Need a “Guacamologist” or a “Cupid Concierge”? Hotels with Unique Specialists

On the plane ride back from St. John I read this fantastic article in USA Today by Nancy Trejos about hotel’s with interesting on-site specialists, each created to meet the needs and desires of it’s customers.

A few notable specialists mentioned in the article:

  • Need a sidekick to help plan a fabulous proposal or a super romantic honeymoon? Maybe the “Cupid Concierge” at Opus Hotel Vancouver in British Columbia could help.
  • My favorite? The guacamologist at the Ritz Carlton Dallas! Can you imagine hosting a wedding where the guacamologist creates customs batches of guacalmole for your guests? so much fun. Pair those with some tasty margaritas and your good-time-guests are all set.
  • The most absurd specialist mentioned in this article has to be the dog surfing instructor at Su’ruff Camp at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Hilarious! I guess I might pay to watch my pup attempt to surft. It must be pretty cute.

Photograph via Ritz Carlton

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Holiday Gift Ideas for Travelers

Fun holiday gift ideas for the travel fanatic in your life!

1. Tory Burch Ella Packable Tote A fun tote that is both stylish and packable!

2. Jonathan Adler Positano Pillow  A home decor reminder of favorite destinations… available in Positano, London, West Palm Beach and more…

3. A. Jaffe Engraved Map Jewelry – Diamond marks the spot! Love these engraved maps available on silver, gold and rose gold. Mark the spot of your honeymoon, favorite view, etc.

4. Fuji Film Instax Share Smart Phone Printer  Download the app to send photos and print instantly.

5. W & P Design, Carry On Cocktail Kit in Moscow Mule For your favorite frequent traveler, they will always be prepared to have their favorite cocktail mid-flight.

Family Travel: Collect Experiences, Not Things.

When I first got married 10 years ago a woman I met gave me some advice that always stuck with me… she said for the first few years of their marriage she and her husband gave each other and their children “things” as gifts… electronics, jewelry, clothing, etc. but over time realized that the experiences they had together were so much more valuable and memorable… from that point on they decided they would only gift each other (and their children) experiences. Last spring we chose to do a Disney Cruise instead of a birthday party for my daughter’s 4th birthday. It was the best decision we have made for a birthday gift. It was truly a gift for everyone.

As we approach the holidays I have thought about this quite a bit. My kids are young and still like “stuff” so I am hoping to find a balance between giving “things” and giving experiences- one they will remember and cherish forever.

There are a few gifts they will get for the holidays… books, toys, games, etc but I plan to make some of them experiences. We will be in NYC near the holidays so I am planning a carriage ride in Central Park  and a tea party as holiday gifts for them. What have you given to your kids or loved ones in lieu of “things”???

 

Question: Why Would I Use A Travel Agent?

honeymoon travel agent

Holy cannoli! It has been almost 4 months since I blogged on Venue Safari! I have been quite distracted since April with my  new (but still related) gig as a Luxury Travel Agent with Elite Travel International. This new opportunity has given me a new outlet to do what I LOVE… researching incredible destinations for vacations & honeymoons, weddings and other celebrations. I have been blessed that my dear friends have kept me pretty busy booking their incredible travels to Mexico, England, France, Spain, The Keys, the Caribbean etc. etc. but I have had this post in my mind for months. I want to share the advantages and answer a few FAQs:

  • First and foremost, many agents (including myself) do not charge any consulting fees. We are simply paid by the hotel, cruise line, vendor, etc. that you choose to use. This does not change the cost of your trip, the commission is already built into most pre-existing rates. Many times I have been able to save clients money by finding special promotions or accessing discounted pricing through a wholesaler.
  • VIP amenities and extras you get by booking through a travel agent: my agency Elite Travel International is a member of Virtuoso and when clients book a Virtuoso property through me (most Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, St. Regis, Mandarin Oriental, luxury cruise lines, etc) they usually receive complimentary breakfast, upgrades upon availability at check-in, $100 food & beverage or spa credits and more).
  • Ideas, Experience and Research! I have loads of ideas of great places to visit, amazing hotels to stay in and deals! I have also traveled extensively in the Caribbean for weddings as well as personal travel and I have visited major cities all around the world including Paris, London, Brussels, Rome, Milan, Venice, Amsterdam, New York, Chicago, San Francisco/Napa and more. If I have not been a to a certain destination of interest, chances are someone in my agency has and has first hand knowledge to offer.  You can tell me that you just want to go somewhere warm in January and I will send you prices and places that fit your criteria. I often know about special free night promotions that might allow you to stay somewhere extra fancy like a 4 or 5 star hotel for the same price you might get at a 3 star. The best part? I am a self proclaimed— research-a-holic and I LOVE looking a hotels and destinations. So I take the time to do the legwork and streamline the process. I present you with some great options and help you book it. Voila!

Contact me about your amazing honeymoon, destination wedding, family vacation, etc. etc.!

Lesley@EliteTravelInternational.com

honeymoon travel agent