2.21.2017

33%-60% off Turks & Caicos villas



A Springs Savings Promotion just came across my desk for the Beach Enclave Villas on the north short of Turks & Caicos. These four-bedroom and five-bedroom villas can be leased for as little as $500 per bedroom per night (Ocean View) and $600 per bedroom per night (Beachfront).

There's just a 3-week window to take advantage of some drastically reduced rates. Enjoy a 33% discount off the regular rate ... a 60% discount off the Spring Break rates. Travel dates are Feb. 22 - April 30, 2017. (The promotional rates don't apply over March 14-19 and April 12-16).

You have two ways to take advantage... 
(1) Just contact Ourisman Travel, and we'll follow through with the booking for you, or...  
(2) Phone Beach Enclave (866.580.1675) and mention this blog and promo code "BESS".
It's grey and a bit chilly outside. Watch the YouTube video above and imagine yourself in the sun, on the beach, or sitting on this deck enjoying a cool tropical drink. Then, make it happen!

copyright (c) 2017 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.

2.18.2017

getting WiFi at the airport



I'm not sure how useful this map is, as most airports have free public WiFi. Sometimes you may have to watch a 30-second video advertisement while signing on. I frankly have no problem trading 30 seconds of inattention for a corporate sponsorship of my being online. But there are other alternatives.

Anil Polar's labor of love has been the creation of the above google map collecting WiFi passwords contributed by his readers at airports around the world. I'm not sure how useful this information is. Looking at the airport closest to my home, San Francisco International Airport, the collected passwords are from several airport lounges — AirFrance/KLM (international terminal), Centurion Lounge (Terminal 3), and Admirals Club (Terminal 2). If you have access to those lounges, there's no purpose to this map. I suppose you could sit on the hard floor outside those lounges, but why would you do that? SFO has free public WiFi.

There are better alternatives! For instance, American Express Platinum Card members (1) get free admission into the Centurion Lounge, (2) receive Priority Pass which provides free admission to the AirFrance/KLM Lounge, and (3) have access to complimentary WiFi at over one million Boingo hotspots worldwide. And if you're flying internationally in business class, you also receive complimentary lounge access

If you're a frequent flyer, legitimate lounge membership is actually a good idea. Here are some of the advantages.
  • (1) Comfortable seating in chairs or sofas that are not bolted to the floor.
  • (2) Quiet and decorum.
  • (3) Complimentary snacks and drinks.
  • (4) An airline desk (sans the long lines out in the terminal) with top agents who can rebook flights or process that upgrade.
  • (5) Clean restrooms without lines.
  • (6) Sometimes showers.
  • (7) Free WiFi.
Often that membership is included if you obtain the right credit card ... and it may be tax deductible — consult your CPA.

copyright (c) 2017 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.

2.16.2017

one hotel, three days, five stars

entrance of the Four Seasons George V, Paris

If you collect Michelin stars, do we have a culinary experience for you!

Four Seasons George V, one of the most elegant hotels in Paris (and indeed the world!), can boast three renowned restaurants with five total Michelin stars.
Le Cinq — Michelin three-star French haute cuisine
l'Orangerie — Michelin one-star
Le George — Michelin one-star Mediterranean-style
Imagine the gastronomic experience you'll enjoy with the George V's Preferred Partner Culinary Discovery package.
  • Daily American breakfast for two served at La Galerie, Le Cinq, or through in-room dining
  • The "Epicurean Escape Menu" for two, available for lunch or dinner at Le Cinq
  • The "Tasting Menu" for two, available for lunch or dinner at l'Orangerie
  • The "Flavor Menu" for two, available for lunch or dinner at Le George
  • Private tour of the wine cellar
As a Four Seasons guest, you'll find yourself in the heart of the Golden Triangle and all its possibilities for ultra-luxurious retail therapy ... and just steps away from the Eiffel Tower, the Musée du quai Branly, the arc du Triomphe, and the Champs Elysees.

And as the client of a Preferred Partner agency, you'll enjoy an exclusive set of amenities at the George V or any other Four Seasons in the world. While we are not permitted to publish them on a public website, just drop us a line and we'll send you our worldwide guide.

copyright (c) 2017 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.

2.15.2017

Medjet Horizon | stay in control



You can stay in control, even when things go wrong during a trip. While nothing can eliminate the possibility of a serious illness or security situation, Medjet Horizon comes as close as anything I know to keeping you safe and in control during an emergency. Medjet offers two levels of coverage.

Medjet Classic provides air medical transport to a hospital you trust. "If you are hospitalized 150 miles or more from home, MedjetAssist will arrange air medical transport all the way back to your hospital of choice in your home country, regardless of medical necessity, and at no cost besides your membership fee." While traditional travel protection policies provide medical evacuation, it's only to the closest adequate facility. (Important note: MedJet does not include a medical insurance component; you'll need to obtain this protection through other vendors).

Medjet Horizon goes a step further. You receive medical evacuation to your hospital of choice but also have access to help when encountering these potential threats:
Violent Crime
Political Threat
Terrorism
Hi-Jack
Wrongful Detention
Disappearance
Kidnap
Blackmail/Extortion
You will have on-demand access to a 24/7 Crisis Response Center run by FocusPoint International, not only to advise you but also to provide in-country services as they determine necessary to get you to safety.
EXAMPLE: A University Student living and studying in Nigeria’s northeast Borno State contacts the Crisis Response Center to report an overnight raid by Boko Haram militants. The student said he fears for his life and wants to leave Ngamdu. 
ASSISTANCE: The CRC contacts the protected member to obtain additional details about the raid and local conditions. The CRC coordinates with local security assets in Lagos, Nigeria and plans a land evacuation back to Lagos. The protected member is provided detailed instructions on how to prepare for the evacuation, when he will be moved and by whom.
To obtain the security of either the classic MedJet Assist (medical transport to your hospital of choice) or MedJet Horizon (which also includes crisis response protection), just click this link.

copyright (c) 2017 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.

2.10.2017

Big Island attractions

attractions on the Big Island — http://tinyurl.com/hzc4sqe

I'll be on the Big Island two weeks from today and am looking forward to experiencing the natural beauty and the cultural uniqueness of Hawai'i — not to mention the tropical sun and the blue waters of the Pacific.

Hawai’i is more than luxury resorts and beaches, and this trip is my chance to visit some of those other attractions so that I tell my clients about them. will be my first visit to Volcano National Park. They say the lava is flowing, and I'm looking forward to witnessing that.

Other attractions that interest us are Akaka State Park (and its nice waterfall), Waipi'o Valley State Park (and its spectacular views), and the little town of Waimea (which lies at the boundary of the rainy side and dry side of the Big Island. Four Seasons Hualalai has published a list of Big Island attractions that you may find useful. Click on the map above for an annotated map of some of those attractions, as well as the locations of some hotels near Volcano Village and beach resorts near Kona.

I'll be live blogging from Hawai'i, so watch this space!

copyright (c) 2017 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.

2.08.2017

Cabo's most swimmable beach | Chileno Bay

Chileno Bay, Cabo's most swimmable beach

Cabo's most swimmable beach? That's the claim made by the brand new Chileno Bay Resort, part of the Auberge Collection. I've never been to Cabo to see Chileno Bay Resort, nor any of the five Virtuoso hotels there — Esperanza, Resort at Pedregal, One&Only Palmilla, Las Ventanas Al Paraiso, or the newest entry to the Virtuoso collection, The Cape - a Thompson Hotel. You can see all five resorts on my Google map.

Though it's not yet Virtuoso, Chileno Bay is offering special amenities through its travel partners — daily Full Breakfast for two, a $100 resort credit, and an upgrade if available.

With California being battered with rain and the northeast suffering from winter weather, wouldn't this be a great time to go somewhere warm and sunny. If the picture is calling to you, I invite you to call Ourisman Travel or your own Virtuoso travel advisor. We'll find you a warm place in the sun!

copyright (c) 2017 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.

2.07.2017

China next time | up close and personal



China is a fascinating destination, and your first trip should include iconic attractions like the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and Summer Palace in Beijing; the Terracotta Warriors and Underground Museum in Xi'an; and the Bund and French Concession in Shanghai.

But your next trip to China should take you beyond the mega-sized cities to get up close and personal with aspects of traditional Chinese culture. Wild China, one of our valued Virtuoso partners, tries to do just that. Here are three of their specially designed tours that really spoke to me!

1. Yunnan Gastronomic Tour — Eat with local families, visit lively markets with, and be introduced to the best of the best that Yunnan food has to offer! Tip freshly sliced meats, vegetables, and a pheasant egg into a steaming bowl of “Across the Bridge Noodles” or dip Dali’s famous fried goat cheese into a sweet powder. 10 days, from $5,869 per person.

2. Guilin: into the Scroll — Step into a classical scroll painting in Guilin, whose harmonious landscape has inspired the brushstrokes of traditional Chinese landscaping for centuries. 5 days, from $1,950 per person.

3. Old Country Living — With fairytale images of rustic lakeside farmsteads, terraced rice paddies, jagged karst peaks, and vibrant ethnic villages, the southwest provinces of Guizhou and Guangxi are home to China's most dreamlike scenery. 12 days, from $5,550 per person.

We'd love to help you plan your own bespoke itinerary to China, whether it's a first-time trip to see the classic highlights or your next trip to explore the mystery and beauty of less explored regions.

copyright (c) 2017 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.