In my 20s I turned what was to be a two-month trip to the Greek Islands into a 13-month trip around the world, I returned to my native San Francisco without a job prospect in sight. Seeing that corporate American was not knocking down my door to hire me, I took a leap of faith and started a specialty travel agency catering to backpackers and world travelers.

Later in life, I transitioned into writing and publishing my first travel book titled Going Local Experiences and Encounters on the Road. My life has been an 85 country non-stop pilgrimage.

Like a stray cat, as a teen, and into my early 20s all the rage for preferred accommodations was sleeping on rooftops and beaches in Greece. Later, on in life, I was afforded opportunities to stay in opulent digs the likes of the Oriental in Bangkok, The Ritz in London and the Crillon in Paris. I even once stayed at the Hayman Island Resort in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Until recently, I can honestly say that I pledged no allegiance to any one particular hotel brand. How quickly things changed on a recent trip to Colorado.

Have you ever found a brand that blends perfectly with your own personal philosophy? Like a giddy teenager on a first date, I fortuitously stumbled into a new love, The Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa in Gateway, Colorado. I read about Gateway Canyons in an in-flight magazine. I always say that you should be wary of your preconceptions about the place — the accumulation of iconography and clichés, photographs seen and descriptions read, especially holding true when coming from an airline in-flight magazines. In this case, the accolades were spot on the money.

An investment in people. Friendly and knowledgeable hospitality gems are found at all Noble House properties. Here at the River Terrace Inn, Napa Valley.

I read about Gateway Canyons in an in-flight magazine. I always say that you should be wary of your preconceptions about the place — the accumulation of iconography and clichés, photographs seen and descriptions read, especially holding true when coming from an airline in-flight magazines. In this case, the accolades were spot on the money.

I vividly recall the breath-stopping, time-skipping beauty of Red Rock Country. Like my first visit to Uluru in Australia, I was immediately intoxicated and fell hard. I was memorized, drawn into a palate of crimson, cobalt, onyx and granite. A portrait with endless visions of bedrock, slabs, and quarries that were nothing short of spellbinding.

My new sweetheart did not disappoint. Gateway Canyons was seemingly not a hotel at all. More of a style of life, a living village blending into the vast open spaces of America’s last frontier conjuring images of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

A property that I soon learned belonged to a privately held company called Noble House Hotels & Resorts. What always seems to be missing in many hotel brands are forward thinkers, visionaries who view their properties far beyond a structure that houses guests.

The privately held Noble House label has been in existence for over 30 years. The corporation owns and manages a luxury portfolio of 15 unequivocal, extraordinary properties. Too many times hoteliers loosely throw around the words “unique” or “one of a kind.” Clearly, one senses that Noble House is a different brand of property.

Trips of lifetime include immersing into America’s preeminent wine region on the Napa Wine Valley Wine Train

Driven Experiences at Gateway Canyons allows guests to drive a supercharged Bentley or other sports car through the switchbacks of Red Rock Country in Southwest Colorado

Luxurious, yet warm and comforting properties. Demystifying the notion that most hotels are more the same than different. No two Noble House properties are alike. Spanning the U.S. from its home base in Seattle, Washington, immersing with the iconic Napa Valley, to Grand Tetons in Wyoming, and down to America’s southernmost Florida Keys. As Noble House Ceo, John McDonoghue states, “Our philosophy emphasizes location, distinction, and soul. Each property maximizes and showcases its physical setting and history.”

Resort settings where guests coexist with breathtaking backdrops and are made to feel right at home. This is no stodgy hotel brand that gets lost the shuffle of ubiquitous chains found throughout the world. Noble House has dedicated itself to creating and managing exceptional properties that contribute to their communities, staying true to local history, culture, and ambiance.

As was my sojourn at Gateway Canyons, each Noble House hotel or resort is like no other. The well thought out regions are splendid and elevate the guest experience. The forward-thinking Noble House realizes that remarkable retreats begin with a passionate hospitality staff that caters to the guests every whim.

Take the plunge: Go and create your own travel tales at any one of stellar Noble House Hotels & Resorts.

 

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