As I write this, I'm taking a break from the Bellini Club
meetings of the Orient-Express group in New Orleans, in the
beautiful Windsor Court Hotel, just as the city gears up for Mardi
Gras. What a wonderful, and sobering, experience this trip has been.
New Orleans is still hurting, and the devastation wracked by
Katrina 18 months ago is heart-rending, but the city remains an
incredibly exciting destination (the historic French Quarter and the
beautiful Garden District were almost untouched, for example). And
perhaps no where on earth are tourists as welcome as in New Orleans
at this time. Everywhere you turn, you are met with a heartfelt "Thank you for coming back!"
I've also got some travel trends and luxury developments to share
here from the International Luxury Travel Market I attended in
Cannes, in December. Four days packed with 20-minute meetings,
learning, restoring connections, all designed to assure you of the
best service possible in your travel experiences.
So, what are we waiting for? Let's get travelling!
E- mail: [email protected]
Pool envy can affect not just travelers, but also the
hotels themselves, many of which seem to be engaged in a sort
of aquatic arms race, outdoing each other with square-acreage,
sandy beaches, underwater sound systems or cliff-edge vistas.
From Le Meridien’s 69,000-square-foot expanse in Makadi Bay,
Egypt, to the Hyatt Regency Maui’s tide-pool simulators,
hotels aim to impress and attract visitors with their swimming
holes’ scale and novelty features (or a combination of both).
Here is Forbes’ list of ten incredible hotel pools. How many
have you dipped in?
|Canada's Top Ten Hotels|
From the cities to the mountains, from east coast across
the Rockies to the Pacific, Canada has an impressive array of
hotels and resorts worthy of being called "world's best."
That's the judgment of a recent panel of experts who chose the
best hotels in Canada. They are not ranked within the ten, but
instead were chosen as the best overall, based on factors such
as room quality, service, décor and location. Then, a group of
travel agents were invited to review them, and their results
are here for your resource, and comparison.
When the celebrity set jets off for a beach holiday, only
the most exclusive stretch of oceanfront will do. If you’d
like to join them, or follow in their footprints in the sand,
For the most Luxe, we present Los Cabos,
Mexico. Think Lucille Ball and John Wayne in the ’50s to
Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt today. Golf, tequila, and
oh-so-inviting spas await you at half a dozen great resorts in
Turn up the Romantic at Turtle Island, Fiji.
Its sugar-white beaches have been recently trod by
Bachelorette's Trista and Ryan, Newlyweds' Jessica Simpson and
Nick Lachey, and Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. Bring
your special someone and try a lomi-lomi foot massage while
you star watch.
Or go for the Serene, at Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos. Julia Roberts, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Eva
Herzigova and Liam Neeson, have all proclaimed this private
Caribbean island a their favourite sandy retreat.
|"To the moon, Alice!"|
Well, sorry Jackie, not all the way to the moon, but as
close as you and I are likely to get in this lifetime. Virgin
Galactic is the world’s first spaceline, and it's giving you
the groundbreaking opportunity to become one of the first ever
non-professional astronauts. Virgin Galactic will own and
operate its privately built spaceships, modelled on the
remarkable, history-making SpaceShipOne.
Virgin’s vast experience in aviation, adventure, luxury
travel and cutting-edge design combined with unique technology
will ensure an unforgettable experience unlike any other
available to mankind. With safety at the forefront, these
spaceships will allow affordable sub-orbital space tourism for
the first time in the history of the universe.
The first launches are expected in 2009, and are
exclusively booked by Virtuoso-affiliated agents.
Call me today to reserve your space in space!
|St Lucia's newest luxury resort|
Lying between Martinique to the north and St Vincent to the
south, St Lucia is the biggest of the Caribbean's Windward
islands. The green valleys and blue coves found in the
north-west of the island are well known, but the rugged
volcanic landscapes of the south, dominated by the twin peaks
of the Pitons, are even more breathtaking.
The island is dotted with luxury hotels offering fabulous
views and a number of activities from tennis and swimming to
hiking and scuba-diving. The newest of these is Jade
Mountain, Anse Chastanet's new and exclusive resort within
a resort. Expect grand sweeping spaces beyond your
imagination, with your bedroom, living area and extravagantly
sized private infinity edge pool gliding into one another to
form an amazing platform floating in space, with the 4th wall
missing entirely - the result is a stage-like setting from
which to embrace the full glory - and infinite views - of St.
Lucia's twin Pitons and the shimmering Caribbean Sea - a view
you are not likely to ever forget.
New Orleans The rolling of the Big Easy's bon temps may have come to a
screeching halt in 2005, but the city's ongoing process of
recovering its cultural and gustatory spiciness continues
apace. The ghosts of Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton
live on through the musicians pounding the French Quarter's
cobblestones, and the living personalities of Anne Rice and
Emeril Lagasse can once again show off their love of the city.
As the city returns to life, its many layers come back in
focus: the stately antebellum homes; the casino-hopping,
bead-throwing parties; the shadowy voodoo practitioners; and a
new cutting edge, in the form of city-wide free WiFi. In the French Quarter, church spires soar and wrought-iron
balconies peer down on the Blues-Dixieland-Western medley from
Bourbon Street; much of the city's proud diversity is on daily
parade in this 90-square-block area. While art is everywhere,
the Warehouse District in particular hosts many of the premier
galleries in the country. The Garden District still proudly
displays its 19th-century aristocratic roots in Victorian,
Italianate and Greek Revival mansions, one of the country's
most beautiful collections of a bygone lifestyle. For a weekend or a week, this is the Featured Destination,
for nowhere will you find a warmer welcome this spring. And
nowhere in New Orleans will you be treated better or lodged
more comfortably than at the Windsor
Court Hotel, a proud part of the Orient-Express group of
Hotels, Trains and Cruises, on the edge of the French Quarter.
Gordon Ramsay's formidable talent has arrived in
Manhattan. U.K.'s only chef to be awarded eight stars from the
prestigious Michelin Guide, Gordon Ramsay offers a fine
dining experience akin in concept to his celebrated flagship
restaurant in London, now at The London NYC hotel in
Drop in for a nosh. Reservations - well in advance! -
Ramsay and The London NYC
Terminal 2 is Closed
After 34 years, without a whimper and nary a tear, Pearson's Terminal 2, which was originally supposed to be used just for cargo, quietly slipped into history on January 29 when its last flight (to Boston) left at 9:20 PM.
The new $800-million Pier F at Terminal 1 opened its doors the next morning, bringing all Star Alliance carriers into one building. Among the features it boasts are Canada's biggest duty-free store and fastest moving walkway.
The GTAA says it hopes to recycle 98% of Terminal 2 with demolition set to begin in April.