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Virtuoso Travel Week

September 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

Last month in August the very best of the luxury travel industry came together to meet at The Bellagio in Las Vegas for Virtuoso Travel Week. This event is not open to the public and it is one of the most highly anticipated events for anyone in this industry.

Whilst I have a very high level of expertise in Paris, it is really since joining Cadence Travel Management last year I have been exposed to what the true meaning of luxury travel is, and just how much is available to the client who wants the best whether it be air, luxury hotel, villa and the most amazing experiences you never knew existed.

Virtuoso Travel Week is based on every agent sitting through the day with a new luxury vendor in front of them every four minutes. The organization of the event is extraordinary and unbelievably impressive – and the access it grants Travel Advisors all over the world for amazing travel experiences break through the glass ceiling of what you ever thought possible.

It has come with the age of the internet that people now research their own trip, plan it – even hit their very own wall with way too much information! I have most certainly noticed this change in the past two years with my clients who are extremely well informed on what is available in Paris when we first start working together. And whilst this is all very well and good the bottom line is simply … you cannot VIP yourself!

Do you want to have dinner on the Great Wall of China… guess what, I know who organizes this! Would you like upgrades at the best resorts around the world, including incredible resort credit and other amenities – or the best of luxury cruising to the Galapagos Islands or anywhere in the world….I have these contacts as well, as does any Virtuoso Travel Advisor – which is why it is so important to reach out to your travel advisors if you have a solid advisor you have always worked with and see what they can do to enhance your next trip. You just cannot imagine how big and exciting this world is until you have someone new sitting in front of you every four minutes from someplace truly spectacular at Virtuoso Travel Week!!

I have a very deep, deep love of Paris and I always will – I found my heartbeat again in this amazing city after all! However, I cannot tell you how unbelievably thrilled I am to now help my fantastic clients travel all over the world in a way they truly never thought possible!

Goust, Enrico Bernardo’s New Restaurant

December 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

I moved to Paris over 10 years ago and when I arrived here I came alive again; I found my heartbeat again. I sat on the steps of the Sacré Couer looking out over the city and dared to imagine what it held for me. I came to Paris as a writer, the epitome of the cliché people would think…an American wanting to live the dream in Paris.

There are still times when I pinch myself at what I get to do for a living. There are moments I still feel like this little girl from Wisconsin who only ever dreamed of moving to New York City. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would be working with the best people in Paris, designing experiences and meeting absolutely the most amazing people who hire me to help them with their trips.

A few months ago I had the privilege to meet a person I have admired for many years: Enrico Bernardo, a man considered by many to be the best wine sommelier in the world (he was named The Best Sommelier of the World in 2004 at the age of 27). Whilst I have reserved many clients at his restaurant, and always worked closely with Aline (an absolutely lovely lady who never fails to give my clients the best table) I had never met Monsieur Bernardo. Years ago Aline had invited me and my husband to have lunch at
Il Vino d’Enrico Bernardo with compliments so we could finally meet – and it was, without a doubt exceptional! But I still did not meet Enrico…

So, I was thrilled when Aline invited me to try Goust d’Enrico Bernardo, Enrico Bernardo’s new restaurant near the Opéra Garnier. The dinner was exceptional and my friend, Azaa, and I both agreed it exceeded every expectation we had for a true food and wine pairing meal (which is hard to find nowadays).

However, the highlight came when a most gracious Enrico Bernardo came to our table to introduce himself and to say a very sincere merci for all the clients I have reserved at Il Vino over the years. Ah, but it was really a nice moment, actually it was an exceptional moment.

A few weeks later Aline invited me back to Il Vino to see the new décor. Il Vino was closed for a month in the fall so they could do a complete renovation – and what a job they did! The interior is without a doubt one of the most romantic settings in Paris. So it helped that I was with my husband, Gary. I chuckled with Gary that now I don’t even know which restaurant to reserve people at as both are absolutely amazing….what a problem to have!

As we were wrapping up dinner over to our table walks Monsieur Bernardo – but this time he didn’t shake my hand and formally greet me. Rather, I hear my name and am greeted with a wonderful bisous like I am an old friend popping by for dinner. It was lovely atmosphere and the warm greeting both Gary and I received gave me a moment of pause. It made me think of all those years ago when I sat on the steps of Sacré Couer, looking out over Paris and writing in my journal: What does this beautiful city hold for me? If I were only to have known that the girl from Wisconsin would one day grow to know this grande dame in a way others dream of, that one day she would know great sommeliers, restaurateurs and the most private of guides – all while working with amazing families and even celebrities here in this little town called Paris, France.
If only she could have known…