Archive | October, 2012

Le Bar du Bristol Paris

It’s no secret that Le Bristol in Paris is one of the best hotels in the world. I’ve been sending clients for over 35 years and they are never disappointed. In my mind it was always the epitome of understated chic. After a 3 year and 143 million dollar redo and the addition of a very special club called, not surprisingly Le Bar du Bristol, the palace hotel can easily add cutting-edge as one of its descriptive adjectives.

This new club is a most dramatic addition. It’s modern and classic at the same time but most important, guests need not fear about noise because as always Le Bristol has thought of it all and stellar sound-proofing is perfection. But who cares about that once you’re inside! What you’ll find is a place that attracts a sophisticated mixed group that exemplifies style at any age. This is the cache that everyone wants and frankly, what you would expect at Le Bristol. My only complaint is they should have created this place long ago. After all, who wants to go straight to bed when the convenience of a cool club is just an elevator ride away?

Why is this place so cool? To start with Maxime Hoerth who is Paris’ most talented Mixologist was spirited away from the Four Seasons George V. The head barman, Roman Devaux comes from the Ritz Hotel’s Hemingway Bar. Anywhere these guys go is sure to create a buzz. Together they hold court from the golden colored granite bar with eagle eyes and a knack for entertaining.

The music is electronic sounds mixed in with vintage inspired moods. Just in case you get hungry and want some finger food, the snacks come from Le Bristol’s Michelin 3 star restaurant Epicure. That’s super impressive. A beautiful club in a beautiful hotel with the best drinks in Paris, great music and amazing food. I can now tell my clients that Le Bristol is also a complete luxury “Resort” Hotel in the middle of the world’s most beautiful city. You don’t have to leave. Ever!

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Niche Travel might be your best travel experience, ever, if you love watching Specialty Channels on TV!

Has mainstream TV lost its appeal? Are you increasingly turning to one of the Specialty Channels, focusing on travel and food, gardening and home improvement, women’s interests, extreme sports, adventure or nature? Maybe you already cut the cable and are watching the new breed of internet TV shows? Are your kids glued to the Disney channel? If any of the answers are yes, then you are probably a great candidate to experience the joys of niche travel, which promises a more rewarding personal experience integrated with YOUR interests and passions.

With travel opportunities expanding at an unprecedented rate, here are a few reasons why you might want to enlist the help of an experienced travel specialist who can help you get out of the “one size fits all” mentality and find the travel experience of a lifetime!

The top three niche travel markets are growing phenomenally, according to Amadeus’ travel experts are family travel (56 percent ), lifestyle travel (50 percent) and adventure travel (39 percent) with eco/green travel, religious travel, destination weddings. There is a quickly growing demand for travel by people on dialysis, in wheelchairs, with hearing or visual challenges as well..

Specialized travel companies and their employees and guides share your passion and enhance it with additional training and personal experience. This generates a high degree of mutual loyalty which is “hard to earn and easy to lose.” Consequently, both travellers and specialists tend to spend more time planning itineraries that incorporate activities and places that have a worth far greater than the dollars being spent, such as taking cooking lessons from famous chefs in their kitchens or homes, going on safari incorporating philanthropic and volunteer aspects to your plans, playing golf with Tiger Woods, exploring England through Harry Potter’s eyes, accessing private guided tours of the best museums of the world or even the Vatican before it is open to the public.

Niche Travel Specialists can make the impossible, possible. One of the most unique requests Randi Winter of Passionate Travel a Virtuoso affiliate of Classic Travel had, was from honeymooners going to Italy. At the last minute they wanted to be blessed by the Pope. One of the obstacles was that the bride and groom had to appear in their wedding clothes within 14 days of being married. Usually these requests go through your local clergy, but there was no time. When permission was finally granted, it was too late for them to pack their wedding clothes, so Randi took all their measurements and when they landed, the first stop was to a costume rental shop, where a wedding dress and tux was all ready for them to take to their hotel for their big day. What do you think they will remember for the rest of their lives?

Let your passion be your guide to a niche travel experience that will have you talking about what you did on vacation instead of where you went. Bucket lists, move over; you can have your favorite TV show come to life!   For some inspiration, check out Randi’s full website  Passionate Travel and to be inspired for hotel bookings with niche travel insider perks and privileges check out Classic Travel. Let your passions be your guide!



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London Savoy Hotel in the movies

Famous hotels are often used as the back drop in films. They add glamour and association through recognition. London’s Savoy hotel is one of those iconic establishments recognized by many whether they’ve stayed there or not.

The new film “Gambit” starring Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz is a perfect example. The movie is comedy where art curator (Colin Firth) tries to sell a fake Monet with the help of a Texan Rodeo Queen (Cameron Diaz). Sounds like great Fun. Click here to see a clip. Ok! Did you recognize the Savoy? They really emphasized the Art Deco element.

The Savoy has been totally remodeled. All the public rooms are drop-dead beautiful. There’s so much to do you almost think you’re in a resort hotel instead of the middle of London. Whether you prefer a traditional style room or Art Deco style you won’t be disappointed. Both are fantastic. Book the Virtuoso rate online and let us know your preference by using our “customize your room” feature before checking out. Our travel consultants will make sure the hotel is aware of your request. Oh yes, the exclusive Virtuoso rate we offer includes a full English breakfast and more. There is simply no better value anywhere else online.

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Maroma Resort on Fantastic Beach

I had been taking an art class for a few months and now the day had come. I was great at the pencil fruit bowl, sculpture, pottery and even the life drawing and let me tell you, when theres a nude person in front of you drawing is the second thing on your mind. But now’s the day when we do beach scenes. Landscape is fine, desert not a problem but the beach or water is very hard to capture. It never stays still and not too mention its clear. My teacher told me to breathe and go and find some inspiration on the weekend.

A quick phone call to Heather at Classic Travel and I was on my way to Maroma Resort & Spa to get inspired.

Located on the Riviera Maya, Maroma Resort & Spa is a luxurious hideaway and very popular for honeymooners. There are a lot of great new hotels in the area but I wanted an authentic colonial feeling and Maroma is that and an Orient Express Hotel. It is nestled at the edge of the beach on the Yucatan Peninsula, bordered by the world’s second longest barrier reef.

The resort is made up of several white stucco buildings, two or three stories in height and are joined by stone pathways which are lit by over 100 candles or torches each evening to create a beautiful and romantic atmosphere. All rooms offer either an ocean or a garden view and the bathrooms feature oversized tubs which I just love. They are known for their Spa, and since it considered one of the best in the area I had to go and experience it. It’s called the Kinan Spa and combines both Zen and Mayan concepts. They even have one treatment room with a 360-degree view of the ocean and jungle.

El Restaurante, which was built by Mayan masons, offers indoor and outdoor seating with spectacular views of the white sandy beach. It offers all day dining and is renowned for its breakfast. I can feel the inspiration flooding me by the second.

Well I went home and painted my beach scene. I impressed myself how well it turned out. The teacher didn’t think so but what would he know. He didn’t have a fabulous relaxing time at Maroma in Mexico like I did. 

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