11.24.2014

Thanksgiving, Baltimore style



I've spent very little time in Baltimore, despite growing up less than 40 miles away. But my son and daughter-in-law moved to Baltimore a year ago, and they're hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Josh is a partner with Bolster Labs, a web design company located in Baltimore … and Jessica heads the east coast office of Ourisman Travel.

After many years of celebrating Thanksgiving in New York, I'll miss walking through Central Park, catching live glimpses of the Macy's Parade, and making my early morning Black Friday visits to the 5th Avenue Apple Store (reasonable crowds at 5 a.m. - impossible crowds later in the day).

So what awaits me in Baltimore? We'll of course be staying at the Four Seasons Baltimore, located on the inner harbour. Later this week, I'll let you know about the rooms, the service, and what to do in the area. If your plans take you to Baltimore, contact me (or any Four Seasons Preferred Partner travel consultant) to get complimentary breakfast for two, free internet, $100 spa credit, and space available upgrades at the best luxury hotel in Baltimore.

copyright (c) 2014 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell Travel. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

11.20.2014

Bhutan Escape with very special rates

the final climb up to Tigers Nest

Amankora has just announced the Bhutan Escape with Very Special Rates. Just $465 per person daily for an all-inclusive experience including all meals, house beverages, and return airport transfers from the international airport at Paro. We just experienced the Amankora Journey this fall, and this is a trip of a lifetime. Bhutan is an exotic, remote, and beautiful country high in the Himalayas with a Bhuddhist spiritual tradition and a national philosophy that replaces the concept of GNP with GNH — Gross National Happiness.

Pictured above is Tigers Nest, the conclusion of a two hour climb in sight. While Tigers Nest is the iconic image of Bhutan familiar to most tourists, it pales in comparison to the remote mountain vistas, villages, schools, farms, and dzongs you will encounter during your journey across Bhutan.

Valid dates for this special pricing:
   December 1-19, 2014
   January 6-31, 2015
   February, 2015
   June, 2015
   July, 2015
   August, 2015

I can help you plan an escape of a lifetime to the Kingdom of Bhutan and provide added value with perks and amenities at Virtuoso hotels throughout Asia and the world.


* Rates listed include accommodation for the length of stay, all meals and house beverages, airport transfers to and from Paro Airport, visa processing assistance and inclusions as stated. Rates are subject to 20% government tax and service charge, FIT surcharge of US$40 (single) / US$60 (double) per day, government royalties of US$65 per person per day (not applicable to Indian nationals) and Sustainable Tourism Fund of US$10 per person. A visa application fee of US$40 per person will be charged at time of booking. For Bhutan Escape, single occupancy suite rate per person is subject to supplementary charge of US$405 per night. Rates and government tax are subject to change without notice.

copyright (c) 2014 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell Travel. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

11.14.2014

RC Reynolds Plantation | lakeside golf resort


It's a southern thing… but I got a kick out of the "do not disturb" signs provided at Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Plantation where I spent four nights last week.

Located about 90 minutes east of Atlanta, the resort sits on an 800 acre campus on Lake Oconee. There's plenty to do with five championship golf courses and water activities such as fishing or boating. Consider RC Reynolds Plantation for a spring or fall weekend getaway with your family (or just your significant other). It's also a great place to consider hosting a wedding or corporate event.

My Lake View guest room was on the second floor with a sliding door opening onto a terrace. From my terrace, I could step right onto the lawn leading down to the lake. It was everything you'd expect from a Deluxe guest room. The bedroom had a very comfortable King bed, the desk provided a good work area with both ethernet connections as well as WiFi, and the room also featured a coffee maker with complimentary coffee. The bathroom had a single vanity, WC, step-in shower, and soaking tub. You also get Virtuoso amenities when booked through your Virtuoso travel consultant, including a complimentary buffet breakfast for two daily plus a $100 resort credit to use on the spa or food and beverages.

But my favorite thing about Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Plantation? The mist over the lake at sunrise…

 

copyright (c) 2014 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell Travel. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

10.30.2014

Four Seasons Paris | within walking distance



Four Seasons George V has an enviable location if you're going to Paris to shop and eat. The hotel recently published a magazine article that details some of the luxury shopping, eating, and art museums within easy walking distance of the hotel.

Here are some of their suggestions:

Avenue Montaigne. Walk down this one shopping street leading from the Champs-Elysees toward the Seine to find Chanel, Marni, Gucci, Céline, Jil Snader, Saint Laurent, Fendi, Chloé, Ralph Lauren, Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Armani, and Prada.

Framboise, 7 rue de Ponthieu, is a crêpe stand. The jambon fromage is recommended.

Ladurée, 75 Champs-Elysees, for tea, coffee, and their famed macarons in 20 different flavors, including salted butter caramel.

Hermès, 42 avenue George V, the more intimate of the two Hermès stores in Paris. Come here for an easier shopping experience

Petit Palais, avenue Winston Churchill, built for the 1900 World's Fair, has an art collection including works by Monet, Pissaro, Cézanne, and Rodin. Free and open every day!

La Maison de la Truffe, 14 rue Marbeuf, all truffles, all the time. The foie gras with truffle soup is recommended and said to be "easily packable and ready to make the journey home."

Artcurial, 7 Rond-Point des Champs-Elysees, is an auction house with collections on view before they are auctioned off.

Book the George V through a Four Seasons Preferred Partner travel consultant to receive these exclusive added-value amenities:
  • daily full breakfast daily, served through in-room dining or in the hotel restaurant
  • spa credit of 100€
  • upgrade if available at check-in
  • complimentary internet
copyright (c) 2014 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell Travel. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

10.27.2014

a fifth Four Seasons in Hawaii

the site of the future Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina

Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina was just announced this morning. This is a take-over and complete redevelopment of the JW Marriott Ihilani into one of Hawaii's finest luxury resorts. The lead architectural firm is James K.M. Architects, winner of the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Located on the sunny west side of Oahu, the resort is located just 17 miles from the Honolulu airport (and even further from the crowds and madness of Waikiki Beach). FS Oahu will become the fifth Four Seasons resort in Hawaii.

My clients all receive extra value through the Four Seasons Preferred Partner program which will apply to FS Oahu when it opens. Right now, you can get the following complimentary amenities when staying at FS Maui, FS Hualalai, FS Manele Bay, or FS Lodge at Koele.

  • Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant (including buffets)
  • Food and beverage credit of USD100
  • Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (excluding signature suites and villas)
  • Now standard at all properties: Complimentary Basic Internet (up to 2 devices) in all guest rooms, Complimentary Premium Internet (up to 4 devices) in all Suites.

copyright (c) 2014 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell Travel. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

10.22.2014

sunrise breakfast over Rio

Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado Mountain

The iconic attraction of Rio di Janeiro, the 125 foot statue of Christ the Redeemer sits atop Corcovado Mountain. And here's an unique opportunity to beat the crowds and enjoy a sunrise breakfast over Rio.

An exclusive experience provided by Belmond Copacabana Palace, you'll be picked up at the hotel at 5 a.m., travel through the Tijuca Forest, and reach the top of the 2,296 foot high mountain before tourists are admitted. Once there, enjoy the sunrise experience while enjoying a mountaintop continental breakfast served by a waiter — home-baked breads, sandwiches, cakes, pastries, and juices. Contact me for pricing and to make arrangements for this unique travel idea.

All Virtuoso guests of Copacabana Palace receive the following complimentary amenities for their stay:
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • $100 USD Spa Services credit, to be utilized during stay  (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out subject to availability

copyright (c) 2014 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell Travel. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

10.21.2014

private air tour of Europe


If you've got $69,900 to spend on the most amazing European trip (price is per person - $7,750 single supplement), I've got the perfect two week vacation for you, a luxury tour by private jet. Dates are August 30 - September 13, 2015. Just 14 fortunate travelers will get to experience this itinerary.

30AUG-3NT — BERLIN

You'll stay at the Adlon Kempinski, right next to the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of Berlin. You'll enjoy a city tour of Berlin on Monday and a day trip to Potsdam on Tuesday.

2SEP-2NT — DRESDEN and SALZBURG

Your private jet will fly to Dresden for a morning walking tour. After lunch, you'll fly on to Salzburg, Austria and the Goldener Hirsch, right in the heart of the Old City. On Thursday, tour Schloss Mirabell, see Mozart's birthplace, and other sites.

4SEP-3NT — DUBROVNIK and SICILY

Stopping off in Dubrovnik for a morning tour, your private jet will continue to Taormina Sicily where you'll spend three nights at the Belmond Grand Timeo. You'll have two full days to tour Sicily, including a 2nd century Greek Theater and Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna.

7SEP-3NT — AZORE ISLANDS

Stopping in San Miguel for a sight-seeing expedition, your plane will continue to Terceira with two days to explore this Azore Island. You'll stay at Pousada Angra do Herosimo de Sao Sebastiao.

10SEP-3NT — PARIS

Nonstop from the Azores to Paris, you'll enjoy your final three nights at the Four Seasons George V, proclaimed by many as the best hotel in the world. Your tour includes an escorted transfer back to the airport for your flight home.

Though expensive, the flexibility afforded by a private jet allows this kind of flexible itinerary. Any question, please give me a call, and I'll get the answers!

copyright (c) 2014 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell Travel. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.