Category Archives: luxury travel

6 Top Destinations from Chairman’s Luxury Gold Collection for 2020

Enjoy a private cocktail reception with Princess Anita von Hohenberg at Artstetten Castle on Luxury Gold’s curated trip to Austria.

NEW YORK– Luxury Gold is recommending six top destinations in 2020 from the exclusive Chairman’s Collection that offer unforgettable experiences.

The Chairman’s Collection—created by Stanley Tollman—introduces guests to exceptional local characters with unique access to amazing places.Available only on select journeys and departures, privileged few will be whisked into an elite world of noble dinners, regal lunches and drinks with aristocracy.

While welcoming guests to the country’s incomparable landmarks and landscapes, Luxury Gold provides a journey beyond the ordinary by connecting them with local people in personal, life-changing way. With these journeys, Luxury Gold provides guests a selection of exclusive VIP experiences, with luxury hotel accommodations and exquisite dining.

Below are the top recommended journeys for 2020, with only a handful of select departures offering opportunities to meet these Legendary Locals:

1. Italy: Learn the Art of Wine Making with Marchese Francesco Mazzei at his Centuries Old Tuscan Estate

Wine lovers and guests can join the 12-day Ultimate Italy   journey on the to meet Count Francesco Mazzei whose family has perfected the art of winemaking for over 24 generations. For the past 600 years, the Mazzei family has been pioneers and champions of Chianti wines since the very beginning. Travelers will meet a member of the Mazzei family at their vineyard estate, Castello di Fonterutoli for a private tour, including a delicious Tuscan lunch using fresh seasonal ingredients and wine tasting.

2. Austria: Enjoy a Private Cocktail Reception with Princess Anita von Hohenberg at Artstetten Castle

History buffs and travelers can join the 13-day Harmony of Central Europe luxury journey to meet Princess Anita. She is a proud descendant of the Habsburgs which includes prominent historical figures such as Empress Maria Theresa and Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Guests will join the princess for a private sparkling wine reception and hear personal stories about her family heritage.

3. Great Britain: Join the Duchess of Northumberland for a private tour at Alnwick Castle

Gardening lovers and guests can book the 9 or 10-day British Royale escorted journey. The Duchess takes immense pride in her family home, the majestic 11th century Alnwick Castle which is considered one of Britain’s most iconic castles and was featured in the Harry Potter film series. Thanks to her visionary planning, fundraising and care, the adjoining castle gardens have been meticulously restored beyond their former grandeur. While over 800,000 people visit each year, only Luxury Gold guests will join Lady Percy for a private tour of her award-winning gardens.

4. France: Indulge in a Memorable Dinner with Count Richard De Warren

On Luxury Gold’s 10-day French Vogue journey, guests will have the opportunity to meet Count Richard de Warren who invites clients to his magnificent mansion for a traditional Parisian meal. Count Warren will recall personal stories about the history of his aristocratic family. He is a direct descendent of the Sommier family who are renowned for their entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropic legacy. The historical mansion’s original interior decor has been beautifully transformed into a luxury boutique hotel, the five-star Hôtel Alfred Sommier, located in the chic 8th arrondissement. As an incredible VIP experience, guests will have exclusive access to the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte–France’s largest privately-owned chateau. Guests can choose to walk through the gardens guided by the estate’s lead gardener or learn about the subtleties of high society during a dining etiquette class hosted by the owner’s professional butler.

 5. Canada: Sample Local Wines with Canadian Olympic athlete

Sports fans and guests can join an exclusive reception to meet Canadian Olympic athlete and legendary alpine skier, Rob Boyd, in the scenic mountain village of Whistler. While sampling local wine, Boyd will exchange insightful stories with guests, such as how he was the first Canadian to win a downhill world championship on Canadian soil on the 14-day Majesty of the Rockies journey. Later, guests will dine at the AAA rated four-diamond restaurant SIDECUT for a Highlight Dinner of featuring a modern take on traditional steakhouse fare.

6.  Peru: Meet descendant of historic Peruvian family

While exploring Lima, guests will join Dr. Francisco Diez-Canseco Távara for an exclusive experience at his beautiful home on the 12-day Treasures of the Incas journey. Távara is the descendant of a Peruvian family whose first member arrived to the country at the end of the 17th Century. Since then, his family has acquired a large collection of paintings, sculptures and other works of art with great historical value—such as Venetian tables dating from the 19th Century and important paintings of the Cusco School. 

For reservations, contact your travel advisor, call 1-888-862-5952, or visit

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

PONANT Launches Two New Ships, 50 New Luxury Expeditions Worldwide for 2020

PONANT announced a new partnership with the Musée du Louvre to bring Paris to the sea with two new sailings in the Adriatic and Persian Gulf departing in August and November 2020 respectively. In collaboration with PONANT, onboard programming will be carefully designed with curators and department directors from the Louvre for guests to discover the ancient lands that have inspired the museum’s collections.

PONANT, a leader in luxury expeditions, will continue to broaden its horizons in 2020 with the addition of two new ships, a new partnership and 50 new itineraries through destinations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.


The PONANT EXPLORERS fleet will total six ships with the launch of LeBellot in April 2020and Le Jacques Cartierin July 2020.Both vessels will feature an innovative Blue Eye lounge located eight feet beneath the water line. The industry-first, multi-sensory space will allow guests to experience the subaquatic world through sight, sound and feel.

Space to watch: PONANT will also launch Le Commandant Charcot in May 2021. As the first luxury hybrid polar vessel, it will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas and electric battery. The ship will be able to reach the true North Pole at 90 degrees latitude.


PONANT announced a new partnership with the Musée du Louvre to bring Paris to the sea with two new sailings in the Adriatic and Persian Gulf departing in August and November 2020 respectively. In collaboration with PONANT, onboard programming will be carefully designed with curators and department directors from the Louvre for guests to discover the ancient lands that have inspired the museum’s collections.


NORTH AMERICA: PONANT will have a new eight-day itinerary from Alaska to British Columbia. As the leader in luxury polar expeditions, PONANT is the authority on traversing the northern icy waters. On the July 22, 2020 departure, Le Soléal will travel along the Tracy Arm Fjord, amidst dramatic cliffs that rise more than 3,000 feet on either side. Travelers will then explore smaller inlets on the coast where guests can see humpback whales, cascading waterfalls and neon blue glaciers. 

EUROPE: PONANT will have eight ships exploring Europe’s coastline on more than 15 new itineraries. Among the highlights is a nine-night, music-themed cruise in September 2020 that will cover the rich cultural heritage of Northern Europe accompanied by world-class chamber musicians performing an all-Beethoven repertoire. The sailing coincides with a worldwide celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday. In warmer waters, new Mediterranean sailings will include trips between Athens and Venice and voyages through the Aegean Sea.

ASIA: Le Jacques Cartier – one of the line’s newest vessels – will debut five Asia sailings in fall and winter 2020. The ship, which features the industry-first Blue Eye lounge, is set to travel through the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman on an eight-night journey that makes stops in Muscat, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha among other smaller ports, like Sur, Khasab and Sir Bani Yas. Meanwhile a new itinerary on Le Lapérouse will depart from Mumbai on December 28, 2020 and continue south to the atolls in the Maldives before concluding in Sri Lanka. 

AFRICA: Guests will be able to see the Seychelles like never before as Le Bougainville and its underwater lounge embark on a selection of new expeditions in the region beginning in December 2019. The ship will make a new port of call each day. Suspended in the Indian Ocean, the atolls are only accessible by boat. In addition to exploring UNESCO World Heritage sites, there will be opportunities to spot wildlife, like the indigenous Aldabra tortoises, weighing up to 550 pounds.

WORLDWIDE: In 2020, PONANT will continue to offer a series of themed cruises that feature onboard speakers and tailored shore excursions that embrace local cultures and dive deeper into the history of the destinations. Each of the six different itineraries will touch on a different topic with highlights including a birding trip through Costa Rica, a culinary sailing that circumnavigates Sicily, and a voyage through the Baltic Sea with leading policy makers, including former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Admiral James Stavridis.

Established in 1988 by Jean Emmanuel Sauvée and a dozen officers from the French Merchant Navy, PONANT offers a style of sea travel which combines exceptional itineraries with luxury hotel services aboard smaller-scale ships. In 2021 PONANT will launch Le Commandant Charcot, the first electric hybrid cruise ship with luxury appointments, yet another pioneering development in polar exploration.  It will be the first ship to reach the true geographic North Pole. 

For more information on PONANT’s worldwide itineraries to the Arctic, Antarctica as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Asia, Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, Eastern Asia, Oceania, Central and South America, visit, call l 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Newly Renovated Dromoland Castle Brings Modern Luxury to 16th Century Ireland Living this Winter

Set on 450 acres of parkland, Dromoland Castle dates back to 16th century Ireland when it was home of the O’Brien family, whose lineage dates back 1,000 years to Brian Boru, one of the last High Kings of Ireland. Converted to a hotel in the 1960s and fresh off a $20 million renovation and restoration, Dromoland Castle exhibits the best of its regal Irish heritage.

As frosty days turn to long nights, there’s no need to escape the cold. Put the winter doldrums aside and embrace the best that the season has to offer, Downton Abbey-style, at Ireland’s Dromoland Castle. Think: Cozy spaces. Evenings spent by the fire. Brisk walks through the countryside. Days idle by, with opportunities to enjoy falconry or horseback riding. Warm up with afternoon tea or a signature spa treatment. Nights are for indulging in an artful take on traditional Irish ingredients at The Earl of Thomond Restaurant before retiring to the cocktail bar for a tarot-card inspired libation or a glass of Irish whiskey. Then, it’s off to the stately guest rooms for a restful night before beginning another day as a royal.

If Ireland’s temperate climate isn’t enough to lure travelers from the States – though it’s chilly, the daily low rarely dips below freezing – Dromoland Castle in County Clare has a number of winter specials on offer. Stay two nights and receive a special rate that includes a five-course Table d’Hote Dinner in the Earl of Thomond Restaurant. The two-night package starts at $700 based on double occupancy. Or, gather your gal pals for a special wine weekend from February 21–22. The getaway includes a six-course meal that showcases the best of the Co. Clare culinary scene, paired with six different wines. Rates start at $881 for the two-night package. 

Set on 450 acres of parkland with 97 rooms and suites, Dromoland Castle dates back to the 16th century when it was home of the O’Brien family, whose lineage dates back 1,000 years to Brian Boru, one of the last High Kings of Ireland. Converted to a hotel in the 1960s and fresh off a $20 million renovation and restoration, Dromoland Castle exhibits the best of its regal Irish heritage.

Central to Dromoland Castle’s appeal is its location. Just 15 minutes from Shannon Airport, Dromoland sits at the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way – the 1,553-mile route along Ireland’s west coast. Dotted with small fishing villages, the trail passes vivid seascapes, with plenty of opportunities to stop to enjoy a local catch. The Cliffs of Moher, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is just an hour’s drive from the Castle. And the limestone, lunar-like landscape of the Burren National Park is only 45 minutes away.

Though surrounded by Ireland’s famously dramatic landscapes, Dromoland Castle is just an hour away from Galway, which will be the European Capital of Culture in 2020. The arts abound, as the city has been designated a UNESCO City of Film, and it has a vibrant musical, theater and literature scene. Dublin, home to the newly opened Museum of Literature Ireland, is 2.5 hours east.

Families: Multigenerational families have the perfect venue at Dromoland, which features something for each age group – tennis lessons, bespoke golf clinics, horse and buggy rides, archery, garden tours, falconry, bubble baths on demand, and even a genealogy expert to help trace any Irish familial roots.

Golf: No one does greens better than Ireland. With its 18-hole parkland course, Dromoland offers expert lessons at its School of Golf, as well as a newly renovated driving range that feature “power tees,” eliminating the need for bending down to replace a tee each time.

Dromoland is perfectly suited to enjoy Ireland’s famed links courses  – Lahinch, Ballybunion and Tralee –­ as well as the new Adare Manor, which will host the Ryder Cup in 2026. Stay at Dromoland and transfer between the courses via helicopter – which the Castle can arrange – or simply take advantage of Dromoland’s ability to book a tee time.

Weddings: All of Dromoland Castle can be rented out for royally lavish weddings. Among the Irish touches: The bride can make her entrance via horse and carriage; bagpipers can create fanfare as the guests arrive; tents or even glass pavilions can be erected on-site; step dancers can perform; and fireworks over the golf course will end the evening with a pop!

Dromoland Castle, Newmarket-On-Fergus, Co. Clare, Ireland, Tel: +353 61 368144, USA: 800-346-7007, Email: [email protected],

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Launches 1920s “The Party” in 2020

Belmond’s new two-night package, “The Party” begins at the Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice before boarding the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for a jazzy jaunt to London.

Belmond’s iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will put the roar from the 1920s into the 2020s with the launch of “The Party” – a new two-night package that transports guests across Europe and back in time. Held from March 27–29, 2020, the festivities kick off at Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice with a speakeasy party to rival any Jay Gatsby could have thrown. The following day, guests will board the train to be whisked off to London for a jazzy jaunt that will evoke the Golden Age of glamour.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will wind through Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France, passing the snowy Alps and glassy lakes. Clad in flapper dresses and spats, guests will bring history to life on board the train’s 17 carriages, all of which are from the 1920s. As “The Party” roars along the rails, surprise entertainment and impromptu performances will unfold both on and off the train.

Prices for “The Party” start at £3,760 (approximately $4,845) per person, which includes a one-night stay at Belmond Hotel Cipriani in a Garden View Room, the celebratory party, a stay in a twin cabin on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, and all drinks, table d’hote meals and entertainment aboard the train.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express travels throughout Europe from March to November, and the train embarks on the iconic journey to Istanbul once a year. The 2020 season sees the addition of three new Grand Suites on the train – each with 24-hour butler service, free flowing champagne and a private en-suite bathroom – named for the cities that inspired the design: Vienna, Budapest and Prague.

The event is being curated in partnership with Private Drama Events. Private Drama Events is a leading UK creator of luxury experiences and collective of storytellers ( @privatedramaevents).

Belmond Ltd., part of the world’s leading luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has been a pioneer of luxury travel for more than 40 years, building a passion for authentic escapes into a portfolio of one-of-a-kind experiences in some of the world’s most inspiring and enriching destinations. 

Since the acquisition of the iconic Hotel Cipriani in Venice in 1976, Belmond has continued to push industry boundaries, taking discerning global travellers on surprising and unforgettable journeys spanning land, water, adventure and relaxation, with international acclaim. The portfolio of 46 properties extends across 24 countries, encompassing three luxury safari lodges, two river cruises, seven luxury trains (including the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express) and the legendary ‘21’ restaurant in New York. From historic city landmarks like Belmond Cadogan Hotel and Belmond Copacabana Palace to hidden retreats at Belmond Cap Juluca and Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor, each incomparable property has its own timeless story to tell, yet the hallmarks of the brand thread through them all: heritage, craftsmanship and a reputation for genuine, unscripted service in an unrivalled location, creating exceptional experiences that stir the soul.

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

New Culinary Themed Cultural Journeys by Luxury Gold

Luxury Gold launches exclusive 2020 Themed Journeys with culinary focus

As the era of food tourism continues to grow, Luxury Gold, the worldwide leader in luxury guided journeys, is launching new and exclusive 2020 Culinary & Cultural Discoveries Themed Journeys. Today’s traveler focuses on the how to eat aspect of their culinary travels and seeks immersive experiences in unique settings. Continuing to lead on this gastronomy trend, Luxury Gold’s new experiences take you on a journey beyond the ordinary to explore distinct destinations that are rich in cultural and culinary delights.

“With our ability to connect to taste makers, we know that one of the best ways to get to know a destination is through its memorable and unique cuisine and the sharing of stories,” said Jon Grutzner, president of Luxury Gold. “Food is no longer a simple pleasure, it exposes culture and traditions, allows for meaningful connections and fosters memories. That’s why we’ve introduced these new Themed Journeys which are in demand and with only one or two 2020 departures. Space is limited, and clients need to book soon.”

You can enjoy these exclusive Exceptional Dining and VIP experiences and relax at luxury hotels while traveling on Luxury Gold’s exclusive Themed Journeys:

Peru Culinary Experience – 8 Days (Departure date October 31, 2020)

Peru has been named the World’s Leading Culinary Destination for 7 years consecutively by the World’s Travel Awards and it’s no wonder as the country holds five of the world’s best restaurants, including Mil by Virgilio Martinez. You’ll have the opportunity to experience this renowned restaurant on this incredible itinerary and experience Peru’s culinary diversity. A journey through the Andes reveals a fresh farm-to-table meal at a working hacienda where guests will learn about the many ingredients that are local to Peru, including over 4,000 varieties of potatoes. You’ll savor the creative combinations thanks to the father of Peru’s gastronomic revolution, Gaston Acurio, as he adds his signature flair at Chicha, during a Celebration Dinner in Cusco. To understand the history and significance of Machu Picchu, you’ll explore alongside a Local Expert and witness one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.Making travel matter with The TreadRight Foundation, clients will also visit the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) to meet local artisans including Nilda Callanaupa, a weaver, and bring home the wonderful creations that women in this cooperative make by hand.

Chile & Argentina Wine Experience – 8 Days (Departure date November 7, 2020)

From an electrifying performance of traditional tango in Argentina, to world-class vineyards and wineries, the best Chilean restaurants and vistas from Valparaiso, the UNESCO World Heritage city center, this journey pairs the cuisine, wine and culture of Argentina and Chile perfectly. Expert guides offer an in-depth exploration of the best vineyards in Mendoza, offering you the chance to sample the New World’s best wines. Introducing Chilean ingredients, techniques and products to the world, Rodolfo Guzmán is the mastermind behind Chile’s best restaurant, Borago, and clients experience his innovative dishes while in Santiago. From edible coral mushroom, to venison tartare, duck hearts grilled in duck fat, you can expect to find these unique and typical dishes over dinner.

Culinary & Cultural Greece – 8 Days (Departure dates May 18, 2020 and September 14, 2020)

You’ll immerse yourselves in Athens as though you’re local Athenians. Discover the colorful tastes of Greece by dining seaside at Greece’s first Michelin-rated restaurant located on a boat that is based on land. You’ll learn the art of making the perfect Greek coffee at a local kafenio (Greek café) in Athens before enjoying a VIP Experience in the afternoon, where you’ll meet a world-class Athenian scholar and philosopher in the Ancient Agora to understand how ancient Greek philosophy affects our lives today. You’ll also travel to the island of Delos to enjoy a private guided visit to the birthplace of Apollo and learn about traditional farming methods in Mykonos after visiting a traditional farmstead before indulging in a freshly prepared organic meal.

To book a journey, contact your local travel advisor, call 888-862-5952 or visit

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Luxury Gold’s ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime’ Journey to Nepal and Bhutan; Discount for Booking by Dec. 18

Luxury Gold guests can take a gentle hike to the Taskshang Monastery in Bhutan

With its ancient cultures, mountainous backdrops, and oasis of tranquility, Nepal and Bhutan each hold a wealth of centuries-old stupas and temples. Recently described as a “once in a lifetime journey” by the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) and AFAR Magazine ambassador, Luxury Gold’s Magnificent Nepal and Bhutan journey is nothing short of an “A-list” bucket-list experience ifor travelers seeking authenticity, exploration and cultural immersion.

“I was met with this sort of awe each moment of my journey with Luxury Gold, as our Traveling Concierge kept my journal occupied, and my camera at the ready,” said AFAR Magazine ambassador, Ryan Neal Cordwell, in his recent USTOA blog. “It isn’t only the absorption of undiluted insight, but the ability to participate interactively, that stamps this page of the world with gold.”

Luxury Gold’s dedicated and knowledgeable Traveling Concierges, VIP treatment, delectable dining, and immersive, local experiences bring together the true beauty of this enchanting region.

Just a few exceptional highlights of Luxury Gold’s culturally enriching 10-day journey to Nepal and Bhutan: 

As a VIP experience in Kathmandu, meet with the monks of Boudhanath stupa for a private puja (blessing) ceremony. Hear traditional chanting, drumming and tales of the monks lives inside the temple. You’ll be cherished by this visit by being blessed by the monks. Later, meet a local pottery craftsman who will explain the traditions and processes of their works, before guiding you to try for yourself. 

While in Paro, choose a private traditional mask dance and cultural show or learn about the passion the Bhutanese have for the national sport of archery, attending a range to interact with the locals. You can also join a gentle hike to Taktshang Monastery known as the Tiger’s Nest

In Thimphu, you’re invited into the home of a local family for a delicious home-cooked meal of typical regional fare. Visit the National Memorial Chorten, dedicated to world peace, along with Tasichho Dzong, known as the fortress of the glorious religion. Visit the bustling market, an opportunity to mix with the locals. 

In Punakha, stay at the luxurious Dhensa Boutique Resort, which sits in lush Punakha Valley and offers spectacular views. Visit the winter residence of the monk body that is also the capital of Bhutan – Punakha Dzong and can walk to Chimi Lhakhang temple and admire the magnificent views over the Losesa Valley. 

At the Dochula Pass, participate in a prayer flag hoisting ceremony, an integral part of Bhutanese landscape. It is believed that when prayer flags flutter, they carry a blessing to everyone around. 

Luxury Gold is bringing back the golden era of travel with the launch of their worldwide collection by offering a 10% Early Payment Discount if you book and pay in full by December 18, 2019.

For reservations, contact your local Travel Advisor, call 1-888-428-1503, or visit

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet, Luxury Resorts on St. Lucia, Earn Travelife Gold Recertification for Eco-Friendly Sustainability

Taking in the view at sunset from the Passion Flower terrace. Anse Chastanet and its sister resort, Jade Mountain, on St. Lucia have been recertified by Travelife, the sustainable tourism certification system © Laini Miranda/

ST. LUCIA  –  Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia have been recertified for the internationally renowned Travelife Gold Certification for Hotels and Accommodations. The twin properties are the only Gold-certified accommodations on the Caribbean island, the luxury resorts’ owners, Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy, announced.

Travelife, the sustainable tourism certification system, has reassessed Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet’s performance in responsibly managing their socioeconomic and environmental impacts. The resorts first achieved certification in 2017 and have worked hard to maintain the title.

To gain a Travelife Gold certification, Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet were assessed against 88 sustainability criteria that take into account the following environmental issues and positive social impacts:

Protecting the environment, by minimizing the amount of energy, waste and water used;

Respecting and treating employees fairly;

Respecting the local community, including its residents and the safeguarding of children;

Protecting the local culture, heritage, and wildlife of the destination; and

Supporting the local economy and its businesses.

The Troubetzkoys said of the accolade: “We are absolutely delighted to have achieved Travelife Gold Certification once again, as environmental efforts have always been at the heart of our resorts. It is incredibly important to us that we continue to commit to sustainability and to supporting the local community year-over-year.” 

Environmental concerns, sustainability and community efforts are at the epicenter of Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet, with daily practices set up to conserve water and energy and increase recycling efforts. These include but are not restricted to the following:

The design of Jade Mountain reinforces the connection to the natural environment with passive ventilation of the rooms and natural day-lighting. Heating and cooling of the sanctuaries (rooms) are based entirely on the natural rhythms and cycles of the world. Not being dependent on artificial cooling or lighting of the rooms decreases the use of precious energy resources and minimizes the carbon footprint of the resort.

The exterior plaza of Jade Mountain was designed to capture all the rainwater in Koi ponds and planting areas. The plants are then harvested for use in the resort’s restaurants.

A natural coral tile was used for exterior walkways and roof areas. It is highly reflective and effectively diminishes any “heat island” effect in the local micro-climate.

Potable water for the resorts is produced by collecting it in a reservoir that was originally constructed and used by the British and French to power the water wheels that crushed sugar cane. The reservoir was repaired after decades of not being used and now collects over 1.5 million gallons of water annually that is gravity-fed to a state-of-the-art water purification system.

Only local, indigenous plants were used in the landscaping, which minimizes the need for watering and protects a precious resource.

The resorts were the catalyst behind the coral reefs of St. Lucia being declared a marine reserve to protect this valuable resource.

The resorts provide alternative transportation for its employees. On a daily basis, shuttles are scheduled hourly to transport workers from the resort to the local community, keeping carbon emissions to a minimum.

During the construction of Jade Mountain, any left-over construction materials were distributed to the local workforce for use on their own properties.

Construction materials that were used primarily came from the island, reducing the use of fossil fuels for transportation and the resultant pollution. For example, wood used was harvested from a managed forest.

During construction, the workers were protected through the implementation of an Indoor Air Quality plan that minimized worker’s exposure to harmful airborne compounds.

Low emitting materials (paints, adhesives, etc.) were used throughout the resorts, which effectively eliminated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are detrimental to a person’s health.

Guests are given the opportunity to learn about the resorts’ sustainability programs and actively participate in environmental activities such as reef cleaning and tree planting.

Nightly rates at Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain start at $375 and $1,080, respectively, per room based on double occupancy. Rates are subject to 10% service charge and 10% VAT. To book visit or

Rising majestically above the 600-acre beachfront resort of Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain Resort on St. Lucia’s southwestern Caribbean coastline is a cornucopia of organic architecture celebrating the island’s stunning scenic beauty. Architect owner Nick Troubetzkoy has expanded upon his philosophy of building in harmony with Caribbean nature in his creation of Jade Mountain. The bold architectural design – individual bridges leading to exceptional infinity pool sanctuaries and rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky – makes Jade Mountain one of the Caribbean’s most mesmerizing resort experiences. For more information, visit

Anse Chastanet is set amid a lush 600-acre estate with two soft-sand beaches and breathtaking views of St. Lucia’s twin Pitons mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amidst St. Lucia’s lush tropical beauty, activities range from jungle biking, hiking and bird watching to snorkeling on the reef within swimming distance of the beach. The environmentally friendly, award-winning resort comprises 49 individually designed rooms, 37 of which are scattered about a lush hillside, and 12 that are nestled within a tropical garden at beach level. Innovative menus – one of which is entirely vegetarian – are offered in four different locations and feature fresh produce served up from the resort’s organic farm. Guests can partake in interactive chocolate-making classes in the resort’s chocolate laboratory and a variety of water sports are also on offer. For further information, visit

See also: Honeymoon in Paradise: Anse Chastanet in Saint Lucia

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

Luxury Gold Features Discounts on Air, Tours for Early Bookings to Europe and Beyond

Tour the sun-kissed vineyards of Tuscany on Luxury Gold’s Ultimate Italy journey.

From now until Nov. 8, Luxury Gold is offering exclusive air offers on journeys to Europe and Egypt and receive $150 off per person on economy, $200 off per person on premium economy and $300 off per person on business class with American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia. These are valid for departure periods from now to May 31, 2020, and Sept. 1, 2020 to Nov. 15, 2020. 

In addition to the air offer, guests can receive a 10% Early Payment Discount on trips to Europe if they book and pay in full by December 18, 2019.

Now is the perfect time for travelers to get the best deals possible with the biggest choice of journeys and departure dates.

On Luxury Gold’s journeys to Europe and Egypt, travelers will open their minds to the luxuries of exceptional Michelin-star dining, VIP experiences, small group travel and top-notch hotels. From dining at critically acclaimed restaurants, to meeting important locals, to going behind-the-scenes to iconic sites and much more, Luxury Gold offers enriching and authentic experiences in small groups. 

Travelers can explore Europe and Egypt in exquisite luxury on these journeys and more:

Ultimate Italy (12-days): Travelers will delve into the marvelous country of Italy on this classic and romantic journey. In the Eternal City of Rome, guests will have VIP access to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel with an expert guide to marvel at the timeless Papal art collection. In Tuscany, guests will delight in a tasting of rare Super Tuscan wines in the underground cellar of Machiavelli’s home before enjoying a light Farm-to-Table lunch. In Venice, they’ll discover the secrets of the Venetian Republic on a private evening tour of the Doge’s Palace with a local expert. Along the way at the Isle of Capri, they’ll take in exclusive views of the Gulf of Naples from the privileged perch of Michelin-starred Mammà, enjoy a private cruise around the island to see its hidden coves and grottos, and admire the famous Faraglioni Rocks from the gardens of Caesar Augustus. For an immersive experience, guests will meet Marta at her artisanal workshop in Perugia, to discover the medieval tradition of loom-weaving and how it is being preserved by the TreadRight Foundation grant.

New Journey – Elegance of the Pharaohs (10 days):Guests will begin this extraordinary journey to this enchanting land of the Pharaohs in Cairo at the luxurious Mena House Hotel with guaranteed Pyramid-view rooms. They will join an expert Egyptologist and venture inside the Great Pyramids and admire the mysterious Great Sphinx. Guests will also explore the renowned Egyptian Museum with its ancient treasures including priceless artifacts from the Tomb of Tutankhamun. The adventure continues with guests traveling onwards to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luxor to embark on a five-day cruise on the most luxurious ship on the Nile, the River Tosca with its beautifully appointed all-suite rooms. They will unwind with an onboard gala reception and dinner. They will also enjoy exclusive VIP Experiences including a visit the Temple of Luxor after it has been closed to the public. One of the Journey Highlights includes traveling to a Nubian village and meeting a local family in their traditional dwelling where they will demonstrate regional bread-making process. They will follow in the footsteps of Agatha Christie and Winston Churchill as they experience a colonial English-style high tea at Aswan’s Old Cataract Hotel’s terrace during sunset

Harmony of Central Europe (13 days): Take a journey into the past, with our showcase of the grandest and most opulent cities of old Europe. From Prague to Budapest, guests will marvel at the spirit of former empires and regal grandeur. They’ll walk in the footsteps of six-year-old Mozart at an after-hours visit to the baroque Schönbrunn Palace, indulge with dinner at one of Vienna’s amazing Michelin-starred restaurants, and enjoy a private sparkling wine cruise on the glittering River Danube. Along the way, guests will witness a private recital of Chopin’s classic works, taste fine wines and stay in stately hotels. On select Chairman’s Collection departure dates guests will have the pleasure of meeting a descendant of the famous Habsburgs, Princess Anita Von Hohenberg at her home– the beautiful Artstetten Castle. Princess Anita will talk to them about her fascinating life and heritage over an exclusive sparkling wine reception.  

For reservations, call your local travel advisor or visit

As global leaders in luxury travel with expertise accumulated over nearly 100 years, Luxury Gold epitomizes extraordinary exploration to some of the world’s most spectacular destinations. To find out more, visit

Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands, The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit that works to help ensure the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant for generations to come. Founded by Brett Tollman, Chief Executive, TTC, to date TreadRight has supported more than 40 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. To learn more about our past and current work at TreadRight, visit

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

The 2020 Virtuoso Luxe Report of Top Experiential Travel Trends: ‘Carpe Diem,’ Croatia, Antarctica, Greece

Arriving at the end of a self-guided bike tour in Porec, Croatia. Croatia ranks as the top Emerging Destination and one of the top Global Destinations and Destinations for Millennials in Virtuoso’s luxe travel trends 2020 survey. © Karen Rubin/

NEW YORK – Travelers in 2020 are seizing the day and prioritizing trips now, powered by the belief that customized experiences are the best investment of their money and time, according to the latest Virtuoso® Luxe Report. Global luxury travel network Virtuoso annually surveys its industry-leading travel agency members and their advisor sales force across 50 countries to predict what lies ahead in the coming year. The Luxe Report, which has earned Virtuoso its reputation as a respected trend forecaster, reveals consumer inclinations in high-end and experiential travel.

“Carpe diem” travel is fueling the desire to savor as many new destinations and exciting experiences as possible in more authentic ways. While travelers still want to journey in comfort, the new definition of luxury is personalized adventures shared with family and friends. Both trends led to Virtuoso’s introduction earlier this year of Wanderlist®, a revolutionary approach to planning trips to ensure travelers maximize opportunities now and in the future.

The Luxe Report unearthed six trends highlighting how upscale globetrotters continue to assert their influence in the travel-sphere for 2020.

1.       Untouristed and Unexpected: With some favorite destinations seeing an untenable rise in demand, the well-traveled luxury set is seeking remote, unspoiled destinations to avoid crowds at over-touristed locales. Virtuoso advisors report a rise in requests for places ranging from the culturally distinct to those steeped in nature, including Borneo, Greenland and Oman.

2.       Country Coupling: Travelers are heeding the advice of well-informed Virtuoso advisors, who encourage clients to explore multiple countries, even during shorter journeys. Trips that mix locales are trending, especially ones with surprising combinations. Travelers may pair a ski adventure with a beach finale, or a city stay with a jungle adventure, or a well-traveled place followed by a little-known spot to mingle with locals. The focus is on varied experiences that enrich the trip with each stop.

3.       Tasty Travels: Culinary travel has transcended “trend” to become its own niche, with amazing food and drink now considered essential to any trip. Cooking classes, eating in private homes, Michelin-starred restaurants, farm-to-table visits, truffle hunting – culinary experiences are as varied as travelers themselves, and allow foodies to go beyond a seat at the table. Dining has become such a focus that some travelers are requesting restaurant reservations at the same time they book their flights – sometimes even before.

4.       Group Getaways: Travel unites those who share common interests, and Virtuoso advisors say clients want to connect with like-minded people. Gen X-ers, Boomers and even Matures are traveling to bond with friends and others who share their passions or are at the same life stage. Women’s travel is on the rise as well, including soft adventure trips and affluent girl getaways to unplug, relax and play. Groups of couples are also traveling together, including buddymoons, where newlyweds bring pals along for the fun.

5.       EQ Encounters: Today’s traveler is seeking more profound experiences leading to increased emotional intelligence. Pushing beyond their comfort zone combined with genuine interaction among locals provides travelers with a deeper appreciation for the people and cultures they encounter. Foregoing the usual attractions, Virtuoso clients are instead opting to tap into their passions, such as a tasting with the owner of a local winery, a motorcycle tour or a personal shopper to guide them through the latest pop-up stores. They also want accommodations that reflect the destination – inns full of character, small neighborhood hotels and private homes.

6.       Enjoying the Journey: Embracing the philosophy that the journey is half the fun, upscale voyagers are using exclusive services including meet-and-greets planeside to avoid the stress of changing terminals, locating gates or waiting in customs lines. The Private Suite at Los Angeles International Airport offers a members-only terminal where travelers are escorted through TSA screenings, driven to and from aircraft in BMWs and provided a room to relax in between flights.

In keeping with the “live for today” motivation, celebrating a milestone is the top factor inspiring travel in 2020 – a first for the Luxe Report. Multigenerational travel maintains its stronghold as the top trend of the year, with authenticity vaulting into second place from ninth in 2019 and cruising sailing out of the top five.

Italy continues its reign as the global favorite, as well as the top spot for solo travelers, while slipping to second place in the honeymoon and family travel categories. Croatia heads the list of emerging destinations, attracting buzz due to the Game-of-Thrones effect as well as its rich history and convenience to other major European hubs. Antarctica, poised for a big year, takes the top spot for adventure travel from longtime favorite South Africa (now in fourth place) and ranks number two as an emerging destination. And Greece catapulted into the top five for three categories, including the top spot for Millennials as well as second on the global destinations list and a third place for honeymoons.

Key findings from the 2020 Virtuoso Luxe Report:

Top Travel Trends                                                                Top Emerging Destinations

1. Multigenerational travel                                                       1. Croatia

2. Authenticity                                                                         2. Antarctica 

3. Active or adventure trips                                                     3. Iceland

4. Family travel (immediate family)                                          4. Japan

5. Celebration travel                                                                5. Portugal

Top Global Destinations                                                      Top Adventure Destinations

1. Italy                                                                                     1. Antarctica

2. Greece                                                                                 2. Alaska 

3. France                                                                                  3. Galapagos Islands 

4. Japan                                                                                    4. South Africa

5. Croatia                                                                                 5. Iceland

Top Millennial Destinations                                                Top Cities

1. Greece                                                                                 1. Paris

2. Bali                                                                                      2. Barcelona

3. Croatia                                                                                 3. Florence

4. Iceland                                                                                 4. Rome

5. Cambodia                                                                            5. London

Top Family Travel Destinations                                         Top Honeymoon Destinations

1. Hawaii                                                                                 1. French Polynesia

2. Italy                                                                                     2. Italy

3. Orlando                                                                               3. Greece

4. Costa Rica                                                                           4. Bali  

5. England                                                                               5. Maldives  

Top Solo Travel Destinations                                              Top Travel Motivations

1. Italy                                                                                     1. Celebrating a milestone

2. England                                                                               2. Excitement of discovering new destinations

3. U.S.                                                                                      3. Spending time with loved ones

4. France                                                                                  4. Rest and relaxation

5. Spain                                                                                    5. Crossing off Wanderlist® items

A total of 1,300 travel advisors from Virtuoso-affiliated agencies in North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East took the Luxe Report survey, drawing on their extensive knowledge, professional experience and client requests to offer insight into 2020’s top trends.

Virtuoso® is a leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency partners with 20,000 elite travel advisors in 50 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with over 1,800 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $26.4 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

The Kensington Celebrates London’s Royal Baby with Parenting Sessions over Afternoon Tea

The Kensington is celebrating the new Royal Baby with parenting sessions over Afternoon Tea with with Sarajane Ambrose, founder of leading UK nanny and maternity nurse agencies, Kensington-based Imperial Nannies and Maternally Yours. 

In honor of the pending arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first baby, due in April, The Kensington has once again partnered with Sarajane Ambrose, founder of leading UK nanny and maternity nurse agencies, Kensington-based Imperial Nannies and Maternally Yours. New or expectant parents can now book a two-hour, one-on-one session with Sarajane, where she will guide them through everything they can expect when it comes to parenthood. Sarajane will offer her expert tips over The Kensington’s new ‘London Landmarks’ Afternoon Tea.

Sarajane has encountered countless parents since she founded her agencies back in 1996 and is an expert at pairing high caliber nannies and maternity nurses with discerning families. The two-hour session is available to hotel guests of The Kensington and prospective parents alike. As a mother of four, Sarajane can offer tips on everything from furnishing a nursery to adjusting to life with a new baby.

The package is exclusively available at The Kensington and sessions will include the hotel’s new Afternoon Tea, which takes inspiration from London’s most recognizable and historic landmarks. The new Afternoon Tea is presented on a London Eye-inspired tea stand and is served alongside a bespoke map of London, illustrated by Eleni Sofroniou, highlighting the landmarks featured in the tea.

Afternoon Tea sessions with Sarajane are exclusively available at The Kensington and prices start from £200 (approx. $265.63) for two-hours. Sessions are subject to availability and can be booked between 12:00pm – 4:00pm, Monday – Friday. To book, please call 020 7 795 6299 or email: [email protected].

Family ownership imbues the Doyle Collection properties with the familiarity of a member’s club and the intimacy of a private home. Each of its eight hotels – landmark buildings in unrivalled city locations, has its own distinct personality that is rooted in, and authentic to, its neighborhood. Innovation and ongoing investment ensure a boutique, cosmopolitan yet local feel – as seen in cool destination restaurants, bars and event spaces – while the Collection’s heritage lends character to its vision of informal luxury, timeless style and the very best guest experience.

Sister agencies Imperial Nannies and Maternally Yours have been placing high caliber nannies and maternity nurses with discerning families since 1996. With offices located in Kensington, London and Bath, the agencies provide live-in, daily, temporary and overseas nannies, governesses and maternity nurses for private homes worldwide. Their expert Consultants provide a personal and professional service according to each client’s individual requirements. Only candidates with a minimum of three years’ private household experience are accepted. All candidates are personally interviewed. Each is scrupulously background and reference checked with up to date CRB checks and all are qualified First Aiders. Further details at and

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

Twitter: @TravelFeatures