I have just arrived to the 2014 American Express Publishing Luxury Summit at the sunny Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples, a who’s who global gathering of senior level executives from the world’s leading luxury brands. With a theme of “Luxury Without Borders,” the next three days will be a buzz of networking and exceptional guests speakers discussing the latest trends, issues and challenges in the luxury market.
Editor in Chief of Departures, Richard David Story says, “This year’s theme, ‘Luxury Without Borders,’ is pretty direct. What happens in America doesn’t necessarily need to stay in America. In fact, foreign and especially emerging markets have become a laboratory of sorts for what the new global customer wants.”
This year’s speakers include Emmanuel Perrin, president and chief executive officer of Cartier North America, Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International who will be In Conversation with Nancy Novogrod, editor in chief of Travel + Leisure. Other speakers include Robert Triefus, chief marketing officer, Gucci, and Chris Blackwell, founder, Island Records (record label for such artists as U2 and Robert Palmer) and Island Outpost Hotels and Resorts and Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of The Huffington Post. The emcee with be Mr. Story as well as Normal Pearlstine, the chief content officer of Time Inc.
“It’s a chance to hear new ideas and new solutions to brand-new challenges and to really take stock of where the luxury market, as it affects all us in this room, is headed,” says Story.
For a whole new level of luxury during the summit’s leisure time, guests will network at the Sunday Golf Tournament at the Tiburon Golf Course, a 36-hole 72-par championship course designed by legendary golfer Greg Norman. Thrill seekers will test their speed at the Lamborghini Aventador Driving Experience to test drive Lamborghini’s 700-horsepower V12 Aventador and Aventador Roadster.
I’m also delighted that South Africa Tourism will be hosting a lunch for attendees during the summit as I will be leaving for my first visit to South Africa later this month!
Follow my Tweets at @LuxeTiffany for the latest luxury news updates from the Luxury Summit and follow the hashtag #luxsummit.
Remember when travel was a glamorous experience? Flight attendants resembled elegantly poised models and poured endless champagne paired with fine cuisine. As airlines struggle to revive themselves from bankruptcy and cut back on every last perk that once made travel enjoyable, leaving you with plastic glasses filled with cheap wine and something to eat called “snax”, it’s refreshing to experience an airline that brings back the era of sophisticated travel. Emirates Airlines does just that.
This past week on Emirates, I was privy to fly the very luxe Airbus A380-800 from New York’s JFK to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, complete with its own private bar for business class passengers and even a spa suite with on-board shower for those privileged enough to fly First Class. After four magnificent days in Dubai, I flew the inaugural flight from Dubai to Boston, a new daily non-stop route between the two cities. Emirates is one of the fastest growing airlines and serves over 140 destinations. Boston is the 8th U.S. location for Emirates.
With a stylish flight crew from no less than 17 countries speaking over 20 different languages, the experience is sublime. Complete with five star cuisine and a wine list to rival any Michelin star restaurant, attentive service and comfortable cabins, you won’t believe you ever traveled any other way.
Is it really possible to enjoy the beach, desert and ski slopes all in one day? In Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, you can! Imagine starting your day sunning yourself on the beautiful beach of Waldorf-Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeriah, the artificial archipelago in the shape of a palm tree, soaking in the warm Arabian sun… Then heading to off for a desert safari with Arabian Adventures for Sand Boarding, Dune Bashing, Camel Riding, Falconry and a Bedouin Style Dinner…and finishing the day by hitting the slopes inside the Mall of the Emirates, the largest shopping mall in the world, at Ski Dubai! Thank you to Emirates for one of my Top Five most adventurous days yet. Come along for the ride!
Luxury is about culturally rich and unique experiences, so here are my personal Top 5 Bucket List Travel Experiences for 2014!
Opera at Arena di Verona, Verona, Italy
Located in Piazza Bra in Verona, Italy, this Roman amphitheatre was built in 30 AD and is now home to some of the most spectacular opera performances in the world. Picture yourself listening to Carmen in this beautiful setting on a warm summer’s night. I certainly can!
Romantic Dinner at The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah: Ubud, Bali
This is one of the most private of resorts with 20 suites and villas set within thriving rice fields as far as the eye can see. Wouldn’t you love to have a romantic dinner for two in this spectacular setting? This is what I call dinner with a view!
An Evening of Jazz at The Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai, China
My Grandfather, Victor Won Cumyow, was a jazz singer at the Cathay Hotel in the 1930′s (now the Fairmont Peace Hotel.) I dream to spend an evening listening to smooth jazz in this iconic setting. I’m told my Grandfather was considered the Chinese Bing Crosby in his day.
Breakfast with Giraffes at Giraffe Manor, Kenya, Nairobi
Can you imagine what it must be like to have a giraffes join you for breakfast? At Giraffe Manor, built in the 1930′s and set on 12 private acres, you can experience just that. This beautiful lodge is home to several endangered Rothschild Giraffes and is one of Nairobi’s most iconic boutique hotels.
Sleeping in a Palace at Palais Namaskar, Marrakech, Morocco
Set between Morocco’s Atlas Mountains and Djebilet Hills, Palais Namaskar is a gorgeous luxury Oetker Collection hotel with only 41 luxury rooms, suites, villas and even palaces! Wouldn’t you just love to tell someone you just stayed in a palace in Marrakech? I know I would!
“It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.” ~Bern Williams
It has been the most incredible year traveling the world, seeing new places, meeting new friends, and experiencing exciting things. I never forget to be grateful for my health and the ability to travel.
Wishing you all the very best in 2014. Don’t forget to dream BIG because dreams do come true!
Having just flown in from Phuket and Bangkok to Paris for the night, I headed straight for one of my favorite new luxury boutique hotels in Paris, the Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal. The hotel opened this past summer and is just steps from the Louvre Museum, the Comédie Française theater, rue Saint-Honoré, and the Tuileries Gardens. The hotel is designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon and has 68 rooms (including 11 suites), restaurant, bar and Carita spa.
To my surprise, I was given the honor of being the very first guest to stay in the luxurious and zen-like “Suite Panoramique”, a spacious Penthouse suite with a beautiful 25m2 / 270 sq feet terrace overlooking Paris with beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur and the Palais Royal and its garden. The suite has calm, white interiors and is located on the 7th and top floor of the hotel with access by private elevator. Room highlights include: watching the Eiffel Tower twinkle at night from the suite terrace, Nespress coffee maker, Carita Paris bath amenities, and private elevator. Take a step inside!
A last minute change from a weekend trip in the Swiss Alps took me from Zurich to beautiful Geneva to see a particular hotel suite that travel guru Mary Gostelow had been raving about. Little did I know I’d be front and center in the midst of international news. As my taxi pulled up to the InterContinental Geneva, I arrived to a barricade of press and police blocking the front door. I had seen this before when celebs are staying at hotels, but this was Geneva — World political leaders are the celebrities in town.
I made my way to the back of the press line and ask a foreign reporter what was going on. He told me that United States Secretary of State John Kerry would be arriving any minute for last minute Iranian peace talks. As a resident of Massachusetts and former neighbor of former Senator Kerry, I couldn’t believe my good timing. I was a registered guest checking into the hotel, so I was able to make my way past the barricade and was warmly greeted by the General Manager, Jurgen Baumhoff who let me know that the world’s most important finance ministers were all about to convene on the hotel.
As I checked into my room, I accidentally dropped my scarf and a nice man walking by with an entourage pointed to the floor to let me know. Was that really Mr. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General? I was officially star-struck!
Within minutes, Secretary of State John Kerry was gliding through the hotel with his entourage and a friend later told me she saw me in the background of French TV5 Monde in the lobby watching as an insider as history was unfolding. Then there was news that the French, German, Russian and Chinese finance ministers would be arriving for the talks all checking into the hotel. The hotel was buzzing again and security was on alert. I was eagerly updating my friends on Facebook.
The highlight of the next day was meeting NBC news correspondent, Ann Curry who so graciously spent a few minutes talking to me about how she was using social media to report updates from the talks. As a journalism graduate for both my undergraduate and master’s degrees, it was no doubt a thrill. I was so proud to be an American.But our meeting was brief as the sirens went off again, and everybody scurried. The Russians were coming. Everybody stand by!
When I travel, looking stylish with utmost ease is very important to me which is why I’m a huge fan of New York jewelry designer Margo Morrison. I was thrilled to meet her today at one of my favorite boutiques outside of Boston called Trove, where the owner Dale first introduced me to Margo’s line of personally designed necklaces and earrings. I have been a fan of hers ever since.
Margo’s designs are made of faceted semi-precious stones and freshwater pearls knotted on beige nylon and finished with silver toggles cast from twigs and berries. When you wear the necklaces, the stones appear to float on your skin. The pieces are effortless, easy to travel with and nice to wear as a single strand or stacked. They are perfect with a tee shirt or even a little black dress.
Blake Lively, Julia Roberts and Gwyneth Paltrow are all fans of her edgy chic designs. You’ll find Margo Morrison jewelry in luxury hotels and resorts, too. I recently saw her eye-catching necklaces at Sandy Lane Resort’s Gatsby boutique in Barbados and the shop at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. You can buy online or at these stylish retailers.
Want to make a difference when traveling? I’m headed to Mexico this week, and proud to participate in Pack for a Purpose, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping travelers make an impact when traveling. Hotels such as Fairmont Mayakoba on the Riviera Maya partner with local organizations such as Playa Animal Rescue which helps rescue and rehabilitate injured and abandoned dogs, ultimately finding them permanent loving homes. Guests can bring donated supplies from a list available to the resort for donation to the charity.
Hotels all around the world participate from Mexico to the Caribbean to Africa. Just find your destination and see how you can contribute.
As you may know, I’m a huge animal lover and support animal rescue organizations, so rather than packing that extra pair of shoes, I’m filling that space with dog collars and chew toys for Playa Animal Rescue, ready to make a little bit of difference in the lives of these animals.
Small Space. Little Effort. Big Impact.
Pack for a Purpose has received a determination from the Internal Revenue Service that it qualifies as a charitable organization under code section 501(c)(3). All contributions to Pack for A Purpose are fully deductible. For a copy of their application for nonprofit status, please contact them at email@example.com
Fashionistas who love to travel rejoice! The Lowell Hotel, one of my favorite upper east side boutique hotels located steps from Madison Ave. boutiques in New York City, will be opening a Pop-Up Café in celebration of New York Fashion Week.
On September 5th, 2013, don your fall fashion best for one night of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres starting at 6:00 pm. This will be the place to be seen! For more info: +1-212-605-6968