FIVE THINGS I LEARNED AT VIRTUOSO® TRAVEL WEEK 2014

 Virtuoso Travel Week - 2014

Virtuoso Travel Week - 2014

Virtuoso Travel Week is an experience that cannot be described in just a few words.  It is educational, motivating, challenging, exhilarating, grueling, exhausting, exciting, awesome and so darn fun, all rolled into one week in Las Vegas!!

This has been my second year attending VTW, and it did not disappoint.  This year, Tui Leatherman, TopFlight Travels' newest luxury travel advisor, joined me in the fun.  It started with the opening ceremony with CEO Matthew Upchurch, following by a few motivational speeches and Olivia Newton John signing Magic (I can't explain why I thought I needed to film it sideways)!  Olivia is now a member of the Virtuoso family with the opening of her Gaia Retreat and Spa in Australia.  The next morning and for the next four days, Virtuoso members sat at small tables while each and every Virtuoso supplier sat at the members' tables to communicate and educate us on updates to their resorts, hotels, tours and cruises.  They each had 4 minutes at our table.  There were over 4,400 people from 92 countries at the event this year.  It was so wonderful meeting so many people from all over the World in just a few short days.  We learned so much about all the luxury travel options for our clients!  We can't wait to share our knowledge with our clients and send them to these beautiful destinations around the World.  I thought I would list just 5 things I learned this VTW.  Narrowing the list down to just 5 has been so hard.

 GoldenEye Hotel and Resort

GoldenEye Hotel and Resort

1.  I met with someone from each of the Virtuoso properties in the Caribbean.  They are all so wonderful, and I absolutely adore visiting their islands.  Two properties really stood out in my mind during VTW.  GoldenEye Hotel and Resort on Jamaica.  It is a wonderful family resort with great villas.  It has such a rich history from Ian Fleming creating the James Bond character there to Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, owning the property and hosting some of the greatest musical artists of our time.  I am never thrilled with how long of a car ride some Jamaican resorts are from the airport.  I really like that you fly directly to the resort at its own Ian Fleming Airport!!! 

 Spice Island Beach Resort

Spice Island Beach Resort

Spice Island Beach Resort also peaked my interest.  This resort is located on Grenada and is owned and operated by Sir Royston Hopkin, K.C.M.G. and his family.  I personally met with the family in Las Vegas, and their love of the resort is apparent.  Grenada is known to have some of the best diving in the World, and this resort looks like a dream vacation for families or couples that is luxurious without breaking the bank.

 Fogo Island Inn

Fogo Island Inn

2.  If you want to visit a most unusual resort totally off the grid, then a trip to Fogo Island Inn is a must.  It is a small island near Newfoundland.  The proprietors are so friendly and explained all the wonderful marine/hiking/exploring activities on this beautiful island.  They can arrange all your sightseeing.  Check out the beautiful building - it is like nothing I have ever seen.  It is really not that hard to get to from Boston.  You have one layover in Halifax to get to Gander, Newfoundland.  They can pick you up at the airport to take you to Fogo Island.  What a cool place to visit!

 Four Seasons Bora Bora

Four Seasons Bora Bora

3.  Many people believe Bora Bora is far too distant to visit.  However, these same people might not think twice about taking their family to Hawaii.  What they don't realize is the fact that the flight to Bora Bora is only 2 hours longer than the flight to Hawaii!!  While Hawaii is of course fabulous, it would be super cool to check Bora Bora off your list of places to visit.  Next time you're thinking about going to one of the many Four Seasons in Hawaii, call me to book your room at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora!  It is a beautiful 5 year old resort.  

 Borgo Egnazia

Borgo Egnazia

4.  Have you already visited the major cities in Italy and would like a more authentic experience next visit, away from the crowds?  If so, visit Borgo Egnazia in Puglia for golf and the beach or Palazzo Seneca, a Relais & Chateaux resort, if you want to experience divine food in the heart of Umbria.  I really want to plan a trip to Palazzo Avino in Ravello, a fabulous hotel with a private  beach club on the Amalfi Coast.  The location is perfect for attending their popular music festival.

5.   Did you know you can ship your luggage to your destination?  With the onslaught of backage fees and weight restrictions, it sometimes makes sense to ship your luggage and have it waiting in your room for you.  This particularly makes sense on long or complicated trips like safaris.  Luggage Free is a wonderful company.  The charge tends to be about $250 per bag to be shipped anywhere in the World (you pay by the pound).  I can get you $25 off your charge.

Contact me at 314-608-4553 or julie@topflighttravels.com if you have any questions about the properties mentioned above or want to find out information about any of the Virtuoso companies.  I have spent a week learning about each and every Virtuoso property, tour company and cruise line and can't wait to share my knowledge with you.