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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Destinations for the Adventurous Couple - Kenya & India!

The Nairobi Serena Hotel is an oasis of luxury in the city of Nairobi, Kenya. This is a great stop on the way to an adventurous safari, or as it's own destination. Offering many dining options, this hotel has a swimming pool to help you beat the Kenyan heat, and complimentary access to a golf course nearby. This city will surprise you with its plethora of activities. Visit some of the many parks. Nairobi is known as one of the "greenest" cities, meaning it has a lot plantlife in the form of public and private parks. Enjoy some Benga music, which has developed as Kenyan Jazz, mixing traditional jazz with more African style. Don't miss the Nairobi National Park, the only game reserve to border a large city. You can see giraffes with the picturesque skyline in the background!
Wildflower Hall in Himchal Pradesh, India offers a different kind of experience. This is more of a serene, spiritual getaway nestled into the Himalayas. This retreat offers gourmet picnics, long pictaresque strolls. Relax in the spa after a rigorous but fun day of river rafting or mountain biking. For the honeymooning couple, we recommend an intimate deluxe suite with relaxing views of the surrounding untouched cedar forests. 

For more information on The Nairobi Serena Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, Wildflower Hall in Himchal Pradesh, India or on any of ClassicTravel.com's other Virtuoso Properties please contact your Virtuoso Travel Agent at 212-843-2900 or info@classictravel.com.

Unique and Tranquil Honeymoon Destinations

You and your future spouse have never followed the beaten path, and now you are faced with planning your honeymoon. Here are two of ClassicTravel.com's favorite unique, and tranquil destinations for the discerning traveller. 

This beautiful city is often overlooked by travelers, but it offers some of the best and most unique experiences around. Contrary to popular belief, the temperatures here are rather moderate, the wintertime chill has not dropped below -4 degrees Farenheit since 1971! That's better than New York City! In the summer temperatures hover around a delicious 60 degrees. 

The city and surrounding area is a hotbed of activity, touristic and those favored by locals. There are a plethora of geo-thermal natural sites to visit. Dip your toes in the water at Nautholsvik, a geothermally heated beach. To get a taste of the local history visit Reykjav√≠k 871±2, a museum based on an archeological dig of early Viking settlements in the area. Best of all, you can get cozy with your new spouse at Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa. 

For accomodations, stay at the 101 Hotel. Tauting the clean, contemporary style well known in Nordic countries, 101 Hotel is one of the most luxurious hotels in the city. Enjoy a romantic in-room massage after a cozy cocktail in the bar/lounge. You won't feel guilty about staying in for a night because of the Quagliotti bed linens, which offer the highest in quality and comfort. 

A great time to visit this incredibly gorgeous and historic city is during its month long summer festival, featuring artists, concerts, sports and other cultural activities. The city offers charming renaissance era architectural, state and religious monuments. In addition it is a charming port city, with lots of aquatic, marine and nature activities. Climb the incredible hills, hike through the tranquil natural surrounding Mediterranean habitat, and swim in the calm waters. 
We just love the Grand Villa Argentina, which is perfect for a honeymooning couple. The first 5 star hotel in Dubrovnik, the hotel offers astonishing views of the surrounding limestone cliffs and ocean. For the ultimate experience, stay in the Villa Scheherazade with its Persian Style decorations, marble jacuzzi bathtub, and 24/7 butler service.

For more information about 101 Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland or Grand Villa Argentina in Dubrovnik, Croatia, or on any of ClassicTravel.com's other Virtuoso Properties, please contact your Virtuoso Travel Agent at 212-843-2900 or at inf0@ClassicTravel.com.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Destination Wedding or Honeymoon in Sweden!!

Sweden is an idyllic and unique destination for a wedding or honeymoon. In the summer there are almost 20 hours of sunlight per day, and in Northern Sweden, the days are almost endless! But, compared to many of it's northern neighbors, Sweden enjoys a mild and pleasant climate due to The Gulf Stream. There are a lot of opportunities for unique venues such as castles, historic churches or opulent hotels. Wherever you go you will be surrounded by beauty and charm.

If you are getting married in Sweden, it might be fun to incorporate some Swedish wedding traditions into your ceremony. A traditional Swedish bridal crown is a simple headpiece made from ribbon or myrtle leaves. Some couples getting married in Sweden also choose to wear traditional Swedish dress! In Swedish weddings, the bride and groom enter together, as opposed to other countries where the bride is given away by a male relative. The next morning, the bride always receives a morgongava (morning gift.) Another part of a Swedish wedding of course is the food! Enjoy traditional Swedish fare such as Herring, Swedish Meatballs and sing traditional drinking songs!

Our favorite city in Sweden is of course Stockholm! With diverse architecture and beautiful views, this is the capitol of Sweden. For accomodation and even the reception we recommend The Grand Hotel Stockholm. Grand Hotels carry a name of luxury and opulence, and this location is no different. This is where the first Nobel Prize banquets were held, and now is an amazing venue for weddings. It has 15 event spaces suitable for dinners and events from 3 to 750 people. And of course the accomodations at this Virtuoso Property are just as amazing. With rooms and suites perfect for anyone, this hotel serves as a great place for honeymoon or wedding.

Virtuoso Amenities at The Grand Hotel in Stockholm include an upgrade upon arrival (subject to availability), Continental breakfast daily, and one complimentary luncheon for two. For more information about The Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden, or for more information on any of ClassicTravel.com's other Virtuoso Properties, please contact your Virtuoso Travel Agent at 212-843-2900 or info@classictravel.com.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

ClassicTravel.com's second submission for NBC's "Today Throws a Wedding"

Our second submission for NBC's "Today Throws a Wedding" is a City experience and spiritual retreat to Bhutan with a taste of Bangkok. Virtuoso Travel Agent here at ClassicTravel.com, Ken Lewis called on his friends at Cox and Kings, an onsite concierge and planning service to coordinate the ultimate spiritual and luxurious Asian honeymoon. 

It all starts in the United States as the lucky couple is whisked away by Limousine to the airport. They will arrive in Bangkok, where they will be greeted by a Cox & Kings representative who will bring them fresh flowers! From here everything is easily facilitated with VIP fast customs & immigration as well as baggage claim. They will be treated like royalty as a private limo takes them to the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, an oasis of relaxation in this bustling metropolis. There they will stay in a Deluxe Suite which overlooks the scenic Chao Phraya River. Writers such as Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal have used this suite as a creative retreat. The couple will be treated to silk bathrobes, Hermes amenities and personalized butler service! They will receive romantic chocolates and champagne upon their arrival.

As part of the couple's unique Bangkok experience, they will enjoy a 90 minute spa treatment at one of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok's Spas. They will learn some secrets of Thai cuisine with a private cooking class. Finally, they will get to relax with a High Tea in the Author's Lounge. For dinner, the couple will enjoy a one of a kind experience aboard a rice barge cruise which goes up and down the Chao Phraya River. They will be serenaded by live music, and have the unique opportunity to see the wondrous temples and architecture of Bangkok by night.

After just one night in Bangkok, the couple will fly to Bhutan where a Cox & Kings Guide will greet them upon arrival and they will be escorted to The Amankora, in Paro, Bhutan. Following will be a "peaceful pilgramage" to 5 Amankara lodges throughout the scenic Bhutan Himalayas. Here the newlyweds will witness amazingly gorgeous scenery and have a one of a kind spiritual Buddhist marriage ceremony. While staying for 2 nights at The Amankora, Paro, the couple will stay in a suite,
 with views of 17th century ruins and snow capped mountains. Here they will experience a Bhutanese Wedding Ceremony at a 7th century temple, where a life-long blessing will be bestowed upon the couple. This ceremony is a once in a lifetime spiritual experience, where the newlyweds will be blessed by buddhist monks. After, the couple will take an afternoon hike to "Tiger Nest" where there is a monastery (it is closed to tourists but the views are amazing.)
A monastery in Punakha

After two nights in Paro, the couple will be driven to Amankora Punakha, which is one of the lowest lying valleys in Bhutan, and enjoys a more temperate climate than the rest of the country. After their arrival, the couple will receive a cleansing and spiritual spa treatment. The next day, the newlyweds will hike past rice patties and other fields to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, an enormous monument which contains paintings by the Queen of Bhutan. this will be followed by a walk past royal residences to an ancient fortress still used for monastic purposes, where a picnic lunch will be served. Then they will visit the village of Lobesa, home to a fertility monastery.

The Royal Palace at Thimphu

The next day will see even more unique experiences. The couple will move on to Amankora Thimphu where they will spend another two amazing nights. In this city, which is the nation's capitol, visits to many museums and local shopping can be arranged. On their second night here, the couple will have a romantic candle lit dinner at the foot of a hill, under a starry sky. This is a one of a kind experience that will never be forgotten. 

Then it is back to the Amankora, Paro for one more night of relaxation in Bhutan. The next day, the couple will fly back to Bangkok and board a relatively private flight (8 seats!) to the tropical island of Koh Kood, Thailand where they will stay at Six Senses Soneva Kiri, a boutique resort with ocean view villas. The couple will have their own personal butler, and will enjoy a private outdoor screening of Cinema Paradiso, a classic and beautiful Italian Film, with the added amenities of cocktails and popcorn, followed by a gourmet candle lit dinner. On the couple's last night at Soneva Kiri, they will dine in a "tree pod," high in the treetops. 

The next day it's time for the couple to leave their incredible spiritual and luxurious retreat, and time to return to reality, and enjoy their married lives together!

For more information on any of the properties or activities mentioned here, or on other Virtuoso Properties found on ClassicTravel.com, please contact Virtuoso Travel Agent Ken Lewis at Ken@classictravel.com or by phone at 212-404-6731.

ClassicTravel.com submits two luxury honeymoon itineraries for NBC's "Today Throws a Wedding"

NBC asked Virtuoso Travel Agencies to submit possible honeymoon itineraries for The Today Show's annual "Today Throws A Wedding" where one lucky couple will win a wedding and honeymoon. ClassicTravel.com is submitting two amazing itineraries. 
The first is a dream honeymoon to St. Barts. First, the couple will arrive in St. Barts and be chauffered to Hotel Le Toiny, a Relais & Chateaux property. This boutique resort, with just 15 bungalows, offers the privacy and personalized service that the perfect honeymoon deserves. The lucky winners will stay in a one bedroom villa suite complete with a private pool and unforgettable views of the Caribbean. Decorated in the French Colonial style, the small touches, such as the italian tiles in the bathroom, make this villa an incredibly luxurious retreat.
We were happy to collaborate with Janine Cifelli,who works with Le Toiny, to create one of a kind daily experiences for the duration of the 5 night stay. When the couple arrives at this amazing and luxurious villa, they will be greeted with champagne and flowers. One evening, the couple will enjoy a private candle lit dinner in their villa, prepared specially by the chef. Another night, they will receive an a la carte three course dinner in the dining room which overlooks the pool. They will relax during the day with a couples massage in their villa or in the spa. In addition, the groom will receive a men's shave, and the bride will receive a one of a kind facial both with products by Ligne St. Barth's, a line of products that are manufactured locally. The newlyweds will share a romantic, gourmet picnic on a private beach. Another afternoon, the couple will receive a guided private hike to view the amazing natural beauty of the area. Our favorite one of a kind experience that we have planned for this honeymoon is the half day photo shoot to make sure the memories of their stay will never be forgotten. In addition, the couple will get the use of a convertible during their stay, as well as breakfast daily, either in their villa or in the dining room. 

One would think this would be enough. But there is more! After five nights at Hotel Le Toiny, the couple will go to Hotel St. Barth Isle de France for another luxurious 5 night experience. Hotel St. Barts Isle de France is another luxurious, private & small property with just 33 rooms, and is regarded as the best beach resort on St. Bart's. 
While at Isle de France, the newlyweds will stay in a beach suite, right on the ocean. They will be treated like royalty as they are greeted with champagne, chocolate, flowers and fruit as well as a mini bar and canapes.  Each morning the couple will awake to a champagne breakfast. In addition they will enjoy lunch and dinner at the hotel's outdoor restaurant La Case d'Isle, which serves contemporary French cuisine. Best of all, they will get cocktails for two at the hotel's bar daily and a 4 day car rental, perfect for visiting St. Barth's exclusive and luxurious beaches! Our favorites are Gouverner Beach and Saline Beach. Last but not least, they will receive a couples massage at the Hotel's renowned Molton Brown Spa.

We are glad to have been able to use our personal relationships here at ClassicTravel.com with Virtuoso suppliers to make this happen! That is what luxury is all about, personalized service and great relationships that ensure everything is the best it possibly can be.

Stay tuned for information on our other submission, which is a spiritual retreat to Bhutan!

For more information on Hotel St. Barth Isle de France, Le Toiny or other Virtuoso Properties found on ClassicTravel.com, please contact your Virtuoso Travel Agent at info@classictravel.com or by phone at 212-843-2900.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Top Ten Romantic Hotels Perfect for Popping the Question

1) The Hotel Plaza Athenee Paris, France - Decorated in Louis XVI style, this hotel provides a classic romantic setting in one of the most romantic cities in the world. Plus, if you decide to propose at the top of the Eiffel Tower, it's very close by!

2) Fairmont Mayakoba Rivera Maya, Mexico - Propose amidst tropical splendor. Some proposal location ideas are one of the resort's many restaurants, or while on a romantic nature hike!

3) Mandarin Oriental New York City, USA - This hotel is a classic even for city residents. The hotel's Asian and French fusion restaurant, Asiate offers a beautiful setting for proposals. Or perhaps go across the street to Central Park for a more intimate proposal.

4) The Oberoi Rajvilas Jaipur, India - 30 acres of orchards, gardens, decorative pools and fountains await you at this amazing and luxurious resort. The perfect place for proposal is the floating temple (it's really on an island) in the middle of a lotus filled body of water.

5) Alvear Palace Hotel Buenos Aires, Argentina - This hotel offers the ultimate luxury experience. Dining venues L'Orangerie and La Bourgogne are local favorites for places to dine and celebrate special events.

6) Four Seasons Bospohorus Istanbul, Turkey - Opened just about a year ago, this hotel is supposed to be the upmost in modern comfort and luxury. It is sure to provide an unforgettable proposal experience.

7) Peninsula Hong Kong, China - Known as one of the world's "Grand Hotels," it is consistently ranked as one of the top hotels of the world. The hotel offers the perfect view for proposals with some suites offering the best landscapes of the city.

8) Burj al Arab Dubai, UAE - The only 7 star hotel in the world, it is a landmark of the city of Dubai with its outrageous architecture. It offers any service and amenity you can imagine with staff beckoning to your every need!

9) Cipriani Venice, Italy - This legendary hotel provides the most amazing romantic backdrop for the perfect proposal in one of the most romantic cities of the world. 

10) Cape Grace Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa - This small, luxurious hotel is sure to provide a unique but beautiful setting for a picture perfect proposal. 

For more information about these or other properties on ClassicTravel.com please contact your Virtuoso Travel Agent at info@classicTravel.com or by phone at 212-843-2900.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Three of the Best Honeymoon Suites: Hotel Plaza Athenee, Langham Hotel London and Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos

The most important part of the honeymoon, is the honeymoon suite. These three locations offer some of the best suites in the world along with the best service. Your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime occasion and is a time transition into married life, so why not do it while in the lap of luxury at one of these exclusive and amazing destinations.

(This is just the bathroom in The Royal Suite at The Plaza Athenee)
Paris, known as the city of light, is also commonly concieved as the city of love. With romantic cafes on every corner and beautiful architecture, it is a classic destination for lovers. The Hotel Plaza Athenee Paris is one of the best in the city. It is steps away from the Eiffel Tower, and offers amazing views. Staying in the Royal Suite will ensure that your experience here is unforgettable. Decorated in the style of Louis XVI, as is the rest of the hotel, the suite offers the upmost in privacy with two secured entrances to the room. Each room of the suite also has digital finger print entry. In addition, you can have a separate room for your security detail or other private staff members. Relax in the drawing room, or read one of the volumes on the bookcase in the sitting room or study. Have your family and friends over for a gourmet dinner in the spacious dining area that seats up to twelve. Relax with your newly wed in the private steam room or Jacuzzi. You won't even have to miss your favorite shows as the hotel's cable system offers 120 channels in 18 languages! But best of all, the suite comes with the use of a Maserati Quattroporte Automatic for the length of your stay.

For more information about The Hotel Plaza Athenee Paris or any of ClassicTravel.com's other properties, please contact Virtuoso Travel Agent Jerry Hirshon at 212-404-6777 or by e-mail at Jerry@classictravel.com.

(Your Infinity Bathtub in the Infinity Suite at The Langham Hotel London)
Just a hop away over the channel sits London. Another cultural center of the world, this city has been home to some of the most luxurious royal weddings. The Langham Hotel London, Europe's first "Grand Hotel," has been a center of luxury since 1865. Decorated in Victorian Style, the hotel prides itself on "service with poise." The Infinity Suite, one of the largest two bedroom suites in London offers a quiet retreat from the bustling city. After a busy day of sight seeing, relax in your private infinity bath. Entertaining guests is easy with the suite's private lobby, kitchen and coat room. The hotel has renamed butler service, calling their fleet of attentive service staff "service stylists." Have one of these stylists draw your bath, or bring you anything you need, they are more than happy to make your honeymoon absolutely romantic and unforgettable.

For more information about booking at The Langham Hotel London with ClassicTravel.com, please contact Virtuoso Travel Agent Jerry Hirshon at 212-404-6777 or at Jerry@classictravel.com.

Parrot Cay in The Turks and Caicos is a classic destination for a luxury honeymoon. Clear blue Carribean waters, warm sand beneath your toes and a luxury hotel residence made for a once in a lifetime honeymoon experience. The Sanctuary at Parrot Cay, the resort's newest private house, was decorated by famed designer Donna Karan, who actually owns this house. The ambience is spiritual and peaceful, filled with antiques collected by the designer throughout her world travels. A chef and two butlers come with this private residence to take care of your every wish. The house has 8 bedrooms, two of which have 360 degree ocean views. The resort has an activities planner to arrange for things such as private yoga sessions, island hopping, and watersports. When you book for 7 nights for your honeymoon at Parrot Cay, the staff will throw in a 60 minutes couples massage and a private candlelit dinner in the COMO Shambhala Cottage.

For more information about booking at Parrot Cay with ClassicTravel.com, please contact Virtuoso Travel Agent Jerry Hirshon at 212-404-6777 or jerry@classictravel.com.