Travel Spotlight

Barcelona and Lisbon: Behind the Scenes with Indagare

At Indagare, we believe that every trip should be unforgettable and each vacation is designed specifically for the traveler. Here, we dive into a behind-the-scenes look at the planning process for Indagare member Susan S. and her family’s Thanksgiving trip to Barcelona and Lisbon. We talk to Indagare CEO and founder Melissa Biggs Bradley and Travel Specialist Missy Weil, who orchestrated the memorable journey, as well as Susan, who reflects on her favorite Indagare-planned experiences.

Now is the time to book a trip to Barcelona and Lisbon. Our specialists can match you with the hotel that is right for you, plan great meals and activities, introduce you to our favorite guides and arrange special access. Contact Indagare to get started. 

The Request

Indagare founder and CEO Melissa Biggs Bradley and Travel Specialist Missy Weil tell us about the family's travel request and explain the planning process:

"Susan and her family wanted to visit one of their children who was studying in Barcelona. They are active, love golf and the outdoors and wanted to combine time in Barcelona with another destination nearby that they hadn't visited before."

Related: Member Postcard: Brava Barcelona 

The Solution

"They considered Finca Cortesin in southern Spain for golf, but ultimately decided that Lisbon would offer a greater variety of experiences as well as the opportunity to play golf in the nearby coastal town of Cascais."

Related: Why Go Now: Portugal

The Indagare Advantage

"We have a very strong relationship with the Cotton House Hotel in Barcelona, so we were able to arrange an upgrade to the hotel's top suite, which has a private terrace. In Lisbon, we organized for the family to tour the city's best sites with one of our favorite guides and drivers."

Related: The Importance of Guides

In our Member's Words

"Many thanks to Indagare for organizing a successful and enriching family trip to Barcelona and Lisbon! We were planning to visit our son in Barcelona over Thanksgiving week, but also wanted to visit another destination afterwards. Melissa was brilliant at assessing our family's needs and offering possible destinations to fit our interests. We ended up settling on Lisbon, which was the perfect place for our family to explore.

"Our Travel Specialists Missy Weil and Kial Church sourced availability and pricing for us, and the Indagare flights team was very helpful in arranging our travel logistics. The itinerary Indagare planned for us was a big hit. The Cotton House Hotel in Barcelona was so special with an intimate atmosphere and the most attentive staff. The hotel has beautiful public spaces, including a magical library where we had drinks before we went out for the evening. We loved the upgrade to their best suite, which has a spiral staircase and a private outdoor terrace.

"We enjoyed all of Indagare's restaurant recommendations in Barcelona, and Cal Pep was a stand out that our family will never forget. Our server was fabulous and kept bringing out the chef's favorites for us to share family-style. He spoke with our sons in Spanish about the menu and wines and joined us for an after-dinner drink with delicious desserts. Talk about making memories over local cuisine! It was a very special experience.

"Barcelona is a very easy city to navigate with beautiful, wide sidewalks and parks. We loved walking everywhere. Our favorite stops were Casa Mila, which has a fabulous rooftop, and the Picasso Museum.

"We adored Lisbon, which is such a charming and vibrant city. Our guide was super professional and knowledgeable, and the driver was top-notch. In a short time, we got a great overview of the city. Our many stops included Mosteiro dos JerónimosPadrão dos Descobrimentos, Belem Tower, snacks at Pasteis de Belem and lunch and a tour of the food stalls at Mercado da Ribeira, where everyone enjoyed different specialties. We also visited Museu Nacional Do Azulejo, a fabulous tile museum that gave us an appreciation for the beautiful tiles that adorn nearly all of the buildings and sidewalks in Lisbon.

"The tour to Sintra and the Estoril Coast was equally impressive. We were so glad to have our driver navigate the tiny roads. We visited Pena Palace and enjoyed delicious pastries in town. We loved seeing the dramatic coast and our fresh seafood lunch at a local spot. Cascais was also delightful. Throughout the day, our guide taught us so much about Portugal's history and cultural nuances.

"Back at the Four Seasons Hotel Lisbon we enjoyed the beautiful indoor pool, spa and gym every day. It was a great hotel for us all to congregate after full days of touring. The service there was exceptional. Although it is a little out of the way, the hotel was the perfect home base for us. We loved the interiors, which are decorated with an incredible Portuguese art collection.

"For dinner, we enjoyed Indagare's recommendations, such as the youthful Cantinho do Avillez, and we became friendly with the chef and his family at Aqui Há Peixe, a nice neighborhood restaurant (Rua Trinidade 18A).

"We also explored the cool Chiado neighborhood and had lunch at A Cevicheria, which is a must! It is tiny and doesn't take reservations, but it's worth the wait. We rated our 19 family meals from this trip, and this was the clear winner.

"I am delighted to be a part of the Indagare community and I look forward to more family vacations with your guidance!" ~ Susan S., member since 2014

Now is the time to book a trip to Barcelona and Lisbon. Our specialists can match you with the hotel that is right for you, plan great meals and activities, introduce you to our favorite guides and arrange special access. Contact Indagare to get started. 

Published onDecember 14, 2017

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