Well, I just finished up a week of meetings with over 85 partners in the travel industry. Last year I met with 68, and there were only 6 repeats. Gosh, it was all marvelous!
Virtuoso Travel Week is like a combination of fashion week, school, and speed dating with a few cocktails thrown in for extra fun. It’s quite uplifting for those of us in the industry, and I love making connections with the creative community that makes magic happen in travel.
Personal relationships and friendships make all the difference for my clientele so that I’m able to clear waitlists, get priority upgrades, solve problems, and plan delightful surprises. I’m investing to cement these professional relationships with suppliers from across the globe so that I can deliver the high standard of service my clients crave. Because I am a member of Gifted Travel Network, I am affiliated with Virtuoso.
With thousands of travel suppliers who participated, I was on the hunt for all the unique, extraordinary experiences. The whole week has me vibrating with excitement with all the possibilities.
Here are just a very small sample of the fascinating things I learned ::
The difference between a Finnish sauna and a bio-sauna is (literally) 72 degrees Fahrenheit. (212 degrees for the Finnish and 140 degrees for the bio)
Christo’s final work—wrapping L’Arc de Triomphe in Paris in silvery blue fabric — will happen this fall after a year delay, and my clients can be a part of a very small group of twenty who can get an earlier morning tour and breakfast on the top of the Arch. How cool is that!?!
The British Queen’s Platinum Jubilee planned for next June offers a unique opportunity for royal aficionados to dive into their fandom with both legs!
That the Rolls Royce of medical spas in the world just may be Clinique La Prairie in Montreux, Switzerland, a world-renowned wellness destination founded in 1931 by Professor Niehans. He was a leading pioneer in cellular/anti-aging therapy research.
A small hotel in Scotland, built by Prince Albert, holds over 16,000 pieces of art including a painting by Picasso and one by Prince Charles.
A martini bar with 100 martini choices at a boutique hotel in Ravello is a great place to stay up all night on the Feast of San Lorenzo, also known as the night of the shooting stars, so you can attend the classical concert on the cliffs at 4 am to watch the dawn. (Yes, that’s now on my bucket list).
You can see Roman ruins underneath the water in the bay of Venice while crab fishing with a native crab fisherman.
Estonians do bog walks and even swim in the bogs because of the mineral-rich waters. (And also that they joke in Estonia that 6 meters apart is not far enough apart because Estonia’s naturally value their space!)
A hotel that is 400 years old in Amsterdam, and protected by UNESCO inside and out, now offers meditation walks in their gardens
Another hotel in Amsterdam offers yoga classes amid 10000 tulips and 6 palaces in their garden, another UNESCO site.
That the stunning Four Seasons ski resort in Megeve now offers robust and really creative programs of wellness weeks throughout the summer.
That I can get your passports renewed in 6-8 weeks for less than 100.00$
And if any of the amazing travel opportunities here pique your interest, I’ve got you covered with travel insurance, added value, and all the extras. And who doesn’t love extras??
Below is the list of the 85 partners that I met with throughout the week.
Be sure to check out the Advisor Tips throughout with fascinating experiences available.
andBeyond designs personalized high-end tours in 13 countries in Africa, five in Asia and four in South America, offering discerning travelers an exclusive experience. They own and operate 29 lodges and camps in iconic safari, scenic and island destinations, in Africa and South America, and positively impact more than nine million acres of wildlife land and 2 000 kilometres of coastline.
Ananda in the Himalayas is a peaceful oasis tailored for spa enthusiasts. The acclaimed destination spa is located on the 100-acre palace estate of the Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal and offers luxurious rooms and private villas with magnificent views. Ananda is known for its signature wellness programs, like ayurvedic rejuvenation, detox, dhyana (meditation), and weight management. The active can enjoy golf, rafting, trekking, wildlife safaris, temple tours, and more.
Advisor Tip :: The resort can arrange some amazing experiences, such as a personal yoga session in the foothills of the Himalayas or private dining in a majestic pavilion.
The amazing, five-star Ca’ Sagredo Hotel offers “the real Venezia” to its lucky guests, with an enviable location overlooking the Grand Canal between the Ca’ d’Oro and the Rialto Bridge. Art lovers are in heaven; works by noted Venetian artists of the 17th and 18th centuries adorn the public areas and guest rooms, making the hotel a true treasure – in fact, it has been named a national monument.
Advisor Tip :: Join the chef on his daily visit to the Rialto Market. You’ll travel by gondola across the Grand Canal, then watch and learn as he shops for the hotel restaurant.
Set on Flamands Bay, one of the island’s finest, Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France is home to 61 beautifully appointed rooms, suites, and villas hidden in lush gardens or with panoramic sea views. All Ocean and Beach Rooms and Suites unveil a new Caribbean flair imagined by French designer Jacques Grange. La Case restaurant serves a locally inspired cuisine for a culinary journey to the carefree rhythm of the Caribbean, while La Cabane is the perfect setting for a relaxed meal a few steps away from the sea. The Cheval Blanc Spa offers Guerlain rituals, exclusive to the Caribbean, for a well-being interlude.
Advisor Tip :: The Maison is a haven of joy and excitement for children and families, who may even encounter some cheerful turtles in the tropical gardens.
Behind its stately facade, Cliveden House hides a checkered past. Built 350 years ago for the Duke of Buckingham’s mistress and backdrop for the scandalous Profumo affair, this sprawling 48-room estate – set upon 376 National Trust-designated acres – has fostered the illustrious and the illicit. It cultivates a cultured stay with antique furnishings, period artworks, four-poster beds, and fireplaces; the meticulously tended grounds include a maze and the celebrated parterre.
Advisor Tip :: Take a private Thames River cruise on Cliveden’s 100-year-old riverboat with a picnic lunch; or join others for Champagne at sunset.
Their global collection is known for its uniqueness, attentive service, unparalleled destinations and extraordinary experiences. Not only do they have hotels and resorts, but they also offer private retreats and villas with exclusive buyouts all over the world.
The Fife Arms is far more than a 19th-century landmark hotel; it is a living museum of Braemar history. Every element has a story behind it – one of the 46 guest rooms pays tribute to Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote Treasure Island here; in a common area, abstract wall murals echo the flow of the Clunie River outside. Timber and other materials in the newly built section are locally sourced, as are most of the fresh seafood and game, seasonal produce, and over 300 varieties of whisky. Explore the extensive network of hill trails; get an acupressure massage; or visit nearby Balmoral Castle, open to the public April through July.
Advisor Tip :: The hotel owners are also cofounders of the acclaimed Hauser & Wirth gallery, and they have integrated more than 14,000 hand-selected pieces throughout the hotel. Tours are offered weekly.
Set directly on the slopes of Mont d’Arbois with a ski in ski out access and overlooking the 17th hole of the Mont d’Arbois Golf course during summer, this modern chalet welcomes guests with warm alpine hospitality. Enjoy a delighful cocktail on Bar Edmond’s terrace or a tasting in the 14,000-bottle wine cellar, then head to La Dame de Pic – Le 1920 restaurant headed by Michelin starred Cheffe, Anne-Sophie Pic. Kaito, the resort’s first Japanese restaurant, offers Asian culinary classics blended with the flavors of local alpine produce. With the region’s largest spa and innovative kids’ programs, the 55-room hotel is ideal for families.
Advisor Tip :: This is the only hotel in Megève with an in-house ski valet and ski in ski out access. Arrange family activities like dogsledding in winter or horse-riding in summer. Helicopter safari for ski & golf.
Epicenter of London’s social scene, Hotel Café Royal has been the Champagne set’s living room for 150 years. Fumed English oak and rusticated stone create a soothing ambience in 159 accommodations, ideally located between Mayfair and Soho. Find holistic well-being in the Akasha Spa, imbibe botanical cocktails at the iconic Green Bar, and treat yourself to Michelin-starred chef Albert Adrià’s pastries at Cakes & Bubbles.
Advisor Tip :: Use your hotel credit to book a spa treatment at Akasha Holistic Wellbeing, one of the best spas in London.
Named for the playful spirits believed to roam the West Indies, Jumby Bay Island is sure to enchant. Situated on a 300-acre private island with two white-sand beaches, the resort offers plenty of playful diversions, from snorkeling and sailboarding to biking and sunset cocktail cruises – all gratis. Choose from 28 oceanfront guest suites or 36 villas and Private Residences. Blending seamlessly into the island’s landscape are four restaurants: The Estate House, serving European classics with West Indian flair; beachfront Veranda restaurant and bar; the oceanfront Pool Grille; and the casually authentic Beach Shack with a Casamigos popup bar.
Advisor Tip :: Count on your bellhop to wake you at your request during the precise time turtles are laying their eggs or hatching.
The K Club, Ireland’s first AA Five Red Star property, is a 25-minute drive from Dublin Airport and 30 minutes from the Dublin city center. The home is nestled on 550 acres of parkland and gardens, and offers family rooms and an abundance of family-friendly activities – think fly-fishing, falconry, and horseback riding – as well as a spa, pool, and health center. Home to two Arnold Palmer-designed championship golf courses, the resort was the venue for the 2006 Ryder Cup and 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. The K Club is perfectly located for guests who wish to discover Ireland’s Ancient East and 5,000 years of Irish history.
Advisor Tip :: Book a spacious Barton Suite, which has a separate living area, original artwork, and magnificent River Liffey views.
Steps from Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park, in a residence honoring Regency-era luxury, The Lanesborough offers its guests complimentary, around-the-clock butlers to attend to every need. The hotel celebrates fine dining and afternoon tea at the magnificent Michelin-starred Céleste. The Library Bar offers a vibrant ambience and spectacular mixology. The Lanesborough Club & Spa is one of London’s most exclusive private fitness and health clubs, offering hotel guests access to internationally recognized experts in the fields of fitness, beauty, and wellness.
Advisor Tip :: Breakfast in the lobby’s central courtyard is like dining in a typical English manor home, complete with Wedgwood motifs and sunny skylights.
At Leonidas Travel, it’s all about the people. About those personal connections between travelers and Croatian villagers who still make traditional Pag lace and fine silk by hand, winemakers in their family-tended vineyards, and well-known chefs who open their homes for a private cooking lesson. Leonidas’ vibrant team can unlock hidden doors and meet the highest expectations, carefully selecting the best of the best in local guides, chauffeurs, and skippers for private yacht charters to explore some the 1,200 islands that lie along Croatia’s coast.
Deriving its name from the Sanskrit word for “temple,” Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve stands as a tropical shrine dedicated to the self. Fronting the Ayung River near the Ubud jungle, the hotel – which features 35 suites and 25 private pool villas, each with its own butler – replicates a traditional Balinese village, complete with working rice paddies. Four restaurants serve health-conscious cuisine sourced from the organic garden; arrange to have a romantic dinner overlooking the river or rice terrace. The spa offers a variety of programs focused on physical and spiritual well-being.
Advisor Tip :: Take the Vintage Tour in a classic VW 181 convertible – a drive through the countryside past rice fields and temples that ends with a picnic lunch in a coffee plantation.
The Merrion, Dublin’s most stylish five-star hotel, is set in the city center. Housed in four Georgian townhouses and a contemporary Garden Wing, its bedrooms and suites surround two 18th-century-style gardens. Stunningly restored interiors provide the perfect backdrop for one of Ireland’s most impressive private art collections. Choose from three dining options: Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud (Ireland’s only two-Michelin-starred restaurant), The Garden Room restaurant, and The Cellar Bar. Art Afternoon Tea service is available in the gracious Georgian drawing rooms. Indulge in a massage or facial in the new Merrion Spa & Health Club.
Advisor Tip :: Take an audio tour of the Merrion’s art collection, one of the most significant private collections of 19th- and 20th-century art in Ireland.
Nordic Luxury, small boutique DMC, specializes in the bespoke exploration of Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden. Having pioneered unforgettable trips on behalf of exceptional individuals for over a decade, we now bring you a honed couture travel experience, crafted with flair and finesse entirely around your dreams. Your confidence can rest in our knowledge, discretion, and the very highest calibre of planning, which we undertake personally.
Palazzo Avino is a stunning five-star deluxe hotel on Italy’s famed Amalfi coast. Built in what was once a 12th century private villa for an Italian noble family and opened as a hotel in 1997, Palazzo Avino has been landed as one of the world’s finest hotels and boasts one-star Michelin dining. Tucked away in the medieval hilltop village of Ravello, perched high on the cliffs, 350 m (1,000 ft) above the sparkling Mediterranean, Palazzo Avino overlooks some of the coast’s most picturesque fishing villages.
Enjoy an unforgettable stay at Park Hyatt Vienna, where history and art come together in the heart of Vienna. Housed in a 100-year-old former bank and overlooking Am Hof Square in the Goldenes Quartier, the hotel retains many of the bank’s original features, such as the massive marble pillars and high ceiling in the restaurant. You’ll find an inviting retreat at the Arany Spa, fitness center, and 15-meter lap pool, which is set in the old bank vault. The 143 guest rooms feature modern interiors with Viennese touches. Book a Park Suite View and enjoy breathtaking views of the historic city center and Vienna’s exclusive shopping area.
Advisor Tip :: In the summertime, Am Hof Square is alive with merchant stalls selling crafts and antiques. During the holidays, it hosts a festive Christmas market.
The Prince de Galles is a legendary jewel of the Parisian art deco movement and a five-star Luxury Collection Hotel. Since its inauguration in 1929, the hotel has excelled as a symbol of sophistication and grace. Situated on the prestigious Avenue George V, the hotel benefits from a premier location in the Parisian Golden Triangle near the Champs-Elysées. Its 116 elegant rooms and 43 suites provide an intimate atmosphere for Paris’ most discerning travelers. Bar & Restaurant ‘19.20’ and its botanical patio offer an invigorating breakfast, bistronomic lunch, dinner, innovative Tea time and inspired cocktails.
Advisor Tip :: The hotel’s Les Clefs d’Or concierge team has created an exceptional art deco tour in celebration of the hotel’s 90th anniversary.
Situated atop a seaside bluff overlooking the Pacific, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel offers a playful approach to luxury and majestic views of the California coast. Epicureans will enjoy enoSTEAK, an intimate boutique steak house featuring the finest wines to pair with your meal, and RAYA, a concept by chef Richard Sandoval showcasing sustainable Pan-Latin coastal cuisine. Experiences for all include spa treatments, golfing, surfing, exploring miles of sandy beach, and ocean-inspired excursions offered through the Eco-Adventure Center. For the ultimate wow, enjoy the sunset from 180blu, the resort’s outdoor oceanfront lounge.
Advisor Tip :: Enjoy top-notch rooms, staff, and restaurants. The view from the outdoor bar is among the best to see a sunset over the Pacific.
Rosewood Hotel Georgia combines the grandeur of the 1920s with contemporary elegance in the heart of Vancouver. This legendary hotel has been returned to its place as one of the most prominent hotels worldwide. Designed with a residential feel, the 156 guest rooms and suites layer modern sophistication against the historic backdrop of the hotel. With the same unique character as the hotel, the restaurants and bars deliver classically grounded, local ingredients driven by signature cooking techniques. Recreational facilities include Sense, a Rosewood Spa®; a state-of-the-art fitness center; and a saltwater lap pool.
Advisor Tip :: Award-winning Hawksworth Restaurant is considered one of Canada’s best dining venues – so make your reservations early.
With its light and airy guest rooms and suites on one of Southern California’s most exclusive beaches, Rosewood Miramar Beach is a seaside gem. Tucked away in idyllic Montecito, just 80 miles northwest of L.A., the resort’s bungalows are the perfect respite from the everyday grind. Rejuvenation happens daily at Sense® Spa, while sunrise yoga and sunset walks begin and end days in paradise. Indulge in Italian-inflected coastal cuisine at the oceanfront Caruso’s.
Advisor Tip :: The whole family is happy here, thanks to the Explorers Club, complete with kids’ menus, art, water sports, kids’ spa services, and more.
Wellness gets a slick makeover at the award-winning SHA Wellness Clinic on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, where people can improve their health and well-being through ancient Asian disciplines and revolutionary Western techniques. Holistic, personalized programs run the health gamut, from weight loss, detox, and sleep recovery to genetic testing and antiaging treatments. Guests can join healthy-cooking classes, get acupuncture or reflexology sessions in the wellness area, or meditate on the Sunrise Terrace before retiring to one of 93 minimalist-design, sea- or mountain-view suites – or to the 11 brand-new spacious residences.
Advisor Tip :: A sense of well-being also comes via a wide variety of cultural and leisure activities; consider a walk to the lighthouse through a natural park or a sailing trip across Altea Bay.
Less than an hour by air from Vancouver is a wilderness of bears, orcas, bald eagles, vast forests, and dramatic seascapes: Welcome to Sonora Resort, Member of Relais & Châteaux. Here, guests can kayak, fly-fish, fish for salmon, soak in warm outdoor mineral-water pools, tour by helicopter to experience mountain glaciers, and view coastal grizzlies in their natural habitat. Spacious mountain lodges house 88 guest rooms, offering goose-down duvets and rock fireplaces. Enjoy treatments inspired by the refreshing sea in the Island Currents Spa, then toast the day’s adventures over West Coast cuisine in the waterfront restaurant.
Advisor Tip :: If the timing’s right on your wildlife boat tour, the tide will churn fish to the water’s surface and bring bald eagles diving for their catch.
Like a winter fairy tale, there is a extra familiar atmosphere in the hotel. The staff provides a very personal service from the heart. Its traditional decor includes family antiques and modern art; individual furnished rooms with ineffably beautiful views. Outstanding cuisine; meals range from regional to international and are paired with fine wines. By day, the pool and spa await; guests enjoy ski-in/ski-out access, complimentary in-house ski instruction and excursions. In the evenings, settle into a comfy sofa in the bar and lounge. New: serviced apartments for more space and privacy.
Advisor Tip :: Enjoy skiing adventures with our complimentary ski guide Roman and ask about receiving personal training from Bernd Oesterle (Mr. Universe in fitness).
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is a legend along the city’s fabled canals. This magnificent grouping of 17th- and 18th-century palaces, set along the prestigious, UNESCO-protected Herengracht in the Golden Bend neighborhood, brings the legendary True Waldorf Service to the heart of Holland’s capital. Authentic contemporary decor and architectural touches define the 93 elegant rooms, lofts, and suites. The King Lofts, located on the highest floor, with the building’s original wooden beams, are particularly enticing. Dine with a two-Michelin-starred chef in Spectrum, followed by after-dinner cocktails at the stylish Vault Bar.
Advisor Tip :: Pick your favorite scent by Cire Trudon (candlemaker to the French court of Louis XV) to be spritzed in your room at turndown.
Neo-Renaissance grandeur meets refined modern aesthetics at Aman Venice. You’ll feel as though you’re sleeping in a beautiful museum at this 16th-century palazzo – some of the 24 individually designed rooms and suites are covered in protected frescoes and reliefs, which are smartly complemented by contemporary furnishings and amenities.
Advisor Tip :: Arrive in style via a water taxi ride along the Grand Canal to Aman’s private dock – it’s a sightseeing trip in itself. —Sue Lyall Hove, England
Bvlgari Resort Bali is a luxury haven with 59 villas and 5 mansions, all of which have spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. The beauty of its setting is matched only by the property’s blend of traditional Balinese and contemporary Italian design. Below the resort is the unspoiled, mile-long private beach, accessible only by the property’s cliffside elevator. The property boasts a beach club, three restaurants, a bar, an oceanfront spa, and an infinity-edge pool – the vibrant hub of the resort.
Advisor Tip :: Guests are spoiled with a personal butler; this is a spectacular place for adults to unwind, recharge, and be supremely pampered. –Tom Chongruk Fallbrook, California
Capri Tiberio Palace is a glamorous Mediterranean retreat. In close proximity to the beach and perfectly situated for exploring the heart of Capri, the hotel features 45 impeccably detailed guest rooms, most with sea views. Architect Giampiero Panepinto has used his fashion designer sensibilities to juxtapose soft pastels, inlaid majolica floors, and black-and-white stills from the town’s Hollywood heyday.
Advisor Tip :: Let the Executive Chef’s hand guide you into a journey of authentic and delicious flavors. Explore Caprese traditional gastronomy in a cool and contemporary style, with breathtaking views on the blue sea.
With more than 50 years’ experience, CIBT has become the largest and most well-established travel visa and passport company in the world. As a preferred partner of Virtuoso, CIBT extended deeply discounted rates exclusively to Virtuoso members. International travel requires accurate, timely information, and careful consideration before booking. CIBT has the tools, experience, and global network necessary to effectively reduce the time associated with obtaining travel documents and legalizations.
One of the world’s first luxury hotels, Hotel d’Angleterre was born from the love between two royal servants, and, for more than 260 years, the pair’s passion for perfection has lived on among the hotel’s staff. Housed in a neoclassical palace in the heart of Copenhagen, the hotel exudes sophistication with an edge, blending traditional elegance with sleek, contemporary touches in all 92 rooms and suites. Expect an exceptional dining experience in the urbane Marchal restaurant, which has been awarded six consecutive Michelin stars. Celebrate the good life with a flute of Pol Roger in Balthazar, the hotel’s renowned Champagne bar.
Advisor Tip :: Book the chef’s table at d’Angleterre’s Marchal for a meal guests will not soon forget.
An ultra lux boutique supplier that is on a mission to introduce the most luxurious aspects of their home country to passionate travelers from across the globe. They offer eclectic, authentic, Greek experiences that compliment and enhance itineraries.
Three different accommodation settings allow for a pleasingly personalized vacation at Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens. Choose from laid-back Arion, bustling Nafsika, or deluxe beachside at The Bungalows – and it’s all just 30 minutes from downtown Athens. Spend a day taking in the historic wonders of ancient civilization, then return to the Athens Riviera for unwinding and relaxing. Several eateries vie for attention, from sophisticated Greek seafood at Pelagos to tapas and tostadas at Helios. An airy spa incorporates the teachings of Hippocrates with ancient remedies and wellness secrets.
Advisor Tip :: With not just one, but three, private beaches and a nearly 1,000-foot boardwalk, the resort’s seaside experience is never crowded.
Globus family of brands is one of the largest travel companies in the world. This privately owned company conducts business in the United States under the brands of Globus, Monograms, and Avalon Waterways. These brands have been selected as preferred brands of Virtuoso. Globus is focused on first-class escorted travel, Avalon Waterways specializes in river cruises and small-ship cruising and Monograms offers independent travel packages. The company has over 90 years of experience and offers more than 458 vacations in 70 countries.
Situated on the historic Royal Route, Hotel Bristol, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Warsaw is one of the city’s most remarkable landmarks and distinguished destinations. The luxury hotel was founded in 1901 by the famous composer and piano virtuoso Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and it remains the most iconic and renowned hotel in Poland. The neo-Renaissance facade and art nouveau interiors reveal the rich history of the place at every step, charming guests with subtle feelings from the past. The hotel’s location in the heart of Warsaw will captivate every explorer looking for an unforgettable traveling experience and a touch of living history.
Advisor Tip :: Visit Café Bristol in the morning for the best pastries in town, and stop in at Column Bar in the evening for the widest assortment of cocktails.
Guests can experience the combination of luxury, discretion, and fine cuisine in this beautiful five-star luxury property located in the Carré d’Or of the principality. Designed by Jacques Garcia, the hotel offers 125 rooms and suites, and three restaurants for a varied culinary experience. ODYSSEY – imagined and designed by Karl Lagerfeld – is a haven of relaxation featuring a restaurant surrounded by a heated seawater pool. Discover the Spa Metropole by Givenchy: a true haute couture experience of well-being and beauty.
Advisor Tip :: Make sure to have dinner at Yoshi, the only Japanese restaurant on the French Riviera to be awarded a Michelin star. The next day, take an early-morning swim, followed by breakfast at ODYSSEY.
Contemporary and playful in design, and yet surrounded by lush rain-forest canopy, Kurà is a dynamic concept fusing sustainability and natural beauty. On Costa Rica’s south Pacific Coast, this adults-only resort overlooks Marino Ballena National Park and comprises just eight minimalist, open-floor suites with walls of windows for uninterrupted views across the rain forest and azure ocean. Lounge in a two-person hammock on the veranda or swim into the sunset in the stunning infinity-edge pool. Food is grown on-site or sourced from local artisan producers; activities focus on wellness, nature, and local culture.
Advisor Tip :: Marino Ballena and its famous Whale’s Tail sandbar is one of the most revered places in Costa Rica to watch migrating humpback whales. Best time for whale watching is late July-early October.
For afternoon tea, head to The Langham, London, where this tasty treat was established in Victorian times. The Langham is as innovative today as the day it opened in 1865, setting a new standard in luxury. It features 380 elegant accommodations and a Club Lounge that is unrivaled in its size, service, and style. Dining is overseen by two-Michelin-starred Michel Roux Jr. Pick from a seamless experience at Roux at The Landau; chic cocktails and snacks at Artesian; or The Wigmore, a hip twist on the British pub. The Langham’s latest offering is Sauce by The Langham – a fun, informal cookery school to gain those kitchen secrets.
Advisor Tip :: Book a room in the exclusive new Langham Club for butler service and access to the fireplace lounge, which serves complimentary selections from all of the hotel’s restaurants and bars.
Ideally located near all the city’s major attractions, Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona offers an atmospheric setting on Passeig de Gràcia. With contemporary interiors by designer Patricia Urquiola, the 120 rooms and suites (some with private terraces) are among the most luxurious in Barcelona. Carme Ruscalleda (one of the most awarded chefs in the world) is the leader of the two-Michelin-starred Moments Restaurant, casual Blanc, and Banker’s Bar. Terrat rooftop bar serves chef Gastón Acurio’s Peruvian delights. The spa is designed as a haven of serenity, making Mandarin Oriental the perfect base to explore the Catalan capital.
Advisor Tip :: Reserve a suite, where your butler will look after your every need, and don’t miss the rooftop restaurant, with the best view of Barcelona.
Budapest’s Matild Place makes its grand debut this spring and if you’re a connoisseur of Hungarian heritage, you’ll definitely want to put this hotel on your must-stay list. Originally built during the Belle Epoque era, this remodeled palace (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) is home to a nostalgic café, the first Spago by Wolfgang Puck in Europe, and a secret rooftop bar, the glamorous marble- and chandelier-laden Swan Spa, and guestrooms embellished with handcrafted, and extremely detailed, Hungarian furnishings.
Advisor Tip :: Stop into the historic Matild Café for your morning coffee and pastry, then return after hours when the space transforms into a lively cabaret. Do not miss the first Spago by Wolfgang Puck in Europe.
Luxury boutique hotels & exclusive resorts in elegant destinations. The Noble House portfolio encompasses independent properties across the US and Western Canada. Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa in the red rock canyons of Colorado and LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort located in Naples, FL are the two Virtuoso resorts.
Secluded 90 minutes north of Los Angeles in the bucolic enclave of Ojai, California, is the iconic five-diamond Ojai Valley Inn, a historic retreat known for its luxurious tranquility. Set amid 220 oak-studded acres, the resort offers an abundance of freshly renewed settings, activities, and amenities for inspired escapes, including the award-winning Spa Ojai and the surrounding Spa Village, creative classes at The Artist Cottage & Apothecary, a George C. Thomas-designed golf course, an apiary and immersive beekeeping program, multiple pools, more than five dining concepts, and The Farmhouse – a one-of-a-kind epicurean event center.
Advisor Tip :: Inquire about the Casa Elar estate – the ultimate private villa for family reunions or celebrations.
Park Hyatt Milano is just steps from the Piazza del Duomo and Teatro alla Scala opera house, with the exclusive boutiques of Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga close by. Return from a shopping excursion to enjoy the lavish riches of the hotel, from the welcoming atmosphere of La Cupola Lounge & Bistrò to the gourmet creations of the executive chef of two-Michelin-starred restaurant VUN Andrea Aprea. At the Mio Lab, guests can enjoy cocktails by the worldwide-known mixologist Oscar Quagliarini while being totally immersed in the city’s sparkling fashion scene. The Spa is an oasis for body and mind.
Advisor Tip :: Enjoy an exquisite Italian dinner in the two-Michelin-starred restaurant VUN Andrea Aprea, or gaze up at the hotel’s architecture and the sky at La Cupola Bistrò.
High above the cliffs of Big Sur, you’ll find a luxurious, romantic escape: Post Ranch Inn, known for its award-winning organic architecture. Choose one of the 40 secluded guest rooms, suites, and private houses that blend rustic elegance and comfort with ocean and mountain views. Each room features a wood-burning fireplace, private deck, and complimentary minibar. Enjoy activities like morning yoga, rejuvenating spa treatments, swimming in the heated pool, and ocean-view basking pools, hiking, and nightly stargazing. The celebrated Sierra Mar restaurant, recipient of Wine Spectator’s Grand Award, serves organic seasonal fare.
Advisor Tip :: For a special occasion, book an upper Pacific Suite, featuring a huge private deck with spa and jetliner views over the ocean.
Lose yourself in the Pulitzer Amsterdam, a labyrinthine property winding through 25 historic canal houses and between two of Amsterdam’s most iconic canals. It’s easy to spend your Dutch days wandering the many passages, relaxing in the pleasant garden courtyard, or perusing the walls adorned with quirky pieces from the hotel’s impressive modern art collection. Yet just beyond the Pulitzer’s doors lie the Anne Frank House, the Royal Palace, and other city must-sees. The 225 residential-style rooms come in all shapes and sizes; book one with a canal view. Delightfully surprising dishes make Restaurant Jansz. a foodie favorite.
Advisor Tip :: Cruise Amsterdam’s canals in classic style aboard the hotel’s 1909 salon boat, decked out in mahogany, marble, leather, and beveled glass.
Low-rise villas with wrought-iron balconies. Natural beaches that glow under the sun. Three infinity-edge pools with ocean views. Vibrant blues and intricate patterns. Food that is meant to be savored with the sunset. The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara embodies the charm, beauty, and energy of the Mediterranean in the heart of Santa Barbara, offering quiet courtyard and ocean-view accommodations, an indulgent spa, and dining that celebrates local ingredients. Quite simply, a 78-acre oceanfront resort where relaxation and adventure are set against a backdrop of golden beaches and lush mountains.
Advisor Tip :: Enjoy a flight of the Santa Ynez Valley’s finest wines in the Foley Food & Wine Society Wine Tasting Room. Reserve tastings can be arranged.
Set near Covent Garden, Rosewood London is an ideal base for experiencing the exhilarating British capital. Stepping out into the heart of the city, guests enjoy access to a range of luxury boutiques, an array of restaurants, and a wealth of cultural hot spots. Offering the sophisticated comforts of a contemporary private residence, Rosewood London envelops guests in impeccable style and refinement. Equally suited to business, leisure, and family travel, the hotel’s beautifully appointed accommodations are among the most spacious in the city and include 45 unique luxury suites and houses enhanced with personalized butler service.
Advisor Tip :: Request the Grand Premier Suite and visit the spa for a Hollywood skincare treatment.
Raise a flute to Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa. The UNESCO-designated wine region’s first destination spa pays fizzy tribute to the historic vineyards (including those of Moët & Chandon) that lie just beyond its infinity-edge pool and walls of windows. Forty-seven rooms and suites are spread across the original 19th-century coaching inn and a modernist wing crafted from glass and local quartz. Look for bubbles everywhere – in the metalwork, light fixtures in the one-Michelin-starred restaurant, and wall etchings in the rooms. Shimmery golden wallpaper adds an effervescent touch to Biologique Recherche spa treatments.
Advisor Tip :: Those who like a little indulgence with their healing should book the Cœur de Vigne (Heart of Wine) spa package, with ten hours divided among your choice of facials, massages, and other decadent treatments.
Sina Brufani has counted the queen mother of England and the prince of Monaco among its esteemed guests, and considers it a true honor to host many of the world’s most discriminating travelers. Here in the center of historic Perugia, this intimate hideaway offers 94 traditional yet modern guest rooms, the renowned Collins’ Restaurant, and an enchanting view of the Umbrian Valley. Locals flock to the outdoor terrace during the summertime, partaking of the delicious regional cuisine and refined wines. Of particular note is the indoor swimming pool; ancient Etruscan ruins are displayed under its transparent glass floor.
Advisor Tip :: The staff goes out of its way to make children feel welcome; the maître d’ will have the restaurant prepare whatever foods even your pickiest eaters desire.
Set amid rolling hills, Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa & Golf Resort is a stunning thermal retreat in Tuscany’s Maremma. The resort complements its ancient, mineral-rich thermal springs – from which body-temperature sulfurous water flows out at more than 200 gallons per second – with stylish accommodations, exclusive treatments in an award-winning spa, and an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Ronald Fream. Inimitable charm, a passion for the finest cuisine that focuses on a farm-to-table philosophy, and innovative spa programs put the finishing touches on this retreat, just a two-hour drive from Rome and Florence.
Advisor Tip :: Global well-being is the objective pursued by this program, as guests rediscover lost physical and mental energy, allowing them to develop a healthier lifestyle.
Some 203 breezy, sea-themed rooms, suites, and villas are scattered about Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa to provide guests with the ultimate privacy. After a signature treatment at the Spa by Sisley Paris, a cruise on the yacht, or a six-course tasting at the two-Michelin starred Ocean, if you feel like a bit more pampering, simply let a butler chauffeur you back to your suite in a golf buggy. No request is too large or small at this unapologetically plush cliffside resort in Algarve, which offers direct access to the beach and something for everyone, including golf, water sports, 10 dining venues, and a phenomenal kids’ playground.
Advisor Tip :: A variety of two- to five-bedroom, fully staffed villas offer the ultimate in everything: private pools, Jacuzzis, and state-of-the-art appliances. One even has its own gym.