Wednesday, December 28, 2011
It could be the best trip of your life. Lonely Planet put Santiago in the top-ten city destinations for 2012. There's also Valparaiso, the Atacama desert, Pucon and Torres del Paine in Patagonia to enjoy. Click on the slideshow link below to see some of my favorites from my last trip there.
Posted by Doug Bardwell at 7:56 PM
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Under the category "It's about time," the TSA announced the launch of their
TSA Cares Toll Free Helpline for Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Needs
Hopefully this will eliminate many if not most of those terribly embarrassing moments we all hear about. For full details, read about it here.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Have a "nature" photo that you shot that you think is award worthy? If so, it will pay $10 minimum if you submit it here: Photographic Creativity Study If it's the best, it could pay $1,000.
This is actually a study being done by a university professor, so you will be asked some questions in addition to submitting your photo. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes.
$10 for 10 minutes = not a bad deal
Posted by Doug Bardwell at 9:33 PM
Sunday, December 18, 2011
When you've traveled close to a million air miles, you learn that one thing you can’t live without is a good men’s blazer. Whether for an important meeting or fine dining, a blazer that travels well is pure gold.
I finally found it!
The soft, wrinkle-resistant, microfiber thin wale corduroy is perfect year round, and dresses up or down with ease. Mesh half lining is breathable, and a touch of spandex ensures ease of movement. Classic tailoring details include a two-button front, shaped shoulders, chest pocket, flapped hip pockets, and back vent. And inside there are four zippered security pockets. Made of 85% polyester/13% nylon/2% spandex.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Tired of small European rooms? If you are in London, you simply must try a night at Landmark London
If you had taken a train into London in 1899, you would have undoubtedly booked a hotel room at Landmark London, which celebrated its grand opening that year. Rail was a glorious way to travel then and the hotel was just as grand. Now, a century later, it has been restored and continues to be a destination in itself on London’s north side.
Set between Regent’s Park and Hyde Park, Landmark London is a feast for the eyes of those who love gothic architecture. With its stained glass windows, impressive stone walls and tastefully appointed interiors, you can imagine yourself as that king returning to his castle, even if only for the duration of your stay.
I stayed at Landmark London only one night, breaking up a trip from Africa back to the United States. Checking in late one afternoon, I was immediately sorry I was going to only be there one day. From the front desk staff to all the other employees encountered that afternoon, they couldn’t have been more accommodating or friendly.
I asked many of them for shopping, dining and sightseeing recommendations and without exception, they each gave thoughtful, detailed answers. Where often you’ll receive a terse, quick recommendation, each one explained why they liked the place they were recommending as well as took the time to make sure I understood where I needed to go. Those additional 30 seconds of interaction with their guests made a huge difference.
Checking into my room, I was taken aback with the size and layout of the place. Used to small European rooms, this was nothing like I expected. In addition to a sumptuously comfortable king-sized bed, there was a full sized sofa, chair and coffee table as well as a wonderfully practical full-sized desk. The palette of beiges and cream tones was accented with an African print on the pillows. Gleaming marble throughout the large bath completed the luxury experience.
Grand hotels can be grand but awkward if they don’t accommodate the technology needs of today’s travelers. That’s not a problem here. Plenty of outlets, hi-speed internet and a large flat-panel TV were ready for whatever your media or communication needs.
My room (#461) looked out onto the eight-story atrium where I could watch diners in the Winter Garden restaurant below. The following morning I couldn’t resist trying the breakfast there. It was a fantastic selection of buffet fare as well as cooked to order eggs, sausages, etc. I will guarantee that no one leaves here hungry. Food was piping hot and perfectly presented. This is a place for casual paced dining though. Don’t plan to hurry in, eat and leave. You’ll enjoy your time here.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
|Viceroy Hotel Group - winners in the Hotel category|
During the 2011 Luxury Travel Expo in Las Vegas, four travel professionals were selected as leaders in their respective travel segments and received the “Leaders in Luxury” awards from show presenters Travel Agent and Travel Advisor magazines. Ruthanne Terrero, vice-president and editorial director for Questex Hospitality + Travel Group commented that each recipient truly embodied excellence in luxury travel and showed by example how dedication to the industry led to future success.
Awards were presented to the following individuals in four separate categories:
“Tours” was won by Greg Tepper, president of Exeter International.
Nicholas Clayton, president of Viceroy Hotel Group won for “Hotels.” Viceroy distinguishes itself by designing each hotel uniquely for its market. Last year they added their latest hotel - Viceroy Maldives to their world-wide collection of properties.
Gary D. Davis, president of All About Travel, Inc. won the “Travel Professional” award.
The “Cruise” award was taken by Richard Sasso, president and chief executive officer of MSC Cruises. MSC is now the fourth largest cruise company. Sasso founded the idea of “a ship within a ship” concept called the MSC Yacht Club, where passengers can enjoy exclusive access and privileges, yet still have access to the remainder of the ship’s activities when desired. Yacht Club members enjoy butler service, luxury suites, complimentary wine and spirits and private dining, lounge, pool and bar.
Editors of Travel Agent and Travel Advisor magazines selected the winners from a field of 16 finalists and presented the awards during a special ceremony at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
- Viceroy Hotel Group To Debut Viceroy Maldives Luxury Resort In December 2010 (prweb.com)
- MSC Cruises a Repeat Winner for 'Best Onboard International Experience' in Porthole Poll (seatravel.wordpress.com)
- MSC Float Out Divina (cruiseblogjohnpond.com)
Economic downturn? Don’t tell the thousands of travel agencies and companies who specialize in luxury travel. With over 400 exhibitors at the 2011 Luxury Travel Expo promoting their high-priced vacations and holidays, the sentiment of many of the 2,000 attendees is that luxury travel will actually increase in 2012.
The Luxury Travel Expo is a gathering of exhibitors from around the world, including such varied locations as Taiwan, Bavaria, Croatia, Botswana, Macau and Dubai. Over 40 countries have sent representatives from their tourism bureaus to promote their destinations. Just about every type of travel is represented as well, with firms featuring luxury air, sea, rail and limo travel.
The show runs from 6 December to 8 December and offers the attendees opportunities to network and learn about dozens of travel offerings in one, convenient setting. The show is located in the convention center of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Expo is presented by Travel Advisor and Travel Agent magazines, both members of the Questex Media group.