FA Cup Final At Wembley Stadium In London

Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium

All eyes are on the FA cup with Liverpool traveling to Blackburn on April 8 for a replay after drawing on March 8. The winner faces Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi final on April 19. Arsenal and Reading will face off on April 18. On May 30th the FA Cup Final will take place in London at Wembley Stadium. Continue reading

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Insight To India

 

India

If you’re interested in exploring options for a magical trip to India, I invite you to a showcase and wine reception at Departure Lounge on March 5th. Come and meet Shonali Datta, Managing Director of Banyan Tours, widely recognized as one of the truly specialist companies in India. Shonali is the leading expert on the best travel experiences and luxury properties. Continue reading

What Makes Four Seasons Hotels Even Better?

Four Seasons London at Park Lane

Four Seasons London at Park Lane

Know what makes Four Seasons even better? a FREE night!

Stay three consecutive nights in London or Florence and receive one free night from January 1, 2015 to April 30, 2015. Book through your Virtuoso Travel Advisor and enjoy exclusive upgrades and amenities. Here’s the scoop:

Four Seasons London at Park Lane
– Confirmed room upgrade (available until March 31)
– Complimentary fourth night with a three-night stay
– Continental breakfast daily for up to two in-room guests
– $100 spa services credit

Four Seasons Firenze - Courtyard Grandeur

Four Seasons Firenze – Courtyard Grandeur

Four Seasons Firenze
– Complimentary fourth night with every three consecutive nights
– Room upgrade upon arrival, if available
– Full breakfast daily for up to two in-room guests
– Welcome amenity in room upon arrival
– $100 spa services credit

LONDON CALLING
– Stroll along famed Bond Street, home to Sotheby’s, Christie’s and designer boutiques
– Treat yourself to a Signature Ritual or traditional massage in the hotel’s one-of-a-kind rooftop spa
– Discover London’s culturally rich history through its many museums and galleries
– Dine in one of 62 Michelin-starred restaurants, including two 3-star establishments
– Soak up the views from the giant Ferris wheel, London Eye, offering the best perspective of the city
– Go for a jog around Kensington Gardens or work out in the hotel’s state-of-the-art fitness center

Michelangelo's David at The Galleria dell'Accademia

Michelangelo’s David at The Galleria dell’Accademia

FOCUS ON FLORENCE
– Enjoy a four-course gourmet meal by Michelin-chef Vito Mollica in the hotel’s original 16th-century chapel
– Unwind in your well-appointed room featuring a European soaking tub and fully stocked bar
– Schedule one of the hotel’s unique spa services including the Chianti Wine Massage or Iris Sensations treatment
– Tour the city’s legendary landmarks from the Uffizi Gallery to the Medici Chapel and discover the charming villages of Tuscany
– Attend a private wine tasting class for two in the hotel’s winery where expert sommeliers will reveal the secrets behind great Tuscan wines
– Learn the secrets of Italian chefs during a cooking class arranged just for you by the hotel’s concierge

Ready to plan your trip? Ask me about special savings in business and first class on the daily non-stop from Austin to London with British Airlines. Don’t waste hours online, a professional Virtuoso Travel Advisor typically delivers an upgraded experience, secured through personal connections and insider access, for a better price than you would pay direct. Contact me here to schedule an appointment.

 

 

2015 Wine Themed River Cruises and Unique Epicurean Experiences

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The beautiful sights and scenery on any AmaWaterways river cruise are a feast for the eyes. On these select cruises, however, there’s something extra special — a feast for the taste buds. Experience wine tastings on board and ashore in Europe’s renowned wine regions. Indulge in sumptuous cuisine with wine recommendations and an incredible wine dinner, in which each course is specially selected and paired with a different vintage by our head chef and a wine expert. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit historic wineries and vineyards, tour wine cellars, and enjoy discussions with acclaimed wine experts. And don’t forget all the unforgettable European destinations you’ll experience along the way!

AmaSerena will debut in 2015

AmaSerena will debut in 2015

Cruise the legendary Danube, Rhine, Seine, Rhône or Douro and save up to $1,500 per stateroom or receive a single supplement waiver on selected departures in the spring and fall.

2015 Wine Themed River Cruises and Unique Epicurean Experiences include:

  • Inspired food & wine pairings
  • Exclusive shore excursions to historic wineries and vineyards
  • Exciting lectures with acclaimed wine experts
  • Select premium wine tastings from celebrated North American and European wineries

Viviane Tondeur, CTC, DS is the Departure Lounge river cruise expert. She has completed the AmaWaterways course of study and was awarded the designation of AmaWaterways River Cruise Specialist

Why rivercruising?

•    Small ships – no lines. Most ships carry fewer than 200 passengers, some fewer than 100
•    All inclusive: fresh regional cuisine, fine wines, and other local beverages
•    Well appointed cabins and public rooms
•    Dock in the center of town to explore a destination in depth
•    Shore excursions with English speaking guides are included
•    Culture comes on board with local performers
•    Ship amenities may include hot tub, pool, golf-putting green, salon, gym
•    Floating hotel – unpack once

Questions about river cruising? Contact me here and we’ll discuss your plans and find the ship that fits your style best.

 

Vibrant London Awaits

london

Since my 1st visit to London in the early 70’s, I have been back at least once every year, sometimes more often, for pleasure and business. The opening of the Tate Modern in 2000 stands out, as well as many memorable soccer games over the years. Here are my recommendations:

Getting there: this one is super easy – daily nonstop on British Airways between Austin & London.

Staying there: a bit more complicated – Virtuoso’s Best of the Best has 20 choices, it will depend on where you need to be and who you are traveling with. Personal faves include 45 Park Lane, Four Seasons, 51 Buckingham Gate, The Savoy; for families The Milestone offers interconnecting rooms. Enjoy Virtuoso amenities: daily breakfast, early check-in/late checkout when available, room upgrade when available, and an exclusive benefit.

Getting around: London has one of the best public transportation systems in the world + iconic black taxi cabs. The Underground or Tube is clean and covers the nucleus and the suburbs; the famous double-decker buses may take little longer but you’ll get to see more of the sights.

Eating there: full English breakfast room service at The Savoy is the most amazing ever! The Wolseley in a 1921 car showroom (turned Barclays Bank branch) for Veal Holstein; Brasserie Chavot, one of the few French brasseries in London run by an actual Frenchman; Gymkhana for contemporary Indian; Ampersand’s afternoon tea in The Drawing Rooms; Gordon Ramsay; Heston Blumenthal.

See it: Big Ben, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, British Museum, the London Eye…

Buy it: Oxford St (Selfridges), Regent St, Knightsbridge (Harrods), Savile Row, Notting Hill

Catch it: enjoy some of the best stage shows on earth – with more than 50 venues and dozens of different production showing at any one time, you’re spoiled for choice.

Cook it: Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa restaurant offers a fantastic butchery masterclass, or simply sit back and let the chef do all the hard work at Gordon Ramsay’s Petrus or maze.

Watch it: English Premier League soccer – Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham, Fulham

Play it: Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Wentworth Club in Surrey

What are your favorite experiences in London?

Destination: London, UK

Departures: daily

Contact me here to help you plan and book your next London trip.

Now Open in Paris: Fondation Louis Vuitton

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Along with the reopening of the Picasso Museum, the big buzz in Paris is the opening of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, an incredible architectural creation by the brilliant architect, Frank Gehry. The building looks like a huge sailboat, its 12 glass “sails” reflecting in a huge pool of water.

The 126,000 square-foot cultural center and modern art museum is located in the Bois de Boulogne. It houses 11 galleries, and space for concerts, theatrical events, and outdoor art installations. It’s the next great thing in Paris architecture – and a must-see for every visitor to the city!

Insider tips:  There are no guided tours permitted at the Center (and the foundation does not offer tours either), but docents are available in each gallery/room to answer questions.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton has placed its restaurant ‘Le Frank’ in the capable hands of Jean-Louis Nomicos, Michelin-starred chef and owner of the restaurant ‘Les Tablettes’ on avenue Bugeaud in Paris.

Hours: Mon, Wed, Thurs: noon to 7 pm; Fridays until 11 pm; Sat & Sun: 11 am to 8 pm
CLOSED ON TUESDAYS

Tickets: 14 € / Family price: 32 €
Tickets may be pre-purchased online

Virtuoso features no less than 12 “Best of the Best” hotels in Paris where I can arrange for complimentary room upgrades, daily breakfast and special amenities. As a Virtuoso travel advisor affiliated with Departure Lounge, I also have access to special savings or upgrades on business- and first class international air fares with the top airline carriers.

Paris is delightful and full of surprises any time of the year but it has a special appeal in winter especially if you like to shop. Until the end of December, the festive theme at Galeries Lafayette is Monster Christmas, capped off by the world’s first-ever upside down Christmas tree—hanging tip down 80 feet from the famous cupola above the shopping center. Every hour, a sound and light show transforms the tree with a series of magical illuminations. Meanwhile, kids will love the inventive window displays, complete with furry little monsters wreaking silly havoc among the traditional scenes.

Insider tip: winter sales or “soldes” take place from January 7 to February 10, 15 (5 weeks only).

Three Exceptional ice-skating venues around the city:

• THE GRAND PALAIS
For the second year now, the glass–enclosed hall of the historic Grand Palais will become a jeweled ice palace and the largest skating rink in France. Right next to it, the Café des Glaces offers up mulled wine and hot chocolate, and a delicious menu of tartines and winter soups. Open: Dec 14 – Jan 4; Mon-Wed 11-8; Thurs-Sat 11 to 2 am; Sun 11-10

• HOTEL DE VILLE
A regular favorite of Parisians is the outdoor rink that takes up the vast plaza in front of the Hotel de Ville (City Hall). There is a smaller, children’s rink on-site as well. Admission is free; skate rentals are available. Open: Dec 21 – March 2; Mon-Fri noon to 10; Sat & Sun 9-10

• FIRST FLOOR OF THE EIFFEL TOWER
Another fantastic reason to visit the renovations to the Eiffel Tower! The ice skating rink on the first floor will offer some of the best views of Paris. Hours to be announced soon.

Would you like to experience Paris in winter? Call me now to discuss and book your travel plans!

Viviane’s weekly picks October 12

Paris in Autumn

– With it first renovation in 30 years, the Eiffel Tower’s highlight (literally!) is the glass floor pavilion which offers visitors incredible views of the landscape and people below from 187 feet up in the air. Insider tip: if you lie down on the glass floor, you can take a selfie that looks as if you’re in the air! Continue reading

Viviane’s Top Weekly Picks August 24

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Let it snow!

150 years ago winter tourism started in St. Moritz, Switzerland and we’re celebrating in style. Save the date for Wednesday, September 24 and join us to kick off the 2014-15 snow season. Representatives from resorts in the US and Europe will be on hand to answer your questions and hand out information. Our partner in snow, St Bernard Sports, will demo the latest gear and fashions.

The Future of Cruising is almost here!

On November 2nd, Quantum of the Seas℠ sets sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to Cape Liberty, NJ. Among cruise lines firsts are the skydiving simulator and North Star℠ observation pod 300 feet above sea level. Guests will find innovative features throughout in staterooms, dining and entertainment.

Picasso Museum in Paris reopens

The Picasso Museum in the beautiful Hôtel Salé – a grand 17th century mansion – will reopen on Picasso’s birthday, October 25th! Many of the 5,000 Picasso works housed here will be on exhibit in the museum, which has been closed for about three years.

Celebrate the holidays “riverboat” style

Six Old Fashioned Holidays voyages on the American Queen are available including New Orleans round trip or between New Orleans and Memphis, Tenn. These itineraries offer guests authentic holiday experiences including the old Louisiana tradition of bonfires on the levees, special Christmas shows in the Grand Saloon, door-decorating contests and woodcarver Jim Moore creating a Victorian Santa from a block of basswood. Seasonal culinary delights and decadent desserts include a Creole Réveillon Christmas Dinner.

Super Bowl returns to Arizona

There is nothing quite like the anticipation of a new season of football. Glendale, Arizona will host Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, 2015. As other fans gather around their televisions, you could be in the stands to experience football’s biggest game in person.

Free Night and Virtuoso Exclusive Amenities Worldwide

Enjoy a third or fourth night free at Raffles and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts around the globe, breakfast daily, dining credits,  and more.

Destinations: St. Moritz, Southampton, Paris, New Orleans, Glendale

Departures: January 1 – December 31

Contact me here to help you plan and book your next trip.

Combining Upscale Travel with Culinary Technique

cooking-class

There’s no better way to discover a region than by tasting its food especially if you’re participating in the preparation. Learn how to select and buy the best produce, discover new culinary techniques and wine pairings, and share your passion for food with celebrated chefs.

Here are just a few picks … to whet your appetite. I can customize a culinary vacation for two people, or twenty, in the country of your choice.

1. South Australia’s Barossa Valley:

Casa Carboni Enoteca and Cooking School: Matteo Carboni’s philosophy is to teach traditional Italian recipes based on the best of seasonal Barossa produce, showing different techniques that can easily be replicated at home with the same results. Class size is limited to 6 people.

Stay at: The Louise, atop a gentle hill in the Barossa Valley, one of the world’s top culinary destinations. The hotel is an easy one hour drive from Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.

2. A Day with Two-Star Michelin Chef Ramón Freixa in Madrid:

Visit the historical and monumental San Miguel market accompanied by Chef Ramón Freixa, followed by a private class in his two-star Michelin restaurant to prepare exquisite creations with the ingredients from the market, and finish the day with an amazing dinner.

Stay at: Hotel Único, housed in a 19th-century palace, on Madrid’s “Golden Mile.”

3. Bean to Bar Chocolate Making Class in Belize:

Learn how to transform high quality organic cacao into chocolate starting with a visit to the cacao nursery. Grind dried cacao beans, roast cacao, and finally temper and mold your own chocolate bar to take home. Make a batch of triple chocolate truffles rolled in nibs, and as it cools, enjoy a luncheon of farm fresh ingredients. Finish the day by learning to make Belcampo Belize’s signature Mayan chocolate pudding.

Stay at: Belcampo Belize Lodge in Punta Gorda

4. Master Authentic Chinese Food in a Traditional Qing Dynasty Courtyard:

Four-hour classes in the open-air courtyard of the HutongCuisine Cooking School located in the historic Dongcheng district of Beijing. Explore a “wet” market before your class and choose from dim sum, wok, Peking Duck, dumplings, noodles, or Canton, Sichuan, or Beijing cuisine. Starting in April, the school will offer a 10-day intensive program.

Stay at: Regent Hotel

So there it is, a quick world tour of cuisines for you to discover. Ask me about equally delicious programs in Italy, France, Peru, Vietnam, and just about anywhere you would like to explore. Call me at 818-885-8623 to discuss your plans. Bring your toque, your apron and your appetite!

About Viviane Tondeur, MBA, CTC, DS: travel advisor affiliated with Departure Lounge, a member of the Virtuoso network. I focus on snow sports, river cruising, and culinary experiences. As an expert FIT and group planner, I specialize in personalizing clients’ travel experiences, and regularly lead tours to favorite destinations.

About Departure Lounge in Austin, TX: sleek, elegant, one-of-a-kind coffee and wine bar with a cool travel discovery zone. Departure Lounge clients enjoy Virtuoso insider access plus complimentary upgrades and amenities. Departure Lounge travel advisors are part counselor, part global concierge and part magician. We follow a specific process in collaborating with you and have some very cool tools to lead you on the right path.

About Virtuoso: travel industry’s leading luxury network with 1,300 of the world’s premier travel providers, as well as exclusive services, experiences, and products.

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Chic Hip Dining in Paris

Superstar Chef Guy Martin

Superstar Chef Guy Martin

Florent Maillet, owner of Chocolatine, shared his recommendation for chic, hip dining in Paris: Le 68 Guy Martin. Michelin-starred Chef Guy Martin has teamed up with the perfumer of the House of Guerlain to create one of the most innovative eateries in the city – food with a fragrant touch! The restaurant is on the Champs-Elysées and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The entrance is through the Guerlain shop.

You may recognize Chef Guy Martin’s name from the legendary Le Grand Véfour in Paris, the Hotel Mont-Blanc in Chamonix, or L’Atelier Guy Martin culinary workshops. Chef Martin finds inspiration from his trips, his taste for Japanese culture, but also from the products of the Savoyard region where he was born. The key element for his creations, however remains art and artists, which give him inspiration for colors, structures and flavors.

Chocolatine is a Virtuoso Preferred Tour Operator focusing exclusively on France.
Chocolatine’s “Dream Team” of exceptional guides provide guests with knowledgeable, courteous, discreet, and personable service, always with a touch of fun and good humor.

Contact me here to make your Paris visit a unique, beautiful, and trendy experience!

Destination: Paris

Departure: daily

Paris Foodie Experiences

Paris-gastronomie

Visit open-air markets of Paris and tucked-away bakeries; stop into chocolate and cheese shops; enjoy a foie gras and wine tasting with an expert and take a cooking class in a private apartment. Make your own bread, cookies and chocolates with the masters during your exclusive epicurean tour of Paris with Chocolatine.

Call 818-268-6552 today and save 20% on your gastronomical getaway!

Destination: Paris

Departure: available through April 14, 2014

About Viviane Tondeur, MBA, CTC, DS: travel advisor affiliated with Departure Lounge, a member of the Virtuoso network. I focus on snow sports, river cruising, and delicious culinary experiences. As an expert FIT and group planner – I specialize in personalizing clients’ travel experiences, and regularly lead tours to favorite destinations.

About Departure Lounge in Austin, TX: sleek, elegant, one-of-a-kind coffee and wine bar with a cool travel discovery zone. Departure Lounge clients enjoy Virtuoso insider access plus complimentary upgrades and amenities. Departure Lounge travel advisors are part counselor, part global concierge and part magician. We follow a specific process in collaborating with you and have some very cool tools to lead you on the right path.

About Virtuoso: travel industry’s leading luxury network with 1,300 of the world’s premier travel providers, as well as exclusive services, experiences, and products.

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Viviane’s Top Weekly Picks July 20

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10 Reasons Travel Agents Are Better Than the Internet

I agree! This post originally appeared on Thrillist (Juy 16) and was picked up by The Huffington Post on July 19. IMO too much emphasis on getting cheap flights but some valid points otherwise. As a Virtuoso Travel Advisor I offer you a world of insider access and special privileges including:

  • complimentary upgrades, daily breakfast and special amenities at 1,000+ five-star hotels and resorts
  • complimentary shore excursions with gourmet meals, exclusive cocktail receptions and dedicated hosts on 400+ luxury cruise sailings per year
  • special savings or upgrades on business- and first-class international air fares with 50+ top airline carriers (ask me about our special fares on the new British Airways direct non-stop flight from Austin to London)
  • destination-based experts to serve as your guides and local concierge service for insider experiences
  • someone who is always there to correct any issues that may arise during your travel (if you book it yourself, you can only call yourself)

I would really appreciate it if you’d consider allowing me to book your travel arrangements, as well as recommend me to your friends and colleagues who travel.  So many people don’t realize that travel advisors exist or why and how to use us.  I don’t charge fees for most types of trips, so utilizing my service is no more expensive than if you booked it yourself.  But there’s a very good chance I can use my contacts and the leverage of the Virtuoso international travel network to deliver an upgraded travel experience for you, and help you make the best decisions to make the most of your valuable vacation time.

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Culinary enthusiasts listen up!
Travel is made so much more glorious through food – the experiences we have when we’re trying something new whether it be nibbling on bites as we amble through a chaotic outdoor food market, indulging in tantalizing dishes at a 5-star restaurant, or learning at the hands of a master in a professional kitchen, or in a local’s home. As a culinary expert, I can arrange and reserve a trip that’s just right for you. Not everyone in your party wants to spend time in the kitchen? No problem, Departure Lounge’s “travel persona survey” will help me pinpoint how to best plan a vacation that will accommodate everyone’s interests.

INDIAN FOOD CRAWL…BY RAIL
We’ll keep with the culinary theme and visit a country that might not come to mind first when you think of haute cuisine and fine wines. This lovely experience keeps you both on track and entirely off the beaten track at the same time as you glide your way through India aboard a luxury train. Each stop brings a new adventure whether it be Delhi, Jaipur, Agra or beyond.  Enjoy visits to traditional bazaars to shop for the ingredients before cooking alongside celebrated regional chefs, dine with Indian families at exotic settings and even witness mass cooking & meal management for thousands at a time at special events. A truly unique culinary experience!

BESPOKE GOURMET ITINERARIES IN ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND
Want to try foraging for wild food with a Michelin-starred chef followed by a demonstration of how to incorporate what you have found into your evening meal in his or her kitchen? How about bread making in a Michelin-starred kitchen paired with locally produced cheeses or an informal residential cookery course with an internationally renowned cook and best-selling food-writer?
Let me arrange your trip around these events:
Buckingham Palace Summer Opening: 26 July – 28 September
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo: 1 – 23 August
Edinburgh International Festival: 8 – 31 August
Edinburgh International Book Festival: 9 – 25 August
Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland: 8 – 17 August

NOW OPEN ONE&ONLY HAYMAN ISLAND

One&Only Hayman Island

Luxury is officially redefined at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef One&Only Hayman Island. Discover the astonishing natural beauty of this private island paradise where each day is filled with restorative peace, indulgence and adventure, and everlasting memories are made.

SPECIAL CELEBRATORY OPENING OFFER: Don’t miss out – receive 25% savings on accommodation when you BOOK BY 31 JULY 2014 FOR TRAVEL UNTIL 30 SEPTEMBER 2014.

AN EXPEDITION TO EXTRAORDINARY

Stella Australis

One of my favorite trips of all time: Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Cape Horn … a cruise to the end of the world. Australis is known as the leader in Patagonia. And it’s easy to see why. As the only outfitter to sail exclusively in this region you’ll enjoy an insider’s perspective of Patagonia’s legendary landscape. The best part? All the extras are included in your fare, with complimentary meals, excursions, an open bar — even whisky and hot chocolate during your onshore outings. Yes, I have the photo to prove it: whisky on the rocks (quite literally) with ice from the glacier! Book by September 30 for exclusive upgrades and more.

BEST LUXURY ACCOMMODATIONS ON ASIAN RIVERS by Marilyn Green of TravelAge West.

River cruise customers are generally upscale travelers, and the industry is moving quickly to provide high-end staterooms and suites to satisfy them, including accommodations with features such as heated tile floors, hot tubs, walk-in closets and butler service. Size also matters to the upscale river cruise client, so cruise lines are also designing larger rooms and suites — some offering more than 1,000 square feet.

The boom in upscale accommodations for high-end river cruise clients is perhaps most apparent on vessels sailing on the Mekong, Yangtze and Irrawaddy rivers, where the lines are adding itineraries at a fast clip. Here, where stateroom designs in the colors and textures of the East are merged with cutting edge technology, the result is extraordinary.

Century Paragon, Yangtze River/www.avalonwaterways.com
Yangzi Explorer, Yangtze River/www.vikingrivercruises.com
AmaLotus, Mekong River/www.amawaterways.com
Avalon Siem Reap (launches 2015), Mekong River/www.avalonwaterways.com

Destinations: India, England, Scotland, Hayman Island, Patagonia, China, South East Asia

Departures: January 1 – December 31

Contact me here to help you plan and book your next trip.

 

Mesmerizing Mexico

Mesmerizing Mexico

Join us at Departure Lounge on July 12 for Mesmerizing Mexico: Its Iconic & Secret Sites Revealed, a complimentary wine reception and showcase of Mexico’s most amazing travel destinations and experiences. Meet our honored guest, Mrs. Rosalba Ojeda, Consul General of Mexico in Austin. Learn about outstanding travel offers Continue reading

Luxury Train Travel Around The World

Orient Express

All aboard! In the world of train travel, nothing says intrigue and luxury like the Orient Express although the original train between Paris and Istanbul was simply a normal international railway service. Today’s Venice Simplon Orient Express is a glorious journey offering opulent accommodations and majestic scenery. In Southeast Asia, the Eastern & Oriental Express’ exotic voyage between Bangkok and Singapore features the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang in Laos and the dramatic splendor of Cambodia’s ancient city, Angkor Wat.

Join us on Saturday, June 14th at Departure Lounge in Austin to learn about the best train trips on each continent. One of my favorites is the trip from Cuzco to Machu Picchu aboard the Hiram Bingham. Relax in 1920’s Pullman-style carriages with polished wood and brass accents, learn how to make Pisco Sour cocktails in the bar, enjoy a champagne brunch in the dining car, and take in panoramic views of the Sacred Valley from the observation car before arriving at the citadel.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to discover a more civilized way to experience some of the world’s best destinations. Departure Lounge will feature happy hour wine flights all day to keep the fun on track and to whet your appetite for the culinary delights awaiting you aboard the trains.

What: Luxury Train Travel Around The World
Where: Departure Lounge, 311 West 5th (at Guadalupe), Austin, Texas 78701
When: Saturday, June 14th, 2014, 2pm – 5pm

Please contact me here to discuss your travel plans and book your reservations. While I have been a travel advisor for many years and have hundreds of personal contacts around the world, I am also a part of the Virtuoso luxury travel network, which is more than 60 years old and produces $12.5 billion in annual luxury leisure travel sales. I leverage my relationships AND the buying power of the Virtuoso network to score my clients amazing upgrades, complimentary meals, exclusive benefits and fantastic amenities.

Wine & Wanderlust: top wine trips around the world

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As a wine bar and boutique travel agency, Departure Lounge celebrates wine travel with a Wine & Wanderlust event showcasing outstanding wine trips around the world.

Join us and learn about Virtuoso amenities and upgrades on wine-themed river cruises, ocean cruises, and culinary tours while enjoying happy hour wine specials. We’ll reveal our first Founder’s Trip, a wine journey to Argentina and Chile in October hosted by Departure Lounge founders Keith Waldon and Bryan Glatt.

You can also take the Wine Persona visual survey for tips on wines you might like to explore, as well as the Travel Persona survey to find out what type of traveler you are.

When: Saturday, May 17 from 2 pm to 6 pm

Where: Departure Lounge, 311 W. 5th Street (at Guadalupe), Austin, TX 78701

Questions? Call Viviane Tondeur at 818-268-6552

About Viviane Tondeur, MBA, CTC, DS: travel advisor affiliated with Departure Lounge, a member of the Virtuoso network. I focus on snow sports, river cruising, and delicious culinary experiences. As an expert FIT and group planner – I specialize in personalizing clients’ travel experiences, and regularly lead tours to favorite destinations.

About Departure Lounge in Austin, TX: sleek, elegant, one-of-a-kind coffee and wine bar with a cool travel discovery zone. Departure Lounge clients enjoy Virtuoso insider access plus complimentary upgrades and amenities. Departure Lounge travel advisors are part counselor, part global concierge and part magician. We follow a specific process in collaborating with you and have some very cool tools to lead you on the right path.

About Virtuoso: travel industry’s leading luxury network with 1,300 of the world’s premier travel providers, as well as exclusive services, experiences, and products.

Virtuoso-logo