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The Reluctant Traveler Hotels

Joelle Mentis, Staff Writer

Eugene Levy

You loved him in American Pie. He was hysterical in Schitt’s Creek. We may be biased, but his best role yet may be as a travel show host, on Apple TV’s Reluctant Traveler. Eugene Levy, at 75 years old, makes you want to hop on an airplane, with his new show. Besides his humor, it’s all about the luxury hotels. These are the Reluctant Traveler hotels, that should be on your travel goals list.

Mad Love for Eugene

Part of Eugene Levy’s charm is his relatable humor. When Apple TV called to ask him to do a travel show, he was as the show implies, reluctant. To reporters, he says the call made him nervous and he actually initially denied the role. Maybe much like his character in Schitt’s Creek, he isn’t the kind of guy who loves a spontaneous adventure. Only when the directors encouraged him to embrace his lack of curiosity did he accept. And we’re glad he did because he demonstrates how important it is for everyone to travel. Also, The Reluctant Traveler hotels are what travel goals are made of.

The Hotel: The Arctic TreeHouse Hotel 

The Destination: Rovaniemi, Finland

Overview

You’d think a Canadian would feel right at home in Finland, with all the snow. Eugene Levy was mostly interested in the vodka, but he reluctantly embraced ice fishing and dog sled rides. Reluctant Traveler hotels are consistently on point with the destination. The Arctic TreeHouse suggests all that it has to offer in its name. Each of the luxury private lodges hover above snowy mountain terrain. Though privately shrouded in forest, the suites are encased in glass for prime views of the northern lights.

Although, while the arctic aurora borealis is the centerpiece, the luxury hotel has plenty to offer. Tasting tours provide a la carte Finnish food adventures that feature smoked and salted fish, as well as Finish takes on burgers, mousses and pies. And despite the fur lined luxury of the rooms and spa, there’s no shortage of adventurous activities from those Eugene tried out, to snowshoeing, snow biking, and sledding in your backyard. Of all the Reluctant Traveler hotels, this one was really tucked away from all civilization.

The Hotel: Nayara Tented Camp

The Destination: La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Overview:

Whatever genius thought of glamping had Eugene Levy in mind. So for the Reluctant Traveler hotel in Costa Rica, they traveled to one of the newer luxury hotels. Though Nayara accommodations are literal tents, they are “the best looking tents” Eugene has ever seen. The multi-room canvas accommodations don’t make it feel like you’re sleeping in the wilderness. Each are perched above the ground, and feature well-furnished rooms.

They also have spring-fed infinity pools, so take that word ‘glamping’ how you will — this is more than the tent with a shower and a toilet. Even still, the trip was risky business for Levy who embraced a night hike in the rainforest. Activities here steer towards the active, with horses, zip lines, canoes, bikes, and hardened lava available to explore on or with. The dining is also far from fire pit roasted, with several Costa Rican restaurants and even an on-site sommelier.

The Hotel: The Gritti Palace

The Destination: Venice, Italy

Overview

While other hotels explore novel trends in travel, the Reluctant Traveler hotels draw insight into older relics, as well. Dating back to 1475, the hotel has been a favorite of court appointed royalty, Hollywood royalty, and notable people from all over the world. The hotel is famous for its immaculately preserved details such as the furniture, which Eugene pointed out is older than the United States. But a $50 million makeover has lifted the partially gold-leafed interiors, and made the hotel more than just an artifact. Views of the canal are second to none. There’s also a Sisley Spa, and breakfast buffet that revives traditional luxury.

The Hotel: Amangiri 

The Destination: Utah, United States

Overview

Of all The Reluctant Traveler hotels, they chose the top hotel group of Aman for Utah. Every famous model and actor you know has stayed at Amangiri. So Eugene Levy fit right in at this one of the Reluctant Traveler hotels. However, while the remote, wellness oriented vision of the Aman collection caters to celebs who want thousand dollar facials, Eugene took to the sky in a helicopter to visit the Navajo nation nearby.


Amangiri is an uber luxe resort whose spa, dining and accommodations go the extra mile. Dining options take inspiration from the Southwest, and people are wiling to sell their souls for the Reluctant Traveler pancake recipe. Luckily for you, we have the Amangiri pancake recipe here on Galavante, and the secret ingredient if you message us at [email protected].

The spa is inspired by Hózhó healing, an ancient Navajo tradition of finding harmony between the self and the world. The rooms and villas are decked out with large patios, terraces, and private pools that overlook hundreds of acres of the most magical land in the US. As Eugene demonstrates, it is really better to see the land from above, as the vast red rock country has unimaginable views.


The Hotel: Kudadoo Maldives Private Island Resort

The Destination: Kudadoo, The Maldives

Overview

Eugene suggests this is the most expensive sand castle in the world. It sure seems like it, so it fits right in as one of the Reluctant Traveler hotels. And anyone would, the water-reluctant traveler expected an ocean view. He got what he asked for and more. In fact, he actually had to ask for what he wanted. Kudadoo runs an “anything, anytime, anywhere” concept, meaning the dining, spa, and activities are all “unscripted” and anything you can ask for. As far as the accommodations go, if indeed they are sand castles, one would never know.

The structures offer luxurious open plan living which takes advantage of the weather so you can truly sleep right on the beach — in the comfort of your 5-star bed. There are only 15 villas, so service is attentive and overly accommodating. They even have a private wine cellar collected by the owners. And while you could enjoy a glass from anywhere — even the comfort of that beach front bed — you might want to try the undersea restaurant which lets you dine with the fish.

The Hotel: Kruger Shalati Train Lodge in Skukuza, South Africa

The Destination: Kruger Park, South Africa

Overview

Thank goodness travel reluctant Eugene Levy wasn’t too reluctant for this unconventional hotel. You have to know about Kruger Shalati Train Lodge, so we’re happy that it made the cut for The Reluctant Traveler hotels. As the name suggests, the rooms are all aboard a train from the 1950’s. Although this train is permanently suspended on a bridge above Kruger National park. Inspired by the journeys early settlers pioneered, Shalati Train Lodge offers unprecedented safari experiences.

The rooms all have luxury en-suites and tubs, which do not make you feel like you are living on a train. However, the unique views offer opportunities to see animals that you wouldn’t get n the ground. Eugene took the chance to view animals from his room, as well as on a safari excursion, and while playing golf as they interfered with his shots.

The Hotel: Verride Palácio Santa Catarina 

The Destination: Lisbon, Portugal

Overview

Eugene says he’s just as comfortable in this hotel as he is in a china shop — terrified of breaking anything. Though, his jokes shouldn’t deter guests from visiting this small, historic, luxury hotel. Moorish design and history forefront the hotel which was formerly a palace for royalty. The kicker is that Portuguese aristocracy once lived similarly to how guests do at the hotel. Although now there’s a rooftop perfect for taking in the views of historic old town. It’s also a perfect place to stay to immerse oneself in the culture of Lisbon.

The Hotel: HOSHINOYA 

The Destination: Tokyo, Japan

Overview

Hoshinoya is part hotel, part traditional ryokan. In the spirit of Japanese tradition, shoes are removed upon entry, and specially designed robes and lounge clothes are handed to guests. One can imagine the culture shock for Eugene. The name of the game is tranquility. Though the hotel is located in the middle of the bustling financial district, Hoshinoya doesn’t feel like it. Here you will learn that all water is not equal. Namely, the mineral rich water of the region harnesses special healing powers which are felt in their hot springs. However, the traditional elements of the spa, tea-making and hot spring rituals are met with high tech and contemporary elements. The dining options fuse french cuisine with Bento boxed breakfasts, and fresh snacks available at all hours of the day. Eugene noted the contrast between his Japanese shaded room and the robotic toilet in the bathroom.

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