Just got home and it's time to go again. But that's what my life
is all about: TRAVEL! Technology in hand, however, means I'm still
no more than a dial or an e-mail away, whether at home in Toronto or
our "pied-a-mer" in Victoria, or cruising at sea or discovering a
new mountaintop resort, just call or e-mail anytime and I'm at your
I'm off shortly to the International Luxury Travel Market in
Cannes, France, and am greatly honoured to be included in this
by-invitation-only annual event. Only 1100 VIP agents from around
the world are invited, but on the other side of the table, everyone
who's anyone in the luxury product sector will be there. It's an
incomparable opportunity to learn, and to make contacts – all of
which translates to better service for you, my clients.
If I don't get a chance to see you personally before the New
Year, here are my best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful
holiday season and a new year filled with exciting destinations!
E- mail: [email protected]
|Hotels - hot, hip and happenin'|
Vestibul Palace, Split, Croatia - We had an
opportunity to visit this amazing city on a recent vacation.
Split is a city in which people have built their homes inside
1700-year old walls of Diocletian's palace, creating a unique
living monument. Split is listed in the register of World
Cultural Heritage and protected by UNESCO. Despite its age the
city is eternally rejuvenated by 200.000 inhabitants who give
it its typically Mediterranean charm.
Hotel Vestibul is located in the heart of the Diocletian’s
third century AD palace, between the emperor's chambers and
the emperor's square, a place which used to be reserved only
for the gods. The hotel was created by merging three palaces
from three different periods: Romanic, Gothic and Renaissance
where every stone has a story to tell, and is now a
combination between the modern and the antique, where the
modern design of the interior is interwoven with the original
walls of the Roman time.
Landing, Harbour Island, Bahamas - India Hicks, famous
as one of Princess Diana's bridesmaids, is now a renowned
interior designer and brings us The Landing. This gracious,
classic plantation-style seven-guest-room property is an easy
five-minute stroll to the powder fine, pink sand beach, and
includes a world-class restaurant featuring a contemporary
seafood menu prepared by Chef Ken Gomes.
Pink Sands may have some competition!
Bay Lodge & Spa, Victoria BC - Victoria is
Canada's version of Paradise (and why we're spending some more
time there ourselves). While famous for its delightful bed and
breakfasts, and of course the senescent Empress Hotel, there
is only one five-star oceanfront resort on the Island:
Brentwood Bay Lodge & Spa is a luxury boutique hotel with
33 perfectly appointed suites, an award-winning restaurant
serving contemporary coastal cuisine, a casual pub, and a
tranquil spa - and from every vantage point, the ocean views
inspire and refresh.
|Hotels - Cool & Quirky|
Here is a compilation of the Top Ten Coolest
Hotels in the world - how many have you stayed in yet? Let's
visit a few more together!
And just for balance, a Top Ten List of the
Quirkiest Hotels in the world. I bet you could add a couple to
this list, too!
|River Cruises - the best of the
While we on a Top Ten theme, the editors of Insight Guides
have just published a book called Great River Cruises:
Europe & the Nile, and they've put together a list of
the top 10 places to take a river cruise. They are:
Wachau Valley, a stretch of the Danube River in
-The Danube Bend, where the river runs past the
Borzsony and Cserhat Hills to the north of Budapest,
-The Iron Gates, a gorge (also on the Danube)
between Serbia and Romania.
-The Rhine between Mainz and
-The Elbe, south of Dresden,
-The Rhone, from Vienne to Tournon in southern
-The Douro, from Peso da Regua to Pinhao in
-The Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness,
part of the Great Glen bisecting Scotland amid the
-Kizhi Island, in Lake Onega, a stop along a
popular Russian cruise itinerary following various waterways
from Moscow to St. Petersburg, including the Kovzha River,
which flows into the lake.
-The Nile between Aswan and
Luxor in Upper Egypt.
Crystal: Taking Cruising to a new level!
Having taken three cruises this year, I’m a convert. This
has to be the wave (pardon the pun) of future travel. Our most
recent was on the Crystal Serenity from Athens to Rome. Seven
days and seven nights of absolute luxury, a veritable “Four
Seasons at Sea.” We know the principal attractions of any
cruise are destinations, cuisine, and only a passing
acquaintance with your suitcase. But, with the exception of
the specialty cruises, such as the Star Clipper, the biggest
deterrent is crowds.
With a maximum passenger load of something less than 1000,
the first most apparent difference with Crystal is the lack of
lines, absence of crowds. We met the ship in Athens at noon –
and rather than lines of passport control and photo ops, we
were met by a relay of uniformed staff with “Crystal”
signboards, stripping us of our luggage and moving us quickly
through the minimal embarkation procedures, up the gangway and
suddenly we were sipping complimentary champagne and being
escorted to our verandah stateroom. Crystal has designed every
aspect of the experience with the comfort of their guests at
heart. The Captain’s routine announcements, for example, heard
in your stateroom only on your television, rather than an
annoying interruption to your reverie. The complimentary fruit
bowl in your stateroom, filled with your choice, and
replenished as consumed. Soft drinks delivered on a silver
tray with a cheerful “Bon appétit!” rather than “Stateroom
If you have had a less than wonderful cruise experience
with another line, it’s time you sailed the Crystal seas. If
you have never had a cruise experience, now is the time. You
deserve the best, and Crystal delivers it.