It's exactly a month since I attended this prestigious conference in Cannes, France, but the team has had such a good amount of saved up content that it is only now that I can report on it. The event draws together the world's top travel advisors and invites them to sit down, connect and socialize with the world's top General Managers and Sales Directors of hotels, tour operators and all things you can experience related to travel. It really is the highlight of the conference year and I cannot emphasize how valuable it is to J5Travel and by extension, all our clients.
For this week's article I am going to highlight eye-opening new hotels or just some I had not encountered before (yes, I don't know everything) that managed to blow my socks off.
Have a great 2024 everyone.
Top 5 - ILTM Cannes
1. Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape, Bali, Indonesia (above and below)
This is Banyan Tree's first hotel under it's new adults only wellness brand ESCAPE. Buahan’s signature "no walls, no doors" concept, makes it easy to soak in the region’s lush beauty from practically anywhere in the resort. Each of the 16 open-air villas feature a private pool and naturally sourced materials. The Open Table restaurant, with its zero-waste menu, serves up primarily plant-based garden-to-table cuisine. And in the Toja Spa overlooking the Balinese jungle, you’ll find dozens of locally inspired treatments designed to nurture your connection to the outdoors.
My new contact Puspa, the Resort Manager, will definitely take impeccable care of of you.
2. Villa Crespi, Orta San Giulio, Italy (above and below)
Just a few steps from Lake Orta, Villa Crespi is a spectacular property built in 1879. The villa’s arabesque architecture, stunning gardens and the hospitality of Chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo and his wife Cinzia make a stay here magical. Antonino’s masterful cuisine (Michelin 3-stars) is deeply influenced by the places and flavours experienced during his professional journey. His menu is an itinerary from southern to northern Italy, starting with a brochette of scallops and scampi and ending with pigeon and foie gras. From Villa Crespi you can contemplate a magnificent Italy, including the medieval village of Orta and the Island of San Giulio, the famous site of Sacro Monte, and Lake Maggiore.
Silvia, the Sales & Marketing Manager is my new contact at this property.
3. Royal Bled Golf Club, Slovenia (above and below)
I was already jumping up and down with excitement for Slovenia as a hot destination and now I have discovered that it has one of the highest rated golf courses in the whole of Europe and Top 100 in the world. Anze is the front office manager and will assist us with any requirements for client golfers and non-golfers alike. Along with our partners at Luxury Slovenia we can create amazing itineraries for this country at very reasonable pricing at the luxury level. Stand by for an on-site report in the Fall.
4. Finca La Donaira, Andalucia, Spain (above and below)
I like this tagline a lot: 9 Rooms 700 Hectares Absolute Peace
Finca La Donaira offers a new order of luxury experience where nature reigns supreme. It is an eco-retreat, organic farm and equestrian centre with Lusitano horse breeding. However, it is not just a retreat but an ecological and gastronomic project that fuses tradition with innovation to create a modern utopia. Both Sophie (Project Manager) and Ronald (General Manager) had me under their spell within a minute and I am itching to send the right client here, or make the journey myself.
5. 7132 Vals, Switzerland (above and below)
I realize as I am adding this 5th element that I seem to have gravitated personally toward peace, quiet and off the beaten path destinations and experiences. Perhaps subconsciously that is what I need. If you are at all drawn to this week's highlights, please know that there are now an amazing numbers of hotels and resorts both domestically and internationally that can provide what you crave. Peace.
7132 is the zipcode for Vals in Switzerland where there is a small cluster of hotels under the same 7132 brand offering a discrete hideaway for individualists and epicureans in a class of its own. At the top of the tree is the iconic luxury hotel 7132 Hotel 5S, which sets a new standard for spa retreats. Every suite comes with an unobstructed view of the Alps.
I have Cornelia, the Sales & Marketing Manager to thank for a really good chat about the property and Switzerland in general.
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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.