Sunday, August 23, 2009

All the VIRTUOSO TravelMart News That's Fit 2 Print

Want to know what's happening in the luxury travel world? Just read on, as the following is a round-up of what's hot & what's new, as revealed at the recent Virtuoso TravelMart in Las Vegas. Out of the five I have attended, this year's TravelMart (showcased on Fox Business News!) was hands down the best. A sense of optimism prevailed as nearly 3000 people involved in luxury travel gathered together to share ideas on how to best achieve our common goal.

Here are just some of the cool things I learned last week from hundreds of Virtuoso travel suppliers:

DAY 1:

All Rocco Forte hotels offer family packages that include a free room for kids when one purchased for parents...Hotel de Rome in Berlin offers teenage programs including DJ lessons & underground bunker tours...The Charles Munich has availability during Octoberfest...the Mandarin Prague offers a free 3rd night from Nov-March...A&K is waiving many single supplements...In 2010 Backroads lowers prices and offers new biking trips to Spain, Bordeaux, Portugal, Arizona & Oregon...Exeter offers sailings from Moscow 2 St Pete on the new Volga Dream, 80 pax, 1st luxury ship, great rates...Gran Hotel Bahia in Tenerife has new 1-2 BR villas, a new Moet & Tapas lounge...Kempinski Hotel in Brugges only 1 hr by train from London or Paris, great spot to visit traditional Xmas markets...Park Hyatt Paris has 3 new prez suites, each 2,500 sq ft with in-room spa/gym. Eva & Tony Parker were 1st guests...Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat is fresh from 70 million Euro refurb (nearly 1 million Euros/per room!)...Villa La Massa outside Florence has new 2 BR/2BA prez suite, nearly 2000 sq feet with huge outdoor terrace...Oceania's newest ship, the Marina, debuts Jan 2010...Horizon & Co offers luxe Master's golf package, $5,750/person includes 3 nts at the Ritz-Carlton, final day at Master's, police escorts & 2 rounds of golf...Hotel Adlon in Berlin is where Brad Pitt stayed for Inglorious Bastards, it's also Obama's Berlin hotel of choice...

DAY 2...

American's new 757-800s will have 110 AC power ports. Plus, AA launches service from LA to Vail this winter...The Portugese investment group that last year purchased Lisbon's Lapa Palace is building 2 new luxury hotels downtown...The newish Grande Real Villa, 45 min from Lisbon, sits seaside and is the former home of an Italian king...Amsterdam's Hotel Pulitzer completed major renovation last fall, still authentically Dutch but more contemporary in style...Virtuoso cruise pax docking in Mykonos should ask me about spending the day at Starwood's Santa Marina Resort. 150E/person gets you transfers to/from the port, a Greek seaside lunch and all day use of the beach...Entry-level rooms on Seabourn's new 450-pax Odyssey are 300+ sq feet with 65 sq ft balcony, spa measures 11,000 sq feet with private spa 2008, the refurbished (reopened in 2004) King George Palace in Athens upgraded 95 percent of all Virtuoso guests...Tahiti Legends can facilitate legal weddings in Tahiti as of 2010...Baroness Rothschild & Michael Phelps traveled through China with Imperial Tours...Inter-Continental Hong Kong guarantees Virtuoso clients enjoy double upgrades through end of Dec...One & Only Capetown is home to Gordon Ramsay's Maze & the city's only Nobu...Stay 3 nights each at Singita & Ellerman House and the 4th is free in each spot through July 2010...Twelve Apostles just redid its lobby & all rooms, offers free helicopter flight 2 waterfront for those staying 4 or more nights...Taj Mahal Palace & Tower will reopen 70% of its rooms this Dec, the remainder by March. Butler service to be offered in entire Palace...Jumeirah Beach Hotel has 19 new Arabian-style villas, 1-3 bedrooms right on the beach...Diane Von Fustenberg designing her first hotel rooms at Claridges in London...Wilderness Safaris donates a % of every room night booked back into local communities...the Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong will debut its 56th floor Club level in Nov...AmanResorts opens its 34-suite Amagiri in Paige, AZ Oct 15...Four Seasons Chiang Mai debuts 12 new, 1,000 sq ft pool villas this fall, offers 3rd night free.

DAY 3...

St. Regis Shanghai has female-only floors with dedicated female butlers...St. Regis Mexico City just opened, St Regis Princeville debuts Oct 1...All 18 villas at Fregate Island now have private pools...Royal Palms in Scottsdale offers 60 new rooms & a new Spa Villa that sleeps 8...Triple Creek Ranch in Montana to include lift tix/ski rental in rates this winter...All rooms being redone by year's end at Rosewood's Mansion on Turtle Creek...Utah's Sundance Resort undergoing total room renovation and introducing night skiing this winter...Four Seasons Seattle offers comp transfers to cruise port & 3rd night free...Plaza Athenee in NYC debuts newly redone suites this Nov and new spa/fitness center in Jan....New Danny Meyer restaurant to open at Gramercy Park Hotel this fall, a $295 Thanksgiving rate is on offer Nov 19-30...Trump Chicago offers 53 "Spa" rooms w/yoga mat, weights, healthy menu & $50 spa credit...Hotel Hershey just completed $76 million expansion...the redone Pierre, a Taj Hotel in NYC offers totally new rooms with spa-like marble baths...the Four Seasons DC underwent a $40 million renovation last year, including the addition of Bourbon Steak restaurant...Virtuoso clients enjoy 10% off best available rates at Wynn & Encore Hotels, plus breakfast, a $100 dining credit, early check in/late check out...a renovation will start this fall at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota...

Day 4...

Roger Nadal & Venus Williams are fans of the Fairmont Acapulco Princess, home to one of 15 Willow Stream spas worldwide...44 unique hotels & 28 authentic restaurants throughout Mexico comprise Tesoros (treasures) de Mexico...Through Dec 24 the Presidente InterContinental Cancun will offer Virtuoso clients a double upgrade...Maroma Resort & Spa will allow kids to stay with families in its 4BR Villa Karolina; the Orient-Express Mayan Riviera resort recently added Freddy's Tequila & Ceviche Bar to its F&B outlets...Casa Sierra Nevada in San Miguel de Allende offers its gorgeous Presidential Suite for about $450/night and recently added multiple new suites to its inventory...Mauna Lani closes Sept 1-Oct 31 for room/public space renovations, has holiday space available (including one of its famed bungalows) and no min stay is required this year...When Royal Caribbean debuts 2700-cabin Oasis of the Seas this fall, it will have 37 different stateroom categories, including 2-story loft suites, 7-day Caribbean sailings start in Dec...Halekulani Resort will confirm upgrades for Virtuoso clients at time of booking, all rooms now feature HDTV & Mp3 players...David Copperfield's Musha Cay has been undergone a major facelift and now features a Balinese instead of Bahamian decor...Ritz-Carlton Jamaica offers an all-inclusive package priced from $409/night...Ritz-Carlton San Juan offers Virtuoso cruise clients day passes to its beach/pool...Bill & Hilary just vacationed at Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda...the Pan Pacific Vancouver will unveil a new room product in time for the Winter Olympics and will play host to the Today Show throughout the Games...Park Hyatt Beaver Creek has redone all suites, has a new restaurant & bar and offers 70% connecting rooms...Aspen's Little Nell will close in Sept for an $18 million renovation, reopening Dec 1 after donating all old furnishings to Habitat for Humanity. Free ski passes to anyone staying 3 nights this winter...Free skiing also offered this winter to guests of Amangani in Jackson Hole, WY...Fairmont Ghiradelli offers a $100 resort gift card per day for Virtuoso clients plus comp passes to the kids' club...Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles will open downtown on Feb 15, 2010...Miraval Spa offers Virtuoso clients a $150 spa credit per night booked.

For more information or to book your next luxury travel experience, contact the EliteTravelGal at or 310.979.9036.


  1. American does not have 757-800s. They fly 737-800s, which will have the new, upgraded features.

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