Happy New Year!
Thanks to you, 2007 has been my most successful, exciting,
satisfying year ever in travel, going places I've never been, both
personally and - almost as much fun - vicariously through your
adventures. I'm especially excited to have just confirmed the first
Galactic space flight sold through the exclusive Virtuoso
booking agents in Canada. What an exciting start to 2008!
More new adventures and developments are already in the works for
2008, including a safari into three
Orient-Express camps in Botswana in April, accompanying my
first-ever group on a Crystal
Cruise in May (we still have room for you to join us!), and the
imminent launch of a brand new RogerKershaw.com website powered by
Virtuoso's incredible booking engines, and a second website coming
to feature cruises exclusively, the fastest growing luxury segment
of my business today.
It's going to be a lot of fun, especially because we'll be
enjoying it together!
Virgin Galactic Accredited Space
|ILTM - Immersing Ourselves in
My favourite and without doubt most important trade show of
the year is the International Luxury Travel Market each
December in Cannes. Attendance for 1200 top travel agents from
around the world and 900 suppliers is by invitation only, a
ticket as hot as the Film Festival a few months earlier.
This year we were also guests of Orient-Express to a
pre-event in Carcassonne, France, long a destination on my
Wish List, finally a reality. We stayed at the beautiful Hôtel
de la Cité within the walled city, overlooking the
castle grounds, with views of both the ancient
UNESCO-designated city and the modern city below. Highlights
of this stay included, in addition to simply ambling through
the cobbled streets, unique shops and historic basilica, was a
full medieval dress banquet in the castle, a day trip to
Narbonne and, on the bus ride to Cannes, a stop at another
frequently referred but never yet visited country resort, Hôtel
Le Mas de Peint in the Camargue region.
Arriving in Cannes, we had one day to shop and explore and
eat and fall in love again with this wonderful part of the
world, before the meetings: three days of 20-minute
appointments with the crème de la crème of the luxury world,
both inside and outside the Virtuoso network. This
incomparable opportunity to make new contacts and strengthen
old ones is complimented by a full schedule of site
inspections, this year including the Four
Seasons Provence at Terre Blanche and the Relais &
Châteaux property, Hôtel
But most importantly, at every turn is a new opportunity to
make your next travel experience a trip into paradise. Let's
go! I can hardly wait!
|News from Air Canada|
Sports Equipment. Air Canada now asks that
passengers register their sports equipment before check-in.
Doing this in advance will waive the excess piece fees for
hockey sticks, ski boots, and snowboard boots, and the
oversize fee for skis, snowboards, hockey sticks, and hockey
bags. Failure to register this equipment in advance will
attract all applicable excess piece and oversize fees when
checking in at the airport on the day of departure. As you
might expect, there are still rather complicated rules
and restrictions, so please let me verify the current
situation for you at time of booking.
Mobile Boarding Pass. Air Canada has introduced
paperless boarding passes for its customers who check in using
their PDA (such as Blackberry or Treo) or cell phone. Air
Canada's mobile check-in service, available at
mobile.aircanada.com, has been enhanced to now offer an
electronic boarding passes in the form of SMS text messages
you simply shows to airport security and Air Canada gate
agents, in lieu of a paper boarding pass. More details on
this, and other mobile services, here.
British Airways has re-introduced its two-piece cabin
bag allowance for passengers departing from or
transferring through London Heathrow, London City, Aberdeen,
Edinburgh, Glasgow or Manchester. The allowance is one bag
(max 56 x 45 x 25 cm; max 23kg) plus one briefcase or
laptop-sized bag. The one-bag restriction will remain in place
at a number of airports where British Airways operates,
including London Gatwick, Jersey, Newcastle, and Newquay. Details
Mayaguana, Bahamas. Officials broke ground on a
7,300-foot runway and international airport terminal on
the island of Mayaguana, a sleepy Bahamian outpost 350 miles
southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas Out Islands, about 50 miles
west of the Turks and Caicos. Mayaguana, the least developed
and most isolated island within the Bahamas, is all about to
change. The first phase of the development project will
include a luxury boutique resort; restaurants; a spa, a yoga
facility and a fitness center; a marina village; private
villas; and four designated nature preserves. No timeline has
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch announces Ski Nanny.
The Ski Nanny gives parents some extra time alone or on
the mountain by delivering young guests to Ski School in
Beaver Creek every morning. The Ski Nanny also picks the
children up from Ski School at the end of the day and brings
them back to the RK Corral where they can stay for Munchies
and a Movie at no additional charge.
Luxury Villa in the Galapagos Islands. International
Expeditions' exclusive luxury villa located on the island of
Santa Cruz, in Galapagos, is surrounded by the most impressive
fauna, scenery and beaches in the world. Almost everything is
included in a program customized for you and led by your
private naturalist guide. More.
|World's Best (and Worst) Airports|
Consulting firm Skytrax has announced this year's Ten
Best Airports, with few surprises among them: Top honours
go to Hong Kong, second place is shared by Seoul and
Singapore. The top North American airport is our own
Vancouver, in eighth place, the only one in the top ten
While Skytrax surveys 8 million passengers, a much more
informal survey conducted by an
International Herald-Tribune journalist of fellow road
warriors, reveals their hands-down choice for World's Worst:
London Heathrow, with its miles and miles of passageways and
tunnels. (Dis)honourable mentions went to Charles de Gaulle,
Leonardo da Vinci (Rome), and Frankfurt.
One comment: "If Heathrow is like being on a Long March,
then Charles de Gaulle in Paris is like being in an Escher
print." The hotels around CDG do a bang-up job of hosting
travellers stranded by missed connections, which can be - as
it was for us as we returned from Cannes in December - a
blessing in disguise. Missing a tight but "legal" connection
there, we were "forced" to overnight at AF's expense and spend
24 hours with nothing to do but graze through the streets of
Paris. Tough life.
|First Class - Is It Worth It?|
With the Meals for Sale and $2 pillow packs in Economy, it
may seem that airlines are taking more out of passenger
comfort than ever thought possible, but just the opposite is
happening up front. Check out this
link for some of the latest developments in First Class on
seven of the world's leading airlines.
Then call me when you'd like to book your next massage at
I'm always on the lookout for new hotels, and ILTM is a
rich source for that search. Instead of my normal "Feature
Destination" here, I'd like to share some of many discoveries
that may be your next Destination.
Sands Ivory Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South
Africa, is ultra luxurious, yet simple and uncluttered.
Six private villas, or try spending a night under the African
stars in one of their unique Treehouse experiences (photo
Bay Resort, Antigua, with just 25 extraordinarily
spacious Cottage Suites landscaped into the natural beauty of
a perfect bay and hillside of tropical gardens in one of the
most secluded corners of the island.
Bay Club, Antigua, rests in a quiet white sandy bay
enclosed with rich lush tropical gardens. Ocean-front houses,
penthouses, club apartments and a luxury hotel opening in May.
Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara CA, nestled into the lush
Montecito foothills, this legendary hideaway is where Vivien
Leigh and Sir Laurence Olivier exchanged vows and was John and
Jackie Kennedy's honeymoon retreat.
Hill, CA, on 504 acres of the most exquisite land
above the coastline between Newport and Laguna Beach, with 200
bungalows and 128 villa residences, around an elegant
clubhouse and pool. Opening late fall
Jungle Lodge, Kanha, India. "Protectors of the sacred
forest.," this new world class resort in the tiger heartland
of India is an eco-tourism initiative with a strong focus on
St. Regis Kauai, Hawaii (the former Princeville
Resort, reopening in 2009) perched on a bluff facing Hanalei
Bay with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the
mystical Na Molokama mountains.
Hamilton Island, Australia. Time itself seems to stretch
at this new resort on the Great Barrier Reef, an indulgent
experience in a place of rare natural beauty. Sixty private
pavilions, plus a Beach House with its own Guest House.
Levin Hotel, London. This sophisticated boutique hotel
offers all the comforts of home, in twelve suites only, right
next door to Harrods.
Lodge, Christchurch NZ, where prestigious luxury
accommodation meets exemplary service and cuisine in the
context of an elegant, historic country estate. Just seven
suites, all completely renovated and recently reopened
The highest compliment my clients can give is the referral
of their friends, family and business associates. Thank you
for your support.