Every year I spend a week at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada visiting with my colleagues and my partners from around the world with whom I love to reconnect and share a drink. I also get to make connections with new partners that I look forward to contacting for my clients’ exciting trips in 2018. Each year, I meet a few new tour operators, owners of hotels or their GMs that turn into valued partners whom I trust to take fabulous and special care of my VIP clients.
I learn so much from my partners at Virtuoso Travel Week each year. Here are three of my takeaways from VTW 2017:
1. Visit Umbria, Italy! The Umbria region is to the East of Tuscany. Like Tuscany, Umbria has fabulous wine, fabulous properties and the same fabulous scenery. Unlike Tuscany, Umbria is far less crowded with tourists in the summer months and cost much, much less to visit. Why not blaze a trail off the beaten path instead of following the path everyone else has tread? I met with Federico Bianconi, the owner of Palazzo Seneca located in Norcia, in the heart of Umbria. Palazzo Seneca is a 16th Century palace that has been owned by the Bianconi family since 1850. It has been skillfully restored by local artisans and has 24 individually appointed rooms. You can peruse ancient texts in the library, play tennis, take Umbrian cooking classes, visit restaurant suppliers, explore wineries of the region, partake in horseback riding and, best of all, truffle hunting! I can’t wait to visit!!
2. Mii amo, a destination spa, is now Virtuoso!! Mii amo has 3, 4 and 7 night journeys customized to focus on your mind, body and soul towards your goal of healing and renewal. It is my absolute favorite spa that I have been lucky enough to visit. Since it is now Virtuoso, my clients can receive room upgrades in addition to $100 or $200 credits to use towards additional spa services or drinks at the bar. Mii amo has also just announced a 15% discount valid for stays through October 4, 2018. I don’t think I have ever seen them offer discounted rates! Let me know if you want more information!
3. South America should be on everyone’s list of places to visit next. I had so many conversations about so many destinations in the region that I want to visit! I can’t wait to visit the Galapagos Islands, Lake Titicaca in Peru, Mendoza in the heart of Argentina wine country and all of Chile, including Santiago, the Atacama desert (the driest place on Earth), the Andes for skiing, Easter Island, Patagonia and the madcap streets of Valparaiso!! I would continue my dream trip with the Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfalls system in the world, a Peruvian Amazon cruise with Aqua Expeditions and the beautiful beaches of Uruguay.
Now, its time to take these relationships and new knowledge and start planning exceptional trips around the world in 2018!