Posts Tagged Virtuoso Life
VIRTUOSO TRAVEL ADVISORS never cease to impress me; they’re truly some of the most well-traveled, well-connected people on the planet. Case in point: Myanmar (captured on the cover). Every year Virtuoso hosts a photography contest soliciting our advisors’ top pictures from their travels. (To see the recent winners, check out the September/October 2012 issue online at www.virtuoso.com.) The submissions span the globe, but when not one or two but three of the top ten photographs were snapped in Myanmar, the editors decided to investigate. Clearly, our advisors had found a place where a picture is worth a thousand words. We sent a writer and photographer (who happened to be husband and wife) to report on the country’s still-developing tourism infrastructure. Check out their resulting article and photographs on page 112. Suffice it to say, they both want to return.
Myanmar also appears on this issue’s list of the top 25 places to go now. We asked Virtuoso advisors to identify the most intriguing emerging destinations for 2013. From countries just embracing tourism to new reasons to visit old favorites, you’ll find their list of where to go now – along with their tips and insights – on page 84.
Such insight is the mission of Virtuoso Life: to help you travel better by traveling Virtuoso style – the ideal result of your collaboration with your advisor, and the network of connections, resources, benefits, and value they offer. The only question is, Where to next?
- by Elaine Srnka
Editorial Director, Virtuoso, Ltd.
My new favorite luggage.
I always resolve to pack smarter – and until I commit to hauling less stuff, this suitcase fits the bill. I recently took a Road Warrior M Series collapsible suitcase to Europe for a Danube River cruise (read about the trip on page 24). The construction is impressive – lightweight but sturdy, stable, and easy to maneuver. The best part: It collapses to mere inches and easily stashed under the bed in my small cabin. With evidence of over packing out of sight, I feel smarter already. M series bags starting from $263: www.roadwarriorluggage.com.
VIRTUOSO LIFE’s COVER photo shoot in Naples, Italy
By Melanie Fowler
Art Director, Virtuoso Life
The July-August issue of Virtuoso Life has arrived, showcasing the results of our annual Travel Dreams Survey. Featured on the cover: a Mediterranean cruise, one of our readers’ top travel dreams. The cover photo (and related article within) was shot on location in Naples, when Regent’s Seven Seas Mariner was in port during Virtuoso’s Symposium in April.
While in Naples, some of the photography crew and I stayed at the 83-room Romeo. It’s a great location on the harbor, within walking distance to shops and restaurants as well as the ancient city center. Capri, Ischia, Sorrento and Positano are all nearby.
Pictured from top: Romeo lobby, Naples city center, view of the port of Naples from Romeo’s tenth floor, and the pool area.
Romeo hotel highlights:
• Location, location, location.
• The view of Naples harbor from the rooftop pool and breakfast room.
• Delicious breakfast every morning – strong coffee and various local cold cuts with buffalo mozzarella.
• Free wireless Internet.
• In-room Nespresso coffee machine.
• Customizable light system.
Good to know:
• The flat glass sink in the bathroom was not particularly functional; water splashed easily onto the mirror.
• Some bathroom lights seem to be controlled by a motion sensor, which could be frustrating.
• The Jacob Jensen telephones were tricky to use.
I hope you enjoy the latest issue of Virtuoso Life – it’s one of my favorite covers, ever.
by Elaine Srnka
Editorial Director, Virtuoso
After poring over the results of tens of thousands of reader responses to Virtuoso Life’s annual Travel Dreams Survey for the last six years, one thing is clear: Virtuoso travelers are insatiable. It seems that no matter how many corners of the globe you’ve visited, no matter how many “trips of lifetime” you’ve taken, there will always be others that beckon.
And here’s something else I’ve learned, as I’ve tallied not only the rankings of your travel dreams but studied your answers on why they appeal: Traveling to a particular destination means more to you than just checking it off your wish list (been there, seen that). You don’t want to merely say that you’ve been to a particular place; you want to truly experience it.
That said, it’s still pretty thrilling to rack up the bragging rights that go with such travel. Fortunately, your Virtuoso advisor can help you have your enriching experiences and earn bragging rights too.
Flip through this issue to find page after page of travel dreams; we’ve included more comprehensive results – for more inspiration – than ever before. You’ll find the top ten of everything, from trips of a lifetime to romantic getaways, family vacation destinations, island escapes, and the like.
No matter where you want to go next, your advisor’s wisdom and connections make travel so much more than a trip; they make it an experience to remember. (In addition to orchestrating travel dreams, Virtuoso advisors are also pretty practical; check out their tips on packing, planning, and keeping the peace on page 86.)
Congratulations to Stephen Sparks, this year’s Travel Dreams winner of Crystal Cruises’ grand prize; read about his travels (and those of other past winners) on page 82. These clients, quite the globe-trotters even before their winning trips, perfectly illustrate how, as Pat Conroy wrote, once you have traveled, the voyage never ends.
To find out more about Virtuoso, visit www.virtuoso.com.
Beckoning to you from China, India, Buenos Aires and more, you’ll realize your true travel potential with one of these Enriching Journeys. Take a trip down the Yangtze River in China, discover four cities with distinctly different personalities in India, and find the latest fashions (and footwork) in Buenos Aires. If you desire inspirational travel, this is the issue for you!
The New China: Page 82 – A trip up the Yangtze River reveals the superpower’s intrigue, from breakneck development to ancient treasures and natural wonders.
Subcontinent Sampler: Page 92 – An essential guide to four cities in India, each with personality to spare.
Tokyo Today: Page 102 – A new day dawns in the land of the rising sun.
Stepping Out: Page 108 – Fashion, food, and fancy footwork – winter’s the perfect time to make moves for Buenos Aires.
Also, you won’t want to miss – The Virtuoso Traveler on page 54 – Frank and Gerry Victor trip the light fantastic to their Virtuoso travel advisor’s score.
All of these trips and more can be hand-tailored to suit your needs with the help of a Virtuoso travel advisor. Don’t have a travel advisor? Click here to find one.
From Beverly Hills to Thailand, the Virtuoso Life Hotel Issue has a suite (or villa) to suit everyone. Experience a relaxing getaway to a Mexican hacienda, pick your favorite cabin from this year’s fleet or get away from it all at one of 15 ultimate escape resorts!
Beverly Hills Beauties: From legendary to cutting edge, the city’s best hotels offer both service and style.
Farm to Fabulous: Haciendas, Mexico’s great plantations of yore, cultivate utterly relaxing getaways.
Away From it All: At these 15 ultimate-escape resorts, solitude is luxury number one.
Take a Shine to Thailand: Southeast Asia’s oasis is back. Check your shoes at the villa and discover that “island time” truly exists.
High Seas Society: Our favorite features of this year’s fleet, plus Virtuoso travel advisors’ highlights and tips on the best cabins to book.
Also, you won’t want to miss: Giving Back – Why a Micato safari is a life-changing experience in more ways than one.
Virtuoso Life is an award-winning publication that comes out six times a year. Its delivered to the mailboxes of select clients of Virtuoso travel advisors. If you’d like to learn more, or to connect to a travel advisor, click here.
By Marika McElroy Cain
Senior Editor, Virtuoso Life
Fall is a fabulous time for Hawaiian travel if you can swing it: Tourists have gone home and the rains haven’t set in yet.
A few highlights from my recent stay on Maui: An afternoon in Makawao, the tiny upcountry paniolo (cowboy) town. My family and I had ahi sandwiches and refreshingly tart homemade lemonade at Market Fresh Bistro, visited an old friend who works at the tack shop, and browsed the galleries for local artwork.
Sunset in Kaanapali, over dinner with Virtuoso Life photographer and part-time Maui resident Susan Seubert.
The impeccable service, food, and views at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. From the moment we pulled up to the hotel, the staff showered our son with enough attention – and presents – that we started calling him The Little Prince. We spent most of our time by the great kids pool, sipping something cold and stocking up on Vitamin D.
Shopping for fresh fruit at local farmers markets.
The best shave ice I’ve ever had at Ululani’s in Lahaina. They make all their own flavors and use real strawberries in their strawberry syrup.
It was a great fall getaway – one I hope to repeat many times.
For more about VIRTUOSO LIFE and to read the latest digital edition, please visit virtuosolife.com.
Whether it’s a big adventure in Kenya and Tanzania, succumbing to the allure of Egypt, or setting sail on a captivating cruise to Southeast Asia, this issue is packed with inspiration for journeys that teach, enrich, cultivate and better the lives of those who take them. And, because travel also creates jobs, boosts economies, and improves local infrastructures, readers are rewarded with a look at the positive impact their travels have on the communities around the globe.
- Nile Style – From Cairo to the Red Sea, a modern-day wanderer finds Egypt’s allure more alive than ever. By Lisa Kinoshita
The Long Way to Angkor – Cruise to a deeper understanding of Vietnam and Cambodia during a week on the mighty Mekong. By Aaron Gulley
Enchanting East Africa -Big game and big adventure beckon in Kenya and Tanzania. By Michael Poliza
Travel with Meaning – Companies that define travel philanthropy. By Costas Christ
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE – Tag It
The November issue of VIRTUOSO LIFE goes high-tech for readers with smartphones. Look for this tag through the printed version to view dynamic content via Web-enabled smartphones. To experience it on your smart phone, download Microsoft’s free Tag Reader on your phone at www.gettag.mobi, launch the application, then scan the tag.
- View a video that illustrates the Virtuoso difference (page 16)
Enjoy the African Children’s Choir performing at a Micato Safaris event (page 26)
See a video of spaceship Enterprise’s first free flight (page 40)
Check out a map of Venice highlights (page 68).
It’s fun and it’s easy – just look for the tag on the page and enjoy!
To learn more about Virtuoso, click here.
Virtuoso Life Magazine reveals the results of the annual Travel Dreams Survey
In 2010, travel aspirations have gone global, according to the results from the fourth annual Travel Dreams Sweepstakes Survey, presented by Virtuoso. Nearly 11,000 readers of VIRTUOSO LIFE, the network’s award-winning magazine, weighed in on the survey to reveal the exotic lands, life-changing experiences and thrilling adventures that upscale travelers are currently seeking.
When asked what they consider the trip of a lifetime, readers were clear that setting sail for a world cruise would be a paramount experience. Calling on all seven continents and visiting the new wonders of the world followed close behind as trips of a lifetime, indicating the desire of travelers to visit the globe. The Galápagos Islands also had a strong presence in this year’s results: This island destination was named the most alluring island escape; the second best outdoor adventure; and the third best destination for families.
“This year’s survey results reflect a shift in consumers’ motivation to travel,” said Elaine Srnka, editorial director for VIRTUOSO LIFE. “Travelers want to see the world. They are no longer content with staying in one place. Whether it’s visiting the far corners of the earth on a world cruise, hiking through remote Machu Picchu or tasting local cuisines through cooking schools, travelers want unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”
The top 10 dream destinations also reflected readers’ longing to visit far-off lands, with Australia, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and Greece nabbing the first five spots. Paris held onto its reign as the most romantic city to spend time with a loved one, as well as the best gourmet city. Rome remains the city with the most beautiful architecture, and Tuscany continues to be the wine region travelers want to toast the most. Again this year, readers felt going on a safari to Africa would merit the best outdoor adventure.
The Travel Dreams results largely supported Virtuoso’s 2010 Luxe Report, insight gleaned from the network’s elite travel advisors, which revealed that travelers in 2010 are booking longer vacations to more distant destinations. Of the travel professionals that participated in the Luxe Report survey, 71 percent reported that clients are seeking international travel for 10 days or more.
This year, readers had extra enticement to share their opinions: an opportunity to win their own dream trip! Three lucky winners got to choose one of these trips: a ten-day exploration of the Galápagos Islands aboard Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Endeavour; a 12-day cruise aboard the Seabourn Pride from Bangkok to Shanghai; or a trip to South Africa on Virgin Atlantic Airways to spend five nights at the One&Only Cape Town.
VIRTUOSO LIFE’s Travel Dreams survey was designed to gather consumer travel trends and offer inspiration for future journeys. The 12-question survey explored readers’ opinions about everything from their dream destinations and the best cities for dining to the best destinations for romance and families. Top-line results can be found below, and the results are featured in the July/August issue of VIRTUOSO LIFE.
The survey results were tallied from responses from almost 11,000 VIRTUOSO LIFE readers who participated in the Travel Dreams Sweepstakes. Virtuoso promoted the sweepstakes via email and within the magazine.
To view a digital edition of the VIRTUOSO LIFE July/August “Readers’ Choice Travel Dreams” issue, click here.
By Justin Paul, Senior Editor, Virtuoso Life
Tapas, pintxos, media-raciónes – San Sebastián, the gourmet capital of Spain, is the land of perpetual grazing. I recently had the opportunity to visit the resort city just miles from the French border for a weeklong exploration of the Basque Coast from Bilbao to Biarritz. The results: a bit rainy (they don’t call it “Green Spain” for nothing), but undeniably delicious.
It’s always happy hour in San Sebastián. From open to close, bars and cafés line their counters with a bounty of pintxos, smallish snacks that range from tortilla española to skewered peppers with anchovies or prawns to bocadillos (three-bite sandwiches); larger, often more involved tapas, such as seared goat cheese with a micro-green salad and olive tapenade; and raciónes, plates of flash-fried padrón peppers with crunchy salt or the famed Iberian ham (order media-raciónes, half portions, where possible). And that’s just the warm-up – the area is known for many of Spain’s finest Michelin-starred restaurants.
When the sun shines, San Sebastián sparkles like few places on earth, with three excellent beaches: Zurriola (best for surfers and body-boarders), and gentle La Concha and Ondarreta in front of the city’s core facing out on the sea. Though surrounded by unforgiving hills and rock outcrops, the town itself is flat, with copious bike trails and a long beachfront esplanade that make for perfect diversions between bites.
No gourmets should consider their time in Spain complete without visiting this nook of the Bay of Biscay. Make San Sebastián your base camp, then set out on day trips to Bilbao (1.5 hours west) and Biarritz or Saint-Jean-de-Luz (30 minutes to the northeast), stopping in markets and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it villages along the way. Look for a complete report and the perfect itinerary to explore the region in the September/October Food & Wine issue of Virtuoso Life.
Click here to learn more about Virtuoso Life.
By Marika McElroy Cain, Senior Editor, Virtuoso Life
Sun, sand, blue water, and wildflowers for miles. The landscape of Portugal’s southern coast is alive in the spring – and pleasantly low-key before the influx of summer visitors.
Last week, I had a chance to soak up the region’s best during a stay at Vila Vita Parc, a five-star resort on a secluded cove in the western Algarve. The 167-room property was my base for explorations of the area, from the cobblestoned streets and cafes of easterly Tavira to the precipitous cliffs of Sagres, the southwestern tip of Europe.
There was even time for a quick trip inland to the arid Alentejo region and Vila Vita’s 200-acre Herdade dos Grous estate, which produces everything from champion show-jumping horses and pata negra pigs to organic produce and impressive wines.
In addition to a glittering private beach, a spa, and several swimming pools, Vila Vita (pictured right) has a pleasingly varied restaurant selection, especially for its size. Among the options: Michelin-starred dining overlooking the ocean, traditional Portuguese fare with a fado sound track, and a sand-in-your-toes seafood extravaganza at the hotel’s beach restaurant.
Go to the Algarve. Stay at the Vila Vita, and, if you can, charter their private yacht for a sunset cruise and toast this gorgeous, golden coastline.