The Confidante Your Source for What's New in Luxury Travel
Winter 2007


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!

Roger Kershaw
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in this issue
  • Feature Destination
  • Cool Pools
  • Canada's Top Ten Hotels
  • Celebrity Beaches
  • "To the moon, Alice!"
  • St Lucia's newest luxury resort
  • Let's Eat!
  • Terminal 2 is Closed

  • Cool Pools

    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.

    Celebrity Beaches

    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, consider these:

    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 this area.

    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.

    Feature Destination

    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.

    Let's Eat!

    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 midtown Manhattan.

    Drop in for a nosh. Reservations - well in advance! - suggested.

    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.


    Cruise & Travel Links

    Crystal Cruises
    The Yachts of Seabourn
    Radisson Seven Seas Cruises
    Celebrity Cruises

    Royal Caribbean

    Orient-Express Hotels Trains and Cruises

    Homes Away

    Toronto Downtown Bed and Breakfast

    E-mail your Confidante for more information on these, or any, travel experiences: Phone: 416-786-5449 / Toll-free 1-877-950-6200
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