It’s easy to become jaded when you travel as much as I do. Particularly when you are experiencing the range of destinations and luxury hotels I, luckily, get to on a monthly basis. Check out the list: Since our last issue, I have gone from Hawaii to Orlando, to London—very different locations with a history all their own.
All have their classic hotels. In Hawaii I stayed at the newly renovated Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort (I’m pictured in front with Cheryl Williams, Starwood’s regional vice president, Hawaii and French Polynesia). Built in 1927, this iconic hotel, known as the “Pink Palace of the Pacific,” is on the breathtaking Waikiki beachfront. I recommend the Spa Suites, which are poolside duplex accommodations with a view of the Waikiki surf. The one aspect of this hotel that hasn’t changed is the service. Every need is attended to with Hawaiian hospitality. I was surprised to find out that the word “Aloha,” which Hawaiians use to greet, actually is a feeling, not the word “Hello.” It is the native spirit of friendliness and hospitality representing the Hawaiians’ love of life and their joy of sharing and giving.
From Hawaii, I was off to the land of make-believe, Disney World in Orlando. In the U.S, this can be defined as a classic that is constantly evolving. Though the amusements and attractions can change, tourists forget that the staff makes it happen. Not to ruin anyone’s fantasy but, yes, there is an actual human being inside that Mickey Mouse outfit. Orlando has also reached out to the travel agent community. If you haven’t had the chance to become a graduate of the Orlando Travel Academy, go to www.tauniv.com and become a specialist in a destination that is reinventing itself by the day.
And, finally, London. No, I didn’t meet the Queen; I rang the doorbell at Buckingham Palace, but no one answered. I was actually in town during Remembrance Sunday, which is an ideal time to visit, especially for history buffs. It’s nothing like our Memorial Day—London practically shuts down and a series of military parades make their way through the streets. With the Olympics around the corner, this city is getting ready to welcome the world and dusting off its classics, which your clients will be pleasantly surprised with.
Here’s to your classics, and mine, and a prosperous 2010.