Finest hotel in China – Peninsula Shanghai

Flowers at Peninsula Shanghai
Spectacular flowers everywhere is just one small detail in the scheme of things at the formidable Peninsula Shanghai. Situated on the Bund, this hotel aims to please. They offer an airport pickup in their fabulous Rolls Royce, and the service just gets better from there. Large, spacious, comfortable rooms face the river and the colorful Pudong area across the street. The bathroom has a button the dims the lights slowly as soft music comes up and water fills the bathtub. Just incredible. Returning to the Peninsula Shanghai is a must.

Premier Room – Rosewood Beijing

Images courtesy of Rosewood Beijing

Images courtesy of Rosewood Beijing

I had the privilege of serving on the Virtuoso Preview Board of Advisors for Rosewood Beijing, so I was well briefed with the passion of the staff. They left no stone unturned in their focus on making all guests feel welcome. When I visited Beijing and saw the hotel in actuality, I was blown away. I met the GM Marc Brugger, and Head of Sales David Campbell. William Liu, Beijing head of Sales and Lori Zhang kindly showed me around. An exciting project, I caught the passion of the staff and loved the decor. Completely pleasant, the rooms evoke a wonderful sense of place and relaxation. Can’t wait to get back and sample the Peking Duck specialty in one of the restaurants, A Country Kitchen. You can read about the hotel in this issue of Virtuoso Life.

Now Open: The Fabulous Rosewood Beijing

Rosewood Beijing Exterior

Sleek, glamorous, exciting are first three words that jump to mind after my visit to the brand new Rosewood Beijing.
The exterior is all hard edged and glossy, while the interior is soft and relaxed.
It incorporates a residential feel.
A Virtuoso property, it has jaw dropping views of Beijing out the floor to ceiling windows.

Best Breakfast -St Regis Beijing

Best Breakfast - St. Regis Beijing

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The most amazing, extensive breakfast I have ever experienced was at the St Regis Beijing. Wow!

St. Regis Beijing

St. Regis Beijing

Host to kings, princes, presidents and CEO’s, the St Regis Beijing lives up to it’s reputation. In a perfect central location on Embassy Row, we could walk to the Silk Market and one of the most luxurious underground malls I have ever seen. Every designer you could possibly think of, was represented. Beijing is the cultural capital of China, and getting to the sites and museums was an easy jump- mostly by car. The city is enormous.

Aman heaven again- Amanoi Vinh Hy, Vietnam

View from Amanoi Outdoor Dining.- Vinh Hy, Vietnam
Aman heaven again. And you will be too!
Aman is a Sanskrit-derived word for peace and Noi means “place”
This property personifies that ethic.
With the launch of Amanoi, Amanresorts adds Vietnam to its Southeast Asian circuit, with Amanpuri in Thailand, Amantaka in Laos and Amansara in Cambodia already on everyone’s must travel list
Impossible to describe the serenity, sense of place, and spectacular decor.
A fabulous spot to wind down after a tour of SE Asia, Amanoi is perfect for a honeymoon and divine for a destination wedding.
The designer, Jean-Michel Gathy also did the spectacular Amanyara in Turks &Caicos
Not a “palm tree” resort. Amanoi is set on the coast in beautiful Vinh Hy Bay in the middle of the Nui Chua National park. Vegetation is subtropical, and incredible rock formations are everywhere. There is a wonderful beach with unusual shells and a darling fishing village on the other side of Vinh Hy bay. Landing in Na Trang, the drive is about an hour and 15minutes on an amazing coastal drive. The good news is that the car has WIFI so you can catch up on emails or track your progress on google maps.
Food was fabulous. Beef was flown in from Australia, all vegetables and fruits are local and organic, seafood was right out of the local waters. Couldn’t be more fresh.
I want to move into our villa- it is that comfortable. The beyond fab Spa has the only Pilates equipment and set up in Vietnam. They also boast hydrotherapy equipment.

Hong Kong Skyline

Hong Kong At Night

Impossible to capture the magic of Hong Kong in lights. You have to see it for yourself!

Cool Hotel in Hong Kong- Upper House

Upper House – COOL hotel in Hong Kong Central.
There is a special type of client looking for cool new slick spaces – You know who you are.
Upper House is going to fill the bill in Hong Kong. Minimal, contemporary, intime and totally cool.
Three room types: Peak view 70 CM/Harbor view 70CM and harbor or peak view suite 80CM
A great addition to the services of Upper House is that they allow early arrivals. So if your flight arrives in the morning, they will move you right into your room. They check you in there. No lines -No waiting. image
Upper House’s restaurant is Café Gray Deluxe, a 21st century ‘grand café’, located on the 49th floor overlooking Victoria Harbor, marks the return to Hong Kong of Chef Gray Kunz and his cuisine – a unique style of European classics and signature dishes from a lifetime leading the very finest kitchens in Europe, Asia and America.
Hotel facts:
The hotel’s 117 rooms (including 21 suites and 2 penthouses) start at 730sq ft – the largest in Hong Kong. They feature wonderfully spacious bathrooms and dressing areas, and offer either scenic harbor or island views. Calming and contemporary, the rooms are designed to provide a sense of relaxation, warmth and understated luxury. Room features Luxury down bedding Complimentary in-room bar Dual temperature wine fridge Complimentary espresso machine and selection of teas and infusions LCD TV with 2.1 surround sound with simple connectivity for PC, camcorder and MP3 Interactive hotel information, music and games via in room iTouch Complimentary wired and wireless high speed internet access Spacious bathrooms with TV, dressing area, walk-in rain shower and limestone clad bath

Chi Lin Gardens -Hong Kong

Chi Lin Gardens - Hong Kong

We are looking for new sites in Hong Kong and my friend Devin suggested we see Chi Lin Nunnery and Gardens. Just opened a year ago, the gardens are a beautiful depiction of a Tang Dynasty garden and has amazing replicas of Tang Dynasty structures, built in teak wood. A beautiful oasis smack in the middle of Kowloon. If you are in Hong Kong, you should add it to your list.

Ode to Devin Gwie

Devin

A Tour Guide professional for over 20 years. Devin has personal connections in every city and country in SE Asia. He knows every top restaurant, hotel, hidden shops you might want to know about, the best tailors, jewelry makers, pearl sources, who is reputable, etc,etc,etc. He can untangle any red tape, get you Into to places you can’t, handle high maintenance clients from famous entertainers, to the wife of presidents, to royalty -in a word the man to know in SE Asia. And he is exceptional with groups. The ultimate professional, with a wonderful sense of humor – my favorite guide, Devin Gwie.

Spectacular FS Club Lounge – Hong Kong

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Situated on the top floor of FS Hong Kong, the Club lounge serves breakfast privately in the morning and drinks and snacks/drinks all day. Complimentary to all suites.

Pool – Four Seasons Hong Kong

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One of the two pools at Four Seasons. I noticed they have special bathrobes for children – darling. Overlooking Hong Kong Bay

Four Seasons Hong Kong – one of the Best!

View from my room Four Seasons Hong Kong

View from my room
Four Seasons Hong Kong

Opened in 2009 with not one but two Michelin rated restaurants, the Four Seasons Hong Kong lives up to it’s impeccable reputation. An example of attention to detail: we arrived at midnight and found in our room a mound of finger sandwiches with a card saying “in anticipation of your late arrival we prepared a light snack for you”. I left my camera on the desk and when I returned, the cleaning service had left a packed lense cleaning cloth. Everyone seemed to know our name. Adapters in each nightstand. Little details that mount to flawless service. At 399 rooms, 54 of them suites, the hotel did not come off as a large hotel, there was a sense of space and peace. Located on the Central side of HKG the location was convenient and easy to reach for walking. We sampled their amazing Cantonese Restaurant, Lung King Heen and agreed it deserved it’s stars. The hotel has 2 pools and a club level on the top(45th) floor- Club lounge is open to all who book a suite.

Dispatch Hong Kong

Peking Garden Hong Kong

Peking Garden Hong Kong

Back in one of my favorite cities: the divine Hong Kong. Ever changing, the city seems to be thriving- cranes and bamboo scaffolding everywhere. Still retaining it’s soul of exotic British outpost, it is delightful to be poking into my old haunts. I am checking out the fabulous Four Seasons Hong Kong. I also visited the spectacular Upper House. Reviews to follow.

Another Incredible Virtuoso Travel Week

4000 talented travel consultants, suppliers and press converge in Las Vegas one week each year to connect, learn and enhance their clients’ travel experience. The energy and passion for this travel connection is immense. Classes are offered by the top travel experts in the business- highlighted by Helen Nodland, and the always delightful Ann Scully. An active network called VAST offers an all day exposition to better learn about the latest and greatest offerings in the active travel industry.
We meet hotel General Managers, heads of hotel marketing, destination management companies, tour operators, safari operators, airline representatives, destination wedding suppliers, and sales directors from all over the world – 396 meetings over a four day period. We meet before the general meetings, at specialized luncheons, cocktail parties and dinners, in addition to the 396 presentations. By the time the week is over, I can say I am thoroughly ensconced in travel information. I came home energized, inspired, armed with the best information and fabulous new connections to enable me to make my clients dreams come true.

Welcome To Atlanta’s New Internatio​nal Terminal

I just received this from Delta concerning their exciting new terminal:

On May 16th, the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal will open at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). This state-of-the-art, LEED-certified terminal will accommodate more passengers and make international travel a breeze.

Most international flights will arrive at Concourses E or F, although some international flights from “pre-cleared” countries will arrive on Concourses T through D.

If Atlanta is your final destination:
You will proceed through Passport Control and claim your baggage at the new international terminal.
You will no longer need to recheck your baggage upon exiting Customs.
There is a passenger pickup area and ground transportation center at the new international terminal.
From the international terminal, complimentary shuttles are available to both the domestic terminal which includes MARTA, as well as to the rental car center.
Since you are departing Atlanta prior to the new terminal’s opening and returning after its opening, please note the following:
If you parked at the domestic terminal and your flight arrives at the international terminal, you may take the complimentary shuttle bus to the domestic terminal.
If someone is picking you up at the airport, please let him or her know you will arrive at the new international terminal, which is accessible from Interstate 75.
Please visit delta.com for more information about the international terminal.

Saying a prayer -Jade Buddha Temple Shanghai

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City view Pudong Shanghai

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Bund View Deluxe room- Ritz Carlton Pudong Shanghai

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View of the Bund and Eastern Shanghai

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Club level Ritz Carlton Pudong-Shanghai

View from my bed Ritz Carlton Pudong

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TV Radio tower Shanghai

Apothecary shop Shanghai

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Jade temple Shanghai

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Shanghai from my room

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Shanghai

I am visiting Shanghai as a guest of the Ritz Carlton Hotels. I have stayed in other hotels here, but I must say for a big hotel, it feels very intime. A good bit of the comfort comes from the service. Ritz is renowned for it’s personal service, but I think this one is extra special- it may have to do with the Asian sensibility of making a guest feel welcome but they all know our names, they are to fault solicitous of our needs, they are genuinely happy to have us in their country. A liitle retail therapy also helps, I had a suit made immediately for a song. They have a tailor onsite. I am sititng on the club level having a delightful breakfast. There is something about Asia that is very intriguing.