Last week, the Premiere Luxury Travel team had the privilege of attending Virtuoso Travel Week, a grand event often called the “Fashion Week for Travel.” This prestigious event serves a beacon in the travel industry, drawing together the world’s top luxury travel advisors and providers of unparalleled travel experiences. This annual event reveals destinations that seamlessly weave uniqueness and opulence into a tapestry of unforgettable memories. As this latest edition of Virtuoso Travel Week concluded, ten exceptional choices emerged from the constellation of options, each sparkling like a gem in the travel firmament. This week, we will uncover what makes these first five properties (yes, I consider a cruise ship to be a floating hotel whose “property” is wherever they dock) the epitome of extraordinary, setting the tone for a new era in luxury travel.
Explora Journeys is a new, innovative cruise line focused on immersive experiences. They like to think of themselves as an ultraluxe resort on the water, with 461 oceanfront suites, 11 dining venues, and no formal dress code or formal nights; the emphasis on casual elegance shines through.
The experience comparison to One & Only and Belmond properties is not lost on the folks at Explora Journeys. They have a personalized itinerary approach, allowing travelers to curate their journey.
Vermejo is a unique resort that seamlessly blends luxury with untouched wilderness, a resort consisting of hundreds of thousands of acres of pristine wilderness, stunning wildlife, and billions of stars visible to the naked eye. Ted Turner Reserves’ Vermejo in Northern New Mexico is a destination locked in time, often described as a national park without the crowds.
A few of the activities they offer are wildlife safaris,” horseback riding, fly fishing, hunting, and clay pigeon shooting. Vermejo has been a sanctuary of ecotourism since billionaire Ted Turner purchased the property from Pennzoil in 1996. A short time later, Mr. Turner began an ambitious conservation program that involved removing the ranch’s cattle and restoring the Bison and Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout from the verge of extinction. Their mission is to manage the ecosystem, and the business’s hospitality and natural gas exploration sides help fund their conservation efforts.
I had the pleasure of experiencing Vermejo a few years ago, and it lived up to its reputation as a very special place!
Nestled in the heart of San Antonio, the Hotel Emma is a truly exceptional and unique
establishment, captivating visitors with its rich history and distinctive charm. The hotel’s allure lies in its transformation from a 19th-century brewery into a luxurious and enchanting destination. The story of the three Emmas, the hotel’s namesake, unfolds through its meticulously preserved architecture and design, celebrating the spirit of the original brewhouse’s founder, Otto Koehler, and his three remarkable wives, all named Emma. This narrative is intricately woven into the hotel’s ambiance, creating an atmosphere that exudes warmth and elegance. From the rustic yet refined interiors to the inviting culinary experiences, the Hotel Emma seamlessly merges the past and present, offering a stay that is as memorable as it is inspiring.
This hotel is perfect for girls’ getaways and foodies, due to its proximity to the campus at the Culinary Institute of America and some amazing shopping!
Tucked away like a well-kept secret, The Inn at Matei’s Tavern emerges as a hidden gem, renowned for its serene and tranquil ambiance. It is a haven where time seems to slow down, inviting guests to retreat from the ordinary.
The Tavern was initially established as a stagecoach stop between San Francisco and Los Angeles, offering travelers a place to rest, dine, and even stay overnight. Mattei’s Tavern has transitioned from primarily a stagecoach stop to a renowned inn and restaurant. It combines its historical atmosphere with contemporary dining experiences, making it a unique destination for visitors interested in history, fine dining, and the local wine culture.
What truly sets this Inn apart is its unwavering commitment to personalized service and impeccable attention to detail (it IS a part of the Auberge Resort family, after all), crafting an atmosphere of unparalleled elegance.
From the moment guests walk through the door, they are enveloped in an aura of exclusivity, where their every need is anticipated and catered to with grace and warmth. The Inn has been perfect for a girls’ getaway, a guys’ fantasy football draft, and family vacations!
Nestled along the banks of the Nile River, the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan stands as a testament to timeless grandeur and unparalleled luxury. Built in 1899 as a base to welcome the royal family, this historic landmark exudes an air of enchantment, captivating visitors with its classic architecture and opulent décor that transport them to an era of refined elegance. As the sun begins its descent, the allure of afternoon tea takes center stage, offering a delightful blend of tradition and indulgence. While sipping a fragrant cup of tea and noshing on delectable bites, guests are treated to panoramic views of the ever-flowing Nile. This spectacle has inspired countless literary and historical luminaries who have graced these hallowed halls, including royal families, celebrities, presidents, and renowned author Agatha Christie when she penned “Death on the Nile.”
It’s not just the breathtaking scenery that captivates, but also the seamless fusion of modern comforts with old-world charm, ensuring that every moment spent within the Old Cataract Hotel is a journey through time and an embrace of unparalleled luxury. It’s the perfect ending to your Egypt adventure!
I hope this gave you some inspiration for your next travel adventure. Stay tuned next week for the second part of our captivating journey, where we will delve into my other five picks of enchanting destinations that promise to set a new standard for luxury.
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