find Jill via Wendy’s list. Though I have used Wendy’s recommendations before for renting villas many places, this is the first time I have contacted a specialist. If Jill is representative of the quality of Wendy’s contacts, I would not hesitate again. And, I highly recommend Jill without reservation for anyone planning to visit Brazil.

    CHERYL ELLIS

    April 5, 2012

    TRAVELERS SAY

    My wife and I recently returned from a wonderful South America cruise on Regent Seven Seas Mariner that dropped us off in Rio just after Carnival. We were traveling with another couple and Jill worked closely with us to plan our hotel in Leblon (with an incredible ocean view on Ipanema) and reserved a private guide for four memorable days of touring Rio de Janeiro! Our guide was simply amazing and provided us with a complete overview of life in Rio (as well as Brazil in general) and was very knowledgeable and experienced. She was also a great human being and fun traveling companion. Our driver was exceptionally skilled, a requirement to handle the challenges on navigating through snarled traffic to get us to our destinations on time. We highly recommend Jill and when we decide to plan our next trip to Brazil (the Amazon?), we will call her first.

    ERIC BODEN

    March 13, 2012

    TRAVELERS SAY

    OMG! Jill “Just Ask Me” Siegel is the best! We just returned from a fabulous 2 weeks in Brazil and because of Jill “I’ll take care of it” Siegel the trip was perfect. Despite their best efforts, our group of six prima donnas had no complaints! Managing expired visas, late arrivals and last minute extra guests, Jill handled it all. She knows her territory and navigates the eccentricities of her clients with charm and good humor. From the charming beach town of Trancoso, through Salvador, mighty Iguacu Falls and the craziness of Rio, Jill’s choices were perfect and advice spot-on. Her guides were warm, knowledgeable and accommodating, the hotels were lovely and relaxing, and transportation was always clean and on time. Even Rio on New Year’s Eve was a piece of cake! We can’t wait for her to plan our next trip to the Amazon and the Pantanal! Thanks Jill!

    MAXINE SNYDER

    January 7, 2012

    TRAVELERS SAY

    My husband and I just came back from our Brazil (much delayed) honeymoon trip and we both had a great time!! Both guides Jill arranged for us were knowledgeable and wonderful to spend the day with. We learned so much about Brazilian history and the culture from them. We went to Rio, Buzios, Salvador and Trancoso. While we enjoyed each destination, our favorites were probably Salvador (thanks Paula’s in-depth knowledge on the history of the city) and Trancoso (which was pure paradise). Jill’s choices for boutique style hotels were exactly what we needed, centrally located but tucked away. Her restaurant recommendations were current and offered us a wide range of food choices both in terms of cuisine and price points. The trip was smooth at each and every transition point and we were able to just relax and enjoy our time there. All in all, a truly wonderful experience and I will definitely be recommending Jill to my friends who are interested in going to Brazil!

    LISA

    November 30, 2011

    TRAVELERS SAY

    We just returned from our Brazilian honeymoon, and thanks to Jill, it was the trip of a lifetime. Between the rainforest of Ariau, the history and culture of Salvador, and the beaches of Trancoso, she made our trip perfect. She also did a great job making sure that our transportation arrangements and connecting flights went smoothly. This being our first time in Brazil, Jill ensured that our experiences were unique and diverse – the hotels and excursions really gave us a wonderful sampling of the country. Thanks again, Jill, for making our honeymoon fantastic!

    BRIAN AND CHRISTY BILIACK

    May 1, 2011

    TRAVELERS SAY

    Wanted to comment about Jill Siegel who is a Brazil Travel Specialist w/ her company called South American Escapes. my wife and I went to Brazil w/ my 2 small children (then 3 and 5) and Jill was a complete rockstar!! We went in December – January of 2009, and gave Jill less than 3 weeks to plan our entire trip, complete w/ multiple internal flights. Not only were we very happy about EVERYTHING that Jill did, we not only had a great trip, but we now have experiences that words cannot describe. Both of our children constantly ask us,”When are we going back to Brazil??” We spent a week in the Amazon, and also traveled all over the country. Jill had a colleague of hers pick us up and give us a tour of Rio at the conclusion of out trip. Jill made the whole trip not only seamless, but also simple. She helped us w/ feeling safe, finding kid friendly places to stay as well as safe and efficient ways of traveling around the country. I can not say enough good things about her professionalism, and highly rec. Jill for anyone wanted guidance. Jill Siegal – 973.783.2277 http://www.southamericanescapes.com/blog/?page_id=2 Best – Jon & Phyllis Messner Jon Messner | Messner Productions | President / Producer| 502 Hudson Street #4 Hoboken, NJ 07030 (NJ Office) Office: 917.301.1202 | Fax: 917.677.8393| jon@messnerproductions.com | jjmess@mac.com

    JON MESSNER

    March 24, 2011

    TRAVELERS SAY

    Talk about an amazing agent to work with! Jill Siegel is world class. To start with Jill is easy to communicate with. Seemingly any time or day she is available answering email and offering suggestions. We began planning a two week trip to Brazil (Feb 2011) several months ago, and when I tossed out an introductory email on a weekend night, I quickly got a reply much to my surprise! This was later topped, when we were caught in a snow storm on our way to Brazil and she came to the rescue with suggestions of help then later a follow up email at the end of our trip inquiring to how things went, again on a weekend. Does she ever rest? Her knowledge of the country, customs, people and culture were invaluable to planning and completing out memorable vacation. She listened to our specific interests and desires then tailored the trip to our specifications. What transpired was one of the most relaxing, well planned and seamless vacations we’ve experienced. We were interested in gardens, food, cooking lessons, adventure, photography, nature/birding and culture. Jill through her handpicked network of amazing friends and guides from Rio, Manaus, and Bahia, crafted days of enjoyment touring world class gardens, relaxing with a local Brazilian family in their home while learning to cook moqueca, hang gliding over Rio, dancing the Samba through the night with a crowd of Cariocas, getting to know the Amazon rainforest first hand with natives, and being befriended by many warm and gracious Brazilians. Her recommendations led to us to wonderful places we would not have considered going on our own. Jill’s affable and knowledgeable approach to trip planning is world class. Her communication is unparalleled. We look forward to working with her again!

    MIKE AND NANCY PHILLIPS

    February 20, 2011

    TRAVELERS SAY

    DO NOT! I repeat, DO NOT consider booking a trip to Brasil without the help of Jill Siegel! I wanted to take my wife, two kids/their spouces and our 10-year old grandson to Brasil to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversery. Someone recommended using a Brazilian/American agency in NYC to book things. I called the agency four different times and they said an agent would call me back to book things–no one ever did even after I told them we were a party of 7. Then, looking at the web cite for Ariau Towers in the Amazon, I stumbled upon Jill’s name and number. I placed the call with no great expectations of a quick response. After two rings,I was stunned when someone answered and said, “Hello, this is Jill, how may I help you”. How did she not help us!!?? For the next month and a half she helped me plan and schedule one of the greatest trips of our lives: Sal Paulo to Manaus, Ariau Amazon Towers, Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio, a fabulous day trip to the exotic sea-side village of Buzios (South America’s Saint Tropez). Jill was meticulous in her attention to every detail and she helped me navigate pleasing 7 different people,interests and expectations–not an easy task for any family. Most importantly, every plan/conversation/email I had with Jill was done with great humor and savoire faire! My wife and I have visited most of the greatest hotels in Europe and love travel immensely, but the advance preparation Jill did for us was extraordinary and placed bumped this trip above the rest–surpassing even our beloved Hotel Il San Pietro in Possitano. From December 29th, 2010–January 10, 2011 Jill Siegel made us smile everyday! Jill is not a travel agent. She is indeed a “travel specialist” in every sense of the word! Thank you, Ms. Siegel!

    HUGH F. OATES, JR., ESQ.

    January 11, 2011

    TRAVELERS SAY

    My husband and I found Jill on the internet through Conde Nast Traveler Magazine (not the way we normally find a travel agent!) and we couldn’t have been more pleased. Jill put together a 2 week holiday for our family of 4 in Brazil this past December. Everything: the hotels, the guides, the flights, the excursions and the restaurant recommendations were terrific! Jill is organized, thorough and meticulous with her planning. If we ever had a question or problem, Jill emailed us back with an answer or solution within the hour. We visited Bahia and Rio,from cities with rich culture and vibrant nightlife to small enchanting towns, magnificent beaches, and tropical rainforests- we took bikerides on the beach, met with Pataxo Indians on their reserve, and learned to dance the samba! We highly recommend Jill for anyone considering a holiday in South America!

    FRAN AND DAVID MECKLER

    January 8, 2011

    TRAVELERS SAY

    I contacted Jill to arrange a 16-day South America trip for our group of 8 friends. We traveled in late Oct./early Nov. 2010. Planning for our group was challenging. The couples had different budgets, different wish-lists, and various questions and concerns. Jill was incredibly patient and thorough and after close to a year of planning — and dozens and dozens of e-mails — we had a trip that satisfied everyone. We spent a few days in Rio, then traveled to the Pantanal (Brazil’s wetlands) for a ranch-type stay. Then on to Iguacu Falls, Buenos Aires and finally a few-day stay at Cavas Wine Lodge in Mendoza (Argentina’s wine country). The guides were superb, the transfers seamless, the city hotels were intimate and in the best neighborhoods for exploring, and the accommodations in the other places were top-notch. The trip was spectacular and we got to see a big chunk of South America. We all highly recommend Jill. She was thorough, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and made the trip smooth so we could just enjoy ourselves.

    JOYCE AND TED EISENBERG

    November 18, 2010

    TRAVELERS SAY

    David and I chose Jill to formulate a unique Brazilian adventure, and we were not disappointed. This was a very comprehensive and challenging itinerary to plan. The result was a seamless journey to some of the most colorful, charming cities and Unesco World Heritage sites in the country (such as Rio, Manuas, Brasilia, Ouro Preto, Olinda, Salvador, Sao Luis, Belo Horizonte). We ended the trip viewing wildlife in Canastra, Das Emas, and the Pantanal followed by viewing the energy and beauty of Iguazu Falls. Our vacation offered us a well-rounded view of Brazil’s landscape, culture, history, and nature. Jill provided us with informative and personable guides, booking us in unique inns and hotels with prime locations for exploration. Having a passion for photography, Jill’s choice of locales provided us with a wealth of beauty to capture with our digital cameras. (We took over 4,000 pictures.) The trip left us exhilirated and filled with a love for the country that Jill so clearly exhibited in all our talks with her. We highly recommend her expertise!

    FRANCESCA AND DAVID GARDNER

    August 7, 2010

    TRAVELERS SAY

    My wife and I just completed a trip to Brazil. We traveled in June, 2010. Jill was great in arranging an amazing trip to this country. She secured a wonderful guide in Rio, and insured that we stayed in an excellent hotel. When we missed a day in the city because our flight could not leave on time, Jill was diligent in following up to secure a refund for us. In Iguazu Falls, we stayed in a government run hotel. I wondered how nice it would be considering, but it was a magical place. Very elegant and the food was excellent. Our guide there was extremely knowledgeable about the local bird life and was very gracious. Our last leg of the journey was at the Ariau Jungle Lodge in the Amazon. That too, was a fantastic way to see the local wildlife. Jill knew the exact amount of time that it would be worthwhile to stay there. In sum, Jill arranged a great and varied trip. We look forward to using her again when we explore the Pantanal.

    GENE HOLLANDER

    July 10, 2010

    TRAVELERS SAY

    “Jill is an incredible person to work with. She planned my three month excursion to Brazil and Chile. All of her suggestions were thoughtful, practical and very creative. She helped me plan my wedding, found an excellent photographer and resort to host the ceremony. I have traveled all over the world and have never met someone with Jill’s strong work ethic. She truly cares about her clients and you end up bonding with her. Her trip planning is unique because she is constantly checking in to see how you are and if there is anything else she can do. The work day never ends for her. You feel like she genuinely cares about you and the experience you are having. Throughout the course of this adventure, she has introduced me to several contacts in Brazil. It becomes so much more than a vacation when you are making friends and work contacts in a new country. Jill is the one that has facilitated all of it. For anyone considering a visit to Brazil, Jill is a must. She understands the culture and her level of sophistication and creativity are unsurpassed. I highly recommend her services and I am so glad that I met her. She is very special and this experience would not be the same without her.’

    INGRID SCHAU

    May 18, 2010


    Named to Condé Nast Traveler Magazine’s  World’s Top Travel Specialists List 5 Consecutive Years

    MONTCLAIR, NJ – NOVEMBER 2012– JILL SIEGEL, owner of South American Escapes has been named one of the world’s Top Travel Specialists by Condé Nast Traveler magazine for the 5th consecutive year.  By combining firsthand experience and 30 years of knowledge within the Brazilian Travel Industry, Jill provides the type of expertise needed  to create  seamless and unique travel experiences for her clients.  Out of thousands of candidates, 150 made the list this year.

    “To be included on the list, travel specialists need to remain ahead of online travel sites, and they need to offer a combination of insider advice, local connections, added value, and special access,” said Condé Nast Traveler Consumer News Editor Wendy Perrin.

    “Working within the Brazilian Travel Industry for the last 30 years has been a wonderful and fulfilling experience and I am honored to be recognized by Condé Nast Traveler for being one of the world’s top travel specialists,” said Jill Siegel.

    Brazil Travel Specialist – Jill Siegel, focuses on exclusive out of the way places that provide the very best in the Brazilian hospitality and tourism sector.  From coordinating travel to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to arranging private travel arrangements for clients as diverse as Susan Sarandon or the great great grandson of Charles Darwin–Jill’s six years of living and working in Brazil makes her a true insider.

    Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Travel Specialists list began as a service travel directory 12 years ago, yet it has turned into a must-have list of the most impressive, knowledgeable, and experienced travel specialists in the world.

    Each year, Condé Nast Traveler Consumer News Editor Wendy Perrin leads a team of editors in evaluating applicants.  Listed travel specialists have undergone a rigorous screening process that includes a 47-question application with sample itineraries and client references, then continues with phone interviews and, in most cases, road-testing by Condé Nast Traveler staff.  Perrin receives hundreds of letters annually from around the world reporting back on the trips that were planned by these specialists, and you can read the most recent ones on Wendy Perrin’s blog at perrinpost.com.

    About Condé Nast Traveler

    Condé Nast Traveler does not accept free travel and accommodations, and its correspondents, as far as possible, travel anonymously.  The result is travel the way consumers experience it — good and bad, with reporting that is fair and honest.  Condé Nast Traveler has a circulation of over 800,000 and is published by Condé Nast Publications, Inc.

    Click here to read the reviews of Jill’s client’s trips!

    jill@southamericanescapes.com

    Phone: (973) 783-2277
    Toll Free in USA and Canada: (888) 462-7428

    Call Jill for custom designed itineraries to Brazil and expert travel planning.

    Trancoso CliffsOverlooking one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Brazil, Villas de Trancoso offers guests superb private luxury accommodations that are sophisticated, exquisite and perfectly idyllic.  Look no further for a perfect honeymoon or relaxed week long retreat, Villas de Trancoso succeeds on every level.

    Each of the 5 one and two bedroom luxury villas is surrounded by lush gardens with access to a white marble pool, alfresco dining restaurant, and pristine beach area with shaded palms, showers and lots of comfortable furnishings and cushions.

    Luxury on the beach Each Villa has its own private deck or outdoor lounge and spacious bedrooms as well as  bathrooms furnished with rare and exotic Brazilian hardwoods.  Other amenities include beds draped in mosquito nets, Direct TV, DVD, CD players, cordless phones, refrigerators, safes and of course air conditioning.

    Villa Sky is a dramatic two story villa with dining and entertainment on the first level and the master suite on the second level.  In the center of the home is an atrium that rises to a glass skylight on the second level. From the master bedroom one can gaze into a star filled sky throughout the night.

    Water sports, boating, fishing, diving, hiking to secluded beaches, horse back riding and access to Trancoso’s world class Terra Vista Golf Course are just some of the many activities available.  There is also a health and fitness centre, personal trainers, cycling, kayaking, body surfing and massage.

    Villas de Trancoso has one of the areas best restaurants.  Chef Sidnei’s dishes coupled with his caring and attentive staff make dining under the stars and around the pool an unforgettable experience.

    According to owner Galen Briggs – “The great thing about being small is we can do exactly what the guest requests.  Our starry nights are amazing!  We have even had guests that asked to sleep under the stars on the beach.  A starry night combined with the soft crashing of waves is a most amazing experience!”

    Airport:  Porto Seguro

    Facilities: Swimming pool,  golf, horse back riding, health and fitness centre, personal trainers, cycling,  kayaking, body surfing, massages.

    Weather: All year round destination

    Contact Jill for reservations and availability.

    h4u2ol4x.JPG
    Located on Brazil’s stunning emerald coast, Ponta dos Ganchos offers the ultimate in romance and world class sophistication.   The 25 private bungalows afford guests with sweeping views of the sea, each one decorated in lush, rustic and refined style featuring Brazilian hardwood and natural stone. 

    h4u2ol3d.JPGEach bungalow comes with luxury linens, fireplace, state of the art music systems, internet connections and flat screen TVs.  Most bungalows also feature private plunge pools affording the spectacular views of the emerald sea below.

    h4u2ol22.JPGRomantic and private dinners may be enjoyed on your own private island illuminated by tropical torches and serenaded by a guitarist or simply by the gentle lapping waves.   All meals are included in the packages and are served at any hour of the day.    Casual lunches and gourmet evening meals are served in the tri-level Beach Restaurant.  The contemporary regional cuisine features freshly caught fish, prawns, oysters and mussels.  The extensive wine list features over 250 labels including Chilean, Brazilian, Portuguese and Argentinian wines.

    h4u2ol9m.JPGScuba diving in the Marine Reserve of Arvoredo as well as chartered schooner cruises and sailing are available.  Guests have use of all resort amenities including heated indoor pool, fully equipped fitness room, an oceanside tennis court, billiard game room, kayaks, canoes and laser dinghies, ecological trails and running track and a secluded beach for swimming and snorkeling. The resort also has an on-site cinema with a library of 300 films for guests enjoyment.

    h4u2ol0i.JPGWedding packages are available.  Packages include 02 massages or Dior Spa Treatments, hairdresser and manicure, make-up artist, wedding ceremony on the island, Veuve Clicquot champagne, dinner on the island, breakfast served in the bungalow the next day, live music – guitar and violin, and red rose bouquet.

    Jill can also arrange one of Brazil’s top wedding photographers to capture the magic of your special day.  Most recently  photographer Lauro Maeda photographed the gorgeous wedding of Donald Graham and Ingrid Schau at Ponta dos Ganchos. 

    Please contact Jill for availability and prices.

    Closest Airport: Florianopolis International Airport, 50-min drive

     


    cnlogo.jpg
    JILL SIEGEL, OF SOUTH AMERICAN ESCAPES NAMED

    ONE OF THE WORLD’S TOP TRAVEL SPECIALISTS

    BY CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER

    MONTCLAIR-Based Travel Specialist One of 128 Travel Specialists

    Named to Condé Nast Traveler World’s Top Travel Specialists List

    MONTCLAIR, NJ - AUGUST 2008– JILL SIEGEL/SOUTH AMERICAN ESCAPES has been named one of the world’s 128 Top Travel Specialists by Condé Nast Traveler magazine.  By combining first hand experience and years of knowledge, the travel specialists named to Condé Nast Traveler’s 2008 World’s Top Travel Specialists list provide their clients with the most up-to-date, exclusive information out there.  Out of thousands of candidates, 128 made the list this year.

    “To be included on the list, travel specialists need to remain ahead of online travel sites, and they need to offer a combination of insider advice, local connections, added value, and special access,” said Condé Nast Traveler Consumer News Editor Wendy Perrin.

    “Working within the Brazilian Travel Industry for the last 26 years has been a wonderful and fulfilling experience and I am honored to be recognized by Condé Nast Traveler for being one of the world’s top travel specialists,” said Jill Siegel.

    South American Escapes focuses on that special, exclusive out of the way place that provides the very best in the Brazilian hospitality and tourism sector.  From coordinating travel to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to arranging private travel arrangements for clients as diverse as Susan Sarandon or the great great grandson of Charles Darwin–Jill’s six years of living and working in Brazil makes her a true insider.

    Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Travel Specialists list began as a service travel directory 9 years ago, yet it has turned into a must-have list of the most impressive, knowledgeable, and experienced travel specialists in the world.

    Each year, Condé Nast Traveler Consumer News Editor Wendy Perrin leads a team of editors in evaluating applicants.  Listed travel specialists have undergone a rigorous screening process that includes a 47-question application with sample itineraries and client references, then continues with phone interviews and, in most cases, road-testing by Condé Nast Traveler staff.  Perrin receives hundreds of letters annually from around the world reporting back on the trips that were planned by these specialists, and you can read the most recent ones on Wendy Perrin’s blog at perrinpost.com.

    About Condé Nast Traveler

    Condé Nast Traveler does not accept free travel and accommodations, and its correspondents, as far as possible, travel anonymously.  The result is travel the way consumers experience it — good and bad, with reporting that is fair and honest.  Condé Nast Traveler has a circulation of over 800,000 and is published by Condé Nast Publications, Inc. 
      cntraveler-cover.jpg

    villa-dining-rom.jpgtrancos-villa-living-space.jpg

    With a privileged location on a bluff overlooking the sea, this spectacular private villa was designed by Robert Novogratz  to reflect Trancoso’s laid back atmosphere and lifestyle.  Secluded and private, the large interior spaces all open to the breathtaking natural landscape that surrounds the villa.

    Sip caipirinha’s poolside, horseback ride on the beach or walk to Trancoso’s famous Quadrado to enjoy the hip boutiques, restaurants and impromptu musical performances and parties.  You will never want to leave this place.

    villa-trancoso.jpgvilla-ocean-views.jpgThis hideaway sleeps 12 guests comfortably and is ideal for a large family.
    Includes: 4 air conditioned Bedrooms with private decks, large living and dining rooms, flat screen TV / DVD room with A/C, modern kitchen, poolside bar, swimming pool, CD player, 6 bathrooms, 5 showers and English Speaking Housekeeper.

    villa-pool.jpgvilla-bedroom-and-deck.jpg

    Please contact Jill for availability and prices. (Daily, weekly and Christmas rates available)

    Closest Airport: Porto Seguro

    (Click photos to enlarge)

    etnia-maroccos-suite.jpgetnia-overview.jpgLike stepping into an exotic edition of Architectural Digest, each of Etnia’s five bungalows will transport you to a different far off land.  Step into the Arabian Nights in the Maroccos Suite or lose yourself in the African inspired Tribal Suite.  If you prefer the local Brazilian flavor, the Trancoso Suite’s rustic style will feel like home.

    Surrounded by banana, mango and Pau Brasil trees, Etnia Pousada enjoys a unique location.  Close enough to Trancoso’s Quadrado to enjoy festive Brazilian nights and close enough to the ocean for an early morning dip before breakfast.

    etnia-pool.jpgA modern swimming pool surrounded by a wooden sun deck is the perfect place to enjoy your afternoon snack or a light meal.  Take a yoga class in the afternoon or luxuriate with a relaxing massage in the Etnia Therapy Center.

    Services: Restaurant, pool and bar, antique boutique shop

    Activities: ocean or pool swimming, horse back riding, eco-tourism, boating

    etnia-chair-detail.jpgRates: Please contact Jill for current rates.

    Closest Airport: Porto Seguro

    estrela-entrance.jpgestrela-dagua-ocean-view.jpgAchieving a perfect balance between sophistication and informality, Estrela d’Agua is a tranquil ocean front retreat surrounded by 20 kilometers of pristine beaches, cliffs and natural pools.  Suites and tastefully appointed bungalows are built around Brazilian tropicalismo singer Gal Costa’s former beach home. 

    Enjoy long lazy hours beach combing, swimming, fishing or just curling up in a hammock on a sun drenched verandah.  The muted natural tones of the airy interiors counterpoint the vivid colors of the tropical gardens.  Estrela’s native chef will indulge you in divine cuisine prepared from fresh local produce including fantastic seafood from an abundant daily catch.  In the evening stroll to the village “Quadrado” and join in the nightly festivities.

    estrela-verandah.jpgRooms: 14 Suites, 2 Master Suites, 2 Bungalows w/minibar, TV, telephone, air conditioning, verandah and hammocks.

    Services: 2 pools, gardens, verandah bar and beach bar, massage, gym and internet.

    estrela-cabana.jpgActivities: Boating, Horse back riding, ultra-light flying, tennis, golf course, eco-tours through the Atlantic Rainforest, boat tours to Espelho and Curuipe beaches.

    Rates: Contact Jill for current rates.

    Closest Airport: Porto Seguro

    hotel-monasterio-blue-corri.jpgmachu-picchu-full-view.jpg Luxuriate in oxygen enriched rooms 11,000 feet above sea level at Cuzco’s only museum hotel -  Hotel Monasterio.  Built over three centuries ago, the colonial San Antonio Abad Seminary has been completely transformed into a five star luxury hotel while still maintaining its Incan and Spanish style.  Many of the rooms offer charming views of the ancient city and the colorful rooftops of Cuzco.

    illary-restaurant.jpgLunch and dinner may be enjoyed adjacent to the Main Square at the hotel’s Illary Restaurant, while the sumptuous breakfast buffet and Saturday night Incan dinners are offered at the El Tupay Restaurant located in the original refectory of the ancient monastery.

    Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Dynasty is an ideal base from which to explore the ruins of one of the world’s greatest heritage sites – Machu Picchu, only a scenic three hour train ride away.

    monasterio-brown-corridor.jpgmonasterio-courtyard.jpgRooms: 109 Guest Rooms, 12 Junior Suites, 1 Deluxe Suite, 2 Royal Suites and 3 Presidential Suites.

    Services: Illary Restaurant, El Tupay Restaurant, Lobby Bar, Massage Spa Services, Business Services

    Activities: Walking tours of the ancient city, Tour of the Sacred Valley, Luxury Train Journey to Machu Picchu, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, fishing and horse back riding.

    Rates: Please contact Jill for rates.

    machu-picchu-ruins.jpgperu-child.jpg

    Closest Airport: Cuzco