Each year, we send team members to the equivalent of fashion week for the luxury travel industry, Virtuoso Week. Over 6,000 travel advisors and travel suppliers decent upon the Bellagio Las Vegas like a swarm of grasshoppers hungry to discover the latest travel trends, make new connections, and reconnect with old friends. Ultimately, it is the relationships that we form during these events that allow us to get you the very best value and VIP treatment during your travels.
This year, several destination stories and hotel updates caught out attention. Here’s our top takeaways:
Lodge at Blue Sky
A new favorite on the hotel scene is the Lodge at Blue Sky in Utah. The location is convenient and easy to get to without sacrificing any of the space and privacy one expects from an exclusive mountain hideaway. Our fearless sales leader, Iana Drennan, took a day away from our busy conference schedule in Las Vegas to jet off to Lodge at Blue Sky and run the resort through its paces (more to come from her detailed report soon!).
The ranch is located just 30 minutes from the Salt Lake City Airport; it doesn’t get more convenient than that for a lodge of this size! In addition to ease and convenience, our top takeaway from Iana’s visit is this property has just the right balance of adrenaline pumping adventure and a serene, calming ambiance. Activities include skiing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, fly fishing, photography excursions, star gazing, sporting clay shooting, rafting, igloo building, and show shoeing. To add to the wow-factor, the Lodge at Blue Sky employs a fleet of helicopters to cover their vast 3,500 acres and allow you to enjoy all of those activities with an extra dose of seclusion and adventure.
You’re definitely going to work up an appetite here and the lodge’s menu of “refined mountain fare rooted in farm fresh flavors” will keep you well fed! And, to provide the perfect beverage next to the campfire, they have their own on-site whiskey distillery. BOOK NOW >>>
Stay Human at Seafire
As the New York Times recently reported, hotels are getting creative and finding ways to rethink the hotel guest book and our partners at Seafire in Grand Cayman are leading the charge with their #StayHumanProject. Room808 invites you to indulge with the five “Seafire Senses” including a customized sea salt scent at the spa, local rum cocktails and a playlist of soca, a musical genre that originated in the Caribbean. Document your Cayman adventures with a Polaroid camera and leave an inspirational note for the next guests to share the experience. The resort provides Room808 guests with eight gold coins each good for one complimentary rum cocktail at ther resort bar. Meet a new friend? Share the wealth by giving them a gold coin for them to enjoy a cocktail too. BOOK NOW >>>
Rosewood Little Dix Bay Now Accepting Reservations
We are anxiously awaiting the reopening of one of our favorite Caribbean resorts, Little Dix Bay in Virgin Good, B.V.I. After sustaining heavy damage during the hurricane season of 2017, the private island resort has undergone ambitious renovations and will emerge looking better than ever! The resort is now accepting reservations for arrivals on March 1st, 2020.
This timeless hideaway has been a gem in the Caribbean since it was opened by Laurance Rockefeller in 1964 and much effort was made in updating the resort to meet modern standards while also maintaining its heritage. In keeping with Rockefeller’s original vision, the reimagined resort is still designed to follow the lines of the landscape and highlights local cultural motifs. The interiors celebrate the resort’s original mid-century modern design.
Competitive Renovations at Mayakoba
The Mayakoba complex of resorts is always popular with our clients and everyone has their opinions about their favorite property! The constant competition for your attention means there is always something new and exciting to unveil at Mayakoba!
This year, the Rosewood Mayakoba has completed a multi-million dollar project to add a new adults-only beach club to their offering. Aquí Me Quedo, which translates to “Here I Stay,” features 3 infinity edge pools sunken in the sand, an open kitchen for interactive culinary experiences, and indoor/outdoor living spaces designed for relaxation. La Fogata, a beachfront fire pit, will help the space transition from day to night so you can keep those beach vibes going all day long! And, if you can drag yourself away from this amazing new space they also have a new yacht available for excursions to get you even closer to the ocean! BOOK NOW >>>
Don’t worry, the competition at Mayakoba is rising to the occasion. Banyan Tree Mayakoba has recently announced plans for a $50 million expansion project to begin in late 2020. We’ll be keeping our eyes on this one for you!
Personalize Your Own Perfume
Our friend Edwige Chevallier and her staff at We Travel France help us design the most creative itineraries all over France. Personal shopping tours, cheese making, chocolate tasting, biking, walking, flea markets, etc. Anything is possible when we have such great partners to work with! This year, Edwige introduced us to the art of perfume making. She can whisk you off to the famous perfume region of Grasse to visit an historic perfume factory that has been making perfumes since 1782. In 1926 they took the name of Parfumeries Fragonard as a tribute to the famous painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard. During your experience you will discover how a perfumer or “nose” masters the art of fragrance creation while learning about the history of the perfume industry. By the end of the program you will be able to compose your own “eau de toilette” inspired by roses or the year’s flower. We know that ultra-luxury is now ultra-personalized and what better way to demonstrate that than by creating your own personal bottle of perfume as a travel souvenir?
Other News Items Gathered at Virtuoso Week 2019:
Park Hyatt New York has earned the World’s Best Room Honor from Forbes Travel Guide. To celebrate, they have unveiled a new Manhattan Sky Suite with 3 bedrooms, 360-degree views, 4700 square feet, helicopter transfer, and private chef. If the $50K/night pricetag for that new suite is too rich for your blood, they are offering Virtuoso 3rd night free on all lower room categories through 02SEP.
Four Seasons Anguilla has heard our feedback and they are updating their amenities for even more value on suites and villas! Now, the Preferred Partner resort credit of $100 will apply per bedroom.
Jumby Bay has a great Virtuoso promotion called the “Jumby Bay Island Escape” with rates of $1,695/night until October 31, 2019 and $2,050/night from November 1 to December 16, 2019 (4-night minimum) and some really great inclusions:
- Accommodation in a Beachside Suite, a luxurious junior suite retreat overlooking the sea with private terrace and outdoor garden shower and soaking tub.
- All meals: Gourmet breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner.
- Cocktails, house wines by the glass, and other beverages.
- Daily restocked in-suite refreshments: local beer, house wines, other beverages, and snacks.
- Motorized and non-motorized watersports: Waterskiing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, kayaks, paddleboards, Hobie Cats, Sunfish, snorkel gear, and more.
- Resort Facilities: bicycles, high-speed WiFi, two pools, three tennis courts, fitness center, and yoga pavilion.
- Daily children’s programs.
- Activities: snorkel excursions, kayak tours, yoga and Pilates, cooking class, rum history and tasting, Sunset Cocktail Cruise, White Night Beach Barbecue (Sundays), Managers’ Wine Down, and much more.
Finally, we leave you with a powerful, tear-inducing message from our friends at Four Seasons hotels. They are reminding us all to take our time and make the most of it!