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Roger Kershaw Custom Travel Design Inc.
The Confidante Your Source for What's New in Luxury Travel
Spring 2017

Despite trying to enjoy more time at home, it seems the lure of "elsewhere" has been as strong as ever! After hosting our wonderfully enjoyable annual cruise group from Venice to Rome last fall (with 80 friends, family, and clients), Team Kershaw returned to Europe in December for the annual International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), with Ian in attendance for the first time. Then Jim and I were off to Tahiti in February, aboard the Paul Gauguin, followed by a much too short stay at the incredible Brando resort on the private island purchased by the movie star after he fell in love there during the making of Mutiny on the Bounty; we just missed the residency there this month of Barack Obama, enjoying the privacy and luxury while he writes his memoirs.

Speaking of "home" - we changed all that again this month, moving from our beach house in Victoria to a retreat in a forest overlooking the Saanich Inlet on Vancouver Island. Still with a residence in Toronto and enjoying our time in BC, you can always find me 18/7 anywhere and always at the same number!

And find me I hope you will! It's time to be planning your "Festive Season" travels, and March Break 2018 will be here, and sold out, before you know it! Just give me a call, and as always,

Consider it done!

Roger Kershaw, ASA
President
Roger Kershaw Custom Travel Inc.

in this issue
  • Featured Destination
  • Isolation: The Next Big Thing in Luxury Travel
  • Featured London Hotels
  • New Luxury Hotel Openings
  • What to know about the new airline electronics bans
  • Got flights? Know your rights!

  • Isolation: The Next Big Thing in Luxury Travel

    Hotel Remota in the Chilean Patagonia. Pädaste Manor on Muhu Island, Estonia. Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland. What do these hotels have in common? All are in the middle of nowhere and their rooms sport luxury-level price tags.

    Is isolation the next big thing in luxury travel?

    Aman chief operating officer Roland Fasel thinks so, "Especially for those who have seen and done it all, isolation or being disconnected from the pressures of everyday life can be a real luxury." Yet even though they are traveling off the grid, most high-end travelers still want their WiFi and other creature comforts.


    Featured London Hotels

    There are 24 (count 'em, 24) Virtuoso-affiliated hotels in London (plus over a thousand curated OneFineStay homes and apartments across the city), and one of my favourites, the Beaumont, is featured below. Another favourite, not yet in the Virtuoso "family" but certainly deserving of that standard is One Aldwych. Spoiled for choice!

    The Beaumont, Mayfair

    Superbly located on a quiet Mayfair square, The Beaumont recaptures the old-world spirit offering classy Art-Deco-inspired interiors, a gorgeous spa and an extraordinary Antony Gormley-designed sculpture-cum-suite, "Room," bolted on to the side. This inhabitable sculpture of a giant crouching figure rises three storeys on the south wing, Room is both a magnificent public artwork and an extraordinary one-bedroom suite, only 4 meters square but 10 meters high, entered via a black curtain and with no furniture except for a plain bed lit up by spotlights, at £2,250 per night. Of course, there are much less expensive and much more expansive rooms, offering a great value and luxury all within a stone's throw from Selfridges.

    One Aldwych, West End

    Always one step ahead, the One Aldwych already offers a Gluten-Free Dairy-Free restaurant (but the food is so great, nobody notices), an 18-metre chlorine-free swimming pool (rare indeed in the City of London), and a live feed of the Royal Opera performances in their 30-seat private cinema. This month, the Lobby Bar started offering their customers a chance to take their lust for elsewhere a step further through the latest item on its menu: a virtual-reality headset. The video shows the making of one its new whisky cocktails, made with a 12-year-old Dalmore whisky. Viewers are treated to aerial, 3D footage of the northern reaches of the Scottish Highlands, where the Dalmore's distillery is located, which ends on a bartender handing over a drink. When the customer lifts their headset, the drink is served. It's a little bit of theater that fits nicely into the hotel's proximity to London's West End.


    New Luxury Hotel Openings

    Four Seasons Private Island Voavah at Baa Atoll, Baa Atoll, Maldives

    Opening late last year, Four Seasons' secluded five-acre oasis is aiming to transcend the private island experience by being "entirely yours" from the moment you book any of the resort's seven bedrooms, Beach House, Dive Centre, Ocean of Consciousness Spa or 62-foot yacht. The property is within the Maldives' only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, allowing only 22 guests on an exclusive basis at USD46,000 per night.

    W Goa, Vagator, Goa, India

    Whether you're a raver, yogi or just a beach bum, Goa has been the India's foremost beach haven for decades - but it never had a W. The 160 colourfully decorated rooms, suites, chalets and villas are all spread out across the secluded coastal setting and filled with quirky customized furniture and unique art pieces. All of the rooms also have a W MixBar as well as a host of techie features and in-room entertainment.

    Jumeirah Al Naseem, Dubai, UAE

    Jumeirah's new beachfront hotel has been fully sold out since opening, which should give an indication of just how special this debut is. Tucked between the likes of Burj Al Arab, Mina A'Salam and Al Qasr, Al Naseem has a contemporary twist when compared to its sister properties, with all 430 guestrooms inspired by the name - translating to "sea breeze". The resort is also a culinary hotspot, presenting 11 new restaurants -seven of which are linked around an Arabian Explorer theme.


    What to know about the new airline electronics bans

    If your travels take you to Muslim-majority countries, you should be aware of the implications of the new US-originated electronics ban. While Canada has not (yet) implemented similar restrictions, you will be impacted if your connecting flight returns via the USA.

    Details here >

    How to keep your laptop safe under the new airline ban

    Whether you wanted to binge watch TV, catch up on work, or keep a toddler from yelling for 15 hours straight, the new rules on checked-in electronics are definitely an inconvenience. But they can also present major safety issues for your hardware and data. Checking devices opens them up to damage, loss, and even hacks. Before checking any electronic devices, consider the risks and take steps to protect your devices and data.

    Some tips here >


    Got flights? Know your rights!

    Amid ongoing debate about airline overbooking practices and passenger rights, the US transportation department has launched a new page on its website for fliers.

    It details information about consumer rights relating to tarmac delays, cancelations, fare increases and baggage compensation claims. It also lists minimum requirements that airlines must provide for travelers with disabilities.


    Featured Destination

    Iberia Passage 8-night voyage on Azamara Club Cruises
    Hosted by Roger and Jim

    Our 2018 hosted group will be back aboard our favourite, Azamara Club Cruises, from Lisbon to Barcelona. If the echoes of flamenco coming from a maze of medieval alleyways sound romantic, this may be your voyage. First, we'll gather in Lisbon, one of the oldest cities in the world, now home to a thriving cultural calendar including film festivals, art, fashion and design shows, book fairs, marathons and rock concerts. You may want to arrive a few days ahead of the September 21, 2018, embarkation.

    First stop, Gibraltar, and then on to Seville. Tour the historic Centro to see the enormous Seville Cathedral with its vast retablo, just refurbished in 2014. There's time for the even more enormous Alcázar (fortress) complex with the Mudéjar Palace where the King and Queen of Spain stay when they're here. And, because the ship stays late here, there's time to see the real Seville - the one that only gets going after dark.

    There's an overnight on the famed island of Ibiza, famed in part because of its nightlife. So after a day on the spectacular beaches, walking in the rustic hills or diving in the crystal-clear waters, it's fun to venture out. Dance at Pacha Ibiza, feel your way in the stunning darkness of Space or mingle at Amnesia, a Paris Hilton favourite.

    Finally, there's Valencia. Contrast the Gothic palaces of the beautiful old city with the unbelievable modern City of Arts and Sciences, designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava and set in a sunken park. In the evening, watch the sunset from a wooden boat tour of the wetlands of the Albufera Natural Park. End the stay with authentic paella, Valencia's most famous dish.

    Our voyage ends with an overnight in Barcelona, but you may want to extend your stay by a day or two in this fascinating city.  Dine, shop, explore or finally get to take in that Flamenco show.

    Eight nights on the ship, plus a couple before and after, all organized and personally hosted by yours truly. And the best part? Place your CAD 500 deposit now for a USD1000 per stateroom on board credit, and a rock solid price guarantee!

    Details soon to be added to www.RKCTI.com, but you read about it here first! Join us!


    Rupert's Report

    Woof! Rupert here, the un-barked fourth member of Team Kershaw, with my view from 12 inches off the ground.

    I know I'm hired to tell you all about my wonderful travel plans, but recent news about my canine colleagues in cargo has given me paws. Now, I know my Dads bought me a nice under-seat carrier with an expanding pop-out side like my Grandpa's RV to give me a little extra room, and they heavily baited it with bacon to entice me into the contraption, but there are two big problems here:

    One, I keep getting bigger, and have outgrown the 17-pound recommended size for that "bacon house" as they call it, and Two, there are no "under seats" in Business or First Class so they would have to sit in Economy. Not likely. And it's no more likely that I'm going into cargo, despite how all the airlines claim they care for their furry passengers.

    So I think I'll just stick to Rupert's Road Trips. Practically every hotel has a special bed, bottled water and expensive treats waiting for me. Some put my name up in the lobby, and everyone treats me so well. I'll let others yap about how my cousins can eat in restaurants in Paris. I can do that in Portland, without the jetlag.

    And when my Dads do fly away for a while, I get to stay with friends, get treated like the royalty that I am, and can look forward to a wonderful face-licking reunion when they return.


    Travel Warnings, Entry Requirements, Immunizations, Embassies Abroad

    With varying, and ever-changing, requirements affecting our travels, it's difficult to keep up to date! For example, some require visas in advance, some on arrival, some not at all. Many countries require travellers to show proof of International Certificates of Vaccination for a number of diseases when entering their country. Others require your passport to be valid for as long as six months after your departure. Our visa concierge partners at CIBT have assembled a handy reference page on their website that covers all these items and more (like weather and currency exchange).

    Visit it here >


    Referrals welcome!

    The highest compliment my clients can give is the referral of their friends, family and business associates.

    Thank you for your support.


    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home."

    -James A. Michener (1907-1997).

    Cruise & Travel Links

    Crystal Cruises

    Silversea Cruises

    Seabourn Cruises

    Regent Seven Seas Cruises

    SeaDream Yacht Club

    Celebrity Cruises

    Azamara Club Cruises

    Backroads

    Hosted Villas

    Belmond Hotels Trains and Cruises

    Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic

    AmaWaterways

    Cox & Kings

    OneFineStay




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