As we approach the heights of the holiday season and 2024 beckons, I still have to catch you up on 2 trade conferences that J5 has attended in the last few weeks. This week I will highlight Shanna's attendance at the prestigious DUCO conference held in Paris and focussed solely on France and every element of travel services there.
If you were not already aware, Shanna will be your point of contact if you head to the European destinations of France, Spain and Portugal, and just in the last couple of years she has traveled extensively through all 3 countries.
DUCO France is a niche and destination-oriented travel summit promoting the encounter between upscale French suppliers and elite travel experts. During 4 days, the summit gathered 186 travel advisors from across the world to meet with 210 brands of the finest French travel suppliers. Shanna had the superb opportunity to focus solely on France - from the French Alps to the French Riviera and everywhere in between.
Top 5 - DUCO Paris Takeaways
1. Paris (above and below)
The City of Lights set the stage for this luxury travel summit. Historic landmarks, world-class museums, and curated boutiques make the French capital one of the world’s most-visited cities. Embrace the true Parisian lifestyle by wandering the buzzing streets, enjoying French gastronomy, and marveling at the Belle Époque architecture. With twenty arrondissements (districts), it’s impossible to know exactly where to stay in Paris. Let us help you figure out which neighborhood best suits your style!
2. Palace Hotels (above and below)
Only 31 hotels in France have received the prestigious Palaces distinction, and 12 of those can be found in Paris. Each Palace offers guests an experience beyond compare - outstanding locations, word-class dining, impeccable service, and more. Shanna was fortunate to stay at two of these coveted addresses, the Shangri-La Paris (above) and Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme, while experiencing multiple others through dining and visits, such as the Plaza Athenee below. While Palaces aren’t in everyone’s budget, Paris has a variety of accommodations from luxury apartments to boutique hotels.
3. French Alps (above and below)
Combined with its proximity to Lake Geneva, the French portion of the Alps offers some of the most picturesque ski resorts and alpine villages in the world. One of the most popular ski destinations is Courchevel. This ski resort is part of Les Trois Vallées (the Three Valleys), which is the largest linked ski area in the world. Après-ski at Courchevel offers bustling restaurants and sleek bars. Warm up in one of the many luxury and boutique properties offering ski-in and ski-out. Cheval Blanc Courchevel is featured above and Hotel la Sivoliere below.
4. Provence and the French Riviera (above and below)
Provence and the French Riviera can be easily combined into one trip. Explore antique markets, visit enchanting lavender fields, and sip rosé in Provence. Many treat Aix-en-Provence as their home-base and explore the nearby quaint villages of Gordes, Arles, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, and more. Pass through the Calanques National Park, as you head towards the glitz of the French Riviera. From the medieval village of Èze, to the lively beach clubs of Saint-Tropez, to the palm-fringed Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes, these seaside destinations embody the Côte d'Azur glamor. Le Vallon de Valrugues & Spa in Provence is featured above and Les Roches Blanches in Cassis is below.
5. Southwest of France (above and below)A unique and considerably under-the-radar destination in France is the southwest region. You’ll find a variety of landscapes including beaches, vineyards, mountains, and fortified villages. After a few nights in the famed wine-growing region of Bordeaux, head further south for either in-land countryside retreats or seaside stays in Biarritz overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Many travelers pair Biarritz with Spain’s Basque Country due to its location, food, and wine. San Sebastian (Spain) is famous for being the town with the most Michelin stars per square meter in the world. Above is featured Les Sources de Caudalie near Bordeaux, which clients enjoyed earlier this year, and below is the magnificent Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz.
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I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to have built a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.