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  A Passages of Distinction newsletter • sPrInG 2012 • volume 15




  Grand Hotel de Bordeaux & Spa
                 Timeless Luxury
                in a Vibrant City


                   Swiss Educational Trips
           Announcing Our Partnership with the
    Morocco National Tourist Office
             Sari’s Tour Through Europe
Lausanne Trip - Beau-Rivage Enchants By Brad Beaty
                                                                                                                                  The Collection

    L       ast November, I had the great pleasure of accompany-
            ing four very special and dynamic travel profession-
            als to Lausanne to stay at our stunning Beau-Rivage
    Palace. Here we discovered this truly surprising area called
    by many the “Swiss Riviera”. This was my second visit to the
                                                                                                                                    ASIA
                                                                                                                                      The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
                                                                                                                                      The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
    hotel, having been to this property three years ago. It was
    everything that I remembered and loved especially with the                                                                      EUROPE
    many enhancements that have been done.
    For those of you who are loyal readers of our newsletter, you                                                                     Hotel Sacher – Salzburg
    know that I can write on and on about my experiences both                                                                         Hotel Sacher – Vienna
    at our hotels and with travel in general. This time, however,
    I would like to let those who joined me on this trip tell you        From Left to Right - Bob Kunikoff - Tzell Travel,            Grand Hotel de Bordeaux - Bordeaux
    what it is that is so amazing about the Beau-Rivage Palace                  Dee Branciforte - Fischer Travel,
    that keeps guests enchanted throughout their stays. Our                        Maurice Joffe - Tzell Travel,                      Mezzatorre Resort & Spa – Island
                                           small, intimate group               Richard Watson - Protravel, and
                                           was very fortunate to            Thierry Dal Magro - Beau-Rivage Palace                    of Ischia
                                           have Mr. Thierry Dal                                                                       Santa Caterina Hotel – Amalfi
                                           Magro, Director of Sales, as our personal tour guide. He did an
                                           amazing job of organizing an itinerary that any family would rel-                          Badrutt’s Palace Hotel – St. Moritz
                                           ish and organize for themselves. We visited a wonderful chocolate                          Beau-Rivage Palace – Lausanne
                                           factory, feasted on fondue while in the famous Gruyere region,
                                           tasted outstanding Swiss wines at a private vineyard overlooking                           The Dolder Grand – Zurich
                                           the lake, and toured the historical city of Lausanne as it was be-
                                           ing decorated for the Holiday season. We were shown the festive
                                           nightlife of the younger side of town thanks to Lausanne Tourism.                        AMERICAS
                                           Not only is this truly one of my favorite hotels in the world, but I                       Alvear Palace Hotel – Buenos Aires
       Richard Watson - Protravel,         cannot stress enough that a traveler who has not yet experienced                           Llao Llao Hotel & Resort – Patagonia
 Brad Beaty - Passages of Distinction and  this small but unequaled part of the world must do so” tout de
     Dee Branciforte - Fischer Travel      suite”!

                                                                                                                                  Luxury Boutique Hotels
     And now a few words from our friends on this trip...
    I can’t thank you enough for the experience of discovering Lausanne and Gruyere and Lavaux, Domaine                             EUROPE
    du Daley…. etc., etc., etc.,  but especially for finally gaining some first-hand knowledge of the Beau-                           St. James’s Hotel and Club - London
    Rivage Palace. This was probably one of the nicest hotel experiences I have ever had. Everything from
    the room product, f&b venues, spa facilities and especially the service staff were simply top notch. I                            Bastide de Marie – Provence
    knew that the Beau Rivage was something special….I didn’t realize how extraordinary it was….I en-
    joyed our nighttime visit to Flon and our dinner at Nomad and I thank you for giving up so much of your                           Hotel Brunelleschi - Florence
    personal time to make sure that we got a good overview of the spirit of Lausanne.                                                 Hotel Powers – Paris
                                                                   - Richard Watson, Protravel, Inc., New York
    Thanks to you for having invited me on this trip and giving me a whole new perspective of these two                               Plaza Tour Eiffel – Paris
    fabulous hotels, Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne and the Dolder Grand, Zurich. This really was one of the                            Marina Riviera – Amalfi
    most informative and enjoyable FAM trips that I have been on. It was relaxed, not too loaded with activi-
    ties and a most delightful group of fellow travelers.                                                                             Villa Belrose - St. Tropez
    Regarding the Beau-Rivage Palace, of course, Thierry was a superstar! My welcome to the hotel and
    the service level of the staff felt like I had come back to my long lost friends. I could not have felt any
    more special. I LOVED our dinner at Café Beau-Rivage. The staff was fabulous, the food great and the
    ambiance electric. Our breakfast at La Terrasse was perfection at all times. They have an amazing staff,
                                                                                                                                  Passages By Land and Sea
    great manager, and an impeccably maintained buffet with a fantastic array of items, one of the best I
    have ever seen. I could have spent all day there, LOVED IT!!! In General, I was so impressed by the main-                       Destination Experts
    tenance of the hotel and the impeccable upkeep. I can only imagine how the hotel experience will be
    enhanced with the new bar scheduled to open this spring. No doubt this will be “the place” in Ouchy                               Travel Scope – India
    and Lausanne. I cannot think of a more fabulous hotel to visit and enjoy than this stunning property. It
    is a true Swiss gem!!! “
                                                                          - Maurice Joffe, T-Zell Travel, Boston
                                                                                                                                  Morocco National Tourist Office
    Already back 10 days, but every day I think of the wonderful three days spent in Lausanne. We saw
    much, we shared much and we really did get a very good impression of the city and what there is to see
    in the surrounding area. You’ve won this travel agent over.                                                                   Sea Cloud Cruises
                                                - Robert J Kunikoff, RJK Travel Ltd. , Tzell Travel Group LLC

    “Thank you to Brad and Thierry for organizing a well thought out program of Lausanne for us to enjoy.
    The lunch at Sophie Pic was extraordinary in every way.”
                                              - Dee Branciforte, Vice President, Fischer Travel Enterprises




                                                                                          MAIN OFFICE                             WEST COAST OFFICE
                                                                                          45 Carey Avenue Suite 206               Phone: 310.487.1452
                                                                                          Butler, NJ 07405                        Email: Evelyne@passagesofdistinction.com
                                                                                          www.passagesofdistinction.com
                                                                                          Phone: 973.838.0899
                                                                                          Fax: 973.838.1129
                                                                                          Email: info@passagesofdistinction.com
Welcome to the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux & Spa - Elegance Meets Sophistication By Sari Freeman


  T     he first thing you notice as you approach this truly grand hotel is the magnifi-
        cent 18th century façade which mirrors the Opera on the opposite side of the
        plaza. The architect I have learned was Victor Louis. In fact, the bar has been
  named in his honor!
                                                       As you enter the hotel, the concierge
                                                       desk is bustling and you immediately
                                                       sense that this is the meeting place
                                                       of the elite in town. As you move
                                                       into l’Orangerie, the winter garden,
                                                       you simply want to take a seat, have
                                                       a tea and relax in style. The service
                                                       throughout the hotel is wonderful
                                                       and the ambiance warm. The décor,                                    Spa at the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux & Spa
                                                       having recently been completed by
                                                       Jacque Garcia, is very elegant, sophis-
                                                       ticated yet somehow has a touch of
                                                       humor.
        Michelin Starred Restaurant                 The restaurants are amazing, espe-
           Le Pressoir d’Argent                     cially the very impressive Michelin
                                                    Starred Pressoir d’Argent, yet in some
  ways, my favorite was sitting at the outdoor terrace of the Brasserie located right on
  the plaza where you can truly observe the locals and visitors alike enjoying Bordeaux
  city life. The breakfast buffet was also a feast for the eyes.
  I also had the good fortune to have some time to experience the extensive spa. The
  treatment was wonderful and the roman bath pool and rooftop relaxation area were
  truly magnificent. Although my visit was short, it gave me the true feeling of the
  grand hotel in this very sophisticated French city. I cannot wait to return and get to
  know even more about the city and surrounding areas, not to mention the wineries
  with the guidance of the hotel”s acclaimed Wine Concierges!                                                                 Royal Suite



River Cloud II - Luxurious & Intimate Travel! By Sari Freeman


  W            hile in Europe for an educational trip to France, I had the opportunity
               to fly to Amsterdam to stay aboard the River Cloud II. One of the la-
               dies joined me and we thoroughly enjoyed the overnight, as well as,
  the city of Amsterdam. After having experienced Sea Cloud II last March, which
  is an outstanding sailing ship in the open seas, I was very curious to see how the
                                                                                              Champagne and fruit awaited me too! I must say, I felt very spoiled! The bath-
                                                                                              room amenities are my favorite ever and all rooms include bathrobes, slippers
                                                                                              and more. As I had time to step off the ship, I walked around the city before
                                                                                              reboarding for the evening activities: cocktails in the lounge, dinner followed
                                                                                              by cocktails and music. Suzy and I were joined by the hotel manager who gave
  River Cloud II compared to it. The river yacht, as they call it, is not just another riv-   us a thorough introduction to the yacht. The restaurant was very inviting. I was
  er boat! It has been remarkably crafted with a Mediterranean style that feels far           surprised that it was as relaxed as it was as I had the impression that ships were
  more like a fine hotel than a typical ship. With only 44 outside cabins including           more formal. The four course meal we enjoyed in the beautifully decorated din-
  13 panoramic, the ambiance is one of exclusivity and elegance yet very relaxed              ing room was delightful and the wine amazing! As the yacht is so intimate, you
  at the same time. On the sun deck you get a real sense of the maritime life with            get to know the other passengers. There was a very nice mix of clients from Eu-
                                                                  its brass, teak wood        rope, Australia and quite a few Americans aboard. The following day, I enjoyed
                                                                  and canvas chairs           an excursion to the Rijksmuseum and a canal boat tour. Their guide was excel-
                                                                  placed for viewing          lent and the tour very well organized.
                                                                  the landscape and lo-
                                                                  cal life passing by.
                                                                                                Now a Few Words From Suzy Oberlin of Distinctive Journeys
                                                                  As you board the
                                                                  yacht, you are wel-           “I had a lovely night aboard River Cloud II. I enjoyed getting to know the
                                                                  comed by a recep-             cruise director and the charming hotel manager.  The maître d’ was so
                                                                  tion line of crew             friendly, with a delightful sense of humor! I had travelled aboard River
                                                                  members. One of               Cloud I in the ‘90s with my Mother on the Danube, which we thorough-
                                                                  the friendly, young           ly enjoyed. It was a pleasure having a brief chance to experience the
                                                                  ladies escorted me to         current generation of river ship.  She looks and feels so intimate and
                                                                  my cabin, which was           luxurious compared to her much larger neighbors on the rivers. Many
                                                                  beautifully decorated         thanks for making our recent experience possible. It makes me even
                                                                  in sunny tones with           more enthusiastic to sell others on this special product. Although short,
                                                                  a marble bathroom             it left a wonderful impression and I am really looking forward to taking
                                                                  that was prettier than        a longer trip on River Cloud II in the near future! We hope you will too!”
                       River Cloud II                             those in most hotels.
News & Events                                                               Morocco National Tourist Office By Brad Beaty
St. James’s Hotel & Club’s
New Photographer in Residence
St. James’s Hotel and Club, is delighted to announce the appointment
of professional celebrity photographer Andy Gotts, MBE, MA, as the
                                                                            I    t is with great pleasure and excitement that Sari, Brad, and our Passages of Distinction
                                                                                 team welcome the Morocco National Tourist Office to our highly regarded list of elite
                                                                                 hotels, destination specialists, cruises and now destinations.
                                                                            Dating back to the 1942 meeting of Humphrey
                                                                            Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the iconic movie,
hotel’s Photographer in Residence. As the resident photographer
Gotts is on hand to create shoots of William Drabble, Executive Chef of     Casablanca, Morocco has gained fame as one of
                                                                            the world’s most exotic destinations. Today, this
the hotel’s Michelin star restaurant ‘Seven Park Place’ as well as many
                                                                            country, which is only about the size of California, is
of the famous faces visiting the hotel. Gotts’ next projects includes
                                                                            a “must do” for jet-setters, celebrities, romance and
photographing every living BAFTA member and a book entitled iCon
                                                                            adventure seekers, eco-tourists, and collectors of
for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
                                                                            hand-made authentic articles.
Hotel Brunelleschi                                                          With creative vision, careful planning and a strong
New Lobby                                                                   commitment, the government of Morocco took a
                                                                            beautiful land of amazing geographic diversity and
The final phase of renovations                                              created an infrastructure making tourism the coun-
at the Hotel Brunelleschi in Flor-                                          try’s number one industry. The extraordinary blend
                                                                                                                                        Royal Theater in Marrakech
ence have been completed. The                                               of culture derived from Morocco’s unique history is
hotel closed for two months                                                 immediately evident in the architecture in the holy city of Fez, the markets of Marrakech
from December to February                                                   and the mirages in the Sahara desert. From the azure resorts of the Mediterranean to the
2012 to complete work on the                                                snow-capped Atlas Mountains, this small nation offers a grand variety of activities and
lobby, breakfast room, meeting                                              scenery beyond belief.
rooms, restaurant, elevators,       Hotel Brunelleschi’s New Lobby
                                                                            We could go on and on, and believe us, we intend to, but for now, we wanted to let you
and common areas. Through-                                                  know that our mission is simple. We are here to educate you as our travel partner on the
out the three phases, the renovation has cost 20 million euros.             magic of Morocco. Over the next months, and we hope years, we will be visiting you per-
                                                                            sonally, conducting seminars, webinars, roadshows, and of course the ultimate learning
Llao Llao Hotel & Spa
                                                                            experience, familiarization trips. With these actions, we are truly looking forward to bring-
Spa Kids                                                                    ing Morocco to you and you to Morocco. We will introduce you to the best of hotels, riads,
                                  The youngest members of your fam-         and resorts, guide you to the best local ground operators, suggest specific itineraries, and
                                  ily can now enjoy the Llao Llao Spa       give you the tools you need to become an expert on selling Morocco.
                                  through the exclusive Kid’s Spa and
                                  Teens Spa Programs, in an area which
                                  has been specifically designed for        Evelyne Visits the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel                       By evelyne Goudin
                                  children and adolescents between 6
                                  and 17 years of age. Therapists spe-
                                  cially trained for these activities in-
                                  troduce children to the Spa environ-
                                                                            W       hat can I say about the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel? We arrived in St. Moritz via the Glacier
                                                                                    Express, which was an experience of its own. When we arrived, we were picked up
                                                                            by a magnificent classic Rolls Royce and whisked off to the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. The hotel
       Llao Llao Kids Spa         ment by playing games. At the Llao        is not just a resort but a “museum” where history speaks to you as you walk through the
Llao Kids Spa, children will enjoy a Wellness Area consisting of exer-      hallways, the library, and when you eat in the incredible breakfast restaurant. The location
cise routines that induce relaxation and various therapies adapted to       of the hotel is by far the best in St Moritz. You can walk to anywhere in the village or even
the ages, needs and lifestyles of the younger members of the family.        for a stroll around the St Moritz Lake.
Kids Spa Program (6 to 12 years of age) includes facial moisturiz-                                                       We were fortunate enough to enjoy one of the
ing, aromatherapy (gentle massage with a combination of oils and                                                         best luncheons I have ever had at Mathis, the
creams), chair massage, stretching and reflexology, hairdressing and                                                     highest European gourmet restaurant at an alti-
a manicure.                                                                                                              tude of 8,156 ft. The Badrutt’s Palace Hotel also
Teen Spa Program (13 to 17 years of age) includes teen facial (deep                                                      offers plenty of activities for guests besides ski-
cleansing and extractions with Yonka products suitable for their age),                                                   ing. The hotel also provides tennis, hikes in the
aromatherapy, anti-stress massage, stretching and reflexology, hair-                                                     summer and, of course, their absolutely incred-
dressing and manicure.                                                                                                   ible full service spa. To reach it, one must take an
                                                                                                                         elevator down below the hotel and step off into
Marina Riviera                                                                 Badrutt’s Palace Hotel - St. Moritz       a cave-like atmosphere lined with natural rock
Renovations                                                                                                              walls and dimmed lighting. While swimming or
                                                                            relaxing in the hot tub, you won’t miss a minute of the Alps, as you can view them through
In addition to the new rooftop pool,                                        the floor-to-ceiling glass windows looking out of the mountainside retreat. If therapy and
the Marina Riviera has completed                                            relaxation are what you’re after, you’re in luck. The hotel has a newly renovated, world-class
renovations of all the deluxe rooms                                         spa. There are more than half a dozen rooms to relax in including a traditional sauna, a sea
on the second floor of the hotel.                                           salt sauna, a massage shower, an ice bath and more. It was one of the highlights of our stay.
The bathrooms will now have a
                                                                            The Badrutt’s Palace has ample choice in gastronomy and places to meet including four
separate walk in shower and bath-
                                                                            bars and seven restaurants, from the oldest the “Chesa Veglia “ which dates back to 1658
tub, wi-fi internet connection and
                                                                            and is the oldest Farmhouse in St Moritz, all the way to the newest, the famous Nobu. They
a soundproof window. We are also New Roof Top Pool at Marina Riviera
                                                                            also feature the most famous club in St Moritz; The King’s Club. The Badrutt’s Palace offers
working on installing a new eleva-
                                                                            all guests complimentary movies, mini bar, and Wi-Fi. I can’t wait to return and experience
tor that will take you to the pool area. We look forward to sharing with    it in the summer. The hotel is open from mid-June through mid-September and mid-De-
you the new photos and brochures when they become available this            cember through mid-April.
spring.
Real Time Reviews                                                                                   Guest Writer
Travel Scope
    Travel Scope was great to work with and had a quick response
    time as well as working within their budget. Just fabulous!
                                                                                                             Proud Resident of Paris
                         - Marcy Kalish, Travel Experts, Mt. Kisco, NY
                                                                                                             & the 16th District
HoTel powerS
    I wanted to share with you a recent stay that I had at the
    Hotel Powers in Paris. It is  a small boutique hotel with 50
    rooms and suites and a great location on Rue Francois only                                         By Severine Greault
    one block from the center of the Champs-Elysees. The front
    entrance and marble steps were so inviting that you wanted                                       Director of Sales and Marketing Les Grands Hotels Parisiens
    to see more. All of the lounges and public areas are covered
    with beautiful wood paneling, crown moldings and pictures.
    I stayed in a deluxe room which was quite large. It had dou-
                                                                          I am very pleased to introduce myself as the Director of Sales and Marketing of the
    ble doors as an entry followed by a small foyer and another
    door.   There were no keycards for entry; you had an actual           Plaza Tour Eiffel and moreover as a proud resident of the 16th district where the hotel
    key! The room was beautifully decorated with soft blue/               is located. I was very excited when Sari & Brad asked me to be the guest writer as I want
    green colors, and high ceilings. The bathroom was big as well         you to discover how amazing this not as well-known part of Paris truly is. The 16th ar-
    with white marble/ceramic tile, Bulgari soaps and lotions.            rondissement is a wealthy, residential neighborhood with many impressive homes. It
    The American breakfast buffet was scrumptious and served              includes a concentration of museums between the Place du Trocadero and the Place d’
    in a room on the first floor which had beautiful chandeliers          Iena. Further to the west, is the Bois de Boulogne.
    and curtain-adorned double doors, very quaint and intimate.                   Palace Wellness
                                                                          The neighborhoods of Auteuil and of Passy, attached to Paris in the 19th century, have
    There was no restaurant on the property but it seemed there
    was a restaurant on every corner in the immediate vicinity            an almost village ambiance.  Nearby there is also the Musee du Vin. Between Auteuil
    and along the Champs-Elysees. Last but not least, the staff           and Passy, a little further north, a stretch of land was developed at the beginning of the
    was excellent!!! They were helpful, attentive, informative and        1900’s with buildings designed in the latest style of ‘Art Nouveau’ .
    friendly, always with a smile and a personal greeting. I would        The 16th district is also at the door of the Bois de Boulogne, an ancient hunting forest
    not hesitate to recommend the Powers to clients interested            that was landscaped in the 1860’s under the direction of Baron Haussmann. The Park
    in a great 4-star property.                                           contains two racecourses, Longchamp and Auteuil, plus there is a wonderful children’s
                           - Ronni Strauss, #1 Travel Inc, Merrick, NY    amusement park, the ‘Jardin d’Acclimatation’. The 16th Arrondissement is a walk away
                                                                          from, Roland Garros, where the French Open takes place every May. It is a haven of
plaza Tour eiffel                                                         peace in the dynamic city of Paris, and attracts actors, scientists and politicians.
    I am glad I went over to see the Plaza Tour Eiffel.  I really liked
                                                                          The famous writer, Honoré de Balzac lived in Passy where he wrote La Comedie Hu-
    the hotel and loved your Trocadero neighborhood.  The Pow-
    ers was wonderful…just walking into the room I knew I was             maine and his home is open to visitors. Benjamin Franklin lived 10 years in the 16th,
    in Paris and the location is such a great one just to walk prac-      and more recently Brigitte Bardot, as well as the presidential couple Nicolas Sarkozy
    tically everywhere.                                                   and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
                          - Richard Watson, Protravel, New York, NY       The 16th is one of the best places for shopping at Franck & Fils, sister Store of “Le Bon
                                                                          Marché”, or along the rue de Passy. It is also an ideal district for an afternoon at the mu-
BadruTT’S palace HoTel, Beau-rivage palace and dolder grand               seum . The Musée d’Art Moderne houses one of the world’s most prestigious collections
    As to learning, and to be honest, that is what it is really all       of 20th-century art. Musée Marmottan, has an impressive collection of Monet paintings,
    about, well done, once again.   As you know, Switzerland is           bequeathed by his son Michel Monet, including Monet’s “Impression, Soleil Levant”, the
    a place I know well, but the train experiences and the Gla-           painting from which the Impressionist movement took its name. There is also a special
    cier Express, Fausto’s reminder about the values and variety          room displaying a stunning series of Monet’s Water Lily paintings. There is also Palais de
    of passes and the system itself, and the visits in depth and
                                                                          Tokyo right next door to the Musée d’Art Moderne at the Trocadero, This museum is a
    with the quality of dining and services on offer, those were
    invaluable and priceless knowledge bases for future sales.  So        showcase for contemporary art.
    in short it was a fine and truly valuable trip and I appreciated      Moreover, you cannot miss having a coffee with pastries in the early evening at Carrette
    the offer and the fulfillment both.                                   and enjoy the Trocadero place with the incredible view on the illuminated Eiffel Tower.
                    Helen Land, Casto Vacations, San Francisco, CA        After a long day walking around the chic 16th, our guests will enjoy recovering in the
                                                                          lovely lounge area of the Hotel Plaza Tour Eiffel with its comfortable sofas.
THe fullerTon HoTel Singapore                                             The Plaza Tour Eiffel offers its guests quiet, while benefiting from a more authentic Pa-
    Thank you so much for setting up our personal stay, our room          risian lifestyle. The design and elegance of the Hotel Plaza Tour Eiffel enhances the dis-
    was comfortable, quiet and so well appointed.  We enjoyed             trict‘s atmosphere.
    the opportunity to also visit Fullerton Bay and I think you of-
    fer unique properties in a fabulous city!  It was an added plus       With its 41 rooms, the Plaza Tour Eiffel is a small boutique hotel where you feel at home.
    to experience the Straits Club level, and all the food presenta-      The staff is very attentive to your clients’ needs and are ready to offer them an exclusive
    tions were delicious.  Your entire staff made us feel welcome         atmosphere of elegance, well-being and serenity.
    and it will be a pleasure to recommend Fullerton to our cli-          I will leave you with this image: Imagine in the morning, walking out of the hotel to
    ents.                                                                 discover Paris, and the first thing you will see is the amazing Eiffel Tower!!
                Marcie Kotler, Park Avenue Travel, Swarthmore, PA         How can it get any better than that?!
An Exclusive Educational Trip - Villa Belrose & La Bastide de Marie By Sari Freeman


T        here is something very evocative and memorable about the way in
         which the senses are stimulated in the south of France. The sunlight
         plays off the landscape, ever-changing as the sun rises and sets. Yet it is
only the mind that recalls the scent of the herbs in the air as you drive along the
country roads. I have loved this region ever since I studied in Aix-en-Provence
                                                                                       ticated country style. The Do-
                                                                                       maine de Marie wine is lovely
                                                                                       and is included in the highly
                                                                                       recommended half board of-
                                                                                       fer – a great value. They have a
for a year in college. It was time to plan a trip, once we had two very charming       lovely small spa using the prod-
“Luxury Boutique” properties! I was confident that if I took a group of hand-          ucts that Mme Sibuet has cre-
selected travel experts to La Bastide de Marie, the 18th century farmhouse and         ated from herbs and products
vineyard, with its own special kind of hospitality, as well as, the very elegant       from France. Once you arrive,
Villa Belrose overlooking the stunning views of the Bay of St. Tropez, that they       if you love the provencal ambi-
would adore them! And that they did!                                                   ance, you might never want to
October is an ideal time to travel to Provence, if you still want warm weather         leave.
but prefer fewer tourists and no traffic! We spent as much time outdoors as            A highlight of our stay was the
possible; sitting in the sun, dining outdoors, touring and shopping! From the          wine tasting and cooking class         Eva Ferrari, Sari Freeman, Gayle Bridgeman,
                                                      moment we arrived in Nice,       with Mathilde Tissot, Director Ellen Rhodes, Suzy Oberlin, Cathy Casey, Blake
                                                      we traveled in style. Eric       of Sales for Sibuet, and our chef
                                                      from Deluxe Drivers met us       Laurent Houdart! We had so                Kotler at Lunch at La Bastide de Marie
                                                      in his E Class car, whisked      much fun and then all sat down
                                                      us to St. Tropez, and up the     to appreciate our tasty creations. We also visited Isle sur La Sorgue, a center for
                                                      hill to the Villa Belrose. As    antiquing and shopping. We very much enjoyed our stroll through town.
                                                      you approach this charm-         I must say that if you have clients that want a taste of the true Provence and the
                                                      ing and elegant Relais and       sophistication (without the party) of St. Tropez, these are two exceptional prop-
                                                      Chateaux hotel, you get the      erties that evoke an authentic French ambiance and experience. Do contact us
                                                      sense that you are visiting a    for more details and more wonderful stories.
                                                      gorgeous private villa. The
                                                      staff is remarkable, which is
                                                      a reflection on Robert Van        And now a few words from our friends on this trip...
                                                      Straaten, their outstanding
                                                      General Manager, who gives       “Dear Robert, You went out of your way to be hospitable. Having lunch on the
                                                      his all to both the guest and    pool terrace has to have been one of my very favorite travel experiences ever.
                                                      staff. He devoted much of        I loved my room. The food and the wine coming from your restaurant are truly
                                                      his time to educating us         formidable!  Thank you for arranging for us to be feted with a glass of cham-
                                                      about the Villa Belrose, the     pagne in the lovely village of Gassin, the guided tour of St. Tropez, the visit to
                                                      destination and even about       the market, the drive through St. Tropez, Ramatuelle and Gassin with you as
                                                      the competition! He made         our guide.”
                                                      sure we dined like royalty                                               - Ellen Rhodes from Altour in New York
                                                      during our entire stay! The       “La Bastide de Marie captures the essence of all that is Provence. The property
                                                      champagne flowed, the fab-       is lovely, unique and I can understand why my clients enjoyed staying here so
              View from Villa Belrose                 ulous local wine too and the     much.”
                                                      cuisine was divine as well as
magnificently presented! I really appreciate the fact that the Villa Belrose, with                                         - Gayle Bridgeman, Travel Place, Bethesda
only 40 rooms and suite, offers the intimacy of a private villa, yet the services of   “Anyone truly interested in a veritable Provencal experience will love la Bastide-
a grand hotel! The two Clefs D’or concierges can gain access to all of the private     -couples, families, even single travelers”!
clubs, beaches and restaurants, the Michelin starred restaurant with indoor and                                                  - Suzy Oberlin of Distinctive Journeys
outdoor dining is excellent, the pool terrace is magnificent, and there is even
a small gym and spa too! Several of us found time for a dreamy massage while
some of us enjoyed sunning by the pool! The pool area is so inviting with such
amazing views that one could spend several days just relaxing there! The Villa          Awards & Accolades
is ideal for those who want to be set above the very chic St. Tropez area, en-
joy the scene, (just 10 minutes drive), yet far enough away to retire to a very        Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012
civilized environment with magnificent vistas and the serenity one craves on            Europe
vacation. The rooms and suites are beautifully decorated in a Provencal style             Austria:     Hotel Sacher - Salzburg
and each has a terrace or balcony with lovely views.
                                                                                                       Hotel Sacher - Vienna
We were sad to say good-bye to Robert and the staff at the Villa Belrose but
Eric from Deluxe Drivers, once again met us and took us on a day of sightsee-             Italy:       Hotel Santa Caterina - Amalfi
ing through Aix en Provence and through some of the small Luberon villages.               Switzerland: Beau-Rivage Palace - Lausanne
As we approached La Bastide I delighted to be able to show everyone this                               The Dolder Grand – Zurich
place that truly touches my heart! Mme. Jocelyne Sibuet, the owner, originally
bought the 18th century property and vineyard, for her own use. This is why             South America
it feels far more like you are a guest in someone’s private home rather than a           Argentina:    Alvear Palace Hotel – Buenos Aires
hotel. She designed each of its 14 rooms and suites completely individually and
so beautifully that one might think they were on the set of a movie!                   World Travel Awards 2011
The style is very rustic, relaxed and yet somehow elegant and evokes a very              Switzerland’s Leading Hotel: Beau-Rivage Palace – Lausanne
authentic and homey ambiance. The service is very low key and unassuming.                Argentina’s Leading Golf Resort: Llao Llao Hotel & Resort – Patagonia
Mireille, the manager, is very involved with every aspect. She adores the place          Argentina’s Leading Ski Resort: Llao Llao Hotel & Resort – Patagonia
and ensures that everyone is well attended to. The cuisine is superb; the serv-
                                                                                         Singapore’s Leading Hotel: The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
ings are ample, very fresh from the garden, beautifully plated yet in a sophis-

				
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