Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

We have recently returned from a monthlong, 4 Caribbean Island adventure organized by Meg Austin. Our trip was in celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary and the trip was extraordinary, But first, some comments about Meg. She noted that she would be coming along with us and, in fact, she did. Meg was in continuous contact with each concierge to ensure every organized activity was executed as she planned. And, the planning exercise was made difficult by the fact that two of the facilities had not yet opened for the season and hence obtaining timely commitments was complicated at best. On more than one occasion we were asked if Meg was a relative or close family friend given the attention she gave to our arrangements. The answer is “no,” she is an outstanding Wendy Trusted Travel Expert who does her level best to provide unique support for her clients. We will certainly be contacting Meg again for another adventure and clearly recommend her very highly.

As for our trip, we visited Barbados, Dominica, St Barts and St. Martin. We stayed at the Sandy Lane (where we had honeymooned and returned for our 25th anniversary), at IHG, at Eden Rock and finally at La Samanna. Thanks to Meg, each property recognized our 50th and treated us as a special guest. We enjoyed private touring on each island, catamaran trips on Barbados (The Cat & The Fiddle) and St. Martin (Freedom) and whale watching on Dominica. We were fortunate to enjoy excellent weather. We found the facilities, staff, food & drink at each resort to be excellent. Meg managed to blend free time with activities in a manner that allowed us to keep busy but yet relaxed. We met many wonderful staffers, too numerous to mention, and they all worked hard to ensure we had a great time.

Meg also arranged for Fast Track at each airport. While pricey, this support ensured we moved through each airport in record time and with minimal traditional airport processes. Our only mistake was to rent cars on St. Barts and St. Martin. We really didn’t use them very much as the private touring and occasional taxi did the trick. Can’t forget Wendy’s WOW Moment rum tasting on St. Martin at the La Samanna La Cave. Don’t quite understand how Wendy selects these WOW events but this was perfect. A very special treat…thank you Wendy.

John Iacuzzo | August 25, 2023

Meg did a great trip for us. We knew where we wanted to go so she made all the arrangements and transfers and was on top of it all. We just wanted a relaxing vacation and we did get that. She also added extras since we were celebrating an anniversary. Great job Meg!

Meghan Houtsma

The Houtsma Family’s dive at the Chikin-Ha Cenote in Riviera Maya. 

This is the third dive vacation in three years that Meg Austin has helped us plan. After exceptional trips to St. Lucia and Grand Cayman, I did not hesitate to contact her for a last-minute spring break trip for two families with 11-, 12-, 14- and 16-year-old kids. I was not surprised by her quick and efficient planning process, and within a couple of days she presented us with two great options in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. We ultimately decided on the Hilton Tulum Maya Riviera all-inclusive, partly because she was able to include first-class airfare for eight. Although we have had some terrible experiences at all-inclusive resorts in the past, Meg spoke highly of her experience in Tulum and reassured us that it would be a great place for our families. She was absolutely right. Although we have discovered that we are not good at all-inclusive properties as a couple, the resort was great for our families and was everything Meg said it would be.

Meg ensured that each family had adjoining rooms, essentially giving each of us a two-bedroom suite. I doubt that we could have accomplished that on our own due to the last-minute nature of our trip. The elevated experiences we had as Enclave guests were exceptional. The private check-in and check-out, personal concierge, exclusive bar with top-shelf drinks, and the private pool went above and beyond our expectations. In addition, the food and wine were excellent. We got to know Aaron and Angel, the wine director and assistant sommelier, who hosted a private Food of the Region Wine Tasting for the adults while the kids happily ordered room service. It was best meal we had that week. The chef was brilliant and it was a great experience that I would highly recommend to anyone willing to pay a little extra for a tour of Mexico through wine and food.

Outside of the resort, Meg set up a fishing excursion, complete with a birthday cake, on our son’s 14th birthday. She also organized a Mayan Ruin, Snorkeling and Cenote tour which was the highlight of the trip for those who were not certified divers. For the certified divers, the highlight of the trip, and possibly our diving careers, was diving the Chikin-Ha Cenote. The visibility was only limited by your own vision or how far your flashlight could penetrate the darkness. The cenote openings were gorgeous and the underwater light shows were breathtaking. Overall, the trip exceeded our expectations and I would highly recommend Meg Austin to anyone looking for a fabulous vacation.

Jeffrey Baliff

View from our casita at Hotel Punta Islita, Costa Rica. Photo: Jeffrey Baliff

My wife and I consulted Meg for a Spring Break trip for us and my 7-year-old son, trying to decide between a snowboarding trip out West or a Caribbean trip. After a thorough discussion on the phone of the type of experiences and vibe we were looking for, both individually and as a family, as well as our budget, Meg steered us toward a tropical-type destination with lots of activities we could enjoy together. Meg asked specific questions that really drew out what we wanted from our time off. Within days, I had an email with choices, all wonderful and on point, but Hotel Punta Islita, Costa Rica, really fit the bill, both in terms of the myriad of experiences, travel time, and budget. We had our own mountainside suite with a private patio and plunge pool that looked out on a rainforest and ocean. Every dusk and dawn was a sound- and landscape of howler monkeys, macaws, and other colorful birds all easily visible from our patio hammock. Meg was certain to arrange private surfing lessons for my son for 3 days, a highlight of our trip at their easily accessible beach — he was in heaven with 2 instructors attending to him! Other activities included a dawn birdwatching hike, zip lining, howler monkey trek, horseback riding, macaw breeding & recovery center tour, a mixology lesson, and massages on the beach. The food at Hotel Punta Islita was unbelievable — they have a “zero kilometer” menu, so everything is local, fresh, and prepared beautifully. And the staff and vibe were all laid back but attentive, warm, and accessible. In sum, this vacation encompassed our desire to be immersed in nature without roughing it, have easy access to adventurous activities, top-notch food, and a low-key warm vibe for family memories. Meg was in touch throughout all stages of the pre-trip planning, ensuring activities were booked ahead of time and our suite had an unobstructed view of the ocean. She arranged private, air conditioned, wi-fi enabled transport from Liberia airport to the hotel, a 2- to 3-hour drive, which was quite comfortable. She also checked in during our trip, but all went so smoothly that no issues arose. It was my first time using a trip planner and I’ll never go back — I didn’t have to do a thing, other than decide. So many easily done activities were done, so many memories were made, all was healthy both in mind and body, we were immersed in nature and gained an appreciation for our natural world. When it came time to leave, my son stopped several times on our way to the transport van, looking back, saying “Daddy, I just want to take a picture in my head. I loved it here and don’t want to leave.” I think that’s the definition of a successful vacation. Meg’s insight and energy resulted in the best vacation we’ve ever had.

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