9.24.2020

Hawaii opens October 15th with negative Covid test


Good news! Hawaii is in the process of reopening to visitors... and Hawaii's pre-testing program for Covid-19 will begins on Thursday, October 15. The state has created a two-minute video explaining the five-step process (see below).

Step one — surf to Hawaii's online Travel and Health Form. Each traveling adult will establish their own sign-in. Complete, e-sign, and submit the online form, adding any minors as "additional travelers." Verification numbers will be texted to your cell phone and emailed as well, and you'll have to enter these six-digit numbers.

Step two — enter details of your trip including arrival date, departure and arrival airport, flight information, government ID, your hotel in Hawaii. etc.

Step three — 24 hours before your trip, you will be informed by email and text that your Travel Health Questionnaire is available. Log in and complete the questionnaire. If you have your negative test result, you will be able to upload that form at this time. If it hasn't come yet, you will present the hard copy when you arrive in Hawaii.

Step four — check your email for your QR. Print this out and/or get the code on your phone.

Step five — Things to have ready at the airport checkpoint in Hawaii: your QR code, government-issued ID for each adult, a charged and working cell phone, and your test results (unless you've uploaded them ... but I'd bring them anyway).


What's deal with the Covid-19 pre-travel test? No earlier than 72 hours before your flight, take an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), performed using a nasal swab, and get proof of negative test results. CVS and Kaiser Permanente are both certified as trusted testing partners, but you can use any CLIA certified laboratory.

What if you don't get your test results before your flight? If you're lucky, your test results will be in your email by the time your reach the islands. If not, you will be required to quarantine in a hotel room (at a hotel that provides this option) until you receive your proof of negative test results and report them to the Hawai‘i State Department of Health.

Most luxury resorts will not allow you to quarantine at the resort. The following, for instance, is the policy of Four Seasons Maui:

The option to quarantine (rather than provide proof of a negative test) is not available to our guests. Therefore, all guests must have proof of a negative PCR Covid-19 test that had been performed no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. This will need to be shown at the airport, as well as at the Front Desk upon check in.

A temperature screening process will be in place upon arrival and throughout the Resort, along with additional Lead With Care protocols.

At this time, we will not allow outside guests to use our facilities, including the restaurants and spa.

Bottom line: find a test laboratory than will guarantee results within 3 days, and you're good to go! 



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copyright (c) 2020 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

9.16.2020

a new boutique luxury hotel in Paris

One of our favorite Parisian tour guides anticipates that visitors will seek out smaller, boutique hotels. She recommends Cour des Vosges, an intimate luxury hotel in the Marais located at 19 place des Vosges (the beautiful square you see through the window of a room overlooking the square.

A residence built in the 17th century, Cour des Vosges has only twelve rooms. Definitely book one of the Superior or Deluxe Suites on the first or second floors of the hotel; these Suites boast wonderful fifteen foot-high ceilings. We recommend avoiding the 3rd and 4th floors (with guestrooms and one Junior Suite); these accommodations are quite cozy with "regular" 8 foot ceilings.

Affiliated with Travel Leaders Select, your travel advisor can offer you a rate 10% less than BAR at Cour des Vosges, and you'll all receive exclusive added-value amenities — daily breakfast for two, a $100 hotel credit towards incidentals, and upgrade if available.

But the best part of the hotel ... waking up to this incredible view of the Place des Vosges!

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copyright (c) 2020 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

9.10.2020

travel souvenirs — part 13


pendant with Maori design from New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the most gorgeous places on earth, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my two trips there. Like many of you, I'm always looking for something special to bring back when I travel. I remember looking for a gift for Claire all during my first trip but never found the perfect gift ... until my very last day. At the Queenstown airport, waiting for our flight to Auckland, I came across this pendant in the airport's gift shop.

Made of mother of pearl, this pendant is in the form of a koru. One of the basic symbols in Maori art, the koru is based on the shape of an unfurling silver fern frond. It symbolizes new life, growth, strength, and peace. It's also a beautiful piece of jewelry!

Known for its incredible scenery — from the southern alps of the Queenstown area to the northern beaches of the bay of islands — New Zealand offers its visitors fabulous food and wine, adventure sports from sailing to skiing to bungee jumping, and some of the most wonderful luxury lodges in the world.

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copyright (c) 2020 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

9.02.2020

travel souvenirs — part 12


Delft houses from KLM (c) 2020 by David Ourisman, all rights reserved

If you've flown KLM business class, you'll recognize this souvenir. Passengers on long haul flights to or from Amsterdam are presented with a choice of blue Delft china houses designed to resemble actual historic buildings in the Netherlands. I've even to the Royal Delft factory and seen the process by which the pottery is painted with the iconic Delft blue and then glazed. Of course, that was 51 years ago in the summer of 1969 — so I'm dating myself.

I've acquired these four Delft houses over the years...

73 — De Posthoorn 

83 — Museum Van Loon

33 — De Dubbelde Palmboom

7 — Bols House

KLM has a comfortable business class with lie-flat seats that offer a good night's sleep on your way over the pond. Amsterdam offers convenient connections to destinations all over Europe, avoiding the madness of transfers in Paris or London. Get in touch for specially discounted business class fares when packaged with hotel stays or car rentals... or click here to discover the value-added Virtuoso amenities you can score at Amsterdam's most elegant luxury hotels.

Click here to sign up for the Ourisman Travel Newsletter.

copyright (c) 2020 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

8.30.2020

travel souvenirs — part 11


Celtic cross souvenir from Ireland (c) 2020 by David Ourisman, all rights reserved

Ireland is one of the friendliest and most visually stunning destinations we've ever visited. Claire and I were both struck by its Celtic spirituality. Predating Christianity by centuries, Celtic independence was lost when the land was conquered by Julius Caesar, and Celtic religion was eclipsed by the coming of Christianity.

But signs of Celtic spirituality are still everywhere in Ireland. Our guide took us to see fairy forts in County Clare, and Celtic crosses (such as the one pictured below) can be found throughout the country, a sign that Ireland's native culture still persists.

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copyright (c) 2020 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.



Celtic cross from County Kerry (c) 2020 by David Ourisman, all rights reserved


8.20.2020

travel souvenirs — part 10

 

Balinese batik mask (c) 2020 by David Ourisman, all rights reserved

I remember exactly when I bought this mask. It was our first day in Bali. Claire and I had just left the airport, enroute to our first resort, Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. Our driver asked if we would like to stop at a very good gallery of Balinese batik that was right on our route. As it was still morning, too early to check in to our hotel, we said, "Yes." I'm glad we did.

Batik Popiler is the art gallery we visited in Denpasar. The driver's recommendation was well founded. The items on display were interesting and well crafted, and the prices were reasonable. Though we do not normally indulge in much retail therapy, it's hard to resist in Bali. So with some shame, I can report that we bought our first (of many) souvenirs from Bali before we even got to our hotel. This beautiful batik mask cost 658.000 IDR (about $45), and it's been on display in our bedroom ever since.

Bali is filled with beautiful crafts and beautiful resorts, some by the sea and some in the cultural center of Ubud. If you're traveling all the way to Indonesia, don't miss Java, an island relatively undiscovered by western tourists. Our stay at Amanjiwo was truly a highlight of our vacation.


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copyright (c) 2020 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel,
email me or visit my website.

8.19.2020

travel souvenirs — part 9


 

I purchased this clay pot during an extended stay in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the summer of 1991. What do I remember about Santa Fe?

expansive, wide-open spaces... The beautiful landscapes of New Mexico are a recurring theme in the paintings of American artist Georgia O'Keeffe, and Santa Fe is the home of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. I was struck by the epic views just driving the highways, especially the sight of a storm rolling in. The vast horizons of the American West engaged my imagination.

Southwestern cuisine... There's a huge difference between the Mexican food typically encountered at chain restaurants versus the authentic local cuisine available in Santa Fe. I so enjoyed my meal at Santa Fe Bar & Grill, a very casual strip mall restaurant, that we kept going back.

Native American culture... It goes far beyond the turquoise jewelry you'll find in shops everywhere. Visit the archeological sites. Listen to the storytelling of Joe Hayes who appears weekly during the summer at the Wheelwright Museum (at least he did pre-Covid). And visit a craft show — I purchased the handmade clay pot (pictured above) at the San Juan Pueblo.

Santa Fe is a drivable destination. Call us to plan a vacation at one of its four Virtuoso™ hotels and resorts — and enjoy complimentary amenities (you'd otherwise pay for) including breakfast for two daily, $100 hotel credits, and upgrades if available.

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copyright (c) 2020 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.