Paris, Dublin and Ireland

In the balmy Spring of 2017 I flew to Paris for a couple of days, and then joined some happy returning EuroDisney travelers (not planned) for the Paris/Dublin flight, where I learned about apparently famous Irish potato chips.  I joined up with John in Dublin where he had been on business and we set off for the southwest of Ireland, starting on St Paddys’ Day. Kilkenny, Cork, Kinsale & Cobh were a fantastic 3 day trip!

The over the top phenomenal hotel I’m pictured in is La Reserve in Paris. Other fabulous hotels visited, among others, were San Regis, Le Meurice, Le Bristol and in Ireland the lovely Hayfield Manor Hotel.

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Terre Blanche | A Personal Report

Dear Clients and Friends,
I hope you find this report from one of our partners helpful in your vacation planning. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for further details.
Josh

What a trip…

Just got back from a dreamy long weekend at Terre Blanche, a wonderful resort/destination nestled between Provence and Cote D’azur.

I landed in Nice airport on a Thursday afternoon and the Terre Blanche Mercedes class S was waiting for me and in less than 40 minutes I crossed the gated walls of the property, 1 ½ the size of Montecarlo.

The grounds are so beautiful and lush, in fact, you are in the middle of a beautiful Provencal forest and the only views of human civilization are the quaint and charming towns of Fayence, Callian and Tourrettes perched in the nearby hills.

The reception area is spread with the owner’s art collection and even it is spacious and airy, feels warm, in touch with the nature and the colours of the whole village/resort match with the earthy feeling of the area.

I was escorted to Villa Provence, a two bedroom villa with a stunning terrace and plunge pool that also acts as an immense whirlpool (I counted and you can invite up to 16 friends inside!); super spacious double sink bathrooms with bathtub and walking shower, a great kitchen room with a wine refrigerator stock with the best whites, roses and champagne, a full stocked bar…all this makes Villa Provence the perfect accommodation for a large family (sleep up to 6) or two couples.

On Friday morning I played at Le Riou, one of the two Championship golf courses, and I loved it! The golf facilities are world class and any golfer of any level will feel absolutely impress with them, from the Swing analysis, to the driving range and Le Riou & Le Chateau; the 19th hole was a fun lunch at Le Caroubiers, the amazing grill at the Club House.

After a fantastic massage at the award-winning spa, we rode 4×4 buggies through beautiful trails and we arrived in a tiny local winery where the owner ‘forced” us to taste some fantastic whites and roses.

To end the amazing day, we have dinner at Faventia, the one Michelin star at the property…that was a 4 hours dinner including the kitchen tour and the long debates and fun conversations with the more than charming team at the restaurant.

Saturday was the perfect day to explore the area in a vintage Citroen 2CV so we went to the farmers market in Fayence where I found beautiful hancrafted wool ‘echarpes’ and multiple non-touristy stands.

From there we went to visit Chateau d’Esclans, home of the famous Whispering Angel (a.k.a Hampton’s water) and we enjoyed a visit followed by wine tasting, including the most expensive rose in the world, Garrus.

After this fun morning, we stopped for lunch at world famous Chez Bruno, where all the dishes are truffle based, not just flavoured but totally full of shaved truffle and even a full 60g truffle in one of the dishes…also white truffle from Alba in a simple pasta dish, really spectacular and a must when in the area.

A leisure afternoon was needed after the 10 dishes truffle lunch and what a better place that our wonderful plunge pool at Villa Provence…then get dressed to party in Cannes, such a fun town and only 35 minutes from the property.

Sunday was also spectacular, we took a private boat from Cannes to Ile Sainte Marguerite and spent the day at La Guerite, the unofficial beach club of Terre Blanche…picture the perfect Sunday, by the water, with friends and good looking people all around (favorite Beach Club of Beyonce).

Sadly, everything great comes to an end too, and early Monday, I left the property direction Nice airport (40 minutes’ drive) but with a huge smile on my face, because I discovered an extraordinary and cool destination all around the property.

Huge shout-out to Rachel David, Candice Berger, Gilles Fouilleroux and the amazing team behind them at Terre Blanche for creating such an amazing experience and make me fall in love once more with Terre Blanche.

All the best!

Carlos

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Carlos Quereda
Founder

f o r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n & t o b o o k

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
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four seasons preferred partner

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals. His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays. He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own

Hot Hotels 2016 | by josh friedman luxury travel

In a world of many old and newer wonderful hotels, here are a few represented by a favorite partner of mine. The theme here you’ll notice is contemporary , modern and colorful. After all, my friend is French, and that’s the way they are!

For customized luxury vacation planning contact Josh Friedman Luxury Travel.

Brooklyn | The William Vale

OK, not usually at the top of my international list but check this out!  Opening April 2016 in Williamsburg. 60 foot outdoor pool and fitness center. Views of Manhattan.

Sao Paolo | Hotel Unique
Not at the top of my usual list either but the design of this hotel, along with the William Vale (above) is just stunning, and fun.  In Sao Paolo’s most upscale neighborhood. Fitness center with 2 pools. And the rooftop pool has an underwater sound system.

Berlin | Das Stue
Another stunning design hotel in a quieter location than the other top hotels in Berlin, in Tiergarten next to the zoo. Walking distance to KaDeWe. Michelin starred restaurant “Cinco” by Spanish chef Paco Perez.

French Riviera, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat | Royal Riviera
In between Nice and Monaco, a great location for pre or post cruises from either port. Very contemporary decor in an historic 1904 building.

St. Tropez | Hotel de Paris
A classic recently renovated. Very St Tropez with a suspended glass-bottom swimming pool and Clarins Spa.  7 minutes to Beach Club by complimentary shuttle.

Paris | Hotel Edouard 7
One of my favorite of this collection another modern beauty from a classic exterior. A four star couture hotel they say! Restaurant and bar with outdoor terrace. Only hotel on Opera avenue.

Nicaragua | Morgan’s Rock
This country is becoming popular. Do it in conjunction with Costa Rica or on it’s own. The little eco-resort is on a 4,000 protected acres and is only 15 bungalows overlooking the ocean and jungle. There is also a 4 bedroom hacienda on the beach. Yoga, hiking, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, fishing & horseback riding.

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

 

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, excellent pricing, the ultimate in service & exclusive hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

 

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

 

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

 

 

 

Luxury Travel | 10 Places I Would Go in 2014

Only ten places? That will be hard but 10 seems to be a popular number so I’ll try to whittle the list down.   Here then are 10 places I would go to, because they’re fabulous, hot, fun, historic, fascinating, spectacularly beautiful, offer awesome food and wine, have a top hotel or resort to crash out and where we can work with a great local partner to bring you unique sightseeing and learning opportunities.

India | I just went for my first time in May but I want to go back. Perfect if you’ve never traveled anywhere, and outrageous if you’ve been almost everywhere like me.  The people, architecture, daily life, food, spirituality, yoga, cows, monkeys – all an incredible feast to your senses.

jaipur elephant
jaipur, india

Normandy | June 2014 will mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. You can experience this area by land (we offer excellent traditional châteaux to stay in and superb guides and we’ll pick you up in Paris).  Or you can take a 7 day river cruise round-trip from Paris. Combine with Brittany and the Loire.

Amalfi Coast | The ultimate honeymoon getaway are these villages on the cliffs above the Mediterranean not too far from the Naples airport such as Ravello, Positano & Sorrento. Enjoy probably Italy’s freshest produce grown in the sun drenched area, awesome pasta and limoncello. The hotels are studies in spectacular tile work reflecting the sparkling sea below. Capri is right there too.  Fly home from the north and visit Umbria and Tuscany.

Bora Bora & Le Teha’a | Maybe this is the ultimate honeymoon getaway instead.  The reports from my clients who have been are always off the charts.  On either of these islands lose yourself into your hut sitting on top of their respective lagoons. I’ve not yet been and it’s at the top of my list.  While “Bora” is more famous and has two ultra-luxury resorts, Le Teha’a is bit more authentic and more secluded.

Bali | I’ve been wanting to go back here since I went there in 1994 when I worked for Seabourn.  The culture is fascinating, the hotels and resorts sybaritic.  It’s just so different from Western life, and much calmer than India. Be prepared to slow down a lot. Bali makes Mexico seem fast paced.

Seabourn Cruise Line | Just take me anywhere on the Sojourn, Odyssey or Quest.  Seabourn continues to be one of the top cruise lines, if not the best, for world travelers who demand the best service and best food & drink — at sea or on land.  Next time I think I wouldn’t mind a trip to the fjords of Norway.  I love visiting the Land of the Midnight Sun in the summer where it’s easy to stay up almost 24/7.

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Seabourn Spirit docked in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Fredericksted, February 2012

Silversea Cruises | You can take me anywhere with Silversea too.  With Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea completes the trilogy of ultra-luxury cruising with smaller ships.  And that’s easier now that they’ve expanded their fleet to include adventure sailings in the Galapagos with Silver Galapagos, throughout the polar regions with Silver Explorer and the Pacific with Silver Discoverer launching in March 2014. And their first ship, Silver Cloud, was recently refurbished.

Sea Dream Yacht Club | I’m dying to take a cruise on Sea Dream. It’s all about the water and I love being in and around a lot of it since I’m from Miami Beach and Los Angeles. The ships have only 100 guests and everything revolves around being outside – on the deck or in the water.  I’d be perfectly content to spend 1 or 2 weeks in the Caribbean this winter with SeaDream.  They even offer Glatt-Kosher cuisine for private charters which by the way is a GREAT way to celebrate – say a 60th birthday? Kosher is optional.

Japan | This is not a popular destination for my clients but it’s always seemed so interesting to me.  I think it’s the history, the style and the hospitality that intrigues me around Tokyo and Kyoto. I’ve met many Japanese at my annual luxury travel conference and I’m sure if they’re anything like the folks back home it would be a great trip. The hotels (including Hoshinoya in Kyoto), lodges and ryokans appear to be unique and worthy of a visit.  Stay 7-10 days and combine with the beaches in Thailand or  Vietnam for a fun vacation!

Dublin at Trinity College
Dublin at Trinity College

Ireland | I got a taste of Dublin a year ago when I accompanied my partner John there on a business trip. Not sure I’d recommend that you go in February (no lines though at Trinity College for the Book of Kells), but a good 7 to 10 day trip any other time would be pretty wonderful.  The Irish are super friendly, like to have a good time and the countryside is absolutely beautiful I’m told – and have seen virtually.  Staying at a castle and touring the Ring of Kerry sounds very fun. And I can vouch for the excellent whisky selections and Guinness in Dublin.

All the best for a wonderful 2014!

Call Josh for details, excellent pricing, the ultimate in service & exclusive hotel amenities with Virtuoso

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
with travel experts, a virtuoso member agency

twitter  flickr  facebook   you tube  tripadvisor

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

affiliated with travel experts, a virtuoso agency and four seasons preferred partner,
201 spear st., ste 1100,  san francisco, ca 94105 cst# 2080753-40.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshfriedmantravel/9463395182/ 

France | Tuesday September 7 is a ‘National’ Strike Day

Courtesy of Chocolatine, one of our fabulous partners serving our clients in France…………. This is just too funny. If you read closely this blurb even calls the strike "traditional." Even the Italians don’t have that to my knowledge.

pixel.gif Tuesday, Sept.7 is a ‘national’ strike day!
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All over France…but mainly in Paris.
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Sorry again for coming to you with bad news but as Joelle says: no surprises here. It is the traditional "Back to School" strike.
As usual how bad will it be? we do not know now and will find out most likely just a few hours prior. Transportation & all other public services will be affected including Le Louvre, Versailles and all other government run places.

Next week we will send a more positive message with great new stuff!

I wish you a good day and a relaxing Labor Day week end.
Merci, Flo

Visit our Blog: http://chocolatinefrance.blogspot.com

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Virtuoso Travel Mart 2010 | Report from Bellagio

Every year for the last 20 something, the world’s top travel advisors have met annually with representatives of 5 star hotels, lodges, cruise lines and local speciality travel companies around the world. I attended this year’s event which just ended Thursday evening at Bellagio & Aria in Las Vegas.

Advisors and suppliers learn from each other and pass on their new learning to clients and/or to improve their products and services. All are members of Virtuoso, a by invitation only marketing group representing the creme de la creme of the travel industry. And quite a group it is.

But I think even more important, for me as a luxury travel advisor, is the one to one connection with these suppliers. Personalized luxury travel is different from mass market travel. If Joe Traveler books a one week Mexico package at a 3 star, or even a 5 star resort, they’re just another body filling a bed. Granted, the experience at a 5 star resort will be better, but nonetheless, there’s no personal connection between the traveler and the resort’s management.

However, when I meet a supplier at Travel Mart, or in my office, or at their hotel, and I get to know them, and they me — then that degree of separation from this traveler (my client) to the supplier is closed.

Meet some of my travel partners and see what I mean:

Guillaume
Take Guillaume from the Connaught Hotel in London. The Connaught is a traditional English hotel, recently refurbished, and a sister property to Claridge’s and the Berkeley. I met Guillaume a year ago when I was invited to stay at Claridge’s where he was the Food and Beverage manager. Now he’s the #2, or the Hotel Manager, at the Connaught. I can guarantee anybody booking that hotel with me that Guillaume will assure them a very memorable stay there. If on business, he’ll make sure his staff has simplified all necessary arrangements for a productive visit. And if for leisure, he’ll be sure theater tickets, restaurant reservations, guides and the like are handled beyond the guests expectations. Sure, Guillaume is a great guy, but the one-to-one cannot be underestimated.

Maita
Maita owns a local travel company in Argentina and arranges the most amazing customized luxury vacations of her home country (and neighboring ones) you can imagine. She’s put together 1) a 3 week vacation for a single adventure traveler who wanted to hike glaciers, explore Iguazu beyond the norm and climb mountains, 2) a 10 day customized & escorted tour of Chile and Argentina for a California winery club focusing on gourmet dining (in the Andes no less) and wine tastings and 3) a pre-cruise exploration of Buenos Aires with tango lessons, private guides and a day at an Estancia.

David
David is an Englishman now living in Hong Kong and owns, like Maita, a small company focused on providing the visitor to HK or China with a visit they’ll always fondly remember. He’s arranged pre and post cruise stays for my clients in Beijing, Shanghai & Hong Kong. But beyond the usual, because my clients have already been to these places before, he suggests places and activities (i.e. Jewish Shanghai, Hangzhou, Lamma), and the latest hotels. Do you know the Upper House on Hong Kong Island?

Christophe, Aiko, Peter & the Dorchester Collection
Christophe is the Director of Sales and Marketing of Le Meurice in Paris. It’s one of the the hotels in Paris, along with their sister property, Plaza Athenee (you can meet Peter there). They also own the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan (Antonio), and of course their namesake, The Dorchester in London (Louise), and several more in the UK and USA. Kings, queens and my clients love these hotels. And so did Carrie Bradshaw for a few days. And I can guarantee that this team of amazing hotel professionals will do whatever it takes to ensure that your stay in their hotel, and in their city will be perfect. A Virtuoso saying — it’s the power of one to one.