Posts tagged Virtuoso
Book Virtuoso Hotels Online

We hear from clients that there are times they want to book a Virtuoso hotel on the weekend or at night when we are not available.  Other clients have said they don't want to "bother me" with a quick hotel booking.  While I am never "bothered" by a client's request for a Virtuoso hotel booking, I do agree that sometimes you just want to quickly make that booking on your phone or computer.  In order to receive the exclusive Virtuoso amenities, however, you have to make that booking through us. 

We have responded to the needs of our clients and have recently introduced the option of booking your Virtuoso hotels on your phone or computer while still ensuring your VIP treatment by the hotel staff and access to the exclusive amenities you can only get by booking through us. 

It is really easy to make your hotel booking and still receive our personal service. 

1.  Click on this link:https://www.virtuoso.com/advisor/juliejones

2.  On the home page, click on "Hotels" in the menu bar:

3.  If you know the specific destination or hotel, type the name and your travel dates in the boxes.  You will be shown a list of the Virtuoso hotels in that destination or the specific hotel you requested:

4.  If you want a more advanced search showing different destinations or simply all the Virtuoso properties, scroll to the bottom of the "Hotels" page and click on "View all Hotels".  From there, you can check the boxes on the left side of the screen to narrow your options.

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5.  Click on the name of the hotel you want to book:

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6.  Enter your dates and click "Book" for the preferred accommodations.  Don't forget to click on "View More rooms" at the bottom to see all the room categories:

7.  After clicking "Book", you will be asked to create an account:

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8.  Click "Continue Booking" to complete the Payment Information page.  You will see the total cost for the room and a list of the Virtuoso amenities you will receive as a Virtuoso guest of the hotel:

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9.  We will then receive an email with your booking information.  We will contact the hotel on your behalf to confirm your Virtuoso amenities and to request an upgraded room.  

It's the best of both worlds!!  You can make that convenient online booking when you know exactly what you need while still receiving Virtuoso amenities and our assistance as needed.

Try it out next time you have a quick hotel or resort booking.  Let me know if you have any questions about this new service at 314-780-8845 or email me.

Virtuoso Travel Week - 2015

I can't believe another year has passed, and Tui Leatherman and I will be heading to Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas on Sunday!  It is such a productive trip.  We learn about all the new opportunities and luxury properties available to our clients, make new friends and contacts and reconnect with old friends.

If you have an idea on where you want to travel in the next few years, please let us know.  We can make sure to meet with all the relevant individuals at your chosen destinations to make sure we book you at the properties that are the best fit for you and can learn about what we can do to make sure you enjoy a trip of a lifetime.

Check out the video below to get a sense of what it is like during Virtuoso Travel Week.  There are over 4500 luxury travel advisors and suppliers connecting with each other for a week.  It is a little like speed dating for vacations.

Please let us know if you have any questions or have any trips that you want us to start researching while in Vegas. julie@topflighttravels.com or tui@topflighttravels.com.

 

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.  

WHAT IS VIRTUOSO® AND WHAT DO YOU GAIN BY USING A VIRTUOSO® TRAVEL ADVISOR FOR ALL YOUR LUXURY TRAVELS?

Virtuoso is an exclusive network of luxury travel specialists, including luxury hotels, cruise lines, tour operators and luxury travel agencies.  Less than 1% of all travel agencies in America are admitted for membership in Virtuoso.  This network is able to leverage its combined annual sales of more than $3 Billion Dollars to negotiate special upgrades, amenities, values and truly rare travel experiences exclusively for the clients of its member agencies.

For my clients, this translates into complimentary room upgrades, airport transfers, special dining experiences, exclusive shore excursions and custom itineraries, offered by the Word’s best suppliers of upscale travel.  You are recognized as one of the most prestigious guests in the World with all the privileged access, exclusive amenities, rare experiences and service that implies.

As a Virtuoso travel advisor and an expert in luxury travel, I provide you with:

Knowledge: Virtuoso travel advisors receive added training and communications with a wide variety of suppliers and destinations and have a greater depth of knowledge about every available trip;

Value: Inside scoop on impossible to get tickets and the best bang for your Dollar at the finest hotels and resorts in the World;

Distinction: The most exquisite opportunities are only offered to Virtuoso clients; such offers are not advertised to the public and can only be accessed through your Virtuoso travel advisor;

Peace of Mind: Know that the person who has arranged your hotel, cruise, tour or adventure has real experience with the complexities of the destination.  You can just relax and enjoy yourself; and

Destination Expertise: We are not experts in every country; instead, we are experts in a specific style of travel-luxury.  However, through our global Virtuoso relationship, we work side-by-side with local partners who are experts in their home countries.  These affiliates are able to make your travel authentic and personalized - no bus full of tourists dropping you off at The Hard Rock Cafe in Rome, I promise!

Additional advantages to being a Virtuoso client include:

 Cruises: You receive many complimentary benefits when you travel with Virtuoso, including pre and post cruise trips, shore excursions, land packages and special social events on more than 450 departures per year with luxury cruise lines.

Air: When you travel internationally, you benefit from our insider access to special fares not found on the internet.  These special fares are negotiated by the Virtuoso network with the airlines.

For Country and Experience Collectors: We maintain relationships with the World’s leading travel and adventure companies, so that you receive product, lifestyle and destination expertise every step of the way on your travels around the World; and

For the Independent Traveler:  We are experts at making independent arranges.  Your custom vacation options are endless.  

My job is to connect our clients with these Virtuoso offerings and upgrades.  Oftentimes, for the same exact room and rate, our clients enjoy tremendous extra value.  This is the unparalleled benefit of working with Virtuoso through TopFlight Travels.

Atlantis-Day 1

Well, I can't believe we made it here.  A huge snow storm hit St. Louis.  It started at 7 am and caused all the schools to close and grounded the planes.  Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6 am.  It was freezing rain, and I was very nervous about our flight being canceled.  I couldn't relax until we got out on the runway.  Then, the pilot informed us we needed to head back to the gate for mechanical issues.   Of all the luck!  Thankfully, we did actually get into the air right at 7.  We caught our connection in Miami and landed in Nassau at Noon.  

We booked our flight about a month ago.  Most flights were sold out, and coach seats were costing about $1150.  Next time you are in a similar situation, check first class.  First class was available on the flights we wanted and cost $775!  that is almost $400 cheaper than coach.  Never assume first class won't work for you.  

I have never been to Atlantis and was worried about the crowds and water park atmosphere.  My fears were justified. The water park is crazy crowded!  We were all exhausted by noon and went back to our room at The Reef-which brings me to my next bit of advice. If you take your family to Atlantis, stay at The Reef.  Don't even look at the other towers. We have a great pool that can't be accessed by the cruise ship crowds.  It has nicer chairs, better service and a great private beach.  You can escape Atlantis madness when you need to.  We have a full kitchen which is a great way to save money.  Our driver stopped at the grocery store on our way to The Reef, and we bought lots of bottled water and kid friendly food.  

The staff at The Reef has been so friendly.  Due to my relationship with Virtuoso, we were upgraded to a beautiful room on the top floor.  We have a gorgeous view of the ocean.  We are off to take the kids to the kids adventure club, so we can relax a bit and check out some of the fun for adults.