Itís been four months since Iíve been working with
Navigant Luxury Vacations on your behalf, and they have been the
most rewarding months of my travel career. Working from my home
office, my office at Navigant, or my laptop anywhere in the world
has allowed me to work on your schedule, available to you
whenever you need my services. In those months Iíve travelled the
world, some on my own and more with you, and itís been an exciting
On my own, Iíve attended the largest travel expo in the world, in
London, experienced the Orient- Express train, tasted Tuscany and
Venice, and sampled the art and culture of New Mexico.
And with you and other clients, Iíve explored Namibiaís Skeleton
Coast, reveled in a Fiesta Bowl tail gate party, savored the luxury
lodges of Australia and New Zealand, and then relaxed in the sun on
the Mayan Riviera. Iíve also ushered my corporate clients from
meetings in Minneapolis to retreats in Rio.
|Trends in luxury travel
There is a general trend of consolidation in the luxury
hotel market, with new hotels aligning themselves with the
four or five leading luxury brands. For example, the time-worn
on the Amalfi Coast was completely refurbished and has
re-opened in the Orient-Express collection to great acclaim.
Each hotel that has recently become part of One and Only (such
in the Maldives) has enjoyed quick sell-out situations.
To the discriminating traveller, this means that despite a
hotelís newness, if it has opened under one of the luxury
umbrellas, book fast!
|Hotels - hot, hip and happenin'!
Your Confidante is always working to ensure that you are
at the cutting edge of what's new in hotels. That the end, I
am pleased to introduce ...
Kasbah Tamadot is Richard Bransonís amazing new
Moroccan resort located in the foothills of the high Atlas
Mountains. This latest addition to the Limited Edition by
Virgin portfolio of special places owned by Branson is one of
the most stunning hotels in North Africa. Web
Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi is a wonder to behold for
all who venture through its magnificent gates. Fairytales come
to life as your senses are treated to an extraordinary and
unforgettable experience. Direct flights by Etihad
Airways from Toronto. Web
Island resort in the Seychelles is a
conservation-oriented, ethically driven company inspired by
the philosophies of honoring their environment, and spoiling
their guests. A unique, and regenerating, educational
experience in an exclusive luxury lodge. Web
Oriental, Hong Kong has begun a $140 million
renovation, losing the property until late August. The
renovations will see the hotel's balconies enclosed,
increasing the size of the rooms.
Hotels goes smoke free. With research showing that 92%
of Westin's guests request a non-smoking room when traveling
and do not smoke in any part of the hotel, including public
areas, Westin is the first smoke-free upscale hotel brand.
Hotels, anchored by the famous Royal York and Chateau
Laurier, has just been bought by a Saudi group, Kingdom
Hotels, which also controls the Raffles
Hotels is going one up on those pillow "concierges"
and technology "butlers" at other high-end digs. In the spirit
of love and St Valentine, they have introduced a Proposal
Concierge to help pop the question.
For most vacationers, a hotel is a place to sleep and
shower. Here are five instances, however, where the hotel is
the destination. Enjoy MS-NBCís roundup of the worldís top
five most bizarre hotels, and make your next holiday a
decidedly different experience. Would you like that coffin lid
open, or closed, madam?
|Coming Next Issue
Later this month, your Confidante is traveling to
Charleston SC, for the inaugural meeting of the world-wide
Orient-Express Top Travel Agents Club. I am honored to be the
only travel professional in Canada chosen to be part of this
In March, itís off to Singapore to the Virtuoso Symposium
for five days of meetings with luxury travel suppliers from
around the world. Iíll be taking a weekís vacation, as well,
including a cruise on the Star
Clipper around Malaysia and Thailand.
Sri Lanka, resplendent isle, serendipitous, the new
Bali, call it what you will, Sri Lanka is one of the most
beautiful countries on earth. This pearl at the end of the
Subcontinentís necklace offers culture, history, friendly
people and some of the most magnificent and empty beaches on
I include Sri Lanka as the Feature Destination because
there is so very much to offer the sophisticated traveler. The
perfect pre- or post- destination to a more comprehensive
India-area trip, it can also be perfectly combined with the
Maldives for an unbeatable culture / beach combination.
So confident in the future are hoteliers, that Aman Resorts
has recently opened two properties offering pure pampering and
luxury on the serene south coast of Sri Lanka. Amangala
showcase this confidence.
In fact, one of my more indefatigable clients returned this
past week with glowing reports. Call me anytime to discuss
this amazing destination.
Membership has its benefits
My association with Navigant Luxury Vacations, a Virtuoso
Member Travel Agency, allows me to offer many additional
Virtuoso benefits to my clients, including complimentary
Voyager Club membership, special hotel rates and upgrades, and
exclusive travel experiences.
For example, when you stay in a Virtuoso-affiliated hotel
or resort, you receive benefits that may include a category
upgrade, complimentary transfers or complimentary breakfast.
And when you book a specific sailing with a
Virtuoso-affiliated cruise line, you receive
specially-arranged shore events
ē a personable Voyager
ē a private cocktail reception
Virtuoso Voyager Club pricing.
Call me today for more information.