A couple weeks ago I was in Cannes attending ILTM, the worlds's premier Luxury Travel Conference. This is a mark of just how far J5Travel has come in our 7 years in business as there is a rigorous application procedure in order to be accepted. Attending ILTM enables us to take our contact list to the upper echelons of hotels, cruise lines and tour operators and further our relationships with already established partners. I'm not sure our clients appreciate that by working with J5Travel you actually then have access to all our partnerships and contacts globally, a number that is well over 1,000 now.
The conference floor (actually 3 floors) is lavishly set up so that every meeting is comfortable and also long enough that meaningful conversations can occur. I was in my element I admit.
There was some serious business and also some serious fun and a mixture of that makes up the Top 5 this week.
Top 5 - ILTM
1. Venice Simplon Orient Express (above and below)
Belmond, probably most famous for their gorgeous hotels, managed to transport their oldest Venice Simplon Orient Express carriage to the doors of our conference venue. I had to pop on board to check out the deluxe suites. A throwback to the glamour days of train travel before flights, it is a sumptuous experience and several routes are available today. If luxury train travel is on your radar, then Belmond are at the pinnacle of your options.
2. Cristina with Arno Travel (above)
If you've enjoyed a luxury Italy itinerary with us in the last few years then you likely have Cristina Visconti and her team to thank as much as us. Arno Travel are a wonderful partner for us, enabling us to create those seamless itineraries where every stress point is taken away from you, the traveler. Arno were gracious enough to host 12 of my network's advisors to dinner one evening, and yes, we ate great Italian food despite being in France.
3. Maybourne Riviera (above and below)
Pre conference on the Sunday we stopped for lunch at The Maybourne Riviera. It's perched on a clifftop in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin with incredible views of Monte Carlo, Monaco looking west and in to Italy looking east. A thunderstorm during lunch cleared up in time for us to get some great photos post lunch. A beautiful, modern property.
4. Explora Journeys and Faena (above)
While there were a lot of lunches and dinners on the timetable, they were all worthwhile. Here we joined the yet to be launched Explora Journeys who are determined to take cruising to a new level in the luxury life lifestyle category. The VR renderings we have had access to are exciting to say the least. Faena Group also hosted and they are a luxury hotel brand currently with locations in Miami Beach and Buenos Aires with each location boasting unique architecture, modern art, and gourmet dining.
5. The Glamour Shot (above)
So let me explain.
Hyatt hosted a cocktail party one evening. Myself and Erica, who is Director of Partner Relations at my host agency Gifted Travel Network were the only ones to attend from our network. Hyatt had a set up where all manner of glamour shots could be taken. And I mean they had a team of 5 working on this, with backgrounds, props, wind machines, and a very, very good photographer.
We decided to brave it and took the plunge together. It was an hilarious 10 minutes trying to keep a straight face and above was the result, our virtual visit to the east coast of Santorini and it's black sand beach.
I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building 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.
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